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Why Stand Alone PVRs aren't great....

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by James_F, Sep 18, 2002.

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  1. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/020917/column_pluggedin_1.html

    I spent all weekend helping a friend with a ReplayTV trying to get it to control their cable box. Then I read this article. I'm just glad I have DirecTiVos. :D
     
  2. Mike123abc

    Mike123abc Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Yeah my VCRs will control sat/cable boxes, and they claim to control the VCR. I have never trusted it, so I always set a timer on the VCR and a timer on the sat box.

    If the 921 ever comes out I will probably break down and buy a PVR. I tend to record regularly scheduled shows, so have never really had to worry about setting up a timer 2x since I do it once and it lasts a whole television season.
     
  3. Steve Mehs

    Steve Mehs Hall Of Fame

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    Kudos to David for getting his two bullitian boards mentioned in another article [​IMG]
     
  4. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    It isn't that bad. While the problem isn't resolved 100%, IR control problems can easily be fixed by setting (picking a slower remote speed) or proper placement of the IR pigtails. What I would like better is a DishTiVo and then I would have exactly what I want. But since I don't want a E* PVR or a DirectTiVo (yet), a SA TiVo is still a great option.
     
  5. Mike500

    Mike500 Hall Of Fame

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    I have OTA and Dish. The Stand Alone Tivo is great. I get a better picture on OTA than either of the providers, and, I haven't paid a local channel fee in 5 years. Neither of the dedicated PVR's will record OTA. And, whatever happens in the merger, my SA Tivo will work.
     
  6. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    But the point is no matter how good a SA Tivo is, it must rely on an IR Blaster that doens't always work. I'm not sure there is a workaround, but its still a limitation. Couple that with the fact that most American can't even program a universal remote correctly and you get unhappy customers. Those who have a PVR can't imagine living without one, but those who can't even get their SA Tivo/ReplayTV to record a simple show, the promise is limited.
     
  7. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    Some would say that even the DTiVo is tooo sophisticated for some users. I think there are more people who just don't get the PVR than who can't get their SA TiVo to work. Concentrating on the SA TiVo channel change problem is the same as the DP and 501 "Record 1 minute" bug. They are imperfections, and can be annoying, but there were bugs in the first series of TVs or Microwave ovens, etc., the early adopters always take on the problems and hopefully the next generation gets better of HW gets easier and better.
     
  8. Ryan

    Ryan Icon

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    I have two ReplayTVs (in addition to my two DirecTivos) and have used both cable boxes and satellite receivers with them.

    They were always 100% reliable with the cable. (I had both satellite and cable for a while due to the Comcast Sportsnet Philly issue.)

    In fact, when Replay and Tivo began issuing their first products, I went with Replay because it could control two different devices, like a cable box and satellite receiver. Tivo has had that ability for a while now, too, but not when they first came out.

    The obvious answer here is to add some sort of serial comm port like the DirecTV receivers have.

    If all the different manufacturers of IR controled devices can keep most of the IR signals from interfering with other products, they should be able to create some sort of basic communication protocal that would allow for at least simple controls, like channel changes and power on and off.
     
  9. Peter Wilson

    Peter Wilson AllStar

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    Mar 23, 2002
    I've had a Standalone TiVo with a Dish 5000 reciever and lifeline cable since September '99. I have the IR blaster in front of the 5000 and have yet to get a mis-fire. For those that do, they recommend building a little cardboard fort around the blaster and IR window. Also, when setting up the TiVo, it gives you the option of choosing several speeds that the IR is blasted... I use the medium speed without any problems and have yet to build a fort. :D
     
  10. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    That I think is the best solution. People will always want to pick the fastest speed figuring they can surf faster (it's not like we surf anymore by starting at channel 2 and finish at 9000) I almost think that it should be the default speed.
     
  11. Claude Greiner

    Claude Greiner Banned User

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    There are alot of customers out there who simply don't understand the technology available today, and because of that do not like the idea of change.

    Heres an excellent example, about a year ago I sold a customer who owns 3 adult foster care homes (3) Dish systems, one for each home. She called me 3 months ago and got service for her home because she liked it so much.

    We ended up installing a 3 reciever DHP along with a PVR :)

    So she called me up yesterday because the 501 was acting up, so I asked "So, how do you like all the recording functions on that reciever" She came back and said she works so much, she doesn't have time to use it very often. I was ready to tell her that her reciever can record shows while she is working so she can make the time to watch Tv, but I just dropped it at that, because I already spent an hour explaining how to use the 501, and how it can save time recoding all her favorite shows. I really can't do anything if someone doesn't want to take the time to sit down and even try to use it!

    The thing about it is that I don't know a person yet who had a PVR, decide to get rid of it and go back to cable!
     
  12. James_F

    James_F Damn you woman! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Good point. The more PVRs that cable and DBS can get into the consumers hands, the less likely of them switching. Nothing like a PVR to reduce churn!
     
  13. Biscit

    Biscit Guest

    Trouble with PVRs is the same as with VCRs- it's OK trying to
    time-shift your favourite progs so long as you have the spare time to shift the into!
     
  14. DarrellP

    DarrellP Hall Of Fame

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    I hear ya! PVR's sure make it easier though by shrinking commercially sponsored shows by 30%. It's the movies I have a hard time staying on top of. It's too bad they can't make a PVR play like 1.25 times faster and maintain the audio, that would be cool.
     
  15. MikeW

    MikeW Hall Of Fame

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    I had a SA Tivo setup w/Dish Network. While it was inside a stereo cabinet, with the glass doors closed, I would have about a 75% success rate. After trying many codes and missing many programs, I relocated the Dish receiver on to the floor behind the stereo. Tivo changed the channels, so I didn't need to see the box. Once I moved the box, I never, ever had a problem again. I suppose the signal was bouncing off the receiver to the window then back to the receiver again. Took me a couple of months to figure it out.
     
  16. BrettR

    BrettR Legend

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    No IR Blaster is needed for OTA or analog cable (without a box). And my situation the IR works very good with DirecTV and or digital cable, and or Dish. The only thing I dont like about Dish is it can get stuck on a channel if the wrong # is entered.

    But Comcast is the only place I can get majority of the televised Sixers games. I thought about "moving" to another region (like New York), then pay League Pass but its wasnt very economical plus I wouldnt get Philadelphia TV stations anymore. I'd get another market, which is fine, but doesnt do local enough weather and news here.

    Basic cable is only $26 extra (after cable modem service) which includes CCSN. DirecTV Total Choice plus league pass would give me more programming, but I wanted something simpler and more affordable, plus I get everything on one bill from Comcast.

    Since I had money invested in a S/A TiVo (which came out before the DirecTiVo) anyways, I didnt see the reason to keep DirecTV. DirecTV was nagging I take Select Choice (an unadvertised package) just to keep my account active, I told them I was not interested. Dish doesnt haggle its customers by making them take a basic package. I know few international only subscribers that would be really upset if DISH started acting like DirecTV in this manner requiring basic packages to be taken. Quite a few Dish subs atleast on the other forums are just taking distants supers locals and or premiums or some other package not necessarily AT 100. I'm sure Dish prefers it when a basic package is taken, but hasnt bothered on customers that dont want it. They just charge the downgrade fee to drop it, then a monthly $5 fee. I wouldnt mind if DirecTV adopted this, but they dont want to.
     
  17. DarrellP

    DarrellP Hall Of Fame

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    TIVO sure wants that monthly subscription fee. I emailed them enquiring about using a SA TIVO Series 2 as a basic recording device for my Dish 6000 and the reply I got was really funny.

    After answering my question that, yes, I can do what I want with it (record, play back, pause), they went into a big long blah, blah, blah tirade about how I really NEED the sub service. I don't NEED or WANT the TIVO service, I just want to record and playback from my 6000, I could care less about Season Pass, Thumbs UP, Thumbs Down, what's on when and all that other good stuff.

    But, with the price of a DVD recorder approaching the price of a SA TIVO, I will probably opt for the DVD recorder.
     
  18. BrettR

    BrettR Legend

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    I paid $199 for lifetime on my S/A TiVo long time ago, so I dont have to worry about it ;) I also upgraded the HD, so have plenty of disk space. Altogether it was an expensive unit though, and I wouldnt go through it again but its already paid for now.
     
  19. usbhubman

    usbhubman New Member

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    Nov 12, 2002
    In the early 80's my sister and I gave my mother a VCR for XMAS. We tried to teach her how to record, time etc.

    NOT INTERESTED !

    She would rent a movie from the local convenience store, play it and take it back. She even paid $.50 for each tape to be rewound by the owner. It flashed 12:00 until the day she passed on.
     
  20. gcutler

    gcutler Hall Of Fame

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    It is like printers, most printer companies make their money on the Cartridges (effectively the endless income source). TiVo will make most of their money on the subscription. Can't blame them for pushing it at anyone who dosen't get a subscription. Thats where the money is
     
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