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Dish PVR vs TiVo


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11 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   greg_z

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:19 PM

I'm a long-time Dish + TiVo user, and I'm now considering moving to the world of HD. If I want to stay with Dish this means switching to a Dish PVR like the 722 or 612. I'd like to know how well these boxes will support the TiVo features I'm used to. Can anyone answer some of these questions about the Dish PVRs? Thanks in advance.


Can I record all episodes of a specific series (e.g. Doctor Who)?

Is that just based on a text match, or does it distinguish between different series of the same name?

Can I record only first airings in that series (and avoid re-runs)?

Will it avoid recording a show if the same episode was recently recorded?

Can I search for a series by name ("Doc"), select a series, display all upcoming episode showings, and select a showing to record?

Does it prioritize scheduled recordings like TiVo? E.g. automatically pick Doctor Who over Dexter, then record Dexer later?

Does it buffer "live" TV so I can rewind a bit to replay something I missed?

Can I retroactively decide to record the current "live" show back to the beginning of the buffer?

-greg

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#2 OFFLINE   Opusnbill7

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:43 PM

I'm a long-time Dish + TiVo user, and I'm now considering moving to the world of HD. If I want to stay with Dish this means switching to a Dish PVR like the 722 or 612. I'd like to know how well these boxes will support the TiVo features I'm used to. Can anyone answer some of these questions about the Dish PVRs? Thanks in advance.

Can I record all episodes of a specific series (e.g. Doctor Who)?

Is that just based on a text match, or does it distinguish between different series of the same name?

Can I record only first airings in that series (and avoid re-runs)?

Will it avoid recording a show if the same episode was recently recorded?

Can I search for a series by name ("Doc"), select a series, display all upcoming episode showings, and select a showing to record?

Does it prioritize scheduled recordings like TiVo? E.g. automatically pick Doctor Who over Dexter, then record Dexer later?

Does it buffer "live" TV so I can rewind a bit to replay something I missed?

Can I retroactively decide to record the current "live" show back to the beginning of the buffer?

-greg


Well, I just made that very switch, so let me answer what I can from my experience in both:

Yes you can record only the new episodes.

Yes you can record all of a specific series (including only the new episodes of said series).

Yes you can search by name and do all of what you mentioned.

Yes you can prioritize your recordings to handle conflicts (although since I have an OTA antenna on my 722, with that and 2 satellite antennas, I've yet to have a conflict (i.e. 3 tuners essentially as long as one of the shows is OTA).

Yes it buffers live tv.

The only question I can't for sure say yes to is the last one, but I think that may work also as long as you've been watching the show the whole time (so it's in the buffer). I just haven't tried it to find out for sure...

Overall, I'm VERY impressed with the DVR. I still like the way the Tivo was laid out as it was a little more "intuitive" in many ways, but once you figure it out you can do everything the Tivo did with the 722 as far as I can tell.

#3 OFFLINE   SaltiDawg

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 02:59 PM

...
Can I retroactively decide to record the current "live" show back to the beginning of the buffer?

To add to the excellent answer you received above, yes you can back up the buffer and commence the recording there.

#4 OFFLINE   kstuart

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 06:04 PM

Is that just based on a text match, or does it distinguish between different series of the same name?

It is just based on a text match, there is no provided list of programs (which is what TiVo uses).

That has advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage is that you catch "specials" that are part of the same series.

For example, a Pass set for "Good Eats" will also catch the special episode "Good Eats: Down and Out in Paradise".

If you want to avoid that, you can check the "Exact Match" checkbox, which can be useful in some cases, most famously, the TV shoes "Lost" and "Heroes" which are otherwise found in the titles of other programs.

I actually don't know of two programs on TV that have the exact same name (if you know of one, can you post it?), but there is another way to deal with that. The Pass can be set to only record on a specific channel number. So, as long as your two shows with exactly the same name are on different channels, which seems likely, there is no problem.

Otherwise, I can verify that Dish HD-DVR will do all the other things you are asking about.
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#5 OFFLINE   greg_z

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 10:35 PM

Thanks for the detailed answers, guys. Sounds like it's not perfect, but I can make the switch without any major inconvenience. Now to decide whether to wait for the upcoming 722s w/ the built-in slingcatcher...
-greg

#6 OFFLINE   mercator1

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 10:41 PM

I had been a Tivo user since they open their doors for busness. Since DirecTV and Tivo had parted company, I had to make the same decision as you when switching to HD. The only thing I really miss is the Tivo program guide. I always used the "list" style, and no the grid. I like it better. Except for that and the new remote control layout, it has been an easy adjustment. I overcame my dislike of the remote by getting a Harmony One. That is the best purchase I've ever made.

I now hear that DirecTV and Tivo are teaming up again, so I may swap back at some point, but right now all is right with the world.

#7 OFFLINE   Opusnbill7

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 06:54 AM

Oh...I'll second the Harmony. I've had one for a few years, and if you have someone who is "technically challenged" in the house, there's nothing better. Instead of having to get 3 different remotes to watch tv, they just press *one* button. VERY nice...

#8 OFFLINE   SaltiDawg

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:18 AM

It is just based on a text match, there is no provided list of programs (which is what TiVo uses).

That has advantages and disadvantages. ...


I believe that you are not correct, except for "Search."

There is encoded data that others have explained that identifies the specific series and also the episode and original air date. It is this info on which the receiver depends to determine whether an episode is to be recorded.

Do a search on Law and Order and it will return all episodes of Law and Order and also Law and Order : Special Victims and also Law and Order : Criminal Intent.

Now go to the Timers section and click on any one of those three different shows so as to list all scheduled recordings. It will display only the episodes associated with one of the three, depending on which you selected.

"Kitchen Disasters" and "Ramsay's Kitchen Disasters" are two totally different timers, yet search on "Kitchen" or "Kitchen Disasters" will return both series.

A timer to record New episodes of "Most Dangerous Catch" will return the end of season special episodes "After the Catch" IIRC. Same with Ice Road Truckers and some end of season specials. (Again, IIRC.) (I am not absolutely sure of these latter examples.

And finally, I had one of the DYI house flipping shows set to record last season and the series completely changed its name - it is still recording new episodes of the re-named series.

#9 OFFLINE   jkane

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:18 AM

About the only thing the Vip722 doesn't do is thumbs and up and down which leads to it recording shows you didn't know were available. Tivo used to be faster, but in the past year, the series 2 Tivo has gotten so slow that the 722 has a much faster feel.

Of course, the 722 is HD, and our series 2 is SD. That makes a big difference to me.
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#10 OFFLINE   SaltiDawg

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:20 AM

Thanks for the detailed answers, guys. Sounds like it's not perfect, but I can make the switch without any major inconvenience. Now to decide whether to wait for the upcoming 722s w/ the built-in slingcatcher...

Greg,

It certainly is not perfect, but you listed a bunch of hoped for capabilities and you have been told it accomplishes every one that you listed in your OP. What is the inconvenience that you will suffer? :confused:

#11 OFFLINE   SaltiDawg

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:23 AM

Oh...I'll second the Harmony. I've had one for a few years, and if you have someone who is "technically challenged" in the house, there's nothing better. Instead of having to get 3 different remotes to watch tv, they just press *one* button. VERY nice...

I believe that the remotes for the E* receivers are very well designed. That said, as you suggest for a Home Theater setup or one involving multiple components the Harmony Remotes are great - for both the "technically challenged" and also for the "technically savvy." :) I love my 890 PRO.

#12 OFFLINE   greg_z

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 11:13 PM

Greg,

It certainly is not perfect, but you listed a bunch of hoped for capabilities and you have been told it accomplishes every one that you listed in your OP. What is the inconvenience that you will suffer? :confused:


I just meant that it sounds like there aren't any major inconveniences - which is good news! :)




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