Roamio: alternative to HDR+?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by TomCat, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    FIrst, I apologize. This is a DTV DVR forum. But this post is about alternatives to that. I need an alternative.

    I am disheartened by the monolithic Genie direction. I think it is wrong-headed and flawed, and certainly not for customers like me. I am also disheartened that the HD DVR+, which 5 years ago was superior to everything else, including eventually its vaunted predecessor, the HD TIvo, has deteriorated. Slow, bloated, unreliable, and unintuitive. Not to mention frustrating. Yesterday I deleted a SP of 24 eps, and it was a full minute before it would respond to the remote once again. I think the other options have only become better, while the HD DVR+ has devolved. Not quite a POS, but not heads and shoulders above, like it once was.

    But when you have 4 DVRS, each with a significantly-loaded 2 TB drive, you are kind of stuck with the girl that brung ya. To jump ship means abandoning about 700 hours of content that I have currently.

    So to get out from under what seems like a sinking ship, I have to do that gradually.

    Maybe this new subscription-less Tivo Roamio available in May is part of the answer. Over 60% of what I record is OTA. Only 30% is from sat channels that don't have a streaming alternative. And honestly, I am watching only about half the TV I was watching a couple years ago, maybe less than that. I figure that if I got the Tivo, I could eventually abandon three of my aging HRs as they die of old age. The change in DVR fees alone would pay for the Roamio in a year or two.

    I always felt like the subscription model for a stand-alone DVR was a bad idea, and as great as Tivo has always been, I feel like that is what has kept them down. A year ago, bankruptcy would not have been a surprise. Today, their DVRs have great new features, and the ROVI acquisition seems like it makes them a solid company once again.

    There is just one major flaw in this strategy, which is that the Tivo only has a 1 TB HDD. If it came with a 3 TB I would already have pre-ordered it. But if I can hack a 3 TB into it, that would also solve this problem.

    So I will be following interestedly any hacks that come up.

    And I welcome any of your thoughts on this strategy, as long as they are thoughtful thoughts. It may never make sense without a 3 TB HDD, but I am keeping my eyes peeled for future options. Also, I have to keep an eye on how DVR options bode for 4K at some point.
     
  2. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    You don't need to hack a Tivo to replace the hard drive. The Roamio ships with a blank hard drive (the OS is stored on flash) so you can replace the drive the minute you take it out the box before even plugging it in.
     
  3. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    That is the best news I've heard all week. Thanks a billion. Now lend me $93 for the HDD, please. :sure:
     
  4. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    You do realize that can be anywhere from 24 to 48 gigabytes of data, right? Try the same thing on a PC and see how long it takes...
     
  5. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    It should be very quick, if it is a bunch of 1 GB files, which it would be on a DVR (anyway, Directv DVRs run Linux, which has a more efficient filesystem, not Windows like your PC probably does)

    Though no matter how long it takes to complete the deletion it shouldn't hang the whole UI waiting for it to finish, that's just bad programming.
     
  6. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    I'm well aware of what file systems an OS uses, thanks... It still takes more than what I'm guessing he expects to delete that much data. Oh, and I don't use Windows, at all ever...
     
  7. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    First I'm hearing of this. Was aware of the Rovi acquisition, but not this.
     
  8. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Exactly. Could not have said it better myself. My iMac may take a minute or two to complete a Time Machine backup, but IT LETS ME DO OTHER THINGS AT NORMAL SPEED WHILE THAT HAPPENS.

    Sorry for shouting, but that is as basic a no-brainer as there ever was. Allowing access to primary tasks like responding to the remote while performing background tasks is Ergonomics 101, even though all tasks time-share the CPU. There can only be two reasons why it does not happen properly on the HD DVR+, which are an overloaded bloated CPU, and as slice says, bad programming. I am not happy with a media company that makes either of those basic choices, let alone both of them.
     
  9. May 1, 2016 #9 of 13
    unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    Apple is hardly the reference for perfection. Its just that their idea of "good enough" is higher. Its still a bug-ridden cesspool. I see flaws every day.

    Software always grows. Because it can. Product Managers can't help it. Their job is to add features, not to improve quality or speed. When you target hardware that is designed to be the cheapest thing you can get away with there isn't much headroom so the result is inevitable. And so is the collection of more $ from "upgrades" which suits them fine. Its not like consumers have any alternatives.

    Generalized "computers" are actually having the opposite problem. They have been so much more than most people need for many years and each years new models bring little advancement. So people don't need to buy new ones. All the vendors are in financial decline.

    As general computing prices continue to fall there is some hope that the cheapo minimalist garbage will become obsolete. But that won't help as long as mediocre software design continues - garbage will just expand to fill the space! Innovation is pretty much dead. Software engineering is no longer an art - just another commodity job which no longer attracts the brightest. So bottom line is we are doomed. Seriously.
     
  10. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone was holding Apple or Tivo out as an example of perfection. Perfection in software is impossible for any reasonably sized program, unless perhaps you are OK with freezing the feature set in stone for a decade while still devoting engineering resources towards fixing issues as they are found. Or taking years to get the code out while you follow a development method that requires mathematical proof of correctness as you go.

    The way our consumer driven society works, the masses want something new. If you sacrifice time to market or feature set in exchange for vying for perfection, you will sink without a trace in the marketplace.
     
  11. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I know I sure wasn't. There are a couple features of the HD DVR+ that Tivo probably has penis envy over. I thought Apple could do not wrong, until they bought Emagic and gutted software (Logic) that was already pretty perfect. Steve is dead (but that happened on his watch). It's been a slow decline ever since, sort of like the slow decline of the DVR+.

    Opinions about the state of software sort of hijacked things here. Not my point. But not making the user drum his fingers on the table while waiting for background tasks is pretty basic. Some HRs can take a minute just to display the program list. And even then, not smart enough to even ignore "the" in alphabetization, something even the cheapest, sleaziest crap app built for iOS can do. The propellor-heads in coding all need to be taken out and shot.

    But back to alternatives...I notice that the Tivo DVRs have an eSATA port. Anyone know how cumbersome that might be? It's probably not, but both DISH and DTV have never implemented that very cleverly.

    Also, seeing some negatives about the Rovi guides, but hopefully them owning Tivo is more about financial stability. Tivo already has the guide thing dicked.
     
  12. unixguru

    unixguru Godfather

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    Not really. The managers and product managers that micro-manage coders need to be taken out and shot. In most places coders are not allowed to "fix" or "improve" things that the Grand Poobahs haven't deemed worthwhile - because they aren't spending that time doing fluff.

    What is wrong with the DTV eSATA port? (Other than it not working with some enclosures.)

    I vaguely recall that the TiVO eSATA port works. Possibly even adding space rather than replacing it. Which is better for some use cases and worse for others (people that want RAID).
     
  13. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Well, it sorta works. Your limited to a specific drive (The WD Extender) and it's only 1TB.
     

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