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  • To DIY or Not

    My TiVo stopped working today. I'm saddened by its loss; not having the Incredibles at my finger tips; and not having backed up all 9 episodes of Norm building a kitchen. Now I need to decide between buying/building a MythTV box or buying a new Tivo.

  • #2
    Re: To DIY or Not

    Originally posted by cpw View Post
    My TiVo stopped working today. I'm saddened by its loss; not having the Incredibles at my finger tips; and not having backed up all 9 episodes of Norm building a kitchen. Now I need to decide between buying/building a MythTV box or buying a new Tivo.

    Tivo has just come to Australia so could you tell me the pros and cons as I was thinking of getting one.

    Tony

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: To DIY or Not

      Originally posted by AFM View Post
      Tivo has just come to Australia so could you tell me the pros and cons as I was thinking of getting one.

      Tony
      If I could only pick two pieces of electronic equipment in the world it would be my Tivo and a TV. If Tivo had a TV built in, I would pick just the Tivo. There was no question of getting a replacement for DVR when Tivo broke

      The pros of a Tivo are it will totally transform the way you watch television. You never need to worry about what time a show is on, you just say I want to watch "Holmes on Homes", "Survivor", "House", "The New Yankee Workshop" and it gets all of the episodes (and you pick the priority so it resolves conflicts). You can also record individual shows too; but we usually just record "season passes" of our favorites. Then when you sit down to watch television you have something like 60 hours of your favorite shows to choose from.

      You get to pause, rewind, and skip commercials when you are watching. It makes a big difference to just be able to watch your 1 hour show in 44 minutes (the standard length after you subtract commercials here).

      It also records things that it thinks you'll like based on pressing thumbs up and thumbs down. We used to use this a lot as well, but now our Tivo is mostly full of the things we purposely recorded; so we don't use it so much.

      The new Tivos also have dual tuners, so they can record two things at once (or you can watch one live and record another).

      Basically, you always have something to watch; and don't spend time channel surfing.

      Also, it is pretty easy to setup (if you can hookup a VCR you can hook up a Tivo).

      The cons: there is a monthly service charge of $12.95 and you are locked in for a year (there is a 30 day trial, but you have a useless box w/o the service). When you add a lifetime service ($399) into the high end Tivo it comes out to $1000. Even for the low-end DVR ($149) that increases the price to ($550).

      The other con, for me, is that unlike Mythtv Tivo can not rip a DVD to the hard disk. I really would like to do this, because we have about 20 cartoons; and the quality on every one of them is getting degraded by my kids handling them. Having them at the touch of a button would make me feel much better about spending $30 on the DVD in the first place. (MythTV on the other hand has a reputation of being really difficult to set up).

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: To DIY or Not

        Never heard of mythtv CPW, Thanks.

        I don't have Tivo but I do have a DVR. The only thing I can say is, read what CPW said as I agree 100%
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        • #5
          Re: To DIY or Not

          Originally posted by cpw View Post
          If I could only pick two pieces of electronic equipment in the world it would be my Tivo and a TV. If Tivo had a TV built in, I would pick just the Tivo. There was no question of getting a replacement for DVR when Tivo broke

          The pros of a Tivo are it will totally transform the way you watch television. You never need to worry about what time a show is on, you just say I want to watch "Holmes on Homes", "Survivor", "House", "The New Yankee Workshop" and it gets all of the episodes (and you pick the priority so it resolves conflicts). You can also record individual shows too; but we usually just record "season passes" of our favorites. Then when you sit down to watch television you have something like 60 hours of your favorite shows to choose from.

          You get to pause, rewind, and skip commercials when you are watching. It makes a big difference to just be able to watch your 1 hour show in 44 minutes (the standard length after you subtract commercials here).

          It also records things that it thinks you'll like based on pressing thumbs up and thumbs down. We used to use this a lot as well, but now our Tivo is mostly full of the things we purposely recorded; so we don't use it so much.

          The new Tivos also have dual tuners, so they can record two things at once (or you can watch one live and record another).

          Basically, you always have something to watch; and don't spend time channel surfing.

          Also, it is pretty easy to setup (if you can hookup a VCR you can hook up a Tivo).

          The cons: there is a monthly service charge of $12.95 and you are locked in for a year (there is a 30 day trial, but you have a useless box w/o the service). When you add a lifetime service ($399) into the high end Tivo it comes out to $1000. Even for the low-end DVR ($149) that increases the price to ($550).

          The other con, for me, is that unlike Mythtv Tivo can not rip a DVD to the hard disk. I really would like to do this, because we have about 20 cartoons; and the quality on every one of them is getting degraded by my kids handling them. Having them at the touch of a button would make me feel much better about spending $30 on the DVD in the first place. (MythTV on the other hand has a reputation of being really difficult to set up).
          Thanks CPW for the pros and cons I have been reading about Tivo and your lucky in the U.S. to be able edit out adds but here in Aus that function had been disabled.

          Tony

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: To DIY or Not

            Have you considered Media Portal?
            It allows you to have a TV server and then to watch TV from any computer in the house.
            In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: To DIY or Not

              Originally posted by cpw View Post
              My TiVo stopped working today. I'm saddened by its loss; not having the Incredibles at my finger tips; and not having backed up all 9 episodes of Norm building a kitchen. Now I need to decide between buying/building a MythTV box or buying a new Tivo.
              I have a media center pc, it will record from a cable box, sat, or regular tv just like a tivo.

              as for Norms kitchen videos you can get them here
              http://cleanwatch.org/newyankee/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: To DIY or Not

                There one major issue with Microsoft MC - it won't let you watch, let alone record, some of the broadcast. It will show a message to the effect that the copyright owner of this movie/program does not allow you to watch it on this computer.
                In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: To DIY or Not

                  Is Mythtv a kit or a build your own instruction?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: To DIY or Not

                    Mythtv is basically a computer with a couple of video receivers installed hooked up to your tv. Its more complicated than that but that is the easy description for it. I'm not sure if you can run it with windows I know a lot of Linux useres have built there own systems for this but I havnt realy looked into it that much.

                    Jim
                    http://www.jcremodeling.net/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: To DIY or Not

                      Here's a good overview of PVR packages.
                      In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: To DIY or Not

                        So what did you decide, now that it's three months later

                        I am curious and after all a forum is a place for conversation
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                        • #13
                          Re: To DIY or Not

                          I pulled a spare Tivo out of the closet and set that up with a 1 year subscription; which has bought me time to think about it. I think that I am going to try doing MythTV, but getting all the components is expensive and it takes a bunch of time. Trying to do it rushed was a bad idea, and I have been very busy at work. Also depends on if there are any performance bonuses this year.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: To DIY or Not

                            Originally posted by cpw View Post
                            I pulled a spare Tivo out of the closet and set that up with a 1 year subscription; which has bought me time to think about it. I think that I am going to try doing MythTV, but getting all the components is expensive and it takes a bunch of time. Trying to do it rushed was a bad idea, and I have been very busy at work. Also depends on if there are any performance bonuses this year.

                            It seems that your choice months ago was a very educated one, the fact that this thread is like 4 months old and the economy is in the crapper...

                            I always like to hear how others decided, because I learn a lot that way, so thanks for sharing that

                            I have to check out that MythTV
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                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: To DIY or Not

                              So I took the plunge and ordered a bunch of stuff. I haven't built a computer in like 9 years. The case is shipping from CA, and won't arrive until Wednesday, but the CPU, motherboard, memory, and power supply (along with HD and DVD) arrived today. I say, what the hell, I can put it together anyway without the case; just to see if I ordered the right stuff. Get it all put together, plug it in. Turn on the power supply. Only to remember, that without the case, I don't have a frigging power button to turn it on for real. DOH!

                              Now to wait until the UPS man comes on Wednesday. I think I might take the day off from work (I've got 4 vacation days I need to use by December 31).

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