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Podcast 98 - Attention TiVo Users


jcollison
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There is a new TiVo Add-in (version 4) available for the HP MediaSmart Server. Anyone using or testing it yet?

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I had the original version installed on my EX485 but we don't use the TiVo anymore. It only records SD and I have DirecTV so it has become obsolete in my house.

 

However, in the interest of helping others out, I fired up the TiVo and updated to the latest version of the Add-in. All I really notice that is different is in the area to transfer a show. You can now select Transfer Series. This appears to set up an automatic transfer to the WHS of a specific series (as defined by TiVo).

 

This is likely a welcomed addition to the features for the users of this Add-in. Now you can set the TiVo to only keep the last 5 episodes in the box but the server is pulling a copy of every recording for that series for archiving. Prior to adding the ability to transfer an entire series, a user would have to access the user from the Control Panel and manually select the recordings to transfer. If you were gone on vacation for a couple of weeks and there was a series of shows that you wanted to record you could easily fill up your TiVo hard drive or it would start deleting older episodes. This way the series transfer would be archiving shows while the TiVo is recording new episodes yet you never have more than 5 episodes of that series taking up TiVo hard drive space.

 

This would have been a nice feature to have when I was using the TiVo to record F1 races since I would like to keep the entire seasons recordings. I would not have had to open my TiVo and add 1Gb of storage in place of the 40Mb that is came with. :D:blink:

 

To be honest, I am surprised the TiVo is able to survive. Every satellite and cable company now offers a DVR as part of their service. DirecTV is rolling out multi-room access so you can record in one room yet watch the recordings in another room. WMC will hopefully have new cable card choices soon and of course there is always SageTV.

Edited by cskenney
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I've downloaded it. It looks to be pretty much exactly what th prior progam does, with the notable "series" exception cskenny points out.

 

I can say why TiVo survives in my house. I hate Charter cable. If there was any way I could get away from them and get reliable cable service from another provider I would. I bought two TiVo's so I didn't have to pay Charter's rediculous $12.95/mo charge for each one of the two hdtv "digital" boxes I had in my house. I also bought lifetime service with them. I've had them two years and in four months will be at "break even" with my investment. I tried finding off the shelf HTPC's at the local computer stores and almost universally they looked at me like I was nuts back in 2008, and I didn't have the time or the knowledge to make one. I wanted the record in one room watch in another room functionality so these fit the need and was my way of striking back at Charter.

 

Since I'm not a big sports fan I suspect in three or four more years I'll dump cable all together and buy all my programming ala carte off of itunes or xbox live. By then I'll have more than gotten my money back and can give these to one of my kids.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Let me add to the Pro-Tivo discussion. I've been a Tivo guy since they released their first series of boxes. I may not have gotten the original one, but by the time they released the 30 GB versions, I had one. The reason the Tivo survives is because its primary audience has always been the tech crowd. Granted that Tivo would love to have a much wider base, but a lot of tech folks jumped on it way back. I can remember hacking my Series One box to add a second hard drive and after my modem died, I added a network card to it so that it could get its program guide directly from the cable modem connection. I dropped the Tivo a few years later in favor of the ReplayTV. At the time, it was much easier to offload recorded shows from the ReplayTV than it was the Tivo.

 

A few years later, I sold the ReplayTV and began my long and tumultuous relationship with Windows Media Center. While Media Center was cool, it was never as reliable as my old Tivo had been, so about 18 months ago, I found my way back to a TivoHD. Once equipped with a CableCard, it was as good or better than anything offered by Charter. Plus, it was so easy to use that my wife had no problems recording her shows which was a big plus.

 

Tivo has come a long way. Contrary to what some people say, I have absolutely no problem with its interface even given the fact that it has not changed much in 10 years. It is in fact an achievement if you think about it. Tivo got it right the first time and there has not been any reason to change it. I may eventually move up to one of the new Tivos, but right now they don't offer anything that I don't already have, so why spend the money? Plus, I'm willing to wait and let others wring the bugs out of the new software.

 

Tivo has survived because it has adapted. Additions such as direct streaming of Netflix, integration with Amazon Video on Demand, and YouTube are some of the things that have helped it along the way. Plus, it is now much easier to get programs off of it and onto my Home Server. I have not used the Add-In yet. I simply run the Tivo Desktop on my Home Server and it does all the transfers. I will give the add-in a try on my new HP Mediasmart 495 which is replacing my venerable 470.

 

I also use the Direct Show Dump utility which converts the .Tivo files into standard .MPG files which I can then compress to H.264 with Handbrake to save on storage space (although I have been doing the conversion on my Core i7 desktop box since the Sempron in the 470 is simply not up to the task).

 

My latest toy is the Streambaby program that allows me to stream my MP4 and AVI files directly to my Tivo - they show up in the Tivo interface. I was amazed that the streaming works flawlessly on my old 470 - I thought for sure that it would kill the processor, but it does not.

 

All-in-all, for the tech enthusiast, the Tivo provides one of the most user-friendly and hackable interfaces out there and I plan to remain a Tivo user as long as Tivo stays in business.

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I never had a problem with my Series2 box. My problem is they are only useful now if you are a cable subscriber. There is no way to record HD content from satellite in the US. Not necessarily their fault but I don't live in an area with cable.

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