I tried to move on, but I am back

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winterescape

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I tried to move on, but I am back

#1

Post by winterescape » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:02 pm

I tried to move on, while Christmas shopping I stumbled across a great deal on a OTA TIVO Roamio. It came with a lifetime guide subscription and appeared to be the way we should go. Many HTPC friends had long since moved on and were singing the praises of a commercial DVR. Channelmaster, TABLO or TIVO? It looked like a slam dunk, TIVO has a version of commercial skip, offers streaming services, and I thought the ability to watch my recordings on my phone while traveling. TIVO was the benchmark, mostly glowing reviews, I dove head first into a commercial DVR.

It was March of 2009 when I first built my HTPC. I carefully selected the best parts for a HTPC and I tinkered for a while with MediaPortal on XP. When comskip for WTV came along, I made the switch to 7WMC. It seemed almost perfect. I wanted a "replace everything HTPC box" so I loaded up all our pictures and music, got the Netflix add in, and customized it to directly boot into WMC. I added MCshoutcast, comskip, customized the WMC menu, Heatewave, Hulu Desktop, Amazon Unbox, etc... It all worked great, most of the time...

Then I had issues with the BR DVD drive not playing movies, eventually fixed with a stand alone BR player. OK so my HTPC was no longer a "do everything box" ...but still all was good. Then I lost Heatwave, Netflix, Hulu, and McShoutcast. Bummer. I adapted, Chromecast became my friend for streaming content and Google Play music replaced McShoutcast. Finally, the MC "issues" with the schedule data disappearing. In the Fall of 2016 the writing was on the wall, or so I thought.

Right after I ordered the TIVO the HTPC power supply died. Sigh, well it was nearly 8 years old. Time to move into my new TIVO. I had a few issues setting up TIVO, firmware updates and code "11" connection dropped, but eventually it was up and running. I programmed the recordings we wanted. The first observation was that TIVO thought it was a feature to shove a small live TV window in the home screen. Wow is that annoying, we never watch live TV, at least I discovered how to turn it off. The TIVO UI is way too busy, too cluttered in my opinion. After a while the home screen just disappears and it reverts to a full screen TV show. Why would you ever do that if I did not select it??

The TIVO RF remote is slow to respond and finicky, and the much touted TIVO commercial skip feature only works for shows that are tagged. Not tagged is the National evening news, I miss comskip :( . The TIVO compression algo can be blocky for fast changing content, so picture quality suffers. You apparently can't actually download or stream content to your phone with the version I purchased, you need some external streaming box.

So I tried, for 2 weeks I tried, and then yesterday I put a new power supply in the 8 year old HTPC and put it back in service as my living room DVR. Long live WMC, cause it will be harder than I ever imagined to eventually say good-by to it....

Happy Holidays to all, and thanks to the team that keeps this site here for us to share!

adam1991

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#2

Post by adam1991 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:18 pm

Thanks for the update. I have that very $200 Tivo sitting here, in a box, waiting for me to...need it. Couldn't pass it up.

So the RF remote is slow and finicky, eh? That's interesting. Roku's isn't, so it's not inherent to the technology.

winterescape

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#3

Post by winterescape » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:43 pm

adam1991 wrote:Thanks for the update. I have that very $200 Tivo sitting here, in a box, waiting for me to...need it. Couldn't pass it up.

So the RF remote is slow and finicky, eh? That's interesting. Roku's isn't, so it's not inherent to the technology.
yep, that is the one, seemed like a great deal. Not sure what the deal with the remote is, is it just the one I got, all TIVO remotes in general, or RF interference at my location, but it sometimes takes long presses to get it to accept the commands. I am on the fence if I should return TIVO or keep it as a back up. On the plus side it has 4 tuners...

mdavej

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#4

Post by mdavej » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:45 pm

My RF remote is instantaneous on all my Tivos. Box itself can be a little sluggish at times.

If you uncheck 1080p, the picture is untouched.

If you don't want to buy a Stream box, you can use any of several freeware apps.

Like WMC, Rovi guide still sucks.

winterescape

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#5

Post by winterescape » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:38 pm

mdavej wrote:My RF remote is instantaneous on all my Tivos. Box itself can be a little sluggish at times.

If you uncheck 1080p, the picture is untouched.

If you don't want to buy a Stream box, you can use any of several freeware apps.

Like WMC, Rovi guide still sucks.
mdave, "uncheck" 1080P ? I assume in the settings section? Seems counterintuitive to uncheck 1080 when that is what I want, are you implying that the OTA stream is saved to disk if that is unchecked and somehow compressed if checked?

What are the names (or links to) the freeware apps you recommend? How are they hosted? on the TIVO, or on a PC?
Any good sites that you have found for TIVO information like this one?

adam1991

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#6

Post by adam1991 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:16 pm

hmmmmm. It would seem to me that because the OTA stream is a native 1080i and is literally streamed to disc bit for bit that way, that to make it appear as 1080p on your TV would require some sort of transcoding--no?

And if so, that could lead to pauses and delays.

Am also interested in the freeware apps. I presume these are hosted on a PC; after all, you can copy shows over to a PC today.

winterescape

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#7

Post by winterescape » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:02 pm

The only "1080P" setting I could locate in the TIVO was in settings-> video-> "auto" or manual setting, I forced a manual setting and "tested" the different options, it did not appear to improve my playback quality.
interestingly the "auto" option appears to select 720P. I need to check my 7MC display settings to compare...

The compression artifact that I perceive is what I would describe as "course blocks" when large parts of the scene change rapidly.

mdavej

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#8

Post by mdavej » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:16 pm

Uncheck it because Tivo sucks at de-interlacing/transcoding 1080i to 1080p/60. Your TV will do that much better. Uncheck it, and all that horrible mess you see on your screen goes away. Let Tivo pass thru native or convert to 1080i. Bottom line, you'll have the best picture if you only check 1080i and 1080p/24 pass-thru. Check 480 and 720 if you want, but I've found that makes virtually no difference, with my TV at least. One thing I can say for sure is the 1080p setting destroys the picture (not 1080p/24 pass-thru, that's perfectly fine).

The occasional sluggishness in the GUI isn't related to video processing, but to Tivo server connectivity and database operations. If you have to have something lightning fast at all times, then open your wallet and get a Bolt. I can't really complain about the GUI speed. True, it does take a second to load my list of 200 recordings, but it's far faster than a cable DVR or Roku or something like that.

Yes the apps are hosted on a PC - pyTivo, kmttg, Tivo Desktop and a couple of others. I have no use for them and know very little about them other than the fact that they exist. I use a Tivo Stream box for streaming to phones/tablets and a Slingbox for streaming to a laptop and FireTV box out of home. Stream also works with FireTV but not very well. Bolt and Roamio plus have Stream capability built-in.

Tivocommunity.com is by far the best tivo forum.

EDIT: Just saw your post. What Tivo model do you have exactly? I've never seen that setting. On my Roamio, the options are:
- 480p
- 720p
- 1080i
- 1080p (60 fps)
- 1080p (pass-thru only)

At 1080i, Tivo does no additional processing on a 1080i signal. So whatever you see is identical to what's coming from your cable feed. Perhaps your PC was doing some image processing that you weren't aware of. As long as you don't select 1080p/60, Tivo won't introduce and additional compression artifacts or blocking that wasn't there in the first place.

mdavej

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#9

Post by mdavej » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:01 am

Just ran across a report of ill configured Moca causing macro blocking. Would have to know more details of your Tivo models and coax network topology to know if this is a possible cause of your issues.

1ST1

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#10

Post by 1ST1 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:18 am

With all your addons to WMC which have gone and missed now, you should consider to check out Kodi, I think everything you miss is there. It's possible to run them (WMC+Kodi) side by side. If you want them to record TV, use two TV cards, then make sure that one TV card has BDA driver, and one with WDM driver. WMC only can use BDA driver, so the WDM card stays invisible for it. For Kodi you also would need DVBViewer which supports BDA and WDM cards. In DVBViewer recording service, just disable the BDA card, then both media centers can operate independently, both can recieve and record TV at the same time. For me this setup runs just fine. Kodi is also capable to play *.WTV recordings, unfortunatelly it misses yet WTV's meta datas. But that's the only thing.

3rob3

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#11

Post by 3rob3 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:21 pm

or keep both your tuners in in WMC and run the ServerWMC addon. Enable Live TV in Kodi and enable PVR-WMC client. This gives you live, recorded, guide, logos, scheduling all from within Kodi but occurring on the WMC machine (assuming your not copy-once flagged of course).

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