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#301741 - 28/08/2007 05:06 TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life.
jbauer
veteran

Registered: 08/05/2000
Posts: 1429
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Ok, so my desire to get the new HD channels on DTV won over my desire to keep one of my favorite gadgets. Sadly, I said goodbye to my HR10-250 and hello to a HR20-100. It's not HORRIBLE, but certainly not a TiVo.

So a few more things:

1) BBC-A is now showing Top Gear. Freaking yay. I love that show - have only seen clips here and there. So cool to see the entire show in big screen glory. So well produced, so much fun to watch.

Question: What's all that about "The Stig" - Ok, it's a pro racing driver, but why hide his/her identity? What's with the Italian lessons when he/she is driving? Is there some kinda British joke that I'm not getting here?

2) There's not many good HD shows on TV these days.

3) Sold my HR10-250 for $175. I spent almost $1,200 on it originally. That's one of the worst gadget investments I've made, from a financial perspective. Most tech gadgets don't end up as bricks, but that's where the HR10 is eventually heading...

4) Where is TiVo's MPEG4 box? Are they just conceding the DTV market??? WTF!!!

- Jon

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#301742 - 28/08/2007 05:17 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: jbauer]
Cris
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/02/2002
Posts: 1901
Loc: Leeds, UK
Quote:
Is there some kinda British joke that I'm not getting here?


I've often wondered about The Stig myself, my personal theory is that if you don't know who it is they can change the driver without us knowing, although you could also say that's it's Tiff Needell a former Top Gear Presenter come racing driver who now presents Fifth Gear on another channel so has to hide his identity.

Either that or it's just a tacky gimmick

As for the lessons, well they have a different theme each series, so this time it's foreign languages next time it may be classical music, don't really see it as very funny myself.

I think Top Gear is slowly drifting away from what makes it great, it's slowly turning into a lads mag TV show without all the bikini's. I hope they get back to basics, drop all the stupid set up challenges and get back to making great TV about driving cars that you'll never be able to afford yourself really really fast

Cheers

Cris.

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#301743 - 28/08/2007 06:03 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: Cris]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5862
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
The first Stig was Perry McCarthy, a British racing driver. Since Perry stopped there have been a number of people playing the role. Wikipedia has some more detail.

Sometimes the Stig is the test driver from the car company whose car is being tested.

I do still enjoy Top Gear a lot. There are however too many silly items at the moment. Although some of the silly items are absolutely wonderful, the series of pieces trying to destroy the Toyota pickup were brilliant and the Robin Reliant one last series was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

I'm not sure we can judge the current state of Top Gear on the last series. They were recovering from the nightmare of Hammonds crash and the filming schedule must have been really screwed up. Even Clarkson expressed frustration after the end of the series that they didn't actually cover many cars.
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#301744 - 28/08/2007 06:31 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: andy]
sein
old hand

Registered: 07/01/2005
Posts: 890
Loc: Sector ZZ9pZa
I think Top Gear is an oustanding half hour show extended into a slightly tedious hour long one. You can really see them try to stretch it out in some of the earlier episodes with lots of meaningless chat in the studio to fill time. Bits of it are great fun so I just record it and skip through watching it in about 20-30 minutes.
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Hussein

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#301745 - 28/08/2007 11:42 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: andy]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
The special they did recently to see if you could drive to the "north" pole was pretty good. It was a race between Hammond in a dog sled and Clarkson + May in a Toyota Hilux.

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#301746 - 28/08/2007 13:22 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: sein]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Oddly, they re-edit them for the US market with different studio chat, although it's apparently the same studio and the same audience.
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Bitt Faulk

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#301747 - 28/08/2007 13:26 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: jbauer]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Quote:
Where is TiVo's MPEG4 box? Are they just conceding the DTV market?

DirecTV kicked TiVo to the curb; TiVo no longer has a contract or agreement with DirecTV to make DirecTV receivers. Supposedly this was because Rupert Murdoch had a stake in the company that makes the HR20 and he was interested in propping up his company with a lucrative contract than provide better service to his customers. This has been rumored to change with the sale of DirecTV to a company other than News Corp.
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Bitt Faulk

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#301748 - 28/08/2007 13:29 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: wfaulk]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5862
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
That would explain why it takes most of the day to record the studio pieces then (the waiting list for tickets for the studio audience is a couple of years long).
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#301749 - 28/08/2007 13:32 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: wfaulk]
jbauer
veteran

Registered: 08/05/2000
Posts: 1429
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Quote:
Quote:
Where is TiVo's MPEG4 box? Are they just conceding the DTV market?

DirecTV kicked TiVo to the curb; TiVo no longer has a contract or agreement with DirecTV to make DirecTV receivers. Supposedly this was because Rupert Murdoch had a stake in the company that makes the HR20 and he was interested in propping up his company with a lucrative contract than provide better service to his customers. This has been rumored to change with the sale of DirecTV to a company other than News Corp.


Right - so I believe that "Liberty Media" is now the company that owns the controlling interest. So how do we know that they are more TiVo friendly than NDS friendly? If they ARE, they need to send us a life raft! At least give us a glimmer of hope for a DTV/TiVo future!!!

- Jon

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#301750 - 28/08/2007 14:05 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: wfaulk]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Quote:
Quote:
Where is TiVo's MPEG4 box? Are they just conceding the DTV market?

DirecTV kicked TiVo to the curb; TiVo no longer has a contract or agreement with DirecTV to make DirecTV receivers. Supposedly this was because Rupert Murdoch had a stake in the company that makes the HR20 and he was interested in propping up his company with a lucrative contract than provide better service to his customers. This has been rumored to change with the sale of DirecTV to a company other than News Corp.

At least you have a choice. In the UK the only satelite service available is Sky and thats another News Corp company.

If you want to watch the service then you must use their special receivers as they won't release the CAM decoder module you need. Alledgely people have managed to work out how the CAM works and you can get clones now which implement most of what you need to decode the service. You still need the original decoder box however as the clones can't handle the updates that get sent periodically.

If you want a PVR then you have to get an old UK S1 TiVo or use the crap integrated decoder + PVR unit Sky sells.

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#301751 - 28/08/2007 14:08 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: andy]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Quote:
That would explain why it takes most of the day to record the studio pieces then (the waiting list for tickets for the studio audience is a couple of years long).

A few years ago I went to a CD:UK recording and that took most of a day as well. Lots of waiting around for them to start and more waiting as they moved stuff around during filming.

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#301752 - 28/08/2007 14:41 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: tman]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Quote:
At least you have a choice. In the UK the only satelite service available is Sky and thats another News Corp company.

There are only two in the US (DirecTV and Dish Network), neither of which supports TiVo.

The new post-TiVo DirecTV DVRs are made by Pace, which I believe is the same company that makes your Sky+ units.
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Bitt Faulk

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#301753 - 28/08/2007 15:19 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: wfaulk]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5862
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Quote:

The new post-TiVo DirecTV DVRs are made by Pace, which I believe is the same company that makes your Sky+ units.


Not quite as simple as that. They made the first Sky+ boxes but then Amstrad got in on the act.

If I remember rightly NewsCorp just bought Amstrad's set-top box business from them.
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#301754 - 28/08/2007 15:20 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: jbauer]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12272
Loc: Sterling, VA
I know my parents were very sad to give up their HR10-250 and move to the HR20. It really isn't the same, from the little time I've used it. It seems better than most, but it's still no Tivo.

I am so happy that I have FIOS at my new home. I'm not a huge Verizon fan, and the customer support is a bit lacking, but after a few initial bumps I couldn't be more pleased. The TV signal looks perfect (since, according to their claims, it's not compressed), and it's the first time I've ever gotten the exact speed advertised to me by my ISP.

And of course, the best part of all is that I get to keep using a Tivo. The Series 3 is very nice, and the external storage trick works like a charm. I can't wait for my HD shows to come back on the air (I mostly watch USA shows in the summer).

The only downside to FIOS is that I don't have any guarantee that they'll be adding nearly as many HD channels as DTV is going to. I think they certainly have the capability, and they've already added two since I signed up for the service. Regardless, I have to recommend the service if it's in your area.
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Matt

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#301755 - 28/08/2007 18:23 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: jbauer]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
TiVo are hopeful, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/200...-in-august.html

It may have been Murdoch's stake in NDS that pushed TiVo out of the DirecTV PVR market, but it's TiVo's own fault for being stuck in the position of relative obscurity and market loser it's in today. Completely asinine initial service fee model, lack of advertising and promotion (including in simple to understand terms) and to cap it off, they finish it up with an even more insulting contract-based pricing model. The degradation of the device's design autonomy (first with the TV Guide deal) hasn't helped either.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#301756 - 28/08/2007 18:38 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: tman]
andym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/01/2002
Posts: 3990
Loc: Manchester UK
Quote:
A few years ago I went to a CD:UK recording


That's wrong on so many levels.....

For me top gear has always been the best thing on TV on a Sunday night. I agree that sometimes it a little too laddish. I still think it's better the format that preceded it.

There are a lot of people who complain that they don't cover enough ordinary cars. I think that's a good thing, I don't want to see Clarkson driving a diesel Vauxhall Vectra round an industrial estate and commenting on it's fuel economy and load capacity. I could do that myself. Whereas seeing him rag the bollocks off an Aston Martin on a beach is entertainment, mainly because it's something I'll never have an opportunity to do myself. The specials that they do are in a league of their own.

One of the best things about Top Gear though is the cinematography, it blows away anything the competition does.
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Andy M

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#301757 - 28/08/2007 18:47 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: Dignan]
andym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/01/2002
Posts: 3990
Loc: Manchester UK
Quote:
The TV signal looks perfect (since, according to their claims, it's not compressed)


That's sounds like bollocks to me, it'll be compressed somewhere along the line, I don't care how much capacity they're getting on those fibre, there are only so many 1.485 Gbit/s signals you can get down one fibre.

In this country most broadcasters transmission networks only operate at between 34 and 144 Mbit/s, nowhere near the data rate of uncompressed standard definition digital component video.
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Cheers,

Andy M

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#301758 - 28/08/2007 18:50 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: andym]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Quote:
Quote:
A few years ago I went to a CD:UK recording


That's wrong on so many levels.....

Yeah... I contemplated just leaving that bit out

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#301759 - 28/08/2007 19:20 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: wfaulk]
g_attrill
old hand

Registered: 14/04/2002
Posts: 1172
Loc: Hants, UK
Quote:
Oddly, they re-edit them for the US market with different studio chat, although it's apparently the same studio and the same audience.


Apparently the BBC America repeats are not re-recorded, only the Discovery Channel version was.

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#301760 - 28/08/2007 19:25 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: jbauer]
g_attrill
old hand

Registered: 14/04/2002
Posts: 1172
Loc: Hants, UK
Quote:

Question: What's all that about "The Stig" - Ok, it's a pro racing driver, but why hide his/her identity? What's with the Italian lessons when he/she is driving? Is there some kinda British joke that I'm not getting here?


I think it was just a gimmick, and it also allowed them to swap out the driver if they needed to. Somebody said it was also because the driver could be contracted to a certain team, but I don't think thit would have been in issue in reality.

The music/language is also just a bit of fun, basically saying that he is so good at the driving that he can listen to music or learn a language while racing on the track at the same time.

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#301761 - 28/08/2007 20:27 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: g_attrill]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31384
Loc: Seattle, WA
Hearing the italian tape playing in the car during the track run was one of the funniest things I'd seen in a long, long time. That whole episode, in fact, was just awesome.

Finally seeing unedited Top Gears here in the US is a source of immense joy for me.
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Tony Fabris

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#301762 - 29/08/2007 10:51 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: andym]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12272
Loc: Sterling, VA
Quote:
Quote:
The TV signal looks perfect (since, according to their claims, it's not compressed)


That's sounds like bollocks to me, it'll be compressed somewhere along the line, I don't care how much capacity they're getting on those fibre, there are only so many 1.485 Gbit/s signals you can get down one fibre.

I probably heard wrong, but I was under the impression that they weren't compressing beyond what the networks were sending out. I only heard it on DL.TV, though, and they're inaccurate fairly often

Regardless, to my untrained eye, it's far less compressed than DTV.
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Matt

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#301763 - 29/08/2007 16:02 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: Dignan]
andym
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/01/2002
Posts: 3990
Loc: Manchester UK
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
The TV signal looks perfect (since, according to their claims, it's not compressed)


That's sounds like bollocks to me, it'll be compressed somewhere along the line, I don't care how much capacity they're getting on those fibre, there are only so many 1.485 Gbit/s signals you can get down one fibre.

I probably heard wrong, but I was under the impression that they weren't compressing beyond what the networks were sending out. I only heard it on DL.TV, though, and they're inaccurate fairly often

Regardless, to my untrained eye, it's far less compressed than DTV.


That's sounds more like it. However, it'll still be compressed to buggery.
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Andy M

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#301764 - 29/08/2007 16:15 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: andym]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Quote:
That's sounds like bollocks to me, it'll be compressed somewhere along the line, I don't care how much capacity they're getting on those fibre, there are only so many 1.485 Gbit/s signals you can get down one fibre.

In this country most broadcasters transmission networks only operate at between 34 and 144 Mbit/s, nowhere near the data rate of uncompressed standard definition digital component video.


The DTV standard in the US allows for, as I understand it, 19.4Mbps, which may be a single or multiple MPEG-4 video signals, and may also include simplex data transmission. I'm not sure where you're getting your 1.485Gbps number from.
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Bitt Faulk

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#301765 - 29/08/2007 16:18 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: wfaulk]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Quote:
Quote:
That's sounds like bollocks to me, it'll be compressed somewhere along the line, I don't care how much capacity they're getting on those fibre, there are only so many 1.485 Gbit/s signals you can get down one fibre.

In this country most broadcasters transmission networks only operate at between 34 and 144 Mbit/s, nowhere near the data rate of uncompressed standard definition digital component video.


The DTV standard in the US allows for, as I understand it, 19.4Mbps, which may be a single or multiple MPEG-4 video signals, and may also include simplex data transmission. I'm not sure where you're getting your 1.485Gbps number from.

That'd be uncompressed video.

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#301766 - 31/08/2007 17:03 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: tman]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3747
I suspect, when they say "not compressed", they really mean "not compressed any further than the original broadcast MPEG-2 signal" or something along those lines. DirecTV was particularly criticized for down-coding some of its HD signals at one point.

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#301767 - 31/08/2007 21:38 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: tfabris]
az_max
new poster

Registered: 18/01/2002
Posts: 27
I have the whole 'new' series (since clarkson, hampster and May took over) on DVR from the web. I saw the stuff discovery chanel had and I hated it. Half the appeal of the show is their banter between reviews and the News section. There was supposed to be an "americanized" version of it (car reviews, american hosts), and I hope it never gets off the ground.

..now to hack into the global satelites and get BBC-A bounced into Mr Bigg's Limo..

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#349863 - 18/01/2012 12:17 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: jbauer]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: jbauer
Where is TiVo's MPEG4 box? Are they just conceding the DTV market??? WTF!!!

Well, four and a half years later, it arrives. With fewer features than the "knockoff".
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Bitt Faulk

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#349864 - 18/01/2012 14:27 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: wfaulk]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3747
In March 2010 with the TiVo Premiere, TiVo brought out their new high-def user interface and a bunch of other features like Pandora support. This new box seems firmly plastered in the time beforehand. Also, I'm now fully hooked on being able to extract shows, transcode them for my phone, and watch them while I'm traveling. No doubt, this sort of thing isn't supported on the new DirecTiVo. Sigh. Looks like I'm staying with Comcast for a while.

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#349869 - 18/01/2012 17:19 Re: TV update. It's a sad day in my gadget life. [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12272
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: DWallach
In March 2010 with the TiVo Premiere, TiVo brought out their new high-def user interface and a bunch of other features like Pandora support. This new box seems firmly plastered in the time beforehand. Also, I'm now fully hooked on being able to extract shows, transcode them for my phone, and watch them while I'm traveling. No doubt, this sort of thing isn't supported on the new DirecTiVo. Sigh. Looks like I'm staying with Comcast for a while.

Yeah, that UI is pretty outdated. I mean, it's the same UI I have, but I bought my Tivo 5 years ago.

But hey, I still think the Tivo UI is solid and the only UI that my mother has ever learned by herself smile
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Matt

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