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Originally posted by tedolap:
I've tried 'em both and need to decide. I liked the Showstopper for it's straightforward User Interface (including an easy to read Guide), Quickskip, Zones. I even liked the remote after a while. My problem was that for certain stations coming from my Scientific Atlanta digital cable box (especially HBO) the pulsating in pictures with detail (grass, tree branches, brickface, etc) was amplified in the Medium or Standard qualities. (I discusssed this in http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum13/HTML/004620.html ) So I decided to return it and try a Tivo. I liked having greater control over what is recorded, better info on what the unit chose to record, recordable buffer and even the program guide. However, the Sony Tivo was also showing pulsating problems at the lower qualities, though perhaps not as obvious. I was seeing it in color fields as well as in the highly detailed fields where I saw it in the Showstopper. The pixellization resulting from motion, changing scenes, or lights flashes was definitely worse at all qualities for the Tivo. I ultimately decided to return the Tivo because I was seeing some pixellization even in the best quality. (The Showstopper best quality was nearly indistinguishable from the original picture.) Now I'm wondering if the feed was the source of the pixellization I thought was caused by the Tivo. After I returned the Sony unit, I noticed that the Wimbledon satellite broadcasts I had been watching on TNT were chock full of artifacts.
You're going to get a slew of responses, probably long before this posts.
So here are my questions:
1. Do you notice any pixellization while in Tivo's best quality mode? How about high quality mode? Are Tivo's really the equal of Replay's in the higher qualities?
ReplayTV and TIVO are almost indistinguishable in my set up at their best quality level. I haven't explored their lower quality levels a great deal except for TIVO's high quality which I use. I've heard ReplayTV may have a slightly better worst quality picture than TIVO. However ReplayTV's sound degrades with lower quality picture settings while TIVO's doesn't. TIVO has four levels of quality while ReplayTV has three. Supposedly (I haven't experimented) TIVO's biggest drop in quality, at least theoretically, is between its high and medium settings.
2. Is 2.5 likely to include new features for SA that will address Replay advantages (Quickskip, buffer, myreplay.com, etc) or provide some other killer feature? Will the upgrade make me sorry that I chose Replay or is it likely to be mostly a maintanance upgrade? (I've read many of the official pronouncements so far on the upgrade from RB and kick myself for missing the NYC demo. Any private correspondence from Tivo to keep me in the fold would be held in the strictest confidence.
It's unlikely TIVO will do anything regarding the buffer or the internet programming gimmick that ReplayTV has. There's a fair chance that 30 sec QS might be enabled via backdoors for the hobbiest set but I'll believe it when I see it. Not having QS is a TIVO marketing decision.
3. It won't be easy to go back to VCR's for a few months, but should I wait out the summer to see the new hardware?
If you can deal with instant gratification pangs I'd recommend waiting with this caveat: If you come across a really good deal snap it up.
The bottom line is that I could be ultimately be happy with either and it shouldn't matter much which I choose; I may be trying too hard to optimize things. Any thought on these issues would be welcome.
You've used both already. Do you have a gut level preference? If so, go with it. If not, get both a TIVO and a ReplayTV. They're both recorders, and do many similiar things. They have greatly differing styles in the way they do similiar things and each does things the other can't.
I've got both. If I had only one it'd be a ReplayTV unit, but I decided to get both.
Look out for good deals. ReplayTV is generally cheaper than TIVO. The cash equivalent for the TIVO service is $250. IOW, a $250. TIVO costs the same as a $500. ReplayTV. In actual cash, unless you want to pay it monthly (and never stop.)
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