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>>> I really hate “Save to VCR” <<<

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alert5 is offline Old Post 06-24-2004 11:57 PM
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alert5
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Posts: 58

I really hate “Save to VCR”

This forum has well documented one of the real weaknesses of the TiVo software…the lack of batch play. I find this shortcoming to be very irritating and question why the TiVo folks keep ignoring customer appeals to fix it.

I am fortunate to have a Panasonic E80H and this device automatically batch plays stored programs, so I do not buy that this would be that hard to implement in DirecTiVo. That said, I’ve been looking into ways to ease the pain a bit. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

This technique has been tested and works just fine.

My workaround is to use the Timer recording feature of the E80H. As it happens we often record HBO stuff to the DirecTiVo that is usually repeated at odd hours over the next week or so. So I just set up a timed, fixed recording on the DVD recorder such as a repeat of ‘Six Feet Under’ playing at a specific time and date. Of course you can just use the DirecTiVo guide to reach out to any future item you wish to record and determine the required recording time. I have it set to turn on and record “2001, A Space Odyssey” running from 6:30AM to 9:00AM on June 30. Again, the critical requirement for this to succeed is the DirecTiVo must be set to that channel for the duration of that showing.

The channel pick in the case of the E80H is actually the line that I have wired the s-video pass through from DirecTiVo to the E80H. In our case it is always L1. We do not use an OTA antenna with the E80H. The only channel picks on the device are L1, L2, L3 and 03. L2 is a PC, L3 is a combo VCR/DVD player and 03 is the fixed OTA RF input that we do not use.

Before going to bed I just set the DirecTiVo to channel 501 and shut the TV off. Since the DirecTiVo is never off, the E80H dutifully turned itself on, captured the “live” stream and then shut itself off. Voila! No more fooling around with “Save to VCR” to get at least some of the stuff I want stored on the E80H HD and then to DVD-R if I decide to keep the show permanently.

This is a real time saver.

Multiple timed recordings can be programmed to do this so long as they are played on the same DirecTiVo channel. If someone were to stumble out of bed, fire up this TV and change the DirecTiVo channel; then, of course we’ll end up capturing the wrong stuff.

The same process applies for “Live” TV viewing as well. For those programs we know we are going to watch, I set the timed recording for the E80H in advance for that DirecTiVo show so I will not forget to power up the E80H and/or forget to start the recording process manually.

We’ll continue to record most of the same programs to the DirecTiVo as well, so the “Save to VCR” feature is still a fall back method of capturing stuff for DVD archiving. With practice, I suspect we’ll simply capture lots of shows to the E80H without using up DirecTiVo disk space.

I’m having no regrets about my E80H purchase. Especially, since I bagged an open box at Sears for less than $300 two weeks ago. It is a terrific enhancement to the whole DirecTiVo experience.

I would like to thank Jim Spencer for mentioning this method of recording to a standalone DVD recorder.

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moondoggie is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 01:14 AM
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moondoggie
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Nice write up & you got a great price on the E80.

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GoodSpike is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 01:17 AM
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GoodSpike
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I don't think Tivo want's to enhance record to VCR. First, it's not clear that is "fair use" under the Betamax decision. Second, the Senate just yesterday passed legislation 99 to 1 (or something lop-sided) that would make services like Napster liable for damages. From the article I read, critics argued it could be applied to devices like Tivos, but the sponsors of the legislation denied that.

If there's a change in any direction, my guess is record to VCR might disappear.

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dwill104 is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 02:45 AM
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dwill104
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Don't see how "fair use" would really have anything to do with not having the batch function. Whether you record 3 Tivo'd programs on a VCR or DVD one at a time or in a batch, it seems like you still would be doing the same thing with regards to copyrights. At the end of the day, you still end up with 3 recordings.

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GoodSpike is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 02:53 AM
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GoodSpike
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 8396

quote:
Originally posted by dwill104
Don't see how "fair use" would really have anything to do with not having the batch function. Whether you record 3 Tivo'd programs on a VCR or DVD one at a time or in a batch, it seems like you still would be doing the same thing with regards to copyrights. At the end of the day, you still end up with 3 recordings.


I don't think it's the batch thing that affects it. It's just not clear that fair use allows it to be transfered from a DVR to tape. The batch thing just makes it seemingly more of a device to do that. More of a waiving the flag around to attract attention type of thing that Tivo would rather not do.

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willardcpa is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 04:32 AM
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willardcpa
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quote:
"At the end of the day, you still end up with 3 recordings."
Only if you've got all day to sit around waiting to set up the next recording. I usually only manage to get one done a day.

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TrojanHorse is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 05:07 AM
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TrojanHorse
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quote:
Originally posted by GoodSpike
It's just not clear that fair use allows it to be transfered from a DVR to tape. The batch thing just makes it seemingly more of a device to do that.

You know, that might make sense to some twisted lawyer, but how is taping from your TiVo to a tape or DVD any different from taping the original broadcast? It's not like batch taping would make DISTRIBUTION more likely, which would be a problem. You can store a program forever on your Tivo, but not on a VCR tape? Silly...

Thank goodness we have Congress looking out for our rights.

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GoodSpike is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 06:33 AM
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GoodSpike
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Actually the distinction is between time-shifting and archiving. When you transfer from a DVR to a tape it much more likely to be archiving than time-shifting (although maybe not as true on a 40 gig SA Tivo). Only time-shifting was found to be fair use by the Supreme Court in the Betamax case.

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Trebor1 is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 07:02 PM
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Trebor1
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batch would be nice but here is my work around:
i do this when TCM runs multiple shows in a row with the same star that i plan to achieve.
set up the VCR to record the show directly off of the Sat. in real time
program the VCR as i would normally do before TIVO came along.
before i leave it to record ,i put the DTIVO on the appropriate channel(255).
i also record to the TIVO at the same time for backup.
when i am sure i have the tape copy i delete the backup.

another option i have is to record from one of the other tuners directly to tape.

one thing i miss about old receiver was ability to mark a program and it would tune to that channel regardless of where i had left it.i understand why this is less probable with 2 tuners

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Trebor1 is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 07:03 PM
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Trebor1
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"archive"

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TrojanHorse is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 08:39 PM
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TrojanHorse
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Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 278

quote:
Originally posted by GoodSpike
Actually the distinction is between time-shifting and archiving. When you transfer from a DVR to a tape it much more likely to be archiving than time-shifting (although maybe not as true on a 40 gig SA Tivo). Only time-shifting was found to be fair use by the Supreme Court in the Betamax case.

I could be missing out on some good hair splitting opportunities, but wasn't the original case based on the potential for distribution of copyrighted program material?

I don't recall any verbiage to the effect that you could only watch what you taped once and then you had to dump it in order to be considered "time shifting" and not "archiving"

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GoodSpike is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 08:53 PM
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GoodSpike
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Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
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http://www.virtualrecordings.com/betamax.htm

Portion of opinion (sorry about the source--the color scheme makes it hard to read):

"Accordingly, the sale of copying equipment, like the sale of other articles of
commerce, does not constitute contributory infringement if the product is widely used for legitimate,
unobjectionable purposes. Indeed, it need merely be capable of substantial noninfringing uses.

IV

The question is thus whether the Betamax is capable of commercially significant noninfringing uses. In
order to resolve that question, we need not explore all the different potential uses of the machine and
determine whether or not they would constitute infringement. Rather, we need only consider whether on
the basis of the facts as found by the District Court a significant number of them would be noninfringing.
Moreover, in order to resolve this case we need not give precise content to the question of how much use
is commercially significant. For one potential use of the Betamax plainly satisfies this standard, however it
is understood: private, noncommercial time-shifting in the home. It does so both (A) because
respondents have no right to prevent other copyright holders from authorizing it for their programs, and
(B) because the District Court's factual findings reveal that even the unauthorized home time-shifting of
respondents' programs is legitimate fair use. "

Also:

"In this case, respondents failed to carry their burden with regard to home time-shifting. The District Court
described respondents' evidence as follows:

"Plaintiffs' experts admitted at several points in the trial that the time-shifting without librarying would
result in 'not a great deal of harm.' Plaintiffs' greatest concern about time- shifting is with 'a point of
important philosophy that transcends even commercial judgment.' They fear that with any Betamax
usage, 'invisible boundaries' are passed: 'the copyright owner has lost control over his program.'" 480
F.Supp., at 467. "

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TrojanHorse is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 09:19 PM
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TrojanHorse
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Nice! Thanks for the link. Looks like excerpts from a loooooong document.. but I did notice

"Both surveys also showed, however, that a substantial number of interviewees had accumulated libraries of tapes" (so they did think about librarying)

and

"This protection has never accorded the copyright owner complete control over all possible uses of his work"

and

"reproductions of the work, however, are not within the exclusive domain of the copyright owner; some are in the public domain."

and lastly

"It emphasized the fact that the material was broadcast free to the public at large, the noncommercial character of the use, and the private character of the activity conducted entirely within the home. "

It's interesting though... much of the original decision seems to have been based on explicitly using VTRs for time-shifting, which isn't how I remembered it (damn memory), but it skips around the topic of how many times you might want to time shift that program...

The other interesting part is the "broadcast free" bit since very little material is actually free OTA anymore, and arrives via cable or satellite. The archiving and distribution aspects of the case would be much fuzzier if they were argued today, that's for sure.

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GoodSpike is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 09:37 PM
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GoodSpike
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
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I think they were focusing on whether it had a substantial legal use, and since time shifting was held to be legal (and the most common activity in the evidence presented) they focused on it.

One thing--the evidence indicated that only a small percentage of the people using VCRs at the time fast-forwarded through commercials. It's conceivable (although perhaps far from likely) that if the same case came before the court with ReplayTV or Tivo, that the result would be different (because Replay can jump commericals and because I bet a higher precentage of Tivo users FF through commercials).

Also, note that Disney did not seek liability against those users doing more than time-shifting. But the assumption seems to be that they could have.

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Rkkeller is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 09:59 PM
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Rkkeller
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My VCR has a 30 second skip and I
skip commercials as much with that
as I do with my DirecTivo.


Rich

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GoodSpike is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 10:34 PM
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GoodSpike
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quote:
Originally posted by Rkkeller
My VCR has a 30 second skip and I
skip commercials as much with that
as I do with my DirecTivo.Rich



Does it black out the screen when it does that? VCRs are tape devices and thus by definition don't technically skip anything.

BTW, back when the Betamax case was heard it's possible that a number of the remotes on VCRs had cords attached! That could explain the low percentage.

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TrojanHorse is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 11:53 PM
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TrojanHorse
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Is the copy right issue whether they have the privilege of forcing you to sit through commercials, or the possible illegal usage of the program material.

I think that would be hijacking the case to assume that you can force people to sit through commercials. Of course, they are going to start (have already started) robbing you of screen for ads at the bottom or side of the screen.

Then again, we've already demonstrated that my concept of what should be legal and proper doesn't not necessarily jibe with the court system...

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Chris Gerhard is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 01:56 AM
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I am not a lawyer either. My understanding of the Betamax case is the Supreme Court refused to do anything since nothing in the copyright laws prevent us from time shifting programming we have the right to receive in our homes. Time shifting does not mean making a second copy of something, so whether or not copying a recording is considered fair use has not been addressed. Time shifting is considered fair use and since there is a legal use for VCRs (and TiVos), then we have the rights that we have. Recording and selling the recordings or sharing the recordings with other than family and friends is not allowed. Everything in between is unclear in my mind.

I am happy with the rights we have and hope we don't have rights taken away. Is batch recording any more a violation or any more a correct use under the fair use argument than a single recording? I don't really think so but I agree that anything TiVo might do to encourage batch recording could be seen as a stamp of approval and from a legal standpoint I don't think anybody knows what could happen. TiVo is likely to continue to be cautious in this regard and minor inconveniences will be the result.

Chris

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Gerg is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 02:08 AM
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Gerg
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quote:
Originally posted by dwill104
Don't see how "fair use" would really have anything to do with not having the batch function. Whether you record 3 Tivo'd programs on a VCR or DVD one at a time or in a batch, it seems like you still would be doing the same thing with regards to copyrights. At the end of the day, you still end up with 3 recordings.
I seem to recall a discussion a year or two ago where it was concluded that TiVo followed the precedent of VCRs when designing their DVR. (only FF, no automatic skip; 30-second skip didn't originally exist, and currently is an undocumented unsupported feature; no auto-rewind to start of show if you left off watching in the middle, etc.)

I don't recall any VCRs having a 'batch save' mode. Perhaps that's why.

Gerg

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gsslug is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 02:33 AM
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gsslug
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Alert5 I have been wrestling with the same issue. I just recently got a Panasonic E85. I have considered your method and I have a couple of questions.

The DTivo has two tuners only one of which sends a signal out of the box to your TV and E80. You set up DTivo and E80 to record a show and another show is set to record at the same time. How can you be sure the show you want will be sent to the E80 will be the one DTivo is sending out of the box?

Sometime I turn on the TV and find a blank screen. Turns out DTivo tuned to some obscure channel during the night to download something. This seems to happen fairly regularly. Has DTivo ever switched tuners on you and messed up you E80 recording?

Because the DTivo will sometimes switch tuners on its own it seems the likelyhood of recording something other than what you intended is fairly high.

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