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back to article TiVo spits out monster 6-way Pace box for US eyes only

The fact that the very first product out of the relationship between TiVo and Pace is a six-tuner device means automatically that it‘s for use in the US – nowhere else has that kind of requirement yet. But in the US six tuners is becoming a requirement, and the TiVo Premiere being delivered at cable TV giant RCN already has four …

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Silver badge

And all just because they want DRM

While us normal people just get a VDR pop in as many tuners as we want and simply stream via the streamdev-plugin which can stream into just about any format to just about any device.

Mine had 6 tuners until recently when I removed 2 because I needed them for other purposes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And all just because they want DRM

Sorry, you aren't normal, you are niche.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And all just because they want DRM

"normal people just get a VDR pop in as many tuners as we want and simply stream via the streamdev-plugin"

I've thought of about five ways to reply to this, but there's no single thought that can encompass its sheer folly.

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What is the point?

At the moment the box in the corner is switched off, because with two tuners I can't find a single thing I want to watch. Oh, OK, I can find some moving wallpaper, like Time Team or some antique Sherlock Holmes film, but nothing that will actually leave me a better person for having watched it.

With 6 tuners I would have consumed more of the planets resources to leave switched off.

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Silver badge
Holmes

Re: What is the point?

Just because that there is nowt to watch at this time on a Sunday afternoon does not mean that there is never a time where you need more than two tuners at any time in the week and for 52 weeks a year.

There are times when at the peak time of 21:00hrs in the week there are more than two programms being broadcast that I would like to record. Ok, some of them can be recorded on the +1 channel but not all programmes are allowed to be broadcast on the +1 channel for license/copyright reasons.

So, yes I'd like a FreeSat PVR with the ability to record more than two channels. At the moment I'm watching the re-runs of Inspector Montabano on Italian TV. No subtitles but my Italian is improving rapidly. Thanks to BBC-4 for introducing me to this series. Without a PVR I would never have been introduced to this and other series like 'The Bridge'. Record one and if you like it then record the whole series. More tuners make having to say 'sorry, I can't record it' less of a problem.

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Silver badge

Re: What is the point?

Well I know the article is very fuzzy on this, but apparently those boxes also have 6 tuners for DOCSIS which needs to fit into the fairly narrow US channels. So you need quite a bit of those channels and therefore several tuners. So you might have 4 tuners for Internet, and then 2 for TV which is reasonable.

However in Europe there is a point in having that many tuners and that's for automatic Youtube gateways which record everything and upload it to Youtube automatically.

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Silver badge

Re: What is the point?

+1

I have mythtv running with dual digital tuners but as time goes by, it becomes more of a cool toy as TV becomes more and more uninteresting. As Flanders & Swann said, "I never did care for music much, its the high-fidelity."

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I have been running three twin-tuner PVRs for several years now. Really is needed for making sure you do not get clashes on late-finishing / early-starting B2B recordings on different channels and for capturing all the F1 and other live sports coverage.

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Alien

6 tuners? Wow. We never need more than 3

We have 2 2-tuner DirecTV DVRs. 99.9 of what we need never exceeds 2 channels - like 2 hours per year, we need to intentionally schedule something on the bedroom DVR.

Otherwise, the bedroom DVR contains duplicates of the family room - so my wife can watch in either place. Inefficient? Yes, but DirecTV wants to add like $5/mo for "multi-room viewing"; it was cheaper to get a 2nd DVR 2 years ago.

Don't get me wrong - I support these products. One reason we never really need more than 2 streams, is there are often such frequent "repeat" showings of the same shows - and, we often have to tweak those manually. Thus, a mega-tuner would *save* us time...

I do hope to return to TiVo. We bought our first one in 1998 (single-tuner over-the-air), used it until moving to DirecTV in 2004 - when we had 2 DirecTV TiVos (each with 2 tuners) until having to move to their home-brand DVR in 2008 for HD... and, almost daily, we lament the horrible software. Notably, we detest the "live TV" picture in the corner. This slows down the UI so much; often we tune to a non-existent channel (black screen saying "call xxx to subscribe")... but makes the UI laser-fast! If we could "turn-off" the live view, we'd be happy!

Yeah, I think aliens are manipulating us. But, there cannot possibly be extraterrestrial life -- if there were, we'd hear them laughing! :)

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Gold badge

I must agree...

I must agree, 6 tuners seems excessive. One thing here in the US that affects this, though, the broadcast networks LOVE to air their "competing" shows all at the same time. So instead of having a CSI-clone on one channel, dance show on another broadcast network, and a comedy on another, there'll be hours of nothing watchable (they all play CSI-clones at once, all play dance shows at once...) then bam! When there IS the comedy or sci-fi I crave, there's like 2 or 3 shows scheduled simultaneously. (Well, no sci-fi at all now...) Of course, the cable networks, they re-air the same shows over and over about 15 times a week so a DVR has no problem with them.

I'm with Christian Berger though, I have a MythTV with one digital tuner (hooked up to antenna) and one analog tuner (on the 22-channel "broadcast basic" cable -- the networks are 70 miles away and the antenna doesn't pick them all up.) I won't pay for a rights-restricted version of what I can do myself for free.

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Bronze badge
Pint

Confused...

"...TiVo service at $15 a month, or you can buy the Stream box for a one-off fee of $500."

Okay. Is it $15 a month FOR THE BOX RENTAL, or is it free TiVo "service" (sic) for life with the purchase of the $500 box. Either is perfectly acceptable, except calling what TiVo offers a "service" (at most some TV guide data and the always-helpful ;-) keep-alive signal).

To be clear, it sounds like a good product (note, product as opposed to "service").

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Anonymous Coward

Six?!

I've got Virgin Media's wonderful TiVo box, upon which enough praise cannot be heaped, and we've yet to find 3 things to tune into at the same time. What on earth would you need six for?

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Silver badge

Re: Six?!

In the past week I've had at least three occasions when I've wanted to record something from eg History, National Geographic and then maybe E4 or BBC4 or some such at the same time, but even with using the +1 channels, there have been clashes/ overlaps with other things I want to see, so I've had to resort to looking through the Radio Times for repeats of the programme either in the wee small hours of the morning or on different days which is a PITA.

I've currently got about half my Sky+ HDD (I replaced the original with one that was twice the size a long time ago) filled with documentaries, shows like Game of Thrones, Bones, Big Bang Theory Dara o'Briain's School of Hard Maths and more which are definitely worth watching, it's just a matter of finding time to watch them all before something else comes along I want to see...!

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Meh

Re: Six?!

The good thing about the shortage of decent programming is that it can be found at really unusual times, we almost never have clashes because the programs we like on Discovery, SYFY, Nat Geo etc can generally be found at 02:00 three days after the original airing, or even (espescially crime & investigation) the stuff that's on at 21:00 is generally on againa t mifnight and 03:00 so it's easy to avoid clashes.

The only trouble I have sometimes is that setting a record on one of these from th planner often doesn't trigger a "series link" question. It's still fairly easy to overcome that though.

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

Nothing to watch

Even with one tuner, there was usually so little to watch that I canceled my cable a month ago. Paying $100/month to watch Mythbusters once a week got to be a little excessive. Plus since I'm a night person, I'd flip on TV at 2am to find nothing but infomercials. I'm paying for 45 channels of infomercials? Excuse me?

Plus it's got DOCSIS built in? Meaning I have to interrupt people watching 6 channels to reboot the cable modem a couple times a week when it crashes?

Man, I wish I could show you guys the difference between MotoGP on Speed and BBC Sport. You'd be shocked to see we put up with that shit. I couldn't believe the awesome coverage on BBC Sport.

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Anonymous Coward

So, from the comments we have learned that this product should not exist because the average tech-illiterate person uses a PC to set up tuners / software / streaming plugins by hand, there's nothing redeemable on TV, or, alternatively, that the television habits of one Reg reader are necessarily identical to every other TV watcher - or finally, that there is no call for this product because one particular Reg reader is smart enough to never watch television - presumably meaning that the rest of us are idiots.

You would think that by now people would reognize that not everyone is (or should be) like him. Alas.

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Silver badge

Welcome to the Internet...

... where everybody else is always wrong.

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Trollface

Re: Welcome to the Internet...

" ... where everybody else is always wrong."

No they're not.

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Coat

Re: Welcome to the Internet...

Well... I'm not sure -that's- true...

-runs for door, snags coat off hook on way-

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Angel

Re: Welcome to the Internet...

Curse you, Bakunin! Currrrse yoouuuuuuu!

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FAIL

They're just trying to one-up DISH.

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Coat

Six sounds a little excessive but....

Think (AFAIK) there are 6 digital broadcast multiplexes in UK so if you wanted to record/watch a channel from each then you would need six tuners - very unlikley but possible. I have three in my MythTV box (no cable here - in outer suburb of Manchester, UK so Virgin TiVo is out) and I run out of tuners fairly frequently (mostly because my son's TV has no way to rig to rooftop aerial and set top aerial is a recipe for watching pixel-tv). I suspect I may need 5 tuners min to cope with recording and the fact that 'TV's' round the house are rapidly morphing into 'recycled good quality LCD + mini-PC MythBox' (as the actual TV sets break irrepairably). So a 6-tuner home setup my not be so bad- but only if said box can stream to mutliple clients simultaneously rround the house (hint: MythTv does this already..)

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Silver badge
Thumb Up

just to add something

Virgin Media have been DOCSIS 3 for quite a while now, I can easily seeing them adding another tie of box with 6 tuners for a couple of extra quid a month for those who would want one and having them as standard say from next year.

It would be another unique selling point over what Sky offer.

6 tuners would also be useful for it to record suggestions as well as wat you program into it along with series links and requests to record anything with say Tom Cruise in it.

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Silver badge

6 tuners?

Great, I'll have 2 terrestrial and 4 satellite thanks. :)

I thought not :(

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Right idea, wrong implementation

Is it just me or is this a total ratf-ck of a solution?

I don't know how long it will take, but why is this not all cloud-based or server-side? The TiVo/DVR physical-box complexity seems unnecessary. There was recently a judicial precedent when Comcast (I think) got sued by the TV network dinosaurs about its cloud-based DVR. These loud, hot, power-sucking settops in every house -- in every room, now -- is a user & support & energy-wasting disaster.

If it's all server-side, you don't need more complex hot & loud DVR boxes, it's all integrated on the back-end -- and time-wasting linear TV is dead. All channels will be on-demand video, as it should be. (And 5-yr-olds growing up on iPads will stop asking their parents, "What is this twice-louder cereal ad for 30 seconds, every 10 minutues on the TV, instead of my favorite show that I want to watch now??"

And trying to program a 6-tuner DVR manually of their 500-channel programming grids? I've wasted hours & hours helping friends & family with their damn gadgets; all because of brain-dead DVR & Cable TV product managers?

My guess is if someone doesn't fix this mess sooner than later from an architectural standpoint & from a UI standpoint, a small group from Cupertino is going to make them all look extremely unimaginative & lazy.

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