TiVo vs DTVPal For OTA PVR: Which One Should I Get? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-24, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question TiVo vs DTVPal For OTA PVR: Which One Should I Get?

Hello. Could someone please advise me. I was all set to go to Buffalo to pick up the Tivo Premiere HD when I saw the Channel Master 7000 PAL DVR in action at a Brampton antenna store. Now I'm confused which one I should get. Could someone point out the pros and cons for each of these units. The Tivo will not have warranty once I cross the border. I'm mainly concerned about Tivo hard drive failure. The channel master has a limit of 30HD hours of recording ability.

Any other comparitive points I should be considering before I make my final choice?

Thanks - please don't go over the points already in these threads - just the comparisons:
TiVos for HD OTA in Canada

DTVPal OTA DVR (EchoStar TR-50 & Channel Master 7000PAL)

Last edited by stampeder; 2010-05-24 at 03:25 PM. Reason: merged from 2 posts
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-24, 03:30 PM
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if you have a family using the DTVPal to record lots of favourite shows the 30 hour limit would probably be too low. If that isn't the case, 30 hours should be fine. The TiVo's have by far the higher recording time capability.

The warranty issue you mentioned is an important one, so if you buy the Channel Master 7000PAL from a Canadian dealer you are covered. TiVo owners are taking a chance running one without the warranty safety net, so you need to be okay with that risk. Apart from the TiVo thread linked below there are also other TiVo threads at our site so you can scan through them to see about hard drive durability. From what I've seen there have not been any red flag issues on that topic, but you'd be best to check for yourself.

I'll leave it to others to compare the On Screen Guide capabilities, so to me the above points are the two biggest differences between the TiVo HD and the DTVPal machines. Other than that, they offer all the basic PVR functionality that consumers expect.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-25, 10:45 AM
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Hi,I have 2 DTVPals and I love them.They do everything I want them to do.The first one,almost a year old died so I replaced the hard drive with an old one from my computer and now it works perfectly.For like $80 you can put a 1T hard drive in it for over 120 hours of HD recording.

I also was looking at the Tivo until I found the Pal.The thought of paying for a guide is a deal killer.Might as well pay for sat or cable.

Last edited by stampeder; 2010-05-25 at 03:07 PM.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-25, 10:56 AM
 
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My understanding is the DTVPAL relies on TVGOS and PSIP for guide data. IMHO this is a major limitation - you are dependent on data being provided by a broadcaster who may not have a huge incentive to provide complete and accurate data. Yes, TiVo charges a monthly subscription, but they are paying to get the best data in the business.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-25, 11:51 AM
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In our neck of the woods this is not an issue as our TVGOS is quite complete.And besides,this is OTA we are talking about.I get about 15 channels (not including duplicates and no digital Canadian channels) so I pretty much know what and when I want to record.

Last edited by Cyclism; 2010-05-25 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-25, 11:15 PM
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Post Observations from a DTV pal user/prospective tivo owner

Yes FDSmyth, but I believe the OP is interested in how it will work for him in his area. As one of the first people to have a DTVpal DVR in Toronto, I have these observations.

- the firmware is way better than the version that originally came with it, but it's still got lots of bugs in it. It appears the current firmware will be the last version (may not be true, but all signs point that way - like the internet page for downloading is gone )

- there's no way to get the recordings off the HDD and move it somewhere for permanent storage (the Tivo does this). I didn't think this was big deal at first but I do now.

- TVGOS is nearly useless here. It only has a handful of channels - none of the Toronto/Hamilton ones, and just a subset of the Buffalo ones (NBC, CBS, ABC, CW, PBS, and Thinkbright). Notably Fox 29 is missing (it used to be there), and all the the channels and subchannels are reliant on PSIP,and that varies widely. Some provide the FCC mandated minimum. Again this was not a big deal to me when I bought it but it is now, probably mostly to the non-existance of PSIP content standards in Canada, meaning using it is like programming a 1980s VCR!

That said, if you know what you want to record, it is a lower cost option than the tivo and it works fairly well (picture/sound quality is generally excellent). We use it all the time.

Hope this helps.

A-D DB4e & CS5, CM 4221 & 7778, TiVo Premiere & Roamio
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-26, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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I want to thank everyone for their responses and yes it has helped in making my choice. I also want to thank the moderator Stampeder for your help, patience and understanding with my questions on this topic.

Any further comments are most welcome and very helpful.

Thanks
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-26, 03:56 AM
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Always my pleasure, Edwin. Which way are you leaning at this moment?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-26, 10:46 AM
 
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I had to make the same decision in Feb 09. I choose the TiVoHD and never looked back. Never been happier with my TiVo. I looking to buy the new TiVo Premiere as a second DVR.

The DTVPal had too many bugs in the yearly 2009, I don't know if the fixed them.

Also, the guide on the TiVo is much more superior, it's not even close.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-27, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stampeder View Post
Always my pleasure, Edwin. Which way are you leaning at this moment?
I think I made up my mind for the TiVo Premiere XL. I just want to do it right the first time and don't want to look back. Also I'm not highly technical in upgrading hard drives and this is why I will be going with the larger hard drive that can record 150 hours of HD material. An all in one solution and no external hard drives for me thanks. And topping it all off is the brand recognition of TiVo I just can't ignore.

Also I've weighed the risks and issues involved and yes I'm taking a chance crossing the border, yes there will be extra taxes coming back to Canada not including the fluctuating Cnd dollar, yes I know that right now in Canada you can't take advantage of all TiVo features, and the yes warranty will not be honoured in Canada, however, I don't care. I just want the best.

Like I said I want to do it right the first time and as for me Tivo is the solution.

Buffalo Walden Galleria Best Buy here I come! May even vist Anchor Bar for some delicious wings.

Edwin

Last edited by Edwin; 2010-05-27 at 01:53 AM. Reason: Addition
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-27, 12:52 PM
 
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Talking

Actually, the warranty DOES cover the unit even if you bring it back to Canada from the US. I bought mine from weaknees and that is clearly stated in their policy. What's NOT covered is the back and forth shipping fees for the unit should one need to send it back for replacement or repair.

If you bought it from Bestbuy or Sears, I guess you might have to drive over back and forth to get it fixed... That's why I decided to go with weaknees.

So in that sense I guess that yes, we ARE taking a chance.

As for the canadian dollar, it is currently (May 27th) at $0.94 US so the exchange rate is still very good (I bought mine when the CAD dollar was at $0.98US). So now is an excellent time to get one.

I haven't received my Tivo yet but I intend to get the lifetime subscription for it.

Oh and thanks for the feedback on the DTVPal. I almost had second thoughts about getting the Tivo but those have been put to rest since channel guide info is absolutely vital to me. I don't mind the extra expense if it means a full 14 days of complete guide info plus the ability to record whole seasons of shows with a machine that's smart enough to reschedule if the showing time is displaced or skip recording the episode that week if it's a rerun. I doubt the DTVPal can do those things.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-27, 03:22 PM
 
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Hi Edwin,

Over the last few years, I have purchased three TiVos from Weaknees, including a TiVoHD for OTA. Weaknees has great service and officially ships to Canada. They also sell Premieres with upgraded harddrives so that you can get upto 317 hours without an external HD. I have also purchased HD upgrade kits from them. You don't really need any technical skill to install one of their HD kits.

Shipping takes a couple of days but no driving involved
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-28, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
I doubt the DTVPal can do those things
It can't. But this reminds me of something I do like on the DTVpal DVR - the ability to extend recording times (manually ) to protect against the start of the show being delayed - these seems to happen alot on CBS on Sunday nights particularly during the football season.

Curious on how the Tivo functions in this scenario??

A-D DB4e & CS5, CM 4221 & 7778, TiVo Premiere & Roamio

Last edited by El Gran Chico; 2010-05-28 at 02:37 PM. Reason: typo
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-29, 05:03 PM
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You can extend record times on the TiVo.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 2010-05-31, 08:34 AM
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dumb questions-
- for ota, if it's not using psip,
how does tivo get the guide info to ya?

- lets assume ya have no internet and no phoneline.
would tivo work?
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