: TiVos for HD OTA in Canada
2007-01-23, 10:14 AM
all of these DVD recorders seem to record in either EDTV or SDTV but not HDTVTo record HDTV you're not going to get much on a single layer DVD (cheapest media). If you're going to use DL you might as well get a BDU subscription, because at current prices if you record a few one hour shows per week, you could almost get a HD PVR from a BDU.
I'm hoping (fingers crossed behind back) that someone will come out with a HDTV PVR with an ATSC tuner - other than the Tivo 3 (which stampeder I think you forgot to mention in the list above). At least one DHCer (Dajad) is using a Tivo 3 as his ATSC tuner/PVR. Unfortunately, and I'm really not trying to troll here, the Tivo 3 IMHO is overpriced for Canadians as we cannot (legally) take advantage of all the functionality the Tivo3 offers. Still a great STB /PVR for those who can afford it.
2007-01-23, 01:11 PM
I am looking for a HD PVR too. I am not "trolling" either, but I have to say that the reason I am setting up OTA is that I don't want to be at the mercy of some provider for the rest of my life.
That said, I don't know of anyone other than Tivo that has a product on the market. I was hoping that as a stopgap I could use a DVD recorder with rewritable media to record an hour or two at a time. I know that I timeshifted almost everything I watched when I had satelite. I don't think that will change with HD broadcasts.
Any other options I should consider?
2007-01-24, 01:28 PM
we cannot (legally) take advantage of all the functionality the Tivo3 offers
Although TiVo doesn't sell their PVRs in Canada, they now will sell subscriptions to Canadians. See
Is the TiVo service available in Canada? (http://www.tivo.com/1.6.1.asp#9). I read somewhere that they don't have the Canadian DT schedules yet (only the analog schedules) and they don't use the broadcast program guide, but that information may be out of date.
Regardless, it is still very expensive so I am with you and wish more affordable options were available.
2007-01-24, 03:18 PM
Here's the Tivo In Canada thread at DHC:
2007-07-31, 12:02 PM
As mentioned in the Tivo In Canada Discussion (http://digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=30581) thread, the new (July 2007) Tivo HD is OTA capable.
See dajad's post# 273, and my post #288, which link to reviews and pricing info.
2007-12-07, 03:29 PM
You can purchase a Tivo unit now from London Drugs $199 plus subscription $12/month.
2008-07-11, 10:02 PM
The TIVO HD models should be able to record OTA transmissions and retain HD quality. Not sure how available they are in Canada though :S
2008-07-12, 08:44 PM
You can read all about Tivo in Canada in this thread:
2008-11-10, 11:32 AM
Hey all Just a quick question about Tivo boxes. I'm new here and just got my CH4228 up this weekend. My High Def TV does not have a built in decodor and from what I've read on this site I've decided to go with a Tivo box. I want to order the TiVo TCD652160 HD Digital Video Recorder from amazon and have my Dad bring it up from the US at CHristmas, but I noticed most posters refering to the Tivo series 3 as what there using. The series three is much more expensive $550.00 compared to the Tivo HD Dvr that I want to order. The Tivo website says it does antenna digital and High Def. But as I didn't find anyone here using it I got nervous. If someone here knows that this unit is capable of decoding atsc and storing HD OTA I'd be greatfull.
2008-11-10, 12:32 PM
Hi Chudsmith, here's a thread dedicated to Tivos in Canada, so I'd bet your questions would be answered better in it:
2008-11-10, 01:05 PM
That thread is almost exclusively about the SD TiVos that use guide data supplied by TiVo for cable or satellite - the situation for using TiVos for HD OTA is much different.
Chudsmith-I believe that the model that you are looking at should work as it says that it supports antennas - the issue remains that the providers of guide data, which I believe is Zap2it, refuse to believe that Canada has OTA digital. This is a problem in PC based PVRs as well.
The solution seems to be to tell the TiVo that you live in Youngstown, NY - Dale Dietrich has more info on his blog here http://daledietrich.com/imedia/using-tivo-series-3-in-canada/
It is hard to believe that TiVo is charging a $300 premium between the HD DVR and the HD XL DVR. The difference is THX certification, a bigger hard drive and a better remote. You could buy the cheaper one and expand the hard drive capacity pretty cheaply but I am getting OT now!
2008-11-10, 01:09 PM
the situation for using TiVos for HD OTA is much differentOkay thanks for that clarification, Wayne - we need to discuss TiVos for HD OTA here then. :)
2008-11-10, 01:09 PM
Wayne, I am not disagreeing with you about Zap2It at CDN OTA, but the workaround is simple.
All you have to do is put in 14072 as your US Zip code and voila! All OTA guide data for Buffalo AND Toronto/Hamilton including all of our CN Tower OTA digital signals. (even Omni 1,2 and City)
Works for me - but I am 100% OTA an don't need cogeco cable stuff mixed in with the guide.
2008-11-10, 02:03 PM
Thanks Guys that is a great relief I was worried that there was some other reason that I hadn't seen more OTA users refering to this unit. I did see mention to moding the hard drive and there is also a separate external 500 gig drive you can add if needed. but mostly I just wanted to be sure it could handle the high def signal without compresion.
2008-11-10, 02:08 PM
Tenstu I'd like to try using the US zip but I also have cogeco analoge which this unit could use as it's a duel tuner. I'm not sure how I can do both.
2008-11-10, 02:11 PM
Yep - I was afraid of the cable issue.... I am sorry to say that I am not sure how you could combine the two guide data sets... Shoot!!
2008-11-10, 03:06 PM
tentsu - You're right about entering the US zip code but you shouldn't have to do this. In fact, I think I did something similar when I set up the OTA tuner for SageTV a few months ago. Zap2it and other sites have Canadian lineup data for cable, satellite and OTA analog. It is about time that they recognized that we have OTA digital here in Canada! And it is not an issue of not having the channel data since all of these channels are available on cable and sat so they have that data. It is only an issue of having a database of what digital OTA channels are available in each city.
Chudsmith - The ideal situation would be if you could manually input the channels on the TiVo or do a channel scan. That way you might be able to use both cable and OTA. Manually inputting the channels is sometimes confusing with OTA digital but it is not too bad to figure out if you have a list of channels available in the GTA (which is readily available). But I am not sure if TiVo lets you do this. You might want to ask on some TiVo forums.
The other option is to build an HTPC with an OTA digital tuner and a analog tuner hooked up to analog cable (or even your digital cable box). You can do this with Vista Media Center and XP MCE (with a minor hack) or with other PVR software such as SageTV, Myth, BeyondTV, etc. I have a setup like this using SageTV with three tuners - an OTA tuner, an HD-PVR for HD cable hooked up to an HD cable box and an analog tuner (PVR-150) hooked up to my SD cable box. It is initially more expensive, more complex and it requires a PC by your TV but it is, by far, the most flexible solution. Unlike TiVo it also does not incur a monthly fee so it might actually be cheaper in the long run.
2008-11-10, 03:11 PM
Wayne - be careful advising people to use Vista with the Canadian OTA hack. The new TV Pack will kill it and disable ATSC for Canada. Pete Near has a good post on this on the MCE forum. I advise ALL people now who *must* use windows based computer a PVR to abandon Microsoft and go to SageTV or others.
2008-11-10, 03:47 PM
Wayne - be careful advising people to use Vista with the Canadian OTA hack. The new TV Pack will kill it and disable ATSC for Canada. Pete Near has a good post on this on the MCE forum. I advise ALL people now who *must* use windows based computer a PVR to abandon Microsoft and go to SageTV or others.You're right that the TV Pack will disable ATSC in Canada but I believe that the only way to buy a PC with the TV pack is to buy it from a specialized HTPC OEM company - this "upgrade" will NOT be available to the general public - which has caused a bit of an outcry in the Windows Media Center world.
If you already have a PC with Vista HP then trying your PC out as a digital OTA PVR is pretty cheap as all you need is a digital OTA tuner and you can generally buy them for $50-$75. And it isn't too hard to set this up within Vista Media Center.
This is one of the reasons that I am transitioning from Windows Media Center, albeit XP MCE, to SageTV along with lack of non-OTA HD and DRM issues.
2008-11-10, 08:37 PM
thanks again guys. Unfortunately my computer is way to old and slow to use as a media centre. I think I'll try talking to someone at Tivo. If I find anything more useful than move to the US I'll post it.