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Discussion Starter #1
HDTV, Tivo & Plasma can we find Happiness?

Ok we went and done it! We ordered a Panasonic 37" Plasma Monitor.

We have been looking to upgrade the boob tube for some time (27" RCA), so I thought the time was right. We have a very nice Stickley entertainment cabinet that fits all the gear.

Current System
TV: RCA 27"
Amp: Denon Digital Receiver
DSS: RCA Digital
VCR: Sony cheepo
DVD: Sony 5 disk carousel
CD: Sony 200-disk changer
Cassette: Denon dubbing deck
Cable for local TV shows

We finally decided to drop the bucks on the Plasma mainly because I can still keep it in the cabinet (although we will have to jockey the lazy susan a little to clear the hinges on the flipper doors), and still upgrade to the larger screen.

Now for the meat of my question. This is what I see that I will need to get HDTV & the use of a Tivo.

New System
37" Plasma Monitor (with aux. speakers)
Amp: Denon Digital Receiver (old)
DSS: RCA combo Tivo (new)
DSS/HDTV: ?
VCR: Sony cheepo (old)
DVD: Sony 5 disk carousel (old)
CD: 200-disk changer (old)
Cassette: Denon dubbing deck (old)
Cable for local TV shows (old) now looped through the VCR

So how many of you guys are using Tivo with HDTV? (I know Tivo does not record in HDTV). I know I can get a combo DSS/HDTV, DSS but I have heard it's better if the Tivo is part of the DSS receiver. Any thoughts on my new venture into the world of HDTV & Tivo?

Thanks
 

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I have a Dish PVR and love it. It's like a microwave oven or a garage door opener, once you have owned one, you can't live without them.

Not sure if will work with HDTV though.

Like you I also have satellite and regular cable (cable is not digital). It amazes me how much better the picture is on my 50 in big screen with the dish. About twice the lines of resolutions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My wife wants me to clarify a tad.

Our options are:

A. Combo DSS/Tivo with a separate HDTV receiver.

B. Combo DSS/HDTV with a separate Tivo.

Any suggestions? Looking for ease of operation and hookup, and drawbacks to each scenario.
 

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Tivo/Dss

I have DSS and Tivo, each in a separate box and I would recommend the combo DSS/Tivo box over the DSS/HDTV box. This is based purely on my experience, and I do not have an HDTV decoder.

In my installation, Tivo is the interface with the user. So you use the tivo remote to change channels, then tivo sends a IR signal to the Hughes dish box via a cord/transmitter attached to the Hughes IR receiver - this changes the channel from the Dish source.

The annoying part is the delay, Tivo changes the dish channel without an enter command, this is like just entering a channel number and waiting. It makes the wait for the next channel intolerably long :3: You end up using the Tivo channel guide exclusively - surfing is out of the question.

With a combo dss/tivo box, I have been told that the delay is not a factor since the two systems are engineered to work together. Kinda makes sense.

Hope this helps.
 

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I have a combo DSS and Tivo and a seperate combo HDTV/DSS machine. The combo DSS and Tivo works great. If what Dave2002 says how it works with seperate boxes, then i'll have to agree. It's defitenely much easier with them combined.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
DSS/TIVO and HD/DSS?

Voltes, why do you need both DSS in both units?

I did some research on the internet and found a review on digitalaudiovideo.com for the Sony SAT-HD100 HD Tuner/DirecTV receiver. It said that it has a low speed data port for connecting to other serial devices. This is the only combo unit with this feature, which makes it the only HD/DirecTV unit to be able to be hooked and controlled by a TIVO. It is supposed to work seamlessly with the Sony TIVO, (sorry, don't remember the model), and I also read in a review somewhere else that the Sony TIVO can automatically record to a Sony VCR, which we already have - a convenient feature if you want to save anything on videotape.

We've had satellite for years, but the whole TIVO and HD thing is new for us, and we want to do it right the first time with the least number of components and the most features and ease of use.

Any more comments out there?

Thanks, Mrs. BigDog
 

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We currently have the Sony TIVO/DSS receiver and find that it is very easy to operate. The TIVO remote handles all functions quite well. Before you spend the money on an HDTV receiver, you might want to make sure that there is enough HDTV broadcast on Direct TV (or Dish). Additionally, if you have an older dish (one that is round) you will not be able to receive HDTV broadcasts without a dish upgrade as well.

Last year, when we upgraded our system, we opted to not spend the extra money on HDTV, as there were only a couple of channels broadcasting in HDTV at the time. I have not researched lately so I do not know if there has been an increase.

Also, assuming that your cable has more HDTV broadcasting and if you loop your cable through the VCR, you will likely loose the HDTV signal.

I can tell you, that I love the TIVO. Don't know how we lived without it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Maik, that is the big question - do we wait on the HD until more programming is available, and maybe prices are down on the receivers? It is still new technology.

Interesting point on looping the cable through the VCR and possibly losing HD. Because of the number of inputs (?) on the back of the new set we don't have a choice. It's either that or ditching either the cable for local channels and going straight satellite or ditching the VCR. We have had some problems with the satellite signal during heavy rain and wind, so we'd prefer not to drop cable.

Another question on the TIVO. I have read that you cannot watch one show while recording another which you can do on other PVR systems such as Ultimate TV, and you also can't record two shows at the same time. I assume that they mean you can't watch a TIVO recorded show while recording another, not that you can't watch a live show and record another playing at the same time. A stupid question, I know, but this would be very important to us.

Mrs. BigDog
 

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Bigdog

It wasnt intentional. It's just that at that time, I saw a very good deal on the Toshiba DST3000. And since I'm sticking with DSS anyway, I took the bite. It had good reviews and match well with our tv which is also a Toshiba. But I would definitely want to be flexible with the HD decoder if possible.

It does make sense for Sony to make their HD decoder/DSS work with TIVO. They should even make a 3 in 1 box. That's probably a plan in the future. But if that's what Sony claims is true, then that's your best bet. As long as you dont switch channel thru the IR cable that they provide, the lag should be diminished. My TIVO does have ports at the back for control but I dont use them. Maybe that's where the HD box will interface? I guess you will be the guinea pig if you go this route. :D
 

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BigDog said:
Maik, that is the big question - do we wait on the HD until more programming is available, and maybe prices are down on the receivers? It is still new technology.

Interesting point on looping the cable through the VCR and possibly losing HD. Because of the number of inputs (?) on the back of the new set we don't have a choice. It's either that or ditching either the cable for local channels and going straight satellite or ditching the VCR. We have had some problems with the satellite signal during heavy rain and wind, so we'd prefer not to drop cable.

Another question on the TIVO. I have read that you cannot watch one show while recording another which you can do on other PVR systems such as Ultimate TV, and you also can't record two shows at the same time. I assume that they mean you can't watch a TIVO recorded show while recording another, not that you can't watch a live show and record another playing at the same time. A stupid question, I know, but this would be very important to us.

Mrs. BigDog

TIVO is awesome. I cannot believe that I have ever watched TV without TIVO. The direct TV receivers with TIVO built in, allows you to watch one program while recording another as there are dual input at the rear of the TIVO, you will need a DNB dish though(the oval ones). Special installation, as you will be running two wires from your dish instead of one.
I went with a separate TIVO recorder and a SONY direct TV receiver. I can only watch one channel at a time. HOwever, you can watch a pre-recorded show while recording another one. If you have a SONY VCR, you can even transfer your favorite movies unto VHS with just one click.
IMHO, get the DIRECT TV receiver with TIVO and you will not regret it. TIVO IMO is a must for DIRECT TV as there is so much programming that you will never be able to watch it all, just set TIVO to record it by using the season pass manager. I use that for all the Motor Trends, etc....
 

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On the DSS/TIVO combo, you can

1.) record 2 channels at a time and watch a pre-recorded show
2.) record a show while you watch

Like what kishino mentioned, the TIVo has 2 satellite inputs at the back. One is optional but you cant maximize the full potential of Tivo is you only use one. But still, it will work.

I hope you already know that you need a multi-satellite dish to get HDTV and an antenna to get the OTA HD signals.

Here's a good forum to get info on HD stuff.

www.hometheaterspot.com

good luck! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
voltes said:
I hope you already know that you need a multi-satellite dish to get HDTV and an antenna to get the OTA HD signals. [/B]
That's about the only thing we've figured out for sure so far!

Thanks, guys, all this info really helps. :D

Especially for Mr. BigDog since most of this stuff is over my head anyway. I just turn it on, he has to make it all work together.

Mrs. BigDog
 

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BigDog said:
Maik, that is the big question - do we wait on the HD until more programming is available, and maybe prices are down on the receivers? It is still new technology.

Interesting point on looping the cable through the VCR and possibly losing HD. Because of the number of inputs (?) on the back of the new set we don't have a choice. It's either that or ditching either the cable for local channels and going straight satellite or ditching the VCR. We have had some problems with the satellite signal during heavy rain and wind, so we'd prefer not to drop cable.

Another question on the TIVO. I have read that you cannot watch one show while recording another which you can do on other PVR systems such as Ultimate TV, and you also can't record two shows at the same time. I assume that they mean you can't watch a TIVO recorded show while recording another, not that you can't watch a live show and record another playing at the same time. A stupid question, I know, but this would be very important to us.

Mrs. BigDog
Ms. Dog -

We are among those waiting on HDTV until the prices drop and more programming is available.

But Kishino's right - PVR's are wonderful! We went the Ultimate TV route (turning out to be the Betamax of PVRs, who knew?). But the technology's awesome - I was able to rewind through 90 minutes of Christmas Story this weekend , we wanted to see who the narrator was. It worked! We have the capacity to watch and record at the same time, but we chose not to pay DirectTV for the extra tuner - things are repeated enough on cable that it hasn't been an issue.

Enjoy that new plasma TV!
 

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www.avsforum.com has great TiVo, Replay and Ultimate forums, along with lotsa HD stuff. Worth checking out.
 
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