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swope1221

join:2008-08-26
Newtown, PA

best alternative to Fios DVR & STBs

Hi everyone, quick question. Currently I have 1 MRDVR and 2 HD STBs which qualifies me for the 3 room MRDVR package at 39.99 a month. I am looking for alternatives to this setup. I have 3 laptops running windows 7 pro and one desktop running windows xp pro if that would factor into opinions.

The only downside I know to this would be losing Fios on demand channels.

Thanks for any input.



Jackarino
YacCity
Premium
join:2006-12-28
Allendale, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
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You could always rent a cable card and get a TiVo. With the TiVo, you need to either pay monthly for service or get the lifetime plan.

Or

You can get a cable card, cable card tuner, hook it up to a win 7 PC and streem content to a windows media extender.
--
Romney - Ryan 2012



julesism

join:2001-12-12
Lewisville, TX
reply to swope1221

I've been very happy with my SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime + CableCard + Windows Media Center. We already had 3 xbox360s in the house and they are working as STBs just fine.



aaronwt
Premium
join:2004-11-07
Woodbridge, VA
reply to swope1221

I've been extremely happy with my TiVos over the years.. Plus it's been much cheaper than the FiOS DVRS. If I had been using FiOS DVRs these last 5+ years with FiOS instead of TiVos, I would have paid out alot more money. Plus I would not own my boxes if I had been renting the FiOS DVRs. With my TiVos with lifetime service I own the boxes and they are still worth several hundred when I want to upgrade to a new model. And they easily sell.

The only caveat with getting non FIOS DVRS is access to VOD. But you could always rent a FiOS HD STB to get access to their VOD. But it's still $10 month. I used to rent a FiOS HD STB but I realized that I could get that all the content that FiOS had from other services. Plus I rarely used FiOS VOD since the quality was not very good. So I was wasting the $10 a month and eventually returned the box to save the $10 a month.


buckweet1980

join:2011-12-31
Allen, TX

I have the same question..

My issue is that it's not cost effective to change to a different DVR.. I have one STB in my house and no other options are financially sound. Cablecards cost money, TiVo has the upfront box charge and lifetime fee or monthly fees. All of those added together equate to the DVR charge that VZ has.

I'd really like to do a windows media center machine, but the upfront cost and lack of developer interest from MS make it not an appealing idea. I hope xbox becomes the next solution with cablecard support.

So what's my motivation? The ROI isn't there if you are okay with the VZ DVRs function (which I am)..

I wish Mythtv or others would get cablelabs cert..



freyder
Premium
join:2001-02-15
Plano, TX
reply to swope1221

The WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) is very high with our Tivo Premier XL4.

I also have the Silicon Dust HomeRun Prime (3-tuner) configured with my Win 7 machine. I have 2 xbox 360s setup as extenders so they can watch Live TV or whatever I have stored on the Win 7 box.

with pyTivo and kmttg I can easily pull/push shows from/to the Tivo so that means no expensive DVR storage upgrades and I can move things between the platforms with ease.

Since I spend a lot of time on my PC I like having the ability to have TV in a window so if you like that capability consider the Silicon Dust unit.
Xbox can be had for $199 if you need to bring another TV in to the mix.


brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1
reply to swope1221

Tivo is the cheapest way to go.



Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

That is definitely not the case, unless you amortize the cost over many years.

But using TiVos is definitely more enjoyable than the Verizon DVRs. Like freyder See Profile, I use pyTiVo extensively to send videos/movies from my media server to my various TiVos. It works great and if the media is encoded in MPEG2, MPEG4, or WMV (newer codec), it plays back without transcoding.

I say the same thing anytime this type of thread comes up - nice things cost more. That's undoubtedly the case with TiVo, but imo (and for many other people), it's well worth it.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


IanR

join:2001-03-22
Fort Mill, SC
reply to swope1221

I second the vote for WMC and XBox as suggested by Juilesism.

I use the HDHomerun prime (can be bought for around $125.00) and XBox (any used version works) + an annual MS fee of $40. What do they call it, MS Live, or something to sign on.
After that there is NO Fee for the electronic Guide which TIVO makes one pay hugely for.

It's best to wave wired ethernet connection but should also work in a good WiFi. Extra TVs can be served by extra XBox (any used one).

XBox also also is a credible standalone media device and MS offer many streaming services through it. For some reason I find such video better than any streaming through a TIVO. One also can get a super picture with ESPN3 which is free. MY XBox also found all my pictures and music. There are many other streaming services via the XBox. Amazon, Crackle, HBO2GO, Fox you name it.

Despite the recent lack of development by MS WMC is very reliable. I slapped an extra 2TB drive in my desktop which runs WMC and have more than enough memory and it works with any number of XBoxes at home.
Te only Verizon fee is for a single multistream CableCard. Same as for a TIVO and a lot less than any cablebox.
Oh I nearly forgot that with FIOS the XBox also shows about 28 channels w/o any Verizon extra charge.


ALbino

join:2003-02-01
Chino Hills, CA
reply to swope1221

How does MythTV or WMC work as far as getting raw TS files? Is it thwarted by HBO's copy protection thing like the TiVo's are?



Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

said by ALbino:

How does MythTV or WMC work as far as getting raw TS files? Is it thwarted by HBO's copy protection thing like the TiVo's are?

Of course.

MythTV won't even work with programs that are not CopyFreely (0x00). WMC uses a proprietary format to store the encrypted video files. You can only watch these recordings on the WMC PC that recorded it or its extenders.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!

ALbino

join:2003-02-01
Chino Hills, CA

I figured that was the case, but thought I'd ask anyway.

I was caught off guard after getting a TiVo XL4 specifically so I could use TiVo To Go with HBO, and have since been looking for an alternative. Thanks for the reply.


Bytezboy

join:2001-05-17
New York, NY
reply to swope1221

My free dvr expired last month. I might just get a Tivo. How much per month is the cablecard?
--
35/35 Fios, Triple Play Extreme.



Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11

A somewhat expensive (compared to other major cable companies) $3.99 per card per month.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


tennisman94

join:2010-02-18
Palm Harbor, FL
kudos:2
reply to swope1221

the only ways to get hbo at this point are over component with a hauppage HD PVR or Colossus, or over HDMI with an HDCP stripper and a Colossus, or a hacked TIVO 2. No major providers in the us publish the raw stream unencrypted anymore.


ALbino

join:2003-02-01
Chino Hills, CA

Good information, thanks man!



Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11
reply to tennisman94

Hacked TiVo HD/S3 will get you the raw, unencrypted stream, too.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


ALbino

join:2003-02-01
Chino Hills, CA

Any idea where I can buy one?


tennisman94

join:2010-02-18
Palm Harbor, FL
kudos:2

ebay or DIY, read here »www.dealdatabase.com/forum/forum.php


ALbino

join:2003-02-01
Chino Hills, CA

Cool, thanks!


nfotiu

join:2009-01-25
reply to swope1221

The high per tv costs are what will eventually drive me away from fios tv. Directv is a lot cheaper in that area now with their genie system.


buckweet1980

join:2011-12-31
Allen, TX

I had directv at my old house and got the triple-play bundle at the house i'm currently at..

I prefer DirecTV as the picture is better and way more HD channels. However it costs more for me to go back. Probably another 30 to 40/month IIRC..

If it works out financially then I'd go for it!


nfotiu

join:2009-01-25

I did the math and was going to save about 40 in the first year(i dont use my phone line), 15 in the second year and ordered directv, but got a 30 dollars a month discount to stay with fios when I went to cancel. So stayed on. Probably would have been worth it, since I expense Internet anyway and didn't factor it in. The cheaper stb prices are what really made the difference though. Funny thing is when I cancelled my directv order, they offered me another 5$ a month and free movie channels for a year. But I was tired of being on the phone with csrs and just stayed with fios for now.