Picture quality - Tivo v. Sky +

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by Godzooky, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. Godzooky

    Godzooky
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    I have been using Tivo for about a year now and the only thing that concerns me is the picture quality. As you are always watching "buffered" TV, the picture quality is not as good as the direct digital feed from telewest. I notice the difference particulary when watching football on Sky sports. Is there any diiference at all between the picture quality when using Sky + as opposed to just using the standard sky digibox? I am moving soon to a new flat which is pre-wired for Sky so I will be getting this and wonder whether I would see any real benefit in picture quality by using Sky +.
     
  2. PhilGrover

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    There is absolutely no difference in quality between a normal box and Sky+, regardless of whether you are watching live or a recording - the box records the raw digital feed. The big benefit of watching a recording (even just by pausing for a couple of seconds) is you lose the annoying "Press Red" whatsits.

    Phil
     
  3. Noodle

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    That's it then, I'm getting Sky+ cos the red dot is driving me bonkers (I've only swapped from NTL this week). Just to clarify, is it true that the red dot is NEVER recorded by Sky+?

    Cheers,

    Ben.



    Interactive.......I'll interact with the bloody thing if it keeps on much longer.
     
  4. Starburst

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    It's been true for nearly two years, we are only talking about the red active dots that are generated by a digibox itself at the command of a program/channel though. A red dot or other on screen graphic that is part of the source broadcast can not be removed since it is literally part of the picture.
     
  5. Deorch

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    However I believe that if you press <Back up> when watching sky the red dot dissapears?

    If it bothers you that much...
     
  6. Rasczak

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    I may get a bit of stick for this from Tivo users but for people who wish to archive things (on tape, disk etc) then I can't really see Tivo as anything but a 'quality reducer'.

    If you have Sky+ then you can record the original (with no loss of quality) and then output it to a DVD Recorder, DVHS or SVHS and still have a first generation copy (i.e. Digital>Analogue>Recording Device).

    If you have a Tivo then you must go from original source (say Sky) to the Tivo and then to the recording device. In short Digital>Analogue>Digital>Analogue>Recording Device with loss of quality all the way. So where's the benefit? :confused:

    As for the red dot removal by Sky+ - can't recommend it enough. I record alot of UK Gold/UK Drama and it wasn't until a few days ago I realised they have a red dot on screen occasionally! Obviously, as someone said, it can't do anything about the increasing number of onscreen logos that are appearing on screen :mad:
     
  7. sanderton

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    Why do you assume the objective is to ultimately get stuff onto DVD? In 2 1/2 years of owning two TiVos I have never made permanat copies of anything for my own use.

    For most people, you wath the stuff off TiVo, then delete it.

    If what you want a TiVo for is as a "pre-recorder" before putting stuff on DVD, then there is indeed no benefit. But why would you want to do that? Just record the source direct if that's what you want.
     
  8. Rasczak

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    Fair enough. I mostly use Sky+ for timeshifting and around 98% of stuff I record gets binned after watching - but it's that 2% of programmes that I decide to archive (or record for a friend) that makes a Tivo just seem fundamentally flawed. But I accept if you don't want to keep anything the a Tivo is OK.

    In the US both Pioneer and Toshiba are releasing Tivo HDD/DVD Recorder combos and I think this will be a major success. Unfortunately neither company is going to go ahead with a UK release of their products. Therefore Tivo remains flawed. Shame.
     
  9. wozwebs

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  10. Rochdale

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    I love Sky+, the quality compared to what I was used to before on VHS is outstanding. You can't tell you're watching a recorded program because it just records the raw data rather then converting it into mpeg and then recording it.

    The other plus is that you can watch one channel and record another :)

    The biggest advantage Tivo has is the intelligent recording thing, but I've never experienced that so I don't know if I'm missing anything.
     
  11. phelings

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    Surely the biggest disadvantage of Tivo is that you still need a digibox aswell to record from-not to mention not being able to record and watch 2 satellite channels at the same time.
     
  12. MartinImber

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    Pace Twin is pretty good as well and there is no subscription:clap:
     
  13. Azrikam

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    I use my TiVo mostly (70-80%) for recording shows to watch, then delete. Most of the stuff I do archive is animation, so there is little or no degradation of picture.

    If I was a sports buff who liked to archive games, then I might consider Sky+, but for what I use it for, TiVo hasn't let me down.

    The perfect piece of kit would have dual tuners, Sky+ picture/sound quality recording, and TiVo's recording system. (wishlists, season passes, etc) But until then, I'll stick with the TiVo. :)
     
  14. xyznicko

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    Why would that be a disadvantage? I see it as positive advantage as with all hifi stuff etc. its better to have separates.

    If one breaks down you don't lose all of them.
     
  15. NicolasB

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    1) You can't record one channel while watching another, unless you invest in a second digibox.

    2) The quality of playback will be lower because the signal has to be compressed, decompressed, recompressed, and decompressed a second time, with a lossy compression algorithm. With Sky+ it's only compressed and decompressed once.

    3) With Sky+ you can switch subtitles on and off during playback - with Tivo you have to either record the subtitles with the program or not.

    4) Red dot issues.

    5) It makes it impossible for a Tivo player to have a (useful) digital sound output, so you are dependent on the audio DACs in your digibox.

    6) And similarly you can't record a Dolby Digital soundtrack with Tivo - everything is stereo-only.
     
  16. phelings

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    Thats very well put.Now,apart from the very tenuous 'separates' argument-anyone care to point out any "real" advantages of Tivo over SKY+,if you can think of any?
     
  17. xyznicko

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    Yes i'll have a go,

    1. Tivo can be used on any platform (not just Sky).

    2. Tivo has a superior EPG which allows customisation eg.You can cut out all the crap channels that you don't subscribe, meaning you don't have plough through them all, trying to find what you want.The main strengths of this EPG over Sky+

    Season passes(that don't vanish)
    Wishlists that are even better.
    Much better design.

    3. And the biggest advantage over Sky +, Tivo has a lifetime subscription of £199 instead of £120 every year for life!!! with Sky.
     
  18. NicolasB

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    That's a fair summary, although the unwary should note that a Tivo "lifetime" subscription is for the lifetime of the machine, not the owner.

    I think the biggest advantage is the software. Tivo lets you do things like finding the next time a program that you have just missed is repeated, and is generally much more sophisiticated than the Sky+ user interface.

    One other thing that you might consider an advantage is that Tivo has variable recording quality. At maximum quality you can only fit 10 hours of programs on the standard disk (as compared with 20 for Sky+) but if you turn the quality level down to the minimum (at least as good as VHS, I am told) that goes up to 40 hours. With either machine it is relatively easy to change the hard disk for a larger one (and invalidate your warranty!) but I can imagine that having the opportunity to record something at a low bit-rate because you're in a hurry and the disk is almost full would be helpful.
     
  19. Azrikam

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    I'm not much of a hardware guy, but I found it very easy to replace my original TiVo HD with a 120 GB one after I had owned it for just a few weeks. The TiVo will support (roughly) 2 120 GB drives, which should be enough for even the more hardcore TV junkies.

    Variable recording quality is good, even though I don't use it a lot. But for talking head stuff (Have I Got News for You, nightly News, etc), there's no real reason to record in high quality, so you can save your space for stuff that benefits from good quality picture. (use your imagination ;) )

    As for the EPG, I haven't used Sky+, but the amount of things that TiVo does is just staggering. I've been using mine for a year, and I haven't thought of anything that it's missing. (and I'm very picky) For example, when you create a season pass, you can organize them in a hierarchy, so that the TiVo knows which one to choose in case of conflicts. You can also select how many episodes of each season pass to keep. For example, if you recorded the news, you probably wouldn't want 2 weeks of news programmes waiting for you when you got back from vacation, so you set it to 1, and TiVo keeps just the most recent broadcast of that program. It has a 28-day rule that means TiVo won't try to record the exact same programme again until 28 days have passed. (unless you specifically ask for it) This means you can set season passes to programmes that are repeated numerous times without ending up with 6 versions of the same episode by the end of the day. This is great for adding the same programme from the original channel and one of the +1 hour channels. TiVo handles the conflicts and records only one of them.

    Like I said, I'm not sure how much of this Sky+ does, but I could literally go on all day about the TiVo interface. It's as close to perfect as I've seen in a piece of consumer electronics. :smashin:

    I would like Dolby sound and better picture quality though. :)
     
  20. xyznicko

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    Yes view upcoming episodes is a great feature.

    One other advantage is that Tivo has radio listings for some of the mainstream channels BBC, Virgin, classic fm etc. so recording radio is almost as easy as TV(and select low bit rate so you don't use too much space).

    One other thing regarding box office events Tivo lets you keep them as long as you want to, the Sky + I believe deletes them whether you want to, or not to protect the movie studios.
     
  21. phelings

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    SKY+ can record hundreds of hours of radio.
    The "box office" point is interesting.You are right when you say SKY+ has a time limit.But surely Tivo would be treated as a vcr by SBO and copy protection would prevent it from recording.
    Now that Tivo production has ended,what guarantee is their that the EPG will continue-or can it operate completely independent of a broadcaster?
     
  22. xyznicko

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    To answer your points:

    Don't you have to program radio recordings manually on SKY Plus? with Tivo You have some season passes and the programme names are listed instead of just a manual record entry.

    Tivo is not affected by copy protection, the only time it matters is if you want to transfer your protected recording to a VCR.

    Thomson have ceased to make their UK model Tivo, but Tivo inc. hasn't ceased or Tribune who provide the listings, of cause users are still paying for this service(or those monthy payers are).

    The EPG doesn't have anything to do with any broadcasters it is updated as part of the Tivo service, season passes don't rely on Individual broadcasters like Sky's serial links, Tivo takes responsibility for them ( like Sky should if your paying for their service)
     
  23. phelings

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    It sounds as if a combination of the 2 would be good.But despite some shortcomings I would still go for SKY+ for the one box solution and the superior picture.
     
  24. xyznicko

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    Like DirecTivo in the USA, it's just what your thinking of Dual Tuners, records bit stream with Tivos software integrated into the Directv satellite service.

    I agree that's what we want, Give it to me NOW!!
     
  25. Stuart Wright

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    Without doubt the biggest advantage of TiVo for me is that you can rewind to see the last few minutes again. As far as I'm aware this feature isn't available on Sky+.
    Many times the kids have distracted me. No problem. Just rewind to see the bit I missed. Then FF to catch up during the ad breaks.
     
  26. phelings

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    Incorrect.Instand rewind of up to 1 hour is a standard feature on SKY+.Within weeks,SKY+ will be able to record 2 separate satellite channels simultaneously.With Tivo,you cannot even record one and watch another-a serious limitation.What if your Sunday soccer clashes with another show?
     
  27. NicolasB

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    Sky+ has had instant rewind for quite a while now, although it didn't when it first came out.

    They've also been promising us the ability to record two programs at once for quite some time now. Rumour has it that it may finally materialise this month.
     

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