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Old 05-23-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
terrie
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Default DVR help...

Can anyone tell me about DVRs? I know what they do but what I'm confused about is about Tivo and other services like Tivo--HomeRun for example. From what (little) I understand, with Tivo/others you buy the device and then you have to pay a monthly fee. Is that correct?

Are there DVRs that you just buy the DVR device and there are no other fees? Do all DVRs accept cable cards?

I don't actually want a DVR but I've been told by Verizon FiOS (fiber optic subscription tv service here in the US) techs that FiOS set top boxes do not support the digital closed caption options 2-6--only option "1" is supported and it's basically a bad imitation of the old analog/SD tv closed captions and the captions are essentially unreadable. The FiOS techs are suggesting I get a DVR device like Tivo which does support options 2-6 and use a FiOS cable card. Comcast's set top boxes (with or without a dvr) support option 1 and options 2-6--I use option "3" most of the time--so it's not a technical issue but a decision made by Verizon not to support the other digital close caption options.

It seems to me to be quite unfair that to access the other digital closed caption options--to get readable closed captions--I have to buy a Tivo/other device, pay for Tivo/other service and pay for FiOS tv service so I'm trying to find out if I've misunderstood how all this works.

Thanks...

Terrie

PS: What started this is that Comcast increased my monthly charge and since I have FiOS for broadband and phone, if I were to add tv, I could be a better monthly rate--there is no way I'd use Comcast for broadband and phone.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:03 AM   #2
BobRoosth
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I have had TiVo for over 10 years, but my TV comes via an antenna. I never watch anything live, for a variety of reasons.

Most reviewers (including me) find it to have the best user interface of all the DVRs. At one time the cable companies licensed TiVo's software, but did not want to continue paying the fees.

The monthly charge is for programming information that is downloaded either via a telephone connection or the internet. TiVo's include a way to transfer recorded programs to your computer for playback elsewhere.

As for FIOS's caption limitation: is there any recourse to a government regulator that might change their minds?
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:54 PM   #3
terrie
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bobroosth: As for FIOS's caption limitation: is there any recourse to a government regulator that might change their minds?
I am seriously considering filing a closed caption FCC complaint against Verizon because this is not a question of something being technologically impossible given that Comcast rebranded Motorola stb's do display closed captions when the digital closed caption options 2-6 are chosen so it's a choice that Verizon has made to not implement the options. An FCC complaint tends to light a fire under corporate butts...

I discovered after I posted that if you use a cablecard, then you don't get access to the On Demand programming and I watch a lot of stuff via On Demand. I can't get OTA broadcasts at all--condos are not conducive to antennas and the interior wall studs in our condo complex are metal rather than wood which tends to make for poor reception...

Thanks!

Terrie
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie View Post
I am seriously considering filing a closed caption FCC complaint...
Sounds like a good idea.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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bobroosth: Sounds like a good idea.
I'll probably do it sometime next week...

In thinking about this, I've decided that it's ridiculous to buy a Tivo, pay Tivo's monthly charge (never mind their lifetime price) when the only reason is to get readable closed captions because I have no interest at all in dvr'ing anything, watching movies via Netflix or Amazon (both of which have their own closed captioning issues) particularly when I started all of this looking for a way to reduce costs. So I've just posted at dslreport's Verizon Direct forum--the techs there have been really helpful--that I'll probably end up switching to Comcast broadband (oh gag!) to create a doubleplay at a lower cost...

Thanks...

Terrie
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:10 PM   #6
don Arnoldy
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You might also want to talk to Dish Network...they are pushing their "Hopper" DVR...I was very happy with their price and service for years.

   
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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don: You might also want to talk to Dish Network...they are pushing their "Hopper" DVR...I was very happy with their price and service for years.
I have given a passing thought to Dish (and DirecTV) and while one of my neighbors had their service--can't remember which one--and I think was pleased with it, I never get past the thinking stage because living in a 4 story (garden style) condo complex with my building backing on to woods doesn't lend itself to the most flexible of placement options for the dish.

That said, it's been quite a while since I looked into what they had to offer so maybe it's time to do a little swing over to their websites to check things out...

Thanks...

Terrie
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:40 AM   #8
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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We are on Brighthouse and I've seen them say about some new bandwidth sharing system that it won't work with cable cards and that you have to have a set-top box ....

But since we have one I've not really checked to see what it means.

Gadgets & Gear Community on CompuServe is also a great place for stuff like this

   
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:23 PM   #9
terrie
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hugh: We are on Brighthouse and I've seen them say about some new bandwidth sharing system that it won't work with cable cards and that you have to have a set-top box
It's Verizon techs who have recommended using a cablecard but, for me, the problem with using a cablecard is that you can't access On Demand which is something I use a lot so I have discussed with the Verizon techs using an stb with the TiVo device and apparently they are not mutually exclusive. The problem is that they can't tell me if the stb would override the closed captioning options on the TiVo device or just function as a pass-through.

I had pretty much decided that the TiVo approach was not viable for me and told the Verizon techs that I wasn't going to pursue it but...I'm such a nerd that I've registered at the tivocommunity forums and have posted a query about FiOS and TiVo asking if someone who has a TiVo with a FiOS cablecard would check to see if all the TiVo's digital closed captioning options do work and if anyone has a TiVo with a FiOS stb to check also.

I'll let you know what answers I get and I'll check out the cserve forum...thanks for the link...

Terrie
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:40 AM   #10
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Have you asked the Tivo people ?

Anyway look forward to seeing you on G&G, as a reader since I don't know anything about it, but there's some very experienced users there.

   
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