July 20, 2011

TiVo vs V+

In a couple of comments on a previous post Sibod and Streaky7 have pulled together an interesting TiVo vs. V+ comparison that I'm giving its own post as not all of this blog's readers go beyond the home page. Let me know what you think.
Sibod] Sure, Tivo is sluggish, yes, it has bugs, and yes, the Pin and lack fo Red Button on some channels is frustrating - however:
  1. Being able to set folders for shows and set it to keep only the last x number of watched shows is a godsend. Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Bob the builder, Baby Jake and other kids shows would take over my Tivo for the rest of my life if I didnt have about 5-10 episodes of each rather than everything!  Tivo 1, V+ 0
  2. The search function is significantly more pwoerful than the V+ - it is faster, and searches all content, and gives you options on how to get it. Missed the first episode of Torchwood? Fine - if it's not int he on demand, you can set a wish list item for it - just by searching for Torchwood, selecting the season and episode you want, read the episode guide and check if its wone you've not seen yet. Tivo will then wait for that show and record it when it's on, or pull from the on demand database and provide you with a link to it. Excellent! This has saved my bacon more than once. TiVo 2, V+ 0
  3. Suggestions. Yes, a lot of it is rubbish, but there's been stuff in there I would have otherwise missed. Movies, new episodes of shows I've not yet told Tivo I liked (big bang theory being one!) and the like. Tivo 3, V+ 0
  4. Undelete. In a bid mad episode of deleting I've once or twice deleted a new unwatched episode of something - and regretted it. Unlike V+, I can go to the recently deleted list and recover it and watch it. Tivo 4, V+ 0
  5. Discovery bar. Again, it's shown up stuff I would have missed. The new series of Torchwood showed up in there because I recorded Doctor Who - so I was able to set recordings for it. Tivo 5, V+ 0
  6. Speed. TIvo's biggest problem is that it can be sluggish, especially compared to the V+ - but it's not dramatic and it is more often than not faster. Searching TV on demand is significantly faster for example. Tivo 5, V+1
  7. Interface.Tivo has a far nicer, better laid out interface. V+ by contrast is just a bunch of text on a black background. There's no rich UI to draw you in, the menus are just hierarchical and not contextual like the TIvo. Having said that, it is consistent and things are reasonably logical. Tivo 6, V+1
  8. Rewind and conflicts.Simply put the V+ stank at clashes. It gave you the chance to resolve them yourself, but if you missed the banner it was a case of losing the show you wanted recorded and putting up with it. TIvo intelligently reschedules if it misses the show for whatever reason.Tivo 7, V+ 1
  9. Remote record. Simply put I love being able to set recordings over the internet or from my phone. Cant do that with V+, so that's an instant win.Tivo 8, v+1
  10. Reliability. By far the biggest issue I have with the Tivo is that if your internet connection is down, then yoru Tivo loses significant media - such as the discovery bar, TV Guide updates and programme info - and it errors and throws you out of certain options. A pain in the backside. V+ was far simpler than that and thus didn't suffer network outages.Tivo 8, V+ 2

 [and Streaky7 adds]
  1. Messages Whether it be to confirm a remote recording or for VM to send you a message like this morning's one about BBC iPlayer now on On Demand. Tivo 9, V+ 2
  2. Apps & Games Not for everyone I suppose but it is another feature over V+ Tivo 10, V+ 2
  3. Recording Hiccups. Nice little feature to see why a programme wasnt recorded. I have only looked at this a couple of times but it gave me great insight in to how TiVo works and helped me work better with it. Tivo 11, V+ 2
  4. Manage My Series Links. V+, as Sibod pointed out, is a set up once and go. If it records great, if it doesnt...damn! Tivo is better than this. And this feature works with you on getting a better performance out of your machine. Re-prioritise your links and wishlists so your favs are at the top. They should always then record and others, if there are clashes, will then be reset for another recording day. BEWARE THOUGH, THE MORE LINKS YOU HAVE THE LONGER THE RED DONUT WILL SIT THERE WHILST IT IS UPDATING YOUR PLANNED PROGRAMME LIST - I HAVE NEARLY 100 LINKS/WISHLISTS, IT TAKES ABOUT 5MINS FOR MINE TO UPDATE SO PICK YOUR MOMENT TO DO THIS Tivo 12, V+ 2
  5. Remote Buttons & Shortcuts. Whether it channel up/down, fast forward/rewind skipping features, thumbs up/down, easy delete, removing the mini screen in the menu section, these are all little tricks you cant do with a V+ remote. Tivo 13, V+ 2
  6. Choice of Hard Drive. Whether it be 500gb or 1tb, with Tivo you have significantly more space plus a choice of how much extra space you need. Tivo 14, V+ 2
  7. Tuners. Tivo has 3. Plus with Tivo you can actually record 3 things at once whilst you watch a recorded programme or I believe something from On Demand. And you can toggle through the tuners to catch up with things - good for sports! Tivo 15, V+ 2

I don't necessarily agree with everything said here, but it's a pretty impressive list. Doesn't mention some of the simpler things (e.g. how silent the TiVo is) or go into any detail on some of the negatives of TiVo (SD picture quality on some TVs) but thanks for the contribution chaps - nice work.



TurboTurker said...

Reminders (Change channel at start)
V+ 1

Channel display & Time display on the front of the box
V+ 1

Everything else TiVo

Lee68 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee68 said...

Oh, lets not forget No Red button on TIVO: V+ 1

And, picture quality: V+ 1

No additional £3pm (£36pa) fee: V+ 1

And that fact that Tivo was stated as being unreliable, I would have thought that that was the most important thing. If it's not reliable, then whats the point.

Have to say, still happy with my V+ box and don't see any time soon when I will be upgrading.

Lee68 said...

Oh - and another one, no transfer to external source whilst watching another program/channel: V+ 1

streaky_7 said...

@Lee & Turbo Turker
I hear what your saying (or read what your writing), but

-picture quality - dont have a real problem with esp as most of what i watch is HD anyhow

- I dont pay the £3 a month as VIP customer but i suppose if i did pay I would be a bit annoyed as updates are still needed to make it amazing!

- never needed to transfer to external source or can see why you would want to? unless its a space issue but you dont have that on TiVo due to larger capacitys.

- i dont see my TiVo as unrealiable. In fact its more reliable than my V+. I havent had to reboot and i dont miss programmes as if it does fail to record it records it another time.

- i dont know why you want the bright illuminous light on the front glaring in to your eyes when trying to watch the telly in the evenings - I have a watch and I know the channel im on as I put it on.

Red Button and reminders are defo +1's for V+ though!!

Richard said...

I'm with streaky_7 with this one...

-Not had reliability problems
-Not missed any shows being recorded. (you must understand what the definitions mean - I have stated this in other posts)
-Why transfer off??? Not ever needed to.
-£3 - ok I'm a lucky one too. But I would pay it.
-Ugggg hated that bright light on the front.

-OK reminders are a matter of preference, but coming from a TivoS1 to use a V+ I hated reminders and they were a backward step for me. I used a series link all the time. The trick is to keep 1 copy of a program and then you can go to it and watch it, pause it or whatever. There is never more than one copy stored so it doesn't hog your drive.
Then why need the reminder?? - OK live sport, but if the match is that important, I'll be watching it without needing a reminder!

I'll say it again for those who haven't notice my closing statements before...
Tivo is different, you need to think differently.
Stop think its a glorified VCR and then letting yourself being constrained by time. The specific time a program is on is no longer relevant with a Tivo.
You just need to know the name of the program and let the box do its tricks.

GJD said...

Tivo is slower than V+? You havbe to be kidding. If my V+ box is so slow that I scarcely switch it on these days.

sibod said...

Have to ask aslo why do people want reminders with Tivo?

Plenty of HDD space, and do what I do and just set the programme to record!

Live sport? As Richard said, yes, youd be there watching it anyway so you wouldnt need a reminder.

Very few scenarios one would need a reminder...

As for reliability - no, that's not a valid point as TV Drive/V+ was and has been very unreliable too - I often had mine locking up and rebooting unexpectedly. (Samsung model).
TiVo has been a smooth ride by comparison.

streaky_7 said...

All the arguing I have done for TiVo and VM over the last week and then they go and mess up by having an issue with series links as wishlists not working and taking too long to sort the issue! And now i hear it probably wont be till tomorrow until its fixed. Come on VM. Sort it out!

Richard said...

it's kinda strange, when we had series 1 tivo, we had 1 major release of f/w and that was it... the boxes just ran and people hacked them and if it crashed with our tinkering we just rebuilt the things... just like a PC.
The boxes just worked.
If there was meta data problems, that was some anonymous company in the background who we reached by just posting stuff on a forum to tell them about the problems... there was no-one to call and no-one to complain to.
But with that box, it was a simpler interface with less demands.

Now, everything is via VM... people are not sure whether the problems are HW, FW, metadata, backend systems, infrastructure, installation or what... but regardless we all blame VM because we buy the content from them and rent the h/w from them.

I do wonder where the problems they have lay and which part of the business is responsible. I sometimes wonder if it is part of the business that is at fault that doesn't care about tivo as it is not on 'their' priority list... shame on VM for letting business priorities be mixed across business units.

streaky_7 said...

It's strange you series 1 owners never had a major issue like this in 10yrs but VM manage it within a couple of months of rolling it out. But your right, is it a VM issue or one of the other companies working with them? Doubt we will ever know. But as you say, we pay VM for the money and get the content on the box via them so we have to complain to them. As long as they learn and learn fast. Better communication, put in preventative measures so it doesn't happen again (this issue or others) and, as someone mentioned on another post, don't roll out an update on a Friday........oh, and have access to all servers 7 days a week (I can't believe one of the tech guys on the forum said they couldnt get access to some servers as it was a Sunday!!!).

crooky said...

I'm really worried now, I have a TiVo install booked in for Thursday.

Is the picture quality really that bad? I'll be viewing it on a 55" samsung tv.

Any comments welcome

Nialli said...

the HD picture is on a par, if not superior, to the V+. The SD seems to vary depending on your TV and the channel bitrates. I don't think any SD will look great on a 55in screen but with the TiVo's capacity though you may find you watch far less SD than you did with a V+.
For me the SD picture is far better than some forum visitors have suggested and is fine.

mike_s2 said...

I have had a Tivo S1 for years, and can feed the RF signal to several TV in different rooms.

So this holds me back from buying the new box, I want to be able to feed the recorded programs to several TVs, but as I understand it this is no longer possible


Incognito said...

I am a huge TiVo fan. But I must say that TV on Demand is frutrating on TiVo. Can't they spead up the search? Or include the On Demand programs in the Search function?