Tivo xl4 Vs. HTPC

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Tivo xl4 Vs. HTPC

Postposted on Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:57 pm

I am hoping I can get a little advice from people more knowledgeable then me.
For the past two years I have had a tivo with rcn but on Thursday I am finally getting fios which of course does not offer tivo. So that leaves me with two choices the xl4 or build an htpc. I really like the look of wmc, dont hate tivo but it comes down to cost and what I am getting for that price. I can get a new xl4 on ebay for about $350 , the max I could spend on an htpc would be about $450 or $500. I am sure I could build a fine pc for that price but I need a tuner that takes a cable card so that (I believe) leaves me with Ceton or SiliconDust for $200 so I am down to $300. I recently built a desktop for over $1500 with an i5-2500k which would be more then enough but it is often used while someone is watching tv. Then there is reliability. I have read many reviews of people having problems with the tuners, I have never had a problem with my tivo. I wouldn't want to spend $500 and end up with a headache. So i guess it boils down to three questions. 1. Could I build a quality htpc for $300? 2. If anyone has used either device how reliable are they? 3. If you have used tivo and WMC is the extra $150 + worth it? I know there is a service fee ($12) but I only have about $500 available right now.
Thanks for your help.
thebeast1190
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Re: Tivo xl4 Vs. HTPC

Postposted on Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:51 pm

Had a Series 2 TiVo and bought a Premiere XL dual-tuner when Comcast forced me into upgrading to all-digital cable. Stick with the TiVo. Once you've got the CableCard properly registered life is good and no one has yet beat the TiVo UI. If you find a bit more dosh you can go for the 4-tuner (2 CableCard) version. The only issues I've ever had have been caused by the mice gnawing on the RG-6 in the cellar. Someday I'll extend Ethernet to that corner of the house but the 802.11n adapter is working just fine for now.
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Re: Tivo xl4 Vs. HTPC

Postposted on Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:03 pm

thebeast1190 wrote:I am hoping I can get a little advice from people more knowledgeable then me.
For the past two years I have had a tivo with rcn but on Thursday I am finally getting fios which of course does not offer tivo. So that leaves me with two choices the xl4 or build an htpc. I really like the look of wmc, dont hate tivo but it comes down to cost and what I am getting for that price. I can get a new xl4 on ebay for about $350 , the max I could spend on an htpc would be about $450 or $500. I am sure I could build a fine pc for that price but I need a tuner that takes a cable card so that (I believe) leaves me with Ceton or SiliconDust for $200 so I am down to $300. I recently built a desktop for over $1500 with an i5-2500k which would be more then enough but it is often used while someone is watching tv. Then there is reliability. I have read many reviews of people having problems with the tuners, I have never had a problem with my tivo. I wouldn't want to spend $500 and end up with a headache. So i guess it boils down to three questions. 1. Could I build a quality htpc for $300? 2. If anyone has used either device how reliable are they? 3. If you have used tivo and WMC is the extra $150 + worth it? I know there is a service fee ($12) but I only have about $500 available right now.
Thanks for your help.



HTPC + Ceton infiniTV 4 Pci-e. Hands down. HTPC is easier to expand storage. Watching MKV movies, youtube, netflix...., if desired. I have 8 tuners on my htpc/server and also 2 Tivo premieres (lifetime service fees and custom expanded storage to 2TB each) for my parents. My htpc is as stable as the TIVos but much more modular and no service fees. I hope that helps.
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Re: Tivo xl4 Vs. HTPC

Postposted on Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:24 am

I tried Windows Media Center a year or so ago. Hated it. Unless you run something else (ever tried Myth TV, but didn't need to since I went Roku instead), I would advise sticking with Tivo. They make great stuff.
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Re: Tivo xl4 Vs. HTPC

Postposted on Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:01 pm

thebeast1190 wrote:I am hoping I can get a little advice from people more knowledgeable then me.
For the past two years I have had a tivo with rcn but on Thursday I am finally getting fios which of course does not offer tivo. So that leaves me with two choices the xl4 or build an htpc. I really like the look of wmc, dont hate tivo but it comes down to cost and what I am getting for that price. I can get a new xl4 on ebay for about $350 , the max I could spend on an htpc would be about $450 or $500. I am sure I could build a fine pc for that price but I need a tuner that takes a cable card so that (I believe) leaves me with Ceton or SiliconDust for $200 so I am down to $300. I recently built a desktop for over $1500 with an i5-2500k which would be more then enough but it is often used while someone is watching tv. Then there is reliability. I have read many reviews of people having problems with the tuners, I have never had a problem with my tivo. I wouldn't want to spend $500 and end up with a headache. So i guess it boils down to three questions. 1. Could I build a quality htpc for $300? 2. If anyone has used either device how reliable are they? 3. If you have used tivo and WMC is the extra $150 + worth it? I know there is a service fee ($12) but I only have about $500 available right now.
Thanks for your help.


You can check out my HTPC post (asking almost the same questions), but I ended up with a final bill of about $300 if you don't need the the Blu-ray player and the Kinect remote that I'm playing with.

I picked up the Ceton InifiTV4, which I had to a difficult time getting to work with Comcast, until they swapped the cablecard provisioning from Tivo to Generic device.

I've been playing around with a couple options, like XMBC and PLeX instead of WMC, but WMC works right now, and that trumps everything with my ultra-non techie in-laws in town..
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Re: Tivo xl4 Vs. HTPC

Postposted on Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:09 pm

The tricky part is getting an operating system within that budget (if you want a WMC). If you went with Linux it would be quite easily doable: Case (w/PSU) $50, CPU $75, Mobo $75, RAM $50, HDD $100, Input devices $25. I'd skip the optical and install the OS from flash drive. You could go even cheaper if you wanted, but I don't see you shaving off $90+ for a Windows license.

A 1 TB hdd is probably on the menu, but budget cpu offerings from AMD or Intel (maybe 2.5 Ghz dual-core) with a Micro-ATX motherboard and 4 GB of RAM would do the trick quite nicely.
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Re: Tivo xl4 Vs. HTPC

Postposted on Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:55 pm

If you happen to live near a Microcenter they have refurbished gateway/acer i3 2120 mid towers for 329$ with 6gb 1333 ram and a 1tb hd. It had a h67 chipset with 2 pci2 1x slots and a 16x slot i have a 7750 in.there is also room for another HD. BTW it plays diablo3 fine at 1080p.....so does my other 229$ refurbished gateway slim tower with a 6570 low profile card clocked to 6670 speeds since its the same chip. I am pretty sure i am selling the slim tower but not with the i3 2125 cpu, the original g530 is celeron going back in and that was no slouch...the 2125 cpu is going in my gaming/ server tower and i am building a new z77 home for my 2600k.
I just had to replace my dell zino HDs they were getting alot sluggish with 1.5ghz am2 3250e 1500mhz x2 cpus in them.

But i do not use a cable card in my HTPCs, just my gaming tower as my file server for 1080 and 720p MKV's etc.
2600k HT on@4705mhz 8gb Cas9 1600 mem 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI @1320 mhz core and 2003 mhz mem,mounted in CM HAF922 with a TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's 2xi3 2120 3.3ghz dual core,1xasus LP HD6570 1xHIS hd7750@1150core1325mem,55"PanyVT30
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Re: Tivo xl4 Vs. HTPC

Postposted on Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:55 pm

Jason181 wrote:If you went with Linux it would be quite easily doable


With Cablecard, Linux would be an option only if the OP's FIOS provider doesn't set any copyright-protection flags.

If the OP's FIOS provider DOES set copyright-protection flags, WMC is the only game in town on a PC.
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