The big conversion (HD and equipment)

So, after my son managed to get a hold of and put a high powered magnet against my aging Panasonic 27" SD television that was probably old when I bought it five years ago, I decided to go HD. I didn't splurge for anything to big, but ended up with a Samsung 30" HD Flat Tube. See here

If this was a terrible buying decision, do me the courtesy of not telling me.

But, here's the question. Aside from my 360, everything I own is set up for SD. I have a Sony stereo receiver that everything runs through (no component inputs), and a Series 2 Tivo. While DirectTV is planning to bring out my HD equipment (new receiver and dish) on Friday, will they be able to set up my TV so that I get an HD signal on live channels without completely bypassing my TiVo and making it useless? I realize TiVo doesn't support HD recording, but will that mean that by using the TiVo I can't watch any HD?

Thoughts on the kind of cables and setup I will need to make this work?

First of all, congrats! We love our Samsung HD:)

Once we got the HD equipment from our cable company, we had to remove our series 2 Tivo from the chain, as it only passed through standard def. That, and there is no component out on the Tivo, so running a cable box > tivo > tv chain was out of the question.

-Fan

I hope you beat your son silly for that. Then beat yourself silly for leaving a high-powered magnet around.

See, I need to point my parents to this thread to show them I could have done far worse to their TV than just playing with the tint and contrast controls.

Once we got the HD equipment from our cable company, we had to remove our series 2 Tivo from the chain, as it only passed through standard def. That, and there is no component out on the Tivo, so running a cable box > tivo > tv chain was out of the question.

So, you got rid of the DVR altogether? Ouch, but I'm addicted.

Shouldn't this be in the tech forum

Elysium wrote:

So, you got rid of the DVR altogether? Ouch, but I'm addicted.

Heh..no...we're addicted too (before HD, we were a 2 Tivo family). We rent the cable company's HD DVR for 5 bucks a month. The interface is crap (it's *really* slow), but it records in HD. Once Tivo comes out with an HD standalone unit, I'm all over it.

Dr.Ghastly wrote:

Shouldn't this be in the tech forum ;)

Don't anger the GWJ gods fool! Remember what happened last time? Butt rubs from Certis for everyone is what happened!

Elysium wrote:

So, you got rid of the DVR altogether? Ouch, but I'm addicted.

You can probably get DVR with the HD cable box as an option. It isn't as good as Tivo, but it's something.

KrazyTacoFO wrote:
Dr.Ghastly wrote:

Shouldn't this be in the tech forum ;)

Don't anger the GWJ gods fool! Remember what happened last time? Butt rubs from Certis for everyone!

Yeah, but, I'm just evil like that.

Elysium wrote:

While DirectTV is planning to bring out my HD equipment (new receiver and dish) on Friday, will they be able to set up my TV so that I get an HD signal on live channels without completely bypassing my TiVo and making it useless?

Thoughts on the kind of cables and setup I will need to make this work?

Your dish, if it's anything like mine, should let you split off as many as four cables off the dish. So you could have one going to your HD receiver, which plugs into HDMI or whatever. Then you could have separate cables going to the TiVo, and plug that in through an S-Video input or something, and run the boxes in parallel. Then you just flip between inputs on the TV.

My HD CRT has an SD TiVo plugged into S-Video, and my 360 plugged into component input for HD.

KrazyTacoFO wrote:

Don't anger the GWJ gods fool! Remember what happened last time? Butt rubs from Certis for everyone!

I was wondering when we'd start hearing about your E3 experiences, KT.

Shouldn't this be in the tech forum

What're you talking about?! It's been here the whole time. The whoooole tiiiime.

Your dish, if it's anything like mine, should let you split off as many as four cables off the dish. So you could have one going to your HD receiver, which plugs into HDMI or whatever. Then you could have separate cables going to the TiVo, and plug that in through an S-Video input or something, and run the boxes in parallel. Then you just flip between inputs on the TV.

My head asplode!

I assume the moment you decide to pause your broadcast you'd have to switch to the S-Video signal, because I assume the component signal is always broadcasting live. Also, I'd assume that any HD channels won't be recorded or decoded by the TiVo?

Once Tivo comes out with an HD standalone unit, I'm all over it.

TiVo has announced a stand alone HD unit to be made available this year.

LobsterMobster wrote:

I hope you beat your son silly for that. Then beat yourself silly for leaving a high-powered magnet around.

Generally we don't go in for beating 2-year-olds at our house. So we just beat ourselves silly for leaving a magnet where he could get his little mitts on it.

Elysium wrote:

I assume the moment you decide to pause your broadcast you'd have to switch to the S-Video signal, because I assume the component signal is always broadcasting live. Also, I'd assume that any HD channels won't be recorded or decoded by the TiVo?

Your HD tuner and your TiVo would be completely separate. Think of them as two completely different TVs, just on the same display that you toggle back and forth between. Indeed, what you'd be doing is exactly what you'd do to watch DirecTV on a secondary TV, but instead of hooking the second box to a different TV, you're putting it on the same one and just flipping between the different inputs at will.

Yes, if you're watching on the HD box and you get the urge to pause, you'll have to switch over to the crappy ol' SD box. So that convenience will be gone (when watching the HD box). But, at the very least, you can still set the TiVo to record shows, and flip over to watch them in glorious SD.

TiVo has announced a stand alone HD unit to be made available this year.

Yeah, but if it's not combined with a DirecTV tuner in the same box, you don't want it. Because you have to be able to decode the encrypted DirecTV signal. That's why the DirecTivo boxes were so important, because standalone TiVos were useless with DirecTV. You could only record an analog output from the DirecTV receiver, and that's not what you want.

The future for DirecTV and DVR, however, is Windows Media Center. WMC now supports DirecTV, so it can read the encrypted signal and record the digital feeds. That is exactly what I am putting my money into when I have enough to move my DirecTV to HD. If I were in your position, I would look long and hard into this option. And, after all, this functionality is why the "DirecTV blade" has been long rumored for the Xbox 360. I can imagine 360s being updated to function with Windows Media Center boxes that are connected to DirecTV receivers.

You may be aware that I'm no Microsoft fanboy but I cheered when I read the news about Microsoft making a deal with DirecTV to add DTV to Windows Media Center. TiVo is a dead-end product with DirecTV. My DirecTivo will never see another software update from DirecTV - just continued support for the program guide, nothing more. I think the only legitimate DVR options for DirecTV are the new DVRs that DirecTV sells themselves, or Windows Media Center for much more complete functionality.

You can also get a DirecTV HD DVR (a combination HD-Tivo and HD DirecTV receiver in one), but bend over -- it's $500. I think they're doing an online rebate of $100 right now. I used to be a DirecTV customer, but the cable company offers a HD DVR (the crappy one everyone else is talking about) for like ten bucks a month. Ten bucks a month beats the hell out of paying $500 out-of-pocket and then having to pay extra for HD programming. I get a sales call from DirecTV every month or so, asking me to come back as a customer. I tell them the same thing every time: get that HD DVR below 200 bucks, and we'll talk. Until then, you're losing money to the *awful* cable company. Awful. Seriously Awful.

I hate my local cable company with a passion. A fiery burning passion that would melt seventeen different kinds of metal. I have the abyssmal Mediacom, a cable company only in the most nebulous theory and not in practice. I'm not willing to go cralwing back to them. Besides, I do loves me the idea of NFL Ticket this fall.

I have cancelled my HD DirectTV installation for now though. They wanted a long term commitment, and the flipping back and forth for recording made my wife make angry faces, and nothing motivates me to stop what I'm doing like the angry face. I don't entirely understand the WMC thing, not how the programs would be recorded and broadcast back to the TV, not how that would be set up, not how my 360 would fit into it all, nothing, but hopefully as it becomes more of a possibility I'll get it.

And, I'm just not ready to drop $500. Certainly not until they have more HD programming. So, I have a TV that has the opportunity to grow as options become available, but for now I'll save my money and live with SD.

Elysium wrote:

I don't entirely understand the WMC thing, not how the programs would be recorded and broadcast back to the TV

HD video capture card.

not how that would be set up

Setup.exe! (kidding - this is the one big unknown for me, but I've heard WMC isn't too tough)

not how my 360 would fit into it all

Streaming recorded content over the network (like, if your 360 were on a different TV than the WMC box is hooked up to)

And, I'm just not ready to drop $500. Certainly not until they have more HD programming. So, I have a TV that has the opportunity to grow as options become available, but for now I'll save my money and live with SD.

Same boat I'm in. I wanted HD now for the 360, and that's what it's doing. HD Fight Night and Oblivion and stuff. I really badly want NFL games in HD, but I'll have to hold off for a little longer.