In the last 4 years, up to this day, the cable companies have made a
big deal about a multiroom DVR.
Why? I"ve had multi-room VR since 1984 -- would have had it earlier
if I'd had a VCR earlier -- when there was only VCR, and it plays in 7
rooms, plus my attic or porch if I want, not just 3 or 4 rooms like
they advertise. And it cost about 40 dollars in parts. With a
fancy signal amplifier and using only home runs, I guess parts could
cost 150. Either way, no monthly charge.
Just in the last month, from Verizon, and advertised on TV "The Home
Media DVR service is an upgrade to the FiOS TV DVR and provides the
multi-room DVR feature that is an excellent choice for people who have
more than one TV in their home. With Home Media DVR, you can watch a
program recorded on your DVR from other TV sets in your home that are
connected to a regular (non-DVR) set-top box. Requires one or more
Verizon-provided set-top boxes that are connected to TVs in other
rooms in your home."
2009 This one is from a columnist at ZDNet, Sean Portnoy, who nowhere
mentions that you can do this yourself, or hire a guy for an afternoon
to do it. I guess he doesn't know or woudln't get press-releases if
he didn't back up their marketing.
"Time Warner Cable to offer multi-room DVRs.... With competition from
satellite and fiber-optic TV competitors coming from one side, and the
Internet from the other, the cable industry needs to deliver new
products to keep their subscribers from defecting to the
alternatives." "Multi-room DVR capabilities are definitely at the top
of many cable customers’ wish lists, as having a recorded show
tethered to just one TV is an inconvenience for us lazy viewers who
may want to watch something recorded downstairs in their bedroom
instead." "Fellow set-top box provider Echostar will deliver a
slightly different Tru2way unit later this year" "Of course, these
next-gen services will cost subscribers more in monthly fees, just as
DVR and HD programming often do."
2006 " Verizon adds multiroom DVR The new multiroom DVR, made by
Motorola, lets customers view recorded programs on up to three
televisions at once."
They are using media services. My direct tv dvr shows up on my other
devices as a media server. It a lot more sophisicated than simply
cabling the output of a recorder to another room. You can browse and
play the content on the other equipment in your house. Using the
remote controls of the device you are viewing from. I think some of
the regular receivers can share content from the dvr as well as other
dvrs. It also expands your stored capacity as each dvr can record
different shows yet they all can be viewed from anywhere.
Unfrtunately while they are using standard media services, just like
'sharing' from windows media player on your pc, the format is only
recognized by their devices. Since they use standard formats for
video I can only assume that they intentionally defined the
properties as a format no one else understood. That's unfortunate
because if they served it identified as mpg3 or 4 then other devices
like pc's etc could also play the content. I can "browse" the
content of my direct tv dvr from my ps3. But I can't play any of it.
Because the dvr is telling the ps3 it's a format that the ps3 does not
For me, the appeal is that I can record 4 programs at the same time
with 2 boxes-- then watch any of the 4 wherever I want.
I'm on a TimeWarner system, and though the DVR's have the hardware- TW
hasn't implemented it yet.
Another benefit might be if my son or I happen to record something on
one TV- we can watch it on another. I don't have to go to his lair
to see his show- and he doesn't have to join the world to see mine.
If you're making the argument that a VCR is just as good as a DVR-
then I disagree with that whole premise entirely. The DVR wins hands
down on picture quality and navigability.
You have to use one to appreciate the difference. With a VCR you are
constrained to doing one thing at one time with manual intervention
required to change the tape. A DVR records onto a hard drive and can
record multiple programs and playback multiple programs at the same time
without any need to load or monitor a tape. Also it catalogs what it
recorded and since a hard drive can almost instantly seek to a location
you simply need to review what is in the catalog and press play without
having to sort through a stack of tapes and then needing to advance the
tape to the start point.
I think his point was not about DVR relative to VCR, but getting multi-
room capability with either. I think he's proposing that you can
extend one of either device to other rooms via an amp and cable.
But as James pointed out, the Verizon and similar offerings are a lot
more sophisiticated than that. If you do it mm's way, you have to
start the movie in the main room and then while it's playing on that
TV, you can also see the same recording simultaneously on other TVs.
However, you can't control it, start, stop it, back it up, choose
another recording, etc, from the other rooms and you're limited to
the one recording playing everywhere.
My understanding of the Verizon product, you could be watching a live
or recorded show on the one TV and then watch different recorded
program in any of several other rooms that are equipped with the
On Wed, 1 Dec 2010 07:31:25 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I barely use my VCR anymore, but when I started having remote tvs in
1984 and other-room remote control later, there were no digital
recorders, so I used VCRs for a starting point in time.
But their commercials and the webpages don't mention those other
things, so at the very least they are stupid commercials.
Like I say, the commercials don't mention any of this. When they had
the famous football player walking from room to room for months, he
didn't say a word about it.
And it's a separate thing. I've had that set of features too, going
back about 15 years, using a Leapfrog IR-45 transmitter and that clips
on in front of my remote control and has a receiver/IR-transmitter in
the room with the equipement. For some reason, the range has finally
decreased, even with new batteries, a new-in-box transmitter, and
new-in-box receiver** (this model that needs only one transmitter,
that sticks to the remote, is not sold retail anymore), so I'm
switching to the Powermid pyramid***, or a competitor, which requires
an IR-receiver/RF-transmitter in each room where one is, but it's 45
dollars for the first set, and 20 additional for each
IR/RF-transitter, a total of 105 dollars for 4 rooms, no rental
charges. They've sold these things for 15 years or more I think, and
yet Verizon and Time-Warner are crowing about their johnny-come-lately
**I have to test it with the new-in-box receiver, and with still
another new battery, but for some strange reason, I'm not optimistic.
***Which a poster in another group gave a hearty endorsement of.
That too, their advertising and those and other webpages don't
Here's a link to Verizon's description of their multi-room DVR
It's pretty clear there that you can watch and control different
recorded programs from 3 different rooms. I did have to do a bit
more looking for it than you'd expect. First few pages at Verizon
were not clear, so I agree they could do a better job of explaining
it. For some reason, they seem to like to focus on the fact that you
can start a program in one room, like the living room, then continue
to watch it in the bedroom.
On Dec 2, 9:06 am, email@example.com wrote:
Does the verizon one require network connections?
The direct tv solution uses your home network. I don't think it is
capable of using the coax connections. The splitters in satelite tv
have to be able to swap the different frequency bands from the dish on
each line to a reciever. I think that may make it difficult to
backfeed signal through them to another receiver.
On Thu, 2 Dec 2010 06:53:47 -0800 (PST), jamesgangnc
The Dish setup uses an RF remote for the second receiver in each box
and outputs all of the tuners you have on separate TV channels in the
RF out port. I have 2 boxes, 4 tuners and 2 are DVR capable. I combine
all of them on the "house" cable so I can see all 4 from any TV
(Channel 73, 75, 77 and 79). I also put my Replay TV (DVR) on channel
3 and a PC that plays MP3 music or any online content I can find comes
out on channel 71 using an agile modulator. A blue tooth pointing
device with a well placed transmitter gives me pretty good coverage to
control the PC.
On Dec 2, 11:42 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The newer set up with direct tv and verizon and maybe the att uverse
the receivers talk to each other and transfer the recorded content to
each other. Then the receiver that is "local" to you outputs it to
that tv/monitor. That way all your tv's can be hd with hdmi
connections to the receiver.
On Thu, 2 Dec 2010 11:31:49 -0800 (PST), jamesgangnc
I only have one HD TV and it is with the two receivers.
The rest are NTSC so the cable is fine for them.
All you need to run the other TVs is one of the RF remotes. Each
remote runs one of my in house channels. You can also switch over to
see what any of the other tuners is doing.
Here's why *I* would. I have them on different TV's now- but having
them both in one room has been tempting.
My boxes can record 2 show at once. There are more than 2 networks
competing for my eyes- so they all try to put their best stuff on at
the same time. Now they've begun to just run shows over for 1 minute
so it interferes with the next show on another network.
2 receivers let me record 4 shows at once while I watch something
I've noticed that. Not just networks, right. Independent stations do
the same thing, I think.
You clearly think they do it to interfere with the other channel. I
guess that must be it. Have you read anything about that?
On Fri, 3 Dec 2010 04:48:57 -0800 (PST), jamesgangnc
There are actually 4 there. The distribution is out on a single coax
through a distribution amp to the rest of the house. The IR
controller for one (the Dish DVR) is the one we use there. The IR
control for the other nonDVR box is linked to a ReplayTV that just
happens to be there (also outputting on the house cable). The two
secondary receivers (also outputting on the house cable) are RF
controlled and can be run from anywhere in the house so the physical
location is not important.
Exactly. When in bed at night I can watch a show I recorded last week with
the click of the remote. He has to bet his ass over to the vcr, put in the
correct tape, and every room of the house has the same show at the same
time. The sophistication of the DVR and remote scheduling is far superior
than any single VCR. Series recordings, quick ability to change, multiple
recording and playing, not to mention the quality of an HD picture.
The OP is either very naïve is is getting a chuckle from the clamoring of
the DVR crowd.
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