View Full Version : OK..I'm Ready To Do It...DirecTiVo Comparison

02-13-2002, 12:20 PM
Hi All:

I have done my research on this forum and others and I'm ready to make the first step and purchase a DirecTiVo. I currently have been emulating with SLE and my original Black Sunday H card with original bin for about a year now. I want to continue emulating but also use DirecTiVo. I've never seen a TiVo, but everyone raves about it and I'm sure it's great.

So I need to buy one. I also want to hack TiVo, because I don't want any phone lines connected so that Dave can get any information on my viewing. I'm am computer-literate, but far from being a programmer geek. I used to know basic Unix fairly well ( 10 years ago), but never used Linux.

In determining which unit to buy, I have the following questions:

1. Hacking Ease. All the units seem to have very similar technical specifications. Is one going to be easier for a novice to hack and get going than others? It seems there's a preference here for the Sony. Or will they all be the exact same? Also, my emulator board goes in the back of my current IRD. Is card access slot in the back of all these units?

2. Features. Are the features all gong to be the same? It is my understanding that I would be able to get picture-in-picture with the Sony and not the others. Will I need to use both LNBs from my satellite dish on the unit to get dual capabilities? I really don't care about the remote itself as I will program the features I need into my universal Pronto. Anything else?

3. Price and Availability. Obviously, I'm going to want a unit with no contract to TiVo or Dave. My first instinct is to buy on EBay. I have noticed Sony and Phillips units there, but not many Hughes. It seems the price to expect to pay would be $300-$400 with a HU card. (Paypal should protect my credit card info from Dave, right?.) Any other suggestions or places I should consider buying from?

4. Disk Drives. It appears the Sony has one disk drive and the Phillips has two drives for 35 hours. There's a conservative part of me that wants to just stash these drives and buy another one or two to use in case I screw up. Not sure yet how difficult the backup procedure is. Don't really think I'll need that many hours - 35 seems a lot to me although I'm sure they'll probably go quick. Any advice on how I should handle this issue?

I am currently leaning to the Phillips if for no other reason than its black casing. All my other stacked equipment is black and it is more what I'm looking for cosmetically.

Sorry for all the questions, but your help will be greatly appreciated. I'm nervous about the complexity of doing this - and dreading it to some degree. I'm sure I'll learn some things, but be exasperated a few times along the way. Any reduction of that stress by getting as much info up front as possible will help.



02-13-2002, 12:35 PM
1)All the directivo units are identical hardware wise, just a different exterior, and in the case of the sony, a different remote.

2) the units are identical except that the sony can control sony vcrs via the serial port. of course, there is a script on AVS that you can use to enable that feature on the other dtivo units (but still only works on a sony vcr).

3) price and availablility varies with luck, local help, and how flexible you are. if you get a hughes/philips and cash & carry, then you can be out the door ~$100. if you subscribe, then it will be a bit more. many online places will give you a dtivo free if you are a new subscriber, and $80 for returning customers. The only reason to get the sony is for looks.

4)Its somewhat random as to whether you get one drive or two. If you are planning on using 25xtreme or T60xtreme, then it only matters that you will have a few hours less if you start with a dual unit and re-use the 30gb drive.

also, remember that since hardware is identical, you can load a sony image on a philips and vice versa. you need the appropriate remote for your image, but otherwise its all the same.

02-13-2002, 03:25 PM
Since you are EMU'ing, keep in mind a DTivo acts like a 5th generation box.

02-13-2002, 04:20 PM
Hi BubbleLamp:

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I know that DirecTiVo is a 5th generation box and I'm currently running on a 3rd, I think. (Sony SAT-A3) However, I'm not sure what this entails in terms of doing things differently than I already do. It's my understanding that I can use my original H CAM ID but I have to add the ZKT and I can do this very simply with BasicH. So, it's a 5-10 minutes operation to make my .cor 5th generation compatible.

Is this correct?

Also, do you know if the boxes have the access card slot on the front or back? (I'm really hoping they're on the back.)



02-13-2002, 04:28 PM
Well we don't really get into DTV details here, the mods have asked users to refrain from it. The answers you seek can be found on many sites dedicated to that hobby.

The slot is on the back.