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Thread: Alternative to 9th Tee

  1. #1
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    Alternative to 9th Tee

    Hi Guys,

    Was just wondering if there is an alternative to purchasing the turbo net cards from 9th Tee. They have huge shipping costs to Canada. Was wondering if anyone knew of any clones or other stores that may sell this product?

    ~Monkey

  2. #2
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    If you'll notice at the top of the forum pages, 9th Tee is a paid supporter of this site so it wouldn't really be kosher to recommend another vendor. Actually, 9th Tee is the only source for the original TurboNet adapter. There are some counterfeit knockoffs being sold but the design was stolen from Jafa, the developer of the Turbonet, Tivonet, and also, I believe, the Airnet adapters for the Tivo. Try looking on ebay for auctions. Turbonet adapters show up there all the time.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by captain_video
    If you'll notice at the top of the forum pages, 9th Tee is a paid supporter of this site so it wouldn't really be kosher to recommend another vendor. Actually, 9th Tee is the only source for the original TurboNet adapter. There are some counterfeit knockoffs being sold but the design was stolen from Jafa, the developer of the Turbonet, Tivonet, and also, I believe, the Airnet adapters for the Tivo. Try looking on ebay for auctions. Turbonet adapters show up there all the time.
    I was under the impression that this board, unlike my "other" hangout, does not censor legitimate posts that discuss competitors to their advertisers.

    Censoring spam or blatant unpaid advertising is one thing, but censoring product discussions/comparisons is quite another.

  4. #4
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    Thanks David,

    The responces I've seen for this have been all very hugely defensive to 9th tee. Now while I know the company has been very helpful to the community I'm just looking for more cost effective solution.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by monkeywork
    Thanks David,

    The responces I've seen for this have been all very hugely defensive to 9th tee. Now while I know the company has been very helpful to the community I'm just looking for more cost effective solution.
    What bugs me the most is how people think they need to kiss 9th Tee's ass all the time. They're obviously not providing TiVo hacks as a complimentary service or at cost - they're doing it because they are a business (duh). There's nothing wrong with that but we are the customers so they are here to serve us in exchange for our hard earned dollars.

    The knockoff / alleged clone of TurboNet was called X-Factor. I believe the vendor's site disappeared a while back but they might still be around somewhere - if you find them please post the URL. Obviously the Turbonet people do stand behind their product but if you are looking to save a few bucks in exchange for a higher risk purchase, I'd recommend shopping for an X-Factor or a used Turbonet/Tivonet on eBay.

  6. #6
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    The way I look at it is this..... I purchase from 9th Tee and that in turn generates revenue used to provide advertising on this site. Just one way of supporting this site. Plus, I have had nothing but excellent service from them.

  7. #7
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    Believe me, I'd be the last person to promote any type of censorship here. I just didn't think the idea of posting a site that sells cheap knockoffs of a Turbonet was in anyone's best interest since there's no guarantee that the product is of comparable quality to a Turbonet. That, plus the fact that's it's a ripoff of the original design and probably a blatant violation of copyrights held by jafa. I would imagine that the X-Factor site was shut down due to this reason. I'll bet jafa is sueing the pants off them, and rightly so. How would you feel if you developed something and marketed it only to have someone steal your design and undercut your price?

    I don't have anything against competition but this is a niche product for a limited market so the price isn't that far out of line, IMHO. I'd love to see them go for less but I don't have any idea what jafa and 9th Tee's costs are to produce them. I've dealt a lot with 9th Tee and I think they're the best aftermarket Tivo accessory site around. Their prices seem to be better than Weaknees, although they don't offer as many services. Mark McCorkle stands behind his products and has been a pleasure to deal with. If it weren't for 9th Tee, a lot of us wouldn't be enjoying the extra hard drive space in our SA Tivos or video extraction via Turbonet.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  8. #8
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    PTVupgrade.com also sells Turbonet cards bundled with upgrade kits.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by captain_video
    Believe me, I'd be the last person to promote any type of censorship here. I just didn't think the idea of posting a site that sells cheap knockoffs of a Turbonet was in anyone's best interest since there's no guarantee that the product is of comparable quality to a Turbonet.
    Well I beg to differ somewhat.

    I bought an X-Factor card, it used the same parts as TurboNET, and it was manufactured quite well using good components (an amphenol connector for the connector to the TiVo motherboard for example). In fact, it is currently serving me quite well.

    I do agree somewhat about 9th tee and the support of this site. However, I do believe that $70 is way too much to pay for an ethernet card.

    And we've already had the discussion about copyrights and how they don't apply in this case, and patents, of which there was none applied for TurboNet. So I won't even bother discussing this again.

    What jafa and Mark may have a legitimate concern with is the re-use of photos and text from their (9thtee.com) copyrighted website, which is clearly a DMCA violation.

  10. #10
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    In addition to the text and photos that are copyrighted, the layout of the boards themselves is copyrighted. (I don't have one the knockoff boards, but it seems pretty clear that they simply copied the board exactly. Just as you can't use copyrighted photos, you can't use copyrighted copper trace patterns.)

    If they had bothered to reverse engineer the schematic, and layout a new board (even though all the electrical connections would be the same) the board would have been legit. (IANAL) They still would have needed to call it something other than Turbonet.

    My estimate is about $20-25 cost to build a compatible card, in moderate quantities (50 - 100). The biggest portion of that is the ethernet chip, and assembly.

    Roy

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by geek_bear
    In addition to the text and photos that are copyrighted, the layout of the boards themselves is copyrighted. (I don't have one the knockoff boards, but it seems pretty clear that they simply copied the board exactly. Just as you can't use copyrighted photos, you can't use copyrighted copper trace patterns.)

    If they had bothered to reverse engineer the schematic, and layout a new board (even though all the electrical connections would be the same) the board would have been legit. (IANAL) They still would have needed to call it something other than Turbonet.

    My estimate is about $20-25 cost to build a compatible card, in moderate quantities (50 - 100). The biggest portion of that is the ethernet chip, and assembly.

    Roy
    The board design would probably be copyrighted, as a loophole, since it's probably classified as "artwork". It's a rather minimal form of protection, if you ask me.

    But current US copyright law says that copyright cannot be applied to a device or invention. YOu need to patent it if you want protection.

    The guy selling these cards did have another name for them - X Factor.

  12. #12
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    I think they the same shipping rate regardless of quantity. So if you can get ten people together, you'll only need to pay 1/10 of the shipping charges.

    I'm thinking of buying one, but haven't done so because of the ridiculous shipping charge.

  13. #13
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    And if I may add my 2 cents...

    I bought a Turbonet card, and a hard drive upgrade for my DTivo over a year ago from 9th Tee. Before I purchased these, I sent him about a half dozen emails asking about the product, drivers, how they would work, what problems would I encounter, etc. They were VERY helpful. Even after the sale, I have contacted them a couple of times, and again, very helpful.

    I can appreciate trying to save a buck. I buy most all of my electronic toys on Ebay. But when you need help, and/or want a quality product, and given what we are doing here, quality counts, pay the extra few dollars. It's money well spent.

    For example, the hard drive I bought to upgrade my unit.
    They told me what I would need to do, basically install it as the slave on the same controller as the first drive, and fire up the unit. No fuss no mess. Sure I could have bought a HD on my own, downloaded the appropriate utilities, and prepped it myself, but for all that effort, in 10-minutes I was up and running.

    My Turbonet card went in without a hitch, other than snaking the wire out of the unit. Pulled the Primary HD, used the instructions to add the drives and set up the card, and I had my DTivo on my network in 20 minutes.

    While I don't believe in kissing anyone ass, and yes we are the customers and they work for us, I do believe in recommending good products and good customer service. You get both with 9th Tee. I've never regretted buy anything from them.

    And consider this, if you purchase a card from Ebay or some clone outfit and it fails, what will you do then?

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by markwilliams
    And consider this, if you purchase a card from Ebay or some clone outfit and it fails, what will you do then?
    Someone else can have the same sort of customer service infrastructure that 9th Tee has now. The guy I bought mine from has been extremely helpful, but it's not as if much help was needed anyway.

    I don't think there would be a variation in quality, they probably even use the same outfit or similar to make the PCB's. My X-Factor was pretty well constructed, I could not find any problem in the solder joints or quality of components. It's not like making a good solder joint is rocket science either.

    Drive upgrades are no problem. Hard drive manufacturers usually have pretty good warranties. The work to do a drive upgrade is a no brainer, once you read the howto's.
    Last edited by raj2001; 08-05-2003 at 09:47 AM.

  15. #15
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    However, I do believe that $70 is way too much to pay for an ethernet card.
    I would have to agree if it were just an ethernet card. Someone had to figure out how to get an ethernet adapter to interface with a Tivo. When you figure in the R&D time spent on doing this and the fact that these cards are not sold in mass quantities like a commercial NIC, I think the price is not that far out of line. It's a question of supply and demand. I'm betting that these are being produced in lots of a hundred or so and not in the thousands and, as such, cost more per unit to produce.

    I've had Turbonets go bad that 9th Tee swapped out for only $30 after the warranty expired. Will X Factor do it for less, assuming they're still around?

    If the Turbonet knockoff was an original design being sold at a lower price then I'd wholeheartedly support the sale of the product. Competition is good for everyone. As it stands, it is a stolen design marketed by an unscrupulous dealer taking advantage of someone else's hard work. Right now, the Turbonet offered by 9th Tee is the only "official" ethernet adapter that will work in a Tivo.

    Buying a Turbonet from X Factor is like buying a watch from a street vendor in NYC. The fact that they're selling a stolen design tells me they're dishonest and can't be trusted. If that's what you want then nobody's stopping you. Personally, I'd prefer the real deal. At least I know 9th Tee and Jafa will be around to provide support down the road. Can you say the same for X Factor? AFAIK, the X Factor website has already shut down.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

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