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Old 12-05-2005, 06:17 PM   #1 (Print)
Paul Stimpson
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Buying a big TiVo

Hi,

I'm just intending about to buy a big TiVo from TiVoland. I'm a bit out of touch with the current way things are done and would be really grateful for answers to the following questions:
  • I'm thinking of getting a 160GB or (more likely) a 200GB unit. How essential is a Cachecard at these drive sizes for the average viewer?
  • Do I need to ask my RAM supplier for 512MB of PC133 RAM or is there anything more specific I should be asking for?
  • The TiVo is going to be a present for a relative and I don't know if their new TV (A Bush) needs 2.5.5a. They are disabled and would benefit from Teletext subs if available so I don't want to order 2.5.5a just in case. I've never upgraded a TiVo with more than 120GB. What tools and procedure would I need to change a 200GB TiVo from 2.5.5 to 2.5.5a please?
  • Does anybody have a 2.5.5a image I could download to have ready for Christmas morning just in case disaster strikes?

Many thanks,
Paul.
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Old 12-05-2005, 06:51 PM   #2 (Print)
cwaring
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Not sure about the cachecard. I'm sure someone will tell you for definate shortly, but from what I can remember of previous threads on this, I don't think you'll see a huge difference. (Of course, someone is now bound to contradict me )

Standard RAM as specified will suffice.

I'll leave the other Q's to those better informed on the subject

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Old 12-06-2005, 02:42 AM   #3 (Print)
healeydave
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I will supply a 2.5.5a image with the tivo or if you get a networked system, you could just copy the pxmpegdecode.o file over which will only take a few seconds to do on the day if the tv starts playing up!

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Old 12-06-2005, 03:20 AM   #4 (Print)
blindlemon
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I would say that 160-200GB is around the point at which keen TiVo users will really start to see the benefit from a cachecard with RAM.

However, what you haven't had you don't miss, so unless your "average viewer" relative is a particularly impatient type, then I doubt if he/she will realise that things could be better, and the improvement may not be enough - especially if this is a Freeview or aerial-only setup - to warrant the expense.

If you are fitting a cachecard for networking then you don't have to buy the RAM immediately anyway - so you might as well wait to see whether your relative complains about slow menus before shelling out for RAM. I suspect if this is their first TiVo they will be so gobsmacked with the overall experience that occasional slight delays in the menus will be the last thing on their mind

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Old 12-06-2005, 03:26 AM   #5 (Print)
healeydave
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I agree, I always recommend people only add the RAM if they find they need to.

One of my tivos down stairs with reasonably heavily use has had no ram installed for 2 years and operates fine!

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Old 12-06-2005, 03:36 AM   #6 (Print)
blindlemon
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In daily use (ie. by the family) I have a 240GB TiVo on Sky that definitely needs the RAM in its cachecard and a 160GB machine on Freeview that has a turbonet card and no RAM.

The machine without RAM is a bit slower around the menus, but the difference in performance between them is only noticeable to me - and isn't annoying enough for me to have fitted a cachecard+RAM to the 160GB machine yet, and I don't expect to do so either. If I were to upgrade that machine to, say, 300GB, then I would probably add a cachecard+RAM at the same time, but for now it's not a problem - and I'm a very impatient user

At the other extreme, I sold an 800GB upgrade to a guy a few days ago and he wasn't, initially, planning to fit RAM. I almost offered it to him for FREE when he sounded a bit hesitant about the extra expense, as I knew that without it he'd be on the phone to me in a matter of weeks complaining about the slow performance of his new upgrade

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6023, Lifetime, 240gb (Samsung) Sky, CacheCard, Mode 0, 100+ SPs/AWLs
6022, Lifetime, 160gb (Seagate), Freeview, Turbonet, Mode 0, 90+ SPs/AWLs
601E, Lifetime, ... my 'test' machine!

Last edited by blindlemon : 12-06-2005 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:17 AM   #7 (Print)
Paul Stimpson
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Hi,

Thanks. I've decided to go for the 200GB. This baby will initially be hooked up to a Pace 4000 NTL (or whetever it's called by then) box.

Cheers,
Paul.
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:09 PM   #8 (Print)
benallenuk
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Hi Guys, I have a 120GB Tivo connected to NTL Analogue, so only about 50channels. The only part of tivo menu that is really slow is changing the priority (position) of the season passes, can take about 5minutes per SP. Other than that my tivo is lightening fast!

Cheers

Ben

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Old 12-10-2005, 05:49 PM   #9 (Print)
Paul Stimpson
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Thanks guys.

The deal has been done. I suffered a moment of weakness and got the 300GB so I think I'd better go and get some RAM!

All the best,
Paul.
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:42 AM   #10 (Print)
stevelup
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Hi

I've just upgraded my machine with a Cachecard. It's a 250Gb unit with about 150 season passes on it. The Cachecard makes a massive difference, and I do recommend it.

The RAM was interesting to locate. Tried half a dozen of my usual suppliers - they all were either "out of stock and not getting any more", or crazy prices in excess of £60 - £70.

I finally found it on Ebuyer (quick find 22918) for £26.64

Steve
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Old 12-12-2005, 01:40 PM   #11 (Print)
Paul555
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I've just upgraded to a pre-configured 200gb hard drive from Ebay. This went smoothly and was easier than I expected. I didn't even consider adding ram though. Should be be worried? If anything it is a little bit faster at the moment but then there is very little stored on it.
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Old 12-12-2005, 02:02 PM   #12 (Print)
stevelup
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Hi

It's definitely a lot faster - well worth the £30. (I'm assuming you've already got the cachecard?)

One thing which is massively faster is reordering season passes - about a 60-70 seconds instead of over 10 minutes.

Steve
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Old 12-12-2005, 02:44 PM   #13 (Print)
Paul555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevelup
Hi

It's definitely a lot faster - well worth the £30. (I'm assuming you've already got the cachecard?)

One thing which is massively faster is reordering season passes - about a 60-70 seconds instead of over 10 minutes.

Steve


If you are replying to me then no, I don't have a cachecard but I have minimal season passes. I prefer to set "manually" usually.
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Old 12-12-2005, 02:59 PM   #14 (Print)
stevelup
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Hi

If you haven't got a cachecard, then you can't add RAM!

Regards,

Steve
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:47 PM   #15 (Print)
Paul Stimpson
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Hi,

I usually use www.orcalogic.co.uk for my RAM. They are a great company to do business with and have gone above and beyond for me. For example on my first order I got stuck in traffic and they stayed open another half hour on a Friday so I could collect 2 sticks of RAM for a TV show. I particularly like their "Memory Finder" tool which makes choosing RAM for all the machines at work a no-brainer; Just tell it what the make and model of the machine is and it tells you what you need.

Usually their pricing is pretty good for lifetime warranty RAM but unfortunately they came up really expensive on this one (£60) I think this stuff is on the way out. I think the cachecard is going to need a redesign soon to change the RAM before the it becomes unavailable or so expensive that nobody will touch it.

Cheers,
Paul.
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Old 12-16-2005, 07:35 AM   #16 (Print)
phurren
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HI there - I'm the guy who almost got free RAM from bindlemon recently. How about a refund now I've read this? :-)

[Only kidding]

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Old 12-16-2005, 09:03 AM   #17 (Print)
blindlemon
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Well, compared to those prices, I think the RAM you had from me was clearly a bargain!

ps. In case anybody gets the wrong idea - I don't ever offer people free RAM - I was just saying that to emphasise how critical it would be for an 800GB upgrade

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Old 12-17-2005, 05:22 PM   #18 (Print)
Captain Scarlet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Stimpson
Usually their pricing is pretty good for lifetime warranty RAM but unfortunately they came up really expensive on this one (£60) I think this stuff is on the way out. I think the cachecard is going to need a redesign soon to change the RAM before the it becomes unavailable or so expensive that nobody will touch it.


Paul as you know I only live just south of Dorking and I used Orca Logic to get a 512MB RAM stick for my mother's Samsung P10 that only came with 256MB. As you say they are very friendly. However their price on this memory for the Cachecard is a ripoff.

I have the Ebuyer 512MB memory stick under Quick Find Code 22918 in my Cachecard and it seems to have worked fine over the last 6 months since it was fitted.

My Tivo has a 500Gb capacity which is 613 hours at basic and let us just say that I wouldn't like to experience the speed of the machine without the memory in the Cachecard as it is just "un peu lentement" about Menus, delete etc with my 600 plus recordings even with the Cachecard and the RAM fitted.

As I understand it a Tivo will get rather slow with more than 200 items in Now Playing without the Cachecard and Memory but even with Cachecard and 512 MB Memory the Tivo will get rather slow around 400 recordings. The recordings play fine but you have to wait several seconds for things like Delete or even a Rewind to start with 650 or so recordings in the Index. Sanderton is horrified I can tolerate Basic but I remain unreformed on the matter.

Anyhow with 300gb this Tivo would only have a capacity of about 100 hours at Best but about 350 hours at Basic and say 150 hours at High. So it depends what quality you will set up the machine at for the relative. At Best they won't need the RAM in the Cacheecard but at Basic they definitely will.

Although my 613 hour machine is slow on direct Tivo menus I can still delete a whole bunch of programs or reorder Season passes speedily through Tivoweb. Anyone considering a 1 terrabyte Tivo really needs to appreciate this will be about 360 hours (even at Best) which is about 400 recordings, (unless they turn off Suggestions) which will be just a tiny bit slow even with a Cachecard and memory fitted. Ideally one does not want to exceed 300 recordings for rapid machine response even with the Cachecard fitted. So you may want to set your relative's machine to do the recordings at Medium or High but not Basic, even with the RAM fitted.

600 hours of recordings is too much to ever view most of it. I am planning to try Best and Mode 0 some time and see if I can't live with the 175 or so hours. At least then I might get to view more of what I record
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