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Old 03-10-2004, 07:56 AM   #61 (Print)
dugbug
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Some more info in case someone can figure this out:

I watched a lot of tv last night in extreme and in high. We use high to record shows so we can fit two hours onto a dvd (extreme = one hour).

Extreme rarely pixelates but does have the brightness flash occasionally.

High pixelates very often but rarely does the brightness flash phenomenon.

By pixelate Im refering to the odd large blocks on still images as described previously.

Are users of other DVD burners subject to a one-hour limit per dvd for quality video? Or is this a pioneer/tivo thing?

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Old 03-12-2004, 05:53 PM   #62 (Print)
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dugbug, there are no other tivo/dvr's out there. i would recommend if you are archiving shows, it is best to do it in extreme fine.
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Old 03-12-2004, 06:19 PM   #63 (Print)
bmillsap
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Quote:
Originally posted by dugbug

Are users of other DVD burners subject to a one-hour limit per dvd for quality video? Or is this a pioneer/tivo thing?


I have a DMR-HS2, and the choices of quality give you (I think) 1, 2, 4 or 6 hours per standard DVD. So this one too does only fit one hour on a disc at the 'best' quality.

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Old 03-12-2004, 06:29 PM   #64 (Print)
drusoicy
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Thumbs down

I just spend 40 minutes on the phone with Pioneer...mostly on hold.

I first talked to the complaint department, who then forwarded me on to the TiVo department. I told them the problem and they said they were familiar with it. THey put me on hold, and then sent me BACK to the complaint department.

What I was then told upset me:

They have been working on this problem for some time. The outcome of their research is that these units, despite having this flaw, are PERFORMING TO FACTORY SPECIFICATION. Because of that, there is nothing they can - or will - do.

I told him that the problem happens very often, sometimes twice a minute, and can be very annoying. He said again, that since it is performing to factory specification, there is nothing they can do.

I tried to speak again, but I was promptly disconnected.

Someone else want to give calling them a shot???
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Old 03-15-2004, 04:34 PM   #65 (Print)
Tivortex
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After living with this beast for a few days I'm actually pretty happy with it. With it set to the highest PQ it's very viewable. Only 14 hours of storage at that quality level was not acceptable, or very usable, so I upgraded to a 300 GB hard drive and stopped having as many scheduling conflicts, or rather, premature program deletions to make room for new programing.

My picture quality got markedly better when I switched from composite to S-video output and I couldn't swear to it, but it seems to have reduced or eliminated the random pixilation that I was seeing in the beginning as well as the surging brightness, which was very noticeable.

It would be nice to be able to burn more than an hour at this quality level, but I can live with that limitation. The burned copies do look real nice to my eyes.

At present my only real gripes are COST, and NO EDITING!!

Cost: If I'd known the bucks I'd have sunk into this thing after the hard drive upgrade, lifetime subscription and HMO option I would have promptly soiled myself and not bought it at all. But one thing leads to another, and before you know it, there you are.

No Editing: Come on now, I don't want to burn commercials to permanent storage and I'd like to snip off the lead-in bits where you can see the previously tuned channel before the 810 changes the channel to the one that's scheduled to record to the hard drive. I know that this capability was intentionally not included, but what a drag to get screwed out of a killer feature to keep some greedy corporate types happy.

I'd be happy to receive a software upgrade/patch, but I'm thinking that it has a snow balls chance of happening. I hope I'm wrong.
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Old 03-15-2004, 07:25 PM   #66 (Print)
Maurice
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Tivortex - I too am using a S-Video cable and recording at Top quality. Yet the pixelation is very visible both on the HD recordings and the DVD copies.

I have not upgrade the HD - I was getting ready to do it and the first 810HS failed (DVD laser died) within 30 days and I got the dealer to replace the unit. It concerns me voiding the warranty.

It annoys me that TiVo and Pioneer know very well there is an issue with this unit and they appear to hide from it. As you can see, those of us that have called Pioneer, we hear different stories about a fix.

Personally, I think it would have been a better solution to get a high end Standalone DVD recorder with Hard Drive - with editing features.
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Old 03-16-2004, 11:18 AM   #67 (Print)
Nu2Tivo
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Editing

The lack of an editing feature is my only complaint with the 810... Other than that I am very satisfied with this box....

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Old 03-16-2004, 12:15 PM   #68 (Print)
Tivortex
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Maurice, I think I agree with you. If I had it to do over i think I'd go with a standalone DVD recorder just because the 810 won't let me make a backup copy of my legally purchased DVD's, as is my perfect right. (One of the few rights the recording industry hasn't managed to take away from us yet.)

Sorry you are seeing the PQ issues even with S-Video. I wonder if you have a better quality or larger sized TV set than I do ? I just know I noticed those effects before I went S-video and I don't see them now.
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Old 03-16-2004, 12:31 PM   #69 (Print)
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I bought this box a month or so ago, but was completely dissatisfied with the picture quality. This was the 6th TiVo I'd bought and it was the first I'd ever seen with random and frequent pixilation. I mean, watching a news program where the anchor's head went blurry on a regular basis was just unacceptable. I returned the box, and replaced it with a Series2 and a Panasonic E80, and I find that combination much better. The PQ of the Series2 is as I expect it to be, and the Panasonic burner is far superior to the 810.
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Old 03-16-2004, 02:04 PM   #70 (Print)
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Re: Editing

Quote:
Originally posted by Nu2Tivo
The lack of an editing feature is my only complaint with the 810... Other than that I am very satisfied with this box....


I've still got my fingers crossed hoping that they'll add some sort of editing ability in a future release.

Dan

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Old 03-18-2004, 06:50 PM   #71 (Print)
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I understand that some owners of the 810 do not have major problems with "pixellation" or flickering. For those of you who do not have this problem and are satisfied with the machine, do any of you record on medium quality or do you just use extreme and high? I would like to get more than 2 hours on a DVD if I were to buy the unit.
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Old 03-18-2004, 08:41 PM   #72 (Print)
Maurice
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There is pixelation problems in Ultra High quality - however there are less noticeable at higher resolutions.

I have made several DVDs using medium (4 Hrs on a DVD). They all have the random pixelation problem. They are surely watchable, I used them on my laptop when traveling and then discard them - but if you were planning on saving the recordings, they are mediocre at best

I strongly suggest you explore a separate DVD solution - you will gain editing and quality but sacrifice a bit of simplicity and recording speed.
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Old 03-18-2004, 10:45 PM   #73 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mhs99
I understand that some owners of the 810 do not have major problems with "pixellation" or flickering. For those of you who do not have this problem and are satisfied with the machine, do any of you record on medium quality or do you just use extreme and high? I would like to get more than 2 hours on a DVD if I were to buy the unit.
I record at both medium and basic -- and I'm very satisfied with mine.

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Old 03-19-2004, 02:23 AM   #74 (Print)
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I record at medium or basic only when I absolutely have to; ie, when I want to archive a program that's over 2 hours long such as a movie. The quality sometimes is acceptable, most of the time not.

Drusoicy's conversation with the folks at Pioneer is extremely discouraging to me. I'm now thinking of dumping this unit ASAP, on E-bay or just somebody I can find who wants it. If it is performing to Factory specs, the specs are sh*t. In fact, I'm thinking of dumping my SA TiVo's altogether, and going with either DirecTiVos (If my new place has the appropriate view, which I'm not optimistic about) or Cable DVRs. I'm really tired of the SA TiVos' rapid decline in PQ.

I can live with "we're working on the problem." But I can't live with "We're aware of the problem, but really, there is no problem, it's performing to factory specs." That's bull.
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Old 03-19-2004, 08:30 AM   #75 (Print)
ZeoTiVo
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter000
I record at medium or basic only when I absolutely have to; ie, when I want to archive a program that's over 2 hours long such as a movie. The quality sometimes is acceptable, most of the time not.

Drusoicy's conversation with the folks at Pioneer is extremely discouraging to me. I'm now thinking of dumping this unit ASAP, on E-bay or just somebody I can find who wants it. If it is performing to Factory specs, the specs are sh*t. In fact, I'm thinking of dumping my SA TiVo's altogether, and going with either DirecTiVos (If my new place has the appropriate view, which I'm not optimistic about) or Cable DVRs. I'm really tired of the SA TiVos' rapid decline in PQ.

I can live with "we're working on the problem." But I can't live with "We're aware of the problem, but really, there is no problem, it's performing to factory specs." That's bull.


uummm what rapid decline in PQ on SA TiVos ? I have not seen any report of PQ problems on SA TiVos in general only on the 810 unit due to integration of DVD recording.
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Old 03-19-2004, 09:14 AM   #76 (Print)
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I've had an 810 for about a month now, and I've had a series 1 for over three years. My impressions so far (your mileage may vary) have been --

(a) Picture quality on the 810 seems to be hurt by a weak or bad signal far more than the series 1. I have a digital cable box on my main tv but plain coax cable (with a somewhat cruddy signal) on my secondary tv. I tried the 810 on the secondary tv for about a week and was unhappy with the PQ on medium and okay with it on fine. Then I switched the units so that the 810 had the better signal (digital cable box feeding plain old composite signals into the tivo and out to the sound system).

Miraculously, after the switch, not only did PQ on the 810 improve (suddenly medium was reasonably watchable) but PQ on the Series1 stayed okay even when attached to the weaker coax signal.

(b) On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that I wasn't getting any flickering on my 810 when it was attached to the cruddy coax signal. Now, however, I get a noticeable flicker on several channels. It's annoying, it's not my imagination, and it never happened when my series 1 was attached to the same setup using the same cables (I moved the tivos but not the cables).

(c) Overall it seems to me that the 810 is useful -- it works for me and I'd recommend it to others with appropriate warnings. I'll be disappointed if the flicker and PQ issues are never addressed or acknowledged, but I'll keep the system. My guess is that the people most likely to feel the same way are those for whom, like me, content tends to be more important than PQ. I ran my series 1 in basic for most of the time I owned it, and while I can certainly tell the difference in PQ between that and a professional DVD (or between Basic and Best) it was more important to me to have *more* shows I wanted than it was to have them look that much better. I feel the same way about the 810 -- I use Medium for most things, knowing that it is giving me VHS (or sometimes less) quality, but it also lets me archive more shows more affordably. For some things I'll use Fine and that (especially with a digital channel) gives me something much closer (I won't say equal) to a commercial DVD.
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Old 03-19-2004, 02:18 PM   #77 (Print)
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Re: Editing

Quote:
Originally posted by Nu2Tivo
The lack of an editing feature is my only complaint with the 810... Other than that I am very satisfied with this box....

and the firewire to hook up my digital cideo camera...
and would have been nice to have some mput jacks in the front of the unit a la VCR...
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Old 03-19-2004, 04:19 PM   #78 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZeoTiVo
uummm what rapid decline in PQ on SA TiVos ? I have not seen any report of PQ problems on SA TiVos in general only on the 810 unit due to integration of DVD recording.
If you compare the PQ on the S2 TiVos to the S1 TiVos, there's a marked difference. Much more pixellation on all levels of PQ. And due to the DVD video specs, the 810 is worse at anything below fine. (Actually if it weren't for the random pixellation problem on the "SP" PQ level of the 810, that would be comparible to other S2s.)

So, for me at least, it was an "instant" decline in PQ when I switched to series 2.
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Old 03-19-2004, 04:30 PM   #79 (Print)
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And due to the DVD video specs, the 810 is worse at anything below fine.

People keep saying that, but I don't see the connection. The stand alone DVD recorders can record 4 hours on a DVD without offensive levels of pixellation and no brightness modulation at all.

Even putting 6 hours on a disc doesn't cause me the level of dissatisfaction that people have been expressing here about the 810H. Why is the TiVo MPEG-2 encoder so much worse than the one in a cheaper DVD recorder?

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Old 03-19-2004, 05:12 PM   #80 (Print)
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Exactly what I was thinking, Robert. This shouldnt make any difference.

There are people that hook up a regular Series2 to a standalone DVD Recorder. They then just record straight off the Tivo. Since this is the case, it doesnt seem like it is essential for the different bit rate - since regular standalone players can handle the series2 bitrate just fine.
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Old 03-19-2004, 07:41 PM   #81 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert S
And due to the DVD video specs, the 810 is worse at anything below fine.

People keep saying that, but I don't see the connection. The stand alone DVD recorders can record 4 hours on a DVD without offensive levels of pixellation and no brightness modulation at all.

Even putting 6 hours on a disc doesn't cause me the level of dissatisfaction that people have been expressing here about the 810H. Why is the TiVo MPEG-2 encoder so much worse than the one in a cheaper DVD recorder?


iI dont think the encoder nor the technology are so differnt in a tivo/dvd than a stad alone dvd recorder.

BUT tivo made conscious(sp?) decisions at what bit rates and resolutions to use for their settings and i think that is the issue- hence "performing to factory specs".

I suspect becasue of Tivo's want to make everything usable by joe drunken six pack they over simplified and compromised quality for simplicity. Thats why I think (JMHO) there is not a "flaw" but rather decision making that everyone doesnt agree with at the base of many, if not most, complaints. FLickering and pixilation when there is little or no movement is a problem.

I am satisified with the decisions they made (but I have other units so running out of room isnt an issue for me)- but i wish i had more options, mostly for the sake of options. Even if they were in a backdoor code.
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Old 03-19-2004, 09:09 PM   #82 (Print)
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This is my theory...

I believe the compression on the Pioneer units that TiVo is using is more "heavy" than a regular Series 2 unit. In order to be "DVD-Compliant", the screen image has more pixels with which to deal. In order to achieve an equivalent size of the finished video file on the TiVo's hard drive, there must be more compression taking place. To get more pixels down to the same file size takes a greater degree of compression.

Consequently, the picture quality is poorer when compared to the equivalently named quality level on a Series 2. The more compression that takes place, the greater the deterioration that takes place.

This is why many have found that Medium Quality on the Pioneer is better than Basic on a Series 2 (but not as good as Medium on a Series 2).

The difference between the two equivalently named quality levels (Pioneer versus Series 2) decreases as the level of compression lessens.

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Old 03-19-2004, 09:43 PM   #83 (Print)
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So, since I use Basic Quality on my two Tivos (Series 1) and find it quite acceptable, that might mean that I would find medium on the Pioneer to also be acceptable. Is that what your comments suggest?
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:21 AM   #84 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mhs99
So, since I use Basic Quality on my two Tivos (Series 1) and find it quite acceptable, that might mean that I would find medium on the Pioneer to also be acceptable. Is that what your comments suggest?


I was satisfied with Basic on a Series 1, and find it quite comparable to the Medium on the Pioneer.
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Old 03-20-2004, 01:27 AM   #85 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert S
And due to the DVD video specs, the 810 is worse at anything below fine.

People keep saying that, but I don't see the connection. The stand alone DVD recorders can record 4 hours on a DVD without offensive levels of pixellation and no brightness modulation at all.
I'm not comparing it to another SA DVD Recorder, I'm comparing it to other Series 2 TiVos. The bitrates I've seen quoted on other DVD recorders match the bitrates on the 810. My theory is that in order to make the 810 recordings DVD compliant AND Home media compliant (viewable on other SA TiVos) they had to do something with the codec that makes the picture quality worse than other DVD Recorders. That's a total guess though.

My main issue is with the random pixellation. I don't have the brightness issues that others have seen. I realize there's going to be motion issues at lower bitrates. But when the subject is just sitting there and the screen gets all blocky... inexcusable.
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Old 03-20-2004, 11:11 AM   #86 (Print)
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It is interesting to see how varied the issues are that people are experiencing with the 810H. It's not surprising, based on the number of variables related to each indviduals' configuration (cable, dish, signal strentgth, type of connection from Tivo to TV, limitations on the connection, etc.)

The common theme is flicker and pixellation. Luckily, I have not experienced pixellation issues, but I rarely record at basic or medium quality. My beef is with the screen flicker on lower channels (2-10). I was able to alleviate part of the problem with a cable signal booster, but it isn't 100%. It also seems to vary from day to day. Like many of you, I have called Pioneer and was told the flicker issue is a "known" problem, they thought a fix was on the horizon, but no timeline was offered. The technical support person I spoke to even mentioned the pixellation problem, even though I hadn't brought it up during the call.

I submitted an email to Pioneer three weeks ago, and have never received a response back. That being said, I am still pretty impressed with the overall package that the 810H offers. Each person needs to assess their own tolerance for the issues that they are experiencing with the 810H, and make a determination about whether it's worth keeping the unit. I wouldn't hold your breath about miraculous patch that answers all of our prayers!

Letter to Pioneer:

Dear Pioneer Support,

I purchased a Pioneer 810H Tivo enabled DVD recorder in November. I am very impressed with the overall package, but disappointed that Pioneer& Tivo have not solved the "known" software bug that creates screen flicker on some lower channels. I have done a number of tests that clearly isolate the problem to the Pioneer 810H.

As an early adopter of this product, I can't fully recommend the 810H to my friends and family until this issue fixed. I am a little surprised that Pioneer & Tivo have not made a concerted effort to communicate the status of the fix to the Tivo community, as the future of both products depend on happy customers.

If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to dig around the Tivo community web site for feedback regarding the 810H. The natives are getting restless, and would like to see a solution to this problem very soon.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-v...threadid=160417

Thanks in advance,

Douglas Lang
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Old 03-21-2004, 12:26 AM   #87 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beachbum55
It is interesting to see how varied the issues are that people are experiencing with the 810H. It's not surprising, based on the number of variables related to each indviduals' configuration (cable, dish, signal strentgth, type of connection from Tivo to TV, limitations on the connection, etc.)
I've tried my unit on both a cable system and satellite system. I've seen a slight flicker when hooked up to the cable system, and non on the DirecTV system. The Pixellation occurs on the "high" setting no matter where I have it plugged in, though.
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Old 03-21-2004, 02:41 AM   #88 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beachbum55
It is interesting to see how varied the issues are that people are experiencing with the 810H. ....


The Pioneer 57H is also guilty of the problems mentioned in this thread.
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:46 PM   #89 (Print)
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You guys all bring up alot of good points and like I've said in earlier posts all over this board.My 57H used to flicker alot but for some reason it stopped and it hardly if ever flickers that I notice.That and maybe by coincidence I just don't ever watch anything on the few channels that flickered the most. A little pixelation here and there I can take.It ain't perfect but I still wouldn't trade my machine for anything.

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Old 03-22-2004, 10:14 PM   #90 (Print)
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Return 810 and wait for Toshiba DVD+-RW?

I just recieved my Pioneer 810 yesterday and after hooking it up, I can clearly see that this $800 machine's picture quality doesn't approach my four year old Sony SVR-2000's PQ. I just found this forum and this post and I wish that I had found it a couple of days earlier. I am now debating whether I should swallow the 15% restocking fee that it would cost me to return this item, and wait until the new Toshiba DVD+-RW machines hit the market. It is however very clear to me that this issue will not be addressed by Pioneer or Tivo and that owners of the 810 will probably just have to live with it. Perhaps the Toshiba units won't have the same issues of PQ.
Although judging by some of the more technical posts on this thread it is certainly a very real possibility that the Toshiba units may have the same issues.
I 'd just like to hear from other 810 owners if they could do it over again and they had the opportunity to return the item (less a restocking fee) would you do so?
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