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Roku's Netflix Player vs. Apple TV: unboxing and first impressions - Page 4

post #121 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortedLoop View Post

The only way to turn a TiVo off is to unplug it. I just read on the TiVo forums that all standby mode does is turn off the OLED display. What's the point of that? ;-)

There is no off button because it's not meant ot be turned off. It's like a Cable box with a DVR, the Off button turns off the output A/V signals but it needs to be on record shows.

As for the LED display, I guess not everyone likes to have them on.
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post #122 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

It looks like you can't search just the downloads, I only see one search box and it brings up all shows, download and dvd. Am I missing something?

Nice analysis. There's no question that the downloads in general favor older, less popular material. And lots of TV episodes.

Thanks. You're right, you can't search in a way that brings up instant titles only.
post #123 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There is no off button because it's not meant ot be turned off. It's like a Cable box with a DVR, the Off button turns off the output A/V signals but it needs to be on record shows.

As for the LED display, I guess not everyone likes to have them on.

Yes, I understand that. I think I mentioned in one of my posts that a standby mode on TiVo would defeat its purpose, or at least one of its strongest features (recording suggestions). I was merely researching the standby options for the gent who was talking about the green impact of various devices.
post #124 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortedLoop View Post

Yes, I understand that. I think I mentioned in one of my posts that a standby mode on TiVo would defeat its purpose, or at least one of its strongest features (recording suggestions). I was merely researching the standby options for the gent who was talking about the green impact of various devices.

Gotcha. I guess I was replying more to JeffDM;s post about wasted energy. It's not something I tend to concern myself with by he has a point. We have done great things to reduce energy usage in notebooks because they are portable but most home electronics tend to use a good deal more power than they probably need to. I am sure there is a way we can make these systems use less power and go into more energy conscious mode until they are truly needed.

Looking at the Energy Star website, there are plenty of VCRs, TVs and DVD players, but no DVRs or other niche devices. i dont even see a single cable box, which are pretty ubiquitous.
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post #125 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Gotcha. I guess I was replying more to JeffDM;s post about wasted energy. It's not something I tend to concern myself with by he has a point. We have done great things to reduce energy usage in notebooks because they are portable but most home electronics tend to use a good deal more power than they probably need to. I am sure there is a way we can make these systems use less power and go into more energy conscious mode until they are truly needed.

The motivation is different. They reduce energy consumption in portable devices to make them either smaller and lighter, or to give them longer off the grid performance. That's what consumers are demanding, and voting for with their dollars.

With a plugged in all the time consumer electronics device or appliance, the primary motivation for reducing energy consumption is the green movement. Until regulations mandate greener equipment, or consumers vote for it with their buying decisions, not much motivation to make things greener for corporations unless doing so reduces mfg costs.
post #126 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortedLoop View Post

Yes, I understand that. I think I mentioned in one of my posts that a standby mode on TiVo would defeat its purpose, or at least one of its strongest features (recording suggestions).

So the thing needs to be recording something at all times?
post #127 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

So the thing needs to be recording something at all times?

It needs to be ready to record at all times. Surely, they could do better to make it use less power and have different levels of sleep that wake up before it records, but that is probably cost they don't want to spend.
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post #128 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It needs to be ready to record at all times. Surely, they could do better to make it use less power and have different levels of sleep that wake up before it records, but that is probably cost they don't want to spend.

Cost in time or cost in money? I really don't think it costs any money, except maybe a little more developer time. It's not that hard to make circuits wake from standby at a predetermined time. I think I did it with a microcontroller that costs pennies in volume.

Most home theater devices wake up in seconds anyway.
post #129 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Cost in time or cost in money? I really don't think it costs any money, except maybe a little more developer time. It's not that hard to make circuits wake from standby at a predetermined time. I think I did it with a microcontroller that costs pennies in volume.

There would be R&D time which cost money. It's possible they could do this without adding a separate chip to wake up the system x-many seconds before the next record time. Though it does add some complexity to the system

But we both know that they won't do it unless there is a law passed or some really bad press. Neither the AppleTV and TiVo sell well enough or have high enough margins to warrant any additional cost or complexity to the design.

PS: i'd like to know how Scientific Atlanta cable boxes (with and without DVRs) fair in a power consumption test. They seem to be the common of those appliances.
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post #130 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It's not that hard to make circuits wake from standby at a predetermined time. I think I did it with a microcontroller that costs pennies in volume.

Indeed. The PVR that I use has a main board (with the TV tuners, HDD interface, main processor etc.), and a "front panel board", which has a microcontroller and timer. When you put it into standby, the main board sends the time of the next programmed recording to the front panel board, and the main board is turned off. At the alloted time (allowing for the time taken for the HDD to spin up), the front panel board turns the main board on.

Surely this (or something very similar) is how VCRs of old worked? In fact, most of the VCRs I've used in the past required to be turned to standby in order for the timer to work.

I think the thing with the TIVO is that it's probably got some kind of program delivery control that requires the tuners to be running permanently, in order to receive any updates to the broadcast schedule. There's still room to reduce power consumption though, by running the processor in a reduced power mode, spinning down the HDD, turning off any video processing and output chips etc.
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post #131 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There would be R&D time which cost money. It's possible they could do this without adding a separate chip to wake up the system x-many seconds before the next record time. Though it does add some complexity to the system

I really don't even think that it requires an extra circuit, it's a common feature in microcontrollers, which there probably are half a dozen in the unit already. I think it took me one week to design, program and test the entire circuit.

Quote:
PS: i'd like to know how Scientific Atlanta cable boxes (with and without DVRs) fair in a power consumption test. They seem to be the common of those appliances.

I don't have SciAtl, but I have a Motorola box that wakes up from sleep at specific times.
post #132 of 136
I just realized something, DVRs are always buffering content even if it's not recording something specific. so you can time-shift if you miss something.
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post #133 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Keep in mind that a lot of us still don't have (and have no plans to buy) an HDTV.

My bad. I meant "HD" as in Hard Disk. I should have used "HDD" sorry for the confusion. I have no HDTV and no plans to get one soon either.
post #134 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

I don't think he's trying to hide behind the Prince McLean moniker. Daniel Eran Dilger posts links to his AppleInsider articles on his tech blog RoughlyDrafted Magazine. Probably the best tech blog on the net.

Oh, thanks for clearing that up. roughly drafted though... i've read it before, but honestly the content is boringly biased. not very objective articles. it's very anti microsoft, to a fanboy-ish degree, to the point where it stops feeling like serious journalism. i don't care much for it so i stopped reading it. that's just me tho. i'm sure it has its followers.
post #135 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

This has been brought up before - Apple should either partner with or buy outright Netflix. The timing may be right. The studios have been wary of Apple's dominance in the music field, and thus haven't cut the expansive deals that they might have in the past. Netflix, as a separate entity with almost no online presence, seems to have a different (non-threatening) relationship. If Apple were to now partner with Netflix they might be able to leverage that relationship. Of course, this is all speculation, and the million-page legal contracts probably prohibit too much leeway, but one can dream.

As it is now, Apple recognizes that YouTube is THE site for online personal video, and supports it directly in AppleTV. The same goes for Flickr for photos. If Netflix becomes the go-to place for mainstream movies (which is currently the case for physical DVD rentals) then Apple could merge Netflix's inventory into their own iTunes rental space as a separate service (available for existing Netflix customers) while still offering the one-shot, non-subscription rentals to everyone else.

The other reason to do this is for Apple to get their foot in the door for future Netflix media encoding. Much as YouTube has added H.264 for the iPhone market, Netflix could do the same - with Apple's assistance - for their library. Otherwise Apple leaves the media format choice open to Microsoft or Flash, which would be strategically detrimental if Netflix online takes off.


Oh, and 'Prince', you full name appears on the grab of the Netflix activation screen

I think apple should partner with blockbuster, offer subscription rentals and take on netflix hardcore.
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post #136 of 136
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Originally Posted by ecking View Post

I think apple should partner with blockbuster, offer subscription rentals and take on netflix hardcore.

I'd wager Apple has already been in such talks. The problem is getting the rights for internet streaming, something that part of the rental program of physical DVDs. Netflix may have more title for streaming but they have the same issues as Apple does in getting rights from every company that owns the rights.
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