Got a new toy this weekend. A DirectTV satellite receiver with TIVO built in. I wanted the receiver because satellite’s picture is so much better and with the TIVO built in you get a great TIVO picture.

See with a normal TIVO you take an analog TV picture, which isn’t that great to start with, and then you digitize it. Since this is done in real time there is only so good a job you can do. This means you lose some quality.

With a satellite receiver you don’t do any compression because the satellite is already sending a compressed digital signal to your computer. Satellite providers have entire rooms of processing power doing the compression and they get really good compression. Then this signal is just saved to the hard drive in your TIVO.

I used to have a Dish Network DishPlayer which worked like this. I did like it, but once I used a TIVO for a while I understand what really good software can do. TIVO just does it right.

Of course the bad news it that it looks like my DirectTIVO is broken. I hooked up the dish and it died during set up and now it won’t even let me see what the signal strength is. And this happen after Best Buy was closed so I couldn’t take it back. Oh well, delayed gratification is a character builder.