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Television Media Hardware Technology

Tivo HD Released Into the Wild 228

Posted by Zonk
from the so-beautiful-should-have-sent-a-poet dept.
B.Gud writes "Tivo has launched the new 'Tivo HD' DVR, validating what was learned from retailer leaks last week. The new unit is available for orders and will ship in early August, but the good news is that Tivo is going to activate serial ATA later this year, and that TivoToGo support is coming as well. From the article: 'Suffice it to say that it's the machine we thought it was, loaded with dual tuners, support for two CableCARDs (or one MCard!), a 160GB drive (180 hours recording SD, 20 hours HD), and HDMI. It really makes the Series 3 look weak. Or put another way, it makes the Series 3 into the boutique device it really is.'"
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Tivo HD Released Into the Wild

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  • by cavtroop (859432) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @12:11PM (#19970957)
    ...or, I can rent an HD DVR from my cable company for the same price Tivo charges per month, with no huge outlay of cash in the beginning. Sure, the experience isn't quite as good, but its more than adequate. And if it dies, I get a replacement, no questions asked.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by link-error (143838)

          I pay TimeWarner $13/month to rent a HD-DVR box, and it sucks so bad I want to just shoot it. It doesn't record programs that it should, it is always locking up for MINUTES at a time, and the user interface is horrible to find shows, etc.

          For $300 fee plus up-front fee, with similar monthly costs is a no brainer for me.
      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        I'm wondering if they'll offer to allow you to transfer your lifetime subscription over to this new HD Tivo? I'd not likely every buy another one of their products since they don't offer lifetime sub's any longer.

        But, if they'd let me transfer over...I'd consider it!!

        I wonder if you can get recorded content off this new tivo, and 'decode' it so you can burn it onto a dvd with no DRM?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by oni (41625)
          When the Series 3's came out last year there was a window - until January 07 I think - where you could transfer a lifetime service. That was the only reason I bought a series 3. I had a lifetime service on a Series 1 that died (I broke it by modding it)

          They've added some neat features. You can subscribe to podcasts. They recently added what I think are video podcasts, but I'm not exactly sure. I watched some show by John Dvorak where he interviewed the Digg people. It can stream MP3s, so you don't nee
          • by HTH NE1 (675604)

            I have a series 2 also and it can transfer shows over the network, so I can keep every episode of BSG and a bunch of movies and such. That's very cool, except for the fact that the transfer rate is slow. You have to wait an hour for enough of a 2 hour movie to transfer so that you can start watching.

            At lot depends on what you're transferring. If I've recorded downconverted HD Star Trek, it is all-boxed (letterboxed and pillarboxed), and when transferred it finishes well before I'm done watching it. Recor

          • It can stream MP3's from another computer on my network? Can it stream video -- DivX/XviD AVI's? If it can't, that's a dealbreaker for me.
        • I'm wondering if they'll offer to allow you to transfer your lifetime subscription over to this new HD Tivo?

          I believe the "lifetime" they were referring to when offering those subscriptions was the "lifetime" of the box itself, so I doubt they'll allow you to transfer.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @12:25PM (#19971161)
      Your provider must not be Comcast. Their DVRs suck. How about pressing FF, seeing no change for 5 seconds, then get 10+ seconds of FF that you cannot break out of? You mash the buttons five or six (or ten. or twenty) times and nothing happens. Then, since they were dutifully queued, you may be rewarded with a series of rewinds, fast forwards, etc until the whole thing catches up, invariably leaving you anywhere but where you desired.

      Count me as an eager Tivo customer once these new boxes become available.

      • by Binkleyz (175773)
        For whatever it's worth, I have it on very good authority (although, as slashdotters, I assume you will dismiss this claim out of hand..) that they're already using Tivo-branded DVRs in New Hampshire (as a test market).. I have this information directly from the mouth of a woman that works for Comcast (on the DVR project) here in PA.

        At the moment, I have the Comcast DVR that I assume you're talking about above (silver, with a yellow LED display), and yes, it truly sucks. More annoying (to me, anyway) than
      • by Stamen (745223)
        I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one suffering while using Comcast's oh so lame DVR (Dynamic Variable Replay). It's like playing roulette with your remote, "fast forward, come on fast forward.... I'd really like it to fast forward......clink, whiz, whirl........pause, stop, fast forward.....rewind, doh!"

    • History - that's why (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MrEkted (764569)
      Crucial to my DVR experience is filtering down the fat stream of 200 cable channels to what I want to see. It's not trivial to wade through all the repeats and shows that I've already viewed. The one thing a cable box DVR is never going to give you is a personal history - what you've already viewed and deleted, so you know that what's new on there is actually new.
      That way, with a 20 hour HD DVR, you're not coming back from vacation to find that a marathon of "Planet Earth" has kicked off every other pro
      • by jotok (728554)
        Even better is MythTV, which does all that, and skips commercials.

        Oh, yeah. And my Myth box has a terabyte of storage dedicated to video alone...so new shows kicking off old ones is not something I worry about :)

        But recording HD with myth can be problematic. For encrypted cable you still need the set-top box and then you can capture s-video, but the quality is degraded. HD QAM broadcasts are still great, however, and I find that 99% of the TV I bother to watch is network TV anyhow (Heroes, Gray's, etc.),
      • by BLKMGK (34057)
        Myth sounds great! Where can I get a CableCard adapter for it? Oh.....
    • by kmahan (80459) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @12:31PM (#19971273)
      I've used TiVo for years. When I got an HD tv I got the comcast/motorola DVR (DCT3416). I've been through 3 boxes so far. The software in the box is horrible. It gets "busy" and doesn't respond to the remote for 30 seconds or more, but it is queuing up all the buttons to replay as soon as it isn't busy. If you fast forward/reverse there is a chance that it will get freeze. Playback sometimes doesn't include sound unless you change the channel and go back. Don't even get me started on how the box handles (crashes is a better word) EAS (emergency signals). I've accumulated a dozen or so software issues with the box that the company says "we know, but there is no scheduled fix date."

      And my favorite is that after a couple of months the box will start "slowing down" more and more frequently. The fix is to replace the box -- so says Comcast.

      So yes -- I will gladly be purchasing the TiVo HD box just so I can get rid of the piece of junk Comcast/Motorola calls a DVR.
      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        Weird tho...

        On the Tivo site I saw this in their FAQ:

        "Can I use any wireless network adapter on my TiVo HD box?

        No, only the TiVo Wireless G Network Adapter allows a wireless connection to your home network. The TiVo Wireless G Network Adapter can be purchased separately at TiVo.com and most retailers."

        Now...what in the world makes their Tivo branded netword adapter different than any other one? Is there now a special connection on the newer Tivo's...on my old series 2, I just plugged in a Linksys USB

        • by Applekid (993327)
          That's because some USB wireless adapters suck and don't support Linux and since it works in Windows people are going to blame TiVo instead of the faulty manufacturer.

          Before they released the "official" TiVo wireless adapter, there was a compatibility guide for popular adapters... but it wasn't very helpful since often times you had to filter down to the exact revision number of it before it will work. The official one is a guaranteed thing.

          (and looked cooler next to my box than anything else I hooked up on
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dreamt (14798)

          Now...what in the world makes their Tivo branded netword adapter different than any other one? Is there now a special connection on the newer Tivo's...on my old series 2, I just plugged in a Linksys USB wireless....

          Its always been a driver support issue. The vendors are constantly changing their chipsets, etc with a small hardware revision number change, not always apparent looking at the packaging. The whole reason why Tivo came out with their own branded adapter was to have one that doesn't change and i

        • by Buran (150348)
          The Tivo wireless adapter has some components in it that offload some of the additional processing required for WPA onto the card. You can use other wireless adapters (there's a list on tivo.com) without trouble, but you will not be able to use WPA.

          Whether there's the same restriction for g-based networking I don't know. But I bought the Tivo adapter so I could actually properly secure my network, and I've had absolutely no problems.
      • by _Sharp'r_ (649297)
        Drop your cable company, get Dishnetwork and a VIP 622 or 722 HD DVR.

        It's a heck of a lot cheaper than Cable+Tivo and it's actually better than even this new HD Tivo (Faster interface, more recording time, etc...). Plus, allowing for the recent release date of this Tivo box, it's also going to have a lot less bugs than this new box for a while yet.

        Oh yeah, and you get many more HD channels than your local cable company is going to have. And you're going to get new HD channels faster as they come out. And ex
        • by edmicman (830206)
          Just hope it doesn't rain!
          • by jZnat (793348) *
            That myth doesn't happen anymore just to let you know. I've had Dish for quite a while now, and it has only gone out a couple times during extremely bad storms (Chicago). Before, I had Comcast, and let me tell you that they went down a lot more than that, and if you count the graphical and audio glitches that seem to happen every 15 minutes or so, you've got a shitload of downtime with that crappy company...
        • by jdray (645332)
          We've had DirecTV + TiVo for years and really love it. Our friends got DirecTV recently and got the new DirecTV-branded DVR. It sucks. Bad. We're keeping our TiVo-based unit until some better option comes along. Does the inclusion of CableCARD slots in this new TiVo HD unit mean that we can get DirecTV tuners for it? Of course, that would presume that DirecTV had a CableCARD product, right?
          • by BLKMGK (34057)
            No, Direct severed their ties with TIVO. They will not have any sort of decoder card for that slot - that's a CableCard slot designed by the CABLE industry. Right now if you want SAT and TIVO you're stuck with an SD DTIVO as I am. I'm ready to go HD myself but I refuse to believe the Direct HD DVR is any good considering their track record. I've also experienced the DISH stuff - no thanks you only get to fool me once. Cable is more expensive but I'm really close to spending more just to get what I want and
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gatzke (2977)

        The TimeWarner SA 8300 is a load of garbage as well. The interface is terrible and it hangs on occasion. It gets confused on HDMI output and blacks the screen when it flakes on HDCP connections. It gets a black screen and becomes nonresponsive a lot, especially when recording two HD channels.

        Why can't they just license the tivo software?

        Sadly, the TIVO won't do on demand or pay per view stuff.
        • by HTH NE1 (675604)

          The TimeWarner SA 8300 is a load of garbage as well. The interface is terrible and it hangs on occasion. It gets confused on HDMI output and blacks the screen when it flakes on HDCP connections. It gets a black screen and becomes nonresponsive a lot, especially when recording two HD channels.

          Is that the Passport or Mystro software? I'm told the Mystro software is so craptacular that in one city where it is running as beta software, they are in negotiations with the city about what reparations TWC are goin

          • by gatzke (2977)


            We are doing HD (new sweet 50 inch 1080p LCD monster). Cable HD PVR was our only option for encrypted stuff. They don't encrypt local HD for us, only ESPN, HDNET movies, Discovery, etc.

            I think we are not Mystro, but we have a variety of problems. They post an alert every time a new recording starts (even if you are watching recorded) although you don't need to know (no conflict resolution to handle, just starting and wanted to let you know). Things go missing, no recording. No season pass manager, so y
    • by the_tsi (19767) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @12:31PM (#19971279)
      Why have sex when you can masturbate? They have the same result, right?

      Anyone who's used a brand-name TiVo for more than a few hours will be disgusted by all the DVRs from cable and satellite companies (and MythTV for that matter). TiVo has, for the most part, done DVR *right*.
    • $5 rental per card * 2 = $10 extra a month on top of the tivo fees. Cable box i rent is $12 and it also gives me access to on demand premium channels allowing me instant access to all the shows(for that month) to premium channels i subscribe too.
      • by glindsey (73730)
        Sure, if you don't mind your box occasionally locking up, rebooting, and "forgetting" to record things. Comcast's DVR boxes, at least, have firmware that is so incredibly buggy, it makes Windows 3.11 seem rock solid by comparison. In fact, TiVo has written new firmware for one of Comcast's Motorola STBs, and from what I've heard it is currently in beta testing.

        However, there are three big things TiVo needs to have operational on this box to really make it worthwhile: Multi-Room Viewing, Home Media Option,
    • The difference between a Comcast DVR and TiVo is like the difference between Windows Moblie and the iPhone. One of them is impossible for normal human beings to use, while the other sets new standards for interface design.
    • by Lord Ender (156273) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @12:43PM (#19971457) Homepage
      Tivo gives customers what customers want (with some compromises). Cable Co DVRs give customers what the Cable Co wants.
      • by isaac (2852) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @01:33PM (#19972251)
        If Tivo really gave customers what they wanted, they wouldn't be collecting and selling clickstreams, they wouldn't be pushing ads into the UI, they'd have a 30-second skip (without a hack) and auto commercial skipping.

        They offer only a shinier UI. Functionality and privacy-wise, they're every bit as bad as the cablecos.

        • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @03:26PM (#19973977)

          they'd have a 30-second skip (without a hack)
          I wouldn't call it a "hack". It's more like a backdoor, easter-egg, or undocumented feature. The only problems are (1) they don't market it and (2) it has to be reset if power is lost (UPS) or the unit otherwise reboots.
      • by tji (74570)
        That's up to the cable company. I don't know if this has happened yet, but last year Comcast and Tivo came to an agreement to provide STB for comcast customers.

        I think the main issue comes down to the provider giving up a portion of the $$. DirecTV used to have Tivo boxes as an option, but they are phasing them out in favor of their own box, for which they can keep 100% of the revenue (and not require an additional monthly fee for their customers, such as Tivo requires).

        Charter uses the Moxi DVR box,
      • If this were true, then you would expect TiVo boxes to outsell Cable company rental boxes -- but they don't.

        TiVo has a few features that I would like to have, but it also has costs that outweigh the benefits to me. In my area, TiVo is competing against the cable company's DVR, which is so-so, DirectTV's new non-tivo DVR (which blows goats), and Dish Network's DVR -- which is very good.

        And the huge advantage all 3 of those have is the great integration with the service itself. No re-encoding of signals, etc.
    • I wish I could rent a TIVO. The user interface on the TIVO far exceeds almost everything on the market. I don't know that I'd rent another company's DVR. I've used them at friend's houses and haven't been impressed.

      2 cents,

      QueenB.
  • Here's the problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by tkrotchko (124118) * on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @12:20PM (#19971079) Homepage
    Virtually all the new services require the cable/phone company's box to get the full range of channels because everyone is using encrypted QAM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAM_tuner) so a standard QAM or ATSC tuner is useless for hi-def.

    For example, the Verizon FIOS service has only the local channels unencrypted, so without the box, you can only receive a handful of channels.

    It's my understanding the original spec cable card doesn't address the scrambled QAM channels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_card#Physical_ CableCARDs), and the new MCard spec is only due this month. But they simply aren't available, and who knows if they'll actually work when released?

    So that fancy new 100" Plasma that supports every standard possible? You still need the box.

    • by Albanach (527650)

      Virtually all the new services require the cable/phone company's box to get the full range of channels because everyone is using encrypted QAM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAM_tuner) so a standard QAM or ATSC tuner is useless for hi-def.
      Wouldn't that be it has CableCard slots - so the box can decrypt the encrypted cable signals?
    • by capitaladot (1132409) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @12:37PM (#19971371)
      Read the Wiki [wikipedia.org] article, where it is succinctly stated:

      The physical CableCARD that is inserted into the host device is a PCMCIA type II card which handles decryption of video, and making sure that only people that have paid for the channel may view it. This is also known as "conditional access module" function.
      • by tkrotchko (124118) *
        In theory, you are correct. However:
        http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-8900_7-5581176-1.html [cnet.com]

        The issue in a nutshell is the cable providers would prefer you to use their box, because Cablecard didn't support 2-way connectivity (not yet). And since the cablecards aren't that common, hardly any TV's (even high-end) have a cablecard slot.

        It would have been simpler to go with DVB.
    • The feature lacking from CableCARD that is addressed by MCard is two-way communication. MCard should support PPV, VOD, etc.
  • Lifetime (Score:2, Funny)

    by Rethcir (680121)
    Someone's going to make the obligatory "transfer lifetime subscriptions" comment and annoy me.
  • by MrPerfekt (414248) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @12:25PM (#19971159) Homepage Journal
    I'd love love love to get one of these, I'd fork over cash right now but I'm unable to get CableCARDs so the device is useless to me.

    I live in Phoenix where Cox is the dominant cable provider but like so many other condo/apt. complexes here in the area, I'm locked in to Qwest's TERRIBLE DSL-based TV service. This is presumably based by contract when the complex was built because they paid for "pre-wiring" to each room. As a result, I'm not able to get Cox. This is not a technical issue, Cox is in the complex next to me. Just some scheme thought up by someone that was greedy at Qwest some years ago.

    I have DirecTV right now. It would be nice if they provided CableCARDs but nope, they love as much control over their own hardware as possible. I have the DirecTivo (Hughes HR-10) so I'm not too heartbroken but still, the situation sucks. If they'd just build a unit with component in's life would be a little better, no matter how grossly expensive it would be.
    • by Danga (307709)
      Have you ever tried Cox cable? The reason I ask is I recently moved to the Phoenix area from Chicago and I have Cox cable TV/internet/phone and the cable TV SUCKS. I have an HD tuner and the first shitty thing is the guide it has sucks and the searching capabilities are worthless and another extremely annoying thing is the HD channels will randomly drop for 5-15 minutes at a time for no reason (I notice about once or twice a week). I never thought I would miss Comcast cable but Cox surely made me miss Co
  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @12:30PM (#19971261) Homepage Journal
    I use a high end MCE 2005 machine right now for our household, and it works fairly well. Unencrypted HD, 4 tuners total, household distribution (we have 2 boarders who rent from us and utilize their Xbox 360's as remote hubs). System is very stable, the wife can watch all her HGTV and TLC shows, I can download my aXXo first releases, and we're happy. The downside is no HD, because the CableCARD system just doesn't work well with PCs that aren't designed for it. Tried it, failed repeatedly. And I'm a techie.

    This sounds to me like a great idea -- there's a ton of HD content over Comcast that I'd probably watch an hour or two a week of, more if I am sick or after a long stretch of work in the winter. I haven't found much HD content available over bittorrent sites, just a few RIPs. But I don't know if I really feel like paying for cable (and then a TIVO monthly bill) for what we get. From a legal perspective, I'd probably buy downloads (PPV online) if they were available and were high quality. But they're not available, so I resort to my own form of PPV. We generally buy movies we download, yet still keep the downloaded version on the PC to watch. I assume Tivos can't accept an XVid Video, so there is a downside.

    This leaves a lot to be desired, but it's a step in the right direction. What I want in addition is:

    1. Ability to download my own content, or RIP my own content.
    2. Ability to remove commercials "real-time": we use a MCE plug-in that works well.
    3. Ability to speed up shows without affecting speech tone (plug-in).
    4. Remote access capability to a PC or a video game console (preferably both).

    Tivo doesn't offer any of these, AFAIK. That's a big limiting factor. Someone needs to step up and provide these services, and their market will blossom.
    • by glindsey (73730)
      Ability to speed up shows without affecting speech tone (plug-in).

      I'm surprised you have to do this yourself. Most syndicated shows on television these days are sped up 110 to 120 percent by default. You can usually tell whenever music is playing, as the rhythm will be stilted and shaky (since the algorithm they use alters the speed dynamically based on the soundtrack, speeding things up the most during lulls in conversation).
    • I had a standard definition Series 2 TiVo until I moved and got an HDTV. You can transfer movies to and from a PC. Shows coming off the TiVo are DRM-encumbered by default, but you can hack the unit itself to disable DRM entirely or run a program on your PC to scrape it from individual files. Videos transferred from your PC have to be converted to MPEG-2 at a specific resolution if you go through TiVoToGo. However, there's an application called tivoserver that will convert videos on the fly and serve them up
  • by Zebra_X (13249) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @01:02PM (#19971703)
    I had Series 2 TiVo for about a year and a half. It was OK. I've always questioned the value of the "service" though. What are you getting for 12.95 a month? TiVo is basically TV guide on crack. The fact that I could store my shows on my computer was of almost no value to as the TiVo 802.11 "g" adapter can actually only transmit @ 10 Mb/s because that is the maximum speed of the TiVo. It takes almost as much time to transfer as it does to watch the show. The "intelligent" recording is rarely that. Frequently TiVo fills its drive with a bunch of stuff that is largely uninteresting - that then needs to be deleted. Great more work to make room for shows I *do* want to watch. Of course there is the auto delete feature but it doesn't make room if you want to record something. A real blow to any sort of justification for a "service" fee was the introduction of the "promotion" on the TiVo primary page. The little star has "information" that I might want about say taking an RV trip across America. Ah, no? Then TiVo would add buttons from time to time to some of the user screens advertising things such as the virtues of the Sony Bravia HD TV's. Great, TiVo I'm glad that you have a shiny new marketing platform - but now I want my service fee back! Sometime during the time that I acquired my TiVo and the time that I left, they started the "you get the box with the service fee" deal. It is a bit of a better deal but not that much better. Also, TiVo support is absolutely the worst thing in the world. Navigating around on their site just gives the impression that they want their users and people trolling forums to answer all their customer questions for them.

    So I get an HD set, and I'm a cable guy so I'm looking around at what my options are. TiVo wants me to spend 800 bucks on their (then current) HD recorder. Riiiight, not so much. I talk to my provider and here is what they will give me:

    HD DVR - 1080i(p?) recording. 160 GB drive. Two tuner record and watch capability. Show listings. No advertisements in the UI. And it comes with HDMI Out and Optical audio out of the box. All for the fabulous low price of 5.95/mo with no money down. As an added bonus, it requires only three cables to hookup to a good HD TV - HDMI, Power Cord and Coax feed from the cable company.

    I fail to see how TiVo can possibly remain relevant in the face of this overwhelming opposition. In my mind there is no way that that $300 and a monthly service fee can compete with the Cable guys option. As a personal point of irritation, paying for a service (apart from TV, which is a whole separate conversation) and then being advertised to is simply unacceptable.

    My thought for TiVo when I made the switch is that TiVo needs to exit the hardware business ASAP and start licensing their technologies to the cable companies. I imagine a model similar to Direct TV would be good. The cable boxes that I've gotten from RCN and Comcast both could use some UI improvements (RCN is def. not as good as Comcast).

    Either that or sell me a box and don't ask me for any more cash.
    • by ivan256 (17499) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @01:14PM (#19971875)

      All for the fabulous low price of 5.95/mo with no money down.


      Maybe I can help shed some light on this for you. $5.95 isn't what every cable company charges. Where I live, Comcast charges $14.95 for the DVR and Verizon charges $12.99. Additionally, Verizon only charges a one-time $3 fee for cable cards. So for a small initial cash outlay I can get a better user interface, higher reliability, fewer restrictions, more features (can your cable box play media files off your PC?) and upgradeability. If Comcast or Verizon charged $5.95/month for an HD DVR it would be a harder decision.
      • by Zebra_X (13249)
        "Small initial cash outlay"

        So $300.00 is small? It's 1/2 the price of an ok second TV. Or 25/mo. added to your existing cable bill. On top of that it's 16.95 a month - still two dollars more, and for what? software updates and tv listings? What is TiVO *really* giving you for 16.95/mo. that didn't already come with the box you bought?

        I also have no idea how much the dual cable cards are going to cost from a cable company - but it's probably not super cheap (FiOS is available in very limited areas) Can you g
        • by ivan256 (17499)
          Yes, $300 is small. At least it is from my perspective. I say that in the context of all the additional features I listed. That is less money than the TV, less than the receiver, less than the speakers, less than two of the video game systems.... In context it is not a very expensive device.

          I only pay $12.95/month for my Tivo service. That price is available to everybody if you're willing to commit to multiple years of service. If you're going to spend a few hundred dollars on the box, chances are you're go
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I can't remember the last time I owned a Tivo that didn't automatically push it's "recommendations" off the drive automatically to make room for things you have scheduled. Not only that but since I've had my Series 3 I have consistently found new and worthwhile episodes of tv shows and movies recorded by tivo on its own based on what I watched. Matter of fact, in the last, oh, 4 years? I haven't been without TV for very long at all, and in those four years I've NEVER seen it fail to record something becaus
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LMacG (118321)
      As has been stated, you must not have Comcast. There is so much advertising on their guide page now that each "page" only holds about four lines of actual programming information. Occasionally I'll notice the marketing buttons on the main screen, but a double-click of the TiVo button takes me to Now Playing so quickly that they really make no difference. They're not stealing room on the screen from anything else.

      If you didn't like TiVo "filling the drive" then it would have been a simple matter of choosi
    • by cmoney (216557)
      I'm right there with you man. I was an original Tivo user many many years back. Tivo's autorecord feature was the first thing I turned off. Then word got out that viewing habits were being sold while the monthly fee was going up. That just killed me. It's really just the principle of it all. Why am I paying for a service that's got ads on it?

      After I moved and switched to HD, I decided to cancel Tivo altogether. I'm now using Time Warner's DVR and while it's not the Mac interface of DVRs, it gets the job don
    • by demon (1039)
      Frequently TiVo fills its drive with a bunch of stuff that is largely uninteresting - that then needs to be deleted.

      Er, did you ever bother to thumbsup/thumbsdown *anything*? If you did, the TiVo would start molding its choices based on your preferences. Also, the TiVo Suggestions are the first thing to go when space is needed for a chosen recording - you should never, ever need to delete them. For me, it's always recording something that's fairly close to my tastes, so I'm perfectly happy to leave it on.

      H
  • Good timing (maybe) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Schnapple (262314) <`tomkidd' `at' `viatexas.com'> on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @01:18PM (#19971951) Homepage
    For various reasons I won't go into here, I still haven't jumped on the HD Bandwagon yet. All my TV's in my house are SD. As luck would have it, the 80GB single tuner Series2 downstairs is starting to die - the hard drive occasionally makes clicking noises, and the screen freezes when this happens. So if that thing bites the dust, I figure I can pick up one of these guys.

    Which then raises the question - am I right in thinking that it will work with my current all-SD setup? I figure within the next year I'll be diving into HDTV so it will be nice to have the HD TiVo in place, but will it really work?
    • by LanMan04 (790429)
      Just replace the hard drive, it's REALLY quite an easy process. Check out InstantCake, which enables people who aren't command-line wizards to easily replace TiVo hard drives. Costs $20.

      http://www.dvrupgrade.com/dvr/stores/1/instantcake .cfm [dvrupgrade.com]
    • by crumley (12964) *
      If it is outside of warranty, just replace the hard drive yourself. Or call up TiVo, they will probably swap out your dying one for a refurbed SD TiVo fro cheap. Of course if you really are going to go HD, then it might make sense to switch, but prices will probably drop even more by then.
  • Monthly Fee (Score:3, Informative)

    by s31523 (926314) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @01:22PM (#19972053)
    When I bought the TiVo series 3 I thought I would just use it as a VCR, and not get the monthly subscription. Nope, the unit disables all DVR features unless it is activated. I imagine the new one will do the same... If TiVo gets rid of the subscription and/or lowers it significantly they might be able to hang on. I am using TiVo for now, but after the year is up I am selling the darn thing and getting away from them.
    • by antdude (79039)
      Ditto. This is why I avoid hardware DVRs like TiVo. Currently, I use a computer but it is not super reliable and things break with software, drivers, etc. I just want a dedicated hardware DVR without its subscription. I only get analog and digital TV feeds OTA since I don't have cable and satellite TV services.
  • Does or will MythTV work with hardware that supports CableCard? I've never found a really good answer for this or the answer is in the negative. Leaning me towards buying one of the new TiVo HD boxes.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Does or will MythTV work with hardware that supports CableCard?

      The concise answer is to this question is a simple "No." But I'm sure if you go onto a MythTV message board and ask that question, you'll get a dozen responses from programmers who came up with really complicated, illegal hacks to do it. They will then call you a baby killer and say terrible things about your mother for daring to insinuate that there is anything their beloved MythTV can't do.

      • by BLKMGK (34057)
        Considering that the CableCard hardware requires some sort of handshake and authorization done by the tech installing it I'm betting that no you won't even find illegal ways of turning it on. CableCard was SUPPOSED to make access to cable content easier, thank you FCC, instead it was turned into an opportunity for the cable companies to screw us yet again. Myth is going to have a very hard time surviving when STBs are no longer used and QAM only supports the same stuff you can get OTA. I think that sux but
  • Sigh... DirecTV (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stele (9443) on Tuesday July 24, 2007 @02:24PM (#19973097) Homepage
    Now if I could just hook this thing up to my 5 LNB DirecTV....

    Those if you with the non-Tivo DirecTV DVR will understand.
  • I'm wondering if they would allow me to swap this into my current subscription on a Series 2, or whether I have to buy a new subscription with it and end my current one (read: sign a new contract ala mobile phone providers).
  • Okay, time to ask the only two questions that matter:

    1: How do I enable the 30-second forward skip?

    2: Are these the ones Comcast will be rolling out to their subscribers?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tim1724 (28482) *

      1: How do I enable the 30-second forward skip?

      select, play, select, 3, 0, select ... same as any other TiVo. It will stay in effect until you reboot (or you can enter the code again to disable it, but why would you want to do that?)

    • by jgabby (158126)
      The answer to #2: No. Comcast will not, as far as I can tell, be rolling new Tivo specific boxes out. They will be updating their existing boxes to run Tivo software, and a relatively limited Tivo software at that. The demo I've seen ran pretty slowly, didn't support the Live Guide EPG style. It did have swivel search. But in the end, Tivo software on an ugly Motorola box... yay?
  • The only think keeping me with Comcast right now (I'm on my 4th Motorola DCT 6412-III in 2.5 months) is the promise of a Comcast TiVo box to come and replace it. All the problem of the user with the Moto DCT 3xxx series I've had as well. My problem is that I'm in one of Comcast's smallest service areas (reported 85,000 customers), and we're not likely to see the new boxes soon enough!
  • Wake me when they actually enable the esata port and allow multiroom oh and when multistream cable cards are actually available. Until then this (like all other tivo products) are useless to digital cabletv subscribers.

"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory

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