Direct Tivo Questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stan T, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. Stan T

    Stan T Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 2, 2001
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    Is there any advantage to having the Direct Tivo Receiver as opposed to the Direct Tivo standalone?

    I have a Direct TV receiver & was wanting to add Tivo capabilities to record sports programs. I called Direct Tivo & they were running the stand alone units at $199 with a $50 rebate. I then went to Best Buy & they were running the Direct TV receivers with Tivo at $199 with no rebate. The only thing I would gain with the new receiver is Dolby Digital & I never watch Pay Per View movies.

    The salesman at Best Buy said if I went to the stand alone unit I would need (IR emitters - I guess that's what they're called) on all the units that I want to tape from (satellite receiver, T.V., etc). He said it was better to get the receiver so you don't have to do that. But as we all know alot of time Best Buy employees don't know everything & try to get you to buy their merchandise.

    Thanks for your replies. I want to buy a unit in the next couple of days & am totally unsure whether to get another receiver with Tivo capabilities or the standalone. What are the advantages or disadvantages of each?

    You guys have been great in the past to help me get information for all my purchases.

    Also if I don't have the Direct T.V. premium service what is my monthly price for Tivo?
  2. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

    Apr 26, 1999
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    First off let's straighten out your terminology. There's no "Direct Tivo standalone", nor is there any "Direct Tivo" company to call. These are two separate companies: DirecTV the satellite TV company, and Tivo the PVR company. Tivo makes standalone models under its own brand, and also under other brands e.g. Sony. People just refer to them as "standalone Tivos". These record directly from analog unscrambled cable / antenna, or from a connected satellite receiver / cable box, or from both sat + cable/ant (but not simultaneously). In the latter case, it needs a method to control the box, which can either be a serial cable link, or an IR emitter, depending on exactly what box you have. Serial control is more reliable than IR.

    Tivo also collaborates with DirecTV to produce & market the combination receiver product, which has been dubbed "DirecTivo" by users, but is known officially as something like "DirecTV DVR w/ Tivo". The advantage of this unit is that it records the satellite digital bitstream directly, which gives you the best possible video & audio quality, since it's not re-encoding from analog like the standalone. This advantage is directly related to its biggest disadvantage -- it records only from DirecTV, nothing else. Local channels have to be subscribed to via dish, not from cable or antenna.

    The other huge advantage of DirecTivo is that it can record two shows simultaneously, given the right cabling from the dish.

    Tivo costs - in addition to the hardware you have to pay separately for the software/guide data. In the DirecTivo case it's $5/month if not getting the top tier package. For the standalones, it's $250 once (which I strongly recommend), or $13 monthly.

    Get the DirecTivo combo model if you can get local channels through DirecTV. The advantages are huge over the standalone for recording DirecTV material. Standalone only makes sense if you need to record local stations and you live in small market where DirecTV won't provide them.

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