Finally! TiVo Series 3 Is Here!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Craig S, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    The long awaited TiVo HD Series 3 is now available:

    http://www.tivo.com/cms_static/press_111.html

    Dual-tuner: any combo of NTSC, ATSC, analog cable or digital cable (via CableCard). Outputs to HDMI, component, S-Video or composite. Very flexible video output settings. Built-in wired ethernet, and 2 USB ports (for wireless LAN). eSata port for external storage expanison. Reworked backlit remote. Front-panel display tells you what shows are recording, and what the output resolution is.

    Negative: $799 is pricy. eSATA port is not yet enabled (a software update later this year will fix that). No Multi-Room Viewing or TivoToGo right now, due to restrictions imposed by CableLabs certification (TiVo wants to turn these on in the future if their negotiations with CableLabs will let them).

    Reviews up from PC Magazine and Engadget.

    Mine is on order! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. RichP

    RichP Second Unit

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    Yawn.

    Does nothing that the Cable DVR doesn't (with the sole exception of the Ethernet connection, which isn't that exciting anyway) and on top of that wants me to pay $800 up front and then $12 a month when the Cable DVR is $10 a month period.

    I'll pass thanks.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    That was my first thought as well. I think they may have trouble competing with the boxes already available from cable providers -- especially since those boxes typically don't require you to obtain and install a separate card in order to receive and record HD.

    M.
     
  4. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    I agree that it's expensive, not a great value at the moment for what it offers, but
    isn't accurate. You do get OTA capabilities which will be useful for people who are still missing local station(s) w/ HD programming they want. Bigger drive, and expansion capabilities soon. Also wishlist (auto-record based on search criteria), better search features, less flaky, more polished software in general. + Music/photo streaming.

    I'd be willing to pay $300, maybe $400 at most for all those things. But $800 is a bit much IMO.
     
  5. Brian Price

    Brian Price Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had a Tivo Series 2 since they first came out and I was pumped when I heard about the HD Series 3.....then I saw the price. I just can't justify spending $800 + $199 (lifetime transfer) on this unit. If it was $400 to $500 with free lifetime transfer I would be in my car right now trying to find one. I'm just having a hard time even putting myself in their shoes and justifying the price. Cable DVR's seem to be all over these days which will probably hurt them as well. If someone has a theory on how they can justify a $1,000 total price on this I would be interested in that perspective. It just doesn't make sense to me. It seems like they will love a lot of business unless the price gets lowered.

    Brian Price
     
  6. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    youch, 800 plus the monthly fee.

    too much.

    whats the incentive to get this with what cable co has to offer with their box.
     
  7. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    I have a Motorola DVR through Charter cable and I love the HD capabilty but I hate the Moxi operating system and I have been waiting on this forever, and, at that price, i'll be waiting some more. I love my series 2 tivo upstairs and love the ease of use, damnit TIVO, lower the price!
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I have two, 2-tuner, SA 8500HD DVRs. They replaced my three TiVo series 2s and three cable boxes (needed for digital cable.) The SA DVR is adequate. The software is a pale imitation of TiVo and I've been looking forward to the release of the Series 3. It is finally here - and I'm not even interested.

    Are they NUTS? $800 for the box? Either $13.00 a month or a couple of hundred bucks for lifetime service? (I was month-to-month on my old TiVos.) To duplicate what I have now I'd need 2 TiVo 2s - figure $1000 each or $800 and about $18 a month for the service. Oh, wait. I'd also have to pay my cable company $7 a month each for 4 cable cards to tune my digital and HD stations. And I'd lose some functionality in doing so, since current cable cards don't support interactive features like PPV ordering.

    But at least I'd have my wonderful home networking and TiVo-2-Go features back, right? No, sorry. Not going to be there. (Which is odd since SA has a box - not supported by my cheap cable company - that can stream video not only to other DVRs, but to non-DVD SA cable boxes. Why wouldn't the cable consortium allow TiVo to do something simliar?)

    To have my old three room TiVo system (living room, bedroom, home office, each with an HD set) I'd have to spend at least $2400, plus about $27 a month for TiVo service (assuming the extra TiVo discount still applies) and $42 a month for the cable cards. Right now I rent 2 HD-DVRs for $18 a month -no upfront cost, no cable cards needed, no extra charge for the DVR service. I'm not rich enough to say "money is no object, the TiVo interface is worth it" nor stupid enough to pay more than what my main HT TV and receiver cost and more than double my current monthly TV subscription fees in order to marginally improve my TV watching experiences.

    TiVo needs to get out of the hardware and service business. They need to dump that overhead and get down to what they do best - software. They're going to put themselves out of business competing with the the program delivery services like cable and satellite. They can beat them on hardware and service because of volume and the fact that they necessarily already have a service infrastructure to support their main business. What TiVo does best is software. That is really their core competance, and it should be their core business. They should show Comcast and TW and Dish and DirecTV that their superior interface, guides and software can add vaule to boxes built by whoever builds their receivers/tuners and incorporated the services they already sell (maybe as a value-added alternative to their basic interface for a couple of bucks more a month.)

    You know, if the series 3 were $100 or even $200 bucks, and the subscriptions (both monthly and lifetime) were cheaper, I might consider getting one just for the main living room HT, and live with the cable DVRs in the other two rooms. (Since I plan to add another cable DVR when my home office rennovation is finished in early October.) But at the current prices for a TiVo service that doesn't even have all that my old TiVo services did, and is only marginally better than my cheap cable company DVR, I can't see any reason to make the jump. And I can't imagine enough other HDTV owners are going to do so to make this remotely viable. They either need to take a bath on the hardware in order to build a subscription base or totally change their business model as I outlined above. Far from saving a TiVo being squeezed by competition from cable and sattelite DVRs, I think the Series 3 is going to be the thing that finally sinks the company. Meanwhile others will go on making money with cheap imitations of the basic idea.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  9. Brian^K

    Brian^K Supporting Actor

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    I'm a very strong TiVo supporter, and I'm not recommending this machine. It's just too over-priced, missing too many standard Series 2 features, and far too ready-to-be-obsoleted.
     
  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I love TiVo. For SD it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I loved TiVo2Go and home networking and being able to archive shows to the PC or DVD for later viewing when the hard drive started filling up, playing music files from my PC through the TiVo to my receiver and being able to record a show on the bedroom or home office TV and transfer it to the livingroom box for viewing on the big screen. (Or vice versa for watching a show while working on the computer or in bed. Hell, once I upgraded to wireless-G I could basically stream the shows live.)

    Even without all that the TiVo interface is simple enough that my parents can handle it, so I got each of them a TiVo-equipped DirecTV receiver. (He got his first, one Christmas and uses it in their bedroom. The following Mother's day I got mom hers for use in the den, which she has taken over as her day room.)

    I would love nothing more than to go back to TiVo. But I'm in a north-facing condo where I can only get cable, I'm spoiled by HD, and I can't pay their prices. I really do think it is a shame. I sent a version of the post above to their feedback e-mail address. I'll be interested in seeing if they actually respond at some point.

    If they're thinking "early adopters are willing to burn money to have the latest toys, and HD is an early adopters market" they are looking at exactly the wrong part of the trend line. HD prices are coming down, HD service is more widely available and we are rapidly moving out of the early adopter stage. (Which is one reason why Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are getting off to such slow starts. A lot of people, myself inlcuded, are sitting out this format war because we don't see any reason to spend 5 or 10 times as much as a decent standard DVD player costs for the privilige of buying a format that may be a TV footnote in five years.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  11. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    Do you have to have a cable card if you don't do subscription services like hbo? Does the tivo have a QAM cable tuner? I agree though, $800 is ridiculous when I am renting a dvr for $10. I thought my Motorola box was horendous at first always rebooting and losing the guide and not programming, but it has improved dramatically since I added a signal booster.
     
  12. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Without a cablecard, the only digital channels you will receive are the local HD channels. Most digital channels like HBO, ESPN, etc will be scrambled. Will the Tivo record them? Probably not. For example, your local ABC may be on QAM channel 100 but with the cable card, it is on channel 321. If Tivo only supplies the guid with the cablecard channels, then you can't record it automatically.

    -Robert
     
  13. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, I didn't think about the channels on the grid. You are probably right that the grid will only reflect the channel numbers that the cable card provides and are on the channel listing that Comcast sends in the mail. Considering that when I call Comcast support, I can't even get them to acknowledge that the QAM channels exist and you can get HD without a cable card or dvr/set top box. I have a weird situation, couple of the local HD stations are on different channels on my Sony SXRD tv and Sharp LCD tv; I was trying to get Comcast to tell me which set is correct and they wouldn't even acknowledge that a channel 116.1 exists.
     
  14. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter
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    While the price of the S3 is a big problem, I would still be willing to purchase it at that price if I knew for certain the next generation of two-way capable cable cards would work in it. As far as I know Tivo has made no statement regarding this.

    To me, this means that either they don't know because the CC hardware isn't available yet, or they do know and the answer is "No".

    I don't really care about PPV, the bigger problem is Time Warner and switched video. In some markets TW is starting to deploy some channels using this switched video technology, which the current cable cards can't handle because it requires two-way communication. Any channel using this won't be viewable on a S3 Tivo. As I understand it, TW plans to roll out this technology rather aggressively.

    So until cable cards can deal with switched video and such cards will work in a Tivo I wouldn't recommend a Series 3 to anyone right now.

    In fact I may even dump my old Series 2 soon because recent software updates have made it frustrating slow. I was thinking about getting a new dual tuner model because it is suppose to be faster, however it will be cheaper to just move to Time Warner's HD DVR.

    -Keith
     
  15. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    They do know, the answer is "no". If you think your area is likely to heavily utilize switched digital then series 3 isn't for you.
     
  16. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    The thing that always pulls me back to tivo is the software. There is nothing more simple. I have a Charter HD DVR downstairs on my HDTV that uses the Moxi software and it is clunky compared to tivo. My wife is a technophobe but can navigate tivo like a pro but will not touch the Moxi remote.
    My tivo recently died and I am going to use an older 40hr tivo that was given to me instead of buying a new one because I know that TW and comcast are moving ahead with plans to utilize tivo software in their DVR's and hopefully Charter will follow suite. When that happens, I will get the cable DVR for upstairs as well. There is no way I will pay $800 for a series 3, tivo needs to get out of the hardware side of the business soon.
     
  17. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Really? I've heard rumors that at least Comcast has been in talks with TiVo, but I'm not aware of any concrete plans. Comcast bought Adelphia, my previous cable company, a few months ago. But they have no information about any such deal with TiVo or any planned changes to their current Scientific Atlanta boxes or software. (Which already have multiroom networking features that Adelphia never supported and which Comcast continues to ignore.)

    I hope TiVo moves in this direction, and that I can get their software and interface on my cable company DVR, but I see no signs that this is actually happening.

    In the meantime the S3 remains a "no sale" for me, for all the reasons given earlier in this thread.

    Regards,

    Joe

    P.S.

    TiVo never did reply to my e-mail. [​IMG]
     
  18. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    First releases are targeted towards Motorola equipment which are using some of the same core chips as the series 3. When/whether they port to SA is unknown.
     
  19. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I went to TiVo.com and went through all the 2005 and 2006 press releases and didn't see anything about deals with any of the cable companies. Am I just missing something? Adelphia - now Comcast - offers only Scientific Atlanta equipment in my area. So I hope if TiVo does do something with Comcast they'll either switch to Motorola boxes or port the TiVo software to the SA 8500 series HD units.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  20. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    i remember reading somethjing about this within the last year.
    comcast is ,sometime in the next 2 years , going to use TIVO in their dvrs instead of the current mess that is being used.
     

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