Looking into TiVO - any advice ???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Rock, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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    After missing Alias last Sunday night, I've decided to get a digital recorder.

    I saw a Sony Model at Best Buy for $400 (Minus $100 rebate, so really $300) - but it appeared to be the only one that works with Cable.

    I live in a townhouse, and can't get DirecTV, or I'd go that route.

    Anyone with cable or digital cable like me have one of these? Where did you get it? Do you like it?

    Any feedback would be appreciated.
     
  2. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    I got mine a couple years ago when Circuit City & Tivo were literally giving them away for free. Nowadays, the best deal, if you can find one, is for under $100 at Walmart. These are the older models made by Philips and are now being discontinued. Another source would be www.orbitsat.com. They have refurbished 14 hour Philips models for $140. If you're thinking about hacking it to add a bigger hard drive, that would be the way to go - lower initial cost. Any yes, you want the stand-alone model if you've only got cable. The DirecTivo boxes only work with DirecTV. Actually, the stand-alone model will work with DirecTV and cable concurrently if you end up getting DirecTV sometime in the future.
    How do I like it? I wouldn't want to be without it. By far the best and most useful equipment I've ever bought. No more juggling tapes. No more missed shows - my complete schedule is programmed in. Tivo will even record shows that have been temporarily moved to another slot (such as when CBS moved Survivor from Thurday to Wednesday the last couple weeks). All done thru the magic of The Season Pass. This is the feature where you can assign a season pass to any or all of your favorite shows and Tivo will record them whenever they're broadcast. You have the option of recording all episodes or just first runs. The other nice thing is being able to search for shows. You can search by title, keyword, actor, director, etc. Excellent for finding only the shows you like. It's also useful for resolving scheduling conflicts. Got two shows you want to record at the same time? No problem. Use the search to find all episodes of a given show and schedule it for another time. You do realize that in order to get these benefits you need to subscribe to the Tivo service. Currently it's $9.95/month (going up to $12.95/month in April) or $250 for a lifetime subscription. Any other questions, just ask.
    Also, a good resource to find out all about Tivo is www.tivocommunity.com
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Try searching this forum for the word "TiVO". There are a lot of existing posts with useful information.

    M.
     
  4. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    If you already have an Ethernet LAN in your home, you may want to consider a ReplayTV; the newer models will use it (instead of your phone line) to enable some new capabilities (like finding a fellow owner who did record Alias who will download it to you via the Internet.) They're more expensive, and better at some things (like skipping ads) but not as good at some others (like resolving conflicts.)
     
  5. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Supporting Actor

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    Check out tivocommunity.com for lots of useful info.
    I've had a tivo for a few months now and I'm very suprise more people around here don't have them.
     
  6. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    is replay tv better or worse than tivo
     
  7. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    I own both a Tivo and a ReplayTV. ReplayTV (the current models) has two significant features that Tivo does not - the ability to share recordings with other people via the Internet and the ability to schedule recordings via the Internet. If you absolutely need these features, then you may want to get the ReplayTV. In general though, Tivo has superior software with the Season Pass and conflict management capability. Tivo also has the ability to record suggestions whenever there is free space on the hard drive. You can "rate" the suggestions (or any show, for that matter) using thumbs up or thumbs down and Tivo will only record those suggestions that have high ratings. Very cool! I find the ReplayTV remote to be cluttered and somewhat more difficult to use. The user interface looks nice but is somewhat clunky. It is tedious to scan forward in the guide to see what shows are coming up. Tivo's guide looks a bit different, but after using it for awhile, it's actually quite efficient. It allows you to scan forward fairly rapidly. Another annoyance with ReplayTV is that it is "locked" from use during the dial-in period (between 2 & 4 AM) to update the guide. You can break the lock but it is somewhat of a hassle. You cannot watch live or recorded TV during the download period. Tivo does the guide download in the background and you always have access to live or recorded shows.
     
  8. Mark Gurney

    Mark Gurney Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris, here is my Tivo sob story:

    Last weekend I went to my local Best Buy, Circuit City and SoundTrack looking for a new Tivo unit. After searching around town the only unit that I could find was an open box 30-hr Sony cable unit from SoundtTrack. With their sale price, open box discount and $100 mail-in rebate, it would cost me about $260.

    After taking the unit home and hour and a half later, I was ready to pull my hair out and kick the unit over my balcony. Of course there is the initial dial-in when the Tivo downloads a local number and then updates its software, program listings, etc. The darn thing would not connect. I looked at Tivo's FAQ, various Tivo communities on the web for help. Everything suggested did not work.

    The next day I called Tivo support and went through 15 minutes of questioning and troubleshooting. Nothing. The Tivo rep then asks me to power the unit off and unplug all cables for one minute and then plug everything back in, power cable last. I did so, plugging the power cable in last. THE STUPID THING WOULD NOT COME BACK ON. At this point I was very frustrated and done with trying to get this thing to work. The next day I returned to SoundTrack for a refund. The girl at the counter asked if I would like to wait for a new unit to come it, and I answered no. Her response was basically, "I don't blame you, more than half of these Sony units have been returned for various reasons."

    OK, OK, I know I received an open box unit in which anything could have happened to it. And for more information, I do have DSL which can screw with Tivo, but I consider myself pretty technical and did everything in which to allow Tivo to connect (Of course this does not explain Tivo dying on me). Moral of the story is basically watch out for that Sony unit, they seem to be prone to lemonhood. Obviously Tivo works, thousands of people use it everyday, it just so happens that I was not blessed by the Tivo gods this week.

    I will try Tivo again (after we move in a month or two), in an apartment without DSL and a brand new, un-tainted unit. I am extremely dissapointed that I am not using Tivo (due to my bad experience), but am certainly willing to give it another chance. Anyway, that's my $.02.

    Mark
     
  9. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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    Thank you for the responses. I will check out the TiVO site that some of your recommended.
     
  10. Michael Johnston

    Michael Johnston Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Philips HDR312 (30 hour standalone) with lifetime service and absolutely love it! .[​IMG] I am switching to a DirecTivo next week and will be selling off my old unit after the new unit is up and running. One thing is for sure, I refuse to watch live TV anymore.
    FYI. Tivo is changing over to Series 2 boxes so you may want to consider one of those. The standalone version 2 is supposed to be out soon if it isn't already. The DirecTivo Series 2 isn't due out until this fall and supplies of the original DirecTivo are dwindling fast.
    Michael
     
  11. Mike_G

    Mike_G Screenwriter

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    The only suggestion I have for you about TiVo is to make room for the new electronic love of your life [​IMG]. We have TiVo and can't live without it. All I can tell you is to MAKE SURE you properly set up your priorities for your season passes. We've missed shows due to this.
    Mike
     

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