looking to buy a PVR

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Keith_R, Jul 12, 2003.

  1. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    Hey all, my next big piece of equipment that I'd like to get for my HT is a PVR. I know there are several choices on what to get, Replay TV or Tivo etc. A couple questions and concerns though.

    1. Why is it that all I'm seeing is the Tivo series 2 units? isn't there more of a selection? I can't find any Replay TV units or anything else of the such. So far I've looked at both Bestbuy and Circuit City.

    2. I'm aware Tivo costs $12.95 a month or $299 for lifetime subscription but am I able to buy a Tivo and use it without the monthly fees and without paying a lifetime subscription fee? also is there a contract if you pay monthly? what features do I miss out on by not paying monthly or lifetime?

    3. Which units use ethernet/broadband connections to get updated programing lists?

    Thanks.
     
  2. adamKI

    adamKI Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Keith,

    1. ReplayTV is rolling out their new models, the 5500 series now so your local BestBuy/Circuit city may be sold out of the older 5000 series. The 5000 series is available now from Amazon and other internet sellesr and may still be hanging around in some B&Ms.

    2. The newest Tivo units require the service to be active for the system to work (same goes with ReplayTV). You can get older Tivos that will work in manual mode only (works essentially like a VCR) if you don't have the service set up. Older ReplayTVs (4000 series and older) require no service activation as it was built into the original price of the product.

    By not paying the fee, you miss out on using the channel guide to easily select the shows you want to record as well as the system's ability to find all episodes of a particular show on any channel (e.g. you can program your DVR to record all episodes of Seinfeld which may appear on Fox, TBS, UPN, etc.)

    3. ReplayTV's, except 3000 series (i think?) have ethernet ports for broadband data downloads. You can also upgrade Tivo to use broadband but I believe you need a phone line for initial setup.

    Off the topic, but since you're shopping around, I should also say that Tivo is somewhat easier to learn to use. I have ReplayTV and I got Tivo for my parents - I think it would have been a bit more work to teach my mom (a complete technophobe) to use ReplayTV, she got the hang of the Tivo pretty quickly. I do love my ReplayTV, though, as I feel like I have more control over the unit (plus I have no hard phone line and I needed to have braodband connectivity from the get go).

    Happy shopping,

    adam
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  4. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The network adapters that TiVo recommends are listed here:

    http://www.tivo.com/4.9.9.4.asp#wl

    These are by no means the only adapters that work with Series 2 machines. People have reported success with numerous other brands.

    M.
     
  6. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    I saw a USB network card that plugs in to a USB port and acts as a typical network card. Would something like that work with the Tivo?

    on a side note does anyone know if the Tivo uses USB 2.0? thanks.
     
  7. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    1) Yes. It's a usb ethernet adapter I'm assuming. Michael posted tivo's recommended equipment list.

    2) Newer ones have USB 2.0 hardware, but it is not supported in the drivers.
     
  8. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    supposing I don't decide to plug it in on my network and plug in to the phone line instead, what is the deal with that? does the download take awhile? I've heard it does it late at night, how late? does it hang-up if you get on the line? thanks.
     
  9. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    Um, I've had mine for a couple of years and I think I've only picked up on it once. It generally seems to do a pretty good job of confining itself to calling at night. It doesn't take long on the phone at all, as long as the calls are made on a daily basis.
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  11. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    what about if someone calls you while it is downloading? does it hang up and reschedule in that event so you can get the call?
     

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