TiVo Questions for a Newbie (please help!)

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Javery, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Javery

    Javery Auditioning

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    I have several questions regarding TiVo and the current situation in my TV room. This is my first post so please go easy on me... [​IMG]

    Here is what I have:

    1. Panasonic 42" HD Plasma TV.
    2. Comcast Digital Cable Box (with the HD converter built-in)
    3. TiVo 80GB DVR

    Here are my questions:

    1. How can I hook this all up so TiVo will work on the Plasma TV along with my cable service?
    2. If it is not possible - will switching to a DirectTV setup help?
    3. If that won't work, what will (I really want TiVo)?

    I realize that to record an HD broadcast takes way more memory than my TiVo has. I do not necessarily care about recording HD channels (although that would be sweet). For example, I can live with recording NBC instead of NBCHD for when I am not able to watch it live. Also, my cable box only has "component out" and there does not appear to be a "component in" to the TiVo box. What I want to be able to do is basically hook TiVo up to my television. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    If the Tivo is a recent purchase, still in 30-day period, I'd actually advise returning it. There are HD PVR options coming in the near future that are much more attractive than your current setup. One is the HD-DirecTivo, model Hughes HD-DVR250, due in March. The other is the Comcast DVR integrated HD cable box/DVR, Motorola 6208/6408 or SA 8000HD depending on area, rollout date also depending on area.
     
  3. Javery

    Javery Auditioning

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    Wow. [​IMG] I can't even begin to tell you how helpful that is... Thank you!

    It looks like I will be returning the TiVo I have (hopefully I can - it was a Christmas gift). I like the TiVo features (Season Pass, recommendations, etc.) and I am not too confident that a Comcast DVR will be comparable (plus, who knows when it will be released?).

    Is the HD-DirecTiVo that is due in March available only through DirecTV? If so, it looks like I am going to have to switch to it. My wife is going to kill me - we just got the cable set up a week ago. Also, is there any word on price? Thanks again...
     
  4. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    HD-DirecTivo is DirecTV & OTA ATSC only. Cost is $999 list, some places are taking preorders at $100 off.

    I have had my Tivos for a very long time so I've already gotten my money's worth out of them and deciding whether to return is not an issue. I am renting Comcast HD box for the time being, waiting for both the HD-DirecTivo & Comcast DVR to come out. Once the second comes out I will rent for a month or two to evaluate (I don't expect software to be at all comparable, but I'm hoping it will be good enough to get the job done.) Then I'll weigh features & programming vs. pricing, maybe wait it out for the price on the HDDTivo to drop or for Comcast to get out a dual tuner version with bigger drive capacity. Comcast DVR of course has a huge upfront cost advantage, but that's offset somewhat by higher monthly costs (I think ~$15), smaller drive, single tuner (for Motorola 6208 areas), and worse programming selection (at least for now).

    What area of the country are you in? You might head over to avsforum.com, check out the "HDTV recorders" forum which has rumors on when the Comcast DVR will be released in various regions. I'm hoping March for me, in SF bay area.

    I don't know if you want to wait an indefinite period of time for Comcast. You could just keep the Tivo & lose a bit on resale later. But if you decide to go the DirecTV route I do think it's worth the extra $400 + $5/month for full HD recording capability & being able to record 2 shows simultaneously. Your situation is different from mine since you might be able to get your money back on the standalone.
     
  5. Javery

    Javery Auditioning

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    I am located in NJ (about 15 miles or so from NYC) so maybe Comcast will get on the ball and release something here soon. I am just worried that the features won't be as good as TiVo. This whole process is thoroughly confusing...

    Let me get this straight...

    1. If I wait a month or two and buy the DirecTiVO HD box, I will be able to hook it up to my television and have all the functions of the regular TiVo plus the ability to record HDTV broadcasts

    2. I would have to cancel my Comcast service and get a satellite dish

    More questions (every one answered triggers 3 more) [​IMG]

    1. Is the DirecTV picture/signal better than a digital cable signal?

    2. Does bad weather frequently disrupt transmission?

    3. Does DirecTV carry HD broadcasts? I keep hearing something about needing an antenna as well...

    If I spent as much energy learning my job as I do trying to figure out my television, I'd be a millionaire...

    THANKS!!!
     
  6. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Yes, but only a few channels. You'll need a regular OTA antenna to get all your local HD broadcasts. The only local HD you can get via satellite in the near future is CBS, but only if your local affiliate is owned & operated by CBS corporate.
     
  7. Javery

    Javery Auditioning

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    Does the picture look HD by just coming in OTA?
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Yes, if your local station is broadcasting HD. If not, you get a digital SD picture which is very good but no where close to HD.

    -Robert
     
  9. Javery

    Javery Auditioning

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    I read a pretty comprehensive DirecTiVo HD FAQ around here somewhere but I still have questions [​IMG]

    1. Once the DirecTiVo HD box is hooked up and I have an antenna for all of my local HD broadcasts, will TiVo incorporate the OTA HD channels in its menu system?

    2. Can I use the Season Pass feature and tell TiVo to record ER, for example, which comes in OTA on NBCHD?

    3. Or will I constantly be switching tuners on my television to watch everything. I would like everything to be integrated, if possible...

    THANKS!
     
  10. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    1. Yes, I think you have to enter zip code(s).
    2. Of course, season passes are channel specific so you'd just SP on the OTA channel. What is unknown is how Wishlists will operate, will they give priority to OTA-HD/SAT-HD channels? Hopefully they will.
    3. No, with the HD-Tivo you could keep the TV on one input to watch everything. You'd only have to switch for other devices like your DVD player.
     

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