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Series 3 vs. HD Tivo, which is better? which would you buy now if you had to choose 1

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by drvanhook, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. drvanhook

    drvanhook New Member

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    Jan 30, 2013
    my family needs another tivo unit, but I'm having trouble justifying the expense of a Premiere + Lifetime, so looking at pre-owned Series 3/HD tivos that already have lifetime on them, since they are at least a couple hundred less...

    I have an HD Tivo with lifetime already, but have never gotten to see/use a Series 3, so wondering how they compare?

    excluding hard drive size from a comparison (am planning to do a 1TB HD upgrade myself anyways LOL), IF they were the same cost, which would be a better one for me to buy? The "HD Tivo", or the "Series 3" that had the OLED front?

    if the Series 3 w/lifetime was $50 more than an HD Tivo w/lifetime (again, excluding HD size in comparison), would that be reasonable/worth it?

    seems the Series 3 units had a MUCH higher retail cost when they were available, but that doesn't always mean better :) the HD Tivo being a lot cheaper was why I ended up with one in the first place...so at this point, the HD Tivo is newer than its Series 3 predecessor, but is it considered better/same/worse in comparison?

    since they're both older models, how's the reliability of them? one have more failures than the other? one easier to fix/repair than the other?

    read somewhere else on the forum that the motherboard structure changed, as in where the TSN was stored, which could be relevant if you had a motherboard go bad, and could find a working unit w/o the lifetime you wanted to preserve...that on the Series 3, the TSN is in a chip which could be desoldered and moved to a working motherboard, but starting with the HD Tivo, the TSN moved to the CPU which is not something the average DIYer can do (and checking with Weaknees, sounds like even their repair dept can't do it??), so is this by itself enough reason to buy a Series 3 over an HD Tivo, price being the same? or are the HD Tivos overall reliable enough that motherboard failures aren't common enough to worry about?

    thanks for any info in helping me make this decision :)
     
  2. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

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    Marion, Iowa
    Those that own the original S3 generally swear by them (not at them). I've only owned the S3HD (had two) and liked them just fine. One consideration is that the S3 requires two CableCards, even if the cards are the multi-stream kind. The S3HD requires only one card.
     
  3. drvanhook

    drvanhook New Member

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    Jan 30, 2013
    thanks for the reply! for some reason, I thought the Series 3 units were able to do the multi cable cards (m-cards) after all, something about a tivo update after they had worked it out int he HD Tivo? or am I working on misinformation and they remained incapable of working with the m-cards?
     
  4. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    I like the OLED better, but the money saving part of needing only one card makes me choose the Tivo HD.

    Yes, they can *use* M-cards, but you NEED TWO regardless of card type.

    But really, if you are intending on staying on cable, a Premiere 4 is probably worth saving up for -- just for the more tuners.
     
  5. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    Both (S3 and HD) are subject to power supply failures due to "capacitor plague" (google and search these forums for more info). However I believe the S3's have a higher incidence of it just because they were made when use of the defective caps was at its peak. Other than that there is no reliability difference AFAIK.

    The S3 requires two CableCARDs (unless you are going OTA only).

    The S3 transfers video over a network a little faster, about 10 or 15% I think.

    Stay away from expander drives (for reliability) on either model.

    If network transfer speed, or being able to MRV copy protected videos (which abound on some cables systems, most notably Time Warner) are important factors for you, you might want to reconsider the Premiere.
     
  6. drvanhook

    drvanhook New Member

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    Jan 30, 2013
    no OTA, can't give up our favorite cable channels LOL...thank you both for the correction! I would be dependent on cablecards to have my cable service, so I'll have to check with the cable company (Comcast) about cost of the cablecards...I know the one currently in our HD Tivo is no charge, so I hadn't given it much thought...


    will definitely google on capacitor plague, thanks!

    all the tivos are wired to the network, so network transfer speed hasn't been an issue yet between the S3HD and the S2DT, but good to know! and I have no interest in any external/expander drives...

    as for the Premiere 4, this might be for the forum dedicated to them, but I thought they were buggy? we are on cable (Comcast) which would be an easy fit/match for the Premiere 4, BUT we are not planning on living in this house/state forever, so have no idea if the next house would be digital cable or not, so it feels like it's not a great tradeoff to get the extra 2 tuners at the risk of having an unusable (to us) unit after we move...

    just googled about this, can't see any information about how MRV copy protected videos differs on a Premiere vs. a S3/S3HD? can you please elaborate? I do notice a few channels we have (like Disney Jr. but not regular Disney??) that all shows on those channels are disallowed from being MRV copied...that's for recorded on the HD Tivo (in std def), and trying to transfer it to the Series 2...would I be allowed to transfer those same disallowed shows to the Premiere? or if they were recorded initially on the premiere, they wouldn't get the same disallowing in getting them tranfserred over to the HD Tivo?
     
  7. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Staunton, VA
    There are some BBC shows on Netflix that will not play correctly on the S3 OLED, but others reported they played fine on an HD.

    Scott
     
  8. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Your next house will be digital cable. You have to have digital cable if you want HD (other than OTA).

    No TiVo can transfer (make an additional copy of) copy protected content for MRV. However Premieres can stream (which doesn't make an additional copy). AFAIK streaming only works between two Premieres. No TiVo (unless hacked with hardware and software mods that are NOT for the faint of heart) can transfer or stream copy protected files to your PC over the network. This has been covered extensively on threads in these forums -- I'll let you do the searching.

    There is a thread on this sub-forum where people report what copy protection policies their cable cos have in their region. You might want to check it for your Comcast region -- and -- put your location in your profile so it appears beside every post (like mine), which helps others help you.
     
  9. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    If you get lifetime, you *almost definitely* have a very large resale value built in, if you ever move somewhere where you can't get cable.. (Seems HIGHLY unlikely.) I'm also saying "almost definitely", because who knows, we *could* do another change along the lines of analog->digital for OTA.. But I doubt it will happen completely for a long time.

    Plus, yes there are some UI quirks, but most of those are in the unfinished HD UI. But I wouldn't call it "buggy" in terms of not recording your shows, etc.
     

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