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To TIVO or NOT to TIVO!?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by tedrik, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. tedrik

    tedrik New Member

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    Jul 30, 2012
    San Antonio, Tx
    Hi, new to this forum. I may have ditched DISH Satellite too soon (after over a decade). I hadn't thought of the inconveniences we would encounter. The reason we finally cancelled was because, other than local stations, the only other stations we watched were LIFETIME (wife) and ESPN and FOXNEWS (myself). Ridiculous IMO to pay over $100.00 for 2 stations (we now have OTA with indoor antennas with a much better HD picture quality than with satellite). We are in San Antonio, TX and receive 22 stations (6 hispanic) crystal clear!

    Now for the problem/inconvenience- I assumed we would be able to use our DVD recorders to record the local stations at our convenience. Well, we CANNOT! Our 2 brand new HD/3D LG Tv's have no video outputs (only inputs-except for an optical audio output). I googled and found that this is by design to FORCE us to cable/satellite/TIVO etc.(Receivers with outputs). They even stopped selling DVD recorders WITH DIGITAL ATSC tuners to make it further IMPOSSIBLE to record. I previously had a Panasonic DVD recorder with a digital tuner (had no use-at the time for the tuner since it was hooked up to satellite receiver) I had paid $169.00 for it approx. 4 years ago-they are now selling on Amazon(used) for over $700.00(with digital tuners). Saw some today on Amazon for over (900.00) and E-bay with starting bids at $200 which will hit the ceiling I'm sure! Wow, are we being manipulated!!

    OK! Rant Over!! Is Tivo the best option? We were considering the cheaper Premier model for $99.00 and $14.95 per month. It only has a 320 GB and 45 hours of HD recording. That's ok for us since even with DVD recording we watched/erased often. How easy does the TIVO record and erase. Is the local channel guide convenient (since we will have it connected ONLY to the OTA input). Is it better to purchase directly through the TIVO website or through alternates (Amazon etc.) Any advice will be appreciated. We were looking forward (1 year ago) to purchasing the NEW ON MARKET BLU RAY DVD RECORDER (with ATSC tuner) to record. They are off the market(never made it to our market)in the US, but are selling well in Japan/Korea etc. It's not the fault of the makers-Panasonic/ LG etc. They simply understand that there is no market for them in the U.S. because of the aforementioned.
     
  2. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

    4,059
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    Feb 4, 2008
    Tivo is dead simple to use. It will manage recording from multiple tuners, deleting, conflicts, space constraints, suggestions, and much much more. You can also add more capacity if you find yourself using more space that you expect.

    If you go with a TiVo- it will really not matter who you buy from. I would highly recommend lifetime service. It has a clear payback and residual value.
     
  3. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Now that you are receiving OTA only, Tivo might be a good choice for you.
    Forget DVD recorders. Tivo allows you to transfer OTA shows directly to your computer. From there you can burn DVDs with DVD authoring software. This also allows you to use your computer as extra storage for your shows.

    Take a look through this forum.
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=7&f=35

    Edit: Er, I missed the point where you said you just used DVD recorders to save and then erase. :eek:
    As said above, Tivo is simple to use. I would think using a DVD recorder is more trouble than it's worth.

    Some advice if you decide to purchase:
    If you can afford the upfront cost, get the Product Lifetime Service ($499). It's cheaper in the long run if you plan to use it more than 3 years. Plus if you ever decide to sell it, it will have a lot more value than an unsubscribed unit.
     
  4. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    You might look for a used TIVo 3 with lifetime on craigslist or ebay.
     
  5. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    :up::up::up:

    Yeah, an S3HD with lifetime goes for somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 on eBay. You would pay that off in less than two years of monthly Tivo subscription on the Premiere. Yes, it only has 160GB stock drive but its very easy to upgrade if you need something larger.
     
  6. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Good suggestion. The OP probably wouldn't care about all the bells and whistles the Premiere has.
    A Series 3 or TivoHD with PLS would meet his needs and cost less.
     
  7. tedrik

    tedrik New Member

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    Jul 30, 2012
    San Antonio, Tx
    Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions-another concern: do you ALWAYS have to be connected to the internet to use the tv guide screen and record/receive programming/ or just for netflix etc. Thanks again!

    oops-not finished yet! more questions- since taking the DISH receiver out of the signal path and having just a pure signal from the indoor antenna directly to the TV HDMI input, we have a far superior HD picture quality-it's pristine! Is it better to connect the antenna to the TIVO and out to the TV- or antenna to TIVO then to AV Receiver and then AV receiver to TV (as we had with DISH NETWORK). Seems like the signal/picture is degraded the more inputs/ouputs between the antenna and TV. We never noticed this (for years) until we connected the indoor antenna directly to the TV and saw how much sharper and clearer it was. Maybe I'm too picky!? advice/input? Thanks
     
  8. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    A Tivo does not have to ALWAYS be connected to the internet to function (Using a Premiere w/ the HDUI would be the exception).
    However, it depends on the internet to get daily guide updates. Since TV programming can change on a daily basis, it is best to always be connected so the Tivo always has the most up to date guide info.

    The basic set up is Antenna to the Tivo, and then Tivo to TV with either HDMI or component cables.

    To put a receiver in the mix, you can do the above set up and use an optical cable to the receiver,
    or you can do Antenna > Tivo > Receiver > TV with HDMI or component cables. Picture should not be degraded. If it is, blame the receiver.
     
  9. tedrik

    tedrik New Member

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    Jul 30, 2012
    San Antonio, Tx
    Thanks again-would be nice if the TIVO's had BUILT_IN wireless.
     
  10. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    If you go wireless, use the TiVo-recommended adapters only.

    A few months ago Premieres were being offered with special OTA-only subscription service for only $10/mo. AFAIK those deals are gone, but keep your eyes open.

    I agree a used PLS Series 3 (HD or S3) is a good choice but there are disadvantages that go with the lower price:
    1. Power supplies, especially in the S3 models mfr'd before 2009 are having power supply failures due to "capacitor plague". Replacement PS'es sell for $100 if you do the install.
    2. Hard Drive failures are the most common failure mode in TiVo's. You will of course be getting a hard drive with some mileage on it.
    Of course a used item won't have any warranty coverage for these items.

    On the other hand, there have been many complaints that the OTA receiver sensitivity of the Premiere is less than for the Series 3 models. If your antenna signals are strong it probably won't be an issue.
     
  11. CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

    2,350
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    Jan 14, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    Do you mean the TiVo Branded Wifi Adapters? If you do, I cannot disagree more. For the price of the TiVo Wireless N Network Adapter, which is a Single Band, 2.4GHz adapter, you can purchase a Dual-Band 2.4/5GHz Wireless Bridge, which will perform much better, especially for MRS. (This assumes you have or are willing to get a Dual-Band 2.4/5GHz Wireless Router, which most people do not have.)

    Here is a Cisco-Linksys WET610N Dual-Band Wireless-N Gaming and Video Adapter - $50
    www.amazon.com/Cisco-Linksys-WET610N-Dual-Band-Wireless-N-Adapter/dp/B001QVQ7JU/

    And there are several more options for a Single Band, 2.4GHz Wireless N Adapter for much less. Several $20-$50 Single Band, 2.4GHz Wireless N Routers can be configured as a Bridge or have a Bridge Mode. Here are a couple at Monoprice:
    $20 - http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10521&cs_id=1052102&p_id=8071&seq=1&format=2
    $25 - http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10521&cs_id=1052102&p_id=8070&seq=1&format=2

    The comparable value of the TiVo Wireless N Adapter is less than $40
    $35.49 - TRENDnet Wireless N Gaming Adapter TEW-647GA
    http://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-Wireless-Gaming-Adapter-TEW-647GA/dp/B0024G48VA/

    I would never consider a Wireless G Adapter either, TiVo or other brand.
     
  12. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Why would you assume that?

    Have you ever owned a TV with a video output?

    That's just nonsense. The TV has traditionally been designed as a video terminal device, not an Audio/Video Receiver. There is no vast conspiracy to force the public to buy auxiliary gear. Rather, the TV is and always has been a minimally configured device designed to be able to display video for a minimum of cost. Some high end TVs do have video outputs (my Mitsubishi WD-62528 has an analog video output for recording, for example), but it is just not something the average owner would care to have given an extra cost.

    I wasn't really aware there were any that had them in the first place, but it is certainly not impossible to record a DVD.

    I don't know what fool would pay that. Heck, a brand new ATSC tuner for the PC can be had for under $100, and a new DVD burner for under $40.

    That's a very subjective question.

    I do not recommend the Premier, but if you truly intend never to record anything but OTA (what's the point? Except for PBS, there is nothing worth watching OTA), then it may suffice for you.

    In my estimation, a larger hard drive will serve you well. Not only will it allow for greater flexibility, setting the original HD on the shelf for safekeeping is a really, REALLY good idea.

    With a TiVo, there is very little particular reason to ever erase anything except to reduce "clutter".

    Every two weeks or so I browse the list of upcoming HD movies to find any the TiVo has not already decided to record. Since there are usually about 5000 movies coming on in the next two weeks, this actually takes about 45 minutes, but would require many hours with any other method. Every time a new movie is announced to be shown in theaters that I would like to see when it comes out on one of the Cable channels, I set a wishlist for it, which takes about a minute or less. Other than that, I have barely touched my TiVos other than to watch the content recorded on them for the last 12 years, yetin that time they have recorded many tens of thousands of shows.

    There is no reason to use the channel guide, ever. It is a waste of time. I haven't used it (them, actually - the TiVo has two different guides) in 12 years.

    Wherever you get the best deal.

    Not really. It's a pretty dumb idea. I have a set top DVD burner. 'Haven't used it since I got a TiVo. It's nothing but a pain and a waste of time, irrespective of inputs or outputs. (I have plenty of outputs.)
     
  13. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    What bells and whistles? I have a Premier (zero cost lease), two S3s, and a THD. Other than network performance and 1080p video, the Premier has nothing of value over and above the S3 or THD, and is missing some very important features.

    I agree.
     
  14. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Not with digital. The digital signal is a stream of ones and zeros. It does not suffer degradation as analog signals do. Unless you are doing some sort of video processing (uniklely), then if you have convinced yourself the PQ is degraded by the signal path, you are fooling yourself.

    Compared to what and for what sort of video source? Even with analog video processing gear, it is fairly unlikely one would be able to tell the difference between processed and un-processed signals, unless the gear was faulty. With digital, it's all but impossible.

    No, but I think it likely you may have convinced yourself of something that is not true. Actually, several somethings.
     
  15. takeshi

    takeshi New Member

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Best is always highly subjective regardless of topic. If you want us to try to answer that for you then you need to be very clear regarding your specific criteria. Tivo obviously isn't one-size-fits-all or else everyone would use it.

    Sounds to me like you're confusing compression with degradation. It's not uncommon for OTA image quality to be superior due to less compression. The satellite and cable operators use quite a bit of compression to get all those channels to their customers.

    Explaining why would be of benefit for any recommendation.
     
  16. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    6,996
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Near...
    Good point and I admit I have no personal experience using wireless adapters on a TiVo. I have formed the general impression from reading this forum for years that the TiVo recommended adapters were the only reliable choice and many people had trouble when they used others. Maybe this situation has changed with the newer model TiVo's. I have no reason to dispute what CoxInPHX says in post #11 here -- it sounds very authoritative, although perhaps not applicable if you already have a wireless router or WAP that is NOT wireless-N (and don't want to pay to upgrade your router).
     
  17. tedrik

    tedrik New Member

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    Jul 30, 2012
    San Antonio, Tx
    Nothing worth watching/recording OTA!? Do your opinions rule!? Totally disagree!
     
  18. tedrik

    tedrik New Member

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    Jul 30, 2012
    San Antonio, Tx
    Of course I've had Tv's with multiple video outputs until the newer models came out eliminating them and making impossible to use my DVD recorder. The TV, in the past has always had the ability to output signals for the convenience of recording FROM THE TV. I googled the terms where I found information as to why the outputs were "eliminated". It makes sense in this world of Corporate Greed.
     
  19. tedrik

    tedrik New Member

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    Jul 30, 2012
    San Antonio, Tx
    LOL!!!!
     
  20. WizarDru

    WizarDru New Member

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    Jan 18, 2005
    Malvern, PA
    It's been over a year since I traded up from my other THD, so I don't recall for sure, but I was pretty certain that only the Premeire supports: multi-room streaming, Parental controls, the HDUI (and picture in menu), a disk usage meter, the upgraded Netflix and Youtube interfaces and full feature support on the iPad/Android apps.

    How critical those are really depends on the user. I would easily qualify several of them as 'bells and whistles'. I do know that my family REALLY appreciates the upgraded Netflix client. The older one sucked so bad that we never used it, in favor of any other device (360, PS3, Bluray player) with a better interface. Multi-room streaming obviously requires two TiVos, but I use it all the time, now, watching HD recordings from the bedroom in the living room and vice-versa. The disk usage meter sounds like the dumbest thing ever, but I really like it. It tells me when it's time to prune old shows. :)
     

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