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Old 08-04-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
Gatekeeper212
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Looking to Buy a Tivo HD Series 3 w/a 750 GB HD w/Lifetime Service...

I think I've found the one I want to buy... what I am wondering is:

#1 Is this a good Tivo to purchase, since I'm new to Tivo, I've done as much research as you can... but never actually owned one... weigh in and help a NEWBIE out.

#2 What's the right price for this unit with Lifetime service? I know what the whole thing would cost if I bought it retail... what's a good price point if I buy it used?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:45 PM   #2
WO312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatekeeper212 View Post
I think I've found the one I want to buy... what I am wondering is:

#1 Is this a good Tivo to purchase, since I'm new to Tivo, I've done as much research as you can... but never actually owned one... weigh in and help a NEWBIE out.

#2 What's the right price for this unit with Lifetime service? I know what the whole thing would cost if I bought it retail... what's a good price point if I buy it used?

Thanks in advance for your help!
#2 is much easier to answer. If you look at ebay, I believe you will find that units like that go for $300-350.

IMHO, #1 would be yes if your cable company does not use SDV (Switched Digital Video). I have had a Tivo HD for a number of years and it has been a good unit, EXCEPT for one problem My cable company is TWC and they use SDV, which requires a Tuning Adapter. For what I think is a small number of users, a problem has developed which we have found a solution for, which involves putting the TA on a timer. A hassle, but it works.

So if your cable co. uses SDV, I would give it a qualified yes, because you MAY have a problem but there is a fix.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:44 AM   #3
lillevig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatekeeper212 View Post
I think I've found the one I want to buy... what I am wondering is:

#1 Is this a good Tivo to purchase, since I'm new to Tivo, I've done as much research as you can... but never actually owned one... weigh in and help a NEWBIE out.

#2 What's the right price for this unit with Lifetime service? I know what the whole thing would cost if I bought it retail... what's a good price point if I buy it used?

Thanks in advance for your help!
Yes, I have two of the S3HD units and they are great. Keep in mind that there are two Series 3 model lines and the older one requires two CableCards while the newer one only requires one. The model 648250 is the older one. I'm assuming that the 750GB drive is an internal one and not an external extender drive. I've read about too many issues with external drives to ever want to use one. As was suggested, check the eBay completed listings for typical prices. The most recent one I bought I got for less than $300 with the standard 160GB drive. I then upgraded the drive with a larger one I had on hand. Upgrading the internal drive is pretty easy with free SW and free images available.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
V7Goose
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Buyer Beware...

For the right price, an S3 with Lifetime service is an excellent choice. HOWEVER, the big question I would have is just why it is being sold. And as a new-to-TiVo owner, are you prepared to deal with the possible problems?

I will start by saying that TiVo units are generally very reliable - I have been using them for over 10 years, so I have a little experience there. But like any computer today, there are some areas that can go bad with time. The key thing to know is that most of these problems show up intermittently - not just as a dead box. It is always possible that the owner of that unit is frustrated trying to deal with one of the intermittent problems that can crop up, so just trying to dump it while it still seems to work.

Fairly common areas for problems would be failing power supply (almost always bad capacitors) and HDD problems. Both are relatively easy to fix, but you will have to do some research. Only you can determine if you are willing and able to deal with problems that might bite you with a used box.
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:55 PM   #5
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I agree with all three of the previous posters. Some additional comments:

1. The capacitor plague problem peaked in 2007 and 2008 when many HD models were manufactured. If you could get one manufactured after that, it would reduce the likelihood of that problem.

2. Absolutely insist on getting a single multiple-channel CableCARD (m-card) rather than two single-channel cards (s-cards), so you only pay rent on one card. Most cable cos don't even supply the s-cards anymore.

3. I have had a TiVo HD on TWC for 3+ years now. The TA has been a problem although lately all it requires is rebooting the TiVo and TA every few weeks when channels are missing. I had been using two s-cards (because they insisted they didn't have m-cards back then). Recently I finally forced them to give me an m-card and self-installed it. So far, after almost two weeks, one of the problems I had been blaming on the TA seems to have completely disappeared. That was the tuning failure problem which requires re-tuning a channel one or more times before it comes in or causes missed recordings (typically 1 to 3 missed per week for me). It's too early to tell if the need to reboot the TA every few weeks has disappeared but I have my fingers crossed. Anyway it appears at least some of the problems I was blaming on the TA were fixed by installing the new m-card.

4. Be aware that it's not "lifetime service" but lifetime subscription to the TiVo services including program guide data. Without that subscription your TiVo closely resembles a brick. And it's tied to the mother board. Thus if the TiVo fails and you can't fix it (or pay someone to fix it) by replacing either the hard drive, power supply or fan, you will lose the lifetime sub.

Unfortunately with TiVo and digital cable you are using a setup with components furnished by two different parties and when you have a problem that neither party can diagnose, they will blame it on each other. The best answer to that situation is advice given on this forum.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:25 PM   #6
mattack
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Why do you want this one *specifically*? I have a Tivo HD (and an original S3 OLED, but it's dead though I just bought a used one on eBay to use for parts)..

IMHO, the difference in price between this and the *current* models (Premiere.. aka XL2 and XL4) is relatively low. The XL4 has 4 tuners (but doesn't do OTA).

Again, I don't even own a Premiere (yet -- the XL4 is tempting for the 4 tuners), but if I was buying new, I would strongly look at the current hardware.... and I'm the kind of person that usually is fine using old/not up to date stuff... but for vaguely similar prices, newer == better usually.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:52 AM   #7
Ed_Hunt
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series3

I own the listing on ebay for the s3 with the 750 gig internal harddrive. The reason I am selling it is because I now have two Premiers. There aren't any problems with the unit at all. If you have any questions ask , I will answer any questions you have here on the forum. Or you can email me at edhunt14@gmail.com
As to the price of a Premier with lifetime you are looking at up to $600 with an upgraded drive.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack View Post
Why do you want this one *specifically*? I have a Tivo HD (and an original S3 OLED, but it's dead though I just bought a used one on eBay to use for parts)..

IMHO, the difference in price between this and the *current* models (Premiere.. aka XL2 and XL4) is relatively low. The XL4 has 4 tuners (but doesn't do OTA).
Not really.

Used S3 w/ LT = $300
Premiere, XL, XL4 w/ LT = $650-$900
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