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Old 12-10-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
jauburn
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Have Series 3 - is the upgrade to Tivo Premiere XL4 DVR worth it?

I have a series 3 and recently bought a Sony HX850 46 inch LED tv. I'm wondering whether a new Tivo is in order for a couple of reasons. First, the Netflix service through the Series 3 is quite bad. I did a comparison of Netflix on the new TV (it's an option) and the quality is much, much better.

Second, the new TV does 1080p, and I see that the Series 3 supports only 1080i. Would the new Tivo result in a better picture over the Series 3 with my television?

Are there other reasons to upgrade the Tivo other than the ones I've noted? Thanks.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:13 PM   #2
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1. Netflix is consistant between the Series 3 and Series 4 platforms (for the most part). If you are unhappy with it through the S3, then getting a S4 will not improve things there.

2. How much content do you have available to you that is actually 1080p? Probably not enough that would make it worth upgrading.

3. If you use OTA at all, then you will lose that capability if you get any of the four tuner Premieres.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:56 PM   #3
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I would opine that going to the P4 from an S3 probably isn't worth the extra expense unless you either need the 4 tuners or you have or plan to get another Premeire of some sort. Having two Premieres allows streaming between the two even when the CCI byte won't let you do a normal transfer. I had two S3HD boxes and a P2 so when I no longer needed the third box it made sense to sell the two S3HD's and get a P4-lite.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:10 PM   #4
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Personally, I'm going to wait until the TiVo Mini because that is the only use-case that makes sense for me to upgrade.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:18 PM   #5
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Depends on your setup...

Do you have the original S3 with the OLED screen? If so then one advantage is that the Premiere only requires 1 CableCARD which could save you a few bucks a month.

Do you have a need for 4 tuners? If so then upgrading to a XL4/4 would be nice. Having one TiVo that can record 4 things is nice even if you only ever use the extra tuners for adding padding. (I rarely record 4 things, but I can pad almost everything now so I don't have to deal with missing that end bit they put on a lot of shows)

Do you have any need to watch your TiVo recordings on an iPad/iPhone? Only the Premiere supports the TiVo Stream which allows you to stream or download recordings from your TiVo to an iOS device.

Do you ever transfer recordings from the TiVo to a PC? If so the Premiere uses a new .tivo file format, and has faster hardware, which makes transferring recordings to a PC at least 50% faster maybe more.

There are also some cool features in the newest software for the new HD user interface. One is that the To Do List now shows conflicts inline. So if a show wont record for some reason it will show in the list but be grayed out, and when you select it it will have a reason it wont record right there. No need to manually check the Recording History. And if you want to fix the conflict you can do so right from the To Do List. It makes managing conflicts a lot easier.

Another one lillevig mentioned is multi room streaming. If you have multiple Premiere units you can stream shows recorded on one to the other. No need to transfer like on a S3. You can start watching immediately and have full FF/RW capabilities. It also bypasses the copy protection used by the cable company, so you can stream anything even if it was protected.

TiVo is also working on a device called a Mini. Which is basically an extender for Premiere TiVos. It doesn't have any recording hardware of it's own, but it has the same streaming capabilities mentioned above. This should offer a less expensive option for watching your TiVo in other rooms. Although no official release date has been mentioned it will likely be released some time early next year.

Now if you're happy with your S3 except for Netflix then you should probably stick with it. Netflix on a Premiere looks a little different but it works basically the same. If you want better Netflix you'd be better off getting a Roku or other streaming only device.

Dan
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
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Thanks, everyone, especially Dan. I heard somewhere that the tuner in the Premiere might actually be better or result in a sharper picture. After all, we're talking about over six-year-old technology in the S3.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jauburn View Post
Thanks, everyone, especially Dan. I heard somewhere that the tuner in the Premiere might actually be better or result in a sharper picture. After all, we're talking about over six-year-old technology in the S3.
The specs are still the same. There is no difference I could see between the original S3 and the S4 at 1080i. The S4 does not up-convert to 1080p. It only allows pass-through of stringently compliant 1080p24. Any 1080p30 or 1080p60 content gets down-scaled to 1080i anyway. None of your OTA or cable TV content will be 1080p. Just about the only place you will get 1080p is ripping BluRay discs and converting them to 1080p24 with 384 Kbps audio. (actually, I believe the S4 will take higher bit rate audio, but the S3 will not.)
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:18 PM   #8
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Are there other reasons to upgrade the Tivo other than the ones I've noted? Thanks.
I only got a Premiere 4 because analog finally went away, and my 2 working tuners (have dead OLED s3 too) weren't enough… But I also got a Tivo Stream, and am now downloading shows to watch on my iPhone (and now, we got a free iPad mini from work, so am using that now).

So basically, I don't think there's a huge reason to upgrade UNLESS you (1) want to save money on cablecards, (2) want to use Tivo Stream, (3) want more tuners in one box.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:15 AM   #9
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Wait for the Series 5. I'm sure it won't be released today, but perhaps tomorrow.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:10 PM   #10
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1. Netflix is consistant between the Series 3 and Series 4 platforms (for the most part). If you are unhappy with it through the S3, then getting a S4 will not improve things there.

2. How much content do you have available to you that is actually 1080p? Probably not enough that would make it worth upgrading.

3. If you use OTA at all, then you will lose that capability if you get any of the four tuner Premieres.
Netflix is completely different on the S4 boxes. You can get the 1080P24 streams as well as DD+ 5.1. And the interface is different.

On the S3 boxes they are limited to stereo, 720P streams on Netflix.

Or did something change recently? The last time I tried Netflix on my GFs S3 boxes it was still the older interface and still the lower quality HD streams with only stereo audio available.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:18 PM   #11
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Netflix is completely different on the S4 boxes. You can get the 1080P24 streams as well as DD+ 5.1. And the interface is different.

On the S3 boxes they are limited to stereo, 720P streams on Netflix.
I wasn't really talking about the quality of the stream or the interface.

It's the core functionality of the app that is lacking (IMO).
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:45 PM   #12
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Wait for the Series 5. I'm sure it won't be released today, but perhaps tomorrow.
I agree, wait for the next TiVo, or maybe your cable company will sign with TiVo. If it Netflix you want, get a Playstation 3 it really is the best platform using Netflix.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:49 PM   #13
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I don't think waiting for a "series 5" is really a good suggestion. You might want to wait until after CES just to see if they announce anything that interests you, but if not there is no evidence that there is a "series 5" coming any time in the immediate future. There is some speculation that we might see a 6 tuner box, but even that is based on connecting a couple of completely unrelated comments and partner projects. If any of the current Premiere features appeal to you then get one. If you get one with lifetime it'll retain a good portion of it's value so if something better does come along you can sell the Premiere and use the money to apply toward the upgrade.

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:06 PM   #14
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We upgraded our S3 to XL4 partially because my S3 would freeze up sometimes and need to be rebooted and Netflix had connection problems somewhat frequently. I also liked the idea of 4 tuners and faster transfers/streaming from my Premiere in the basement. The new box works much better with Netflix and we haven't needed to reboot nearly as often. Although it has happened at least once.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:48 PM   #15
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Another thing to consider, I have Comcast and my area is a go for integrating ON Demand content into the Premiere. I can't get it with my S3. I haven't pulled the trigger yet but if I do that would be a big factor. If you don't have Comcast disregard.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:10 PM   #16
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FYI there are also rumors that redbox may be teaming up with verizon fios and tivo,so redbox may be coming to tivo as early as january 2013 but i dont know if you'll have to be a verizon customer to get rebox or if just having a tivo will allow you to receive the service. Now if we could only get verizon to offer in demand like comcast !!
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:32 PM   #17
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FYI there are also rumors that redbox may be teaming up with verizon fios and tivo,so redbox may be coming to tivo as early as january 2013 but i dont know if you'll have to be a verizon customer to get rebox or if just having a tivo will allow you to receive the service. Now if we could only get verizon to offer in demand like comcast !!
Provide the source for this rumor, please.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:12 PM   #18
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FYI there are also rumors that redbox may be teaming up with verizon fios…...
This part is not rumor..

http://news.yahoo.com/verizon-coinst...8--sector.html
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:32 AM   #19
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I read that, old news, I don't see the word "TiVo" anywhere in there.

You can sign up for Redbox here:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-575...r-month-price/

NOTHING on what platform.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:47 PM   #20
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I read that, old news, I don't see the word "TiVo" anywhere in there.
It's not old news. It was previously RUMOR. Now it's a product (even if in beta test or whatever they're calling it).
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:16 AM   #21
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You could buy an XL4 and use it for the 7 day trial period to see if it is better and send it back for a refund if it isn't worth it.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:58 AM   #22
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I've got an Elite and Netflix was one of the reasons to switch to that platform. A couple of weeks ago I gave up on Netflix and got a Roku. The streaming was terrible on the TiVo and it's GREAT on the Roku.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:20 PM   #23
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I've got an Elite and Netflix was one of the reasons to switch to that platform. A couple of weeks ago I gave up on Netflix and got a Roku. The streaming was terrible on the TiVo and it's GREAT on the Roku.
I was not at all impressed with Netflix on the Series 3. In fact I was hoping that by upgrading to the XL4, that Netflix would be better. Before I got the XL4, however, I also upgraded my TV to the Sony HX850, which has Netflix streaming capability. The Netflix implementation on the Sony is quite satisfactory. I got the XL4 and find the Netflix impmentation a tad inferior to the Sony's, so I just use the Sony for Netflix.

I also have the sense that the quality of video for Netflix is superior when I use the Sony interface.
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