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Old 07-18-2013, 03:37 AM   #1
habibrobert
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Differences between Series 3 models

Hello,

I was wondering what the difference is between the TCD65216 and the TCD648250B. Do both have slots for a cable card? I was looking at pictures of the TCD652160 and it did not see a cable card slot in the back. Did I miss it, or is there really one not there?

Also, which model is the more recent model? Or did they come out at the same time?

I am just trying to see which model is the "best model" for watching and recording HD tv. In your guys' opinion, which one is the better model to get (regardless of HDD size).

Thanks

Last edited by habibrobert : 07-18-2013 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:28 AM   #2
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The 648 is the original Series 3 with the OLED display on the front. Its biggest limitation is that you have to have 2 cable cards even if they are M cards.

The 652 is the "HD". It only needs one M card.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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The 652 has its CableCard slots in the front, behind a door.

Everyone said, "Hey, that's much better!" But then they moved the (now single) slot back to the back on the Premiere. Go figure.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habibrobert View Post
I am just trying to see which model is the "best model" for watching and recording HD tv. In your guys' opinion, which one is the better model to get (regardless of HDD size).

Thanks
How are you getting your TV programming - Cable or OTA (antenna)?

If cable, keep in mind that the 648 (Series 3 w/OLED) requires 2 (M or S) cable cards to get both tuners working.
The second card needed may cost you extra $/month, which adds up over time.
The 652 (TivoHD) only requires one M card.

If OTA, it is rumored that the 648 is better than the 652 with regards to OTA tuning capabilities, but I don't think it is significant enough to pick one over the other. Others with both units will have to chime in on that one.

Finally (not really worth mentioning IMO), the 648 is THX certified while the 652 is not.
All this means is the 648 was put through tests to confirm that it performs to THX standards (audio/video quality, noise factor, etc.).
But it doesn't mean that the 652 would not pass those same tests.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:20 AM   #5
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Power supply failures due to "Capacitor Disease" (bulging electrolytic capacitor cans) are occurring for all Series 3 models. However because of the earlier times that 648's were made, which matched the peak of bad capacitor supply, I believe the odds are worse for those models.

Any Series 3 should have the PS inspected for bulging capacitors and those caps should be replaced. Here's what bulging looks like:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...94#post8750894
(Post #2)
There's lots of help for replacing caps on this forum.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:57 PM   #6
habibrobert
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Thanks for all the great info guys. So it seems like the best option for me is the 652. I am going to be using Comcast as my service provider and I would rather stick with a DVR that requires only 1 cable card.

Its ironic that the 648 is THX certified, but the 652, is not even thought it is HD!

Also, thank you very much for link to the cap replacement thread.

How much should a 652 cost these days? I just want to make sure I'm not going to overpay.

One last question, I know this probably is a dumb question, but what does OLED mean? I know what LED is, but when you put the O in front of it, I get confused!

Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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Its ironic that the 648 is THX certified, but the 652, is not even thought it is HD!
The 658 TiVo HD XL is THX certified.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:18 PM   #8
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLED

If you buy a Series 3 with a lifetime sub it's worth whatever you are willing to pay for it. My cutoff point would be around $300. You're paying for the sub, not the TiVo itself which is basically worth shipping costs these days.

As dlfl noted the power supply is probably "iffy", and as steve614 says the 648s had a great OTA tuner.

I'd buy a Premiere instead.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:33 PM   #9
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I'd buy a Premiere instead.
I would too. As cable companies switch to MPEG4, the Series 3 boxes will become worthless.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:14 PM   #10
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One last question, I know this probably is a dumb question, but what does OLED mean? I know what LED is, but when you put the O in front of it, I get confused!
The "O" stands for Organic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLED
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I'd buy a Premiere instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcady View Post
I would too. As cable companies switch to MPEG4, the Series 3 boxes will become worthless.
If my TWC ever does that (doubtful), and it means no more Tuning Adapter (hopefully), I'll joyfully upgrade to a current TiVo model.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:25 PM   #12
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I would too. As cable companies switch to MPEG4, the Series 3 boxes will become worthless.
??? What's up with this? I was thinking my HD would last me until death. I'd hate to have to die soon to make my theory correct.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:54 PM   #13
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??? What's up with this? I was thinking my HD would last me until death. I'd hate to have to die soon to make my theory correct.
Apparently, the Series 3 Tivos can not receive H.264 (Mpeg 4) channels.
You only have to worry about it if your cable company starts delivering channels in H.264.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:09 PM   #14
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None of the S3s need cable cards if you're still on analog cable.

For digital cable, however, they do.

And of course if your cable company does SDV on some channels you'll need a Tuning Adapter as well (and possibly a lamp timer to turn the TA off in the middle of the night so the TiVo can do Garbage Collection).
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:47 PM   #15
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??? What's up with this? I was thinking my HD would last me until death. I'd hate to have to die soon to make my theory correct.
As long as you rely on an anntenna and the internet, you should be ok. Who needs cable tv bills anyway.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:44 AM   #16
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If my TWC ever does that (doubtful), and it means no more Tuning Adapter (hopefully), I'll joyfully upgrade to a current TiVo model.
TWC could just drop the analog channels and they would have plenty of bandwidth to carry every HD channel without the tuning adapter. When they took over Insight Cable here in Louisville, it had already been switched to an all-digital system, not requiring tuning adapters. We have the same exact channels as TWC had in Dallas (minus the analogs), but without the tuning adapters.
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:12 AM   #17
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What is your guys' opinion on the 658? Is it just a 652 with a bigger hard drive? I have looked around online for the price and there seems to be a pretty big price difference between the 658 and 652.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:32 AM   #18
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The 658 is just a souped up 652 with a larger hard drive and THX certification (IIRC).
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:51 PM   #19
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I'm not too worried about MPEG-4 right now, at least on Comcast Houston. They've eliminated every single analog channel, except for one that advertises Xfinity. This freed up tons of bandwidth for dozens of new HD channels (in MPEG-2) and faster cable modems, without having to resort to SDV/tuning adapters.

The analog shut off required them to spend millions on DTAs (which are cheap), so they probably don't want to spend more millions on replacing every single non-DTA cable box (which are not as cheap).

All of these things are good, because if the only thing keeping them from switching MPEG-4 was the concerns of Series3 TiVo owners, then we (all 90 of us or so, who knows) would be screwed.

Even if they arbitrarily decided tomorrow to spend another tens of millions of dollars replacing HD boxes, they could convert *only* the HD channels to MPEG-4, because the million or so SD DTAs they just bought and gave away are only capable of MPEG-2!
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:23 AM   #20
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The analog shut off required them to spend millions on DTAs (which are cheap), so they probably don't want to spend more millions on replacing every single non-DTA cable box (which are not as cheap).
Just a heads-up that those "free" digital adapters they give out after the switch to all-digital are only free for a limited time. I think in my case it was somewhere between 1 and 2 years. They're now charging $2/month, plus they're adding "additional outlet" charge of $10/mo for every extra digital adapter you have.

It turns out that "analog hole" was also letting money escape! But not that they're all digital, revenues are through the roof. Hooray, monopoly!
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:05 PM   #21
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I would too. As cable companies switch to MPEG4, the Series 3 boxes will become worthless.
I thought the S3 Reads MPEG4 ?
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:07 PM   #22
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I thought the S3 Reads MPEG4 ?
Yes, the S3 can play back Mpeg 4 video (and will accept Mpeg 4 video transferred to it through the network), it just can't tune to a channel that is encoded that way (or something like that).
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:32 PM   #23
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Yes, the S3 can play back Mpeg 4 video (and will accept Mpeg 4 video transferred to it through the network), it just can't tune to a channel that is encoded that way (or something like that).
Strange, how it can Playback Mpeg 4 but not Tune to it
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:47 PM   #24
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Not really strange.. The hardware decoder chips can play MPEG2 & MPEG 4, but the tuner decoding hardware doesn't know what to do with MPEG 4.. at least that's my reasonable guess.
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