Not so much a question as a memo for the record - I hope I can prevent some other poor soul from going thru the weeks of pain I've just been thru.
I've had a 30 Hour Phillips Tivo for over 4 years. I've been VERY pleased with it. Best $200 I ever spent - hands down. Its hooked to a DAEWOO 27" TV. Ok, not the greatest set in the world, the 36" Sony is in another room - and the kids watch Spongebob on it all their waking hours - hence, dear old Dad (moi) gets the TV in the bedroom. I use High quality - can't tell the difference between High and Best. 14 hours of recording capacity (only complaint I have is that I ONLY have 14 hours). Networked would be "nice".
A few weeks ago - after much prodding from friends with Tivos - I FINALLY broke down and got a 40 Hour Series 2 ($50 after rebate). Fiddled with it evey single night for hours at a time. Less than impressive - the video quality - to be kind - STINKS! It's fuzzy and dark. After some testing with VIDEO Essentials (pumped thru the SAT IN jacks) I can clearly see that the black levels are whacked.
These days, All the good shows are DARK - CSI*, Battlestar Galactica - if the black level is whacked - these shows look like total crap!
PLUS - I can cleary see artifacts at high and I think I'm even seeing artifacts at BEST. This shouldn't be. I figure maybe the box is messed up - and I really want more than 11 hours of record time (If I'm going to be stuck recording at Best).
So, like a real idiot, the 40 goes back to the store and I grab an 80 ($150 after rebate). Same exact thing. Abysmal video. Ok - Maybe I'm crazy - let's hook the old boat anchor back up....
Hook the Series 1 in - GEORGEOUS picture. Sharp - Clear. Shadow details are back. Focus is sharp as a tack! YAY! Ok - it's not me - it's not the cables - it's the Series 2 (both of 'em). Unacceptable.
So now what to do? I would really like to network my Tivo. But- come to think of it - the Tivo-phone-home thing isn't really a problem. We don't notice it. Sharing pix and music is "nice" but hardly a necessity (that's what laptops with Wi-Fi are for).
Decision time -
The 80 hour is going back to the store - I'm going to take the money and buy a BIG drive upgrade from Weaknees and take the wife out for a nice dinner (and still have change). Maybe in a year I'll consider putting in a network interface - but for now Tivo can use the phone.
Bottom line - if you get a Series 2 and the picture quality stinks - it's the box and not you. Take it back. If you can find an old Series 1 - BUY IT!
I sincerely hope TIVO reads this and fixes the problem soon. They have a serious quality control problem with the current crop (crap?) of Series 2's.
You can have my Series 1 - when you pry it from the hands of my cold, rotting corpse.