Originally Posted by kevinmac200
Excuse me if this has already been answered before many times. In fact let me know if it has and I will search it out. But if it hasn't here goes:
We subscribe to Comcast with Digital Cable and have used a series 1 TIVO for a couple of years now. We'd like to get an HDTV monitor to make use of the Digital Cable specifically for HDTV reception. My understanding is that since we have Digital Cable we will only need to purchase a monitor and will not need a tuner. However I will not spend the $$ on an HDTV monitor until I can make use of TIVO in using it. I don't care to have HDTV yet if we cannot use it with TIVO. And I am so sold on TIVO's interface, ease of use and my familiarity with it that I'm not likely to try another brand of DVR unless we have to.
I assume that our current TIVO would be useless in recording HDTV signals. If that is true is there currently a model of TIVO that will record HiDef signals like it does with std signals from our cable box? If not, is that what the noise is about Series 3 I've been reading this week? And if so, would it pay at this point to wait for Series 3 as it seems likely to be released in partnership with Comcast later this year?
Any answers are greatly appreciated or just point me where to go.
To view an HDTV signal from comcast on an HDTV unit, you will need to trade your digital cable box into comcast for an HD digital cable box. This will (in MA anyway) give you about 20 channels in the 800 range that are HD digital chanels.
A S1 or S2 Tivo can be made to work in this situation easily, with some trade offs.
1.You can connect the HD cable box to the HDTV directly, and then you can connect the Tivo to the cable line directly, and then to an AV input on the HDTV. This will allow you to watch but not record the 800 range channels on the HDTV in full HD picture quality. Down side is the Tivo will only be able to record the non-digital channels less than 100.
2.Same as #1 but you can keep your digital cable box, and connect the Tivo to cable through that. The HDTV will still be able to display chaannels in the 800 range in full quality, the Tivo now can record nearly any channel comcast offers (all but the 800 ones) that you pay for. The down side is you are now paying comcast for 2 cable boxes.
3. Connect the Tivo to the HD Cable box using one of the non HD connectors. It's a less-known fact that the Comcast HD cable box puts out the full wide screen HD digital picture (letterboxed and lower quality) on the RF, Composite, and Svideo connectors. While this isn't the best picture available, it is *digital* and it is wide screen if that matters to you (I did this on my non-HD 32" 4:3 Tv for a while.) and the picture for ABC, NBC, etc will be much better than the matching analog cable channel. The Tivo can now record this picture though that may drop the quality further.
In the 3rd scenario you have several options to connect the TV to cable when you're not using the Tivo. Direct connect the cable (on a HDTV with only an NTSC tuner) and only get channels below 100, Direct connect the cable (on a HDTV with CableCard tuner) and get every channel, or rent a second HD cable box (on a HDTV with no HD tuner) and get every channel.
Or you can even do what I was doing and get the HD cable box from Comcast and connect it to the current Tivo like in option 3, and keep your older Non-HD TV for a little while. I liked getting 'Lost' in digital widescreen, even through the Tivo, and even though it wasn't as high quality as it could have been, I thought the experience was still better than the 4:3 analog cable picture I had before.
Of course, with all 3 options, the only output a S1 or S2 SA Tivo has will be non HD and therefor on a nice HDTV screen (especially a large one) the lower quality may be more visible than it it today. Especially if you record on 'basic'. But the Tivo will work, and you will be able to watch your shows when you want. Then when a Series 3 is available you can swap it in, go.