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Old 11-21-2009, 08:35 AM   #1
wighty
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Question TiVo HD = Series 3?

As a TiVo newb I'm a bit puzzled by the term "series 3". I just installed a TiVo HD DVR and looked for a forum here dealing with that unit. However, I did not find one. The closest I could come to it was the Series 3 forum.

Is a TiVo HD DVR the same as a Series 3 DVR? If so, why isn't the forum title TiVo HD DVR?

I checked TiVo's website for the term Series 3, and could not find it there. I did find the terms Series 2, HD & HD XL. So again I ask (because I don't know), where did the term series 3 com from....
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:45 AM   #2
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Tivo manufactured the original Series 3 for a (relatively) short time:


The Tivo HD and HDXL are a part of the Series 3 family:


There are some differences between the models including CableCARD requirements, hard disk drive sizes, front displays, and THX certifications. I think the common uniting feature is supporting High Definition. There are other TCF members (bkdtv immediately springs to mind) that could detail the differences a lot better than I can.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:12 AM   #3
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Specifically, some of the most widely discussed differences between a TiVo S3 and a TiVoHD are:

S3 shows the name of both programs that is being recorded on the front panel, the TiVoHD only shows a red recording light for each tuner.

S3 and TiVoHDXL is THX certified, the TiVoHD is not.

S3 and TiVoHDXL has a remote with a backlight, TiVoHD does not.

S3 only supports S type CableCards, the TiVoHD and XL support both S and M cards.

Wighty - you are correct, the S3 forum is the proper forum for TiVoHD and XL discussion (TiVoHD is based on the S3 platform). If you look closely at the front panel of your TiVoHD, you will see the words Series 3 printed in light gray on the lower right side on the front door panel. The original S3 has been discontinued by TiVo, partly due to the higher cost of the components.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:32 AM   #4
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Thank you both for the informative and helpful replies! I now see the Series 3 mark on the panel door which I completely missed (only looked on the back).

Regarding the differences noted, I am pleased that the HD & XL series can use an M-Card as that eliminates a cable charge for a 2nd card. One other Series 3 feature I would have liked was the front panel display of the program names, but I wonder just how much $$ was saved by removing it...
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjberger2134 View Post
Specifically, some of the most widely discussed differences between a TiVo S3 and a TiVoHD are:

S3 shows the name of both programs that is being recorded on the front panel, the TiVoHD only shows a red recording light for each tuner.

S3 and TiVoHDXL is THX certified, the TiVoHD is not.

S3 and TiVoHDXL has a remote with a backlight, TiVoHD does not.

S3 only supports S type CableCards, the TiVoHD and XL support both S and M cards.
But both the original S3 and all subsequent 'HD' TiVos have HDMI output, is that correct? I often see listings on eBay for 'HD' TiVos and HDMI is not listed as being among the outputs. Thought I'd get confirmation...

Also, anyone happen to know if the upscaling quality of SD video is any different on 'S3' vs 'HD' models?
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjberger2134 View Post
S3 only supports S type CableCards, the TiVoHD and XL support both S and M cards.
Sort of. An S3 can use a M type CableCard, but only in an S type compatiblity mode.

(So you do still need two CableCards. But if your cable provider only has M cards avaible the S3 still works; you'd just need two of the M type cards)
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:42 PM   #7
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The HD and HD XL have HDMI output. Not sure about S3 but would guess "yes". I can't use the HDMI output on my HD because of remote control lockups that occur when my Tuning Adapter fails to tune a channel (about 1 out every 10 tuning attempts). When this lockup occurs I have to power cycle the TV to clear the HDMI/TiVo handshaking problem that caused the lockup. I use component connections because of this, which is OK with my 40" flat panel, but might not be as good as HDMI for larger screen sizes.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marconi View Post
But both the original S3 and all subsequent 'HD' TiVos have HDMI output, is that correct? I often see listings on eBay for 'HD' TiVos and HDMI is not listed as being among the outputs. Thought I'd get confirmation...

Also, anyone happen to know if the upscaling quality of SD video is any different on 'S3' vs 'HD' models?
I don't think there is any difference. I can tell you that on my 42" monitor SD video from an S2DT really blew since the monitor itself didn't upscale well at all. With the HD TiVo the SD upscaling is very good. At 10 feet I have a hard time distinguishing SD content from HD, but that could be my aging eyes.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
The HD and HD XL have HDMI output. Not sure about S3 but would guess "yes"...
Yes, the original S3 has HDMI out as well. That's what I'm using
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:41 PM   #10
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And what's the difference between a TiVo HD and a TiVo HD XL?
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:05 PM   #11
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And what's the difference between a TiVo HD and a TiVo HD XL?
https://www3.tivo.com/store/boxes.do
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
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And what's the difference between a TiVo HD and a TiVo HD XL?
Hard drive size only.

The biggest difference between the original S3 unit and the TiVoHD units is that the S3 units require two CableCARDs to use both tuners while the TiVoHD units are capable of using a single M-Card. The S3 units were originally designed with the possibility of using a single M-Card in mind, but unfortunately at the time they were released M-Cards didn't actually exist yet and once they were released TiVo discovered that the S3 did not actually work with M-Cards as they had hoped it would. In addition to the M-Card thing there are also a few minor differences between the units. The S3 units were designed to be more "high end" so they have slightly faster hardware, THX certification and an OLED screen and control buttons on the front of the unit. They also came with the high end, learnable, "Glo Remote" rather then the cheaper standard remote included with all other TiVos. Software-wise though both units are identical and support all the same features.

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Old 11-24-2009, 10:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marconi
And what's the difference between a TiVo HD and a TiVo HD XL?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
Hard drive size only.
The XL also comes with a glo-remote and is THX certified (like the original S3).

But I agree the significant difference is hard drive size.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
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... The S3 units were designed to be more "high end" so they have slightly faster hardware,...
I would argue that based on my experience. I have an original S3 (purchased the date it was released), and I have a TiVo HD. The latter is BY FAR much snappier in performance.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:41 AM   #15
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So the only REAL differences between the HD and HDXL is the hard drive space and the THX certification?

Does anyone know if the THX certification actually means anything? Can you tell? Is it worth it to get an XL if I can get a cheaper regular HD one and upgrade the drive?
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:02 PM   #16
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TTBOMK the THX certification does not mean anything, in that the HD and the HD XL have the same hardware and software, apart from the drive.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:48 PM   #17
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Bierboy, I believe that for MRV and TTG, the original Series 3 is fasted than the HD.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:28 PM   #18
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So the only REAL differences between the HD and HDXL is the hard drive space and the THX certification?

Does anyone know if the THX certification actually means anything? Can you tell? Is it worth it to get an XL if I can get a cheaper regular HD one and upgrade the drive?
The OS is slightly different, as is the hardware (SATA at least). Who knows if there are some minor differences in the OS build for THX? If so, it's minor at best.

So as a result, you can easily pop a 2TB drive into the HDXL. But it requires a lot of hacking (last I checked) to put anything more than a 1TB drive in to a S3/HD.

Just want to be fair and complete here.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:48 PM   #19
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The OS is slightly different, as is the hardware (SATA at least). Who knows if there are some minor differences in the OS build for THX? If so, it's minor at best.

So as a result, you can easily pop a 2TB drive into the HDXL. But it requires a lot of hacking (last I checked) to put anything more than a 1TB drive in to a S3/HD.

Just want to be fair and complete here.

Ab:

Agree there is a sligh diff in the OS.... but what is the difference in the hardware that you speak of? I'm unaware of any. (other than the drive, naturally).

thanks,

d.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:03 PM   #20
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Ab:

Agree there is a sligh diff in the OS.... but what is the difference in the hardware that you speak of? I'm unaware of any. (other than the drive, naturally).

thanks,

d.
I'm pretty sure at least the SATA controllers are a little different - as that's part of the reason for the 2TB difference? I might be wrong though...
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:29 AM   #21
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The 2TB difference could be software.

I would bet that the XL just has its hardware certified as THX compliant, the hardware being the same as on the regular HD, or at most has a slightly improved SOC which is pin compatible with the older one in the HD.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:36 PM   #22
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TTBOMK the THX certification does not mean anything, in that the HD and the HD XL have the same hardware and software, apart from the drive.
Try convincing johncv over at http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=442550 that the THX certification doesn't mean anything. He's convinced that the HD XL is a better deal because of THX certification even though its price is a ripoff for the capacity increase.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:47 PM   #23
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He's convinced that the HD XL is a better deal because of THX certification even though its price is a ripoff for the capacity increase.
It also includes the Glo remote in that price increase. You can't just add in the extra cost of the glo remote and hard drive space. That isn't how pricing works. It is priced at a level they feel they can sell it to people who want a larger hard drive and glo remote and aren't willing to buy those separately (and deal with a hard drive install).
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