All other things equal... S3 or TivoHD?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jeffster, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. jeffster

    jeffster Member

    Feb 18, 2001
    Southlake, TX
    If cost were not an object, which would you buy -- original Series 3 or Tivo HD?

    And why?

    Would it make a difference if you were FIOS? Cable? Etc.?
  2. 20TIL6

    20TIL6 BaDoop BaDoop BaDoop

    Sep 7, 2006
    Cypress, TX
    Removing cost, I'd go with the S3. I have two S3's and one TiVo HD.

    Bigger hard drive

    OLED display (yeah, not necessary, but it's cool and at a glance I can see what's recording)

    The Glo remote, it's nice, and it's a learning remote - I have the TiVo HD hooked up to an HP TV, and I STILL have not figured out the programming of on/off, volume, etc. There are no codes for HP TV's, the learning Glo remote would solve this for me.

    and also
    THX - not that I have an amazing AV system, I don't. But I think part of the THX cert is that the device has to be bone quiet, and the S3 is. Not that the TiVo HD hard drive is loud. It's no louder than any previous TiVo I've had (couple of SAT-T60's, DTV (Samsung) unit). But the S3 is very nearly silent. If you have both, you would notice the difference.

    But that's all if cost were not an object. Otherwise, there is still roughly a $300 difference. If the TiVo HD had been out earlier, I'd have three TiVo HD units instead of two S3's and one HD.

    Also, I think I saw that you are coming from DTV. I think I read that in another post. It's not officially advertised, but some here have said that TiVo will still grant the $199 VIP lifetime transfer to a new S3. You just have to ask. It used to be only offered to standalone lifetimes, but I think there was some confusion about lifetimes that people bought for their S1 DTV/TiVo's. I was one of them, and for about a week as the VIP deal was coming to a close, they honored the DTV/TiVo lifetimes. I got in on that, so I know it was true. Anyway, some folks are saying you can still get that, and if so, it might swing you to an S3 over an HD.
  3. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Source would make no difference, they both basically work the same way (except the THD having single M-card dual tuner apability right now).

    I'd chose the THD, because it has that Vixis (or whatver) media conversion chip in it.
  4. Revolutionary

    Revolutionary Too sleepy for TV...

    Dec 1, 2004

    Bigger native drive and ESATA works now, giving you much, much, much more recording space.
  5. EVizzle

    EVizzle ^^MacGvyer^^

    Feb 13, 2005
    St. Paul, MN
    I was in the same situation, and I chose the S3 because it was more likely to be ready out of the box, with the software updates. If the THD had the same software and could be upgraded with an external HDD, I would have bought that because it has newer hardware.

    I am extremely happy with the S3, I would buy a second S3 right now if I had another HDTV.
  6. mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

    Dec 11, 2006
    If price weren't important -- the S3 because of larger HDD size and OLED. However, since price is important to me, the Tivo HD was the solution I choose.
  7. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003
    If price were really no object, I'd get both. :D

    The Classic S3 is more featureful today, but the new TivoHD may in the future gain capabilities that the old unit won't. We don't really know yet.
  8. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    I would choose the TivoHD if your cable system uses Motorola CableCards.

    The current TivoHD software is not fully compatible with Scientific Atlanta CableCards, which results in frequent pixelization. Hence, if your cable system uses Scientific Atlanta hardware, you should buy the Tivo Series3 or wait a few weeks for Tivo to resolve that problem on the TivoHD.

    TivoHD Advantages
    • TivoHD has twice the usable system memory (256MB vs 128MB) and more than three times the memory available to the underlying Linux OS (128Mb vs 42Mb).

    • Supports MCARDs out of the box.

    • TivoHD has new hardware for MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 SD->SD and HD->SD transcoding in realtime.
      • Could allow HD->SD MRV with older Series2 Tivos
      • Could allow TivoToGo and MRV to support content flagged as "copy one generation" (via downres)
      • Could allow Tivo to use TivoToGo and MRV to record and stream content for which they cannot obtain Cable Labs approval to pass (via down-res)
      • Could allow place-shifting like Slingbox
    The Tivo Series3 currently has the advantage with newer software (8.3.x vs 8.1.x) that offers better performance and unofficial eSATA support, but both should be on the same software with the same capabilities (eSATA, etc) within a few months.
  9. Sep 1, 2007 #9 of 35

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    If cost were no object, I'd buy one of each. :)

    (Written by someone who has two of each :D)

    All kidding aside, unless you really like the front panel OLED and controls, I'd go with the THD box.
  10. Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

    Nov 23, 2003
    An with the Series 3 you get an "exploding remote" what could be more interesting than that? Wondering if your house has burnt down from the Tivo remote going up in flames...

    Think I better up my insurance a few notches...LOL
  11. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    Uhm, is your post supposed to make sense?

    What remotes are 'exploding' and 'burning down houses'?
  12. Rawson819

    Rawson819 Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    Algonquin, IL
    I'm guessing the doc is referring to this post:
    Glow remote battery explosion
  13. RandyDtg

    RandyDtg Member

    Apr 16, 2005
    I like the S3's display a lot, especially when my big TV is off, I can see what it is recording (unless its a TiVo suggestion), or when I am watching a recording and it starts recording, I can see what its doing without interrupting my show. I'd pay the extra for these features.
  14. jeffster

    jeffster Member

    Feb 18, 2001
    Southlake, TX
    I am coming out of DTV with 2 HD DTivos and 4 SD DTivos -- maybe they'll do me this one favor... ;)

    If so, I'll probably try an S3 and a THD and compare (got 3 HDTVs, so the third will test the std. FIOS HDDVR).
  15. sammydee

    sammydee New Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Yes, exactly. If your cable provider will give you an M-card instead of two S-cards it will save you money on your monthly cable bill. So far it seems only Motorola-based systems have M-cards...and M-cards only work in the HD, not the S3.

  16. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Not entirely correct.

    MCards work fine in an S3, but currently only in single-stream mode.

    So until Tivo releases the anticipated software upgrade to allow the MCards to use multi-stream mode, you would need two MCards for full functionality.
  17. hospadam

    hospadam New Member

    Oct 13, 2006
    I saw someone made the comment about the S3 supporting eSATA.

    it was my impression that the TivoHD supported eSATA as well?

    Am I wrong? Thanks!
  18. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    Yes, the TiVo HD does not support esata at this time.
  19. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Tivo doesn't yet officially support eSATA on either box.

    The eSATA port works on the Series 3 box with the 8.3 level of code, if you use the Kickstart 62 method.

    Official support for eSATA on both boxes is expected later this year.
  20. hospadam

    hospadam New Member

    Oct 13, 2006
    Can you do the Kickstart 62 method on the Tivo HD though? (Sorry, just want to clarify)

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