Buying Tivo HD questions/help

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by sneagle, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. sneagle

    sneagle Addicted Member

    2,215
    0
    Jun 11, 2002
    New York area
    I left DirecTV a while back and migrated to FIOS. My family and I have been suffering with the FIOS DVR and I am now ready to go back to Tivo. I have two TVs. An HD in the living room and a standard TV in the bedroom. Sometime in the unforeseen future, I would like to upgrade the bedroom TV to HD.

    My question is should I go with two Tivo HDs now or one regular (?dual tuner) and one HD?
    I thought two HD Tivos would be better with cablecards as I would be able to record one channel and watch one channel without having to figure out two cable boxes in the same room, though I am not sure how the Tivo would handle being attached to a standard TV. Plus, then I would not have to worry about canceling one Tivo sub when I upgraded the TV.

    Also, how does the multi-unit discount work. I plan to do the pre-pay 3 years for the first Tivo for $299 ($8.31/mo) So, then the second unit would be the 3 year month to month for $12.95-$6 = $6.95/mo Is that correct?

    Thanks.
     
  2. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    2
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Yes.

    I haven't checked the Tivo site recently, but in the past, you had to buy from retail to take advantage of the $6.95/mo price.

    Each TivoHD requires one MCARD or two of the older 'S' CableCards.

    Since FiOS most likely will not yet have MCARDs in your area, you'll need two of the older 'S' CableCards per Tivo. FiOS charges $2.99/mo per CableCard, so your cost today is $5.98/mo worth of CableCards per Tivo.

    At this point, I would not buy a standard SD Tivo, which doesn't directly support anything except the locals on FiOS. To get more than locals with a SD Tivo, you have to rent a Verizon STB and connect it to the SD Tivo. The TivoHD and Tivo Series3 are the only boxes that directly support all channels on FiOS.

    I ultimately intend to buy two TivoHDs. However, I bought one TivoHD to start and will wait until Verizon offers MCARDs in my area before adding a second. That way, I can have Verizon replace the two 'S' Cards in my TivoHD with a single MCARD, with a second MCARD for the new TivoHD. That way, there is no net change to my bill -- I'll only pay for two cards instead of four.

    Keep in mind there is a $25 charge every time Verizon comes out to install new equipment, so you want to minimize your installation appointments. There is no charge for service calls (i.e. to fix something).
     
  3. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    4,471
    2
    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    This is no longer true. If you are signed to your tivo.com account when you place the order, you can get MSD pricing directly from Tivo.
     
  4. CCourtney

    CCourtney Member

    488
    2
    Mar 28, 2006
    El Dorado...
    The TiVo HD has no issues putting out the video on S-Video for standard definition sets (including menu's etc.)

    My HDTV doesn't support HD inputs for PIP displays so I use the S-Video to provide the source for PIP when I've got something else like my HTPC up as the primary display.

    I purposefully checked out whether or not it displayed the menu/guide/info on the S-video as I've had DVRs in the past which did not when the HDMI was connected.

    CCourtney
     
  5. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    4,471
    2
    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Two things:

    1) A Tivo HD will work fine attached to a standard TV. I see no benefit to using a Series 2 dual tuner in your case (other than you can get an S2DT for less $ now)

    2) If you are going to have Series 2 Tivo box, you wouldn't have to cancel the Tivo subscription when you got the new Tivo HD box - you can simply transfer it to the THD box.
     
  6. Shawn95GT

    Shawn95GT Tivo, in HD!

    887
    0
    Oct 7, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have a S3 on a 27" SD set right now - works great. I'll eventually get an HD set upstairs.

    I'm actually thinking about replacing one of my MSD rate S2s with a TivoHD.

    Digital cable w/ cablecards looks WAY better than analog on Cox's system.
     
  7. EVizzle

    EVizzle ^^MacGvyer^^

    4,020
    0
    Feb 13, 2005
    St. Paul, MN
    not trying to be disrespectful, but what prompted you to get a S3 with a SDTV? Have heard similar tales with the PS3 and a SDTV, I just went the tv route first, then the accessories.
     
  8. Shawn95GT

    Shawn95GT Tivo, in HD!

    887
    0
    Oct 7, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    3x Lifetimed S2s, 3 VIP transfers to S3s... the rest is history.

    My mom has one of the Lifetimed S3s now, I've got 2 LT S3s and 3 S2s looking for an excuse to record something. The kids have their own S2 at least until the 1yr pre-pay runs out.

    This is why I'm considering a TivoHD. It would be much more productive than one of my 540s for the MSD rate.

    Yes, I do now realize that if I'm paying the MSD rate anyways I probably shouldn't have jumped on the VIP lifetime transfer deal - lol. I'll probably get down to 3-4 Tivos when it's all said and done.
     
  9. sneagle

    sneagle Addicted Member

    2,215
    0
    Jun 11, 2002
    New York area
    Okay, thanks for the help. I got the two Tivo HDs. They are setup and now waiting for cablecards...installers due Saturday AM...
     
  10. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,066
    5
    Sep 21, 2004
    The S3 has a better analog picture quality than the S2 DT. Also, you could record digital OTA station and take advantage of even better picture quality. There's nothing that says you can't watch digital HD television on a SD TV. In fact, that is a good solution especially for bedrooms or 2nd TiVos.
     
  11. sneagle

    sneagle Addicted Member

    2,215
    0
    Jun 11, 2002
    New York area
    Okay, just an update and my experience with installing cablecards...sort of long...

    I picked up two Tivo HD. I got one from Circuit City for $270. Since they only had one, I drove down to BestBuy and they matched my price. I bought at B&M stores in case I ran into a problem. I know I paid a bit more, including tax, but I consider insurance against a problem.

    I called Verizon to install the cable cards. Sadly, they would not let me pick them up.

    The installer came this morning. He admitted on arrival that he had never installed cable cards before. This was not unexpected. I was an early adopted of FIOS internet and FIOS TV in my area and I was the first install for the techs on both occasions.

    Prior to the installer coming, I had setup the Tivos and done the guided setup.

    He brought S cards. :( He had not heard of M cards. We put the first card into the slot and started the process. After a minute or so, the Cablecard info was populated on the screen.

    First problem was his software asked for something called POD ID#. He did not know what that was. Initially he left it blank but that gave an error. Finally, we saw that Tivo was giving up a number that Tivo called 'Cablecard' and was a derivation of the UA #. He entered that and his software proceeded to initiate then activate the cablecard. A two step process on his software.

    Next problem. Tivo came up with an error 161.4. We were not clear what this meant. He called support and while waiting for someone to help him, the channels started to work. My interpretation is that it takes a little time for the activation to work its way through the system. The Tivo however is impatient and after initiation of the card, it gives the error while waiting. It took about 5-10 minutes for the channels to start working after each card was installed.

    We proceeded to get the other three cards working. After the cards are installed, Tivo does another guided setup. Took time, but clearly you can't skip that. All my channels, premium included, work great. So far, no pixelization.

    As for standard TV, I connected using an 'S' cable and told Tivo fixed 480i. That may be wrong, but the picture is fine. There is one unexpected benefit of having the Tivo HD on a standard TV. I can watch the HD channels on my regular TV. They are sometimes letter boxed or don't fill the whole screen. Otherwise they look fine. My hope is that once multi-room viewing is enabled, this means if I record something in HD in the LR, I will be able to watch it in the bedroom even though it is not HD.

    A few pieces of advice from my experience:
    - Write down the Card info before installing them. I copied the cards prior to starting on my FAX machine
    - Have internet access for the installer. In both rooms, I had wired access for him to use. I could have given him access to my wireless network, but then he would have my double secret key :D
    - Be patient

    One note: During the install process, my 10 year boy was dancing around the room saying 'We have Tivo, we have Tivo, we have Tivo'
     

Share This Page