Bye bye Dish. Hello Tivo...?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by RMGGTEE97, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. RMGGTEE97

    RMGGTEE97 New Member

    Apr 16, 2011


    I have a DishNetwork VIP 722 that I put into 'vacation' mode ($5/month) about 6 months ago to see if I could handle going without subscription TV service. The VIP 722 OTA tuners and PVR still worked in this mode, but Dish blocks the OTA program guide info. This makes selecting & recording programs a pain (similar to programming a VCR). Also, the VIP 722 OTA tuner is very mediocre. I have a Magnavox DVD recorder that picks up stations on the same antenna that the VIP drops in bad weather. For these reasons, and because I have effectively weaned myself and my family off subscription TV, I am now ready to move on. I originally thought about buying the Channel Master CM-7000PAL, but I am very tempted by the features offered with Tivo.

    I have been reading about the Tivo HD and Tivo Premier here and elsewhere the past couple days, and I am uncertain about which one I should buy. Basically, I will only be sourcing TV from an antenna, no cable TV service. I also want access to Netflix, Rhapsody and Pandora. If I go with Tivo, I will do the PSL. I think either one of these units would be approved for PSL (please advise if you think either of these would require the monthly subscription):
    Tivo HD for $199 at
    Tivo Premiere for $256 at
    (I cannot post links yet, will update this post once I am allowed to do that.)

    So these are my questions:
    (1) Does the Tivo HD or the Tivo Premiere have a better tuner?
    (2) Can I access Netflix/Pandora/Rhapsody with the Tivo HD?
    (3) Is the Tivo Premiere user interface really as bad as I have been reading, worse than the Tivo HD? (Or has there been an update in the past year from Tivo that addressed many of the complaints)?
    (4) If I can get a discount on the PSL, how should I go about doing that?

    I greatly appreciate your time and help with this...
  2. archer75

    archer75 New Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Gresham, OR
    I have a Dish VIP722 receiver and just setup my Tivo Premiere XL last night.

    The Dish OTA tuner is pretty good. The premiere cannot reliably tune the same channels that I can on the dish. But it gets most of them.

    I don't know if the Tivo HD has online services so I can't help there.

    On the premiere you can use either interface, the SD or the HD.

    I don't know what a PSL is so I can't help you with that.

    Overall I feel that the Dish DVR is better than the Tivo but I still need to play around with the Tivo more before passing final judgement. I've had a Tivo years ago with direct tv and loved it but after having a Dish VIP722 i'm not so sure...
    I may actually keep both so I have more tuners and total recording capacity. My dish bill is only $41/month for HD only package so i'm not in a rush to drop it.

    Thing I wish the Tivo did that my Dish box does: episode numbers, original air date and tell me why it's not recording a show. Is it a season pass conflict or was it skipped because it's not a new episode? I'd like to know this. I also wish the guide in grid mode filled the screen. Or while i'm browsing menus or the list of recorded shows that it would show the channel underneath in the corner so I can watch and browse at the same time.
    It could be there are ways to find this info or tweak settings so i'm still looking.
  3. rayik

    rayik New Member

    Feb 4, 2006
    Our family just "cut the cord" with DirecTV. We have been watching OTA and streaming internet TV for about 1 1/2 months.

    Answers to your questions:

    (1) Everything I read on the net stated the TIVO HD / S3 has a better OTA tuner than the Premiere. While the tuners are identical in both models, the demodulator was changed. Postings by individuals who state they have both units, state the Tivo HD can recieve stations when the Premiere fails to do so. Based on that I went with a used S3 off ebay and put PLS on it. (I preferred the OLED display on the S3 over the HD, though what I read indicates they function the same.)

    (2) We can access Netflix and Pandora with the S3 (which the HD can also). Don't remember about Rhapsody. We also have a Roku box. The Roku is much better at streaming Netflix than the Tivo. The Roku interface is superior. The Tivo had only the instant viewing queue. The Roku has that along with many, many suggested programs which it states you may like based upon your past viewing. (Suggestions are actually divided into different categories.) When playing Netflix videos, to me the Roku provided a better quality picture than the Tivo.

    (3) Since I have never used nor owned a Premiere, can't help you with this question.

    (4) You can get a discount if you have existing account with Tivo in which you have a subscribed Tivo (either paying monthly or PLS that you actually purchased yourself). Discounted PLS is $300. Otherwise it's $400. You also have to add in your state's sales tax.

    Our family has cut the cord and are very happy with OTA and internet streaming. I would highly recommend a Roku. The Roku is an amazing device. We have Netflix streaming only subscription ($8 / month) with Hulu plus subscription $9 / month). There are many public and private channels availalbe (Private channel is just one not official endorsed by Roku) Recommend channels besides Netflix and Hulu Plus are Nowhere TV (private channel) and Crackle. There is so much content to explore using Roku channels. ($60 model does 720p; $80 model does 1080p and $100 model does 1080p plus limited local streaming using USB port)

    Good luck.
  4. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    The Premiere can be finicky on OTA, but the HD works pretty good. Either will do netflix, Youtube, and more. Records 2 channels at once. The Premiere depends on broadband more than the HD for its menus. Subscription pricing can be as high as 19.95/month on the Premiere, 12.95 for the HD. You may be able to get PLS for $399.
  5. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

    Nov 17, 1999
    Living in a...


    With TiVo Search on the Premiere (or the HD for that matter) the entire Netflix catalog is included in search results. The Premiere also has a variety of features for suggesting content, some of which include Netflix programs.

    I would recommend a Premiere for cord cutters since there's no guarantee that TiVo will continue adding Internet video features to the HD or S3 Assuming of course that they ever get around to adding any to the Premiere.
  6. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    I have the Dish ViP 722 and 722K and use the OTA tuner on both (the 722K can tune to 2 OTA and 2 Sat at the same time for a 4 channel HD recording experience) and I have the original S3 648 with OLED.

    1. Lots of posts about how inferior the OTA tuner on The Premier compared to all the Series 3 boxes. I can confirm that while my Dish OTA does a slightly better job of pulling in more challenging stations, I would rank them as about even. Most of the bugs have been worked out of the S3.

    2. It seems that the best on-line experience to be had are with devices like Roku and others mentioned in earlier posts. Not only do they often offer a superior interface, but they also have access to many more services or "channels" that provide on-line content, and with those boxes there is no monthly fee, just the subscription cost for the various services.

    If you are going to OTA only, I would highly recommend that you find a Series 3 box (including the HD and HDXL) someplace like Ebay as those models have the superior OTA experience. My S3 has performed very well and solid. As an OTA only user, your experience should also be VERY positive, as most of the TiVo problems have to do with the stupid Cable Card and Switched Video fiascoes that aren't really TiVo's fault, but that of CableLabs.

    3. I have used a Premier at least 2 times now, and I have to say that I have no complaints about the S3 interface compared with Premiere's new interface, at least at the top levels (yes, Dish UI, while not as pretty, but is functionally better as you don't lose the picture in menus and sub-menus as often as the TiVo Premier does) and I personally don't consider it an improvement (even if it is in HD). Instead they use the real estate for more ads disguised as a helpful banner for to promote movies and TV shows available for recording or streaming. So, I would say, no loss there. The S3 interface gets the job doen (although no picture in menus at any level), and, I think looks more aesthetic and has our little TiVo critter animated in the corner.

    The upside of getting a S3 is that it does qualify for the lowest monthly rate and Multiple subscription discount without having to worry which of the Premiere units qualify and get stuck with a $19.99 per month bill.

    I also considered the predecessor to the Channel Master 7000Pal DVR because of NO MONTLY FEES, but I just couldn't live with out Name Based Recording, and at the time (Sezmi at $4 per month for OTA 2 tuner DVR has since arrived on the scene) TiVo was the only alternative. So, I pay the subscription for the ease of use, but many perfer the Channel Master even without Name Based Recording. All the other TiVo features are irrelevant to me; it was the NBR that was the deal breaker.

    Did you consider, as mentioned above, the Sezmi DVR service. It is for sale on Amazon and Best Buy, if it is still available at Best Buy. The subscription is $4 per month and have many similar advanced features as the TiVo. The service no longer offers a cable channel tier, just access to OTA. It also provides access to on-line content, but again, the option for on-line really is something like a Roku, etc. No box like a TiVo or Sezmi can get you access to as much as a Roku like device can, and they have superior interfaces and, I believe, easier to use. Sezmi may be an option for you.

    I agree, overall the Dish ViP's are better than TiVo. In fact, I personally rate the Dish ViP's the best DVR's out there, along with Moxi at #2 and TiVo at a respectable #3. However, if you are OK with the higher monthly cost of a TiVo compared to Sezmi, then you will find it a positive experience.

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