Delighted with TiVo HD - DVR using Standard Def TV

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by lauram, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. lauram

    lauram New Member

    Dec 5, 2007


    I bought the TiVo HD even though I don't have an HDTV yet because I wanted to take advantage of the lifetime service transfer offer. I figured I'd buy an HDTV soon enough, but now I'm not so sure. Using the TiVo HD with an SDTV is great.

    I had the old 40-hour S2, and as a result recorded almost everything in High Quality to save space. I was careful not to schedule too many recordings of movies for the same reason -- I didn't want to lose recordings of my season passes.

    Now, with all SD programming automatically recorded in Best Quality (which looks and sounds much better than Best Quality on my S2) and the capacity to store seemingly endless hours of SDTV as well as the ability to record from two channels at once, it already feels like a whopping upgrade. Time Warner warned me that I couldn't get movies on demand with CableCard, but I can record and store so many movies already I doubt I'll miss that. (And there's always Amazon Unbox.)

    To anyone who's thinking of taking advantage of the service transfer even though they don't have an HDTV, I recommend it highly.
  2. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

    Oct 11, 2002
    I definitely agree with you about the SD on a THD. I'm in the process of trying to get my cablecard working. I had orginally thought if I couldnt get it working I'd send back the Tivo within 30 days. Now I've changed my mind to keep the THD regardless and will resort back to OTA or QAM if the CableCard install remains unsuccessful.
  3. janry

    janry New Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    I'm doing the same thing as the OP. I don't even have cable cards. Most of my recordigs are on unscrambled channels. I left the old Series 1 hooked up to the converter box for scrambled programs. I guess when we finally get a HDTV or after the 1 year we can continue to use the Series 1, I'll get cable card(s) but for now, I'm living large with a dual tuner, great capacity (got the Expander also), better sound, and have the recording of HDTV covered once the day comes.
  4. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    Mar 22, 2006
    Awhile ago I disputed whether using S3 only for standard-def made sense. But using HDTiVo only for standard-def makes perfect sense; it's significantly cheaper than S3 and only requires 1 'M' CablCARD. It's the TiVo for these times!
  5. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002


    Best Quality (or any quality) only applies to analog signals. With cable cards you get access to many digital SD channels which are recorded directly. That is why the quality is so much better. On the remaining analog channels you will still get to select the quality level.
  6. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    Right. The channels are not "automatically recorded in Best Quality." They're automatically recorded as digital rather than analog, so they're as perfect as they are coming directly out of a digital cable box (because they're converted to digital either by the channel provider itself or by the cable company, rather than by your TiVo). What you (the OP) are experiencing is "analog digital simulcast," which is that you are actually receiving digital versions of channels that you think of as being in the "analog tier." You probably don't receive any real analog channels at all anymore.
  7. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    Mar 22, 2006
    TiVo's S3 and HDTiVo, when not using CableCARDS, access all cable analog channels available as well as cable's unencrypted digital channels so if both versions are displayed the digital version can be compared with the analog one. With CC's, cable co.'s may only map their digital versions.

    A strong analog signal w/o multipath can actually look better than the digital version of the same program because digital sources are often compressed, but, more often, analog signals display noticiable shortcomings when compared with digital.

    Awhile ago I got into an unpleasant exchange about this issue; definitely not good! What's been bugging me is that I did make an error of logic when comparing sources. JT was correct in stating that it was impossible to compare analog vs. digital between S3 and a Moto DCT6412 because, although that Moto model is analog capable, Comcast restricts it, in my area, to the digital lineup.

    (For the record, it was an error to report the thread, and intead I should have just continued on. My apologies!)
  8. zand94

    zand94 Member

    May 20, 2002
    Central PA
    I'll add my agreement to this post. Just replaced a S2DT with the THD - dont have the CC's yet, but i can absolutely tell the difference when watching a letterboxed primetime show via my 2nd S2DT recording from my comcast digital cable box and then swtiching to a QAM HDTV version of the show. This past sunday the differences were dramatic when watching the NFL games on CBS. It might not be an EDTV or HDTV display, but it was dramatic enough of a diffference that it appeared that you were sitting in the stands with binocs watching the plays live (as in being there).

    I do recommend to anyone in the market for a TiVo to get the TivoHD to futureproof yourself and start watching those high quality pictures flying through the air (Tom Synder reference)

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