First time Tivo buying, suggestions?

Discussion in 'TiVo Upgrade Center' started by MokTask, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. MokTask

    MokTask New Member

    Jan 12, 2006



    I've recently decided to take the plunge and buy a Tivo. I thought about it a couple years ago, and then again last Christmas (bonus check time!) and both times decided against it. I've built a HTPC PVR, but my dear and patient wife doesn't feel comfortable using it as easily as I think she'd use a Tivo.

    Anyway. I'm 95-100% positive I'll be able to upgrade the storage with no problems, I even have a spare 160gig WD IDE drive in the closet, waiting for a use. But the upgrade may be a few months down the line, depending on the actual use of the Tivo and saved shows. (we have a 2.5 and .5 year old, so children programing will probably find its way on there more than anything if I were to venture a guess right now.)

    Which should I buy? The 40hour (gig?) model or the 80hour one based on my future desire for an upgrade in HD size?

    Are the units themselves the same, other than the hard-drive? The model numbers tend to lead me to believe they're identical to each other, save for the larger hard-drive.

    Do all the new Tivo's available have space to accommodate 2 hard drives, or will it be a replacement of the existing drive?

    Should I look at buying another "brand" other than the Tivo brand?

    Input on the lifetime service subscription on a unit that will be upgraded in the future would help too. I'm torn between paying the full $300 for the lifetime, or just forgoing the $150 rebate for the year's service.....

    As I said, I'm really green here. I think I searched enough of the FAQ's to not duplicate every single question here in those.
  2. 2004raptor

    2004raptor time to emancipate

    Dec 30, 2005
    I'm no tivo expert by any means. Actually, I've only had mine for a couple of weeks.
    Here's my take on some of what you asked.

    I knew going into it that I would upgade the HD so I went w/the 40 hr tivo. I would recommned that as well.

    As far as I've read the 40 hr and 80 hr are identical except for the hd size. They also have one that has a dvd burner.

    To my knowledge mine (series 2) can accept two drives if the bracket is purchased. I would imagine the newer ones would be the same. At least that's what I found searching my model # on one of the upgrade sites.

    I went with the lifetime after debating it for a while. Also BB had a free 3 month sub card that came with mine so I used that to deduct from the 299. So as long as I keep mine for 20 months then I brake even. If I decide I don't like it (highly doubtful) then I can always sell it with the lifetime sub and more than likely at least brake even at that point.
  3. funtoupgrade

    funtoupgrade New Member

    Mar 15, 2005
    If upgrading go with cheaper 40GB model. Many on the forum feel sticking two hard drives in one of these later models is asking for problems, since the power supplies are not as beefy as they were in the series ones.

    I recommend Humax because of their current policy of replacing for free any Humax unit regardless of whether unit is out of warranty or not. You would need to keep the original 40GB drive to stick back in should it need to be returned. They frown on upgrades.

    Hard to lose on a lifetime sub, especially if you keep it for a while. As previous poster indicated, the lifetime sub units hold much more value when resold.
  4. MokTask

    MokTask New Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Thanks for the replies.

    I decided to go for it, and bought a Tivo brand TCD540040, 40hour unit. Best Buy had an additional $25 gift card when bought online, but of course, they're backordered there, so I ended up at Circuit City, free shipping there anyway.

    I thought about buying it through the Tivo website direct, but then figured if I had problems, returning it to a brick-and-mortar store would be much easier. I also find it odd that on the Tivo website, you can buy the unit with 12-month subscription built in, but not with the lifetime. (which I haven't found "how" I go about buying the lifetime sub for it....)

    The only Humax ones I found were the 80 hour ones, and the 40 hour with DVD-RW, which I don't need.

    I also suppose if I need to sell it, that is a good thing to have, with the lifetime subscription at least get my money back out of it. But, I don't foresee that happening.

    Guess my next stop is somewhere to find about upgrading the thing myself, and I don't even have it in my possession yet.

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