My first Tivo, a journey indeed

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by bobster954, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

    99
    2
    Aug 15, 2011
    I am a recently new comcast customer in south florida. I started using the HD DVR that comes with comcast and realized it was worse than a 1980s vcr. It was horrible and I had to pay 15 a month for this?

    I looked at other options and finally went to tivo. Tivo was a bit hard to understand, both in its pricing and how it works with the cable company. For new users reading this I will relate what I learned.

    I learned that the price of the tivo box is just the price for the box, not for it to actually work. For it to work you must get a subscription, a monthly or a lifetime sub.

    The lifetime is for the lifetime of the box, not your lifetime. It can be transferred (sometimes) but that costs even more money.
    Once you go monthly you may pay a HUGE fee for changing your subscription before one year is up.

    Comcast, my cable company, still charges you separate. Tivo charges you a subscription to make the box work and get the guide, comcast charges for cable.

    Tivo works with an antenna when you finally throw comcast to the curb.

    When you throw comcast to the curb and go with directtv, u-verse, dish, you find your tivo is worthless as it will not EVER work with those other units.

    ====================================

    I found that a cable card is required for the use with comcast. Comcast will try to fool you and charge you, require a service call, etc....however due to very recent FCC regulations they cannot charge you for the first card, require a tech, and allow it all to be done by phone.

    =====================================

    Tivo, up until like 2 months ago it seems, forced you to go monthly if you bought a unit off anyone else but them, no exceptions. However, now and then people would find a store bought unit that allowed a lifetime. According to tivo reps, this is no longer the case.

    I found you could buy a tivo from your buddy and their lifetime comes with the unit.

    I found tivo changes boxes enough that the lifetime is really 3 or 4 years...your warranty, if paid for, lasts 3 years. As long as the unit does not fail, it is cheaper for lifetime. I highly doubt you will be using it 10 years from now, so lifetime is not what you think.

    =====================================

    Tivo store does not work, at least not for the last month I have tried to buy from them (goes to page not found when checking out). I bought through amazon.com, and selected 'amazon.com' as the seller, very important.

    I got the wireless N for 30 bucks less, the special qwerty remote for 20 bucks less, and the extra drive is available as of this writing for 50 bucks less. So, good deal I guess.
    ==================================
    Amazon does not sell warranties or subs. Tivo rep 'supposes' I could buy both from tivo after it arrives and believes I can get the lifetime...sigh. Believes???

    ================================

    Apparently comcast and tivo may be working out a deal that allows on demand to work with the box. Interesting.

    ============================
    Comcast may charge me for a set top box (going to get one to trouble shoot as everyone complains comcast never gets the cablecard pairing right). Comcast ALWAYS blames it on tivo.

    ============================

    A place called weaknees dot com came up in my knowledge search AFTER i bought my unit...sigh....Their units are hacked to have 4TB of storage and many cool things...sigh sigh sigh.

    ============================

    The wireless N adapter requires a power plug, bummer.
    ============================

    Rep said I could copy data to my computer for video editing (I plan on making a news feed on youtube and using quotes from cnn and such). Surprise, you cannot do that. Tivo uses their own file type and you must pay for their software to copy it to your computer and (I hope) allow you to convert it to a file type the rest of the universe uses.

    ===========================


    So far what the reps tell me does not jibe with what the complaints on amazon say as to subscriptions and such. The reps say it 'has just changed'.


    ============================

    The wireless G adapter sounded cool, but the premiere is a series 4...and ALL literature says the G is for series 2 and 3 only. Even the reps could not answer if it would work. Luckily I got the N adpator on amazon for only a bit more than the G at the tivo store. The N adaptor also works with G series routers....win win there.

    ============================


    Will receive the unit tomorrow and probably start the comcast nightmare then. I am concerned about this whole thing as it is a lot of money for what is basically a vcr that can show the tv guide to me.

    But to give comcast any money for their decrepit dvr is too much for me. And I gotta record doctor who.
     
  2. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
    0
    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Lifetime lasts as long as the box. The hard drive and power supply can be replaced upon failure, so it's not unreasonable that you could make the box last 10 years, if not longer if you chose to do so.
    The warranty is one time use. If you have to use the warranty six months in, that's it. Warranty is over.
    You should be able to get lifetime, no problem. When you get your Tivo, you will be able to activate it online here:
    https://www3.tivo.com/tivo-mma/activate/activate.do
    If you already have an account, just go to your account and click "Activate a TiVo DVR".
    I would hope you can get the warranty online when you activate, but if not call TiVo to activate.
    This is most likely ONLY for Comcast provided Tivos.
    Stand alone Tivos will probably never see this.

    Only shows that are not copy protected can be transferred. The cable company controls the copy protection.
    The free version of Tivo Desktop will transfer an unprotected show.
    There is freeware available that will strip the Tivo encryption and convert the files to a useable format.
    Other alternatives to Tivo Desktop can be found here:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=7&f=35

    You may find that the Tivo does a lot more than you think. Browse this forum.
     
  3. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    6,938
    606
    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    I have decided to not comment on if I think the specifics of bobster954 post are correct or not (I think most are).

    What I find most interesting is how well he has outlined why only determined "techy" people should be buying a TiVo and why I no longer recommend them.

    Most people just want a simple to buy, simple to setup, and simple to use appliance without any got-yus.

    Thanks,
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,883
    702
    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    +1 :up:

    The OP did a far better than average job of prepurchase research. I think he missed one likely complication, which is the Tuning Adapter. For some people, that one item has managed to seriously degrade their TiVo experience. At least he's not on a TWC system.
     
  5. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    5,090
    317
    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    I'm also keeping away from editing the OPs items which are close, but not quite 100%.

    I wanted to make a quick note on this quote:
    Who knows what the end results will be, but the May 9 press release says:

    "to enable access to Comcast's robust library of Xfinity TV On Demand content on TiVo Premiere set-top boxes sold at retail" [emphasis added]
     
  6. Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

    56,310
    2,809
    Mar 24, 2001
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Welcome. I'm also in the 954.

    I have a Tivo HD with a Cablecard in it through Comcast that works flawlessly (now). Comcast did require a truck roll to install it. And the installer didn't know anything about Tivos at all. I did everything myself and had him call it in.

    Apparently, they are supposed to allow you to do a self install now. I have a Tivo Premiere that's been sitting unopened for months because I didn't want to wait for another truck roll. I'm going to try to go to their office - on Federal right after the Sunrise turn - to see if they'll let me pick up a cable card.
     
  7. CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

    2,474
    66
    Jan 14, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
    Cox's press release also states "Retail" more than once. But it has been a year and no sign of any progress, so the future is anyone's guess.

    http://cox.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=517
     
  8. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

    99
    2
    Aug 15, 2011
    just a quick add, will add all this to the OP one day..


    I did 2 day shipping on the tivo, coming tomorrow. Called comcast to get a card and they said....wait for it....that not one single card is available in any of their service centers in the entire south florida area....not ONE!!!!

    I had to 'schedule' a drop off from a tech in a few days. What a bunch of doofus people. Guess they did not get the fcc ruling. My guess is the guy will not give it to me.

    I am filing a claim tonight with the fcc about this and two other issues that comcast seems to not know about pertaining to the new rules.

    I plan on going to a service center anyway tomorrow and trying to get one.

    on the plus side, they said they would give me a free box as part of my service...good for on demand and troubleshooting.
     
  9. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
    0
    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Well, the box is free. Only thing is, when you get the cable card, that will be an additional outlet. They will probably charge you an additional 8.50 or so, plus the card rental fee of 2.50 or so.
     
  10. Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

    56,310
    2,809
    Mar 24, 2001
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Thanks. Saved me a trip.
     
  11. Jeeters

    Jeeters Registered Snoozer

    7,637
    104
    Feb 25, 2003
    PA
    But I bet if you wanted a truck roll, you could get one... because the reason none of the service centers have one is because they're all in the back of the trucks.
     
  12. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    5,090
    317
    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    Free box is not quite with it.

    Your service includes a box, sure, but then you pay for the card for your TiVo. If you don't take the box, you should get a credit for not using it to offset the card fees for your TiVo.
     
  13. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
    0
    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Cool. Thanks for pointing that out.
    I'm curious how it will be implemented.
     
  14. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,933
    10
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Well, close. TiVo's business model allows you to purchase the TiVo for less than it costs TiVo to manufacture, deliver, and support the unit, and pay off the rest over time. The deferred payments are open-ended, however, so if you keep the TiVo longer than a certain amount of time, it would have been cheaper to purchase the lifetime service. It is less expensive up-front, however.

    Almost, but not quite. I know of no regulation preventing them from charging you for the CableCard. I'm paying $2.50 a month (each) for five of them.

    No, that depends on the owner. My Series I TiVo died just three weeks ago, and I was using it right up to the end. I purchased it in 1999. I purchased my first S3 in November 2006. It's still going strong. I got my second S3 in June 2007, and my TiVoHD in December of that year. I have no plans to replace any of them (well, the S1, of course) any time soon.

    What's more, if I were to decide to replace one of them, they would still fetch a nice little bit of change on e-bay, significantly abating the purchase price.

    True, but don't despair. Those options are available after market. Indeed, I generally recommend that new TiVo owners upgrade their hard drives and place the old drive in storage as a backup, at least after the warranty has expired.

    I don't recommend Wireless, anyway, especially not for video.


    No. See the other responses here.

    That is not what the TiVo is. The TiVo is as different from a VCR as a record player is from a radio. The TiVo will allow you to enjoy your TV viewing in a completely and fundamentally different way.

    It completely eliminates the need to "channel surf", or to ever change channels at all. I have not changed the channel on any of my TVs in over 11 years, other than a brief, hideous interlude when I was forced to use a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVR.

    It completely eliminates the need to ever think of TV as "live". I haven't watched a "live" program since December, 1999.

    It makes the entire notion of a TV Guide completely obsolete. There is no reason to know or care what channel a program will come on or when, or to ever look at a guide again. Once again, I haven't looked at one in over 11 years. The TiVo does come with no less than three guides, but my recommendation is not to use any of them. They are a total waste of time.

    If you so desire, you can allow the TiVo to make nearly all the recording decisions for you. Certainly it is far better than any human ever can be at finding programs for the user. Not only can it record any series or movie you like on demand, it can learn the sort of programs you like and record similar ones speculatively. You can tell it to record any programs with a certain actor or by a certain director well in advance of the program even being created. For example, one of my TiVos will record whatever movie Steven Spielberg makes next. Another will record any Humphrey Bogart movie that gets shown on any channel.

    The TiVo is much, much more than a VCR. It is primarily a filter that eliminates the need for the user to wade through all the endless piles of garbage on the CATV lineup, and present him instead with a much distilled, but still large and highly varied list of high quality programs from which to chose for an evening's (or morning's or weekend's...) viewing pleasure.

    You of course can if you choose continue to think of it as just a VCR on steroids, but if you do so you will deny yourself the vast benefits that can be enjoyed by the TiVo owner.

    And that is just the core features. One of the really terrific features of the TiVo is all the 3rd party software the provides myriad different capabilities on the Tivo only slightly related, or not at all, to recording shows.
     
  15. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

    99
    2
    Aug 15, 2011
    the term vcr was meant as a vague term...I do not think many people who have cable/directtv, etc do not use or know what a dvr is.

    your first cable card is free, per FCC rules...go to fcc and see the new rules. They cannot over charge you for other stuff, etc.

    comcast said they would give me a standard box at no charge...its either that or I never use on demand to buy a movie and they lose bucks...

    the tivo software, according to all I read, DOES NOT convert files to mpegs and such for normal use..YOU MUST buy the software plus to get that or download another off market software (free or at cost) to do so. The free desktop will not convert your files...per tivo rep and tivo website.

    Tivo lifetime is 3 or 4 years...is that not how often they upgrade to a newer box? Don't the older boxes have less function and use versus the new ones? Thus you are paying for less than new customers with a newer box?



    500 for lifetime, 99 for box, 45 for remote, 30 for warranty, 100 for extra drive, 60 for wireless (or 60+ for 100 feet of cat5) = 800+ for a dvr...that works as a modern vcr basically.

    that is a lot to invest. Versus a wimpier version of a dvr from comcast at 15 a month, 180 a year, about 5 years to break even.
    Yes, this is a gamble.

    this assumes the unit does not break. Warranty specifically states I will not be guaranteed a new unit...most likely refurbished one if there is an issue.


    this is a HUGE investment for a modern version of a vcr/dvr.







    I am wondering....does it work if not connected to the net? What if I am in a hurricane area and lose power/cable..And I use a generator to pop on the unit and the tv..will it work and get the download from the antenna as far as broadcast or will it refuse to work due to subscription needs checked via the net?
     
  16. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,933
    10
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    It isn't a simple DVR, either. Most DVRs are more or less just VCRs on steroids, although some are getting much better. The SA 8300HD is an example. A pathetic one.

    Correct, but both are terrible applications. I do not recommend either one. If all you want to do is convert to .mpg, you can download tivodecode. It's freeware. If you want to convert to a wide range of different formats and edit the videos, and / or burn them to DVD, I recommend one ofthe versions of VideoRedo. It's certainly a far better investment than TiVoDeskTopPlus. For uploading to your PC, I recommend Galleon, pyTiVo, or kmttg. For downloading to your TiVo, I recommend Galleon or pyTiVo, or Streambaby if you want to stream instead of transfer. Along with pyTivo, vidmgre and HME for Python make a terrific combination.

    Some people do, some do not.

    That has not been historically the case. The Series II was inferior to the Series I in a number of important ways. I did not ever buy one. The TiVoHD is inferior to the original S3 in a number of ways. Depending on its intended use, however, it was not quite as deficient in as many ways as the S2 was to the S1, so I did buy one THD. The Premier is deficient in several critical ways to the S3 and THD. I do not recommend the Premier at this time.

    Where are you buying Cat5? You need a different source. Altex Electronics has 100' Cat5e patch cables with boots and connectors for $19.95.

    Life is a gamble. Yes, of course, you might be one of the unlucky ones whose TiVo dies at 9 months. I surely hope not.

    A Ferrari is a modern version of a horse and buggy, which could be had brand new in the early 1900s for $75. Do you expect to be able to pick up a Ferrari for $75?

    Obviously, you will lose network features like NetFlix, pyTiVo pushing, and podcasts, and after about 12 days your program data for upcoming shows will begin to run out, but recording, playback, and local network utilities will still work.

    If by "download" you mean record from either antenna or CATV feed, then as I said, the schedule data will begin running out after about 12 days. After that time, you will only be able to record by time and channel, not by the internal scheduling. The S3 ad THD both still have phone modems built in, so if you have one of those, you can just attach it to a phone line. I don't think the Premier does. I believe you will need a USB modem to get the Premier to get its guide data over the phone. Of course, if cable is down, your phone might be, too. OTOH, any natural disaster bad enough to keep your CATV feed down for 2 weeks, may also wipe out all the TV stations, and after two weeks on generator, fuel, food and water might get to be a much bigger problem than no DVR.
     
  17. CoxInPHX

    CoxInPHX COX Communications

    2,474
    66
    Jan 14, 2011
    Phoenix, AZ
  18. takeshi

    takeshi Member

    197
    0
    Jul 22, 2010
    It's still a misleading analogy. Like calling a computer a "modern day typewriter". Sure, there is some duplication in features but the newer tech does far more than the old tech ever did.

    It is pricey. However, not everyone will need/want what you have listed above. It's a personal judgement call as to whether or not the Tivo's features and interface are worth the premium over the cable provider's alternative. As a Comcast customer I'd say it's worth it to me. I'll reevaluate when they get better DVR's in my area.
     
  19. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

    99
    2
    Aug 15, 2011
    no, by download I mean when you use an antenna you get information on all the channels now...just like a cable guide...and at least a few days in advance.

    I wonder if I can have my two cable signals through the card AND the antenna working so I could record two things while watching/surfing another..
     
  20. bobster954

    bobster954 Member

    99
    2
    Aug 15, 2011
    this could all be solved if the 10 or 20 channels I would like to see (like the news channels) would be broadcast over the air....then we could throw all the services to the curb and go tivo only....that would be nice. :D:D:D
     

Share This Page