Newbie wants advice before opening box...

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by BillV, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. BillV

    BillV New Member

    Dec 28, 2005


    Just got a basic box (Series 2 - 40 hr DVR) for Xmas with lifetime service subscription. I have looked at FAQs and did a few searches before posting. Here are my questions: Is it worth considering upgrading to a unit that can burn a DVD (why bother if I can use TiVo to Go to transfer to a PC and burn one?). Seems more versatile to invest in a DVD burner on a PC rather than in a Tivo unit. Once I open the box and subscribe, I can't decide later to get a better box because my lifetime service agreement is wedded to the 1st box, right? Are there conditions where the box can quit working and I lose the lifetime service - i.e. can't get unit repaired or replaced and continue the agreement? Any info on how long I can expect the "lifetime" agreement to last?
  2. timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

    Oct 15, 2002
    It's hard to imagine a situation where you can't fix the broken TiVo. Usually it can be fixed for fairly cheap, because HD failure is the most common cause.

    I personally would go the PC DVD burner route, but that's me.
  3. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2003
    Corner of...
    To expand a little on what Tim said, if the box breaks on you outside of warranty you have a couple of options. One is to send it back to TiVo for them to fix (I think they charge ~$199, but I'm not real sure on that number, it might be a bit lower or higher), if they can't fix it they send you a refurbished unit and your lifetime is transferred to that. The second option is the do-it-yourself method. As Tim said the most common part to fail in a TiVo is a hard drive, and those are both cheap and easy to fix yourself. When my hard drive failed on my first TiVo after five years of use I bought a much bigger drive from one of the forum sponsors. It was pretty cheap and really took me less than 15 minutes to install, leaving my lifetime service intact. For just a little more work you can buy an off the shelf HD and do the whole thing yourself.

    As far as the DVD burner goes, you can use TiVoToGo to transfer programs to your PC and burn to DVD, and it does provide some extra flexability, but I personally prefer the convenience of the all in one solution.

    Either way it's just an added bonus to the main TiVo features. You have 30 days after you subscribe to return it, so open it up, try it out, and after a couple of weeks if you think a different model would suit you better go for that.

  4. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I think it depends on how often you'll want to burn DVDs from programs that you've TiVo'd. If you plan to do it often then get the TiVo with DVD burner as it's faster and easier. If you'll only burn DVD's occasionally then stick with the TiVo you have as it's cheaper.

    Also consider how important it is to be able to edit what you will burn before burning it. i.e. editing out commercials. I don't believe that you can do much, if any, editing when burning directly to DVD with the TiVo w/DVD burner.
  5. xnevergiveinx

    xnevergiveinx New Member

    Apr 5, 2004


    i would say that the only time you wouldn't be able to fix a tivo and lose your lifetime sub would be if the main board fried somehow, surge or overheat or just bad to begin with.
    if thats the case, you'd just send it back to tivo and they would fix it for a fee and you'd keep your lifetime sub
  6. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    the lifetime is wedded to the box. So you can not transfer it later.

    as for the DVD burner the question is how many DVDs and where will you play them. If it is just to burn them to play later on a Tivo then get the dvd burner TiVo if it is for archive or to play in regular DVD players - then you want PC so you can edit out junk and keep the good partt
  7. Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

    Apr 13, 2004
    Hartsville, SC
    Woo Hoo! I just upgraded my TiVo hard drive with an off the shelf seagate drive and it was easy peasy lemon squeezy. And I still have the original drive as a back up packed away nice and neatly.

    Course I would recommend waiting until the warranty expired before doing this however. I also recommend using a good UPS on your TiVo to protect it from wayward power spikes and drops.

    As for the DVD route, depends on if you want to deal with Sonic's buggy software to remove commercials. If having a DVD with commercials isn't an issue then the DVR route is the way to go, but the PC based DVD-R route isn't all nice and pretty.
  8. Jan 1, 2006 #8 of 12

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    You can't do *ANY* editing on the Tivo/DVD-recorder combinations. (Whether you want to remove the commercials from a show, or save a 5 minute segment from an hour and a half show.. you can't do either.)

    Also, all recordings need to be done to DVD in one session -- you can't record one episode to a DVD this week, then record another next week to the same DVD.

    Also, you can't move shows between Tivos (including multiple Tivo/DVD recorder units) and then burn to DVD.

    These limitations are why I got a non-Tivo hard drive/DVD recorder to use along with my Tivos. Oh how I would have preferred to give Tivo $$$$$ for a much more reliable piece of equipment with the features I wanted! (and I'd still probably upgrade to a Tivo/DVD recorder with these limitations fixed.)
  9. Jan 1, 2006 #9 of 12

    dtreese New Member

    May 6, 2005
    If you have a home network, which it sounds like you do, I wouldn't bother getting a TiVo with a burner. Much better to be able to edit your burns. It makes for better watching later. I've slapped pairs of huge hard drives into both of my TiVo's, and now I've dedicated one of my home PC's to holding video and music files. I wouldn't call it a server, but that's basically how I'm using it. If you plan on doing a lot of transfers, I would recommend considering a wired network or the wireless G/belkin router network that's really popular here.
  10. Kracko

    Kracko Member

    May 30, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I must disagree. I have two dvd drives on my computer - one being a burner. At one point I thought I would transfer movies from my video camera to my computer and then burn them to DVD. For one reason after another, this just became too complicated and problematic.

    Instead, I invested in a TiVo with a burner. I simply like the plug and play and burn ability of the Tivo/burner over the PC option.

    Just one man's opinion
  11. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    I would not go the Sonic route. That may be the TiVo authorized way, but google etivo and a way to get mpeg files. then use videoredo to edit and any DVD authoring software to burn. It really is pretty easy to do
  12. TomJHansen

    TomJHansen Member

    Nov 6, 2000
    Mesa, AZ, USA
    I have to agree. I have a computer with a burner and a Tivo with a DVD burner and most of the time I burn from the Humax....about the only thing I TivoToGo is stuff for my daughter's IPod.

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