Perspective from a New TiVo User

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by ginginlala, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. ginginlala

    ginginlala Member

    Jul 15, 2011



    I just bought my first ever TiVo a few weeks ago. A Premiere XL.

    I want to offer some perspective. A huge number of the threads on here talk about TiVo as if it's a horrible, dated, piece of junk product, that these posters will soon be replacing their TiVo's with cable company DVRs, Roku's, etc.

    As someone who's just come from years of being cable DVR and Xbox 360 exclusive, I have to ask: are you crazy?

    The DVR functionality alone is light years ahead of every cable DVR box I've used (Time Warner, Cablevision/Optimum, Comcast). Search is gorgeous and immensely useful; organization via episode guides lets me easily record back episodes of programs I've missed, etc. A dual tuner setup that can record two shows while downloading something from Amazon and playing back a recording all at once. Wishlist search is a freaking miracle. TiVo, well I'm probably turning those off, but it's a cute idea. Seriously, folks, this stuff isn't available elsewhere, as far as I can tell. What are you complaining about?

    Add on top of that Search functionality that digs into Netflix and Amazon as well as my cable listings, and this is quite a sick package. If they ever pull off integrated Hulu Plus search (and I do get the sense from these forums that TiVo is painfully slow to update their software)...I mean, I've tried a number of other devices and none of them have this integrated, one-box search approach. It's incredibly useful.

    Integrated, multi-service search is, in and of itself, something like a killer feature. Add that to DVR functionality that is just plainly way ahead of cable company DVRs and...again, I don't get the complaints.

    Sure, the interface is inconsistent. O noes, it goes from HD to SD sometimes. Seriously, go use a cable DVR for a few years and then remember fondly the days when you were upset that your TiVo's menu system wasn't visually consistent while you're pulling your hair out trying to find a show.

    Sure, it does not hold up as a streaming media device against streaming-only devices like Apple TV, Roku, etc. I posit that if you want a great streaming-only device, get one of those. I only note that none of those devices can access and record live television. That is a pretty severe handicap. That said, I've switched to TiVo for Netflix Live with no issues, so far. With TiVo's integrated Search, when I'm searching for a particular movie or show it searches Netflix, Amazon, and cable listings; with Xbox Netflix search, it searches Netflix only. Hm.

    Am I missing something? I ask that with total sincerity, even if I don't really want to start this thread only to find out that this new device -- which has pretty sincerely been wow-ing me and my wife ever since purchase -- is really a turd :).

    (My primary concern with TiVo is their viability as a company, to be honest)

    (And...sorry for the TLDR post)
  2. Shanezam203

    Shanezam203 Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    Welcome to the klan, and very good write up. I am sure some have their issues, but I have been enjoying my Tivo for 5-6 years now; I recommend it to alot of family and friends.

    I agree, the searching into Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster/ on demand, + cable lineup is great. Essentially I can watch any movie from my Tivo device & I don't have the Premiere.

    Also I access my music and home movies that are on my desktop and stream pics via slideshow that is built in after adding my Tivo onto my network.

    Again welcome to the group & enjoy your Tivo. :up:
  3. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Most people that feel as you do don't post as these forms, as these forms seem to be for problems people experience and want to know if others are having the same problem or issues. (also for news of general interest about TiVo including hard drive upgrades etc) If I did not feel the way you do about TiVo I would not have 5 of them in my home. For 10 years the concern of TiVo lasting as a co. has been with us, and maybe someday someone with a Lifetime TiVo will get burned, but look at the people that have gotten hit hard on their home values, most of those losses would be a rounding error if they had a full loss on a few TiVos they had because the co went out of business.
    Enjoy your TiVo and welcome to this form.
  4. TheWGP

    TheWGP Hmmm...

    Oct 26, 2007
    Welcome! Always glad to hear a fresh voice around here! You were wise to read and do your homework, so to speak, before posting - it is much appreciated.

    I agree, when Tivo is on its A game, it's pretty freaking amazing. Even if software updates can be slow, you have to figure there's still a sizeable lead over most cable DVR's. I haven't used one of those since 2004 and couldn't be happier.

    To be honest, the concerns about Tivo as a company have been around long enough that I doubt they'll ever fully go away. The one thing that's certain in my mind is that if Tivo ever DOES shut down, its name and assets will get bought up - so there's at least some chance lifetime subs might stay alive. Then again, tell that to the UK members, or the ReplayTV subs who are being shut down. We'll just see what happens... but for the short term there's definitely no cause for concern - long enough at least for a lifetime subscription to still be a wonderful investment.
  5. waterchange

    waterchange Member

    Jun 29, 2010


    I own three lifetime Premieres and an old lifetime S2. Sure there's been a hiccup or two but otherwise they just work and I don't regret their purchase at all.
  6. thomb

    thomb Member

    Jan 22, 2008
    Mill Creek, WA
    Well put OP. A lot of people don't realize how cool the Tivo really is until they try the cable co box. I love my 2 Tivo HDs!!

    Having my Tivo record a show that I didn't know was coming up (from wishlist) is sheer bliss. Like finding a wad of money in an old pair of jeans. Other bonuses: scheduling recordings over the web, MRV, copying shows from tivo to DVD, upgradable drive for more storage. My Tivo HDs are two of the best things I've bought.
  7. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

    Nov 17, 1999
    Living in a...
    Welcome to the TiVolution.

    People aren't crazy so much as they're jaded, bored, and spoiled by a world where the expectation is for a new iGadget every six months with 25% more of this and 10% less of that.

    TiVo isn't playing in a space with enough growth or revenue to support that kind of product cycle. But as a new customer, what you haven't seen is that TiVo's rate of innovation has slowed substantially and these days it seems to be focused on pleasing cable company customers rather than consumers. The Premiere was incomplete when it was launched and still lacks a full HD interface while the Virgin Media TiVo launched eight months ago with all the pieces that TiVo is missing.

    That frustrates and saddens long time customers which is what you see reflected in a lot of the comments on here. Often people aren't thinking about it rationally when they vent that frustration so in that sense I guess some are crazy. Others just value different features than TiVo provides right now - c'est la vie.
  8. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    Oh my tivo is definitely superior to the comcast DVR it replaced. That doesn't mean it isn't also a horrible product, it is just a lot less horrible than the comcast box was :).

    If tivo really wants to make a useful product, they should come out with a box that has a completely open source user interface and they should concentrate on making the actual video storage and playback core be isolated from the UI so completely that Cable Labs will be willing to approve a box that users can actually modify.

    If a box that could protect all that precious content yet still allow user modification of the way it works came out, it would have a dozen or more interfaces that were superior to both tivo and cable DVRs in short order.
  9. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Welcome to the forum. I hope you find it as useful as I have. This is the place to find out about all the things you can do with your Tivo to enhance your experience.
    For example, there are some "backdoor" codes you can enter from the remote to enable hidden features.
    Remote press:
    <Select> <Play> <Select> <3> <0> <Select>. This enables 30 second skip using the (->|) button.
    <Select> <Play> <Select> <9> <Select> puts a clock in the lower right corner of the TV screen.
    <Select> <Play> <Select> <Pause> <Select> makes the information screen disappear quickly.
    <Select> <Play> <Select> <7> <Select> displays an alignment grid to help with adjusting your TV screen.
    For some reason, it is best that you start playing a pre-recorded program before entering these codes.
    To undo the feature just re-enter the code.

    As other posters have pointed out, a lot of the negative stuff you read here is mostly from people who get the occasional lemon with a legitimate problem and people who are just frustrated with TiVo's priorities.
  10. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

    Apr 19, 2004
    East Moline, IL
    Just wanted to note: at this time, S-P-S-7-S has (unfortunately) not been enabled in the Premiere software.
  11. SpiritualPoet

    SpiritualPoet Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    This is perhaps a dumb question, considering I've had TiVo machines since the year of debut, but what is the <Select> button? I find it nowhere on my TiVo slide remote. (Or is that even a button to press?)
  12. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    On the old peanut remotes, the select button is just under the directional pad.

    On the slide, and newer peanuts Premiere and Glows, etc, the select button is inside the circular directional key pad.
  13. SpiritualPoet

    SpiritualPoet Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Thanks. I don't recall using it before. I looked at all the buttons except that one before making my post as if it didn't exist. Duh!
  14. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Are you kidding me? Threads about replacing Tivo with sat DVRs, sure - but that's an apples to oranges switch since Tivo doesn't do sat. But not cableCo DVRs. The Roku is also an apples to oranges switch. Very few folks say they want to ditch Tivo for the cable box.

    But that may change as Verizon and Comcast roll out boxes with modern HD interfaces that actually work.
  15. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Welcome and it is good to get the impressions of a new user that's been using cable company DVRs for those of that have been using TiVo since before the cable companies had anything available (11 years now for us). We started with the original Series 1 units and finally upgraded to Series 3 units in early 2007 and always been extremely happy with them. They do what we want which is record and playback our shows consistently and without any issues. Everything else such as transferring shows to our PCs, streaming NetFlix and Amazon and Pandora music has just been icing.

  16. chenb0t

    chenb0t New Member

    Jun 26, 2011
    well yea tivo SHOULd be better. its what we all pay for essentially. but the bottom line is this ... the unit will PROBABLY fail after a year. this has happened with each one of my Tivos. in the end, i always pay more to replace the unit. this just shouldnt be happening. chances are, we will see you post again in over a year telling us your unit isnt working right. ...
  17. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    I disagree. His unit will PROBABLY work just fine after a year. I believe most people have no problems and those that do are in the minority. Unfortunately, the nature of internet forums is that those with problems post and those without do not.

    I have a Sony SVR-2000 S1 purchased in May of 2000. It still works and records the news for me every evening. The only problem with it has been the remote buttons have gotten very unresponsive.

    I am sorry that your experience has been so bad, but I believe you are not in the majority.
  18. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2002
    It is certainly nice to see another positive TiVo post. I have been a TiVo user since October 2000 and other than a couple of hard drive failures have had no problems and I have been delighted with the products I have used. I don't have the Premiere so I can't say it isn't as problem prone as some claim but I can say I am confident if it is, TiVo will have it working properly soon. I have also used other DVRs, ReplayTV, DirecTV and Comcast Motorolla and all of them worked well enough but I certainly prefer TiVo which is all I have connected now. The TiVo hardware has been particulary reliable for me as has the software. I am happy that TiVo added a few features to the TiVoHD version I use and can't complain because there are additional features with the Premiere I won't get, that is just the nature of technology so I buy something that suits my needs and live with it.
  19. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    Jul 14, 2002
    Yes. You are missing a decade of experience.

    When I bought my first Tivo 11 years ago it was truly an amazing device. Sure it cost a lot, but it was well worth it. There was nothing else like it (well ok, there was replaytv) and if you searched the archives you would find very few negative comments about the beloved Tivo.

    Now, the Tivo is just mediocre. Since the Series 2 they haven't really made many major changes and most of those changes were not implemented very well (see Netflix app).

    Tivo used to be a PREMIUM product that required a PREMIUM price. Now it's a mediocre product that is more expensive than ever.
  20. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    Jul 14, 2002
    I also disagree. I have never once had a hardware failure in 11 years.

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