Replacing a 5xx TiVo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by bicker, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003


    I undertstand from another thread that there is a fundamental limitation with some specific TiVo boxes, namely those with service number starting with 5xx. One of my boxes is 5xx. (The other is a 2xx box.) Could someone please point me to an explanation about why this box isn't as good as my older 2xx box? Should I be considering retiring my 5xx and just getting a new box (for free?) from TiVo as my "second" box? Is it still just the same price per month? I'd just have to make a 1 year commitment, correct? If the new boxes are unequivocally better, and free, and we would otherwise keep our 5xx for the next year anyway, isn't this a no-brainer???

    I couldn't find a way to check this on the TiVo website... no way to see how much it would cost and what commitment I'd have to make with regard to adding a new TiVo onto an existing TiVo account.
  2. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    the 240 and 540 are very similar under the covers. I see no difference in video quality myself but I am not a videophile of the nth degree on that.

    the main difference to me is simply that the USB chipset on a 240 does not rely on the CPU very much while the USB chipset on the 540 is integrated and does rely on the CPU. so for MRV and TiVoToGo it makes a difference. Some have found that going to live TV and to a channel that has no signal helps on 540s because the live buffer is not recording then.

    so if you transfer shows and think they are slow then going from a 540 to a sdifferent one is better. In fact I am upgrading my DT with a 500 gig drive and will then pull the shows off my 540 and talke the 140 hour drive out of it and put that in my 40 hour 240 and put the 80 hour drive in the 540 model and gift that to my Sister in law who do not have a TiVo yet and are not sure if they want one.

    Since they just have one TV the USB chipset will make no difference to them
  3. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    You can easily hack the 240, the 540 is not easily hackable.

    Otherwise, not much difference.
  4. mick66

    mick66 Dirty Burger

    Oct 15, 2004
    The 'verse
    Not a good idea. Buying a new Tivo would get you another 540 or the 649 (Dual Tuner) which has the same basic limitations of the 540. The 540's are the new boxes. The 240 models are the better ones, but have not been manufatured for over two years.
  5. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003


    Okay, then I'll stick with what I've got. :)

  6. mchips

    mchips TiVo Fanatic

    Feb 21, 2003
    Can you be more specific... how is the 240 better than the newest 649 (dual-tuner) units? :confused:

    The 649 (dual-tuner) units are better all of the way around, imho... they're faster, and have the ability to record two shows at once... what's not to like?

    I can transfer recordings between two 649's at 4x real-time, at Best quality (i.e., a 1-hour show recorded at Best can be transferred in 15 min.). The 240's are much slower than that, and limited to only recording one show at a time.

    I'm not aware of any benefit the 240 has over the 649...

    And a 649 is MUCH better than a 540... I have three 649's, a 540 and a 140, and the 649 is much faster than the 540...

    So, getting a 649 is not like getting another 540... it's definitely a move up (faster, all the way around, has the ability to record two shows at once, reducing conflicts, and has a built-in ethernet port).
  7. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    The 2xx use a separate video decoder and USB2.0 chipsets (USB 1.1 on a 1xx).
    I don't know if that helps with PQ or not. The 5xx have the CPU, video decoder, mediaswitch, USB and the video decoder in one chip.

    If hacking is your cup of tea, the PROM of the 1xx and 2xx DVRs don't have protection against current hacks, which the 5xx and newer do.

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