S3 vs Premiere question

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by global_dev, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Apr 7, 2010 #1 of 16
    global_dev

    global_dev Member

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    I am new to TiVo, but not new to DVRs (PC based or standalone), standalone streamers, av servers, PC tuners (networked/local), transcoding, etc.

    I have 2 S3s with FIOS since 10 days ago.

    I have exhausted myself reading about TiVo S2, HD, S3, & S4 units pros and cons on this forum and blogs and have not really come to a conclusion if the Premiere is or is not worth it compared to the S3. The wife is onboard with whatever I do.

    I need 2 units total (FIOS moto QIP7000 series + home media, Moxi don't seem to fit, since i want to be able to initiate record from a non-dvr unit and initiate via laptop/phone web is not viable.

    I like the additionally hardware potential capabilities of the S4, single m-card, quicker MRV, but a ~$200 hundred increase for 750Gb extra (and THX) is quite a bit compared to a relatively easy drive swap of the S3. I was excited about the S3 OLED, but honestly its too hard to see the clock from 10 feet away even on "bright", let alone the recording status.

    It doesn't seem black/white in this case and a lot of the posts have been relatively negative, but I have no real experience base. The S3 seems decently quick, but sometimes is slow to pull up channel blocks in the guide or get back to live tv from setting a recording.

    Anyone willing to tell me that the S3 cheaper storage, extra mcard rentals, and current feature set offsets the Premiere?
     
  2. Apr 7, 2010 #2 of 16
    lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    The TiVo-HD can use the same single M cable card as the new Series 4 so that should not be any issue for you.
    The Series 3 original does require two cable cards and does give the great front panel
    If you just want to record TV any Series 3 model will do, if you want to take advantage of a lot more Internet stuff than can be now gotten on the Series 3 (or TiVo-HD) TiVos, the Series 4 is for you as i believe within 6 month most of the current problems will be fixed (I hope).
    I believe all Series 3s of any model are now out of production, if that's not true somebody can correct me.
     
  3. Apr 7, 2010 #3 of 16
    gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    The S4s are currently very buggy. In fact, many people have resorted to using them in SD mode until the new interface is up to snuff. This, of course, negates one of the main benefits of the S4. Even when using the old interface, you still may encounter slowdowns, freezes, reboots, etc ... The bottom line is that I would only recommend an S4 to someone who is willing to deal with these problems. I strongly believe that the S4 will be a terrific machine in the future, but that is definitely not the case right now.
     
  4. Apr 7, 2010 #4 of 16
    retired_guy

    retired_guy New Member

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    I don't think that there's an easy answer for you. I've had four S2s, one S3, two HDs and now a S4 XL. There were a lot of start up problems with the S3, some with the HD and now a lot reported with the S4, but in the past, the problems were pretty well cleaned up by the end of the first year. Long term, I have little doubt you'll be happier with the S4, but it's uncertain how long it'll take TiVo to get the issues cleared up. The S4 is fast with the SD interface and that's what I plan to keep using until I see reports that the HD interface is working well. It also makes sense for me to do that since I have S3 and HD units and I would like for my family to see a consistent interface.

    I'd question whether you want to invest in buying lifetime service on a S3 at this stage; if the S3s are not already "lifetimed", that may impact your decision. One approach might be to buy one used "lifetimed" S3 and then buy a S4 and use the S3 to qualify for a $199 "lifetime" on a new S4. Also note that the S3 takes about 41 watts; the S4 takes 25 watts--maybe a decision maker if your marginal electricity costs are awful like mine.
     
  5. Apr 7, 2010 #5 of 16
    whitepelican

    whitepelican Member

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    I hate to keep harping on this point, but what exactly can the Premiere do that the Series 3 can't (outside of the HD UI)? What is the "a lot more internet stuff"? Is this just wishful thinking that in the future there will be more internet services available to the Premiere? Because right now, I don't see a difference in the services available to both.
     
  6. Apr 7, 2010 #6 of 16
    b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

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    S4 can search through all VOD services and incorporate them into your search results. Episode guides, cast, etc. That's good stuff.
     
  7. Apr 7, 2010 #7 of 16
    gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Can't the Beta Search (or whatever it's called these days) on the S3s do pretty much the same thing?
     
  8. Apr 7, 2010 #8 of 16
    lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    A year from now i could better answer that question, but even if i could would you want/need that extra Internet stuff ??
     
  9. Apr 7, 2010 #9 of 16
    b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

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    you want to talk about SLOW, LOL
     
  10. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    The S4 is much faster at everything. I am dumping all my S3/TiVoHD units in favor of Premiere units. And I got my first three S3 units in 2006. I still love the OLED screen and being able to see what is recording. But you need two cable cards with it further increasing the cost.

    I'll take the Premiere, as is, any day over the S3/TiVoHD units.
     
  11. b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

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    I never got that - I don't watch anything live, and I can see what's recording with two presses of the Tivo button. Just more lights cluttering up my cabinet. I turn off all my lights anyway.
     
  12. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    I can easily see it from the couch at nine feet away. Whether I'm watching another tiVo or something else. Or if I don't even have the TV on. I'm not watching it live, but if I see that it's recording something I want to watch I might sit down and watch it.

    It really all depends on how you use it.

    I also like that there were buttons on the S3 unit to navigate the menu. So you could use it without the remote on those rare occassions.
     
  13. b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

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    I also don't have 8 Tivos, so I know what's recording every time - I keep track in my head. ;) I only have two TV's, and the living room one is never off.
     
  14. NYHeel

    NYHeel Well-Known Member

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    I use the beta Tivo Search on the Tivo HD all the time and really like it. That's why I'm in no rush to upgrade. Yeah it's slow, but I'm not interested in paying $300/$500 each box just for an incremental speed upgrade. The only thing that tempts me is the faster transfer speeds as transfering now can be painfully slow when you're trying to transfer sports and you want to start watching at halftime. (I know that you can move the recording on the primary Tivo to that spot and press pause and then transfer.) Also if they come out with a really cool guide that uses the HD interface to allow a lot more information on the screen I might be interested.

    But to pay that much money for some speed increases (and as of now that's really all there is) isn't all that appealing.
     
  15. whitepelican

    whitepelican Member

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    I have no problem using the "Tivo Search" on my S3's. I find it works great, and everytime someone says the big advantage of the Premiere is the internet/VOD search capability I'm perplexed, since I've been doing that on my S3's for awhile now.
     
  16. puckettcg

    puckettcg New Member

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    I have an S3, a Tivo HD, and now two Premieres that replaced two S2 units. I have relegated the S3 to being a dummy box on a TV where I don't have cable, because I don't trust it. I do like the Premiere interface and faster speed, but I never liked using Tivo search on the HD or the S3 because it was sooooo slow. Faster MRV is a pretty big deal to me, but mostly I think the S3 units are unreliable. I've already had to pay for a replacement model once on it, and it looks like it might be about ready to go again - I already disconnected the external drive to get it working.
     

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