Switch to cable or stay with DirecTV?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by vanclute, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. vanclute

    vanclute Member

    221
    8
    Aug 3, 2003
    Hey everyone, could use some input on this as I'm a bit torn. Here's my situation...

    Tivo user since an SA Tivo in about 2002, DirecTivo user since 2007 or so. Currently have two Series 2 DirecTivos, one in the media room, one in the bedroom.

    Just switched from DSL (AT&T) to Cable Internet (Comcast) a couple months ago but did not get Cable TV programming.

    One of the Tivos (the media room unit) has just died, not yet sure if it's a PSU or HD but it's currently toast.

    So today I saw the email from SolidSignal about the Premiere unit for $99 with OTA service for $9/month. I called and spoke to someone there, and was told that I could instead choose to use it with cable for the normal $20/mo.

    The question now is this:

    Spend the time and eventually money to troubleshoot and repair/replace the existing dead DirecTivo (knowing that the other unit will eventually fail too as they were purchased at the same time) and stick with the DirecTV I have now, or bite the bullet and switch to Comcast cable TV and get a pair of Premiere units and pay the $20/mo (I assume that's PER box yes?)

    I'm not clear on whether the basic cable packages include any HD programming or if you have to subscribe to a bigger package for that... trying to compare apples to apples but it's hard. My current DirecTV bill (their basic package) is $75/mo. including the two Tivos and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to match that, but would like to get as close as possible.

    I appreciate any input, pros/cons, or experiences anyone would be willing to share to help me make the decision.
     
  2. ltxi

    ltxi New Member

    349
    0
    Feb 14, 2010
    Colorado
    Depends.....
    ....are you happy with your current Direct TV service? If so, why switch because of a hardware failure. Just because one hard drive failed doesn't mean the the other will soon. I have a Y2K S1 Sony with lifetime running in the basement on a 2001 drive upgrade that provides the basis for my $6.95 MSD/unit monthly for two HDXL units. On the other hand, I had an upgraded S2 that had a drive failure in less than two years.
    ....Pretty sure Comcast will tell you that any HD programming will be a monthly add-on to basic. Don't know where you live and your mileage may vary but for me that's not true. All broadcast channels and a few cable exclusives I can receive in high def. Some others I can't. If high def on all is important to you, it will cost extra.
    ...I'm not completely cognizant of TiVo's current pricing structure but $20, yes per box, to get a low up front buy in for a Premiere non-XL seems rather expensive. That's $40/month exclusive of Comcast's fees for two units. And you have to put up with a low capacity drive.

    My thought, again unless you're unhappy with your current service, would be to fix what you have.
     
  3. vanclute

    vanclute Member

    221
    8
    Aug 3, 2003
    Yeah one thing I didn't mention is that I would really like to be on more modern hardware, especially units that can be networked to share programming between rooms. That's something that is an annoyance for us currently and would (as far as I understand anyway) be a benefit of getting new Tivos.

    I checked Tivo's website and can get refurb Premiere units for $80 and MSD of $15/mo each, so that's a bit of savings. Also just learned that if I went to Comcast, my internet would drop $15/mo (I'm on 105 Megabit cable at $105/mo currently) so that also offsets anything else. Basic cable package is $30/mo.

    HD programming (30 channels worth) would be $10/mo extra, not sure if I care I'll need to find out what channels they are. If it's all sports, then I couldn't care less. If it's channels like Discovery, A&E, USA, etc. then I'd probably go for it. The cable access cards are $1.50/mo each.

    So it looks like the monthly will be almost a perfect wash (actually better than a wash if I consider the internet discount). It will boil down to buying two new (refurb) Premiere boxes (which even at "low capacity" hold more SD programming than my current units), and losing the programming on our current Tivos. Though I may look into what it would take to recover the programming on a PC and burn to DVDs, that which we wouldn't want to lose (which isn't much really).

    Since I know I'll never be able to get an HD DirecTivo (I'm done holding my breath on that one...) and I can't stand their own DVRs, I'm leaning more towards going cable. I'm pretty sure I'll be out of pocket at least $75 or so to repair the current dead Tivo, and slightly more than twice that amount to switch to the newest tech and possibly even get some HD programming at last, is appealing.

    I've never seen one of these new Premiere boxes... does anyone who owns one have any pros or cons about them? Any hidden surprises you didn't know about till you get them? Any reasons you wish you hadn't upgraded?
     
  4. caddyroger

    caddyroger New Member

    1,730
    1
    Mar 14, 2005
    Some where...
    With Comcast If you do not get a comcast box the first card is free. The second card is around $2.00 a month and about $7.00 a month outlet fee. You will get the local in hd. In order to get Discovery, A&E, USA, etc it will cost $10.00 a month no matter how many outlets you have.
    My cons the HDUI are slow to me. Some times it will reboot but not very often. The slowness does not effect all and it depends what you call slow.
    Pro I can transfer the programs to my pc remove the ads and junk and then transfer them back the tivo. You can get Pandora netflix and Hulu plus.
    I thinking about getting me a Ceton 4 tuner tv card or Hdhomerun Prime 3 tuner usb tuner and building me a HTPC.
     
  5. vanclute

    vanclute Member

    221
    8
    Aug 3, 2003
    Well well.... it keeps getting better. Just found this link:

    http://www.tivo.com/promo/renew49.html

    Turns out that until tomorrow, you can get refurb units for $49. And since I own an original Tivo with lifetime, a rep on live chat told me I'll qualify for the MSD discount on both of the new Tivos. So that works out to $100 (plus tax) for two Premiere boxes, and $30/mo. total.

    I'm having a hard time justifying putting the time & money into repairing the old DirecTivo. Does anyone have any compelling reason(s) not to just go for the cable switch?
     
  6. vanclute

    vanclute Member

    221
    8
    Aug 3, 2003
    Oh one question for anyone who knows the answer.

    While watching programming using the HDMI output of the Premiere box, are the analog audio outputs still active?

    Due to my current setup, I'd like to be able to route the audio through my analog amplifier in the bedroom, rather than use the built-in speakers on the TV (the amp doesn't have any HDMI support).
     
  7. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    16,576
    41
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Does your tv have audio line-outs?

    You might want to check the videos linked in Dave Zatz's post here:

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=8673566#post8673566

    to see if you want to hold out for the new DirecTV TiVo model.
     
  8. vanclute

    vanclute Member

    221
    8
    Aug 3, 2003
    Wow no MRV? OK then I have to say that pushes things over the top and cable has basically won my dollars. If I'm going to upgrade hardware, no way I'm going to put up with not having MRV again. I thought I was getting that when I went to the series 2 units originally, so I've been waiting for it a long time.

    I think the TV has analog audio outs... I'll have to look again (which is difficult due to it being mounted on the wall). This may require me to do a bit of a rewire on my bedroom system, but I think will be worth it in the long run.
     
  9. ltxi

    ltxi New Member

    349
    0
    Feb 14, 2010
    Colorado
    My primary unit is a PXL. In terms of both form and function, I think it's the best box TiVo's put out since the DTS2s....assuming you can live with or prefer the SD menus. Better processor, footprint, power consumption, etc. Varying opinions on and experiences with the HDUI but I'm not qualified to speak to the current state of that....not really into not ready for prime time flash and trash GUIs
     

Share This Page