Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by slimphilthy, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. slimphilthy

    slimphilthy New Member

    Jun 16, 2008


    Time to upgrade!!!

    I have been comparing the two HD DVRs, and trying to find the justification in the price of the Series 3. Now that I can get a "Factory-Renewed" Tivo HD DVR for $199, there is a $400 jump to the series 3.

    The only differences that I can find are the remote (means nothing to me), the storage space (I will expand whatever I get so that doesn't really matter), and the THX certification of the series 3.

    This is where I am confused. They both have HDMI and Optical outs. What are the actual differences in the internal hardware/software that make it THX certified and is it really worth $400? :confused:
  2. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    Don't forget about the $200 rebate on the Series 3 purchases going on until the end of the month. It's $200 difference, not $400.

    I went through the same thoughts as you did, and it boiled down to the following:
    1) I wanted a Glo Remote, and the S3 comes with one out of the box.
    2) The extra 90GBs of storage space without cracking the box.
    3) The much easier work to get a "roll-my-own" DVR expander with a 5-year warrantied Seagate drive and a 3-year warrantied eSATA enclosure.
    4) The OLED front panel was a nice perk, though not a huge part of the decision.
  3. rcr2

    rcr2 It's you, not me.

    Feb 3, 2007
    I hear S3 to S3 transfers are faster than S3 to THD or THD to THD transfers, as well.

    Plus, the S3 comes with all the cabling you could need while the THD doesn't.

    I do appreciate the time display on the S3, although I wouldn't pay $200 more for it. But add up the remote upgrade, the cables, and the extra drive space and maybe it's worth $200. Close, though.
  4. slimphilthy

    slimphilthy New Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    Actually, the $599 price is after the rebate (according to the phone sales rep @ 1-877-BUY TIVO), so the series 3 is $400 more than the refurbished HD DVR.
  5. RoyK

    RoyK New Member

    Oct 22, 2004
    SW VA


    Actually the S3 is $390.41 right now after rebate from Amazon. The TiVoHD can be found at Amazon for $187.99 + $10.50 shipping NEW.
  6. moonscape

    moonscape Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    the benefits of the S3 to me are the remote (really like the feel and function of it), front panel display, controls on the front for when i can't find my remote, larger HD (though i'll upgrade once i'm sure the S3 problems are acknowledged and addressed), and - okay i'm superficial - i really hate the look of the HD and my components aren't behind glass.

    there. i said and admitted it.
  7. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    Check below.

    I ended up getting mine from Amazon.com for $559.77, which is about the low-point I've seen it for. Rebate knocked it down to $359.77, and at the time, the HD was about $220.something, so it was $139.77 for the difference between the two for me. Decided it was worth it for the price difference.
  8. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Don't forget that the S3 takes 2 cable cards and the TiVo-HD can use one M card so you have to find out how much more you cable co will charge for two cards vs one (M) card in the same box.
  9. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    That's a variable cost that depends on the cable company's charges for a cable card.

    For me, it'll still save me $3 a month with the HD cable box I'm sending back to them, which was the only cable box I could get to work with the Tivo my S3 is replacing, as the prior one died.
  10. ilh

    ilh New Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Also don't forget that the THD is rumored to have MPEG4-capable hardware so there is some hope that will be enabled via software at some point. I believe the older hardware in the S3 does not have that capability.
  11. Ed_Hunt

    Ed_Hunt Pokerpro

    Jan 2, 2004
    I have both and I cant see any reason to pay the extra money, I wouldnt again. Simple as that.
  12. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    IIRC, the THX certification doesn't have anything to do with output quality.
    It only means that the S3 is engineered to meet certain specs for home theatre setup whereas the TivoHD is not.
  13. nirvanayoda

    nirvanayoda New Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    The interface for the Series 3 is nicer imo. I have both and can't stand the way the Tivo HD still shows the program in the background while you're trying to adjust the settings.
  14. crabell

    crabell New Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    I also have both units...

    The S3 is nicer looking (remote, front display, etc), has more storage capacity out of the box, includes HDMI cable, and better eSATA expandability.

    On the other hand, the TiVoHD only requires one M-Card (a $10/mo savings for me!) and it costs less.

    I would go with a TiVoHD instead of the S3.
  15. ilh

    ilh New Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    What are you talking about? Which settings?
  16. tivoupgrade

    tivoupgrade Sponsor

    Sep 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL...
    Actually, it may mean even less than that. As far as I know, the specs are the same, its just that TiVo paid to have the Series3 'certified' and didn't bother with the TiVo HD.

    I have two Series3 units (bought them when they first came out) but if I were to install another, I'd use a TiVo HD.

    The OLED's on the Series3 are nice, but not useful if your unit is in an enclosed cabinet (like mine) and the capacity / remote issue is something that can easily be dealt with in other ways.

    It would be nice to have just one M-card (I have two M-cards in each, but running in S-card mode) but with my cable company, its only $1.50 per card which is not such a big deal.
  17. greg_burns

    greg_burns Now in HD

    May 21, 2004
    I am not an expert, but I believe the both have capable decoders.

    S3: Broadcom BCM7411

    TivoHD: Broadcom BCM7401

  18. DeathRider

    DeathRider New Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    Boston Area RCN
    I have both. The S3 before the lifetime transfer expired, the THD through Woot.

    I really like knowing what the S3 is recording. My THD, I'm never home when it's recording shows, so no loss.

    My cable company (RCN) only charges $1.50 for each cable card - I have 2 in the S3, the THD is used for recording analog cable and OTA HD. But it would only cost me a $1.50 more to get CC for the THD. RCN doesn't charge outlet fees:up:

    Overall, it's a tossup. If you never had an S3, it's that "Can't miss what you never had" as far as the OLED info display, ect.

    I do have them both hooked up to the same TV right now, so I haven't been needing to do transfers. If I ever do get my 2nd HDTV fixed, then it might change.
  19. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Please explain further. The TiVoHD, as well as older TiVo's that I have owned starting with a Series 1 model, only display the program in the background while utilizing the Guide menu. The picture and sound go away when accessing any other menu.
  20. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    I have both, and I prefer the S3, the HD is my backup/archive/analog box, after 8 months it doesn't even have CableCARDs yet.

    I just prefer the look and feel of the S3, esp the OLED, it was worth the extra cost, and the PnP eSATA is nice over needing to winmfs it.


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