What to get: TiVoHD or S2DT?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Dark Helmet, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet Member

    133
    1
    Sep 15, 2006
    Northern...

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    This seems like an odd choice ... but let me explain.

    I'd like to put a TiVo device down in the basement in front of the treadmill to distract myself during workouts. Since this isn't the prime viewing location I don't want to spend the big bucks (I know everyone else has their definition of "big bucks"). Right now I have a Series 3 in the main room for normal TV viewing.

    Right now I have a small standard-def TV down there. So my choice is to either get a S2DT or a TiVoHD. Each has their pros and cons.

    The S2DT is cheaper. And I wouldn't have to pay CableCard rental fees or digital gateway fees to Cox (Northern VA). But I can't transfer HD content from my Series 3 to the S2DT, so that makes it less useful. And from my checking on my S3, a fair amount of the standard-def content is marked with a "do not copy" CCI (BTW, how can I tell the difference between a recording with a CCI of 0x01 and 0x02 from the Info page?). From what I have seen here recordings with this CCI value cannot be transferred to other TiVos with MRV. I could always record the majority of that content independently on the S2DT which would sort of make MRV redundant, but at least it would still be useful. But the S2DT has a limited lifetime since at some point I suspect the cable companies will ditch analog broadcasts.

    The TiVoHD obviously costs more, in both one-time and monthly fees (to Cox, I mean). I wouldn't get the benefit of HD on the small TV (I could buy a new TV, but I'd still prefer to not do that), but I could transfer HD between the boxes (most of the HD I watch is network which has a CCI of 0x00). It just seems to be a waste to buy a TiVoHD for a small 14" standard-def television.

    So, given my situation - what would YOU do?

    (Random note: does anyone understand the rhyme or reason to the assignment of a particular CCI value to a program? Example - new episodes of MythBusters on Discovery channel have a CCI of 0x00, but repeats seem to have a CCI of 0x02! Does that even make any sense?)
     
  2. craigo

    craigo Broncos Fan

    431
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    Apr 6, 2004
    Mesa, AZ
    Why not go with the S2 Standalone? Do you even need dual tuners? You can buy one for $150 and get a $170 rebate. Use the extra $20 for a few months of service.
     
  3. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    1,792
    0
    Sep 15, 2006
    Well keep this in Mind...

    If you use OTA & NOT cable....

    On February 17th, 2009. All Analog broadcast signal (OTA) will be turned off. Only those devices with an ATSC tuner will continue to get OTA TV signals after that date,

    After that date. NTSC tuners will be obsolete & will NOT work in the USA for OTA use.

    The S2 uses NTSC tuners.

    If you use Cable.

    The S2 will only receive ANALOG cable channels under channel number 100.

    Starting in 2010 many cable systems will STOP offering ANALOG cable service. Thus the internal "Cable" tuners in the S2 will stop working. Requiring you to use either their STB, or to buy a Digital STB/DVR (Cable card).

    The S2 will contine to work & will work with Digital Cable STB's although when used with a seperate STB, It will only work as a SINGLE tuner DVR. Many Cable systems have considered dropping all STB's and switching entirely over to DVR's. Dallas & Chicago are both areas that are considering not offering plain STB's anymore & switch entirely to DVR only as their STB.

    So while the life of a S2DT or even Single tuner S2 is still about 3 years (Min) away. The death of the S2 is in fact just around the corner.

    The question you need to ask youself. Is how long do you want/expect your TiVo to function for you before you will need to replace it? If you expect more than 4 or 5 years. I would consider the TiVo HD/S3

    TGC

    P.S.

    Also how important is Hi-Def to you? S2 can't do HD.
     
  4. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
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    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    You can get the 80-hour S2DT for $49.99 or the 80-hour S2 for -$31 - make $31 after rebate. Personally, I'd go with the S2DT - even if you don't really need the dual-tuners, it has twice the RAM and a faster CPU, plus built-in Ethernet. The S2 deal is on the 540 'night light' model - the slowest Series2 platform. The S2DT would be faster, especially for MRV transfers. And it is so cheap, it is hard to take the weaker box - plus the S2DT deal is up-front, no rebate. While the S2 deal means handling a rebate.
     
  5. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    1,792
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    Sep 15, 2006

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    Programming error at their head end I would guess.

    Keep in mind that CCI is just as new to the Networks as it is to us consumers. As of yet. Use of CCI isn't in "Demand" yet, mainly because those of us with DVR's are still in the minority. Although that is changing.

    TGC
     
  6. Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet Member

    133
    1
    Sep 15, 2006
    Northern...
    Hmmm ... sounds like the S2DT would be the better choice, especially since the built-in Ethernet would make sense in this location. It may be useless in 3 years, but for $50 I can live with that. Thanks for the advice, everyone!
     
  7. drew00001

    drew00001 New Member

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    Jan 13, 2007
    You should get an HD and buy a 60" Plasma. You'll never leave your treadmill . . . at least until your exercise room grows a couch or recliner.
     
  8. RoyK

    RoyK New Member

    2,935
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    Oct 22, 2004
    SW VA
    I'd pick up a used Toshiba SD-H400 or other S2 with TiVo Basic. I wouldn't subscribe it so I couldn't transfer recordings but it certainly could easily record enough to watch while treadmilling + could pop in a dvd if I want to. And it wouldn't cost a cent for service.
     
  9. Revolutionary

    Revolutionary Too sleepy for TV...

    575
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    Dec 1, 2004
    Virginia
    I second.
     
  10. oldnacl

    oldnacl New Member

    168
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    Mar 23, 2007
    Read the terms of that deal, especially #4:

    This offer is not eligible for Multi-Service Discount. TiVo reserves the right to substitute a different TiVo DVR of equal or greater value. Cannot be combined with any other offer, including TiVo rebates.
     
  11. Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet Member

    133
    1
    Sep 15, 2006
    Northern...
    Good catch ... I missed that one. If I pre-pay for 3 years that's only $8.31 a month which is only a few dollars off of the multi-service discount price of $6.95. I can live with that.
     
  12. Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet Member

    133
    1
    Sep 15, 2006
    Northern...
    Tempting ... although it looks like working SD-H400s are going for ~$100 on eBay. I know, it would only take me ~6 months to recover that cost. Sigh. Decisions, decisions!
     
  13. TexasGrillChef

    TexasGrillChef New Member

    1,792
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    Sep 15, 2006
    I have a question....

    Why would anyone consider a S2 of any type... When in 3 or 4 years you won't be able to use it anymore?

    And deffinately NOT be able to use OTA with it after February 17th, 2009?

    I am honestly curious. Not trying to be an "Ass" or anything. Just honestly trying to understand the logic behind that?

    TGC

    P.S. Espeically since in the next few months, Refurb TiVo HD's will probably sell for $199
     
  14. RoyK

    RoyK New Member

    2,935
    1
    Oct 22, 2004
    SW VA
    Actually more like 3 to 4 months if you consider the difference between the $100 and the $30-$50 cost of a unit without the basic service.
     
  15. Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet Member

    133
    1
    Sep 15, 2006
    Northern...
    Since I was the original poster ... let me explain in greater detail.

    First off, I'm solely cable right now. I could put up an antenna outside but that's a big hassle, and since my workout room is in the basement rabbit ears may not work well. Also, most of the "interesting" content for me is on cable. So FOR ME I don't care about OTA at all; it's not a factor.

    Secondly ... it's all about money. Considering where the room is, I'm not going to be spending lots of money on a nice TV for that room; I'm going to use one of my existing standard-def TVs to save money. When you look at it that way, $-31 or $50 or $99 is a LOT less than $279. At least it is to me.

    Now you have pointed out that any S2 will likely be a paperweight in 3 or 4 years. Perhaps (although I am not completely convinced cable will shut off analog signals at that time, let's pretend that they will). That would be a concern for me IF it was $200 or more. But at $50, well, three years is a pretty good lifetime in my book. Sure, if it lasted longer that would be great. But I'm not really going to be that torn up about it if I have to toss it out then.

    I think it's also worth pointing out that 3 years is an ETERNITY in the electronics world. I think it's impossible to predict what's going to happen then. It's possible that the TiVoHD and Series3 will be paperweights then because the cable industry has convinced the world to go to OCAP (I sure hope not!). So I'm not going to base decisions on what I think will happen in three years ... I'm picking the cheapest solution that works for me TODAY. And given the low cost of entry here, I'd be making at most a $50 mistake. I can live with that.
     
  16. Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet Member

    133
    1
    Sep 15, 2006
    Northern...
    One minor addendum to my last post ...

    To factor in the money equation, any CableCard TiVo incurs extra costs for me from the cable company (at least $1.99 for one CableCard and a $5.95 digital gateway fee). So that's an extra $8 (maybe $10 if I can't get an M-Card) to get a TiVo HD. Like I said, I want to do this on the cheap.
     
  17. yunlin12

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

    1,223
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    Mar 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    You can always use the Tivo HD without cable card. It'll get the analog channels just like the S2, but you'll also be able to MRV any HD shows from your S3. The S2 won't be able to do that.
     

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