which tivo has the best quality?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by replaytv, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

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    I know that is kinda of ambiguous question, as it depends on what U want in a Tivo.
    But anyway, the reason that I am asking is it appears that I am going to be able to transfer my lifetime from a Series 1 box, and want to know if I should buy a used Premiere, or just transfer it to a HD that I already have.
    It seems I have read that one of the older boxes is actually the best Tivo ever made as far as reliability and some features, but don't remember exactly what.

    I have searched around this and other sites about different Tivo models, but didn't find really anything that encouraged me to buy a particular used Tivo.

    I already have lots of Series 2 single tuners Tivos with lifetime, so don't need any more of those. I do have 5 unused Series 2 Dual Tuners that I could transfer the lifetime to, but would think I should go with a HD model. I currently don't have HD TVs, and only use over the air antenna content, although will probably change soon.
     
  2. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Save yourself the worry, transfer lifetime to the best dual tuner you have, and then sell it to me very, very cheap. :)
     
  3. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Those S2 DT doesn't work with OTA and even the single tuners although they have analog tuners, must use digital converter box to receive OTA.

    Series 3/HD/XL and Premiere are capable of recording 2 channels at the same time, without a converter box on OTA. They can also work with cable and cable cards, not with a cable box. These will not work with satellite or U-verse.

    You do not need a HDTV, just inputs for composite(yellow with white/red audio), there are no coax outputs. For HD output, you need a HDTV with HDMI input from Tivo.
     
  4. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    You better check with Tivo first before buying a premiere. I doubt they would transfer lifetime to any Premiere purchased after November 14, 2010, unless the original owner paid full price for it.
     
  5. mtims

    mtims New Member

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    I saw discussion of it here somewhere most were saying the one that displayed on front of machine what was being recorded was best and most reliable.
     
  6. Grey Griffin

    Grey Griffin Member

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    Yeah, I've had 2 of the original S3s with the oled screen for over 3 years. They are rock solid. No random reboots, fast transfer times if they're on a wired network (average on wireless), no streaming issues with Netflix or Pandora, works great with the Amazon VOD and Vuze. I put a 2TB drive in one recently to expand storage but neither of the original drives are or were showing any problems. The only drawback I can see is they require 2 cable cards.

    They may be tough to find now, I don't think they made as many of the oled types as they did the HD and HDXL.
     
  7. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    You just described the Premiere except for requiring two cable cards(no idea about Vuze though). Plus the S3 transfers are very slow when compared to the Premieres.
    I used three S3 boxes from 2006 until the Premieres came out. The only thing I liked about the S3 over the Premiere is the OLED screen on it that shows what it's recording.

    My girlfriend has two of my S3 boxes now and I sold the third. I can't stand using those boxes anymore with the old interface and slow transfers. This is the main reason I have one Premiere box dedicated to recording content that my girlfriend and I watch. So I can take that Premiere over to her house when I visit. So I don't have to mess with the old S3 boxes and menus.

    And the Premiere is smaller and lighter which makes taking it over there easier too.
     
  8. caddyroger

    caddyroger New Member

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    The S3 HD and HDXl are very good boxes. The premiere is advertising a HDUI but by a poll here about 30% can not use because of reboots and slowness. You can switch to to the SDUI and those problem will go away most of the time. The tuners are not as good has the S3 HD and HDXL. On the big ten channel college the games would microblock on the premiere but not on my S3. There is a about a 8 point difference in signal level between the 2.
    If you download programs from the tivo to your pc the premiere is faster then the S3, HD, HDXL.
    I bought the S2, S3 and premiere when they was first introduced but I will not anymore because of the problem with the premiere I'll wait.
     
  9. moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Overall I still find the S3 OLED to be the best, most reliable cable HD TiVo if your main use is purely recording cable and mpeg2 playback. The 30 sec skip on that unit is amazingly fast, faster than Premiere units so trick play is very good and of course the OLED is a unique feature of the unit as well and I never have to reboot it.
    It has been rock solid over the years compared to my Premiere units which still have "does not respond to remote control" issues even using SDUI, and I don't care for the HDUI at all even if it was as speedy as the SDUI so never use it. It's still one of the most expensive units to buy however given the high initial retail price it sold for originally. But usually you have to pay for quality. I had HDXL unit for 7 months and it was slower and not as reliable as S3 and I never liked that unit.
     
  10. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    If you will be using the analog to digital MPEG encoder for analog cable TV or other devices using the analog channels (some Dish boxes use the analog for TV2), then The original Series 3, 648 with the OLED uses higher bit rates for all levels of analog to digital conversion (Best, High Quality, Medium Quality, Basic Quality) than the subsequent HD, but I don't know if this is also true for the HDXL and the Premier XL, but, logically, one might presume the Premiere would use the lower bit rate. This is most likely one reason why the XL's--at least for the Series 3-- get the THX Certification.

    Also, there is a sticky on this forum where one member opened the box of an S3 648 with OLED and found that the unit has a superior MPEG encoder than the subsequent HD. In fact, another member claimed and posted examples of the artifacts he saw with the inferior encoders of the HD that were not present on the S3 648 that were, indeed, due to the inferiority of the encoder. This may also be another reason for the THX Certification. It would be nice, unless I missed it, if the analog to digital bit rates for all XL boxes are the same higher bit rate than the NON-XL boxes and if they have different encoders as was the case for the Series 3 models.

    I have to say, as an OTA only user, my Series 3 648 has been extremely solid with virtually no problems. Of course, all these devices have their little hiccups, but I have had absolutely NO major problem and greatly enjoy the unit because it is so reliable. I also must say that I LOVE the OLED and would even get another OLED unit if I had a need for an additional TiVo, even with some of the disadvantages of the older S3. Every DVR should have such an OLED.

    If you won't be depending upon some advantages of the Premiere such as faster transfer speeds between units, etc., than the original S3 can provide you with a great experience. The only problems with all TiVo units seems to be with Cable TV systems and the lousy CableLabs Cable Card spec., but that isn't really TiVo's fault.

    Good luck.
     
  11. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

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    Was there a non-OLED S3? How does one tell the difference?
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    The HD and the HD XL which came out later were considered Series 3 machines, although I'm pretty sure they weren't officially called that.

    The original S3, with the OLED display, is the one with what looks like a thermometer on its side on the front (long tube, bulb at one end).
     
  13. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    The HD and HDXL ran on the series 3 platform, so officially they were series 3 Tivos.
     
  14. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    When the Series 3 came out, didn't Tivo call it the Series 3?

    When the HD and HDXL came out, didn't Tivo just call them the HD and the HDXL?
     
  15. MrSkippy53

    MrSkippy53 New Member

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    You can transfer your lifetime to My S3 OLED or My Premiere..
     
  16. MrSkippy53

    MrSkippy53 New Member

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    FYI, I am rather new to TiVo. Got the refurbished premiere from woot and TiVo only gave me the option for $12.95 per month 1 year min. After that it will be $399 for lifetime. On the S3 OLED got it used and I could have gotten lifetime for $299 when I added it to my account...

    The Premiere is more likely to get future software upgrades than the S3 (lol not holding breath). For a Free upgrade you would be getting more bang for you "buck" based on free and "list" costs....
     
  17. replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

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    I will have reread the info presented and need to do some translating of some of it to understand it.

    My Tivo that doesn't have lifetime looks like this
    http://cgi.ebay.com/TiVo-HD-Series-...385?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c5b991e11
    So I guess it is referred to as a Tivo HD, and it says
    TCD652160 on the back.

    Maybe I should put my Series 1 tivo on ebay and advertise it as a free upgrade method? I do see Series 1s go for as much as $100, and maybe that is the reason that they go for so much.

    I probably won't replace my TVs with HD even when I get a real job, or at least not all of them. Maybe just the front room one.

    As far as mrskippys' offer

    "MrSkippy53 You can transfer your lifetime to My S3 OLED or My Premiere.."
    I considered your offer, but decided to take up a creepy proctologists' offer of a free rectal exam instead. I mean if it is free, it has to be good right???!!
    My girlfriend says that 'free' has got me in trouble before though.
     
  18. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    :rolleyes:

    That logic would mean that the TiVo Premiere and Premiere XL are NOT "officially" series 4 Tivos even though they are the only Tivos to date that run on the series 4 platform.
     
  19. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    It can be confusing, but scandia101 is correct: The original Series 3 and subsequent HD and HDXL are all Series 3 platorm.

    First TiVo rolls out a brand new, firs ever TiVo that can record and playback HDTV and it is marketed with the moniker Series 3 (with THX Certification) which is also the platform name for that generation: Series 3, and it made sense to go with that name.

    However the S3 is a really expensive device, so later TiVo offers a much less expensive model of the Series 3, but to avoid confusion it is marketed under the moniker TiVo HD. While the platform is the same, the HD has quite a few things stripped from it or downgraded such as a smaller HDD and no OLED among other things to reach the much more desirable price point (the inferior encoder, no doubt).

    However, TiVo still wants to make money off of the high-end user and later ships yet another model of the Series 3 marketed under the moniker TiVo HDXL, (XL becomes the designation for the higher-end models) with THX Certification, which is very similar to the original S3 except HDXL has a larger HDD, can use a single M Card, but lacks the OLED. There may be some other differences but the HDXL is the replacement model for the original Series 3.

    The Series 4 TiVo HDTV boxes are marketed under the moniker Premiere for the standard version and Premier XL for the higher-end THX Certified version. They are both Series 4 boxes because they are the same platform and have significant software and hardware differences from the Series 3 Models such as different chip sets.

    So, in short, think of it as you would automobiles: the Series 3, HD, and HDXL are pretty much all the same model but with different "accesories" extras or just plain basic just like there are different versions of the Ford Explorer all the same year. The same is true of the Premiere and Premiere XL. I hope that makes sense as to the whole TiVO Series confusion by some.
     
  20. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    "The HD and the HD XL which came out later were considered Series 3 machines, although I'm pretty sure they weren't officially called that."

    The Chevy Caprice (in the '80s) was blindingly obviously an "Impala platform", but Chevrolet never "officially" called it an "Impala Caprice", and I'm pretty sure that TiVo advertising (i.e., advertising done by Tivo themselves) never referred to "the Series 3 HD, or the Series 3 HDXL", they just called them the Tivo HD and the Tivo HDXL.

    Semantically yours,
    unitron:)
     

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