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Which one to keep. I hope that you can help me answer this question. I have just purchased both a Tivo HD and a Tivo Series 3. Our local cable company came out and setup the TivoHD with cable cards last week and is scheduled to complete the cablecard installation on the Series 3 this coming week. Here is my question. We have been using the TivoHD and have loved it so far. Bummped up the storage with a couple of 1tb drives with WinMfs. This box seems to be perfect for what we are looking for. We love it. The only thing that we have fell in love with from the Series 3 tivo is the new remote...we are currently using it with our TivoHD. I would love to know what is the real difference between the two devices, the Tivo Series 3 and the Tivo HD. I am kinda leaning towards returning the Tivo Series 3 and exchangeing it for another Tivo HD, buying two nicer remote controls and upgrading each box to 2TB in storage.

I think that this will ba a good solution. Please let me know your opinion.

Thank you,
Michael
 

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The TiVo-HD is $300 to $500 dollars cheaper then the Series 3 so if does the job for you what problem are you are having making the decision. The remote and HDMI cable that comes with the Series 3 can be gotten for about $70 and the remote that comes with the TiVo-HD can be sold for about $20. If you could get the Series 3 for $400 then i would go that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am currently feeling the same way. price really isn't an object so if the quality of the picture coming out of the Series 3 is noticibly better than the HD that may be a reason to switch...or if it supports some features that the HD does not. I just don't want to buy something and then find out down the road that I purchased a truely inferior product.

Thanks again,
michael
 

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TivoHD Advantages
  • MSRP is $500 less ($299 vs $799)
  • TivoHD has ~7% faster CPU (450 MIPS vs 420 MIPS)
  • TivoHD has twice the system memory (256MB vs 128MB)
  • Supports MCARDs out of the box.
  • Newer QAM/VSB demodulation chips for potentially improved OTA reception.
  • New, dedicated hardware for MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 SD->SD and HD->SD transcoding
    • Could allow HD->SD MRV with older Series2 Tivos
    • Could allow TivoToGo and MRV to support content flagged as "copy one generation" (via downres)
    • Could allow Tivo to use TivoToGo and MRV to record and stream content for which they cannot obtain Cable Labs approval to pass (via down-res)
    • Could allow place-shifting like Slingbox (thanks megazone)
    • Real-time transcoding could eliminate the need to do it in software, reducing the licensing fees for the Tivo Desktop software.
  • Consumes less power.

TivoHD Disadvantages
  • No lifetime transfers.
  • Smaller hard drive (160GB vs 250GB).
  • eSATA expansion is not yet functional (Kickstart 62 method does not work).
  • No THX certification.
  • No piano black enclosure with OLED display.
  • No slick, learning remote (sold separately for $50).
  • No bundled HDMI cable.
  • Drivers for new components potentially less mature / optimized.
  • Ships with older 8.1.x branch of Tivo software, which doesn't have all the performance improvements of the 8.3.x branch on the Tivo Series3.
  • Potentially slower disk I/O, which may hurt responsiveness.
    The Broadcom BCM7401 in the TivoHD has a single 1.5Gbps SATA channel that is "split" for the internal SATA and eSATA connections using the Silicon Image SiI5723. In contrast, the BCM7038 in the Series3 had a dual-channel SATA controller, so no "splitting" was required. This may negatively impact disk I/O when both internal and eSATA drives are used, and Tivo responsiveness is highly dependent on disk I/O. The SiI5723 does support several RAID modes that could potentially improve random I/O.
The TivoHD is the better hardware, while the software on the Series3 is -- as of today -- more mature / optimized due to the use of older components and fact that it's been out for a year.
 

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ok, so what about pixelation and macroblocking in the 2 units? I have verizon Fios in the philly area and am debating on the Tivo HD or spending the extra $300 and getting the S3.. Money may be an issue, but my wife's TV enjoyment is more of an issue.

Also any thought on refirbished S3's from tivo for $499?
 

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Nothing wrong with a refurbished unit. It's still has a warranty from tiVo.
 

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I thought that the memory was actually the same but the boundary between separate chips and on-board memory were different?
 

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How about the differences between the OTA tuners for the Series 3 vs the HD. My HD does not seem to do a very good job pulling in my OTA HD channels. My dish receiver does a much better job.
 

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ah30k said:
I thought that the memory was actually the same but the boundary between separate chips and on-board memory were different?
Both boards have the same total amount of memory, but on the Series3, half of that is reserved for the BCM7411 MPEG-4 decoder. That decoder and it's memory are not currently used at all.

On the Series3, only the main CPU (BCM7038 w/ integrated MPEG-2 decoder) and its 128Mb RAM are currently used. Of that 128Mb, 64Mb is reserved for the built-tin MPEG-2 decoder, ~19Mb is reserved for other hardware, and ~42Mb is available to the Linux kernel.

The full 256Mb is currently supported on the TivoHD. Of that, ~130Mb is reserved for the decoders and other hardware, and ~126Mb is available to the Linux kernel.

Technically, the TivoHD OS now has 3x as much usable memory as the Series3 (126Mb vs 42Mb). Tivo is using some of that to provide a larger cache -- or perhaps Linux does that automatically -- but more than half of it is still free. The TivoHD doesn't appear to make any use of the extra memory with the current software, which isn't surprising since it is a port of the Series3 software.
 

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chg said:
How about the differences between the OTA tuners for the Series 3 vs the HD. My HD does not seem to do a very good job pulling in my OTA HD channels. My dish receiver does a much better job.
I agree. I live in Kensington, Md, about five miles from the D.C. Locals towers. My Tivo HD does not seem to do much better of a job with OTA reception than my DirecTV HR10-250, (which was not known for great reception). I really expected better performance from the Tivo HD for OTA.
 

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My TiVo HD has similar reception as the Series 3. Both are excellent. The signal strength is a little better than the HR10-250 boxes I have.
 

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bkdtv said:
Both boards have the same total amount of memory, but on the Series3, half of that is reserved for the BCM7411 MPEG-4 decoder. That decoder and it's memory are not currently used at all.

On the Series3, only the main CPU (BCM7038 w/ integrated MPEG-2 decoder) and its 128Mb RAM are currently used. Of that 128Mb, 64Mb is reserved for the built-tin MPEG-2 decoder, ~19Mb is reserved for other hardware, and ~42Mb is available to the Linux kernel.

The full 256Mb is currently supported on the TivoHD. Of that, ~130Mb is reserved for the decoders and other hardware, and ~126Mb is available to the Linux kernel.

Technically, the TivoHD OS now has 3x as much usable memory as the Series3 (126Mb vs 42Mb). Tivo is using some of that to provide a larger cache -- or perhaps Linux does that automatically -- but more than half of it is still free. The TivoHD doesn't appear to make any use of the extra memory with the current software, which isn't surprising since it is a port of the Series3 software.
However, with all of that said, I've had less problems with the S3 than the Tivo HD. I finally gave up on the Tivo HD after too many issues. Between slow response on the remote vs the S3, slow guide behavior, pixellization, audio dropouts whenever the menu was called up...all of that made me go back to another S3.

So it would appear regardless of whether or not the Tivo HD has better hardware, it's current implementation makes it a less enjoyable experience than the S3...at least that's what I've found.
 

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Ken7 said:
However, with all of that said, I've had less problems with the S3 than the Tivo HD. I finally gave up on the Tivo HD after too many issues. Between slow response on the remote vs the S3, slow guide behavior, pixellization, audio dropouts whenever the menu was called up...all of that made me go back to another S3.

So it would appear regardless of whether or not the Tivo HD has better hardware, it's current implementation makes it a less enjoyable experience than the S3...at least that's what I've found.
The software and drivers on the TivoHD are definitely less mature. Using the latest and greatest components has advantages and disadvantages. The hardware in the TivoHD is so new that developers haven't had the time to work out all the bugs in its drivers.

The Series3 is the better box right now, not because of its hardware, but because its software is much more mature, i.e. less bugs.
 

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so it sounds as though the tivoHD may be the better choice in the long run (ie after software updates)

I have a 10% CC coupon so I may break down and get it...
 

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We currently have the Tivo HD but will be returning it in the next few days --- when the refurbished Tivo Series 3 arrives from Tivo. I was able to rationalize the cost to within a few dollars (about $40), taking into account the lack of sales tax on the S3 direct from Tivo, the slightly reduced monthly fees Tivo gives for the S3 refurb purchased directly, and the free wifi adapter included with the refurb S3. Considering the larger drive in the S3, the better remote, and the external drive capability, this seemed like a good choice.

We're actually getting no pixelation problems, and are overall very happy with the Tivo HD. We just think we might be a little more happy with the S3 (and the 750 GB drive we've purchased for external).
 

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If they had the same remote, HDMI cable, OLED and were the same price, would people still buy the HD? That is the ultimate question, as the price difference is meaningless in my mind (a few less trips to Chipotle, a few less beers at the bar).
 

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I am considering replacing a SD Tivo in the bedroom with either TivoHD or an Series3. Can anyone comment on the fan/disk noise of the TivoHD vs. the Series3?
 

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mulscully said:
Also any thought on refirbished S3's from tivo for $499?
I purchased two refurb S3's last week. They arrived packed like new units, included the wireless network adapters and both had no sign of prior use.

I had a couple of old Sony T-60's with a lifetime subscription on DirecTv and a Comcast DVR for my HD needs. I am now running the two S3's connected to FIOS.

So far, I'm very happy with the Refurb S3's and using them with FIOS.

YMMV
 

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miller890 said:
I am considering replacing a SD Tivo in the bedroom with either TivoHD or an Series3. Can anyone comment on the fan/disk noise of the TivoHD vs. the Series3?
They sound the same to me.
 
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