Tivo Quandry

Posted on Friday, May 5, 2006

So I have a Tivo-quandry.

But first, let me bring you up to speed on my Tivo/DVR history, so you can better understand my situation.

I got my first Tivo in 1999 – Series 1 with Lifetime service. In 2003 I replaced it with a Series 2.

I loved my Series 2. I used every possible feature it had – Internet scheduling, streaming pictures and music from my Mac, and even dumping shows from the Tivo to my PC laptop.

A little over a year ago, I got a TV with HD for the first time. Since, at the time, the only HD solution for Tivo was a) only for DirectTV, and b) $999, I decided to switch to Comcast’s DVR. Two tuners, plus it could record HD. I bid my Series 2 farewell (it found a home as a gift) and decided to try the Comcast route.

I hated it. I still do. But I love watching baseball (and some other shows, mostly on DiscoveryHD) in high definition.

Flash forward to the present. We’re still using the Comcast DVR. It’s still a pain in the ass to use. It still freezes up all thel time (this is the second unit I’ve gotten from them in a year – they seem to last about six months before freezing up daily).

I want to be done with this. I want to go back to Tivo.

Problem is – the Series 3 Tivo (which will do everything I want, in theory – HD recording on multiple tuners) isn’t supposed to be out until “second half of 2006”. Plus, I’m not sure if Comcast will offer the CableCard stuff that Tivo needs. Plus it will probably cost between $500-$1,000. There’s also rumors of Comcast moving to Tivo “software” this year, but again, it’s all speculation about the details/timeline.

I am really considering getting one of the new Dual Tuner Series 2 Tivos. Although they kind of suck too – I won’t get HD, and I won’t get “true” dual tuner functionality (the second tuner will only record the handful of analog channels I get). But for $19.95/month and $30 upfront for the box, I can have my Tivo again (I could get it cheaper per month for a longer contract, but I don’t want to lock into this Tivo for more than a year, since hopefully a year from now the Series 3 will be out, stable, and affordable).

What do you all think? Is the DT Series 2 a good stopgap measure for me?

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