Life: September 2006 Archives

Tivo Series 3

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If you haven't read the news, the new Tivo Series 3 was launched on September 12th.

What's so different about the Series 3? Well, it can record in HD, for one.
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If you have been keeping up with my blog, you will know that I got a new Panasonic plasma TV a few months ago. When I got the HDTV I was seriously excited and 85% of my TV viewing is just watching the HD channels. Occasionally I will slum it and go back to "regular tv", like record "The Alternative" on VH-1, which is an hour's worth of New Wave videos from the 80's and early 90's. Love that show.

Anyhow. My old Tivo, the Series 2, I connected to the plasma and it worked...sort of. The HD picture was smaller when I watched TV through the Tivo, since the Tivo couldn't support the higher resolution. "Regular", or 480i, TV was ok, but its like listening to a record versus a CD.

One of the abilities I really liked was that the Series 3 has two tuners. So, I could record a show on one tuner, which uses a cablecard, and watch another show on another tuner. With the Series 2 - you were stuck watching a show while it recorded. I also liked the fact that I could transfer my "lifetime membership" from my old Series 2 to the new Series 3. The "lifetime membership" transfer is listed here. It does cost $199 to transfer, which sucks, but paying $13 a month for the service, it's a simple question of "WIll I be using a Tivo for more than 15 months?" Considering I had my Series 2 for 3 years, I would say that is a big fat "Yes".

The Series 3 has some serious downsides. First is price. At $800, this was a serious dent in my plans when i'm trying to "save" money. In the last 6 months I bought a plasma TV, a new Canon camera and now a $800 Tivo. Maybe I should shut up about my PSE&G problem, if i'm single handedly trying to jump start the US economy. Second, you can't order Pay-Per-View or Video on Demand through the Tivo. That sort of sucks, but since I have my old Series 2 (which has an internal DVD burner), I can just order it on the common room TV, burn it to a DVD and watch it upstairs. Third problem is that Tivo-To-Go is disabled (for now), so I couldn't take anything that the Series 3 records and put it on an iPod, or other device to watch. From what I understand, this might be available in the future.

The way I see it is that I don't have many expensive hobbies (I only golfed 5 times this summer), and the new TV season is starting this week, i'm fairly good at being frugal in other areas of my life and I do work a second job bartending (by the way, Mikie's was so packed last Saturday that we had a line at the door. It was a good night for me!). With shows like "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy", and countless others that I want to watch, along with hitting the gym 3 times a week and there are lots of nights that i'm simply not home - I need this to make sure I don't miss my favorite shows.

Yes, I have issues.

I have a technician from Cablevision coming on Tuesday morning to connect and configure my cable cards. I plan on doing a write up next week on "How To Install A Tivo Series 3 In Hoboken". I disconnected my old cable box and connected up the Series 3 last night, and it only recognizes the "regular" TV, and won't display any channel past 100 right now. I'll probably just suck it up and wait until Tuesday, I just don't feel like reconnecting everything again. Planning on taking my old Series 2 and using it on the common room TV, since it isn't HD.

Gizmodo has a cool review of the Series 3 here, which you can read to see what else it offers.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Life category from September 2006.

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