I’m a new TiVo User!

14Sep06
S3 TiVos at Fry's

Well, what can I say other than I caved. When I first heard about the TiVo Series3 (S3 for short) at CES 2006 I wanted one immediately. Then came the cable company DVR, which I snatched up. It was great to finally be able to record and timeshift premium HD shows, but the interface and overall software wasn’t very good (occasional freezes, slow to respond to remote commands, etc). When TiVo finally released the S3 earlier this week I thought I’d definitely hold off and stick to my Beyond TV setup, but after some serious research and obsessing I caved aftering hearing my local Fry’s had 5 in stock.

BTV will still be very useful to me since the S3 only has 2 tuners, and I’ve found that once all the new shows this season are in full swing I’ll definitely need more than 2. Plus, the S3 only has a 250GB hard drive, so my BTV system will help out in the storage category. I’ll record the same shows on both the S3 and BTV, but they’ll be able to “live” longer on my BTV system, which has 800GB. Also, with Showsqeeze I’ll be able to keep a ton of shows on my BTV machine. When/if BTV ever supports cableCARDs I’ll most likely go back to just using BTV. The S3 is a stopgap until this happens, and should be fun to play with.

I’ve already setup the S3 with my analog cable, and I have an appointment to have the 2 cableCARDs installed next Wednesday. Comcast must be getting a decent amount of requests for these since the customer service rep immediately asked if these for the new S3. He quoted me at $18.95 for install (although the lady at the local Comcast center said $16.95), $5/mo for continued HD service, and $6.95 for the 2nd cableCARD (lady at Comcast center said no charge). I’m going to fight the $5/mo charge since that should only apply there if I’m renting a box. I feel that since I’m paying for digital cable that the HD service should come with it, which in reality I’m almost certain it does. I don’t think Comcast can turn on/off the HD in the digital cable stream. Either way by ditching 2 Comcast DVRs I should be able to shave some cash off my cable bill (although that will now go to TiVo):
$6.95 for 2nd cableCARD – $19.90 for 2 DVRs – $13.90 for 2 additional boxes (I also have 1 regular cable box) = $26.85 in Comcast savings

More pictures to come, and I’ll probably post my impressions of the S3 once I’ve had sometime to use it on a daily basis.

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