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TiVo for £99

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by Klippie, Jul 31, 2003.

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  1. Klippie

    Klippie
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    Hello,

    Last week I saw a new TiVo for sale in a local tv shop for £99.
    I asked here if it was worth buying and the reply was basically to take the guys hand off, so after a couple of days reading on the TiVo community forum getting the jist of the machine I did just that.

    The TiVo had never been setup and now it seems to be running a different firmware version as the Sky logo had disappeared and the channel setup screens have aslo changed.

    After a few days use I feel like I could never be without it, the menu system for recording progams is outstanding its just so easy to use and the picture quality on ( best quality ) is way good enough for me.

    Well impressed.....How have these things never taken off?

    Now a few questions if I could,

    Hard drive upgrades, is it as straight forward to change these as is said on the TiVo forum, have any of you done this and what size do you recommend for about 50 hours recording space.

    Is it possible to record from say a dvd or video player onto the TiVo's hard drive.

    If I decide to stop subscribing to the EPG what functions remain on the TiVo.

    Many thanks in advance.
    Klippie.
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    You lucky *** :D . Have you seen the prices they are going for second hand on ebay?

    All TiVo's ship with software version 1.5 and this is automatically updated after a few days to the latest version 2.5.5

    Having had my TiVo since it was launched in the UK I have to agree.
    They did not take off for a few reasons. At £400 they were too expensive for people to go and buy without really knowing what they were getting! Once the price dropped Thomson were not making money on them so they pulled out. Joe public also don't like paying for something month after month. Lifetime sub got round this to a point, but then the cost of the unit went up to £600. Once they hit £99 in Dixons etc they could not get enough of them, but they were no longer being made so stock could not be replaced. Now if we got a series 2 TiVo they just might sell enough at a high enough price to make a profit. If only :rolleyes:

    Yes, as long as you know your way around the inside of a PC and have a CD writer. Otherwise you can buy a drive with the software already copied onto the drive.
    Well TiVo has a 40Gb drive as standard giving 12hours recording at best quality. Therefore you would need around 4 times that for 50ish hours. that is a drive of 160Gb, but TiVo will only use a maxamum size of 120Gb, so don't replace your current drive just add a 120Gb as a second drive.

    Yes, just plug the DVD/VCR into the TiVo in place of Sky/Cable/frreview box. TiVo removes macrovision on recording, but replaces it on playback. Obviously though you will have no details of the recording in 'Now Playing'.

    TiVo just becomes a very nice digital VCR. No EPG, no software updates (IR codes for new digiboxes etc.), no season passes etc.
    IMHO just go and get the lifetime sub. Expensive to start (but you did only pay £99 for the TiVo :clown: ) but after less than 2 years you are in profit.

    Mark.
     
  3. Klippie

    Klippie
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    MarkE19,

    Thanks very much for your reply, Thats good to know about the vcr and the hard drive upgrade, it looks as if adding a second drive is the best option.

    I see where you are coming from concerning the lifetime subscription it does seem like the most sensible solution even if I decide to sell the TiVo after a while it will make it more valuable in the long run.

    £99, I was just in the right place at the right time.....

    Klippie.
     
  4. ajb

    ajb
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    Hi

    Don't suppose there were any more in the shop...

    Regards
    Andrew
     
  5. Azrikam

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    One addendum to the upgrade. You don't necessarily need a CD-writer. I upgraded mine from one of the how-tos using just floppies. (2, I think)
     
  6. Klippie

    Klippie
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    ajb,

    There was only one ....sorry, thing was the guy in the shop said his friend in the trade had recently sold all of the stock he had in a very short period of time. Somebody must have seen the prices on e-bay me thinks.

    Azrikam,

    Thanks for that, I have a cd burner so it would be easy for me to go in that direction.

    What size of drive did you put in your TiVo if I may ask and how do you find the machine in general, pros and cons?.

    Klippie.
     
  7. Azrikam

    Azrikam
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    I put a 120 GB HD in mine. I took out the original and put it away somewhere, just in case. (but that's just me being paranoid) With 120 GB, it gives me around 39 hours on highest quality.

    The hardware and software hasn't let me down since I've been using the TiVo. The only thing that bugs me sometimes is missing or incorrect guide data. But Tribune (the company that handles the guide data) monitor the TiVo Community forum (http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=14) and they are usually pretty good with fixing things that are brought to their attention.

    But it definitely changes the way you watch TV. I could never go back to dumb VCRs again.
     
  8. Klippie

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    Azrikam,

    So a 120Gb drive on its own will allow 39hrs recording, not bad at all.

    Good to here the TiVo has been reliable enough so long term ownership should not be a problem. The only thing that bothers me is if I buy a lifetime subsciption and the machine goes belly up I may not be able to get it fixed.

    I think I will give it a couple of months to see how I get on with it and decide after that.

    It may yet appear in the classified add's.

    Klippie.
     
  9. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    The most common fault on a TiVo is the hard disk failing. As has been said before these can easily be replaced. If anything else does go wrong then you can get a repair under the warrenty, or after that take a look at www.pacelink.co.uk (quote from their web site).
    Mark.
     
  10. Azrikam

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    Beat me to it, Mark.

    Yeah, the TiVo itself is a pretty simple piece of kit, so I don't think it would be too difficult to find someone who knows how to fix it. Plus, the "cult of TiVo" is pretty strong, and the machine has a pretty dedicated core base of users. So there will be TiVo specialists in the UK for some years to come. (even if TiVo UK dies out)

    For this same reason, I would think the TiVo would still be safe even if (heaven forbid), Tribune stopped providing the guide data. I don't think it would be too long before a volunteer service started up so that box owners could still get their guide data. Heck, people who live in countries that aren't supported by TiVo guides are already doing that kind of thing, I believe.

    TiVo, at least in the UK, has been very open about owners hacking and tinkering the box, as long as they don't try to override the subscription service. (understandably so) That's pretty cool anyway.

    When I got my TiVo (nearly a year ago), I didn't know what to expect, so I went for the monthly subscription. I'm starting to regret it now. :suicide:
     
  11. MarkE19

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    Just give CS a call and have your credit card on hand and they will switch you over. :suicide: Theres no need to carry on paying monthly. :nono:

    Mark.
     
  12. Klippie

    Klippie
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    MarkE19 and Azrikam,

    Thanks guy's your comments have made me feel better about taking out a life-subscription.

    I checked out the Pacelinksite and I see they even sell the ready to install hard drive upgrades....hmm!

    The TiVo really is a nice bit of kit I can see now how people love them.

    Klippie.
     
  13. TommyVecetti

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    I've had Tivo since launch. It's great. I think one of the big problems it didn't take off was A) poor marketing and b) it's lack of a padding feature for the first year meant recordings would continually miss the begining and end, which meant having setting it manually to record, in essence making it little more than an expensive VCR. SO loads of people were returning them after a week of owning them disatisfied etc.
     
  14. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    a) Well enough said. TiVo marketing could not sell ice water on a hot sunny day in London :laugh: (& some tight sods were selling it for £2 a bottle! :mad: ).

    b) Yes, anoying but for joe public i think it unlikely they even bought a TiVo. Too expensive, didn't know what it was, required a subscription, 'well I've already got a VCR'...........etc. TiVo was still available for a long time after the release of 2.5.5 that gave padding, but still did not sell until Dixons etc started to give them away :rolleyes: at £99. Once JP knew what it could do the TiVo would still have been in short supply if still being made. And now with the Pace Twin & DVD recorders etc people are starting to realise what a digital recording/PVR is all about, & now its too late :devil:

    Mark.
     
  15. Azrikam

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    I admit that I didn't think about buying a TiVo until the price dropped to £99. Now that I have one, I can say that it's worth much more, but I still wouldn't pay the original price for one.
     
  16. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    yeah, Tivo was really ahead of its time. But now that other DVD type digital recorders are coming out, perhaps there is room in the market for a Tivo/DVD recorder? none of the current DVD/PVRs have a unique selling point, and Tivo has a bunch - season passes etc.
     
  17. jont

    jont
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    Well remember in the UK Tivo is synonymous with the box ... whereas in the US you can get Tivos made by Sony & Phillips ...

    The patented 'Tivo' bit is the system code that allows the things like season passes and recording favourites to operate ... last year Tivo signed licensing arrangements with Sony & Toshiba for them to implement 'tivo Technology' into their products so you could foresee a tv or plasma screen/tuner with a hard drive and Tivo software all in the one unit ... now thats neat ...
     

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