If you like to get your TV signal over a wire and have been holding out for a decent HD DVR, TiVo has finally brought what the market has been begging for: the 300-hour TiVo Series3 HD DVR. Actually, it’s DMR —- Digital Media Recorder —- although I’m not really sure what that means. But since it’s the only product out there that claims to be a DMR, it’s the first to become THX certified. It’s probably the first THX certified DVR, too, but they don’t mention that on tivo.com.
The box will hold up to 300 hours of SD or 32 hours of HD content. Nothing special there, just a bit higher than the Series2 HD DVR that TiVo sold through DirecTV. The peanut is back, but now it’s got a backlight. This box has a huge feature that DirecTV never would allow: (working) network connectivity. “Schedule recordings anywhere from tivo.com.” And that also means that you can download content off of the internet for viewing on your TV. Photos, internet radio, podcasts, weather reports. Ok, I see where the “Media” in DMR is coming from now.
The new box is $799. TiVo fees are in the $12-15/month range, depending on how much you prepay.
TiVo has been publishing their Season Pass stats for a while now. They list the 25 most recorded shows for the previous week along with Director Wishlist and Actor Wishlist rankings. By doing this TiVo offers insight into what everyone else is watching.
The Buzz site takes the usual list of top recorded shows and breaks it down to present the list of top recorded episodes. And then comes my favorite feature: Top upcoming Recordings. This list offers a peek into the DVR schedules of others around the world. Sort of a social software approach to the DVR.
The word on the street is that this could be a TiVo/Comcast announcement, and anybody who has been following TiVo lately knows that a new Series 3 HD TiVo is on the horizon. Either would be welcome in my house where the Comcast standard issue Motorola HD DVR is the worst DVR I have ever used—-even making my old DISH SD DVR look like a work of technological genius. More tomorrow.
[ Update: False Alarm. ]
TiVo has released some of the data they have been collecting from all of the TiVo owners out there in the form of the TiVo Season Pass Hot 100. This list includes the top 100 TiVo Season Pass subscriptions as well as a list of the “top rated programs for the week of 10/17/04-10/23/04”. It’s rather interesting to see just exactly how much dominance reality shows have in TV-land. [via PVRblog]
After months of waiting, TiVo has finally released its first HD DVR. The Hughes HR10-250 DirecTiVo features dual HD and SD tuners, a 250GB hard drive, and support for recording locally aired DTV broadcasts. It can record up to 30 hours of HD and up to 200 hours of standard definition programming. Much more information about this new device can be found on the TiVo Community forums along with some first impressions.
Update: Matt Haughey over at PVRblog is predicting that we’ll be seeing these for $400-500 on the street soon. Also, he is expecting a review unit, so I’m sure we will see an excellent review on his site before long.
I’ve written about the HDTV TiVo here in the past and there has been much speculation elsewhere. Until now, this holy grail of DVRs has been mere vapor. A few days ago, however, photos of a Hughes HD DirecTiVo prototype were posted to the TiVo Community Forum. Additionally, I found that there is at least one reseller taking preorders. [Via PVRblog]
Whether you want to upgrade your existing TiVo to as much as 344 hours of capacity or you want to buy a new TiVo that’s already upgraded, they have the solution for you. They have an excellent warranty and are a very customer-oriented company.
And for all of you High Definition freaks out there, be sure to check out their HD TiVo page. The HD hardware isn’t expected until April, but you’ll want to be sure to get on the list.
The only thing missing from these guys is the cache card, but WeaKnees seems to be the most complete TiVo upgrade source out there.
I must confess: I don’t have a TiVo. But I’ve been wanting one for a while, but several complaints with the technology have kept me away. Most of those have been resolved by third-party upgrades, such as larger hard drives. However, I believe that my final complaint, the slow access to the database, has finally been resolved properly.
From what I’ve grasped from the forums, when you have a large database of recordings, it takes quite a while to access this database at times, especially when you are trying to view one of those recordings at the same time. We’re dealing with IDE drives after all. The solution to this problem for many has been to solder on additional RAM. With this additional memory, the database is cached, and access becomes much faster. I’ve never quite liked that idea, though, because it seems like the fastest way to either kill your TiVo our just completely void your warranty.
The TiVo CacheCard from 9th Tee makes this fix much simpler. This card is plugged into the internal expansion slot on the TiVo. The card provides one ethernet interface and one DIMM slot. The user provides, say, a 512MB DIMM, and the TiVo CacheCard drivers go to work caching the database in that memory.
The ethernet is there because that’s what people normally use the expansion slot for. This upgrade wouldn’t be practical to most without also including that. And I see this as an added feature as well, since this would be combining two upgrade steps into one.
Anyhow, you can preorder these babies right now. They are said to be shipping mid-December. [via PVRblog.]
There’s an HDTV TiVo on the horizon. What I’m wondering here is whether TiVo will ever figure out that these things need to ship with bigger drives. In my opinion, the current boxes for standard TV don’t have large enough drives. The mass proliferation of upgrades on the net is proof that others feel the same. If this continues to the HDTV versions, TiVo will have some serious problems. [via PVRblog]