Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy HD TiVo

My cable company recently announced that it was going to drop most of the analog channels to make room for more digital channels. Which meant that my Series 1 TiVo (first installed in 2000) would become obsolete. I've been wanting an HD TiVo for awhile but just never had the motivation to actually make the purchase. Losing most of my channels was enough motivation.

Then I read some on-line forums where people were complaining bitterly of problems with the HD TiVo: frequent reboots, freezing, not recording when it's supposed to. And the complaints to TiVo for many months saw no progress on a resolution. I went through with the purchase anyway, relying on the 30-day return policy and the 1 year warranty to cover me if the device really was that bad.

The TiVo arrived in the middle of the month and Tuesday I finally got a Cable Card to use with it. Wow am I happy! The unit is so feature-rich compared to the Series 1. It does so much more, including two tuners and access to Internet services like youtube, Netflix and now Amazon. The quality of the recording (even analog) is way ahead of the Series 1, and the HD recordings are of course fabulous.

The other day it was recording two shows simultaneously (something Series 1 could not do) and I was watching a Netflix movie. Last night I watched Lost via TiVo in HD, something I've never been able to do before.

I have had one oddball problem that I am tracking. Sunday evenings we save a show (The Amazing Race) that starts at 8 pm. Twice in a row the TiVo has started the recording but the tuner hasn't actually tuned in to the channel (it just showed a grey screen). So it recorded nothing. At the same time the second tuner showed nothing but grey. Switching to the second tuner and changing channels resurrected both tuners. The first time this happened I thought it was due to heat. I have a DVD player on top of the TiVo and enclosed in a cabinet. That first Sunday night the DVD player was on and the cabinet door was closed. But last Sunday the door was open and the player was off, so the issue clearly isn't heat related. All my other recordings have worked successfully. I am interested to see if the cable card makes a difference.

Overall I'm very happy with this unit. I'm still not at 100% due to the one issue, but I'm not sending the TiVo back anytime soon.

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