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Author Topic: Deals on TiVo Service?  (Read 746 times)
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Calvin
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« on: August 21, 2006, 03:22:13 PM »

Hey guys,
I am seriously considering jumping back into the TiVo fold soon. I am missing too many shows with my busier schedule, and don't want to miss football and poker and all that stuff. So, with 80GB systems fairly cheap after rebate at many online stores, I was thinking about signing up. However, I have found on TiVo.com that the prices for monthly subscription have just freaking skyrocketed. Kathode was telling me that when he signed up a year or so ago it was as much as 5$ cheaper per month.

So a few questions-first do the prices ever change or can you find them cheaper with certain deals online? Second, can old subscribers come back at a better price? Third, is 80gb enough, and with a dual tuner tivo, can you record and watch tv on a different channel? Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 04:07:49 PM by Calvin » Logged
Crawley
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2006, 07:28:35 PM »

If you buy from TiVo you have to get locked in to one of the yearly rate contracts (1, 2 or 3yrs). This works two ways. The first way is with the free box and a monthly fee attached to that. The cost of the monthly fee will depend upon how many years you buy in to it ahead of time. The more years you buy in (up to 3) the cheaper you monthly fee.

Your second option is to pay a flat fee outright. You don't get charged the monthly fee but you pay more up front. When I did the math awhile back it was the better of the two deals. Again you can pay for one/two/three years.

If you don't purchase from TiVo and buy a unit from, say BestBuy, you pay the usual $12.95 monthly fee. You can also use the rebates that have on those stand-alone boxes - which is currently $150 (http://www.tivorebates.com/promocenter/tivo/track.html).

If you're looking for more space you can upgrade the hard drive yourself or just buy a stand-alone unit with an already upgraded hard drive from places like weaknees.com. They have up to an 1,800hr unit for the dual-tuner model there but of course it's a pretty penny.
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Calvin
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2006, 08:17:22 PM »

Crawley-Appreciate the response.

At good quality, what would you guesstimate 80 hours at? Also, do you have any information regarding the dual tuner thing? Being able to watch a program and record another is really an issue for me.

I am thinking about getting it either from costco or from tivo-the costco thing would cost more upfront, but it wouldnt be refurbished #1, and #2 have the all time great return policy incase a better deal/rebate comes out soon, and I could always take it montly for a bit and see whether I am really using it.

Thanks crawley, let me know if you have those answers.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2006, 08:34:06 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on August 21, 2006, 08:17:22 PM

Also, do you have any information regarding the dual tuner thing? Being able to watch a program and record another is really an issue for me.

Are you on satellite, analog cable, digital cable, over the air antenna?
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CrayolaSmoker
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2006, 08:58:44 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on August 21, 2006, 08:17:22 PM

Also, do you have any information regarding the dual tuner thing? Being able to watch a program and record another is really an issue for me.

We we recently made the jump to DVR in our house, and I had to do a bit of research after Comcast's promises didn't pan out.  Turns out that if you've got A-B cable the dual-tuner boxes can only tape/watch one thing at a time.  This is also true of TIVO boxes.  Being in one of the few areas in Dallas with A-B cable, we ultimately had to go DirectTV in order to watch one channel and record another (or record two channels at the same time).

If your cable is the non-A-B variety any dual-tuner TIVO should allow you to watch one program while recording another (or record two channels at once).
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coopasonic
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 09:15:06 PM »

Quote from: CrayolaSmoker on August 21, 2006, 08:58:44 PM

Quote from: Calvin on August 21, 2006, 08:17:22 PM

Also, do you have any information regarding the dual tuner thing? Being able to watch a program and record another is really an issue for me.

We we recently made the jump to DVR in our house, and I had to do a bit of research after Comcast's promises didn't pan out.  Turns out that if you've got A-B cable the dual-tuner boxes can only tape/watch one thing at a time.  This is also true of TIVO boxes.  Being in one of the few areas in Dallas with A-B cable, we ultimately had to go DirectTV in order to watch one channel and record another (or record two channels at the same time).

If your cable is the non-A-B variety any dual-tuner TIVO should allow you to watch one program while recording another (or record two channels at once).

Time Warner, which took over for Comcast in Plano, is supposed to be upgrading the network and ditching the A-B cable this year. I suppsoe you don't care now that you have DirecTV, I'm just saying. smile

I already had the Comcast DVR when they brought out the two tuner DVRs. It wasn't until I got to the office with my box to switch it out for a dual tuner that they told me about the A-B issue.  crybaby
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CrayolaSmoker
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2006, 09:44:53 PM »

Quote from: coopasonic on August 21, 2006, 09:15:06 PM

Time Warner, which took over for Comcast in Plano, is supposed to be upgrading the network and ditching the A-B cable this year. I suppsoe you don't care now that you have DirecTV, I'm just saying. smile

I already had the Comcast DVR when they brought out the two tuner DVRs. It wasn't until I got to the office with my box to switch it out for a dual tuner that they told me about the A-B issue.  crybaby
When I called Comcast, pissed off that they didn't tell me about the A-B issue when I upgraded service, they told me that it'd be "the end of next year" before all of Plano was upgraded.  With the fall season starting soon that wasn't an option I could live with.

Honestly, from the few days I played with the Comcast DVR, I'm glad I switched.  DirectTV's DVR service has been a dream.  Recording schedules that are easy to set up, search features that are easy to use, and a DVR capable of recording 100 hours of service.  Comcast felt slow and clunky, and I couldn't find any sort of "season pass" ability in the few days I had it.

Comcast's cable service with TIVO for the DVR would've been the best, I think.  The ability to set recording schedules from the internet is one helluva feature.  Forgot to set the big game to tape?  Get on the intraweb and do it from there.  AWESOME!
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Calvin
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2006, 09:55:39 PM »

Uh, digital cable I believe. We have an incredibly shitty local cable operator that somehow escaped the Comcast juggernaut, and thus are stuck with worse cable as a result. I think it would qualify as digital.
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Crawley
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2006, 12:04:48 AM »

Quote from: Calvin on August 21, 2006, 08:17:22 PM

I am thinking about getting it either from costco or from tivo-the costco thing would cost more upfront, but it wouldnt be refurbished #1, and #2 have the all time great return policy incase a better deal/rebate comes out soon, and I could always take it montly for a bit and see whether I am really using it.

If you purchase from Costco you basically own the box and would pay the $12.95 a month. You can also use the $150 rebate.

Quote
At good quality, what would you guesstimate 80 hours at? Also, do you have any information regarding the dual tuner thing? Being able to watch a program and record another is really an issue for me.

For an 80 hour unit the conversion rate is below:

Basic 80 hours
Medium 51 hours
High 38 hours
Best 24 hours

I have a 140 hour unit and only once have been really close to a point where it was going to delete my recordings to make room for new recordings. I record quite a bit in Best quality but have come to learn there isn't a huge difference between Best and High. Now the only times I'll record Best is if the show has a lot of special effects, takes place at night or contains a lot of water - dark scenes and water are susceptible to macroblocking due to the MPEG2 conversion and can look bad at the Best quality and worse at the lower ones. So Battlestar Galactica is recorded on Best, 4400 on High, Monk on Medium and the morning News on Basic.

Quote
Also, do you have any information regarding the dual tuner thing? Being able to watch a program and record another is really an issue for me.

The DT units have some limitations. You said you have cable so that's good. If you had satellite there's no point in getting one as you can't split the signal. The DT units have one tuner that can only handle an analog signal and another tuner that can handle an analog signal AND a digital signal.

The analog channels tend to be 1-99. The digital are 100+. There are some exceptions in some markets. A few markets have gone all digital so you should check first to see if yours is one of those.

What you get from the DT TiVo is the ability to record 2 channels at the same time on the analog stations (1-99) but can only record one channel at a time on the digital stations. So say you were recording the Sopranos on HBO but wanted to watch a movie on HBO2 at the same time you would not be able to do that. But you could record the Sopranos on HBO and watch The Amazing Race on CBS at the same time (or record both at the same time). The hardware in the DTs is a bit better too so you get a slightly better performance, especially if you do things like file transfers or make use of any of the other network functionalities like podcasts.

So DT is limited but still useful and I wish I had one but am holding out till the Series 3.
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Calvin
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2006, 01:29:25 AM »

Quote from: Crawley on August 22, 2006, 12:04:48 AM

Quote from: Calvin on August 21, 2006, 08:17:22 PM

I am thinking about getting it either from costco or from tivo-the costco thing would cost more upfront, but it wouldnt be refurbished #1, and #2 have the all time great return policy incase a better deal/rebate comes out soon, and I could always take it montly for a bit and see whether I am really using it.

If you purchase from Costco you basically own the box and would pay the $12.95 a month. You can also use the $150 rebate.

Quote
At good quality, what would you guesstimate 80 hours at? Also, do you have any information regarding the dual tuner thing? Being able to watch a program and record another is really an issue for me.

For an 80 hour unit the conversion rate is below:

Basic 80 hours
Medium 51 hours
High 38 hours
Best 24 hours

I have a 140 hour unit and only once have been really close to a point where it was going to delete my recordings to make room for new recordings. I record quite a bit in Best quality but have come to learn there isn't a huge difference between Best and High. Now the only times I'll record Best is if the show has a lot of special effects, takes place at night or contains a lot of water - dark scenes and water are susceptible to macroblocking due to the MPEG2 conversion and can look bad at the Best quality and worse at the lower ones. So Battlestar Galactica is recorded on Best, 4400 on High, Monk on Medium and the morning News on Basic.

Quote
Also, do you have any information regarding the dual tuner thing? Being able to watch a program and record another is really an issue for me.

The DT units have some limitations. You said you have cable so that's good. If you had satellite there's no point in getting one as you can't split the signal. The DT units have one tuner that can only handle an analog signal and another tuner that can handle an analog signal AND a digital signal.

The analog channels tend to be 1-99. The digital are 100+. There are some exceptions in some markets. A few markets have gone all digital so you should check first to see if yours is one of those.

What you get from the DT TiVo is the ability to record 2 channels at the same time on the analog stations (1-99) but can only record one channel at a time on the digital stations. So say you were recording the Sopranos on HBO but wanted to watch a movie on HBO2 at the same time you would not be able to do that. But you could record the Sopranos on HBO and watch The Amazing Race on CBS at the same time (or record both at the same time). The hardware in the DTs is a bit better too so you get a slightly better performance, especially if you do things like file transfers or make use of any of the other network functionalities like podcasts.

So DT is limited but still useful and I wish I had one but am holding out till the Series 3.

Hey man, thanks a lot! I was also considering holding off when I first hatched this plan, but with no real release in sight, I figured it might be time to just go ahead and do it. Appreciate your help.
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2006, 05:56:59 AM »

I'm still using my ReplayTV...I wouldn't go that option now, as the new models suck.  But i've got the older model that does the automatic commercial skip and internet sharing.  So I'm not trading that for a Tivo or comcast's DVR anytime soon!  I can also pretty easily download the shows recorded from ReplayTV to burn to DVD (without special software like Tivo).

Good luck with your search smile  And whether its Tivo (or ReplayTV) you can always upgrade the hard drive to get more hours out of it.  Pretty easy to do.  My ReplayTV has an upgrade hard drive, so it records roughly 320 hours.
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