The High-Def Holy Grail

Oh happy day. Happy, happy day. Tonight, I dropped $799 on the new Series 3 Tivo and I couldn’t be happier. See scientific diagram below:

Yes, there are similar products like Media Center PCs, cable company PVRs, and Myth TV, but if you’re willing to spend the extra cash, nothing beats a Tivo. This thing is spectacular and after only a few hours with it, I couldn’t imagine going back. If ever there was an interface worth $800 a pop, this is it. For more info/motivation, check out the New York Times’ David Pogue’s text or video review.

UPDATE: Oh this is just too great:

  1. Wake up this morning.
  2. Read Kottke’s “don’t you dare miss this” review of Eyes on the Prize.
  3. Search for Eyes on the Prize on Tivo Central’s web site.
  4. Hit record.

And we’re done. Didn’t even touch the TV. Now all I need is a contextual menu plug-in with “Find this item on Tivo”.

20 comments on “The High-Def Holy Grail”. Leave your own?
  1. Bramus! says:

    Saw the previous TiVo in action whilst visiting the states and I must that I was quite impressed by it! In Belgium here we’re still struggling with analog cable and the services that offer Digital TV (but still no Hi-Def!) are way too expensive (they even charge extra for timeshifting, although timeshifting is part of the technology itself!).

    Anywho, read some stuff on the TiVo3 and it sure looks even more impressive! The holy Grail of Hi-Def indeed!

  2. Agreed. As a long-time owner of a Series1 which I’d kept going by modding its ass off, I couldn’t be happier that I waited until now to upgrade. Effortlessly switch between tuners, each with its own pause buffer; much better suggestions; and I honestly couldn’t imagine it being much quieter than it is.

    Now, if only I could finally get the CableCards from Comcast, and if only CableLabs would stop flexing their muscles and approve multi-room viewing and TivoToGo, it would be absolutely perfect.

  3. Jemaleddin says:

    I’ve never really had a reason to get Hi-Def, but with the Series3 and PS3 coming out so close together, I think that $800 is going to run me closer to $4000. Dammit.

  4. James Adams says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Hopefully the good word about Tivo Series 3 gets out to a ton of people as quick as possible so that price will hopefully drop drastically. I wish I could join you in your glorious celebration but instead I opted for the house payment this month. Obviously TiVo is the best, I have 2 Series 2’s myself and will definately add the 3rd series to my boring HD monitor but come on TiVo, 800 bucks? No way. So again, I thank you Mike for helping me come that much closer to adding this box to my home theatre setup.

  5. I’m so close to pulling the trigger on this. It seems to be perfect (well, except that it doesn’t work with satellite). The price is a little high, though, but I like the fact that I could transfer a lifetime subscription to it.

  6. I’ve been hearing conflicting stories of folks being able to/not being able to transfer their lifetime from S2 to S3, free of charge. Mike, or anyone else, can you confirm this?

    TiVO’s been on my “to-get” list for a while, now seems like it may be the right time to upgrade from standard cable.

  7. The S3 is definetely amazing. I wish it supported TiVo to Go, but having the ability to time shift HDTV without all the bugs associated with the cable DVRs is amazing. My recommendation is to spring for the 750GB upgrade drive on Weaknees, it’s definetely worth it.

  8. kirkaracha says:

    According to David Pogue’s writeup, you can transfer “lifetime” service from older TiVos to the Series 3 for $200, and TiVo to go will be added to the Series 3.

  9. Right on, 200’s not too bad, but still 200 smackers :-\ I’d be interested to see how these folks who claim they transferred it for free did it (assuming they’re telling the truth).

  10. Bulbboy says:

    Impressive, but afraid I’m at the “Why even have a TV” stage.

    Although YouTube, Google video, and 3 series of the Sopranos will keep me going until I get (if ever) another TV.

  11. haubner says:

    I gotta say it: my DVR experience has improved drastically since I rid myself of my Tivo and changed to the flawed but eminently more reliable Comcast/Microsoft DVR.

    The crux of my problem was that I have digital cable, not Directv, and I could never for the life of me get the 4th-grade art project of taping the wires around the sensor on the cable box to work. So my Tivo could never change channels, making it maddening – I had to set the TV to the channel I wanted to record.

    Then Tivo started turning itself on and off randomly. Customer service told me I needed to make an exchange, and I was summarily sent to a web site which informed that it would cost me $150 to get a new box.

    At this point, I decided to cancel my service. Though you can apparently do all sorts of wonderful things through their web site, you cannot cancel your service there.

    So I called to cancel. Do you remember this story about the AOL guy basically not allowing the guy to cancel? Well, my experience was a more poltie version of that. I had to request cancellation probably 12 times before it took.

    I went with Comcast/Microsoft DVR and have basically been very happy with the change. Yes, it’s had a few small problems, and the UI is not as good, and it doesn’t have bells and whistles like allowing me to program from the web, but you know what, I’m fine setting it from my TV. I can figure it out. I’m just happy that the basic functionality now works for me, and it’s $3/mo. less to boot!

    Once Tivo service folds in under Comcast, I’ll certainly accept it, but you could never in a million years get me to switch back on my own.

  12. Mike D. says:

    haubner: Oh my god, I can’t believe you are tolerating the Comcastorolasoft DVR! I’ve never used a Series 1 cable Tivo but yeah, the IR blaster channel changer thing seems like a bit of a hack. I definitely recommend the Series 3 though… no such problems at all. It’s 1000 times the machine the Motorola pile is.

  13. Courtney Nielsen says:

    I still have an old-school Tivo and never bought a series 2 after reading this boingboing post about ‘anti-features’ being installed:

    How does the series 3 fare with this?

  14. haubner says:

    Yeah, I want to apologize slightly in that I got so worked up with red-faced Clintonesque anger at reliving my experience as I wrote it that I ended up sounding like Grandpa Simpson by the end.

    Let me state the following:
    – I love love LOVE having DVR in my life. My entertaiment experience is immeasurably better. I can’t imagine going back to programming my VCR and shuffling tapes around.

    – Ideally, I wish that Comcastosoftorola had the many extra features and seamless UI that Tivo has.

    I just get tired of hearing Tivo celebrated as a type of progressive company leading us into a brand new utopia of entertainment, when I believe they fail to deliver basic levels of product reliability and customer service.

    I just can’t explain how thrilled I was, a week after making the switch, to realize that all of my shows were recording as I wanted them to, and I no longer had to worry about whether the damn thing had shut off or if I had forgotten to set the TV to the correct channel.


  15. Larry says:

    Congrats on your purchase.

    I personally am in love with my Windows Media Center PC which incidently I built on my own. I think the UI is far superior to what the Tivo has to offer.

  16. Doug F. says:


    This is waaaaaaaaaaaay off topic, and I’m sorry – I’m curious to know what Movable Type plugin you use so that your comments are differianted.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who knows the answer.

  17. Chuck says:

    I’ve been waiting for the HD Tivo for 4 years now. $800 + $200 transfer fee is a little steep for me. Right now, I only get 15 HD channels (no premium channels) thru Comcast. If Comcast offered more HD channels, this would be a no brainer.

    Too bad Comcast doesn’t offer ESPN Gameplan games in HD. I believe I have until December 31st to transfer my lifetime service. I’m sure I’ll give in and purchase an S3 before the end of the year.

    Then upgrading to a Slingbox Pro (HD compatible) and an upgrade to my high speed internet upload speed is next!

  18. Collin Yeadon says:

    Bramus: No worries, you still have better beer at least.

    Tivo sounds great.. If I watched more TV I would want to get one. I would probably watch more TV just for having bought one though.

    I do miss watching poker and a few shows that I like but it just doesn’t justify the expense to me.

    I remember when TiVo first came out I asked a guy at work a simple question. “Now that you have it, could you live without it”. Although he liked it, he could still say he could live without it. Perhaps now that HDTV is cheaper and they have had years to make improvements that answer would be different.

    I probably would be willing to give it a shot had I not recently blew $800 on an XB360 that I overloaded with accessories and games but for now I wait till the next impulse buying session begins I guess..

  19. Paolo says:

    I heard that Tivo version 3 implemented some strong DRM to stop you to copy video if you want to see it later or anything like it.

    Now if this is true I’m sorry but I prefer versione 2 of Tivo

  20. Ryan says:

    I probably spent about $800 on my custom built HTPC. Four tuners (2 SD and 2 HD) and the ability to wirelessly stream live TV to any computer on my home network is very sweet. On Sundays I have two games going at once – with the ability to time shift both of them. Makes my domination of the IKNFL Spicy League that much sweeter ;)

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