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Thread: TiVo Series3 HD OR TiVo HD

  1. #1
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    Feb 2003
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    35 TiVo Series3 HD OR TiVo HD

    Greetings,
    I'm will be replacing my old S1SA shortly and was wondering if the TiVo Series3 HD is worth the extra money, $300.00 currently, than a TiVo HD? I don't have cable so this box will be for locals only. I do have plan to have the prom mod after I run it a few weeks and will probably have the serial mod as well if Omikron or someone else is still making the service available. Also can either or both of these units output HDMI and Component concurrently? As far as I can tell the only noticeable differences in the feature set is recording hours and THX certification.

    Thanks for the advice,
    Mikey

  2. #2
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    Jan 2004
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    hunt around I was able to get a couple of series 3's TCD648250B off of amazon for 389 and 4 something and after the 200 rebate checks which I just got.. you still have a few days to qualify for this.. they were a better deal than the hd tivos

  3. #3
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    Feb 2002
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    6,414
    If you're only looking to use the Tivo for HD locals then you might want to consider looking into building an HTPC instead of paying monthly fees to Tivo. If you can get your HD locals with an antenna then your monthly fees are zero. Check out the Home Theater Computer section at the AVS Forums for info on building an HTPC. There's a sticky thread in the forum with the most comprehensive HTPC hardware list you'll find anywhere. I also use my HTPC for DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray playback and it looks fantastic.

    I built an HTPC with six USB ATSC tuners and I can record from all six simultaneously. I'm using Snapstream's BeyondTV 4 but there are lots of other PVR apps that also work well. I pay no monthly fees for the guide data and software upgrades are free. I also have FIOS and two S3 Tivos that I use to record the encrypted programming. The HTPC is used strictly for OTA HD locals, of which I can receive about 14 in my area.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain_video View Post
    I built an HTPC with six USB ATSC tuners and I can record from all six simultaneously.

    [snip]

    The HTPC is used strictly for OTA HD locals, of which I can receive about 14 in my area.
    CV, thats a serious habit you've got there... Being able to record 6 out of the 14 channels at any given time is a bit of overkill.



    Besides, when do you have time to watch all these recorded programs? Do you have a government job?

  5. #5
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    Feb 2002
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    I set up all of my recordings so they're padded by 2-3 minutes, which results in overlap if back-to-back shows are being recorded. If I have three shows being recorded from 8-9PM and three more scheduled for 9-10PM, there's a period of overlap that results in all six tuners being used. This actually occurs only if all six programs are on separate channels since my DVR software cuts off shows at the end of the designated time slot if there's another show being recorded immediately afterwards on the same channel.

    I'm definitely guilty of being a serious couch potato. I think I have something like 40-45 season passes set up on the HTPC and probably another 30-40 between my two S3 Tivos. Not all season passes are aired during the same time of the year so I'm not totally inundated with programs to watch. I never watch reruns, except by accident (sometimes I get halfway through a show before I realize I've already seen it). Did I mention that I also belong to NetFlix to cure my HD movie craving?

    I generally watch about 3-4 hours of TV per day. Taking into account that a 1-hour program is only about 42 minutes long sans commercials, that means I probably watch about 4-6 one-hour shows per day. I get up early in the morning and watch a 1-hour show while I'm eating breakfast. I work close by and I come home for lunch so I get a 1/2-hour show under my belt during lunch. I save the shows my wife likes to watch so we can enjoy them while we're eating dinner (another 1-1/2 to 2 hours of shows) and then I usually watch 1 or 2 more shows after dinner unless I get involved in something else.

    I do have a life besides sitting in front of the boob tube, however. On Mondays I shoot pool in an APA (American Poolplayer's Association) league with my son and some friends. Thursdays we usually go out and practice since the tables are open and we can shoot all night for free. My wife and I go out to dinner several nights during the week so we don't always get through the dinner hour watching TV.

    Truth be told, I actually enjoyed the extra time I had available when the writers went on strike. I was disappointed that many of my favorite shows went off the air but it was nice to have the time for other things. I'll be taking a long hard look at the upcoming fall season and become more discriminating about which ones I choose for new season passes.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

  6. #6
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    Oct 2004
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    40-45 season passes?

    I drew the line (with my wife) when she hit 15, she wasn't watching half of them anyway.

    I do understand about the staggered tuners though, with the games the networks play regarding start and stop times lately its virtually impossible to catch two shows in a row that aren't on the same channel.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2003
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    Haha! I can totally relate CV... I've only got 4 tuners going at any one time, and I mostly get by with only the 2 in the TivoHD. But there are times when I feel like I'm slacking off if I fall too far behind in my TV watching. Lol!

    I'm so bad that there are some shows that I continue to watch even though they really don't interest me anymore, just because I feel some obligation to continue watching them. I just can't stand the thought of cancelling a season pass because a show has gotten boring (it might get better - you never know).

    And this is all while working a normal 9-5 M-F job, hanging out in NYC every wednesday night with friends (which happens to be the busiest TV night too - I have a lot to watch the next night) and still managing to spend a little time out back in the pool. I don't know how I do it. hehe

    -psxboy
    TCD652160 TivoHD
    1TB
    11.0m-01-2-652

  8. #8
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    Feb 2003
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    @ Captain Video If the wife would not be using them I would go this rout.
    I set up all of my recordings so they're padded by 2-3 minutes
    I HATE, and I mean HATE missing the end of a show too.

    @ lgkahn can you transfer a S1SA lifetime service to those if so I will pick up 2 tomorrow. Also can those series 3's TCD648250B play over HDMI and component at the same time?

    @ mbellot I'm not sure six is overkill, but I've noticed your married so you really do understand or your wife is now an exercise freak and you don't care about tv anymore.

    Thanks,
    Michael

  9. #9
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    Oct 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikey View Post
    @ mbellot I'm not sure six is overkill, but I've noticed your married so you really do understand or your wife is now an exercise freak and you don't care about tv anymore.
    Three young kids (8, 5 and 5), a full time job and a couple "side" jobs keep me going from 6am until about 12:30am every day.

    The only TV I watch with any regularity is Adult Swim.

    And despite the go-go lifestyle I haven't lost my couch potato physique.

    FWIW - We do only have one (12 year old) TV thats actually hooked up. I feel like such a cave man when I talk to people with an HD LCD in every room (and two in the crapper!).

  10. #10
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    @ mbellot FWIW the wife and I are building a house, I'm acting as the contractor, + working full time. We have 1 toddler that is into everything, so tv plays a very small role now. However in a few months I hope to be one of those with a HD in front of the large tub in the crapper
    I can't imagine being able to watch tv with 3 children and a wife. Something would always have to be done.

    oh BTW does anyone know if a series 3's TCD648250B can output HDMI and component concurrently?

    Mikey

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikey View Post
    I can't imagine being able to watch tv with 3 children and a wife. Something would always have to be done.
    Thats why I only watch Adult Swim, after 10pm everyone else is in bed and I can finally focus on getting things done that I want to get done.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikey View Post
    oh BTW does anyone know if a series 3's TCD648250B can output HDMI and component concurrently?
    I'm still running a single (unsubbed BTW) S1SA I picked up on fleabay several years ago, so I have no clue what the S3's can (or can't) do.

  12. #12
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    I am pretty sure you can run both hdmi and other video at once I know you can use audio out of either set of outputs I have 2 audios coming out with composite outputs in 1 unit so my wireless headphones will work.. and
    also 2 videos at once.. composite and super video so I can use the sling box...

    havent actually done it with hdmi as the bedroom tv doesnt have it .. only the living room plasma where i use hdmi and optical to the yamaha receiver
    Last edited by lgkahn; 06-28-2008 at 07:38 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgkahn View Post
    I am pretty sure you can run both hdmi and other video at once I know you can use audio out of either set of outputs I have 2 audios coming out with composite outputs in 1 unit so my wireless headphones will work.. and
    also 2 videos at once.. composite and super video so I can use the sling box...

    havent actually done it with hdmi as the bedroom tv doesnt have it .. only the living room plasma where i use hdmi and optical to the yamaha receiver
    I finally found some time to google and buried in weeknees forum found my answer it can. I want to run hdmi to the plasma in the living room, but would like output to the rest of the tv's that will be in the house. While researching I've read that with tv's under 42 inches most people cannot tell the difference between hdmi and component. That works perfectly for the bedroom and bathroom.

    Thanks everyone,
    Michael

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Getting back to the original question, there are a number of differences between the S3 and the THD. Whether the OP considers any or all of them to be important is a personal matter.

    1. The S3 comes with a superior, backlighted remote. Its feel in the hand is considerably better than the remote supplied with the THD, and it is somewhat easier to navigate using the S3 remote.

    2. The S3 has a fancy OLED front panel that displays the names of any programs being recorded, among other things. The THD has a few plain LED indicators for recording, power, etc.

    3. The S3 is THX certified. The THD is not.

    4. The stock S3 comes with a 250G hard drive. The stock THD has a 180G hard drive.

    5. If equipped with a stock hard drive, the S3 wil attempt to automatically marry any external hard drive attached to the box with the internal drive. The THD will only attempt to automatically marry TiVo approved drives - which at this point in time means only the 500G WD My DVR Expander. If the internal drives are not stock drives or if the user wishes to attach a non-approved drive to the THD, the upgrade must be accomplished manually. Note not every drive can be successfully employed in a TiVo upgrade.

    6. The THD can employ a single M-Card to deliver simultaneous scrambled feeds on two receivers. The S3 must have two CableCards in order to have two tuners active, regardless of whether they are M-Cards or S-Cards.

    7. The MFS file system on the S3 is 32 bit, while the MFS file system on the THD is 64 bit. This limits the S3 to a maximum aggregate drive size of 2.2 TB. The THD does not have this limit.

    8. The CableCard slots on the THD are in the front - which is a bit more convenient - while the S3 has them in the rear.
    Having trouble with TyTool? Try TyTool Documentation
    Need to hack an S3 / THD? Try S3 Hacking Script

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Bigger decision

    OK, I was also considering a Series 3 but there's a guy selling a TCD652160 (THD) because he can't get it working. Can anyone help me troubleshoot this? Is it worth taking a chance on for a sizable discount?

    He said:
    "Unit was unplugged and when I plugged it back, it never gets past the "Just a few minutes more" screen. The Tivo was expanded with a 1TB drive at the time. You will receive the unit only with the stock original drive good for 20 hours of HD and 180 hours of SD programs. "

    I asked him:
    "You say you are selling it with the original drive. Was the original drive OK when you took it out? Assuming you put the original drive back in... what happened?... same problem?"

    He replied:
    "Original drive was fine. I left it in long enough after powering up
    the first time to get the cablecards installed. Then I took it out
    and replaced with the 1TB. I did try to replace the original drive
    and got the same problem."

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