Who has TIVO?


Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2000
What can you tell me about it?

Different models, how is it different from a VCR and so on. Any pitfalls to avoid?




Senior member
Dec 1, 1999
Simple specs on it:

Hard Drive in the machine allows you to record tv shows either by selecting a show from the guide and clicking on "record" or setting up a season pass to record all episodes of a show

You can rewind/pause a show that you're looking at - usually has a 30 minute buffer of the show taped at one time.

You can do searches to see if your search term appears in a show title or description.

There is a monthly subscription fee of $13, or $250 (or is it $300?) for lifetime. This gives you the program guide and allows you to use the tivo features.

If you want to do Tivo, the best way of doing it is through DirecTV. Your tivo is also your directv receiver, so you get better quality recordings. Regular tivo has 3 modes and the better the quality, the less amount of shows that you can record. Monthly subscription fee is only $5 with a DirecTivo, and free if you subscribe to the Premium package of $90 or so.


Dec 26, 2000
I own a ReplayTV 5040, and my only complaint is that it doesn't record Dolby Digital audio from my digital cable. Other than that, it's great. No experience with TiVo though.


Oct 26, 2000
Originally posted by: ThaGrandCow
Originally posted by: iwearnosox
<--3 tivos, 6 channels recording at any time. :)
Series 2's?
Negative. Series 1 directivo, DSR6000's to be exact. 2x120 each. I have shows from like 6 months ago still on there. :)

TiVo rocks.


Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2000
Unfortunately, it's now $300 for the lifetime guide data. I wish I hadn't waited and had bought it for $250. Lifetime guide data refers to the lifetime of the Tivo unit, not the person with the subscription, so the lifetime subscription is not transferrable to a new unit should you decide to buy a new one. The lifetime subscription is tied into the unit's serial number. The serial number is hard-coded into the unit's ROM, so if you just need to replace the HD, you do not lose the subscription.

Many VCRs only allow you to program 8 items at one time. I've had over 46 "season passes" programmed at once, and I'm sure it could go higher.

Another advantage over a VCR: Say you come home at 7:20, and you've programmed the Tivo to record an hour long show that starts at 7:00. You can sit down and watch the beginning of the show right away, while the Tivo multi-tasks for you and records the rest. With a VCR, you would need to wait until 8:00 before you could rewind the tape to watch the show from the beginning.

Capacity and Expandability: With your computer, a downloaded linux program burned to a boot CD, and instructions from the web, you can make almost any IDE drive into a Tivo drive. You can fit up to two IDE drives inside your Tivo. At basic quality, 1 GB = approximately 1 hour of record time. If you use medium quality you'll get a much, much better picture, and 1 GB = approximately 40 minutes. There are also "high quality" and "best quality" recording modes, but for normal time shifting usage, I don't see much call for using them.

Disadvantages: The HD is always spinning, and therefore, it's prone to periodic failure. It's pretty expensive. It needs either a phone line or a broadband (Series 2 or Series 1 with network card) connection to make its daily call for guide data. It's always on, using electricity (I haven't tested it, but my series one says 1 amp on the back, that's more than a 100 watt light bulb).

silent tone

Golden Member
Oct 9, 1999
It's like a VCR, in that it can record Television. But comparing Tivo and other DVRs to a VCR is like comparing a modern luxury car to a horseless carriage.

Subscribing to guide data can be steep. However if you think of it in time saved, it could be rationalized. Every 1/2 hour show only takes ~24 minutes to watch. Every hour long show takes about 45 minutes to watch. I can cut over an hour of filler out of a football game.

You may want to consider one with dual tuners, that is it can record 2 programs simultaneously. Even if you don't get one of these, you can work around it by having the Tivo record one program, and flipping your TV's video input over to it's own tuner and watching another program like normal. In addition, any model you get will be able to record one program and allow you watch another program previously recorded, simultaneously.