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TiVo Announces High-Def Series3 DVR 225

prostoalex writes "Catching up with the competition, TiVo is set to unveil a high-definition digital video recorder. The unit will feature dual tuners, 250 GB, and a hefty price sticker: 'The long-awaited product will be $800 and available in mid-September, the company said. Subscription fees for the TiVo service are separate ... TiVo officials attributed its long development time in part to waiting for certain technologies to mature and the lengthy process of getting industry-related approvals, such as for the set-top-box's two built-in CableCARD slots. CableCARD slots allow users to access digital programming from a cable TV provider without the need for a separate receiver. The Series3 HD box also represents TiVo's first major product upgrade since it released its networked Series2 DVR in 2002.'"
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TiVo Announces High-Def Series3 DVR

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  • Ha ha hahahahahaha - it better come with a lump of gold bullion...
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:06AM (#16088549) Journal
    I've been a DTV subscriber because of their TiVo service. I stayed DTV because I could get a HD model and get HD programming via DTV. Now DTV is planning to (eventually) get rid of my TiVo, and there is now a real competitor as I could get an HD TiVo with my local (evil) cable company.

    You are on notice, DirecTV. I chose you over cable because (Adelphia) cable is (more) evil and I like my TiVo, and the multitude of hacks available. Now that you are charging me more, taking away my TiVo, and your TiVo has less funcationality than a real one, cable just may win out.

    $800 is a chunk of change, but the price will come down eventually. I'd be happy in the $400 range if I ended up with real value in the end.
    • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:13AM (#16088587) Homepage

      Same here. I have a DirecTiVo and it was very quickly clear to me that as much as I like DirecTV, I like my TiVo more. When my TiVo ceases to function (due to death, new channels I want to watch, whatever) I'm cancelling your service unless you offer a new Genuine TiVo I can purchase and use by then.

      Dish Network: I've been getting mail from you every once and a while trying to get me to switch. Same thing applies. Give me a Genuine TiVo and when the time comes I'll go to you (since my local cable is horrid).

      • by hpavc ( 129350 )
        Switch to DishNetwork? Oh man try before you buy. DirectTivo is much better than tivo+dish or tivo+direct tv.
        • You do know that DirecTV is phasing out the DirectTivo, hopefully it will continue to work forever, but there is no telling what happends.

          MBCook: If your DirecTivo does die you can buy one on ebay for less than $50.
          • by MBCook ( 132727 )
            I know they are phasing them out, but they don't support MPEG4 which is what DirecTV will start using for new channels at some point (possibly including switching local channels). My understanding is that this will effect HDTV users more than little old SDTV me. As for the comment about eBay, that's true, but I'm guessing that by the time it dies I'll want to switch to a HD TiVo. If it were to die tomorrow, there is no question I'd get a new one off eBay. But I expect it to live for years to come.
            • As another (multiple) DirectTivo user, I will be very upset when my tivo no longer functions. I will not use the directtv tivo replacement. Instead, I'll probably drop back to regular tuners and build a myth box, or even go back to (yuck) cable. Yeah, I'll end up with poorer quality due to the re-encoding, but it's better than the alternative.

              Not sure how I'll handle any HDTV issues - probably won't be able to utilize it at all. I sure won't deal with any of the DRM crap. My hope is that in a few years I'll
      • When my TiVo ceases to function (due to death, new channels I want to watch, whatever) I'm cancelling your service unless you offer a new Genuine TiVo I can purchase and use by then.

        I see a common theme here - the cable/dish company giving or renting you a Tivo, but not your actually paying $800 for one. I love TV, but TIVO wants me to have a cable subscription ($60-100/m with HD) pay $800 for a Tivo box, PLUS pay a monthly subscription fee to Tivo?

        Please - if Comcast offers the Tivo box for rental -

        • Tivo is great for wealthy professionals who don't get much leisure time when they'd like to because of work hours. And that's the demographic they're targetting.
          • by interiot ( 50685 )
            Just about any HD PVR is for wealthy professionals (you need an HDTV, often an HD subscription of some kind, and then then you need to pay the $250-800 for the PVR)... nonetheless, when you can get a subsidized HD PVR from someplace else for 1/3rd the price, Tivo's marketshare is going to be decreased quite a bit because of that.
    • by mjh ( 57755 )
      I'm in a similar situation and I'm trying to weigh the same decision. I'm coming up with a different conclusion. For me the S3 TiVo's monthly sub is pretty expensive. And DTV is already cheaper than Time Warner with the DVR monthly fee included. Add to that the fact that TWC is doing SDV [] and I'm stuck between:
      • Stick with DTV and HDTiVo: (-) No MPEG4 HD channels (-) HDTiVo still needs phone connection (+) OTA channels work and I get great signal
      • Switch to TWC and S3: (-) No SDV channels (-) more expensive
    • by gblues ( 90260 )
      (full disclosure; I work for DirecTV)

      DirecTV has actually beaten TiVo to market with a pretty competitive feature set; yeah, it's not TiVo, but the $500 you won't be spending on the box, plus the $265 yearly you won't be spending on TiVo subscription fees ($13/mo) and cablecard rental fees ($10/mo ea.) will make a nice pillow. ;) The HR20 launches today or tomorrow at retail channels for $299. Here's a breakdown of the featureset:

      - Dual tuners? Check.
      - Dual ATSC tuners? Check. (they're not enabled yet, but
      • Sorry dude... nice sales pitch but I have used the DirectTV DVR and it is JUNK compared to TiVo.
        They are not even is the same ballpark usability wise.

        Not one person who got suckered into buying DirectTV DVR that has tried even my feature-crippled HD TiVo from you guys has said "eh, this is just as good" it was more along the lines of "wow, I got ripped off"

        It is like comparing a honda civic to a BMW... sure they both have four seats, and engine and wheels... but which one drives smoother? Which one has more
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Overzeetop ( 214511 )
        - Dual tuners? Check.

        I wouldn't expect less

        - Dual ATSC tuners? Check. (they're not enabled yet, but the hardware's there)

        Excellent. I hope the software upgrade to enable them get's more funding that the TiVo software did. I still don't have folders on my HR10-250. Or T2Go. Or Networking. Or TiVoWeb. Or MP3s. Or...

        - 300GB SATA HD? check.

        And this is better than a 250GB stock, or the ability to hack in a 500GB drive easily?

        - External SATA jack for external storage space? check.

        Is it active out of the box?

        - Eth
        • by gblues ( 90260 )

          You mean like dropping DTV and using the S3 to watch 25 (give or take) local broadcast channels for the $12.95/mo TiVo fee? Okay, I'm joking there. I have to have ESPN, especially now that ABC has dropped MNF. It's true that TiVo fees are per receiver, but if you get HD, you have to pay $10.95 for the HD package (all three worthwhile channels),plus the $5 DVR fee. That's more than the $12.95 TiVo fee. And every extra receiver is $5 for DTV vs $6.95 for TiVo's multi-box discount. If I'm dropping $80/mo on T

      • by mrbooze ( 49713 )
        If only DirecTV-branded DVRs weren't total pieces of shit in terms of usability. I've got the DirecTV DVR in the basement and a DirecTivo upstairs. Every time I use the DirecTV model I am forced to content with how horrible it is. Response time to button presses is awful, navigating to find shows is awful, figuring out why something didn't record that should have is awful. It even reboots itself sometimes while I'm watching it. The wife uses it when working out and she hates it too. I'm *this close* t
      • OK I'm a Directv subscriber with a hr10-250 since they shipped. The HR20 is missing:

        Content export / import, Properly transcoded and upsampled content looks great on output and export HD looks great as well.

        Sugestions, My tivo figures out most new shows that I might like and records them, it's good enough that I stopped looking for content to record.

        Tivo extra's, I love being able to review email, weather rss feeds etc on my HDVR2 with 6.2 code on it. Pictures and MP3's are also quite usefull. Please don
      • by eison ( 56778 )
        And yet, nobody cares, because it isn't a TiVo. Feature checklists are nice and all, but "As simple and easy to use as TiVo?" is hard to boil down to a checkbox, and is failed at by every other DVR.
    • I could not agree more... they only got my business because they offered pure digital recording via TiVo. Then I find out my HD TiVo I payed $400 for is crippled functionality wise over even their non HD TiVo.

      Screw that... if I can get HD channels recorded digitally via a real TiVo through cable sign me up. I hate the cable companies but not enough to give up my TiVo to stay with a satellite provider who obviously does not care about my business.

      The funny thing is the piece of junk they try to sell you in p
    • I too am a Direct TV subscriber with a DTV Tivo Unit, already DTV no longer sells new Tivo units and unless their own DVR makes some major leaps in function/usability I will be considering other options. I turned down a HD receiver so I can keep Tivo already.

      Hopefully DTV will wake up and realize the customers they will lose is going to far offset the licensing fees they saved.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FatherOfONe ( 515801 )
      You said exactly what I did. I am now a Brighthouse cable user and was a DirectTV guy.

      I called and actually eventually talked to a VP at DirectTV and at this time they have no intention of ever working with Tivo again.

      Now, an interesting part was how difficult it was for me to actually cancel my account. It took 20 minutes on the phone to do it.

      Here is how it went down:

      Me: Um yes I need to cancel my account.

      DTV: Ok, we are sorry to hear that, and are glad to help, may I ask why?

      Me: Well, this is a long s
  • I have DirecTV (which frankly because they stopped supporting my TiVo I will dump when the time comes). Now I know the Series 3 supports CableCARD but does not support satellite inputs. Does anyone know if it would be possible for DirecTV to make a "DirecTV CableCARD", possibly with some little external box to transform the signals from the DirecTV frequencies to cable frequencies?

    In other words, is there some reasonable way where if they were interested DirecTV (or even Dish) could make a CableCARD compat

    • DirecTV doesn't even allow third-party-branded boxes any more; I doubt they would allow cable boxes to connect even if it was technically possible.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Hauppauge and Cyberlink are working on a subscription satellite PC DVR solution [] so that you can legitimately "tune"/record your digital premium/subscription HDTV content from satellite.

      But it's not out yet (just recently announced)...

      • Whats sad is the satalite companies could produce CableCARDs and the new TiVo will work with them. But they won't. I really don't understand the fallout between TiVo and the satalite companies. Apparently what happend with DirecTV is they realized they could save $1 a month per customer by dumping TiVo and offering their own service. Thats right, out of the extra $5 a month DirecTV gets for you having the TiVo service TiVo only gets $1, and DirecTV thought that was TOO much.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MBCook ( 132727 )

          Which is espeically pathetic because I would still pay the DVR fee if they TRIPLED it to the $15 a month that TiVo charges. That way, I could still have a TiVo and DirecTV would get an extra $10 a month. Even if they only doubled it. Heck, they could have raised the price to $6 a month.

          But instead they lost me as a future customer (and many others) because they were greedy over $1 and decided to give people sub-standard equiptment (non-TiVos) to save $$$.

          • by jonwil ( 467024 )
            Its probobly not just about the money, its probobly also about being able to control things.
            I have no idea if hacks for DirecTivos are available in the same way that hacks for regular Tivos are but that could certainly have been a factor.
    • In other words, is there some reasonable way where if they were interested DirecTV (or even Dish) could make a CableCARD compatible thing to let you view/record their signal?

      I'm sure it's possible. But, it's not likely -- satellite companies are not required by the FCC (since they're not regulated by the FCC) to use them, so why would they implement a technology that would take away their hardware lock-in?

      BTW, the cable companies fought the concept of the cable card for years, but finally lost out to the

      • "...satellite companies are not required by the FCC (since they're not regulated by the FCC) to use them...the cable companies fought the concept of the cable card for years, but finally lost out to the FCC last year..."

        Any idea why satellite is not regulated by FCC and cable companies are? Seems strange, especially since it to my mind, should be the other way around since satellites are using radio spectrum, and cable is not...

  • So this is going to be compatibe with what digital cable providers?

    Will it work with any variety of Satellite?

    The thing about HD is that it REQUIRES a digital feed. Will the new Tivo act as a secure recipient of HDMI content or does it even have HDMI in? Is the output DRM encumbered HDMI or straight DVI / component?

    At 800 bucks plus subscription, this thing better work with everything or Tivo will loose their shirts.
    • by TomServo ( 79922 )
      Just as far as the first question goes, cable companies are required by law to provide cablecards to customers upon request. I don't know about satellite, though I'd imagine they are required to. So, to answer the question, it will be compatible with all digital cable providers and I believe will be compatible with all satellite providers.
    • CableCard is a federal mandate. It will support all cable companies who provide a digital signal.

      And at $800 they are going to lose their shirt.
  • I can hear the lawyers for the MPAA, all professional sporting leagues, and network broadcasters sharpening their knives already...this baby has got to be hackable! :D
  • by rprague ( 653431 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:26AM (#16088684)
    It doesn't matter what kind of hardware they want to sell for a retarded amount of money. I have a series one tivo sitting in my garage gathering dust. It's got a pair of 100gig drives in it, ethernet card, extra fan attached, all that... Tivo still wants 12.95 a month for the service. My comcast DVR costs me $3.95/month on a lease deal, it records high def, and I didn't spend a dime to get it. Without some kind of radical change in their pricing and features, Tivo can't stay in the market.
    • ...with the included software package you got from Dell when you bought your $300 computer.

      Don't feel bad, lots of people are perfectly happy with the base model.

      Some of us just want more. This just the thing for those who do.

      (Kind of odd really, me being a real fanboi over a CE item. I guess this must be what it feels like for Mac zealots.)
    • You have a TiVo Series 1 and you didn't buy a lifetime subscription??? When I bought my Series 2 (Nov 2003), I immediately purchased the lifetime package and have been past the break-even point for almost 10 months now. TiVo will allow all lifetime subscribers for TiVo Series 1 and Series 2 models to convert their subscription to a lifetime subscription on the TiVo Series 3 by Jan 31, 2007 for all Series 3 purchases before Dec 31, 2006, for $199. $199 / 12.95 is 16 months before it breaks even. Consider
  • by QuantumFlux ( 228693 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:32AM (#16088741)
    This TiVo reminds me of that Simpsons episode, where Homer finds his long lost brother who runs a car company. Homer designs the world's greatest car for the common man, but it turns out to cost $82,000 and his brother's company is ruined. Tivo has done the same thing by added so many frivolous extras (THX Certification comes to mind) that it's priced out of a lot of people's budgets (including mine).

    I haven't bothered with a MythTV/MCE because TiVo was cheap (free after rebate for the 40GB model, quickly hacked with bigger HD) and was easy to use and good at what it does. Now if I want to upgrade it's priced right in line with these other technologies that offer more features. Tivo just isn't competitive anymore, especially once MCE supports CableCard.
    • by rthille ( 8526 )
      If you think the Tivo is like the 'Homer', then what must you think of the Transporter [], at only $1999?

      Hey, there's a market for these things. People have money to spend. Lots of people have _lots_ of money to spend. You can make a good living catering to them.
  • ...that $800 price tag meant full, lifetime subscription to their programming service and automatic upgrade insurance and lifetime replacement warranty.
    Other than that, Tivo is smoking something really stong to think $800 is a good price.
    • DirecTV couldn't get the boxes out the door fast enough at $1000 a pop two years ago.

      The "real" box will have a great deal more functionality than the stripped down DTV version (which _still_ doesn't even have folders).

      $800 is steep. Expect that to be $500 with a year's programming by next summer.
  • Looks about right... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Controlio ( 78666 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:39AM (#16088798)
    $800 is just about right for a device of this caliber. It is meant to be leading-edge tech. It is the most advanced DVR out there. The only people who are jumping into the waters early are the people who would gladly fork over that much money to have the latest and greatest - and they will get it.

    And for all of the posts bitching about "$800 PLUS subscription!??!?!?", remember that this is a set-top box replacement. You already pay Comcast or [insert other cable behemoth here] $10/month for that POS DVR that they provide with a clunky unreliable interface. $2 more gets you a better interface, suggestions, downloadable content, more guide data, the ability to program over the internet, the ability to download shows to your laptop or other device, the ability to display slide shows, mp3 playback, mp3 streaming, podcast streaming, and so on and so on and so on. And that's not even including the features in the pipeline, like (official) storage upgrades and a ton of other unannounced projects.

    For $3 more a month, bring me my TiVo. And as far as the $800 initial fee, if you can't afford it - just wait for the first round of rebates. Or do what I always do, upgrade when they offer unbelievably cheap factory refurb units. Every TiVo I've ever owned has been a refurb - and with proper cable surge protection and a Smart-UPS, my units have never failed me.
    • by vondo ( 303621 ) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @12:03PM (#16088958)

      Um, I pay $5 for HD service and another $5 for the DVR. But even if I'm paying $10/month for the DVR, I *don't* have to pay for the hardware up front and if something better comes along in a couple of years, I can jump ship. Plus, another poster stated just renting the cable card may cost $5-10 from your cable provider.

      Let's look at this over 5 years:
      Comcast cost = 5*12*$10 or $600.
      TiVo cost: $800 + 5*12*$5 (cable card) + 5*12*$13 (TiVo service) or $800 + $300 + $780 or $1880

      It seems to me that TiVo is three times more expensive over the reasonable life of the box. That may be worth it to some, but not to me.

      • by tji ( 74570 )
        Don't forget, the HD-Tivo has two cablecard slots, to enable recording on two HD tuners simultaneously. So, it will cost you somewhere between $10 and $20 per month for the two cable cards (depending on how much your local cable company charges).

        With the Tivo service charge on top of that, the cable company DVR begins to look attractive again.

        Luckily, Tivo announced that they would allow those of us that spent $300 on a lifetime service subscription to transfer it over to the new Tivo for *only* $200!!
        • "Now, I can get a new system for only $800 for the box and $200 for the service?!? Sign me up, dude."

          Well, in my case...I might just go for it. I have a series2 box with lifetime subscription. I rescued it from my house in New Orleans after Katrina. I was on the top floor of the house, so the 7ft of water in my neighborhood didn't reach my stuff, but, I have not idea how bad power surges were or, I'm not sure if the damned thing will even work again if I plug it in. So, I think I may just indee

  • I currently have Comcast cable and their HD DVR. They provide excellent service and PQ, but I also have 2 tivos with lifetime service and while the tivos can't do HD, I love them for their ease of use and extra features that the comcast box doesn't have (e.g. ability to transfer shows between tivos, to my pc, etc.). Oh yeah, and the ability to open my tivos, place nice big drives in there and not worry about be fined (my cable box warns against tampering).

    Now with the series 3 you have a monthly fee and a
  • by jaredcat ( 223478 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @11:44AM (#16088838)
    The Series3 went for sale a few hours ago on [] for $799.

    According to TivoBlog, some Best Buy stores are taking preorders showing a delivery date of 9/17/06. There have also been rumors over the past few weeks that Best Buy and CircuitCity will have the Series3 Tivo in stock on the 17th or 19th.

    Despite the heavy price tag, the need to rent 2 CableCARDs from my local Cable Company, and the expensive $12.95 Tivo monthly fee, I placed my order within a few minutes of Tivo making the change to their website. I bought one of the first 14-hour Tivos when they went on sale in 1999, and in all that time I have not seen another DVR that has a UI as good as the Tivo one. I finally abandoned Tivo in favor of a Cable Company DVR in 2004 when my local Cable Company started to offer HD programming. Finally Tivo is catching up 2 years later.

    By the way, you can thank design firm IDEO [] for many of the UI innovations of the Tivo (and early Macs as well).

  • This setup sounds suspiciously like the 9xx series and the 622 series from dish network.

    Only difference being, that the 622 has 2 Dish tuners, plus an off-air HD tuner.
    You can record from both tuners, and watch either recorded content or off air on both outputs, totalling 4 concurrent i/o streams.
    • God, I hope not. The Dish 9xx series looks fantastic except when I had one (last year) it repeatedly failed to record things I had asked it to. That's the primary function of a DVR box. Since then I've had two different Comcast boxes; my current one, which is "Powered by Microsoft," spontaneously reboots at least once a day while I'm watching something.
  • Everyone already has the HD hardware via theiur cable company, the problem is the iTv software is shit: TiVo needs to lease/licence their software to cable COs for their DVRs, I owuld sooo pay an extra $4-5/Mo for TiVo software on my leased HDDVR box. $800 is way too much...
    • TiVo needs to lease/licence their software to cable COs for their DVRs, I owuld sooo pay an extra $4-5/Mo for TiVo software on my leased HDDVR box.

      Some cable and satalite companies do and/or have licensed the TiVo software for thier service. If your cable company doesn't then complain to them. TiVo makes it available to them.
      • Sadly Insight Communications is too busy sucking wind to actually deliver anything like that: I have begged and demanded that, in addition to the NHL and Nascar In Car packages which they refuse to an odd situation right now but when I move to the new place, it will be Directv and Verizon DSL all the way.
  • TiVo seems to believe that: patents = high prices to the consumer & keeping broadcast industry happy > keeping consumers happy.

    IBM learned long ago that when you build a PC with off-the-shelf components that it's only a matter of time before a cheaper competitor comes along.

    TiVo doesn't seem to get it yet. Especially because every new model and software update seems to offer less than the previous one. TiVo needs to realize that their customer is the home consumer, and not the movie studios.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I would say that they're very much aware of who their customer is.

      They know that they aren't going to interest the folks that build MythTVs, they know that they Series 2s will work just fine with people who don't have or want HDTV and they know that the people who've already spent $2000+ on a HDTV and $60+ a month for HDTV service (and $700+ more on a premium sound system) aren't going to be particularly averse to dropping another $800 for a Series 3.

  • I won't pay for TV again until someone can provide a service that mimics my current setup: uTorrent + + XBMC. It's absolutely spoiled me and I just couldn't justify paying for something less. I'd be more than happy to give money to any company that provides a service just like it.

    I don't want commercials, I don't want re-runs (mostly) and I don't want to have to use a delivery system other that the gool ol' fashioned interweb. I don't want to just record the airwaves (or cable, etc) becuase I don'
  • When cable operators actually start giving out cablecards, only then start advertising it as a useful feature. MythTV has been busted down by many for lacking this "feature", but if nobody can get the damned cards in the first place who the hell cares?

    The only thing this new Tivo offers over a home-grown DVR is that it's got an HD dual-tuner. Is that really worth $800 plus a monthly subscription? I guess we'll see soon enough.

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.