TiVo HD DVR (20-HD hours)
Manufacturer: TiVo Inc. Part number: TCD652160
- Bottom Line:
- While it's not compatible with your cable company's interactive and video-on-demand services, the TiVo HD's excellent onscreen interface and long list of network and Internet features puts it in a class above the generic high-def DVRs offered by most cable providers.
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as of 05/24/2013
CNET editors' review
price range: $269.00
- Reviewed by: John Falcone
- Edited by: David Katzmaier
- Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
- Released on: 08/15/2007
The good: Includes nearly all the features of previous Series3 model at a lower price; can record two HD programs simultaneously while playing back a third, previously recorded one; accepts cable TV and over-the-air signals; 30-second commercial skip; excellent user-friendly interface and remote; impressive Internet and home-networking features, including video content from Netflix, Amazon, and CinemaNow, Rhapsody subscription music service, online scheduling, photo and music streaming; recent firmware update adds cool TiVo To Go and Multi-Room Viewing features; TiVo To Go transfers recordings to PCs and portable devices; able to download and view most standard digital video file formats from networked PCs (with premium Desktop Plus PC software).
The bad: Requires monthly fee in addition to cable bill; sluggish transitions between menu screens; does not work with video-on-demand and switched digital video services; must program 30-second skip; no picture-in-picture; TiVo To Go requires long, slow transfer and transcoding times; some premium features (Amazon, Netflix, Rhapsody, Desktop Plus, Wi-Fi adapter, expandable storage) require additional one-time expenses or subscription fees.
The bottom line: While it's not compatible with your cable company's interactive and video-on-demand services, the TiVo HD's excellent onscreen interface and long list of network and Internet features puts it in a class above the generic high-def DVRs offered by most cable providers.
Now that all features are enabled, this box blows cable co DVR's away! Worth the upfront cost.
by jonbmw on November 9, 2007
Pros: Powerful & intuitive interface, ability to save recorded shows to computer, extra hard drive option, Season Pass, Wish Lists, Online scheduling, Amazon Unbox, monthly service fees can be less
Cons: Up front cost of box, getting cable co to correctly install CableCards, no cable on-demand (but there's Unbox)
Summary: **THE EDITORS REVIEW IS NOW OUTDATED. THE TIVO-TO-GO, EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE, AND MULTI-ROOM VIEWING ARE ALL ENABLED NOW!** Both the editor and user ratings would be higher if this was ...
Summary: **THE EDITORS REVIEW IS NOW OUTDATED. THE TIVO-TO-GO, EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE, AND MULTI-ROOM VIEWING ARE ALL ENABLED NOW!** Both the editor and user ratings would be higher if this was the case previously. There are more new features like on screen Rhapsody music service too.
First off, ignore the people who've abused this review system and rated the product down without having any knowledge or experience with it. Once you take those nay-saying rants out, you'd see the user rating is very high, as it should be. It's very rare to find a TiVo user who regrets their purchase.
I bought a TiVo Series 2 DT 80hr box before this product came out and fell in love with the TiVo interface and extra features. We'd been using the cable company DVR for years and while it had the basic advantages of a DVR (pause live tv, record shows to watch later), it had its share of downfalls. It was difficult to find the shows I wanted to record, the scheduling wasn't very accurate, and it would crash fairly often.
I won't go into all the details of the features of the TiVo HD since the editors review does a nice job with it, but I will correct some things that are now incorrect.
The TiVo-to-Go feature is now enabled which is my favorite feature of all. You can save almost every show you record, including HD programs, to your hard drive to free up space, archive for later, or take with you on a laptop to watch when traveling. The only exception are a few digital channels that have copyright restrictions, but all the major networks work fine. Want to save a whole season of Grey's Anatomy in HD quality? You can! The files are in the original HD quality which can run up to 6.5 GB per hour, so keep that in mind.
Speaking of hard drive space, TiVo now offers a 500 GB "DVR Expander" for $199 that gets you 60 more hours in HD or 600 SD. You have to buy the TiVo certified drive to work, but that is because PC drives are not designed for the incessant writing that DVR's do, and $199 is still a comprable price. Cable company boxes can't compete with this capacity. Even the included 20 hours of HD is more than most cable boxes. If you don't want to spend the extra money on the external drive, you can transfer it to your PC's drive and still access it on your TV, which will stream it off your PC.
The Universal Swivel Search deserves an extra mention too because it's really amazing. Say you're wondering who the actor is you're watching on TV right now.. With 2 clicks you can see who the actor is, what shows or movies he/she's been in, and schedule any of the actor's shows to record or download it instantly from Amazon Unbox. It'll tell you what episodes are coming up for your show and recommend similar shows that you'd like. TiVo has lots of picture and music options too which it will get from your computer, the internet, or Rhapsody where you can stream any full song/album on demand. Rhapsody requires a subscription, but the stuff from your computer is free.
One thing that everyone seems to bash TiVo on is the cost. Yes, I know that $299 is asking a lot when compared to a box you get "free," but you clearly can not view them as equal boxes. I and most any TiVo user you ask would say it's worth the price premium, just like adding options on a car, but consider this.. The TiVo HD could actually save you money over an extended period of time. Say you're paying $15/month for all the cable DVR rental and service fees and associated taxes. You can get TiVo for $8.31 a month if you buy 3 years up front. It obviously takes a while to make up the $299 investment, but in 45 months you will have done it and it will save you money every month after.
TiVo Cast is another cool feature. If you're a gadget fan or CNet fan, be sure to subscribe to the CNet TiVoCast. It is a 15 minute show that showcases some of the newest products so you're always up to date. You can also see what shows celebrities are watching, or what Maxim recommends by using Guru Guides.
One last useful, exclusive feature. Let's say you forgot to set something to record and now you're out of town. With a cable box you're SOL, but with TiVo you just go to TiVo.com, type in the show, and click a button and it's sent to your TiVo box and added to the record list. It'll be there waiting for you when you return.
The only bad thing I can say about the TiVo HD is actually the cable company's fault. Cable companies aren't used to installing CableCards so some people have had trouble finding a cable person who can set it up correctly. It's a simple process, but the people on the phone just aren't used to it. This may be better by now as the device has proliferated the market more... I got mine early on, so by now they may be better trained on it. The other downside is also the CableCard's fault and that's the loss of on-demand programming. Personally, I don't miss it since my TiVo has everything I'd want to watch "on-demand" already. If you ever have any questions or problems, the TiVo support people are really nice, and you can tell they truly value their customers. Try finding that with your cable operator.
I could go on forever, but really you need to just experience it for yourself. With the unbeatble interface, expandable storage, tivo-to-go, and the multimedia options, it is well worth the upfront cost. If you try it and disagree with me, come back and comment on this review. You can always return the box and your first 30 days are risk free with the service too. Basically, if you can overlook the upfront cost you'll be much happier with a TiVo HD.
20 out of 20 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great product and a great price
by kevin.talbot on July 29, 2007
Pros: Much cheaper than Series3, great Tivo interface
Cons: Have to bank on Tivo's promise to deliver external storage driver and media sharing upgrades
Summary: I have to rebut many of the ill informed posts others have made. First, clearly this product CAN record HD despite what others say to the contrary (I mean get ...
Summary: I have to rebut many of the ill informed posts others have made. First, clearly this product CAN record HD despite what others say to the contrary (I mean get a clue - the name of the freakin' thing is - 'Tivo HD')
Yes, there is a monthly fee and I don't know what other's get from their cable suppliers, Comcast charges me $29 a month for two mediocre Motorola HD-DVRs. Just on monthly savings along, these will pay for themselves in about 30 months plus they are much better product (and I say this as a Tivo user for more than 6 years). The ability to listen to my MP3s and view my photos is great which can't be matched by ANY cable box or DVR. Don't tell Tivo, but I'd pay $100 alone for this feature - think of it as an Apple TV thrown in for free.
The issue with incompatibily with VOD and PPV is not a Tivo issue, it's a cable card issue. Current cable cards don't support "upload" data communication so don't blame Tivo for this. Any cablecard product will have the same issue.
Overall, this will be a great product at the $299 price point and I can't wait to buy TWO of these babies and give back my two HD DVRs to Comcast.
15 out of 16 users found this user opinion helpful.
Stop Reviewing if you've never used the product!!!!
by JMcMusicman on July 30, 2007
Pros: Dual Tuner, OTA Support, TIVO Experience
Cons: Not compatible w/Satelite
Summary: Wow I had no idea how many TIVO haters there are!! I have used several generic DVR's including the CNET Editors Choice VIP622 from Dish Network and I'll ...
Summary: Wow I had no idea how many TIVO haters there are!! I have used several generic DVR's including the CNET Editors Choice VIP622 from Dish Network and I'll chose the TIVO over 'em all! I recently cancelled my Dish & went back to Cable just to use the TIVO HD, much better than any generic DVR from any cable co or satalite co...
11 out of 13 users found this user opinion helpful.
Video On Demand...Who Needs It?
by Vablkmn on July 27, 2007
Pros: Finally HD from TiVo at a reasonable price
Cons: Not enough storage space
Summary: As for the Video on Demand issue, the Now Playing function of TiVo offers the same functionality. You can watch a movie or show that you have recorded whenever you ...
Summary: As for the Video on Demand issue, the Now Playing function of TiVo offers the same functionality. You can watch a movie or show that you have recorded whenever you like from the Now Playing list in TiVo, so I don't see what is the difference. I would only look at shows or movies from Video on Demand that interest me which are the same shows or movies that I would mostly likely record.
I have always liked the TiVo format more than than my cable companies DVR, so I'm glad this product has been released. I will cancel the DVR service from the cable provider and subscribe to TiVo's service which saves me the same $12.95 a month that I pay to the cable company, so there is no loss on my monthly cost or paying double the cost.
I only wish the 300 hard drive was available at this price. I recommend this product.
8 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
Review from an actually owner
by ldc3000 on July 29, 2007
Pros: Low Cost HD DVR with Tivo interface
Cons: No TivoToGo or MRV
Summary: The unit does what its supposed to do well. I do wish that Tivo had shipped unit with eSata port active, but I guess I can wait since it is ...
Summary: The unit does what its supposed to do well. I do wish that Tivo had shipped unit with eSata port active, but I guess I can wait since it is rumored that it along with TivoToGo and MRV will be activate by the end of the year.
8 out of 12 users found this user opinion helpful.
by acmorris on October 1, 2007
Pros: Multi Room Viewing, Expandable Storage, Online Media, Online Games, Photo Viewing, Music Streaming
Cons: Not Free :)
Summary: Device is excellent.
After you buy the device, get cable cards from your cable company; M-Card or multi stream cards they are also called if available, you need 1 M-Card ...
Summary: Device is excellent.
After you buy the device, get cable cards from your cable company; M-Card or multi stream cards they are also called if available, you need 1 M-Card or 2 S-Cards. They plug in like a PCMCIA card in the side of a laptop. They are a fraction of the cost of set-top boxes or DVR's from the cable company. Current Rates on Cable Card are $1.91 a month(sometimes a bit more in some markets), with the first one being free usually (per outlet) which means if you have 3 cable boxes you could be saving $45 bucks a month depending on what your current charges are. Keep in mind that most cable operators also charge you for the remote control. Check your bill folks. Taxes also apply to that. Under most markets, this device is usually paid for by savings on the cable bill in 8-10 months if you use their DVR. Anything beyond that is pure savings. Not to mention the product is far superior.
Most of the reviews here that are sub-par affecting TiVo's rating are from people that have not owned it or ever used it. They merely gripe for paying what turns out to be 8 bucks a month and change if you prepay for service. That service is for future software update development and your guide data that TiVo will fetch every night. You always have 14 days of guide data on hand. I have gladly paid TiVo to keep my guide up to date, and frankly love every innovation they have developed over the years.
Read any of the low reviews carefully before you think that TiVo has anything to do with it.
One user posted a low review because their home network was slow; nothing to do with this product at all. Another because a cable company installer broke a shelf in her glass entertainment center. Those reviews were harsh on TiVo when the device had nothing to do with it.
Currently I own:
3 Tivo Series 2
1 Tivo HD (this model)
1 Tivo Series 3 HD (The expensive one)
I have used TiVo for years, expansive guide; ability to search for things you do like, and TiVo can record those types of things you want automatically.
Software that is being deployed now, also includes a nice new feature, advanced wishlists. Say for example you wanted to find Jennifer Aniston films not related to the show "Friends" You just tell Tivo, Jennifer Aniston -Friends and there you go, TiVo just got smarter.
The Multi Room Viewing and TivoToGo features are being rolled out to the boxes and will be enabled in November. The cable companies have fought and lost that battle. Some of the reviews also give TiVo a low rating for those features not being available until now; again--nothing to do with TiVo, it was the cable companies that didn't want the feature there; and they lost.
I'm writing this review to set some of the information straight and encourage other current TiVo owners to do the same.
Buy a TiVo, get your cable cards and stop paying the Cable Company all the extra money, Remote Fees, DVR & Set-top box rental, DVR usage in some cases, plus taxes etc.
6 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
by urban011 on August 13, 2007
Pros: Dual OTA tuners, HDMI Output
Cons: Subscription Fees, Small Disk, Documentation
Summary: I purchased this DVR strictly for use with OTA HD programming so the pay-per-view and interactive integration is not an issue for me. Since there simply are no alternatives out ...
Summary: I purchased this DVR strictly for use with OTA HD programming so the pay-per-view and interactive integration is not an issue for me. Since there simply are no alternatives out there for OTA tuning/recording (Yes, the Sony DHG-HDD250 and DHG-HDD500 are still available on eBay, but that's not a risk I'm willing to take with moving parts) There really isn't much of a choice. I still resent having to pay the fees to Tivo, though. I opted for the three year pre-paid deal to at least minimize the per month costs.
Still, I'm quite pleased with the box, the excellent cnet review below provides better documentation than either Tivo's own web site or even the manual itself! The 30 second skip ahead hack and the eSATA expansion hack are great and solve my only real grips out of the box. Picture and OTA tuning have been excellent.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Excellent and price is right
by runninj on September 5, 2007
Pros: Runs circles around other cable boxes!
Cons: Owner needs to install unit - cable company won't
Summary: Purchased TiVo HD from weaknees.com with a hard disk upgrade to 33 hours HD. Have used TiVo since series 1. We subscribe to WAVE Broadband Cable Service and they ...
Summary: Purchased TiVo HD from weaknees.com with a hard disk upgrade to 33 hours HD. Have used TiVo since series 1. We subscribe to WAVE Broadband Cable Service and they provided a Motorola HD DVR which I did not like at all. WAVE replaced the unit twice and it still was not fully functional. When I learned TiVo was offering TiVo HD I was elated. What an improvement over the Motorola unit and past TiVos. WAVE provided a M2 cable card at no charge. Who needs Video On Demand. With TiVo Swivel search one can find plenty of programing to watch for free. It even searches Amazon's TiVo movie library from which one can download movies for free. Most important the my wife loves the simple functionality of the remote control and on screen menus. I feel sorry for COMCAST cable customers who have to put up with the cumbersome remote and horrible menus. Try Tivo. I bought TiVo's their 3 year service, 8 plus dollars per month. My cable bill including the service is five dollars less.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Why spend the money?
by johnpmorton on February 11, 2008
Pros: Looks cool in cabinet, great picture, Tivo software is pretty good.
Cons: Costs too much for what you get.
Summary: My main gripe is that I just don't see the advantage to buying this versus using the free Comcast box - By free I mean no initial fee. Plus, ...
Summary: My main gripe is that I just don't see the advantage to buying this versus using the free Comcast box - By free I mean no initial fee. Plus, I bought this thing and it went bad on DAY 91, I was told that I would have to pay a $45 fee to get the box replaced, as you might imagine I was a little dismayed. I mean, I paid $300 for it, then was paying a monthly fee, plus renting the cable cards from Comcast. So I packed it up and returned it to Costco (they have a very liberal return policy) and I got the new Comcast HD DVR - same HD, plus I get on demand and if it goes bad I swap it at my local Comcast office.
4 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
I loved it, but..
by crpeck on November 25, 2007
Pros: great interface, great audio & video
Cons: SDV kills it
Summary: I just finished boxing mine up to return. I love Tivo - had one since the Series 1. It was a breeze to setup, and, the interface is - well, ...
Summary: I just finished boxing mine up to return. I love Tivo - had one since the Series 1. It was a breeze to setup, and, the interface is - well, it's a Tivo. The extras like Amazon unbox, and access to music & pictures from my Mac are a nice touch. But..
My local cable company is goinf to switched digital video - it preparation for that, they are not mapping any new HD channels to cabelcard devices (ie Tivo), so, I was unable to get the 4 new HD channels they added. Until Tivo resolves this, you may find yourself with a Tivo that is unable to get all the channels that are available.
So, CHECK with your local Cable Company regarding Switched Digital Video, and, don't be surprised when they don't know what you are talking about, it may take multiple calls to get the real story. tivocommunity.com and avsforum.com are excellent resources to find out what's happening.
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: TiVo Inc.
- Part number: TCD652160
- Description: TiVo is the all-in-one high-definition DVR. It comes with the Emmy award-winning, easy-to-use TiVo service† . It not only records all your favorite shows in HD, it even pauses and rewinds with razor-sharp HD clarity. Plus, it connects to any home network for access to millions of songs and thousands of movie titles straight from the Internet to your living room. And because TiVo HD connects to virtually any cable service via CableCARDs, it can lower your monthly bill by replacing your existing cable box.
- Product Type HD DVR
- Width 16.5 in
- Depth 12.6 in
- Height 3.4 in
- Weight 11.9 lbs
- Service TiVo
- Max Recording Capacity 180 hour(s)
- Storage Capacity 160 GB
- Sound Output Mode Stereo
Personal TV Service Features
- On-Screen Program Guide Yes
- Type Remote control
- Technology Infrared
- Connector Type RF input,
Component video output,
Composite video output,
2 x USB,
- Type 2
- Cables Included Video / audio cable,
Component video cable