Friday, February 10, 2012


I had heard of TiVo over the years championed by people like David Letterman on his show on TV and saying that they really loved it. However, in my mind it always seemed to expensive to want to pay for one. However, over the past few years we had been renting a DVR from Comcast, our digital TV cable company for a little over 10 dollars a month. However, I was having a lot of trouble since there are 4 adults over 15 in the house with trying to keep everyone's programs alive and being fair and it wasn't easy. Finally, my son  said, "Why don't you get a Tivo? You won't be limited to 15 hours of HD that way." I said, "Okay. That sounds okay". So he showed me several plans and I said, "Why don't we go with the one that does about 150 hours, okay." He said, "Ok" But then he went and talked to my wife  who is definitely not a tech or into tech thinking like my son and I. So, she wants to get the 300 HD hour one with free coverage for the lifetime of the model she wanted to get. I thought that was a little steep until she said, "It is less expensive when you figure 5 years of service and the unit itself to do it this way." I said "Okay" because she likes everything to be insured to the hilt. For example, she bought the 150 dollar apple care for my Macbook pro 15 inch computer and it just paid off in dividends when it costs 600 dollars to replace a hinge that was going on my laptop screen. So, they replaced my whole screen and hinge for free. I thought apple care was pretty wonderful after that. So, she is the same way with everything she buys so everything can be replaced or repaired for free. I suppose if you can afford it it almost always pays off to do this.

So, we have been learning how to use this thing for a couple of days now. Though it is very different conceptually the way it function than our older DVR I'm slowly getting used to it. My favorite thing so far is a button you can program to instantly move forward in 30 second increments which means with 6 pushes of the button even the longest commercials are gone in about 3 to 5 seconds time. It also has a button that will go back in 8 second increments which works good in tandem with the first one. So, Tivo is sort of like the Caddilac or Rolls Royce of DVRs as far as I am concerned so far. I found you can even get an external hard drive for it to take what you watch on the road with you to view through your computer or other device which I also found interesting. Another feature that I like is that as you are recording something you can set a date in the future when it is automatically deleted. So far at its most I have been only able to fill it to 3% capacity. I cannot really imagine how you would find everything if you actually had 300HD hours filled up in this thing. So, as a technophile like my son I'm having great fun getting to know this TiVo. Also, the one my wife got has 4  recording heads so you can literally record 4 shows at once and even then you can either watch something else you already recorded or watch netflix, amazon prime or anything else you have working through it at the same time.  It really is an amazing technology.

If you are interested in something like this it has 2 terrabytes of memory and will record 1000 hours of programming or 300 hours of HD. The model is called the Elite.  For most people this is enough for large families or groups of people living together so everyone can record whatever they want to watch as long as people agree when they are going to watch what they record. So, there is plenty of memory. However, since it appears to be a lot like a PC in function periodically it might crash and it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to bring it back up. You don't lose anything already recorded when that happens but if it crashes in the middle of something you are recording obviously that part while crashed won't record.  And by having 4 recording heads it can record up to four programs or movies at the same time with no problem.

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