I remember the first time I saw a TiVo; I was still doing some tech journalism and a PR flak asked me to stop by the TiVo office. It was during GDC, so I figured, sure. Hopped in the rental and took 2 hours off to check out the device. I was prepared for a lame TV/Internet WebTV device, but as soon as they started pausing TV, I was mesmerized. The codec was crap, the storage was pretty limited, but it’s potential was clearly phenomenal. I owned the original Series 1 TiVo, the Series 2 and finally, a Series 3 with a Weaknees 750GB HD upgrade. The S3 supports HD, which makes it the one of the most important pieces of hardware in our apartment. I don’t use PPV – Netflix and Amazon VOD work fine for me. All new parents should get a TiVo, since they are far superior to the crap settop DVR boxes from hated cable companies, and DVR is the only way you can sneak any television in. DVRs are a force multiplier on premium channels, and of course, perfect for HD sports.
I wish it was a better media center – my PS3 does more for me. I can run TiVo desktop but I’ve long given up on that, or taking video off my TiVo with TiVoToGo. It’s another example of ‘legitimate’ functionality trumping ease of use. It’s easier to Torrent a show than it is to work around the TiVoToGo. And while awesome in its day, the TiVo UI has recently lost luster, especially to the Moxi box.
So, I see that the new TiVo Premiere box is out. Pricing seems reasonable, a lifetime subscription and new hardware will be around $700 for existing users like it was when I transitioned from S2 to S3 – but this time it seems I can keep the S3 going, too. Does that mean I can sell it?
The Premiere also adds Blockbuster VOD support; maybe my S3 has it. Is Blockbuster still in business?
Zatz says it’s sorta meh. I’m inclined to agree. I’m most interested in jacking up storage to 2TB. But I have a host of saved programs and it appears that I can transfer some of the programs from my old unit to my new unit. But if I can’t transfer protected recordings, that almost ensures I will not upgrade to the Premiere.