We recently purchased our second TiVo – the 180-hour TiVo® Series2™ DT DVR. Sure, we considered the fancy 300-hour TiVo® Series3™ HD Digital Media Recorder, but as we don’t have any HD-capable displays, and the 120-hour Series2 box that we already have rarely fills up, we really didn’t need the 300-hour unit.
How could we get by with just 120 hours (and now 180 hours), you may ask? Easy. We use the TiVo Desktop software to offload anything we want to keep permanently, so that it doesn’t hog up the hard drive on the box. And offload we do – we have some 600GB of data sitting on USB drives attached to a media server right now. A nice thing about the software is that it provides a server that, when running, appears as an item in the Now Playing list, and you can transfer them back to the TiVo for later viewing – no need to eat up precious hard drive space in the TiVo. It serves up music and photos, too. More on this another time.
So after spending some time researching the Series3 model, we did decide that we needed to upgrade, but not for the larger hard drive and not for the HD features. We needed that dual tuner! While it seemed that it was only an occasional inconvenience that we had to endure, it was actually quite frequently that we had problems. Now we’ve had zero problems and we can even flip over to watch live TV (gasp!) if we decide to to do so – or we can record two programs at once. Of course, we moved the older Series2 into the bedroom, so we can technically record three programs at once – but I’m talking about the one box.
What’s even better is that the recording quality has received a boost. This is for two reasons. One is that having the dual tuner feature in the TiVo has allowed me to remove an extra splitter from the cable run and take out some extra cabling too. The other is that the unit just seems to do a better job, even on a lower recording quality setting. While recordings we kept permanently were previously recorded at Best Quality, we may likely start recording at High Quality in the future – it’s that much better. We have some scheduled recordings happening in the next week so we can do some actual analysis.
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