Broke down and bought a TiVo

MattG

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 27, 2003
3,760
212
Asheville, NC
Tired of waiting for Apple to introduce something comparable to a "Media Center PC" where I'd able to record TV shows, stream music, etc. While I realize a TiVo won't do everything a MCPC will do, I'm looking forward to being able to record TV shows when I'm not at home. $50 after mail in rebate for a 40gb TiVo. Anyone else have one of these and what do you think?
 

macartistkel

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2005
521
0
Portland, Oregon
No I don't have one yet, but I am getting one soon....my friend is a TIVO ambassador and gets paid to watch tv and write blogs on the shows!! She says its the best thing ever!! :)
 

XNine

macrumors 68040
I have a Replay TV and its pretty cool. However,the tools for OS X have not been updated in some time. I was thinking about switching over to Tivo and selling my Replay, but not sure its worth it. I might be able to get Comcast with a DVR for less then what I pay now for comcast cable (not digital) and replaytv/tivo charges monthly.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
I'd get a Tivo if it wasn't for the monthly fee. Not only would it be tough to afford being an unemployed college student, but the idea of paying just to record shows doesn't appeal to me
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,059
198
yg17, check out the Panasonic Replay TV (on ebay) theyre older and not quite as good, but there's no monthly fee, and I've heard that the HD can be upgraded (most are only 20-40 GB)
 

Jomoma

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2005
111
0
I love my two tivos! Tivo is a great company, hopefully they don't start down the road of DRM and other unfriendly costumer policies.

Anyone able to take shows off of the Tivo to your mac? I really hope they come out with TivoToGo for the mac soon. That's one of the only things that gives me PC envy.

What season passes do you guys have? Any apple or mac related shows out there on cable I don't know about? I used to love the screensavers before they ruined it.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,125
2
North Carolina
I've had TiVo for years; don't know how I could watch TV without it (actually, I'm reminded whenever I stay in a hotel -- regular TV is *terrible*).

I don't really think it's important to have the TiVo linked to the computer. When I'm watching TV, I'm relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine. With the computer, I'm at a table or a desk, with a cup of coffee. Two completely different things.
 

Jomoma

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2005
111
0
For me, it'd be nice to watch my shows on my iBook when I'm out and about.
Maybe sometime soon...
 

mac-er

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,455
0
TiVo is the best thing ever.

Start using those Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down. After awhile, it'll get pretty good about picking shows you like to automatically record. I love the Suggestion feature.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
wordmunger said:
I've had TiVo for years; don't know how I could watch TV without it
Ditto.

I currently have two DirectTV TiVos and before that I had a DishPVR, so for about the past 5 years or so I haven't really watched any "live" TV, or had to endure commercials.

To the OP: $50 for a stand alone 40Gb is a great deal, but you'll probably want to upgrade the HD to a larger one. I have 120s in both my units, and am seriously considering going even larger. 200 Gb PATA drives are now < $100, and well worth it for the increased capacity or quality that you can hold on your TiVo.

The upgrade is really not hard to do if you've worked on any PC hardware.

B
 

MattG

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 27, 2003
3,760
212
Asheville, NC
balamw said:
Ditto.

I currently have two DirectTV TiVos and before that I had a DishPVR, so for about the past 5 years or so I haven't really watched any "live" TV, or had to endure commercials.

To the OP: $50 for a stand alone 40Gb is a great deal, but you'll probably want to upgrade the HD to a larger one. I have 120s in both my units, and am seriously considering going even larger. 200 Gb PATA drives are now < $100, and well worth it for the increased capacity or quality that you can hold on your TiVo.

The upgrade is really not hard to do if you've worked on any PC hardware.

B
So you can do it yourself? Replacing a hard drive is no big deal for me, done it a million times at work. Do you void your warranty if you do that?
 

Brother Michael

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2004
717
0
MattG said:
So you can do it yourself? Replacing a hard drive is no big deal for me, done it a million times at work. Do you void your warranty if you do that?
I imagine you would void the warrently like any other appliance that you customize by "tweaking."

On a side note: I wouldn't mind having a TiVo. I would probably pay that hefty fee up front so that I could get the most use out of the box for little money. I am a simple person at times and in my house, we have learned to make gadgets last.

Take my old VCR for example. It lasted us about 16 years. I was like 19 when it died.

Computers seem to be my only Achilles heal when it comes to wanting the latest greatest.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
"Broke down"? You mean "wised up"? :D

We have two TiVos and I love them. We have two young kids, so watching TV before they go to bed is net to impossible, plus we wouldn't want them watching our programs. With TiVo we can easily time-delay our programs and never miss them.

Awesome.
 

MattG

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 27, 2003
3,760
212
Asheville, NC
emw said:
"Broke down"? You mean "wised up"? :D

We have two TiVos and I love them. We have two young kids, so watching TV before they go to bed is net to impossible, plus we wouldn't want them watching our programs. With TiVo we can easily time-delay our programs and never miss them.

Awesome.
Yeah, I know I know...I've been wanting one for a while. Well I should have it next week I suppose; can't wait!

Now here's a question...I noticed it says on the web site that it requires a phone line the first time you connect. Is that true, and why? If this thing has a network connection, why do I need a phone line? I'm going to have to bring this thing to my parents house to set it up I guess, as I don't have a phone line, only a cell phone. :confused:
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
MattG said:
I noticed it says on the web site that it requires a phone line the first time you connect. Is that true, and why?
Yes it's true, and it's probably the most frustrating thing with TiVo. It supports a network connection, but to set it up you have to have a landline connection. What a pain.

You can set it up from your parents (or neighbors) house or wherever, but it's still a hassle. Once you have it set up, you can hook it up to your network (USB to ethernet or Wireless b only) and have no need for the phone line.
 

Jomoma

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2005
111
0
I have set up two tivos without a land phone line.

The first was set up with a special code when you dial, which used the network connection to connect. The second (which they say shouldn't work) used my vonage connection (digital signal to analog to digital back to analog) and some how it worked. That's like using vonage with a dial up connection, but it worked.

I'll see if I can find the link and instructions I used to connect for the first time through the network. It's possible, but don't count on it. Definately have a friend with a land line ready just in case.

EDIT--
the code is ,#401 and here's the link
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
Jomoma said:
The first was set up with a special code when you dial, which used the network connection to connect.
Is this a hack or a documented feature? I can't find it anywhere on the TiVo site, and I looked when I set up my second device.

If you can track down how it's done, I'd love to see it! :)
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
Best piece of technology I ever owned. It really changes the way you watch TV. I never watch a show live anymore, just can't stand ads. If there is something I want to watch now, I will turn on TV and Tivo and mute the sound. Come back 15 minutes later and start watching it from the beginning and skip all the ads. Finish watching on the hour.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
emw said:
Is this a hack or a documented feature? I can't find it anywhere on the TiVo site, and I looked when I set up my second device.

If you can track down how it's done, I'd love to see it! :)
Note that there are other dialing prefixes that can be used to make the daily call over PPP or over an external modem. These take the format #2XX and #3XX Where XX (11,57,38,28,14,96) is the serial port speed. I don't have a phone or ethernet line near the TiVo, and I never managed to get one of those wireless phone jacks to work with it so I use the PPP codes to connect via a nearby PC with wireless connection.

http://minnie.tuhs.org/twiki/bin/view/Network/DialingPrefixExplained

B
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
MattG said:
So you can do it yourself? Replacing a hard drive is no big deal for me, done it a million times at work. Do you void your warranty if you do that?
Yes, just google for Hinsdale's guide, or you can buy a kit from http://www.ptvupgrade.com. It's very straightforward, and easiest to do when you first get the box activated, before it gets filled up with programming.

The guides assume you have access to a PC and can run Linux on it, usually by means of a live boot disc.

You do void your warranty, but I have never heard of a case where this has gone badly.

Note that there are a number of other "hacks" you can apply as part of this process, but I haven't had the time or desire to apply any of them, I just wanted more space.

The forums at http://www.dealdatabase.com are a great resource for these hacks.

B
 

jelloshotsrule

macrumors G3
Feb 7, 2002
9,591
3
serendipity
a friend of mine just asked if there's anyway to get stuff from his tivo box to his mac to make a dvd... he said he read about some long drawn out process using x11 and command line stuff. but i figured i'd check. i don't know anything about tivo, so i'm coming to the experts.