View Full Version : Does anybody here use Tivo or Replay TV?
09-13-2000, 10:02 AM
I've been kicking around the idea of getting a Tivo unit and signing up for the service. The problem is, I'd like to know ahead of time whether this thing is all it's cracked up to be.
If you're unfamiliar with what a Tivo unit is, it is basically a device that records your favorite show in compressed digital format onto a hard drive. You can pause/replay live shows as you are watching them while the device records the show without interruption. The Tivo unit must be hooked up to a phone line so that it can update its recording schedule in order to capture your shows at the right time. You can also set it to record programming that suits your particular interests. Tivo works with cable, sattelite, and rooftop antenna systems. The Tivo service costs about $10 a month, and I think that the Tivo box costs around $400 for the 30-hour recording version.
This sounds pretty cool, but I'd hate to get stuck with this decade's version of the 8-track tape player. If you've got one of these things, what do you think of it so far?
09-13-2000, 10:21 AM
I have had one for about a month now and I love it. I got it at Circuit City. Tivo has a $100 rebate and Circuit City had a $100 rebate making it only $99. I also had to get a remote phone jack for about $70 since there wasn't one anywhere near my TV.
There are some annoying things about it, like you need a thousand wires and a gazillion hookups. I got the 14 hour unit, but now I would have goten the 52 hour or whatever they have. With my hookup I cannnot record something and watch something else, but I think if I get an a/b switch then I could.
09-13-2000, 10:43 AM
I've had the 30-hour TiVo for about 6 months and absolutely love it. There's really not anything bad I can say about it.
Mr. Blue Sky
09-13-2000, 12:15 PM
There is, or will be, a downside for Replay owners: ADVERTISING!! Coca-Cola has purchased advertising rights for the "Replay Zone".
09-13-2000, 12:44 PM
F/U question, as I've been considering getting one.
Do I have to purchase the "service" and connect via phone lines, or can I program it to record just like a vcr?
On general principles, I'm hesitant to pay someone $10 a month for the privilege of them collecting information on my viewing habits and using it who-knows-how, or selling it to who-knows-who.
I want plausible deniability on the "Springer" issue.
09-13-2000, 12:55 PM
With TiVo, you have the choice of paying the $10/month or buying a lifetime subscription for $200 (note that lifetime means the lifetime of the machine, not your lifetime)
If you didn't feel like paying at all, you could use it a bit like a VCR, but I think it would be somewhat cumbersome in that manner. I don't think you would get TV listings, but you may be able to program it to record XYZ channel at some specific time.
As far as them keeping records of what you watch... I'm just going on faith that they aren't doing that.
09-13-2000, 01:41 PM
I'm afraid they very well may be. There was an article in the NY Times Magazine a few weeks back about these machines. I believe the article said that the companies do track your viewing, "to learn your likes and dislikes and better serve you" (suggest stuff you'll like etc.), or some such thing. I still have the magazine at home, I'll check it tonight and post what I find. I seem to recall the author discussing the trade-off aspect of this sort of information-gathering: people being willing to give up some privacy in return for convenience/service. But I could be wrong, or it could have been in a different context.
09-13-2000, 01:42 PM
Look Here (http://slashdot.org/search.pl?query=tivo) to find a lot of info on the Tivo units, as well as information on how to expand your record time by adding extra hard drives (this voids your warranty, but so what?).
FWIW, everything I've read about the thing has been really good, with the possible exception of monitoring your viewing habits to better target viewers with advertising (See When Big Brother knows you watch "Big Brother" (http://www.salon.com/tech/view/2000/09/11/tivo/index.html) at Salon.com (http://www.salon.com)).
I plan to get one soon.
09-13-2000, 02:13 PM
I believe the article said that the companies do track your viewing, "to learn your likes and dislikes and better serve you" (suggest stuff you'll like etc.), or some such thing.
Of course that's what the machine does, and they promote it as a feature (one that I like, I might add) What it does is try to learn about what shows you record and then pick other shows to record that you might be interested in. You can give shows 1,2 or 3 thumbs up/down to indicate like/dislike of the show.
The question is, does that information ever get transmitted back to TiVo, inc. or does it just stay on that machine's hard drive? My understanding was that it just stays on the hard drive.
09-13-2000, 03:01 PM
I too have been interested in Tivo. What I'd like to know is if i fill up the 30 hours with stuff, can I somehow dump some of it onto a VHS tape, then delete that stuff to make room for more ?
Currently I have the weird habit of taping lots of stuff, and never getting around to watching it. Partly this is becuase I dont label the tapes. Which brings up question 2 - if I record The Three Stooges, for example, I assume it stores that program name, and I can select it froma menu , maybe watch it, or delete it, right ?
IIRC, the non-Tivo untis are more expensive up front but there's no phone line connection or monthly service charge.
09-13-2000, 05:18 PM
This topic will get the best responses in IMHO. I'll move the thread there for you.
09-16-2000, 01:45 AM
I was also thinking about gettig a Tivo unit, but I was wondering if there was a way to copy the shows not to VCR tape (which is supported), but to my hard drive, and then onto cd. That would be cool. :cool:
This topic will get the best responses in IMHO.
The irony. I was actually curious to see if anyone has experience with the service/ease of use of both versus the cost. And do all units use Macrovision protection?
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.