Another TiVo question

I’m finally convinced I need a TiVo. I stopped by Best Buy and got confused: The 80-hour TiVo is $299 with $100 mail-in rebate. The Toshiba SD-H400 DVD player with built-in 80-hour TiVo is $199. What am I missing here? Is there any reason I (or anyone) might want to choose the plain TiVo?

I don’t know. I’m shopping for TiVo’s too and this model almost always goes for around $200.

I’m 99% sure the Toshiba SD-H400 qualifies for the $100 rebate, so maybe you should get that one instead. I don’t know if it applies to the DVD/TiVo combo though. But $100 for an 80 hour TiVo and DVD player is a great deal.

"To be eligible for the TiVo® $100 Rebate you must:…Purchase a TiVo® Series2TM DVR between 8/11/04 and 9/30/04 (Eligible TiVo model numbers include:…Toshiba model numbers SD-H400 "

Also, There is this program where someone who recommends a Tivo gets a 5k points. when you get 20k points you can get a 20GB apple Ipod

I am hoping to find 3 other people who will go in on this so we can get an Ipod and sell it on ebay and split the proceeds 5 ways (about $40 a person).


MOD ALERT: The things I am discussing are cool with TiVo, their policies regarding aftermarket modifications are quite liberal, as long as you don’t attempt to steal the TiVo Plus service or extract video from the system. See for cite…

The advantage to a standalone TiVo is upgradeability; The unit can be modified to accept a larger hard disk than the unit that comes with it. Given the fact that the 40/80/120 hour label is a bit of a misnomer, upgrading is a worthwhile endeavor if you’re handy with a screwdriver and know how to burn a CD. The hour rating on the unit is for “Basic Quality” recording, which I use for things like “Cops” and “Jerry Springer” :stuck_out_tongue: but the best quality uses 4X more storage, therefore a 80-hour unit is only good for 20 or so hours of Best Quality recording.

The Toshiba unit does not respond to drive upgrades, you can install a larger drive, but it will not recognize the additional space. The DVD player is a pretty nice progressive scan unit which is well integrated into the TiVo unit - you can watch DVDs while the unit is recording without any problems. The Toshiba comes with TiVo Basic service, which allows good basic functionality without a monthly fee, and can be upgraded to TiVo Plus at any time.
Here’s a chart showing the differences between Basic and Plus service:

If you have multiple units, any TiVo Plus service for units after the first are half-price ($6.95/mo)

I’ve read reports of the Toshiba having problems with display flickering, which may be related to weak cable signal voltage. I have a distribution amp at the cable drop, and haven’t seen this problem, so I can’t confirm or deny this report.

I bought the Toshiba unit for my wife, and soon thereafter bought a standalone 40-hour refurbed unit for myself. Only $50 after rebate, how can you pass that up? I upgraded the standalone to 100 hours with a little help from and a 100GB drive I had kicking around. The standalone unit is pretty useless without TiVo Plus service, so figure that into any cost calculations.

TiVo has a consistent policy of adding value to the Plus service, they recently threw in the Home Media Option for free, which allows you to use a networked PC to act as a server for MP3 files or photos to be played/shown on the TiVo, as well as scheduling recordings from any web browser and transferring programs from one unit to another for viewing in another room. Networking the units is very easy, but it’s picky about the choice of USB network adapters. You can even use Wi-Fi, but only 802.11b at present. Soon they’ll be rolling out TiVo To Go, which will allow you to extract TiVo recordings to your computer.

In a nutshell, if you need a DVD player and want a nice unit, and don’t plan on recording everything under the sun, the SD-H400 is a sweet unit with no monthly fees for basic operation, but I highly recommend the Plus service. If you have a knack for the hack and want more storage, the standalone unit is a good deal. If you want a really good deal on a upgradable unit, you can try calling TiVo at 877-BUY-TiVo and asking if they have any more 40-hour refurb units available at the $50-after-$50-rebate price. I got mine a day or two after the promotion ended, they still had some available.

Good luck,


Thanks for the responses. I ended up buying the Toshiba on the way home - $199 at Best Buy. And apparently WC is correct, I did get the $100 rebate form.

Ye-haw. I bought the Toshiba SD-H400 at best buy too. Can’t wait to get back to Bloomington to install it.

Did you guys read the fine print on the rebate form?

In order to get the $100 rebate you have to be signed up for the monthly service.

Yeah I know. That is just until the rebate is processed though, so maybe 2-3 months of it.

I don’t understand - wouldn’t you have to sign up for the subscription anyway? I thought you needed that to make it work properly.



Usually that would be the case, but not for the Toshiba SD-H400, which has TiVo Basic service built in. You can upgrade to Plus service, but it’s not necessary to operate the unit.


No, the TiVo models that have a built in DVD player come with TiVo basic. The ones that don’t have DVD players are just $200 paperweights w/o a TiVo subscription.