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Tivo is recording something

February 21st, 2008 · 19 Comments


Tivo is recording something

Update: TIVO finally in Canada!:

Read the TIVO Canada Promo Piece

Future Shop in Canada is now selling 2 TIVO products; a Series 2 80 Hour TIVO (200$) and the TiVo Wireless G Network Adapter (60$).

I highly recommend both products.

Some of you know that we got TIVO. It’s made TV into something that I actually look forward to turning on. I finally understand why the legion of TIVO devotees are so fanatical — it really is an amazing device. The UI is on par with the best consumer electronics out there and it’s super simple to use/setup and change.

Right now we have it set to record a couple of our favorite shows plus a ton of movies from The Movie Network in Canada. Going through the listings every week, looking at the films playing in the next two weeks, is like going to the free video store. Getting that old movie you’ve always wanted to see is as simple as clicking enter two times and forgetting about it.

One of the best secrets about TIVO is that if you must watch live TV; just turn it on… hit the “pause” button.. go get yourself a snack or make some dinner and then come back. You can now fast forward every commercial as long as you snacked/cooked for 15 minutes.

I really really don’t miss commercials.

If you’re curious about how we got real and full TIVO service in Canada — let me know and I’ll write up the steps for you.

Tags: hacks + do it yourself · tech + the internet · tivo + movies + music

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Allen // Oct 10, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    While I have a videotron PVR and not a TiVo, I can still relate. The pausing of live TV is mind-boggling. not to mention the rewinding of live TV. Man, that is really going to be a hit at my Lost parties this year.

  • 2 Ed Fladung // Oct 10, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    your life will never be the same. you will never be able to watch live tv again. commercials are a thing of the past. the only commercials you’ll ever watch again are during the superbowl or YouTube.

    one caveat though: it’s almost too easy to set up season passes for new shows. you may find yourself watching more tv then you normally would, just so you can get through the recorded shows to free up room on the tivo. this is similar to having too many rss feeds. be strict with your season pass feature.

    now the real question is have you done searches yet? that’s a cool feature. try surfing documentaries.

    are you getting tivo by using the internet to call tivo (for guide updates)?

  • 3 Steve // Oct 10, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    So true… we’ve noticed that already !

    We don’t have a ton of channels so I’ve set up a ‘wishlist’ for any surf/snow/skate stuff… but sadly I doubt it get me many pieces !

    For us — the movies are amazing !!

    Funny — we just got our TIVO wireless G adaptor a couple days ago and hooked it up last night. So as of today we’re getting guides thought the net. Played with TIVO To Go a bit last night.. I’ll write up a post about that later :)

  • 4 Ed Fladung // Oct 10, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    i’m specifically keeping away from getting cable, cuz the next purchase would be a tivo and next thing ya know i’d be glued to the tube. the internets is bad enough. marcia won’t even let me look at a wii.

  • 5 j // Feb 21, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    how does it work? I’m on videotron right now and the PVR HD is 500 buck a roo’s. Last year Allen set up my 25 year old vcr so that I could record soccer matches but since we moved i’ve lost all desire to hook it up and want to move into the buck rodgers time zone. whats the scoop? who do you have to subsribe to etc..
    save me steve. save me

  • 6 Steve // Feb 22, 2008 at 12:13 am

    yo J ..

    pretty easy actually..

    1. get a TIVO box (futureshop or ebay)
    2. sign up for the TIVO monthly (pay by the year service) – like super fancy TV guide – we bought 3 years.
    3. hook the TIVO up between your Cable box and your TV
    4. set it up onscreen
    5. TIVO box needs to be plugged into a phone line or buy the wireless adaptor and use WIGI in your house if you got.

    The only drawback for us is the channel changing; as our videotron digital cable box is OLD and doesn’t have a “IR port” that allows bypassing the normal cable remote (so the TIVO ca change channels) – still works but it’s a bit slower.

    Overall I would never go back to LIVE tv again.

    Sure if you google you can find some good TIVO starter FAQ’s too.

  • 7 j // Feb 23, 2008 at 6:20 am

    i’m going to look into it. thanks. do you know the cost of the tivo service? i’ll google it.

  • 8 j // Feb 23, 2008 at 6:24 am

    just looked it up. for the cost wouldn’t i be better off buying a PVR from videotron?

  • 9 Steve // Feb 23, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Yea… you might be better with a videotron PVR. Allen has one that he can give you advice about.

  • 10 Charles Blaquière // Feb 27, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    To J:

    TiVo doesn’t yet offer an HD model compatible with Canadian cable/satellite providers. Given a choice between HD and PVR, we regretfully “paused” our TiVo and switched to the clunky Rogers PVR (same as Videotron’s.)

    But that’s only until Canadian-compatible HD TiVos become available, at which point it’s goodbye 8300HD PVR and welcome back to the happy land of TiVo, where everything works like a dream.

    Please indulge me while I repost a short list of some of the ways why Videotron/Rogers’ PVR is grossly inferior to TiVo, to let you know what you’d be buying into:
    _____

    More reasons to hate the Explorer 8300HD:

    – You can tell TiVo to skip reruns. The 8300 will moronically record all shows.

    – PVRs record two shows at once. You’ll occasionally have a one-time need to record a 3rd program.

    TiVo is smart enough to search for repeats and juggle recordings; you won’t have to lift a finger, and it’ll record one of the 3 shows at a different time.

    On the 8300HD: you must manually cancel preset recording A or B, *just* for this week…

    …Oh, WAIT… you can’t. The stupid 8300 will cancel ENTIRE SERIES, forcing you to leave Post-It notes reminding you to reprogram your box by next week. Such daily TV-recording scenarios are seamless on TiVo, a pain on the 8300.

    – Missed shows? Lost recordings? You can ask TiVo why something happened/will happen, but the 8300 stubbornly hides its seemingly-random behavior under a shroud of secrecy.

    – On the 8300, searching for shows by name is torture:

    1) Find the right day. Right away, this requirement defeats the reason for “Search by title” — with PVRs, you’re not supposed to know anything beyond a show title. No date, no time, no channel. Can’t find your show? Try a different day, and start scrolling again.

    TiVo accesses 12 days of future programming all at once.

    2) Enter a *single* letter (that’s the limit on the 8300). Pick “N”, then scroll endlessly through 267 lines listing a day’s airings of “News” (I counted) on the way to “Nightline”.

    TiVo smartly lists each show once; multiple airtimes are only displayed when you want, by pressing Select. TiVo has no one-letter limit: enter the first letters of a title, and the auto-updating list will typically include your desired show after 2-3 letters. Fast and easy.

    – No automated Season Pass recordings based on theme, person, even keywords! With the 8300, you can only record what you *specifically* know about. Prepare to spend long stretches scouring the TV guide for shows matching your interests.

    TiVo lets you set Wishlists (automated recordings) based on any combination of genre, actor, director, writer, keyword, etc. Set it once, and TiVo will record any show matching your wishes. Once TiVo knows about your interests, you’re continually surprised with recordings you never knew about, but exactly match your tastes.

    Even better, you can let TiVo record Suggestions, recordings initiated by TiVo itself. TiVo learns what you like, *anonymously* compares them with millions of other TiVo subscribers, and auto-records shows you didn’t specifically ask for, but will probably like. (TiVo thinks, “J records Battlestar Galactica and Heroes. Most people who record these two shows also like the new sci-fi comedy, Chuck. I’ll present it to him.”) TiVo is a personalized assistant for your TV viewing. It continuously combs through 40,000 upcoming shows, so you don’t have to.

    And Suggestions are always the first ones deleted if TiVo runs out of room — essentially, “free” recordings. They never get in your way, or bump your own shows off the box.

    – Want to scan a few days of a channel’s schedule? Prepare for thumb cramps after your 24th press of that tough-to-push remote key which doubles as an exercise device — the 8300 advances 1/2 hour every keypress. TiVo’s smooth remote advances 8 shows every keypress.

    – Want to take your shows on the road/plane/metro? TiVo can automatically copy selected shows to your PC and even convert them for your portable device (iPod, PSP, some phones).
    _____

    Choosing TiVo over a Videotron/Rogers PVR lets you move from a barely-usable, brittle 8300 box with crappy usability and much schedule babysitting, to a TiVo that seamlessly auto-searches schedules, juggles recordings, can suggest other interesting shows, and takes care of almost any TV-recording scenario without any user input.

  • 11 Steve // Feb 27, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Wow Charles ! Thanks — that’s a great comment.

    I had never gotten a good run down of the differences between VIDEOTRON and TIVO PVR solutions.

    We’re 100% sold on our TIVO and can’t imagine set-top TV any other way. We’ll eventually get an HD version when we have a better TV also (through eBay again if need be)

    cheers.

  • 12 j // Feb 27, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    man. that’s some list. one thing that still puzzles me is to do with the internet connection that is needed. right now I have a videotron high speed connection but i get maxed out at 20gig downloads a month. anything over that and they charge me. with Tivo could I get screwed by exceeding my usage?

  • 13 Steve // Mar 3, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Our TIVO doesn’t download that much – it connects every now and then and gets the most recent TV schedule which I’m sure isn’t that heavy a download.

    We have it setup with a couple video PODCASTS (called RIVO CASTS) but I doubt they are more than 100meg each.

    I don’t have any exact figures for you though.

  • 14 Robt // Mar 28, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Amen, Charles. I think you’ve covered every one of my complaints about the SA8300 piece of junk. One more thing to add to the list: After 14 months, my SA8300HD’s hard drive stopped working. Just started making awful noises and I could no longer access anything on it. Fortunately, anything I care about I already record to my Tivo as a backup due to the reliability factor you mention. I have two Tivos (S1 and S2) still working on my non-HD TVs. The S1 is more than 7 years old, going strong. But the SA already had to be replaced on me. Only upside is that Rogers replaced it for free since I rent from them (which I decided to do in case this very thing happened). It is outrageous that in 2008 we are stuck using an interface that would look old on a Commodore 64. The searching by title function is an absolute joke on the SA.

  • 15 Mike // Aug 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    There’s an HD Tivo for sale over at woot! today, and was wondering how or even if I can connect this up to Videotron. Apparently Videotron would have to supply me with a Cable Card for me to record in HD. Does that mean I could remove my HD box altogether? And what about SD? I’m confused about Tivo.

    And so is Videotron: when I called them up to see what my Tivo options were, they didn’t even now what Tivo was.

  • 16 Steve // Aug 26, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Hi Mike —

    As far as I know it’s currently impossible to hook up a HD TIVO to Videotron.

    Cable cards in Canada are looking bad – I think it’s going to come down to some sort of regulation that “mandates” inter-operability before we see something like that. :\

    Let me know if you seen anything newer but for now we’re stuck with the 80 hours standard def TIVO.

  • 17 Nancy // Sep 10, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    I love my TIVO for all the great resons mentioned here. The only problem is I can’t receive any channels above 100 from Rogers. It seems I need a cable card to do that. I’m frustrated because the new season of Dexter is coming up on The Movie Network and I can’t get it. Grrr. Does anyone know if a cable card like the mcard from Motorola will work in the TIVO to allow me to receive the missing channels?

  • 18 don brown // Nov 8, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Trying to hook up tivo with star choice but the set up screen only takes zip code which does not give you the proper channel listings, any way around this?

  • 19 steve // Nov 10, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Hi Don,

    Never used star choice so I can’t help – did you try on of the TIVO forums ?

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/

    cheers,
    Steve