Posted inRant n' Rave / Toys

ViVa La TiVolution!

I love TiVo.

There’s no doubt about it. I’ve been a huge TiVo proponent for many years now. I’ve even managed to convert a couple of buddies to the cult of TiVo.

So I was understandably excited when rumors started to circulate about the next generation of TiVo. Finally after months of speculation, the TiVo Series3 was officially announced just this past week. The Series3 box offers some significant enhancements…

  • Control live Hi-Definition TV and record 2 digital cable shows at once
  • World’s only digital media recorder with THX-certification
  • 300 hours of standard recording time or up to 32 hours in HD
  • New backlit, programmable TiVo remote, easy to configure to your TV

And of course, the Series3 continues to offer the functionality that has earned TiVo such a loyal following…

  • An interface that is both powerful and easy to use
  • Season Pass recording allows you to subscribe to your favorite shows
  • WishList searches automatically record programs based on a number of criteria, including a favorite actor or director
  • Schedule recordings anywhere from
  • Advanced TiVo broadband features include digital photos, Internet radio, podcasts, and more

Unfortunately, the new TiVo machine has a couple of major factors working against it. And both involve money. Cash. Finances. Mulah. Green stuff. Legal tender.

First of all, the new TiVo Series3 machine costs $800. :-O Ouch! Despite the sticker shock, I will almost certainly go ahead fork out the dough for a new Series3 before the end of the year. I’ll tell you why in just a moment…

First we need to discuss the second issue. In addition to the purchase price, TiVo also charges a fee for their service ranging from about $13 a month to $299 for a 3-year commitment. When I bought my Series2 machine, TiVo had a lifetime service option available. For one lump sum I was able to avoid the normal monthly service fees. Unfortunately, “lifetime” refers to the lifetime of my existing TiVo box so it won’t automatically transfer over to a new Series3 purchase. On top of that, TiVo recently stopped even offering the option for lifetime service on new purchases.

So I was a little surprised (and pleased) to read the following offer in this month’s TiVo e-mail newsletter…

For a limited time, transfer your Product Lifetime service from a Series1 or Series2 box to the new Series3 HD for only $199. As an added bonus, we’ll keep TiVo service activated on your old box for another 12 months for no additional charge.

Those bastards. They know the one and only pressure point that would make me even consider spending $800 on a Series3 any time soon. I don’t have Hi-Def (yet) so that’s not a big selling point for me right now. But I can’t stand the thought of paying month after month (or year after year) for the on-going TiVo service. If I bite the bullet and spend the 200 bucks now, I’ll save money in the future. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. ;-))

This offer is good only through the end of the year, so I’m going to wait as long as possible in an attempt to maximize the usage of my existing Series2 box. But at this point, I have to admit that it’s just a matter of time…

I’ve given quite a bit of thought about the past, present, and potential future of TiVo (as you can probably tell ;-)). This is already a fairly long entry, so check out the extended body of this entry if you’re at all interested in my further ramblings…
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