Registered: Jun 2004
crow, thanks for asking this question. I am in just about the same boat as you. Same television setup and cable internet, but my cable provider is Time-Warner. My question is this: since I have both a phone line and a cable router in my "multi-media" room, is there an advantage to using the phone line or to using the internet as a "hookup" to the TiVo unit?
To the person who said this:
Given this, I don't know if it's such a good idea to be investing a lot of money into a standalone Tivo & lifetime sub now. Don't you want to be able to record in high-definition? HD-DVRs are available in some areas already (check with Comcast); alternately you could consider switching to DirecTV and the HD-Tivo. In other Comcast areas a DVR should roll out by the end of the year or so. I love Tivo, have had one for 5 years, but after getting HDTV last year the picture quality is just a drag. I'm still using it but am itching for an HD model. I wouldn't buy a new SD standalone now.
1. The plain ol' HD recorders that I looked at could only record HD broadcast signals. (Maybe things have changed, but that's what I saw last year.) My cable HD box has no output allowing any HD recording with a stand-alone HD recorder. (I suspect this is deliberate -- you know how the megalo-media conglomerates HATE the recording consumers.) Since I only have an HD Ready TV, I'd have to invest in a tuner. And, if I DID get an HD Tuner, I'd still only be able to record about 3 channels -- and this assumes I want to futz with an external antenna.
2. The HD signal is boffo! It's the CAT'S MEOW and SLICED BREAD all rolled into one. I also agree that it IS hard to watch regular analog and digital cable channels on the HD TV. Until I had HD, I never had a CLUE how poor regular TV pictures are. Digital signals are recognizably better than the analog ones, but the HD clarity can't be beat. However, even with my HD cable box, I still only get about 6 HD channels. My cable provider offers something called HDNet, which would give me three more HD channels, but HDNet's programming is unbelievably bad (Charlie's Angels, anyone??) It looks to me like it'll be quite a while before my cable company's HD lineup will show any improvement, so that's another reason why I wouldn't want to wait until some sort of HD Recorder is available. If the picture is truly bad on my HD TV, I just switch back to the old 27". (I should add that the only time I resort to this is when I'm watching an old recorded show on VHS --- which is one of the reasons I'm leaning towards getting a TiVo. That, and all the raves people give it.)
3. I'm one of those rare people in this country that actually likes my cable, and I have no intention of messing up how my house looks with any sort of a dish, or messing around with any wiring inside the house. Although I'm delighted that DirectTV exists -- promotes competition, provides an alternative to the consumer -- it's just not for me.
4. My cable company has usually been pretty cutting edge with it's offerings, but they don't yet offer an HD recorder, and seem to have no plans to do so. Even if they had plans, I'm not sure I'd want to wait. (I'm not a patient sort of gal -- I want total, immediate, and instant gratification!) AND the Digital Recording service that they do offer doesn't have all the features that TiVo does, so if they ever got around to offering a HD digital recording service, I don't know that would be something I'd want.
I bet some people are by now wondering why even get an HDTV? If you can't really get a good selection of HD channels, what's the point? Furthermore, if you ask me, apart from sports broadcasts, most television shows that DO broadcast in HD, don't really take advantage of it's best feature. Art direction, sets, costumes, CGI and special F/X generally still suck, and everything looks pretty drab. There are two things, however, that I really LOVE about my HD TV: Aspect Ratio, and watching DVDs. Despite my disappointment about the actual lack of HD signals, I wouldn't give up my HDTV for anything.
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