Back in April, Comcast forced customers to go digital so that people like me with HD Tuners couldn't get free high-def local channels. Rather than opting for the crappy, free, low-definition digital decryptor, I upgraded my Comcast service so that I could get HD, including the ESPN family of channels and Big Ten network in HD (which is fantastic).
Unfortunately, this put my old Tivo in a pretty useless state (unless I wanted to try to rig the Tivo to send IR commands to my cable box). Since, that's pretty lame, I went ahead and tried a Comcast DVR (which turned out to be lamer).
I got the top of the line Motorola, Dual-Tuner HD DVR, which appears to be technology from circa 2002.
Let's review how this thing sucks:
- No ability to undelete programs
- The entire interface is just WAY too laggy.
- Quite often sound goes out.
- About once a month I need to reboot it.
- Recently, deleting a program also meant that I needed to go back to the main DVR menu (this should happen automatically).
- Shows never started at +0 seconds (they always started at +2 seconds)
- No netflix, No you tube, No Hulu (of course, why would we want that). Suprisingly enough, no Fan-Crap-Cast either.
- Online Guide is clumsy to use.
- Searching for programs was ridiculously slow
- Scheduling of programs was quirky at time, forcing me to manually review recording each night to make sure it was going to do what I wanted it to
Unfortunately, real life got in the way and recording live TV no longer became a priority. Fast forward seven months, and with Jenn's encouragement, I got the new Tivo Premiere.
Major benefits and good points:
- I got the XL version which lets me record a 1000 hours of standard definition TV (150 hours of HD). This is fantastic when you have kids.
- Accepts dual-tuner M-Series Cable Cards that are a SNAP to install (unfortunately, Comcast "forgot" to activate my HD channels, so a I had call them back a few time to fix this).
- Has all of the great season pass management, conflict resolution, Tivo suggestions, remote scheduling that you'd expect from Tivo.
- The new Tivo remote has a light sensor on the back so that it knows when to go into "backlit" mode. Very nice.
- Support for Netflix, BlockBuster, and Amazon on demand instantly make me forget about Comcast OnDemand
- Support for YouTube and PodCasts is fantastic. Collin loves watching YouTube videos.
- Set up is a piece of cake, and provides a set of glasses for color-tuning your TV
- Comes with all of the cables you would want
- Optional wireless antenna accessory piece of cake to install
- User interface is much prettier but is a little bit more laggy (it's like they are trying to do more with not quite enough CPU power). This is only the main menu interface, the TV watching interface is still excellent.
- First time set up took about 2 hours just because lots of content and patches needed to be installed.
- You Tube support is a little buggy (it doesn't pick up all of my favorites and playlists) properly.
- Netflix app does not let me browse the store - I can only play out of the instant queue
- Netflix app seems to not perform as well as my Wii. (not sure why)
- I wish that there was support for more web video (I heard Hulu is coming soon).
Overall, I am very happy with the new Tivo. I wish it was just a little bit slicker, but overall this is a solid product and I am sure that it will be well worth the money. I wish I got it before college football started back in last August!