Turning Off My TiVo

posted on 2005-07-07 at 22:51:27 by Joel Ross

About a year ago, I bought a series 1 TiVo. It was (obviously) used, and I never planned on keeping it as long as I have. It was a temporary stop-gap until Charter came out with their DVR service, which has been promised to be available in a month for about a year now.

The TiVo is a 120 hour box from Phillips, and has been a pain for a while now. It only makes calls when it feels like it, and my wife has to baby sit it most of the time or we run out of guide data - we haven't yet, but we have come within a day of running out. We got it as a refurbished model, and it was cheaper than a new (40 hour) TiVo, so it was a good deal. But I'm not sad to see it go.

Over the weekend, we found out the Charter box was available. On Wednesday, it was installed. Charter's box allows us to do two things the TiVo box didn't: First, we can record one thing and watch something else. It's a dual tuner box. Second, we can now record the premium movie channels. Since the movie channels are digital, you need a digital receiver to decode them. The RF "solution" TiVo offers to change the channel on the cable box is a joke - it only changed the channel about half the time, which just wasn't acceptable. Our solution was to just record basic cable channels with the TiVo, and give up recording movies. Now that Charter offers service, we can record movies again.

I've been using the box for a little over a day now, and while there are some quirks with it, for the most part, I'm very happy with it. It's a Motorola box with Moxi, and I think the interface is better than TiVo's interface. The feature set is also much better - it's completely integrated with all of the on demand features that Charter offers, which TiVo isn't.

Here's some questions for TiVo. Why do you assume no one would want to record more than one thing? You only make dual tuners for DirecTV. Why is that?

Now, what should I do with an old TiVo box? Are there any good uses for an older series one TiVo? Can I get at it easily and build a box out of it? I know it's a Linux box, but can I get at it and run it as a server?

UPDATE: Oddly enough, there's an article from last Friday on c|net about TiVo's refocusing on cable and satellite providers.

Categories: Personal