Product Type: Thomson video recorders
Newest Review: ... get tivo to record every episode of a series for you automatically. You can even watch something that you have recorded while it records... more
The future is here
Member Name: JonRose
Date: 20/04/01, updated on 26/04/01 (443 review reads)
Advantages: powerful, easy to use
Disadvantages: setup takes a while
I bought the tivo system I had looked into it for a few days and although it is quite expensive I thought it would be worth it.
Easier said than done, I am told on the phone that comet and currys sell them, well I do not normally bother with either of these outlets because they rarely have the models that I want and as a rule their service is lacking.
Comet first - "I would like to buy a TIVO system please", "certainly sir, I can that for you in about 4 days....". It turns out that they only sell them over the internet, but they will order them into the store if you want. Hmmm fully comprehensive service - not.
Well on to Currys, who I took the preemtive step of phoning to make sure that they had some in stock and that they were in store and asked them to reserve one for me. Seeing as it was about 15 miles I thought it was a prident step. So arriving at the store I asked for my system and they said that they had none in stock. Idiots, well I spoke to the manager and for a small discount they gave me the demo model, which I was assured was complete. NOT TRUE, but that is a seperate issue.
Installation: The tangle of wires and cables and connectors eventually resolved themseleves into a fully configured system. It is not the most intuitive of setups to do but I would suggest the fee of £50 they say they will chage to do it for you is quite steep.
Setup: Once I managed to reset the box from demo mode things were a lot easier. I the went through the setup process which was fine except for when the box had to contact TIVO, which took ages. I finally got to the last step which apparently can take up to 5 hours. I left it running as I went to bed (The screen said restart pending), the next morning it still said the same. So I cut the power and then I had to start again from scratch but everything worked better and it eventually downloaded the data. 2 days work and one working system
. Not difficult - but it could be clearer and easier to do, plus a bit quicker would be nice - what is the point in haveing a new toy if you cannot play with it straight away!
Use: Once the system was up and running then it is a superb service. Easy to use, clear instructions, simple screens. Unlike the sky on screen TV guide, tivo seems to have about a months worth of schedules in there.
The choices it makes for things that it thinks you want to watch are gettng better. The more programs you rate the more intelligent it gets.
One let down is the promised 40 hours recording ability is only at basic quality and if you want to record things at best quality then you will end up with 12 hours recording time.
It is very easy to see what you have recorded and it is very easy to watch programs you have recorded before. It also will happily record other programs while you are playing something you have already recorded.
Pausing live TV and the instant replay functions are very useful - though it takes some getting used to using them - becuase you have never had anything like it before.
The one other niggle I have is that it is quite slow chaging channels and if you change channels with your sky remote control then your Tivo system will not know what channel you are on.
All in all I am a very happy customer. What would make me happier is about 10 times the recordng space, but that will not happen for a few years I think.
** Additional - I have just founf out that you can massively increase the recording capacity of this device by puttin two new hard disks in it, these will cost about £350 but it will give you about 190 hours at basic level - that is almost 5 times the capacity. Check out the TIVO FAQ for a way of tracking this down and installation instructions.