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on May 16, 2011
So whats YOUR Tivo doing right now? Mine is recording 2 HD cable shows at once (cable-card), downloading a video from AMAZON, streaming a movie from NETFLIX, and transferring a recorded movie from my living-room Tivo to my bed-room Tivo. And all Wirelessly! No single other company, no cable provider/satellite provider, supplies a better guide system than does TIVO... PERIOD! The new PREMIER version Tivo records HD over the air with the OTA antenna, or using the cable company cable hookup, or using the cable provider cablecard, and any combination of the listed. I use the cablecard with my Tivo so i get my subscribed pay channels (HBO, SHO, etc). It's hard to explain how smoothly Tivo works, functions, and all the features unless you just get one and discover for yourself. My cable company charged me $17 for their DVR. I had two, so $17 X 2 = $34. THEN they charged another $17 for "multi-room" service (view a recording from one DVR on another home DVR). So thats $34 for two cable company DVR's + $17 for multi-roon service = $51. Then add tax, and FCC fee's. And the problem with the cable company systems? THEY NEVER WORKED LIKE THEY SHOULD !!!!! Their "multi-room" service either failed, or plain didn't work 50% of the time. TWO TIVO's do everything that the cable companies DVR's did, plus soooooo much more, and Tivo NEVER fails at doing it! All you need is the cablecard from your local cable company ( a lot cheaper than their DVR). You WILL have to fight with the cable company to get their cablecards and get them working in your Tivo, but never give up. It usually takes 4 cable company service calls to get a good cablecard. But once you succeed, you will be VERY happy. You can record and transfer recordings from one Tivo to another. One room to another. You can get the Tivo wireless adaptors to make everything Tivo go wireless. You can stream netflix, you can rent or buy Amazon video on demand (no amazon streaming as of yet. only rent or purchase then download). You can rent or buy from blockbuster (I have never used that myself). You can watch media off you home PC. And you can do so much more, I could go on and on, and on... For the monthly Tivo fee of $19 per Tivo unit, you get your moneys worth easily. Especially by dumping the cable company DVR and going reliable Tivo route. One Tivo is nice, but plan on getting at least two. You will be glad you did!
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on February 26, 2012
This is a very nice piece of equipment with very nice features. It has a nice appearance, a nice size, and it works well. I like this DVR unit better than the AT&T U-verse DVR unit, that I am currently also using. I am still using an over-the-air (or OTA) indoor TV antenna besides the AT&T U-verse TV, and I will soon drop the expensive U-verse TV. The TIVO is faster, better, and easier to use--my indoor TV antenna (free TV) is hooked up into the back of it. I am using the TIVO now, and it beats the pants off of my DVD recorder (there is a difference between a DVR and a DVD recorder, as they are not the same thing). My criticisms are that the service subscription fee should be reduced from $20 per month to $10 to $13 per month. Another pricing method would be to raise the price of the unit to include free lifetime subscription service (like Channel Master does). Also, I wish the backside of my TIVO had an "antenna & cable out" jacks and a "s-video out" jack. In that way, I wouldn't have to split and weaken the signal from the OTA TV antenna to the back of the TIVO, with one antenna lead into the back of the TIVO, and the other into the back of the DVD recorder. Antenna > TIVO > DVD recorder > TV -- signal passes from one through the other even if the units are turned off. The reason for the additional "out" jacks is to hook the TIVO DVR up to the DVD recorder--in this way, I can re-record a TV program from the TIVO DVR onto a blank DVD disc that I want to permanently keep for future viewing (or to collect dust). Unfortunately, the DVD recorder doesn't have "HDMI IN" or "COMPONENT VIDEO IN", and TIVO doesn't have two "HDMI OUT", anyway. I do have TIVO hooked up to the recorder with Composite RCA cables, but that is low quality. This review was written for the benefit of TIVO as well as prospective TIVO buyers. I recommend TIVO, even if you just want to watch and record free TV over-the-air, like me, because I don't think that you can buy a DVR in the open market without paying for service subscription fees, and TIVO is the best deal that I have found. There is only one other company that I have found that does what TIVO does, and I saw too many red flags when I looked at their units. I didn't say that there weren't any better deals out there, I just said that I couldn't find them. That I know of, the only other way to get a DVR is to subscribe to TV service through a cable or a satellite company, which is what the vast majority of people do, but it is exactly that high monthly service and box rental expense that I am trying to avoid in the first place. Cable and satellite have a lot more to offer than over-the-air antenna TV, but you sure pay for it, too. Me....I need my money for the gas pump. Everybody has their own values. Finally, you can get a lot more recording capacity with the TIVO Premiere XL upscale unit (with THX decoding), but who has the time to watch that much recorded TV?
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on February 16, 2012
I finally decided to drop my sat/cable service and try OTA for my TV service. I was just watching the local channels anyway (for the most part). I had some misgivings about the Tivo, especially the lack of a search feature in their Netflix app. But the Tivo search brings in videos from both Hulu Plus and Netflix -- in much the same way as GoogleTV does. So that is not an issue. I am disappointed that I am still unable to watch my Amazon Prime videos (the Amazon app on Tivo doesn't support Prime).

With the UHF antenna that I purchased on Amazon (I put it in my attic), I am able to pickup all my local channels, even the VHF ones), and they look great. This thing is saving me over $100 per month. And the picture quality is better by far than my previous sat service.

My only question is, why did I wait so long to cut the cord?

Update: I am still pretty happy with this device, but I am deducting 1 star due to the poor responsiveness to the remote. It uses an IR remote and it can be very frustrating (i.e. lack of any response to repeated button pushes).
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on January 20, 2012
We had Dish Network for a number of years and liked their DVR's a lot. So when we switched to Comcast we were very disappointed with their "top of the line" DVR. The interface was clunky at best and the capacity was very lacking when it came to HD recordings. We therefore decided to get Tivo's and choose the Premiere for our bedroom. Wow! We are impressed. The interface is clean, intuitive, easy to use and makes the Dish interface seem clunky...much less Comcast's. It seamlessly integrated into my network and with the desktop software, I can archive items on my home server (as long as they aren't copyright protected). We can even transfer shows between this box and the TiVo Premier XL in the Living/Family Room. With the recent addition of the Android app, we have full control over everything both TiVo's are capable of even with the TV's turned off.

The only thing that would make it better is if it could detect when you are starting a movie and make popcorn for you. :)

One thing I will mention is that you need a CableCard from your cable company. We had a lot of problems getting the CableCards working. This WAS NOT THE FAULT OF TIVO and was (in our case) a Comcast issue. Be aware that there is a Federal Regulation that requires customers be able to self install these cards (FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(1)). We struggled with Comcast for over a week. No less than 4 trucks were rolled to my house and no one could get the cards working. I then found that regulation, called Comcast and told a supervisor about it. Within 5 minutes he had me connected with a tech that got the cards working over the phone. So if you have problems getting the card working and your cable company is not getting it resolved for you, mention that regulation. With very few exceptions, they are required by law to get them working remotely.
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on May 5, 2011
I'm not sure what the bad reviews are for. I owned a Series 2 Tivo and loved it, but the only problem was that I wanted HD for our HDTV but couldn't shell out the $300 for a Tivo Premier. So, against my better judgement, a year ago we switched to Comcast's HD-DVR...but I just could not take the constant problems with their DVR, so back to Tivo I came when I saw that I could get a Premier for $85. I couldn't be happier. First, let me say that I don't like the new HD menu, so I use the SD menu and I have not encountered one problem. Tivo works just like I remember, only now my shows are in HD. The Netflix feature works without a hitch allowing me to stream HD video. I would like to address the reviews that complain about the $19.99 a month charge...you got the box for $85.00! It normally costs $299.99. So, instead of $12.99 a month, you pay extra to make up for the cost of the box. A cable DVR box costs roughly $10-$15 a month, but the boxes are usually buggy and riddled with problems. Further, Tivo is much more user friendly than cable DVR's. Yes, it takes about an hour to boot up...but seriously, an hour without TV wont kill you, just pick up a book or take a walk. Bottom line, Tivo has great products, and you get what you pay for. If you want to save money and have a basic, buggy, problem ridden DVR, stick with your cable company DVR. But if you want something that has a great UI, is easy to use, and works like it should, and actually stops fast forwarding when you hit "Play", spring for the extra couple of dollars a month. Highly recommended!
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on January 8, 2011
TiVo TCD746320 Premiere DVR (Black) is an excellent product that enhances our video entertainment system very nicely. We've used it for about 6 months and, after learning to work around one foible, this TiVo has performed very satisfactorily.

Our installation uses an outdoor HDTV antenna (we're about 50 miles from our TV broadcasters) with a 1040p LCD TV. Reception is solid. Picture quality is excellent. We are able to record two programs and watch a third, which occurs mpore frequently than expected, since the duration of Prime Time is rather short and the networks like to put their best programming "head to head".

The controls work a lot like our former satellite DVR, with a few differences that have only to be learned. In most cases, the command logic seems straightforward. The remote is nicely designed and convenient.

The one foible (feature?) we had to get used to is that if you don't exit properly from viewing a previously recorded program, the HDMI connection seems to behave strangely ("blinking sound"). At first this was a big annoyance, because we thought it required rebooting the TiVo (takes about 5 minutes!). With some trial and error, we learned we could just turn the TV off and back on (30 seconds) to restore normal HDMI function. Now, using slightly different operating procedures, we encounter the problem very rarely.

We appreciate the TiVo's ability to stream from Netflix, which has been more successful for us than using our laptop. Netflix streaming puts a data-rate strain on our DSL service (nominally 1.5 Mbps), so we either have to give the buffering a few minutes' head start or suffer short halts at random times.

One area of TV watching that remains untamed (IMHO) is locating programming. TiVo has done as much as any device to help with this, but there is still considerable room for improvement. This TiVo displays and navigates current programming quite well. It also allows you to set up recordings for individual programs or an entire series very easily. Categorized browsing is available, but the vast array of uninteresting stuff makes this time consuming. TiVo allows some text searching through titles, but we find that of limited value: 1) the text entry via navigating an on-screen keyboard is clumsy, and 2) the search seems to have limited time horizon. Problem #1 has limited our attempts to understand or work around problem #2. As far as the TiVo is concerned it might be helpful to be able to connect via a laptop with a decent keyboard. Eventually, I expect this overall inconvenience to be addressed using some improved online pc-centered function, such as an enhanced "TVGuide".

Previous reviews have mentioned some problems that have not been troublesome for us. Some of these might have been improved by firmware refinements. The boot time is still very slow. However, we haven't had to boot our TiVo for months. We don't find the menus to be unusually slow and have found no need to use anything but the default settings. Most DVR's have menus slower than I would like, especially when displaying future programming, but this model seems about the same speed as others. Some don't like the pricing of Sony's TiVo programming subscription, but we find it priced competitively (overall, we will be saving money by using over-the-air signals). This model has a 500GB hard drive. If you plan to record a lot of HDTV, it would be worth adding an external hard drive with high capacity, or purchasing Sony's XL model that has a larger built-in disk drive.

Taken together, this TiVo has been a worthy addition to our entertainment system. I'd recommend it to anyone who has similar needs.
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on July 6, 2010
Tivo is one of the most crooked and dysfunctional companies in existence. The device they sell ceases to work unless you continue to pay them a subscription fee in perpetuity, just to receive program schedule information that you can find for free elsewhere on the web.

When I first got the Tivo Premiere, I paid for the mandatory one-year subscription up front. This was supposed to take care of my obligation to pay for the subsidized portion of the cost of the receiver, i.e., the part that wasn't covered by what I paid when I purchased the receiver, and that would be paid for over time via the subscription. With that obligation over and done with, I rightfully should receive a discount on the monthly service fee. As if this is not enough reason to be outraged, during the telephone conversation I had with them to discuss the possible renewal of the service, they told me multiple times that if I renewed the service but did not complete the monthly payments for another full year, that I would be charged an "early termination" fee. This is outrageous, because I have fully completed my obligation to them. I was told this multiple times by more than one person, at least one of whom was a "supervisor". Does the word "crooked" come to mind? It should.

I have been using the Tivo Premiere for a full year now. On a regular, ongoing basis I have informed them of the problem where the Tivo Premiere box occasionally goes into a state where it does not process the events it receives from the remote control. When this problem occurs, you cannot even change the channel. The amber lamp on the front panel flashes, acknowledging receipt of the event from the remote control, but with no evidence of the full handling of that event until about ten minutes later, at which point it processes the most recent event that it received from the remote control during that period. I have reported this to Tivo numerous times, and I have pointed out to them that if their software engineers are at all competent, they will surely understand the prioritization of tasks within the receiver and will surely understand exactly why this occurs, and ought to be able to fix it. Yet, a year has gone by, and they have done nothing. They have evidently focused their efforts on the capability for the Tivo Premiere receiver to display advertising whenever you do just about anything other than change channels.

Tivo's user interface is horrible, for reasons that go far deeper than the design of the menus. As you peruse the guide and move the highlight cursor over different programs, occasionally the little TiVo character that you see in the upper left corner of the screen turns green and gives the thumbs-up. You can't help but notice that this occurs for the programs that you have scheduled for recording, and you naturally infer, at first, that this indicates that the program is scheduled to be recorded. But when programs that you thought were going to be recorded are not recorded, you realize that this is not how it works, i.e., that the green appearance of the dude with the thumbs up is not a positive indication that a program is scheduled to be recorded. It means next to nothing in fact.

In the configuration setting, you can disable the behavior whereby the device autonomously selects programs to record on your behalf. If you disable this behavior, the indicator that was previously useless and misleading is even more useless than it was before, but you still cannot get rid of it. And you still cannot tell, at a glance, which programs are scheduled to be recorded. To confirm that a particular program is scheduled for recording, you have to move the cursor over the program in the guide and then press the "Select" button. Or, you can press the "Tivo" button to enter the menus and then navigate to the "To Do" list.

Then there is the matter of conflict resolution, which is so badly done as to be essentially useless. When you attempt to schedule a recording but there are already two programs scheduled to be recorded at that same time, you are shown an indication that there is a conflict. It is curious to me that sometimes you see both titles that are already scheduled and other times you see only one of them. When you are shown both titles already scheduled, there is no way to know which of the two programs previous scheduled is being cancelled.

There is a problem with the ability to find the subsequent programming times for a program that is playing at the present time. When you bring up the guide, if you want this information for a slot in the guide corresponding to a future time, you can simply press the "Select" button. But the scenario where you are most likely to want to find the future times for a program is the scenario where a program that interests you has already started, and in this case, pressing the "Select" button has the effect of changing the channel (i.e., redirecting the tuner that you are presently monitoring, to receive the other channel). The obvious way to fix this is, when the guide is active on the screen, for the "Info" button to give you access to the menus through which you can find that information, the same as this button does when the guide is not active on the screen. When the guide is active on the screen, the "Info" button stupidly duplicates the behavior of the button in the lower right corner of the remote: it brings up the screen for changing the behavior of the guide.
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on February 2, 2011
I've been with TiVo since the beginning. I had the very first TiVo, a Series 2, a TiVo HD, and now this TiVo Premiere. The Series 2 was the best one... quick and easy... everything just like it was supposed to be. The TiVo HD had a few kinks in the beginning, but after a few updates that sped up the speed of the unit, it was okay.

This TiVo Premiere though... is a NIGHTMARE for regular TiVo lovers like me. It's SLOW... UNRESPONSIVE... and here's the worst part... TiVo has sold their soul... They've OBVIOUSLY built the Premiere around the ability to sell advertising on EVERY SCREEN. This would be okay IF... we weren't paying for the service already... or IF... it didn't obstruct our viewer experience. BUT IT HAS...

In the beginning, TiVo focused on customer ease of use, and that's what won us over... and our loyalty. But now they're selling us out to make every penny they can squeeze out.

Some PROs:
- HD Menus (but not all... why not?)
- Sleeker and looks nicer (the actual box that is)

Lots of CONs:
- Advertising everywhere (they try to make it look like show options, but it's basically advertising)
- Slow and unresponsive... like the TiVo HD when it came out. When you press a button, it takes a split second for it to respond
- Finding shows... used to default to the main channel that a show played on, not to all the re-run channels. I had to reprogram almost every show because it kept choosing to put the season pass on channels that were not in HD or only played re-runs.
- Start up time... takes a LOOOOOOOONG time... like over 10 minutes.
- The new remote... sucks. With the select button in the center of the directional pad... it isn't manufactured right. Half the time I press up it thinks it is select. Remote feels cheaper. I actually dug out my Series 2 remote to use instead. (since the buttons on the TiVo HD remote were wearing)

Long story short... I wish my TiVo HD hadn't died... I think this is my last TiVo product. And I refused to switch to satellite just to keep my TiVo... I kept hoping that TiVo was coming back to DirecTV... I may be done waiting now.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
UPDATE 1/15/2012:

I've had this for almost a year and a half... and if I wasn't paying a grandfathered super-cheap subscription rate, I'd have cancelled long ago because this unit is so sub-par.

This unit gets slower by the day. It's starting to shut down randomly, freeze, and load menus SUPER slow. I wish I could fast forward 5 years and have a TiVo with an SSD hard drive that's super fast... And hopefully by then TiVo will value their paying customers enough to not run ads on the menus. (Yep, you think those "suggestions" up top are they strictly for your benefit?
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on December 6, 2012
I upgraded from a Tivo HD to a Tivo Premire and I'm a little disappointed. The new menus look a little better, but the darn thing is still slow as molasses moving through menus and such. It still takes forever to start up, download the channel info, and organize it all. So it's not a huge upgrade.

On the up side, Tivo still beats the Verizon DVR, even the new spiffy Motorola ones. Tivo is just smarter about recording shows in terms of recording conflicts, and it gives you the option to view content from Amazon and Hulu and other sources.

The new Tivo app for iPhone and iPad is pretty neat too. You can find and schedule programs and it's way faster than doing it on the Tivo. And with the Tivo Stream add-on you can watch live TV and recorded shows on your iOS devices too. You can even take recorded shows with you.

Worthwhile upgrade but not the quantum leap I was hoping for.
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on August 10, 2016
The perfect gift for my parents.
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