"GREAT OTA HD reception and Internet access BUT..."3.5 starson by stevehc1
Pros: Ability to download movies, TV shows & independently produced programs; ability to access one's Rhapsody and/or Live365 Internet Radio accounts; and ability to access your home computer's photo and music libraries.EXCELLENT antenna/OTA HD support.
Cons: REQUIRES paid subscription. NO support for programmed recording of programs on cable company-provided "clear QAM" HD channels (
Summary: TiVo's video and audio quality of recordings is excellent, and it has a full compliment of HDMI, component, and analog outputs as well as digital (optical) audio output. There is no support for *Internet* downloading of *HD* movies or tv shows yet, but TiVo constantly upgrades its capabilities via automatic OS software updates that download to the TiVo units via its connection to your Internet service provider or to the TiVo service directly via a telephone line connection (but the latter is too slow to be considered practical for most people). Access to Live365's Internet radio service is excellent. TiVo has excellent remote programming capability via Internet and cell phone access, but it is NOT the only dvr brand to have remote programming capability.P.S. Sorry - the cost of the Moxi HD dvr unit I referred to is about $800, not $700.
TiVo does have one serious shortcoming - if you are one of the many cable company customers who do NOT have a digital set-top box or CableCard decoder and thus have your cable connected directly to your digital "cable-ready" HD tv set: there is no ability to program recording of local HD channels' tv programs transmitted by your cable company on "clear QAM" (non-scrambled digital) channels via TiVo's tv program guide... thus your only options are to either connect an antenna and hope you can get your local HD channels over the air, pay for a more expensive digital cable package or otherwise pay for the cable company's digital set-top box or CableCard (which the TiVo unit has two slots for), or manually program recording based on channel and time rather than program title - TiVo's famed "Season Pass" auto recording feature will NOT work for such situations. To make matters worse in this regard, TiVo's ability to RECEIVE such channels - although present - can be somewhat complicated for even *seasoned* "gadget gurus" and it is somewhat buggy in its implementation as well.
The long and short of it - if you need or want the ability to record over-the-air HD programs, TiVo HD is THE HD dvr to buy, and this is also true if you subscribe to one of your cable company's digital packages that includes use of a set-top box or CableCard(s). And if you really want a dvr unit that can access your home network and can download movies, tv shows and independently produced programs that are available through the Internet, TiVo is the way to go... the price of the hardware is very reasonable but you MUST purchase a monthly, annual, or 3-year subscription as well.
If you subscribe to your cable company's "basic" package and don't use a digital set-top box or CableCard but connect your cable line directly to your HD set and thus get your local stations' HD broadcasts on "clear QAM" channels, and want to record programs on those channels automatically, you might actually do better to purchase the Moxi brand of HD dvr - which fully supports clear QAM channel programing. BUT - the Moxi dvr does NOT support antenna/OTA connection/reception (at least not in its "out-of-the box" configuration), and although it does not require a paid monthly or annual subscription for full functionality it IS much more expensive (around $700 !) than the TiVo HD dvr.
Updated on Dec 19, 2008