"Love/hate relationship"2.5 starson by zeroohm
Pros: Dual HDTV tuners, Tivo quality user interface, internet scheduling, dual antenna and cable inputs
Cons: Very difficult cable card installation, missing features found in the Series 2, expensive
Summary: I have been using the Tivo Series 3 for about one week. I paid about $650 on eBay which is still very expensive but not quite the $800 retail price. So far, I think maybe it was not worth the money. But I am not ready to return it or give it up.
The CNET review is accurate. I actually did not read any reviews before purchasing and just assumed the Series 3 would contain all the features found in the Series 2. So I am VERY dissapointed about that. I hope Tivo will send out an operating system update that brings it up to par with the Series 2.
When Cox Communications came out to install the two cable cards, the service guy told me that it was going to be hard. I did not believe him. Silly me. He spent about 4 hours trying to get one card to work. He had to leave and come back and finally he got them working. Only now there are about 5 stations that have SEVERE tiling and they are not viewable on the Tivo. I would be calling Tivo and demanding a refund (even though I did not buy it from them) except that all the stations happen to be local stations that I am receiving via over the air HDTV anyway.
That brings me to one of the features I like the best about this Tivo. In my area, Cox has not been able to negotiate a deal with the local ABC and FOX stations to carry the HDTV signals. So I have to use an antenna to receive them. The Tivo allows you to simultaniously connect an antenna and cable. Not only that, but the antenna channels are mixed in with the cable channels so as you surf up, you cannot tell if the channel is OTA (over the air) or cable. Very cool. And very user friendly.
I am still waiting for Cox to do some more work to fix the stations that are tiling. Hopefully they will find something that will fix the problem. But I am not holding out much hope. One note about the tiling: at least one Cox HD station has a slight bit of tiling. The station is still watchable but it can be irritating.
Should you purchase this DVR? I cannot recommend it. I am not ready to give mine up but maybe I would have saved the money if I had known how many problems there are.
One more note about the cable card problem: I called Tivo and they told me that there is a known compatibility issue with the cards Cox uses. Unbelievable! How can they release a product and not ensure that it works with one of the largest cable companies in the country????Updated
A week or two ago my Tivo received the automatic operating system update from Tivo. Since then all my previously reported problems have gone away. Therefore I am changing my rating from a 5 to a 8.
I still think this Tivo is expensive but I would purchase it again as it is a much better DVR than the HD one offered by my cable company. Now I can recommend it without hesitation. (It is disappointing that it took so long after the product was released before Tivo fixed the problems.)