TiVo is one of the original Digital Video Recorders. As the focal point of the digital living room, TiVo puts convenience and control into the hands of consumers via a Set Top Digital Video Recorder (DVR). It is hailed for its ability to enable viewers to pause live TV and watch programs on their own schedule.
In addition to being a Set Top DVR, TiVo is also a subscription service. For $16.95 a month, you recieve access to Wishlist searches, Season Pass recordings, Online Scheduling and Home Media Features.
Wishlist searches allow you to type in a phrase, such as "Kitchen Remodel" and TiVo acts like a search engine to find shows matching your phrase. In addition, TiVo can record any show it finds by a certain actor or director.
Season Pass recordings get you every episode of all your favorite shows (minus the repeats). Just tell the TiVo service you like the West Wing and every episode is there for you to see, whenever you want to see it.
On-Line Scheduling allows you to access your TiVo service from any internet connection and tell it what you want to record.
Home Media Features
Home Media Features include: connecting your TiVo to a home computer network to share photos or digital music. With two or more TiVo boxes you can enjoy Multi-Room Viewing. Record a show in the living room and play it back in the bedroom - or vice versa.
The TiVo Series 2 DVRs work with any TV setup - from a simple antenna, to cable, to digital cable or satellite. TiVo DVRs allow for recording times of 80 hours (single tuner), or 80 hours (dual tuner) and 180 hours (dual tuner).
Check the TiVo Web site for the latest pricing options:
How TiVo Works
The TiVo Subscription service downloads nightly via a phone jack. This is an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) that contains the next 14 days of programming. The interface presents legible text, high visibility colors, and easy-to-understand menu options.
Once you record a program, it can be played back at any time. You can fast-forward commercials and pause the playback. Pause or rewind a TV show while you are watching it live, then resume where you left off and fast-forward until you return to the live broadcast.
Other TiVo Boxes
Third party vendors, Toshiba, Humax and others, plus Satellite provider DirecTV, include TiVo service with their DVRs. All of these Set Top DVRs offer built-in hard drives to record to, and some also offer DVD recording.
The cost for these machines are typically a lot more because they offer additional features on top of the TiVo service. The Satellite DVR with TiVo lets you use the box as a satellite receiver in addition to all of TiVo's features. The ability to burn the TV shows you record onto DVD is a nice bonus for many DVRs with TiVo service and DVD recording built-in.
TiVo is an excellent choice for a Set Top Digital Video Recorder, with many advanced features and ease of use.