Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Glorious New TiVo

All is right with the world

My old TiVo actually worked just fine, as long as you plugged it into an analog cable service. Once I went digital, well, it was still better than the piece-of-crap DVR Verizon offered, but not by much. We didn't really have extra money laying around to buy the new TiVo with, but when TV is your primary source of news and entertainment, being hamstrung really hurts. The final straw was the old box's tendency to switch the FIOS controller box to the wrong channel, which then caused the FIOS box to shut off. We could easily miss a whole night of TV shows from just one such mistake, and it happened at least once a week.

The new box is awesome. A FIOS guy came to help hook it up, bringing with him the all-important CableCard. Luckily I'm pretty savvy, as he'd never hooked up a TiVo like this before. The last FIOS guy hadn't either. But it wasn't really too hard - the only challenge was crawling around behind the heavy wooden entertainment center.

Once it was in and hooked up, SCORE! I now have dual tuners again, which means I can record something different from what I'm watching, or the TiVo can (and often does) record two different things at the same time. That rocks, and it's functionality I really missed when we switched from analog to digital.

The other nice feature that's new with this box is the ability to watch Netflix right through the TiVo. Actually, you can access lots of stuff, from Amazon to Blockbuster, it's just that Netflix is the one we're most interested in. We had the ability to watch Netflix before, but we had to switch over to the Wii to use it, which was slow and cumbersome (though I liked the interface better).

Unlike our first TiVo experience, this new box isn't "holy crap wow look at that" technology, mostly because we had 85% of the capabilities in our old box before we switched to digital. But it's 75% better than what we had from the old box once we did switch, which felt like a gigantic step backward from what we were used to.

Now we're plugged in, turned on and all is right with the world.

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