Tag Archives: tivo

Is TiVo Premiere the Best Holiday Gift?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TiVo. All opinions are 100% mine.

There are so many options available when it comes to finding a perfect holiday gift. How the heck do you know for sure people will actually enjoy what you end up buying for them? I’ve found something that you can grab for pretty much anyone on your list – and it’s something they will enjoy all year long! Buying a  TiVo Premiere has never been easier or more affordable than it is right now.

Thanks to a special holiday offer, the TiVo Premiere box is only about a hundred bucks when you sign up for a one-year service plan of $19.99 per month. If you think TiVo is only a DVR, then you have much to learn. Not only does it record your favorite shows, it offers you many other services. Access movies and TV through the world’s largest on-demand video store. TiVo has partnered with  Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, BLOCKBUSTER On Demand, and more.

The device itself is simple to use and looks fabulous. You won’t have to worry about whether it will fit in with someone’s room decor – it’s made to work well with all color schemes and decorating styles. Your gift recipient won’t need to switch inputs and remotes or clutter up their house with multiple devices, either!

At this price, I’m thinking you’ll probably want to treat yourself, as well.

The best news of all is that you now have a chance to win a TiVo Premiere and one year of free service right here! Simply leave a comment on this blog post between now and December 23rd, and you’re automatically entered to win. Please see the official  sweepstakes rules  to make sure you meet all requirements.

What are you planning to buy for your loved ones this year?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Apple TV vs Every Other DVR

When Apple first announced their Apple TV product, I was interested but not excited. Years later, that interest has completely warn off – largely because of the lack of updates and killer features. Admittedly, I do already have a TiVo (and a few Comcast DVRs to boot).

Still, why has Apple seemingly abandoned the Apple TV? There’s a new report suggesting that Apple is working on a connected television. I’m not so sure that’s even interesting to me. Who knows? Maybe they’ll knock that one out of the park.

Do you have an Apple TV, or do you feel like you’re missing out because you don’t have one? I asked my Twitter followers, and some of them responded:

Vividlydrawn: what&#39s an AppleTV?

about 47 minutes ago

jmccullough108: I agree. I am perfectly fine without one.

about 46 minutes ago

Condawg: I feel the same way. Hooking up my iMac to my TV gives me basically the same thing… It just seems worthless, IMO.

about 46 minutes ago

Schlomo: AppleTV is not nearly as interesting as my xbox!

about 46 minutes ago

robertrosenfeld: I agree. I like Apple, but I don&#39t need them handing my entire media experience.

about 46 minutes ago

ericpratum: Agreed. Honestly, I don&#39t sit in front of the TV enough to make it worth it. If I did, I don&#39t know that I&#39d choose AppleTV

about 46 minutes ago

MikeMathia: I don&#39t own one, and I don&#39t wish that I had one. It&#39s a good idea, just not for me.

about 46 minutes ago

dVoka: AppleTV rocks! You can connect a Terrabyte drive to it where your backed up DVDs reside, run Boxee (hulu), and much more.

about 45 minutes ago

unclespeedo: i don&#39t believe you&#39re in the target audience for apple tv….. you shouldn&#39t feel like you&#39re missing anything, you&#39re not

about 45 minutes ago

gregskidmore: Yes I do too. I keep wanting to get an AppleTV. I don&#39t know why I haven&#39t bought one yet. Maybe it&#39s lacking something?

about 45 minutes ago

roehmholdt: iTMS + 30in Cinema Display > AppleTV… now to go get that Cinema display…

about 44 minutes ago

Outsanity: It&#39s just more Apple crap that&#39s more likely not worth the money unless you&#39re that into Apple swag

about 44 minutes ago

xKevinx: I&#39m with you on that

about 44 minutes ago

maddogdom: you said that about the iPhone and you loved that!

about 44 minutes ago

andrewmundy: you&#39re totally not the only one. I promise

about 44 minutes ago

AppleNerd: I don&#39t see anything in the AppleTV. Seems boring…

about 44 minutes ago

JessePB: Considering you can accomplish the same thing by buying directly in iTunes and streaming with any number of other devices, no.

about 44 minutes ago

yenra: AppleTV is excellent at displaying photos on a big HDTV – smooth & great quality; also Flickr, Podcasts, YouTube.

about 44 minutes ago

shedtroll: I don&#39t feel I&#39m missing out. Boxee is a better alternative.

about 44 minutes ago

cpedraza: I&#39m an Apple fan but in the world of DVRs AppleTV doesn&#39t make sense for me.

about 43 minutes ago

findingnewo: Yeah, I don&#39t get the appeal. I think WinMCE extenders are much more worth it.

about 43 minutes ago

jbone66: My ATV was humdrum until XBMC/Boxee was available for it. It&#39s our main method to accessing video content now…

about 43 minutes ago

VxJasonxV: It&#39s very interesting. It&#39s just that the most of us have computers to do everything the AppleTV does, and more.

about 43 minutes ago

biss13: if you don&#39t own an AppleTV how do you know what is it you are missing? 😉

about 43 minutes ago

robpickering: And that statement shows everyone you don&#39t have one. Hulu on my TV – &#39nuff said

about 42 minutes ago

EricCAnderson: Agree: it&#39s basically just another iPod for your TV (even with boxiee on it)…

about 42 minutes ago

Knunez: yeah I dont need one.. no point in having one anyways

about 42 minutes ago

wolrah: i agree they&#39re not that interesting out of the box, but patchstick them and they&#39re great. XBMC and Boxee ftw

about 42 minutes ago

Christyxcore: i agree. I thought it was cool when I saw it at my friends house but now that I think about it, it&#39s also overpriced 4 watitis

about 42 minutes ago

tjohansen: AppleTV alone isn&#39t great, but AppleTV + @boxee is great!

about 42 minutes ago

johnbarta: just buy it chris! Even if you dont use it it could be a fancy drink holder

about 42 minutes ago

iGeekW: AppleTV is not worth the money 😛

about 42 minutes ago

jefflundberg: A DELL Studio PC w/ Blu-ray and Windows Media Center Edition is much more interesting.

about 41 minutes ago

benhigham: I guess that depends on your current setup. I think it appeals to a different audience.

about 41 minutes ago

easy_way: there a waste of money i got one and its kinda useless

about 41 minutes ago

LisaBarger: Yes, Chris. Yes you are.

about 41 minutes ago

yesitsmedoug: I once walked into Apple and asked them Why I would want one. They didn&#39t sell me on the idea so I also don&#39t have or want one

about 40 minutes ago

chrisutley: #AppleTV with @boxee is great. I rent a lot of movies from #Apple, and watch TV shows over Hulu.

about 40 minutes ago

themacinjosh: no you&#39re not, I don&#39t feel like I&#39m missing much. All of the media is available whether you own an apple tv or not.

about 40 minutes ago

TarasI: I don&#39t think so. One of my friends has one and it&#39s really not that useful, especially if you have Media Center Extensions.

about 39 minutes ago

idarknight: you might be – between the hacks and the core functions, it is a device whose tipping point may have come

about 37 minutes ago

anansie: Its cheaper than a mac mini and has boxee going for it , Also it&#39s the only game in town for renting movies in hd on iTunes

about 35 minutes ago

amarvin: i didn&#39t feel that i was missing out on Apple TV until Boxee popped up. now i want to roll my own Atom-based version w/ boxee.

about 35 minutes ago

kevinbriody: I bought an early model AppleTV. I&#39d call it “neat” but definitely not compelling. Cool to show family vids, some DL&#39d TV.

about 35 minutes ago

jay1one: we might be the only two, but you are definitely not the only one.

about 34 minutes ago

ahaslach: Functionality of AppleTV can be replicated/exceeded w/ a laptop and video cable. Not a compelling product.

about 34 minutes ago

ipodtouch15: I agree!:)

about 33 minutes ago

wmchamberlain: Why would I buy a AppleTV when I can do more with a mac mini? Even the Cult of Mac would have a hard time explaining.

about 32 minutes ago

calebh: nope I feel the same way

about 32 minutes ago

schmenzer: Chris, I was a lot more interested before I started using Boxee.

about 31 minutes ago

seanwolter: The true media hoarder has a mac mini and a drobo hooked up to his big screen

about 30 minutes ago

mikekochansky: I agree. As much as I love Apple, I have little to no desire/need for AppleTV

about 29 minutes ago

ricorick: Boxee has made mine more interesting and better.

about 28 minutes ago

Zanoryt: Running Boxee on Apple TV is a compelling replacement for a cable connection. It&#39s not 100% ideal, but Boxee is really awesome

about 27 minutes ago

adamkmiec: I love mine – it&#39s a fixture of our house

about 25 minutes ago

MicrosoftWin7: RT: ByronSmartMicrosoftWin7 Yeah my hacked Xbox1 W Media Center(720p) is far more intresting then Apple TV, + the 360

about 24 minutes ago

blogbloke: I&#39m with you Chris

about 24 minutes ago

JessLoebig: Well maybe it is because you have a TiVo 😉

about 23 minutes ago

cogwisewill: Well, if you get the atv flash and are able to put hulu on the appletv along with a other things… http://bit.ly/LDL8

about 23 minutes ago

RobinBoyWonders: I like it a lot

about 22 minutes ago

color_me_pink: You&#39re not the only one. Until there is DVRcapability, I won&#39t even consider it.

about 21 minutes ago

gurubrandon: Yes.. but Boxee makes that genre of devices very interesting. ( http://boxee.tv )

about 21 minutes ago

PassTheBoll: seeing as you can accomplish the same thing using less money, I won&#39t get one. Just take a computer and connect it to the tv.

about 21 minutes ago

webdrifter: This frugal tech guy is all ATO man! No AppleTV, no DirecTV and no cable TV. Just a cheap Techno who has seen and likes HULU

about 20 minutes ago

gailelaine: I don&#39t own an Apple TV because I just don&#39t see the need. I own a Mac and I&#39ve looked at the Apple TV.

about 19 minutes ago

LoganPayne: I don&#39t feel that like I&#39m missing out. But I do want one….to stop buying DVDs and discs…

about 16 minutes ago

Sebbbb: how isn&#39t it intresting? it comes in a shiny apple box 😛

about 15 minutes ago

sideswipe70: I feel the same way. It just seems like a glorified media server.

about 9 minutes ago

swichi293: I own everything apple, but I refuse to own the apple tv. It really is quite pointless

about 8 minutes ago

aaron_bennett: It&#39s just not exciting enough for the price OR the inevitable inoperability with my other devices.. You are not alone.

about 7 minutes ago

What are your thoughts on Apple TV and the general state of DVRs?

What Software do You use with TiVo?


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After I blogged recently about wanting to try TiVo, I was sent a unit to review for a few weeks. I’ve been wanting to try it out, so this was a great opportunity. With certain software, you can take programs you record on TiVo and transcode them on your computer. You can then turn them into videos you can watch on pretty much any device. All the DVRs I’ve had are boxes unto themselves, they couldn’t be networked in any way. By networking my TiVo, I can then do as I described, to create videos I can play on my computer, iPhone or any other device I wanted to use. Here are a couple of programs you can use to accomplish this.

TiVo Butler is an application that can track programs from multiple TiVo devices that you have on your home network. It’s free, and allows you to browse the recordings you’ve made on your TiVo. You can download them, encode them and much more. TiVo Butler is only available for Mac OS X.

However…

TiVo Playlist is the Windows equivalent. Everything that you could hope to do with your TiVo, you’ll be able to do with ease using TiVo Playlist.

  1. Retrieve TiVo Now Playing lists over an ethernet connection and calculate total recording time and disk space used
  2. Support for multiple TiVo units
  3. Estimate free space remaining given the capacity of the TiVo hard drive(s)
  4. Display either full List View or Folder View
  5. Mouseover Title shows description of recorded show along with Year Released/Air Date, Actors, Director, etc.
  6. View graphical representation of disk free space and space used by either recording status or recording quality
  7. Export of Now Playing lists to CSV files for use in other programs such as Microsoft Excel
  8. Batch downloading of recordings to PC (even from multiple machines)
  9. Tested to run under Windows 2000 and XP Pro and reported to run under Windows 98/ME, XP Home and Vista
  10. Works best at screen sizes 800×600 or larger if running 96dpi, or 1024×768 or larger if running 120dpi
  11. Downloads to FAT32 partitions support up to 4Gb filesizes, NTFS partitions support files > 4Gb (Windows 2000/XP/Vista only)
  12. Access via HTTP/HTTPS and requires TiVo software version 7.1 or newer

You know how to email me, if you have other DVR or TiVo software or tips to pass along to me! I’ll be glad to check them out and share them with the community.

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I Think I Want a TiVo?

I’ve never really had a TiVo, though I’ve been using DVRs for years. The new TiVo HD looks nice, though – and I should be able to grab shows / convert them after connecting the unit to my home network. Kevin does it all the time, and he also recommended that I get my TiVo through some place that does hard drive upgrades for me. Other friends have told me:

I like TiVo, but I'm not all about paying a monthly (or even a 1-time lifetime) subscription for it. Try the Comcast DVR. – Spinn
(I just realized the fail in my statement – chances are that Comcast now charges the DVR. Probably $5-10/month? If that's the case, go for a TiVo. The smooth menus and overall better interface is worth the money, if you're going to have to pay it anyway. – Spinn
TiVo is very nice to have but for the price, it may be worth it to stick with comcast's dvr – Grant
I have Comcast DVR but you can only record like 15 hrs of HD content at a time. Definitely interested in exploring options. – Brian Daniel Eisenberg
if comcast charges for its DVR then go ahead with the Tivo – Grant
Chris- I love my HD Tivo. It's also nice to get rid of the Comcast cable box. The dual tuner PCMCIA cards are nice. I bought the 3 year prepaid. – Ryan
we have Directv DVR in my home and what sucks is you can only record 2 shows in the same time frame but you can't change the channel. so if you're recording A&E and USA at the same time, you can only switch between them two. i was told TiVo is almost the same thing. – Outsanity
Just do it. Been a Tivo owner since '01 on DirectTV. Last year I moved house and switched to comcast. I suffered the comcast DVR box for 1 week before buying a Tivo Series 3. Spousal approval and my sanity returned… – Steve Lacey
If you get a TiVo watch this vid we made re upping storage http://video.gearlive.com/vide…Andru Edwards
TiVo is uncomparably better…but isn't TiVo supposed to built into Comcast boxes at some point? – George Lee
Luckily I got my HDR212 TiVo in 2000-2001 for $150-200 with a $249 lifetime subscription. $13/month x 7 yrs = would have been $1,170 by now! Awesome deal. Totally changed the way I watch TV. The fast-forwarding is much cleaner than with VCRs and scanning 1 hr in 1 min (60X) is very easy. Look into the after-market upgrading of HDs websites (Image your HD first!) and buying someone's used TiVo with a lifetime subscription. E-mail me if you want more details. – Mitchell Tsai
I have the HD DVR from Time Warner and hate it. Keep thinking about TiVo, but the price always gets me. Though at almost $15/month to "rent" the DVR from Time Warner, I might switch, I'm just not sure of the way it will interact with Time Warner. – Blake
I have the TiVo Series 3 HD and it's a great box. Never fails. You can stream audio/video from your Mac with the software you get with Toast, you can download shows to your Mac and burn them (if they're not flagged to not do it) and I've even burned Blu-Ray compatable DVDs with Toast 9. You can download podcasts and videos, but I found that entering in podcast RSS feeds doesn't always work. – Starman

My house is filled with Comcast DVRs – I like what they do, but I can’t stand how they do what they do. I won’t really miss VOD with a TiVo, either. Ponzi likes VOD, but I think she’d appreciate the networkability of a TiVo even more (though she’s using Windows Vista, and I’m primarily on OS X). There’s gotta be good desktop software for TiVo / TiVo data management, I’d only assume.