Last night over at TiVoCommunity.com forum, TiVoPony announced that TiVoToGo will become available for the TiVo HD / TiVo Series 3 starting November 2007. (This was also announced at CEDIA, as was a new $200 Series 3 rebate.) This is the one feature I’ve been lusting after, in addition to all of the other Series 2 Stand Alone features that I currently have. Since I have a HR10-250 HD TiVo satellite receiver, many features such as these as well as networking, photo sharing, Home Media Engine, etc. are not available. So now I have to decide, do I stick with the DirecTV TiVo I have or do I switch to cable and get a TiVo HD? Here’s what I’m thinking. . .
First of all, for those who don’t know, here are links to fairly detailed descriptions of TiVoToGo and MRV from DVRpedia.com. Basically, they allow you to transfer shows between multiple TiVos and between your TiVo and your PC (so you can watch shows on your PC, your iPod, etc.) Series 2 Stand Alone TiVos have supported this features for years, but they can’t record HD and until fairly recently, couldn’t record more than one program at a time. HD and dual tuners were more important to me, I picked DirecTV and currently have two HR10-250 DirecTiVos. But things have changed over the past 3 years to rearrange my priorities:
- DirecTV dumped TiVo as there DRV supplier so there are no new models in the foreseeable future
- DirecTV is in the process of launching 100 new HD channels this month — none of which will be available to my HR10-250 because it only supports the older MPEG-2 channels, not the newer MPEG-4 streams. So I won’t be able to get any of the new content, only the 6 HD stations I currently receive.
- TiVo has released a low-priced, High Def-capable DVR (the TiVo HD) that has every feature I’ve ever wanted on a TiVo — many of which I don’t currently have.
- I’m finding I have less and less time to hack my devices and maintain those hacks, so even though I did enable file extraction from one of my HR10’s, I haven’t had time to hack the other one or to install/configure MovieLoader on a PC to simulate a patched-together version Multi-Room Viewing. I really just want a device that delivers the features I want out of the box, without requiring hours of my time to install and maintain hacks.
- CableCard support by the cable companies has become much better, so it’s not longer impossible to get a third-party device like a TiVos up, running, and recording HD
- There is more competition in the cable industry, with phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon offering Fiber Optic service with higher-speed internet, HD cable TV, and competitive prices.
Those are all my reasons for wanting to dump DirecTV and switch to a TiVo HD and Cable TV. The reasons I would want to stay are with DirecTV are:
- The potential for a new TiVo DVR satellite receiver in the future, due to DirecTV being under new and TiVo-friendly ownership
- The new HR21 DVR, which does not have TiVo software, but does offer a decent list of features such as HD distribution over fiber optic, support of the new MPEG-4 channels, etc.
- It’s easier to stick with what you have and is working vs. switching to something new and struggling through the transition
- There is a new, minor software update coming to for my existing HR10-250 that will enable online scheduling (via TiVo.com) and overlap protection, which are features I’ve already added via hacks, but I’d rather have them built-in and official.
So what am I going to do? I’m going to wait for now. Mostly because I really want a new receiver and projector in my home theater, and I’d rather devote my savings toward those than two new TiVos (even though I could sell my 2 satellite receivers for about the same cost as 2 new TiVo HDs.) What I have now works, and and as long as it continues to do so, I’m staying put. I’d love to get more HD channels, but we mostly watch network TV and HBO, and those we get in HD. But if Fiber Optic drops in our neighborhood and/or one of my Satellite receivers dies, that will probably push me to make the jump.
I hate playing the waiting game. I’ve been waiting for months for Verizon Wireless to offer a new, descent phone such as the HTC Mogul vx6800, and they still have not. But I’m positive TiVo will release this feature when they say they will and I’m positive there are a ton of HD channels available from my local cable providers, many tmore than from my current DirecTV solution. With the complete offering of features, TiVo HD and cable are going to be hard for me to resist.