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Old 10-31-2004, 06:01 AM   #1 (Print)
6guitars
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Basic vs. Plus: Do you watch a lot of TV?

I watch less and less as the years go by (I'm 48) and probably watch about 8 hours a week or so now. There's only 2-3 shows that I watch on a regular basis and if I miss an episode I don't really care. HBO and the other movie channels are disappointing to me and I'm dropping all that for 2005.

What I like best about TIVO is the ability to start watching a 10PM show at 10:20 and to pause a show to go to the bathroom. I also like a built in DVD to save clutter in the entertainment center.

I tried both TIVO Plus and TIVO Basic and just didn't need/use the "Plus" features that costs $13 a month or an extra $299 up front. I have 2 boxes--an older and a new TX20 Toshiba TIVO/DVD--and I'm more than taken care of.

Am I alone out there?!?
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Old 10-31-2004, 11:30 AM   #2 (Print)
classicsat
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Probably not, but I live by Season Passes, searching, Wishlsists, and 13 day guide.

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Old 10-31-2004, 11:43 AM   #3 (Print)
Rankinfile
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I used to watch very little TV until I got TiVo. Now I find I've cut down on my computer usage and watch more TV than ever. Go figure...
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Old 10-31-2004, 03:57 PM   #4 (Print)
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Do you HAVE to activate a Series II if you buy it? Can it be used without paying? I already have a Series II 40 gig downstairs and was thinking of getting another for upstairs, but don't want to pay for the 2nd set of service.

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Old 10-31-2004, 04:33 PM   #5 (Print)
dylanemcgregor
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Quote:
Originally posted by Magister
Do you HAVE to activate a Series II if you buy it? Can it be used without paying? I already have a Series II 40 gig downstairs and was thinking of getting another for upstairs, but don't want to pay for the 2nd set of service.


It depends. Any stand alone Series 2 requires a subscription to do just about anything. I *think* you can pause live TV and use the trick play features without a subscription, but any actual recordings will need a subscription to work. Note the subscription fee is only $6.95 for the second box in your house, not the $12.95 they charge for your first box.

Now for the exceptions. Series 2 combo units made by Pioneer or Toshiba come with "TiVo Basic" which gives you a limited amount of guide data and the ability to do manual recordings. Of course these boxes typically cost more than a 40 hour Series 2 with a lifetime subscription...

Also some Series 1 Tivo's can have limited operation without a subscription. Search the forum here for more details about either of these options.

-Dylan
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Old 10-31-2004, 09:03 PM   #6 (Print)
6guitars
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Comparison Chart

Compare Basic and Plus Services

Here's the link showing a comparison. The nice thing about getting a Basic-enabled box is that you can try Plus for a month free. My wife and I did but didn't find the Plus service offered anything we really found useful. Others like Plus, but the Basic boxes sell like hotcakes...

The Basic boxes also come with an integrated DVD which is a nice feature. You can still get the older Toshiba, even get it on eBay, for a couple of hundred dollars. That one only has TIVO Basic and a DVD player. The new Toshiba RX20 also has a DVD recorder that works great. The RX20 just came out about a week ago and stores can't keep them in stock, so they're still expensive. I got mine for $549. Look for them to be selling around $450 or less near and after the holidays.

The TV guide on the Basic models is only "limited" in the number of days they show you. 3 instead of 14, but I still use Yahoo's TV guide, which is 10X better than TIVO Basic or Plus. And the Basic service lets you record manually well into the future so there's no problem.

There's no denying that the Plus service offers more features. We though Season Pass was pretty good, but Wish List was annoying to us. We were also put off that all of the Plus features are basically simple software that you're asked to pay humdreds of dollars for. That plus another awkward online TV guide--and with a second box they hit you for another $7 a month! It's just a weird business model...

Last edited by 6guitars : 10-31-2004 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:22 PM   #7 (Print)
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If you've become a big Tivo junkie and start using HMO and MRV it's hard to go back to Tivo Basic.

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Old 11-01-2004, 03:50 PM   #8 (Print)
CrispyCritter
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My opinion is that if you DON'T watch a lot of TV, then TiVo Plus is for you. You set up your Season Passes and Wishlists and then you don't have to worry about a thing. When you feel in the mood to watch TV, you have something worthwhile waiting for you. (I probably only watch 2-3 hours a week, aside from sports which I watch semi-live). I couldn't do that with TiVo Basic.

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Old 11-02-2004, 01:43 AM   #9 (Print)
DJRobX
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Quote:
We were also put off that all of the Plus features are basically simple software that you're asked to pay humdreds of dollars for.
Heh, it's VERY interesting to see the perspective of someone who hasn't been using TiVo for years. I personally can't imagine a TiVo without the ability to make a season pass. To me that's the most basic, elementary feature of TiVo. For a while there was only one choice in TiVo and that was what's now "plus". Your "simple software" comment, as logical as it must be to you, is very alien for me! "Basic" to me seems like crippled shareware, a carrot dangling in hopes you'll pay for the real thing.

Stupid question, can you schedule a repeating recording from the guide in TiVo basic? The Comcast DVR does not have season pass, but it's very liveable becasue it's easy to select something in the guide and then tell it to record this same timeslot once a week. With my TiVos there doesn't seem to be an easy way to make a manual repeating recording from the guide. I'm just curious if they've updated this for the TiVo Basic service.

I agree with the comment above about TiVo plus being for people who don't watch too much TV. I never watched much TV before TiVo. I could never get into watching a clock and gettng infront of the TV at a certain time. But things like Season Passes made it so brain dead simple to record stuff I was mildly interested in, it changed things for me. If you're already pretty in tune wth keeping up with the rigid scheduling of TV programs, Basic would be easier to swallow.
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:05 AM   #10 (Print)
simonalope
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Quote:
Originally posted by DJRobX
Stupid question, can you schedule a repeating recording from the guide in TiVo basic?


Yes. It works just like a repeating recording on a VCR - tell it to record a certain channel at a certain time on a particular day of each week or every day.
I think of TiVo Basic as the best VCR ever, which was how I justified my purchase of the SD-H400 before having ever tried TiVo. I needed both a DVD player and some form of time-shifting recording ability, so I figured even if I decided TiVo Plus wasn't worth the subscription, TiVo Basic would still be way, way better than a VCR - same limited programming intelligence, but no mucking about with tapes. Of course, once I tried Plus, I never went back. It's not a question of how much TV I watch, but of not wanting to have to keep track of whether a show is switching days/starting early/etc.
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