Originally Posted by tveli
Perhaps you can identify particular/specific TIVO models for those willing to consider it for OTA?
Are there older/preferable models available on Ebay for example?
Or is there a new model that would be best?
Maybe you can break it down for the two group of folks willing to pay monthly or 'lifetime' "protection" to TIVO:
- What's the best new or old TIVO to get for OTA use, for those who prefer to pay monthly protection/licensing to TIVO?
- What's the best new or old TIVO to get for OTA use, for those who prefer to pay "lifetime of the hardware" protection/licensing to TIVO?
Well, I am two models behind with no plans to upgrade so I am not the best to compare models but I do know a little about the models I haven't owned.
I understand only the basic TiVo Roamio comes with OTA tuners, the more expensive Roamio models are designed for cable and this makes sense, the market for an OTA DVR is small and doesn't include consumers willing to pay a high price for recording free over-the-air TV, in fact it is a budget conscious market. I do think some small market would be willing to pay for a 4 OTA tuner DVR but not me, I have never had conflicts requiring more than 2 tuners but I do have two 2 tuner TiVoHDs with service just in case that ever happens. I like having two TiVos with service, even though I rarely transfer recordings from TiVo to TiVo or TiVo to computer. I also have a third TiVoHD without service, backup for parts and without service, it does 30 minute buffer on two tuners and I can get guide data and control the unsubscribed TiVo by using Google TV. Of course no recordings beyond the 30 minute point are possible. I think the TiVo Premiere with recent firmware and TiVo Roamio will not have the thirty minute buffer without service.
I am not aware of any quality differences in the tuners used for OTA, that includes TiVoHD, TiVo Premiere, and TiVo Roamio. I have read anecdotal tales of differences but those are all over the place. I can say the TiVoHD tuners have been the best ATSC tuners I have used. Buying a used lifetime TiVoHD or TiVo Premiere for OTA is a risk I would be willing to take. Over the years I have been using my TiVoHDs, I have received many offers from TiVo to buy a TiVo Premiere with lifetime for $450, so the price I would pay for a used one would certainly be significantly less than I would pay for a TiVo with warranty from TiVo. I would say $200 for a TiVoHD and $275 for a TiVo Premiere at this point and as time passes, of course that price goes down. Hard drive size and accessories included can cause the price I would be willing to pay to vary considerably.
The TiVo Roamio should be the best in terms of internet access so if that is important then I would say TiVo Roamio is the best DVR. I don't care about using TiVo for internet streaming, I use Google TV and Roku, and the TiVoHD is the worst of the three for the internet services. For simple OTA DVR functions, I am not aware of any advantage among the models. The TiVoHD doesn't work with the peripheral boxes offered from TiVo, like TiVo Stream and TiVo Mini, and I am not sure of how those work with the newer models since I don't care about those boxes. I am happy with the rudimentary free options I use, TiVo Desktop and TiVo transfer to another TiVo. I believe TiVo Desktop is no longer free and I don't know how much it costs.