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Okay, first, I am brand new to this forum, so if I have chosen poorly the proper location of this post, I apologize. In that case please direct me to a better choice.


I am wanting to make the step of getting a DVR device, and through my cable company (Knology) I can get a Scientific Atlanta 8300 for $9.95 per month. Now I understand that TIVO is better, more user friendly, etc., but I can't yet determine precisely how/why they are better. I further understand that TIVO requires a $12.95 per month subscription.


So, with what little I know now, it is hard to imagine how spending a few hundred dollars on a TIVO, plus 13 bucks a month could be a better deal than just spending 10 bucks a month, period (and having the luxury of simply swapping out equipment if something were to go wrong).


Now this seems like a huge difference in value, so I know I must be missing something. And that is the point of my question: what are the advantages to a TIVO (or any other similar product that I might not know about) over the SA8300 provided by my cable company?


TIA for any help and advice.


RS
 

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What makes TiVo better is their EPG. Not only is it easier to use than cable co EPG's, but let's say you want to record every episode of "24." It would be very difficult to do so with a cable company EPG (or even the TV Guide EPG that comes with many recorders) as these are "time slot/channel" oriented, meaning you can set repeat timer recordings but only for that time slot and channel, regardless of what show is playing.


TiVo is "title" and "subject" oriented. You can set a Season Pass to record every episode of "24", or just the new ones. If the show is broadcast on more than one channel (as many Fox shows are broadcast on both Fox and FX) you can choose either or both channels.


TiVo goes even further than that. If you want it to record documentaries about police car chases, you can set it to do that. If you want to see everything there is to see about Paris Hilton on TV, you can type her name in the subject box and it will search for programming about her.


Now, if you have digital cable, it's a bit tricky to get TiVo to work properly with an STB, especially SA's. Many SA models now automatically turn off at 1 or 2 AM unless you press a button on the remote, so you can't leave it on all of the time, and at least my Series I TiVo will only change channels via the IR blaster, and not turn the machine on and off. And if you have HiDef, currently the only HiDef-capable TiVo's are the ones that work with DirecTV.


In such cases it's better to get a DVR-equipped STB, then transfer the desired programs to DVD.
 

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rshields,


It sounds to me like there is a good chance you might have digital cable(lower digital cable tier at least), and if that is the case I think it would be best just to rent the DVR from the cable co. for $9.95/month.


Like RonDawg says, it just makes the process much easier, especially for new or novice users.


Tivo does have advantages like the ones listed above, but IMHO they are not worth the extra money per month. Plus if they come out with a new model or the like, you have to go out and buy the new one in order to get it. While with cable if a new and improved model arrives, all you would have to do is call them or go to their offices to switch out your current unit for a newer model.


Tivo, along with ReplayTV, used to be the only kids on the block with this type of technology, but cable co's(along with satellite and soon phone co's. with fiber optics) all use this technology now. They have embraced it and have closed the gap to where now it is probably better to go the route of renting one from the cable co.


Tivo's user interface and certain features are hands down the best IMHO. But DVR's from cable co's. are almost there as well, and may(key word may) soon surpass them.


I would go the route of renting from the cable co. if I were you.
 

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rshields,


Forgot to mention this.


This thread most likely will be moved to the Digital Recorders(PVRs) General thread as it is probably better suited there then here in the DVD Recorder thread.
 
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