nullstream weblog - TiVo PITA 2

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February 7, 2004 01:15 AM PST

People love their TiVos. But of course there are problems. Here's an overview of the pain involved with hooking a Series 2 Tivo up to my TV.

The first thing I didn't realize about TiVo, is that even with the Series2 boxes that say "Internet Ready" on them, you have to initially connect with a phone line. Well I have ethernet right to my TV, and have ordered the compatible USB to Ethernet adapter for TiVo and no phone line within 40 feet. Of course you can't just plug in to activate, you must select items on the screen. So I endup hacking together a 50 foot cable with some old wall jacks and a phone cord used many years ago for modem access. It barely reaches.

Once connected through the phone line, it takes HOURS to get the first schedule (which means hours before you can really do anything with TiVo). After the first update, it processes for a couple more hours. Then you realize that the first update did not get the software update required for Internet use. So then you reconnect and wait for that to come down.

Finally, hours or days later you are ready to play with your Internet enabled TiVo!

When you record your first show you realize that the 40 hours advertised was a low quality setting. For the quality to look "like normal TV", you really need the high quality setting (or medium at the worst). This gives you between 10 and 20 hours of actual recording time.

The next thing you realize after hacking your TiVo with a bigger hard drive is that there is no where in the interface where it actually tells you how much space is taken by shows! It shows how many hours at extremely low quality it can hold, but doesn't show a progress bar, pie chart, hex readout, anything to show how much your using. This is so Uber-Mac-like, Steve Jobs must have thought it up.

A few more issues:

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