TiVo. DirecTV. Both of those names are associated with revolutionary television experiences. The TiVo was one of the first personal video recorders (PVR) on the market, and the brand has gained a cult-like following as users everywhere warm up to the intuitive interface and intelligent features. Stand alone TiVo, which operates via cable as opposed to satellite, has been heralded by its legions of fans as one of the best things that’s ever happened to cable TV. It’s likely that you’ll probably agree with them once you’ve experienced TiVo’s slick interface, impressive networking capabilities, and intuitive pause, rewind, fast-forward, and recording features.
The TiVo is known for its simplistic design and feature-rich capabilities. The latest TiVo models have massive hard drives (250 gigabytes or more) that can store hundreds of hours of television shows and movies, and they feature the latest in audio/video technology, allowing you to get the most out of your home theater. If you have Dolby surround sound and a high definition TV, TiVo will fit in to your home theater just fine.
Users that don’t have an expensive home theater setup will still enjoy TiVo’s wealth of features, programming guides, bookmarking services, video recording, and ease of use. And, of course, TiVo will still be there in the event that the use decides to purchase a high definition TV or audio system.
TiVo and DirecTV
DirecTV is one of the most popular choices in America when it come to personal satellite services. Subscribers of DirecTV get access to literally hundreds of different channels, premium movie services, and interactive content. When TiVo and DirecTV combined their collective technologies, the DirecTV TiVo was born, both in standard and in HD forms. That partnership was a few years ago, and after the initial price shock and massive consumer demand for the TiVo receivers, prices have finally come down to a very affordable level and have put DirecTV TiVo within reach of just about everyone with a DirecTV satellite bolted onto the side of their home.
Purchasing a TiVo model that has been designed specifically for DirecTV makes the process of adding TiVo to your home quite simple: buy it, take it home, install it, and enjoy. The only TiVo model that is currently available for DirecTV is the high definition model, and now at competitive price points, it is an HD PVR that is competitive and intuitive.
Some of the main features of the HD TiVo unit are:
High Definition Output – 480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i. The TiVo has an indicator on the front of the unit that lets you know what resolution it is currently sending to the TV. With 1080p having just been released, and with the sheer expense of 1080p televisions, most users won’t even notice the difference. Most of DirecTV’s high definition programming is broadcast in either 720p or 1080i anyway, though there are rumors floating about that DirecTV and TiVo are going to be releasing a 1080p receiver.
Dual Tuners – The HD TiVo is capable of receiving a dual satellite signal, allowing you to watch TV and record to the built in hard drive at the same time. This is the definition of multitasking, folks, and it is revolutionary and incredibly easy to use.
Upgradeable Hard Drive – The HD TiVo comes with a 250 gigabyte hard drive already installed, allowing you to store over 30 hours of high definition programming or 200 hours of regular programming. That’s a lot of TV, no matter how you look at it. Recent innovations in hard drives, however, have produces single drives that are capable of storing 1,000 gigabytes of data- imagine 120 hours of high definition programming or 800 hours of regular programming! That’s over 5 days of high definition programming or 33 days of regular programming- you may never have to watch live TV again!
Pricing and Service
Users of the standalone TiVo service have two options of payment: $13 a month, or a one time fee of $300. While some have complained about having to purchase the TiVo and then purchase the service, others simply shrug it off has a cost of doing business. For DirecTV subscribers, there is only an additional $5 a month added to their account for the ability to use TiVo. This is above and beyond the $10 a month that DirecTV charges for receiving HD channels.
When HD TiVo’s were first released they were fetching prices in excess of $1,000. You should be able to find them for under $350 today, but they are still in fairly high demand and are often hard to come by. Once you’ve got yours, however, a whole new world of interactive television programming is at your fingertips. Enjoy!
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