I did it. I bought a top of the line series 3 HD dual-tuner TiVo. It’s the best thing to ever happen to television. As a gadget, it’s pretty great. It also, however, pegs me as somebody willing to spend a pretty big chunk of money on enhancing my television entertainment.
After having a series 2 TiVo previously and having used the Comcast Motorola HD DVR box for over a year, I feel confident saying that as far as digitally recording high definition content (including premium content like HBO), nothing else out there touches the TiVo. The Comcast DVR records fine, shows look great and all that, but it’s just lacking the polish and finish the TiVo interface has. The ridiculous number of steps it takes to search for a program and set up a series recording on the Comcast DVR is mind numbing, and the way it dumps you back to the ‘live TV’ mode at odd times forcing you to dig through the menu system to get back to where you were is infuriating. It almost makes it a chore to watch television, and that’s exactly what watching television should never be.
I don’t think the TiVo interface is the end-all be-all of set-top DVR but it has very clearly had a lot of work put into it and it’s pleasant and almost fun to use. Oh, and wishlists. Yay for wishlists. With a nice set of wishlists and season passes set up, a TiVo almost makes the exorbitant prices Comcast charges for cable worth it. Almost.