If you have been following along, you know I have owned every PVR (personal video recorder) ever made (only a very slight exaggeration)… well, every PVR but a TiVo. It isn’t that I had anything against a TiVo, it just didn’t have 480p / component output and I wanted the best possible picture on my HD TV. I have convinced more people to buy TiVos than you can shake a stick at (not that I recommend shaking sticks at people), so it is kind of funny that I have never actually owned a “TiVo”. This all changed last week when I decided to buy a TiVo HD.

The TiVo Series 3 is a great box, but a bit pricey for what you get. The TiVo HD is much more reasonably priced ($253 at Amazon) and had all the features I wanted, including an eSATA port so you can add more hard drive space to it, but the eSATA port was disabled… until software version 9.2. When TiVo announced the  eSATA port would be enabled in 9.2, I knew it was time to finally go TiVo. I ordered the unit and made an appointment with my cable company to have cablecards installed. The unit arrived as expected, worked nicely, and the cablecard installation was relatively painless — it took about two hours, which was probably able double what it should have taken, but one of the cablecards was faulty.

So, I have now had HD programming on my TiVo HD for two days and I couldn’t be happier. I really dreaded every time I had to use the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD, in contrast the TiVo HD is an absolute treat. I am still exploring all the things it will do and how nicely they have polished the interface. If you have an HDTV, you should really consider the TiVo HD.  I can honestly say it is the most pleasant PVR experience going and isn’t lacking any features that I can think of (short of automatic transcoding, but you can do it manually so thats good enough for now, I guess).

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