Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Which way to TiVo?

Every few months I think about getting TiVo. Sometimes it's when I forget to set my VCR for a regular episode of The West Wing, sometimes it's when I want to record something and don't want to take the time to hunt for a tape with available space (and then again when I am trying to find the tape to watch the recorded show). My primary interest is the convenience of the digital recorder itself, but I like the TiVo service's Wish List and Season Pass features, too.

I started thinking about this again recently with TiVo's announcement that they'll more easily support network connectivity. This is kind of nice in that I could stream music from PCs and do remote programming... but, I've also considered the DirecTV option which doesn't do the network stuff, but it's all in one convenient box. On the other hand, if I drop my current cable provider for the TV feed, I'll have to pay an extra $10/mo. for the cable modem.

I've started to explore these options by scanning the boards over at tivocommunity.com, but, like most very active forum sites, it's a little overwhelming for the casual reader*. Electrophobia's TiVo Wiring Guide proves that just about any setup will work -- I just need help deciding.

So, my TiVo-enabled friends, if you were to start today, what would you do? Standalone series 2 TiVo? DirecTiVo? Second-hand TiVo?

* When shopping for noise-reducing headphones I was astounded by the level of passion some people have for headphones over at head-fi.org. I was astounded, but I shouldn't have been -- this is, after all, the internet.

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