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June 23, 2005

TiVo and my PVR experience

I got sick of the lack of good content on TV and the "nothing to watch" problem. I also got frustrated that I kept missing the few good shows that actually aired. I'd been aware of PVRs for quite some time, but none of the commercial ones worked in Canada. But MythTV and Freevo popped up and actually looked usable. Just about when I started to build a box, TiVoCanada showed up. I figured the TiVo was a much better route. It's a small appliance that is self maintaining, it's cheaper and there is a much larger user base for support. I was sold. That was more than a year and a half ago and I'll never look back. TiVo uses the slogan "TV your way." and that fits my experience. I watch what I want, when I want and no commercials (at least I fast forward through them). I don't need to get home at 6pm to watch the news, or stay up till 4am to catch that B movie, its just there sitting on the TiVo to watch whenever. I don't even watch live TV anymore. I've got 2 units now, since all the networks tend to pile up the shows all at the same time, 2 units plus the time shifts on digital cable (which the TiVo also works with) gives me more than enough coverage to capture everything I might want to watch.

What you need to become TiVo enabled in Canada: a TiVo unit, all the information and a piece of software from TiVoCanada and an internet connected computer. It is actually pretty simple. My units just sit there and run, while the software hasn't needed any attention for ages.

I still think TiVo is a better choice than the alternatives. MythTV has certainly improved, especially by supporting the PVR cards, system requirements are greatly reduced. Shaw Cable's PVR offerings are usable, even MTS TV's control your VCR PVR hack is somewhat helpful. It is a step in the right direction, but they are still many steps behind TiVo despite TiVo's stagnation.


What is the "MTS TV's control your VCR PVR hack" you mention and where can I get more info on it?

Posted by: Ed at March 15, 2010 09:33 PM

I haven't had any exposure to the boxes, but back a few years the MTS boxes could use an IR dongle to control a VCR. You could schedule a recording on the MTS box and it would queue up the VCR to record the show. Nowadays I think they have much nicer PVRs instead, not sure if they still have that functionality.

Posted by: ertyu at March 16, 2010 12:54 AM

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