TiVo for HDTV: At Last!

I have just posted a full review of my brand-new new Hughes HR10-DVR250 HD TiVo on my ControlAV site. If you have any comments on it, feel free to use this blog.

Comments (33)

  1. Todd Spatafore says:

    WOW! I want one. Where did you get it? Do you think that 30 hours of HD recording is enough or should we wait for the 400GB drives to be included? I feel like I’ve tied my plasma screen down by using an SDTiVo on it. Alas, I’ve promised my wife I’ll wait until the new season of all the great TV before I buy one of these. Maybe by then DirecTV will carry more than CBS in HDTV (like NBC and maybe Fox will have HD broadcasting instead of the widescreen EDTV that they have now).

    I like the remote that Sony’s TiVo had. It was easier to control. With the peanut I always accidentally turn off the TV when I meant to hit instant replay, and the clear button is way down at the bottom.

  2. David Lemson says:

    You didn’t mention the one major drawback of the HDTivo: there’s no way to use it with delivery of HD channels over cable. I have a big hill between my house and the broadcast towers, and despite putting a huge UHF antenna in my attic, I can only receive 1 of the 6 HD local channels reliably over-the-air (OTA). A lot of people who live in places where there are hills or tall buildings who post on AVSForum are disappointed to find that they can’t receive OTA because UHF is blocked by obstructions.

    So instead I got limited service from Comcast and an HD cable box, but I have no way to record it (yet).

  3. Andy Pennell says:

    Magnolia Audio/Video in Bellevue, WA. I pre-ordered it months ago, I was #7 in line for them when they came in on Monday.

  4. Andy Pennell says:

    The fact you cannot PVR HD channels over cable is your cable company’s fault IMHO. Either they should broadcast them in identical format to OTA (when the TiVo would work), or they should give some $$$ to TiVo to make them a nice PVR for their proprietory system.

    The fact you cannot get HD OTA is a side effect of the poor OTA support US consumers have had for decades. As an Englishman I was astounded by how bad (analog) OTA transmissions were when I moved here.

    FYI this box wont record anything without a satellite connection, so even if the cable co. did send the signal in OTA, it wouldn’t really help.

  5. Don Kras says:

    Just installed the new Hughes HDTivo. One big complaint is the slow response time on getting the on-screen guide to show. Takes 2-3 second to change each page. Is this a series 1 issue?

  6. Andy Pennell says:

    I think the UI is generally slow the first few days as the box is busy downloading and indexing all the program info. I use the non-default Guide and after the first few days haven’t noticed the guide being sluggish. I don’t have a Series2 to compare to.

  7. SBerg says:

    Great info, Andy. I was disappointed to see that there was no info at Hughes or DirecTV as I wanted to check out the manual and specs. You covered most of what I wondered, but I have one question…

    Does this unit offer an integrated guide? My Sony HD Receiver combines Satellite, Cable, OTA HD and analog signals into one nice list of programming so I don’t have to switch back and forth trying to find something.

    Thanks much for any info you can offer.


  8. Andy Pennell says:

    Sorry, yes, the Guide is fully integrated for sat and OTA channels. If you want it will show the sat channel (e.g. 5) and the OTA channels (e.g. 5-1,5-2,5-3) all at once, though I sent mine to hide all the sat locals except for Fox, as I cant get that one reliably OTA. I believe the box gets the Guide data for the local HD channels from the satellite. I guess this as almost none of the local channels here broadcast any guide data at all OTA, and certainly not 10 days worth.

  9. Whyjoe says:

    I undestand that you cannot buy the Home Media option for this Tivo. But I also heard that you can’t buy the product lifetime subscribtion with this Tivo for HDTV. Is this just a nasty rumor? Or is it true?


  10. I will wait for things to shake out a bit.

    Knowing HD tivo is here and that I don’t have one is killing me. Here is a list of questions I have.

    1) Will DirecTV offer more hd programming soon?

    2) How good is the on air hd broadcast?

    3) Any antenna recommendations?

    4) What will Voom’s dvr and 4 room HD home network have in the way of tivo like software?

    This is set for release in the fall.

    If Voom’s dvr and 4 room system software is as good as tivo I will say by by to tivo and DirecTV

  11. Andy Pennell says:


    1. No idea

    2. As good as your local channel transmits it

    3. Sorry no, I have a Radio Shack thing that came with the house, I can see the transmitters so no issues (except for Fox)

    4. Voom had no PVR when I last checked, and were having staff, programming and other problems according to TPV magazine last month. They don’t do HD locals either.

  12. 仪表 says:

    WOW! I want one. Where did you get it?

  13. Thanks Andy

    Is there a video quality setting like standard tivo? If so how many hours of HD at the best setting?

  14. Andy Pennell says:

    Satellite TiVos have no concept of ‘video quality setting’ that stand-alone TiVos do as they record the bitstream directly from the satellite. You get the exact same quality it was broadcast in.

  15. Joku says:

    While Enterprise has had a few good episodes in Season 3, it still is not worth the title "Star Trek: Enterprise".

  16. Brian says:

    Does this unit record OTA HD and digital channels? My old directivo receiver could not record OTA signals.

  17. Andy Pennell says:

    Brian, yes it can record OTA signals but only digital OTA. If your local channel is backward enough to only broadcast in analog, then this wont record it as it has no MPEG2 encoder: it just records the bitstream, be it satellite or digital OTA.

  18. Andy Pennell says:

    TPV Magazine July/Aiugust reviewed the LG Electronics LST-3410A HD PVR (see http://us.lge.com/Product/proddetail.do?action=tv&prodId=LST-3410A&categoryId=010403 ). This can record OTA HD and unencrypted HD cable. It only has one tuner and a 120G hard drive, and it is not a TiVo, yet retails for more than the HD Tivo ($1199). If you are stuck with cable I guess its your only choice, though you still can’t record HBO from cable with anything that I am aware of.

  19. jimpi says:

    I purchased and set up this unit last Saturday and have found the unit to be very slow in resonding to the remote. For example: It may take 15 clicks on the Guide or list button for the guid to show up. Performance does seem to improve after a 30-60 minutes of use. Has any one else experienced this?

  20. tridub says:

    Anyone have anything to add about the TIVO lifetime subscription? Is it available for this unit?

  21. Andy Pennell says:

    Sorry tridub I have no idea. I’ve never done a Lifetime sub in any of my 3 TiVo’s, I’ve always assumed they would be obsolete by the time I would start saving money on the deal, and I’ve mostly been right so far.

  22. Mac888 says:

    As I see the comments on this log, I would like to understand why it is not possible to record HD channels behind my Cable box? I do have Comcast, HD channels… my Moto is plugged to my TV through components – so the TV gets a clear signal… why can’t I plug any DVR/PVR between my Comcast Moto and my TV ?? Does anybody knows the pb?

    I really would like to buy a DVR/PVR but none says it can record HD from cable (only OTA or Directv Tivo service…)

    Can someone help me to understand?

    Tx a lot …

  23. Andy Pennell says:

    Mac88: if you want to record HD from cable you need a box designed to do just that, as cable HD is transmitted differently to OTA HD. Its not like svideo: you can’t just record the HD component video signal that comes out of your decoder (as it is way too much bandwidth), you have to record the compressed signal. The signal come in varius formats: OTA, Satellite, and Cable. Plus various formats of the latter two. The LG device listed above should record your cable HD signal, but only for unencrypted channels. There is an FCC mandate that cable boxes must have a Firewire port so you can record that on a D-VHS deck, but most cable co’s are ignoring the mandate, and D-VHS is a doomed technology (IMHO).

    Another difference is that in the satellite market you can go to a store and buy a decoder and a PVR. For the cable market you normally have to get the hardware from your cable co, and if your cable co don’t offer what you want you are probably SOL. However the hardware is always cheaper (and sometimes free) for cable users. The price you pay is in flexibility (none) and the time it takes for some cable cos to adopt the hardware.

  24. Lynn M.H. says:

    Have had TiVo 250GB recorder on order since 5/04. It just came in, but when I went to pick it up, man said I can NOT record HD, because I MUST stay connected to a PHONE LINE. IS THIS TRUE ?? …I live and travel fulltime in a motorhome, and do NOT always have a hard wired phone…. (I presently have a RCA DTC-100 HD DirectTV receiver, and initially I needed a phone line to get set up, only.)

  25. I’ve had TiVo for a while now, and I don’t think I would be able to stop using it. It is so convinient, plus I don’t need to watch this stupid commercials!!!!

  26. I’ve had TiVo for a while now, and I don’t think I would be able to stop using it. It is so convinient, plus I don’t need to watch this stupid commercials!!!!

  27. I’ve had TiVo for a while now, and I don’t think I would be able to stop using it. It is so convenient, plus I don’t need to watch this stupid commercials!!!!

    Is that true that FCC is planning to do something about it? Ban it or so?

  28. sorry, I don’t know what happen…

  29. HD TiVo says:

    TiVo is a great thing. I don’t need to watch those stupid commercials anymore! Recently I got this HDTiVo – That is even better. I put my article about it on http://www.hdtv-info.org/forum-28.html

  30. Robert says:

    There are some nice photos of INSIDE an HD TiVo here:


  31. RealHDTV says:

    Tivo is not a bad option taking into consideration the amount of benefit we get. But the catch here is its capacity in the long run.

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