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TiVo Series 3 vs Time Warner

Since Apple is too busy worrying about the health of Steve Jobs and a stock dive over the last month to work on an Apple TV DVR, I went out and picked up a Tivo Series 3 HD to get back on track with my TV. One of the things that excites me is the ability to record two shows at once!

After picking up my TiVo at Best Buy, I went to Time Warner the next day to get a Cable Card. This was my second trip to a TW location in as many days since the previous night’s venture to the Bella Terra store resulted in the lady telling me they didn’t have any (in a “why do you even want that thing” sort of snarky voice) and for me to go to another store the next day. So thinking that I needed two cards, I picked them up and headed home.

As I was installing the TiVo (and getting hit in the head with items falling off of my stereo rack and a Wii Sensor Bar), I fired it up and discovered the Cable Cards were actually Multi cards, meaning that I really only needed one. Bonus for me! After the agonizing race to get the data into the TiVo, it all started to work beautifully in time for Survivor: Gabon.

It wasn’t until later in the night that I realized that some channels – including the ever important 217 – the Travel Channel – were not showing up. In fact, all of my optional extra channels, TW calls them Variety and Choice Tier, were not there at all. After calling Time Warner’s crack service department, they decide to send me a technician to solve the issue. Apparently the cards are not getting the authorization to decode the optional channels. Sadly, this means I will have to watch Most Haunted on the bedroom TV. My big hope is that I can get all this sorted out before next week’s 7-hour Most Haunted Live.

It is a bit weird getting used to using the TiVo interface the whole time. For the past six years, I have used the TiVo through a cable box. The TiVo guide seems to be a bit slower, but I really enjoy the fact that I can watch whatever is on TV and not worry about it flipping to record CSI in the middle of watching Doctor Who or something like that.

I haven’t tried to record a HD show yet, but I want to see how it will work. My TV is not an HD set, but as I have mentioned previously, it is HD ready and can process the signals. It is just a 4:3 set so everything is letterbox, but it looks way better than I think most HD TVs can put out. The only advantage a LCD or Plasma has is the thin form factor. Then again, my TV is almost 9 years old so I half expect it to die a painful death soon since all of my older electronics seem to be growing long in the tooth.

Hopefully my technician will solve the problems better than their last visit..