I consider myself one of Tivo's greatest fans. for 6 years I've really enjoyed my Tivo and prostelitize it at every opportunity. Even got one for my parent-in laws for Christmas. I am sad to say that I'm about ready to throw mine off the roof.
Last Nov my trusty Series 2 tivo died ... after about 5 years. Not bad, I think the HD crashed and I didnt want to muck with replacing it. At that same time my Cable company, Insight, came out with HD on Cable. Tivo now has a HD capable Tivo so I figured OK I'll upgrade to it. The Tivo HD (Series 3) is really a nice box ... "on paper". It uses Cable Cards to decode the HD cable signal so you dont have to use a Cable box. It has HDMI and Dolby digital outputs and can record and play HD quality signals. I was so excited I had to get my brown pants out.
My new tivo arrived in Dec and I was soooo happy. I even had to upgrade my Home Audio system to handle DVI. I should have seen the writing then though ... it took the cable guy 8 hours over 2 trips to finally get it working. First my cables were all old and had signal problems, my splitter/amp was degrading the signal and I couldnt get HD. Eventually the cable guy got it all working and everything was great ...
THen 1 month later my tivo started having "hicups" then crashes. Within a week it would reboot contstantly. 2 hours on the phone with several techs and the results were in ... a HD crash ... Great.
So ok a new tivo on its way. A week later a different cable guy came (have to call Insight every time to "pair" the new cable cards, you cant read the numbers on the phone to them). He knew nothing about Tivos and was very frustrated. I printed out all the directions but he didnt want to follow them instead he just got madder and madder and was about to give up when eventually magically the cards "paired" and it started working ... YEA !!!!
Ok now fast forward 1 month and THIS (2nd) Tivo starts having the same symptoms, glitches and crashes ... so I called up tivo ... and this time I knew exactly what to say to get them to agree it was bad. So ... a NEW tivo in the mail ....
The Third tivo arrived 2 weeks ago. After a 2 day process of getting it fully reloaded and synced I had the cable guy come out *again* to pair the cards. Should only take 10 minutes. 6 hours later they still wouldnt pair. He even ran a new cable across my lawn directly into the living room, and also plugged in a Insight DVR to prove I could get the channels. But on the Tivo I couldnt get all the channels. The diagnostics said the cards wouldnt "pair" with the cable company.
He even came back the next day for 2 hours and tried 3 new pairs of cards. No go.
Finally another call to Tivo and an hour later while they have me read off diagnostics and try the same things I've tried over and over and they admiteed its "probably a bad box". Great.
So my FORTH tivo in 3 months. Due to arrive today.
I noticed on the "return" paperwork they listed the replacement Tivo's as "Refurbished". I asked the tivo guy, "Can you send me a NEW one this time?"
He told me "No, we dont make that model anymore, they are all refurbished".
That is very strange as I see them for sale on tivo.com as new, and its the latest high end Series 3 HD Tivo ...
I'm holding my breath one more time. If this tivo doesnt work perfectly within 1 hour I'm gonna toss it and get a Cable Company DVR ...
I really hope I dont have to because for some insane reason I LOVE MY TIVO !!!
I love the new video streaming, Netflix integration, web integration, Picture and Audio streaming. Its really a great system ... if only the damn thing worked !!!