My poor Series3 TiVo has had a tough life. The remote had been dropped so many times, the TiVo button was twisted out of place. The OLED display had died. No wonder why I was thinking about replacing it with the FIOS DVR. I also was contemplating doing something more radical like a roku with hulu plus (just announced) or just buying selected shows on iTunes or Amazon. Folks who love technology including myself tend to think that we have to go with the latest and greatest in order move forward. Today is the day I say NO!
In my opinion, the original series 3 is the best DVR on the market. It’s interface is clean and intuitive. Yes, it’s SD but HD interfaces sometimes result in information overload. It’s HD and it can record two programs at once while you watch another. It has the best remote control that has ever come with any component I’ve owned. It has video downloading and streaming features such as Netflix and Amazon. It’s also THX certified (not that I necessarily care). It also has one other thing going for it: Style.
Yes, style. Most electronics lacks style. The Series 3 has the best look of any TiVo thanks to its OLED display which displays the time and what show(s) are being recorded. The unit has a sturdy feel. On the other hand, the current Premier has a bland look encased in cheap plastic. I really wish the Premier XL inclued the OLED display and looked like it cost $500. The Boxee box makes an attempt at style but has a weird shape that is not functional. Apple gets the style thing as does Samsung to a lesser extent.
Instead of buying a new TiVo Premier or replacing with the FIOS DVR, I decided to resurrect my existing TiVo. Thanks to eBay, I found one in good condition for about $70 that I used for parts (It also came with a wireless Tivo adapter which I might give away here on the site). With the help of a my torx screwdriver, the OLED display was replaced and the old remote was revived. I also realized the old TiVo had the wrong aspect ratio setting which was resulting in the occasional static screen (HDMI handshaking problem). It’s great to have Tivo return to its former glory. While it’s only a matter of time before I break down and buy another gadget, the Series3 will still be my primary vehicle for watching TV for the foreseeable future.