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Hello TiVo. Again.

Saturday, February 08 2003

The first time I owned TiVo I was in a total frenzy because the 2002 Winter Olympics started that day and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to watch the opening ceremonies, let alone curling and whatever you call that sport where you ski and shoot at things.

So I went to Circuit City, bought a plain old TiVo, took it home, hooked it up to my satellite reciever, and grimaced with each change of the channel. It was awful. It literally took a few seconds to switch channels. It was frustration in it’s most pure form. Sure all the pausing of live broadcasts and stuff was fun, but it was painful to say the least.

So, after recording, then watching the opening ceremonies on fast forward, I took the TiVo back. Circuit City wasn’t happy at all. The guy wasn’t mad so much because I was bringing something back; he was mad because I didn’t like my TiVo.

I wanted an integrated system – the TiVo required some serial cable hookup mumbo jumbo which probably made it so nasty slow. I wanted my receiver and PVR stuff in one unit, and that unit was the UltimateTV box. That was like heaven compared to TiVo, required no phone line and didn’t cost any extra (well, it did, but I never did sign up and all things worked just fine). The menus were great, the channel switching was fast, and best of all, I could record two shows at once, even while watching previously recorded stuff. And it had a 30 second skip button, which made getting through commercials accurate and fast.

So now, in Oregon, we have no satellite reception. But we were still starving for the ability to pause TV and record stuff easily. So we got a TiVo again, this time, the Series 2. It works great because it just hooks into our free cable feed. I miss the 30 second skip button, but overall I’m happy to have more control over TV again.

Incidentally, if anyone wants to buy the UltimateTV unit, I wouldn’t mind selling it. Just toss in your current DirectTV smart card and it’s good to go.