Last night our TiVo died. It died at the promise of life. Which is to say that the screen said POWERING UP. Then, three minutes later, the screen went dark. And the Powering Up began again. I figure this happened at least 250 times.
I tried the fixes on the forums. I unplugged and replugged. I unplugged and waited 20 minutes and replugged. Terri and I were distraught. We are TiVo addicts. There's no question about this.
To the web. Research. I found a TiVo - same box as I had - for free. Circuit City. (And would you believe ther special is over tomorrow?) Yup. Cost: $219.99 - rebate $220. Too good to be true? Apparently not. Bought it on the spot. Called TiVo when I got home and 'cancelled' the contract on the old box and started a new one on the new box. I put the new box under the old one and swapped connectors. This time, Powering Up meant what it said. I went through the setup and all seems good.
I suppose there's a little irony here, in that we only need this standard definition TiVo till (I project) this fall, when major advances will be common in all HDTVs and associated gear (receivers, etc.) AT that time, or shortly after, we will jump to high definition. So at that point I will immediately buy a high definition TiVo. They list for $999. I doubt there are any great deals out there. Certainly no free ones.
You might think TiVo is a toy or an excuse to watch more TV - but it's actually not -you watch LESS TV because we skip the commercials. Takes about - oh, I don't know - maybe 5 seconds to skip all of them. A half hour show is about 18 minutes. An hour show is about 40 minutes.
You might also think all DVRs are the same. But no, that TiVo interface is WONDERFUL.
Example: We love "24." TiVo knows to get all the new episodes. But the other day FOX played a TWO HOUR run of new shows back to back. No sweat. TiVo knew, and got them. Schedule changes? No problem. TiVo knows.
I have evangelized about TiVo over the years. Other than the fact they break after a while, there's just no going back to real time tv and that's that.