You get a new, big screen TV for the living room or the master bedroom – then what do you do with the old, not-so-big-screen you already have? Or if you are leaning the other way and want to have the main theater (maybe with screen, projector and Dolby Surround) in a room that’s not used for much else? All good questions, but the important one is what do you watch on that “new” screen?
A TiVo box is a great choice if you have DirecTV, or if you don’t hate your cable company that much. It really is possible; for example, we live in a city where Comcast gives jobs to a lot of people. If you don’t want to “cut the cord,” a TiVo combines a quality machine and remote with a great interface and excellent search capability. It will record all the episodes of your favorite TV shows, all the movies with your favorite actor, all the network holiday specials and all the games of your favorite sports teams. It’s very liberating during football season to start watching a game around halftime, skip through the commercials, replay anything you want to see again and still have all the suspense at the end of the game. No need to ever watch anything when it’s actually on. It has 2 tuners, so you will never have to decide between 2 shows that conflict or overlap. If you live near broadcast antennas, you can also record network shows (like major sporting events) in the highest definition there is. You can fast forward through the pledge breaks when PBS shows the good stuff.
It also streams from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus and YouTube. It connects to your home network, letting you remotely program over the Internet, stream shows between 2 TiVos and enjoy pictures and music from your computer. As a substitute for your cable box, it’s hard to beat, but you have to factor in the TiVo subscription cost for the programming information, which will cost you another $10 – $20 per month, depending on how you pay for the box.
TiVo’s been around since 1999, so you are most likely either already a convert or you’re not sure it’s for you. Maybe it’s time to give it another look.
Now, of course, there is competition in the set-top box space. The next posts will help you decide if you’d rather have a Roku or an Apple TV, which incidentally are both quite tiny and take up very little space on top of that set.