TiVo’s Series 3 HD Lives!

Dave Zatz —  January 5, 2006 — 15 Comments

Megazone’s been quizzing the TiVo folks all day and has tons of details on the forthcoming Series 3. Well, except for a concrete date (mid-late 2006) and price. All in all, exciting news if TiVo delivers.

megazone says: The unit has two CableCARD slots on the back and it will support Multi-Stream (CableCARD 2.0) or Single-Stream (CableCARD 1.0) cards. If you have multi-stream then you only need one card, but as long as only single stream cards are available you can use two of them. Yes, it supports digital and analog cable, digital ATSC OTA, and analog NTSC OTA. The unit has front panel controls clustered on the right, and a nice display in the middle with a very cool feature – it displays the title of the show(s) tuned at the time, so you always know what it is recording at a glance. The remote ls also sleeker – a slick update of the Series2 peanut with minor changes for HDTV (such as an aspect button). But the big change is that the remote is backlit! TiVo will also be selling an external SATA drive for easy storage expansion, and they have that on display here too.

Photos provided by megazone…


Series 3 Front View


Series 3 Front Panel


Series 3 Rear Panel


Series 3 Rear View


TiVo Series 3 Backlit Remote


External SATA Hard Drive

15 responses to TiVo’s Series 3 HD Lives!

  1. If Megazone is looking in, here are my top questions I wish you could find out:

    1) Will all of the MCE content that Gates announced that can be downloaded to an MCE also be transferable to the Tivo3? (Akimbo, ABC, MTV, StarZ)?

    2)if MCE can be loaded onto any old home computer and used simply as a gateway, will HME apps be able to facilitate buying and automagically transfering such content to the Tivo? If not, will TIvo add such features to the “MCE plugin?”

    3) What is the Mpeg4 decoder in the Tivo3? Is the Mpeg2 encoder any more powerful than that in the SA2?

    4) What is the estimated transfer time for an hourlong SD show from Tivo3 to a PC using a wired 1000Mbit connection? About the same as what it would be for an SA2, or we talking several orders of magnitude difference?

  2. I have those same questions. Especially on HME and TTG performance.

  3. I’ll see what I can find out. :-)

    And thanks for mirroring, Dave.

  4. Wow. I want one now.

    If we’re allowed to ask questions, could you ask someone when us poor Canadian fans will be able to buy one in the country that isn’t on eBay? Are they going to launch in Canada? At least ship to us?

    Did the stuff they were showing seem ready to sell? Or rough beta versions? Just wondering how ready this stuff is. I don’t want to wait!!

  5. What about the UK – we have Tivo here, not that you’d now it!!
    Whats worse is that v2 wasn’t realeased here, so come on lets see three!!!!

  6. My biggest concern about the CableCard-only HDTV capabilities is that it makes it MUCH harder to order things like pay-per-view movies or events, and there’s no movies-on-demand potential. You need the cable company’s receiver for that, and it doesn’t appear this TiVo, with only coax inputs, has any way to support that. (Or can you run coax from the receiver?) Thanks for sharing the pictures, and please enter me!

  7. Will sumbody answer some of my questions 1. whats a cableca?rd iv always been a satsuscriber. 1. how does that work?. 3. does the series3 comes with tivo basic free like the pioneer or toshiba?

  8. I currently have TiVo2. Works with Comacast & DishNetwork. Will TiVo3 work with both. I do not want to lose Dish but I love TiVo.

  9. I see many questions posted here, but no answers. I’ll post a question anyway: Will the Series 3 have a DVD recorder integrated into the unit? My Series 2 Toshiba does, and I love it because I can save certain shows without using up hard drive space, or worrying that someday the Tivo will die and take my shows along with it. Thanks.

  10. In followup to my first question (I always think of one more thing after I hit the “send” button) – if it doesn’t have an integrated DVD recorder, will it at least have a line out that I can connect to my DVD recorder? That’s one more metal box to stack by the TV, but at least I could record my shows for posterity on DVD. OK. That’s it for now. Hoping for some enlightenment from someone in the know.

  11. Some answers…

    Kevin, CableCARD is an authentication and decrypting technology being used by cable companies. You can rent a card for a buck or two to pop into a TV or device like the S3. Satellite providers are not required to participate. I have’t heard any rumors of TiVo Basic for the S3 and seriously doubt it will be offered.

    Larry, S3 is only designed for cable or OTA broadcasts.

    Oddgirl, the initial S3 unit that’s been on display and being beta tested does not have a DVD recorder or player. Not sure if future versions will or what technology (DVD, HDDVD, Bluray?) they will use, but I’m sure it’s being considered. You should be able to output standard-def analog video to a DVD recorder. TiVo has also stated they will continue to support TiVeToGo – so you’ll be able to transfer shows to a PC (and possibly Mac by then) for archiving… though there could be some dumbing down of resolution to prevent piracy and efficiently use bandwidth.

  12. Why isn’t Tivo keeping subscribers more informed on the S3? I’d sure like to see something from them on my Tivo instead of the random commercials on the menu screen.

  13. My Mitsu DLP HDTV has an decoder that lets me get unencrypted HD cable programming. Any idea if the S3 Tivo will decode HD cable if no CableCard is present?

  14. It’s out. Check out my blog for more details. TiVo Series 3 Released! http://www.markjeweler.com/miscblog/2006/09/tivo-series-3-released.html

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