General Question

lbus1229's avatar

Do I have to pay the monthly fee if I buy a TIVO and I only want to record from the t.v.?

Asked by lbus1229 (338points) October 8th, 2008

I want to buy the Series2 TiVo but would rather not pay the monthy fee if I do not need to.

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9 Answers

kullervo's avatar

I think Tivo runs as a service that requires subscription. What you should look for is a PVR. I have one from lite-on that lets me pause TV, record shows and it stored it on an internal hard-drive. It also has a DVD-burner so I can watch DVD but also copy anything I have recorded to disc of archiving or sharing with friends.

They are pretty cheap now and have no subscription fee.

The disavantage is they usually can’t change the tv channel for you. So to schedule a recording you need to program your sky/cable to change to that station when your show is on and separately programme your PVR to do the same.

bodyhead's avatar

Tivo is actually separate from your cable. You pay the fee for your cable (or none if you just have the over the air tv) and then you pay a monthly fee for the tivo to retrieve the tv guide recording directory (12.95 per month for your first box).

If you want to do something similar for no monthly fee, you might consider looking into a Freevo or a Mythtv system (if you’re fairly computer savvy). I think there are even a couple of places that construct these boxes for you. I’d say avoid that monthly fee.

I have a tivo that I bought a lifetime subscription (about $450 + tivo box cost) but looking back I should have just built one. I don’t think they even offer the lifetime subscription anymore.

Snoopy's avatar

@kullervo We have a DVR and it works great…..for analog TV. It will not record the HD/digital signal.

robmandu's avatar

< < Does not have a Tivo®.

There’s a long, convoluted thread over at the U.K. Tivo support forums. Basically, the gist of it is that yes, you can make unlimited length recordings without subscription. But you won’t have a guide or show names or anything. Your recorded shows would be named like:

“Manual Recording BBC2 9:00pm Monday”
“Manual Recording BBC1 6:00pm Sunday”
“Manual Recording ITV2 11:30pm Friday”
“Manual Recording C4 7:00pm Friday”

There’s some chatter that the thing might still need to dial up daily in any case. But that part didn’t make sense to me.

cwilbur's avatar

A considerable amount of the benefit of the Tivo is in the program guide, and being able to say “Record every first-run episode of CSI: Miami” and not having to worry about when that is and what channel it’s on and whoops, they moved it to Thursday nights and you didn’t realize it.

If you don’t pay the monthly subscription fee, you get the ability to pause/rewind live TV and the ability to manually record programs. If that’s all you want, you may as well get a VCR.

Snoopy's avatar

@cwilbur. VCRs and DVRs won’t work w/ digital tv signal

(there was at one time a DVR that did, but it was cost prohibitive to purchase)

robmandu's avatar

Digital-to-analog converter boxes are available.

cwilbur's avatar

@Snoopy: and if you’re not getting broadcast digital signals, but are dealing with cable or satellite, you’re not dealing with digital TV signals anyway.

Snoopy's avatar

@cwilbur….well there ya’ go. No cable. No satellite.

So for me, the only way to do this would be to link to TiVo via the phone line.

Other than that I cannot record digital signal at this time….

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