31 August 2007

Top 10 reasons I love Tivo

I have had my Tivo boxes for over three years now and I absolutely love them. At times I work odd shifts, so the time-shifting capabilities of the system are great. At work I tout the abilities and the features of Tivo. Many times I get a co-worker who will say that they enjoy their cable company's provided DVR, but to that I say BAH! I feel that the Tivo is superior and here are my top 10 reasons.

10. Internet Radio

From time to time I like to be able to listen to my favorite Internet radio station. This feature allows me to access it and play it over my home stereo (which is hooked up to my TV). This is not a feature on cable provided DVRs.

9. Amazon Unbox

Although most cable companies provide On-Demand type downloads, the Tivo equivalent is Amazon Unbox. It allows me to download movies and TV shows, but for a fee. Although, I get to keep these movies or TV shows because I have purchased them, unlike On-Demand.

8. Podcasts

I love being able to watch my video podcasts from the comfort of my living room or bedroom. From here I can watch my C|net clips, and other video podcasts that I enjoy to watch, without being tethered to my computer. Plus, I don't get any streaming problems, as all the podcasts are downloaded as they are released.

7. Tivo-To-Go

Another favorite feature of mine is the ability to transfer recorded shows and movies to my laptop for travel, a PSP or other small video device. The program also allows me to transfer my home movies and other downloads to my Tivo so I can watch them on the TV.

6. Swivel Search

This allows me to search out a program by genre, name, or keywords. I like this to search for new shows and ones that I see commercials for and can't remember the name. I can also search by channel and time as well.

5. Tivo Recommendations

Tivo will take your thumbs up and thumbs down ratings into consideration and recommend shows for you to watch. You can turn on this feature and have Tivo download the shows for you or you can just access the list and download the ones that look interesting to you.

4. KidZone

With kids in the house, this is an important feature for me. This allows the kids to flip channels, but only to channels that are actively broadcasting shows that are below a user-specified level. For me, I have it set for Y7, so that any channel with a show rating of Y7 and below will be available for my children to watch. As for the Now Playing list, only shows Y7 and below (or others that I actively set for them to watch) will be available for them.

3. Online Scheduling

Oops, I forgot to set a recording for something that is coming on this evening and I'm at work. No problem, I can just log in to my account at Tivo.com and schedule a recording over the internet! I can setup a Season Pass as well. This is a great feature for those shows you hear about at work or a friends house and you don't want to forget to record them to check them out.

2. Home Media

The home media options are one of my favorites of the Tivo features. I can play my MP3's from my computer, view a slideshow of photos from my computer as well. My favorite part of this is the multi-room viewing. I am able to transfer shows from my Tivo in the living room to my Tivo in the bedroom and back again. This makes it great for times when I just want to lounge in bed and watch my favorite show, even though it was recorded on the Tivo in another room.

1. Season Pass

The Season Pass feature on the Tivo is one that I constantly rave about. It will allow me to record all instances of a show without recording the repeats throughout the week. If a show traditionally begins a few minutes early or ends a few minutes late every week (some stations do this to catch extra viewers), I can set up my Season Pass for that particular show to begin a few minutes early or extend a few minutes, so I do not miss important parts of my show.

All in all, I believe the Tivo service to be a great one and if you intend on fronting the money to rent a cable DVR, I suggest that you at least look into investing in a Tivo box. They run specials all the time where you can get the box for free for a 1 year service commitment. If you have HD and want a HD DVR, Tivo has that as well in their Series 3 DVR.

Let me know what you think and your preferences on a DVR.

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