Series 3 Looking Like a Keeper


Damn Viral S3 is eating away at my futile resistance …

The saga of the Series3 continues at my house with the decision to send back the TiVo Store S3 and order another S3 from TCS.

The original S3 cost $800, but with the TCS 15% off discount, I am getting the new one for $680. I’ve also ordered the 400GB Upgrade Kit ($299) for a net cost of $269 (the 15% Coupon is limited to $150 total savings.) 

I probably would have kept the first Series3, but for an additional $149 plus shipping back to TiVo Store and an hour of spare time, I am getting a 400GB upgrade and a 250GB spare disk drive, which I could later put into an eSata housing.

I’ve added a review of the TCS experience.


Original Post with table valuing Series3:

(October 21, 2006)

This Che@p Chicken B@$t@rd ordered an $3 from the TiVo $tore in late September.

Now I had every intention of benefiting from knowing what it was like to have an S3 at the mere expense of return shipping and CableCard install fees. In other words, it was a trial to gather intelligence on when and at what price to really get an S3. I paid full price (and got charged NYS Sales Tax in error) just to get the true TiVo “treatment.”

In the mean time, that insidious box fevered up this Cheap Chicken with TiVo’s S3 version of Bird Flu.

The recording quality is vastly superior to the old S2s. The scaling is very good, providing a vast improvement to the image on my cheapo HDTV.

250GB HD is nice and about a $200 premium @ TiVo/Weaknees prices. I never knew I’d love having 2 tuners so much (also >$30++ premium of S2DT.)

The UI performance is so much snappier than the S2s.

While I hate not having critical features like MRV and TTC&G, I can’t bring myself to ship back the unit and buy one <$700 @ retail after all the “investment” in setup – including CC install effort and fees. I’d save <$100 in the end, and it isn’t worth the bother. Nor do I want to go down to an S2DT.

Maybe I’ll comfort myself by saying I’ll wait on the second, third and fourth S3s for sub-$500 pricing.   😉

Series3 & Series2DT(80hr) vs Series2(80hr) Value Proposition:(Table based on combination of real world pricing and personal values)



No Rebate Hassle $30 N/A
250 GB HD $150 N/A
eSata $50 N/A




$- 10

$-  1




Dual Tuners &  Ethernet $250 incl. DCR/CC & ATSC $50
Recording Quality (Analog)

Recording HD





Scaling to HDTV $200 N/A
Total Value Premium over S2 $669 >$50?
Retail Price vs Series2

Sale Price vs Series 2


$630 est.


$30 est.

Notes to table:

  • Recording HD could be $50 higher if I had more HD on my cable system.
  • eSata assumed available by end of 2006.
  • TiVoCast & PW assumed available by end of 2006.
  • MRV assumed available by 2Q2007. TTC&G assumed available by 4Q2007.

I conclude that starting fresh, I’d buy the S3 for around $700 or less at retail, but it isn’t worth swapping boxes at this point to net $ back. If it were connected to my XBR910 instead of the “cheap” Toshiba, that would hurt the S3 in the scaling category by at least $150, putting it back on the “wanted at lower price list.”


One Response to “Series 3 Looking Like a Keeper”

  1. Series3 Still a Keeper? « HDTiVo Blog Says:

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