How is TiVO different from my cable company’s DVR?

TiVO was one of the first Digital Video Recording (DVR) devices sold to consumers, and helped to establish the DVR industry. The functionality offered in most cable and satellite company DVRs was first introduced in the TiVO, and the cable companies emulate it in an attempt to compete with TiVO. Everyone who has a DVR from their local cable or satellite company owes a debt of gratitude to TiVO for blazing the trail.

Cable Company DVRs
Your cable company’s DVR replaces your digital cable box (High Definition or Standard Definition), provides you with additional functions specific to your cable provider, and offers you a wide variety of video recording functionality. Here are some of the functions of a cable company owned DVR:

  • Dual Tuners: You can watch one show while you record another. You can also record two shows while watching a show you’ve previously recorded, or watching shows available through Video on Demand.
  • Search for Shows: You can use the DVR menu guide to search for the shows you’d like to record, or you can search for shows by name using the on-screen keyboard.
  • Record the Season: You can record an entire season of a show including new episodes and reruns.
  • Resolve Conflicts: If three or more shows are scheduled to be recorded during the same time slot, the DVR will recognize this, and categorize the shows as conflicts. You can review them manually and choose which show you would prefer to record.
  • Prioritize Recordings: You can set the priority of your recordings, so if there are conflicts, the show with the higher recording priority will get recorded.
  • Automatically Delete Shows or Protect Recordings: You can adjust the DVR’s recording settings to automatically delete a show you’ve recorded after seven days or when your DVR is full. Alternatively, you can adjust the settings to protect certain shows from being deleted, regardless of whether or not the DVR Is full.
  • Pause Live TV: You can pause and replay live TV at any time. You can also use the menu to record a show that is already in progress.

TiVO – Not Just a DVR
TiVO started off as a DVR, but has evolved into a premium quality home entertainment device. Not only does TiVO perform all of the functions of a cable company owned DVR listed above, but it acts as a home multimedia hub, connects to the internet to download additional media, and allows you to port your video and other media to various devices including your laptop or desktop, and your iPod, iPhone, or DVD player.

TiVO can now replace your cable box without additional third-party equipment. Once you purchase your TiVO, your cable company can install CableCARDS in your TiVO, which will allow it to connect directly to your cable service.

Powerful Menus and Amazing Service
TiVO’s monthly service gives you access to amazing programming, and gives you the power to find exactly what you want to watch. While your cable company’s DVR will allow you to search for programming by title, TiVO will allow you to search by Title, Subject, and Actor. This gives you more control over your search results. You can also choose to record shows based on your searches. For instance, if you were a fan of Hugh Laurie, you could search for, and record, every show he is listed to appear in. You can create a WishList based on these preferences, and use it to automatically record anything within your search parameters.

Internet-connected TiVO units can take the search functionality to a whole new level. You can search for content on internet sites like YouTube based on your search parameters and play it directly on your TV.

Leveraging the Power of the Internet
The cable companies have done a very poor job of leveraging internet connectivity through their DVRs. Even though your cable company may be your high-speed internet provider, you still have limited-to-no control over your DVR via the internet, and it is unlikely that your cable company DVR can take advantage of the internet it is connected to. TiVO, on the other hand, takes enormous advantage of the internet. With TiVO you can:

  • Download videos from Amazon Video on Demand
  • Download movies from Netflix
  • Connect to other TiVO units on your local area network to share videos
  • Rent Disney CinemaNow videos
  • Download YouTube videos
  • Download music directly from Rhapsody
  • Download pictures from Photobucket or Picasa
  • Control your TiVO recording schedule via the internet from your PC or your smartphone

TiVO Replaces Your Cable Box and Subscription
As our economy continues to crumble, saving money on monthly bills is paramount. By purchasing a TiVO, you will no longer have to pay a monthly fee for your DVR service or cable box. TiVO HD will allow you to take advantage of FREE over-the-air HD channels and eliminate your cable bills entirely. Combine that with the ability to download content over the internet, and you will never need cable service again.

Take Your Content With You
Cable company DVRs box your content in. There is no easy way to extract the video you have recorded to your PC, iPod, smartphone or to DVDs. The cable company would rather exert complete control of where you get your content, and how you use your content. TiVO allows you to break your content out of the box. Not only can you transfer content from TiVO to TiVO, but you can download video directly to your PC, iPod, or smartphone, and you can even burn it to DVD. TiVO gives you much more control over your content, and allows you to take it with you.

TiVO Designed with Consumers In Mind
There is really no comparison between a TiVO and your cable company’s DVR. The services and features that TiVO provides you are far superior, and the savings can be astounding if you choose to discontinue your cable in favor of free programming. Ultimately, TiVO was designed with the best interests of the consumer in mind, while your cable company’s DVR was designed with their best interests in mind.