May 29, 2011

TiVo 500gb - anyone got one?

Has anyone had a 500gb box installed? Care to post a comment on it?

15 comments:

Michael said...

I had my 500GB Tivo installed last week, and so far I'm liking it. The install took just under an hour, with no problems.

As for the box itself, it's really nice. I used to have a series one Tivo several years ago, so I'm already familiar with it. One thing I am very dissapointed about though is the general speed of the box, compared to my old Samsung V+ it seems to be really slow, almost back to SA V+ box speeds. There seem to be frequent hitches and pauses. Why can't they just make a box that will properly run the damned software they're planning on putting on it?

Overall though, I'm glad I've got it, and I find I'm now watching 2-3 times more TV now! Not sure if this is a good thing or not. :-)

Afront said...

I got a 500GB box last week, installed and ready-to-go in under 30 mins.

For me, the good points are:

Lots more disk space for HD content. I was continuously having to clear programmes from my V+ box, so the extra space was the main reason I wanted the Tivo.

Sharper, faster interface.

14-day programme guide instead of just 7 days.

Sleeker, quieter box.

Set recordings from a web browser or smartphone.

Wish Lists look like a killer feature, but I've yet to get into this much yet.

The "snap to start of part" is great for when you slightly overrun a fast-forward past some ads.

Can use my Harmony One remote with it no bother (well, except for changing channels which takes ages).


The bad points are:

Can't set-and-forget padding for all recordings. My fist week's experience resulted in me missing to end of pretty much every recording I'd made.

Lack of BBC integration into the catch-up listings is a massive disappointment.

Too many clicks to just watch a programme.

Too many insert-PIN requests.

Series link doesn't seem to be as stable as V+ e.g. I had to set two to make sure it recorded Dr. Who.

I'm spending way too much time "managing" my scheduled recordings e.g. I set a link to record new episodes of Click. There's one a week, but TiVo wants to record about a dozen a week.

The Wishlist and Recommendation features don't let me specify HD-only.

Wishlists don't let me specify e.g. Movies only.


I'm sure many of the "bad" things can be fixed through software updates, so I'm fairly happy with the box.

£8/month is a bit much though....

mercelous said...

I had a 500g TiVo box installed on Tue and had it put in my bedroom with my 1TB TiVo downstairs. So far very happy with it but it does seem to be quicker than my 1TB TiVo. Whether it will change once recordings start building up I will have to see as I have around 20% full on it's bigger brother. Everything else is the same just a smaller hard drive but millions of miles better than my now departed Samsung V+HD. It cost me £49.95 with £40 install. I tried to get install wavered but they would not budge. You only have to pay 1 TiVo monthly sub too no matter how many TiVo boxes you have so a bonus there aswell.

FolkestonePrinting.com Ltd said...

I still havent received an email about what the special offer was to tje unlucky people that didnt get 1TB version free? The email from VM said we'd hear about a special offer in May? Surely the £49.95 + £40 install wasnt the offer was it?

Nialli said...

Interesting - thanks guys.
I've found my TiVo has sped up notably since its first week - I'd put it on a par with my Samsung V+ if not a little faster.
There's a short cut for watching programmes that removes the surplus screens: when you highlight something in My Shows just press the Play button: it plays the programme straightaway.
I mainly record on series link and set them all with padding. I noticed that when I set it to record the live football the TiVo suggested adding an extra hour to the recording: that's pretty neat.
I think there are a number of functions on the remote that haven't been covered in the manuals (e.g. the Channel up/down doing page up/down): when I get a spare moment I'll post on the ones I've noticed.

streaky_7 said...

@ Afront

With regards to your bad points, some of which I agree, I think the following may be useful - assuming the 500GB is the same function wise as the 1TB

"Too many clicks to just watch a programme"

- can be the case but as Nialli said you can just press play on the first screen so it doesnt take you through others.

"Series link doesn't seem to be as stable as V+ e.g. I had to set two to make sure it recorded Dr. Who.
I'm spending way too much time "managing" my scheduled recordings e.g. I set a link to record new episodes of Click. There's one a week, but TiVo wants to record about a dozen a week."

- the Tivo will pick up all the recordings but it will not record them all. It recognises when you have a programme/episode recorded so doesn't record it again. Clever little feature so you dont need to manage it to extensively. just set it up and it will manage the recordings for you so you dont have too.

"The Wishlist and Recommendation features don't let me specify HD-only."

- You can do this for Wishlists. When you set your wishlist up, lets say for JAMES BOND, then go to Category and select HD. This will mean when a James Bond film comes on it will record the HD version = be aware though, if there is no HD version and only SD, and you have HD selected in category, then it probably wont record it in SD.

"Wishlists don't let me specify e.g. Movies only."

- Again you can. Just select Films in the category section and name it Films. Then in the recording options make sure keep at most is only 1 programme otherwise it will just record every and any film that comes on any channel. Have 'Everything' for show type and select 'Keep until I delete'. Then all the films you record will show in a Films folder on the 'My Shows' section. Just make sure you always have a film in there. Even if its one you dont want. As long as you always have 1 in the folder then it will never record another one apart from the films you set to record manually or via Wishlists.

You can also do this for other categories like 'Children' - so all my daughters programmes she wants to record goes in to a Childrens Folder in My Shows!

Just remember in both these cases, they may show as group folders as well - especially programmes - and if you delete from one folder then it will delete from all folders.

I do hope all that made sense?????

mccarthyadam said...

I have had it 5 days now. First of all, its in my bedroom so SILENCE!!

I have had problems getting used to it and I am very tech savvy, things seem to be long winded but on the other hand there is so much customisation to recording etc which is good.

My main gripe is BBC red button, pressing red takes you to Iplayer. That means no F1 practice, no stage selection at Glastonbury, snooker, athletics blah blah.

I understand Virgin has made Iplayer to be the same as the 'internet' version, meaning it has lots more content. But there surely must have been another way of implementing it.

I like having youtube for those boring days, the symbols for programmes which will be on catch up is great, the suggestions has started to build up and seems to be very good!


It is growing on me, I am discovering its advantages day by day and it is slowly prevailing its V+ brother.

Richard said...

@afront
'click' has always been a challenge to record on Tivo, even with series 1.
It is to do with the metadata. for some reason every episode is a new episode and the metadata never show this program as repeating.

There are a few programs with a similar problem.

With the VM Tivo, I understand they have had to change metadata suppliers, so there are some teething problems with all the season passes and wishlists where data is missing to obtain the match. However this will be infrequent. For some reason US programs seem to be better than UK programs.

Not sure why you should have a problem with Dr Who tho, it works perfectly for me and I get the HD version every time.

Richard said...

@mccarthyadam
re red button - coming soon!
re iplayer - this is the BBC not VM. BBC changed terms of how to use iplayer and this forced a change in VM use.
It is a pain and we are all hoping it gets fixed. esp as the initial code implemented its functionality directly in all the lookups.

It is my main disappointment as it is a feature that has been taken away that was a real differentiator.

Richard said...

@Nailli
sadly lots of stuff isn't documented.

eg streaky_7 described a really neat set of tricks that isn't documented anywhere - cheers streaky :-)

specifically the remote - it isn't labeled like the series 1 remote so things like page up/down or enter/jump or clear/delete are not present.
I think someone on the Tivo UK forum did write up some of the common short cuts we got used to as series 1 owners, as there are some really neat ones that jump straight into menus rather than 3 steps from home.

I think it is some of use who are more familiar don't notice we are doing it, so we don't feel the same pain as everyone one else.

I'll do some trawling and see if I can find a list of different helpful tips and tricks.

Also I seem to remember CarlW over on the tivo forum used to have a site of his own about 5 or 6 years ago, he might have his useful tips documents still.

Afront said...

@streaky_7 and @Richard - thanks very much for the tips, that's really useful stuff!

I've read the pamphlet that came with the box but haven't spent too much time reading through the forums - much prefer this blog instead ;) Nialli, how about a Top 10 TiVo Tips post?

My Dr. Who link was OK for this week but I noticed it wasn't going to record next week's episode for some reason.

Anyway, thanks again guys: it looks like there's so much more to this box than at first appears...

streaky_7 said...

As Richard has said the metadata is a bit screwy for some programmes and this will effect the tips I gave earlier. 2 examples

1) I do have a James Bond in HD wishlist. This has been recording Bond films fine. Until this week when it missed For Your Eyes Only on ITV HD. I can only assume it is the way the metadata is set up. If it hasn't had James Bond linked to the name then it wont pick it up.

2) Desperate housewives - keeps missing the episodes even though I have a link set up and I believe it is again to do with the metadata and air dates being wrong.

But these issues should be, and I have found to be, minimal - and should improve.

With regards to my point in the previous post about how TiVo will not record everything as it will recognise what has already been recorded or due to record, if you go to My Shows & Recordings on the main menu (home button), then select 'Recording Hiccups' you will get a list of shows, probably 100's of pages long (depending on the amount of wishlists and series links you have set up) which goes forwards and backwards in date, detailing all the shows not being recorded and most will say things like'it has been planned for a different time' or 'it was recorded within 30 days of this programme'.

This shows although it picks the programmes up and says things like 27 episodes have been planned when there are only 6 different episodes, they will quickly sort themselves in to the not recorded folder so you shouldn't get 4 copies of each episode. As I say, like most things with TiVo, you need to set it up and trust it. And hopefully the issues like metadata will disappear over time with future updates.

The Recording Hiccups Folder is also helpful if you need to know why something didn't record so you can adjust the series link.

Sorry for the long post, again, but I just want to try and explain easily different ways to do things or things to look out for as I have found tips helpful myself, both on this blog and other forums.


@ Nialli - Maybe a top tips post would be good? Then you could take the tips people leave in the post and then make up a top 10/20 section on the home page in an easy to read, easy to find section? This could be updated over time as and when new tips get found out? If you have the time of course....

Cheers all

bluemonkeymagic said...

I rang on Saturday as I am moving house and ended up changing my package...I keep my 50mb, phone, TV XL and now have the Tivo 500gb and my package is almost 50% less in price! Go Figure!

They even waived the installation and the 49.95 for the baby Tivo!

I am looking forward to trying this out!

Tom Chiverton said...

Wow.
Do there's no BBC red button, and PPV content (other than movies, right ?) is also missing ... I'd be right pissed if I'd shelled out for a Tivo, and then discovered this *afterwards* ? Nice of Virgin to mention what *isnt* there as well as what is, eh ?

Afront said...

I wrote a wee review on my 500gb TiVo on my blog at:

Gadget Update: Virgin Media TiVo