Made famous by Sex in the City, TiVo has
finally arrived in Australia that is backed by TV Giant Channel 7 and
promises users an amazing television experience. The ability to tape and
watch television in high definition is truly a remarkable experience for
In order to experience TiVo, the user needs
a valid internet connection in order for your TiVo unit to receive the
latest television guide updates and to use the TiVo recommendation
feature which basically suggests shows that you may enjoy based on your
current viewing habits.
The cost of TiVo is $699AUD which is the
cost of the unit itself and there are no subscription fees. Although
cheaper High definition recorders are available, the features are not as
power or as simplistic to use as TiVo itself
Control live or recorded shows with pause, rewind, fast-forward,
instant replay, and slow motion
Search the electronic program guide (EPG) seven days in advance to
select the shows you want to watch or record
Set TV recording preferences via the web with the TiVo Remote Online
Record every episode of your favourite shows automatically
Search for everything by your favourite actor, and genre. You can
even use a keyword for your search!
Record two shows at once
Manage what your kids are allowed to watch and easily find quality
Find and access all free-to-air channels including High Definition
(HD) channels such as 7HD, 9HD and 10HD
The installation process of TiVo took
around 30 minutes to successfully complete which included setting up the
TiVo to our Belkin Wireless Modem/Router and downloading the latest TiVo
updates and guides for our unit. The unit itself comes with a wireless
dongle which allows you to access the internet wireless, although if you
have a hard wired connection, the unit also supports this format.
As this was a review unit, we did not need
to register ourselves with TiVo, although speaking with others who have
purchased the unit, this is also an easy process.
Once we connected our TiVo to our LG Plasma
LCD through the component cables supplied with the unit, we were greeted
to a TiVo introduction which explained just what Tivo was.
After the lengthy introduction was
finished, it was just a simple matter of clicking through a variety of
menus in order to setup the unit. The only "tricky" aspect of TiVo was
getting the hexadecimel security code from our WEP settings which is
generally something like "80, A1, 90, 23, B1".
Medium to advanced users will have no
difficulty, although novice users may need some assistance. Once our
unit detected the wireless network, TiVo then proceeded to download the
latest updates and TV Guides from the internet. TiVo also tunes in all
the digital television stations and even radio stations with no input
necessary was the user.
The interface for TiVo is extremely simplistic to use which ensures that
a wide variety of users will have no difficulty in operating this
device, unless they are technological inapt.
The remote control which comes with TiVo is
quite easy to use and is also colour coordinated to assist in the
process of navigating. Some of the functions that we initially tested
was "pausing" live TV, simply done by pressing the pause button and also
using the TiVo recommendation button which is displayed by a green
"Thumbs Up" button for good or a red "Thumbs Down" button for bad.
This means by pressing the green "Thumbs
Up" button, it will indicate to TiVo that you enjoyed this show and it
will attempt to find similar shows that you may enjoy. To record a show,
you simply select "record" which allows you to record the show. If the
show is a series, it will prompt you if you want a season pass which
will record the entire season.
The Guide button was quite self explanatory
which allowed you to navigate through a variety of TV stations,
including different days and weeks. The search capabilities of TiVo is
quite impressive and you can type a word such as "Heroes" or "Egypt" and
TiVo will attempt to match this word with the electronic program guide
in order to find and record these programs for you.
This can also be setup for your favourite
genres such as "Action" or "Comedy" or even give TiVo the option of
recording all your movies made by a particular Actor or Director. The
only problem with this function is that it sometimes does become
annoying if you are planning on recording a TV Show as you will need to
cancel the other records as they will clash.
Although you are limited to a 160GB hard drive in TiVo, the unit will
automatically save a show for a period of time, hence the hard drive
does not become full, however you can force the device to keep the show
you recorded indefinitely.
By pushing the TiVo button, it will give
you access to a variety of TiVo settings and shows that you have
recorded. This section also displays shows recorded by TiVo which you
may be interested in and needless to say, it's definitely a great
We did find a few hiccups when recording TV
shows on TiVo as sometimes networks are running late (Chanel 9 is a poor
offender) so you may miss the last 5 minutes of show which we did
experience. There is an option to manually record shows that allows you
to put your own times in, however this does defeat the purpose of TiVo.
TiVo also contains two tuners which means
you can record two different free-to-air digital TV shows at the same
time and even watch another show that you have previously recorded.
Parents will be pleased to know that the unit comes with a special
option of protecting your children from inappropriate content and this
will prevent your children from watching movies or television shows that
are not suitable for children.
In conclusion, TiVo is a great product which easily allows you to
organise your TV viewing habits without complicated HDTV Recorders or
DVD units. The makers behind TiVo are always improving the service such
as offering new games, live weather updates and the ability of
downloading "Blockbuster" movies, however this does take up a fair
amount of your internet throughput. Another impressive feature was the
ability of TiVo scanning for your TV set that allowed us to use the TiVo
remote with our LG LCD, brilliantly simple and a highly recommended unit!