Thomson PVR10UK TiVo Review

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  • Features

  • Ease of Use

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diablo944's review of Thomson PVR10UK TiVo

★★★★★
Thomson PVR10UK TiVo

“Some feel that the size is a bad point, being around...”

Written on: 13/06/2007 by diablo944 (16 reviews written)

Good Points
Excellent video recording device, intuitive and simple controls, good remote control (simple yet efficient), good following of technical users who are able to keep TiVo up and running in the UK, along with numerous upgrades to improve the unit. Highly capable and in many ways better than the (vastly younger) Sky+ boxes. Subscription and support still available despite it no longer being manufactured. Build quality is excellent. Able to control and record from external sources such as Freeview.

Bad Points
Largely forgotten about in the UK since manufacture was stopped, but still available and still a good PVR. No Freeview/digital tuner as standard (though it is able to control and record from an external Freeview box). Limited drive space on a standard unmodified machine. Occasional sluggish controls (again on an unmodified machine), though a series 2 remote works with a series one box and improves the speed dramatically. No longer manufactured in the UK, or sold in the mainstream shops, so second hand or refurb is only way to go. 10 pound pcm or 200 pounds lifetime (of the machine) for channel information subscription (required as Tivo is useless without it). No built in DVD to record items for friends. Only one (analogue) tuner. Very badly advertised in the UK.

General Comments
Some feel that the size is a bad point, being around the size of an older video recorder, but it is ideal for those wanting to stack a DVD player, Xbox, Playstation, Freeview box or just about anything else on it. Despite the recorders somewhat lowly recording quality on a standard machine, the display, even on a large screen LCD is still good enough for most people. The intuitive controls and TiVo's easy setup make it a fantastic personal video recorder. Long before SKY+, TiVo was recording a full series of any particular program with a minimum of input from the user. Automatically avoids clashes in schedules, records items based on actual programme name choices, actor, genre, type of programmes, learns viewing habits and records programmes you may have forgotten about. Many users, once they have a TiVo can't look at TV without it. It was the first mainstream box to allow you to pause live TV, watch one recording while recording another, things taken for granted now, but in some ways, the EPG and controls especially noteworthy, nothing else has ever come close to TiVo. The lack of a digital tuner would put people off it now, but as it can control a Freeview box, this is not really a detrimental item. Many TiVos now in the marketplace have been heavily modified, and items with larger drives are a highly recommended thing. An original machine having only 12 hours recording at high quality (40 hours basic quality, and in this day and age, not acceptable), add to this the fact the series one machine has not been manufactured for over 4 years and the drive may have seen a lot of its life used up. Larger (and newer) drives fitted to modified machines see recording time upped to the 300 hours plus at maximum quality. There are further modifications to increase menu speeds and allow other changes to the hardware and software, even allowing a higher recording quality, but these are perhaps best left to the individual to research. The main point here is that TiVo still has a strong following in the UK, support is still available, as is the subscription service (ironically, I am told it is Sky that actually now carry the TiVo name in the UK). TiVo is still big in the US, and their TiVo units have progressed into smaller boxes, more features, DVD recording abilities and more, while in the UK only the series one was ever an option. NTSC boxes and any of their upgraded designs are no use in the UK as they will not work. On a plus point, the series one Tivo was a substantially built unit. Suffers from few (if any) of the more annoying traits of it's US cousins, and is largely the same as it ever was. If you can find one and overlook it's lack of DVD drive, and native Freeview, it is still one of the best, if not the best personal recorders released to date.

  • Value For Money

  • Features

  • Ease of Use

  • Over 1 Year

    Time DVR Owned

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Diablo944's Response to diablo944's Review

Written on: 18/03/2011

Despite this being the best personal video recorder in terms of flexibility and the vast range of good points related to the EPG, Tivo have announced the end of the EPG for the series one machine (series one was the only model ever available in the UK). After June 1st 2011 the box is effectively dead as the unit relies on the daily download of the EPG data to work. So after 10 years of loyal use my Tivo and the Tivo units of many other units have been dumped by Tivo inc. It transpires that the lifetime subscription wasn't for the life of the box, but the life of the service. A service that coincidentally is being cut off at the same time as Tivo re entered the UK market via Virgin Medias new Tivo Cable boxes. For some reason that will never make sense to many of us, Tivo think that killing the series one will make us want to cancel sky subscriptions and spend a lot of money on the more expensive Virgin boxes and their monthly fees just to keep a service we already had and were happy with. Brand loyalty obviously counts for a lot, but not so much when that same company brand thinks so little of its previous generation users.
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<br/>No Tivo series one is worth a red cent from this point onwards as the countdown to its death is firmly running. From being a 2-300 pound unit 2 months ago, it is now a museum piece with only a hard drive and a few screws useful to anybody after june.
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<br/>From being a big fan of Tivo for so long, there is now nothing left for those wanting Tivo but the Virgin Media service (expensive, and not available in all areas). In this house and the family members who also Have/had tivo, we are all freeview and Sky/+ users. Despite some running sky and sky plus, Tivo was still in use controlling and recording other units for its source material. With Tivo dead we have been buying Freeview HD recorders to replace the series one. None are as good in terms of what the box EPG is like, but with no options left it is our only route forward that doesn't involve giving more money to Virgin and Tivo inc

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