TiVo Phasing Out Original Series3 Hardware (Production)

Dave Zatz —  February 1, 2008

tivo-series3-box.jpg

Based on an email TiVo reseller DVR Upgrade received, Mgeazone wrote that TiVo’s original Series3 hardware is being discontinued. Both he and I had assumed this day would eventually come, given the newer TiVo HD platform. However, at CES TiVo left me with the impression that they had no imminent plans to pull the plug… Yet, it appears that a “component shortage” has forced them to reconsider or accelerate timing.

I pinged TiVo last night and they confirmed that they’re “nearing the end of production” and S3 availability will dwindle over the next few months. Though they did want to emphasize they are not “end of lifing” the product from a customer support standpoint – both existing and new Series3 customers will continue receive service and new features. Though, I doubt we’ll see M-Card support…

10 responses to TiVo Phasing Out Original Series3 Hardware (Production)

  1. This is the kinda stuff I rely on this blog for – How is the TiVo HD model better? If its better than the Series 3, why is it so much cheaper? Don’t people who just bought a $800 Series 3 resent that the TiVo HD is $500 less?

    And the obligatory Sling Conspiracy question: Is the delay of the SlingCatcher died to this end of life Series 3?

  2. In terms of day to day functionality, there is very little difference between a S3 and a THD. They basically do the same thing.

    The S3 ships with a larger drive, the very nice Glo Remote, OLED display, and THX certification (which costs money) while the TiVo HD has cut some costs by using newer, less expensive, more efficient components, dropping the more expensive Glo Remote, dropping the THX certification, dropping the display and possibly leaning more heavily on subscription fees to offset hardware. On the forum there’s been some discussion of some internal functions being faster/slower on each, but day to day it’s probably irrelevant. (Though it’s easier to add your own non-certified external storage to an S3.) The TiVo HD does offer M-Card support, so you only need one card to dual-tune – not a huge deal, but it’s more efficient and in many areas will save you a few bucks with the cable-co.

    I’ve been recommending the TiVo HD over the Series3 since THD launch, with the caveat that you upgrade the remote. As with many things (like the death of HD DVD), I do put my money where my mouth is – a few months back I picked up TiVo HD instead of a second Series 3 and I did add a Glo remote.

  3. im thinking about picking upt he glo remote with my THD too. i wonder if they will start including it with THD once S3 sales are over? i think it would be nice to pick up a THD+ package that comes with a glo remote & wireless adapter included for a package price point.

  4. I am curious about the which component is having a shortage? The only thing somewhat unique is the OLED screen I would think, odd that the screen would kill the device.

  5. Is M-Card support for the Series 3 a hardware thing or is it a matter of TiVo not wanted to write/test software/firmware for existing components inside my Series 3 from May 2007?

  6. BTW the Glo Remote is really nice. Once you’re used to it, you won’t want to go back. The nav buttons are better layed out and it feels better/more solid in your hand, aside from being more attractive. Works fine with your Tivo HD of course…

  7. I finally bit the bullet and ordered my TiVo HD on Amazon today. As an old school ReplayTV user, it was really hard to buy a TiVo, they were “the enemy.” But, I didn’t have much other choice after Moxi’s implosion…

  8. For my 2nd THD I got a package on Ebay with the unit, glo remote, and wireless. So far I don’t like the remote. The select button is in the wrong place and I keep muting the TV. Might have something to do with the fact I’ve been using the normal remote since 1999.

  9. rbiro: The problem with M-Card support seems to be that the company that made the CableCARD controller chip used in the Series3 was being rather uncooperative, not providing the necessary info to get M-Card support (assuming it’s possible) up with the chip; I think it’s safe to say at this point that M-Card support in the Series3 is probably not going to happen. (I don’t mind this; my Series3 is perfectly happy with two S-Cards.)

    ryandh: I rather liked the Glo remote’s layout myself; I say “liked” because I’ve since moved to a Logitech Harmony 880 remote, so I can control everything from one remote.

  10. I agree with poster Jon…the Tivo HD packaged with the wireless dongle AND the glo remote and at a package price (savings over individual pieces) would be the sweet spot. An option to substitute the glo in lieu of the regular remote on an HD purchase would be nice as well. 50 bucks for the glo remote is kinda steep considering that you then have a second useless remote that comes with the HD. The regular remotes have flooded e-bay so they don’t command a return to speak of.