BOTTOM LINE The cable companies don't want you to own a TiVo Series3 HD Digital Media Recorder. Not only does it cost them manpower to install CableCARDs in it; it bypasses their own ad-supported program guide, brings them zero dollars in VOD revenue, and enables you to skip through the ads their commercial-channel partners have paid for. And the Series3 makes it way too easy for cable subscribers to visually compare the quality of cable and over-the-air digital programs when they suspect the cable company is degrading image quality by using too much compression.
Nevertheless, the lure of a cable company's approximately $12- to $15-per-month leased high-def DVR - as opposed to the $800 up-front cost of a Series3 and $12.95-per-month service - will be sufficient reason for many people to brush off the Series3. But those who appreciate this TiVo's superior guide and navigation features, greater storage capacity, and excellent video and audio quality would be delighted to make this DVR the centerpiece of their home theater.
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