40 hour unit $149 with rebate – and new news

I picked this up on alt.video.ptv.tivo – an article from C|Net – TiVo to offer rebate on recorders

Basically on Friday TiVo will be offering another $50 rebate on their standalone boxes. The article doesn’t mention the Toshiba or Pioneer boxes, but it *does* have some interesting wording.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company will announce on Friday $50 rebates on all three of its Series2 digital video recorders. Following the rebates, the 40-hour box will cost $149, the 80-hour $249 and the 140-hour box $349. The rebate offer is good from Feb. 27 to May 31 and doesn’t apply to DirecTV systems.

Notice anything interesting? It sounds like they let the cat out of the bag on a new 140 hour S2 box. Per hour that’s not bad – 40 – $3.73/hr, 80 – $3.11/hr, 140 – $2.49/hr. 140 hours is probably 137GB, the most the current 4.x S2 software can address (the 5.x software in the Pioneer units has LBA48). But since I’ve never heard of a 140GB HD, that’s probably a 160GB drive with unused space. That box could be a 160+ hour unit with a new kernel.

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  • buran

    No reason it couldn’t be multiple drives, also.

    What’s different about the Pioneer ones that the rest of the boxes don’t get? It’s never made sense to me that 5.x is out there but doesn’t load onto the regular Tivo S2 boxes.

  • megazone

    True, it could be multiple drives, but that’d require a change to the internals. The current S2 design only has one drive mount point. So it’d need a different mounting bracket than the others. Plus there is the power-up issue with the current power supplies that sparked the development of things like the PowerTrip for upgraders. Plus the cost of the drives is such that it should be cheaper to use one 160GB drive than a 60 and an 80, etc.

    Both the Toshiba and the Pioneer run 5.x – I think the Toshiba is 5.1.x and the Pioneer is 5.2.x. I don’t know if the Toshiba has LBA48 support or not. Getting it to run on a standard S2 is probably mostly an issue of beta testing and verification. There really aren’t any new features in 5.x that I can see – that don’t relate to DVDs. Maybe it is just a branch for integrated DVD units. The Pioneer does record in a different (DVD compliant) format, but the Toshiba doesn’t – so that’s not inate to 5.x. Different encoders are used, but that should just be a module in the code.

    The new HDTV DirecTiVo also has LBA48 support – but that’s in a branch of 3.1 they created just for that unit. It is branched from the standard DTV software build, with a new kernel to support the larger (250GB) drive they use.

  • megazone