New TiVo – Series2 Dual Tuner

ZatzNotFunny posted earlier today about new TiVo models being listed on the TiVo Series2 80 Hour Digital Video Recorder (TCD649080) and TiVo Series2 180 Hour Digital Video Recorder (TCD649180). MSRP is $249 and $349, respectively, though the only stores are selling at a discount. Here’s what the Amazon product description has to say:

* Does not support recording from two digital cable or satellite channels at once
* Record shows from two basic cable channels, or one basic cable and one digital cable channel, at once.
* Up to 80 hours recording capacity
* Includes Ethernet and USB ports, so connecting to your home network is a snap

The world’s first, best, and easiest-to-use digital video recorder just got better. Now, record two shows at once

So the big feature changes are built-in Ethernet and dual analog cable tuners. It sounds like an asymmetric design, dual internal tuners, but one external input – so it can support a cable or satellite box like the current Series2. Since most digital cable systems are actually a mix – analog up to 100, digital over 100, that would actually work decently for digital cable users. There is no mention of antenna. That could simply be just something not mentioned in the description, or it could mean no antenna support. Since the FCC is mandating that all systems sold with an NTSC tuner must also have an ATSC tuner by March, 2007, I’ve suggested in the past that TiVo could simply drop NTSC from the ‘lower end’ boxes, leaving the Series3 for that market with NTSC/ATSC.

These units are also listed at (80) and 180, Merchant America,, and

There hasn’t been an official announcement yet, not that I’ve seen, but the timing is appropriate. The last Friday of each March is a TiVo company holiday. Back in 1999 the original TiVo had a March shipping deadline, and everyone had to put in long hours to make it, and they did – it shipped March 31, 1999. As a reward then CEO Mike Ramsay make the last Friday of March a TiVo holiday, Blue Moon. You may have noticed this Friday is March 31st. :-) So launching a new product on the 7th anniversary of the original TiVo launch is probably not a coincidence.

Thanks to Dave Zatz for spotting this!

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  • mryn

    Very nice, but I think I and my Lifetime card will still await the Series 3… Until then, I’ll make do with my dual-tuner-the-hard-way: two TiVos.

  • megazone

    Yeah, I’ll wait for the Series3 myself. But this is an interesting box for those who can’t afford an S3 or just don’t need the HD features.

  • mryn

    Oh, if a friend wanted to get into TiVo, this is definitely the box I’d recommend from now on – it’s just not enough extra functionality to justify upgrading for someone who already owns multiple TiVos. I do think it’s going to be much easier to sell people on TiVo vs a cableco DVR with the addition of dual tuning capacity AND out-of-the-box networking.

  • anonymous

    It will be interesting to see if the built-in ethernet port + possible faster processor improves TiVo-To-Go performance (although with all of the autodownload options available that’s not really needed.) Would interesting too if it updated the MPEG processor as well. I would be suprised if the 690xxx was only used to me duel tuners.

  • unteins

    I wonder if the over the phone lifetime service will apply to these boxes, since they extended the offer to 4/16, assuming they ship March 31st. That might make it worth getting these and ebaying my current units.

    My wife will hate the remote though….

    Anyone know the definitive answer on that?

  • anonymous

    If I have basic cable, does that mean I have analog cable? I’m interested in this box, but only if know I can record 2 shows at once. HD is a long way away for me….

    I use RCN.

  • mryn

    Amazon is reportedly listing mid-May ship dates for these items, though – that might just be a guess on their part, but I’m guessing the April 15th deadline was selected by TiVo to avoid having to offer Lifetime on these.

  • mryn

    Updated to say that someone on TCF who claims to have connections to the wholesale distribution system is saying these units will indeed ship by end of March. However, I’d check the wording of TiVo’s Lifetime extension to April 15th very carefully – I’m sure they had these new units in mind when they phrased their messages.

  • megazone

    This was definitely a leak, they didn’t intend to annouce the product yet – so it may not be shipping for a few weeks.

  • megazone

    Yes, basic cable is almost always analog cable. If your package doesn’t say ‘digital’, it is probably not digital.

  • luv2belds97

    MAN!! Sometimes I hate the technology industry. I am not sure what to do now. Do I get a lifetime subscription for my CURRENT Series 2 box AND get a Series 3? Or do I sell my Series 2 and get the “Series 2b” AND a Series 3 when it comes out??? I do want a Series 3… I am not sure how it will work since my mom has DISH NETWORK (ack).. then again…. it’s 300 HOURS!

    Dangit! I guess the lifetime subs isn’t THAT big of a deal, but still.

  • cassiusdrow

    The Series 3 will NOT work with any satellite service! Only OTA and Cable (via CableCard).

    The new Series 2 DT will not give any benefit over the current Series 2 to users of satellite services, unless you use basic cable (or maybe OTA) to get your local channels. If your service requires an external box to tune the channel the new Series 2 DT will still only record 1 channel at a time from that service (it still only has one IR blaster port). To record 2 channels at once, at least some of your channels must be able to be tuned using a regular RF TV tuner.

    I’m keeping my Pioneer 810 (Series 2) with lifetime. I have cable so I’ll be buying the Series 3 outright when it becomes available. If the Series 3 is cheap enough, I may get two. Keeping the Pioneer will allow me the 6.95/month MSD on the Series 3, assuming it still exists and applies to the Series 3. I’ll also continue to use the Pioneer for shows I want to burn to DVD and to record shows for the kids.