There is an issue unique to the Series3 that some users may have noticed – the Emergency Alert System. One of the requirements of CableCARD is that any CC device MUST obey EAS messages and switch to any channel broadcasting an EAS alert. So if your S3 is recording two programs, using both tuners, and an EAS message comes out (even a test message) it must stop recording and switch a tuner to the channel with the EAS message. TiVo has no choice in the matter, it is a requirement. Of course, this takes over a tuner and you get a truncated recording. The, fairly good IMHO, reason behind this rule is to make sure more people see emergency alerts. In many cases a few seconds can mean the difference between life and death, so taking over the tuner and switching to the message is designed to save lives.
This is great – if you’re sitting in front of the TV. But, in most households, most of the time no one is actively watching, so this interruption of the recording is pointless. However, there is a solution! When the unit is in Stand By, it does not do this. It will ignore EAS messages, and continue recording normally. Why? Because if the unit is in Stand By, it is not sending out any A/V output. Therefore it is impossible that someone is watching, so there is nothing to be gained by switching to the EAS message. On a more technical level J-STD-042-2002: Emergency Alert Message for Cable, section 5 (p12):No requirements are specified for processing the cable_emergency_alert() message when a device is in the “off” state, even though the device may be internally powered up and able to monitor an SI data stream. Stand By is an ‘off’ state.
So, there’s a reason for Series3 users to put the unit into Stand By when you’re not actually watching something. (I do – I’ve been doing it out of habit since I got my first unit over 5 years ago.)