I am one of the first, if not the first, TiVo Series 3 PVR owners/users in Canada. Despite its current limitations as a viable product in Canada, I set out my reasons for purchasing the S3 in this thread at Digital Home Canada forum and in this thread on the TiVoCommunity forum. Below are my initial thoughts and conclusions.
While not ready for Canadian prime time, I can certainly recommend it for bleeding-edge, tech-savvy, gadget lovers looking for the best HD PVR available – assuming you have lots of extra cash in your pockets, live reasonably close (within 40 miles) of the local HD transmission towers and don’t mind using it in manual mode until programming guide information becomes available for over-the-air (“OTA”) digital programming in Canada!
For hundreds of posts on others’ experiences with the Series 3 in the U.S., please visit the TiVo Series 3 forum on the TiVo Community Forum website. I recommend checking out Megazone’s S3 FAQ, his S3 review, and his S3 photos. The S3’s user guide can be viewed (in .pdf format) here.
April 24, 2008 UPDATE: Global is now broadcasting in HD and can be recorded on TiVo S3s and TiVo HD’s in Hamilton, Metro Toronto and surrounding areas. Click here for details.
March 2008 UPDATE: As mentioned in my May 2007 update below, I stopped using my TiVo S3 in manual mode and started using guide data from Niagra Falls. Recently I re-did Guided Setup and my TiVo S3 now thinks I’m located in Youngstown New York with zip code (14305). As a result my TiVo S3 provides the proper guide data for all the U.S. broadcast stations I receive in Toronto and, now with the Youngstown zip code, Toronto’s City TV, and CFTO. I still record the other Canadian HD stations in manual mode – though rarely because their content is almost always just a duplicate U.S. content. I expect more Canadian stations will be added to the Youngstown line-up over time. The guide data for CBC exists too, but due to a problem with Tribune’s guide data, I still cannot use it to record from CBC other than in manual mode. See this TiVoCommunity post for details. If/when Tribune/TiVo starts providing native Toronto digital broadcast guide data I will update this post.
December 2007 UPDATE: TiVo S2 Now Available at Retail in Canada. As of December 2007, the Series 2 (non-HD) TiVos are available for sale at retail in Canada – only 9.5 years after their U.S. launch! 🙂
September 2007 UPDATE: With the recent updates, the Series 3 TiVo’s now have all the advanced functionality that the Series 2 models have, including multi-room viewing, TiVo to Go, TiVo to Comeback (ie: transferring content to and from a PC over the home network and copying to portable devices like an iPod or a Zune).
May 2007 UPDATE: For some inexplicable reason Tibune and TiVo still do not provide OTA-digital guide data for Canada. Despite dozens of emails, phone calls, forum requests etc. I have not received an answer from anyone at TiVo or Tribune or Zap2It in answer to my question when will OTA-digital guide data be available in Canada. I gave up and decided to set my TiVo with a Niagra Falls New York Zip code. I purchased a dual-tuner S2 to record my analogue and digital cable channels. This combination works well. Ht Niagra Falls guide data gives me everything I need to record U.S.-based network OTA-digital channels in Toronto. It does not have Canadian networks, but since everything I want to record on my S3 originates from the U.S. networks, this is no loss. So, I no longer use the ‘temporary’ manual recording approach that I describe below. I have a fully functional S3 in Canada without the ability to record from analogue cable any more – that’s what the new dual-tuner S2 does.
Nov 3, 2006 UPDATE: On Sunday October 22, My TiVo Series 3 died completely – wouldn’t even turn on. Working with Weaknees my replacement unit arrived on Thursday November 2. The new unit is working perfectly. Please see the warranty replacement details in the new section 14 below.
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