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November 24, 2014

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'Secret Diary of a Call Girl' Season Three - An Early Look

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 1st 2010 7:00PM
Secret Diary of a Call GirlBillie Piper returns in the other role that's made her famous, only this one definitely isn't for kids of all ages. UK fans caught the premiere of the third series of Piper's 'Secret Diary of a Call Girl' last Thursday, January 28 on ITV2. But this time, stateside fans won't have to wait nearly as long for their first glimpse, as Showtime's season premiere is tonight, Monday, February 1, 2010 at 10 PM ET.

The network was kind enough to send along all eight episodes of the third season for me to look at, and I have to give credit in two areas right off the top. After spending much of last season trying to have a normal romance, Belle wrapped things up by publishing 'The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl,' ironically the very book the television series is based on.

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TiVo rolls out software update, adds YouTube support

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 17th 2008 9:03AM


TiVo has started sending out new system software to Series3 users who signed up for priority updates. The general TiVo using population should get the TiVo 9.4 software soon. And thet means support for:
  • YouTube video playback
  • The ability to play or delete an entire folder (in other words, you can watch programs in order without hitting a button on your remote)
  • Jump forward by 24 hours in the program guide
  • Pull up the program guide from any screen, whether you're watching live, recorded, or downloaded video
  • Easier toggling of closed captioning
  • Review your thumbs up and down ratings
Blogger Dave Zatz (who recorded the video you see above), has confirmed that the TiVo content uses the H.264 codec. That means there's pretty much no chance that TiVo Series2 users will ever see support for TiVo, since older TiVo models can only support MPEG-2 video.

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TiVo to add YouTube to its lineup

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 12th 2008 9:08AM
TiVo on YouTubeTiVo plans to let users find and watch YouTube videos on their television sets later this year. The service will be available for customers with broadband-connected Series3 and TiVo HD boxes. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the lack of Series2 support means two things:
  1. TiVo isn't really focusing on Series2 development much anymore
  2. TiVo may be waiting for YouTube to officially roll out higher resolution videos before launching the service.
Anyone who's ever hooked up a computer to a TV set and tried to watch YouTube videos can tell you that they tend to look pretty crappy. While low resolution video might be good enough for a small window in your web browser, when you blow that same video up on a 27 inch or larger screen, it just looks like bunch of pixels. If TiVo plans to roll out YouTube video support on its HD-capable boxes, I can't imagine they'll want to do so before YouTube upgrades its video player.

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TiVo to kill off Series3, focuses on TiVo HD

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 31st 2008 3:57PM
TiVo Series3Less than a year and a half after introducing its first HD capable personal video recorder, TiVo is killing off its Series3 line. While the unit received excellent reviews when it launched in late 2006, the Series3 was also widely panned for its $800 price tag. Although the price has dropped significantly since then, TiVo introduced the lower cost TiVo HD in 2007 which has cheaper components, but most of hte same software features as the Series3.

Lou Jacob of TiVo reseller DVRUpgrade received a letter from TiVo letting partners know that the company would be accelerating the Series3's end of life process. Jacob then forwarded the letter to TiVo Lovers, so we're going to acknowledge that we're getting our information thirdhand and there may be some inaccuracies.

But reportedly TiVo managed to sell through quite a bit of their Series3 inventory thanks to some ongoing promotions. The problem is there's a component shortage, which means it would be difficult for the company to replace the sold units. So rather than have a temporary Series3 shortage for up to half a year, Tivo has decided instead to focus its efforts on the TiVo HD.

There are still Series3 boxes available, but there's no telling how long before the inventory is exhausted. So if you really had your heart set on getting a TiVo with an OLED front display and a backlit remote control, you might want to think about picking one up soon.

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TiVo offers Spring rebates, extends product lifetime service offer

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 29th 2008 6:01PM
TiVo
TiVo is rolling out a new raft of rebates and promotional offers. Or rather, the company is extending some existing promotions while modifying a few others. Here's the rundown:
  • The TiVo HD product lifetime offer which had been set to expire on January 7 has been extended through April 1.
  • The $200 rebate on Series3 boxes and $150 rebate on dual-tuner Series2 units has been extended through April 5 (PDF link).
  • The $170 rebate on single-tuner Series2 units has been dropped to $150, and is also available through April 5.
So if you're in the market for a new TiVo, you might want to think about picking one up before April. But if there's one thing I've learned about TiVo over the last few years it's that the company almost always has a promotion going on. If you miss these deals odds are a new rebate offer will be just around the corner.
[via TiVo Lovers and WeaKnees Blog]

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Modded 2TB TiVo stores 292 hours of HDTV

by Brad Linder, posted Dec 4th 2007 4:59PM
WeaKnees 2TB TiVoOne of the biggest problems with HDTV personal video recorders is that HDTV programs take up a lot more hard drive space than their standard definition programs. So if you've gotten used to storing dozens or even hundreds of programs, you can kiss your huge video library goodbye when you upgrade to a TiVo HD or Series3 TiVo.

Unless you're willing to upgrade your box or pay someone else to do the dirty work for you, that is. A stock TiVo Series3 TiVo has a 250GB hard drive which is large enough to store about 30 hours of HDTV or 300 hours of standard definition programs. TiVo reseller WeaKnees has long been offering upgraded TiVos that let you store an obscene number of shows for a slightly less than obscene price.

Now WeaKnees may have topped itself by offering a 2TB TiVo capable of storing 292 hours of programming. If that doesn't sound like much, think about it this way. It would take you 12 days to watch 292 hours worth of television. Sure, you'll zap past the commercials, but that's still 9 days worth of TV.

Things get even crazier when you realize that not every show you record will be in high definition. The 2TB TiVo will store a whopping 2777 hours of standard definition television. You'd have to plop down in front of your TV for 115 days without sleep or bathroom breaks to watch that much TV. The price for all this glory? Just a modest $1599 (after a $200 rebate).

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TiVo Series3 adds support for external hard drives

by Brad Linder, posted Oct 17th 2007 12:00AM
TiVo eSATA support
TiVo is finally rolling out support for that eSATA port on your TiVo Series3 or TiVo HD box. The move isn't particularly surprising -- after all, what did you think that port was for? But the update is a both welcome and overdue.

TiVo HD/Series3 owners should notice their boxes downloading version 9.2 of the TiVo software in the next day or so.

Once you get the upgrade you should be able to expand the storage on your TiVo unit by plugging in an external hard drive. No more mucking around inside the case and voiding your warranty. TiVo 9.2 also includes an update for Amazon Unbox users. Now you'll be able to watch videos as soon as you start downloading them without waiting for the download to finish first.

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Get a TiVo remote control for $.99

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 24th 2007 5:30PM
TiVo RemoteIn the market for a spare or replacement TiVo remote control? Normally a standard Series2 remote would set you back $30. But today Woot/Yahoo! are selling TiVo remotes for just under a buck.

If you're not familiar with Woot, it's a site that sells one item per day, usually at a deep discount. The company recently partnered with Yahoo! to offer a separate daily item, at sellout.woot.com.

Don't expect a fancy $50 Series3 style remote for your money. In fact, you're not even getting a standard Series2 remote. Instead Woot is selling a DirecTiVO remote. For all practical purposes, that just means you have a DirecTV logo where you'd normally see a TiVo logo. The remote will work just fine with any Series2 or Series3 TiVo. And tomorrow it will be gone.

[via TiVo Lovers]

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Crestron to offer touchpanel support for Series3 TiVos

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 17th 2007 2:00PM
Crestron touchpanelsSure TiVo offers a pretty nice looking remote control with its high priced Series3 video recorder. But sometimes after you've spent $800 (or $600 after a rebate) on a fancy machine, you want to buy an expensive gizmo to pair with it.

Crestron Electronics has announced that they're working on touchpanel support for the Series3. That means you'll be able to control pretty much all the functions on your TiVo from a fancy touchscreen device on your coffee table or attached to your wall.

There aren't a ton of details yet, but it looks like the software will only work with Series3 units, but not Series2 boxes. We don't know if that means TiVoHD units are in or out, since they're basically cheaper versions of the Series3. We also don't know why you need what is essentially a little computer to control the computer sitting across the room from you.

[via TiVo Lovers]

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TiVoToGo coming to TiVoHD and Series boxes

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 7th 2007 11:30AM
TiVoSure, those newfangled TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD boxes can do one thing the old fashioned Series2 units can't: record HDTV programming. But so far, two of the most useful TiVo features have been absent from the newer boxes: TiVoToGo and multi-room viewing.

Well, the wait is almost over. TiVo marketing rep Bob Poniatowski (aka TiVoPony) dropped a post in the TiVo Community Forums announcing that you will soon be able to:
  • Transfer recorded shows from a TiVo Series3 or TiVo HD box to your PC
  • Record a program on one TiVo unit and watch it using a TiVo in another room
The new features are currently in beta, so your box probably won't receive the update immediately. But Poniatowski probably wouldn't be posting in a public forum if TiVo weren't ready to launch these features soon.

Oh yeah, in other TiVo HD/Poniatowski news, TiVoPony has announced there's a new software update for TiVo HD users that fixes CableCard problems reported by some users.

[via Engadget and TiVo Lovers Blog]

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Upgrading a TiVo Series3 hard drive - VIDEO

by Brad Linder, posted Aug 15th 2007 12:15PM
Series3 750GBThe TiVo Series3 ships with a 250GB hard drive. That provides enough storage space for 30 hours of high definition or 100 hours of standard definition recordings. If that's enough for you, DVRupgrade and WeaKnees both selling modified TiVo boxes with larger hard drives, or upgrade kits for anyone who already has a TiVo.

If you have a bit of know how, you can buy an off-the-shelf hard drive and do the upgrade yourself. But part of the appeal of DVRupgrade and WeaKnees is that they make the process easy. How easy? About as easy as taking the old hard drive out of your box and replacing it with a new one. No need to prepare a hard drive or install any software. No need to understand anything about Linux.

Of course, opening your TiVo's case does mean voiding your warranty. So we wouldn't suggest ordering an upgrade kit unless you're pretty sure you know what you're doing. Fortunately, TiVo Blog has put together a pretty good video showing exactly how much technical knowledge you'll need to install an upgrade kit. DVRupgrade shipped them a 750GB (100 hour) hard drive, screwdriver, and instructions. Check out the video after the jump.

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Comparing the TiVo HD with the TiVo Series3

by Brad Linder, posted Aug 5th 2007 11:31AM
WeaKnees compares the TiVo HD and SeriesAs you're probably aware by now, the new TiVo HD offers most of the same functionality as the $800 TiVo Series3, for about $500 less. TiVo upgrader and reseller WeaKnees has put together a handy chart showing some of the differences between the two boxes.

In many areas, the two boxes are functionally identical. Wherever there's an obvious difference, WeaKnees has highlighted the changes in bold. If you're still left scratching your head after reading through the descriptions, you're not alone. It's really not clear where TiVo's saving all the money on the new boxes, but we're not complaining.

In fact, in some cases, the cheaper TiVo HD has the edge. For example, the unit is a little smaller and it has two CableCard slots in the front of the box, for easier installation.

[via TiVo Blog]

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TiVo HD officially launches - VIDEO

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 24th 2007 9:21AM
TiVo HDIt's official. You don't have to pay $800 to pick up a high definition TiVo. The new TiVo HD is available from TiVo's website for $299.

All the details are pretty much what we had expected:
  • Dual CableCards, located at the front
  • M-Card support for tuning two channels with one card
  • Support for analog cable (standard definition) and ATSC over the air high definition recording
  • No OLED front display
  • No THX certification
  • Comes with the standard Series2 remote control, not the Series3 remote
  • 160GB hard drive for recording 180 hours of standard def or 20 hours of high def programming
You can also pre-order upgraded units with larger hard drives from DVRupgrade and WeaKnees.

Dave Zatz has been playing around with one for a few weeks and he's impressed. He also managed to grab a video of the new opening sequence, which you can check out after the jump.

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More details (or rumors) emerge on TiVo's low-cost HD box

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 23rd 2007 3:37PM
TiVo HD
Our sister site Engadget has scored some juicy tidbits about the new low-cost HD TiVo we've been hearing so little about.

Apparently the new box will not follow TiVo's Series1/2/3 naming convention. Instead it will be known as the TiVo HD. Actually that's pretty much it for the new stuff. The rest is all pretty much as we'd expected based on some leaks last week. The TiVo HD will have a 160GB hard drive for recording 160 hours of standard definition or 20 hours of high definition TV. There will be two CableCard tuners, and there may or may not be an ATSC tuner for capturing over-the-air signals.

Engaget reports that TiVo also plans to bring TiVoToGo to Series3 boxes, although you'll only be able to transfer standard definition programs from your set-top-box to your computer. While the move is mostly aimed at placating copyright holders who are worried about high quality digital copies of their shows being loosed on the internet, it would also take most users a pretty long time to transfer HD quality programs from one box to another even on a speedy home network.

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TiVo Series3 Lite info leaked to the world and then retracted

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 17th 2007 7:48PM
TiVo Series3 Lite
The TiVo "Series3 Lite" must be ready to ship soon, because info on the new $300 unit showed up on a bunch of retailers web pages today, only to be withdrawn. But if you search Google for "TCD652160" and then check the cached results, you can still find a few juicy details about the new HDTV TiVo box.
  • Records two HD channels at once
  • Has a 160GB hard drive for recording 20 hours of HD or 180 hours of standard programming
  • Support for 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i resolutions
  • Record Digital Cable (CableCard) or analog (ATSC/NTSC/QAM) sources
  • No THX certification
  • No OLED display
  • Standard TiVo remote
The main reason this unit seems to be $400 cheaper than the standard TiVo Series3 is that it uses cheaper parts. I doubt TiVo plans to replace the high end version with this cheaper model. It's just not as classy looking all around. But you could buy a Series3 Lite (probably not its official name), upgrade the hard drive, buy a Series3 remote, and rent a whole lotta movies from Amazon Unbox for less money than it would cost to buy a Series3.

Hopefully today's leak means these boxes will be ready to ship within a matter of days or weeks. At the very least, I think it's a safe bet that we'll see the Serie3 Lite hit the shelves sometime this summer.

[via HDTiVo Blog]

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