The Good Can record two HD programs simultaneously while playing back a third previously recorded one; accepts cable TV and over-the-air signals; replaces your existing cable box; 30-second commercial skip; excellent user-friendly interface and remote; impressive Internet and home-networking features, including online scheduling, photo, and music streaming; built-in Ethernet and optional Wi-Fi networking.
The Bad Extremely expensive, especially compared to "free" DVRs available from cable providers; does not work with pay-per-view and video-on-demand services; requires monthly fee in addition to cable bill; CableCard installation can be problematic; no TiVo To Go or Multi-Room Viewing functionality; some distinguishing network features not yet available; must program 30-second skip; does not offer picture-in-picture.
The Bottom Line The Series3 delivers dual-tuner HD recording and some worthwhile networking features to cable customers, but the exorbitant price tag will be too much for all but the most devoted TiVo fans.
TiVo Series3 (32-HD hours)
Editors' note: As of September 2008, the TiVo Series3 has been discontinued. While existing owners will continue to receive service and software updates on their units, new customers interested in this product should check out its replacement, the TiVo HD XL. That model offers all of the same features of the Series3, along with a larger recording capacity.
If you asked dedicated TiVo fans to design the ultimate version of their favorite DVR, they'd probably say, "Give me all the great features and excellent interface from past TiVo models, but add dual tuners and the ability to record high-definition video." And that, in a nutshell, is pretty much what TiVo has delivered with the Series3 Digital Media Recorder. Equipped with dual CableCard tuners (provided by your local cable company), the Series3 replaces your existing cable box and gives you the ability to record two channels simultaneously--any combination of high-def or standard-definition--from the full range of your digital cable lineup. Additionally, the Series3 offers all of the key DVR features that TiVo pioneered: Wish List searches, Season Pass recordings, and TiVo Suggestions based on the thumbs-up and thumbs-down viewing interests. And unlike almost all other DVRs on the market, the latest TiVo delivers home-network and Internet connectivity, which opens the door for downloadable video, podcasts, and online programming functions.