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TIVO on the cheap...

December 18th, 2006 at 12:15 pm

It kind of cracks me up when people assumed we were hoty toity because we have had TIVO for YEARS!!!!! But the thing is it didn't cost us much.

Last night I was thinking about our little TIVO setup because it is a little unique and people with money do not do what we do - LOL. I thought it was a good example of how we could have some luxuries that don't have to cost a fortune though - with a little ingenuity.

A big thing for us growing up in the Silicon Valley is we know people who work at all the big companies so we get lots of deals. For example, I had a friend work at Adobe, and we bought a lot of software from him at $20 a pop. Dh's professional video editing suite - I think it might have cost $40 (retails over $1000 easy...) Cell phones refurbished and free. PDAs at cheap discounts, etc. So we always had a lot of technology, but it is all in who you know. I always say we live twice as well on 1/2 as much, and this is a big part of why. While the frugal crowd is shunning technology we get steals on it as we do with anything...

Right now everyone we know works at google, I haven't figured out how that will help us yet, but it will eventually - LOL. Wink

My dad used to work with Philips who had teamed up with TIVO on some things so my dad got a great discount on a TIVO and then gave it to us on Christmas in 2000 or so. NO one really had TIVO then. At the time, you could pay like $15/month or so OR a lifetime subscription around $100. We waited a couple of months to make sure we really liked it (oh yes we did!!) and bought the lifetime subscription. A beautiful choice since the "lifetime subscription" is no longer offered. We haven't paid a dime on our TIVO in 6 years or so. Even if my dad hadn't of bought it "for us", we could have bought it ourselves at a pretty significant discount.

I think it was when we moved and our bedroom was right at the top of the stairs that dh got the idea to split the signal and send it up to our bedroom so we can watch it in 2 rooms. Since then the fancy 2-tuner TIVOs have come out and they do have a lot to offer. But as long as our TIVO is free we will keep it. (& I knock on wood furiously because I would hate it if it died - would be sad...). So who knows how much dh spent on the receivers and signal-sender and such (have no idea what the technical terms are). But was not much - I would guess $50 at most - and wala - TIVO in 2 rooms.

The downsides being, if the glass door is open on the entertainment center, it won't work, or sometimes there is some pretty bad interference. It is usually okay, but no TIVO upstairs while the microwave is going (Can be a little scary - the LOUD static that comes through instead). We even thought it was a really good idea to upgrade to those wireless phones upstairs with one port and 2 handsets but the frequency interfered. Dh finally figured it out and got a cheaper phone in the end, but we couldn't keep our super fancy phones - though he did find the same type in another frequency. Luckily the baby monitor has not interfered...

So yes, it is not the most top-of-the line reception, and whenever there is too much white on the screen, the reception doesn't like it for whatever reason and the frames start to roll - LOL. But for the occasions we want to watch the TIVO up in bed, it works. Try not to watch too much white, and make sure not to turn ont he microwave, and all is well...

YEah that is pretty much how stuff works around our house.

So I laugh as I sit up in bed watching a rolling screen of white, aiming the remote just right because it is extremely finicky, laughing at how hoity toity we are with our TIVO!

I know some part of us will be glad when we can upgrade because dh's parents have a 2-tuner one that they can record 2 shows at once and store like 100s of hours it seems (vs. our 30 hours?). It will be nice to upgrade one of these days. They have come a LONG way. But for now we are surviving. We are enjoying our "free" luxury for now...






3 Responses to “TIVO on the cheap...”

  1. threebeansalad Says:

    We have TIVO lifetime subscription, too (a gift from my single Yuppie brother--who also works in technology). I was dubious at first, but it's great!

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Yeah, I Was totally uninterested and TV-fiend hubby was salivating for one from the getgo.

    I was sold in 5 minutes once we had it. I disliked it because I don't watch much t.v. but quickly learned that is for who TIVOs are best suited. Without commercials I can watch my t.v. in almost 1/2 the time in some cases, and it fits around my schedule - whenever I have the time.

    This is why I dread our TIVO breaking. It would be expensive to upgrade but I can not imagine life without it. I would survive, but I would probably stop watching t.v. altogether...

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    Sob! I want to know people like that so I can get awesome deals on stuff!

    Does it make me a tech snob that I've always scoffed at TiVO, because I think they're too limited?

    I wanted to build my own DVR, but my ex wanted to get a regular TiVO instead. Given the amount of hardware we already owned at the time, it would not have costed any more either way... but that was right before we broke up.

    After she moved, she got a regular TiVO, and I decided to just sell all my gear instead.

    The irony about all this is that her new boyfriend has already been building his OWN TiVO... and out of an Xbox of all things! I think I would've liked that guy if he didn't cheat with my ex-wife.

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