Thursday, May 22, 2008

Going HD

You'll excuse me for this post but I confess I'm as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve trying too hard to get to sleep.

I just got off the phone with Shaw Cable and I am the proud new owner of an HD receiver with built in PVR. It's the Pace Tahoe (TCD770D) which was on for an introductory price of $448 (plus taxes) until the end of the month. They're installing on Monday afternoon (and one good thing about Shaw, at least locally is that when they say Monday afternoon between 12:30 and 2:30 they mean Monday afternoon between 12:30 and 2:30). It includes a 160 GB hard drive and has SATA for a connection to an external hard drive.

My brother will probably go ballistic when he hears that I got the HDPVR – he recommended the ordinary box which is what he had in BC – but my reasoning on this was that when the sale price ends the Pace units will be much more expensive; I've seen ads that say $200 more and some people have said as much as $250 more. Plus I currently have the money to pay the difference between the normal HD unit and the HDPVR. But the big this is recording. My brother doesn't believe in recording TV shows; with him, if you miss it you miss it. I'm avid – maybe even rabid – about recording so as not to miss a show. This past Tuesday I watched Dancing With The Stars, taped NCIS and Shark on one machine and Hell's Kitchen on the other. The problem – one of them anyway – is that tapes are getting harder to find. Another is forgetfulness. You don't know what I've missed from forgetting to set the VCRs or setting them wrong. The new Pace Tahoe promises me that I can:

  • Record, rewind and play your favourite television programs
  • Pause live TV
  • Record two programs at the same time
  • Record one program while watching another
  • Watch a recorded program while recording two other programs
  • Create a personal library of recorded programming
  • Output 1080i and 720p HD formats on HDMI or Component outputs

The 160 GB hard drive is supposed to let me record up to 50 hours of analog programming, 120 hours of digital programming, and 25 hours of HD programming. Best of all it will let me schedule whether to record a single episode or a whole series. Which, if nothing else means that I'll actually be able to watch – and review – a greater number of those new shows come the Fall. I just have to be careful of those pesky sports overruns.

I know this all seems pretty familiar to those of you who have TiVos, but TiVo only became available in stores in Canada less than a year ago, and only the non-HD capable Series 2 unit is available here – Canadian cable companies don't use the CARD system that makes the Series 3 TiVo HD ready. So if I want HD and I want to record it – and I do – a box from the satellite or cable provider (like Shaw) is what you have to use.

Can't wait, can't wait, CAN'T WAIT!!!! But since I have to, how about voting in the poll and maybe giving me a bit of feedback about what to expect from the new purchase?

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