I purchased my Tivo in 1999. The 30 hr Sony model has served me well — reliably, if not excitingly. It doesn’t play streams off the internet, I can’t even get it do to a photo slide show, but when you go away for a two week business trip, you want it to capture every Mythbusters and What Not to Wear, no matter what. And that’s what this box did.
Spinning constantly for 6+ years, the hard drive finally gave out. Which left me with choices
- Buy a shiny new Windows Media Center PC
- Buy a new series 2 Tivo
- Get a “DVR” from Time Warner Cable
- Get a replacement harddrive for the existing machine
This turned out to be a not-so-difficult decision. I felt that it didn’t make sense to go with a Media Center PC when I don’t have HDTV. And damn no matter how you slice it they are expensive. Likewise a series 2 Tivo made no sense because I bought “lifetime” service with the original box and while it sounds like it might mean my lifetime, it means lifetime for the box itself. So if I bought a new Tivo I’d have to get a new service plan and well F that. For #3, I already pay $125 a month for cable and I just can’t stomach paying yet more money every single month to Time Warner Cable.
So I went for the smallest drive available, a $120 replacement drive from WeaKnees. You can’t just go buy a blank drive from CompUSA because the whole Tivo software and operating system (a PPC linux btw) lives on it and the process to build it is tricky enough that you want someone else to do it for you. So WeaKnees sells them all ready to go, their name comes from the idea that it is too scary to do yourself. I don’t actually know how big the drive is in GB, but it is listed as a 90 hours. Not bad. And I figure this setup will get me through the last of the non-HDTV years or months.