Well, I did it. I just placed my order with Weaknees
for an S3. It seems I am the first in Canada to do so. I choose the slow-boat shipping method to save $$$ so I don't know how long it will be before it arrives. All-in, including PST, GST, shipping, brokerage, U.S./Cdn $ conversion, I expect it to cost approximately $1,100 Cdn (give or take). Note, I will use my grandfathered lifetime subscription so there should be no other subscription costs from TiVo.
FYI, Jeff Anderson at PVRCanada.com
said he will likely start stocking a limited supply of S3s in the near future to serve other Canadian bleeding-edge TiVo enthusiasts.
My S3/Canadian ATSC OTA trials and tribulations are documented here
Alas, despite the S3 being substantially crippled in Canada at the moment (no current ATSC OTA support and no cablecard functionality), the following are my reasons (in no particular order):
Dual tuning/recording from my analogue cable (and whatever manual ATSC and digital cable I can do)
2. MANUAL QAM AND ATSC OTA HD RECORING:
I just had it confirmed
in this AVSForum thread
that I should be able to do manual ATSC OTA HD recording with the S3. In this
, and many other threads, it has been confirmed that manual QAM tuning is possible with unencrypted digital QAM stations (of which Rogers seems to provide me with 28 or so).
3. ADVANCED FEATURES:
Advanced S3 features (including podcast playback - and hopefully future video-podcast support) - I'm also hopeful that TiVoCast will start to provide me with iVOD purchase options. Plus the myriad other changes from the S1 (folders, undelete, faster screens, Internet-connectivity to mother ship - NOTE:
Some of this is not implemented in the S3 initial software - TiVo has indicated it will be availalbe in an update by the end of the year)
4. DIGITAL PROGRAMMING REQUIRES LESS HARD DRIVE:
Any SD digital cable channels that can be recorded will take up MUCH less space on the hard drive than converted analogue recordings on my current S1s.
5. ZERO OR FEWER FORMAT CONVERSIONS:
Any SD digital cable channels will, by being digital, yield a better quality picture because there will be no analogue to cable to analogue conversions. It will be a straight up digital recording.
6. COMPONENT & HDMI OUTPUTS:
Currently my S1s all output to s-video for display on my HD-Plasma TV. This looks fine, but digital SD channels look, MUCH better. So any SD digital I manage to record should yield at least a marginally better picture when output through component or HDMI than is the case with my S1s output through s-video.
7. eSATA EXPANSION:
Finally, no more cracking the case to expand. As external eSata drives decrease in price, the probability of my adding external drives increases. But, as it stands, the S3 drive is about 70% larger than the hard drive in my 8300 HD PVR so it should be good enough for now (especially given that I’ll be keeping the 8300 for the foreseeable future).
8. TIME SHIFT PROBLEM WITH SIMPLICITY:
When the daylight savings time changes take effect next spring, Simplicity will likely not be reliable any more.
My large-storage S1 has been flakey for some time. It needs to be replaced.
10. GRANDFATHERED LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION:
I can only transfer my grandfathered lifetime subscription once. While a dual-tuner S2 would probably be the best choice for the next year or so, I despise monthly fees. So, I'd rather go through this hassle than have to abandon my lifetime subscription when I eventually move to an S3 in the future.
11. POSSIBLE RETURN TO THE U.S.:
I'm perpetually on the cusp of moving back to the U.S. If/when I do, I’ll get full functionality out of this beast there.
12. I DESPISE MY SFA 8300 HD PVR:
I will do almost anything to minimize my reliance on that pitiful excuse for a PVR!!!
13. BLEEDING EDGE:
I don't mind being on the bleeding edge of technology and exploring the latest and greatest and, happily, money usually isn't an issue.
14. WILL STILL USE OTHER PVRs:
Until the S3 can be used to record everything, I'll still have my SFA 8300 to record HD I can't record OTA and I'll keep one of the S1s to record the digital cable channels the S3 won't record.
As always, once the device arrives, as I start testing it, I'll report my findings/discoveries/problems here.
Sure would be nice if there was a separate TiVo formum on Digital Home Canada - hint, hint!!