Add vs. Replace: Which Upgrade Kit is Right for You?
Weaknees.com offers two different types of upgrade kits:
- The REPLACE TiVo Upgrade Kit
- The ADD TiVo Upgrade Kit
What is the difference between a REPLACE kit and an ADD kit?
- With a REPLACE TiVo Upgrade Kit, you will remove your existing, TiVo hard
drive (or drives) and replace it with ours. Our new drive(s) will come pre-loaded
with all of the TiVo software. You simply remove your drives, install ours,
and power up your TiVo. NOTE: You cannot self-install a replace kit together with
any other hard drive that may already be in your TiVo. Other drives will not automatically be seen by this new kit.
- With an ADD TiVo Upgrade Kit, you will add a second drive to your existing
one-drive TiVo. An add kit can therefore only be used together with a TiVo
that has only one drive in it, and that one drive must be the drive that was
installed in the TiVo at the factory. If your TiVo has already been upgraded
with a larger drive, then our add kits will not work. Also, many TiVo models can only hold one drive, so those units cannot use add kits. Any model that has space for two drives has add kits available on its product page.
There are several advantages and disadvantages of each TiVo Upgrade Kit:
Programming / Settings
You will lose your programming and settings.
You will retain your programming and settings.
TiVo Hard Drive Life
Hard drives have a limited life. As TiVos age, the drives generally become
less reliable. In addition, Series 1 TiVos used ball-bearing
drive motors, which can become quite noisy over time. Depending
on the age of your TiVo, you may benefit by removing an older,
factory hard drives and replacing it with a new one. Replacing
your factory drive(s) is like replacing the batteries in a
remote control. In addition, replacing a functioning drive(s)
will enable you to retain the factory drives as a backup if
for whatever reason you need your new drives repaired or replaced
down the road.
You will end up with two drives--one brand new drive and one factory drive.
When you add a second drive to your TiVo, they become a married
pair. In other words, once a second drive is added to your
TiVo, the two drives act as one and cannot be separated if
one of those drives fails down the road. In the event of a
drive failure, the good drive can be re-used, but only if
it re-formatted and reconfigured. By keeping an old factory
drive in your unit, you increase the chance for failure.
Purchasing a REPLACE drive will allow us to use newer upgrade tools when
installing the TiVo software onto your hard drive. Some have
reported slight improvements in performance using these tools. In addition, we squeeze a bit more space out of the drive with our tools (using space that would otherwise be reserved unnecessarily).
When we make "ADD" kits, we use a different set of upgrade tools
to prepare the drive. Years ago, some claimed that these older tools can
cause some performance slowdown in very large capacity TiVos. After many
years in the business, and with countless TiVos upgraded with second drives,
we do not consider this claim to be accurate.
If you purchase a self-install kit, you will remove your old drive and
retain it as a backup drive. You will not be able to use that
drive space together with your new drive's capacity. For example,
if you currently have a 30-hour TiVo and you purchase an 160
GB REPLACE kit, you will end up with approximately 175 hours. But because of our newer tools that can recapture unused reserved space on these drives, often one new drive has more space than an older drive plus an ADD kit where we can't recapture the unused space. For example, a 500 GB REPLACE drive provides more space than adding a 500 GB drive to a 40 GB unit.
You will ADD the new kit's storage to your existing storage. For example,
if you currently have a 30-hour one-drive standalone TiVo and you purchase
an 80 GB ADD kit, you will add approximately 95 hours to your 30 hours
and will end up with 125 hours.
Remove your existing drive(s) and replace with one or two drives for most models, from 80 GB to 1 TB.
Some newer TiVo models can use a 2 TB drive.
Keep your existing drive/capacity and add:
One 80 GB drive
One 160 GB drive
One 300 GB drive
One 500 GB drive
One 750 GB drive
One 1 TB drive
Note: Some older TiVo models will not see the full capacity
of a 300gb or larger drive. If you do not see this as an upgrade option
for your model, then the TiVo will not support large-capacity
(Actual capacities vary depending on the unit being upgraded.)
THE BOTTOM LINE:
If you have a Series 1 TiVos (Philips HDR series, Sony SVR-2000, Sony SAT T-60,
DSR6000, or Hughes GXCEBOT), we strongly recommend that you choose a REPLACE
kit. This is largely due to the age of the original drive in the unit, which must be many years old at this point.
If you have a middle age Series 2 TiVo (TiVo 60-hour or AT&T
40-hour) you should probably replace, again, due to the age of the unit.
If you have a newer Series 2 TiVo (less than 18 months old), an
ADD kit is a good option for you, unless you are interested in replacing
your existing drive with two new drives for the maximum capacity.
If you have a Series3 TiVo, TiVo HD or a DVD TiVo, you have space for one drive only and generally must get a REPLACE kit. Series3 and TiVo HD units can now use external drives in some situations.
Note: The 18-month date that we use is a guideline only. You should
consider the factors in the chart above and determine what is important
to you. If losing programming is fine, and if you have a small factory
hard drive, then you might want to replace that small drive even
if it is only 9 months old. On the other hand, if you have critical
programming that you don't want to lose, then you might decide to
add a second drive to a small, older drive (at the same time, if
you can live without your TiVo, it might be better to transfer critical
programming to a VCR or to have us transfer the programming onto
your new drive(s)).
Please feel free to email us with any questions.