Recently, I have circled back with many of my fellow TiVo-ers and discovered that, like me, many have opted for a second TiVo for their household. While anyone who has discovered the DVR phenomenon will certainly understand how two TiVos can be better than one, it may surprise even TiVo advocates just how many different -- and good -- reasons there are to double up.
His and Hers
The reason I bought a second TiVo was to give my wife and kids their own space to record the junk that was crowding my hard drive. Men and women are always going to have different tastes when it comes to television programs and there could not be a better invention for resolving inevitable conflicts that arise when two shows are competing for single timeslot. Most people who follow this path have separate TVs for viewing the programs independently as well. While this may seem somewhat anti-social, it actually keeps TiVo-related arguments (the worst kind!) to a minimum.
For those of us who don't have two tuners in their TiVo (most DirecTV TiVos offer two or more tuners in the same case), the second TiVo becomes a necessity when you can no longer stand having to pick only one show to record in a given timeslot. If you are TV junkie or if you just happen to have bad luck and all your shows come on at the same time every day, then you are indeed in a pickle. TiVo is great at solving the time-shifting of network programming but can do little to alleviate the frustrating overlapping of simultaneous programming. With the prices falling every few months, it has become feasible to add a second TiVo box in the stack and once again brave those busy Sunday nights.
So Cheap, Why Not?
This third group of Two-TiVo-ers is not much different from the second in that they are motivated by having more recording options provided by a second box. But, the cost of the actual box is misleading because there is often an extra charge to receive the programming guide which, of course, is the secret to TiVo's magic. Without the guide, TiVo boils down to a tapeless VCR (TiVo uses an internal hard drive like your computer in place of videotapes). It turns out that, for some, though, this is ok. If part of your programming routine is extremely predictable: same time every week on the same channel, you don't need the guide.
TiVo on the Network
The newer TiVo units offer a special networking option where if two or more are on the same home networks, you can stream the shows from one to the other easily using the remote. So if you have two TiVos hooked up to separate TVs but connected to each other on a wired or wireless network, then you can watch shows recorded on either box, from either box! There are some limitations with this setup though, so don't get too excited. Still, it does provide additional incentives for doubling up.