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Broadband features not working...

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by crabell, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. zhure

    zhure New Member

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    Dec 13, 2008
    Puerto Rico
    Hi guys. I can help you out with your video podcasts - if I read correctly. You can suscribe and unsuscribe to them directly using tivo (video downloads section). That was the only way I could make sure at least my podcasts arrived since this broadband thing started.

    Crabell, I've heard of "Secure Tunnels", that might help with your IP theory. The thing is, they should just fix this for PR because we are considered a territory for certain stuff and not for others... So sad.
     
  2. symesmd

    symesmd New Member

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    Jul 23, 2005
    Great thread. I too am having the same problems as others here. I am an American expat and am on job assignment in China. Everything was working fine for my first year here...then a few days after YouTube was released all broadband functions stopped working as others report. I was able to successfully surf YouTube videos for a couple of days.

    I then spent countless hours troubleshooting my system trying to figure out what had changed and researching everything. I would finally give up and then tackle it again a week or so later. In total I am ashamed to add up how many hours I have wasted thinking it was my problem.....FRUSTRATING!!

    If anyone has knowledge of how to make the "tunneling" solution work please let us know. I proxy server is another solution as I know you can get those with a US IP address, but my problem is that I do not know how to enable this at the router level. All the proxy server solutions I have seen require software or changes in your browser....of which you cannot do on Tivo directly. Any ideas?
     
  3. crabell

    crabell New Member

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    Nov 27, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    Bad News...

    I finally decided to call TiVo and I was informed it was decided to limit the "Video on Demand" features to the United States (50 states only), including Swivel Search.

    I'm not sure what's on that menu, since I can't access it, but I know that Raphsody, Amazon, YouTube, Netflix and Swivel Search states this "limitation" on their "Terms and Conditions" on the TiVo website, so it looks like we're out of luck unless there is a radical political change in our beautiful island of Puerto Rico.

    What's on that "Video On Demand" menu anyhow? Are there any other features other than the ones I mentioned? Any screenshots?

    Who knows, maybe TiVo will change its mind sometime in the future...
     
  4. LADYBUGBLUE2002

    LADYBUGBLUE2002 New Member

    166
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    Sep 7, 2003
    Kanata, ON...
    I don't think it is just a video on demand issue as there were free videocasts that were available here in Canada where now we cannot subscribe or change anything we already had set up.

    But I still have Swivel search so I am not sure if the information you received is completely correct. Someone had posted on Tivo.com about this and that Tivo was working on a fix but I will believe it when I see it.
     
  5. crabell

    crabell New Member

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    Nov 27, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    I actually managed to subscribe to the "CNET TV Tech Weekly" at the TiVo web site under "Video Downloads", so I guess they are "trying" to block all broadband features, but some have slipped throguh.

    I'm currently looking into VPN solutions (at the router level) to see if I can make TiVo think I'm in the US, which will hopefully enable all features.

    It's still too early to tell, and it may be too expensive, but I'll keep you posed on my progress.
     
  6. crabell

    crabell New Member

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    Nov 27, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    Solution Found!!!

    After a lot of research I managed to find a solution that enables all broadband features in Puerto Rico (and probably outside the US as well).

    The bad news is that the price may be too high for some/most people.

    Here's how I did it:

    1. Subscribed to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) Service provider that gives its users an IP Address in the US, such as strongvpn.com.
    2. Purchased a new Router compatible with 3rd party firmware that has PPTP Client functionality, such as dd-wrt.com.
    3. Changed the firmware of my new router with 3rd party firmware and configured it with the settings provided by my VPN provider.
    4. "Video on Demand" became active on my TiVos!

    It sounds quite simple, but it took a lot of work. I had to purchase a new router for $100 because the one I had was not compatible with the 3rd. party firmware. It is important to note that loading a 3rd party firmware on your router voids your warranty and may render it useless if you don't follow all the steps, so tweaking with your current router may leave you in the dark if you don't have a backup router.

    My VPN Provider charges $15 / month, which may be too much for the added features, so it would be up to you to determine if its worth it. It is important to note that having a VPN connection has some additional advantages, such as unblocking of addtitional websites and internet services as well as anonymous surfing on your computer. One of the drawbacks is that speed gets somewhat decreased, I'm not sure exactly how much or even if its noticeable, but it may affect how viewo streams into the TiVo, I'm not sure yet, since I just got this working last night.

    I'll be evaluating these "new" features during the next 3 months (I pre-purchased 3 months of VPN service) to see if they are worth $15 / month. In my case I have 4 tivo's so we are talking about $3.75 per TiVo per month, which doesn't sound too bad, we'll see.

    I hope this helps those of us that have been left out in the dack by TiVo.

    Enjoy!
     
  7. yaccoz

    yaccoz MR

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Hey Crabell, what router did you use and if you can what version of the dd-wrt did you use. I'm trying to do the same thing but I have a WRT54G from linksys with dd-wrt v24 and it does not have the vpn client in it. Anyway your help will be appreciated
     
  8. crabell

    crabell New Member

    172
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    Nov 27, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    Regarding the Firmware, I used dd-wrt v24-sp1, but v24 is supposed to work as well, just make sure it is not the "micro" version of dd-wrt, as per tutorial on strongVPN's Forum Article.

    Regarding the router itself, I was also using a WRT54G, however, mine was v5 that could only accept the "micro" version, which would not have worked. You should check the dd-wrt website for the latest information on which router and router version are compatible.

    I got a Linksys WRT160N for about $100, but it turned out to be v2 and only v1 and v1.1 are compatible. I ended up exchanging it for a WRT150N, which only has v1 and v1.1 and both are compatible with dd-wrt.

    I'm currently trying to figure out how to get better speed, since Netflix requires a minimum of 700 kbps but works best with at leas 2.4 mbps. My connection is advertised as 4 mbps, but I've only managed to clock it at 1.9 mbps.

    Any thoughts on how I could increase my connection speed?

    I hope this helps... Good Luck!
     
  9. glopez25

    glopez25 New Member

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Hi, also from PR with the same problem on two TiVos.
    Tivos connects daily, see each other, firewall ports opened, dozens of restarts, nothing.

    On the Tivo site I had responses from people in:cool: California and NY with the same problem. Someone indicated a bug on the menu program were it doesn’t detect ist connected, while obviously they are.
    They worked for a while so maybe we should get a discount for not having all the features available …
     
  10. crabell

    crabell New Member

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    Nov 27, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    The "Video on Demand" menu is disabled for all TiVos outside the 50 states beacause of "copyright issues". The "Music, Photos, & Showcases" menu does not show all options because of the same reason.

    If you go through the TiVo website you should be able to find that Netflix, YouTube, Rhapsody, Amazon and Swivel Search explicitly excludes TiVo users outside the 50 states.

    I managed to get these features working in Puerto Rico (and should work anywhere else in the world) by using a VPN connection that shows my TiVos with IP Addressed inside the 50 states as outlined in previous posts of this thread.

    Good Luck!
     
  11. compuboy04

    compuboy04 New Member

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    Oct 10, 2006
    This sounds very similar to the problem I'm having with both my DVR's. Care to post the link to the thread on the Tivo site?
     
  12. compuboy04

    compuboy04 New Member

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    Oct 10, 2006
    So turns out it's a bug for sure and there is a simple, but slightly annoying fix that takes about 45 minutes to apply and your back in business. I have reported this to a supervisor at Tivo and they are notifying all the reps.

    The following fix worked for my Tivo HD boxes. It is the result of over 7 calls to tivo (no help from them) and hours of trying things... :)

    1. Disconnect the network cable
    2. Plug in a telepohone line. (sadly this is a necessary step) a POTS line works the best, VOIP is hit or miss.
    3. Switch the Tivo to use a phoneline connection under phone and network settings. Let it make 2-3 tivo service connections using the phone line.
    4. Go back to Tivo central and then unplug the Tivo for 10 minutes
    5. Reboot with the phone line plugged in and no network cable or wireless adapter conencted.
    6. Look on your tivo Central screen. Showcases should be gone. If it's not, do a few more service connections and maybe another reboot. It also may take some time for the tivo to process everything. The goal is to make "Music Photos and Showcases disappear from Tivo Central.
    7. Once showcases is no longer listed, your ready for the final steps. DONT try these before showcases disappears or it wont work
    8. Plug in a network cable and in phone and network settings switch the tivo back to use a network connection.
    9. Perform connect to tivo service now
    10. Showcases will re-appear and after loading is complete, network features and video on demand work!!!
     
  13. dromedaries

    dromedaries New Member

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    Apr 13, 2009
    I'm looking at crabell's VPN method, which looks like it COULD work...our US VPN is certainly doing a fine job of letting us watch Amazon, Hulu etc over a PC.

    But I'm in Canada with a "legit" Tivo. If I run our Tivo through the VPN, will Amazon/Tivo still recognize it by its Tivo service number -- meaning that despite the US IP address, I still won't get Video on Demand? Or will the VPN trick work even with a Tivo registered outside the US?

    I'm curious to hear whether anyone has had success using the VPN method to get Amazon Video On Demand for a Canadian Tivo (or other Tivo registered & supported outside of US).

    Thanks in advance for tips!
     
  14. crabell

    crabell New Member

    172
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    Nov 27, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    I've been using the VPN method since the begining of the year and all my TiVo's get recognized with no problem. They all get their Guide Data, Updates and Video On Deman features. I don't see why this method would not work in Canada or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

    Something to note is that using this VPN method may decrease your bandwidth, but if you have a fast and reliable connection you may not even notice it.

    Good Luck!
     
  15. Bumbestia

    Bumbestia New Member

    22
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    Feb 28, 2005
    Hi crabell!! thanks for the Router VPN idea! I am using Powerlink 4mb connection! How much did the connection decreased? did you notice it in the computer? I also want to use this method to view the Netflix video Streaming in my Xbox 360! Do you have a 360? if you do, does the streaming is acceptable(more than 2 bars). Also can I use 2 routers with this method? I have a Apple Airport Extreme gigabit n wireless router, can I use that as my main computer connection and the hacked VPN router only for the Tivo and Xbox 360? thanks!!

     
  16. crabell

    crabell New Member

    172
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    Nov 27, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    I'm also using Onelink's 4Mb connection, the problem is that I don't think my connection speed has been that high. The fastest connection I've been able to clock is about 1.9Mb, but not consistently. I have a feeling the VPN soluition will be slower because there is an additional computer routing all connections, but I have not been able to determine how much, or even if it's noticeable.

    Regarding the 2 routers, you can only connect through the VPN with one router at a time (you would need 2 accounts otherwise), so you would need to make sure your TiVo's and Xbox connect through that router, however if your computer is using a different router you would need to figure out a way for both networks to see each other if you want your TiVo's to see your computer as well.

    I don't have an Xbox 360, so I can't provide you with any information, but I think I read somewhere that the connection through and Xbox 360 is more reliable than through a TiVo.

    I tried using Netflix with my S3 in January and worked at a low resolution for a few minutes and then the TiVo died on me (I've already repaired it). Looking at the Netflix threads it looks like some people have no problems and others have a lot of problems.

    I think the Netflix software may still have some bugs, so I decided to wait a few months before trying again. Furthermore for some reason my internet connection is not very stable, I find myself restarting my Cable Modem and Router about 10 times a week.

    I believe the've updated the netflix software since my last attempt, but I'd like to stabilize my internet connection and make a Backup of my TiVo's Hard Drive before I try it again, just in case. Of course in order to do that I'm going to need some "spare time" so it might be a few months.

    Let us know if you get Netflix working.

    P.S. If you create an account with StrongVPN, I'd appreciate it if you use my name, "Carlos Rabell' in the "Reffered Name" field. That way I get a discount on my renewal and it doesn't cout you a penny.
     
  17. crabell

    crabell New Member

    172
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    Nov 27, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    Last night I watched a NetFlix movie through my VPN without a problem... Here are the details:

    1. Got myself a new TiVo HD from Costco for $150, ran Guided Set Up, upgraded the software to 11.0c and backed up the TiVo Hard Drive. You don't need to get a new TiVo, I just wanted to backup my Hard Drive, just in case.

    2. Tested my Internet Connection Speed and there were my results:
    • PC wired to Cable Modem directly: 4Mb
    • PC wired to VPN Router: 1.5 - 3.5Mb
    • PC wireless to VPN Router: 0.8 - 1.2Mb

    3. Since NetFlix requires a minimum of 1.5Mb I decided to use a wired connection, I got 8 bars out of 10 and the image quality was very good.

    4. I'll probably try the Wireless connection tonight, to see how it behaves.

    I hope this helps, enjoy!
     
  18. Bumbestia

    Bumbestia New Member

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    Feb 28, 2005
    Thanks crabell for the info? at what Costco did you get the Tivo? I didn't saw it at the Guaynabo/Filtros one? Did you order the Cable cards to get HD?(I know theres a thread about this) It is still a PITA to get the Cable cards with HD form One Link? thanks!!!

     
  19. symesmd

    symesmd New Member

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    Jul 23, 2005
    Thanks Crabell, I to have had to resort to using a VPN. I took your suggestion and signed up with StongVPN and love their technical support. My Tivo is now working perfectly and I am able to get to Netflix, Amazon, and all of the other goodies. Great solution for non-USA based people.
     
  20. crabell

    crabell New Member

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    Nov 27, 2006
    Puerto Rico
    I got mine in the "Hato Tejas, Bayamon" store since they didn't have any left at the "Los Filtros" store.

    I'm not getting CableCards for this TiVoHD for the moment, since the TiVo I replaced just had basic cable on it and I don't use it too often. I just couldn't pass up the great price offering.

    I'm not sure how hard it is to get CableCards these days, but I'm willing to bet calling customer service would not be enough. You can look at this thread, specifically, post #193 for information on how to get and M-Card for your TiVoHD.

    Good Luck!
     

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