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Guide to post-Series2 used Tivos?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by jlc4, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. jlc4

    jlc4 New Member

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    Apr 2, 2006
    I am a current Tivo Series 2 owner. It's hooked up to an old CRT TV. It's an HD-ready TV, but the single HDMI port is being used by a Roku box. The TV also has composite and S-video connectors.

    We are not heavy TV users at all, but the Tivo was used heavily for the Olympics. We also record Mythbusters because it's on after the youngest kid has to go to bed. Really, it's nice to have for a few things, but TV is not central to our lives (especially in the summer, we watch more TV in the winter).

    Comcast is currently giving us "limited basic" service on analog coax, but they are going "all digital" in the next 6 months.

    DH, who is even cheaper than I am, is horrified at the 500 current fee for lifetime, so I'm starting to watch for a used Tivo. But, I haven't been following the Tivo product line at all in the past 6 years or so, so the model names and numbers mean nothing to me.

    Can somebody give me a crash course on what kind of old Tivo to watch for? (name and model number to search on eBay or the seller's forum here).

    I believe my needs are:

    1. Can read analog cable today, digital cable w/ CableCard in 6 months.
    2. Doesn't use up my one HDMI port on the TV, if possible.
    3. Is a model that's been reliable for people (I don't want to buy a used model that's been notorious for problems). We'll probably use whatever we buy until it dies, and even then we'll try to fix it before tossing it out. DH has swapped out the disk drive and a fan on the current Tivo over the years.

    Thanks!
     
  2. pig_man

    pig_man Member

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    Jun 4, 2009
    You can buy a HDMI switch from monoprice.com, here's a link to all their switches:

    Click Here!
     
  3. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    What kind of subscription do you have on your present Tivo? Maybe it will qualify your for msd on another unit. MSD lifetime is $400.
     
  4. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    10,363
    22
    Aug 2, 2003
    The need for analog support rules out the new four-tuner models (Elite, XL4, 4).

    The original Series 3 may not be a good choice, either, since it needs two CableCards to work in dual-tuner mode.

    All of the Series 3 and 4 TiVos include component outputs (the only other way to view HD, besides HDMI). The Series 3 models also have s-video, but you can only get an SD picture that way. You don't mention component, but if this is really a CRT TV with HDMI and s-video, I'd be surprised if it doesn't also have component.

    Personally I'd be strongly inclined to treat the TiVo as the most important video source, and give it the HDMI port. Of course you could also use an HDMI switch.

    Hmm, that leaves out TiVo then. ;)

    The most complained-about model is probably the Premiere, but only because of its HDUI, which you can turn off. Its advantages outweigh this IMHO. It's also the only model line that's currently receiving software updates.
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    If you're in the general Boston area, see this link quickly

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=491352

    Otherwise,

    If you only have a Series 2, and not a newer Series 3, you should be eligible for the current deal on the Premiere, the first of the Series 4 units.

    It's $399 for the machine and Product Lifetime Service on it.

    I think it's good through Aug 31.

    See this thread

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=490689

    Many Series 3s (there are three different models of S3s) are having power supply problems due to "capacitor plague" (you can read about it on Wikipedia), but it might just as well strike your Series 2 (I've repaired supplies in one of each in the past year).

    If one of you can solder, you can fix it for $10 or less in replacement parts.
     
  6. shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

    1,893
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    Jun 22, 2008
    You should be able to continue using your Series 2 after the digital conversion. Comcast has a digital transport adapter (DTA) that will work with a series 2 to convert the digital signal to an analog signal that can be used by the series 2. You will need an IR cable to change the channels on the DTA.
     
  7. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    Yes, the composite and S-video outputs are technically analog signals but your statement makes it sound like the HD (16:9) picture gets reduced to SD size (4:3). That's not the case.
     
  8. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    Hopefully you got my PM response re: the S3HD units I have for sale. I checked the power supplies after I took them offline yesterday and there is no capacitor plague. They will probably go on eBay tomorrow unless you want one.
     
  9. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    10,363
    22
    Aug 2, 2003
    The HD picture absolutely gets reduced to SD resolution (480i) if you use s-video or composite. The aspect ratio is not the point.

    It's not about analog vs. digital, either -- component video is also analog, but it does convey HD resolutions, unlike s-video or composite.
     
  10. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

    1,769
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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    Thanks for clarifying that. Many folks equate "SD" with the 4:3 format and "HD" with the 16:9 format without understanding that you can retain the 16:9 format of HD channels but lose resolution.
     
  11. jlc4

    jlc4 New Member

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    Apr 2, 2006
    lillevig,

    Yes, got the note. Thanks. Right now we are tempted by the 400 Premiere offer, so if you want to sell right away definitely list on eBay! We're not in a hurry.
     
  12. jlc4

    jlc4 New Member

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    Apr 2, 2006
    Sorry for the sloppy technical jargon! Looking at the information again, the adapter that we can get for free after the conversion is digital, but not HD-resolution quality. The info website doesn't say whether we'll get HD with the cable card option.
     
  13. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

    1,769
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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    Ok. Hadn't seen that Premiere offer. $400 is basically a free box and $100 discount on the lifetime (the same as you get for the MSD if you have a qualifying box). Good luck.
     
  14. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
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    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    As far as I understand, that $400 offer is not available to everyone. Have you checked to see if you qualify?

    For whatever reason, none of my 3 units(all bought by me, brand new) do not qualify me for the offer.
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    The offer is for people without any S3 or S4 platform units.
     

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