I agree that the s-video being connected or not SHOULDN'T affect the recording. But, in a moment of desperation (I was actually contemplating getting a DirecTV DVR ), I tried it. Short story: it worked! I was having intermitent freezing on my Tivo for months. It would just hang. I had to unplug it and reboot. I missed quite a few recordings that way. I was seriously frustrated. Even when it was working, it would pixelate, stutter, etc., so badly on some shows that they were unwatchable. So I noticed this in the forum. I thought, "That's impossible. That won't make a difference." But I (again, in desperation) walked over to my TV, unplugged the S-Video cable and plugged in the composite cables. (I had them there from a previous device.) I am now 3 months WITHOUT A SINGLE PROBLEM. No freezing. No stuttering. No pixelization. And no frustration.