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My Terrible TiVo Experience

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by severe, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. severe

    severe New Member

    Dec 11, 2009
    Last Wednesday I purchased a Premiere to replace my Series 3 box from a private seller; unopened box. After setting everything up, including installing my CableCARD, transferring all content and Season Pass from the old box, everything was running well. Easy Breezy. Loved my new Premiere and its iPad companion. Thursday afternoon I sold my Series 3 with Lifetime, as I no longer had any use for it.

    Then Friday afternoon I'd noticed I wasn't receiving some of my subscribed HD channels. I made a phone call to Verizon to have them add the channels to the card. After a reboot, the Premiere went into the dreaded startup loop. Then soon after, the green screen of death. I then went online and researched the issue. After many hours and a phone call to TiVo, we determined the hard drive had failed. This was less than two days up and running.

    TiVo issued an RMA and hit me for a temporary charge of $108 to ship me out another box the same day. Meanwhile, I transferred the content from my Series 3 to my Mac, as I hadn't yet boxed and shipped it to its new owner.

    I received the new Premiere yesterday. One week to the day that I'd purchased the first one. Upon its arrival, I opened the box and got started with the setup. Things seemed to be going well, but after the setup process the UI wasn't in HD, and there was no option to switch to it in Settings.

    I made another call to TiVo and was initially told that I was using old software even though Settings showed I was on 20.2.0a. After many attempts at correcting the issue, I was told that my box hadn't received many required packet(?) updates, or something along those lines. It was going to be a day or so before I was to receive them because there were some known issues TiVo was having at the time. Ok. Fine. I could wait some more, if this was in fact an issue.

    While on the phone with TiVo customer support, I had rebooted the box and consequently lost access to the CableCARD. We had no idea how this occurred. Now not only was I not able to use the HD UI or use any of TiVo's on demand services (the box was telling me I wasn't connected to the internet, though I was) but now I wasn't receiving any channels. This same box was broadcasting my channels just moments before, prior to the reboot.

    The CSR told me that the card had to be paired and that a call to Verizon would be necessary. I called Verizon and was told the card was paired and looked fine on their end. I called TiVo back and explained. They said Verizon was wrong and suggested I call Verizon back. I did. Same story. By this time, I'm pretty much siding with Verizon on this issue, because TiVo'd been failing me big time. Who, in their right mind, would think that it may not be the box?

    After calling TiVo again, it was suggested that we call Verizon together. We were on hold waiting for the CableCARD department to pick up, when I was told by the TiVo CSR that he couldn't wait any longer; their policy was to only hold with cable companies for a maximum of 5 minutes.

    It was now just passed 7 o'clock. TiVo support was closing for the day. I had placed my first call to TiVo at 2:30. This fruitless process took nearly 5 hours and I was still without TV. I'd also had to stay home to receive the delivery from UPS, so I hand't left the house all day.

    I called TiVo first thing this morning, requested a return, and cancelled service. I've been a TiVo subscriber since 09 and have suggested the service to others, but I was not going to spend another 5 minutes setting up yet another TiVo box. I will not be having another Premiere shipped and I no longer own the Series 3. It's back to the horrible Verizon box. At least it works. This was an awful and unfortunate experience I felt like sharing. Better luck to you.
  2. GoEagles

    GoEagles New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    There was some weird problems with some Premiere boxes not being able to see HD menus initially, which ties it back to the issue of it not thinking it's connected to a broadband network.

    After several reconnects, and rebooting and unchecking the share video options on Tivo.com, my box finally worked. I would Clear & Delete Everything and start from scratch as an option if you can.
  3. severe

    severe New Member

    Dec 11, 2009
    Thanks, bud. I tried the Clear & Delete Everything last night, as a final go. No dice with the HD menus and it still wouldn't pull channels from the card.

    GoEagles, indeed.
  4. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    Hardrives go bad and software can have bugs. A pain, yep, but not insurmountable.

    C ya.
  5. compnurd

    compnurd Active Member

    Oct 6, 2011
    The HD menus seems to be tied to the box activation which can take 24 hours.
  6. MacQ2

    MacQ2 New Member

    Oct 17, 2006
    Not sure about Verizon but with Comcast you can't just move a CableCard from one box to another like you did. You must call them to pair the card to the new box. This doesn't always go well. In fact, my last one went so poorly they had to roll a truck to get it working (which they did). You would have had to re-pair with the first Premiere and again when you got the replacement from TiVo.

    None of that has anything to do with Tivo directly.

    The temp charge you speak of is because you wanted fastest service. You can choose to send in your damaged box and once they receive it they send you a replacement. In that case there are no charges. You chose to have a new box sent before they received your replacement. They charge you for the new box and credit you once they get your damaged one. It's what *encourages* people to actually follow through.

    It does sometimes take a couple days to get the latest software all sorted on a new box. This can affect the UI, multiroom viewing and sharing. It's not ideal but it's not life-changing.

    It's too bad you got a bad box from some unknown supplier. During all that it sounds like Verizon did a poor job of pairing. You never did say they paired your replacement box - just that they thought it looked OK. They may have seen it paired to *something* but not likely to your second box.
  7. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    So how much did you sell that PLS'ed S3 for?
  8. dsnotgood

    dsnotgood New Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    I think the box just needed some time to be activated thats why the HD menus didn't show up. As for Verizon...as long as cablecard was pinged and activated...they don't do anything else.

    I think you wanted too much too soon. It can take a day or so for the service to connect and activate itself...once it activates it would allow you network features and HD menus. Also another possibility was that your Ethernet port was busted, bad Ethernet cable or your router needed to be reset. I bet a router and tivo reset would have resolved ALL of your issues along with a connect to tivo service in the menus.

    Not blaming you or anything but you got yourself WAYYY to amped up and yes you did have issues, but give it another try before you send it back.

    For the record...I have FIos and 2 premieres. For both all I had to do was connect it all up...insert cable card, call automated Verizon line to activate it...and I was done. I was shocked at how easy it was to be honest. No calls to verizon (well live tech support anyways) or tivo.

    Also fios DOES NOT pair your cable cards at all...you can move them around to any device whenever you want...no need to call them.
  9. Thinkdiff

    Thinkdiff New Member

    Oct 13, 2003
    This is not true. The CableCARD is paired to the device you activated it in. The pairing information is lost as soon as you move the card to another device.

    However, FiOS does not set the CCI byte greater than 0x00 on any channels that you'd actually want to watch, so most people think the card is not paired to begin with (which is false). If FiOS starts setting copy-flags, the unpaired CableCARD will stop receiving those channels.

    Back on topic:

    TiVo was giving the OP the run-around with the CableCARD, imo. It shouldn't drop your channels once the card has been activated for the same reason stated above (most channels are not copy protected). It's unfortunate you couldn't wait it out for the problems to resolve. Hopefully you'll like the Verizon DVR if you decide to go that route.
  10. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    Aug 2, 2003
    It used to be true that Verizon did not pair the cards, and in fact, on my remaining original S3 (with single-stream cards), the cards still are not paired. You can check this by tuning to channel 131 -- unpaired cards will give a CableCard activation screen, because 131 (along with its mirror on 1952) is the only channel on Fios with a nonzero CCI, AFAIK.

    My other S3 went bad a few weeks ago, and the next day I picked up a Premiere at Best Buy and a CableCard at the Fios store, and had the whole thing up and running within a few hours. Of course I did still have the senseless activation delay before it was fully working, along with what I think was a coincidental failure of the assigned names (for several of my TiVos). I used the web to activate both card and TiVo (no phone calls).
  11. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    How do you pair it if the cards are old? Mine are several years old. I tried calling(an automated line) but they only took the CC ID, not the Host ID and Data ID. So since I gave the the CC ID, channel 131 and 1952 come in for a few seconds then goes to an unauthorized floating screen from the TiVo. Prior to giving them the CC ID over the phone, it went to a CC menu saying it was provided on behalf of my Provider.
  12. Joe01880

    Joe01880 I love my TiVo

    Feb 8, 2009
    Both the Verizon cards in my THD and Premiere are not paired.
    For future reference to the OP or anyone else who cares if you have a HDD go bad or think its going bad and your out of warranty with TiVo or just want a larger drive try DVR_Dude on ebay if you cant or are not confortable making your own drive. I have had good luck with the two 2TB HDD's i got from him.
  13. Thinkdiff

    Thinkdiff New Member

    Oct 13, 2003
    Thanks for that correction. All of my 3 CableCARDs on FiOS are paired (first ones were installed more than a year ago, latest one a few weeks ago), and I've heard from others that their's are paired as well. I assumed people that genuinely have an un-paired card had already corrupted the pairing data in some way, but I see that is not the case as it wasn't always SOP to pair the card.
  14. severe

    severe New Member

    Dec 11, 2009
    I understood this, I'd just included it in my post.

    I wasn't aware of this. And I guess I expected the process on the second box to be as smooth as the first, from the week before. Had I just been lucky the previous week, with the setup, including menus and CableCARD firing up without issue from the get-go?

    Yea, they were ultimately given all the new information.

    The replacement box wasn't paired to my knowledge, initially. However the SD menus and channels were available just fine, until the reboot. That's when I lost it all.

    I should also add that when I received the first Premiere that worked fine until its drive failed, I hadn't made any call to re-pair it. I just pulled it out of my Series 3 and installed it in the Premiere. This supports what dsnotgood has mentioned above about Fios not having to pair. I guess they just need to be activated.

    It sold for $273 +shipping.

    Though TiVo CS seemed as puzzled as myself regarding the issue, after trying to force things. They did eventually suggest waiting a day, which again, I was fine with. But then we had the sudden issue with the CableCARD that we couldn't resolve.

    We tried this as well. I wasn't exaggerating when I said nearly 5 hours.

    Tomorrow will be my first day off since the issue. I'm thinking about giving it another go.

    Sounds Like the setup experience I had with the first box that later took a ****.

    Noted. And I disliked the Verizon DVR I'd been using for a couple of months. I was genuinely thrilled to be in the familiar yet new territory of the Premiere box.

    Thanks to everyone for your input here. I'm not looking forward to dedicating another day to this, but we'll see what happens tomorrow.
  15. emma157

    emma157 New Member

    Apr 17, 2012
    faced the same problem too and surely did not leave any stones un-turned and i finally had to throw it away! into the junk! all money into the drain.:(
  16. MacQ2

    MacQ2 New Member

    Oct 17, 2006
    Why did you have to throw it away? Tivo offers a 30-day money back return policy.
  17. severe

    severe New Member

    Dec 11, 2009
    Called TiVo back today. 20 minutes later, and a conference call to Verizon, I was up and running. All channels coming in.

    However, I still don't have any HD menus or the ability to view any Video on Demand services. I'm, more or less, viewing what I had with the Series 3, minus VOD (also, Season PassĀ® manager isn't communicating with my box). For now.


    All that trouble and $$$ for a downgrade and some hope. Fingers crossed my services return soon and this hard drive doesn't fail.

    TiVo: Wanna throw in a month of service?


    New Tivo Premiere missing network / broadband features (HDUI, VoD...)

    Thanks again.

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