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Newbie questions

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by wineprincess, May 6, 2012.

  1. wineprincess

    wineprincess New Member

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    May 6, 2012
    I am currently paying $16.00/month through my cable company (Suddenlink) for my HD DVR service/box. I don't like Suddenlink and cringe when I think that I am renting a box from them. They told me the only way to get rid of the box and still use their service was to get a Tivo box. I know very little about Tivo and I looked on Tivo's website, and it seems that I can get a subscription for less than what I'm paying for the Suddenlink's box, so I now need to find a box. I'm looking for something I can replace my Suddelink box with and I need at a minimum HD and something that records at least 2 shows at a time.

    I'm a little confused about what the lifetime option is. Does that mean you don't pay a monthly charge?

    If so, I'm wondering if I should look for an older box with lifetime service that can be transferred to me (if that's possible)?

    And, I'm thinking that you can upgrade after a while if you have an older box and Lifetime, is that correct and how does that work?

    Or, am I better off just buying a new box, no lifetime, and now paying the service fee?

    Also wondering how this works if I have 2 tv's. Do I need 2 Tivo boxes? The 2nd tv only needs to be able to watch, no recording functions needed.

    Any help/advice/input would be appreciated, thanks in advance!
     
  2. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    5,777
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    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    Lifetime sub is a one time charge rather than paying a monthly fee. It is for the lifetime of the box, not you. If you plan to keep the Tivo more than 2 or 3 years, the Lifetime is the cheaper option. The Series 3, Tivo HD, Tivo HDXL, Tivo Premiere, Tivo Premiere Elite/XL4 are all HD units with 2 tuners except the Elite/XL4 which has 4 tuners. You will need a Tivo for each TV (there are some workarounds others may be able to explain better than me). However there is a streaming non-DVR box that is supposed to be released sometime in the near future. You can get a used box online with a Lifetime sub transferred to you. As for upgrading, Tivo will sporadically offer an upgrade discount but having a Lifetime box generally only gets you a discount on additional boxes, called the Multi Service Discount. You can not transfer the sub to a new box.
     
  3. wineprincess

    wineprincess New Member

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    May 6, 2012
    Thanks for the info. WhiskeyTango!

    I forgot to add that the other requirement I have is an optical audio out. Do the Tivo boxes have that?

    Also, if I have to have 2 boxes, does that mean I have to pay 2 monthly charges?

    Now I'm wondering if I'd be better off finding just an older HD box and paying the monthly fee. The monthly service is still less than $16 that I'm paying now, and at least it wouldn't be going to Suddenlink. I'm assuming Tivo allows that since I have seen other posts on it, but how would I know if I'm getting a box that can be activated? I've seen posts to beware of buying used boxes that can't be activated due to the owner not paying their previous bills.

    Thanks again in advance
     
  4. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    The original Series 3 (first HD model), TivoHD (a later model S3), Premiere, and Premiere XL's all have a digital (optical) audio output.
    I would think that the Premiere Elite/XL4 has one as well.

    If you have to have more than one box, each will require it's own subscription.

    Note that the Premiere Elite/XL4 model is digital cable only.
    All other HD Tivos also do OTA (antenna).

    Also note, if you subscribe to digital cable, you will need to rent an M stream cable card from the cable company so that your Tivo will be able to unscramble the cable signal. If you happen to get an original Series 3 (first HD model), then you will need 2 cable cards (M stream or S stream).
     
  5. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    You will have to pay $2.50/mo to Suddenlink for each CableCARD. A TiVo 3 HD (model TCD648250) needs 2 of them. The other HD capable TiVos need only 1 m-card.

    See the Suddenlink CableCARD FAQ here.
     
  6. dsnotgood

    dsnotgood New Member

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    Aug 25, 2010
    I had same dilemma as you with fios. Hated that fios box.

    I got one premiere for 80, added lifetime for 500 and tried it out for a few weeks to see if I liked it..I loved it so much ended up getting another premiere with lifetime. That was almost two years ago. Prior to the TiVo...we were paying $40/month for 2 fios dvr boxes....$40 x 24 months = $960 that I did not pay to fios for "renting" their crap boxes.I feel very good about my investment. If I were you...I would buy it direct from TiVo and try it for 30 days risk free so see if you like it.
     
  7. dsnotgood

    dsnotgood New Member

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Also just get a new premiere. You don't save much by buying used and the premiere will get all the new updates and features.
     
  8. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Not for the TiVo, no. As pointed out, you will need a CableCard (2 if it is an original S3).

    Yes, that is an option. Whether you choose to go that route is up to you. There is some small risk involved, but you stand to save a good bit of money.

    Upgrade in what sense? PLS is the only upgrade for an older box. If you buy a box with PLS, there is nothing to upgrade.

    If you wind up not keeping the Tivo very long, then that route saves yu some money. If you keep it at least 18 months, then it's cheaper to go with PLS, especially when one considers the resale value of a TiVo with PLS is higher than one without.

    I think you need to clarify a bit. Do you mean you want to watch recorded content from both TVs but only record at one site? If you don;t intend to watch recorded contet from the second TV, then just get a Set Top Box from your provider. Otherwise, the simplest scenario is to get two TiVos. There are other possibilities, but most users don't care to deal with them.
     
  9. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    That may be poor advice. It certainly would be for me. Does Suddenlink copy protect all their content?
     

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