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Resurrecting an old NIB TiVo Series2 - will it work with D*TV?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by sastanley, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. sastanley

    sastanley New Member

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    Nov 27, 2010
    I have a friend that literally gave me an old Series2 TiVo box that was never opened. I am plugging it in to see if it will work with my SD D*TV service.

    I have an old R10 DTV TiVo that has been very faithful, but it is starting to reboot occasionally and be a little sketchy, so that is why I am experimenting with this Series2 TiVo. I seem to recall that maybe this Series2 box would work with DTV as well....am I crazy, or has my memory completely failed me? :confused:

    No HD concerns here yet related to this thread..I have an OTA UHF antenna that works OK, but no need for any recording related to that. I am just wondering if the Series 2 will work with regular old round dish DTV service and a Philips DSX5500 receiver.

    (edit - hopefully I fixed the spelling errors.)
     
  2. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

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    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
  3. ADent

    ADent Active Member

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    Jan 7, 2000
    Denver, CO
  4. sastanley

    sastanley New Member

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    Nov 27, 2010
    Hey everyone..thanks for the information. I am a computer geek in real life, & sit in front of a PC all day. When I get home I want to drink a beer and do other stuff & tend to not tinker with my home electronics too much, so most of them like the R10 & Philips boxes, are 'stock' items. I'll look into the information you provided in the links. Thanks!

    I had been going thru a frequent re-boot problem a few years ago with my R10 and did all kinds of yapping on the various forums, and was about to replace the HDD & 'root' the thing, when things got better. I don't remember if I did anything or not..I seem to recall that maybe D*TV had sent down an update to them, but I am not sure. I'd have to go dig thru my old posts on the various forums to re-read the history. I can't complain about this R10...I bought it used on e-bay years ago, and except for the two re-boot issues, it really has been a great, reliable unit. I am glad to see that D*TV and TiVo have a new agreement with some HD hardware, but I hate to shell out the cash. I am not sure how long we should expect an old 80GB HDD to last spinning 24/7 for 8-10 years.

    litzdog - It is a Model TCD540040, I do not believe it is a DirecTV/TiVo..and I seem to think that maybe it won't work, which is why i am asking. Thanks for helping me with these newbie questions...I used to be much more up to speed on hardware compatibility with the various service providers, but I just haven't futzed with D*TV hardware for years, so it is easier to ask questions than do tons of searching (read: LAZY!). :rolleyes:
     
  5. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    That is a standalone TiVo. It can be used with DirecTV if you have a separate DirecTV receiver. It can also be used with cable.
     
  6. sastanley

    sastanley New Member

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    Nov 27, 2010
    Thanks..I have an old Philips DSX5500 in front of it..although I am reading there are issues with that thing too. :-(

    Working on activating the TiVo box now.

    I'll report back.
     
  7. sastanley

    sastanley New Member

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    Nov 27, 2010
    So, for testing purposes, do I have to use the IR Emitters? Can I just set the channels manually on the TiVo box & on the DirecTV reciever?

    The TiVo box has the guide, which I guess it downloaded over the phone line, but the screen is blank, & right now I am getting "The TiVo box cannot display Live TV". :confused::confused:

    Maybe I have to wait for the TiVo activation to complete..? We'll re-visit this tomorrow. Thanks for the help so far.

    edit - I also realize that now I have a standalone Series 2 Tivo, & it is NOT a DirecTV w/ TiVo...so if this should be moved to some other forum, feel free there mods. :D

    edit #2 - ID10T error. I had the TiVo box looking for coax input on Channel 2. :rolleyes:

    At least I have "moving pictures" now actually displaying on the television.
     
  8. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

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    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    1. You'll need an IR repeater if you want the standalone Tivo to control channel changes on the DirecTV Receiver. You could, of course, set the channel manually, but then you can't easily program future recordings on different channels.

    2. You'll need to activate the standalone Tivo with Tivo before it will do much.
     
  9. sastanley

    sastanley New Member

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    Nov 27, 2010
    Litzdog..thanks for being patient with the newbie.

    TiVo is activated and I have a signal coming thru the TiVo box to the TV now.

    The thoughts I was having last night when I should have been sleeping was about your first comment. Will the IR emitters that come with this TiVo box (the little double ended dohickey that you tape to the DirecTV receiver in front of its IR eye) change the channel if I've set up the TiVo to record something? Otherwise, as you mentioned, I'd be back in VCR days..it would be like setting the TV/cable to the correct channel so it records what I want when the VCR comes on. :confused: :rolleyes:

    Right now, for testing in the garage, I am just picking up two remotes and matching channels on the DSX5500 & the TiVo box with their respective remotes...That is fine for me..but, not fine for the wife. :thumbsdown:

    I guess a little more testing is in my future before Turkey Day gets here.
     
  10. ADent

    ADent Active Member

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    Denver, CO
    The SA TiVo has a high power emitter on the front - if it bounces off something it can work the Phillips DTV STB.

    It is much more reliable to plug the emitters into the TiVo and then set them up under the DTV STB and they control it.

    There are issues if the DTV STB gets direct sunlight or some odd problems from some florescent lights and plasma TVs (then a tent or fort is needed) - but mu MIL (Mother In Law) had a similar setup with Dish Network for a couple of years and it worked fine.
     
  11. sastanley

    sastanley New Member

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    Nov 27, 2010
    ADent, thanks for the info..I do not have any fancy plasma TVs or anything like that...but my wife would not be adverse to IR tents and such if I told her that was the way to make it work.

    I will plan to do the emitter set up once I get everything organized.

    edit - I found a link back to an old archived thread from this forum TiVoBill post from Dec2003! I hadn't barely had my first DTV dish then and the DSX5500's were the latest and greatest & were shipped to me just a few months earlier. His info regarding the "Yes" on Enter (even though I do not need to do so) plus the 10064 medium code, has the Series 2 IR Blaster changing the channels on my DSX5500 set top box with no trouble. So, I guess I have the ML-3 since it works, but not quite sure where to find that info to confirm.

    The real test is to purposely put things on the wrong channel and see what happens on a planned programming. Still working on adding my 'local channels' too.I figured out how to add Channel 4 but I don't really have any idea what I did to make that work...so, none of the others yet...I'll keep working on that.

    I know that in this day & age I am running a 'dinosaur setup', but that is why forums like this are cool...the ability to find this type of obscure stuff when my wife is hogging the R10 TiVo in the living room & a buddy has no idea that he's giving me something so cool that is of no value to him. I'll certainly show him the setup once complete. I'll have to buy him a vodka drink at Happy Hour sometime soon..good deal for me!

    This forums kicks..well..you know.. :D
     
  12. habibrobert

    habibrobert New Member

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    Nov 16, 2012
    This all sounds pretty cool. I wish I was as tech savvy as all you guys!
     
  13. shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

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    Jun 22, 2008
    It's not worth it to activate an unsubscribed S2. You could find a used S2 with lifetime service online for around $100.
     
  14. sastanley

    sastanley New Member

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    Nov 27, 2010
    shwru980r, Thanks for your comments..I realize now that there may have been a better course of action for the long term in terms of saving a few dollars. For right now..this setup serves my needs.

    To follow up on the technical details of this thread that were new to me when I started asking questions:

    I was able to activate my service with TiVo on a month-to-month, no commitment contract, so when it isn't worth the hassle (or cost) I can simply turn it off.

    After a couple of lengthy data phone calls, the Series2 is running software version 9.3.2b, & I also picked up a D-Link DWL-G122 wireless USB controller on e-bay for $10 with the specified firmware specs approved by TiVo. It installed seamlessly, and I was able to yank the phone line that I had strung across the bedroom. The IR blaster is working just fine on the DSX-5500, and I even have control over the audio system for volume & TV power on the TiVo remote.

    For the purposes of this thread..I guess it is done. Maybe some other newbie will find it useful some day in the archives. So, thanks to all seasoned veterans for the help, & everyone else for their comments. All information is appreciated.

    When the R10 gets more tired and I am looking for new solutions, I am sure I'll be back. I do not have any DVR capabilities in the garage yet..I might need to investigate that next! :up::D - Based on shwru980r's comments, I'll be looking for TiVo box already with a lifetime contract. :rolleyes:
     

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