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TiVo dead, it just dawned on me that I can't even watch live TV

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by kongjie, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. kongjie

    kongjie New Member

    56
    0
    Jul 16, 2003
    Palo Alto, CA
    My series 3 is lit up in front and nothing is happening, so I suspect it's a power supply. I have to go out into the black widow den (aka the shed) and poke around until I find a T10 or get bitten on the hand, whichever comes first.

    But in the meanwhile I thought I would set the TV to get the cable signal directly so my wife could watch live TV. Then I realized I don't have a cable box--I have 2 cable cards in a dead machine.

    So I'm right in thinking that I can't watch TV until I get TiVo fixed, right?
     
  2. ciscokid

    ciscokid Member

    849
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    Jan 14, 2003
    Tampadelphia...
    Go to Walmart and pick up a 10 buck OTA antenna and watch all the live TV you want. (Just like the "old" days)
     
  3. lillevig

    lillevig Hot in West Texas

    1,769
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    Dec 6, 2010
    San Angelo, TX
    The cable going directly to the TV should work if one of the two things below is true:

    1. The cable company includes analog versions of the channels

    2. You have an HDTV that can tune the digital SD channels and the ClearQAM HD channels.
     
  4. pmiranda

    pmiranda New Member

    669
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    Feb 12, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Go down to the cableco office and pick up a box for a few bucks a month until you can fix/replace TiVo.
     
  5. waterchange

    waterchange Member

    149
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    Jun 29, 2010
    If the power supply were dead, I'd suspect that you wouldn't see any lights on the front of the Tivo so I'd guess the problem would be somewhere else. I would look on Craiglist for a used Tivo HD for cheap for the parts. You can then swap out the hard drive and/or power supply and hope one or the other fixes your problem.
     
  6. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

    4,059
    4
    Feb 4, 2008
    Power supplies have different levels of dead. That is why they are so hard to diagnose. This is certainly a condition that has been reported previously to be a PS.
     
  7. kongjie

    kongjie New Member

    56
    0
    Jul 16, 2003
    Palo Alto, CA
    Going to pop over to Comcast to borrow a cable box for a little while.

    I've read on other threads that all the lights on and no one home could be power supply or hard drive.

    So once I pop it open and take a look hopefully it will be clearer. That being said, I noticed that when I plug the unit in, there is a distinct, cycling (every 30 seconds or so) thunking. That to me sounds like a bad hard drive, based on previous experience with hard drives.
     
  8. kongjie

    kongjie New Member

    56
    0
    Jul 16, 2003
    Palo Alto, CA
    i think both of those things are false, unfortunately. :(
     
  9. mattack

    mattack Active Member

    20,734
    4
    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    If your TV has a QAM tuner, you should at least be able to see the OTA rebroadcast stations (for now).
     
  10. kongjie

    kongjie New Member

    56
    0
    Jul 16, 2003
    Palo Alto, CA
    Picked up a cable box at Comcast. Supposedly no charge since I pay for service anyway.

    Cracked open the Series 3 and the power supply looks okay--none of the capacitors are bulging in any way. Plugged it in with the case open and the hard drive is making a very strong clunking every 30 seconds or so.

    I suppose it still could be the power supply, not giving the HD enough power to spin up, but I'm betting on the hard drive being faulty, and will replace that.
     
  11. ciscokid

    ciscokid Member

    849
    0
    Jan 14, 2003
    Tampadelphia...
    There's a charge! You pay for the service, yes! You also pay for the equipment rental.
     
  12. kongjie

    kongjie New Member

    56
    0
    Jul 16, 2003
    Palo Alto, CA
    I have no doubt I'll be charged LOL.
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You could try powering the hard drive via a PC power supply and use a separate SATA data cable to the SATA header on the motherboard of the TiVo.

    If it works, that's proof the power supply is limping.

    (The caps can go bad without it showing visually, you need a voltmeter or o-scope to be sure)

    Although you should hook the drive to a PC and boot the PC with a bootable cd with the manufacturer's diagnostic software on it to test the drive.

    The Ultimate Boot CD should be just the thing.
     
  14. kongjie

    kongjie New Member

    56
    0
    Jul 16, 2003
    Palo Alto, CA
    @unitron Thanks, but unfortunately no PCs in house.

    However, I just got my replacement hard drive from Weaknees and the drive was the issue, I guess, because TiVo is up and running.

    I do have an issue I never saw before--gray screen flashes when changing channels in LiveTV--but I've seen some other posts on that and will explore to figure it out.
     
  15. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    10,722
    0
    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Check your letterbox screen color setting.

    Messages and Settings -> Settings -> Video -> Letterbox Color

    I'd be willing to bet it is set to gray.
     

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