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TiVo Series2 bad tuner - want to use DTA w/ RF modulator

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by vortix, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. vortix

    vortix New Member

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    Oct 17, 2005
    I have a TiVo Series2 with lifetime service that's connected to an analog TV. The tuner in the TiVo stopped working years ago. I recently obtained a DTA from my cable provider. I want to use a DTA instead of a traditional cable box due to the much lower rental cost for the DTA.

    The DTA only provides RF output. If I connect a coax cable between the DTA and the TiVo, the TiVo will not be able to tune the signal due to the bad tuner.

    I would like to get an RF modulator to convert the DTA output from RF to composite. I would then connect composite audio/video cables from the RF modulator to the composite inputs on the TiVo.

    However, I was wondering if anyone knows whether the input source on the TiVo can be manually selected when a DTA is set up? Or would the TiVo force me to choose the RF input when using a DTA?
     
  2. ggieseke

    ggieseke Active Member

    4,031
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    May 30, 2008
    It might, I'm not sure. If it does, tell it you have a full-featured cable box like a Motorola while you're in Guided Setup. You can always go back into the Channel Changing menu later and set the correct IR codes for the DTA.

    During Guided Setup it won't recognize ANY input that doesn't have an active signal, so make sure it's all connected and working first.
     
  3. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    You can use an old VCR as an RF modulator.

    Get one with selectable line inputs for flexibility's sake, if possible.

    Also better to have one that's stereo to assure that the built-in modulator does stereo.

    Have you ever checked that TiVo's power supply for bad capacitors?

    Maybe it's not the tuner after all.

    What's the model number of the TiVo?

    You might be able to find one free or cheap on Craigslist and transplant the tuner if it is bad.

    Or if you're really adventurous, transplant the crypto chip to move the TSN (to which the PLS is tied) to the new motherboard).

    Or transplant the power supply to see if that makes a difference.

    If you plan to keep using that TiVo it wouldn't hurt to have something around to cannibilize for parts.

    If telling the TiVo you have a cable box doesn't work, you could lie to it a different way and tell it you have a satellite receiver hooked to the line inputs, just make sure there's a video signal on there when you do the setup.
     
  4. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
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    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Actually, you need a tuner, which you can use a VCR for.

    You can do guided setup for cable with box on A/V in, then choose the DTA IR code.
     
  5. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Now that I'm awake, everything I said still holds, more or less, but what you need is an RF de-modulator.

    Which can be done by an old VCR.
     
  6. vortix

    vortix New Member

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    Oct 17, 2005
    Thanks for all of your input! I'll see if I can dig out an old VCR to convert the RF output from the DTA into composite. The model number of this S2 TiVo is TCD540040. I actually have a brand new in box TCD540080 sitting around that I could cannibalize parts from. As far as I know, the hardware is the same with the exception of the hard drive capacity. Though I don't want to mess around with soldering, so I'm not sure how likely it is that I could easily swap the tuner and still keep my lifetime service.
     
  7. vortix

    vortix New Member

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    Oct 17, 2005
    Actually....would I be able to obtain a working TiVo of the same model number & capacity, and use the "Change TiVo Service Number" feature on my TiVo account to move my lifetime service over to the replacement box?

    This is going back in time back to 2004, but it appears at that time that the practice of moving lifetime service to another TiVo of the same model number/capacity was acceptable by TiVo:
    http://archive.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=174920

     
  8. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    See where it says same capacity? That might trip you up, or they might cut you a break.

    Call and find out.

    Do you have or are you planning to get a Series 4 of any description?
     
  9. vortix

    vortix New Member

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    Oct 17, 2005
    Same capacity would not be a problem....brand new/unopened 40GB S2 TiVos are available on eBay for $60 or so.

    I have three Premieres. The S2 is for the old analog CRT TV in the basement.
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Fire up that 80 hour 540 and make sure it works as far as booting and all. If it's truly brand new it'll start in guided setup. At which point you can unplug it.

    Then take its power supply and put it in the other 540. See if makes a difference with the tuner.
     
  11. vortix

    vortix New Member

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    Oct 17, 2005
    I'll give it a shot. Though technically speaking, what makes you think the power supply could cause the tuner issue? Everything else on the TiVo works great. Does the power supply have a separate wire that powers the tuner, or does the tuner receive power via the motherboard?
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,389
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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    I think by the time of the 540 the tuner was using power off of the motherboard from the same buss as some other stuff.

    But one or more of the DirecTivo S2s had a problem with one tuner working and one not working that was caused by the same power supply problems (capacitor plague), and other models have had weird symptoms that cleared up when the power supply was fixed, so subbing in a good supply is a valid troubleshooting technique.

    Odds of a bad power supply in an S2 or S3 are (because of the capacitor issue) much greater than odds of a bad tuner.

    Just remember to always know where both ends of the power cord are at all times, and, if testing with the top off of the TiVo, keep your hands away from the power supply--unlike a PC supply, it's not still separately shielded when the main unit's case is open, so there are things you could touch which could bite you, especially if your other hand is touching the grounded chassis.
     

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