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Using DirecTivo over Vonage (VoIP) - a solution

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by RedGrey, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. Meinrad

    Meinrad dumdiddydum

    3,775
    0
    Nov 16, 2001
    Pittsburgh Area

    LoL, you go ahead and keep believing that. People who actually work for Tivo have posted otherwise.
     
  2. edrock200

    edrock200 New Member

    2,569
    0
    Feb 7, 2002
    Northern...
    Just got the motorolla ATA and it works great with the Tivos! I made Vonage switch out my cisco because my Tivo's wouldn't dial on them. I'm happy I did because I just made 5 calls in a row with no problems. :)
     
  3. edrock200

    edrock200 New Member

    2,569
    0
    Feb 7, 2002
    Northern...
    *sigh*...well, I take it all back. It worked great for a while...then my ATA decided to do a firmware update...and now all calls are failing again. I'm just spoke with Vonage and one of the tech guys is working with his managers to see if he can roll my firmware back and figure out whats going on. He said if we find a compatible firmware he can lock my ata on that firmware and send it to motorolla for comparison to the new one to see what happened.
     
  4. qposner

    qposner New Member

    236
    0
    Sep 28, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    I emailed Vonage to see if they would send me a Moto ATA to check against my Cisco. Here was there response:

    "Unfortunately, we cannot temporarily supply you with a Motorola
    adapter. However, we will be able to swap the Cisco device for the
    Motorola ATA. There is $99.95 swap fee and we will credit you $40.00
    once you return the Cisco device."

    That seems a bit ridiculous to me. They want to charge $60 when they could be helping their support position if the Moto works!
     
  5. bmiller

    bmiller New Member

    88
    0
    Jan 18, 2002
    Sacramento...
    You think yourself integral to testing this configuration? I'm sure they have their own labs and they don't want to have to start swapping out everyone's Cisco device just because they feel like it. When you signed up, didn't it say they don't support TiVo? Seems to me I read that and it's the reason I didn't sign up.
     
  6. qposner

    qposner New Member

    236
    0
    Sep 28, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    Ahh, the sweet hum of a condescending voice.

    Actually, no, I do not consider myself "integral to testing this configuration". I just don't see what the problem is with swapping out an ATA. Its not like we have to buy them and they lose money. I would even be willing to pay shipping.
     
  7. expoke

    expoke New Member

    12
    0
    Sep 20, 2003
    Here's what I wrote to Tivo and DirecTV:

    "When will our USB ports be enabled on the back of my Series 2
    DirecTV-enabled TIVO units?

    The telephone connection does not work with my VoiP setup, and signs are
    everywhere that more and more people are using these VoiP types of
    service.

    It's been at least months. The number of customers with this problem is
    growing, because this limitation is not brought to our attention when we
    all bought these units.

    We're always being referred from Tivo to DirecTV, and DirecTVs answer
    has been the same for months: There is "no idea" when it will happen.

    All of us would greatly appreciate honest efforts to address this issue.""

    ***As I said, here's DirecTV's response to my request for assistance with this matter (total bullsh**):

    "Thank you for writing. At this time, the USB ports on the TIVO are not
    being used [WHAT?!? SURELY YOU JEST!]. Just as personal computers are rapidly evolving, we expect
    DIRECTV System receivers to incorporate many new features in the coming
    years [YEARS?? AND WHAT DOES THE COMPUTER ANALOGY HAVE TO DO WITH IT??]. We will enhance our programming service as the receiving
    equipment evolves.

    All DIRECTV System receivers bring you excellent picture and sound
    quality and on-screen program information. However, the on-screen menus
    of each brand may have a slightly different "look and feel." Also, each
    manufacturer of DIRECTV Systems offers various receivers which each
    offer a different array of features. The availability of certain
    features depends on the receiving equipment you own [THIS ENTIRE PARAGRAPH IS COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT]. If you have
    questions about DIRECTV Systems and their future features, we suggest
    you see our web site for a list of system manufacturers at
    http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/learn/OurPartners.jsp#Manufacturers

    I hope this information is helpful [DO YOU REALLY?]. Thanks again for writing.

    Sincerely,

    Anjali
    DIRECTV Customer Service"

    **...and now here's Tivo's BULLSH** response:

    "Thank you for contacting TiVo Customer Support. I understand you would like the USB ports enabled and the modem modified on your DIRECTV DVR.

    Unfortunately, I do not have any information to help you. The DIRECTV DVR with TiVo service and the TiVo service received are both offered and supported by DIRECTV. Any changes to the hardware or software will be provided by DIRECTV [INSERT FAVORITE PASSING THE BUCK MOTION HERE].

    For support of DIRECTV products, please call DIRECTV at 1-800-DIRECTV or: 1-800-531-5000.

    If you are interested in purchasing TiVo products [HAHA! THE NERVE TO MAKE A SALES PITCH!], including the DIRECTV DVR with TiVo service, you can find more information at tivo.com/get.

    Kind regards,
    Dave
    TiVo Customer Support"

    ...like I'm going to buy anymore of their trash!
     
  8. expoke

    expoke New Member

    12
    0
    Sep 20, 2003
    Here's what I wrote to Tivo and DirecTV:

    "When will our USB ports be enabled on the back of my Series 2
    DirecTV-enabled TIVO units?

    The telephone connection does not work with my VoiP setup, and signs are
    everywhere that more and more people are using these VoiP types of
    service.

    It's been at least months. The number of customers with this problem is
    growing, because this limitation is not brought to our attention when we
    all bought these units.

    We're always being referred from Tivo to DirecTV, and DirecTVs answer
    has been the same for months: There is "no idea" when it will happen.

    All of us would greatly appreciate honest efforts to address this issue.""

    ***As I said, here's DirecTV's response to my request for assistance with this matter (total bullsh**):

    "Thank you for writing. At this time, the USB ports on the TIVO are not
    being used. Just as personal computers are rapidly evolving, we expect
    DIRECTV System receivers to incorporate many new features in the coming
    years. We will enhance our programming service as the receiving
    equipment evolves.

    All DIRECTV System receivers bring you excellent picture and sound
    quality and on-screen program information. However, the on-screen menus
    of each brand may have a slightly different "look and feel." Also, each
    manufacturer of DIRECTV Systems offers various receivers which each
    offer a different array of features. The availability of certain
    features depends on the receiving equipment you own. If you have
    questions about DIRECTV Systems and their future features, we suggest
    you see our web site for a list of system manufacturers at
    http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/learn/OurPartners.jsp#Manufacturers

    I hope this information is helpful. Thanks again for writing.

    Sincerely,

    Anjali
    DIRECTV Customer Service"

    **...and now here's Tivo's BULLSH** response:

    "Thank you for contacting TiVo Customer Support. I understand you would like the USB ports enabled and the modem modified on your DIRECTV DVR.

    Unfortunately, I do not have any information to help you. The DIRECTV DVR with TiVo service and the TiVo service received are both offered and supported by DIRECTV. Any changes to the hardware or software will be provided by DIRECTV.

    For support of DIRECTV products, please call DIRECTV at 1-800-DIRECTV or: 1-800-531-5000.

    If you are interested in purchasing TiVo products, including the DIRECTV DVR with TiVo service, you can find more information at tivo.com/get.

    Kind regards,
    Dave
    TiVo Customer Support"

    ...like I'm going to buy anymore of their trash!
     
  9. nerdtech

    nerdtech New Member

    6
    0
    Feb 1, 2004
    So I was all hot to move my voiceline to Vonage and ditch SBC [Ameritech]. But, lucky for me, I did some checking and some research first.

    I called Speakeasy [my DSL provider] to make SURE that I was not required to have an SBC-provided voice line. Good thing that I did this.

    Indeed, it turns out in my case that it is REQUIRED by Speakeasy [DSL] that I have an active line from SBC [Voice] for them to provide me DSL service. What does this mean?

    Any poor sap that tries to move their phone line over to Vonage, and who is using Speakeasy for DSL in Southeast Michigan - will essentially "cut off their own heads". You move your phone to Vonage, and if your SBC line is disconnected - then your DSL stops working - voila! No more data OR voice!

    Just a heads-up, and a warning. Check with your DSL providers first, before gettin' hooked up with Vonage - and see if the DSL service needs to be "piggy backed" onto an existing Bell phone line or not.

    Also, the Speakeasy rep suggested that I just get "metered service" on the voice line - but I want to keep our existing voice number to use with Vonage - so this is not an option, either.

    Cable modem users, I think, need not worry about this all. Just DSL users.

    And please do correct me if I am wrong about any of this - but hearing this information from Speakeasy [and not Vonage or SBC] seems to give a bit more legitamacy to the info - particularly since Speakeasy wants to keep seeing my monthly DSL payments. :)
     
  10. edrock200

    edrock200 New Member

    2,569
    0
    Feb 7, 2002
    Northern...
  11. Don_Corneo

    Don_Corneo New Member

    19
    0
    Feb 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    Below is a copy of an email I received from TiVo.com customer support:

    Hello Don,

    Thank you for contacting TiVo Customer Support. I understand you would like to know what is meant by a standard phone line.

    A standard phone line (analog) will have a chord (land-line) connected to the TiVo DVR, a cell phone is not a standard phone line.


    I gather that an analog-digital-analog service (such as VoIP) is not compatible with the low grade non-industry-standard modem required by TiVo for its service.

    Do I Need a Land-Based Phone Line to Complete Guided Setup? http://customersupport.tivo.com/tivoknowbase/root/public/tv2054.htm?

    Can My TiVo Digital Video Recorder Make a Daily Call on a Phone Line with DSL? http://customersupport.tivo.com/tivoknowbase/root/public/tv1061.htm?

    Why Does My DVR Need to Be Connected to a Phone Line/Why Does My DVR Need to Connect to the TiVo Service?
    http://customersupport.tivo.com/tivoknowbase/root/public/tv020301.htm?

    If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me again.

    You may also visit our web site at: http://tivo.com/support, to use our interactive troubleshooting guide, find a graphical solution to answer your questions or submit a case to one of our technicians. If you need to make any billing changes or update your customer information you can do this online at: http://tivo.com/manage.

    Do you have a home network? With our new Home Media Option you can use your DVR to listen to music or view photos from your PC, share programs with other DVRs in your household, and schedule recordings remotely from the web. Check it out at: http://tivo.com/new.

    Kind regards,
    Dennis
    TiVo Customer Support



    I have also found the following in TiVo's FAQ's:

    If I have a broadband connection (cable modem, DSL), does that mean I don't need to use my regular phone to connect to the TiVo service anymore?
    That's right! If you have a broadband connection in the home and a TiVo Series2, you can connect to the TiVo service directly by connecting your DVR to your network. This feature will be available to all subscribers (Except D*TiVo subscribers) with a TiVo Series2, whether or not you purchase the Home Media Option package.*

    *You will still need to use a standard phone line for your initial call during Guided (or Repeat Guided) Setup.


    All we need to do is have DirecTV and TiVo make TiVo software version 4.0, or later, or version 5.0 available to D*TiVo owners. TiVo owns the software (check your DVR system info page where TiVo clearly states it owns the software/hardware), so all D*TV can do is ask for it, or may have to pay for it which may present a problem.
     
  12. aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

    1,062
    0
    Dec 30, 2002
    Va Beach, VA
    Yeah, and having a Pay-Per-View billing system and signal theft prevention policy that both currently rely on land-based phone calls from receivers might also be a small problem for D*TV.

    FWIW, there's already a thread with an online petition you can sign to request HMO and other updates: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=109505
     
  13. gfoulks

    gfoulks New Member

    566
    0
    Apr 14, 2003
    Just hook up a external modem to your DTivo... Then you can make your daily calls without any problems. You can even get a preconfigured modem and cable /w adapter from Weaknees. I did and I was up and running in 3 minutes. In two months my Vonage service will have saved me enough money to pay for the modem upgrade.
     
  14. Don_Corneo

    Don_Corneo New Member

    19
    0
    Feb 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    Thanks, I signed up on the petition, but I'm really not interested in getting HMO. All I want is the home networking availability. This is separate from HMO. (See the end of my post above.)

    As an added note: D*TV TiVo Specialty Group, 1 (800) 793-4102 (Call this number to inform D*TV you want TiVo software version 4.0 or higher) has informed me users of D*TiVo with VoIP face a double problem. One is that TiVo has not made the new TiVo software (4.0 or higher) available to D*TV. Two is that D*TV must test the newer TiVo software's compatibility with the D*TV access card. The D*TV access card is tied into working with the TiVo software, though the Rep could not explain how or why.
    The Rep also informed me that TiVo does control the software and hardware used for TiVo part of the unit. D*TV just works out compatibility with its own software and hardware. (When you make the setup call, it is to the TiVo server and the software upgrade is controlled by TiVo.)
    The Rep made a request on my behalf for D*TV.com to make a web page specifically for D*TiVo users.
    The failure of the TiVo daily calls using VoIP is caused by the non-industry standard modem (#1) TiVo required installed in the units. D*TV used a industry standard modem (#2) for its part which is why their once a month call has not been a problem.
    D*TV needs a kick in the @$$ to support us in getting the newer TiVo software and testing it for compatibility quicker.
    TiVo needs to be bombarded to let them know we refuse to be treated as an unwanted step-child. The TiVo software and hardware is strictly their responsibility. They need to provide newer version to D*TV in a timely fashion so that D*TV can test its compatibility and then get it to us.
    At this point the only advantages that the D*TiVo units have over SA units is the dual tuners and integrated TiVo/D*TV receiver unit. Unfortunately, mainly for VoIP users, the integrated unit causes a big delay in getting the newer and better TiVo software.

    I'll wait to see what TiVo's response to support D*TiVo is before I make a final decision about keeping the D*TiVo.

    To any who hasn't bought a D*TiVo unit yet and has VoIP, I recommend reading the posts here and on other boards. You may want to consider buying a SA where you can use the home networking option (you DO NOT have to get HMO if you don't want it, HMO is not a part of home networking nor is HMO needed to use home networking) or try one of the work-arounds suggested. You can always bring the unit over to an old analog land-line every 30 days also.
     
  15. tivoremedies

    tivoremedies New Member

    2
    0
    Feb 28, 2004
    I didn't realize that this was still a big deal! I've been using Vonage for just over a year and my series 2 connect perfectly every time! I bought a preprogrammed external modem kit off of some guy on ebay specifically for series 2 Tivos and Directivos for like 60 bucks shipped. When I got it in the mail, I hooked it up and everything has worked fine ever since.

    I have his email address if anyone is interested.

    If your thinking about switching, Vonage is definatly the way to go! IMO
     
  16. Don_Corneo

    Don_Corneo New Member

    19
    0
    Feb 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    The problem for me is that spending more than $20.00 for a 'ready to use' fix is making the D*TiVo more expensive then it's worth to me. For the price D*TiVo was offered, it was more convenient then buying a new VCR, and a lot less expensive than buying a DVD recorder, to replace my VCR that decided one day to stop working. The duel tuners was a good incentive. But now I'm rethinking everything. For the costs involved, buying a new VCR and using one of my old D*TV receivers and TVs with it seems more cost effective. I'm very leery about spending more money and the fix not working to my expectations. At this point I'm not into building/configuring a workaround.
    I maybe interested in the guy you bought your modem from since it is the cheapest price I've heard of for a ready to use setup.
    How long have you been using this setup you have? Have you tried manually making connections with a lot of success?
     
  17. qposner

    qposner New Member

    236
    0
    Sep 28, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    I would appreciate some info on this guy as well. If we have a ready to go otion, I would be interested.
     
  18. pigvig

    pigvig TiVo Underling

    68
    0
    Sep 3, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Me too!!! I have a DSR7000 and this seems to be the only solution (until v4 software).
     
  19. tivoremedies

    tivoremedies New Member

    2
    0
    Feb 28, 2004
    to me, there is no comparison as far as tivo and vcr. : ) Tivo is awsome in the respect that it learns what type of programming you like the more you use it. Ive been using my setup for just over 7 mos. Any manual connects that I have made have gone through sucessfully. (I usually just let the tivo do its thing, though)

    I got permission from Ryan M.(the tivo modem guy) to post his email address for you guys who are interested: tivogod@smgcommodities.com
     
  20. Mar 1, 2004 #140 of 634
    Don_Corneo

    Don_Corneo New Member

    19
    0
    Feb 6, 2004
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the help. I sent an email requesting the info about the modem setup.

    I've had the unit for only a month, but like the D*TV receiver I had (for about 6 months) with a similar suggestion list, it rarely picks shows I like.
     

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