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Using Tivo Premiere as Tuner Without Subscription?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by curly21029, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Jan 4, 2011 #1 of 17
    curly21029

    curly21029 New Member

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    Jan 4, 2011
    I apologize if this question has already been answered, but everything I was able to find by searching this forum was extremely vague.

    I currently own a Pioneer Elite Kuro 101FD monitor. Being a monitor, it doesn't have an internal tuner. I recently moved from a house where I had an HD cable box to an apartment that supplies the basic 72 channels of SD cable. I care about the picture quality of Blu Ray and games, but could care less about having HD cable as I hardly ever watch television so I'm looking to stick with the free level of service.

    Anyway, all I need is a tuner. I don't need DVR, streaming, or any other functions that Tivo is known for. I've searched the internet and external tuners and they seem to be generic and of questionable quality. DVD or combo recorders that include tuners are somewhat expensive. If the Tivo works, $99 for an external tuner with a decent brand backing seems to be a good deal.

    The question: will I be able to watch SD cable on a Tivo Premiere (specific model TCD746320) without a subscription and without hassle? Again, I DO NOT CARE about fast forward, rewind, pause, recording, streaming, channel guides, or any other extraneous feature of this box.
     
  2. Jan 4, 2011 #2 of 17
    h2oskierc

    h2oskierc I'm a 2-Tuner

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    Dec 16, 2010
    Minnesnowta
  3. Jan 4, 2011 #3 of 17
    curly21029

    curly21029 New Member

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    Jan 4, 2011
    Thanks for the link. That's the first time I seen a standalone tuner that's made by a company I've actually heard of. :p Still, I was hoping to run all of my components off of one remote. I know I'd be able to replace the Tivo one, but I doubt there would be any level of universal support for the Viewbox.

    I was also just reading into what channels are available OTA here. Support for that would be a plus. The Tivo box does both OTA and cable, right?
     
  4. Jan 4, 2011 #4 of 17
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    You can purchase a Series 4 TP for about $90 something and not activate it, just use it as a tuner, it will do OTA and clear HD cable. You will not be able to use the HDUI or record after about 7 days, but in the future you can activate the unit if your needs change.
     
  5. Jan 4, 2011 #5 of 17
    jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Chicagoland
    Until you try a TiVo or DVR, you really don't know what you are missing. I watch much less TV, and much less advertising. Live TV is a thing of the past.
     
  6. Jan 4, 2011 #6 of 17
    curly21029

    curly21029 New Member

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    Jan 4, 2011
    Thank you! Got it all hooked up and it's working great! The initial setup was a bit lengthy and it absolutely made me connect to the internet to complete it, but everything seems to be working fine.

    No doubt it would be convenient and I've used one before, but I just don't see it as a necessity at the moment. Most of the live TV that I watch is of the "whatever's on" variety and most of the shows that I actually want to watch I usually download online and then watch at my convenience. I'll mostly stream it to the TV, but in case my significant other wants to use it and isn't interested it's convenient to have it saved to the laptop.
     
  7. Jan 4, 2011 #7 of 17
    kturcotte

    kturcotte New Member

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    Portland, ME
    By purchasing it for $99 didn't he also agree to $20 a month for a year?
     
  8. Jan 4, 2011 #8 of 17
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Not from any 3rd pty like Amazon.com, the one year is only if you want to activate, as no agreement is signed or agreed to when just doing a 3rd pty purchase, some 3rd ptys were giving you notice that when you activate with TiVo you would have to do the 1 year at $19.99/month.
     
  9. Jan 4, 2011 #9 of 17
    wp746911

    wp746911 New Member

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    Feb 18, 2005
    lol gotta love tivo- offering a box at a subscription subsidized price without requiring you to buy a subscription.

    Another thing to consider with tivo is that you can use it for antennna HD broadcasts. If you are willing to either pay a subscription fee or get lifetime, you can get great use out of HD broadcast for cheap... something to consider.
     
  10. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    When TiVo was selling the Series 2 540 for $199 and giving you a rebate of $150 when you activated the unit you ended up paying $50 or less for the TiVo itself (I purchased one from Circuit for $149.95 and got back $150 when I activated the unit). A lot of people bitched about the hassle of the rebate system BUT TiVo made money one quarter when many less people did not bother to fill out their $150 rebate, people hate rebates so TiVo is trying to do this without rebates, now they may sell some $90 something Series 4s to people for parts only and take a $ loss, TiVo is between a rock and a hard place trying to figure out how to price and make money with their TiVo product, so they keep trying different ways. If I had to pay a monthly fee to TiVo I would not own 5 TiVos but with PLS cost of ownership is very low over the years as you can sell the old TiVos with PLS for a good price to new customers that have only monthly options open to them. When TiVo offered me PLS on new TPs and only monthly to new customers I upgraded all my Series 3s to Series 4s for almost no money as i got a great price for the used Series 3s. The problem for TiVo is the four people that purchased my used Series 3 TiVos with PLS provide no additional income to TiVo itself.
    I don't think that the Series 3 or Series 4 TiVo will become obsolete within the next 10 to 15 years for just recording and time shifting live HD TV. They will require a few hard drive changes but now that no big deal, and hard drive prices keep falling.
     
  11. WPe

    WPe New Member

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    May 5, 2007
    With a Tivo HD, you set it up and then disconnect it from the internet. Tuner (at least with cablecards) will still work without service. You do get the "Tivo Service Interrupted" message whenever you change channels because the Tivo is not getting any new data. In addition after about 30 days or so, you can actually record tv shows manually. I would be interested if this applies to the Premiere as well. Please post if in a month or so on whether you can record manually.
     
  12. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    I know you can't record in any way after 31 days with a Series 3 or Series 4 even if you do not connect to the TiVo service+ your time will start to go off as the TiVo clock is meant to be set at lease once a week, each TiVo will be different as to how much the time will wander as it is not a problem for a TiVo that makes a normal call home. I had a TiVo that had not connected for about a year and the time was off about 10 minutes before i connected, TiVo will set the time on an unsub unit.
     
  13. artielange

    artielange New Member

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    May 24, 2010
    I've got four units (3 Premiere and 1 HD) running in the house along with an HP Mediasmart running a Tivo server. I don't want to spend the money to activate another unit for a guest bedroom but wondered if I got a unit that wasn't activated whether it would be able to stream off the server and other units.

    Anyone know?

    Thanks.
     
  14. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    CT
    A unsub TiVo is a door stop, no MRV streaming recording etc. You can only use the box as a tuner and use the 30 minute trick TV.
     
  15. jeffy1013

    jeffy1013 New Member

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    Jun 7, 2012
    I've looked all over the threads and my question is similar to OP's question.

    I'm tired of paying $7/month to Comcast to rent their standard HD Cablebox, if I just want a Cablebox replacement, could I just get a Tivo unit + Comcast cable card to watch my Comcast cable + HBO subscribed channels? Will Comcast on-demand still work? I don't care about recording shows so I don't want to subscribe to Tivo service. Defeats the purpose of trying to save $7 a month from Comcast cable box rental fee.

    In a nutshell, I DO NOT want to subscribe to Tivo, just want to use it as an HD cable box replacement. Will Tivo enable me to watch cable tv w/o a subscription? Another member said YES, but there's an annoying reminder about subscribing. That would suck. Anyone recommend a Tivo box model if I just want this simple functionality?
     
  16. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    In the ATL
    Works fine as a cable box to watch all channels including HBO, but no VOD.

    Problem with Comcast is that it might only be $2.50 cheaper than renting a box depending on whether you have other boxes on your account, because they'll probably charge you a digital outlet fee of around $7.50 net for a card if you do.

    The Tivo sub nag banner only appears when you change channels and is easily dismissed, don't let that stop you.
     
  17. heyted

    heyted Member

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    Mar 4, 2012
    South Florida
    jeffy1013,

    You may want to read the thread at http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=462985&page=2 . I currently have two Comcast digital transport adapters and a Comcast CableCARD in a TiVo Premiere, and I do not pay any rental fees or a digital outlet fee. If you drop your subscribed channels, I think you do not have to pay the digital outlet fee. I dropped all of my subscribed channels and got Netflix instead.
     

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