View Full Version : Can Tivo crash your Phone Line?

03-12-2006, 10:59 AM
I searched for related topis and couldn't find anything. Something strange happened today. I noticed I had no dial tone on my home land line. When I called it from my cellphone it was busy yet none of the phones were in use. I checked my Tivo's set up screen and the last dial out failed because it couldn't find a dial tone. I unplugged all my phones, double checked everything tried to force a call out with Tivo and still couldn't get a dial tone. Sounds like a phone line issue not related to Tivo but I was wondering if anyone ever had a similar issue or has anyone heard of a Tivo dial out freezing a phone line?

Just gonna call the phone company but was curious to hear your thoughts.

03-12-2006, 11:09 AM
Yes, it is possible for a failed TiVo modem to "crowbar" the phone line so that it is unusuable. Did you unplug the phone line from the TiVo and see if the phones worked? That would be the key test. If the line still doesn't work with the TiVo disconnected, then it is not the TiVo. The TiVo cannot damage your phone line.

However - I see that your profile says you have a Series 2. I have never heard of one of those failing in this manner. Series 1 modems were known to fail, and a few did fail in a mode that could seize a line.

03-12-2006, 11:15 AM
modems in general could do this. For example, its not uncommon for a lightning storm to hit phonelines and then go fry modems in computers. About 8 years ago I worked at Staples, and the few days after a big thunderstorm we always had a run on modems ;-}

In addition to unplugging the TiVo from the phoneline, try unplugging the telephone cable itself from the wall jack. I've seen cables get crosswired somehow and just having the wire plugged in caused the phone to freak out.

The best thing to do - most houses these days have a little grey box on the back wall that the phone company installed. Your phone line(s) come in to this box from the pole, and then from this box feed into your house. You can open this box up with a regular flathead screwdriver, unplug the line to the inside of the house, and plug in a regular telephone. If you get a dialtone here, then the problem is inside the house. If you can't get a dialtone here, then the problem is outside of the house and the phone company will need to go fix it.

Very often, this is the point the use to determine if they're going to charge you for a visit or not. They usually have a policy that goes - "If we have to fix something inside your house, we're charging you. If its outside, no charge." (Of note, sometimes this grey box or its equivalent is inside the house, in which case they have to go inside to check it, but won't charge unless the problem is on the "inside" side of the box)

So, in summary, unplugging everything possible is a good starting point. (c:

03-12-2006, 11:28 AM
Thanks for your help. I do think its a phone line issue. I unplugged the Tivo and still no dial tone. When I get home I will try try to find my outside phone connection box and check there. I hope my Tivo modem is all set! :eek:

03-12-2006, 12:06 PM
Your situation happened to me as well. However, the phone company told me to unplug all phones in the house to include the cordless onces and my Tivo. Once I unplugged the phones I left them like that for about 5 minutes. After that, I plugged in a corded phone and my phone line worked again. It wasn't a problem with my Tivo, it was with one of my cordless phones.

Hope this helps...

03-12-2006, 12:47 PM
Yes, the next step is to disconnect the phone line at the "network interface box" outside the house, plug in a standard corded phone there and see if you get a dialtone.

03-12-2006, 01:38 PM
It wasn't a problem with my Tivo, it was with one of my cordless phones.

Henchman, did you have to discontinue using the cordless phone afterward? I am wondering if that turns out to be the issue if I should get a new phone. Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions.

03-12-2006, 03:39 PM
I'm still able to use my cordless phones, I just had rearrange where I had the bases.