Model: TCD540080 manufactured September '04
What I do know:
It's a SD unit
The guide data isn't free
It doesn't do ATSC by itself
What I don't know:
If this unit has lifetime service it doesn't
How to find out the former learned how to do that now
If it even turns on it turns on
Pretty much everything else
I got the box. It's just the box, no remote or power cord. The stickers are intact and the case is in good shape save a couple minor surface scratches. As far as I can tell it's never been opened, or more to the point it hasn't been opened recently. There's a hard drive in it which by all appearances is the one it came with (Maxtor 80GB).
The power cord isn't a problem to get, I probably have half a dozen just like it and it's just a matter of finding where I put them. I found a similar power cord and cut notches in its shroud to fit, works perfectly. I heard the hard drive do its POST but that doesn't mean it isn't dead. Right now it's showing a welcome screen, going to give it a little while since I've got nothing else to do but watch that welcome screen or watch Torchwood.
Now if I can just find a universal remote that works...
Once it finished its startup procedure, which I didn't stick around to wait for, it showed a little bar saying it was doing or failing a channel scan or something. Doesn't matter, it worked. I left it like that for a while because I couldn't locate the code for my universal. Found codes online, first one worked. The Tivo is 100% functional as far as I can tell, even had some movies on it that I played a bit of. The "blip boop" sound really is as irritating as they say too.
The settings say "in good standing" but lacking the network adapter or a phone line that can do data I don't know what it would say if I let it call home. I did some trickery with an old ethernet adapter, a 10/100 switch and ip masq. Everything worked as expected so I went ahead and ordered service to try it out for a month.
I'd like to get the same remote it came with or the best Tivo-brand replacement. It's not a branded box, just a plain Tivo S2. A link for the IR blaster cord would also be helpful. Amazon is preferred unless the price is outrageous.
Got impatient and made an IR cord, still want one that isn't all hacky though. Now to see if I want to continue service past the 30 day window.
Is there is an alternative for the Tivo wireless USB adapter? $40 seems steep.
It seems odd that the main SOC in it is sold by Broadcom as a satellite-on-a-chip since this isn't a satellite box. I wonder if that means that much of the chip functionality is just dormant on these.
Important question: For those of you with a Tivo (any type) who are OTA antenna only, does the guide provide data for all the channels you're able to receive? Looking for answers from people who get consistent, constant reception from stations outside of what the FCC considers their market. Question answered, they had everything I actually receive plus a couple more.
Update So far so good. My hack-cable is getting sideways glances but it's functional. This Series2 is dog slow... maybe others were snappier but this is like when I tried to use a 386 a few months ago. I also don't care for the SD, I've been spoiled by a HDTV now. I'm considering getting a Series3 or something instead so it has built-in ATSC, and dual tuners would definitely be nice.
Probably the last update It's working great but the RCA inputs stopped working after a power outage. I didn't bother looking in to why since I could just use the "cable" input with pretty much the same quality and that works perfectly. I replaced the hacked together IR cable with one I had for another device that was rendered unnecessary by the Tivo. I'll likely be using this box until it dies or I get rid of it in favor of a newer model.
I also installed and set up Galleon which was pleasantly easy to do. As it turns out I never used it with the Series2 though because the hardware is just too slow making it an unpleasant experience. Galleon though worked perfectly and I recommend it.
Best five bucks I've spent in a while, even with the fees being outrageously high - $12.99/mo plus ads all over the interface (many of which are intrusive regardless of what Tivo apologists say) may be the straw at some point... for now I've been outvoted though.