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Old 02-25-2009, 02:07 PM   #1
bkdtv
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 7,902
TivoHD FAQ: Overview, Using TiVo, Tips, and Issues

Last updated: March 3, 2010

[Overview] [Pre-Purchase Questions] [Owners' Questions] [TiVo Tips] [Download Recordings] [Computer Videos] [Multiroom] [Known Issues]

The TiVo HD DVR was recently discontinued and replaced by the next-generation TiVo Premiere. Best Buy has the 160GB Tivo HD and 1TB TivoHD XL on clearance for $175 and $349, respectively, if you can find a store with stock. One of the following subscriptions is required for the first TiVo: $12.99/mo, $129/yr, $299/3yrs, or a one-time payment of $399 to eliminate all future fees. Existing TiVo owners pay ~25% less on new subscriptions.

The TiVo HD is a dual-tuner HDTV DVR that supports SD and HD channels from an off-air antenna, cable, and FiOS. Satellite is not supported. The TiVo HD allows you to watch one HD channel while you record another; it will record two different HD or SD shows while you watch a third, previously recorded show. It supports trickplay functions such as pause, instant replay, and rewind on live programming. The bundled IR remote includes buttons for 30sec skip, 8sec instant replay, slow motion, and supports three speeds of fast forward and reverse (3x, 20x, 60x). Capacity on the standard model is 21 HD hours, while the XL offers 157 HD hours. Both models officially support 1TB external hard drives to add another 144 HD hours, and allow internal drive upgrades at the expense of the warranty.

The TiVo features an electronic program guide (EPG) with 14-days of guide information from Tribune Media—the same commercial guide data supplier used by DirecTV and Windows Media Center. This program information is downloaded nightly and saved to the hard drive. During setup, the user selects whether they want to use ethernet, wireless*, or a phone line for guide downloads; the user then enters their zip code and selects whether they use an antenna, cable, or both. When cable or both is selected, the user is asked to pick their cable provider from a list. Off-air and cable channels are seamlessly integrated into a single guide. Guide filters and favorites are supported.

By default, the TiVo records all programs by name rather than time; this is known as "name-based recording." When you create a series recording for House, it doesn't matter what time or day of the week that program is showing. The TiVo records House whenever it shows—with the option to record only new episodes and ignore repeats—with the correct program length for that episode, even when the day, time, and/or program length changes. The TiVo does this by continuously searching the guide data for the name of the show, and adjusting its record schedule as needed. This effectively provides "set it and forget it" recording, because once a recording is scheduled, no adjustments are needed when the program changes its day, time, or duration.

Single and series recordings are created through a program guide selection, or by searching 14 days of program listings. If you would like to record a program that isn't showing in next 14 days, you can enter a keyword or title through an on-screen keyboard, and the TiVo will record all matching programs that show in the future, regardless of date, time, and channel. The TiVo eliminates duplicate recordings by comparing program information for upcoming episodes to a built-in history of all programs recorded in the past 28 days. Multiple episodes of the same program are grouped into folders to reduce clutter, and programs recorded by search are organized into distinct folders with customizable names.

You select a recording-in-progress from the recorded list and it will play from the beginning. You can skip commercials until you catch up to live, and if you want to finish watching a program later, the TiVo will remember where you left off. If you are watching a live TV program and decide that you'd like to record it, pressing record will save the program from the beginning. The TiVo always buffers both tuners, so you can pause one live TV channel at a commercial, switch to another channel to watch for awhile, pause that, and then switch back to the first channel to resume where you left off, skipping commercials as you go. This allows you to watch two liveTV programs at the same time, skipping commercials as you do so.

Youtube: Basic TiVo functionality (HD, 10min)
Youtube: Netflix, Youtube, Video Podcasts on TiVo (HD, 7min)
Youtube: Viewing Computer videos on TiVo (HD, 9min)

Other notable TiVo features include: support for MPEG-4 (H.264) and VC1; external storage expansion; direct download of recordings in MPG format; transfer of videos and recordings from computer to TiVo for playback; multi-room SD and HD viewing with another TivoHD; guide filters and favorites; separate recorded lists for adults and children (requiring a four-digit passcode to switch from child list to adult list); Recently Deleted (undelete) folder; remote scheduling via the web and mobile phone; Rhapsody integration; Amazon Unbox SD/HD PPV; Blockbuster SD/HD PPV; and Netflix SD/HD streaming.

The TivoHD has composite (RCA), s-video, component, and HDMI video outputs; it has analog stereo and optical (S/PDIF) audio outputs. Output via component and HDMI is selectable 480i/480p/720p/1080i through a menu. Native and hybrid options are also available to output all formats, as is, without extra processing. All outputs are active simultaneously and the box will downconvert HD channels to 4:3 or 16:9 SD through composite and s-video for older televisions. There is no Firewire output, but recordings can be downloaded directly from the DVR with a web browser.

TiVo.com and most retailers offer a 30-day return policy. TiVo includes a 7-day trial without activation, and all TiVo subscriptions can be canceled for a full refund within the first 30 days. The standard TiVo warranty is one-year on parts and 90 days on labor (details here). TiVo offers two-year and three-year extended warranties for $30 and $40, respectively. TiVo also provide refurbished replacements at a discount ($150) for customers outside the warranty period.

* The 30sec skip function is not enabled by default. To enable it, see Owners' Questions, FAQ #17.
* Wireless requires the TiVo AG0100 Wireless G USB Network Adapter ($35-$40)



TivoHD shown with standard remote



Rear connections



Feature Summary
  • dual ATSC (OTA) / QAM (digital cable) / analog tuners

  • support for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), and VC1

  • program guide with filters, favorites, and fully customizable channel list;

  • 14-days of program information available on all channels (except ClearQAM channels);

  • pause and rewind liveTV on both SD and HD channels;

  • record high-definition at 100% original quality;

  • record one HD channel (antenna or cable) while you watch another HD channel (antenna or cable) on the same box;

  • record two different HD channels (antenna or cable) simultaneously, while you watch a third, previously recorded show;

  • identifies each recording with the program name and description;

  • separate coax inputs for antenna and cable (split internally), with direct support for all digital cable channels without a cable box (using CableCard); will integrate cable and OTA in a single guide;

  • highly responsive "trickplay" functions (pause, replay, rewind, ffw, rew, 30sec skip, slow mo, etc) with no lag;

  • simple commercial skipping with 30sec skip (or 60x FF);

  • name-based recording (aka "set it and forget it" recording), with ability to record only new episodes and ignore repeats;

  • always buffers both tuners, so you can pause one live TV channel at a commercial, switch to another channel to watch for awhile, pause that, and then switch back to the first channel to resume where you left off, skipping commercials as you go;

  • when watching a liveTV program on either tuner, pressing record will save it from the beginning;

  • remembers where you left off in every recording, so you can resume watching from where you left off at any time;

  • conflict management with automatic rescheduling so programs missed due to three-way conflicts are automatically recorded the next time they air;

  • overlap protection to eliminate conflicts when three or more programs overlap by up to five minutes;

  • simple search by title (searches 14 days of listings);

  • advanced search options with boolean operators, including the ability to automatically record all future programs matching a search;

  • multiple episodes of the same program are grouped into folders to reduce clutter and simplify navigation;

  • separate recorded lists and channel lists for adults and children (four-digit passcode required to switch from child list to adult list);

  • undelete through a "Recently Deleted" folder at the bottom of the recorded list;

  • turn closed captions on or off on both live and recorded programs;

  • external drive expansion (with select external drives);

  • ability to download SD and HD recordings from the DVR to your computer in MPG format;

  • ability to view DVD rips and PC videos from your computer;

  • multi-room SD and HD viewing with another TiVo;

  • remote scheduling via the web and mobile phone;

  • variety of output modes, including "native" to output all formats as is without conversion;

  • 16:9 anamorphic SD output through s-video and composite outputs;

  • all SD and HD outputs active simultaneously;

  • support for internet videos / podcasts;

  • Amazon Unbox and Blockbuster Online SD/HD PPV; and

  • Netflix SD/HD streaming.


Detailed Specifications
  • Broadcom BCM7401 DVR CPU w/ integrated MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and VC-1 decoders (Same CPU as the DirecTV HR21/22/23 and Dish ViP612 DVRs)
  • 256MB DDR400 SDRAM (4x NANYA NT5DS32M16BS-5U)
  • 160GB Western Digital WD1600AVBS (standard TivoHD); 1TB Western Digital WD10EVVS (TivoHD XL)
  • 2x MicroTune MT2131 tuners
  • 2x AMD Theater 314 QAM/VSB demodulators
  • 2x Philips/NXT SAA7138CHL ADCs
  • 1x VIXS XCode 2115 IC w/ dedicated 32MB DDR400 SDRAM (2x NANYA NT5DS8M16FS-5T)
    • CableCard interface
    • 2x MP@ML encoders
  • Silicon Image SiI5723 Dual SATA controller
  • Xilinx Spartan-3 XC3S200 FPGA
  • 2x CableCard slots
  • A/V Inputs: 1x antenna coax, 1x cable coax (both split internally)
  • A/V Outputs: HDMI, component, s-video, composite, optical digital, stereo
  • 10/100Mbps Ethernet
  • RJ45 phone jack
  • eSATA
  • 2x USB
  • TiVo IR remote
  • 16.5"W x 12.625"D x 3.375"H
  • 9.0 lbs

Contents

  1. Pre-Purchase Questions
  2. Owners' Questions
  3. TiVo Tips
  4. Download Recordings
  5. View Computer Videos
  6. Multiroom Viewing
  7. Known Issues with 11.0d


Last edited by bkdtv : 03-06-2010 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:07 PM   #2
bkdtv
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 7,902
[Overview] [Pre-Purchase Questions] [Owners' Questions] [TiVo Tips] [Download Recordings] [Computer Videos] [Multiroom] [Known Issues]


Pre-Purchase Q&A
  1. Where can I see a video demonstration of TiVo??

    Youtube video: Basic TiVo functionality (HD, 10min)
    Youtube video: Netflix, Youtube, Video Podcasts on TiVo (HD, 7min)
    Youtube video: Viewing Computer Videos on TiVo (HD, 9min)

    If you are on a mobile device with a low-bandwidth connection, click this link.


  2. How do the TivoHD and TivoHD XL differ from the original TiVo Series3?

    The TivoHD is an updated version of the TiVo Series3 that uses newer, more integrated components to cut costs. The TivoHD is still considered a part of the "Series3 family," because it offers the same functionality. TiVo stopped selling the original Series3 model in September, 2008.

    The primary benefit of the newer components in the TiVoHD and XL is full support for M-CARDs. One M-CARD supports both tuners on the TivoHD and XL, whereas the older TiVo Series3 design always requires two CableCards to support both tuners with digital cable. The TivoHD also supports certain videos the Series3 cannot; this may or may not be a direct benefit of the newer technology in the TivoHD.

    The discontinued Series3 is still better in one respect -- MRV throughput. The newer, more integrated design of the TivoHD has less memory bandwidth, and as a result, transfers of recordings between TivoHD DVRs are about 30% slower than transfers of recordings between Series3 DVRs.


  3. Why does TiVo require a subscription??

    TiVo sells the DVR for ~$100 below their hardware cost, and does not factor the cost of the software, support, or the guide service into the retail price of the product. TiVo decided that most consumers would rather pay $200-$250 with a subscription than $600 upfront. If a customer wants to pay $600 upfront to eliminate all future fees, TiVo gives that option with a lifetime subscription.

    See TiVo's FY2009 Annual Report (PDF) for more information.


  4. How do I get guide information on the TivoHD?

    During setup, you select whether you want to download guide updates using ethernet, wireless, or a phone line. Guide updates are downloaded from TiVo's servers during the early morning hours. Every channel will get 14 days of program information.

    The clock is automatically set every morning during the guide download, based on the current atomic time for your zip code. With the TivoHD, there are never any issues with daylight savings changes, as the software was designed to handle that automatically without relying on a broadcaster to provide the correct time.

    Note if you want to download guide updates over your wireless network, eliminating the need to run an ethernet cable or phone cable, then you'll need to buy TiVo's USB wireless adapter (~$35) or an ethernet -> wireless bridge.


  5. How good is the guide information?

    TiVo uses guide data from Tribune Media, the same commercial guide data supplier used by DirecTV and Microsoft's WMC. You can view the "lite" version of this information at Zap2it.com. TiVo pays for an extended version of that information, with more actors, directors, writers, producers, etc. As an example, refer to the recorded info and guide screenshots in FAQs #18 and #19.

    Many programs do not follow strict hourly start and stop times, and that information is reflected in the TiVo's guide data. If a program starts at 9:00pm and ends at 10:02pm, that is what the TiVo records. If a season premiere, season finale, or special extended length episode runs from 8:00pm to 9:13pm, that is what the TiVo records. The TiVo automatically updates its record schedule depending on which of your programs are showing, when, and for how long.

    The TiVo's guide information is more complete than what you get from TVGOS, and far more reliable in delivery. It is downloaded nightly from TiVo's Internet servers, you never have to worry about missing or losing guide data because your broadcaster or cable provider decided to mess with their equipment or data feed. Even if your Internet connection (or phone line) goes out for a day, the TiVo still has 12 days worth of guide data left on the hard drive; the only way you lose all guide data on a TiVo is if your Internet connection (or phone line, if you're using that instead) goes out for 12 days in a row.


  6. How many channels can the TivoHD record at once?

    The TivoHD has separate coax inputs for ANTENNA and CABLE. Each input is split internally, so the TivoHD can record two antenna channels, two cable channels, or one of each at the same time. While recording two different antenna or cable channels, you can watch a previously recorded program.


  7. Can the TivoHD be used with just an off-air antenna (OTA)? Or do I need cable?

    You can use the TivoHD with OTA only. Cable is not required.

    The TivoHD will record two different HD (or SD) channels from an off-air antenna, while you watch a third, previously recorded HD (or SD) program.

    During setup, you enter your zip code and select whether you want to use the TiVo with an antenna, cable, or both. The TiVo then downloads the 14-days of program information for those channels.


  8. Will the TiVo combine HD locals from an off-air antenna (OTA) into the same guide with basic cable and digital cable?

    Yes. The TivoHD will seamlessly integrate antenna and cable channels -- all with program information -- into a single guide. There's nothing you have to do to switch between the two.

    See FAQ #19 below for screenshots of the program guide with seamless integration of cable and OTA.


  9. Can the TivoHD completely replace the cable company DVR?

    The TivoHD will tune and record the same channels as the cable company DVR, but it won't support cable's Video On Demand. TiVo supports other services like Netflix SD/HD streaming and Amazon PPV VOD, but it has no means to support the cable company's own VOD. If you want a TiVo, but still require access to cable's VOD, you can rent one of their STBs and connect it to a separate input on your TV.

    To use a TivoHD with digital cable, you would request one M-CARD (or two S-CARDs) from your cable company. CableCards are similar in function to the access cards used by Dish Network and DirecTV satellite receivers; they plug into the front of the box and authorize all the channels you pay for.

    Note: Some Brighthouse, Cablevision, Cox, and Time Warner systems use Switched Digital Video (SDV) to deliver certain cable HD channels. On those systems, you'll also need to request a SDV adapter from the cable company. This SDV adapter plugs into the USB port on the TiVo and it allows the TiVo to tune all SDV channels. There is no extra charge for this adapter.


  10. Do I have to pay cable company STB/DVR fees to use the TivoHD?

    No. There are no cable company STB or DVR fees required to use the TivoHD. The Tivo's DVR functionality is independent of your cable company; they have nothing to do with it, outside of providing a CableCard and authorizing your account to receive channels. Once you replace the cable company DVR with a TivoHD, you should see no HD STB or DVR fees on your cable bill. The most you should see is a small fee (typically $1.50-$3.00/mo) for the CableCard.


  11. Does the TivoHD work with Verizon FiOS?

    Yes. The TivoHD replaces the FiOS STB and DVR, so you no longer need to pay those fees to Verizon. It supports all the same SD and HD channels as the FiOS DVR, including all subscription sports packages. TiVo supplies its own guide data for all FiOS channels with more accurate and complete program information than Verizon provides for its own boxes.

    The TivoHD does not support Verizon's own Video On Demand (VOD), nor does it support Verizon's on-screen widgets for weather and traffic. If you don't want to lose Verizon's VOD, you can rent their Motorola STB and connect that to a separate input on your television. Note the TiVo does not support multi-room viewing with Verizon's Motorola boxes; it only supports multi-room viewing with other TiVos.

    The TivoHD requires one CableCard (M-CARD) from Verizon to support both tuners. This card plugs into the front of the box to authorize all of the channels you pay for. Verizon charges $3.99/mo for this CableCard, and requires a "truck roll" to install it. Verizon will not ship CableCards or allow local pickup under any circumstances; to the representative, it may look like they can ship you the cards, but if they submit the order that way, you will receive an automated phone message within 2-3 days with the date and time of the scheduled installation.

    There is no charge for FiOS CableCard installation, so long as the only action performed is a CableCard install. Anything said to the contrary is outdated information. If you want to return or remove existing equipment, do not mention that when you order the CableCard. Verizon charges $79 for truck roll orders where the caller references equipment removal. Officially, free equipment return is only available by request of a prepaid mailing label or through a visit to the local office.

    Note Verizon's order system and CSRs scripts only list "CableCards." Verizon sales does not have any information on S-CARDs or M-CARDs. Effective 2Q 2009, Verizon FiOS uses M-CARDs fornew installs in all markets. No matter what the sales rep says, that is what you get when you order a CableCard from Verizon. Anything said to the contrary is outdated information.


  12. Does the TivoHD work in Canada?

    TiVo's is not meant for use in Canada, and does not provide guide data for most Canadian cities. That said, TiVo does support many Canadian OTA stations within range of the U.S. border. Residents of Canada can use a U.S. border zipcode and an off-air antenna to receive many U.S. and Canadian stations with guide data.

    To see what channels TiVo supports in the Toronto area, go to www.zap2it.com, enter zip code 14174 or 14305, and select Broadcast (Antenna). That will display guide data for the Niagra Falls area. You can add other local Canadian channels with a channel scan, but they won't have guide data.

    TiVo does not allow monthly/yearly subscriptions from Canadian addresses. You can buy a lifetime subscription with a U.S. address, or buy a lifetime subscription on ebay for $330. If you have a lifetime subscription, it doesn't matter where you live.


  13. Does the TiVo work with local HD channels on cable without a CableCard? In other words, does the TiVo support Clear QAM?

    Yes, but not all TiVo functionality is supported.

    For program information on digital cable channels, including HD locals, you need a CableCard from your cable company. Without a CableCard, local HD channels on cable and other unencrypted digital cable channels won't have program information. You can still add these channels to the guide and watch them, but to record, you have to use single or repeating (daily, weekly, or M-F) timers at a specific time, much like a DVD recorder.

    Why is this? Without a CableCard, local HD channels on cable reside on QAM numbers such as 71-5, 87-3, 98-4, and 110-2. Cable companies do not report QAM numbers, so TiVo has no idea what channels the QAM numbers correspond to in the cable company's official lineup. TiVo has no way to tell that QAM 87-3 corresponds to cable channel 201. The TiVo only has program information for the "official" channel numbers reported by the cable company (ex: HD locals on channels 200 through 204), which is what you see after a CableCard is installed.

    Note CableCards are unnecessary to receive program information on local HD channels from an antenna.


  14. If I get a CableCard for my basic / analog cable service, will that give me the correct guide information on the HD locals?

    Yes.

    When you install a CableCard on a TivoHD with basic cable service, there are two benefits. First, the cable HD locals are mapped to the appropriate channels in the cable lineup with 14-days of program information. And second, you typically get digital versions of all your basic cable channels.

    The digital versions of your basic cable channels tend to be higher quality and they tune much faster on the TivoHD than the analog channels.


  15. How do I know if my cable company offers CableCards? How much do they cost?

    All cable companies with 750+MHz systems (i.e. basically any modern cable system) are required by federal law to provide CableCards.

    Many cable companies like Comcast offer the first CableCard for free as part of digital cable. Without digital cable, the typical charge for a CableCard is $1.50-$3.00/mo, but some cable company representatives can make it difficult to order a CableCard without some form of digital cable service. If the cable company representative gives you a hard time, ask to speak to their supervisor. Tell them you want to pay for just a CableCard so you get digital versions of your basic cable channels. As a last resort, you can order digital cable to get CableCards, and then cancel digital cable after the CableCards are installed; the CableCards will continue to function without digital cable, remapping your local HD channels to the official numbers with guide data.


  16. Do I need one CableCard or two?

    On the TivoHD, one M-CARD supports both digital cable tuners. If your cable provider only has the discontinued S-CARDs, then you will need two.

    Note the discontinued $799 TiVo Series3 (silver front with orange OLED screen) always requires two CableCards -- regardless of type -- to support both tuners. The TivoHD uses newer components, and one of the advantages of that is full support for M-CARDs.


  17. How many coax cables are needed to support dual tuners?

    The TivoHD has one coax input for OTA and one coax input for CABLE. Only one coax input is needed to support dual tuners on the TivoHD, because the connections are split internally.

    You only need two coax cables connected if you want to integrate CABLE and OTA on the same TivoHD.


  18. How are recorded programs displayed?

    You can sort all recordings by recorded date or name, with or without folder grouping.

    The following screenshot shows 50 recordings sorted by date. Multiple episodes of the same program are automatically grouped into folders. The numbers in parenthesis refer to the number of episodes in each folder.


    Sort by date is shown above. Click here to see sort by name. Click here to see folder contents.

    Inside each folder, you see all episode titles -- in order by recorded date -- with the date each episode was recorded (screenshot). Click select on a program and you see the episode description, actors and actresses, etc with playback and recording options. Alternatively, you can press "play" to start playback without any further navigation.


  19. What program information do you get on recordings?

    When you click on a recording, the program details screen is displayed:



    By clicking the INFO button on the remote, you are shown additional information, including more actors, guest stars, directors, producers, writers, the original air date, a list of similar programs, and the size of the recording.


  20. What does the program guide look like?

    TiVo gives you two different choices for the display:


    Click for larger version.

    There are no advertisements anywhere in the guide.

    Press ENTER in the guide for genre filters and display options, including the option to show: All Channels, Channels I Receive, or Favorites.


  21. Can I remove channels from the program guide?

    Yes. You can completely remove whatever channels you want from the guide. In addition, you can create a favorites list which will hide all other channels from the guide, while still allowing you to manually tune other channels by entering their numbers.

    You can customize your channel list and set your favorites under Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Channels -> Channel List (screenshot).



  22. Can one advance through the program guide a day at a time?

    While in the program guide, you can press SKIP (-->|) to move 24 hours ahead and REPLAY to move 24 hours back.

    In the grid-style guide, you can also use FF (>>) to move 1.5 hours ahead and REW (<<) to move 1.5 hours back.

    Note this feature was added with a software update, so you won't have this feature until your box downloads the latest software.


  23. Can I view past programs in the guide?

    Yes, the guide has program information for the past 24-48 hours, depending on when the TiVo last connected to download guide data.

    From the program guide, press the REW (<<) button to move back 90 minutes, or press REPLAY to move back 24 hours.


  24. Are repeat episodes identified in the program guide grid? How about new episodes?

    No. You only see whether a program is a repeat in the description once you highlight it in the guide.

    That said, a series recording created from the guide has the option to automatically record all new episodes and ignore repeats.


  25. What does search look like?

    TiVo offers several ways to search for programs, but the most basic is Search by Title. This searches 14-days of program listings.


    Search results update dynamically as you select characters.


  26. What about more advanced search options?

    TiVo allows you to create a search that will automatically find and record all future matching programs, regardless of date, time, and channel. Each autorecord search can consist of one or more title keywords, keywords, actors, and directors, plus a general or specific category. You can use wildcards (*) and you can make specific keywords or actors optional, required, or excluded (to ignore results with those matches). There's no limit to the number of optional/required/excluded entries you can combine into a single search. Programs recorded by a search are organized into distinct folders with customizable names.

    You can set these searches to record only new programs and ignore repeats, start early or end late, and keep a certain number of recordings (screenshot). You can prioritize autorecord searches just as you do any other series recording, so they don't cause conflicts with your favorite programs.

    Below is an very basic example of an autorecord search to automatically find and record games with your favorite sports steam. It records all new Washington Nationals games and organizes them into a "WASHINGTON NATIONALS" folder.


    Click here to see how matching programs show up in your recorded list.

    For more information on what you can do with this functionality, see the Owners' Questions section.


  27. How good is the OTA digital reception on the TivoHD?

    Digital reception on the TivoHD is comparable to most newer TVs.


  28. How does the quality of a recording compare to the live broadcast?

    Both are identical. The TivoHD records the original digital bitstream from the broadcaster, as is. If the program is broadcast in high-definition with Dolby Digital 5.1, that is exactly what the DVR records. When you play a recording, the program looks and sounds just as it would live.


  29. After a recording begins, how long until I can watch it?

    Immediately. A DVR isn't like a VCR that forces you to wait until the recording is complete. With the TivoHD, you can select a recording-in-progress from the recorded list and it will start from the beginning. If you want, you can skip commercials until you catch up to live.

    Some people like to record their favorite sporting events and start watching 45-60 minutes into the event; this allows them to skip the commercials until they catch up to live. If you time it right, you'll catch up to live with one or two minutes left in the game, while having avoided 45-60 minutes of commercials. The same thing can be done for other programs as well.


  30. Are both tuners buffered? Can I pause one channel, switch to a different channel, pause that, and then switch back and resume where I left off?

    Yes and yes.

    You can use this to watch two different channels at the same time, pausing and switching back to the other whenever you hit a commercial.


  31. If I am watching a live program, and decide that I would like to save the entire program to watch later, can I press record to save the program from the beginning?

    Yes. Assuming you were tuned to the channel when the program started, and it started in the last 30 (to 40) minutes, then pressing record on the remote will save the entire program from the beginning. You do not have to rewind to the start as you do on some other satellite DVRs.


  32. Can I skip through a recording 15-minutes at a time?

    Yes. TiVo places "ticks" on the progress bar every 15 minutes. To skip to the next 15min tick, you fast forward and then press the -->| button. While fast forwarding, each press of -->| button will skip forward 15 minutes.

    You can also skip backward to the previous 15min tick by rewinding and then pressing the same -->| button. While rewinding, each press of -->| button will skip backward 15 minutes.

    Note: Tick marks are spaced every 30 minutes for recordings 3.5 hours to 6 hours, and every 60 minutes for recordings 6.5 hours and longer.




  33. What options are available on every series recording?

    Keep At Most [the last]: 1-5 episodes, 10 episodes, 25 episodes, all episodes
    Show Type: First-run (new) only, First-run (new) and repeats, All with duplicates
    Keep Until: Space needed, Until I Delete
    Start Recording: 1-5min, 10min early
    Stop Recording: 1-5min, 10min, 15min, 30min, 1hr, 1.5hrs, 3hrs late

    See a screenshot.


  34. How does the TiVo eliminate duplicate recordings?

    The TiVo keeps track of all programs recorded in the past 28 days. It compares upcoming programs to a list of previous recordings to avoid recording the same episode twice, even after it was watched and deleted. Beyond that 28 day period, the TiVo doesn't know whether you've watched a program if it is no longer on the DVR.


  35. How does TiVo handle conflicts, i.e. when three or more programs all show at the same time?

    The Season Pass Manager (screenshot) determines what two series are recorded when three or more programs conflict. If three programs conflict, the TiVo will record the first two and look for a later showing of the third program to record. If the conflicting program is showing again in the next 28 days, the TiVo will find and record it.

    When you select to record a single program, such as a movie, that conflicts with two other programs, the TiVo asks whether you want to proceed and cancel one of the previously scheduled recordings. If the conflicting programs are episodes of a series, the TiVo will ask you whether you want to cancel the conflicting episode of the lowest priority series. This does not cancel the entire series, just that particular showing of that particular episode.


  36. How does the TiVo handle situations where multiple programs conflict by just a few minutes?

    The TiVo has a feature called "overlap protection" to address situations where three or more programs overlap by five minutes or less. When enabled (the default), this feature will automatically cut up to five minutes from the lowest priority recording if doing so will allow another scheduled series to record.

    For example, suppose you had series recordings prioritized as follows in Season Pass Manager:

    1. 24 (normally Monday @ 9-10pm on FOX)
    2. Heroes (normally Monday @ 9-10pm on NBC)
    3. CSI Miami (normally Monday @ 10-11pm on CBS)
    4. True Beauty (normally Monday @ 10-11pm on ABC)

    If an episode of Heroes ran from 9:00 to 10:02, then True Beauty would be clipped by two minutes because it is the lowest priority series.

    Programs that will be clipped have their time flagged with a * on the To Do List (record schedule).


  37. Does TiVo provide a record schedule, to show you what programs will and won't record?

    The TiVo provides a "To Do List" which shows all upcoming scheduled recordings. These are the programs that will record.



    TiVo also provides a recording history to tell you why past programs didn't record, as well as why future programs won't record. For example, if a specific episode was already recorded, then re-airings of the same episode will be listed under recording history with this message.


  38. Can you really have a separate recorded list for your kids? How does that work?

    Yes. TiVo refers to this as "KidZone." Kidzone provides a completely separate viewing environment for your kids, with a separate recorded list, a separate channel list, and customizable ratings locks. If you want, you can completely disable liveTV for your kids and restrict them to their own list of recorded programs. All channels and recordings that you do not specifically authorize are locked and inaccessible without a 4-digit passcode.

    To exit Kidzone and switch to the main (adult) recorded list, you have to enter a 4-digit passcode once. After several hours of inactivity, or after you put the TiVo in standby, the TiVo reverts to KidZone until the 4-digit passcode is entered again.

    TiVo also includes a selection of guides for different ages from which you can pick popular children's programs and series. Alternatively, you can find programs and series for Kidzone yourself and/or select and make available programs that are already on your own recorded list.

    For more information, see this overview at YouTube.


  39. Is there a native output option?

    Yes. The TiVo provides the following output choices for HDMI and component under Settings -> Video -> Video Output Format:

    • Native - all formats output as is, without extra processing;
    • Hybrid - all SD output output as 480p, all other formats output as is;
    • Hybrid 720p - all SD output as 480p, all HD converted to 720p;
    • Hybrid 1080i - all SD output as 480p, all HD converted to 1080i;
    • Fixed 1080i - all formats converted to 1080i for output;
    • Fixed 720p - all formats converted to 720p for output;
    • Fixed 480p - all formats converted to 480p for output;
    • Fixed 480i - all formats converted to 480i for output;

    Native typically produces the best picture quality on large 1080p displays, but it also introduces resolution switching delays. Native mode outputs all channels in their original resolutions (1080i channels as 1080i, 720p channels as 720p, 480i channels as 480i, etc), and this forces the TV to change resolutions when you switch between channels that use different formats. TVs can take anywhere from 1.0-5.0 seconds to change resolutions.

    The fixed modes -- the default on most other DVRs -- convert and output all channels in a single resolution, thereby eliminating the resolution switching delays. This comes at the expense of some picture quality on large 1080p displays. Most with smaller displays do not notice a difference.


  40. What display aspect ratios are supported?

    Under Settings -> Video -> Aspect Ratio, you select one of the following TV types:

    • 16:9 Widescreen
    • 4:3 Smart Screen (outputs HD as 16:9, but SD and menus as 4:3)
    • 4:3 Classic Screen (4:3 only)


  41. Are there any aspect controls to stretch or zoom SD programming on a HDTV?

    Yes, the TiVo remote has an aspect button.

    When you've selected a 16:9 TV under Settings -> Video -> Aspect Ratio, pressing the aspect button on a SD channel will toggle between side bars*, stretch, and zoom. The zoom function will zoom letterbox content on SD channels to fill your full 16:9 screen.

    When you've selected a 4:3 TV under Settings -> Video -> Aspect ratio, SD channels are output as 4:3, and pressing the aspect button will toggle between full, crop, and letterbox* on HD channels.

    Alternatively, you can set the TiVo to output all formats natively and use the SD aspect controls built into your TV.

    * You have your choice of black or gray bars. This is a setting under Settings -> Video -> Letterbox color.


  42. Are all SD and HD outputs active at the same time?

    Yes, all outputs are active simultaneously. The TivoHD outputs HD channels in full resolution through component and HDMI, and it downconverts HD channels to SD for output through composite and s-video.


  43. Does the TiVo output HD channels as anamorphic widescreen (full screen image with no bars) through the SD outputs?

    Yes. Unlike most cable company boxes, the TiVo will output a full 16:9 widescreen image with no bars through s-video and composite.

    This is the default behavior, but if you have a 4:3 SDTV and want HD channels output as letterbox, then you can change the output settings under Settings -> Video -> TV Aspect Ratio. As mentioned in FAQ #35, the output options are 16:9, 4:3 Smart Screen, and 4:3.


  44. What is Netflix SD/HD streaming and how is it integrated on the TiVo?

    Netflix includes free SD/HD streaming with every subscription starting at $8.99/mo. Netflix currently offers tens of thousands of titles for streaming in widescreen 480p, plus a growing library of titles in high-definition 720p. Netflix uses the VC-1 codec, which provides comparable video quality to Apple's SD/HD downloads on iTunes. At this time, Netflix only offers stereo sound and does not support subtitles.

    At the bottom of the TiVo's recorded list, there is a Netflix folder (screenshot). When you click this folder for the first time, you are given the option to activate Netflix or remove the folder (screenshot). Once you activate Netflix, clicking on that folder displays your Netflix Instant Queue (screenshot).

    When you add Netflix titles to your Instant Queue @ Netflix.com, they appear on your TiVo for instant streaming. Alternatively, you can search for a Netflix title in TiVo Search, and play the program directly from search results without adding it to your queue.

    For a video demo of Netflix in action on the TiVo, see this link.



  45. What home networking features does TiVo support?

    Supported home networking features include:

    1. the ability to browse and display pictures from your computer;
    2. the ability to browse and play music from your computer;
    3. the ability to play videos stored on your computer;
    4. the ability to download recordings from TiVo to your computer; and
    5. the ability to remotely control the DVR via IP.

    The TiVo also allows you to schedule recordings from your computer, although that is not really a home networking feature.

    The TiVo does not support DLNA like the Moxi, which means you must install a free program to do these things. This means that you're basically limited to the access of content stored on a PC or Mac; you can't directly access media stored on other DLNA compatible devices, such as NAS devices. This is one area where Moxi is superior.


  46. Can you download or transfer recordings to a computer?

    Yes. The TiVo includes a built-in web server from which you can download recordings to any computer on your wired or wireless home network.

    You can download recordings from the TiVo using any web browser. Alternatively, you can use the free TiVo Desktop software to queue up multiple recordings, and/or set specific series to automatically transfer to your computer as soon as they are recorded. Recordings are downloaded in MPG format.

    Note recordings from digital cable channels that are copy-protected with the CCI=0x02 bit can be recorded with the TiVo, but can't be downloaded to a computer. The TiVo ignores the broadcast flag on both off-air and cable signals, but it does not ignore the CCI=0x02 bit commonly used on premium movie channels.

    For more information, including screenshots, see the Download Recordings section.


  47. Are recordings downconverted or degraded in any way during transfer to a computer?

    No. All downloaded recordings are bit-for-bit identical to the original.


  48. Can I view videos or pictures stored on a computer? On a network drive?

    Yes and no. Running the free TiVo Desktop software on your computer (or one of the many alternatives like pyTiVo), you can view compatible videos and pictures stored on your computer. But you can't view pictures or videos stored on NAS devices, unless that NAS device is mapped to your computer or able to directly run compatible client software like pyTiVo.


  49. Can I view recordings stored on another TiVo?

    Yes, the TiVo supports multi-room viewing with other TiVos on your wired or wireless home network.

    Each networked TiVo has a folder for every other networked TiVo at the bottom of the recorded list. Click on a folder for another TiVo and you see a list of all recordings available for transfer and viewing. For more information, including screenshots, see the Multi-room Viewing section.


  50. Do you have the option of recording HD programming in standard definition to save disk space?

    No. The TivoHD records all content as is, bit-for-bit identical to the original. There is no option to reduce quality to save space.

    The TivoHD does have a built-in encoder to support analog channels, but this is not available to downconvert HD for recording purposes.


  51. Is there a way to undelete recordings?

    All recordings you delete are placed in a Recently Deleted folder at the bottom of the recorded list. You can select and restore deleted programs from the Recently Deleted folder, up until the time that they are permanently deleted to make room for a new scheduled recording.


  52. Is there a disk space indicator to show how much space is left?

    No.

    On a TiVo, the disk is always full because you always have recordings in the Suggestions (which you can disable) and Recently Deleted folders. If you still have recordings in your Recently Deleted folder, then you know you've got space for new recordings, because everything in the Suggestions and Recently Deleted folders is cleared before the TiVo will delete your oldest recording to make room for a new one.

    TiVo will delete the oldest recording on the DVR when and only when the (a) the disk is full, (b) all recordings have been cleared from the Suggestions and Recently Deleted folders, and (c) space is required for a new recording scheduled by the user. The user can set single recordings or entire series to "keep until I delete," and the TiVo will not delete those programs under any circumstances.

    Many would like TiVo to add a disk space meter that ignores the contents of the Suggestions and Recently Deleted folders; that would be intuitive to some, but perhaps counterintuitive to others. Rightly or wrongly, TiVo feels that a disk space meter adds unnecessary complexity to a DVR. They prefer that the DVR manage the available disk space without the user ever having to worry about it.

    Be aware that all keep "until space is needed" (default) recordings are protected for the first 48 hours after they are recorded, so you never have to worry about a new program being deleted in that time.


  53. Can I add an external hard drive?

    Yes. At this time, the TivoHD only support the 500GB and 1.0TB Western Digital My DVR Expander.

    The 1.0TB version (part# WDG1S10000N) adds 144 HD hours and is available from Amazon.com and J&R Music World for $129. This increases capacity to 165 HD hours on the TivoHD and 300 HD hours on the TivoHD XL.

    The 500GB version (part# WDG1S5000VN) adds 71 HD hours and is available from Amazon.com and J&R Music World for $95. It can also be found at Dell.com and Newegg.com for about $90. This product increases capacity to 92 HD hours on the TivoHD and 228 HD hours on the TivoHD XL.

    Other external drives can be made to work, but only through a hack which requires the removal of the internal drive. If you are going to take the internal drive out of the TivoHD, then you might as well upgrade that instead.


  54. Can I upgrade the built-in hard drive to increase storage capacity?

    With the TivoHD, the largest supported drive is 1.16 TB. For all high-definition TiVos, the maximum internal + external capacity is 2.2 TB (2.0 TiB).

    Step-by-step instructions with more drive recommendations can be found in the Storage Expansion section. It takes 35-45 minutes to perform an upgrade that preserves the software and settings. If you also want to backup and restore all your existing recordings, the process will take 45-60 minutes.

    Be aware that any drive upgrade will void your warranty. TiVo does not provide technical support for upgraded DVRs, and makes no guarantee about the reliability or operation of units with upgraded hard drives. Drives upgrades and replacements do not affect subscriptions, because all subscriptions -- including lifetime -- are tied to a ROM chip on the TiVo.


  55. If I upgrade the internal hard drive, can I install the original drive in my computer to access the recordings?

    No. The recordings on the drive are encrypted in a proprietary format.


  56. How much noise does the TivoHD make?

    The majority of users have described the TivoHD as silent or inaudible.


  57. How much electricity does the TivoHD consume?

    In standby ("off"), the TivoHD consumes ~32 watts. When watching or recording HDTV, it consumes 32-34 watts. This translates into an energy cost of $1.94/mo for someone living in WA and $2.62/mo for someone living in VA.

    The internal hard drive is always spinning, and it is always reading and writing when you are watching TV. This is required to support features like pause, instant replay, and rewind on live programming. The digital signal from your broadcaster is first written to disk, then read from disk, and finally decoded by the CPU for output to your TV. This occurs for both live and recorded programming. This is how modern DVRs work.


  58. Why doesn't the internal drive spin down? Wouldn't that prolong the life of the DVR?

    Frequent power cycles and/or drive "spin downs" are perceived by manufacturers as threats to DVR longevity. Constant "spinning up" and "spinning down" causes more wear and tear on a modern drive than simply letting it run 24/7.

    For this reason, the overwhelming majority of all modern DVRs keep their internal drives running 24/7. This includes all DirecTV HR2x DVRs, most Dish Network DVRs (since the original Dishplayer), all TiVo DVRs, and all Motorola DVRs. Reliability is a key consideration for these products because most are distributed at a loss, with profits made through programming and/or other fees. The longer these products remain in use, without the need for a replacement, the more money the provider makes.

    That's not to say that "spinning down" a drive is always bad; it can potentially extend drive life if used in moderation. Scientific Atlanta DVRs running some versions of the SARA software will spin-down the internal drive for the night when no user activity is observed past 1am. There may be some merit in that. But "spinning down" the drive every time you hit the "off" button is not a feature you are likely to see on any new DVR, because that is not the best way to prolong the life of the product.


  59. Does the TivoHD observe copy protection flags, such as the broadcast flag?

    The TiVo ignores all flags on OTA channels, including the broadcast flag.

    The TiVo ignores all flags on cable channcels, except for the CCI bit (typically used on premium movie channels).

    There are no restrictions on recording local or cable channels. The only restrictions on cable relate to the ability to transfer recordings made from digital cable channels flagged with the CCI=0x02 (copy one generation) bit.


  60. Can I edit recordings on the TivoHD?

    There is no means to edit recordings directly on the TivoHD. You can use the 30sec skip button to skip through commercials.

    You can download recordings to your computer with a web browser or TiVo Desktop, and edit the MPG file with your computer using software like VideoRedo TVSuite.


  61. Can I schedule recordings when I'm away from home?

    You can schedule recordings through a web browser at TiVo.com, or you can connect to https://m.tivo.com/ with your mobile phone or PDA. You can create both individual and series recordings. One a recording is created online, it takes 10-15 minutes to reach your TiVo.


  62. What is TiVo's privacy policy? Does TiVo report my viewing habits?

    TiVo never releases a customer's personal information without their consent, and such consent is never required to use a TiVo.

    There are three levels of privacy available to all TiVo owners: opt-out, opt-neutral, or opt-in. The default status for every customer is "opt neutral" unless they call to change it.

    With "opt-neutral" (default), the programs you record and the commercials you skip are reported anonymously to TiVo. There is no link of any kind between your DVR and what is anonymously reported. This anonymous data is aggregated for tens of thousands of users, and then sold to advertisers so they can see what programs TiVo users are watching and what commercials are most effective (get skipped the most/least).

    If you decide to "opt-in," then reported data is linked to your DVR. Your name and contact information is still kept private, but TiVo associates demographic information with the programs you record and the commercials you skip. Many people "opt in" because it allows them to see their recordings, scheduled recordings, customized channel lineup, etc when they login at Tivo.com.

    If you call TiVo and "opt-out," no viewing information is reported to TiVo, anonymous or otherwise.


  63. Is there advertising in the UI? If so, what does it look like? Can it be disabled?

    There is no advertising in the program guide. TiVo frequently posts an ad at the bottom of its main menu, as seen in this screenshot. You'll often see a smaller ad like this one, or no ad at all. It varies from day to day.

    This advertisement cannot be hidden, but most people do not find it intrusive. If you're using an older TiVo remote ($12 online), or a universal remote, you can use a button to skip this screen and go directly to the recorded list.

    More recently, TiVo added the pause menu which is sometimes accompanied by an advertisement (screenshot). Many do find this intrusive, but it is possible to hide the pause menu and its ad so you don't see it. When you press the down arrow, the pause menu and its ad are hidden, and not shown again during pause on that program. For other means of hiding the pause ad, see Owners' Questions, FAQ #37.


  64. How does the TivoHD compare to the old DirecTiVo hardware?

    The original DirecTiVos were based on 166MHz processors with 64-128MB RAM and EIDE hard drives. The TivoHD has 256MB RAM with a SATA hard drive, and it uses the same 300MHz Broadcom BCM7401 DVR CPU found in the latest DirecTV HR21/HR22/HR23 and Dish Network ViP612 DVRs.

    With the latest 11.0 software, the TivoHD is noticeably more responsive than the old DirecTiVos. Although improved over the old DirecTiVos, guide scrolling performance is still not comparable to the latest Dish Network ViP622/ViP722 satellite DVRs.


  65. How many things can the TivoHD do at once?

    You can do all of the following simultaneously on the TivoHD:

    1. Record two different HD channels.
    2. Watch a [third] previously recorded HD program.
    3. Transfer a HD recording to another TiVo.
    4. Transfer (i.e. download) a HD recording to a computer.
    5. Download Internet videos.


  66. How does the TiVo download software updates?

    TiVo users receive several updates per year to improve performance and/or add functionality. Software updates are downloaded automatically over the ethernet connection or phone line, depending on what option you selected in setup. Updates are installed automatically during the early morning hours.

    Most TivoHDs ship with the original 8.1.7 software from 2007. TiVo has since released 8.1.7b, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4, 11.0, and the current version -- 11.0d. Version 11.0 further improves menu/guide responsiveness and adds support for MPEG-4 AVC and VC1 (including Netflix's SD/HD streaming). It usually takes 2-3 days to receive the newest software.

    You can speed the software update process on a new TiVo by forcing three connections in a row under Settings -> Phone & Network -> Connect to TiVo Service. Once your Phone & Network screen says "Pending Reboot," that means a software update is available for install. Normally, the TiVo would just reboot during the early morning hours to install the update, but you make that happen immediately by selecting Settings -> Restart or Reset System -> Restart the TivoHD. Software updates can take up to an hour to install.


  67. What changes has TiVo made to the software since release in 2007?

    Changes to the TivoHD since release include:

    • revamped wishlist functionality
    • support for eSATA expansion
    • support for multiroom viewing
    • ability to download recordings from DVR to computer
    • ability to transfer recordings from computer to DVR
    • improved manual recording screen
    • improved menu and guide responsiveness
    • significantly improved MRV performance
    • single-click delete individual recordings and folders with CLEAR button
    • single-click play individual recordings and entire folders with PLAY (>) button
    • jump to top/bottom of menus with -->|
    • browse the guide while watching recorded programs
    • advance 1.5 hrs at a time in the guide with FF (>>) and REW (<<) buttons.
    • advance a day at a time in the guide with replay and skip buttons
    • toggle closed captions on/off without entering menus
    • toggle closed captions on/off from channel banner, without entering menus
      • on liveTV, press right arrow (or INFO) -> down -> down -> down -> SELECT
      • on recordings, press right arrow (or INFO) -> down -> down -> SELECT
    • watch Amazon Unbox as it downloads
    • Crestron integration and remote control via tcp/ip
    • native support for MPEG-4 and VC1
    • support for Netflix SD/HD streaming
    • swivel search, recently replaced with the 16:9 TiVo Search (broadband users only)
    • occasional ad banner on TiVo menu and end-of-playback delete prompt (yuck)
    • pause menu (yuck)


  68. What happens if I cancel my TiVo subscription?

    If you cancel your TiVo subscription, your TiVo will stop downloading guide data. All program information on all channels will be blank. Furthermore, you will no longer be able to record -- even manual timers will no longer work.

    You will still be able to watch all of your recordings. You will also be able to watch live TV and use trickplay functions such as pause, instant replay, rewind, and 30sec skip.


  69. What is the TiVo warranty policy?

    The standard TiVo warranty is one-year on parts and 90 days on labor (details here). If your TivoHD has any problems in the first 90 days, TiVo will ship you a new replacement for free. If your TivoHD has any problems between 91 days and 365 days (one-year), then TiVo will ship you a replacement (which may be new or refurbished) for $49. If your TivoHD has any problems after the one-year warranty expires, then TiVo charges $149 for a replacement. TiVo will move your subscription over to the replacement at no extra charge.

    Note if you buy the three year subscription for $299, then that extends the parts warranty to three years. If you have a three-year subscription, and your TivoHD exhibits problems 2.5 years in, then TiVo will ship you a replacement (typically refurbished) for $49.

    When a TiVo dies, it is almost always the result of drive failure. All hard drives -- be they in computers or DVRs -- fail eventually. One can replace the failed drive with a new, larger drive without affecting the subscription. Instructions to do that are in the Storage Expansion section.


  70. Do I lose my lifetime subscription if the TiVo dies?

    As of May 2009, TiVo has a new lifetime transfer policy for failed TiVos.

    1. If the TiVo dies between 0 and 90 days, there is no charge for a replacement and they will transfer lifetime service for free.

    2. If the TiVo dies between 90 days and one year, there is a $49 replacement fee and they will transfer lifetime service for free.

    3. If the TiVo dies after one year and you've had lifetime service for less than three years, there is a $149 replacement fee and they will transfer lifetime service for free.

    4. If the TiVo dies after one year and you've had lifetime service for more than three years, there is a $149 replacement fee plus a $199 fee to transfer lifetime service to the replacement TiVo.

      If you want to avoid this, you have to "fix" the TiVo yourself by upgrading/replacing the original TiVo drive.

    When you buy a lifetime subscription, it is tied to that specific model of TiVo. TiVo will not move a lifetime subscription over to a new model unless (a) you require a replacement within three years and (b) your model is no longer available from TiVo. The exception to that would be a special promotion; several times since the release of their HDTV DVR, TiVo offered a promotion that allowed Series1/Series2 owners to move lifetime over to the HDTV DVR for a $199, even when they'd already had lifetime for more than three years.

    When a TiVo dies, it is almost always the result of drive failure. If you previously made a backup image of the TiVo software using WinMFS, you can restore that that to a new drive as per the instructions below. If you did not make a backup of your TiVo software, DVRUpgrade sells InstantCake for $19.99; InstantCake is a boot CD that will restore the TiVo software to a new drive (of your choice) up to 1.1TB in size. The lifetime subscription is tied to a ROM chip on the TiVo, so it is not affected by drive upgrades and replacements.

    To reiterate, TiVo only charges the lifetime transfer fee if you've had lifetime for more than three years. If you add lifetime to a three year old Tivo, and it dies in 2 years and 11 months, then there is no charge to transfer lifetime to the $149 replacement.


  71. How can I request or suggest new features?

    TiVo has a feature request form here.


  72. How do I sign up to test new TiVo software and features?

    If you have a TivoHD, and want to help TiVo test new software features, sign up at TiVo's Field Trials site. Note signing up is no guarantee they will pick you.


  73. What are the alternatives to the TivoHD?

    No other dual-tuner HDTV DVRs exist that support both over-the-air (OTA) and cable.

    The DTVPal DVR ($279) is the only alternative for a dual-tuner OTA HDTV DVR. This product does not support cable. The DTVPal DVR product does not require a subscription, but it offers only a small subset of the TiVo's functionality. This product has a program guide with much more limited information, and it it relies on VCR-like timers to do its recording. It does not support name-based recording, and it cannot record only new episodes and ignore repeats. It does not support external drives, nor does it allow one to download/offload recordings from the DVR.

    The Moxi ($499) is the only alternative for a dual-tuner cable HDTV DVR. This product does not support off-air signals from an antenna. The Moxi features a 16:9 interface and supports name-based recording, with the ability to record only new episodes and ignore repeats. The Moxi uses comprehensive guide data from Tribune, just like TiVo, and the $499 purchase price includes a lifetime subscription for that guide data. See the following FAQ for a comparison.

    There are no other dual-tuner HDTV DVRs currently on the market. In 12/2004, Sony introduced a single-tuner HDTV DVR without a subscription, but it was discontinued less than one year later. This product -- known as the Sony DHG-HDD250/500 -- can still be found on ebay for $300-$400. As a single tuner unit, this product will not record two different channels at the same time, nor will it record one channel while you watch another. Of course, if you have another tuner in your TV, you can switch inputs and watch that while the Sony is recording. This product has some issues of its own, so you should read the latest posts in its thread before considering a purchase on ebay.


  74. How does the Moxi compare to the TivoHD?

    The Moxi is a cable-only HDTV DVR with name-based recording and season passes. Moxi licenses guide data from Tribune and delivers 14-days of guide data to each box using their own Internet servers, just like TiVo. It is available in dual-tuner ($499) and triple-tuner ($799 w/ extender) versions with a bundled lifetime subscription. With the recent price reduction from $799 to $499 for the dual-tuner version, Moxi is now the most cost-effective solution for digital cable.

    Moxi and TiVo have different design priorities, and each has advantages over the other. Moxi provides more features and options for liveTV viewing and display, whereas TiVo provides more features and options for recording. If you watch 60% liveTV and 40% recorded, you may be happier with Moxi; if you watch 20% liveTV and 80% recorded, then you'll probably be happier with TiVo. Moxi does have a clear advantage for those that want to access recordings in multiple rooms; Moxi recently introduced a superior multi-room implementation with HD extenders that can be placed throughout one's home.

    Video Demos of Moxi: Demo for Engadget | CrunchGear Review

    Moxi's most notable advantages over TiVo include triple tuners ($799 model), a true HD user interface, longer liveTV buffer (1.5-3 HD hours), and a superior multi-room implementation with optional HD extenders. Notable disadvantages include no OTA support, no ability to transfer/offload recordings, no wishlists or ability to autorecord based on search, and no option to set manual timers. For a more complete comparison, refer to the AVS HDTV DVR Feature Comparison Table.


  75. How does the DTVPal DVR compare to the TivoHD?

    The DTVPal DVR is a dual-tuner, OTA-only HDTV DVR that sells for $300 with no fees, or about half the price of a TivoHD with a lifetime subscription. Compromises are made to hit that price point without any fees.

    The DTVPal DVR uses time-based recording, which records by setting a single or repeating timer for a specific day at a specific time. When you create a recording for House on the DTVPal DVR, it creates a repeating recording for Tuesday 8-9pm on FOX. It always records that same Tuesday 8-9pm slot regardless of whether House is showing that week, regardless of whether it is a new or old episode, and regardless of whether it is a special extended episode that runs longer than an hour. If FOX decides to show an episode of House on Wednesday, or at 9pm, then you'll miss that episode -- unless you modify your timer. If FOX decides to show a special extended length episode, such as a two-hour special on Tuesday from 8-10pm, then you'll only get the first hour -- unless you modify your timer.

    In contrast, "name-based" DVRs like the TiVo record programs by name rather than time. When you create a series recording for House on a TiVo, it doesn't matter what time or day of the week that program is showing. The TiVo records House whenever it shows -- with the option to record only new episodes and ignore repeats -- with the correct program length for that episode, even when the day, time, and/or program length changes. The TiVo does this by continually searching a database of upcoming programs for the name of the show, and adjusting its record schedule as needed.

    Other notable compromises in the DTVPal DVR include: relies on broadcaster to provide the correct time, limited program information, can't record new episodes and ignore repeats, no external storage support, no support for cable, no dual live buffers, no conflict management, no ability to record future programs matching a search, no ability to download or offload recordings, no multi-room viewing, no support for PC video playback, no support for Internet video services (Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, etc), 90-day warranty with no technical support, and less mature/reliable software.

    For complete comparison, refer to the AVS HDTV DVR Feature Comparison Table.


  76. What about the Philips 3575/3576 and Magnavox H216 DVD recorders?

    DVD recorders with hard drives, like the Philips and Magnavox, support a few basic DVR features like pause, instant replay, liveTV buffering (Magnavox H2160 only), and chase play, but they are not comparable to standalone DVR products.

    None of the ATSC DVD recorder products will record in high-definition or output high-definition. No ATSC DVD recorder products will record two channels at the same time, and none will allow you to watch one channel while you record another. None of these products offer a program guide or program information, and none can identify each recording with a program name or description. All of the ATSC DVD recorders offer inferior picture quality through both HD and SD outputs.

    The TivoHD and DTVPal DVR do not suffer from any of these limitations.


Last edited by bkdtv : 04-13-2010 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:07 PM   #3
bkdtv
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[Overview] [Pre-Purchase Questions] [Owners' Questions] [TiVo Tips] [Download Recordings] [Computer Videos] [Multiroom] [Known Issues]


Owners' Questions

  1. How do I connect the TivoHD to my TV and/or surround system?

    The TivoHD supports both HD and non-HD displays. It outputs full high-definition through component and HDMI, and it downconverts HD channels through composite and s-video for those with older TVs.

    By default, the TiVo outputs Dolby Digital sound through HDMI. Many TVs cannot properly handle a Dolby Digital signal through HDMI, and so they exhibit clicking sounds or audio delays/dropouts through their speakers. To avoid that, set the TiVo to output PCM when it is connected directly to a TV with HDMI, as described below in Audio Setup.


    Video Setup

    1. If you have a HDTV-ready display:

      • Connect the TivoHD to your display with component or HDMI. HDMI is preferable, as it eliminates the need to run a separate cable for audio. [Link for quality, low-cost 6ft HDMI cable]

        Set video output to fixed 1080i (or fixed 720p) under Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Video -> Output Format.

    2. If you don't have a HDTV-ready display:

      • Connect the TivoHD to your display with composite, s-video, or component.

        If you have a standard TV, select 4:3 under Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Video -> TV Aspect Ratio.

        Component will provide the best picture on a SD TV, but component is set to output HD by default, so that must be changed before you can connect it to a SD TV. To do that, you would first connect your TV with composite or s-video, and then change the setting for component output to 480i under Settings -> Video -> Output Format.


    Audio Setup

    1. If you use your TV speakers:

      • Set the TiVo to output PCM under Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Audio -> Dolby Digital -> Dolby Digital to PCM.

        If you use HDMI to your TV, no additional cables are required for audio. If you use any other connection for video, then you'll also need to connect the analog stereo outputs (red and white RCAs) to your TV for sound.

    2. If you use a surround system:

      • Connect the digital audio output (optical or HDMI) from the TivoHD directly to your receiver or surround system. In most cases, you will only get 5.1 surround sound from the TivoHD if it is connected directly to your surround system.


  2. I just got the TiVo and it seems kind of slow. Will responsiveness improve with newer software?

    Yes, TiVo significantly improved performance in v9.4 (July, 2008) and again in v11.0 (Dec, 2008).

    Most TiVos ship with the relatively slow v8.1.7 software from 2007. Furthermore, all guide databases must be indexed in the background for the first ~48 hours after initial setup. The background indexing noticeably slows responsiveness during that period. Most users receive an update to the latest software (now 11.0d) after 2-3 days, and guide data must be re-indexed for another ~48 afters after that update, temporarily slowing responsiveness again. The TivoHD does not reach full responsiveness until 48-72 hours after the v11.0d install.

    You can speed the software update process by forcing three connections in a row under Settings -> Phone & Network -> Connect to TiVo Service. Once your Phone & Network screen says "Pending Reboot," that means a software update is available for install. Normally, the TiVo would just reboot during the early morning hours to install the update, but you make that happen immediately by selecting Settings -> Restart or Reset System -> Restart the TivoHD. Software updates can take up to an hour to install.


  3. I just setup my TiVo and some network features don't work. What's wrong?

    The network features are not available with the 7-day trial. Network features -- such as multiroom viewing and the VOD menu-- will be available ~48 hours after you activate the TiVo.

    Netlix won't be available until your TiVo has upgraded to the latest 11.0d software, which added MPEG-4 and VC1 streaming support.


  4. How do I disable TiVo sounds or lower their volume?

    Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Audio -> Sound Effects Volume


  5. Why do I get a brief black screen or "no signal" message when changing between some channels and menus?

    By default, the TiVo is set to "native" output. "Native" outputs all channels in their original resolution, which forces your TV to change resolutions when you switch between channels in different formats (such as 720p FOX and 1080i CBS). You may see a brief black screen or "no signal" message as your display syncs to new resolutions.

    To eliminate these black screens and sync delays, set the TiVo to "fixed 720p" or "fixed 1080i" under Settings -> Video -> Video Output Format. The fixed modes convert all resolutions to a single format for display, eliminating the need for the display to change resolutions on the fly. This is the default mode for most other STBs/DVRs.


  6. Why do I sometimes get a black screen when fast forwarding through commercials?

    If a cable company inserts commercials in a different resolution than the main program (ex: SD commercials on a HD channel), then you'll get a black screen when fast forwarding through those commercials when the TiVo is set to native or hybrid output mode.

    To eliminate this behavior, set your TiVo to fixed 1080i or fixed 720p (depending on what is best for your TV) under Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Video -> Video Output Format.


  7. I use my TV's speakers. How do I get rid of of the audio output delay when changing channels?

    By default, the TiVo is set to output Dolby Digital. Many newer TVs cannot properly handle a Dolby Digital signal through HDMI, and they respond with clicking sounds and audio delays/dropouts. To eliminate this, set the TiVo's audio output to PCM:

    Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Audio -> Dolby Digital -> Dolby Digital to PCM.

    Note these audio output delays with Dolby Digital output are specific to some TVs. With a few exceptions noted in the known issues section, they do not affect surround sound systems.


  8. I have basic cable without a CableCard. How do I add local HD channels on cable (i.e. Clear QAM) to the guide?

    For program information on digital cable channels, including HD locals, you need a CableCard from your cable company. However, even without a CableCard, it is still possible to add local HD channels and other unencrypted digital cable channels to the program guide. They won't have program information, but you can still watch and record from them.

    Without a CableCard, only analog cable channels appear in the guide with program information, and you must perform a channel scan under Settings -> Channels -> Channel Scan to add "Clear QAM" channels like the HD locals. Once you've performed a channel scan, press ENTER in the guide to show "All Channels." The QAM channels will include dashes, such as 79-2, 83-1, 104-5, etc. Identify which QAM channels correspond to your HD locals and then enable (check) them under Settings -> Channels -> Channels List. After you've enabled (checked) the QAM channels you want, press ENTER in the guide to switch back to "Channels I Receive" or "Favorites."

    Once added, these "Clear QAM" channels appear in the guide without program information. Cable companies do not report QAM numbers, so TiVo has no idea what channels the QAM numbers correspond to in the cable company's official lineup. TiVo has no way to tell that QAM 87-4 corresponds to cable channel 200. The TiVo provides no method to rename or remap those QAM channels. You can still watch and record from them, but you have to use single or repeating (daily, weekly, or M-F) timers at a specific time, much like a DVD recorder. See FAQ #41 for more information on manual timers.

    Note: If you previously selected basic cable without CableCards during setup, then the TiVo will only scan QAMs up to ~120. To get the TiVo to scan all QAMs up to 135, you need to repeat setup under Messages & Settings -> Restart or Reset System -> Repeat Guided Setup. During setup, select "Cable with CableCards" with the option to install CableCards at a later time.


  9. I have basic cable. If I connect an antenna, will I get HD locals with program information?

    Yes. The TivoHD will integrate basic cable and local HD channels from an antenna -- all with program information -- into a single guide. Integration is seamless so there's nothing you have to do to switch between the two. It will appear as if all channels come from the same place.

    Once you connect an antenna, repeat setup under Messages & Settings -> Restart or Reset System -> Repeat Guided Setup. During setup, select "antenna and cable." This will add the HD locals to your guide with full program information.


  10. I am switching cable providers, or switching from cable to an antenna. Will I have to redo my season passes?

    Season passes are tied to the channel name, not the channel number. There is no need to redo any season passes unless you move to a different market.

    When you create a season pass on 50 CNN, it is tied to CNN, not channel 50. When you switch providers and re-run guided setup, the TiVo will automatically move your season pass on 50 CNN to the new channel number for CNN. The same also applies when you switch from cable to antenna (or vice-versa) in an area; if you have a season pass for a show on 207 WTTGDT, and run guided setup to switch to antenna-only, TiVo will move that season pass from the cable channel to the antenna channel.

    The Season Pass Manager will report the new channel numbers for every Season Pass about 48 hours after re-running guided setup. Be aware that the To Do List will not report the correct channel numbers until the existing numbers in the cache expire (12-14 days), but all programs will still record from the correct channels. After 12-14 days, the To Do List will report all the correct numbers.

    The only recordings on TiVo that are number specific are single and repeating manual recordings. You will need to delete and recreate those on the new numbers.

    Note: If you move to another market, then you will need to recreate your season passes on the new local affiliates; the TiVo will not move a series recording on WRCDT (DC's NBC) to WBALDT (Baltimore's NBC). If you move from the east coast to the west coast, or vice-versa, then you'll also need to recreate your season passes on cable channels with separate east coast and west coast feeds. West coast feeds usually have a P on the end, i.e. USAHDP instead of USAHD.


  11. How do I add or remove channels from the guide?

    You can customize your channel list and set your favorites under Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Channels -> Channel List.

    Once you've set your favorites, press ENTER from the guide to switch between the all channels, channels I receive, and favorites lists.



    Tip: Wait until your TiVo updates to the latest 11.0 software before customizing your channel list. With the original 8.1.7 software, changes made to the channel list did not always take effect instantly. That was fixed in software update.


  12. How do I change the style of guide display?

    TiVo offers two styles of guide display: TiVo Live (default) and Grid. To switch between the two, press ENTER from the guide.


  13. What's the best way to navigate the guide?

    • Use the channel +/- buttons to scroll through the guide a page at a time.

    • Press SKIP (-->|) to move 24 hours ahead and REPLAY to move 24 hours back.

    • In the Grid guide, use FF (>>) to move 1.5 hours ahead and REW (<<) to move 1.5 hours back.

    • To move to particular channel in the guide, just enter the channel number (such as 35) and hit ENTER.

    Be sure to customize the channels you see in the guide, as per the instructions in the previous FAQs.

    Note some of these functions were added with a software update, so you won't see them until your box downloads the latest software.


  14. Can I see past programs in the guide?

    Yes, the guide has program information for the past 24-48 hours, depending on when the TiVo last connected to download guide data.

    From the program guide, press the REW (<<) button to move back 90 minutes, or press REPLAY to move back 24 hours.


  15. What is the fastest way to enable or disable closed captions?

    To enable or disable closed captions on recordings, press the right arrow (or INFO) to display the channel banner, then press down -> down -> SELECT.

    On liveTV, press the right arrow (or INFO) to display the channel banner, and then press down -> down -> down -> down -> SELECT.


  16. What's the best way to skip commercials?

    Setup recordings for all the programs you watch on a regular basis, including your favorite series, sports teams, and news shows.

    You don't have to wait until a recording is complete to skip commercials; you can skip commercials on recordings-in-progress. There are two methods to skip commercials:

    1. Press the fast forward (>>) button three times, and then press it a fourth time to play when you see that the commercials are over. There is no need to move your finger over to the play button, as on some other DVRs.

      Thanks to the built-in autocorrection on fast forward, you can skip through most four minute commercial breaks in about four seconds, and catch the last second or so of the commercials, without missing any of the program.

    2. Enable and use 30-second skip. Once enabled, keep hitting the skip (-->| ) button until you see that the commercials are over. If you overshoot, press the replay button.

      Aside from Fringe on FOX, most programs have at least three minutes worth of commercials per break, so you can hit skip (-->| ) six times quick in succession, without waiting to see whether the commercials are over.

    Networks typically show 18-22 minutes of commercials per hour, so if you wait 20 minutes to start viewing a one-hour show, you can watch from the beginning and still finish at the same time that it ends by skipping commercials. The same principle applies to sporting events; wait 45-55 minutes to start watching the event from the beginning, and you'll know the outcome at the same time as everyone else, but you'll have skipped 45-55 minutes of commercials.

    If you normally watch 12 hours of TV per week, you can watch the same content in 8 hours by recording and skipping commercials. Over the course of the year, that adds up to 208 hours saved. That is more time to do other things.


  17. How do I enable 30sec commercial skip on the -->| button?

    By default, -->| toggles between the beginning and end of recordings and the liveTV buffer.

    To enable 30sec skip on the -->| button, enter "Select - Play - Select - 3 - 0 - Select" while watching a recording. To disable it, repeat the code while watching a recording. You should enter the entire the entire code in less than three seconds.

    If you enable 30sec skip, you lose the ability to toggle between the beginning and end of recordings with the press of one button. However, you can still skip forward or back 15 minutes at a time, as indicated in the following FAQ.

    Note you will have to re-enable 30sec skip after the update from 8.1.7 to 11.0. It should remain enabled for subsequent software updates.


  18. How do I skip forward 15 minutes at a time?

    TiVo places "ticks" on the progress bar every 15 minutes. To skip to the next 15min tick, you fast forward and then press the -->| button. While fast forwarding, each press of -->| button will skip forward 15 minutes.

    You can also skip backward to the previous 15min tick by rewinding and then pressing the same -->| button. While rewinding, each press of -->| button will skip backward 15 minutes.

    Note: Tick marks are spaced every 30 minutes for recordings 3.5 hours to 6 hours, and every 60 minutes for recordings 6.5 hours and longer. Skip-to-tick only works on programs selected from the recorded list. It does not work on liveTV programs unless you are recording them.


  19. How do I swap tuners? How do I change the channel without losing the buffer?

    You can change the channel without losing the buffer, but you must swap tuners to do that. The liveTV button, when pressed from liveTV, swaps between the two tuners. Each tuner remembers the last channel it was on and retains the pause position.

    You can pause one channel, press the LiveTV button to switch to the other tuner, channel surf or watch a different channel, and then press the liveTV button again to switch back to the first channel to resume from where you paused.

    There is another method to swap tuners -- click the right arrow key to bring up the channel banner, and then press the down arrow to select the other tuner.


  20. How do I create a series recording?

    Locate the desired series using the program guide or Find Programs -> Search by Title. Once you've found the series, select it and choose the option to "Create a Season Pass." A "season pass" is a series recording on a specific channel.

    If you just got your TiVo, be aware that search will not return complete results until the guide data is indexed, or ~48 hours after setup. Similarly, the "To Do List" may not display all matches until ~48 hours after setup.

    For each season pass, you have the following options:



    Choose "first-run only" to record only new episodes and ignore repeats.

    It's important to remember that season passes are channel specific. Make sure you create your season pass on the right channel, because some series are shown on multiple channels, and only one of those channels typically offers new episodes. If you create your season pass for House on USAHD, you're not going to get the new episodes on FOXHD.

    If you want to change the settings for an existing series recording, you can do that under Find Programs -> Season Pass Manager. As a shortcut, press '1' from the TiVo menu.


  21. What if I want to record the same program from multiple channels?

    You can create a separate season pass for the same program on different channels. You could create one season pass for House on FOXHD and a second for House on USAHD. Season Pass Manager will list each separately.

    If you want to record a certain program from all channels, then you should create a "wishlist" under Find Programs -> Wishlist Search. Wishlists record from all channels enabled (checked) in your channel lineup.


  22. Can I change the defaults for series recordings?

    No. If you don't want to use the defaults of "new and repeat episodes" with "keep last 5 episodes" and keep until "space needed," then you need to change those when you create your recording, or at a later time through Season Pass Manager.


  23. What's the best way to arrange my series recordings in Season Pass Manager?

    The Season Pass Manager determines what two series are recorded when three or more programs conflict. If three programs conflict, the TiVo will record the first two and look for a later showing of the third program to record. If the conflicting program is showing again in the next 28 days, the TiVo will find and record it.

    It is best to place ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC series at the top of your priority list, because those don't typically repeat. Stick cable programs that repeat at the bottom of your list.

    To avoid unnecessary processing, do not click on any program until you've arranged everything in the order you want.


    Season Pass Manager determines what two series or searches are recorded first when three or more conflict.


  24. I recently created a season pass and set it to "first-run only." Why is it recording older episodes of a show?

    "First-run only" is synonymous with new episodes only. But it does not mean future episodes only (at least, not initially). On the TiVo, "first-run only" also refers to any episode that aired for the first time on television within the past 28 days.

    This 28 day period applies to the actual date of the original broadcast, not the date you created the season pass. If you just got your TiVo, and you created a "first-run only" season pass for Mythbusters on May 27th, then the TiVo would also record the May 6th episode if it was shown again on or before June 3rd (28 days later). It's important to remember that this behavior is temporary; after 28 days, "first-run only" effectively becomes future episodes only, because the TiVo knows not to re-record anything you've recorded in the previous 28 days, and anything older than 28 days is considered a repeat.

    There are a few shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Big Brother that don't always provide good guide data for their re-runs. These re-runs lack episode titles and they use generic descriptions. Without good guide data, a TiVo series recording can't determine whether these are new or repeats, so it "plays it safe" and records them all. You can create a repeating manual recording for a specific timeslot (ex: M-F @ 11:00pm), but there is a more elegant solution -- see the following FAQ for details.


  25. Use the "Tupper Method" to eliminate repeats of certain programs with bad guide data.

    A few shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Big Brother, and The Tonight Show don't always provide good guide data for their re-runs. These re-runs lack episode titles and they use generic descriptions. Without good guide data, a TiVo series recording can't determine whether these are new or repeats, so it "plays it safe" and records them all.

    To get around this, one used to create a repeating manual recording for a specific timeslot (ex: M-F @ 11:00pm). Manual recordings show up with program information, and they are folderized and prioritized just like any season pass. You can still do that, but new functionality added in the 9.1 software provides a more elegant solution. Here's how:

    1. Create a new WishList under Find Programs -> Wishlists.
    2. Enter the show title as a single Title Keyword (ex: Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
    3. Enter all or part of the generic program description as a single Keyword (ex: A humorous slant).
    4. Select this keyword and press thumbs up/down to mark it with a minus sign (ex: -A humorous slant).
    5. Set the WishList to Auto Record with "First run only".

    This will record all new episodes and ignore the repeat episodes with generic guide data. It replaces the season pass for the show. Examples:

    Amazing Race
    Title Keyword: Amazing Race*
    Keyword: -Eleven Teams Of Two Travel The Globe
    Keyword: -Reality Remix
    Category: Interests:Reality

    Colbert Report
    Title Keyword: Colbert Report
    Keyword: -Discuss current issues

    Daily Show with Jon Stewart
    Title Keyword: Daily Show with Jon Stewart
    Keyword: -A humorous slant

    Late Night
    Title Keyword: Late Night
    Keyword: -Interviews and comedy sketches

    Oprah
    Title Keyword: Oprah
    Keyword: -Oprah discusses topics

    Starter Wife
    Title Keyword: Starter Wife
    Keyword: -A woman struggles

    Survivor
    Title Keyword: Survivor*
    Keyword: -I SHOULDN*T BE ALIVE
    Category: Interests:Reality

    If you want to always ensure that you get a HD version when available, remove (uncheck) the SD version of the appropriate channels from Settings -> Channels -> Channels List.

    Note: Don't forget to remove your old season pass for the show from Season Pass Manager.

    Full credit to Martin Tupper for this tip.


  26. How do I see what programs are scheduled to record?

    The TiVo provides a "To Do List" which shows all upcoming scheduled recordings. These are the programs that will record.

    You can access this screen under Find Programs -> To Do List. As a shortcut, simply press '2' from the TiVo menu.



    The "To Do List" also provides a recording history to tell you why past programs didn't record, as well as why future programs won't record. For example, if a specific episode was already recorded, then re-airings of the same episode will be listed under recording history with this message.


  27. How do I enable folders or change the sort method in the recorded list?

    Press ENTER in the recorded list to enable folders/groups and change your sorting method. You can sort by alphabetical (shown below) or recorded date.


    When this feature is enabled, multiple episodes of the same program are grouped into folders to reduce clutter.


  28. How do I see available space?

    On a TiVo, the disk is always full because you always have recordings in the Suggestions (which you can disable) and Recently Deleted folders. If you still have recordings in your Recently Deleted folder, then you know you've got space for new recordings, because everything in the Suggestions and Recently Deleted folders is cleared before the TiVo will delete your oldest recording to make room for a new one.

    Some would like TiVo to add a disk space meter that ignores the contents of the Suggestions and Recently Deleted folders; that would be intuitive to some, but perhaps counterintuitive to others. Rightly or wrongly, TiVo feels that a disk space meter adds unnecessary complexity to a DVR. They prefer that the DVR manage the available disk space without the user ever having to worry about it.

    If you really want to see how much of your capacity is used, TiVo download tools like kmttg will tell you that.


  29. How does the TiVo determine what recordings to delete?

    By default, all new recordings are 'protected' for 48 hours.

    The TiVo will never delete anything unless space is needed for a new recording scheduled by the user. When space is needed for a new recording, the TiVo will first clear the Recently Deleted and Suggestions folders. Once the the Recently Deleted and Suggestions folders are empty, the TiVo will delete the oldest recording on the DVR that isn't marked as "keep until I delete."

    When space is needed for a new recording, programs are deleted in the following order:

    1. Recently Deleted folder - cleared starting with oldest program first; nothing else is deleted until this folder is clear;
    2. Suggestions folder -- cleared starting with oldest program first; nothing else is deleted until this folder is clear;
    3. The oldest show on the DVR that is not marked as "keep until [date]" or "keep until I delete."

    If the oldest recording on the DVR is one that you would like to save, select it and mark it as "keep until I delete." The TiVo will then skip that recording and delete the next oldest instead.


  30. Why is my TiVo saying that it is out of space and will not record some programs? I set many of my season passes as "keep until I delete."

    The TiVo will not delete programs marked "keep until I delete" under any circumstances. If you set every program to "keep until I delete," then the TiVo will stop recording when it runs out of space.

    It is generally a bad idea to set an entire series to "keep until I delete," especially on a standard TivoHD without storage expansion. When you set "keep until I delete" for an entire series, not only does the TiVo protect the episodes on the DVR, it also reserves space in advance for every scheduled episode of that series on the To Do List. TiVo prioritizes scheduled recordings set as "keep until I delete" above all others, even if they aren't showing for another 1-2 weeks.

    The TiVo does this to ensure that a lower priority series recording does not take the space needed for an upcoming higher priority series recording. This has the effect of reducing your available space for other recordings, causing those programs to be deleted faster.

    Generally, if you want to save / protect a specific program for the future, it is better to set "keep until I delete" after you record it. That way, the TiVo does not reserve space in advance. Note again that every new recording is protected for the first 48 hours without you having to do anything.

    A common mistake some new TiVo users make is setting a series recording to "keep until I delete" while the default "keep last 5 episodes" setting is still in place. When these two settings are used together, the TiVo will record five episodes and no more, because it will never delete the first five episodes and you've only told it to keep five total. If you use "keep until I delete" with a series -- which I do not recommend -- then you should to set that series to "keep all episodes."


  31. What do the ball icons next to the recordings mean?

    • No ball = recording is protected for at least another 24 hours.

    • Yellow ball = recording is protected for less than <24 hours.

    • Yellow ball with ! = recording is no longer protected, and will be deleted once:

      1. there are no items left in the Recently Deleted folder;
      2. there are no items left in the Suggestions folder;
      3. it is the oldest recording left on the DVR; and
      4. space is needed for a new user-scheduled recording.

    • Green ball = recording is marked as "keep until I delete" and will be kept until manually deleted.

    • Red ball = recording in progress

    • Blue ball = recording is transferring from another TiVo or downloading over the network.

    • Tivo icon = recording is a TiVo Suggestion.


  32. What do the "quality" settings mean?

    The "quality" settings only apply to analog channels. All digital channels are recorded as is, bit-for-bit identical to the original broadcast, regardless of what you specify under quality settings.


  33. What are Wishlists and what can I do with them?

    Note the information on wishlists in the TiVo manual is out-of-date.

    A Wishlist is a saved search that combines one or more keywords, title keywords, actors, and/or directors with a category (such as sports event) of your choice. Each word or phrase you enter as a keyword or title keyword requires an exact match unless a wildcard is used. Creating a wishlist with separate keywords will require both matches by default. If you want to make a title keyword, keyword, actor, or director optional or excluded, you can do that with boolean operators. Highlight the entry, select it by pressing OK, and then use the "Thumbs up" button to toggle between required (AND), optional (OR), and excluded (NOT), as shown in this screenshot.

    You can choose to display the results of this search, or you can set the TiVo to automatically record all future matches on the channels you receive, regardless of the date, time, and channel. If autorecord is set, the wishlist continuously searches the guide data for matches to record in the background, without any intervention from the user. Programs recorded by each wishlist are organized into a single folder with a customizable name. As with any other season pass, you prioritize autorecord wishlists in Season Pass Manager so they do not interfere with your favorite programs. You can choose whether to record new (first-run) programs only, or new and repeat episodes; you can also set the number of programs to keep and whether to keep until space is needed or until you manually delete.

    With the option to auto-record, these saved searches allow you create custom season passes to record specific events (or groups of events) whenever and wherever they are broadcast. It allows you to define the record parameters, rather than letting the guide do it for you based only on program title. This eliminates the need to keep up with TV schedules for pro and college sports teams; it also eliminates the need to keep up with the TV schedules for award shows, golf tournaments, tennis tournaments, racing events, etc.

    Wishlists can be used to record all:

    • new games with any professional sports team (ex: all new Yankees games)
    • new games for any collegiate sport with any university (ex: all new UMD basketball)
    • new NCAA Sweet 16 / Elite Eight / Final Four basketball -- men only, women only, or both
    • new NBA Finals games
    • new NHL Stanley Cup playoff games
    • new ALCS and NLCS games
    • new World Series games
    • new BCS Championship, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl games
    • new golf majors (Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, etc) -- men only, women only, or both
    • new Grand Slam tennis (U.S. Open, French Open, Wimbledon, etc) -- men only, women only, or both
    • new NASCAR events, with or without Nationwide and Camping events
    • new Formula One events
    • new Olympic hockey events
    • new Olympic swimming events -- men only, women only, or both
    • new Olympic track and field events -- men only, women only, or both

    • new series pilots
    • new Academy, Emmy, Grammy award shows
    • new programs with HD movie trailers
    • new episodes of Survivor* (gets all new episodes even when the title changes)
    • new episodes of Amazing Race* (gets all new episodes even when the title changes)
    • new presidential debates
    • new interviews with Obama (or anyone else)
    • new Civil War documentaries
    • new World War II documentaries
    • shows with Jennifer Aniston, except Friends
    • HD action (or any other category) movies from 2009 (or any other year or decade)
    • [insert name here] the next time it shows

    Wishlists can also be used to record multiple programs and organize them in a single folder. For example, if you record several different programs for a child, you might create a single wishlist called "Bobbys Shows" and enter each program name as a separate title keyword, marked as optional with parenthesis. All of these programs would be recorded and organized into a single "Bobbys Shows" folder.

    Notes for Wishlist Creation

    1. Title keywords refer to all text in the program title and episode title. Keywords refer to any text in the title, episode title, or description.

    2. Wishlists find and record programs on the channels enabled (checked) in your Channel List under Message & Settings -> Settings -> Channels. If there is a channel you do not want a wishlist to record from, then uncheck it in your channel list.

    3. To make sure you always get the HD version of a program, remove the SD version of the appropriate HD channels. Alternatively, you can specify HD as a required category, although if you do so, you will miss out on upconverted 16:9 SD programs and events.

    4. If you want to record from the HD channel when a HD version of a program is available, and record the SD channel when no HD version is available (or flagged as HD), then create two identical wishlists, with the only difference being the category of HD. Give the wishlist with the HD category a higher priority in Season Pass Manager.

      If you do this, be aware that you will miss the 16:9 SD content on HD channels (ex: away games on some RSNs are upconverted 16:9 SD). You will also miss any HD programs not correctly flagged as HD. To ensure that you always get the highest-quality version of a program with a wishlist, follow note #2 and simply remove the SD version of the appropriate channels from your Channel List.

    5. The asterisk (*) can be used as a wildcard at the end of words or phrases. The asterisk must be the last character in a keyword or title keyword.

    6. Replace hyphens ( - ), slashes ( / ) and periods ( . ) with spaces. For example, to record all St. Louis Cardinals games, you would enter St<two spaces>Louis Cardinals.

    7. Other characters such as apostrophes ( ' ) and ampersands ( & ), are ignored. Do not represent them with spaces. For example, Texas A&M would be Texas AM in a wishlist.

    8. For dollar signs ( $ ), substitute the letter S.

    9. Year (such as 2008 or 2009) is a valid search term for movies, but not other programs.

    10. In the list of search results, only the programs identified with the blue icon will record. Those are the only events that meet your recording criteria (ex: first-run only) and do not interfere with higher-priority season passes in Season Pass Manager.

    11. The "View All Upcoming Wishlists Programs" link shows a maximum of 10 results per wishlist. For full results, select the wishlist and choose "View Upcoming Programs." That will list up to 200 results.

    12. Removing the autorecord setting on a wishlist will cause any programs recorded by that wishlist to be de-folderized. Re-enabling autorecord will not re-folderize those recordings. You can edit the name and criteria of the wishlist search without affecting the folderized recordings, so long as you not disable autorecord.

    For some suggested wishlists with instructions, see the TiVo Tips section.


  34. When viewing wishlist search results, why do I only see 10 results?

    The "View All Upcoming Wishlists Programs" link shows a maximum of 10 results per wishlist. For full results, select the wishlist and choose "View Upcoming Programs." That will list up to 200 results.

    If your wishlist is set to autorecord, only the search results identified with the blue wishlist icon will record. Those are the only events that meet your recording criteria (ex: first-run only) and do not interfere with higher-priority season passes in Season Pass Manager.


  35. What is the "TiVo Suggestions" folder and how do I disable it?

    By default, the TiVo will automatically record the programs it thinks you will like -- these are known as Suggestions. These recordings are placed in the "Suggestions" folder at the bottom of the recorded list.

    In effect, TiVo has its own built-in rating system, with ratings equivalent to good/very good/excellent and bad/very bad/poor. Every time you create a season pass (series recording) for a program, the TiVo assigns that program one "thumbs up" (i.e. a rating of good). It then uses these ratings to record (or ignore, in the case of "thumbs down") similar programs as Suggestions. You can manually rate programs using the thumbs up/down buttons on the remote. The more programs you rate, as both good and bad, the better the TiVo becomes at finding programs that you might like.

    Suggestions will never interfere with your scheduled recordings, nor will they consume storage capacity needed by scheduled recordings. The TiVo only records Suggestions using free space, and only does so when no other recordings are scheduled. None of your own recordings will ever be deleted to make room for Suggestions, and Suggestions are always the first programs to be deleted when space is needed for new [user] recordings.

    If you do not want to use Suggestions, you can disable this behavior under Settings -> Recording -> Suggestions.

    Note turning off Suggestions does not delete those previously recorded. Select the Suggestions folder at the bottom of the recorded list and hit the CLEAR button.


  36. Why does TiVo keep changing the channel on the other tuner?

    If you have Suggestions enabled (described above), the TiVo will change the channel on the inactive tuner -- the tuner you aren't currently watching -- after a period of inactivity to record programs it thinks you will like.

    If you watch a lot of liveTV, and don't want the TiVo switching the channel on the other tuner to record programs it thinks you will like, then then you can disable this behavior under Settings -> Recording -> Suggestions.


  37. How do I resume a recording that has less than five minutes remaining?

    The TiVo will automatically remember your place in every recording except in cases where there are less than five minutes remaining. When you use the left arrow, menu, or list buttons to exit a recording with less than five minutes remaining, the TiVo assumes you are done and asks you whether you want to delete it. When you choose to keep the recording, it is reset to the start.

    To prevent that, use the pause button before you exit the recording. That will save your place in a recording when there are less than five minutes remaining. If there are more than five minutes left, this is unnecessary.


  38. How do I make the channel banner clear faster after a channel change?

    Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Displays -> Channel Banner


  39. How do I display the progress bar without pausing?

    Press PLAY to briefly display the progress bar.


  40. How do I hide the progress bar that is shown during pause?

    Press CLEAR.


  41. Can I hide the "More about..." pause menu and its pause ad?

    Yes. Pressing the down arrow will hide the pause menu and ad. Pressing CLEAR will hide the pause menu, ad, and the progress bar.

    If you have a universal remote like a Harmony, you can simply create a "pause-clear" macro or sequence and assign it to the pause button, in place of the normal pause function. If you do this, you will no longer see the pause menu and ad.

    If you don't have a universal remote, there is a "quick-hide" code that will hide the "More about..." pause menu and its ad. To enable this behavior, pause a recording, press the down arrow to hide the "More About.." box, and then press play again. After you've done that, enter the SELECT-PLAY-SELECT-PAUSE-SELECT code. To restore the default behavior, enter the same code a second time while watching a recording.

    Note the "quick-hide" code also hides the progress during rewind and fast forward. For that reason, the pause-clear approach with a universal remote is generally preferable.

    Note: You will have to re-enable the quick-hide code after a reboot.


  42. Why don't I get TiVo's "boop" sounds on Dolby Digital channels?

    If you are using your TV speakers, make sure you set Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Audio -> Dolby Digital -> Dolby Digital to PCM.

    For Dolby Digital A/V receivers, the TiVo has no means to "inject" its sound effects into the Dolby Digital bitstream. The TiVo can only pass the Dolby Digital audio as it is received. That's why you get no TiVo sound effects on Dolby Digital channels.

    To inject its sound effects into the Dolby Digital 5.1 bitstream, the TiVo would have to decode Dolby Digital 5.1 (like your Yamaha receiver) into 5.1 uncompressed audio, inject the sounds, and then re-encode the 5.1 signal back into Dolby Digital for output. No STB or DVR has the hardware necessary to do this, and even if it did, you wouldn't want that because it would only serve to reduce audio quality.

    If you don't like hearing TiVo "boop" sounds on some channels and not others, then you can disable TiVo sound effects.


  43. How do I add or remove the Netflix folder in the recorded list?

    If you have not previously activated Netflix on your TiVo, clicking on the Netflix folder will give you the option to remove it, as seen below:



    If you've already activated Netflix on the TiVo, and would like to add or remove the Netflix folder from the recorded list, you can do so under the Video On Demand menu.


  44. What do the Netflix quality bars mean?

    The TiVo uses bars to represent the quality of the Netflix stream. More bars translate to a higher bitrate (Mbps), and a higher bitrate means higher quality.

    0.5 Mbps - 6/11 bars (5 bars short of full)
    1.0 Mbps - 8/11 bars (3 bars short of full)
    1.6 Mbps - 10/11 bars (1 bar short of full)
    2.2 Mbps
    3.4 Mbps
    2.6 Mbps (720p HD)
    3.8 Mbps (720p HD) - 13/13 bars (full with HD icon)

    Note the above information is not confirmed, as TiVo has not said publicly what bars translate to what bitrates. The information above is based on end-user comments, router throughput measurements, and Netflix's own "Encoding for streaming" blog entry.

    To support a given quality level, your Internet connection must sustain 1.5x the required bandwidth. For example, to view the 1.6Mbps stream (10/11 bars), your Internet connection must sustain 1.5Mbps*1.5 = 2.25 Mbps.

    Most who can sustain the 1.6Mbps quality level (10/11 bars) are satisfied with Netflix's picture quality. If you have a slower DSL connection, then Netflix SD/HD streaming may be less compelling.


  45. How do I create a manual timer recording, such as Mon-Fri from 7:00-7:30pm?


    Click here to see other options available for every manual recording.

    Find Programs -> Record by Time or Channel -> Set Up Manual Recording

    As a shortcut, press '7' from the TiVo menu.


  46. What are some other remote or menu shortcuts?

    From Recorded List (press the "TiVo" button twice):

    CLEAR = single-click delete of a selected program on recorded list
    SKIP = jumps to end / beginning of recorded list and other menus
    PLAY = plays the selected program or folder on the recorded list, bypassing the info screen
    1 = toggles between alphabetical sort and recorded date sort
    2 = toggles folders/groups on and off

    From TiVo Central (press the "TiVo" button once):

    0 = Show the TiVo startup video
    1 = Season Pass Manager
    2 = To Do List
    3 = Search Using Wishlists
    4 = Search by Title
    5 = Browse by Channel
    6 = Browse by Time
    7 = Set Up Manual Recording
    8 = TiVo's Suggestions
    9 = Showcases
    SLO = Messages & Settings


  47. Is there a way to display an on-screen clock and/or elapsed time indicator?

    Yes. To enable the on-screen clock and elapsed time indicator for recordings, enter "Select - Play - Select - 9 - Select" while watching a recording. To disable it, repeat the code while watching a recording.


  48. Are there any other special codes?

    A complete list of codes is below.

    • Changes the behavior of -->| to 30sec skip. See FAQ #16.
      Select-Play-Select-3-0-Select
    • Activate "quick hide" of the progress bar on trickplay functions such as pause, replay, and 30sec skip. See FAQ #37.
      Select-Play-Select-Pause-Select
    • Activate a clock in the lower-right corner of the screen. During playback, shows the elapsed time. See FAQ #43.
      Select-Play-Select-9-Select
    • Activate a status display in the bottom right corner to show what is on each tuner.
      Select-Play-Select-InstantReplay-Select
    To enable these functions, enter the code once while watching a recording. To disable, enter the code a second time while watching a recording.

    With exception to the 30sec skip, which remains enabled until you disable it, you'll have to re-enable these codes after a reboot or software update.


  49. Is there a remote code to take me directly to the recorded list?

    Yes. On the standard TivoHD remote, it takes two clicks of the TiVo button to display the recorded list.

    Older TiVo remotes had a list button to take you directly to the recorded list. The IR code for the recorded list is still supported, but you've got to use a universal remote or an old DirecTiVo remote to take advantage of it. The TivoHD works with all DirecTivo remotes.

    With Harmony remotes, you get the "list" function when you add your TiVo as device TCD648250. On other remotes, you can use these hex codes:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dawn Gordon (remote address 1) View Post
    0000 006E 0022 0002 0155 00AA 0016 003E 0016 0015 0016 003E 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 003E 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 003E 0016 003E 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 003E 0016 003E 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 003E 0016 0015 0016 003E 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 0015 0016 003E 0016 003E 0016 0015 0016 003E 0016 06E0 0155 0055 0016 0E80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sddave (remote address 2) View Post
    0000 006D 0022 0002 0155 00AA 0016 0040 0016 0016 0016 0040 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0040 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0040 0016 0040 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0040 0016 0040 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0040 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0040 0016 0016 0016 0016 0016 0040 0016 0040 0016 0016 0016 0040 0016 06E0 0155 0055 0016 0E80
    If your universal remote isn't a Harmony and/or it can't accept hex codes, then you can always buy an older TiVo remote from this store (or ebay) and learn the IR code from that.


  50. I have a Logitech Harmony remote. What are the best settings to use for a TivoHD?

    In the Harmony software, select Devices -> Add Device -> PVR -> TiVo and enter TCD648250 as your model number.

    Adjust the repeats and delays to make the remote more responsive with TiVo. To do that in the Harmony software, go to Devices -> TiVo -> Settings -> Adjust the delays. Set the power-on and interkey delay to 0. Next, go to Devices -> Tivo -> Troubleshoot -> Show me more problems -> PVR doesn't receive every command correctly -> The device responds too much to some commands. Set the repeat to 1. The Harmony remote will never be as responsive as the original TiVo remote, but with these settings, you can get it pretty close.

    Functions available on a Harmony remote with the TCD648250 device name include:

    LIST = takes you directly to recorded list, bypassing the TiVo menu
    STOP = stops playback and takes you back to the program in info screen
    POWERTOGGLE = standby, primary use is to immediately re-enable Kidzone and/or parental controls
    ADVANCE = performs -->| button on TiVo remote (i.e. 30 sec skip)
    SLOWFORWARD = performs slo motion function on TiVo remote

    Under Activities -> Watch TiVo -> Customize Buttons, I suggest assigning the "List" function to the menu button and the placing the "Menu" function on a LCD button named "TiVo Menu."

    Since the channel +/- buttons also serve the page +/- function on TiVo, you may want to stick the thumbs +/- functions on the Harmony's /\ and \/ buttons. Harmony remotes do not have a button for slow motion (SlowForward); you can assign that to the stop button or place it on the LCD.


    Click for larger.

    You may also wish to create sequences (macros) for the 'To Do List' and Pause-Clear. That way, you can place a shortcut for the 'To Do List' on the LCD, and you can set your pause button to automatically hide the pause menu and any ads.

    If you use Kidzone and/or parental controls, you may wish to assign the standby function (PowerToggle) to a button on the LCD, to immediately re-enable the that functionality for your child after you finish watching your own programs.


  51. How can I extend the range of the TiVo remote?

    The Next Generation Remote Control Extender ($33 @ Amazon) will add UHF capability to the TiVo remote, extending range to >50' and eliminating the need for direct line of sight to the TiVo.

    With this product, be sure to place the included IR receiver "eye" over the IR sensor on the front of the TiVo, which is located to the right of the record lights and just to the left of the "Fixed" text. If you have trouble locating the TiVo's IR sensor, shine a flash light on the front of the TiVo and look for the round circle just to the left of the "Fixed" text.

    As per the NG Remote Control Extender manual, you may need to change battery slots to maximize range.


  52. What does "standby" do?

    Putting a TivoHD into "standby" mode does the following:

    • Stops sending video and audio from the DVR to the TV.

    • Causes the lights on the front of the unit to go out.

    • Re-enables Parental Controls if they were temporarily disabled.

    • Enters KidZone Now Playing screen upon return from standby (if KidZone is on).

    • Programs that are recording or scheduled to record will still record in standby.

    • Ignores Emergency Alert System messages [on cable].

    Standby mode saves two watts or less, so there is very little reason to use it. The primary use for "standby" is to re-enable parental controls (like Kidzone) after they were temporarily disabled for adult viewing.


  53. Help! My cable provider runs too many Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages. How do I avoid these?

    Federal law requires that the EAS messages be displayed. They cannot be legally bypassed / ignored when the user is watching TV.

    EAS behavior on a TiVo may vary slightly depending on the equipment (Motorola or Scientific Atlanta) used by your cable provider. If your TiVo uses Motorola CableCards, then the EAS message will be recorded as part of a scheduled program when the TiVo video output is enabled.

    If you set your TiVo to "standby" (disables video output), the TiVo will continue to record your programs, but it will ignore EAS messages on cable, because it knows you aren't watching TV. If you are seeing EAS messages on a regular basis in your area, you should probably leave your TiVo in "standby" mode when you aren't watching it. If you have a Harmony universal remote, you can add a button for "standby" to your LCD.


  54. How do I report changes or errors in my channel lineup?

    If your cable provider recently added a new channel that does not have guide data, you can report that using TiVo Lineup Change Form. Be sure to be keep your comments short, concise, and to the point.

    It takes up to five business days for Tribune (TiVo's guide provider) to process lineup change requests.


Last edited by bkdtv : 04-13-2010 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:08 PM   #4
bkdtv
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
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[Overview] [Pre-Purchase Questions] [Owners' Questions] [TiVo Tips] [Download Recordings] [Computer Videos] [Multiroom] [Known Issues]


TiVo Tips
  1. Use the CLEAR button to quickly delete recordings.


  2. Use the SKIP (-->| ) button to jump to the top or bottom of menus.


  3. Use the PLAY (>) button to play recordings directly from the NPL, bypassing the info screen.


  4. Pad the ending of shows that follow sporting events.

    Some networks, most notably CBS, broadcast shows immediately following NFL football and the NCAA tournament on Sunday nights. When these sporting events run late, the programs that follow tend to start late and end late. To avoid missing part of these shows on Sunday night, pad their end times by 60 minutes under season pass options.

    Padding the ending by 60 minutes ensures that you do not miss the ending when CBS' NFL football runs into overtime on Sundays.


  5. Record the daily news and have it automatically replace the previous day's news.

    If you create a season pass (or manual recording) for a daily news program, and choose to "keep last 1 episode" in record options, the TiVo will always replace the news from the previous day with the news for the current day.

    Even if you don't watch the news on a regular basis, this ensures that you always have the latest news on your TiVo -- at the top of your recorded list -- on the days that that you do decide to watch it. This allows you quickly skip the news segments you have no interest in, as well as the commercials.

    You can do the same thing for daily talk and comedy shows, such as The View on ABC (for the wife), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on NBC, and The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. Be sure to see Owners Questions, FAQ #23 if you record some of these shows.


  6. Create auto-record wishlists to record your favorite teams, events, and award shows

    One of TiVo's most powerful features is its ability to autorecord all future programs or events matching a search. Few take advantage of this capability, because they never had comparable functionality with their previous recorder, and thus never learned what it could do or how to use it. Others previously tried it on DirecTiVos, before the functionality was greatly improved and expanded on the TivoHD.

    This feature -- known as wishlists -- allow you to create custom season passes for specific events (or a groups of events) to record those programs whenever and wherever they are broadcast. It allows you to define the record parameters, rather than letting the guide do it for you based only on program title. This eliminates the need to keep up with TV schedules for pro and college sports teams; it also eliminates the need to keep up with the TV schedules for award shows, golf tournaments, tennis tournaments, racing events, and just about anything else you can imagine.

    Wishlists can be used to record all:

    • new series pilots
    • new games for a specific sports team (ex: all new Yankees games)
    • new games for any collegiate sport with a specific university (ex: all new UMD basketball)
    • new NCAA Sweet 16 / Elite Eight / Final Four basketball -- men only, women only, or both
    • new NBA Finals games
    • new NHL Stanley Cup playoff games
    • new ALCS and NLCS games
    • new World Series games
    • new BCS Championship, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl games
    • new golf majors (Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, etc) -- men only, women only, or both
    • new Grand Slam tennis (U.S. Open, French Open, Wimbledon, etc) -- men only, women only, or both
    • new NASCAR events, with or without Nationwide and Camping events
    • new Formula One events
    • new Olympic hockey events
    • new Olympic swimming events -- men only, women only, or both
    • new Olympic track and field events -- men only, women only, or both
    • new Academy, Emmy, Grammy award shows

    One wishlist recording for each entry above records all new events of that type, year after year, regardless of date, time, and channel, without repeats or duplicates. Each wishlist can be restricted to a specific program category so there are no unwanted programs like highlight shows, talk shows, etc. Wishlists are listed and prioritized in Season Pass Manager just like other season passes. All programs or events recorded by a wishlist are grouped in their own folder with a customizable name to minimize clutter.

    Some examples with instructions are below:

    1. Create a series recording for all games with your favorite pro or college sports team

      1. Create a new WishList under Find Programs -> Wishlists.
      2. Enter the first part of the program title as a single Title Keyword (ex: MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, College Football).
      3. Enter the team name or university as a single Keyword (ex: Yankees).
      4. Select the category of Sports: Sports event.
      5. Rename the wishlist as desired (ex: NEW YORK YANKEES).
      6. Set the WishList to Auto Record with "First run only".

      This will record all new games for your favorite team -- regardless of date, time, and channel -- so long as they don't conflict with higher-priority series recordings. If you have folders enabled, these games will be organized into a single folder with the name of the team.

      You can set the same options that you do for any other recording -- number of episodes to keep, start early or end late, etc. You set the series priority of this recording in Season Pass Manager, just as you do with any other series.


      Click here to see an example of how these sports recordings show up in your recorded list.

      To make certain you get the 16:9 SD and HD versions of your sports broadcasts when available, remove (uncheck) the SD versions of the appropriate HD channels from Settings -> Channels -> Channels List.


    2. Create a series recording for the four major men's golf championships

      Title Keyword: Golf, (The Masters), (Open Championship), (PGA Championship), (U S Open)
      Keyword: -women
      Category: HD:Sports:Sports Event
      Wishlist Name: GOLF MAJORS

      Press the thumbs+ button on the TiVo remote to add parenthesis on the title keywords shown; that sets the "OR" operator on those keywords. Press the thumbs- button to set the negative sign, which sets the "NOT" operator.

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 5 minutes longer

      When creating this wishlist, be sure to substitute spaces for the periods in U.S. Open. Remove the keyword -women if you also want to record women's events.


    3. Create a series recording for men's Grand Slam tennis

      Title Keyword: Tennis, (Australian Open), (French Open), (U S Open), (Wimbledon)
      Keyword: -women -doubles
      Category: Sports:Sports Event
      Wishlist Name: GRAND SLAM TENNIS

      Press the thumbs+ button on the TiVo remote to add parenthesis on the title keywords shown; that sets the "OR" operator on those keywords. Press the thumbs- button to set the negative sign, which sets the "NOT" operator.

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 1 hour longer

      When creating this wishlist, be sure to substitute spaces for the periods in U.S. Open. Remove the keyword -women if you also want to record women's events.


    4. Create a series recording for college bowl games

      Title Keyword: College Football, (BCS National), (Rose), (Orange), (Sugar), (Cotton), (Fiesta)
      Category: Sports:Sports Event
      Wishlist Name: BOWL GAMES

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 15 minutes longer


    5. Create a series recording for the NCAA tournament (Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four, Championship)

      Title Keyword: College Basketball, NCAA Tournament
      Keyword: (Final), (Semifinal), -womens
      Category: Sports:Sports Event
      Wishlist Name: NCAA TOURNAMENT

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 15 minutes longer

      This wishlist may not be correct. I no longer have the wishlist used for the past two seasons, so I can't be certain I have the keywords correct.


    6. Create a series recording for the NFL Playoffs

      Title Keyword: NFL Football
      Category: HD:Sports:Playoff Sports
      Wishlist Name: NFL Playoffs

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 30 minutes longer


    7. Create a series recording for [just] the Superbowl, AFC Championship, and NFC Championship games

      Title Keyword: NFL Football, (Superbowl), (Championship)
      Category: HD:Sports:Playoff Sports
      Wishlist Name: NFL Playoffs

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 30 minutes longer


    8. Create a series recording for the MLB playoffs

      Title Keyword: MLB Baseball
      Category: Sports:Playoff Sports
      Wishlist Name: MLB Playoffs

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 30 minutes longer


    9. Create a series recording for [just] the World Series, ALCS, and NLCS

      Title Keyword: MLB Baseball, (World Series), (Championship)
      Category: Sports:Playoff Sports
      Wishlist Name: MLB PLAYOFFS

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 1 hour longer


    10. Create a series recording for the NHL playoffs

      Title Keyword: NHL Hockey
      Category: Sports:Playoff Sports
      Wishlist Name: NHL PLAYOFFS

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 30 minutes longer


    11. Create a series recording for [just] the NHL Stanley Cup

      Title Keyword: NHL Hockey, Stanley Cup
      Category: Sports:Playoff Sports
      Wishlist Name: STANLEY CUP

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 30 minutes longer


    12. Create a series recording for the NBA playoffs

      Title Keyword: NBA Basketball
      Category: Sports:Playoff Sports
      Wishlist Name: NBA PLAYOFFS

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 5 minutes longer


    13. Create a series recording for [just] the NBA Finals

      Title Keyword: NBA Basketball, Finals
      Category: Sports:Playoff Sports
      Wishlist Name: NBA FINALS

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 30 minutes longer


    14. Create a series recording for all NASCAR HD

      Title Keyword: NASCAR Racing, (Sprint Cup), (Nationwide), (Camping World Truck)
      Keyword: -practice, -qualifying
      Category: HD
      Wishlist Name: NASCAR

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 15 minutes longer


    15. Create a series recording for all major award shows

      Title Keyword: Annual, Awards, (Academy), (Globe), (Grammy), (Choice), (Emmy)
      Category: HD:Interests:Award Shows
      Wishlist Name: AWARD SHOWS

      Press the thumbs+ button on the TiVo remote to add parenthesis on the title keywords shown; that sets the "OR" operator on those keywords.

      Set the wishlist to autorecord with these options:

      Show Type: First-run Only
      Stop Recording: 30 minutes longer


    16. Create a series recording for all new series premieres and pilots

      1. Create a new WishList under Find Programs -> Wishlists.
      2. Enter PILOT as a Title Keyword.
      3. Enter PREMIERE as a Title Keyword.
      4. Select each title keyword and press thumbs up/down to mark it with parenthesis.
      5. Give the Wishlist a name, such as "Series Premieres."
      6. Set the WishList to Auto Record with "First run only".

      That will record most new pilots and series premieres -- regardless of date, time, and channel -- so long as they don't conflict with higher-priority series recordings. If you have folders enabled, these recordings will be organized into a single folder called "Series Premieres."

      Be aware this won't catch every new pilot and series premiere, because not all new shows are labeled as pilots or premieres, but it will record the majority.


      Click here to see an example of how series premieres show up in your recorded list.

      Don't forget to set the series priority of this recording in Season Pass Manager, just as you do with any other series.

      To make certain you get the HD versions of these shows, remove (uncheck) the SD versions of the appropriate HD channels from Settings -> Channels -> Channels List.


  7. Record different shows and store them in a single folder (ex: all kids shows in a single folder).

    You can use a wishlist to record multiple shows and have them all stored in a single folder.

    1. Create a new WishList under Find Programs -> Wishlists.
    2. Enter each show name as a separate Title Keyword.
    3. Select each title keyword and press thumbs up/down to mark it with parenthesis.
    4. Give the Wishlist a name.
    5. Optional: Set the WishList to Auto Record with "First run only".

    You do not need to enter the full name of each program, just make sure you enter enough so they don't match any undesired programs. Any programs you enter will be recorded and grouped into a single folder with the name of the wishlist.

    You could create a single wishlist to record Sesame Street, Tom and Jerry, and Curious George, with all organized into a single "Kids Shows" folder. To do that, you might have the following title keywords:

    (TOM AND JERRY)
    (CURIOUS GEORGE)
    (SESAME STREET)

    You could do the same thing with "Wifes Soap Operas" or "Dads Sport Shows" or "Political Talk Shows."

    If you want to always ensure that you get a HD version when available, remove (uncheck) the SD version of the appropriate channels from Settings -> Channels -> Channels List.

    Note: It was brought to my attention that this tip doesn't really work when Suggestions are enabled. Suggestions ignore wishlist grouping, causing separate program groups to be created.


  8. Turn OFF the backlight on your TiVo GLO remote so the batteries last 9-12 months instead of 3-4 months.

    To turn the backlight off, press and hold the TIVO and the THUMBS DOWN buttons until the red light blinks three times. To turn it back on, do the same, except with the THUMBS UP button.


  9. If you don't have a Blu-ray player, calibrate your TV using test patterns on the TivoHD.

    If you don't have a Blu-ray player, you can use your TivoHD to calibrate the TV input used by the TiVo. If you already calibrated this input using a Blu-ray player, then such is unnecessary. Note most newer HDTVs save separate settings for each component and HDMI input. Some, like Pioneer, also save separate settings for each input and resolution.

    1. Download the MP4 version of the AVS HD 709 - Calibration files with the associated PDF documentation. Extract these MP4 calibration files into a folder on your computer.

    2. From this point, there are two ways to transfer the MP4 test patterns to your TiVo.

      1. If you have TiVo Desktop Plus

        Open the Basic Settings.mp4 file in the free mp4 FastStart program to apply qt-faststart metadata. This step is necessary in order for TiVo Desktop Plus 2.8.0 to transfer each video file to the DVR without any form of processing or conversion; this step is unnecessary if using pyTiVo or Streambaby.

        In TiVo Desktop Plus, select Share Music, Photos, & Videos. Click the Videos tab and click "Add Video.." Create a new autotransfer folder and move the Basic Settings.mp4 calibration file (from main menu folder) to that location. Within five minutes or so, the video should transfer to the TiVo; it will appear at the top of the Now Playing list.

        Note: You must create an autotransfer folder. Selecting the file from the PC folder at the bottom of the Now Playing list will alter the video.

        Select and play the Basic Settings.mp4 video that was transferred to your TiVo.


      2. If you don't have TiVo Desktop Plus

        Streambaby is a freeware alternative for those that don't have TiVo Desktop Plus. Download and extract the latest version Streambaby to a folder on your computer. If you use a Mac, download and install pyTiVoX with Streambaby.

        Edit the streambaby.ini to reflect the video folder where you extracted the MP4 calibration files, as well as your TiVo.com username and password. Your streambaby.ini might look like something this:

        Code:
        #
        # ./streambaby --help for more configuration file options
        #
        
        dir.1=D:\My Documents\My TiVo Recordings
        dir.1.name=Saved Recordings
        dir.2=D:\My Documents\Test Patterns
        dir.2.name=Test Patterns
        #transcode.disable=true
        tivo.username=robertm@microsoft.com
        tivo.password=berlusconi
        Launch Streambaby under the TiVo menu -> Music, Photos, and Showcases -> Stream, Baby, Stream

        Open the Main Menu and select Basic Settings.mp4. Select the option to play, or select "push" to transfer the video to your TiVo.

    3. Follow the calibration instructions in the patterns documentation PDF.

    In order to calibrate COLOR and TINT, you will need a blue filter, like that included with the TiVo Premiere XL and/or many DVD and Blu-ray calibration disks.

    For specific calibration questions relating to these patterns, see the AVS HD 709 - Blu-ray, HD DVD, & MP4 Calibration files thread.


Last edited by bkdtv : 04-19-2010 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:08 PM   #5
bkdtv
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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[Overview] [Pre-Purchase Questions] [Owners' Questions] [TiVo Tips] [Download Recordings] [Computer Videos] [Multiroom] [Known Issues]


Download Recordings from TiVo

If you just subscribed to TiVo service, be aware that it may take up to 48 hours for this functionality to be active.

  1. How does it work?

    TiVo allows you to download standard definition and high-definition recordings from the DVR to your computer in MPG format. This is done through a built-in web server. There are no extra cables or wires to connect; you simply connect to your TiVo as you would any other web site.

    You can view downloaded recordings on your computer, burn them to DVD or Blu-ray disk, convert them for your portable media player (iPod, Zune, etc), or transfer them back to the TiVo.


  2. What recordings can I download?

    You can download any SD or HD recording, so long as it is not copy-protected (CCI 0x02). There is no copy protection on local channels. On most cable systems, only the premium movie channels are copy protected.

    In TiVo Desktop and web browsers, copy-protected recordings are marked with a red X and no option is given to download. On the TiVo, you can see whether a recording is copy-protected by selecting the program and hitting the Info button. If the file is copy protected, the TiVo will list those copy restrictions.


  3. How do I connect to the TiVo with my web browser to download recordings?

    In your web browser, connect to https://<Your TiVo's IP address>/. Enter 'tivo' as the username and your Media Access Key as the password.

    If you don't know your TiVo's IP address, it can be found on the TiVo under Settings -> Phone & Network screen. Your Media Access Key can be found under Account and System Information -> System Information -> Media Access Key, or by logging in at TiVo.com.


    Click for larger.

    Be sure to select the option in your web browser to remember the login name and password, so you don't have to enter this information again.


  4. What's the advantage to using TiVo Desktop for Windows -- rather than a web browser -- to download recordings?

    The free TiVo Desktop software allows you to watch recordings as they download. You don't have to wait for downloads to finish to begin viewing, as necessary with most web browsers.

    TiVo Desktop allows you queue up multiple recordings to transfer, rather than doing one at a time in a web browser. If you queue up recordings for transfer and then turn off your computer, TiVo Desktop will resume the transfers the next time you turn on your computer.

    TiVo Desktop can also be set to automatically download all new recordings of a certain series to your computer, whenever it is on.


    Click for larger, or see another screenshot of autotransfer capability.

    All TiVo Desktop 2.6.x and 2.7 users should update to v2.8, as virtually every aspect of the program is improved.


  5. What should I use if I have a Mac?

    Mac users have several options to download recordings, including free apps like iTiVo and TiVo Decode Manager, plus commercial apps like Roxio Toast 10 Titanium and Roxio Popcorn. iTiVo is probably the most popular choice, because it is free, can automatically remove commercials, and will convert recordings for use with an iPhone, iPod, Xbox360, etc.




  6. Help! TiVo Desktop doesn't see my TiVo!

    As noted above, it may take 48 hours before a newly activated TiVo is authorized for downloads.

    To check whether this functionality is enabled on your TiVo, login to Manage My Account @ TiVo.com. Make sure you've named each TiVo and verify the box for "Enable Video Downloads" is checked on all your TiVo DVRs. Once authorized, each TiVo will display its unique DVR name and "a,a,a" for TiVoToGo on the System Information screen (screenshot). If you don't see both, then your DVR is not yet authorized for downloads.

    If you still can't access your TiVo with TiVo Desktop, then see if you can access it using your web browser as discussed in the FAQ above. If you can connect to the TiVo with your web browser, but not TiVo Desktop, that tells you there is some firewall or security software on your computer that is blocking the TiVo Desktop application. In that case:

    • If you are using the Windows Firewall in XP or Vista: open Start menu -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall, and choose "Allow a program through the Windows Firewall;" then, check (enable) the box next to each TiVo entry.

    • If using Kapersky: add TiVoTransfer.exe, TiVoDesktop.exe, and TiVoServer.exe to Kasperky's trusted application list (zone) under under Settings -> Threats and exclusions, with the options don't scan files, network traffic, or restrict application activity.

    • If using Zone Alarm: open the settings for that program and select FireWalls -> Zones tab. Add your Tivo's IP address to the list of trusted addresses. If that doesn't address the issue, lower the Zone Alarm "Trusted Zone Security" setting to "Medium" from "High".

      If you don't know your TiVo's IP address, it can be found on the TiVo under Settings -> Phone & Network screen.


  7. I downloaded a recording and it has a .TiVo extension. What is that?

    Downloads from a TiVo are in MPG format within a encrypted .TiVo wrapper that stores ancillary information like the program title, episode title, and program description. This serves two purposes: (1) to restore all program information when you transfer a recording back to the TiVo, and (2) discourage casual piracy. Programs like iTiVo for OSX remove this wrapper automatically when they download. To use recordings on your PC, you need to install TiVo Desktop, as that includes the Directshow filters to decode the .TiVo wrapper.

    Once TiVo Desktop is installed, a number of different Windows programs can manipulate .TiVo files directly, including VideoRedo TV Suite, Roxio Creator, Roxio Easy Media Creator, and most versions of Nero since 6.0. If you want to open recordings in programs that do not support Windows' Directshow filters (like VLC), then you'll have to use a program like VideoRedo or TiVo Decoder GUI to remove the .TiVo wrapper and give you the MPG; in these programs, you just open the .TiVo file and hit the "Save as.." button to save the file as a MPG.


  8. How do I view the recordings on my computer?

    On a Windows PC, install TiVo Desktop, as that includes the Directshow filter necessary to decode the contents of the .TiVo container.

    The latest versions of Windows include support for high-definition MPEG-2 video, but not Dolby Digital audio. Download and install AC3Filter to add Dolby Digital support to Windows, as necessary to output sound on many recordings.

    If you are using an older version of Windows, and do not see video, then you can get the necessary decoders for free by downloading and installing the K-Lite Codec Full Pack. During installation, be sure to check Windows Media Player as your default player. You will need to reboot for installation to take effect.

    On a Mac, the best playback software for TiVo recordings comes bundled with Roxio Toast 10 Titanium. A freeware alternative is VLC, but this requires that download recordings using a program like iTiVo that will decode the files into MPG format. When playing recordings from SD and 1080i channels in VLC, be sure to enable Video -> Deinterlace -> Linear for best quality.


  9. How do I copy recordings to my portable video player (ex: iPod, iPhone)?

    Your computer can automatically download and convert new episodes of your favorite shows for your portable video player. Each morning, you plug your iPod or iPhone into your computer and it is filled with your favorite shows from the previous night.

    On the Mac, programs to do this include iTiVo (free), Roxio Popcorn ($50), and kmttg (free). Of these, only iTiVo and kmttg can be configured to automatically remove commercials using the free comskip program. iTiVo is the most popular of the available choices, because it is free and has a nice OSX interface.

    On Windows, TiVo Desktop Plus ($25) and kmttg (free) will convert recordings for your portable video device. Both will automatically download and convert your favorite shows to one of several mobile video formats. Kmttg adds the ability to automatically detect and remove commercials; it also adds more encoding options for the latest devices.


    TiVo Desktop Plus ($25) shown above.


    Kmttg

    If you want a free program to automatically download recordings, remove commercials, and convert for your portable video player in a single step, then I would highly recommend Kmttg.

    Kmttg is a replacement for TiVo Desktop. It is a free TiVo download application that will download, decrypt to MPG, detect and remove commercials, and save captions to a subtitle file (.srt). If you want, it will also re-encode into various formats, such as MPEG-4 (H.264) for portable video players. All this is automated into a single step. Setup instructions:

    1. Kmttg requires Java. If you don't have Java installed, or don't know if you have Java installed, you can grab it at Sun's Java.com.

    2. Download and unzip the latest version of kmttg (kmttg_v0*.zip) from this site.

    3. Run kmttg.jar. <--- This is the application.

    4. Kmttg should detect your TiVo, but if it does not, you can add it manually under File -> Configure. Type in your TiVo's name and IP address, and then click Add. Click OK to save the changes.

    To display the recordings for download, select the desired DVR from the TiVo drop down list. Refer to the above screenshot.

    Select the recording you want to download, and then check the boxes for decrypt and encode. Choose the appropriate encoding profile for your device (ex: hb_iphone). If you want to remove commercials, check the boxes for ad detect and ad cut. Once you've selected the program you want to download with the appropriate options, click "Start Jobs." Repeat for the next program. You can queue as many programs as you want, and Kmttg can download from multiple TiVos simultaneously.


  10. How do I copy a recorded show to DVD?

    The best way to create high-quality DVDs is to download the recording directly to your PC or Mac and use software like VideoRedo TVSuite or Roxio Toast 10 Titanium to edit the recording and burn it using your computer's DVD writer. That produces the best possible picture quality and allows you to preserve the original Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. For tips on editing with VideoRedo TVSuite, see FAQ #149.

    If you still want to use a standalone DVD recorder, connect the s-video or composite video (yellow RCA) and analog audio output (red and white RCAs) from the TivoHD to the corresponding inputs on the DVD recorder. Switch to the appropriate input on your DVD recorder, if necessary. Select the recording on the TiVo and choose More Options -> Save to VCR. When prompted, press record on your DVD recorder.

    Note: When the TiVo is set to output 16:9 under under Settings -> Video -> TV Aspect Ratio, it will downconvert HD channels to anamorphic widescreen 480i for output through the SD outputs. Thus, you can use your DVD recorder to create 720x480 widescreen DVDs without letterboxing.


  11. Can I automate the process of downloading and commercial removal?

    The free TiVo Desktop software lets you queue up multiple recordings to transfer, rather than doing one at a time in a web browser. TiVo Desktop can also be set to automatically download all new recordings of a certain series to your computer, whenever it is on.

    If you already own VideoRedo, the free Autoprocessor add-on (screenshot) for that program will monitor your TiVo download folder and remove the TiVo wrapper and commercials as recordings are downloaded by TiVo Desktop, leaving only MPGs.

    The most reliable program for automatic commercial detection and removal is kmttg. Kmttg runs on Windows, OSX, and Linux/Unix. It will download, decrypt to MPG, detect and remove commercials, save captions to a subtitle file (.srt), and re-encode shows using MPEG-4 (X264) in a single step.


    Kmttg

    Setup instructions for Kmttg:

    1. Kmttg requires Java. If you don't have Java installed, or don't know if you have Java installed, you can grab it at Sun's Java.com.

    2. Download and unzip the latest version of kmttg (kmttg_v0*.zip) from this site.

    3. Run kmttg.jar. <--- This is the application.

    4. Kmttg should detect your TiVo, but if it does not, you can add it manually under File -> Configure. Type in your TiVo's name and IP address, and then click Add. Click OK to save the changes.

    Quote:
    Description of kmttg options

    metadata - writes the program information to a text file which can be read by pyTiVo.
    decrypt - removes the .TiVo wrapper and leaves you with a MPG.
    VRD QS fix - uses VideoRedo (if installed) to detect and remove any audio or video errors in the file.
    ad detect - detects the commercials with comskip and flags them in a text file.
    ad cut - removes the commercials detected by comskip using your choice of comcut or VideoRedo.
    captions - writes the closed captions to a subtitle file (.srt).
    encode -- re-encodes the video into the format of your choice, such as MP4
    To display the recordings for download, select the desired DVR from the TiVo dropdown list.

    Select the recording you want to download, and then check the box for decrypt. If you want to remove commercials (this is not 100% reliable), also check the boxes for ad detect and ad cut. If you want to create a smaller version of the video for archival or a portable device, check the box for encode and choose the appropriate profile (ex: hb_iphone). Once you've selected the program you want to download with the appropriate options, click "Start Jobs." Repeat for the next program. You can queue as many programs as you want.


  12. How fast can I download TiVo recordings to my computer?

    As with MRV, the more you are doing on the DVR, the slower recordings will download to your PC / Mac. For example, if you are recording two different HD programs while watching a third, previously recorded HD program, download speeds will be up to 50% slower than if you were simply watching live TV with both tuners set to SD channels.

    • Series3

      Under ideal conditions, the TiVo Series3 can transfer files to a PC or Mac at up to ~18Mbps on a 100Mbps network. Under more typical conditions, throughput is ~12Mbps (1.5 Megabytes per second). Throughput will vary depending on whether you are watching or recording SD or HD channels.

      At 12Mbps on the Series3, the typical one-hour SD recording will transfer in less than 20 minutes. One-hour of high-definition can take as little as 40 minutes or as much as 90 minutes to transfer, depending on the channel, content, and how much it is compressed by your provider.

    • TiVoHD

      The TiVoHD can transfer recordings about 3/4 as fast as the Series3.

      Under ideal conditions, you can download recordings from the TivoHD at up to 13Mbps on a 100Mbps network. Under typical conditions, download throughput is 8.5-9.5 Mbps (1.1 Megabytes per second). Throughput will vary depending on whether you are watching or recording SD or HD channels.

    Be aware that some third-party security (firewall) and antivirus programs can slow downloads because they continuously scan all incoming traffic on your computer. For example, some versions of Kaspersky Internet Security are known to limit download throughput to as little as 5Mbps.

    If you are transferring a lot of recordings to your PC, and would like to transfer at maximum possible speed, then set both tuners to channels you do not receive, which temporarily disables the channel buffers. Be sure to use a program like TiVo Desktop for Windows or iTiVo for OSX to queue up lots of recordings to transfer while you sleep or work.


  13. Why do recordings download so slowly?

    Like most satellite DVRs, the TiVo uses a 300MHz Broadcom DVR CPU. This CPU was not designed to handle more than ~75Mbps of total throughput. Each HD stream consumes up to ~20Mbps, so two buffered channels and one playback stream can total 55-60Mbps. That leaves 15-20Mbps for MRV and PC transfers.

    High-definition recordings are stored on the TiVo's hard drive as transport streams in a proprietary format. When you download a recording from the TiVo with a web browser (or TiVo Desktop), the TiVo remuxes the recorded streams stored on the hard drive into a single MPG file that can be played on a PC or Mac. This on-the-fly remuxing does not have any effect on quality, but it does cut throughput by 50-70% compared to MRV between two TiVos.

    When transferring recordings between two TivoHD DVRs, throughput is about twice as fast (20-24Mbps typical), because recorded files are transferred just as they are stored on the hard drive.


  14. Can I remove and connect the TiVo's drive to my computer to copy recordings directly?

    No. All recorded content on the disk is encrypted.


  15. How do I check my transfer throughput?

    You can check download throughput in your web browser by download a program, as instructed in FAQ #133.

    The TivoHD also records the throughput for different types of transfers, including (1) transfers from PC->TiVo, (2) transfers from TiVo->PC, (3) transfers from another TiVo, and (4) transfers to another TiVo.



    This screen can be found under Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Phone & Network -> View network diagnostics -> Transfer history.


  16. Why are recordings on my computer smaller than reported by TiVo Desktop or my TiVo?

    The proprietary file format used on the TiVo inflates recorded file sizes by 6-7%.

    In actual practice, MPG recordings downloaded to your computer will be 93-95% the size reported by the TiVo. If they are significantly less than 93% of the TiVo's reported size, then that could indicate an incomplete transfer.


  17. Help! Many of my channels are copy-protected and will not allow me to download.

    Most cable companies only copy-protect premium cable channels like HBO, Showtime, etc. However, if you have Brighthouse, Time Warner, or one of the few cable companies that copy-protects most digital cable channels, there is not much you can do about that.

    FCC mandate permits cable companies to apply copy protection (CCI 0x02) -- preventing downloads -- on any channel outside of the limited basic tier. This is typically an independent decision by the cable company, but it can also be done at the request of the content provider, some of whom now want copy protection as part of the contract renewal for their channel(s).

    Cable companies are not permitted to copy-protect local channels. If you are not able to download a recording from a local channel, you should contact your cable provider to have them correct the problem. Tell them they are using a CCI value of 0x02 on their local channels that prevents copying, in violation of federal law.


  18. Why do my downloads never complete?

    Drives formatted with FAT32 have a maximum 4GB file size. If you try to download a 5GB recording to a FAT32 drive, it will never complete. This article at Microsoft.com describes how to switch from FAT32 to NTFS under Windows XP.

    Some third-party firewall and Internet security applications also limit each file transfer to 2048Mb or 4096Mb. Kaspersky Internet Security is one example of a security application that limits transfers, but it has a workaround. Add the following programs to Kaspersky's trusted applications list, with the options don't scan files, network traffic, or restrict application activity:

    TiVoTransfer.exe
    TiVoDesktop.exe
    TiVoServer.exe

    Kasperky's trusted application list (zone) is located under Settings -> Threats and exclusions. Note simply typing in those application names will not work. You need to click the add button, then browse, then applications, and then scan the list for the above TiVo applications. Check all the boxes and hit "OK" until you're back to the main screen.


  19. How do I edit recordings in VideoRedo?

    VideoRedo very simple, once you understand how it works.

    You can choose from two modes of operation: scene mode and cut mode. In scene mode, the video segments you select are the only parts of the video saved as part of the new file. In cut mode, the video segments you select are removed, leaving the original video minus those segments in the new file. Pick which one you want under Tools -> Options -> General Parameters.

    For the purposes of this message, I am going to assume you have cut mode selected.

    You can select Ad-Detective->Start Ad-Detective Scan and VideoRedo will scan the recording for commercials and mark any that it finds for removal. The accuracy on this isn't 100%, so you'll want to check the cuts before you save your commercial-free file.



    In the screenshot above, the green represents the video that will be saved and the red represents the video that will be cut. Positioned at the center of that bar is a gray slider control. That marks the current position in the video.

    You can drag the slider control with your mouse, and the video window updates as you do so. You can also use the transport controls to find the spot in the video that you want to cut. The behavior of these transport controls are customizable in Tools -> Options -> Navigation. If you want to go to a specific timecode, select Edit -> GoTo TimeCode (or Cntrl-T). Of course, you can also play the video and pause it to find the position you want.

    To make it easier to find a specific frame or scene in a video, there is a preview bar below the video that shows nine frames. This includes the current frame, plus four earlier frames and four later frames, in selectable increments of frame, 0.1s, 0.25s, 0.5s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, 30s, and 60s.

    You position the slider where you want to start the cut, and then you click the "Sel. start" button. That marks the start of the video segment you want to cut. You then position the slider where you want to end the cut, and you click "Sel. end." That marks the end of the video segment you want to cut. If you want to preview the cut, just click on the blue button above the volume control; that switches between editing and preview mode. After you've got the start and the end that you want, click the "Add Selection" button and that segment is added to the Scene list for cutting purposes; if you click the "Add Unselection" button, then everything not selected is added to the Scene list for cutting purposes. You can then move on to the next cut.

    VideoRedo also allows you to combine segments from multiple videos into a single file. Make all the edits you want in one video, and then save the project under File -> Save. This keeps a record of all the edits you make in a project file. From the menu, select Joiner -> Add Current Project to Joiner list. Open a new video file and make all the edits you want to that, then again select Joiner -> Add Current Project to Joiner list. Once you've added all the video files you want, select Joiner -> Edit Joiner list and use the Up and Down buttons to place the edited videos in the order you want.

    When done, click "Create DVD" or "Save As..." to save the file as a MPG, MPV, TS, .TiVo file, or DVD folder.


Last edited by bkdtv : 02-25-2010 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:09 PM   #6
bkdtv
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View Computer Videos on TiVo

  1. Where can I see a demo of computer video playback on a TivoHD?

    Youtube video: Viewing Computer videos on TiVo (HD, 9min)


  2. How do I view my computer videos on the TiVo?

    There are two basic methods to view computer videos on a TiVo.

    1. Transfer video to the TiVo.

      1. "Pull" transfers

        You see a folder for your computer at the bottom of the TiVo's recorded list. When you select a video from this folder, it transfers to your TiVo; the video is stored on the TiVo's hard drive. You can view videos as they are transferred; you don't have to wait until the transfer is complete.

        "Pull" transfers only support MPEG-2 (MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB, TIVO) videos at up to ~30Mbps. Other video formats must be converted to MPEG-2 on-the-fly, and programs like TiVo Desktop Plus ($25) and pyTiVo will do that. Pull transfer throughput is limited to ~8Mbps sustained, so >8Mbps recordings can't be watched immediately without interruption.





      2. "Push" transfers

        Rather than requesting the video file by navigating a folder on the TiVo, you initiate the transfer from your computer. With TiVo Desktop Plus, you define an autotransfer folder, and any videos you place in that folder are automatically transferred (pushed) to the TiVo. With pyTiVo, you select a video in your web browser.

        MPEG-2 (MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB), MPEG-4 (MP4), and certain VC1AP (WMV) video files are supported at up to ~30Mbps. "Push" transfer throughput is limited to ~20Mbps for MPEG-4 and VC1AP videos, but only ~8Mbps for MPEG-2 videos. Other video types, such as DIVX and XVID, must be converted to MPEG-2 on the fly, and are thereby limited to ~8Mbps throughput.

        High-definition videos must be encoded at 1280x720 or 1920x1080 to display in the correct aspect ratio. Videos in non-standard resolutions will be stretched to fill the 16:9 screen.

    2. Stream video to TiVo.

      You see a "Stream baby, stream" link under Music, Photos, and Showcases. Clicking this link displays the contents of your PC video folder. When you select a video, it is streamed to the DVR. It is not saved to the TiVo's hard drive.



      You can fast forward, and the TiVo will show thumbnails for the current position in the stream. When you press play, the TiVo begins streaming from that point. If you've ever used Netflix on a TiVo, Xbox360, or Roku, streaming video from a computer to the TiVo works in much the same way.

      MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and certain VC1AP video files can streamed as is, while other formats require on-the-fly conversion to MPEG-2. Streaming throughput is up to ~20Mbps for MPEG-4 (MP4) and VC1 (WMV) files, but only 8-10Mbps for MPEG-2 (MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB) files. Other video types, such as DIVX and XVID, must be converted to MPEG-2 on the fly, and are thereby lmited to 8-10Mbps throughput.

      Non-standard resolutions are supported; videos do not have to be encoded in 1280x720 or 1920x1080 to display in the correct aspect ratio. Streambaby will add black bars to the top and bottom so 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 2.40:1, and other non-16:9 videos display in the correct aspect ratio.

      The current version of Streambaby must pause and re-buffer for several seconds after every 1.1GB of a video file. Public documentation for streaming to the TiVo is virtually non-existent, so this limitation will remain until TiVo publishes documentation on how to avoid it (or tells the author).

      Note: Before streaming, make sure your TiVo is set to the "Panel" aspect mode. If it is not, streaming videos will not display in the correct aspect ratio.


  3. What software do I need for streaming to the TiVo?

    Mac OSX

    Mac users should download pyTivoX for OSX (free). This includes Streambaby.


    Windows

    Windows users need the latest version of Streambaby. Streambaby requires that you have Sun's Java Runtime environment installed.

    Installation instructions are here. Once installed, run STREAMBABY.BAT (in Streambaby folder) to run the program, and then select "Stream baby, stream" link under Music, Photos, and Showcases on the TiVo.


  4. What software do I need for video transfers to the TiVo?

    Mac OSX

    Mac users should download pyTivoX for OSX (free).




    Windows

    Windows users have several choices.

    1. TiVo Desktop (free)

      The free version of TiVo Desktop 2.8 allows you to transfer MPEG-2 videos such as MPG, VOB, and .TiVo files.

      With the free version of TiVo Desktop, those video files will appear on the TiVo in the PC folder at the bottom of the Now Playing list. You'll see the same sub-folders on your TiVo that exist on your computer (new in v2.8); any recorded episodes you downloaded to your computer are also be grouped into sub-folders when displayed on the TiVo. Selecting a video will transfer it to the TiVo for viewing; you can view it as it transfers.

      Note the free version of TiVo Desktop does not convert and transfer other video formats such as DIVX and MKV. To transfer formats other than MPG, VOB, and .TiVo, you need TiVo Desktop Plus ($25).


    2. TiVo Desktop Plus ($25)

      For $25, TiVo Desktop Plus adds the ability to convert additional video formats for transfer to the TiVo. TiVo Desktop Plus will transfer any video to the TiVo that Windows Media Player is able to play on your computer.

      The Plus version also adds support for "push" transfer functionality with user-defined autotransfer video folders. This allows you to define folders on your PC that TiVo Desktop will "watch" for new video files; any video files you place in those folders are transferred to the TiVo and grouped into a folder with the same name.




    3. pyTiVo (free)

      pyTiVo is the free alternative to TiVo Desktop Plus for more advanced users. Many of pyTiVo's advantages were negated by the release of TiVo Desktop 2.8, but pyTiVo still represents the best TiVo video transfer application for non-Windows users, and those that want greater control over how their videos are transferred (resolution, bitrate, etc). Supported videos such as MPG, MP4, VOB, TS, and TiVo recordings are transferred as is, while unsupported video formats like AVI and MKV are converted on-the-fly by your computer for transfer -- in high definition, if you so choose.

      Installation instructions for pyTiVo on Windows

      1. If you have TiVo Desktop installed, pause its server. You can right-click on the TiVo icon in your task tray and select "Pause Server."

      2. If you previously installed pyTiVo using the "pyTiVo Installer", then uninstall it using the Add/Remove Programs control panel.

      3. Download the necessary files.

        1. Download and unzip the latest pyTiVo for Windows installer [Direct download link (zip)].

        2. Download the Python 2.6.2 for Windows installer. [Direct download link]

      4. Install Python 2.6.2 by running python-2.6.2.msi.

        If using Windows Vista, right-click the python-2.6.1.msi file and select "Run as administrator."

      5. Install pyTiVo by running pyTivo-wmcbrine-2009.03.19-RC1.exe.

      6. Add/remove video folders by opening http://localhost:9032/ in your browser.

      Note: There is a bug in this verson of pyTiVo that causes non-standard HD aspect ratios (anything other than 1280x720 or 1920x1080) to be downconverted to 480p during transfer. An updated version with a fix for this bug is expected soon.


  5. What are the limitations of each method?

    • Transfers streamed to the TiVo (i.e. using Streambaby):

      1. MPEG-2 (MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB), MPEG-4 (MP4), and VC1AP (WMV) supported up to 1080p30;

      2. Non-standard resolutions are supported; videos do not have to be encoded in 1280x720 or 1920x1080 to display in the correct aspect ratio. Streambaby will add black bars to the top and bottom so 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 2.40:1, and other non-16:9 videos display in the correct aspect ratio. Just make sure your TiVo is set to the PANEL aspect mode.

      3. Streaming throughput up to ~20Mbps for MPEG-4 (MP4) and VC1 (WMV), but only 8-10Mbps for MPEG-2 (MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB). Other video types, such as DIVX and XVID, are converted to MPEG-2 on-the-fly and thereby limited to 8-10Mbps throughput.

      4. For MPEG-2 (MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB), audio must be AC3 or MPEG-1 layer II.
        For MPEG-4 (MP4), audio must be 2.0-5.1 AC3 or AAC.
        For VC1AP (WMV), audio must be two-channel, constant bit rate.

      5. All audio should sampled at 44.1KHz or 48KHz with a bit rate of 448Kbps or less.

      6. It is possible to fast forward through videos and you will see thumbnail representations of the video, much like Netflix. At this time, thumbnails are only supported on MPEG-2 videos, plus MPEG-4 videos optimized for streaming;

      7. All other formats -- including MKV -- must be converted one of the above formats, in advance or on-the-fly;

      8. The current version of Streambaby must pause and re-buffer for several seconds after every 1.1GB of a video file. Public documentation for streaming to the TiVo is virtually non-existent, so this limitation will remain until TiVo publishes documentation on how to avoid it (or tells the author).


    • Transfers "pushed" by sending video from PC to TiVo (i.e. using pyTiVo web interface):

      1. MPEG-2 (MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB), MPEG-4 (MP4), and VC1AP (WMV) supported up to 1080p30 @ ~30Mbps;

      2. Non-standard resolutions are not supported; videos must be encoded in 1280x720 or 1920x1080 to display in the correct aspect ratio.

      3. Push throughput limited to ~20Mbps for MPEG-4 (MP4) and VC1 (WMV), but only 8-10Mbps for MPEG-2 (MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB). Other video types, such as DIVX and XVID, are converted to MPEG-2 on-the-fly and thereby limited to 8-10Mbps throughput.

      4. For MPEG-2 (MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB), audio must be AC3 or MPEG-1 layer II.
        For MPEG-4 (MP4), audio must be 2.0-5.1 AAC or AC3 (pyTiVo only).
        For VC1AP (WMV), audio must be two-channel, constant bit rate.

        Note: TiVo Desktop will only push MPEG-4 files with AAC audio. It will not push MP4 videos with AC3 (Dolby Digital) audio. pyTiVo does not have this limitation.

      5. All audio should sampled at 44.1KHz or 48KHz with a bit rate of 448Kbps or less.

      6. All other formats -- including MKV -- must be converted to one of the above formats, in advance or on-the-fly.

      7. TiVo files cannot be "pushed."


    • Transfers "pulled" by selecting video from PC folder on TiVo (i.e. using TiVo Desktop or pyTiVo):

      1. MPEG-2 (MPEG, MPG, MP2, VOB, TIVO) supported up to 1080p30 @ 30Mbps. All other formats must be converted to MPEG-2 on the fly.

      2. Transfer throughput limited to ~8Mbps sustained, so >8Mbps recordings can't be watched immediately without interruption.

      3. Audio must be AC3 (Dolby Digital) or MPEG-1 layer II, and should be sampled at 44.1KHz or 48KHz with a bit rate no higher than 448 Kbps.

      4. All other formats must be converted to MPEG-2, in advance or on-the-fly.


  6. Why do MPEG-4 (MP4) and certain VC-1 (WMV) videos stream/transfer so much faster than MPEG-2 (MPG) videos?

    With streaming and "push" transfers, TiVo stores MP4 and compatible WMV videos as is on the hard drive (or hard drive buffer), whereas MPG and TIVO files are remuxed into a proprietary transport stream for storage. This on-the-fly remuxing for MPEG-2 videos doesn't have any affect on quality, but it does cut throughput by 50-70%.


  7. When streaming, why do my videos appear in the wrong aspect ratio, i.e. zoomed?

    Prior to entering the Streambaby application, make sure that your TiVo is set to PANEL aspect mode.

    If your video is still displayed in the wrong aspect ratio, that means the video's MPEG header is set to an incorrect value. To fix that on a MP4 file, you would demux (split) the audio and video streams and then re-create the MP4 with Yamb using the instructions in FAQ #158 below.


  8. When streaming, why don't I see video thumbnails during FF or REW on some of my MP4 files?

    The metadata in the MP4 file must be optimized for streaming. You can optimize your MP4 files for streaming with the free MP4 Faststart utility. This does not impact the quality of your videos; it simply optimizes the metadata for streaming, so you see thumbnails when fast forwarding or rewinding.

    On my computer, it takes about two minutes for this utility to process a 60-minute MP4 file.


  9. I downloaded some 1080p Quicktime trailers from Dave's Trailer Page. How do I stream these to the TiVo at full quality?

    To stream a Quicktime video to the TiVo at 100% original quality, without on-the-fly conversion to MPEG-2, you need to remux the file into MP4. To do that in Windows, download and install Yamb 2.0.8 (download link).

    1. In Yamb, select Editing -> Click to extract streams from AVI/MP4/MOV/TS files. Select your Quicktime video and then choose "Extract All Streams to Raw Format."



    2. Once the streams are extracted to your hard drive, select Creation -> Click to create an MP4 file with multiple audio, video...streams.

    3. Click the add button and select the .h264 and .aac files that were created by step #1.

    4. Once added, select the .h264 file and click the Properties button. Set the Pixel Aspect Ratio to 1:1.

    5. Give the MP4 output file a name and then hit the Next button to create it. You're now ready to stream the video, as is, to the TiVo with streambaby.

    If you want to further optimize the MP4 for streaming, so you see thumbnails during FF and REW, then run it through the free MP4 Faststart utility.


  10. Why do my 1080p24 and 1080p30 video files play back at 1080i60?

    The TiVo hardware supports decoding and output of 1080p24 and 1080p30 (not 1080p60), but the current software is limited to 1080i output. The TivoHD does have a 1080p24 LED on the front of the unit, which suggests the intention to support 1080p24 and 1080p30 output at some point.

    The latest DirecTV and Dish Network HDTV DVRs use the same Broadcom DVR SoC found in the TivoHD, and they both added 1080p24 support in late 2008. The DVRs based on this solution will never support 1080p60 decoding or output.


  11. I backed up some videos as MKV files. What's the easiest way to convert them for for full-quality streaming on the TiVo?

    Coming soon...


  12. If I am going to encode video files into MPEG-4 or VC-1 for the TiVo, what programs and settings should I use?

    You can find recommended settings for H.264 encoding and VC1 encoding in the video compatibility wiki.


Last edited by bkdtv : 12-30-2009 at 05:17 AM.
bkdtv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2009, 02:09 PM   #7
bkdtv
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Posts: 7,902
[Overview] [Pre-Purchase Questions] [Owners' Questions] [TiVo Tips] [Download Recordings] [Computer Videos] [Multiroom] [Known Issues]


Multi-room viewing (MRV)

If you just subscribed to TiVo service, be aware that it may take up to 48 hours for this functionality to be active.

  1. What does multi-room viewing do?

    Multi-room viewing (MRV) allows any TiVo in your home to view the recordings on any other TiVo in your home. The recorded list displays a separate folder for every other TiVo in your home. Each of these folders contains a list of all recordings on that TiVo. Selecting a program on another TiVo transfers the recording from that box. You can watch recordings as they transfer. You can also pause a recording in one room and resume it in another.






  2. What do I need to use it?

    You need any two (or more) Series2, Series3, or TiVoHD DVRs running the latest software on the same billing account and the same home network.


  3. How do I enable MRV?

    TiVo enables MRV on all new TiVos by default, but it may take 48 hours before a newly activated TiVo is authorized for that functionality.

    To check whether this functionality is enabled on your TiVo, login to Manage My Account @ TiVo.com. Make sure you've named each TiVo and verify the box for "Enable Video Downloads" is checked on all your TiVo DVRs.

    Once authorized, each TiVo will display its unique DVR name and "a,a,a" for TiVoToGo on the System Information screen (screenshot). If you don't see both, then your DVR is not yet authorized for MRV.


  4. How do I know what recordings I can watch with MRV on the TivoHD or Series3?

    You can watch any recording stored on another TiVo so long as it is not copy protected (CCI 0x02). You will not be given the option to transfer copy-protected programs.

    You can see whether a recording is copy-protected by selecting the program on your TiVo, and hitting the Info button. If the file is copy protected, the TiVo will list those copy restrictions. You may need to page down (channel -) on the Info screen to see this information.

    Note it was not TiVo's choice to prohibit transfer of copy-protected programs. Cable Labs prohibits the transfer of copy-protected programs from one DVR to another. To provide MRV on copy-protected programs, TiVo would have to add support for streaming without copying. Streaming represents a problem, because most customers network their TiVos using the 802.11g adapter, and 802.11g is often insufficient to sustain high-definition streaming with interference from other devices and adjacent networks.


  5. Can I transfer HD recordings between the TiVoHD and Series3?

    Yes, you can transfer non-copy-protected SD and HD recordings between the TiVoHD and Series3.


  6. Are high-definition recordings downconverted during transfer?

    No. Recordings transferred with MRV are 100% identical to the original. There is no downconversion or quality degradation of any kind.


  7. Can I transfer recordings from HD channels to the Series2?

    No. The Series2 cannot play recordings from HD channels, and the TiVoHD and Series3 cannot convert high-definition recordings to standard definition.


  8. Can I transfer SD recordings from the TiVoHD and Series3 to a Series2? And SD recordings from the Series2 to the TiVoHD and Series3?

    Yes to both. That said, both must be running the latest software. If you just got your TiVo, then it will have an older version of the software. It usually takes a few days for a new TiVo to download the latest software, but it can take as long as a week.

    Some SD recordings on the Series2 may need to be converted to a compatible format before they will transfer to the Series3 and TivoHD. The TiVo Series2 will do that automatically, but it tends to slow transfer times.


  9. Can I watch recordings as they transfer, or do I have to wait until the transfer is complete?

    With MRV, you can watch the recordings as they transfer. You do not have to wait until the transfer is complete.

    With TiVoHD and TiVo Series3 DVRs on a 100Mbps wired, MoCA (coax), Homeplug AV (powerline), and 802.11n wireless networks, all SD and HD recordings should transfer fast enough to allow for immediate, uninterrupted viewing without delay.

    On traditional 802.11g wireless networks, you may need wait a bit before you can watch some HD recordings from start to finish without interruption. Be aware that wireless networks are subject to interference from other devices and adjacent networks, and this interference can negatively impact MRV performance.


  10. Can I pause a recording in one room and resume it in another?

    Yes. With MRV, you can pause a recording in one room and then resume it in another.

    The TiVo will transfer from the pause point, so you can resume immediately from where you left off, without delay.




  11. Can I watch a recording-in-progress on another box with MRV?

    No. Multi-room viewing only works with completed recordings.


  12. Help! My TiVos don't see each other! (Or I get unknown format error.)

    It takes ~48 hours before a new TiVo is authorized for MRV by TiVo's servers.

    To confirm that MRV is enabled on your account, login to Manage My Account @ TiVo.com. Make sure you've named each TiVo (Bedroom, Living Room, etc) and verify the box for "Enable Video Downloads" is checked on all your TiVo DVRs.

    Once authorized, each TiVo will display its unique DVR name and "a,a,a" for TiVoToGo on the System Information screen (screenshot). If you don't see both, then your DVR is not yet authorized and ready for MRV.

    If your System Information screen doesn't indicate "a,a,a" for TiVoToGo, and you've had your subscribed TiVo up and running for at least 48 hours, then you can try the following:

    1. On each TiVo, force a connection to the TiVo service using Settings -> Phone & Network.

    2. Reboot each TiVo after all connections are complete.


  13. Help! Many of my channels are copy-protected and will not work with MRV.

    Most cable companies only copy-protect premium cable channels like HBO, Showtime, etc. However, if you have Brighthouse, Time Warner, or one of the few cable companies that copy-protects most digital cable channels, there is not much you can do about that.

    FCC mandate permits cable companies to apply copy protection (CCI 0x02) -- preventing transfers -- on any channel outside of the limited basic tier. This is typically an independent decision by the cable company, but it can also be done at the request of the content provider, some of whom now want copy protection as part of the contract renewal for their channel(s).

    Cable companies are not permitted to copy-protect local channels. If you are not able to transfer a recording from a local channel, you should contact your cable provider to have them correct the problem. Tell them they are using a CCI value of 0x02 on their local channels that prevents copying, in violation of federal law.


  14. Will MRV ever allow viewing of copy-protected recordings on other boxes?

    TiVo's current implementation of MRV copies recordings from one box to another. The CableLabs DFAST licensing agreement -- which every CableCard device manufacturer must adhere to -- does not allow protected recordings to be copied. It does allow copy-protected recordings to be streamed from one device to another.

    A future implementation of MRV could stream copy-protected recordings from one TiVo to another for viewing. TiVo has not said whether it will implement that capability. If you would like to request that capability, you can do so here.


  15. How fast can I transfer recordings between TiVos?

    MRV performance on the TivoHD and Series3 is limited by the CPU and memory performance of their Broadcom DVR CPUs. The more you are doing on the DVR, the slower files will transfer between TiVos. For example, if you are recording two different HD programs while watching a third, previously recorded HD program, MRV transfer speeds will be slower than if you were watching live TV with both tuners set to SD channels (or channels you don't receive).

    Throughput will vary depending on whether you are transferring between two Series3 DVRs, two TiVoHD DVRs, or one of each.

    Note TiVo significantly improved MRV performance on the TivoHD with the 11.0 software.

    • Series3->Series3

      Wired MRV throughput (i.e. transfer speed) between two TiVo Series3 DVRs is up to ~50Mbps (24GB/hour) under ideal conditions. Under more typical viewing conditions, throughput is 25-30Mbps.

      At 25-30Mbps on a 100Mbps network, there are no viewing delays and all high-definition recordings transfer fast enough to skip commercials.

    • TiVoHD->TiVoHD

      The TiVoHD can currently transfer recordings about 2/5 as fast as the Series3. Wired MRV throughput (i.e. transfer speed) between two TivoHDs is up to 30Mbps under ideal conditions. Under more typical viewing conditions, throughput is 20-24Mbps.

      At 20-24Mbps on a 100Mbps network, there are no viewing delays and most high-definition recordings transfer fast enough to skip commercials.

    • Series3->TiVoHD

      Wired throughput from a Series3 to a TiVoHD falls somewhere between Series3->Series3 and TiVoHD->TiVoHD transfers. Users have reported 40Mbps under ideal conditions and ~25Mbps under typical viewing conditions.

      At 25Mbps on a 100Mbps network, there are no viewing delays and most high-definition recordings transfer fast enough to skip commercials.

    • TiVoHD->Series2

      Throughput between a TivoHD and Series2 is 4-5Mbps. Throughput varies by Series2 model.

    Wired transfers are faster than wireless. Wireless 802.11g throughput is up to 18-19Mbps on the TiVo, but can vary by 50-70% depending on your wireless router and wireless conditions in your home. Wireless MRV throughput coud be 10Mbps or less if you have a weak signal or sources of wireless interference (such as other adjacent wireless networks).

    To put this in context, recordings from ABC-HD and FOX-HD typically have a bitrate of 10-14Mbps, while recordings from NBC-HD and CBS-HD typically have a bitrate of 14-17Mbps. Sports channels like ESPN may be as high as 18.6 Mbps, while premium movie channels like HBO-HD and SHO-HD are typically 11Mbps or less. Your MRV throughput (i.e. transfer speed) must match or exceed the recording's bitrate in order to eliminate viewing delays. Throughput should be at least 1.3x the recording's bitrate in order to skip all commercials on the fly.


  16. Why are MRV transfers slower with the TiVoHD than the Series3?

    TiVoPony did have this to say:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TiVoPony
    Also, due to system resources, TiVo HD transfers are typically a bit slower at the moment. Speeding them up is something being investigated, but there is no additional information to share today.
    The original TiVo Series3 has more memory bandwidth than the newer TivoHD, due to its older (and more costly) dual-chip design. This is believed to be responsible for the difference in MRV performance.

    Update: In the 9.4 software, TiVo improved transfer throughput on the TivoHD by ~20%. Performance was improved by another ~20% in the 11.0 software. MRV throughput on the TivoHD is now roughly 2/5 that of the Series3, rather than 1/3. This information is reflected in the posts above.


  17. Can I test MRV throughput using my computer?

    Yes. To see what outgoing MRV transfer rate your TiVo is capable of on your network, login to your TiVo at https://<tivo ip address> with "tivo" as the username and your Media Access Key (MAK) as the password.

    Copy the url for a recording and paste it into the address bar. Replace &Format=video/x-tivo-mpeg in the URL with &Format=video%2Fx-tivo-raw-tts. That's the same format used with MRV. Hit enter to start the download and observe the throughput in your web browser.

    You won't be able to view this file, because it is encrypted and only viewable by another TiVo. But this does give you an idea of how fast you can transfer to another TiVo, provided it has a comparable network connection to your computer. When assessing throughput, remember that there are 8 bits in a byte, so 3 Megabytes/s translates to roughly 24 Megabits/s. The typical HD recording is under 15 Megabits/s, or 1.875 Megabytes/s, so anything more would translate to faster-than-realtime transfers of most HD recordings.


  18. How do I calculate my MRV transfer rate from the TiVo?

    In the 9.4 software, TiVo added a transfer history screen with details on the last last programs transferred to and from the DVR. This screen can be found under Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Phone & Network -> View network diagnostics -> Transfer history.

    The "Incoming Series3 Transfer" and "Outgoing Series 3 Transfer" refer to the MRV transfer rate to and from the TiVo.


  19. Does the TiVo support Gigabit networking?

    No, and it wouldn't matter if they did. Due to resource limitations, neither the TiVo Series3 nor TiVoHD will ever come close to using the full throughput of the built-in 100Mbps ethernet connection.


  20. I want to improve the MRV transfer rate on my HD TiVo. Wireless just isn't cutting it. What are the alternatives to running a 100Mbps ethernet cable across the living room floor?

    Several higher-speed networking options are available at a price that avoid the need to run a network cable across the floor. Examples:

    • Coax networking / MoCA (top choice)

      The best choice for high-speed MRV with multiple TiVos is coax-based networking, also known as MoCA. This provides a 100Mbps ethernet connection between TiVos using the existing coax cable in your home.

      You'll need one Motorola NIM100 adapter for each room, plus one for your network router if it's in a room without a TiVo. Each NIM100 has one coax input, one coax [passthrough] output, and one 100Mbps ethernet port. Up to eight NIM100s can be used to provide 100Mbps ethernet connections to seven different rooms in your house. These NIM100 adapters are rather small at 5.5W x 6.5L x 1.75H and can be found only on ebay for $30-$60/ea; they are not currently available at retail.

      Each TiVo is setup as follows: Coax -> NIM100 -> Coax and ethernet -> TiVo

      You disconnect the coax from the back of each Tivo and connect it to a NIM100. Then you connect coax and ethernet cables from the NIM100 to the TiVo, as indicated above. There is no other setup or configuration required -- the network is setup automatically; all your TiVos are now have a 100Mbps wired connection to your router, using coax instead of ethernet.

      If you have Verizon FiOS, you do not need a NIM100 connected to your router because the Actiontec already has a NIM built-in. If you have FiOS, you only need one NIM100 per TiVo.

      Assuming your cable modem is in the same room with your router, you disconnect the coax from the cable modem and connect it to the input on the NIM100. You connect the coax output from the NIM100 to your cable modem and you you connect that NIM100's ethernet output to a LAN port on your router. If you have a DSL connection, you connect your coax to the NIM100 and the NIM100 ethernet output to a LAN port on your router.


    • 802.11n wireless

      Performance with 802.11n wireless is heavily dependent upon conditions in and around your home, including conflicting electronic devices such as 2.4GHz phones and video cameras, as well as nearby wireless networks. In areas with lots wireless interference, 802.11n may offer relatively little improvement over 802.11g.

      With ideal wireless conditions, 802.11n should provide sufficient usable throughput to "max out" your TivoHD (i.e. 30+Mbps). The TiVo does not support 802.11n wireless USB adapters, but you can replace your current router with a 802.11n model and connect a 802.11n wireless bridge to the TiVo's 100Mbps ethernet port.

      A "wireless bridge" is a wireless device that connects to the ethernet port on the DVR. It is basically an extender for your wireless network that also has one or more ethernet ports. These are commonly sold as gaming adapters for use with the consoles like the Xbox360. Examples of such products at Amazon.com include:

      Linksys WET610N ($80)
      D-Link DAP1522 ($86)
      Buffalo Technology WLI-TX4-AG300N ($92)
      Linksys WGA600N ($71)
      Apple Airport Express ($99) (used with Airport Extreme base station)

      You would configure these products with a computer using the bundled software, and then move it your TV room.

      It is best to use a 802.11n bridge from the same manufacturer as your 802.11n router, because 802.11n hardware from some manufacturers is not 100% compatible with 802.11n hardware from other manufacturers.


    • Homeplug AV / Powerline AV networking

      Homeplug AV (also known as Powerline AV) adapters create a wired network using your home's electrical wiring. Each adapter has a power plug and 100Mbps ethernet jack. You would need one for each TiVo, plus one to connect to a LAN port on your router.

      Throughput with this technology ranges from 35Mbps to 80Mbps, depending on the condition of the electric wiring in your home.


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Old 02-25-2009, 03:15 PM   #8
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[Overview] [Pre-Purchase Questions] [Owners' Questions] [TiVo Tips] [Download Recordings] [Computer Videos] [Multiroom] [Known Issues]


Known Issues with 11.0d

Disclaimer: These are the issues posted and confirmed by TCF members. TiVo itself has not confirmed or endorsed these issues as described.

  1. Loss of analog tuners
    Gray screen issue on analog channels
    Missed recordings on analog channels

    The 11.0 software introduced a serious bug that affects those with basic / analog cable (and no CableCard). This bug causes the analog tuners to "go out" periodically, resulting in a gray (or black) screen on analog channels. To regain the picture on analog channels, the user must switch both tuners to digital channels, switch between a few channels on the Settings -> Channels -> Channel strength screen, or reboot the TiVo.

    This issue does not affect the digital tuners, so it does not affect digital channels from an off-air antenna or cable.

    People who experience this problem (loss of analog tuners) on a regular basis tend to be basic cable subscribers, without CableCards, that do the majority of their recording from analog channels. Customers with basic cable, without CableCards, who frequently record from digital (ClearQAM and OTA) channels tend not to see this issue often, because analog capability is restored when both tuners are set to digital channels.

    In most cases, installing a CableCard eliminates this problem. When you install a CableCard on most cable systems, you get digital versions of the analog channels on the same numbers, thus eliminating potential issues with lost analog tuners. For example, tune to channel 55 without a CableCard and you get the analog version. Tune to channel 55 with a CableCard and you get the digital version. There aren't separate numbers; there are separate analog and digital versions of every channel that appear on the same number. Cable companies refer to this as "analog-digital simulcast," sometimes abbreviated as "digital simulcast" or "ADS."

    On Brighthouse and Time Warner service areas that use SDV, a CableCard may not be sufficient to obtain digital versions of all analog channels. Those providers typically use SDV to deliver their digital simulcast, so customers in those areas need both a CableCard and a SDV tuning adapter to receive digital versions of every channel, and therefore avoid the "loss of analog tuner" problem. There is no extra charge for the SDV tuning adapter.

    Although the vast majority of cable systems now offer "analog digital simulcast" (i.e. digital versions of every analog channel), there are some systems around the country that do not. If you happen to be on one of the cable systems without digital simulcast, then your TiVo is still susceptible to the "gray screen" (loss of analog tuner) issue on those analog channels, even with CableCards.

    Cable systems without "analog digital simulcast" typically offer few HD channels and use Motorola 64xx or Scientific Atlanta SA8000/SA8300HD DVRs. Any cable system with Motorola DCT/DCH/DCX 3xxx or Cisco RNG200/8240HDC/8x42HDC boxes offers digital simulcast. A TiVo user with a CableCard can check whether they currently receive analog channels by tuning to a low-numbered channel and opening System Information -> DVR Diagnostics. Digital channels will show information, while analog channels will simply list "N/A" for most fields.

    Until this issue is resolved with an upcoming software update, you should avoid the TivoHD if:

    1. You are looking for a DVR to use exclusively with basic cable and you are unwilling to get a CableCard; or

    2. You have one of the few cable systems that does not yet offer digital versions of their analog channels -- referred to as "analog-digital simulcasting" (ADS) -- for customers with CableCards.


  2. TiVo does not record as many Suggestions after installation of SDV tuning adapter

    The SDV tuning adapter specification requires that compatible devices classify every tuning request for a SDV channel into one of seven types, including live full-screen video, "user directed recording," and non-user "speculative recording." Cable companies are able to refuse SDV tuning requests for "speculative recordings," which halts the recording of Suggestions on those channels.

    Why do cable companies do this? Switched digital video (SDV) is essentially a form of on-demand channel delivery. SDV is implemented under the the assumption that customers in a given area watch a relatively small number of unique channels at any given time. Hence, bandwidth is only allotted to deliver a certain number of channels at once in an area. When no customers in an area are watching or recording a SDV channel, it is shutoff to make room for another requested SDV channel.

    This system breaks down when customers in an area attempt to watch many different SDV channels at the same time. That's exactly what happens when a significant number of TiVos in an area attempt to record Suggestions from SDV channels. Thus, the tuner adapter specification gives cable companies the option to disable SDV tuning requests for "speculative" recordings like Suggestions. It also allows cable companies to turn off any tuned SDV channel [not being recorded at the user's request] after a period of remote inactivity.

    Some cable companies have few customers in a particular area, or allocate more SDV streams than currently needed, so they do not invoke these restrictions. In those areas, Suggestions continue to work as they always have. Even if a cable company does invoke those restrictions on its SDV channels, Suggestions should still record from non-SDV channels.

    Be aware that some providers (ex: Brighthouse and TWC) use SDV to provide digital versions of channels 0-99. When a SDV tuning adapter is installed on those systems, SDV channels replace all analog channels. Customers on those systems may not have as many non-SDV channels as they think.


  3. Temporary loss of channels with Cisco STA1520 SDV tuning adapter

    Brighthouse, Cablevision, Cox, and Time Warner use Switched Digital technology to deliver digital SD and HD channels on many of their systems. To receive these channels with a CableCard product, a SDV tuning adapter is required. These cable companies supply those tuning adapters (upon request) to customers with the TivoHD, Moxi, and Windows7 CableCard setups. Deployed tuning adapters include the Cisco STA1520 and Motorola MTR700.

    On some of these cable systems, the Cisco STA1520 tuning adapter periodically resets, and when that happens, you temporarily lose all channels. This occurs regardless of whether the user has a TivoHD, Moxi, or ATI/Ceton CableCard PC. The issue affects all channels, and not just SDV channels, because the Cisco tuning adapter takes over all channel mapping duties from the CableCard when it is connected.

    Channels may restore themselves automatically within 2-5 minutes, but there are many cases where one must reboot the tuning adapter, the TiVo, or both to restore all channels. The Moxi and Windows 9 Media Center also require a reboot to restore channels after a tuning adapter reset. As of today, no third-party CableCard platform is able to recover gracefully after these tuning adapter resets.

    The Cisco STA1520 tuning adapter works reliably in many areas, so a cable system (head-end) configuration issue appears to be at fault in instances where it does not. In areas that do exhibit this problem, the severity of the issue varies widely; on some systems, it may happen once or twice per month; on other systems, it may occur several times per day.

    The Motorola MTR700 SDV tuning adapter does not exhibit these issues. Motorola tuning adapters are not compatible with cable systems using Cisco equipment, so they cannot be substituted for the Cisco STA1520.


  4. MRV between Series2 and TivoHD/Series3 DVRs does not work with SDV tuning adapter

    If a TivoHD or Series3 DVR has a SDV tuning adapter, older TiVo Series2 units will not be able to access that DVR for multi-room viewing.


  5. Manual repeating timers do not work on CableCard channels without program guide data

    On encrypted digital cable (i.e. CableCard) channels without program guide data, repeating manual timers will not work. This does not affect off-air channels without guide data, nor does it affect Clear QAM channels without guide data.

    TiVo should provide information for all cable channels in every market, so this should not affect 99.9% of customers. If your cable company recently added a new channel, and TiVo does not yet have information for it, submit a lineup change form with the cable company's local number.


  6. Light sensor on some TVs may cause poor / intermittent remote response

    Many newer LCD and plasma TVs feature "light sensor" to adjust the TV's picture depending on ambient light conditions. When enabled, this "light sensor" or "day-night sensor" causes havoc with many STBs and DVRs using IR remotes. Disable this option in your TV settings and remote response should return to normal.

    The only known workaround for this is a RF remote.


  7. TiVo's default audio output setting causes dropouts with HDMI connection to some newer TVs.

    Out of the box, the TivoHD is set to output Dolby Digital audio through HDMI to devices that support it. When the connected device does not support Dolby Digital, the TiVo sends PCM as per the HDMI specification.

    Most pre-2009 TVs do not support Dolby Digital through HDMI, so the TivoHD always output PCM. Many of the latest TVs add support for Dolby Digital input through HDMI, but the implementation isn't robust or well-tested. With the default settings, the TiVo sends a Dolby Digital signal to these TVs and many cannot handle it consistently without audio dropouts.

    The solution is to send PCM audio to these TVs, just as the TiVo did to older displays. To do that, set the TiVo to output PCM under Message & Settings -> Settings -> Sound -> Dolby Digital.


  8. Partial recordings, audio dropouts, and/or pixelization with 500GB My DVR Expander

    Many using the 500GB My DVR Expander report audio dropouts, pixelization, and partial recordings after 12-18 months. These issues occur when the drive inside the My DVR Expander starts to fail, or more commonly when the power supply inside the Expander develops a problem. The latter issue does not show up on any of TiVo's QuickStart diagnostic tests.

    The 1TB My DVR Expander has not been out long enough to know whether it will exhibit the same problem after 12-18 months.

    Note this issue can also be caused by a loose / poor eSATA cable connection. If you experience this problem, first verify the eSATA cable is connected as firmly to both the TivoHD and My DVR Expander.


  9. Audio dropouts, pixelization, partial recordings, and poor responsiveness due to failing drive on an older TiVo

    The average lifetime of a hard drive inside HDTV DVR is 3-4 years. Some will start to fail earlier than that, while others will last much longer. This is true of all cable and satellite DVRs, not just TiVos.

    Drive failure is a gradual process that occurs as more and more sectors on the disk are no longer able to reliably store data. Drive failure first manifests as audio dropouts on HD channels in the absence of RS Uncorrected errors on the System Information -> DVR Diagnostics screen. Audio dropouts become progressively worse as more and more disk sectors fail.

    At some point, enough of the drive will be bad to cause frequent video pixelization in the absence of RS Uncorrected errors on the DVR Diagnostics screen. Eventually, after enough disk sectors fail, the TiVo will become unresponsive and unstable; it will reboot, causing partial recordings. When the TiVo is no longer able to read from the drive, it will not progress beyond the "Loading...please wait" boot screen.

    Disk failure affects both liveTV and recordings, because the TiVo reads and writes both liveTV and recordings on the hard drive. It won't necessarily affect both liveTV and recordings equally, or at the same time, because the liveTV buffer and recordings use different parts of the hard drive, which will not always develop problems at the same time.

    Drive failure is most obvious (at least initially) on HD channels, because those read and write more data than SD channels. When tuned to two HD channels, the TiVo reads and writes 8-16x as much data to the drive as it does when it is tuned to SD channels. More data read and written means more I/O errors, and the TiVo CPU can only handle a certain number of I/O errors. If you experience frequent audio dropouts, pixelization, and/or poor TiVo responsiveness when tuned to two HD channels, then that is a key indicator of drive failure.

    When a drive starts to fail, you can obtain an out-of-warranty replacement from TiVo for $149, or you can replace the drive yourself. Replacing the drive is the most desirable solution for many, as that allows one to retain all settings, including season passes, wishlists, and CableCard pairing information. Replacing the drive does not affect the subscription (including lifetime), which is tied to another chip inside the DVR.

    It takes 35-45 minutes to perform a drive upgrade/replacement, and less than 10 minutes of that is actual labor; the rest of the time is spent waiting for the TiVo software to copy. For suggested drives and instructions, see the Drive Upgrade FAQ.


  10. Verizon FiOS signal typically requires attenuation (fixed in 11.0d software)

    The 11.0d software -- released in July'09 -- significantly improved the robustness of the TiVo's tuners, so "hot" and slightly out-of-spec signals no longer cause pixelization. With this software, attenuation is no longer needed with FiOS. If you previously installed attenuators, you can remove them after 11.0d is installed.

    Note: FiOS customers with a Motorola 1000v or Tellabs 611i ONT will still require a low-pass filter, regardless of the box they use. Without a low-pass filter, the MoCA on these two ONTs will interfere with the picture signal on the Motorola boxes and the TiVo. Inspect the ONT outside your home (or in your garage) to verify that you do not have one of these two models.


  11. Inability to access Youtube "My Favorites", "My Subscriptions," and "My Playlists," on TiVo

    If one of your Youtube "favorites" is no longer available (ex: removed for copyright reasons), then the rest of your favorites may become inaccessible on the TiVo.

    To fix this, login to your youtube's account page and find the appropriate link under "My Videos". Scroll through the videos and remove any that have "[video unavailable]" or "[private]" after the title.


  12. Onkyo TX-SR605 and Onkyo TX-SR705 receivers lose audio signal (or center channel) when using trickplay functions

    These popular Onkyo A/V receivers do not respond well to the breaks in the Dolby Digital signal that occur on a TiVo during FF/REW -> PLAY and 30S SKIP. The audio signal and/or center channel is frequently lost. To get these Onkyo receivers to reacquire the audio signal or reacquire the center channel, one must press PAUSE and then PLAY.

    Denon, Pioneer, Sony, and most other A/V receivers do not exhibit this issue. There are conflicting reports as to whether this issue is resolved with the Onkyo TX-SRx07 models.


  13. Onkyo TX-SR606 and Onkyo HT-RC160 loses audio for 2-3 seconds after trickplay functions

    This popular A/V receiver responds to breaks in the Dolby Digital signal by dropping audio output for 2-3 seconds. This is a significant improvement over the 2008 models, which would lose audio entirely and/or lose the center channel, but is still something that needs to be corrected.

    Denon, Pioneer, Sony, and most other A/V receivers do not exhibit this issue. There are conflicting reports as to whether this issue is resolved with the Onkyo TX-SRx07 models.


  14. Yamaha RX-V465, RX-V565, and RX-V665 receivers may produce "coughing metallic sounds" when changing channels

    The popular Yamaha RX-V465, RX-V565, and RX-V665 A/V receivers do not respond well to the way the TiVo switches between DD2.0 and DD5.1 channels. These Yamaha receivers may produce brief, but highly annoying "coughing metallic sounds" when changing channels on the TiVo.

    Some older versions of the HTR-5830 are also affected; newer versions of the HTR-5830 are evidently not affected.


  15. Certain Yamaha receivers reset the TiVo output setting

    There is a HDMI interoperability issue with certain Yamaha A/V receivers. When the TiVo is connected to these receivers with HDMI, the TiVo's video output setting is reset to "fixed 720p" (or fixed 1080i) whenever the receiver is powered off for more than 30 seconds.

    Upon initial power up, these Yamaha receivers do not perform the proper handshake with the display to determine supported resolutions. Instead, the Yamaha reports 720p or 1080i as the only supported resolution over HDMI, and the TiVo adjusts its output setting to reflect that.

    On newer Yamaha receivers, changing "Monitor Check" to "SKIP" from "YES" in the Advanced Setup Menu will eliminate this behavior (See pg 124 of the V3900 manual). Note this menu can't be accessed via the Yamaha's GUI; you have to turn off the main power button on the front of the unit, then turn it on again while holding down the "Straight" button on the unit.

    On older Yamaha receivers, the only workaround for this issue is to turn on the TV at least 10-15 seconds before the receiver.


Last edited by bkdtv : 02-21-2010 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:49 PM   #9
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Corrections

Quote:
19. Can I skip through a recording 15-minutes at a time?

Yes. TiVo places "ticks" on the progress bar every 15 minutes. To skip to the next 15min tick, you fast forward and then press the -->| button. While fast forwarding, each press of -->| button will skip forward 15 minutes.

You can also skip backward to the previous 15min tick by rewinding and then pressing the same -->| button. While rewinding, each press of -->| button will skip backward 15 minutes.
For longer recordings (4+hours?), tick marks are every 30 minutes.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:55 PM   #10
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For longer recordings (4+hours?), tick marks are every 30 minutes.
Done. It's either >3 hours of >= 3.5 hours, I'm not certain which.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:38 PM   #11
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TiVo Tips
If you want to always ensure that you get a HD version when available, remove the SD version of the appropriate channels from Settings -> Channels -> Channels List.

Full credit to Martin Tupper for this tip.
Great reference.

If you don't need the category to whittle down choices, I've had good results with selecting category "HD" to record the HD versions without having to remove SD channels from the lineup.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:45 PM   #12
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Great reference.

If you don't need the category to whittle down choices, I've had good results with selecting category "HD" to record the HD versions without having to remove SD channels from the lineup.
What if a sports program I want to watch is not always availble in HD, but when it is I want to record the HD version (it's on both HD and SD channels)? I thought putting HD in parens to make it optional might work but it did not.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by larryc343 View Post
What if a sports program I want to watch is not always availble in HD, but when it is I want to record the HD version (it's on both HD and SD channels)? I thought putting HD in parens to make it optional might work but it did not.
Some sports broadcasts are 4:3 SD, some are 16:9 widescreen SD, and others are 16:9 HD. You only get the 16:9 SD and HD broadcasts on the HD channels.

The only way to guarantee that you always get the 16:9 SD and HD versions with an ARWL is to remove (uncheck) the SD versions of the channels from your Settings -> Channels -> Channels List. Wishlist searches only record from the channels checked in your Channels List. Hence, when you remove the SD version of the channel(s), all your sports recordings are made from the HD channel(s).

If you don't care about the 16:9 SD broadcasts, and are satisfied with 4:3 SD when no HD version is available, then there is an alternative method. You would leave the SD and HD versions of the channel(s) in your Channel List, but create two separate wishlists for the sports team, with only one of them having HD in the category. In Season Pass Manager, you would rank the HD ARWL above the non-HD version.

With this approach, the HD version is recorded from the HD channel if available, and if there is no HD version available, you get the SD version from the SD channel. The problem with this dual-wishlist method is that you miss all the 16:9 SD broadcasts (typically away games) which aren't HD, but still look significantly better than the 4:3 version from the SD channel. Personally, I like to see the games in 16:9 widescreen whenever possible, so I only use a single wishlist and uncheck the SD versions of my sports channels.

ARWL = Auto-record WishList search

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Old 03-05-2009, 05:08 PM   #14
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Why would my "search by Title" feature will not show HD channels when they are in the guide and all are received? A title like "24" only lists the SD channel.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:16 PM   #15
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Why would my "search by Title" feature will not show HD channels when they are in the guide and all are received? A title like "24" only lists the SD channel.
Search will only show results for channels that are enabled (checked) in your Channel List.

Did you double-check to make sure your HD channels are enabled (checked) under Settings -> Channels -> Channel List?

If you just got your TiVo, or just went through setup, it will take about two days for the TiVo to index the guide information. Until that is done, you won't see complete results in search.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:00 PM   #16
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Search will only show results for channels that are enabled (checked) in your Channel List.

Did you double-check to make sure your HD channels are enabled (checked) under Settings -> Channels -> Channel List?

If you just got your TiVo, or just went through setup, it will take about two days for the TiVo to index the guide information. Until that is done, you won't see complete results in search.
Yes, did all of above. What I finally just found is that the HD channels selections take 15-20 seconds to show ANY results whereas the SD is immediate.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:08 PM   #17
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Yes, did all of above. What I finally just found is that the HD channels selections take 15-20 seconds to show ANY results whereas the SD is immediate.
Sounds like your TiVo is still indexing guide data. When you do a title search, without specifying any category, the SD and HD channels should show up in results at exactly the same time.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:40 AM   #18
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Thanks for all of these!
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:42 AM   #19
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double post, sorry
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:10 PM   #20
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The Using TiVo and TiVo Tips sections were updated.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:16 AM   #21
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Do we know if the new supported 1tb external drive is this one;

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...d=7JKNITSJ5UPX

And, since it's available now, will it work?
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:26 PM   #22
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Do we know if the new supported 1tb external drive is this one;

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digita...d=7JKNITSJ5UPX
That drive is now supported.

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Old 04-30-2009, 05:55 PM   #23
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For those who have never used a TiVo, I uploaded a high-definition video capture to Youtube that shows some of the basic functionality.

Youtube: Basic TiVo functionality (HD, 10min)
Youtube: Netflix, Youtube, Podcasts on TiVo (HD, 7min)
Youtube: Viewing Computer videos on TiVo (HD, 9min) <--- New!
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:19 AM   #24
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What does "4:3 on a 16:9 background" mean? Am I able to record and view a true 16:9 movie in hd?

Last edited by timatraw : 05-01-2009 at 07:20 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:53 AM   #25
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What does "4:3 on a 16:9 background" mean? Am I able to record and view a true 16:9 movie in hd?
That refers to the TiVo menus. Actual programs are recorded and displayed in full 16:9. I clarified the FAQ.

You can see the TivoHD interface in the Youtube: Basic TiVo functionality (HD, 10min) link.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:47 PM   #26
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If I understand the FAQ above there are 3 options (on a PC) to pull and edit Tivo recordings and then put them either on DVD or a portable device (ipod).

One option is Videoredo at a cost of $75. This one looks pretty good but I'm not interested in paying $75 for something that I used to do for free with my hacked DTivos with that TY edit software.

Option 2 is Roxio creator at a cost $70. Seems similar to Videoredo but again don't really want to pay that much money.

Option 3 is kmttg for free. This seems like the best option as it's free and I think has all of the functionality I'm looking for. I'm not great with computers but I'm ok and I'm pretty good at following instructions so I presume I can install and use this program.

Are those the only 3 options for a pc to pull, edit, and transfer to portable device or dvd? I left out Tivo desktop plus as it seems to not be able to edit and transfer to DVD. Is that true? Obviously I have my own burning program but I need something that can edit and create the Vob files for a dvd (and mpg files for an ipod).

Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:21 PM   #27
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Are those the only 3 options for a pc to pull, edit, and transfer to portable device or dvd? I left out Tivo desktop plus as it seems to not be able to edit and transfer to DVD. Is that true? Obviously I have my own burning program but I need something that can edit and create the Vob files for a dvd (and mpg files for an ipod).
Once TiVo Desktop is installed, you can use most DVD authoring applications, not just the ones I listed. VideoRedo is touted primarily for the ease of editing recordings and removing commercials.

To download recordings with conversion for mobile devices like the iPod, I would highly recommend kmttg. The kmttg application isn't pretty, but the functionality is unmatched. Installation is much easier than it was before, because the author (Moyeki) posted a zip with all of the required tools, eliminating the need to download them separately from different locations.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:10 PM   #28
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I'm just beginning the exploration of Tivo as an option to my Comcast DVR. Your original post (02-25-2009) was amazing and quite comprehensive. It has raised some questions in my mind. First, I was under the impression that the series 3 Tivo was different than the TivoHD that sells for approximately $300. Your post seems to imply that they are the same. Does everything you said in your post apply to the TivoHD? You also said that you can download programs from Tivo directly to a PC by logging on to the Tivo which acts as an internet server. If this can be done, it seems unnecessary to purchase a Tivo wireless adapter and communicate with my PC through my wireless network. Am I correct?
Thank you,
userdoba
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:21 PM   #29
stujac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by userdoba View Post
I'm just beginning the exploration of Tivo as an option to my Comcast DVR. Your original post (02-25-2009) was amazing and quite comprehensive. It has raised some questions in my mind. First, I was under the impression that the series 3 Tivo was different than the TivoHD that sells for approximately $300. Your post seems to imply that they are the same. Does everything you said in your post apply to the TivoHD? You also said that you can download programs from Tivo directly to a PC by logging on to the Tivo which acts as an internet server. If this can be done, it seems unnecessary to purchase a Tivo wireless adapter and communicate with my PC through my wireless network. Am I correct?
Thank you,
userdoba
The Series 3 preceded the TivoHD and is different but not by much. It's no longer available although you can probably pick up a used one or a refurb. Just about everything you read about the TivoHD applies to the Series 3. You have to download programs from your Tivo drive to a program such as TivoDesktop or other applications. You do have to be connected; either wired or wirelessly. The TivoHd and Series 3 both act as servers though, just like a PS3.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:31 PM   #30
bkdtv
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by userdoba View Post
First, I was under the impression that the series 3 Tivo was different than the TivoHD that sells for approximately $300.
Your post seems to imply that they are the same.
The TivoHD is an updated version of the TiVo Series3 that uses newer, more integrated components to cut costs. Functionality is identical.

The TivoHD is still considered to be part of the "Series3 family," because it offers the same functionality. In fact, the TivoHD box still mentions "Series3," albeit in much smaller letters.

TiVo stopped selling the original Series3 model about a year ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by userdoba View Post
Does everything you said in your post apply to the TivoHD?
Yes. In fact, this post was written with the TivoHD in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by userdoba View Post
You also said that you can download programs from Tivo directly to a PC by logging on to the Tivo which acts as an internet server. If this can be done, it seems unnecessary to purchase a Tivo wireless adapter and communicate with my PC through my wireless network. Am I correct?
The TiVo is directly accessible only through your local network. You can access it with a web browser because it runs a web server in the background. However, that does not mean it is on the Internet and accessible from anywhere. When you download from the TiVo, you download the files over your local network, not over the Internet. Even if your Internet goes down, that does not affect the ability to access the TiVo.

Note the TiVo has a 10/100Mbps ethernet connection. If you run an ethernet cable, or use a coax->ethernet or powerline->ethernet adapter, then there is no need for the wireless adapter.

Last edited by bkdtv : 06-08-2009 at 03:08 PM.
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