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Old 07-23-2011, 05:06 PM   #1
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weaKnees saves my Series 3

I'm so glad there are people who'll supply parts to the public for consumer electronics.

weaKnees saved my Tivo S3 from the trash heap. My power supply went bad. I Google'd around for a replacement -- weaKnees shows up on my search at the top of the list. I thought to myself - DUH! Of course they sell power supplies too.

The price was the only quibble I have with it, but with a S3 and Lifetime, it was worth the $100 pricetag.

I think it was a total of about 10 screws and 5 minutes worth of actual work. My S3 is back on its feet and I can give the Comcast DVR the boot. (man that thing is horrible)

Kudos to weaKnees for being there when we need them (and for speedy free shipment).
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:58 AM   #2
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I'm glad you got speedy free shipping I'm still waiting for a power supply for my S3 that shipped on July 14th-I wish now I had paid for 3 day guaranteed shipping.
As an aside when did your TiVo die and when did you purchase it? My son in Texas and I in Nebraska each purchased a S3 when the Lifetime transfer deal was offered in Nov 2006 and they each died in the past week. We both are really disappointed since our Series 1 and Series 2 Tivos lasted so long without any issues.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:30 AM   #3
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As an aside when did your TiVo die and when did you purchase it? My son in Texas and I in Nebraska each purchased a S3 when the Lifetime transfer deal was offered in Nov 2006 and they each died in the past week. We both are really disappointed since our Series 1 and Series 2 Tivos lasted so long without any issues.
I ordered my S3 the day they came available, it died slowly over the past month. Starting with some reboot loops, then finally where it just goes click-click-click. My S2 is still alive and kicking, and it's 1.5 yrs older than the S3.

I can't complain as the fix was very easy.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:57 AM   #4
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Any Tivo, with the exception of the DVD models, only have about four main components - the hard drive, power supply, main board, and front panel. For what you paid Weaknees for your replacement power supply you could have bought an entire working S3 Tivo on ebay. $100 for a replacement power supply is highway robbery. They sell replacement power supplies for the original series 1 for $50. I bought a handful of them from AllElectronics.com a few years back for only $5 apiece. That should tell you what kind of markup they have. Used S3's routinely sell for well under $100 on ebay. I just ran a search and found one that sold for $31! You could have probably fixed the power supply yourself if you're handy with a soldering iron. If you perform a visual inspection of your old power supply I'll wager you'll find one or more capacitors is bulging slightly, indicative of a bad capacitor. Replacement caps usually cost less than a buck and are easy to replace.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:06 PM   #5
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Any Tivo, with the exception of the DVD models, only have about four main components - the hard drive, power supply, main board, and front panel. For what you paid Weaknees for your replacement power supply you could have bought an entire working S3 Tivo on ebay. $100 for a replacement power supply is highway robbery. They sell replacement power supplies for the original series 1 for $50. I bought a handful of them from AllElectronics.com a few years back for only $5 apiece. That should tell you what kind of markup they have. Used S3's routinely sell for well under $100 on ebay. I just ran a search and found one that sold for $31! You could have probably fixed the power supply yourself if you're handy with a soldering iron. If you perform a visual inspection of your old power supply I'll wager you'll find one or more capacitors is bulging slightly, indicative of a bad capacitor. Replacement caps usually cost less than a buck and are easy to replace.

He got a brand new power supply with a 90 day warranty at a price he was willing to pay and seems happy with it.

Buying a used TiVo to cannibalize the power supply could get you one with several more years of life in it or one that's 2 seconds away from failing.

I learned which end of a soldering iron not to hold over a half century ago, so I'd probably go the DIY route, but then I've got more time than money these days. If it were the other way around I might well spring for the hundred bucks and be booting up my TiVo about 5 minutes after the package arrived.

Diff'rent strokes.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
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$100 for a replacement power supply is highway robbery.
+1
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
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+1
I'm guessing you've never had to buy replacement parts for appliances.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:00 PM   #8
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The power supply on my Tivo HD with a lifetime subscription just went bad a week ago. I looked at Weaknees, but felt $99.00 was too much for a power supply. I went to Ebay and used power supplys were going for $59.99 which I thought was too much. I decided to buy a used Tivo HD and take the power supply out of it. I bought one last Sunday for $30.00, and when I hooked it up I found out that it had lifetime service! I transferred the unit to my account and now I have another lifetime service Tivo HD. What a crazy deal. I just bought another Tivo HD for $26.00 from Ebay that I know for a fact it does not have lifetime service. I will take the power supply out of it and fix my old Tivo HD. $56.00 to fix my Tivo HD and to get another one that has lifetime service.

I am not too worried about the used Tivo HD power supply breaking down. I have had 5 Tivo's over the last 10 years and this is the first power supply that went bad. If it breaks down I can almost buy 3 more before I reach the cost of the Weaknees power supply.

This is not intended to be a knock on Weaknees. They are a business who caters to people who can not fix or upgrade Tivo's themselves. There is a definite need for such a company.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:21 PM   #9
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I'm guessing you've never had to buy replacement parts for appliances.
There are lots of places to get appliance repair parts. I've been keeping mine alive for decades and well beyond their normal life expectancy. It's all in knowing where to look. It also depends on what brand of appliance you get. Some last much longer than others. You're pretty limited in choices when it comes to digital cable compatible DVRs outside of what your provider offers.

A 90-day warranty on a $100 power supply is pretty pathetic, IMHO. At that price they should give you at least a year as an absolute minimum.

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The power supply on my Tivo HD with a lifetime subscription just went bad a week ago. I looked at Weaknees, but felt $99.00 was too much for a power supply. I went to Ebay and used power supplys were going for $59.99 which I thought was too much. I decided to buy a used Tivo HD and take the power supply out of it. I bought one last Sunday for $30.00, and when I hooked it up I found out that it had lifetime service! I transferred the unit to my account and now I have another lifetime service Tivo HD. What a crazy deal. I just bought another Tivo HD for $26.00 from Ebay that I know for a fact does not have lifetime service. I will take the power supply out of it and fix my old Tivo HD. $56.00 to fix my Tivo HD and to get another one that has lifetime service.
Sweet!

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I am not too worried about the used Tivo HD power supply breaking down. I have had 5 Tivo's over the last 10 years and this is the first power supply that went bad. If it breaks down I can almost buy 3 more before I reach the cost of the Weaknees power supply.
Exactly.

Quote:
This is not intended to be a knock on Weaknees. They are a business who caters to people who can not fix or upgrade Tivo's themselves. There is a definite need for such a company.
Weaknees is part of a niche market that can pretty much demand whatever they want for their services. I just choose not to pay them for it. The need is propogated by people that don't want to learn how to fix or upgrade their own Tivos. Anyone that can install hard drive has the prerequisite skills to fix a Tivo. Most of them either don't want to invest the minimal time it takes to learn the process or they have zero confidence that they can perform the task on their own. They'd rather pay a ridiculous fee to someone else to configure a replacement drive for them. What's funny is that physically swapping out the drive is probably the hardest part of the process.

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Old 07-25-2011, 07:41 AM   #10
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For what you paid Weaknees for your replacement power supply you could have bought an entire working S3 Tivo on ebay. $100 for a replacement power supply is highway robbery.
I agree!
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:03 AM   #11
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I for one love Weaknees and I am happy to pay their price and I am happy with their service. Here in America we can make these choices no matter how 'dumb' they may seem to others. I don't see any reason to bash the company because someone choose to use them. To the OP - as long as you're happy with your TiVo or SUV for that matter, it always your choice and as long as your willing to pay, feel good about it.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:38 AM   #12
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I for one love Weaknees and I am happy to pay their price and I am happy with their service. Here in America we can make these choices no matter how 'dumb' they may seem to others. I don't see any reason to bash the company because someone choose to use them. To the OP - as long as you're happy with your TiVo or SUV for that matter, it always your choice and as long as your willing to pay, feel good about it.
The intent wasn't to bash Weaknees for their service, but to admonish them for extortionist prices. If you like their service and don't mind having your wallet raped, good for you. I'm a little more price conscious and prefer to spend my money more rationally.
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:40 PM   #13
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WeaKnees is ideal for someone who has minimal computer skills (for whom attaching the hard drive to their PC and running instantcake would be a challenge), and has to be convinced that that they can do the installation themselves. They provide "installation instructions for idiots" that tell you which screws to undo in what order (using the tools they provide), where to set the partially disassembled components, what connectors to NOT disturb, and so on. There are a lot of TiVo users out there who are not computer do-it-yourself types.

And then are some folks who are perfectly capable of the do-it-yourself approach, who instead chose to pay the premium for the drop-in convenience, being fully aware of the cost trade-off.

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Old 07-25-2011, 06:34 PM   #14
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$100 for a replacement power supply is highway robbery.
As some one who purchased a (box of) S3 power supply before they where available from Weeknees, I can tell you that this statement is unfounded.

The company that manufactures these power supplies is 3Y Power Technologies with an American office in California. The PS are made in Hong Kong. If you are interested in purchasing one from the manufacturer I hope you are willing to spend a large sum of money. First of there is a minimum quantity. Shipping is rather expensive from Hong Kong. And lets not forget the duty and customs fees. Weeknees is charging a fair amount.

I have sold them for $60/ea and am hardly making anything. Please do not judge Weeknees until you know all the facts.

Bob

PS - If anyone still needs an S3 PS I have a few left NIB. PM me if interested.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:08 PM   #15
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As some one who purchased a (box of) S3 power supply before they where available from Weeknees, I can tell you that this statement is unfounded.

The company that manufactures these power supplies is 3Y Power Technologies with an American office in California. The PS are made in Hong Kong. If you are interested in purchasing one from the manufacturer I hope you are willing to spend a large sum of money. First of there is a minimum quantity. Shipping is rather expensive from Hong Kong. And lets not forget the duty and customs fees. Weeknees is charging a fair amount.

I have sold them for $60/ea and am hardly making anything. Please do not judge Weeknees until you know all the facts.

Bob

PS - If anyone still needs an S3 PS I have a few left NIB. PM me if interested.
So the fact is you sold them for $60 and still made a profit and Weaknees sells them for $100 and you tell me I'm judging Weaknees for price gouging? I'd be willing to bet that Weaknees buys them in bulk and gets a much better price break than than you did.

Granted, a NIB power supply will cost you a premium price simply because you're dealing with a sole supplier. I presented a viable option for getting one far cheaper than what Weaknees sells them for.

FYI - I've had numerous items shipped from Hong Kong and shipping is nowhere near as expensive as you claim, but then it depends on how you have them shipped. It sounds to me like you got gouged for excessive handling fees above and beyond the actual shipping costs. Duty and customs fees for a $60 item won't amount to much in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:05 PM   #16
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...or you could like I did and latch on to a spare S3 and really-cheep Premier just to have your own replacement parts and extra remotes and cables.

I anybody needs S2 parts just PM me.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:34 PM   #17
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Weaknees was my trusted agent/supplier for upgrades and parts for almost a decade. After a bad early last year experience(s) I no longer deal with them.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:26 PM   #18
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I ordered my S3 the day they came available, it died slowly over the past month. Starting with some reboot loops, then finally where it just goes click-click-click. My S2 is still alive and kicking, and it's 1.5 yrs older than the S3.
could you explain a little bit more of what you mean?

click click click?

What was making the clicking?

I have a dead S3 that died apparently *when I plugged it in* after upgrading the hard drive (I have upgraded the hard drive in the past...). No lights, no video output, nothing..

I have had some other weird electronics problems (TV died -- it was an old CRT TV; and a router I had died; I had a treadmill repair, which seemed somehow power related)... and wonder if it is indeed the power supply gone, or the motherboard could be dead.

I *also* have a dead S3 drive (it seems to spin up, but even connecting to a computer shows no connection whatsoever). The S3 is lifetime, so obviously I want to save that, ESPECIALLY if I can save the 1 TB of shows (via drive controller swap).

I just am not sure if it's really a power supply problem or something else..
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:18 AM   #19
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At the risk of sounding hypocritical, Weaknees has a troubleshooting section on their website that should help you sort it out. The clicking noise is indicative of a dying hard drive. Did you check all of your connections to see if something got disconnected while you were installing the drive? The ribbon cable to the front panel can be easily dislodged if you're not careful. How about the fuse that's located near the AC line input? If anything comes in contact with the heat sink on the power supply while the unit is plugged in it could damage the power supply or give you quite a shock.

Just so you know, I don't have a beef with Weaknees in general. They do offer some good services and their website has a lot of helpful info for the DIYer. I just think some of their products are grossly overpriced compared to alternative sources. Then again, every Tivo drive upgrade I've ever seen has been overpriced compared to what a bare drive costs and the amount of time it takes to load the software.

I like to consider myself a savvy shopper that never pays retail for anything, with but very few exceptions. If anyone feels that Weaknees charges a fair price then, by all means purchase from them.

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Old 07-26-2011, 12:51 PM   #20
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could you explain a little bit more of what you mean?

click click click?

What was making the clicking?

I have a dead S3 that died apparently *when I plugged it in* after upgrading the hard drive (I have upgraded the hard drive in the past...). No lights, no video output, nothing..

I have had some other weird electronics problems (TV died -- it was an old CRT TV; and a router I had died; I had a treadmill repair, which seemed somehow power related)... and wonder if it is indeed the power supply gone, or the motherboard could be dead.

I *also* have a dead S3 drive (it seems to spin up, but even connecting to a computer shows no connection whatsoever). The S3 is lifetime, so obviously I want to save that, ESPECIALLY if I can save the 1 TB of shows (via drive controller swap).

I just am not sure if it's really a power supply problem or something else..
My dead Power Supply was easy to spot. The clicking sound was the power hitting the drive, but nothing else happening (aside from a slight flicker on the front panel controls). When I opened it, I had 3 bulging capacitors. Since I didn't want to chase the issue through the rest of the PS board components, and I couldn't locate a dead or reasonably priced S3 TiVo on Craigslist or eBay, I opted for the weaknees fix. The s3 died slowly, so I was able to run a kickstart and check the harddrive (which passed several times) before it died. For a time I was able to run the S3 with one cable card in it. When I'd put the second in, it would reboot and the go into a reboot loop. I could sometimes get it to fire up with one card or no cards to break the loop, then try again.

We're all fixed now.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:09 PM   #21
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I am happy to pay their price
Then clearly the economy hasn't effected you, like everyone else.

My only issue with WeaKnees are their inflated prices.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:28 AM   #22
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Then clearly the economy hasn't effected you, like everyone else.

My only issue with WeaKnees are their inflated prices.
If Weaknees were making an outrageously high NET profit all these years, don't you think someone would have come along by now to undercut them and steal all of their customers?
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:54 AM   #23
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If Weaknees were making an outrageously high NET profit all these years, don't you think someone would have come along by now to undercut them and steal all of their customers?
There are lots of less expensive drive upgrade kits available on ebay. I'd say that more than a few sellers are undercutting prices from Weaknees and other vendors.

Retailers like Weaknees and DVRUpgrade have a staff of employees and aren't just a back room business. As such, they all have overhead to deal with, such as salaries and benefits. Assuming they're not working out of someone's basement, they may also have rent and utilities to pay for. They are forced to charge high prices just to make ends meet.

I don't feel obligated to pay high prices just so they can stay in business, especially when I can get the same products elsewhere for less. Considering the pitiful return on investment for Tivos, it's sometimes cheaper to buy a new one tjhan trying to keep an older unit alive, unless, of course, you're trying to prolong a lifetime subscription.

It's just another reason why I prefer using my HTPC vs. my Tivo. I can get parts for it just about anywhere at competitive prices.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:27 AM   #24
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There are lots of less expensive drive upgrade kits available on ebay. I'd say that more than a few sellers are undercutting prices from Weaknees and other vendors.

Retailers like Weaknees and DVRUpgrade have a staff of employees and aren't just a back room business. As such, they all have overhead to deal with, such as salaries and benefits. Assuming they're not working out of someone's basement, they may also have rent and utilities to pay for. They are forced to charge high prices just to make ends meet.

I don't feel obligated to pay high prices just so they can stay in business, especially when I can get the same products elsewhere for less. Considering the pitiful return on investment for Tivos, it's sometimes cheaper to buy a new one tjhan trying to keep an older unit alive, unless, of course, you're trying to prolong a lifetime subscription.

It's just another reason why I prefer using my HTPC vs. my Tivo. I can get parts for it just about anywhere at competitive prices.
Exactly, Weaknees has a lot of overhead to cover to be able to offer what they do, and if they were adding an excessive amount of markup someone would have already come along and eaten their lunch, so I don't understand the reasoning that says it's reasonable to whine about their prices.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:52 AM   #25
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Exactly, Weaknees has a lot of overhead to cover to be able to offer what they do, and if they were adding an excessive amount of markup someone would have already come along and eaten their lunch, so I don't understand the reasoning that says it's reasonable to whine about their prices.
Just because they are forced to charge high prices doesn't mean I'm forced to pay them. It seems entirely ludicrous to pay $100 for a replacement power supply when the value of the entire Tivo, sans lifetime sub, is less than that. My point has always been that there are cheaper alternatives if you take the time to look around. I won't apologize for being a cheap bastard that won't pay retail for anything. I'm able to stretch my dollar a lot further through smart shopping. I've also learned to be more self-sufficient than most people and do virtually all of my own home repairs and car maintenance. The cost of parts is usually a drop in the bucket compared to labor rates.

If you went to buy a car and the dealer said he couldn't give you a new car for less than sticker because he couldn't stay in business without a ridiculous markup, I'll bet you'd take your business elsewhere.

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Old 07-27-2011, 10:17 AM   #26
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Just because they are forced to charge high prices doesn't mean I'm forced to pay them. It seems entirely ludicrous to pay $100 for a replacement power supply when the value of the entire Tivo, sans lifetime sub, is less than that. My point has always been that there are cheaper alternatives if you take the time to look around. I won't apologize for being a cheap bastard that won't pay retail for anything. I'm able to stretch my dollar a lot further through smart shopping. I've also learned to be more self-sufficient than most people and do virtually all of my own home repairs and car maintenance. The cost of parts is usually a drop in the bucket compared to labor rates.

If you went to buy a car and the dealer said he couldn't give you a new car for less than sticker because he couldn't stay in business without a ridiculous markup, I'll bet you'd take your business elsewhere.
There's nothing wrong with being careful how you spend your money, but that hardly makes marking stuff up enough to allow you to cover your overhead and have a little left over "highway robbery".

I'd like for their prices to be lower as well, but they'd probably like to be able to remain in business.
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:05 PM   #27
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There's nothing wrong with being careful how you spend your money, but that hardly makes marking stuff up enough to allow you to cover your overhead and have a little left over "highway robbery".

I'd like for their prices to be lower as well, but they'd probably like to be able to remain in business.
Well, if I can get a complete replacement Tivo for less than the cost of a new power supply, I consider that highway robbery. It all depends on your perspective.

Aside from the circuit board for the power supply, the entire cost of replacing every component on the board would probably be less than $20, assuming you could find the vendors to order them from. Most Tivo power supply problems are a result of bad capacitors and they can easily be replaced for only a few bucks, worst case.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:01 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by mr.unnatural View Post
Well, if I can get a complete replacement Tivo for less than the cost of a new power supply, I consider that highway robbery. It all depends on your perspective.

Aside from the circuit board for the power supply, the entire cost of replacing every component on the board would probably be less than $20, assuming you could find the vendors to order them from. Most Tivo power supply problems are a result of bad capacitors and they can easily be replaced for only a few bucks, worst case.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
Yes, you can buy a used TiVo for less, with no guarantee that the power supply isn't going to die 5 minutes after you plug it in, or you can, in the case of the OP, get a new one with a 90 day warranty, and if you don't know a capacitor from a cantelope, but can manage to find a #10 Torx driver, the one from Weaknees might be the best way for you to go.

You pays yer money and you takes yer cherce.
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:44 PM   #29
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The best thing to do is find a used tivo of the same model you are using before you have any issues and keep it in a closet. You're in a better position to shop for the best price and you minimize your down time when an issue occurs.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:52 PM   #30
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With a Premiere, you can buy a brand new unit. Less than $100 and you have an extra power supply and a 320GB hard drive with an image of the TiVo Software on it.
Far less than what Weaknees would charge for each component.
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