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Old 08-18-2012, 11:08 AM   #1
JD10367
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Series 2 DT and Comcast: are my senior citizen parents out of luck?

I bought my parents a Series 2 DT years ago and installed it for them in Florida. They have Comcast cable. At first they only had low-def: no problem. Then they wanted HD: they got a Comcast box, I split the coax and sent one to TiVo for 2-99 low-def and the other to Comcast for HD, and then installed the IR channel-changing wire and the AV wires to get 100+ on the TiVo (telling them explicitly NOT to touch their Comcast box when TiVo is taping channel 100 or higher, and to make sure it's on). They existed with that setup with no issues.

Now Comcast has "helpfully" digitized all their channels, requiring cable boxes to decode even 2 through 99. They sent out tiny free cable boxes, which are useless because you can't use the IR blaster to change their channels (or, at least, I couldn't find the proper code). They do have a regular (non-HD, non-DVR) cable box on the bedroom TV; I told them they could install the tiny free cable box in there and move that non-HD cable box to the parlor to use with TiVo. They would have to use the IR blasters for every channel, and never turn off the cable box, but it would work.

However, I just came to another realization: since the cable box only sends one channel at a time, it makes their DT capability useless, no? The TiVo would basically turn into a compicated glorified VCR.

Are they totally out of luck here? Would they have to move up to a newer DVR and get a cable card installed? Is it worth all that hassle, or shall I simply tell them to get a second HD DVR through Comcast? They just paid their annual $129 in March, so they're not even halfway through the contract year.

Also: if there are more modern TiVos which can handle this problem, is there a company that sells/installs them? There's no way these senior citizens can handle the complexity of sourcing, purchasing, and installing a more modern TiVo (not to mention dealing with Comcast to get a cable card for it). Again, is it worth the trouble, or should I just tell them, "Eat the remaining half-year of service and get a full-fledged second Comcast HD DVR"?

Thankst for any help.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:35 PM   #2
lpwcomp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD10367 View Post
I bought my parents a Series 2 DT years ago and installed it for them in Florida. They have Comcast cable. At first they only had low-def: no problem. Then they wanted HD: they got a Comcast box, I split the coax and sent one to TiVo for 2-99 low-def and the other to Comcast for HD, and then installed the IR channel-changing wire and the AV wires to get 100+ on the TiVo (telling them explicitly NOT to touch their Comcast box when TiVo is taping channel 100 or higher, and to make sure it's on). They existed with that setup with no issues.

Now Comcast has "helpfully" digitized all their channels, requiring cable boxes to decode even 2 through 99. They sent out tiny free cable boxes, which are useless because you can't use the IR blaster to change their channels (or, at least, I couldn't find the proper code). They do have a regular (non-HD, non-DVR) cable box on the bedroom TV; I told them they could install the tiny free cable box in there and move that non-HD cable box to the parlor to use with TiVo. They would have to use the IR blasters for every channel, and never turn off the cable box, but it would work.

However, I just came to another realization: since the cable box only sends one channel at a time, it makes their DT capability useless, no? The TiVo would basically turn into a compicated glorified VCR.

Are they totally out of luck here? Would they have to move up to a newer DVR and get a cable card installed? Is it worth all that hassle, or shall I simply tell them to get a second HD DVR through Comcast? They just paid their annual $129 in March, so they're not even halfway through the contract year.

Also: if there are more modern TiVos which can handle this problem, is there a company that sells/installs them? There's no way these senior citizens can handle the complexity of sourcing, purchasing, and installing a more modern TiVo (not to mention dealing with Comcast to get a cable card for it). Again, is it worth the trouble, or should I just tell them, "Eat the remaining half-year of service and get a full-fledged second Comcast HD DVR"?

Thankst for any help.
Yes, you would no longer have dual tuner capability, but I would hardly characterize it as turning it into "a compicated[sic] glorified VCR". While initial setup is more "complicated", it's much easier to use than a VCR.

I confess to being puzzled by your post. Your mention of "dealing with Comcast to get a cable card for it" implies that you already know or should know the answer to the question about the capabilities of a "modern" TiVo. Also, you mention "second HD DVR through Comcast". Do they currently have one or just an HD cable box?

How old are your parents? Regardless, unless they are senile or infirm, I suspect they are more capable of handling the installation than you think they are. At the very least, they probably know someone who could do it for them.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:55 PM   #3
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If I'm not mistaken, the "$129" contract(balance) can be moved to another Tivo unit. So that should not be a hindrance.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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The code for the Comcast DTA should be 10104. Just pick Comcast Digital Adapter from the Channel Changing menus, but it will still become a single tuner TiVo.

Since it doesn't have a lifetime sub they're probably better off with a Series 3 or 4.
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:24 PM   #5
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If they have only an S2, they should qualify for the current deal of a 320GB hard drive Premiere for $99 with lifetime for only $300

Check this out

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=490689

Or you could try telling TiVo that the cable company has made their S2 DT pretty much worthless, so you want to move the contract as soon as you find them a nice used S3 or S3 HD or S3 HD XL, and that you want $99 lifetime on it, paid now, to kick in when the contract runs out, or else you might as well consider the cable co's DVR, and see what they say.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
JD10367
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Thanks for all the input. Sounds like their best bet is to pick up a Premiere.

I might do that myself. I also have a Series 2 DT which has served me well, but I've had to add the cable company's HD DVR to get HD (I have Cox Cable). I see that Cox is supposedly partnering with TiVo in the near future but, after my parents brought their problem to my attention, I started poking around and realized my own TiVo subscription runs out in a week! I think I might pick up a Premiere DT with lifetime; I kicked myself for not getting lifetime with the S2 but, as it turns out, technology has rendered it obsolete anyway.
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JD10367 View Post
Thanks for all the input. Sounds like their best bet is to pick up a Premiere.

I might do that myself. I also have a Series 2 DT which has served me well, but I've had to add the cable company's HD DVR to get HD (I have Cox Cable). I see that Cox is supposedly partnering with TiVo in the near future but, after my parents brought their problem to my attention, I started poking around and realized my own TiVo subscription runs out in a week! I think I might pick up a Premiere DT with lifetime; I kicked myself for not getting lifetime with the S2 but, as it turns out, technology has rendered it obsolete anyway.
Once you get a Premiere, you might be able to get the $99 lifetime deal on the S2, which would give it some resale value.

Although if your only TiVo is that S2, you might want to go for the $399 Premiere with lifetime deal yourself, and I don't know if that would count as having gotten a Premiere as far as the $99 lifetime on S3s and S2s "deal" is concerned or not.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:31 AM   #8
JD10367
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A dumb question, as I'm in work and can't look at my S2DT: do those have a cable card slot? If they do, and I tell my parents to get a Comcast cable card, will their S2DT work fully-functional again (aside from things like HBO and whatnot)? If they have a cablecard slot, I might just get one myself through Cox for my own cable system.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JD10367 View Post
A dumb question, as I'm in work and can't look at my S2DT: do those have a cable card slot? If they do, and I tell my parents to get a Comcast cable card, will their S2DT work fully-functional again (aside from things like HBO and whatnot)? If they have a cablecard slot, I might just get one myself through Cox for my own cable system.
The dual tuner Series 2s, the last of the Series 2s, do not have cable card slots and the tuners in them are strictly for analog cable.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD10367 View Post
A dumb question, as I'm in work and can't look at my S2DT: do those have a cable card slot? If they do, and I tell my parents to get a Comcast cable card, will their S2DT work fully-functional again (aside from things like HBO and whatnot)? If they have a cablecard slot, I might just get one myself through Cox for my own cable system.
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The dual tuner Series 2s, the last of the Series 2s, do not have cable card slots and the tuners in them are strictly for analog cable.
FWIW in MY opinion the best thing to do is just get them on a cable box and have the DT now be a single tuner unit, it will do just fine with it and it's an almost zero cost solution without upsetting the apple cart significantly.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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Question

Yea, Comcast turned my Series 2 dual tuner Tivo into a single tuner DVR. I wound up putting it in our basement on a SD TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JD10367 View Post
....or shall I simply tell them to get a second HD DVR through Comcast? They just paid their annual $129 in March, so they're not even halfway through the contract year.

Also: if there are more modern TiVos which can handle this problem, is there a company that sells/installs them? There's no way these senior citizens can handle the complexity of sourcing, purchasing, and installing a more modern TiVo (not to mention dealing with Comcast to get a cable card for it). Again, is it worth the trouble, or should I just tell them, "Eat the remaining half-year of service and get a full-fledged second Comcast HD DVR"?

Thanks for any help.
I personally hate Comcast DVRs and think their user interface is HORRIBLE compared to TiVo's. I would just stick with your current TiVo setup until it expires. I also have two Premieres for some HDTVs & think that is probably the way to go for you when your annual subscription is up in March.

My first cable card for my premiere was free, but that is also because I turned in my cable box. Otherwise, I think they were gonna charge me an "outlet fee" of about $7.95/month for the cable card. Since Comcast cable card billing seems to be all over the place in different regions, not sure what they will charge you for it if you keep the cable box.

Also, keep an eye out (especially around holidays) for TiVo specials on hardware as they usually have some pretty good promotions. I recently got my 2nd Premiere for $49 with a 1yr commitment. $12.95/month for service, but that was a multi-service discount. Not sure what they can do for a single TiVo unit, but I'm sure its similar if you pay for a whole year upfront.

I recently got my
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