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Old 08-22-2012, 10:16 AM   #1
True Colors
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What is the best way to test the TV tuner on a series 2 Tivo?

I have a few Series 2 lifetime Tivos. My friend wants to get one of them from me.

At his home, he has Charter cable TV service. He believes that Charter gives him an analog stream from his cable jack. He would like to plug a Tivo directly into the wall with a regular coaxial cable and record shows without any type of a set top box involved.

I would like to test my boxes to see which one has the best quality TV tuner. However, He does not live close to me so there is no way that I do this at his house in person. Also, the cable service at my house is NOT analog. So I cannot test it that way either.

Is there any way to test these boxes at my house before sending them to him?

Thanks!

TC
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
dlfl
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Are you SURE your cable isn't simulcasting analog versions (along with the digital versions)? Many systems still do that, for example my TWC system here in southwest Ohio. Post your location and cable company to help others answer your question. Also try just setting up one of the S2 units on your cable and see if you get anything. My guess is trying to discern tuner quality differences between S2 units is very hard to do. The primary difference you will reveal is just whether the tuner works or not, which isn't very useful unless you have reason to suspect one of the units was not functional.
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
True Colors
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I have verizon Fios service at my house. I am at least fairly sure that they are not sending me any type of analog stream.

For one of these Tivos, I did connect it to a Time Warner analog stream last year. The image was very fuzzy. It was horrendous. That is the reason that I want to test these boxes before I ship one of them.

TC
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Many DVD players have an RF output for channel 3 or 4. Your Fios box may also have an RF output for compatibility with older TVs.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Colors View Post
I have verizon Fios service at my house. I am at least fairly sure that they are not sending me any type of analog stream.

For one of these Tivos, I did connect it to a Time Warner analog stream last year. The image was very fuzzy. It was horrendous. That is the reason that I want to test these boxes before I ship one of them.

TC
If you had a "fuzzy image" it was most likely due to either the signal itself or the TV set, not the TiVo. If an S2 degrades the signal it's because of a failing hard drive and that shows up as random pixelation, not "fuzziness". The S2 output signal (live or a recording) is a decoding of an MPEG2-encoded capture of the live (analog) incoming signal written to disk. It never passes the analog signal directly through. So when a hard drive starts failing you get digital-encoded signal artifacts, e.g., pixelation -- but not fuzziness.

I suppose there is some kind of component failure that could "fuzz" up a signal but it would be extremely unlikely.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:32 PM   #6
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If your system really doesn't include analog versions of channels then maybe you have a friend or neighbor who has a provider who does (e.g.: straight cable). I agree with the poster who said that the Tivo tuner was probably not the issue with the fuzzy picture and also with the statement that you probably can't tell them apart anyway. I've acquired four S2 boxes recently and they all look the same on my analog cable. If the feed is bad the picture is bad, if the feed is good, the picture is good (or as good as analog SD gets).
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Colors View Post
I have a few Series 2 lifetime Tivos. My friend wants to get one of them from me.

At his home, he has Charter cable TV service. He believes that Charter gives him an analog stream from his cable jack. He would like to plug a Tivo directly into the wall with a regular coaxial cable and record shows without any type of a set top box involved.

I would like to test my boxes to see which one has the best quality TV tuner. However, He does not live close to me so there is no way that I do this at his house in person. Also, the cable service at my house is NOT analog. So I cannot test it that way either.

Is there any way to test these boxes at my house before sending them to him?

Thanks!

TC
Unless there's one or more nearby analog low power TV stations nearby your friend, the tuner quality difference between your various S2s probably won't matter much.

Do either of you have a VCR?

Use that to test his cable to see if they do analog channels or not (if they do, nothing guarantees that they won't quit next week), and then use the VCR's 3/4 RF output to completely subjectively judge the quality of the tuners of your S2s.

Alternatively, if either of you have an old portable TV, use that to make sure his cableco is doing analog.
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