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Old 03-02-2013, 11:45 PM   #1
jdillinger
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Do I need an actual HD antenna?

Today I bought a used TiVo Series 3 HD. I plan on using this unit for OTA channels. Allow me to explain my situation.

I currently have comcast internet only. However, the cable line that comes in for my internet, I've been using a splitter on it, one line goes to my modem and the other to my Vizio TV. My Vizio TV has a built-in digital tuner, and I have been getting OTA channels through the cable wire the entire time with no issues.

So today, after I bought my TiVO S3 HD, I thought the mentioned above would work as well for the TiVo. I ran the set up and the channel guide for "antenna". No channels were found using the pre-existing cable I've been using that has been working for my Vizio TV.

Now, the question is, do I actually have to use an antenna if I'm on antenna mode. I mean, the OTA channels are coming over the coaxial cable just fine for my Vizio TV. Please advise.




Second question. My friend who work for comcast has just about every channel for free. He's willing to get me a cable card to use with my box. Obviously we don't live under the same roof, what are the likelihood that the cable card he gets for me will work with my box. I don't have a subscription and don't plan on getting one. Thank you everyone.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:06 AM   #2
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If you're OTA only, you should use an antenna. Now, Comcast is required by law (for now) to carry OTA channels "in the chear" so a digital QAM tuner (i.e., cable input) will decode it just fine, like your Vizio TV. You probably have it plugged into the "Cable" plug rather than "Antenna" as the OTA signal is ATSC, while cable is QAM. Just switch the coax to the other port and you're fine - select cable instead of antenna.

As for your second question - be aware that theft of cable service is a felony, and that Comcast may find out about this. If you're fine with possibly doing jail time, go right ahead, or dealing with the police, courts, and criminal justice system. You also shall not speak of this in these forums as theft of service is against the rules.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jdillinger View Post
So today, after I bought my TiVO S3 HD, I thought the mentioned above would work as well for the TiVo. I ran the set up and the channel guide for "antenna". No channels were found using the pre-existing cable I've been using that has been working for my Vizio TV.

Now, the question is, do I actually have to use an antenna if I'm on antenna mode. I mean, the OTA channels are coming over the coaxial cable just fine for my Vizio TV. Please advise.
There are two coax connectors on the back of a Series 3, one for an OTA antenna and one for cable. You may get unencrypted local channels via the cable connector, but the OTA channels via antenna input will be uncompressed and include all the broadcast subchannels.

If I'm not mistaken, if you connect an antenna to the antenna input and your cable to the cable input, the Series 3 will scan and add channels from both during setup. Can't say for sure though since I'm OTA only.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:08 AM   #4
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TiVo is required by Cablelabs to play nice with cable, so that you can't steal service like you are trying to do.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:41 AM   #5
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Slow down a bit on the judgements guys. He didn't say anything about stealing cable. He just said he was going to get a cable card. Think we could give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he's going to use the cable card to map the QAM channels and not steal cable?
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:57 AM   #6
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Slow down a bit on the judgements guys. He didn't say anything about stealing cable. He just said he was going to get a cable card. Think we could give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he's going to use the cable card to map the QAM channels and not steal cable?
This is exactly true. After mapping the channels I would return the card. Besides, my friend and are soon to be roomates anyways. Just wanted to know if the cable card would work in my box for that soul purpose. You can pretty much stream anything from project free tv nowadays and if I really wanted to watch a sporting event, there is a bar a block from my house that hosts free events.

So I'm running the channel scan again. Crossing my fingers that this works. Thanks for your advice guys. I'm still a little bit confused if I should plug my coaxial into "antenna" or "cable". I guess I'll try both eventually.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:58 PM   #7
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Ok so I definitely got the QAM channels working. Only a few questions left.

1) I don't plan on getting a TiVo subscription so I'm without a guide, any alternate guides available? I'm using a Vizio Co-Star so it'd be awesome if I could somehow get a guide working on the Co-Star as well.

2) I find the remove a little big laggy. Anything I can do about this?

3) I know a few people have been able to map the Vizo Co-Star keys. How can I map the "TiVo" button onto the Co-Star Remote?

Thank you all for your help.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:12 AM   #8
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I think without a TiVo sub, you are left with a VHS-like recording device. i.e. manual recording.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:21 AM   #9
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I think without a TiVo sub, you are left with a VHS-like recording device. i.e. manual recording.
i don't even want to record...i basically got the tivo s3 so that i can have a tuner with hdmi output. that's all.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:58 PM   #10
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then its perfect for that. You'll have to punch in the channel numbers manually to change channels though...no guide data without paying the $12.99 for series 3 service
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:02 PM   #11
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That's $12.99 per month, unless your Tivo already had a lifetime sub. If you paid less than $100 for it, it probably doesn't. Some of us have been able to buy lifetime for Series 3 tivo's for only $99 but I suspect your situation wouldn't qualify for that -- worth asking Tivo though.

The "lifetime" is for the life of the TiVo box (not yours). You can replace parts such as hard drive and power supply without losing the lifetime sub.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:23 PM   #12
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That's $12.99 per month, unless your Tivo already had a lifetime sub. If you paid less than $100 for it, it probably doesn't. Some of us have been able to buy lifetime for Series 3 tivo's for only $99 but I suspect your situation wouldn't qualify for that -- worth asking Tivo though.

The "lifetime" is for the life of the TiVo box (not yours). You can replace parts such as hard drive and power supply without losing the lifetime sub.
Yeah that wasn't the case, my gosh if i knew i could get tivo 3 with life time service for $99 i would have done that...only 50 more dollars!
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:24 PM   #13
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then its perfect for that. You'll have to punch in the channel numbers manually to change channels though...no guide data without paying the $12.99 for series 3 service
really sorry for asking this, but i am so very new to this. how do i manually punch in the channel numbers. i really want to know how i can enter say, channel 12-2...doesn't seem to have the capability
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:00 PM   #14
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really sorry for asking this, but i am so very new to this. how do i manually punch in the channel numbers. i really want to know how i can enter say, channel 12-2...doesn't seem to have the capability
The advance key (26) doubles as the "-" key for sub channel entry:


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Old 03-04-2013, 04:24 PM   #15
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The advance key (26) doubles as the "-" key for sub channel entry:

Awesome! thanks much mate!
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:03 PM   #16
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Yeah that wasn't the case, my gosh if i knew i could get tivo 3 with life time service for $99 i would have done that...only 50 more dollars!
I wasn't saying you could get a lifetime Series 3 for $100 -- rather that if you paid less than that I am sure you didn't get lifetime.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:45 PM   #17
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I see a bunch of people selling TiVo 1 with life time service on eBay. If I buy it and don't want to use the TiVo 1 box, can I upgrade it to my TiVo S3HD box?

Exactly how does someone else sell their lifetime service? How does that transfer to me as a new customer?
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:01 PM   #18
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i don't even want to record...i basically got the tivo s3 so that i can have a tuner with hdmi output. that's all.
If that's the case, then just get a boxee live tv. $99 OTA or clear qam tuner with hdmi, free guide, Netflix, YouTube, vudu, dlna and other apps and features.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:10 PM   #19
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If that's the case, then just get a boxee live tv. $99 OTA or clear qam tuner with hdmi, free guide, Netflix, YouTube, vudu, dlna and other apps and features.
I got a co-star.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:38 PM   #20
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I see a bunch of people selling TiVo 1 with life time service on eBay. If I buy it and don't want to use the TiVo 1 box, can I upgrade it to my TiVo S3HD box?

Exactly how does someone else sell their lifetime service? How does that transfer to me as a new customer?
The lifetime service is for the lifetime of the TiVo box, and it stays with that particular box. You don't move it to a different TiVo.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #21
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The lifetime service is for the lifetime of the TiVo box, and it stays with that particular box. You don't move it to a different TiVo.
The thing is, the guy who i bought the tivo box from has lifetime service. He upgraded his box in which they were able to add to his account and move the lifetime service to that box. He then sold me his Series 3. I just wanted to confirm.

What do customers do when they want to upgrade their box if they already have lifetime service?
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #22
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The thing is, the guy who i bought the tivo box from has lifetime service. He upgraded his box in which they were able to add to his account and move the lifetime service to that box. He then sold me his Series 3. I just wanted to confirm.

What do customers do when they want to upgrade their box if they already have lifetime service?
I think normally TiVo does not move Product Lifetime Service from one box to another, although they may occasionally make an exception and do it for a fee. Normally you buy a new box and put PLS on it (with the multi-service discount), then you sell the old box complete with its PLS (if you no longer need it).

When people purchase a new Premiere unit, TiVo has been offering to put PLS on their old Series 3 box for $99. Maybe the guy who sold you his Series 3 could have done that. Maybe he still could. Maybe you could even do that. Call TiVo and ask what the subscription status is for the box you bought.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:57 PM   #23
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What do customers do when they want to upgrade their box if they already have lifetime service?
Buy the upgraded box and buy new service for it. Lifetime is not transferable from an old box to a new box.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:49 AM   #24
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Buy the upgraded box and buy new service for it. Lifetime is not transferable from an old box to a new box.
Ahh bummer...wish i had known that...
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:57 AM   #25
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TiVo is required by Cablelabs to play nice with cable, so that you can't steal service like you are trying to do.
He's NOT "stealing" anything legal beagle! As you should already know, spectrum has to be open around the forward channel for Internal access, so any 'in the clear' channel, which are usually OTA, will be available.
The exact same stations that are available for free anyway, so what's the problem?.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:03 AM   #26
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He's not paying for cable TV, aside from the higher internet fees Comcast charges for having Internet without TV. The cost for Internet plus limited basic is similar to Internet without TV but not the same. The fact that he can receive a signal on his TV or TiVo doesn't change this.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:19 AM   #27
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It's not his doing that the channels are available. Stop taking the sides of big business that constantly has their hand out for more $$. It's the same signal that is "free" OTA.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:53 AM   #28
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........... Stop taking the sides of big business that constantly has their hand out for more $$. ........
Yeah, I just hate it when I have to pay for anything where someone actually gets rewarded with dirty profit for providing it. The world would be so much better if all goods and services were either provided free by altruistic people (i.e., all consumers are beggars), or by government (i.e., least common denominator choices of goods, no selection or style, outrageous prices due to waste and corruption -- recently tried in the USSR). Yeah, that would be great, right?
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