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Old 03-25-2013, 11:42 AM   #31
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Back to the topic on hand:

So, a question for the people who take advantage of this loophole, set up the Mini, and then return return the 4 tuner TiVo: What happens when down the road the Mini stops working? Are you going to buy another 4 tuner TiVo to get the Mini working again, and then return the 4 tuner TiVo, again?
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:50 AM   #32
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Has anyone even said they would try it? I really don't see the point because at some point it will not work.

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Old 03-25-2013, 12:02 PM   #33
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Back to the topic on hand:

So, a question for the people who take advantage of this loophole, set up the Mini, and then return return the 4 tuner TiVo: What happens when down the road the Mini stops working? Are you going to buy another 4 tuner TiVo to get the Mini working again, and then return the 4 tuner TiVo, again?
If you have two Lifetime TPs you can sell them on E-Bay, purchase a TP-4 and a Mini + a 2Tb drive, purchase cost with some sales tax under $1100, I just sold my 2 TPs today on E-Bay for $1090 for both, my net after shipping was about $990, my cash outlay is now about $100 or so + I can sell my two "N" TiVo adapters for a net of $80 for both, so the cost is very little. I know this is not for everybody but if you are going to go into this odd ball way of getting a Mini to work, you should be able to do what I just did so you know the job is done correctly.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:09 PM   #34
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I really don't see the point because at some point it will not work.

You don't know that unless you've tried it or a Tivo official has stated that this is the case. That's the entire point of this thread.


I may give this a try in the next month or two.

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Old 03-25-2013, 03:29 PM   #35
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If you have two Lifetime TPs you can sell them on E-Bay, purchase a TP-4 and a Mini + a 2Tb drive, purchase cost with some sales tax under $1100, I just sold my 2 TPs today on E-Bay for $1090 for both, my net after shipping was about $990, my cash outlay is now about $100 or so + I can sell my two "N" TiVo adapters for a net of $80 for both, so the cost is very little. I know this is not for everybody but if you are going to go into this odd ball way of getting a Mini to work, you should be able to do what I just did so you know the job is done correctly.
If you have cable this is fine, but not for OTA only.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:16 PM   #36
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You don't know that unless you've tried it or a Tivo official has stated that this is the case. That's the entire point of this thread.


I may give this a try in the next month or two.
The only way to know for sure is to set it up for the long term. But I would be shocked if it could be set up that way indefinitely. I figure at some point it would need to recheck to see if the P4 is still on the account.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:28 PM   #37
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The only way to know for sure is to set it up for the long term. But I would be shocked if it could be set up that way indefinitely. I figure at some point it would need to recheck to see if the P4 is still on the account.
How long is long term? 30 days? 60?

I actually think it is more likely to be set up that way. From a programming perspective, what checks would Tivo build in and what purpose would those serve *after* the initial set up? It seems like a waste of initial and ongoing resources to keep checking without a specific purpose.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:49 PM   #38
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How long is long term? 30 days? 60?

I actually think it is more likely to be set up that way. From a programming perspective, what checks would Tivo build in and what purpose would those serve *after* the initial set up? It seems like a waste of initial and ongoing resources to keep checking without a specific purpose.
We don't know what the system is that the Mini uses, I could not get my Mini to mate to my new TiVo Q4 (before I put a cable card in the unit), the TiVo CSR told me to try and pull the cable card out of another Q4 and see if the Mini would mate, and it would still mate to that Q4 so I did not think is was the cable card, so much for that assumption, as I put a cable card into the new Q4 (from one of my TPs) and after a call home it mated great !!. So if your OTA you can't get the Mini to mate to any Q4 as you don't have any cable cards.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:50 PM   #39
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In order to know for sure, someone is going to have to be the guinea pig.

I don't think it will work long term. TiVo could easily add code (if it doesn't already exist) to shut down the Mini if the host it was paired with fails to call in within X number of days.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:10 AM   #40
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In order to know for sure, someone is going to have to be the guinea pig.

I don't think it will work long term. TiVo could easily add code (if it doesn't already exist) to shut down the Mini if the host it was paired with fails to call in within X number of days.

Tivo could do that -- but why would they go out of their way to close a loophole that only a small percentage of users will use? Right now, the loophole is the only way OTA users can use the Mini.

If the loophole is planned to be closed, I hope it is after the next Tivo box with OTA support is released. That is really the only reason why I will be testing this out.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:04 PM   #41
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Tivo could do that -- but why would they go out of their way to close a loophole that only a small percentage of users will use?
I agree. TiVo has a history of leaving backdoor features alone that are only known by "in-the-know" power users (like 30-sec skip). I believe the reasons the Mini is tied to a 4-tuner TiVo are 1) fear of support costs and 2) fear of not meeting user expectations: TiVo wants to ensure MOCA is available (to discourage streaming over WiFi) and wants to minimize the disruption of stealing a tuner for live TV. In particular, I don't believe their primary motivation is to encourage folks to upgrade to a 4-tuner host; if that were the case why not just delay the Mini and have it only work with the next gen TiVo HW shipping in the fall?

For power users who understand the limitations of using a 2-tuner TiVo, I don't think TiVo would actively block their use by closing such a loophole. It's not worth their time, and they gain almost nothing from ticking off their power users.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:26 PM   #42
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I agree. TiVo has a history of leaving backdoor features alone that are only known by "in-the-know" power users (like 30-sec skip). I believe the reasons the Mini is tied to a 4-tuner TiVo are 1) fear of support costs and 2) fear of not meeting user expectations: TiVo wants to ensure MOCA is available (to discourage streaming over WiFi) and wants to minimize the disruption of stealing a tuner for live TV. In particular, I don't believe their primary motivation is to encourage folks to upgrade to a 4-tuner host; if that were the case why not just delay the Mini and have it only work with the next gen TiVo HW shipping in the fall?

For power users who understand the limitations of using a 2-tuner TiVo, I don't think TiVo would actively block their use by closing such a loophole. It's not worth their time, and they gain almost nothing from ticking off their power users.
The problem is that to use this, a person needs to buy a P4, add it to the account and then remove it and get a refund. That right there should be a big incentive for TiVo to prevent it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:48 PM   #43
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The problem is that to use this, a person needs to buy a P4, add it to the account and then remove it and get a refund. That right there should be a big incentive for TiVo to prevent it.
If this worked for a small number of people now, but TiVo decided later to discourage it going forward (for the above reason), would it be in TiVo's best interest to break existing working systems in use by some of their power users? One could argue that at that point it would be in TiVo's best interest to create a new backdoor (SPS code, whatever) that would allow such users to continue to use their existing HW but without needing to buy/return a 4-tuner host.

It comes down to probabilities, but there is a good chance that either this loophole (if it currently exists) won't be actively shut down, or if it is then an alternative loophole might be opened.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #44
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It comes down to probabilities, but there is a good chance that either this loophole (if it currently exists) won't be actively shut down, or if it is then an alternative loophole might be opened.
I agree.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:01 PM   #45
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If this worked for a small number of people now, but TiVo decided later to discourage it going forward (for the above reason), would it be in TiVo's best interest to break existing working systems in use by some of their power users? One could argue that at that point it would be in TiVo's best interest to create a new backdoor (SPS code, whatever) that would allow such users to continue to use their existing HW but without needing to buy/return a 4-tuner host.

It comes down to probabilities, but there is a good chance that either this loophole (if it currently exists) won't be actively shut down, or if it is then an alternative loophole might be opened.
It'll take them 5 years to fix it and by then, everyone will have newer hardware that supports the Mini anyways.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:28 PM   #46
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It'll take them 5 years to fix it and by then, everyone will have newer hardware that supports the Mini anyways.
Why would TiVo fix something that they don't support, if people want to purchase a Mini for a non supported use, that does not harm TiVo in any way I can think of.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:23 PM   #47
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yes

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Plenty of auctions on Ebay end up at a price that is higher than getting the product from Amazon and other online retailers.
yes, but tivo owners aren't that stupid. ;-)
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:38 PM   #48
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yes, but tivo owners aren't that stupid. ;-)
The new ones who paid $375 for a 6 year old TiVo might be.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:19 PM   #49
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Why would TiVo fix something that they don't support, if people want to purchase a Mini for a non supported use, that does not harm TiVo in any way I can think of.
I don't know. That timescale is just something TiVo would do.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:31 PM   #50
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So, who's going to try this first?
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:11 AM   #51
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Why would TiVo fix something that they don't support, if people want to purchase a Mini for a non supported use, that does not harm TiVo in any way I can think of.
Because to make this work you buy a 4-tuner system, then return it for a refund. This will become expensive for TiVo and if it becomes a problem they would take steps to keep it from happening.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:28 AM   #52
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So, who's going to try this first?
I said I would, but I am holding off for the time being. I just cut the cord and made the switchover for the entire house yesterday. I'm returning my 3 cable cards and tuning adapter this afternoon.

If OTA only doesn't work or isn't satisfactory for our needs, then I will try out this loophole by (1) buying a 4 tuner Elite (2) buying 2 minis (3) activating and using the Elite for a few days (4) disconnecting the Elite and waiting to return it for a refund before the return window has closed. If the loophole works, I'll keep the Minis. If the loophole doesn't work, I'll return the 2 Minis as well.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:54 PM   #53
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Because to make this work you buy a 4-tuner system, then return it for a refund. This will become expensive for TiVo and if it becomes a problem they would take steps to keep it from happening.
I can't see many people doing this return stuff, too much of a pain for not much gain, you can sell a Lifetime TP on E-Bay and upgrade to a new TP-4 for under $200.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:01 PM   #54
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eBay is easier than walking back to best buy for 100% cash back? You have to place the item, pay eBay, get paid by the seller, then ship it to him. I can't see a world where you can do all that and not lose money. And time.

The implication from the original post is that you just need a 4 tuner for a day to get the mini activated.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:31 PM   #55
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eBay is easier than walking back to best buy for 100% cash back? You have to place the item, pay eBay, get paid by the seller, then ship it to him. I can't see a world where you can do all that and not lose money. And time.

The implication from the original post is that you just need a 4 tuner for a day to get the mini activated.
What I was trying to say is trading up from a TP to a TP-4 but I forgot about OTA missing on the TP-4, my Mini would not connect to my TP-4 until I put an active cable card into the TP-4, that may be a problem as one would also have to get and return a cable card.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:46 PM   #56
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You guys sound like a bunch of people putting Ferrari body kits on a Fiero.

Just buy the real thing. Guess what? It costs less than the Fiero.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:11 AM   #57
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Totally missed the point, which is that if you're OTA only and you want a Mini you have to do dumb stuff like this. Dumb because of Tivo's limitations, that is.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:24 AM   #58
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The problem is that to use this, a person needs to buy a P4, add it to the account and then remove it and get a refund. That right there should be a big incentive for TiVo to prevent it.
Except TiVo is so used to having tivos returned because of out of the box problems they'll never notice
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #59
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You guys sound like a bunch of people putting Ferrari body kits on a Fiero. Just buy the real thing.
Snarky remarks aren't helpful. What, exactly, are OTA-only people supposed to buy?
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:31 PM   #60
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Snarky remarks aren't helpful.
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What, exactly, are OTA-only people supposed to buy?
Another Premiere or used Series 3 unit is the only option right now.

Hopefully TiVo will release a new unit that supports OTA that will support the Mini for those who do not want multiple DVRs but until then whole home for OTA = multiple DVRs.
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