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Old 06-11-2013, 12:26 PM   #1
stormtech
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Any compelling reason to upgrade from series 2?

I currently have a series 2 Tivo unit (9410) that has been working perfectly for many years.

I received an email offer for an upgrade that includes my keeping my current service plan. I consider this a decent offer since I am paying a yearly amount of $129. Since I only have analog cable, it looks like the only Premier unit I can use would be the Premier 500GB 2 tuner.

Trying to compare the specs the best I can, it looks like my present unit has a 40 hour capacity. The Premier 500GB unit says it has a 75 hour HD capacity. Well I don't have HD, so I am wondering how much analog capacity the Premier unit would have.

Other than a larger capacity, I like the idea of having a disk usage meter - something that I would really like.

Other than the capacity and the disk meter, is there any other compelling reason that I should think of upgrading? The upgraded unit would cost $99 right now with keeping my current service.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:58 PM   #2
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What do you mean by you "only have analog TV"?

Are you saying you only have Over The Air (OTA) TV or are you saying that your cable system only sends an analog signal to you?

I ask, because very few channels are still broadcast in Analog and most of those will only be simalcast for a very short period of time. The likelyhood that you only have access to true analog signals is slim.

I also get from your post that you are paying either a Monthly or yearly fee @ basically $10 a month. With your Series 2, a lifetime sub would have paid for itself YEARS ago... Just sayin...

I am going to "ass u me" that you mean you get your TV signal with an antenna or OTA. If tha tis true, the yes the 500G P4 is your upgrade option.

What you get from Premier line over a Series 2 is significant.

- HDTV broadcast,
- Cable Card connectivity so you will not need a cable box, and
- Several Over the Top services like the IPad app, Netflix and others.

The S2 was a fine product but years behind in technology. I certainly wouldn't continue to pay a service fee for it.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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The future is digital cable sooner or latter most if not all cable companies will get rid of analog cable so upgrading will get you ready for that. A 500GB hard drive has room for 100s maybe even 1000s of hours of SD analog cable.

Good Luck,
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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A 500GB Premiere unit would hold roughly 700 hours of SD, so it's a pretty major upgrade compared to your current unit. Also a lot of cable companies offer HD versions of the local channels (i.e. ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and FOX) for free even if you only subscribe to their basic service plan. And even if they don't you can probably get a cheap antenna and pick those up over the air instead. (if you've never watched HD you'll be amazed at how good it looks)

You'll also gain access to features not available on the S2 like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora, etc...

For $99 I think the hard drive upgrade alone is worth the upgrade. The other stuff is just icing on the cake.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the great replies! I'll try to answer the questions:

I have what is called basic cable. The only reason I assume it is analog is that the cable company charges an extra fee for digital which I don't pay.

(I posted a link to my cable provider, but I don't have enough of a post count to post a link. The name of my provider is Zito Media).

I live deep in the mountains where there is no OTA signal at all.

I agree as I thought about this that the hard drive upgrade is worth it alone for the price. I sometimes do come up against the 40 hour limit on my box, so to have 100's of hours sure sounds good.

And while I don't see myself paying for extra services such as Netflix etc., I guess the option being there would be nice.

I was hoping to get a 4 tuner box since I have lots of discrepancies when setting up season passes for my favorite programs.

Yeah, I'm really behind the times. I still watch TV on a CRT type 30" unit......
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:27 PM   #6
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One point of reference the dual tuner Premiere maybe the last TiVo DVR that can actually record analog cable. All 4 tuner ones are digital cable only and any future models are expected to be digital only also.

For $100 I would upgrade.

Good Luck,
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
I have what is called basic cable. The only reason I assume it is analog is that the cable company charges an extra fee for digital which I don't pay.
You should call your cable company and ask. A lot of cable companies do something called digital simulcast where the basic cable channels are broadcast as both analog and digital. If your cable company does this then you can get a 4 tuner unit and still get all your channels. If not you'll have to get the dual tuner unit since it's the only one that can record analog stations.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by atmuscarella View Post
One point of reference the dual tuner Premiere maybe the last TiVo DVR that can actually record analog cable. All 4 tuner ones are digital cable only and any future models are expected to be digital only also.

For $100 I would upgrade.

Good Luck,
That is a very good point - it seems that this might in fact be the last of the Tivo units that will work with an analog signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
You should call your cable company and ask. A lot of cable companies do something called digital simulcast where the basic cable channels are broadcast as both analog and digital. If your cable company does this then you can get a 4 tuner unit and still get all your channels. If not you'll have to get the dual tuner unit since it's the only one that can record analog stations.
I just double checked - I am in fact receiving an analog signal. If I were to want a digital signal, I would have to have a converter box with comes with an extra fee.

Since I absolutely hate paying for TV that includes commercials, I refuse to pay more than the minimum package. This is why I love my Tivo so much. I guess I may be old school or something, but my feeling is why should I pay for broadcast that forces me to watch commercials?
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
If I were to want a digital signal, I would have to have a converter box with comes with an extra fee.
Just to be clear the TiVo doesn't need a converter box. It uses a device called a CableCARD instead which allows it tune digital channels internally. These typically cost $2-3/mo to rent from the cable company. (there are FCC mandates that dictate that they cost less then $5/mo)
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dan203 View Post
You should call your cable company and ask. A lot of cable companies do something called digital simulcast where the basic cable channels are broadcast as both analog and digital. If your cable company does this then you can get a 4 tuner unit and still get all your channels. If not you'll have to get the dual tuner unit since it's the only one that can record analog stations.
With the 4 tuner a Cable Card will be required possibly forcing the Digital package upgrade.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:25 PM   #11
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stormtech, just to be even clearer:
  1. To use your current Series 2 TiVo wtih digital cable requires a converter box from your cable company
  2. To use any Premiere TiVo with digital cable requires a cable card from your cable company
  3. All 4 tuner Tivo Premieres require digital cable and again a cable card from your cable company and do not work with analog cable at all.

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Old 06-11-2013, 03:43 PM   #12
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Yeah if you want to get a 4 tuner unit then you really need to call the cable company and tell them that you're considering purchasing a TiVo which can ONLY record digital channels and you want to know if you'll lose access to any channels if you do.

Like I said above some cable companies simulcast all their channels, meaning every station has a digital version. In that case a 4 tuner unit would work fine. Others still have channels which are analog only. If you have any of those then you will not be able to access them at all on the 4 tuner unit.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:05 PM   #13
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I would be very surprised if your Basic Service is really analog only. Pretty much every cable provider has converted to digital and only a few (like mine) still transmit an analog version of the digital channels. Usually, the "digital upgrade" is for either Extended Basic" or for an HD package of channels. Do you have a friend who has an HDTV and would be willing to bring it over to your place? If so, then you can verify if your cable is analog only or both digital and analog. Generally, the analog channels on a dual-transmission system would be like 2, 3, 4, 5 and the digital version would be 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1. A typical HDTV should be able to tune both versions. If you decide to stay with an analog-only Tivo, I suggest buying one that has a lifetime sub. You can get one for less than the $129/year you are currently paying for the yearly sub.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:38 PM   #14
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If you want to stay in the dark ages with me, (I have old analog TVs and don't use my Tivo for any internet features other than updates ) I would buy two Series 2 Tivos with lifetime service so you don't have to pay the monthly fee from people on this forum, craigslist, or eBay. Then you can set one up in the computer room and one in the front room and record different things on each. Or buy one or two Series 3 Tivo with lifetime ( the prices go down each month) Be aware that the Series 3 usually need capacitor replacement due if that hasn't already been done,due to bad power supplies.

I bought a Series 2 with lifetime and a Tivo wireless adapter yesterday for $30 off of craigslist!!

But probably sooner or later your cable provider will require a converter box or a cable card, so it 90% sure that you will be investing in 'boat anchor' technology.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:39 PM   #15
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You don't say where you are located, so I'm just guessing WA, so this may or may not apply to you. Based on http://www.zitomedia.com/index.php?o...d=49&Itemid=58 the lowest, analog channel lineup includes digital broadcast stations in the 700 range:

Channel Lineup

Serving Friday Harbor, WA
BROADCAST BASIC

02 CBUT / CBC VANCOUVER - TV / CH # 2
03 Northwest Cable News
04 KOMO – ABC
05 KING – NBC
06 CHEK / VANCOUVER ISLAND - TV / CH # 6
07 KIRO – CBS
08 BCTV 8
09 KCTS – PBS
10 CKVU - TV / CH # 13
11 KSTW (CW)
12 KVOS McTV
13 KCPQ – FOX
14 QVC
17 ION
18 C-SPAN
19 Public Access
20 TBN
21 Local Origination
22 KZJO Joe TV
704 KOMO ABC HD
705 KING NBC HD
707 KIRO CBS HD
711 KSTW CW HD
713 KCPQ FOX HD
722 KZJO Joe TV HD

Of course, you cannot get these stations without digital capable equipment, like a TiVo 3 or later.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lillevig View Post
I would be very surprised if your Basic Service is really analog only. Pretty much every cable provider has converted to digital and only a few (like mine) still transmit an analog version of the digital channels. Usually, the "digital upgrade" is for either Extended Basic" or for an HD package of channels. Do you have a friend who has an HDTV and would be willing to bring it over to your place? If so, then you can verify if your cable is analog only or both digital and analog. Generally, the analog channels on a dual-transmission system would be like 2, 3, 4, 5 and the digital version would be 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1. A typical HDTV should be able to tune both versions. If you decide to stay with an analog-only Tivo, I suggest buying one that has a lifetime sub. You can get one for less than the $129/year you are currently paying for the yearly sub.
Thanks for that. When you mentioned the digital channel numbers being 2.3, 3.1, etc., I remember that I have a small TV that I used to have in my truck that works with both analog and digital signals. I remember when setting it up it went through 2 sets of channels for OTA to see which ones it received. Going to hook that one up now then I will be able to tell for sure if I have just analog or not.

Great idea - thanks!
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:07 PM   #17
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I just tried my little digital TV. It did its scan of analog and digital channels, and when done all I have are analog - no digital at all.

That was a good exercise - at least I know now I have analog only.

I still can't post a link GBL - I am in Pennsylvania and the service is in the Emporium area for Zito Media.

replaytv - I like your idea, but then I would be paying for service for 2 units - even if I went with lifetime that would mean 2 lifetime agreements.

OK - you folks have been a huge help and I certainly appreciate it. While I am at this, since the lifetime service was mentioned a couple times now, I am going to see what the cost is for that compared to what I am paying now.

Also, with this email special deal, it says it comes with a MoCA device. It looks like it is something I would never use, so when I call I am going to see if I can have that excluded and get a better price.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:13 PM   #18
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Ok, here's your lineup:
Spoiler:

Channel Lineup

Serving Emporium, PA
CLASSIC CABLE (Broadcast & Expanded)
BROADCAST BASIC

02 WJAC - NBC CH 6 JOHNSTOWN
03 WPSU - PBS CH 3 CLEARFIELD
04 WIVB - CBS CH 4 BUFFALO
06 WTAE - ABC CH 4 PITTSBURGH
07 WATM - ABC CH 23 JOHNSTOWN
08 WWCP - FOX CH 8 JOHNSTOWN
09 COMMUNITY CHANNEL
10 WTAJ - CBS CH 10 ALTOONA
11 TV GUIDE CHANNEL
12 WGN - WB CH 9 CHICAGO
13 WNLO - BUFFALO (CW)

EXPANDED BASIC

14 QVC
15 EWTN
20 OXYGEN
21 HSN
22 PCN PENNSYLVANIA CABLE NETWORK
23 CNN
24 HEADLINE NEWS
25 CNBC
26 FOX NEWS
27 THE WEATHER CHANNEL
28 MSNBC
29 LIFETIME
30 ESPN CLASSICS
31 ESPN
32 ESPN2
33 MSG
34 ROOT SPORTS
35 NFL NETWORK
36 A&E
37 DISCOVERY
38 THE LEARNING CHANNEL
39 HISTORY CHANNEL
41 CMT
42 MTV
43 VH-1
44 ABC FAMILY CHANNEL
45 NICKELODEON
46 CARTOON
47 COMEDY CENTRAL
48 USA
49 TNT
50 TBS
51 SPIKE
52 FX
53 TRAVEL CHANNEL
54 DISNEY
55 FOOD
56 HGTV
57 TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES
58 AMC
59 OUTDOOR CHANNEL
60 SPEED CHANNEL
61 E!
62 SYFY
63 TV LAND
64 HALLMARK
65 ANIMAL PLANET
67 CSPAN*
68 CSPAN 2*
69 CSPAN 3*
70 TRU TV
78 BRAVO*
702 WJAC (NBC) HD*
703 WPSU (PBS) HD*
704 WIVB (CBS) HD*
706 WTAE (ABC) HD*
707 WATM (ABC) HD*
708 WWCP (FOX) HD*
710 WTAJ (CBS) HD*
723 CNN HD*
731 ESPN HD*
732 ESPN 2 HD*
735 NFL NETWORK HD*
736 A&E HD*
737 DISCOVERY HD*
738 THE LEARNING CHANNEL HD*
739 HISTORY CHANNEL HD*
746 TOON HD*
749 TNT HD*
750 TBS HD*
752 FX HD*
754 DISNEY HD*
755 FOOD HD*
756 HGTV HD*
758 AMC HD*
759 OUTDOOR HD*
760 SPEED HD*
761 E! HD*
765 ANIMAL PLANET HD*
836 BIG TEN NETWORK HD*

* Requires a Digital Receiver


Looks like EXPANDED BASIC includes some digital channels including broadcast channels.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBL View Post
Ok, here's your lineup:
Spoiler:

Channel Lineup

Serving Emporium, PA
CLASSIC CABLE (Broadcast & Expanded)
BROADCAST BASIC

02 WJAC - NBC CH 6 JOHNSTOWN
03 WPSU - PBS CH 3 CLEARFIELD
04 WIVB - CBS CH 4 BUFFALO
06 WTAE - ABC CH 4 PITTSBURGH
07 WATM - ABC CH 23 JOHNSTOWN
08 WWCP - FOX CH 8 JOHNSTOWN
09 COMMUNITY CHANNEL
10 WTAJ - CBS CH 10 ALTOONA
11 TV GUIDE CHANNEL
12 WGN - WB CH 9 CHICAGO
13 WNLO - BUFFALO (CW)

EXPANDED BASIC

14 QVC
15 EWTN
20 OXYGEN
21 HSN
22 PCN PENNSYLVANIA CABLE NETWORK
23 CNN
24 HEADLINE NEWS
25 CNBC
26 FOX NEWS
27 THE WEATHER CHANNEL
28 MSNBC
29 LIFETIME
30 ESPN CLASSICS
31 ESPN
32 ESPN2
33 MSG
34 ROOT SPORTS
35 NFL NETWORK
36 A&E
37 DISCOVERY
38 THE LEARNING CHANNEL
39 HISTORY CHANNEL
41 CMT
42 MTV
43 VH-1
44 ABC FAMILY CHANNEL
45 NICKELODEON
46 CARTOON
47 COMEDY CENTRAL
48 USA
49 TNT
50 TBS
51 SPIKE
52 FX
53 TRAVEL CHANNEL
54 DISNEY
55 FOOD
56 HGTV
57 TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES
58 AMC
59 OUTDOOR CHANNEL
60 SPEED CHANNEL
61 E!
62 SYFY
63 TV LAND
64 HALLMARK
65 ANIMAL PLANET
67 CSPAN*
68 CSPAN 2*
69 CSPAN 3*
70 TRU TV
78 BRAVO*
702 WJAC (NBC) HD*
703 WPSU (PBS) HD*
704 WIVB (CBS) HD*
706 WTAE (ABC) HD*
707 WATM (ABC) HD*
708 WWCP (FOX) HD*
710 WTAJ (CBS) HD*
723 CNN HD*
731 ESPN HD*
732 ESPN 2 HD*
735 NFL NETWORK HD*
736 A&E HD*
737 DISCOVERY HD*
738 THE LEARNING CHANNEL HD*
739 HISTORY CHANNEL HD*
746 TOON HD*
749 TNT HD*
750 TBS HD*
752 FX HD*
754 DISNEY HD*
755 FOOD HD*
756 HGTV HD*
758 AMC HD*
759 OUTDOOR HD*
760 SPEED HD*
761 E! HD*
765 ANIMAL PLANET HD*
836 BIG TEN NETWORK HD*

* Requires a Digital Receiver


Looks like EXPANDED BASIC includes some digital channels including broadcast channels.
Ok - that shows it all right there. I get all the channels except the ones marked with an asterisk - the asterisk denotes the requirement of a digital receiver.

So I take that to mean that I would have to have a digital receiver box from the cable company to get those channels. Or.....maybe I am wrong.....that the Premier 4 units would get those channels without the cable company's box?
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:28 PM   #20
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Two problems here...

1) That little TV you used might do digital OTA but not digital cable. They use two different technologies. OTA uses one called ATSC and cable uses one called QAM. The sub-stations you remember seeing (2.1, 3.1, etc...) are also used by a lot of OTA channels so that's not a definitive test.

2) The channel lineup is also a poor indicator. A lot of cable companies simulcast. Meaning they have two copies of the station, one analog and one digital. The box or CableCARD automatically converts the analog channel number (i.e. 2, 4, 8, etc...) to the appropriate frequency completely seamlessly, so there is no way to know just from the lineup if your cable company is doing digital simulcast.

If you really want a 4 tuner unit then you should just call them and ask if they simulcast.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:29 PM   #21
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So I take that to mean that I would have to have a digital receiver box from the cable company to get those channels. Or.....maybe I am wrong.....that the Premier 4 units would get those channels without the cable company's box?
Instead of a box the Premiere unit uses a device called a CableCARD to get those stations. Basically it allows the Premiere to act like a cable box and get all the digital channels via it's internal tuners.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:30 PM   #22
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Ok - that shows it all right there. I get all the channels except the ones marked with an asterisk - the asterisk denotes the requirement of a digital receiver.

So I take that to mean that I would have to have a digital receiver box from the cable company to get those channels. Or.....maybe I am wrong.....that the Premier 4 units would get those channels without the cable company's box?
with a Premier 4 you may get them without a CableCARD but for scheduling data you will need a CableCARD from Zito. If they don't offer one (they appear to be a small operator and maybe exempt from the FCC's CableCARD support requirement) a Premiere 4 may not be a good option for you.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:18 PM   #23
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More good info folks.

Until I find out more about if Zito uses a CableCard, I am going with the premise that I will be just getting the 2 tuner unit for analog. My original questions were answered, plus I learned a lot more from this thread.

So from my original query, here is a summary of what I've learned:

The 500gb would give me a huge jump in storage - a very good thing!
Access to Netflix etc. - not something I would normally use but nice to have access.
Newer technology - even though I hate to pay for it, I like to keep current with my computers and gear.
May very well be the last of the units to record analog signal.

I don't see myself upgrading to digital or HD anytime in the near future since I hate paying for stuff like this as I said above.

And a little side note about Zito Media. This is what is left from the Adelphia empire. John Regis lived ~30 miles from me - I actually worked for him personally for a few years at his show farm. He was a very generous man to the local people. In my instance, he ran a cable line 9 miles from the nearest connection to give only 17 people access to cable TV and high speed internet. If not for him I would still be on satellite TV and satellite internet. One of the sons (grandson?) was able to hold on to just the local service area after Adelphia was broken up. So yes, a very small provider, but I am still grateful to have the service living way out in the boonies!
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:22 PM   #24
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One option would be to get the two-tuner (analog-capable) Premiere, hook it up to analog cable without a CableCard (so, no extra fee), but then also connect it to an antenna (it has two inputs), to pick up your local broadcast stations in HD. The TiVo will happily integrate both channel lineups.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:52 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
replaytv - I like your idea, but then I would be paying for service for 2 units - even if I went with lifetime that would mean 2 lifetime agreements.
Series 2 Tivos go for around $50 on ebay, or even less if you want lifetime basic. So for less than you are paying for yearly service on one TiVo you could lifetime service forever on two TiVos.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tivo-Series-...item5af1fd4a2d
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:36 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by stormtech View Post
I currently have a series 2 Tivo unit (9410) that has been working perfectly for many years.

I received an email offer for an upgrade that includes my keeping my current service plan. I consider this a decent offer since I am paying a yearly amount of $129. Since I only have analog cable, it looks like the only Premier unit I can use would be the Premier 500GB 2 tuner.

Trying to compare the specs the best I can, it looks like my present unit has a 40 hour capacity. The Premier 500GB unit says it has a 75 hour HD capacity. Well I don't have HD, so I am wondering how much analog capacity the Premier unit would have.

Other than a larger capacity, I like the idea of having a disk usage meter - something that I would really like.

Other than the capacity and the disk meter, is there any other compelling reason that I should think of upgrading? The upgraded unit would cost $99 right now with keeping my current service.

I don't recognize that model number.

On the back of the unit where the power cord plugs in there should be a sticker and on that sticker a model number that starts with TCD.

What is that number?

Have you ever replaced a hard drive in a computer before?
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:42 AM   #27
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You might be able to find a cheap Tivo HD on craig's list and and switch your plan over to that one or else pay $12.95 per month.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:23 PM   #28
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replaytv - I like your idea, but then I would be paying for service for 2 units - even if I went with lifetime that would mean 2 lifetime agreements.
The prices discussed included an already prepaid lifetime subscription. The subcription conveys to the new owner of the box without any further charges from Tivo.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:19 PM   #29
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Why would anyone get a S2 at this point? I have several in my closet just collecting dust. Even with a SDTV the hassle of using a cable box and IR blasters would steer me toward at least a S3.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:44 PM   #30
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Why would anyone get a S2 at this point? I have several in my closet just collecting dust. Even with a SDTV the hassle of using a cable box and IR blasters would steer me toward at least a S3.
My S2DT isn't connected to a cable box and works fine, apparently Brighthouse is still sending analog.
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