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Old 06-24-2013, 06:53 AM   #1
hershey4
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Moving from Charter & S2 to Comcast and fill-in-blank

I currently have Humax Series 2 (lifetime service & well past breakeven point) and Charter analog/SDTV service and a recent HDTV. When I got the HDTV, it wasn't important enough at the time to convert my world to HDTV with a new Tivo, cable card, etc. etc. and it's been working out okay. (except that Charter keeps moving channels to digital-only so this scenario was not going to work forever anyhow.)

But next month I am moving to a Comcast service area, so it seems like a good time to get up to speed and bite the bullet and get me a new Tivo setup. I'll likely go with lifetime. I keep getting emails with specials. I've been reading threads and tivo product websites and xfinity-on-tivo stuff (or is it tivo-on-xfinity?) and my head is spinning. I don't know how to estimate how much recording time/space I will need in HD. Can I still record in SD if I want to?

Can someone provide some overall guidance on this transition? Not sure what Tivo box (various premieres or s3), is comcast cable card ok, any gotchas, what do I get first, can S2 be in another room and transfer recordings? only SD recordings? I thought Comcast had a Tivo interface option, but it looks like that's history, is that true? Looks like my Roku box might be obsolete now too?

One reason I held out on digital service for so long is with gazillions of channels to choose from, is that I suppose one becomes dependent on searching. I am more comfortable just direct channelling to the handful of channels I am interested in. If I have to have a gazillion channels, I trust the Tivo interface to get me where I want to be faster and better. True?

I do also have a media server built into my network router that stores old recorded tivo programmings that I offloaded from my S2. Oh, that reminds me... am I going to be able to keep my brand new router & modem or is comcast going to make me use theirs... oops that's another forum... head spinning with issues...

Appreciate any input to sort thru this tech stuff while my head is really supposed to focused on packing and moving :-)

Last edited by hershey4 : 06-24-2013 at 09:38 AM. Reason: clarify wordy ramblings with specific question!
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:36 AM   #2
hershey4
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Now I realized it may be even more confusing when I consider whole house setup.

Can I have Tivo HD cable card in one room and Tivo SD S2 in another and no box at all in another (analog basic basic stuff) for a seldom-used room?

Maybe this is more of a comcast service question....
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:39 AM   #3
hershey4
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the questions keep on coming!

If my Humax Series 2 can record one channel and I can watch another (via tv remote), is that a single tuner or dual tuner? I vaguely recall having some wiring choice at setup time if I wanted to have that.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
mattack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
Can I have Tivo HD cable card in one room and Tivo SD S2 in another and no box at all in another (analog basic basic stuff) for a seldom-used room?
If you mean a room with a TV and "plug the cable directly into the TV", it is likely you DO NOT HAVE "analog basic" anymore. I do not have any analog anymore (and when analog was turned off, it was when I went to get a Premiere 4, since at the time I was using some other recorders as 'backups' for conflicts).

Tivo HD is not currently made. You're buying an older one.

If you think you'll stay with cable long term, get a Premiere 4 -- it does ONLY digital cable. The 2 tuner Premieres can ALSO do over the air with an antenna. But the Premiere 4 has 4 tuners, which is useful.

There are rumors that a 6 tuner Tivo will be coming out at some point.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:50 AM   #5
hershey4
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Originally Posted by mattack View Post
If you mean a room with a TV and "plug the cable directly into the TV", it is likely you DO NOT HAVE "analog basic" anymore. I do not have any analog anymore (and when analog was turned off, it was when I went to get a Premiere 4, since at the time I was using some other recorders as 'backups' for conflicts).

Tivo HD is not currently made. You're buying an older one.
Sorry, I think you misunderstood. I have analog/basic NOW (charter). I am moving to a Comcast service area and am going to switch over to digital and get the appropriate new Tivo for the big switch so I can utilize the HD in my HDTV.

When I said "Tivo HD" I meant a Tivo that is capable of recording in HD.

I guess what I am trying to sort out is can I use my existing Series 2 in one room (no cable card) and my new Tivo in the main room (w/cable card) and possibly a third room will be Tivo-less.

(1) Does the comcast incoming cable service support that combination?

(2) can i share recordings with Series 2 and new upgraded Tivo? I guess that would just be SD recordings.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:17 AM   #6
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The only way you will be able to use your S2 on Comcast in future is to get one of their DTAs, which converts digital to analog. Comcast is in the process of encrypting all channels (including the locals) so your S2 would have to use the IR blaster function to control the box - you won't be able to just plug in the coax cable and get analog without a box (might work for a little while but not for long). Yes, that means your S2 will now be single tuner.

You can share recordings between S2 and S3/S4 Tivos, but only by transferring them to a PC first and then over to the other Tivo. They cannot talk to each other directly with MRV.

You'll be much better off getting a Premiere 4 (or XL4) and a Tivo Mini for the other room. One Cablecard, 4 tuners, driving two TVs.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:39 AM   #7
hershey4
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post
so your S2 would have to use the IR blaster function to control the box
...

Yes, that means your S2 will now be single tuner.

You can share recordings between S2 and S3/S4 Tivos, but only by transferring them to a PC first and then over to the other Tivo. They cannot talk to each other directly with MRV.

You'll be much better off getting a Premiere 4 (or XL4) and a Tivo Mini for the other room. One Cablecard, 4 tuners, driving two TVs.
1. What is "IR blaster function"? Are you saying my current S2 remote won't work?

2. what is MRV? Shared recordings... sounds like a good job for my ReadyServer on my LAN. I have that hooked up now to store old stuff.

3. "the other room"... You mean the room that I was planning on having the S2? I still have Room 3 to consider. Can't afford two new TIvo's... can only get one. I always thought the S2 was special because it had the builtin burner that new units don't have. Although maybe that feature is no longer a big deal now that the PC is in the mix.

Thanks
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
I don't know how to estimate how much recording time/space I will need in HD.
You don't know what you're going to record? What are you currently recording? Use that as your starting point to estimate the number of hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
Can I still record in SD if I want to?
Absolutely. Just specify the SD channel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
Not sure what Tivo box (various premieres or s3), is comcast cable card ok, any gotchas
Cablecard with Comcast can be a gotcha in itself. Good luck with it!
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=316310

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Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
Looks like my Roku box might be obsolete now too?
Depends on your usage and preference just as obsolescence does on any topic. There are people with Tivos that still prefer the Roku for streaming.

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Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
One reason I held out on digital service for so long is with gazillions of channels to choose from, is that I suppose one becomes dependent on searching.
Subjective matter. I narrow down the guide to the channels that we actually use and it's nowhere near gazillions. Even with all these channels there are still a limited number that we watch. Some people don't even use the guide and only watch recorded programming. YMMV as with any subjective matter. You should be able to find a Comcast lineup for the area you're moving to so you can assess this for yourself.

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Oh, that reminds me... am I going to be able to keep my brand new router & modem or is comcast going to make me use theirs...
Router should be fine. Comcast has a list of compatible/supported cable modems on their site. Depending on what modem you currently have and what service level you want with Comcast you may want to upgrade/replace anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
What is "IR blaster function"? Are you saying my current S2 remote won't work?
It allows a device to control another device via IR. In this case, since the S2 tuner won't be of any use it allows the S2 to control the Comcast DTA to change channels.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_blaster

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Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
what is MRV?
Multi Room Viewing.
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/161

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Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
Can't afford two new TIvo's... can only get one.
The Mini is $99 plus service.
http://www.tivo.com/products/tivo-mini/index.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
I always thought the S2 was special because it had the builtin burner that new units don't have.
It's special if it's something you need. I don't burn anything to disc these days. DVD's aren't all that useful for HD content for one thing.

Last edited by takeshi : 06-26-2013 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:33 AM   #9
hershey4
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Quote:
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You don't know what you're going to record? What are you currently recording? Use that as your starting point to estimate the number of hours.
Ah, I was confusing space with time. Was thinking in terms of MB of disk space, when they don't even mention that!!


Quote:
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It allows a device to control another device via IR. In this case, since the S2 tuner won't be of any use it allows the S2 to control the Comcast DTA to change channels.
interesting... hope the rest of the remote functions ok. that's the best part of Tivo. I guess I'll wrap my head around it when its in front of me. So DTA sounds like a subset of a cable box.


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99 is not so bad. another service!?!?! That's bad. If it could share one service would consider it.

I'm not so clear how one CableCard supports multiple TV's, but I'm not going that route, so I guess I don't need to know right now.

Thanks for all this input!!! Now I think I can draw me a visual and make the dreaded call to comcast.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:30 AM   #10
moedaman
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

You can share recordings between S2 and S3/S4 Tivos, but only by transferring them to a PC first and then over to the other Tivo. They cannot talk to each other directly with MRV.
You must be thinking of streaming. I can transfer recordings between my S2 and Premiere units without any problems. Of course only sd recordings can be sent to the S2.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:25 AM   #11
hershey4
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Originally Posted by takeshi View Post
...
Cablecard with Comcast can be a gotcha in itself. Good luck with it!
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=316310
Oh my!!! I was getting comfortable with calling them about service, after reading through pieces of that thread now I have to regroup and understand some of those issues -- at least somewhat -- before I call them. This is all making rabbit ears look good!

One thing I think I have figured out is that I should purchase my new Premier in advance of signing up for cable. I was also thinking of self-install but maybe not such a good idea. But if I want to use my own modem/router, maybe I have to do self-install. I guess I have to call them... dreading it...

This is also making the Comcast DVR look more attractive (seeing as rabbit ears aren't a real option), but I really really really love my Tivo. But is it really worth all this hassle?
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:40 AM   #12
WhiskeyTango
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You can share recordings between S2 and S3/S4 Tivos, but only by transferring them to a PC first and then over to the other Tivo. They cannot talk to each other directly with MRV.
Not true. The only restraint is that you can't transfer HD recordings to the S2. Case in point, I just transfered 7 episodes of Top of the Lake from my S2 in the bedroom to my Tivo HD in the living room.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:15 AM   #13
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My bad, definitely thinking of HD recordings. SD should work fine if he gets a cheap Tivo HD with lifetime, so this is one way to go.

OP you really need to do some searching and reading, a lot of your questions are basic knowledge here.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:04 PM   #14
hershey4
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....
OP you really need to do some searching and reading, a lot of your questions are basic knowledge here.
Sad to say I did search and read a lot. It was kinda overwhelming.. there is SO much information and a lot is specific to people's individual scenarios and individual needs... and a lot of info is old and a ton of acronyms where I didn't know the language :-)

Basic knowledge to you guys is often gobbly-gook to novices or those stuck in older technology.

I actually spent a lot of time at Tivo.com at the product level and there was a lot of good info there and easy to grasp, but hard to tell what applied to me for sure. Similar at comcast.com.

Its a process!!! Thanks to everyone who helped!
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:14 PM   #15
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My advice... get a 4 tuner Premier unit and a Mini for any extra rooms where you want to watch TiVo. If you have a room where you'll only ever want to watch live TV, and not TiVo, then just get one of the cable companies boxes for that. This will eliminate all the various problems with HD/SD and copy protection you'd have to deal with if you try and mix S3 or S2 units.

As for XFinity.... That's still only available in some Comcast areas. If your area has it then you will get an app on your TiVo which allows you to access Comcast's VOD service through your TiVo. If your area does not have it then you will not be able to access VOD unless you use a cable company supplied box.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:32 PM   #16
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Sorry, I think you misunderstood. I have analog/basic NOW (charter). ...
I guess what I am trying to sort out is can I use my existing Series 2 in one room (no cable card) and my new Tivo in the main room (w/cable card) and possibly a third room will be Tivo-less.
NO, as in it won't be able to record anything new, unless you use an IR Blaster to connect it to a cable *box* you pay for. So I didn't misunderstand. You likely will not have analog cable AT ALL when you move.

You can watch your existing recordings and MAY be able to transfer non-HD recordings to the series 2, I don't know about that though.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:52 PM   #17
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You likely will not have analog cable AT ALL when you move.
I didn't expect to have analog cable at all when I move. Are you saying that's all my Series 2 is good for? I thought that's why I would need a DTA.

This is getting way too confusing. I think I like Dan's suggestion... dump the whole thing and go for broke with P4 and Mini's. Was reading about Moca too. Cool. The whole deal is a ton of money to spend on TV and probably overkill for this particular household, but the end result does seem that it may be worth it. It also seems like the comcast CableCard horror stories mostly apply to older equipment, but with 293 pages of discussions, I'm not really sure. :-)

And this is an Xfinity area. VOD doesn't especially interest me now, but I can see where it might.

I do hate the idea of tossing a perfectly good Series 2 with paid lifetime, but it's been about 10 years. I guess I got my money's worth.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:16 AM   #18
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Getting a P4 with Minis would be the best option on Comcast because you only need one Cablecard, but it would be the expensive way to go upfront. With Tivo's current bundle special you're looking at something like $820 with a P4 and one Mini with lifetime on both, over a grand for two Minis.

Don't feel bad about the S2, analog's days are over or will be soon.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:57 AM   #19
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I didn't expect to have analog cable at all when I move. Are you saying that's all my Series 2 is good for? I thought that's why I would need a DTA.
A Series 2 will work fine with a DTA. And the pq will be perfectly acceptable on a sdtv. I certainly wouldn't use it on a hdtv though.

I still use my Series 2 on an older Panasonic 32" crt tv. The pq for Best quality is pretty good (for sd). I did try it out on one of my hdtv's and, for me, the pq was just not acceptable.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:12 AM   #20
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A Series 2 will work fine with a DTA. And the pq will be perfectly acceptable on a sdtv. I certainly wouldn't use it on a hdtv though.
That reminds me of my earlier recent big decision when I got my HDTV 2-3 years ago. I was at this very same crossroads at that time, but I decided to give the HDTV a shot (Panasonic Viera) to see the quality before taking the Premier/digital plunge. Quality is okay for me, but I'm no videophile. I stuck with it but I agree now it is really time for the full switcheroo.

I realized I better catch up on my Now Playings whilst packing for the move. I can transfer any unwatched ones to desktop before I leave because it looks like I won't be hooking up the S2 again. I assume there will be no problem playing them back on P4. WIll I still be able to configure wi-fi with Moca too????? I think that's how they are currently available -- not for streaming but for transferring. But maybe in the new setup, that will change too. so many steps.....

And I want to have my P4 in hand before I setup the Comcast install, right? If they install for free, I just might go that route. My head will be too frazzled with the moving process I think to do self-install on internet and catv. Unless I can drag my techie nephew over. I can usually do these things myself, but slowly and with a lot of thought and forum digging. He can do it in his sleep.
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