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Old 10-01-2013, 07:13 PM   #1
abovethesink
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Old TiVos

New to the game here and almost asked this in the "What is my S2 worth?" thread, but decided against derailing that thread and starting a new one.

Referring to the US, non-Direct TV models, do all the prior series still work if you're willing to pay for it? Could you activate and use a Series 1 still and have it work within its limited space and feature set or has the cable industry tech changed in a way that the signal won't be interpreted correctly or whatever? Or, likewise, has TiVo dropped support for any old models? I'm thinking about picking up a backup with lifetime for a bedroom, but we'd basically never use it so I'd want it to be dirt cheap and not drive up my monthly bill.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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All TiVos will still function. In fact I believe there is even a slight discount on service for older units. I think they only charge $9.95/mo for a S1/S2 and $12.95/mo for a S3 opposed to $14.95/mo for a S4/S5. But you'd have to verify those prices.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:10 PM   #3
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... or has the cable industry tech changed in a way that the signal won't be interpreted correctly or whatever?
Yes -- most channels are digital now, and the remaining analogs are gradually disappearing. That means that you can't use the old TiVos the way you probably would have when they were new, by just hooking them directly to the wall; instead, you have to set them up to control an external tuner box. This usually works, but has issues.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:21 PM   #4
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All TiVos will still function. In fact I believe there is even a slight discount on service for older units. I think they only charge $9.95/mo for a S1/S2 and $12.95/mo for a S3 opposed to $14.95/mo for a S4/S5. But you'd have to verify those prices.
The regular monthly charge for a S1, S2, or S3 is $12.95 and everything newer is $14.99
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:03 AM   #5
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Ok that's the part I wasn't sure about. I thought they kept around the $9.95 rate for the S2 when they raised it to $12.95 for the S3. But I might be thinking of the MSD rate.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:04 AM   #6
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Yes -- most channels are digital now, and the remaining analogs are gradually disappearing. That means that you can't use the old TiVos the way you probably would have when they were new, by just hooking them directly to the wall; instead, you have to set them up to control an external tuner box. This usually works, but has issues.
Also turns a S2DT unit into a single tuner, since it can only control one box.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:16 AM   #7
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Also turns a S2DT unit into a single tuner, since it can only control one box.
I used my S1 with the Comcast provided DTA for quite a while, till I could upgrade it to the Roamio. As it was a single tuner box anyway, I didn't lose any functionality. It worked just fine as a secondary TV box.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:25 AM   #8
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I used my S1 with the Comcast provided DTA for quite a while, till I could upgrade it to the Roamio. As it was a single tuner box anyway, I didn't lose any functionality. It worked just fine as a secondary TV box.
Yeah, of course you wouldn't lose any functionality if you use a Tivo the way you did, in a way it was meant to be used.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:03 PM   #9
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I used my S1 with the Comcast provided DTA for quite a while, till I could upgrade it to the Roamio. As it was a single tuner box anyway, I didn't lose any functionality. It worked just fine as a secondary TV box.
The S2DT was a special breed. It had two internal tuners for analog channels, but could only control one cable box for digital channels. So it used a hybrid scheduling scheme where it was dual tuner for some stuff but not others. When cable systems switch to all digital then every channel requires the box and the TiVo essentially becomes a single tuner device.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:53 PM   #10
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The S2DT was a special breed. It had two internal tuners for analog channels, but could only control one cable box for digital channels. So it used a hybrid scheduling scheme where it was dual tuner for some stuff but not others. When cable systems switch to all digital then every channel requires the box and the TiVo essentially becomes a single tuner device.
The frustrating thing about the 649s is that there are two separate tuners in there and you can drill another hole in the chassis and add another RF connector to feed them separately, but you can't tell the S2 DT which tuner to use for what.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:18 PM   #11
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The frustrating thing about the 649s is that there are two separate tuners in there and you can drill another hole in the chassis and add another RF connector to feed them separately, but you can't tell the S2 DT which tuner to use for what.
At this point I can't imagine there are many S2DT units left in the field, so I doubt anyone would go to that extreme even if the software supported it.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:16 PM   #12
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Actually, I seem to remember you could *manually* create (via a hack) two separate channel lists, so it would only use the cable box for the channels required. Then you'd get the more reliable internal tuning for any channels that you could get that way, and only e.g. use a box for premium channels.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:59 PM   #13
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Actually, I seem to remember you could *manually* create (via a hack) two separate channel lists, so it would only use the cable box for the channels required. Then you'd get the more reliable internal tuning for any channels that you could get that way, and only e.g. use a box for premium channels.
The only channels the S2DT could tune internally were analog channels, so what you are describing is how stock S2DT was meant to function with a cable box.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:31 PM   #14
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The easiest way to hack a Series 2 is to throw it in the trash and buy a TiVo that can tune digital channels.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:42 AM   #15
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The only channels the S2DT could tune internally were analog channels, so what you are describing is how stock S2DT was meant to function with a cable box.
However I think they used the data to determine which channels were analog and which were digital, and when they started simulcasting in some areas they started marking those channels as digital even though they were actually available as analog too.

The whole thing sort of went to sh*t when they started converting the lower 99 to digital.
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