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Old 10-06-2013, 09:59 PM   #1
hershey4
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Media Access Key - multiple DVRs multiple owners

I recently got a new Premiere-4 (upgraded from S2) and when I just opened up my Tivo Desktop, I expected it had my old S2 Media Key and I would have to change it to my new Premiere's key. But it said if I did, I couldn't watch the recordings in the Tivo Desktop -- so I didn't. I don't even know what the old Media Key was.

Then I went into MyShows and was surely surprised to see my new Premiere's MyShows without me telling Tivo Desktop about my upgrade. So I guess Tivo Desktop communicates with the "mother ship" about me. I thought Tivo Desktop was just a local PC/Tivo thing on my LAN.

So I transferred a current show to the desktop and it is fine.

So is it right to conclude that the Media Access Key is tied to my account rather than a particular DVR?

Also concerned how it works with transferring ownership of a Product Lifetime Series 2? Do they get their own Media Access Key? I just sold my Series 2, does it get a new key when the new owner sets it up?

Please enlighten me.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:07 PM   #2
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The MAK is tied to the account that the TiVo(s) are attached to. To share programs between the TiVo's all need to have the same Media Access Key.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:31 PM   #3
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so when I did a Clear and Delete Everything on my Series 2 prior to selling it, did that delete the MAK also? Can the new owner use the S2 without establishing an account (and presumably getting his own MAK)?
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:31 PM   #4
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The MAK follows the account. Until that box is transferred to their account, it's still on your account.

They can technically run Guided Setup and use it even if it's still on your account. But they won't have online tivo.com access to it or be able to use Tivo Desktop until they create an account (getting their own MAK) and transfer the box to it.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
so when I did a Clear and Delete Everything on my Series 2 prior to selling it, did that delete the MAK also? Can the new owner use the S2 without establishing an account (and presumably getting his own MAK)?
The C&DE did nothing to the Tivo's MAK. The one and only way to remove a MAK is to end it's subscription. If The Tivo has a lifetime subscription, the new owner can use it with the old MAK from your account with some limitations. If they have other Tivos, they can not use the MRV function of your old Tivo (because the MAKs don't match) until they add it to their account.
I assume you're asking because of concerns of your MAK being in the hands of some stranger. Having your MAK will not give the new owner any kind of access to steal your identity.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:45 AM   #6
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whats MRV?

No, not concerned about identity theft. I just like to know how things work.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
Then I went into MyShows and was surely surprised to see my new Premiere's MyShows without me telling Tivo Desktop about my upgrade. So I guess Tivo Desktop communicates with the "mother ship" about me.
That's not how it knew about the Premiere. TiVo Desktop just scans the LAN for all available TiVos.

However...

Quote:
I thought Tivo Desktop was just a local PC/Tivo thing on my LAN.
Generally, it is. But there are certain functions for which it does have to communicate with tivo.com -- namely, the auto-transfer folders, and the PC-assisted webcasts. (I'm not sure that's all, but I can't think of any others right now.)

Quote:
whats MRV?
Multi-Room Viewing -- transferring recordings directly between two TiVos, with no PC involved.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BigJimOutlaw View Post
The MAK follows the account. Until that box is transferred to their account, it's still on your account.

They can technically run Guided Setup and use it even if it's still on your account. But they won't have online tivo.com access to it or be able to use Tivo Desktop until they create an account (getting their own MAK) and transfer the box to it.
They can use TiVo Desktop as the MAK can be found under System Information, but if you use somebody MAC than put the TiVo into your account you will not be able to view any recordings you xfered.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BigJimOutlaw View Post
The MAK follows the account. Until that box is transferred to their account, it's still on your account.

They can technically run Guided Setup and use it even if it's still on your account. But they won't have online tivo.com access to it or be able to use Tivo Desktop until they create an account (getting their own MAK) and transfer the box to it.
Actually they would still be able to use TiVo Desktop. They would only need to enter the MAK that is shown on the TiVo. So the new owner could still transfer content to TiVo Desktop while the TiVo is still on the previous owners account. But one the TiVo is put on their own account, the MAK would change.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:42 PM   #10
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They can use TiVo Desktop as the MAK can be found under System Information, ...
So that would be comparable to me having two instances of Tivo Desktop around (presumably on different computers) with the same MAK. Does Tivo(.com?) complain or care about that?
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:04 PM   #11
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So that would be comparable to me having two instances of Tivo Desktop around (presumably on different computers) with the same MAK. Does Tivo(.com?) complain or care about that?
No, you can have as many as you want. The MAK is unrelated to the Plus key. (I don't know the rules for that.) For the few functions that use tivo.com... the MAK isn't used, but there is a unique identifier that's established, based on the PC name. I'm not really sure how that's handled in TiVo Desktop.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by hershey4 View Post
I recently got a new Premiere-4 (upgraded from S2) and when I just opened up my Tivo Desktop, I expected it had my old S2 Media Key and I would have to change it to my new Premiere's key. But it said if I did, I couldn't watch the recordings in the Tivo Desktop -- so I didn't. I don't even know what the old Media Key was.

Then I went into MyShows and was surely surprised to see my new Premiere's MyShows without me telling Tivo Desktop about my upgrade. So I guess Tivo Desktop communicates with the "mother ship" about me. I thought Tivo Desktop was just a local PC/Tivo thing on my LAN.

So I transferred a current show to the desktop and it is fine.

So is it right to conclude that the Media Access Key is tied to my account rather than a particular DVR?

Also concerned how it works with transferring ownership of a Product Lifetime Series 2? Do they get their own Media Access Key? I just sold my Series 2, does it get a new key when the new owner sets it up?

Please enlighten me.
Each TiVo has a TiVo Service Number.

If you have two identical TiVos, say 2 of the original 320GB Premieres, just as an example, each has a unique TSN.

So if you had a lifetime sub on one of those Premieres, and a monthly sub on the other, even though both units connect to the TiVo, Inc. servers through the same internet account of yours and therefore the IP address the TiVo servers see is the same, when one of them tells the server, "hey, my TSN is "blah-blah-blah", the server looks up that TSN in a database and knows what the subscription/account status is for that unit, knows that it's attached to your overall TiVo account, and since it knows what the Media Access Key is for your account and any and all TiVos on that account, it tells that TiVo what MAK to use, and also tells that TiVo any name you've assigned to it on your account page at tivo.com (like "Bill's DVR", or "Kitchen TiVo").

Then any and all computers on which you've installed TiVo Desktop (where you had to manually enter that MAK) should be able to see any and all TiVos with that same MAK if they're on the same network segment (which theoretically could be over 250 devices).

Your lifetimed S2's TSN will not change, which is how tivo.com will know that it's lifetimed next time it phones home, but the new owner should contact TiVo and set up their own account, which would get them a new MAK.

If they don't, and you didn't inform TiVo about the sale either, then I guess it'd continue to have the same MAK and continue to be listed on your account at tivo.com, but the new owner won't be on the same network segment as the rest of your stuff (unless they live next door and are mooching off of your Wi-Fi), and so they won't see any of the other devices you have using that same MAK.

Also, if they call TiVo, they can give them the TSN and ask about the TiVo with that TSN, but the most they'll find out is the account status and maybe when the unit was first put into service or when the lifetime sub was purchased, and I'm only sure about the first of those 3 things.

They, or anyone they pass that TiVo on to, will not be able to get any personally identifying info on you whatsoever.

But you should go ahead and contact the buyer and urge them to set up their own account at tivo.com to avoid any possible confusion, forseeable or otherwise, anywhere down the road.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:22 AM   #13
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@unitron, Thanks for the detailed explanation. So I understand that if he did use Tivo Desktop w/o getting his own MAK, the MAK and TSN would match but it is isolated to his network, not mine. And my Tivo was cleaned prior to the sale so he's got a blank slate on Desktop even if he does not get a MAK. However, if Desktop accesses tivo.com to populate something of interest about my account, that might be a loophole. Depends what "of interest" is.

However, I think he was planning on calling tivo to set up an account, so I am not concerned. In advance of the sale, I called Tivo and documented my intentions and got a case number, which I gave to the buyer with the Tivo phone number.

Can he change the name of my Tivo? Did my Clean do that? Probably not if tivo.com still has to have a name. I think I will go take a look at tivo.com and see what boxes are there.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:43 AM   #14
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You can input whatever MAK you want in TiVo Desktop. When I had a CSR change my MAK on me. I had to enter the old MAK to access the recordings made with the old MAK. Then I would need to enter the new MAK to access the new recordings and TiVos on my account.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:27 AM   #15
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@unitron, Thanks for the detailed explanation. So I understand that if he did use Tivo Desktop w/o getting his own MAK, the MAK and TSN would match but it is isolated to his network, not mine. And my Tivo was cleaned prior to the sale so he's got a blank slate on Desktop even if he does not get a MAK. However, if Desktop accesses tivo.com to populate something of interest about my account, that might be a loophole. Depends what "of interest" is.

However, I think he was planning on calling tivo to set up an account, so I am not concerned. In advance of the sale, I called Tivo and documented my intentions and got a case number, which I gave to the buyer with the Tivo phone number.

Can he change the name of my Tivo? Did my Clean do that? Probably not if tivo.com still has to have a name. I think I will go take a look at tivo.com and see what boxes are there.
The naming of the TiVo (Fred's TiVo, bedroom 1, etc.) is done at tivo.com, and when the TiVo connects to the TiVo, Inc. servers and tells them its TSN, they check their database and tell that TiVo what its name is and what its current MAK is.

If the new owner doesn't have the password for your tivo.com account, and have not set up their own account and transferred that TiVo to that account, they can't change the name.

The thing to do, of course, is for the new owner to set up their own account and put the TiVo you sold them on that account.

That way they get a MAK different from yours and they get to change the name if they want to.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:23 AM   #16
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If the new owner doesn't have the password for your tivo.com account, and have not set up their own account and transferred that TiVo to that account, they can't change the name.
You can rename the box on the TiVo itself, if you have a Premiere or Roamio.

From TiVo Central > Settings & Messages > Settings > Remote Control, CableCARD, & Devices > Name this DVR

Of course, this won't work on Series 3 and older.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:31 PM   #17
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You can rename the box on the TiVo itself, if you have a Premiere or Roamio.

From TiVo Central > Settings & Messages > Settings > Remote Control, CableCARD, & Devices > Name this DVR

Of course, this won't work on Series 3 and older.
Can you do it if you disconnect the S4 or S5 from any internet connection?

Or is it just a matter of being able to access the TiVo naming part of your tivo.com account via the TiVo instead of needing a computer?
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:24 PM   #18
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Can you do it if you disconnect the S4 or S5 from any internet connection?

Or is it just a matter of being able to access the TiVo naming part of your tivo.com account via the TiVo instead of needing a computer?
You can rename it on the TiVo without an internet connection, but of course it won't update at tivo.com until the box is able to connect and check in. The rename feature on the box does not directly access the website.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:01 AM   #19
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The C&DE did nothing to the Tivo's MAK. The one and only way to remove a MAK is to end it's subscription. If The Tivo has a lifetime subscription, the new owner can use it with the old MAK from your account with some limitations. If they have other Tivos, they can not use the MRV function of your old Tivo (because the MAKs don't match) until they add it to their account.
I assume you're asking because of concerns of your MAK being in the hands of some stranger. Having your MAK will not give the new owner any kind of access to steal your identity.
You can always login online to your account and remove transfers (uncheck it) from the DVR preferences screen for the tivo in question. The next time the tivo calls in then it will remove the MAK from the tivo box and they can no longer see it. It would say something like unavailable on the screen where it would normally be shown.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:18 PM   #20
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You can always login online to your account and remove transfers (uncheck it) from the DVR preferences screen for the tivo in question. The next time the tivo calls in then it will remove the MAK from the tivo box and they can no longer see it. It would say something like unavailable on the screen where it would normally be shown.
Turning off downloads and transfers does not remove the MAK.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #21
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Media Access Key - multiple DVRs multiple owners

Quote:
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Turning off downloads and transfers does not remove the MAK.
Yes it does. I have done this in the past. Obviously, you have to make it call in first for that to happen though. And you only have to turn off transfers. Downloads can stay on.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:33 AM   #22
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You can always login online to your account and remove transfers (uncheck it) from the DVR preferences screen for the tivo in question. ....
I went to that screen to look at that and the tivo in question is not listed. I guess that means the new owner got their own account.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:16 PM   #23
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I went to that screen to look at that and the tivo in question is not listed. I guess that means the new owner got their own account.
Yep, it's kinda confusing the way that Tivo does this. I don't understand why they have to be in the active list and why they don't have a choice for active (on your account) and all but somehow it makes sense to Tivo.
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