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Old 11-26-2013, 09:21 AM   #1
superJess
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TiVo for basic cable?

I purchased a Series2 80 Hour Dual Tuner TiVo in 2006 and gave it to my parents to use with their basic cable in 2008. They have not changed their setup since then. Their TiVo is now dying and they are asking me what to buy to replace it. I haven't had a TiVo since I gave them this one, so I am out of the loop.

They still have basic cable coming from the wall - no cable box, no cable card. I am sure they do not want to pay even a dime more for their cable. They do have an OTA HD antenna (not hooked up to the TiVo - but would be nice if they could). Will any of the newer TiVos work for them? My mom sent me a link to the Premiere 4 on Amazon and asked if she should get that one, but it says it only works with digital cable and no OTA.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superJess View Post
I purchased a Series2 80 Hour Dual Tuner TiVo in 2006 and gave it to my parents to use with their basic cable in 2008. They have not changed their setup since then. Their TiVo is now dying and they are asking me what to buy to replace it. I haven't had a TiVo since I gave them this one, so I am out of the loop.

They still have basic cable coming from the wall - no cable box, no cable card. I am sure they do not want to pay even a dime more for their cable. They do have an OTA HD antenna (not hooked up to the TiVo - but would be nice if they could). Will any of the newer TiVos work for them? My mom sent me a link to the Premiere 4 on Amazon and asked if she should get that one, but it says it only works with digital cable and no OTA.
Given they are still using Analog Cable, their best option would be a 2-tuner Tivo Premiere. These would be model numbers TCD746320 or TCD746500. The additional benefit is that this box also supports OTA as well as Digital Cable. They could hook their OTA Antenna directly to the Tivo as well and have both sources unified on the same Tivo. It's likely that their cable company will cease analog cable and convert to digital in the next couple years. At that time, they would need to obtain a cable card, but the box would still be perfect for their situation.

The best option for purchasing would likely be eBay. You should be able to pick up one of these used w/Lifetime service on it for around $300 - $350. It is still possible to find them new from a few retailers, but they will cost about $125, and you'll still need to purchase service. It's not clear if the S2DT they currently have has lifetime on monthly service. Best case, Lifetime from Tivo on a new box would be $399 or if monthly, they could probably transfer that current rate to the Premiere,

Unfortunately, their are no 4-tuner options for analog cable. It is possible they could upgrade to the new 4-tuner Roamio, but they would need to get a CableCard. You would also want to make sure their cable company provides the basic cable channels in digital format (most all do, but there are still some cable companies broadcasting certain channels only in Analog.).
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
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I agree your best option is a used dual tuner Premiere with lifetime service. You other option would be a used Series 3/TiVo HD both are also have dual tuners & work with OTA and both analog & digital cable (cable card required for digital cable). They are older units and should cost less maybe $250 with lifetime.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:50 AM   #4
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Thanks all - this is exactly what I needed to know. My mom said that Time Warner has been calling them about getting a box and she ignores them. Heh. Eventually she'll have to switch, but for now I just want to get them running again.

If they get the Premiere and hook up the antenna, can they record OTA in addition to the two tuners?
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superJess View Post
I purchased a Series2 80 Hour Dual Tuner TiVo in 2006 and gave it to my parents to use with their basic cable in 2008. They have not changed their setup since then. Their TiVo is now dying and they are asking me what to buy to replace it. I haven't had a TiVo since I gave them this one, so I am out of the loop.

They still have basic cable coming from the wall - no cable box, no cable card. I am sure they do not want to pay even a dime more for their cable. They do have an OTA HD antenna (not hooked up to the TiVo - but would be nice if they could). Will any of the newer TiVos work for them? My mom sent me a link to the Premiere 4 on Amazon and asked if she should get that one, but it says it only works with digital cable and no OTA.
I have a TCD746320 (2 tuner, 320 gig) Premiere with lifetime service to sell if you're interested. I was going to post it on eBay, but would rather sell to a TC member first.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superJess View Post

If they get the Premiere and hook up the antenna, can they record OTA in addition to the two tuners?
?
No. It has two tuners.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bayern_fan View Post
I have a TCD746320 (2 tuner, 320 gig) Premiere with lifetime service to sell if you're interested. I was going to post it on eBay, but would rather sell to a TC member first.
I asked my mom and she said that she has a friend at work that has an old Tivo they're willing to give her, so I think she's going to do that for now. Thank you though!
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:22 PM   #8
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?
No. It has two tuners.
This is how my Dish Network vip722 works. It has two tuners that record anything, but it has a separate tuner for OTA so you can really get three if you have an antenna (one only works for the OTA channels). I thought maybe this Tivo worked the same way. Wishful thinking (I know they would like more tuners despite their unwillingness to switch to digital cable).
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by superJess View Post
.
TiVo has a holiday sale on Premiere's.
https://www.tivo.com/shop/promo/holiday2013
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superJess View Post
I purchased a Series2 80 Hour Dual Tuner TiVo in 2006 and gave it to my parents to use with their basic cable in 2008. They have not changed their setup since then. Their TiVo is now dying and they are asking me what to buy to replace it. I haven't had a TiVo since I gave them this one, so I am out of the loop.

They still have basic cable coming from the wall - no cable box, no cable card. I am sure they do not want to pay even a dime more for their cable. They do have an OTA HD antenna (not hooked up to the TiVo - but would be nice if they could). Will any of the newer TiVos work for them? My mom sent me a link to the Premiere 4 on Amazon and asked if she should get that one, but it says it only works with digital cable and no OTA.

As you can see from the link quoted in this post:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=511740

you can pick up a new 500GB two tuner Premiere for $50 straight from TiVo, provided you sign up for a susbscription for it.

It'll do analog cable, digital cable with a cable card, and digital over the air broadcast stations.

But, as I understand it, if it's not constantly connected to a fairly good internet connection (like cable modem at a pretty good speed, not something like dial-up), some stuff doesn't work or doesn't work well.

Others who've actually owned Premieres can tell you more about that than I.

You might consider checking the Craigslist in your area for a good deal on a lifetimed Series 3, which aren't as internet dependent as the S4s.

There are 3 models, the TCD648250, which debuted as the Series 3, though with HD in big letters on the box, and then two versions of the next Series 3 platform model, the TCD652160, which TiVo just called the HD, and the pretty much identical except for hard drive size TCD658000, which they called the HD XL.

As you can imagine, there's often confusion when someone says S3 or HD as to whether they mean a 648 or a 652.

All 3 of those will do analog cable, digital OTA, and digital cable (with cable card), and can tune and record two channels at once.

Because the original S3, the 648, was developed before the Multi-tuner cable card spec was fully finalized, it turns out that it can't use just one M card for both tuners, so S(ingle) or M card, it needs one for each tuner.

The HD and HD XL can use 1 M card for both tuners or 2 S cards if that's what's available (when they first came out not all cable companies had rushed to spend money to replace their stock of S cards with M cards).

There are two main drawbacks to a Series 3 at this time.

Unless it's been in a box all this time, the hard drive has some mileage on it, and may need replacing before long.

If you're handy with PCs, it's not difficult (you just have to do it the way we tell you to), and you can increase their drive size by about a factor of 10 for under $100. This only applies to the 250GB 648 and the 160
GB 652. The 658 can also use up to a 2TB drive, but comes stock with a 1TB drive already.

And that's a better approach than increasing storage size by adding an external drive to the TiVo, which doubles the chance of one drive failing and causing the loss of all recorded shows on the TiVo.

The other drawback is that both the Series 2s and the Series 3s, most specifically their power supplies, were built during a period where an industrial espionage screwup resulted in the supply chain being flooded with probably millions of faulty electrolytic capacitors.

The wikipedia article on "capacitor plague" can give you the details.

It's not impossible that the problem with their TCD649080 or TCD649180 is due to bad caps in the power supply, although for some reason the S2 DTs don't seem to have had as high a rate of power supply problems as the single tuner S2s and the 3 S3 models.

The good news is that about $10 worth of replacement caps and some simple soldering can fix the power supply.

It's possible for some other power supply part to have failed, of course, but much, much less likely than one of more of the capacitors.

It's also possible that their S2s hard drive is going bad, but it's replaceable with up to a 1TB drive, with the right SATA/IDE adapter if necessary, as well just as easily as S3 drive replacement.

Does your parents' TiVo have a lifetime subscription or are they still paying by the month?
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by superJess View Post
I asked my mom and she said that she has a friend at work that has an old Tivo they're willing to give her, so I think she's going to do that for now. Thank you though!
Then let's talk about fixing their dual tuner unit and getting it running again.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by superJess View Post
This is how my Dish Network vip722 works. It has two tuners that record anything, but it has a separate tuner for OTA so you can really get three if you have an antenna (one only works for the OTA channels). I thought maybe this Tivo worked the same way. Wishful thinking (I know they would like more tuners despite their unwillingness to switch to digital cable).
Do they advertise the Dish Network vip722 as a two tuner dvr?
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #13
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If they get the Premiere and hook up the antenna, can they record OTA in addition to the two tuners?
It can record form either one, but can only record two things at a time regardless of the source. So either two canle, two OTA or one of each.

FYI you might be able to find an even better deal on a used TiVo HD instead. It has the same ability to record as the Premiere. You can pick one up with lifetime for about $200 these days.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by superJess View Post
I asked my mom and she said that she has a friend at work that has an old Tivo they're willing to give her, so I think she's going to do that for now. Thank you though!
If Time Warner has been bugging her to get a box, then she should go ahead at this point and move to a CableCard-compatible TiVo, otherwise within a few weeks/months you're going to be going through this exercise again.
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:58 PM   #15
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What will work on antenna and/or analog or digital cable?

Series 3 (TCD648250b) -antenna(OTA) and analog or digital cable using 2 cable cards.
Series 3 HD (TCD652160) - OTA and/or cable with 2 single or 1 multi stream cable cards
" (TCD658000). "

Premiere 2 tuner models - OTA and/or cable with a multi stream cable card

Roamio 4 tuner (TCD846500) - 4 tuners to record from OTA -OR- digital cable with a multisctream cable card.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:24 PM   #16
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The Series 2 they have does not have lifetime. I don't remember it being an option when I bought it in 2006. If it was, I'm surprised I didn't do it. Maybe I just didn't realize it was an option or I couldn't afford it at the time. At this point it would have been worth it, but who knew my parents would keep it this long.

Based on what they've told me, I think the problem may be the hard drive. I could try to get another and fix it, but it's not worth the time to me because it doesn't have lifetime and I have a 6 month old. ;-)

I agree they should just deal with upgrading to digital now, but try telling my mom that. They have a lot of random TVs hooked up and she doesn't want to pay for the adapters or boxes for each one until she has to.

For now, hopefully the Tivo her friend has will work for her. If not, we'll have to revisit.

Thanks everyone for all of the great info!
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:23 AM   #17
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They should be able to have the same old cable on other TV sources but have a cable card in the TiVo for Digital there.

Now the possible card issues might not work good for your parents if they are happy with basic cable.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:28 AM   #18
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If they use Netflix a Series 3 and higher can do it.
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:14 AM   #19
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If they use Netflix a Series 3 and higher can do it.
The Netflix app on the S3 units is horrible! The one on the Premiere units is slow, but usable. The one on the Roamio units is great.
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:10 PM   #20
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As you can see from the link quoted in this post:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=511740

But, as I understand it, if it's not constantly connected to a fairly good internet connection (like cable modem at a pretty good speed, not something like dial-up), some stuff doesn't work or doesn't work well.

Others who've actually owned Premieres can tell you more about that than I.
Slow, low quality Internet makes the High Definition User Interface erratic. I use the Standard Definition User Interface and have no problems.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:41 AM   #21
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Slow, low quality Internet makes the High Definition User Interface erratic. I use the Standard Definition User Interface and have no problems.
I see my carefully constructed Premiere owner lure is beginning to draw them in.
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