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Old 12-28-2012, 12:38 AM   #1
dannydodge
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finally got my first tivo!

well now that the madness of christmas is over, i finally got my self a tivo

series 3 HD unit, complete stock, not upgraded with a lifetime sub. got it off of ebay.

very excited to get it, is there really anything important i should know other than the usual?
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:30 AM   #2
HerronScott
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If you are using cable, get your cable cards installed and enjoy?

My brother only moved to TiVo in the last year or so and the one thing he didn't like was the delay and flicker(?) he got with his TV as he changed channels which if I recall correctly was due to the output resolution setting. I believe we set his to 1080i fixed which is how I have mine set.

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Old 12-29-2012, 11:30 AM   #3
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Congrats on your purchase! The TivoHD is a great unit. I've had my HD for 6 years and love it. I just upgraded to the XL4 for Christmas so my HD may be on the market soon.

As HerronScott said if you are on cable, get a cable card. TivoHD supports Mcards (multistream) and you will only need one of those. If your cable provider only has Scard (single) you will need two.

When you discover that 20 hours of HD recordings is way to confining upgrading the TivoHD is very simple and inexpensive. I used this thread to upgrade mine twice. First to a 750Gb drive, then to a 2Tb drive.

If you like video podcasts or subscribe to YouTube channels, TivoHD paired with Tivo Desktop and gPodder or Miro can get your favorite web videos right on your TV.

So set your Season Passes and create some Wishlists and enjoy!
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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Those units are subject to HDMI output failures. I had one like that but it ran very nicely using the component (RGB) video. If you want to upgrade the hard drive size, check out the Upgrade Forum. There is free imaging SW and free images for your box available.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:20 PM   #5
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Well, it's a very sophisticated piece of equipment you have, there. It can do a great many useful things. It's going to take a while for you to learn all of them, and it would take far too much space here and too much time for me to list everything of which the unit is capable. I'll talk about one or two things, but first let me ask you who your CATV provider is? It makes a difference, especially if you ever want to use all the built-in networking capabilities such as saving your shows off to an external PC for archiving, editing out commercials, burning to DVD, etc.

I definitely suggest one of the first things you do is upgrade the internal drive. This is easy and fairly inexpensive, and it serves two very important purposes. First of all, of course, it increases the number of shows that can reside on the TiVo. At first glance, one might be tempted to think this is a linear thing, but it is not. Because shows are being recorded and then deleted at a more or less steady pace, a modest change in size results in a large change in effective capacity. Secondly, one may then take the original drive and sit it on a shelf as a backup. By far the most likely thing to fail on that unit is the hard drive. With a spare sitting on the shelf, you can be back up and running in a matter of minutes when you suffer a hard drive failure. It's cheap and easy insurance.

The main thing I would point out is the TiVo does much more than just record TV shows on demand and play them back. Many people think of their TiVo as really just a VCR on steroids, but in so doing they fail to take full advantage of the capabilities of the TiVo. They also unnecessarily waste a great deal of their time, and fail to record a great many high quality programs they would very likely enjoy watching. I suggest the following:

1. Don't think of the Tivo as a recording device. Rather, think of it as a filter that hides the many thousands of useless (to you) videos and the tons of duplicate programs so you don't have to deal with them when looking to select a program to watch. Forget about what's on the CATV lineup at the moment and treat the Now Playing List as your TV Guide. It still can contain hundreds of programs from which to select, but it won't overwhelm you with a bunch of junk.

2. Completely forget about the idea of channels, schedules, and guides. The TiVo actually has two different guides available, but neither one is necessary. I haven't used either in over 12 years. Not once. You no longer need to worry about when a program comes on or on which channel. Now the program comes on when you press <Play>, no matter what day or time, and it shows on network NPL. The TiVo knows on what channel the program airs live and when, and it will take care of all that for you.

3. There are four main recording utilities (plus several minor but occasionally important ones) available on the TiVo. All four can be used in a straightforward, default manner with little thought or effort, but all four also have some very powerful and subtle capabilities available with a tiny bit of extra effort and a little thought.

The first is the Season Pass. It is the simplest and least flexible of the four, but even it has a few clever options the user should investigate to maximize its effectiveness. Put simply, the SP records a single TV series broadcast on a single channel. It doesn't matter what day or time an episode is broadcast, it is a candidate for recording. If a series is in syndication on more than one channel, then you will need a separate SP for each channel from which you wish to record the series. The basic options are to record only first run episodes, first runs plus reruns, or every instance including duplicates. If a recording conflict arises between two SPs, the one higher in the SP list is given the higher priority. One example of a bit of sophistication is found when two SPs regularly or occasionally conflict. If one of them is broadcast multiple times during the week, then set that one to a lower priority to record all including duplicates. That way it is guaranteed both series will get recorded.

The second is Wishlists. It is a highly flexible and extremely powerful utility. One may set up a wishlist by category, actor, director, title keyword, or general keyword. Unlike the SP, a wishlist can be created for a program that isn't even in the schedule. (The schedule data extends for between 12 and 14 days into the future.) Whenever a movie comes out in theaters that I think I might like to record, for example, I create a wishlist for that movie. Perhaps up to a year or more later, it gets shown on cable, and the TiVo automatically records it. In the mean time, I don't have to worry about it. The wishlist provides boolean expressions, so one may set up a wishlist for Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, or one with John Wayne but not directed by John Ford. If one sets up a title keyword wishlist with the word "volcano", it will not record the movie Dante's Peak, but a general keyword wishlist with the word "volcano" will record that movie, because the word appears in the description. The category filter has main selections such as movies, sports, kids, action adventure, comedy, etc. After selecting the main category, one may also optionally choose a sub-category specific to the selected main category. Thus, the category movies has sub-categories of animated, comedy, biography, etc. The category sports has sub-categories of football, baseball, basketball, etc. One may also specify the recordings are to be HD only.

The third main recording tool is the deceptively named "Search by Title". On the Series III class machines like your TiVo HD, this utility doesn't really search for titles. Rather, it is a listing of the entire schedule sorted by name with duplicates omitted, and a search for a name is keyed on the order in the title name, jumping to the nearest program in the list, but one may always browse up and down the list from the very top to the very bottom, if one chooses. Thus, a search for the word "World" will not jump to Around the World in 80 Days, but rather to the first show whose name starts with "World", or the nearest title after. If there are two programs named Wombat Wars and Wyvern City, it will jump to Wyvern City, but pressing the <Up> button a few times will move up the list to Wombat Wars. Most importantly, the list can be filtered using the same filter utilities available for the Wishlist. For example, every ten days or so, I go to

Search by Title => HD => Movies => No sub-category => 0

This brings me to the very top of the listing of all movies broadcast in HD over the next 12 days or so. Browsing the list, I can see if there are any movies I might like to see that the other recording utilities have failed to catch. Note even though the movie Cowboys and Aliens might be shown 10 times on 3 different channels over the next couple of weeks, it will only show up once in the list, which reduces the size of the list by at least a factor of 3 or 4. Drilling into one of the selections, one can choose to by default record the first airing or optionally view all upcoming showings and pick one of them to record.

The fourth major recording utility is extremely powerful, clever, and highly automatic. It is called TiVo Suggestions. One may have the TiVo automatically record Suggestions, or merely create a list the user may peruse at leisure. I said the utility is automatic, but what I meant is the utility is automatic. The setup is simple but manual and dynamic. There are two buttons on the TiVo labeled Thumbs-Up and Thunbs-Down. When one selects a program in a list (either the NPL or one of the searches) or when one is actually watching a program, one may press the Thumbs-Up key to signify increasing approval, or the Thunbs-Down to signify decreasing approval. One may tag a show with up to 3 Thunbs-Up or Thumbs-Down markers. Thumbs-Up is important, but Thumbs-Down is especially important when managing the Suggestions filter. Remember, the Tivo is fundamentally a filter that removes garbage from your CATV lineup on a show by show basis, and so the most important thing about suggestions is removing what you don't like.

Note Suggestions are considered low priority by the TiVo. The TiVo will never overwrite a recording selected by other means with a Suggestion. It will only overwrite the oldest Suggestion(s) or deleted program(s) if there is no free space on the TiVo. Deleted programs are the lowest priority, and get overwritten first. If a scheduled program needs to be recorded and there is no free space, the TiVo will first overwrite any deleted programs, then any suggestions, and only then if necessary the oldest scheduled recording(s).

There is much, much more, but I think that is plenty with which to start. Mull it over, and play with the TiVo. Come back and read this again when you start to get the feel of it. Ask questions and browse the forum.

Last edited by lrhorer : 12-29-2012 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:26 PM   #6
lrhorer
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Originally Posted by Doit2it View Post
Congrats on your purchase! The TivoHD is a great unit. I've had my HD for 6 years and love it.
Ahem. I don't think so. The THD was introduced in 2007. The oldest models are only 5 years old. The original S3 was introduced in September 2006. Some of them are six years old. In fact, I have one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doit2it View Post
When you discover that 20 hours of HD recordings is way to confining upgrading the TivoHD is very simple and inexpensive.
Absolutely. See my response above.

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Originally Posted by Doit2it View Post
If you like video podcasts or subscribe to YouTube channels, TivoHD paired with Tivo Desktop and gPodder or Miro can get your favorite web videos right on your TV.
Oh, yeah. That hardly scratches the surface, and I didn't even mention any of the vast array of networking features of the THD.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dannydodge View Post
well now that the madness of christmas is over, i finally got my self a tivo

series 3 HD unit, complete stock, not upgraded with a lifetime sub. got it off of ebay.

very excited to get it, is there really anything important i should know other than the usual?
I assume you mean not upgraded comma but with a lifetime sub.

As in, still has the original hard drive.

If you've got any money left over, you might see if the WD20EURS is still available from newegg or Amazon for $100 and grab one for future reference.

Did you get a TCD652160 or a TCD648250? (TiVo created some confusion about exactly what S3 HD means, unfortunately, which persists to this day).
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:53 AM   #8
Bierboy
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If you plan to upgrade the hard drive do it BEFORE you get the CableCARDS. It'll save you some hassle re-pairing them with your cableco....
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:03 AM   #9
replaytv
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Before upgrading the hard drive, open up the box and see if the power supply capacitors need replacing. There are many threads on this forum that talk about how to do that.

Last edited by replaytv : 12-30-2012 at 11:04 AM. Reason: to add last line
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:24 PM   #10
Doit2it
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Originally Posted by lrhorer View Post
Ahem. I don't think so. The THD was introduced in 2007. The oldest models are only 5 years old. The original S3 was introduced in September 2006. Some of them are six years old. In fact, I have one.
Hmmm, that's weird. Then why does my account show my first HD was activated 10/09/2006? It is a THD, not an S3.

Edit: Nevermind, I figured it out. I did an upgrade (Tivo must have had a deal) from a S2 80hr to the THD. The S2 80hr was purchased on 10/09/2006 and was upgraded to the THD on 10/09/2009. No I didn't get Lifetime xfered over, I upgraded the service when I upgraded the box.

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Oh, yeah. That hardly scratches the surface, and I didn't even mention any of the vast array of networking features of the THD.
Yes, I forgot to mention there are free alternatives to Tivo desktop suck as PYTivo. I had already paid the $25 for the full Tivo Desktop and have just stuck with it.
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Last edited by Doit2it : 12-30-2012 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:39 PM   #11
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The HD was introduced in July 2007 so I can only guess you transferred lifetime service somehow from a TiVo you purchased in October 2006?

Note that both of my S3 OLED's show activiation dates of June 2000 and May 2002 respectively since I transferred lifetime from my 2 older S1 TiVo's even though I actualy activated them in January and February of 2007.

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Old 12-30-2012, 01:22 PM   #12
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If you plan to upgrade the hard drive do it BEFORE you get the CableCARDS. It'll save you some hassle re-pairing them with your cableco....
IIRC if you do the upgrade yourself, it is better to go through guided setup and get the cable card(s) paired first.
When you go to upgrade, all those settings will be copied to the new drive, including the cable card pairing.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:25 PM   #13
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IIRC if you do the upgrade yourself, it is better to go through guided setup and get the cable card(s) paired first.
When you go to upgrade, all those settings will be copied to the new drive, including the cable card pairing.
Yes, you're correct. I should have mentioned ONLY if you buy a pre-formatted drive then follow my advice.
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:35 AM   #14
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The third main recording tool is the deceptively named "Search by Title". On the Series III class machines like your TiVo HD, this utility doesn't really search for titles. ...
Thus, a search for the word "World" will not jump to Around the World in 80 Days, but rather to the first show whose name starts with "World", or the nearest title after. If there are two programs named Wombat Wars and Wyvern City, it will jump to Wyvern City
So, it ACTUALLY IS doing a search by title.. I personally appreciate the "new" (to me) behavior on the Premiere, because it is sometimes useful, but often it does NOT go to the one I want, because it's trying to be "smarter" and not doing a SEARCH BY TITLE, like it's named.
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