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Old 10-05-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
tmozer
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New Base Model Tivo Premiere

OK, I have a new Tivo Premiere (the base $150 model) coming from Amazon along with the Tivo N (more expensive) wireless adaptor. I want to be ready to "rock & roll" when the delivery arrives so I would like to get some questions answered before hand......

I believe the Tivo has two tuners and two cable card slots. Will we be ok with one cable card? I don't believe my wife would use both tuners, but what would be the advantage (with two cable cards)? We have Comcast Xfiinity cable......

I know I will have to go online to Tivo to purchase a subscription. I will start with the year subscription for $15 a month. Should I do that first before hooking up the box?

Basically I know I will need to establish the Tivo subscription, activate the cable card with Comcast and setup my wireless connection. In what order should I do these things?
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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You can call Tivo and tell them to start your subscription on a given date or just wait until it arrives and call them - they can get it up and running quickly (I always do it a day before). I don't know that the Tivo you are getting has more than one card slot, but either way you can get one "M" (multistream) cable card and it will work for both tuners. Calling Comcast is the last step as you are physically setting up the unit.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:21 PM   #3
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Go wired if you can- things are just faster that way.

Premiers only have one card slot. Two tuners is critical, once you have it you will better understand the flexibility it provides.

Wait to sign up, you need the numbers from the box anyhow. Purchase lifetime if you can- payback is quick and resale is high.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:32 PM   #4
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Sorry - right, you need the Tivo service # (I always purchased from Tivo so I got the number in advance).
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:54 PM   #5
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You're given a grace period to get the box up and running before having to activate it. So I would do things in this order:

1. Connect and startup the box (with the wireless adapter is fine -- you may have instructions to get it running first, so do those first). The Tivo will need to connect to the mothership a couple times to get the latest software and some guide data to get you going, etc. All told, this will take some time (might be an hour-ish).

If you don't have the cablecard yet, during the setup process when asked about the card, select "install it later".

2. Install and then activate the cablecard when you get it (if you didn't by this point).

3. Officially activate Tivo service AFTER you know your box is working, recording, tuning channels it should (double-check any premium channels), etc.

This is pretty much the workflow we have to follow anyway.

Last edited by BigJimOutlaw : 10-05-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:21 PM   #6
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You can call Tivo and tell them to start your subscription on a given date or just wait until it arrives and call them - they can get it up and running quickly (I always do it a day before).
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Sorry - right, you need the Tivo service # (I always purchased from Tivo so I got the number in advance).
You wouldn't have ever needed to call tivo to activate a subscription because Tivo only ships out pre-activated units.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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You wouldn't have ever needed to call tivo to activate a subscription because Tivo only ships out pre-activated units.
LOL - you're absolutely right. THAT's why I couldn't remember when I called
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:21 PM   #8
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Tuning Adaptors (TA's): How do you know if you will need one for the Tivo? Comcast in SW Florida has gone all digital so we need a box for each TV. Optimum in NJ is now requiring a box for each TV although I have not been there to set them up yet (I had my son pick up the "free for the first year" cable boxes). So far TW Cable in SC does not require a cable box for each connection.

Again, what circumstances determine that a TA will be needed with the cable card to use our new Tivo Premiere?
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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Again, what circumstances determine that a TA will be needed with the cable card to use our new Tivo Premiere?
A tuning adapter is only needed if the cable company has deployed SDV (switched digital video.)

Call comcast to ask if they use SDV in your area.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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Tuning Adaptors (TA's): How do you know if you will need one for the Tivo? Comcast in SW Florida has gone all digital so we need a box for each TV. Optimum in NJ is now requiring a box for each TV although I have not been there to set them up yet (I had my son pick up the "free for the first year" cable boxes). So far TW Cable in SC does not require a cable box for each connection.

Again, what circumstances determine that a TA will be needed with the cable card to use our new Tivo Premiere?
Comcast doesn't use SDV, so no TA needed there. Both TWC and Optimum do, at least in some locations. If you're willing to live with just the analog channels in SC, you will need neither a CableCARD nor a TA there.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:28 PM   #11
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Actually TW in MI SC puts out several HD digital channels over the bare cable. However I am pretty sure that many of the programs my wife records (and the Tivo is actually for her) need a set top box/cable card to access.

If it were just (up to) me I would have basic cable everywhere (for news and sports). Everything else I watch comes through my Roku......
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:54 PM   #12
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Go wired if you can- things are just faster that way.
I've gotten great performance out of the TiVo N adapters. It really comes down to the quality of router you are using when using wireless (and the signal quality you get obviously).
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:56 AM   #13
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Actually TW in MI SC puts out several HD digital channels over the bare cable. However I am pretty sure that many of the programs my wife records (and the Tivo is actually for her) need a set top box/cable card to access.
Most cable systems "put out" local HD channels in clear QAM, but the TiVo does not get guide data for them.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:02 PM   #14
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My Premiere arrived today along with the wireless client and a 1 TB WD DVR Extender external drive. I am glad I decided to set every thing up tonight even though I still have to retrieve a M Cable Card from Comcast. The only fly in the oiment was that the wireless dogal came with the switch set to bridge instead of client. After hooking it up to my laptop, desktop and router to try to get to the setup program I finally re-read the directions and checked the switch. After setting it to client setup was a snap (after about 45 minutes of dummy time).

All the Tivo setup crap took several hours so, as I said, I'm glad that is done. Hopefully (from now on) that will take place in the background?

It is nice to see that with the external drive I have 222 hours of HD programming time!

The plan is to take this unit with us when we go from place to place (three locations with three different cable companies). I know I will have to replace the cable card, but I am assuming that whatever is recoreded in one place will be available at the next and we will be able to record new programs at the new location. Am I dreaming or should this work (without too much trouble)?
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:28 PM   #15
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In theory, it should be easy but... it took 3 cablecards and two tech visits before Comcast was actually able to get someone on the phone to program it correctly. Do NOT let the national techs program your card, they will get the card numbers in, but never get the billing info in right. Let the local office do it. Hopefully other cable companies are better at activating cablecards. After the troubles I have had, it would take an act of God for me to remove it
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:14 AM   #16
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The plan is to take this unit with us when we go from place to place (three locations with three different cable companies). I know I will have to replace the cable card, but I am assuming that whatever is recoreded in one place will be available at the next and we will be able to record new programs at the new location. Am I dreaming or should this work (without too much trouble)?
I think you will be Ok, plus as long as the channel call names are the same the season passes will change to the new channel in each local , CBS and the like would need to be redone.

On to the Extender you bought they tend to DIE in high % at around 15 months.
Upgrade drive vs DVR Expander - Pros and Cons?

Premiere Drive Upgrade Instructions - with all-in-one jmfs Live CD]
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:56 AM   #17
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The cable card pickup and activation went without a hitch. With Comcast it is a love and hate relationship. Some times I love them, some times I don't. Today they are ok.

If an when the extender drive dies, do you loose the recordings on the internal drive too? Would I be wise to power it down for now and reactivate it if the internal drive starts filling up?
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:11 AM   #18
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I believe you will lose all shows which was recorded while your external harddrive was married to the internal drive.

I would try to get a refund if it was me If I was super worried, then do a drive upgrade later with all your shows on the new drive.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:39 AM   #19
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In theory, it should be easy but... it took 3 cablecards and two tech visits before Comcast was actually able to get someone on the phone to program it correctly. Do NOT let the national techs program your card, they will get the card numbers in, but never get the billing info in right. Let the local office do it. Hopefully other cable companies are better at activating cablecards. After the troubles I have had, it would take an act of God for me to remove it
For Charter it is the other way around. Local techs will have no clue how to activate a cablecard. The cablecard hotline or just emailing their umatter2charter team will always get your card setup correctly in a short amount of time.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:04 AM   #20
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If an when the extender drive dies, do you loose the recordings on the internal drive too?
Yes ALL recordings are gone for ever, if the external drive is divorced or fails.

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Would I be wise to power it down for now and reactivate it if the internal drive starts filling up?
That'll work.
That's the reason I used an extender drive.

Make sure the TiVo and extender drive are connected to a UPS.
Protect the extender drive connections, power and Esata, from inadvertent upset, like during cleaning or accessing the storage area.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:26 PM   #21
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You are saying that if the power goes off with the DVR Extender drive connected we lose all recordings? I can't believe that. We have power outages in Florida all the time.

I never got the extender to work with the Comcast DVR. But from what I read by people who did get it working you could disconnect the external drive at anytime without losing what was on the internal drive.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:28 PM   #22
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Here is another dummy question: If my wife manages to record tons of programs while we are here (in Florida) and we carry the Tivo to SC, will the programs she recorded be watchable without hooking the Tivo to cable (no live TV of course, just the recorded stuff)?
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:32 PM   #23
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According to the Tivo site, powering down and removing the extender is safe (from content loss) if the steps are followed:

http://www.tivo.com/mytivo/howto/get..._capacity.html
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:57 PM   #24
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You are saying that if the power goes off with the DVR Extender drive connected we lose all recordings? I can't believe that. We have power outages in Florida all the time.
Looks like you found the answer at TiVo.com.
But, I will add this; if for any reason TiVo cannot communicate with the extender. No recordings will take place, and there will be a message saying extender not detected or some such statement.
True, no data should be lost if communication is restored between the extender and TiVo. If communication cannot be restored all recording data will be lost...
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:46 PM   #25
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The plan is to take this unit with us when we go from place to place (three locations with three different cable companies). I know I will have to replace the cable card, but I am assuming that whatever is recoreded in one place will be available at the next and we will be able to record new programs at the new location. Am I dreaming or should this work (without too much trouble)?
You will need to redo guided setup each time you move to a new place to record new programs.
I'd suggest NOT using an external drive, it seems even riskier in this 'move frequently' scenario. You *could* download (nonprotected) shows to a computer to make more space.

Heck, if you had *3* drives, and shows on the computer, you could have one (internal) drive for the Tivo with guided setup for each location, and swap the internal drive each time you moved. You'd only have access to recordings you had already downloaded to the computer (and anything else on that drive of course), but it would save the potentially HOURS of redoing guided setup each time.

Just getting a Tivo for each location might be easier too.
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