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Old 09-09-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
jncmindless
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Tivo installation on a boat?

Hi, I have a question about using a Tivo Premiere DVR on a boat, and the feasibility of such an undertaking.
Here's the reasoning behind it. The boat has a very nice 60" TV that is around 5 years old, and doesn't have an ATSC tuner built in. It does, however, have an HDMI input. Currently, it is getting its content from a KVH Tracvision gyro-stabilized DirecTv antenna, and has DirecTv non-HD service. Due to limitations with the KVH system, receiving HD programming from the satellite provider is not an option.
A month ago, I installed an over the air antenna on the boat for a smaller TV in one of the staterooms, and it worked so well, the owner would like to be able to use it on the big TV in the salon as well.
Enter the Tivo fanatic (me!). Having installed my own Tivo DVR in my home a couple of years ago, and disconnected DirecTv and its giant monthly bill, I realized that it might also be the perfect thing in this instance also.
After looking at the specs of the various receivers, it looks like the Tivo Premiere is the only one with an ATSC tuner. It's also all the owner will need for the occasional use it will get.
My question is whether the receiver, guide, or DVR functions will work without a phone or network connection? It may be possible to get wireless internet from the marina where the boat is docked, but that will not be available when underway. I'm wondering if anyone out there knows how much, if any, of the program guide is stored in memory, and how many days it would be available for? Also, if he can't get internet or phone access, can a Tivo DVR be used as a regular DVR and ATSC tuner without a subscription? The woman I talked to in sales kind of gave me a vague answer about whether it would work without a subscription. I still can't quite figure out her answer. Something about that it might only record for thirty minutes...something like that. I didn't quite get it, and, frankly, I don't know if she really knew herself, so I just left it at that.
Thanks for any help that anyone can provide.
Joe McInnis
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:34 PM   #2
bradleys
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He will need an internet connection to update the guide data periodically, but other then that the TiVo Premier should work nicely... Just keep the UI in Standard Def (SD) mode and it will work great!
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:32 AM   #3
steve614
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A Premiere without a subscription will ONLY act as a dumb digital tuner.
No 30 minute live TV buffers.
No guide data.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:34 AM   #4
ggieseke
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The guide data goes roughly 12 days into the future. Get a lifetime sub, keep it on the SD menus, and it should work fine as a dumb ATSC DVR even if you run out of data.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:20 AM   #5
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Hey, even if the TiVo doesn't work, you can always use it as an anchor!

<snarky> Seriously, I'm glad to see this issue discussed since it must be of critical interest to so many TiVo owners. I guess the budget got stretched so thin buying the boat that an upgrade to a newer TV just wasn't affordable. This recession has hurt us all! </snarky>
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #6
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In addition to the TiVo Premiere and Premiere XL, the Series3 TiVos (TiVo Series3 HD Digital Media Recorder, TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL) also have ATSC tuners. The TiVo Premiere XL4 and TiVo Premiere 4 are digital cable only and have no over-the-air capability at all.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:23 AM   #7
moedaman
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I'll probably catch hell for saying this. But I think one of the Channel Master ota dvrs might work out better in this situation. No need to connect them to any network for them to record.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:50 PM   #8
steve614
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moedaman View Post
I'll probably catch hell for saying this. But I think one of the Channel Master ota dvrs might work out better in this situation. No need to connect them to any network for them to record.
Maybe. From what I understand, you program these like you used to have to do in the old days of VCRs (by date and time).
I remember when the VCR+ codes were printed in the newspaper TV guide. They were a godsend!

If that sort of thing floats your boat (pun intended), go for it.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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Is the Premier network only or can it use dial up for downloading the guide?
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleys View Post
He will need an internet connection to update the guide data periodically
No, he won't, necessarily. If he does have one, though, even a mobile broadband connection, it will work fine. Mobile broadband connections can go for as little as $30 a month.
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Is the Premier network only or can it use dial up for downloading the guide?
TiVo makes a USB / phone line adapter. If the boat has a landline phone when at anchor, it will be able to call in that way. A tethered cell phone might work, too. I know a mobile broadband hotspot will.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jncmindless View Post
After looking at the specs of the various receivers, it looks like the Tivo Premiere is the only one with an ATSC tuner.
No, not at all. All S3 and THD TiVos have ATSC tuners, and they also have built in phone lines, which may be the most convenient way for the boat owner to get his guide data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jncmindless View Post
My question is whether the receiver, guide, or DVR functions will work without a phone or network connection? It may be possible to get wireless internet from the marina where the boat is docked, but that will not be available when underway. I'm wondering if anyone out there knows how much, if any, of the program guide is stored in memory, and how many days it would be available for?
As others have already responded, it keeps about 12 days of data. It is stored on the hard drive, though, not in memory. It won't be lost if the TiVo is powered down. As long as the unit can be put in touch by either landline phone or any sort of internet connection at least once every 12 days, it should function pretty well.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:33 AM   #12
SNJpage1
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Verizon now offers a cell phone base that you can plug your land line phones into and it uses wireless to make the call. It would be perfect for on a boat.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:45 AM   #13
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Verizon now offers a cell phone base that you can plug your land line phones into and it uses wireless to make the call. It would be perfect for on a boat.
I believe you're speaking of Home Phone Connect from Verizon. If so, that option is not very viable. There is another thread on the forum discussing issues with Tivo and Home Phone Connect. Traditional modems do not play nicely with digital or cellular phone systems. A traditional copper telephone line is needed for a reliable Tivo setup. If you're going to go cellular, get a mobile hotspot as previously discussed.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:07 PM   #14
SNJpage1
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I know my wifes smart phone can be used as a wireless hot spot. Would a wireless tivo adaper work with something like that?
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