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Old 05-31-2008, 11:09 AM   #1
mschip75
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Connect Tivo 2 to HD Cable Box & HDTV

I have a TIVO S2 and I just purchased and HDTV and I have an HD cable box. How do I connect the three so that I can watch HDTV and still use TIVO?
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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Yes.

A better solution would be to get an HD Tivo and get rid of the HD cable box, but, of course, that would cost a little money.

Al
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:56 PM   #3
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Did you have the S2 hooked up to your old TV?
It would be substantially the same: Cable box in to Tivo, tivo to TV.
Use the serial port or IR blasters to control the cable box.
Since the S2 doesn't have a HDMI port you will have to use S-video port with audio or composite video and audio.

There are a lot of setup instructions on tivo.com

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Old 05-31-2008, 02:17 PM   #4
mschip75
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Yes, it worked with my old TV but I was told that I would have to bypass tivo somehow and run directly through my HD cable box, then setup the tivo on a separate input, which I'm not sure how to do. I looked at TIVO.com but I couldn't find anything for a S2 with an HD TV.
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:01 PM   #5
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It depends on the rest of your setup

Do you have only an S2, HDTV and an HD cable box? Or is there also a receiver, a DVD player, speakers, and whatever?

What you want to do depends in part on what you have. I have an S2, HDTV, HD box, standard DVD player, a VCR (no idea why it is still connected, but it is, and I assume it still works), and 5.1 speakers and a recent vintage receiver.

There are a lot of ways these pieces can be strung together, and I won't try describing em all without knowing what you have and what you want to do. I'll just tell you two things:

1. Picture quality thru your S2, whether time-shifted or 'live', is not going to come close to the quality you will get from feeding an HD source directly to your HDTV. Anytime you put a non-HD link in the chain, picture quality is going to decline to that of the lesser link.

This means you want to be able to feed at least two different signals to your HDTV; one from the HD box, and one with the S2 in the line. Without the former, you cannot watch HD, and without the latter, you cannot time shift via TV.

2. Nothing that you watch via Tivo is truly live. Tivo is always recording whatever channel the TV is on, even when the TV itself is off. It does not keep what it is recording unless told to do so, but the recording is there, for an hour, I think. If you watch 'live' TV' thru Tivo, it will always be a fraction of a second behind 'real' live TV.

Why does this matter? Because it is tempting, when configuring a setup with both HD and an S2, to use a single audio feed for everything. My HD cable box offers digital audio out, and it seemed to make sense to feed that directly to my receiver, and then to worry only about routing the HD and non-HD signals where they belong.

It almost makes sense to do this, but not really. If I always listen to sound directly from my HD box, I always have 'live' sound. That is what I want when viewing a live picture, but once I put the S2 into the link, the picture is a fraction of a second behind the sound, and you can go quite crazy if you do not know just what is out of sync and what to do about it.

So, either feed your HD box directly to your TV or thru an HD capable receiver, and use a separate feed for your S2. You can feed that directly to another TV input, or thru the receiver as well. It's mostly just a question of where you want the switching to be done.
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:13 PM   #6
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I have an S2, standard DVD player, HDTV & the HD box that TimeWarner gave which I assume would have to be digital. I currently have a splitter from the wall which one cable going into the HD box and the other into the S2. I used the "white, red, yellow" cables out of the HD box to the TIVO and the same cables out of the TIVO into the TV. Doing this, I'm still not able to see anything through the HD box, only TIVO which is creating a bad picture. I can have TimeWarner hook everything up for me (I hope) but I wanting it sooner if possible.
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:20 PM   #7
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Red white and yellow is never going to give you HD quality, however you set it up.

I'll ignore the DVD for now, as it is essentially irrelevant to the rest of the story.

1. Leave everything the way it is now, and you are all set for the S2 part of the equation. You can never get an HD picture from this set-up, but that is a given so long as you (and me, and lots of others) have an S2 box with an HDTV.

2. You now need a second output from your HD box to your HDTV, and it needs to be capable of transporting an HD signal. What is the make and model of your HD box? We need to know what kind of HD outputs it has before we can tell you what to do next. Also, what is the TV's make and model. I am guessing that if it is new it will take all sorts of inputs, but lets be sure about that.

Oh, one more thing. You are gonna need to buy some more cables, and you may be appalled to see how expensive they can get. There are low cost solutions to this problem, but they all involve waiting several days for mail orders to show up.
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
mschip75
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Thank you so much for your help.

The HD box is Motorolla but I don't see a model number. The TV is Toshiba 42RV530V. I just bought it yesterday.
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:05 PM   #9
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Might the TV be a 42rv530u, instead of a 530v? A 42" LCD screen?
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:17 PM   #10
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OK, I am pretty sure it has to be a 530U, and that it has both HDMI and component video outputs.

Now, we need to figure out which Motorola STB (Set Top Box) you have. I've owned two with HD. Let's see if we can ID yours as one of those.

Look at the back of the STB, where you've connected the red white and yellow outputs. Are those three connections aligned vertically, with three more connections (marked R, G and B) in a second column to their right?

Or are those three connections aligned horizontally, with quite a few jacks, including R, G, and B, and an orange one, and perhaps another set of red white and yellow as well?

If one of those two descriptions fits your STB, we probably know enough to figure out the rest. The basic thing I am trying to figure out is whether to suggest HDMI or component connections.
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:41 PM   #11
mschip75
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They are aligned horizontally with 10 in all. does this help? You are correct. I have a 42" 530u. I don't see a place for an HDMI connection on the HD box even though I thought I would need one. I could be wrong.
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:42 PM   #12
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This should be pretty easy--there should be red+white+yellow and S-Video outputs on the HD Moto cable box. Connect the S-video and red+white RCA to inputs on the TiVo and the TiVo's S-video and red+white audio outputs to one of the television's inputs. If the Motorola box has an HDMI connection, you might want to try it--connect it to one of the four HDMI inputs on the TV (I'm assuming that the TV is this one?). If the Moto doesn't have an HDMI out (or if it has one that doesn't seem to work), connect a component video cable to one of it's inputs (YPrPb, Red/Green/Blue RCA connectors) and a Toslink optical S/PDIF cable to its optical S/PDIF input (no optical cable necessary if HDMI works). Run one of the IR repeater emitters from the TiVo to point at the IR sensor on the cable box, and one to point at the IR sensor on the TV.

Just choose the appropriate input on the television to watch whichever. You'll only get standard definition out of a TiVo Series2, so you'll have to watch live to see HDTV, through either HDMI or component video.

What city are you in and who is your cable provider? If you can't figure out which Moto STB it is that you have, we might be able to use that information to identify it.
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:13 PM   #13
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"Run one of the IR repeater emitters from the TiVo to point at the IR sensor on the cable box, and one to point at the IR sensor on the TV."


I see no reason to put one of the TiVo's IR emitters in a place where it can control the TV.

TiVo's don't control TVs.

The TiVo remote can be set to control a TV set if it has the codes for that TV, but the remote is giving off the IR pulses for that, not the TiVo's IR emitter.
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mschip75 View Post
They are aligned horizontally with 10 in all. does this help? You are correct. I have a 42" 530u. I don't see a place for an HDMI connection on the HD box even though I thought I would need one. I could be wrong.
OK, I am pretty confident I know what you have now. It is a version of the Motorola STB I had before I got the current one a few weeks back. It does not have an HDMI output. It may be the DCT 5100, but I am not sure of that, and suspect it does not matter.

If it has a DVI output, it is the DCT6200/6208 (which closely resembles the 5100), and you can get a DVI to HDMI adapter cable, but I do not suggest that, as you will still have audio issues to deal with.

I suggest you buy a set of component video cables. They split the video signal into three parts (R, G and B). Connect the RGB outputs from your STB to the RGB inputs on your TV, and viola!, you have an HD picture on your screen. You will be amazed at how much better it looks than the picture you've routed thru the Tivo Series 2.

Next, you need to solve the audio problem. You do not want to use the audio that you've routed from the STB to the S2 to your TV via the R&W cables, because the picture and sound are always going to be out of sync.

Instead, find out if your TV will accept either an optical or digital (coax) audio connection, and use that output on the back of the STB instead. If that is not an option, let me know, as we've got some more figuring out to do.

One other thing: These cables are godawfully overpriced at most locations. Go to www.monoprice.com and learn how cheap quality cables can be. Buy wherever you like, but going there first will let you know how much the convenience of getting the cables now, rather than by mail, is costing you.

Not sure how much longer I will be online tonight. Hope what I've said so far has helped.

http://broadband.motorola.com/dvr/do..._UserGuide.pdf is the UserGuide for your box, or one like it. It is not the greatest, but at least the diagrams can be useful.
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:33 PM   #15
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If the cable box has traditional red and white stereo outputs for the right and left channels, you could always get two sets of "Y" splitters and feed the audio to both the TiVo and the TV from that source.

The TV will get the audio in sync with the video, and the TiVo will also be getting audio and video in sync with each other, which it will be able to pass on to the TV....one second later.
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:28 PM   #16
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"Run one of the IR repeater emitters from the TiVo to point at the IR sensor on the cable box, and one to point at the IR sensor on the TV."


I see no reason to put one of the TiVo's IR emitters in a place where it can control the TV.

TiVo's don't control TVs.

The TiVo remote can be set to control a TV set if it has the codes for that TV, but the remote is giving off the IR pulses for that, not the TiVo's IR emitter.
You're right. I haven't used a non-CableCARD TiVo for about 4 years. Sorry.
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:36 PM   #17
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I suggest you buy a set of component video cables. They split the video signal into three parts (R, G and B). Connect the RGB outputs from your STB to the RGB inputs on your TV, and viola!, you have an HD picture on your screen. You will be amazed at how much better it looks than the picture you've routed thru the Tivo Series 2.
You shouldn't confuse "component video" with RGB and it doesn't split out into "R", "G" and "B" (though the cables are green, red and blue). It won't be marked that way on the television or STB. It's Y (green connector), Pr (red) and Pb (blue). There's another video standard, RGBHV (VGA is analog RGBHV, wrapped up with some discrete control signals), with which what we commonly call component video shouldn't be confused (technically, both are types of "component video").
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:22 PM   #18
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I stand corrected. The connector colors are R(ed), G(reen) and B(lue), but the labels are as Mike described. You want component, not composite, video cables.

Still, when you hook them up, you will be amazed at the difference in the picture.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:20 AM   #19
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I just got a new HDTV but I haven't upgraded to a HD Tivo yet (hopefully Christmas). In the meantime, I want to be able to watch live HDTV and get the really nice picture quality on the HD channels, even if I can only record in SD. Can someone help me out with the connections.? Here is my current setup and the problem:
Cable Box: Scientific Atlanta 4250HDC
Tivo: Series 2 single tuner without the ethernet port (but connected to home network via USB adapter)
Receiver: Onkyo SR 606

Current Setup:
-Coax cable split to cable box and HDTV. (or should it split to the Tivo and the cable box?)
-HDMI out from cable box to receiver.
-HDMI out from receiver to HDTV
-S-Video out from receiver to TiVo (I could make the connection S-Video out from cable box to TiVo, but I'm not sure which would work better)
-S-video out from TiVo to receiver (for watching recorded programs or live SD programs)
-IR cable out from Tivo to front of cable box
-Optical audio out from HDTV to receiver

My main problem is when I switch the channels with my cable box remote to watch live HD, I don't think Tivo knows I have switched channels. Does this matter? Is this the best setup until I get my series 3?
The other problem I have is that I want to be able to record one program while watching another. This works fine when I am recording a program and watching a SD program live from the split coaxial input. However, I want to be able to watch an HD program live while recording a SD program. Is that possible?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Last edited by Swimman6 : 06-25-2008 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:35 AM   #20
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Until you get a Series 3, the best you could do to get digital channels on your Series 2 TiVo, is to get it its own cable box.

If you have to use your existing HD box, you should use its SD A/V out directly to the TiVo. That way it will work when your receiver is off.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimman6 View Post
...
My main problem is when I switch the channels with my cable box remote to watch live HD, I don't think Tivo knows I have switched channels. Does this matter? Is this the best setup until I get my series 3? ...
I have a similar setup with the TiVo being fed from a down converted HD box. The basic trick is to always use the TiVo to switch channels and then switch to the live HD signal when you want to watch the HD feed. The only annoyance I have is that TiVo occasionally wants to change channels in the middle of a long program (such as sports) and you never know because the confirmation only shows up on the TiVo input not the HD input.

As for recording two different programs you need to have a S2 dual tuner with analog cable in addition to your digital input to be able to record one SD show and watch another HD show.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:26 PM   #22
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Try connecting the coax cable directly to your TV, with neither the HD set-top box nor the Tivo in the line. Go into setup on the TV and tell it to search for channels. You should get quite a few channels that way, although the channel numbers may bear no resemblance to the usual cable numbers for the same channel. At least some of the channels will be in HD. You won't get HBO or any channels that require separate unscrambling, but you'll get a fair number of choices, I bet. It worked for me on Comcast, at least.

Once you know that works, you need to configure things so that option remains available. Use a two way splitter (3-way and more leaves a much weaker signal, which can cause other problems) to set one signal straight to the TV, and one to the HD box.

You'll then use two outputs from the HD box; send one to the TV (use HDMI cable if possible); while sending TIVO an analog feed with red and white outputs for audio, and either the yellow output or (slightly better) the S-video output for video.

Send the TIVO output to another TV input via R&W audio and yellow or S-video.

In this way your TV has a complete digital feed from the set-top box, a pretty good digital feed straight from the cable, and a complete analog feed (lesser quality audio and noticably less quality video) from the TIVO.

If you are not recording something, watch TV via the cable box. If you are recording something, watch TV through the coax feed and figure out where the channel you want went to. Watch thru TIVO only when viewing something you've recorded on same.

You'll need to learn how to configure the IR blasters so that TIVO can control the cable box, but thats an issue for a different note topic.
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