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Old 12-23-2009, 12:51 AM   #1
dmpc
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Can TiVo Display Only the Channels I am Subscribed to?

I am guessing that what I am asking about is a function of my DVR (or STB). I'm new to this, so please forgive me if my questions are weird or posted in the wrong forum.

I am a FiOS TV customer considering buying a TiVo to replace the DVR that Verizon rents to me. One of the most annoying things about their DVR is that the channel guide lists all possible channels, forcing me to figure out which ones I subscribe to and which ones I don't. I cannot believe there is not something more user friendly.

Is this kind of feature something that TiVo can provide? It has to be "automatic" since I don't want to have to check periodically to see if Verizon has moved or added a channel. I do not have the time or inclination to "program" all of my favorites like I have to do with my current setup.

If TiVo has a solution to this problem and if it has a decent GUI, I'm sold! I can definately do without the VOD, PPV, and other features that require a Verizon DVR!

BTW...Any recommendations on which model TiVo? I have 1 HD TV.

Last edited by dmpc : 12-23-2009 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:38 AM   #2
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Not having worked with anything but a TiVo with analog tuner and no cable box, I can't really tell you about what you'll get on your channel list when you go thru Guided Setup.

I can tell you that there are two types of TiVo that would work for you.

One is the Series 2, if you set it up to take a feed from a FiOS box. The TiVo, by way of an "emitter cable" will control the channel changes on the FiOS box and by that means be in control of what's being fed to it. (An old Series 1 would likely work too in this same way, but it may be hard to find one.)

The Series 2s (and 1s) can record a down-rezzed version of HD coming from a cable box. That means it's recording the HD show, but in standard definition, and that's all you'll get out of it, HD television set or not.

The other more likely alternative is one of the Series 3s, which can record in HD. These can't use a cable box (or FiOS box) but instead will work with what are called "cable cards" (which FiOS does provide to subscribers who need them....likely for a small monthly fee).

The cards will allow your TiVo to tune on its own any channels you are paying for, except possibly the pay per view type.

The current Series 3s being sold are the TiVo HD and the TiVo HD XL (larger hard drive).

When setting up your machine you'd ID what type of service you have, and it contacts the main TiVo servers and makes a list of what channels you should get with whatever type of service you've specified. These will show up as "channels I receive", and will likely include things like HBO. You have the option of going thru the list and "un-checking" any channels you don't actually get.

From that point on those shouldn't bother you any more. The only changes should be when/if FiOS adds additional channels. These should show up in the lineup, whether they're pay channels or not. You'd have to delete any you don't get.

Best I can do for you for now.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:43 AM   #3
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All TiVo models let the user hide any unwanted channels from showing up in the Guide via the "Channels I Receive" submenu. Unfortunately this has to be done manually.

The best model for FiOS is any of the Series 3 models including the TiVoHD and XL. You will need a single multistream or 2 singlestream CableCards for the HD and XL models, and two cards regardless of type if you go with the original Series 3 model 648.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:21 AM   #4
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On the plus side TiVo does automatically keep track of channels which have been added, removed or moved in your lineup so it doesn't take much maintenance once you've done the initial setup. You will receive a short message every time there is a change to your lineup alerting you to the change. Removed channels are simply removed, moved channels automatically have all Season Passes and other recordings moved to the new channel and all newly added channels are automatically added to your "Channels I Receive" list.

Worst case scenario is that every now and then the provider will add a new channel you don't get and you'll have to jump to the list and uncheck it real quick. Not a big deal at all.

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Old 12-23-2009, 09:47 AM   #5
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What Dan says.

The worst part of it all is that there is not a preview window while you are checking/unchecking channels, so you might not remember if you receive a channel or not. I find a useful to create a list of channels (on paper) BEFORE going into the check/uncheck screen.

Once this is done, like Dan says, the maintenance is very simple.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbernardis View Post
What Dan says.

The worst part of it all is that there is not a preview window while you are checking/unchecking channels, so you might not remember if you receive a channel or not. I find a useful to create a list of channels (on paper) BEFORE going into the check/uncheck screen.

Once this is done, like Dan says, the maintenance is very simple.
I make my changes to the "Channels I Receive" list, and select "Done", then hit the Live TV button on the remote and run through the channels. Pressing the left arrow button puts me back to the "Channels I Receive" list, or at least close enough to it, if I have more channels to add/remove...
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:14 PM   #7
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Toggling between Live TV and TiVo menus using the LiveTV Button and the Left Arrow button is an invaluable function that many people seem to be unaware of. It is useful for the channel list maintenance (as stated), the DVR Diagnostics and checking System Information.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:29 PM   #8
dmpc
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Thank you for all the great responses! I'll go for the TiVo XL for the greater storage. I guess I was hoping for a scan feature to find the channels I am actually subscribed to. My job of culling the list would be much easier since I would have fewer channels to uncheck.

This seems like such a great time saver that I am surprised it is not already a standard feature. But even if the TiVo doesn't work as I had hoped, it has to be better than the Motorola interface that Verizon FiOS provides.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmpc View Post
I guess I was hoping for a scan feature to find the channels I am actually subscribed to. My job of culling the list would be much easier since I would have fewer channels to uncheck.
During setup, the CableCards will map the channels that you are supposed to receive. However a few will still show up that you can't tune, especially if you didn't subscribe to premium channels like HBO. For my cable provider, the various On-Demand channels appear even though I won't be able to tune them using a TiVoHD.

I also use the "Channels I Receive" to hide any channels that I have absolutely no interest in watching. For example I have removed the music channels and the foreign language channels. It makes scrolling through the guide a lot, lot faster.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonDawg View Post
During setup, the CableCards will map the channels that you are supposed to receive. However a few will still show up that you can't tune, especially if you didn't subscribe to premium channels like HBO. For my cable provider, the various On-Demand channels appear even though I won't be able to tune them using a TiVoHD.

I also use the "Channels I Receive" to hide any channels that I have absolutely no interest in watching. For example I have removed the music channels and the foreign language channels. It makes scrolling through the guide a lot, lot faster.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by RonDawg View Post
I also use the "Channels I Receive" to hide any channels that I have absolutely no interest in watching.
Me too. This is a great feature of Tivo! It would really frustrate me to have to put up with a cable/fios provider DVR that doesn't allow you to customize the channel list.
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