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Old 04-18-2010, 04:16 PM   #1
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using Premiere without Tivo service

Is it possible to use the Premiere WITHOUT a TiVo license? Reason: what if I just wanted to use it for playing back shows I recorded with a different Tivo over my network? Is that possible?
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:27 PM   #3
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TiVo doesn't make money on the sale -- historically, they've always lost money on the sale after accounting for distribution costs -- so they do not allow their boxes to be used without a service fee.

If TiVo allowed customers to use the box without a fee, while taking an average loss of around $100 per unit (as they did last year), then it wouldn't stay in business for long.
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:48 PM   #4
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TiVo doesn't make money on the sale -- historically, they've always lost money on the sale after accounting for distribution costs -- so they do not allow their boxes to be used without a service fee.

If TiVo allowed customers to use the box without a fee, while taking an average loss of around $100 per unit (as they did last year), then it wouldn't stay in business for long.
Then maybe they could "expand" their horizons with a dumb playback model for other rooms in the house. I mean, with two Premiere units, you essentially have four tuners grabbing shows. Why not manufacture a cheap, non-pay unit that just accesses material from the Premiere's? If Moxi, Sage, Boxi can all make money off cheap hardware, then why can't Tivo?
Don't get me wrong, tivo has the best interface, and we all love it. But if cable companies and these file-sharing boxes keep up their innovating, then I fear we may lose Tivo forever. Better they control my entire house than just a portion of it.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:05 PM   #5
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I have effectively always used at least one Tivo box as a dumb playback box. Until recently, it was one of my three SD units. But, now I'm using an S3 unit and I've more recently figured out how to use my Mac and AppleTV's as extenders. Its actually a pretty workable solution.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:10 PM   #6
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Then maybe they could "expand" their horizons with a dumb playback model for other rooms in the house. I mean, with two Premiere units, you essentially have four tuners grabbing shows. Why not manufacture a cheap, non-pay unit that just accesses material from the Premiere's? If Moxi, Sage, Boxi can all make money off cheap hardware, then why can't Tivo?
Don't get me wrong, tivo has the best interface, and we all love it. But if cable companies and these file-sharing boxes keep up their innovating, then I fear we may lose Tivo forever. Better they control my entire house than just a portion of it.
Boxee is free software and D-Link is making the hardware, so I'm sure D-Link is making money on every box, and probably even paying Boxee for the SW licensing.
Different model.

Maybe if Tivo could sell a box W/O needing service for a LOT more money AND never gave updates for it. but then everyone would complain about the cost.

You can't use XM w/o service can you?
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:12 PM   #7
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I have effectively always used at least one Tivo box as a dumb playback box. Until recently, it was one of my three SD units. But, now I'm using an S3 unit and I've more recently figured out how to use my Mac and AppleTV's as extenders. Its actually a pretty workable solution.
And there you go - you're using a competitor's product - a Mac/Apple TV. As I write this, on the right hand side of the page in the Tivo Community site, there are two ads, one for Roku and one for HP Media Server.
Lost clients for Tivo from where I sit.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:14 PM   #8
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And there you go - you're using a competitor's product - a Mac/Apple TV. As I write this, on the right hand side of the page in the Tivo Community site, there are two ads, one for Roku and one for HP Media Server.
Lost clients for Tivo from where I sit.
But neither the Roku and HP Media server can record TV (right?) so where is the competition for that??
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:16 PM   #9
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Boxee is free software and D-Link is making the hardware, so I'm sure D-Link is making money on every box, and probably even paying Boxee for the SW licensing.
Different model.

Maybe if Tivo could sell a box W/O needing service for a LOT more money AND never gave updates for it. but then everyone would complain about the cost.

You can't use XM w/o service can you?
You can't use XM as a comparison. With XM, you're paying for a commercial free service, aren't you? With Tivo, you're paying to be able to skip commercials. And why would a box WITHOUT service have to cost a lot more money? Asus, Roku, HP all make file sharing boxes for $100. Why can't Tivo? The only catch is they'd only be able to access Tivo HD recording units.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:17 PM   #10
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But neither the Roku and HP Media server can record TV (right?) so where is the competition for that??
That's the whole point - I'm asking for a Tivo playback box that only interfaces with a Tivo recorder - does that make sense? Why would I possibly want four Premier's? That's eight tuners in one house - that's mental.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:21 PM   #11
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That's the whole point - I'm asking for a Tivo playback box that only interfaces with a Tivo recorder - does that make sense? Why would I possibly want four Premier's? That's eight tuners in one house - that's mental.
But for that Tivo would have to sell it for hundreds of dollars more than it is currently priced and I'm sure it would confused a lot of people too.

would YOU pay like $700 or whatever for one w/o the service that couldn't record TV?
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:51 PM   #12
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But for that Tivo would have to sell it for hundreds of dollars more than it is currently priced and I'm sure it would confused a lot of people too.

would YOU pay like $700 or whatever for one w/o the service that couldn't record TV?
So Apple can make money on ONE Apple TV at $249?
Or do they lose $249 and make it back on iTunes?
What if you bought Apple TV and never used iTunes? I guess they'd lose all the money.
Regardless - so if Tivo charges $299 for a Premiere, $100 per Premiere for annual service, and then sells a dumb box with a 10-hour drive for $199, I could see a house with one Premiere and four $199 units no sweat.
It's obvious that Tivo needs to find a way to make back-end money on content somehow - buy Netflix - beats me. My Canadian Satellite DVR cost $399 to buy, and there is NO SERVICE FEE after purchase. And they don't charge a HD fee either (unlike cable) - Shaw Direct - check it out.
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Old 04-18-2010, 08:56 PM   #13
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I have no idea all the financials

but generally companies that sell HW at a loss make it up elsewhere

xbox and ps LOSE money on the hw sale. You could buy an xbox, use some of the features on it and never buy a game and they would LOSE money on you.

But w/ Tivo, if they sold a dummy box, how would they make any extra money? Game consoles have games, Apple has iTunes
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:09 PM   #14
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I think TiVo could make some money partnering up with LodgeNet and offering "still in theater" movies and other content.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:56 PM   #15
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Then maybe they could "expand" their horizons with a dumb playback model for other rooms in the house. I mean, with two Premiere units, you essentially have four tuners grabbing shows. Why not manufacture a cheap, non-pay unit that just accesses material from the Premiere's? If Moxi, Sage, Boxi can all make money off cheap hardware, then why can't Tivo?
Don't get me wrong, tivo has the best interface, and we all love it. But if cable companies and these file-sharing boxes keep up their innovating, then I fear we may lose Tivo forever. Better they control my entire house than just a portion of it.
Moxi offers the Moxi mate to do just this very thing. Many of us have been asking TiVo to design in a DLNA server so that we can use available DLNA client boxes or TVs with DLNA built in to stream from the DVR. Se the many threads on this subject in the suggestion avenue forum. I agree that such a device could make a lot of sense for TiVo. In the Rogers interview Molly Wood kind of asked the question, or hinted at it, and Rogers seems to indicate that multiple TiVos with MRV was and is the plan going forward.

Now, if you have a PC, near your secondary TV sets you can use that now. Copy the shows to the PC using TiVo Desktop and play them on the TV using WMP. Better, use KMTTG to get the shows from the DVR automatically and transcode them, then play them on the TV using Windows Media Center.

Yes, I agreeTiVo is possibly missing a market by not selling a client box.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:03 AM   #16
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I guess the question is this, and obviously Tivo is answering it one way.

Will they make more money by making and selling an expander box
Will they make more money by selling less, but having a subscription for another box

If a cheaper expander box (with no subscription) was made it would make $x
currently they make $y

they think that the market for $y is greater than the market for $x so they do it that way.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:49 AM   #17
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You can't use XM as a comparison. With XM, you're paying for a commercial free service, aren't you? With Tivo, you're paying to be able to skip commercials. And why would a box WITHOUT service have to cost a lot more money? Asus, Roku, HP all make file sharing boxes for $100. Why can't Tivo? The only catch is they'd only be able to access Tivo HD recording units.
Actually I frequently hear commercials on xm, nothing chaps the hide worse then listening to some dumb commercial for a service that you pay 14 dollars for. But I digress, you pay for cable tv just the same and get bombarded by commercials for every single show you watch.

Tivo does have that advantage for tv, broadband streaming shows etc as a one stop shop. The best feature is being able to watch a revision 3 show on your home tv, and its downloaded automatically when there is an update. That is all I used my HTPC for anyway.

Tivo is becoming the one stop shop, and with all those features, I am starting to feel the justification for the fee each month. Comcast wants 18 dollars a month for dvr functionality with HD ability, only advantage would be the on demand two-way.

So that was my justification to moving the s3hd to the bedroom and the premiere to the Home theater room.
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:10 AM   #18
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my Premiere seems to be working without service

When I power up my TiVo it says I don't have ser4vice and asks if I want to connect to get it. I click on skip. The TiVo seems to work normally. It records, plays back, the guide works. Maybe this is because I had service and they turned it off? Maybe all of the data (except the guide) is old?

Ahhh! I just checked the status and it says - not activated - three days left. I guess it will die in three days.

Last edited by haguea : 09-03-2010 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:20 AM   #19
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If you don't have the Tivo service any longer, your guide data will soon run out and the Tivo will not work as expected.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:20 AM   #20
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In the Rogers interview Molly Wood kind of asked the question, or hinted at it, and Rogers seems to indicate that multiple TiVos with MRV was and is the plan going forward.
TiVo is trying to keep subs up - adding a box that did not need a sub would clearly not help in that fight. I too think though that Moxi has a good idea in bundling a DVR and those boxes together. That way you sell a sub each time, of course, we will see bunches of threads on why can I not just buy the dumb client alone.

so basically we will not see a dumb client until subs are growing.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:39 AM   #21
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I just bought a new tivo premiere and went through the setup process. When I got to the activate section I chose "activate later". However, my tivo seems to be working just fine. I have all the programming guides and info and it will record multiple shows at one time. When I talked to tivo about it, they said "that is impossible you have to be paying for service in order to have those features activated on your tivo." Well, they must be wrong because I have not set up any service with tivo. In addition, my cable provider says that I need a multicast card ( I think that is what it is called) to get the multi show recording feature to work. I don't have that either and it seems to work fine. What is going on? Is there a grace period for activation? What with the multicast card do for me? Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:04 AM   #22
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I just bought a new tivo premiere and went through the setup process. When I got to the activate section I chose "activate later". However, my tivo seems to be working just fine. I have all the programming guides and info and it will record multiple shows at one time. When I talked to tivo about it, they said "that is impossible you have to be paying for service in order to have those features activated on your tivo." Well, they must be wrong because I have not set up any service with tivo. In addition, my cable provider says that I need a multicast card ( I think that is what it is called) to get the multi show recording feature to work. I don't have that either and it seems to work fine. What is going on? Is there a grace period for activation? What with the multicast card do for me? Any help is greatly appreciated.
You get 6 or 7 days of free service on any new TiVo, look on the System Info screen and that will tell how long you will have your free service.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:25 AM   #23
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That's the whole point - I'm asking for a Tivo playback box that only interfaces with a Tivo recorder - does that make sense? Why would I possibly want four Premier's? That's eight tuners in one house - that's mental.
Probably since on most cable systems you can't transfer shows from one box to another due to copyright restrictions unless:

1)You are OTA only
2)You do not subscribe to digital cable
3)You do not use cable cards
4)You are using Verizon FIOS or one of the other small minority of providers not using the CCI flag.

In most markets TiVo sucks for transferring shows because of the above.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:48 AM   #24
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In addition, my cable provider says that I need a multicast card ( I think that is what it is called) to get the multi show recording feature to work. I don't have that either and it seems to work fine. What is going on? What with the multicast card do for me? Any help is greatly appreciated.
If you have no cable cards (recording from antenna and/or unscrambled cable*) the multi-tuner feature works just fine. You can record two shows simultaniously.

Or if you 1 M-card (multi-stream cable card**) both tuners will work fine. [S-cards (single stream cable cards) haven't been made is years, so if you've got a cable card already there's a pretty good chance it is an M-card]

But if you install an S-card the TiVo will disable the 2nd tuner and you'll only be able to record 1 show at a time.


So if you've got no cable cards and it works fine for every channel you're interested great, you've got both tuners working and no reason to mess around with cable cards. And if you've got 1 cable card installed and both tuners work it was an M-card and you're also set.

*In most (all?) cable systems the channels aren't going to show up on the correct channel numbers without a cable card providing the channel mapping. Without a correct channel map TiVo won't know how to apply to guide data to the channels, and season passes and wishlist won't work correcting (because they won't know what channel they should really record from)

**FYI The original S3 TiVo and the TiVo HDs had a pair of cable card slots. The S3, the one with the OLED front panel display, always needs 2 cable cards to enable the 2nd tuner. While the HDs could use 2 S-cards or 1 M-card

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Old 09-08-2010, 12:32 PM   #25
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If you have no cable cards (recording from antenna and/or unscrambled cable*) the multi-tuner feature works just fine. You can record two shows simultaniously.

Or if you 1 M-card (multi-stream cable card**) both tuners will work fine. [S-cards (single stream cable cards) haven't been made is years, so if you've got a cable card already there's a pretty good chance it is an M-card]

But if you install an S-card the TiVo will disable the 2nd tuner and you'll only be able to record 1 show at a time.


So if you've got no cable cards and it works fine for every channel you're interested great, you've got both tuners working and no reason to mess around with cable cards. And if you've got 1 cable card installed and both tuners work it was an M-card and you're also set.

*In most (all?) cable systems the channels aren't going to show up on the correct channel numbers without a cable card providing the channel mapping. Without a correct channel map TiVo won't know how to apply to guide data to the channels, and season passes and wishlist won't work correcting (because they won't know what channel they should really record from)

**FYI The original S3 TiVo and the TiVo HDs had a pair of cable card slots. The S3, the one with the OLED front panel display, always needs 2 cable cards to enable the 2nd tuner. While the HDs could use 2 S-cards or 1 M-card
I thought the Premiere did not work with Single Stream cable cards? Did this change?
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:48 PM   #26
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I thought the Premiere did not work with Single Stream cable cards? Did this change?
I didn't remember anything specific and assumed it would act like an S3 or HD with an S-card. (oops)

Checking the cable card instructions for a Premiere does show that it says you need 1 M-card.

So likely you're right and an S-card won't even work. (But even if it did, it's certainly sub-optimal)
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:26 AM   #27
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Probably since on most cable systems you can't transfer shows from one box to another due to copyright restrictions unless:

1)You are OTA only
2)You do not subscribe to digital cable
3)You do not use cable cards
4)You are using Verizon FIOS or one of the other small minority of providers not using the CCI flag.

In most markets TiVo sucks for transferring shows because of the above.
If by 'most markets' you mean to exclude Comcast, the largest cableCo, you would be correct. But you don't, so you're not. Comcast only protects the premiums in 'most markets'.

The Premier will work fine as a cable box to watch and pause live TV without a sub, but that's it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:58 AM   #28
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You get 6 or 7 days of free service on any new TiVo, look on the System Info screen and that will tell how long you will have your free service.
I was looking at the system settings and I did not see anything about number of days left. Today is the 7th day and it shows that the programming guides updated fine last night and are scheduled to update again later today. I think. I can't remember all the specifics. But I did not see anything about time running out anywhere. Is there a specific line that I should be looking at?
It is interesting that I talked to Tivo and they said there was no grace period for activation. Actually the exact words were, "there is no such thing as a grace period."
So if I am operating under the grace period then today should be the last day and it should give me an error or something when I try to record?
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:03 AM   #29
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I thought the Premiere did not work with Single Stream cable cards? Did this change?
Okay maybe I am a little slow but what is Scrambled Cable? And why would my cable provider, CableOne, scramble cable channels I am paying for? And why would hooking up a Tivo suddenly activate that scrambling feature?

I guess I am a little confused as to what the m-card is really for. Can someone explain the purpose of the m-card in nubbie terms please? Will it give me access to more channels than I currently have? I am paying for and receive standard basic cable channels. I don't have or pay for anything extra and I am not sure how the m-card will be of any benefit. If any.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:57 AM   #30
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Okay maybe I am a little slow but what is Scrambled Cable? And why would my cable provider, CableOne, scramble cable channels I am paying for? And why would hooking up a Tivo suddenly activate that scrambling feature?

I guess I am a little confused as to what the m-card is really for. Can someone explain the purpose of the m-card in nubbie terms please? Will it give me access to more channels than I currently have? I am paying for and receive standard basic cable channels. I don't have or pay for anything extra and I am not sure how the m-card will be of any benefit. If any.
Cable companies usually want to protect at least some of their channels from people using cable without paying. If they don't apply any protection then stealing cable is as easy as adding a splitter to some paying customers line and running a cable over to your house.

In the old days cable companies protected their channels with analog scrambling, and you had to use their cable box to watch protected channels. Even if you had a cable ready TV. (The TV could only handled unprotected channels).

With the switch to digital cable they moved to an encryption system to protect their channels. And the FCC mandated that they provide some mechanism to allow 3rd party hardware to work with their encryption system. That mechanism was the cable cards.
Note cable cards are for 3rd party devices, like TiVo or cable card ready TVs. The cable company still uses cable boxes. Side note, newer cable boxes have internal cable cards, but that's transparent to the end user


It's up to the cable company to decide which channels they want to encrypt (with the exception of the broadcast networks which they are forbidden from messing with). So if you receive all the channels that you pay for (and don't have a cable card) then it appears your cable company doesn't protect any of their basic cable channels.

But if you have some channels you can't access, then you likely do need a cable card. The cable card contains the cryptographic hardware that decrypts the protected channel, and it then provided the decrypted data to your TiVo so it can record it.

The original cable card was the single-stream card S-card. It could decrypt 1 channel at a time. So if you had two tuners (two channels simultaniously) you'd need two S-cards to decrypt them both.
The newer cable card is the multi-stream card M-card. It can decrypt (IIRC) up to 5 channels at a time. So for a dual tuner TiVo you only need one card because it can decrypt both channels simultaniously.

That's the only practical difference between the S-card and the M-card. How many channels each can decrypt.



Again, if you can get all the channels you pay for without a cable card then don't worry about it. You're fine.
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