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Old 04-04-2011, 05:49 PM   #1
uh60james
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Newbie with a N.I.B. series 2

I have been lurking for a while and looking at getting a TiVo or other DVR. I almost bought a series 1 off of amazon but was worried about the age of it and small capacity. I'm not thrilled with paying somebody $80-$100 for a $40 HD upgrade so I passed on that. I found a deal on craigslist today I just couldn't pass up. A TCD540080 still new in the box for $40. I also picked up a Trendnet TU2 ET100 USB to ethernet adapter at radio shack since I don't have a land line.

I like to tinker, mod and upgrade (hack) electronics and I look forward to the wealth of information on this site. All this can be a little overwhelming for a TiVo newbie like me so any suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:56 PM   #2
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You're going to have to pay a Tivo subscription. $12.95 per month and a 1 year commitment or $399 for lifetime service. You'll need an IR cable to control your cable box. You won't be able to change the channel on your cable box while the Tivo is recording.

You could have easily found a used Series 2 with lifetime service for $120. It doesn't make sense to buy a Series 2 without service at any price, unless you are going to use the parts to repair another lifetime S2.

If you want to continue with the series 2, you might as well buy a second used Series 2 with lifetime service since you'll spend more on a 1 year subscription anyway. You can keep this new Series 2 for spare parts.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:09 PM   #3
uh60james
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Thanks for such a helpful reply! I jumped on the new unit because the used series 2's are getting old and like I said I'm not going to pay somebody double the price of a hard drive, since I don't have access to a desktop computer to format the drives myself. I do not mind paying the monthly fee, I knew the series 1 was the only way around that.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:41 AM   #4
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I'm guessing that the warranty probably started running when the first owner purchased that unit, so it's probably expired by now, so get the MFS Live cd, or WinMFS, and make a backup of the Tivo's hard drive, and restore it to another known good drive at least as big, and test it in the Tivo to make sure you've got a good backup.

Better yet, get a new bigger hard drive for the Tivo, and use one of those MFS programs to copy and expand from the old drive to the new drive, and then put the old drive safely away on a shelf somewhere, but make a backup file as well.

Read the readme's for both MFS Live and WinMFS thoroughly before picking either.

Whichever you use to make a backup file is the one you'll have to use to do a restore from it.

Your TiVo uses a PATA/IDE drive, but with the proper SATA to IDE adapter you can use a SATA drive in it, and do better GB per dollar wise.

There's a thread

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=416883

devoted to which drive with which adapter in which TiVo which I consider required reading, and another thread

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=370784

which started out as a "which drive to use in a Series 3", but has a lot of good info in general about drives for Tivos.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:23 AM   #5
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Since it is NIB, it will have the IR blaster, just saying. It will have one RF and one composite A/V cable. IIRC, it never included S-video. It would presume, if you use a box, you have its A/V cables. It also comes with a phone jack splitter and long phone cable.

A Series 1 is not the only way around the subscription fee. Other ways are buying a used TiVo with Product Lifetime, or one of the Toshiba or Pioneer DVD combo units.

To set up, if factory software is below 7.x (*), you may need to set up over phone first, then set up the network, if the ,#401 trick does not work for you.

(*) IIRC, units manufactured in Mexico come with 5.x factory software, units made in China come with 7.2, which has full network setup in guided setup. I think they began manufacuturing them in China in October 2005 or so, and they hit customers by December that year.

ETA:
I just checked, your adapter uses the ASIX AX88772, which requires at least 7.2.2 software, which means even a Chinese made unit needs a software update over phone to use the adapter.
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Last edited by classicsat : 04-05-2011 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
uh60james
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Thank you both for the replys. I tried to set it up last night with the adapter and it was a no go so I went to sleep rather than messing with it. I found how to check the software version from guided setup and found that 7.2.0 is installed so its a no go with the adapter. I will either have to find another or adapter or a land line to get things rolling which are pretty rare these days.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:02 PM   #7
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for future reference
i would not do less than a Series 2 DT (dual tuner) model since it has an ethernet port on the back to do guided setup with network right away. having 2 tuners is a nice plus and worth some bucks as well.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:29 PM   #8
shwru980r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uh60james View Post
I'm not going to pay somebody double the price of a hard drive
If the drive goes bad, just buy another used Series 2. Even a brand new drive might fail.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:24 PM   #9
uh60james
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo View Post
for future reference
i would not do less than a Series 2 DT (dual tuner) model since it has an ethernet port on the back to do guided setup with network right away. having 2 tuners is a nice plus and worth some bucks as well.
That is a good point, the cheapest series 2 DT I was able to find locally was listed at $150 with no lifetime sub. I had to pass on that. I am a little anal about buying used electronics online since I can't inspect it so I went with this. Perhaps I am mistaken but isn't the DT basically relegated to ST status now that all signal is digital?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shwru980r View Post
If the drive goes bad, just buy another used Series 2. Even a brand new drive might fail.
That is a good point, I may just keep an eye on the local listings here and if one pops up for cheap and pick it up as a spare.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uh60james View Post
... Perhaps I am mistaken but isn't the DT basically relegated to ST status now that all signal is digital?...
That depends on whether you have analog cable or not. I keep both tuners in each of our S2 DTs pretty busy.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:56 PM   #11
uh60james
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Finally all up and running, this thing is awesome. Next step will be to upgrade the drive, just need to do some more research on WinMFS since I only have a laptop and hard drives. Thanks all.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uh60james View Post
Finally all up and running, this thing is awesome. Next step will be to upgrade the drive, just need to do some more research on WinMFS since I only have a laptop and hard drives. Thanks all.
WinMFS works beautifully with most USB to SATA/PATA adapters, and at roughly $20 it's handy to have on around anyway. I upgraded all 4 of my S2DTs with a Vantec CB-ISATAU2 and didn't even have to reboot my PC.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uh60james View Post
That is a good point, I may just keep an eye on the local listings here and if one pops up for cheap and pick it up as a spare.
My suggestion was to buy a used S2 with lifetime service and keep the new one as a spare. If you activate the new S2 you have to commit to $12.95 per month for 12 months. That's $155.40. You can easily find a used S2 with lifetime service for $155.40. It doesn't make sense to pay a monthly subscription on an S2.
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggieseke View Post
WinMFS works beautifully with most USB to SATA/PATA adapters, and at roughly $20 it's handy to have on around anyway. I upgraded all 4 of my S2DTs with a Vantec CB-ISATAU2 and didn't even have to reboot my PC.
Are you saying that WinMFS is $20?

I downloaded it for free about a month ago.

Are you confusing it with something from the Instant Cake people?

Edit:

Despite your wording it finally dawned on me that perhaps you meant $20 for a USB adapter.

If so, one should be sure it supports modern hard drive sizes. Some of the older ones, especially the PATA only, tend to top out at 400 or 500 MB, leaving one to draw incorrect conclusions about what works with what if one isn't aware of that limit.
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Last edited by unitron : 04-10-2011 at 03:16 PM. Reason: Additional thought
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:59 PM   #15
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Why would anyone buy a "new" ten year old computer(tivo)?

Ten years is a long time in electronics.

I'm pretty sure I have a lifetimed Series 2 sitting upstairs unplugged gathering dust.
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Old 04-10-2011, 05:36 PM   #16
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WinMFS is free, the adapter $20.

From what I heard, they stopped making PATA drives at 750GB.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:12 AM   #17
uh60james
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If you don't like the fact that I bought a ten year old piece of technology thats good for you, I don't care. Not that I should have to justify anything to complete strangers but I have Directv so I can't get a new "new" tivo.

For those that actually leave constructive comments, thank you. This forum is a great help.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:38 AM   #18
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no need for a bigger drive

I just record everything at the lowest quality, and that if fine on my old TVs, then U really don't need a bigger hard drive. Except if U save stuff, but why save it? delete it! U are not going to watch it again anyway!

The only time I record at the highest SD quality is when recording sports and sometimes music/videos. So I don't really see the need for a larger hard drive unless U going to go with HD Tivos and HD TVs. Then U can really see the difference in quality, and there is a need for larger drives. I have 3 SD Tivos running at all times and they have never deleted anything automatically, and they are only 80 gig boxes. It is amazing how much U can put on a 80 gig box.
As far a Dual tuner SD boxes.... two tivos sold for $157, both with lifetime and G wireless connectors, today on ebay! My point is, don't pay a monthly fee, just buy a lifetime box instead. There is one here in Denver for $40 right now on craigslist. It is a single tuner, so better for OTA too to work with digital converters if U do OTA. U can use a Dual tuner box OTA but it is a pain. U have to do workarounds and U don't get all the dash channels that I have been able to find.

I have 4 or 5 DT Series 2 boxes that I would love somebody to give me $20 bucks to get them out of my basement. Putting them on ebay isn't very cost effective.

As far as buying a new box over a used one, the hard drive is usually what goes bad, and U can get free Tivos off of craigslist if U watch regularly to get a hard drive or power supply to fix your Tivo if U have lifetime. A friend got a free DT SD tivo with a wireless a couple of months ago, as did I off of craigslist.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:37 AM   #19
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My point with a new drive is the technology, not whether the hardware will go bad, but what new capabilities you're never able to use. HD is the biggie, of course, and dual tuners.

The old units still chug along, sure--slowly.

I got used to HD very quickly.
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