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Old 12-09-2014, 08:03 PM   #1
timckelley
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Oh no, Time Warner in Austin is going all digital, and I have S2 TiVos

I guess I knew this day would come, and now it's arriving. Effective 1-20-2015, no more analog service from Time Warner in my city.

Last spring, I had considered cutting the cord, and was getting ready to do it - I even bought an attic antenna and tested it. Then when I called AT&T to switch my internet to them, and called Time Warner to tell them I was going to cancel my internet and my TV with them, they counter offered a sweet deal, which involved downgrading my TV to analog only, plus upgrading my internet to 15 mps, and lowering my monthly bill substantially. Including taxes and fees their deal was $76.62 per month for internet and TV. My wife already was regretting losing her channels, and she only ever cared about the analog channels anyway (it's all she watches), so she told me to hop on that deal, so that's what we have now.

Our house has 4 TiVos:

mine is a TiVo HD (dual tuner)
My wife's are: a TiVo Premier + 2 S2 TiVos (both are single tuner, but the Premier is a dual tuner).

So with the news I figure these are my options:

1) Let them give me digital adapters for the S2's, but they will charge monthly for each one after one year of them being free. But if I go this option, my question is: Is there anyway for the S2's to control their adapters? If there isn't, I'm pretty much nixing this solution, as my wife doesn't watch live TV in those two rooms.

2) Dump the two S2s (but they are both lifetimed, so I'd hate to do that), and maybe buy her a Roamio. I think her TiVo Premier with two tuners isn't a sufficient amount of tuners for the recording she does. My wife doesn't want to go this option, because she doesn't want to buy yet another TiVo.

3) Dump Time Warner TV altogether, and move forward with cutting the cord like I was going to do last spring. I already have the antenna in the attic... I just need to run a cable down to my cable box and redo the splitters in it, which would be simple to do. And then supplement our TV content with internet based options (like hulu plus, possibly, along with other stuff).

I personally like option 3, and though I do watch some stuff on the sci-fi channel, the comedy channel, and TV land, I can live with losing those three channels. I'll increase what I watch on the local networks, as there are shows there that look appealing, but I haven't recorded them because I don't have time to watch everything that looks appealing. I also could watch internet based content. Example: I once watch the planet of the apes movie (the one that was released a few years ago), by playing it on a laptop with a VGA cord hooked up to my TV. And it was totally free - I think there are lots of free movies like that on internet.

My wife actually told me to go ahead with option 3, but she sang that tune last spring, and changed her mind, so I just wanted to be informed before making the final decision. Mainly, I'd like to know if it's possible for S2's to control Time Warner digital adapters.

By the way, if we go option 1, that also means installing a cable card in her premier, and maybe also my TiVo HD, which I'm sure will incur extra monthly fees. I'm hoping my wife doesn't change her mind on option 3, as that's the option I'd prefer.

My attic antenna actually isn't online, because it would conflict with our cable TV signal, but if we nix Time Warner TV, it won't conflict. Except for the internet, but that's easily solvable: I can run the internet signal to my study only (which is where my modem and router are), and have the antenna cable go to all the other rooms, so no intermingling of the signal need happen. Then I can remove the set top antenna I have on my TiVo. (I'm using it for local networks, because I find Time Warner's analog local network signal unacceptable - though I live with it for the 3 channels I mentioned - but my wife somehow doesn't mind it so she's been living with no antenna.)
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:11 PM   #2
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Or I forgot, we do have a 5th TiVo: another lifetimed single tuner S2 I bought off craigslist last year for $40. (The price was low because the HD was broken, but I had an extra HD lieing around, so I used it to repair the TiVo... the owner had no clue about about the innards of the TiVo or why it was broken.)

But after awhile, my wife stopped using it, so it sits as a backup in case any of our other TiVos fail.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:18 PM   #3
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I forgot to mention, to truly cord cut, but keep the S2's in service means having a way for the S2's to control a TV antenna tuner. I actually have that one figured out. I own one or two antenna tuners that the S2 can communicate with - I've already tested that and know that it works. So at least, I do know that S2's can take control of the antenna tuners. What I don't know is if they can take control of Time Warner digital adapters.

I should also mention that the S2's are connected to old non-HD TVs, so the the fact that my antenna tuners are outputting the signal in analog is fine, as my wife doesn't mind it, plus it's mandatory since S2's can only record in analog anyhow.

The Premier and the TiVo HD are connected to HD TV's, but they both have built in digital tuners, so no worries there either.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:27 PM   #4
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Since you mentioned the possibility of getting a Roamio in one of the options, just making sure that you know about TiVo's current loyalty discount for customers that have been with TiVo over 10 years. You can get a 4-tuner base Roamio w/lifetime for $400 or a Roamio Plus w/lifetime for $500. Assuming the Premiere has lifetime, you could sell that and replace it with a Roamio and be able to add a Mini or two if you need them to replace the Series 2s.

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Old 12-09-2014, 08:57 PM   #5
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S2s can control a cable box, or antenna converter box with the IR blaster cord, but its not 100% and its slow.

Getting a Roamio 4 or 6 tuner is faster, less energy used, only 1 cable card needed (instead of 3). Also, better picture.

Eventually you will lose analog altogether and will need to go through this again. Just go back to your previous cable package, with a Roamio or Premiere and just 1 cable card each.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:05 PM   #6
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Sell your S2s. Use the proceeds to upgrade.

You might be able to sell everything and do a Roamio and Minis for not that much extra cash.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:30 PM   #7
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Roamio + expand hard drive yourself or use manual downloading (for non copy protected stuff).. Aren't you the "wife won't delete recordings" guy?

BTW, I don't disparage you from "holding out" so long (though maybe a little, after seeing TivoHD & Premiere). I only "switched" to S3 & TivoHD when the lifetime "transfers" came out.. and used them analog only for a VERY long time.. I'm not sure on exact timeframe, but I think I got my P4 when _my_ analogs went away, and my S1s weren't sufficing for 'backup' recordings anymore.. and my S3 had already died. Yeah, I think I got the P4 the DAY after my analogs went away and I realized I needed more tuners... I *still* think analog artifacts are FAR less bad than digital artifacts, esp when the analog signal can get REALLY BAD, but watchable, whereas you literally lose the digital signal entirely..

Then got a Roamio Plus more recently..
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:56 AM   #8
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Roamio Plus with lifetime for $500 seems too good to pass up if you ask me. IF you can get in on that deal because you've been with Tivo for 10 years then do it.



AS for cutting the cord? I mean who is tell you to do it. All depends on what you watch and what you can do without or get at a later date.

Still would need to get a new Tivo I think.
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:03 AM   #9
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If we wind up cutting the cord, I'm having trouble seeing why Roamio is such a great deal. Is it because of the 4-6 tuners? My wife has a total of 4 already, albeit 2 are analog. But despite all my talks with her, she continues not to care about HD quality.

And it'd wind up being more than $500 if you factor in mini purchases. Personally I don't really like SD, but my TiVo is the HD TiVo, so I'm already happy with mine.
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:34 AM   #10
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My suggestion... Get a 4 tuner Roamio for the Wife and keep the Premiere for yourself. Those two can stream from one another, so you can use one in place of a Mini. Both units also support OTA so your cord cutting strategy will still work if you decide to go that route.

If any of the others have lifetime you can sell them to recoupe some of the costs.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by timckelley View Post
If we wind up cutting the cord, I'm having trouble seeing why Roamio is such a great deal. Is it because of the 4-6 tuners? My wife has a total of 4 already, albeit 2 are analog. But despite all my talks with her, she continues not to care about HD quality.
Well as you point out, the Series 2s are analog only, so they won't work for OTA now that everything has gone digital unless you get some kind of digital converter. You'll either have to replace them with newer TiVos or just use the internal QAM tuner in a digital HDTV.

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Old 12-10-2014, 11:18 AM   #12
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Guess I will add my 2Cents. First if you cut the cord how many tuners do you need? Sounds like you only have 2 TVs right? Right now you have 4 HD and 2 SD which seems like over kill for OTA only (I am OTA only and never need more than 4). But you are correct the 2 Series 2 TiVos will do OTA just fine with the correct cheap tuner boxes that were sold when we went through the OTA analog to digital conversion (been there done that). But my take is you should be fine with the 4 HD tuners you have in your TiVo HD and Premiere - OTA shows transfer just fine between the 2 units and you can use your 2 TV's OTA tuners if you want live TV while recording 4 shows. In any event you shouldn't need anything but the cheap tuner boxes for the Series 2 units if you really need that many tuners. But as others have said the base Roamio is a great OTA DVR and would be a good addition allowing you to easily replace several of your existing units.

Good Luck,
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:08 PM   #13
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Oh no, Time Warner in Austin is going all digital, and I have S2 TiVos

Good point about the less channels meaning less tuners needed, but I've learned not to underestimate my wife's ability to record a bunch of concurrent programs.

Also, she's been staying off my TiVo so she really just has 2 HD tuners, but I suppose I could consider lending use of my tuners, especially since our NAS has rendered our earlier space problems moot.

But given that I already have one or two OTA digital tuners that are controllable by S2s, and given that my wife doesn't mind storing SD content on her S2s, she probably won't have a need to borrow my HD tuners.
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:42 PM   #14
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especially since our NAS has rendered our earlier space problems moot.
Your current NAS solution may present problems with the move to all digital. TWC is notorious for setting the CCI-byte to 0x02 (Copy Once) on all digital channels except the local broadcast channels. Programs recorded from traditional cable channels will no longer be available for transferring to the NAS. If a lot of your wife's recordings fall in this category, a larger internal drive for her Tivo(s) will be a must. That's another benefit of the Roamio; there's no need to format new drives before adding them (up to 3TB).
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:16 PM   #15
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got tired of your "wife wont delete recordings" thread? it seems to me that you ask the same questions over and over since 06-03-2003 at 11:01 AM, get suggestions and answers, then you come back and say that your wife over rulled you.

you went to avs and got good help in installing an antenna like you said, cut the cord already! or upgrade everything! Do something at least then adapt.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:18 PM   #16
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you went to avs and got good help in installing an antenna like you said, cut the cord already! or upgrade everything! Do something at least then adapt.
I already know how to install the antenna, so I don't need to consult AVS on it. The purpose of this thread was to get information to make the decision easier/more informed. I wanted to know if staying with S2 and Time Warner was an option, and that question was answered earlier: that it can be done, but not 100% reliably.

A lot of people like the Roamio solution, which would certainly work, but my wife seems tired of me buying more and more equipment and so is suggesting I do the cord cut.

As of this morning, my wife's still onboard with cutting the cable, but as I said, she's changed her mind before, but one way or another, the decision will be made before 1-20-2014, as there will be no more analog from Time Warner on that date.

It's certainly possible that on 1-20-2014, we'll go OTA only as she says (which won't require any investment on my part - we own all the equipment we need for this), and then maybe a month later she'll say she supremely misses her channels. Or maybe I'll do such a good job providing other sources for her (internet + OTA) that she'll be fine with it. I guess we'll see how it goes. Theoretically there's nothing to to stop us from eventually still getting a Roamio and re-signing with Time Warner, but I personally root for that not to happen, because I don't think we get our money's worth of entertainment for what we pay them, especially for what we will pay them if we upgrade to digital.

ETA: In hindsight, with how this thread is going, I'm starting to think I should have posted this in my other 10 year old thread.
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:34 PM   #17
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The bottom line is that the Series 2 is outdated tech that is meant for analog and should be retired from service. There are ways to slap a band-aid on it to keep it going, but you'd be much better off buying a Roamio. Why don't you just buy one with the special deal, wrap it up, and put it under the Christmas tree for your wife.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:36 PM   #18
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A lot of people like the Roamio solution, which would certainly work, but my wife seems tired of me buying more and more equipment and so is suggesting I do the cord cut.
Did you read my suggestion? Keep the Premiere for yourself and get her a 4 tuner Roamio. You keep his/hers, which is nice, you can still cut the cord if you want, and because they can stream to one another you can just put one in the other room and use it instead of a Mini. Plus you cut devices down to just 2, rather then the 4-5 TiVos, plus tuner boxes, you're using now.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:49 PM   #19
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I was sad to see the TWC mailer yesterday too for the same reason. One year of "free" converter box rental is not free. Trying to decide what to do myself. I currently have a Roamio connected to digital converter in the living room and a premier using analog input in my bedroom. I really do not like that I will have to convert to digital even if the quality is better. I just use that box to record old syndicated sitcoms pre-HD.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:59 PM   #20
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Roamio and Premier units don't use converters. They use CableCARDs. You should be able to get another CableCARD for your Premiere unit for about $3/mo.

An alternative would be to get rid of the Premiere and use a Mini instead. It can borrow a tuner from the Roamio when you want to watch live TV or simply stream recordings from the Roamio.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:16 PM   #21
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Thanks Dan, I just don't like the idea of renting equip. My Roamio has a cablecard installed but I still have to have a separate tuning adapter. The new digital only TWC means I will have to do the same for the premier in my bedroom. Tunercard + tuning adapter = additional monthly fee.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:50 PM   #22
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The TA is free. The card should only cost a few bucks a month.

If you really don't want to rent the card then you could always replace the Premiere with a Mini. The Mini does not require a card. If the Premiere has lifetime you could probably sell it for enough to cover the cost of 2-3 Minis if you wanted.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:36 PM   #23
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The TA is only free for the first year.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:03 PM   #24
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Tim, something to keep in mind.

The analog non-broadcast channels that you and she have been recording and moving to PC/SAN storage?

TWC will probably have all the digital ones with the anti-copy bit set, so the S3 or higher with cable card TiVo's hard drive will be the only location for storing that one copy, so when it fills up the only solution is another TiVo.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:17 PM   #25
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True, which is an advantage for switching to OTA; it should all be archivable.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:22 PM   #26
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The TA is only free for the first year.
DTA's (Digital Transport Adapters) are typically free for a year. These are basically bare bones cable boxes that give you a single tuner at any TV in the home. Depending on the model, some can be controlled by Series 2 TiVo's just like you controlled cable boxes years ago.

TA's (Tuning Adapter) are used in tandem with CableCARD devices on systems using SDV ( switched digital video) to act as an intermediary between the Tivo and the cable head-end to request SDV channels. TWC policy provides TA's for free when used with a CableCARD, which typically costs $2.50/month.
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Old 12-17-2014, 03:20 AM   #27
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True, which is an advantage for switching to OTA; it should all be archivable.
It's illegal for them to set the copy bit on the broadcast channels, so anything you would get OTA would still be transferable even if you recorded from cable. However TWC has a policy of setting the copy bit on all other stations, even basic cable, which you might currently be getting as analog and be capable of copying.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:25 AM   #28
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Sorry; I got the acronym wrong. On OTA yes, she probably can already archive that, but my thinking us that if we dump TW, then she will stop recording non archivable shows. I suppose it's possible she could be unhappy and want TW back, and I am not opposed to that.

I keep telling her we don't have to dump them, but I think she might feel guilty knowing that she's the one who would be wanting the other channels more than I, and being a SAHM, doesn't want to drum up too much more expenses for the household (not that I don't think she contributes enough to the household, because she does, but it doesn't stop her for thinking about her lack of a paycheck.)
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:45 PM   #29
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Even though you have less channels with OTA, you might find that more of the shows you wish to record are on at the same time and you only have one shot a recording the shows in the near future. This results in needing more tuners with OTA, not less.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:44 PM   #30
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I'm a little late to the thread but my S2 talks to its Comcast tning adapter just fine through the blaster. I understand there's a way to connect a cable between the TiVo and the adapter (it has a port for an IR extension receiver or some such) that involves a special cable with optoisolators. Comcast charges me $1 per month for the tuning adapter.

It would be a bigger deal if your S2s were dual tuner because they become single-tuner TiVos when your cableco goes digital.
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