9.5 year old TiVo Premiere (base model) on last legs?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by Papagenox, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. Papagenox

    Papagenox Member

    Mar 25, 2009


    (the title is sort of "punny" as it turns out--read on)

    Hi all, I bought this one back around the 2010 year end holidays, and I must say it's put in its time. Recently I noticed that it was making a lot of noise, like growly fan noise, and I was getting worried that maybe there was a lot of dust buildup or whatever. Well, I checked it (it had a moribund Xbox 360 (almost never used anymore) on top of it but I removed that and dusted it and the area around it.

    I discovered that the rubberized "feet" on the left side of the unit had totally turned to crumbs due to heat (I suppose), but the right side ones are still fine. I had unplugged it overnight to dust it etc. when I got a chance, but when I started it up the noise started again, then I decided to cut a wine cork into slices to sit under the screws where the rubber feet had been, and when I moved the unit a bit to place one of them the noise suddenly stopped! I was paranoid that somehow the fan making the noise had just stopped but the thing has kept working fine since. Should I be concerned?

    I'm probably going to dump cable when my current contract ends so I only need it to hold out a month or two longer. Back when I bought it BTW I found the OTA capability pretty much useless with a rabbit ears antenna, so if I get another TiVo it'll be an OTA one. I can't stand the design with the weird bump shape you can't put things on top of so that's out. Hope they've made another normal-looking model since then.
  2. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    You might want to test the antenna on your TV to see if the reception is any better, before blaming the Tivo.
  3. Papagenox

    Papagenox Member

    Mar 25, 2009

    Actually, I have on a number of occasions with two different TVs. Now it has been a long time since I tested it with the TiVo, but when I first got it I noticed a large discrepancy in performance between it and the early digital ready TV we had (one of those Samsung "SlimFit" CRT beasts). Basically nothing would get detected by the TiVo, whereas the TV would pick up almost all channels with a little bit of moving the antennae around. I live fairly close in in Portland OR.

    Honestly I think the OTA tuner was kind of an afterthought with the Premiere.
  4. vaquero

    vaquero Active Member

    Jan 14, 2020
    I'm not a seasoned Tivo user. However, I have a Premiere, a Roamio, and two fairly new Sony TV's. The Premiere tuner is as good, if not the best of the bunch.
  5. Papagenox

    Papagenox Member

    Mar 25, 2009


    Well, I guess I'll try it again, but I'm not super-hopeful. Back in late 2010/early 2011 mine was a total bust. Maybe I just got a bum unit.
  6. Mr Tony

    Mr Tony formerly known as "unclehonkey"

    Dec 20, 2012
    Mankato, MN
    My first Tivo was a premiere that I used for OTA in Minneapolis and it sucked. Returned it within the 30 day period and at the time (2013) picked up a Series 3 (the OLED model). I've used a Roamio, Series 3/TivoHD and a Premiere. I preferred the Series 3 due to the meter that goes to 100 (Roamio basically considers 72 max) but with only two tuners the Roamio does the job for me. Bought the Roamio OTA the day they came out (want to day 2014ish) and have used a couple other Roamios since then (mainly due to the lifetime being on them) ;)

    The premiere I still have here does work for OTA but the signal has more glitches then the Roamio (and the stations...well all 2 of them...are less than 15 miles away)
  7. Papagenox

    Papagenox Member

    Mar 25, 2009
    Yeah, I'd bet there were revisions to the Premiere that improved its OTA tuner, as your post implies. I can't remember when the Premiere first came out, but mine is a base 2-tuner unit, with an HDD* that only holds up to 48 hrs of HD recording.

    Anyway, I guess I'll see what's available. I want to get All-in/Lifetime service because I generally keep a unit for a while, assuming that's still a thing.

    *(the original so far, which hasn't yet died, so props to that vs. the one in my old Series 2 SD unit, which I replaced twice. That's some good HDD longevity).
  8. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    You have the basic 2 tuner Premiere, which can do OTA and Cable at the same time, but it can only record 2 channels at once.
  9. tommage1

    tommage1 Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Not sure I understand that, if OTA capability was no good back then why would it be any better now? If you are in the same location and are going to use the same antenna? An OTA only box would be no better than what you had, well there might be some difference with different model but I use Premiere, Roamio and Bolt, fairly close tuner wise, don't expect night and day difference (at least in my area, close to Chicago, almost all broadcasts from the same direction). You can test with your TV again, you mention you could get many channels. But if using a portable type antenna for testing it has to be in the exact same location pointed exactly the same way for each device or the test is useless. Get the antenna setup with best result for TV, then don't move it, hookup to Premiere. If huge difference then maybe it IS the Premiere?
  10. rpj22

    rpj22 Active Member

    Mar 26, 2016
    My Premiere (746 series) gets everything that's out there. I'm 35 miles from the transmitter sites and the antenna was a 50 year old UHF loop antenna hanging on the wall behind the TV. In one of the repacks, some stuff I like moved to VHF, so I have experimented with using a combiner to add a pair of rabbit ears, as well. So far, so good, and the results are the same when I connect directly to the TV tuner.
  11. Papagenox

    Papagenox Member

    Mar 25, 2009
    You've got a point that it has to be a controlled experiment (same antenna location and orientation).

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