A dumb question about Tivo: can I use Tivo as a regular TV tuner without fees?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by whywhq, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. whywhq

    whywhq New Member

    Nov 11, 2007


    I have a HD-ready TV and would not use my expensive cable box if the Tivo can be used as a regular tuner without paying subscription fees to Tivo. Is this workable?
  2. Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Mar 24, 2001
    Ft. Lauderdale
  3. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003
    I think it can be used as a tuner, but only as a tuner -- i.e., no recording.
  4. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    Which type of TiVo are we talking about?

    If we're talking a Series 3 or TiVo HD, the tuner will be able to get OTA digital channels or unscrambled digital cable on its own...and many of the programs will be in high def.

    To get such a TiVo to descramble digital cable channels, it'd need cable cards. Likely it'd have to be subscribed; I sort of doubt an unsubbed box will be able to work with cable cards.

    A Series 1 or 2 TiVo? NO DIGITAL TUNER, and thus no HD channels.
  5. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006


    The HR10-250 can definitely be used as an OTA tuner with no subscription. If you have a dish connected to it you will get the guide data as well. Yiou just won't be able to use any of the Tivo features (i.e., any record functions, including season passes, wishlists, etc.).
  6. jimwnola

    jimwnola New Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    I'd also like to know the answer.

    As indicated in other posts of mine, the digital tuner of my tv broke and I am considering buying the series 3 or tivo HD. One concern was the possibility of switched digital video soon making the tivo rather limited, but one person noted you still have the tivo. The problem is who wants to pay hefty fee if it ever gets the the point that many of the channels aren't available to record?

    Just having a working ota digital tuner would always be of some value to me, if nothing else. From what you read, it doesn't sound like you can even use the tivo as a tuner for live tv without the service for tivo HD or series 3?
  7. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    The S3 and the HD require subscription to set up recordings.
  8. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    The Series 3 platform I believe could buffer Live TV without a sub, but a lack of anything good on cable is no reason not to continue a subscription to the TiVo service. If you still have decent digital cable, or OTA reception, the the TiVo service is still well worth it, IMO.

    If a Series 3 type DVR can indeed work as a tuner without subscription, I see no reason it won't be able to use Cablcards to access digital cable without a TiVo subscription.
  9. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    actually that is a good question. I do not think anyone has definitively answered that since everyone is subbing the units or if they cancel the sub, they return the cable cards as well.

    anyone actually use working cable cards in an unsubbed Tivo?
  10. whywhq

    whywhq New Member

    Nov 11, 2007
    Hi, my Tivo is the Series 2 540080. And my basic question is I just want to use it as a tuner for channels from 1-80, no recording necessary. So is it possible? Everyone is talking series 3 HD. The suck thing is the cable company time warner only provides very limited HD channel in our area (less than 10, even the cinemax is not high def). I probably won't use the expensive series 3 HD DVR until they have more HD channels available.
  11. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Yes, as long as the channels in question are analog.
  12. dkh7m

    dkh7m New Member

    Jun 23, 2006
    related question: can an unsubbed TiVo still be used as a home media center? e.g. can i still serve music and movies to my TV via my home network from my computer? or will cancelling my subscription zap all of the features, even those not releated to the subscription service? i'm also running galleon on my computer, so will that still work even if tivo kills the yahoo! features and the tivo-programmed music and pictures functionality?
  13. OLdDog

    OLdDog Reformed Druid

    Dec 15, 2001
  14. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Yes, subscription is required for the home networking features.
  15. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    A sub is required for standalone models but a hacked series 2 DTivo can be used as a home media server with no subscription. You just won't be able to record any programming with it.
  16. Stormspace

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

    Apr 13, 2004
    Hartsville, SC
    Another thing to consider.

    Starting on the first day your payment is late nag screens appear whenever the TiVo comes back from idle reminding you that you haven't paid. It increases in frequency as well, appearing everytime you hit the TiVo button on your remote.

    MRV, media server options, and T2G also stop working on day one. Basically having an unsubbed TiVo would such a PITA that it wouldn't be worth it even as an inexpensive tuner. I'd buy a cheap VCR and throw the TiVo in the garbage if I had an S2 that was unsubbed. (After I stripped it's drives and parts)

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