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Are S1 units still useable?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by aerialplug, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. aerialplug

    aerialplug Serious TiVo User

    1,180
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    Oct 20, 2000
    Swansea
    Forgive my interest in the matter - I've been inactive on this forum for probably 7-8 years (having originally been the supplier of the alternative channel logos for the Channel Guide), and looking at the forum, there's very little activity now on the TiVo Series 1 UK front.

    I was wondering if, after the June 1st 2011 switch off, whether some form of third party data source had been set up to allow the old TiVos to continue working in a similar way that an Australian service had been provided by enthusiasts?

    While I haven't used my TiVo "in anger" for over 7-8 years, it would be nice to fire it up and still see some form of limited automatic use - but I guess the lack of activity in this forum probably answers my question in the negative - the TiVo service in the UK really did die a death for S1 in 2011 and the unit can do little more than record using manually supplied start and end times.

    I'll add that I was probably one of the first in the UK to regularly actively use a TiVo, with a unit in regular use from very early 2000 (possibly even late 1999). Yes, TiVo didn't start selling in the UK until October 2000 but I was involved with their early testing in the UK and had access to several early "test" units including initially a Philips US S1 which had to be used with an expensive external NTSC standards converter for input and later, a very early Thompson (which came with no front panel). Initially supplied with a dialup service for Sky only with a limited number of channels - and initially the dialup was to a non-free number in the States until shortly before full launch in the UK.

    TiVo had the best user interface I've used for a PVR - and I've been told that we'll all be driving flying cars and wearing silver suits before Virgin Media (or any other cable company) comes to my area.

    I remember the launch day of TiVo vividly - I went to my local Currys store and was dismayed to see the sign under the TiVo reading "When buying this, you may wish to buy VHS video tape". The shop display TiVo (in demo mode) was languishing in a corner and staff didn't have a clue what it was or how it worked.
     
  2. sjp

    sjp Active Member

    1,723
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    Oct 22, 2001
    London, UK
    Dave Healey/TivoLand did/is still doing the AltEpg thing though I didn't bother and went with VM (helps that some good chap around here negotiated an early access plan for us - even got £50 back when VM reduced the initial 1TB price to align with Sky). Been a while but it still looks like it's going... http://www.altepg.com/
     
  3. steveroe

    steveroe Must do some work...

    1,129
    1
    Oct 29, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Hi - I still use a number of your logos on my S1, belated thanks!

    When the official service closed in 2011 (wow, over three years...) then www.altepg.com was setup to provide an alternate service.

    This is still running with a forum at http://www.tivoland.com/forum/ucp.php?mode=login

    Tivo S1 using AltEPG is still serving my daily needs, I'm occasionally tempted by HD boxes etc. but the User Interface and flexibility still win hands down.

    Come over and join us :cool:
     
  4. spitfires

    spitfires wassock

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    Dec 19, 2006
    South Coast, UK
    Yep, as Steve says, there's a great many of us (with no hope of ever getting Virgin) still using our S1s with a full guide service.
     
  5. aerialplug

    aerialplug Serious TiVo User

    1,180
    0
    Oct 20, 2000
    Swansea
    Thanks to you all for getting back to me so quickly. I may just give that a go over Christmas when I'm back visiting the family - TiVo is currently in storage as I've since moved to Cork, in the Republic of Ireland.

    While the Sky+ lineup uses different channel numbers for all the BBC channels in RoI, of course with domestic channels in the low numbers, I do have a spare Sky box along with a UK Sky Freesat card that came with the flat I'm renting along with a third feed from the satellite dish so this would be a fantastic way for me to be able to time-shift all the ITV and Five channels, none of which are available on the Sky lineup on a Sky account in Ireland, despite a Sky account being more expensive than an UK one!

    I'm sure it won't be a problem, but my TiVo had a VIP account, which behaved very much like the lifetime subs - but with one important difference - if it was left unused for 6 months, the account folded and you couldn't re-activate it with TiVo even for money. I hope this was something done at TiVo's account level on their servers and not in the TiVo itself...

    Yes, looking forward to seeing the old TiVo Guy animation once again...

    Thanks for the comments about the logos - they were fun to maintain, but when I eventually moved to Sky+ to get HD, TiVo took a bit of a back burner for me - good to see someone else took the mantle and provided a few more logos in my absence!
     
  6. steveroe

    steveroe Must do some work...

    1,129
    1
    Oct 29, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I don't think that'll be a problem, especially if you reimage with the altepg image, all account handling is done by altepg and all TiVos are assigned a "3: Account in good standing" status. :up:
     
  7. spitfires

    spitfires wassock

    724
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    Dec 19, 2006
    South Coast, UK
    Yes, your best bet will be to re-image with the altepg image. This includes all the hacks you will want and works 'straight out of the box' (well, CD actually ;) ). Put it on another disc if you want to keep your VIP s/w for posterity.
     
  8. Ian_m

    Ian_m Active Member

    1,518
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    Jan 9, 2001
    Southampton,...
  9. OzSat

    OzSat Very Nice Moderator

    5,052
    1
    Feb 15, 2001
    Oxfordshire, UK
    Good to see some of the old faces are still around.
     
  10. a_tivo_noob

    a_tivo_noob Member

    213
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    Jan 1, 2004
    I can't believe I still check back here occasionally just to see if anyone has posted... glad to see the thread is still alive and see's some action though! :)

    Love the AltEpg software and got both boxes running it, but do wonder if I have to start looking should anything happen to one of them (the hardware is never going to have an infinite lifespan, and I've no idea of the status / plans for AltEpg's lifespan :( )

    Saying that, I've had 2 Sky boxes break in the time since I bought my first Tivo, yet Tivo has gone on strong (apart from the occasional crash but that seems to do with the network card element)
     
  11. spitfires

    spitfires wassock

    724
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    Dec 19, 2006
    South Coast, UK
    Just get yourself a spare box. You can usually get them for free (+ £8 postage) and they come up on here or AltEPG forum occasionally. Then if anything happens you can just move your disc into the spare TiVo and away you go :)

    Of course that doesn't help if it's the disc that's gone. Every once in a while I take my disc out of the TiVo and make a backup copy - I clone it to a spare disc using 'dd' under Linux, but you could just as easily use one of the 'live CD' images such as Knoppix, MFSLive, etc. (or the AltEPG image if that includes 'dd').

    AltEPG will keep going as long as there are people using the TiVos and there are volunteers to edit the guide data. :)
     
  12. a_tivo_noob

    a_tivo_noob Member

    213
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    Jan 1, 2004
    I think that's the main thing... it's a thankless task (apart from the donations, but these must be drying up?)

    It is one hell of a useful service though :)

    Been keeping my eye out for a back up box on here for a while now (.. keep missing them though! :eek: :( )
     
  13. sjp

    sjp Active Member

    1,723
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    Oct 22, 2001
    London, UK
    Where are you?
     
  14. spitfires

    spitfires wassock

    724
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    Dec 19, 2006
    South Coast, UK
    You could perhaps post a "Thomson S1 Wanted" ad on the Virgin forum?
     
  15. a_tivo_noob

    a_tivo_noob Member

    213
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    Jan 1, 2004
  16. spitfires

    spitfires wassock

    724
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    Dec 19, 2006
    South Coast, UK
    MyHermes will be the cheapest, and does "collect". You'll need Benedict's postcode and phone number and a "safe place" to pick up from if he's not in all day, (unless he takes it to a "ParcelShop").
     
  17. a_tivo_noob

    a_tivo_noob Member

    213
    0
    Jan 1, 2004
    excellent-thankyou :)
     
  18. KiNeL

    KiNeL Member

    147
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    Feb 6, 2006
    Lot SW France
    Yep, still running 3 TiVo's here in France.
     
  19. 6022tivo

    6022tivo A Happy Member

    2,061
    1
    Oct 29, 2002
    North West, UK
    I have kept hold of one S1 tivo.

    So sad really, I remember buying my first when they reduced to £99.

    I was blown away whilst I was using it for the first time, and really was revolutionary..

    HD killed it off for me sadly... Now use SkyHD, which still has not caught up.
    They even advertised a new feature last month, the ability of the box to remember a series, so if a new series of a program started many months after the last one, the Sky box would record without setting up a new series link (Season Pass).....Amazing as they advertised this as a new great thing, when Tivo had it over a decade ago...

    So sad..
     

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