Bringing up my TiVo HD in stages

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by rcoates777, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. rcoates777

    rcoates777 Member

    171
    6
    Jun 28, 2005

    Advertisements

    Gang -

    I have my new TiVo HD but it's still in the box. I'd like to pick your collective brains before I bring it up.

    I'd like to know how much can I do without:

    - activating my subscription and
    - having no cable cards installed

    My Comcast cable is just 'expanded basic' but that gives me HD for the local channels.

    I know I won't have any 'guide' information but can I manually record HD shows?

    It's been a long time since I set up my Series 2 & I can't remember if I need to have activated the subscription before running Guided Setup.

    Thanks in advance.

    Bob
     
  2. aus1ander

    aus1ander New Member

    516
    0
    Sep 17, 2004
    After a short grace period, the answer is nothing. A TiVo HD without a subscription is basically and expensive boat anchor (or doorstop).

    Also, assuming you sign up for service (which you should), you need cable cards if you want to record your HD locals with guide data. I presume you can manually record off QAM channels, but if you get a subscription, you might as well pay the 2-4 bucks/month for cable cards so your TiVo can actually do what its supposed to do automatically.
     
  3. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,066
    5
    Sep 21, 2004
    You can run guided setup without activation as long as you are still within the grace period. I believe you have 7 days to activate.
     
  4. rcoates777

    rcoates777 Member

    171
    6
    Jun 28, 2005
    Yes, I certainly plan to get both a subscription and cable cards. I was just trying to get a feel for how much (if anything) I could do as soon as I opened the box. Thanks.
     
  5. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
    0
    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.

    Advertisements

    You can run guided setup regardless of your subscription status. You need to subscribe to record, regardless of your source, except for that grace period. You need to subscribe to use any network features.

    If you haven't subscribed and let thew grase period lapes, you can just buffer Live TV, and play back any recordings you have made.
     
  6. SpiritualPoet

    SpiritualPoet Member

    569
    0
    Jan 13, 2007
    Texas
    Would someone - anyone - please say what QAM stands for or what it means?
     
  7. rcoates777

    rcoates777 Member

    171
    6
    Jun 28, 2005
  8. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    25,527
    2
    Jan 2, 2004
    check out antennaweb.org

    you could get a 30$ OTA antenna instead and record the locals in digital/HD and skip the cable card stuff. If you hook up an OTA antenna and redo guided setup you get the guide data for the OTA stuff.

    otherwise without cable cards you will see the Locals on QAM channels and can record from them manually but with no guide data to say what the show is.
     
  9. DeWitt

    DeWitt Member

    424
    0
    Jun 30, 2004
    Saratoga...
    I set mine up to test before my Fios install. I activated my service with Tivo.

    Had no problem getting OTA and simple Comcast stuff (Had lifeline to qualify for cable modem discount, used Directv for tv)

    Worked fine. The day before the Fios installer came I reran guided setup selecting Verizon to get the Verizon data loaded. Cable cards went in, and Fios was up and running no problem.
     
  10. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
    0
    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Basically the real channel locations the digital channels are on the cable system, usually hidden by mapping to virtual channel numbers.
     
  11. lastdeadcat

    lastdeadcat 22 years in Alaska

    431
    0
    Mar 14, 2005
    Duvall, WA
    TiVo says as soon as you activate your subscription, run the guided setup without CableCARDs installed. This will allow you get the latest software installed before you deal with the CableCARDs. You can receive any analog cable that is coming in as well as OTA if you tell it Cable and Antenna in guided setup. You don't need the CableCARDs to record from analog and antenna (even digital OTA). All these will be mapped without the CableCARDs. After I got CableCARDs, I stopped my antenna for OTA and went straight cable.

    I used my TiVoHD several months before I got CableCARDs because my cable hadn't gone completely digital. I could record the digital channels that where available, but only by manual means as they weren't mapped. I recorded a few programs this way as the digital signal was better than the analog one.

    When my cable got all the locals in digits, I decided that it was time to get CableCARDs. I only have basic service so get only the locals and just a few others. They only HD station now is the local PBS station. Now of the major network stations are broadcasting HD on SD in digital. My cable only has the digital versions now and they are mapped by the CableCARDs to the old analog channel numbers.

    By all means set up your TiVoHD now and get running on what you have. Then call for your CableCARDs. You may have to run part of your guided set up again, but that is simple. You know your system is stable, the wires are connected right and you have become familiar with the controls before you get the CableCARDs.
     
  12. rcoates777

    rcoates777 Member

    171
    6
    Jun 28, 2005
    I want to keep my old S2 available for a while until I get the new TiVo HD fully operational. Currently I have a splitter sending the signal to my TiVo and a VCR.

    Will a 3-way splitter still allow enough signal strength were I to add the new TiVo HD to it?

    The coax lengths from the splitter to the devices would only be about 3 feet each.

    Thanks!
     
  13. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    7,486
    3
    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    I'd lean towards using an amplifying splitter if you're splitting three ways.

    Depends on what you've got in the way of splits downline, closer to where it comes in the house. Also depends on the signal strength to begin with.
     
  14. rcoates777

    rcoates777 Member

    171
    6
    Jun 28, 2005
    I'll admit up front that I'm a slow mover. But I've got things up and running, Version 9.4 and activated. The next step is CableCARD(S) so I can get guide data for my HD channels - which in my case will only be the local ones since my Comcast service isn't digital (yet).

    After the cards are installed I need to repeat Guided Setup (from what I've read.) When that completes should the Guide Data for the HD channels be there?

    I assume that Comcast is not going to let me install the CableCARD myself. Should I try to get 'the cable guy' to stick around while I go through Guided Setup? I'd like to see the Guide Data there before I let him go since it's the only reason (in my case) that I need to get the card.

    I do have the "Instructions for CableCARD Installers."

    Thanks in advance for any tips on this step.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements