DTA for OTA older Tivos

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by wmgoat, Apr 17, 2016.

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  1. wmgoat

    wmgoat New Member

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    Feb 25, 2006

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    Ive just cut the cable cord, and bought 2 new Roamio OTA systems from Best Buy to use instead of the Comcast DVR. They were a great buy and work pretty well, even on Channel 2 (which in the Chicago area is still broadcasting on VHF freqs, and it spotty beyond 20 miles from transmitter downtown. Then again, Channel 2 has always been spotty, digital or analog).

    All of my TVs are capable of digital, and I have a series 3 hd box that set up just fine with OTA. The antenna I bought was an Amazon basics whole house bowtie antenna and it uses an inline amp. Ive mounted it in the attic at the top of the rafters, and Im pretty impressed with how well its working. Im using a distribution amp that I used when I had cable since I have so many TVs on the lines.

    Im saving about $150 per month, so all my OTA purchases will wash out within a few months.

    But I still have 2 old Series 2 dual tuner boxes on lifetime that worked just fine when I had then attached to a cable box. They only recorded one station at a time, and Im ok with that. The new Roamios are fo re our primary TVs, and these olders tivos are being relegated to secondary sets, if I can get them to work with a digital antenna.

    I tried an old Magnavox digital settop D/A converter box (one of the old $10 coupon boxes that the government made available when FCC mandated the change to digital) on one of the Series 2 units last night and Tivo didnt recognize it, no channel changing was happening using IR.

    Can anyone tell me if there is a DTA adapter that I can get for each of these 2 old boxes that will allow me to use digital sub channels? (2.1, 2.2, etc) They still work fine for my uses and with lifetime contracts, I really dont want to walk away from them.

    Or do these working antiques finally need to be permanently retired? I really hate to walk away from them, especially since they cost me nothing to use any more. Today's Lifetime contracts are so much more expensive than they were when I got these boxes.

    Your comments, suggestions, and recommendations on DTAs is very much appreciated.

    Thanks to all who respond.
     
  2. tampa8

    tampa8 Official Tivo User

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    Series 2 does not have OTA, it is impossible to watch off an antenna. If it did have it the converter would work, you would change channels with the converter.
     
  3. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    You can use an IR cable with the series 2 to change channels from the Tivo. [649] and [542] series 2's don't work with OTA.
     
  4. tampa8

    tampa8 Official Tivo User

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    ? I'm not understanding. Was my answer wrong?
     
  5. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    Yes and no.
    You said "Series 2 does not have OTA" which is wrong because the vast majority of the S2 models do work with OTA, but now require a converter box.
    However, the OP has a couple of dual tuner models (649) that are not compatible with OTA at all, so in the specific case of the OP, you were correct in that his S2s will not work with OTA.

    But his response is a little out in left field w/o an explanation

    The OP should get a couple of Tivo Minis instead.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  6. tampa8

    tampa8 Official Tivo User

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    Thanks!
     
  7. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    It's nearly impossible to keep up with all the acronyms and jargon these days.

    What you have is a CECB, a Coupon Eligible Converter Box.

    A DTA is actually a cable TV digital to analog converter.

    And you should be able to get one for each of your S2 DTs from your cable company.

    Unfortunately that would turn your dual tuner units into single tuner units, but then again, so would a broadcast converter box.


    How much, if any, monthly rent they'd charge I have no way of knowing.


    And of course that only lets your record cable on your S2s, not Over The Air.

    The single tuner S2s were designed to be used with analog cable and the old, pre-digital changeover analog broadcast channels, with the exception of the 542, which was a variation of the last of the single tuner models, the 540.

    The 540 did Over The Air, but not the 542.

    The 542 and the dual tuner S2s, the 649s, came out when there was a legal mandate for stuff with OTA tuners to be able to receive and process both analog OTA and the then new digital OTA that was getting started.

    Rather than have to charge the extra needed to do that, TiVo bypassed that requirement by making the 542 and the 649s analog cable only, so the software for those models never had the part that would let them be used with the digital to analog broadcast converter boxes, commonly called "coupon boxes" at the time because of the government subsidy for them.

    So the 540 and the earlier single tuner S2s have the software to let them work with those broadcast converter boxes, as well as with cable converter boxes (the DTA's, or Digital Transport Adapters), but the 542 and the 649s don't, although I think all of them can work with separate satellite receivers.


    So you can still use those 649s for Standard Definition cable, or SD satellite, if you can still get an SD satellite box, and get program info for them from TiVo. You just can't get them to work with the boxes that need the xx.x (or xx-x) channel selection command, and you can't get guide info on those channels for those particular TiVos.


    If you want to part with lifetimed 649s cheap, let me know.

    Time Warner Cable's elimination of analog means that my 3 dual tuner units are now single tuner units.
     
  8. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    ???
    Not all converter boxes were coupon eligible.


    The 542 and 649 Tivos do work with DTAs.
     
  9. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    I was making the point that the 542 and the 649s don't have the software to let them work with those broadcast converter boxes, but I can see that my phrasing could have been better.
     

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