HDMI fried?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by All-In, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Jul 4, 2020 #1 of 13
    All-In

    All-In New Member

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    I have had a 500GB Bolt since 2017, within a year of getting it I put in a 3TB drive (though only 2TB is usable as I recall). In the past 2 months I have had an Overheating Warning screen twice. Other than that there have been no problems. Yesterday a thunderstorm came through. I was out of the house at the time but it must have been bad because a GFCI breaker opened on the branch where I have my TV/TiVo. Everything else seems to be OK (TV DVD player) but the Tivo has no output. It seems to function OK but I can't tell because the HDMI output is dead. When I plug it into the TV (I plug it in to the same port on the TV, using the same cable as the DVD player, which works fine) it gives a broken/snowy TiVo splash screen for a few seconds, then nothing ("No Signal"). I think the HDMI output is blown out.

    I emailed WeaKnees and they said they don't fix deal Bolt HDMI outputs.

    Do I have any options? I found a cheap used Bolt online, can I pop my HDD in there and call TiVo and hope to get my All-In lifetime account swapped over to the new unit?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  2. Jul 5, 2020 #2 of 13
    cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    You can try but you already voided your warranty by opening up the box and it's out of warranty anyway.

    And, if you want to open another box, you will void its warranty. From the terms at https://tivo.pactsafe.io/legal.html#user-agreement which I found via https://www.tivo.com/legal then User Agreement:

     
  3. Jul 5, 2020 #3 of 13
    dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    First off, as @cwerdna has pointed out, Lifetime is not transferrable to another unit that you may purchase off some rando, the only case where it has to potential to be done is going directly through customer service, even out of warranty Tivo has been known to occasionally swap out units for $149.
    However to use customer service for this you will need to install the original 500GB HD (or a reasonable facsimile)

    Temporarily have you thought about using the component breakout cable?
     
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  4. Jul 5, 2020 #4 of 13
    All-In

    All-In New Member

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    Thanks- I kind of thought this was the case, and I knew I was violating the warranty when I upgraded the HDD. I was just hoping I could get them to transfer the account to a replacement TiVo since it was a lightning strike and I had no control over it (nor did they, of course, which might be their response :)
     
  5. Jul 5, 2020 #5 of 13
    All-In

    All-In New Member

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    Hmm I guess I could try that if my negotiations don't work (buy a replacement Bolt from Tivo). Secretly I was thinking perhaps I could do some parts swapping to get my Bolt back up and running, since it does seem to be working aside from the HDMI output. However I emailed Weaknees and they confirmed even they can't fix a blown HDMI output on a Bolt, so my chances are probably pretty slim.

    Your comment is intriguing... I thought there was only an HDMI output. Great tip! That sounds like something I need to look into.
     
  6. Jul 5, 2020 #6 of 13
    All-In

    All-In New Member

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    Did a quick search and not finding a component breakout cable for Bolt. However in reading about people who want component video from a Bolt, did find one unique possibility; connect a Mini to the Bolt...
     
  7. Jul 5, 2020 #7 of 13
    dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    My bad, the Bolt breakout cable only does audio.
    But you still need to put the 500GB drive back in the Bolt, you can also see if it's working with the ipad or iphone apps since they can stream video from it and you don't need to buy a mini.

    If it is working and you want to remove content, then pytivo desktop will help you get content that's not copy protected off the Bolt before swapping the 500GB back in.
     
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  8. Jul 5, 2020 #8 of 13
    All-In

    All-In New Member

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    Makes sense! I never used any apps or considered the Mini because my network at home sucks (slow). I can't pull anything off the Bolt HDD because my stupid cable company sets the 'do not copy' bit on every show on every channel...
     
  9. All-In

    All-In New Member

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    Diane- you mentioned that I'd need to swap back to my original 500GB drive to switch my account to a new TiVo (if they will even do it). Why is that? Can they only tell I've upgraded HDDs during an account switch? I've always wondered - why don't they check all the time and kill the account when they notice an upgraded drive?

    Thanks
     
  10. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    I have no visibility into what customer service can see, but drives can EASILY be queried for model #, serial #, capacity and all sorts of other SMART (S.M.A.R.T. - Wikipedia) statistics. Run any sort of hard drive diagnostics program on a Mac or PC that shows your SMART stats to see what I mean.

    TiVo surely knows what models of drives they've ever installed in their units from the factory and it wouldn't surprise me if they have a database of TSN (your TiVo serial #) vs. drive serial # and model.

    In the past when folks like TiVolutionary (Richard Bullwinkle) and others basically were ok w/people opening up their TiVos and upgrading them or whatever w/the knowledge that your warranty is void and to not seek out help if you had some unauthorized mods. There was a "don't be a moron" thread that Instant Cake alludes to. I think the thread is gone as the servers that held it may have gone away and it may not have been archived.

    IIRC, the story goes, someone had basically restored some image onto some model of TiVo where it was impossible for that image to be on that unit from the factory. The user then called CS for help because the unit was in some bad state. TiVo wasted a whole bunch of engineering resources to figure it out, only to realize the user lied about what was going on.

    BTW, what's going on with all these "fried" threads? Seems like a weird trend, if you ask me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  11. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    It's much like @cwerdna refers to, i.e. "don't be an idiot" abusing the system by asking them to do work on a machine that you've killed the warranty on by opening it up and replacing the hard drive is one of the best ways to get them to look harder at not allowing it. Technically you opened it, it's yours and you should expect no warranty after you replaced the drive.

    It's long been discussed that the technical support team (not necessarily the CSRs) know exactly what drive is in a unit and in the past have operated on a "don't ask, don't tell" approach to upgrades, if you're going to diagnose and ask for a replacement, make the machine as delivered, modify it and all bets are off.
     
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  12. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Ok, I finally found one of the "don't be a moron" threads at Don't be a MORON! - TiVo Community Forum Archive 1 because someone did their duty: Hate dead links? Do your duty! Submit URLs to archive.org! - My Nissan Leaf Forum.

    Apparently, there may have been 2 more of these per Tivo Hacking Timeline/History?.

    Back then and for the very longest time, TiVo turned a blind eye to people opening up their units to replace and upgrade the drives knowing full well the warranty is voided once you open it. And, people generally respected that and didn't seek out free help from TiVo once they did that. I think most of the community was pretty grateful about this attitude.

    Also, back then, the primary (and for a long time, ONLY) means of getting guide data and software updates besides uploading logs was via dialup modem. So, TiVo had to almost certainly pay some ISP(s) for PPP connections for the TiVos to dial into. That's what "800000 calls a day"? Who do you think pays for that?" likely refers to.

    If being a moron incurs extra costs for TiVo too much and/or too often (e.g. wasted calls to the ISPs, engineering resources wasted, etc.), their attitude might change. They're under no obligation to support modified units.

    Re: hard drive identifying info, when we knew the backdoor code for Series 1 TiVos and could view the logs on our TVs, I recall as part of the logs emitted when a TiVo booted, you could see the drive model # and I think how many LBA blocks the drive had (which would tell you how much it could hold) + probably some other drive stats. And, TiVos, when they "phoned home" would upload some unknown amount of logs, possibly all of them.

    Maybe it's too bad that TiVo no longer includes warranty void if removed stickers on their units (the were definitely on Series 1 units) but IIRC, on a Bolt, you need to punch thru holes underneath the label on the bottom to open the unit, making it physically obvious the unit was tampered with.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  13. All-In

    All-In New Member

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    Jul 4, 2020
    Thanks for the historic info, I'll check it out. For the Bolt, nothing destructive is required, but there are a bunch of really thin plastic tabs between the top and bottom half of the unit, some of which inevitably get broken when you separate them.

    I'm not planning on having TiVo try to figure out what went wrong with my existing Bolt (I pretty much know...) so I won't be wasting their time with it, and it's too old to be under warranty anyway. So I don't think I need to worry much about this, really but I appreciate the info and will read the links to get an idea of the history behind the comments above.
     

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