HDMI noob here-my tube TV died- my Series 2 has no HDMI ports; what next?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by weblizard, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. weblizard

    weblizard New Member

    Dec 28, 2004


    My big old tube tv finally gave up the ghost. My family has chipped in to help me get a new HDTV (I'm underemployed these days). When I looked at the back of my Series 2 TiVo,cable box, and DVD/VCR, I realized that none of them have HDMI ports. Oh.
    Makes sense, none of them are exactly new. What brings me here is I apparently have to get something new for DVR functions, along with a new cable box.

    I could be wrong here- are there converter cables with the three-headed audio/video plugs at one end & HDMI on the other?
    Skimming various sites, I see really mixed reviews on the Premier TiVo devices and not-so-hot reviews for the Optimum cableco DVR. I am utterly new to the HD world; should I be trying to find a used Series 3? What are you good people experiencing with your DVRs?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. LoREvanescence

    LoREvanescence Always Autocorrected

    Jun 19, 2007
    Salem, MA
    You don't need an HDMI cable unless you plan on getting HD, and you would need a new box at that point.

    The HDMI cable carries Digital HD, and the compenent connections (which the s2 does not have) carries a analog HD signal. They both can carry sd signal.

    Both your S2 and DVD playing can only put out a SD signal, and there for, you can hook them up to your hd tv the same way you had them hooked to your tube tv. It will be the same, just no hd.

    To get HD you would need a S3/THD/Premiere with a cable card if you have cable, and for dvd, you will need a Blu-Ray player and blu-ray disks, other wise you will be just up scaling your dvd's which may look a little better, but is not hd. A blu-ray player can play all your dvd's by the way.
  3. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    Many (most?) HD TV's still have older pre-HDMI analog inputs so people can hook up their old devices. If your new TV had those the cheapest solution would be to just hook your S2 TiVo up to those inputs. (Pretty much what LoREvanescence said)

    It wouldn't be HD, but it would be fast and cheap.

    If you do decide to upgrade, I've had a good experience with my TiVo HD. But some of that is because I get FIOS TV which doesn't require tuning adaptors (can cause problems) and doesn't copy restrict content. People on other cable systems have had different experiences (not that those are really the fault of the TiVo, but a bad experience is a bad experience)
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    If your DVD player is also going to use component outputs, be sure to buy a new TV that has two sets of component inputs.

    Used TiVo HD's are available on EBay for very low prices -- I don't recommend lifetime subscription but that's just my opinion. But, as Johnathan_S pointed out there can be some pesky problems with Tuning Adapters or CableCARD(s) depending on your cable system. I know because I have a THD and have experienced all the problems he mentioned. I still miss some recordings due to TA tuning failures and most of my channels are copy-protected (thanks Time Warner! :p).
  5. dgh

    dgh New Member

    Jul 24, 2000


    Neither your TV, your AV receiver (if you have one) has any kind of legacy inputs? HDMI is preferred but most new devices also have component, composite, and often RF inputs. About the only thing that has disappeared from most recent devices is S-Video.

    In any case, no matter how you connect it, MPEG'd SD isn't going to look that good on an HDTV, but it's not the connector that is the main limiting factor.

    For an HD DVR, HD TiVo as well as HD DVRs from satellite and cable cos are among your options. Also some PC-based options and others. Some content provider DVRs are still relatively crude compared to TiVo, but some like Dish's offerings are really nice. If you go with an HD TiVo check into the cable card situation in your area. In some cases people pay more to rent the cable cards than the whole DVR costs from Dish.
  6. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    True it has to be HD to look "that good" but I know from experience that SD on my new HD TV looks better than it did on my old analog SD TV. Just don't watch much HD or you'll never be able to accept SD! :cool:
  7. timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

    Oct 15, 2002
    My HD TiVo has worked flawlessly the whole time I've had it... And it's hooked up to an HD monitor that has only a VGA input port. (accomplished with a HDMI-to-VGA adapter I bought.
  8. dgh

    dgh New Member

    Jul 24, 2000
    Interesting - most people say the reverse - that SD looks worse than ever on the new HD set. Of course, people typically move to a much larger set when they go HD too which magnifies issues.
  9. ss_sea_ya

    ss_sea_ya New Member

    Sep 2, 2010
    Alexandria, VA
    You should be able to connect the existing connection to the new TV (unless you were using S-Video). Hopefully your new TV has at least two sets "Legacy" RCA type inputs - Left(white)/Right(red) Audio+Video (yellow)

    A great alternative, is I'd shoot for Craiglist or Thrift/Good will store for a good replacement TV. You can prob get a pretty good TV similar to your old one at a great price, or even free. Then just use the same connections.
  10. weblizard

    weblizard New Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Going kind of backwards:
    I would have considered the used option, except my sister & parents surprised me with this big box from Costco! (Amex rebate FTW) It's a Toshiba 40FT1U (which looks like a rude text message somehow).

    Anyway, as several of you predicted, it does have legacy inputs- the funny part is, the old tube didn't even have the 3x input- had to use a single coax-looking input cable that hooked up to the DVD/VCR. So that alone is an update!

    Of course, I also had to abandon my previous practice of piling components on top of the TV- did get a laugh out of the fellow at IKEA describing how VERY difficult it was to try doing that... After 2 trips to IKEA, I finally got the components-under-the-TV situation (perched atop a short bookcase) sorted out.
    I'll spare everyone the horrors of singlehandedly (i.e., alone- I have two hands)(I've seen the grammar arguments around here!;))muling a 40" TV on top of the whole works...
    After further cable-wrassling and button-pushing on multiple remotes, I now have SD viewing on the new HD TV. It is a tad fuzzy- and surprisingly quiet! Do the TV manufacturers assume everyone has stereos hooked up to their TV sets? That was a surprise.

    I think I'll want to make my way to HD in the next couple of months, especially if I get the gig I'm applying for (fingers crossed!). It looks like most of you are very happy with the HD TiVos; time to start trolling eBay. Optimum cable does use cards (Scientific Atlanta brand-looks like a credit card inserted into the box)- do both HD & Premiere models have similar problems with the cards?
    Also, one big reason I'd like to stay with TiVo- I wireless-transfer shows to my Mac for editing/burning (I teach biology,and like to show clips in the classroom). I don't think the cableco DVR does that, and Optimum broke my cherished EyeTV, so I can't record right to the Mac.

    Thank you all for the help- I really was happily surprised to see all your messages when I took a break from the ongoing media saga here!
  11. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    OK, that made me laugh out loud.
  12. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Did you hook up the audio cables between the tivo and the new monitor?

    Dont be afraid of the premiere. Having owned the THD for 3 yrs and then upgrading, it is an upgrade and can do everything the THD does and faster, better media file handling and much faster network connections.

    Some of the premiere's new features the THD does not have are unfinished and do not work so well. The new HD menu system is a good example. It works, mostly but is not complete. Using the older SD menus it works better and faster than a THD.
  13. weblizard

    weblizard New Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Happy to have been of service!:D
  14. weblizard

    weblizard New Member

    Dec 28, 2004
    Yes, I got all three of the plugs (of the three-headed cable beast) into the right ports, but the speaker is on the back of the TV, so the sound is directed away from the viewer...
    I might see if my external computer speakers work attached to the TV; if so, I can get those inexpensively or save up for something fancier later.

    In a marvelous bit of serendipity, I went trolling on eBay, found a well-kept HD XL TiVo with lifetime service (wasn't a deal-breaker for me,but nice to have) from a longterm seller with 100% positive feedback, and won the auction today! With shipping included, it wasn't a huge amount more than I'd saved for a new TiVo, and no more monthly fees! Woot!

    I did decide to go with the older HD; after many years with the Series 2, the HD will be lots of upgrade for me. I like the new & shiny as much as the next person, but would prefer stable when it comes to workhorse items like my TiVo!
    So, all going well, in not much more than a week, I'll have gone from watching Series 2 recordings on my nephew's replaced-by-HD 12" tube TV to watching HD recordings on a 40" HD TV. Wow.

    Thanks again for all the advice- I look forward to posting the arrival of the new (to me) TiVo!
  15. MrSkippy53

    MrSkippy53 New Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Your THD will need cable cards. You will no longer need the Optimum cable box and will need them to come out and install cablecard in your THD once you get it....
  16. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    If your TV and receiver support S-Video it's a much better option then the standard composite video cable (i.e. single yellow). Or if you happen to have one of the TiVos with built in DVD then it will actually have component video output (i.e. red/blue/green) which is even better.

  17. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    The idea of that thing sitting on that bookcase makes me nervous.

    Allow me to strongly suggest you start comparison shopping for a wall mount.

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