Help with Series 2 & Charter "All Digital" Switch

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by violet976, May 1, 2014.

  1. violet976

    violet976 New Member

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    May 1, 2014

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    We have a lifetime Series 2 and Charter has recently implemented the "All digital" switch in our area. We're trying to figure out if our Series two can still work with this new change at Charter, but can't seem to find information online with a clear answer. Technical explanations might go over our heads in regards to how to set this up, but it would be great if someone can explain a way to achieve this in layman's terms or with a diagram of what we need to do.

    We're looking for a clear answer on whether our Series 2 can still be used after the "all digital" switch. Ours does not have a cable card slot nor were we ever using any other box before the switch. We simply plugged the cable line directly into our Series 2.

    If this cannot be done, what used models of Tivo *are* compatible with this switch to All Digital? I've seen others mention the Series 3 with a cable card, but when I look at pictures online of the back of a Series 3 I do not see any slot for a cable card.

    Any advice would be appreciated. We would love to be able to keep our lifetime Series 2 up and running, but if not please advise on what models we could buy used that would make the transition as easy as possible for us.
     
  2. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    SoCal
    If Charter offers a DTA (Digital Terminal Adapter I think) it will provide an analog output that your Series 2 can use and can be controlled via the IR blaster (assuming you didn't loose it) from the series 2. A DTA is basically a limited purpose cable box from Charter for use with old analog TV sets. As far as charter is concerned your series 2 is just an old analog TV set.

    Another option is a full service cable box that is compatible with analog TV sets. It would be an older cable box. It too is controlled by the TiVo via IR blasters.

    If you are ready to make the jump to high definition, then your best bet is to get a TiVo that supports high definition. All HD TiVos also support cable cards and do not require a DTA or cable box. TiVo made Series 3 DVRs for years, then started making the Premiere models. The Premieres are available with either two or four tuners. Your old S2 has either one tuner or two depending upon which model it is. The latest TiVo Roamio's have either 4 or six tuners, again depending on the model you choose. They all use cable cards. These TiVos will also work with standard definition TVs so you can get one now and be ready for when you swap out the TV set for a new one. If that is your plan, to use an SD TV, then an S3 or premiere may be the best choice since both offer an SD user interface, the premiere offers both an SD and HD interface and so can grow into an HDTV a bit better than an S3.

    ALL cable card enabled TiVo DVRs are compatible with all digital cable systems and they all support high definition.

    If you are only looking at used TiVo DVRs, try to find one with lifetime service. It will cost more, but you won't ever pay another cent in service fees.
     
  3. HomeUser

    HomeUser Active Member

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    Jan 12, 2003
    A2 Michigan
    Hello Violet and welcome to the TiVo Community.

    You did not mention which Series2 DVR you have there are two versions a Single tuner or Dual tuner version. Both will need a box from you're cable company called a Digital Tuning Adapter. Basically it receives the signal and converts it to a input the TiVo can use. The cable goes to the box and the output from the box goes to the input of your TiVo. If you can find it you need the IR or serial cable that came with the TiVo to change the channels on the DTA.

    Here are the instructions for the Dual tuner model How do I set up my Series2 Dual Tuner DVR with a cable box?.

    Oh, there is no need to worry about the splitter for the dual tuner the second tuner is unusable in the all digital cable system.

    If you can not find the IR cable to control the DTA you can purchase one from TiVo Replacement IR Control Cable for use with your TiVo box and most cable set-top boxes.
     
  4. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
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    Tell me where you are geographically, and let me check Craigslist for your area to see if there are any suitable used TiVos at a decent price.
     
  5. violet976

    violet976 New Member

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    May 1, 2014

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    Sorry for the delay - I didn't have email notifications turned on. My mother's tivo is a single tuner, I believe (that refers to how many channels it can tune into at once, correct?).

    We are located in Medford, Or. Haven't turned up much on Craigslist yet but she's still weighing her options. She might drop Charter for a roku with netflix, huluplus and possibly amazonprime.
     
  6. violet976

    violet976 New Member

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    May 1, 2014
    The information above was very helpful. My mother had one more question in regard to her series 2. If, down the line, she decides to upgrade to a newer tv (presumably hd) will her series 2 still be compatible or will she need to upgrade her tivo box as well at that point?
     
  7. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    Compatible is very much in the eye of the beholder and the specifics of the HDTV she ends up getting. Driving most HDTVs with an SD signal, like from a series 2 TiVo, will give a picture that looks muddy and stretched wide. On some cheaper HDTVs it will even have black bars at the top and bottom and be really stretched wide. This last problem only tends to occur on the cheapest HDTVs. Even with that said, it will still work and I know people, including some family, who are willing to live with such a picture rather than step up to HD.

    It is for that reason that I suggested in my previous post that you step up the TiVo now so that when she does go HD, it will end up looking good.

    In the end it comes down to your preferences, all the options discussed will work to differing degrees and the order in which you upgrade is entirely your own call.

    It sounds like money is an issue here, or you wouldn't be trying to keep around the series 2. So that may need to be your guiding principal. In that case just getting a DTA and repeating guided setup on the TiVo will do the trick for the absolute least cost. If money were not an object I would heartily recommend you get a Roamio and a new high quality large screen HDTV all at the same time. You would both love it.
     
  8. violet976

    violet976 New Member

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    May 1, 2014
    I think part of it is a money issue, but part of it is the principle that she already has a series 2 tivo with a lifetime subscription and she would prefer to keep using it until it fails. Same with the tv. It's more the mentality that the devices are already in her possession and she'd like to get full use out of them. We're don't really have a "throw away" mentality in our family, we like to use things until we can't use them anymore.

    I think for now she is just trying to understand all options. In the end I suspect she will probably opt to cut the ties with the cable company and use a Roku or other similar device instead, but I'd like her to know what options she has to possibly keep the series 2 tivo/cable if she so chooses.
     
  9. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    Jan 13, 2005
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    That makes sense, I can relate to "drive it till it drops". Getting an HD TV may qualify as can't use it anymore if you don't like a muddy stretched picture.

    Please let us know what you decide.
     

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