How will Tivo Series 2 sets be able to tune the upcoming DTV Broadcast Converters?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by 056557, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Nov 24, 2007 #1 of 943

    056557 edanieli

    Sep 24, 2006


    I'm not sure how many of us there are out there, but I use my rooftop antennae to obtain TV. It has dawned on me that my two TiVo Series 2 boxes will become obsolete on Feb 17, 2009, unless someone comes up with a method of interfacing the Series 2 sets with the upcoming DTV Broadcast Converter boxes.

    Here's the dilemma as I understand it. In order for the Series 2 to work, it must manage the tuning of the channels. However the new DTV converters will have their own tuners.

    1. Am I correct that if the Series 2 can't tune the channel, it will simply not work?

    2. Is there even a physical method resident in the Series 2 to operate an external tuner in a device like the proposed DTV Converter boxes? Can you connect a cable between them? Infrared? I don't think so.

    3. Will there be a version of the DTV Converter boxes that converts the new Digital-Over-the-Air (OTA) signals to something that looks to the Series 2 like a cable TV signal? If so, then it seems that all I'd need to do is connect the DTV box, then change my receive-signal type in the Series 2 from antennae to cable. That sounds perfect!

    4. Is there any other solution? I really want to keep both my Series 2 sets (one of which is a lifetimer), and my current televisions, without having to subscribe to a commercial service, or replace my TiVo’s and TVs!

    I'm sure hoping that TiVo steps up to this to make sure that those of us in this situation are not left in the dust. TiVo needs to ensure that there is a Series 2 solution that works with at least some (and preferably all) of the DTV Converter boxes that will be offered beginning in 2008.

  2. Nov 25, 2007 #2 of 943

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

    Oct 20, 2007
    MN, greater...
    The converter boxes will work in exactly the same way that cable boxes have worked with Tivo since the very first tivo was introduced, provided that Tivo will update the software with the necessary information. At this point there is no reason to think that Tivo won't provide the update.
  3. Nov 25, 2007 #3 of 943

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    No reason? OTA ATSC boxes have been out for years and no Series 2's support them.

    What makes you think they will change that?

    Personally I think you are SOL with tuning OTA on a series two, even with a converter. You'll have to use cable or a TiVo HD.
  4. Nov 25, 2007 #4 of 943

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    Considering the TiVoHD unit is only $250 now, and the big switch-off date is still over a year away, I wouldn't be too worried about it yet. Worst case you'll probably find a TiVoHD unit available for little above the cost of a plain vanilla ATSC receiver by then.
  5. Nov 25, 2007 #5 of 943

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish


    It's not a good solution. The TiVo HD can tune ATSC, sure, but it can't control a receiver. So now you're stuck with a series 2 to control a receiver and a tivo HD to control your OTA.

    This is problematic. There are areas that the DBS companies don't provide LIL, or are missing stations, or block stations that you can receive OTA because of DMA issues.

    For awhile I had dish network to receive premium stations. Works awesome with my Series 2, ota + dish. S3 it is worthless.
  6. Nov 25, 2007 #6 of 943

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    It's still a workable solution; keep one or both Series 2 units around for any non-OTA non-Cable content required.

    Anyway, still... it's over a year away. It's not like there isn't plenty of time to see what new things may come out before then.
  7. Nov 25, 2007 #7 of 943

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Why would TiVo want to support something that not needed now for any Series 2. When the new Government subsidized converter boxes are introduced I think TiVo will support that one box. We are all giving you a guess as only TiVo knows how many Series 2/1 units are used for OTA now and if it would worth their effort to do the software to run the new converter boxes.
  8. Nov 25, 2007 #8 of 943

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    Sure, if you don't mind spend $19.90 or more a month to replace your $12.95/mo tivo...

    Not needed by you, like I said ATSC boxes have been out for years. Because our DTV is broadcast from a different location as analog, I would have to have a rotor to watch analog OTA on my series 2 and switch it back to watch digital on my S3.

    It isn't some crazy software development to support them. It's an IR code and a menu option. The series 2 already supports some of them if you use work arounds like pretending it's a satellite receiver. There isn't any reason they aren't supporting them except they have chosen not to. Tha's fine, but it indicates (to me) their attitude about supporting OTA in general on the S2.
  9. Nov 25, 2007 #9 of 943

    magnus Tivo User

    Nov 12, 2004
    For OTA:
    An old Voom (activated) box will work with that S2 box now. Do a search on this forum for Voom and you'll find more information about that. You can probably find one of those boxes on craigslist or ebay for under $50. The gist of it is to set it up as a Motorola set top box and say that you have Dish or Directv service.

    For Satellite:
    Your box should work with Dish or Directv just fine. So, that's another option. I use Dish Now (Prepaid service) during the times when I feel that there is content worth watching.

    For Cable:
    You can use analog cable until the cable companies shut it off. I hear that TWC will shut it off in 2009 or 2010.

  10. Nov 25, 2007 #10 of 943

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    If you read the OP, it's a lifetime unit and a monthly unit now. One Series 2 could be replaced and no net monthly cost change would occur; they'd have two tuners available for OTA, just like they do now. And they'd even have a third tuner available for other things if there were any such sources like satellite to be tuned, or it could just be used to via SD programming remotely from the TiVoHD.
  11. Nov 25, 2007 #11 of 943

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    I think the big issue is seeing the basic ATSC OTA boxes (the ones that will qualify for the government rebate) actually hit the market. TiVo can't program channel changing codes for a particular item that doesn't yet exist. The ones currently for sale output HD and thus won't qualify for the rebate.

    As to why TiVo hasn't provided channel changing codes for the ones that have been on the market for some time, I can't tell you other than perhaps because they do output in HD, there was little point in supporting them when (at the time) TiVo can't capture the output in its full glory.

    However, TiVo is running into stiff competition with cable company DVR's, more so if they can't make SDV play nicely with their latest boxes. To intentionally exclude digital OTA customers after the mandatory cutover, when it's just a simple as including a channel changing code, is frankly marketing suicide.
  12. Nov 25, 2007 #12 of 943

    magnus Tivo User

    Nov 12, 2004
    I think that Tivo should at the least say that they are working or will work on such a feature.

    It would be nice to know that your S2 Lifetime box will still be useful for OTA.

  13. Nov 25, 2007 #13 of 943

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I would hope that Tivo is already working with converter box manufacturers. Surely they're going to be gearing up production soon (if not already).

    If the manufacturers would release the codes they plan on using, Tivo can get to work.;)
    More likely because they haven't had to, until now.:rolleyes:
    Tivo is well known for not being up front with stuff they are working on, IMO.
    Hopefully, they won't let us down.
  14. Nov 26, 2007 #14 of 943

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    To answer the OPs questions first:

    1: Series 2 currently cannot handle digital OTA guide data, as in the dashed channel format OTA uses.

    2: The Series 2 hardware is fully capable of fully using digital OTA tuners. Its limitations today are purely software.

    3: Such systems (and I do mean a system, which would amount to an assortment of digital tuners and analog RF modulators) are technically possible, but not entirely within the monetary means of most people that would get the most from them.

    4: See if you can upgrade to the existing or possible future ATSC capable TiVos, or switch to a service provider that has 3 simple 3 digit channels Series 2s can now tune.

    They could develop the system side of digital receiver support, which should run most units, getting the bugs worked out. Afterwards add IR codes as boxes are available.
  15. Nov 26, 2007 #15 of 943

    JJ TiVoPlantation Owner

    Jul 14, 2000
    Land of...
    specifically has not supported any standalone OTA converters. USSB was never supported back in the day and Voom is only supported as a basic Motorola sattelite box that happens to include an OTA tuner. The Voom solution on my series1 is not bad, but certainly not as elegant as it could be...
  16. Nov 26, 2007 #16 of 943

    billyecho New Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Due to the data streams broadcast by KCBS and KCET (PBS) in Los Angeles my Voom STB no longer is able to tune to those channels. When attempted the box reboots.
  17. Nov 26, 2007 #17 of 943

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2002
    I think there's a 50% chance the digital switchover will be delayed. Very few people are aware of it and things aren't progressing as fast as they need to. You can't just flip the switch overnight. You have to start educating people about the switch a year or two in advance. The converter boxes aren't available in mass quantities yet. The vouchers and the installers for the boxes aren't available. There is doubt that even with the vouchers, the boxes will cost too much or there may not be enough vouchers available.

    It still might all come together, but with a lame duck president and the press focusing on the upcoming elections instead of this issue, I think the public might get blindsided. And then one of the first acts of the new president will be for her :) to order the FCC to delay the swithcover date yet again as it discriminates against the poor.

    Therefore, I would just wait six to eight months and see what happens (or doesn't happen) before ditching the S2.
  18. Nov 26, 2007 #18 of 943

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    Very little chance of a delay. They're already auctioning off the analog spectrum for billions of dollars; and any delay has serious budget consequences:D
  19. Nov 26, 2007 #19 of 943

    Stormspace Electrocuted by TiVo

    Apr 13, 2004
    Hartsville, SC
    Really? TiVo still doesn't support my TV or my surround sound. Both are over a year old. I suppose since more ppl will need this they might do something.
  20. Nov 26, 2007 #20 of 943

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    Indeed. Congress has effectively swallowed a poison pill now -- they cannot delay the switchover without incurring public wrath, either, so they might as well just get it over with, so they only incur the public wrath once, instead of twice.

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