new TiVo Premiere - want OTA setup

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Ravenhouse, May 4, 2011.

  1. May 4, 2011 #1 of 14
    Ravenhouse

    Ravenhouse New Member

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    May 4, 2011
    Hi All,

    I just joined the community so go lightly :)

    Before buying my TiVo I had only intended to use it as a DVR, but now that I am browsing these forums I see all this talk about OTA. My quesiton is, if I have Verizon FiOS, can I drop them and simply run a digital antenna outside to pick up OTA waves, for free?

    You'll have to excuse my noobishness. While I have no experience with this I am a very technical person, so feel free to explain in detail. I just don't know how this works. I don't watch a whole lot of TV, and certainly don't subscribe to movie channels and such. When I watch TV its mostly always one of the broadcast channels (FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS etc.)

    Secondly, and maybe this is a whole 'nother can of worms...can I get a TV signal from my internet connection? I have a fiber optic connection so its pretty fast. Again, major noob here & just do not know how this works.

    For reference, this is the TiVo Box I was given as a gift:
    (won't let me post a link due to 1st post, so add amazon dot com to the front of this)
    /gp/product/B0036OR910?t=slickdeals&tag=slickdeals&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
     
  2. May 4, 2011 #2 of 14
    cl8855

    cl8855 woot!

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    Many folks (myself included) use their Tivo with OTA signal as their only input.

    The picture can be quite good depending on your location and antenna (i just use an inside small one that works for me). The signal is free but you still need the Tivo subscription (or lifetime service) to get the guide data to record from.

    I'll let someone else answer the Internet TV to tivo question.
     
  3. May 4, 2011 #3 of 14
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    You can receive the same OTA stations as you could by hooking the antenna directly to your TV, with the slight exception that the Premiere's tuner has been subject to numerous complaints that it isn't quite as sensitive as most other tuners. However, to use a TiVo for anything worthwhile (including OTA) you have to subscribe to their program guide service. This service will provide the guide data and full DVR functionality for just the OTA stations (or for both OTA and FIOS) as you wish. Note the subscription service requires an internet connection.

    If you don't already have a subscription, you have a choice to make. There are various plans (monthly, yearly, etc.) including "lifetime" sub, which costs a lot and has no renewal fees, BUT applies only to the lifetime of the specific motherboard in your TiVo. Recently Premieres have been sold with low prices but with one year subscription contracts at $20/mo, which is much higher than the normal monthly rate of $12.95. And I don't think it's clear what happens after the first year on these devices, i.e., whether you can go to the lower normal rates at that time. In general TiVo's policy on subscriptions has been rather complicated and confusing.

    If you have questions about subscriptions, talk to TiVo and be advised people report getting different stories each time they call TiVo. So either take the deal immediately, or get a reference number to (hopefully) seal the deal for when you call back.

    The Premiere already has some internet TV capability, e.g., Netflix, Amazon VOD, YouTube, and RSS web TV podcasts.
     
  4. May 4, 2011 #4 of 14
    kturcotte

    kturcotte Active Member

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    Check out www.tvfool.com and put in your address, and it will tell you which channels you *SHOULD* be able to receive, as well as how strong of an antenna you're going to need in order to pick them up. Also note if they're in multiple directions-this can be a problem for DVR users. The usual response for stations that are in multiple directions is to install a rotator. However, say you want to record a program on one station, and a program on another station that's in the complete opposite direction. Even though you have a dual tuner DVR, you're not going to be able to get a signal from both channels at the same time.
    Also, another thing to consider if you need a large/powerful antenna. What type of building do you live in? If you own your home, no problem. If you live in an apartment, that might be a problem (However, they CANNOT restrict you from installing an antenna in a private area, such as a patio that only you have access to). Also, do you have a metal roof (As I do)? That will be problematic inside and outside.
     
  5. May 4, 2011 #5 of 14
    classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    You can get some TV/Video from the Internet, but mostly downloads or streams of aready aired content, or live non-traditional content.

    For live traditional broadcast and cable channels, they are not available on the public Internet in any legitimate form. To get TV on an Internet service like you have, you would have to subscribe to their IPTV service, and use their box. A TiVo Premiere does not work with such services (at least right now).
     
  6. May 4, 2011 #6 of 14
    kettledrum

    kettledrum Active Member

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    Go to http://www.antennaweb.org and then click on "choose an antenna" and then put in your address and it will tell you a direction and distance to all of the local broadcast station antennas. I live about 10 miles from the antenna farm in my city and have never had any reception problems with my Premiere. Everyone's situation is different.

    If you rarely watch TV outside of the major networks, then OTA is definitely something you should look into.
     
  7. May 4, 2011 #7 of 14
    Aero 1

    Aero 1 Active Member

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    here is my experience with what you want to do: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=8189530#post8189530

    go here: http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29 and input your address. it will tell you how many and what channels you expect to get OTA and which way to point the antenna. word of advice, if you are relatively far from the antenna farm, the higher the antenna the better and preferably outside of the house.

    for internet tv watching, the tivo will do a lot but there are better things out there. look at the apple tv and boxee.
     
  8. May 4, 2011 #8 of 14
    replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

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    Denver ish...
    one person said "Note the subscription service requires an internet connection." and if I understood them correctly, then that is not true. If you want to download to your Tivo from the internet, then you would need to connect the Tivo to the internet using a wireless adapter to the USB port, or directly to the Ethernet port. But otherwise you can connect a Tivo to get program guide data through the phone line with a Tivo adapter if the Tivo is a Premiere. The Tivo can be picky about the phone line though if the phone line is not standard line.

    I use only OTA service and find it maddening inconsistent. I live within direct sight of antennas on a mountain about 5 miles away, but sometimes I get reception and sometimes not. Friends and family members have the same problem. If I couldn't get particular channels all the time I could understand it, but most channels are there most of the time with a great signal, then they are gone. I have numerous Tivos and different digital converter boxes with amplified antennas and smart antennas. Nothing seems to work consistently. Fortunately, I am not that particular about any particular show except football, and that hasn't started up again.

    But it sounds like with your mellow TV watching habits OTA might be OK for you. I myself will continue to use it as I am too cheap to pay for cable/dish, or whatever. Oddly enough, my Tivo in the basement with a set top antenna gets reception sometimes that my outdoor amplified antenna can't get. Go figure....

    The Series 3 and 4 Tivos do seem to have better digital reception than my digital converter boxes, but not all the time.
     
  9. May 4, 2011 #9 of 14
    kturcotte

    kturcotte Active Member

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    Also, before you go that route, call Tivo and find out if they have a local dial in number for you. Most places do, some don't (They don't where I live). Not sure how much data is actually transferred in one of the calls, but if it's long distance, and it's on the phone say 20 mins a day (53 Kbps can't grab a whole lot real fast), every day, you phone bill could skyrocket.
    As far as wireless, if you're within range of a library, or somebody that has unlocked wifi, this could work too. See if there's a way you can check this before buying an adapter though.
     
  10. Ravenhouse

    Ravenhouse New Member

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    May 4, 2011
    Thank you everyone for the responses and help putting this in perspective. I can only concievably put the antenna in one place (and direction give or take 45 degrees) so I am going to have the reconsider OTA (not to mention the big tree that sits right in front of that area). Its a rental townhome community so i do not think they will appreciate me setting up an antenna on the roof.
     
  11. Aero 1

    Aero 1 Active Member

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    Aug 8, 2007
    you can still try an indoor antenna, depending on your location, that might be enough.
     
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    Sorry my mistake.... yes you can get TiVo guide data via a phone line, although you can see some possible pitfalls above. The USB Phone Line Adapter is $30 and can be ordered **here**. Obviously the internet is a better way to get the guide data, if at all possible.

    Also, I get my OTA just fine from an antenna farm 10 miles away with a cheap directional indoor antenna on the first floor.
     
  13. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Or go to http://www3.tivo.com/tivo-misc/popfinder.do
     
  14. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    I think the issue with the telco line Vs. broadband for the PREMIERE is probably has more to do with quickly updating the tiles (graphic pictures) that are used for the various TV shows and movies so that they are identifiable and provide the "eye candy." Is it not much slower if using only a telco, or really NOT ALL updated until the call home each night?
     

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