New to the world of DVR

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by neji, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. neji

    neji New Member

    Apr 14, 2011


    I didn't know where else to post this. Yeah I done some searching, all i get is Tivo here , Tivo this, Tivo there Everything Tivo.

    Well so far I heard that there is more than Tivo when it comes to DVR.
    I currently have cable service with charter communications. I have one DVR-HD Receiver which is fine has on demand and much more. It fit's nicely with my big Plasma screen

    However in some other room i have a small fat tv 20" or so. I want to get a DVR for it but at 10 bucks a month is not worth it for me.
    so far i found this
    Tivo model TCD540080 $25, (craigslist)
    So any suggestions?
    I am not looking for subscriptions or bels and whistles. Just a DVR were i can tell it to record M-F 03:00PM ~ 04:00PM
    something basic

    Will this work?
    ALso how much is this subscriptions?
    [all i know of dvrs is that I need to pay a fee of 10bucks to my provider until the day i die or decide to cancel)

    I never introduced myself. Hey i am chris, 18 male. California
    I am very tech and computer savvy. Music + Movies+ Video Games +Computers is what i love
  2. LifeIsABeach

    LifeIsABeach Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001
    Drexel Hill, PA
    Welcome to the forum!

    The model you mentioned is a Series 2 and cannot be used to record without a TiVo subscription. IIRC subscriptions are now $12.95 a month with a one year contarct which can be cancelled within the first 30 days. I think they still have lifetime memberships available (which is the lifetime of the TiVo, not your lifetime) for around $399. I am sure someone will be by to correct my numbers. lol

    If you can locate an old Series 1 Tivo, all of the Philips models and most of the Sony models can be used to record manually (by day/time, not by show name) without a subscription.
  3. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    LIAB's numbers are correct, but PL is not worth it to put on a Series 2 anymore. Used ones sell for around $200 with PL, which would be the route I would investgate for a no fee DVR. Another TiVo based option would be a Pioneer or Toshiba DVD combo, which come wth the free TiVo Basic service.

    If you want to buy a cheaper unit and your own subscription, you can save two months by prepaying for one year.
  4. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

    Apr 19, 2004
    East Moline, IL
    Shouldn't the be "cannot be used to record without a TiVo subscription"?
  5. ss_sea_ya

    ss_sea_ya New Member

    Sep 2, 2010
    Alexandria, VA


    Check out the standard def DVRs here:

    You might be able to get one of the Magnavox models at a price you like, either new, used or refurbished. It will record OTA and, unencrypted cable channels. If your cable system encrypts the channel you want to record, you will need a cable decoder box to front the DVR.

    If you have more questions on the non-Tivo boxes, your best bet is to post in the that forum.
  6. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    To the Original Poster: If your cable provider is providing High Definition (HD) DVRs for $10/mo that is cheap and likely below their costs.

    You didn't indicate if you want to record in HD or not. There really are no cheap solutions if you do.

    If recording in Standard Definition (SD) is ok you could look for used Series 1 or 2 Tivos with lifetime service or the Toshiba or Pioneer Series 2 DVD TiVos that had a free basic service attached to them.

    As others have said if you want to record digital cable (HD or SD) you will need a cable box in front of any TiVo Series 1 or 2 DVR as they only have analog tuners.

    Good Luck,
  7. dgh

    dgh New Member

    Jul 24, 2000
    There's quite a lot of vagueness here like: do you want to record cable or OTA ATSC? If cable, is it old analog NTSC only or do you need a box? If you need a box, they might charge you something like half the 2nd DVR price anyway. Every cable company/location has it's own rates, policies, setup... so it's hard to really tell you much. Currently a lot of cable companies are in the slow process of dropping the old NTSC stuff so you might want to check on that too before you get something that they obsolete for you in 6 months.

    Depending on the above, you might even consider other service providers. For example Dish will supply a DVR for $6/month that supports 2 TVs. (ie has two independent outputs, comes with one IR remote for the near TV and one UHF remote for the far TV.) That would fit what you've described for possibly less than you are paying now.
  8. neji

    neji New Member

    Apr 14, 2011
    I don't need a HD DVR for the TV i am wanting to hook this up.
    What I really don't want to do is join a subscription.
    I just wanted to set up some sort of recorder in upstairs room. VHS are just not going to cut it lol.

    I will look into the DVR's mention here. Thanks a lot guys keep suggestions coming.

    I am looking to record trough cable. Currently upstairs i did not buy cable box receivers. The only advantage was VideoOnDemand, and being able to get PPV's. Both TV's are running off a coaxial cable. Am i out of luck?
  9. neji

    neji New Member

    Apr 14, 2011
    TiVo Series 2 TCD649080

    so this is a 2 series, would i be able to hook it up to my TV directly?No cable box.
    Subscription isn't required is it?
  10. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    99% of Tivo require a Tivo subscription service for guide and everything else.

    The Series 2 require a cable box for digital cable access, no Tivo will not access VOD/PPV. Series 2 are obsolete now.
    TCD649080 is a Tivo Series 2 Dual Tuner 80 hr DVR, but the dual tuner is 1 analog tuner and 1 input, for 2 recordings at once. When the cable co shuts off analog signal, you are left with only 1 recording capability. This model is only designed for cable.
  11. neji

    neji New Member

    Apr 14, 2011
    @ThAbtO i think this is what i need. I don't care for VOD/PPV
    I don't care about being dual tuner or not. Just record whenever i am not at home.
    Thanks a lot everyone for clearing it up i think i will go on with this
  12. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Series 3/HD/XL and Premiere will record without having a cable box which is replaced with cable cards. The original Series 3 uses 2 cable cards no matter the type (Multi or Single stream) cable cards, HD/XL uses 1 M or 2 S cards, while the Premiere only has 1 cable card slot so must use 1 M card. They can record cable and even antenna without a digital converter box, 2 channels at the same time from either/both sources.
  13. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    The following assumes you've got analog cable running to that second TV, and that your cable company is going to continue to offer analog cable for some time to come.

    If you're going to get a Series 2, the TCD649080 (or the TCD649180, same machine, larger hard drive) is the one to get. 2 tuners for the same subscription fee.

    However, you may be able to snag a single tuner Series 2 with a Lifetime subscription for around $100 or so if you're patient.

    Plug this into Google /sys OR /ele tivo

    to see listings from around the country.

    Use the advanced settings on the left to get results by date.

    I've had success in the past on some out of town craigslist posts by asking if the seller would accept payment via PayPal, including the cost of mailing to me.

    You might be able to get a Series 1 with lifetime for even less.

    Some of the very first Series 1s, manufactured before a certain date, would manually record without a subscription, but you wouldn't have any guide data and you'd have to keep track of how far off the Tivo's internal clock had drifted.
  14. LifeIsABeach

    LifeIsABeach Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001
    Drexel Hill, PA
    lol Yes, you are correct!

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