Over the Air TV and Tivo

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by bobrb, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. bobrb

    bobrb New Member

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    In reading a few of the threads that reference my question I'm a little confused. So I'm asking... can I can use (and which one) a TIVO box to record multiple off the air channels? And if so how many channels can I record, two, three four, etc?

    I'm really getting fed up with cable and satellite providers. Although I will miss some of the channels that are only available on said providers, if I can record some of the network programs that happen to be on at the same time, I'll drop them like a rock.
     
  2. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    Tivo has two tuners and thus is only able to record two channels.

    However their cable only Tivo box, the Elite, has four tuners to record four channels. But again, this box doesn't do air channels.
     
  3. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

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    I dropped DirecTV and use TiVo and OTA along with Google TV, I am happy with the solution. We always have something to watch. Overall, it isn't as good as a good digital cable subscription or DirecTV but the savings make it preferrable. We needed OTA on 3 displays so I have 3 TiVos but 2 tuners are enough as far recording, never have more than 2 programs scheduled at the same time but if that ever happens, I am prepared.
     
  4. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    The only models of Tivo that will do OTA aka Antenna, are the Series 3/ HD/ XL and Premiere/XL.

    They record 2 channels at once. They can also record off cable in addition to antenna, still only 2 channels at once. There are separate inputs for antenna and cable, but for output, there is NO Coax, only composite (yellow, with white/red audio), component (green/blue/red, and separate audio), and HDMI.

    Don't be confused with the new Premiere Elite, it is only for digital cable, with 4 tuners. Its not for antenna.

    The earlier models, Series 1 does not support OTA anymore since they went digital. Series 2 supports OTA only with a digital converter box, except for the Series 2 dual tuner model which is cable only.

    [​IMG]
    Series 3 with OLED display​


    ------

    [​IMG]
    TiVo HD​

    The HD XL is similar but with more space.

    -----

    [​IMG]
    TiVo Premiere​

    The Premiere XL is similar but with more space.

    -----

    [​IMG]
    TiVo Premiere Elite​
     
  5. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    ThAbtO did a good job of explaining the models that work with OTA.

    However before you jump to OTA you need to know what you actually get where you are. I have seen people post that they have 60 channels available in the big city areas and others in remote rural areas that can not even get OTA reception at all.

    I am OTA only and I can get about 15 channels and am happy with it. I use three different TiVo models to record OTA:
    1. A Series 3 HD
    2. A TiVo HD
    3. A TiVo Premiere
    I think they all are excellent OTA DVRs.

    If you do not currently own a TiVo I would recommend the Premiere and if you are unable/unwilling to purchase lifetime service for it they are running a $10/mo OTA only Service deal through 11/15 see the add on Solid Signal. If you don't have an antenna Best Buy is running a deal where you can buy a Premiere and get a free OTA antenna. I you buy the Premiere from Best Buy you should still be able to get the $10/mo for OTA service deal.

    Good Luck,
     
  6. turbobuick86

    turbobuick86 Member

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    I've been OTA/Netflix for years. Happy as a clam.

    In Los Angeles the TiVo pulls in over 100 channels off the air. About 20% are foreign language, about 20% are infomercials/shopping, about 20% are religous, about 20% are childrens programming. But that other 20% rocks with the best uncompressed HD possible. :D
     
  7. bobrb

    bobrb New Member

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    Oct 27, 2011
    Great, thanks guys. Definitely helps, not knowing anything about TiVo. Which does bring up a couple more questions.

    So understandably, I purchase the TiVo box, Best Buy, Solid Signal, etc. Then if I'm reading correctly I also have to pay TiVo for use of their box, so much a month or a Lifetime Service deal? What am I actually paying for? If picking up OTA signals, why is their a monthly service cost?

    I guess I should also explain. We live in an RV and travel around quite abit. I do have a very good OTA antenna that has a built in signal monitor to help with pointing the antenna. I also want to be able to pick up HD and watch and record it. So does the Premiere Box support HD?
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    which is to say that it does analog cable, would do analog OTA if it still existed, and can only do digital OTA with a converter box
    analog
    There, nitpicked that for you.:)
     
  9. turbobuick86

    turbobuick86 Member

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    TiVo, especially OTA only, is not designed for travel. You wouldn't have a fully functioning program guide and that's the heart and soul of Tivo. Your best bet is DirecTV or DishTV ala carte.
     
  10. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    The service fee is for guide data, software upgrades, support, etc. Tivo does require a phone line or internet connection to download the guide data.

    Yes, the Premier box supports HD.

    If you do not have internet or phone service, Channel Master has a DVR which does not require such connectivity.

    -Ted
     
  11. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    After you buy the hardware, you pay TiVo for the TiVo service, which includes the license to use the software on the hardware.

    The hardware would have been much more expensive otherwise.
     
  12. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    If you are constantly moving from one TV market to another I am not sure you really want a TiVo. I would look at the Channel Master OTA DVRs, they are not as advance as a TiVo but would be easier to deal with if you kept changing what market you where in.

    Good Luck,
     
  13. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    I spent almost two years traveling around the country for my job back around 2000-2001. I carried a ReplayTV with me everywhere I went. When I checked into my hotel room (usually an ExtendedStay), the first thing I did was hook up the Replay and run it through guided setup. I could generally have it up and running in about 20 minutes. The HR112 Tivo I had back home took a couple of hours to go through setup at the time, IIRC. They have obviously improved upon that over the years.

    Most hotels had proprietary channel listings so I'd look through the supplied TV guide in the room and compare it to available cable systems in the area. I believe the Replay would actually list all of the channels for each available provider in the area so it was easy to pick one that I could use. I'd find one that was as close as possible to the hotel's lineup and use that for my guide data. I'd then make a cross-reference list between the hotel TV lineup and the lineup I chose for the ReplayTV. That way I could see what was on and then simply setup the recording manually using the correct channel.

    I'd usually remember what I was recording but a lot of times I'd see a show in the play list and couldn't remember what it was supposed to be. It listed the name of the show that was in the guide and not the actual program name so sometimes I'd have to guess what it was that I actually recorded. If I got lucky, the show was on the same channel list for both the guide data and the hotel lineup, but not as often as I would have liked.

    It wasn't a perfect solution, but at least I could watch my favorite shows even while I was away from home. My work schedule was all over the place so there were many times when I'd have to work an evening shift. The Replay kept me somewhat sane while being on the road.
     
  14. cannonz

    cannonz Well-Known Member

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  15. turbobuick86

    turbobuick86 Member

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    Maybe it's just me, but RV'n used to mean out in the boonies. Maybe one local station if all the planets line up. If you are RV'n in the Wallymart parking lot every night, enjoy the OTA DVR.
     
  16. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    I totally missed the post about traveling in an RV. I concur that Dish or DirecTV would be your best choice for that type of setup. They make dishes that can mount on an RV and be pointed at the satellites fairly easily. I wouldn't count on getting one for the DirecTV mpeg4 satellites though. Aiming the dish takes some precision adjustments to get it aligned properly.
     
  17. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

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    If you are travelling around the country and staying some at RV parks with free Wi-Fi, I think a TiVo series 3 or 4 with OTA tuners would be a good choice. Record lots of shows when staying at sites with good OTA signals, watch those programs when no good OTA is available down the road. I haven't actually done this but I can't see the downside. I would guess a good 4G service with adapter to connect the TiVo is a good option but I haven't actually done that either.

    As far as what you are paying for when paying for TiVo service, it starts with the fact the TiVo DVR is sold at a huge loss and the business model requires selling service to recoup the loss and hopefully make a profit, it isn't working, TiVo operates at a loss year after year. Of course there is the cost to provide the service that also needs to be covered by the fees.

    I do think a satellite TV service is even better but that is expensive.
     
  18. nelin

    nelin New Member

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    Well, regarding your query, I would have to say that Tivo has exactly two tuners and thereby can record only 2 channels and no air channels by the way. But if in case you want to record more than two, you can go for the Elite from Tivo box which would let you record four channels at one time.
     
  19. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    Not all Tivo models are quite the same in tuners. Series 1 has a single analog tuners. Series 2 has a single analog tuner, including the DT model but it can record from a tuner source and an external source through the video/audio input from the cable box. A digital converter box is required for digital OTA, or a cable box.

    Series 3/HD/XL and Premiere/XL has dual analog/digital tuners to record 2 channels from either an analog or digital channel at the same time from antenna or cable.

    Premiere Elite has 4 digital tuners to record from digital cable channels only.
     
  20. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    I think it was actually the following:

    1. Series 1: Contained a single combined OTA/Cable analog only tuner allowing recording from one analog OTA or Cable channel or could record from analog outputs of one STB
    2. Series 2 single tuner units: Contained a single combined OTA/Cable analog only tuner allowing recording from one analog OTA or Cable channel or could record from analog outputs of one STB
    3. Series 2 dual tuner units: Contain dual analog cable only tuners allowing recording from 2 analog cable channels and/or could record from analog outputs of one STB
    4. All Series 3 units: Contain dual combined OTA/Cable digital and analog tuners and allowing recording from 2 OTA or Cable digital or analog channels
    5. Premiere & Premiere XL: Contain dual combined OTA/Cable digital and analog tuners and allowing recording from 2 OTA or Cable digital or analog channels
    6. Premiere Elite: Contains quad digital cable only tuners and allowings recording from 4 cable digital channels.
     

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