Possible to upgrade an HR22-100 to a THR22-100 w/ image?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by NGeorge, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. NGeorge

    NGeorge Member

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    Hey All--

    I got a THR22-100s for my parents, and having knowing nothing else besides they old Series 2 boxes, are VERY happy.

    My question: DirecTV wants to charge $199 for each additional box, even though they have 2 other (non Tivo) HR22-100's in the house--would it possible to image the hard drive from the THR22 and install it in the non-Tivo units? They appear to be EXACTLY the same box... it even seems to have the same DirecTV bootloader which then kicks in the Tivo software.

    Has anyone tried this? The issue it seems would be the serial numbers, and DirecTV trying to constantly push their own non-Tivo software to the units.

    Just curious--it would be great if it worked reasonably, but even from a purely computer-geek standpoint it would be cool to know.
    --Nat
     
  2. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    There is a difference on the mainboard which makes this not work.
     
  3. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

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    Not possible.
     
  4. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

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    That's not true. They are identical.

    The reason it's not feasible is because it would require flashing the PROM. which would be very difficult for most people to do. And even if you did, TiVo service would have to be activated by DirecTV and I'm not sure how'd you convince them to do that.
     
  5. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

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    I would characterize a PROM difference as a "difference on the mainboard". There's no way for users to reprogram that PROM, so Steve is essentially correct. Bottom line is that it's impossible for users to turn an HR22 into a THR22, or vice versa.
     
  6. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

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    It's not a hardware difference, it's software that isn't stored on the hard drive.

    I don't believe ANY of the TiVo software is stored on the actual hard disk on this model.
     
  7. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

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    I guess I think of the Programmable ROM IC as "hardware". And the fact that it's not stored on the hard drive, but rather in the PROM IC, makes it a "hardware difference" in my book. At any rate, conclusion still stands .... users can't convert these.
     
  8. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

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    It has the same ROM, it just has to be flashed with the different software.. Like a bios upgrade. It would all be a software solution, you wouldn't need special prom writers or anything like that. The box is identical, only the software is different. The directv DVRs work differently than the old TiVos, they don't run an OS on the hard drive, it's all stored in ROM.

    It could be done, at home, without replacing any hardware. It would be pointless to go through the work and expense because DirecTV would never activate it.

    (That, and you'd violate your lease agreement big time and most likely brick a few trying to figure it out...)
     
  9. dcstager

    dcstager 1st Gen Tivo Owner

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    If the Tivo software is on the PROM, wouldn't that make drive upgrades simpler? My Motorola 3416 DVR cable box also has DVR software on the PROM and the hard drive is just a scratch drive basically. Maybe hooking up an external drive and formatting it, then swapping it into the main drive slot is all you have to do?
     
  10. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    Do we actually know that the entire Tivo OS is on the PROM? We know the DirecTV OS is but it is possible that the PROM in the THR22 is just used for the intial boot with the rest being read in from the HD?
     
  11. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

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    ENTIRE OS? Stuff is saved to the hard drive besides recordings, just like the HR. But the OS is in ROM. When you plug in an esata drive it disables the internal drive just like the normal HR. When you replace the internal drive, it automatically configures the drive just like the HR.

    Yes, drive replacements should be simpler, but why bother violating your lease when you can plug in an esata drive.
     
  12. johnd01

    johnd01 Member

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    If the OS runs like other D*tv boxes you should be able to replace the hard drive with a new 2TB drive, boot and go.
     
  13. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

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    And prepare your check for $470 for breaching your lease agreement.
     
  14. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    I have upgraded several dozen DirecTV DVR's and I have never had to pay a fee for breaching a lease agreement. In fact I know of nobody who who has replaced their internal drive who has had to pay a fee. The one and only time directv wants the money back is if you terminate the lease before two years and don't return the receivers.
     
  15. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Firmware on a soldered chip not a "difference on the mainboard"? Talk about splitting hairs. Anyone asking the question, especially here and not in the Underground or DDB is probably not even close to having the expertise to reflash the PROM, which by the way, no one out in the wild is doing to DirecTV boxes.

    The entire OS is indeed stored in PROM on the board, not on the hard drive. Someone in another thread has stated they successfully swapped out the drive with a larger one, and without any transfer or prep of the new drive the box booted fine and formatted the drive. This is exactly how DirecTV DVRs with their in-house software works. It's also important to note that the THR-22 uses DirecTV's method of satellite-delivered firmware updates.
     
  16. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

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    Nope, it's the same chip on the mainboard. There is no hardware difference.
     
  17. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Please see the second sentence right after that. You're splitting hairs. There's no purely hardware difference, but there IS a difference on the main board, since it's what contains the software. It's not practical (or even possible at this point) to reflash the PROM. The chip is different in that it contains different code. The question was "is it possible to change the software in an HR-22 to a THR-22", and the answer is an unequivocal no, unless you work for Pace or DirecTV.
     
  18. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

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    In my first post in this thread I said it's not feasible. No disagreement that it's not practical.
     

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