Premier functional without subscription?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by audio_inside, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. audio_inside

    audio_inside New Member

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    I've always had a Series 2 w/Lifetime, and so i have no experience with Tivo units that are not currently subscribed with a service agreement.

    My question: what functions if any will a Premiere perform without an active service subscription?

    I know that I won't be getting Tivo software updates or anything connected with programmed recordings or channel guides.

    But, for example, will NetFlix streaming or Amazon VOD still work? Can I transfer files over my home network for playback? Will Cablecard tuning/viewing still work? Can I schedule recordings manually?

    If any of these examples are the case then the current $99 offering could make the Premiere a useful alternative to Roku, Boxee or AppleTV even without Tivo service.
     
  2. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    From the TiVo Service Agreement:

     
  3. ewilts

    ewilts Who, me?

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    In short, it's a brick. If you want low-cost Netflix or Amazon VoD streaming, get a Roku box - they work better than a TiVo anyway.
     
  4. audio_inside

    audio_inside New Member

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    Jun 3, 2003
    One reason I was curious is because I noticed that my Series 2 doesn't lose functionality when it loses its network connection. So its Lifetime authorization is embedded in the box and doesn't rely on "phoning home" to the Tivo mothership to stay functional.

    I presume then that a Tivo subscribed to a time-based service plan has some sort of time-out period where it finally becomes bricked if it can't re-connect to a license server - anyone know how long that is? (Eg, I've seen references to some sort of 7-day grace period when you first buy the box.)
     
  5. crxssi

    crxssi Veteran TiVo User

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    I don't think it matters if it is a LifeTime or time-based subscription. It will maintain its service *for a while* without connecting to the TiVo "mothership". If it remains out of contact long enough, it will become a temporary brick until it is connected to the "mothership" once again. I believe that duration is 30 days.
     
  6. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    What the Tivo does when it makes a Tivo connection, it checks on its subscription status (and updates the Tivo) then downloads whatever info is needed. So if your subscription expired and the Tivo has not made a connection (prior to expiration), it (believes) its still subscribed. When connection was made (on expired), it shuts down the functionality.

    With no subscription, all the Tivo will do is play the already recorded shows and lets you watch live TV with 1/2 hr buffer/RW/FF/Pause. Can't record, have guide data, transfer abilities, or even Video On Demand off Tivo.

    I think that's how it goes.
     
  7. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    You are correct about 30 days the unit becomes a brick even if it does have service, the TiVo must call in at least every 30 days to keep its service going.
     
  8. Dec 3, 2010 #8 of 24
    bgalvan53

    bgalvan53 New Member

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    That's exactly right.
    I've just finished my 7-day period and not activated (nor will) a TiVo Premiere I've got from Amazon.
    I Live in Mexico so the channel guide is useless here.

    I also have a Series 2 which was activated and before the subscription run out I disconected it from the network. After the guide data run out (30 days), I still had the chance of setting manual recordings and time shift live tv.

    In the Series 4, however, after the 7-day period run out I only have the half hour buffer. No manual recording this time, maybe because never have been activated. Anyway this is fine with me, I just wanted the time shifting ability with HD OTA channels, manual recording would've been fine but I can live without it, I usually watch daily news and I love the ability to skip commercials.

    Ben
     
  9. srk0629

    srk0629 New Member

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    Dec 14, 2010
    bgalvan53,

    Do you still get program guide for OTA programming?

    The way I understand - data for Electronic Program Guide(EPG) is transmitted from an OTA channel like PBS; ATSC tuner downloads this data and shows it as EPG for OTA channels.

    TiVo premiere without subscription - will it function as standalone ATSC tuner and show EPG?

    The fact TiVo premiere will have "trickplay" functionalities will be an added bonus on an ATSC tuner with HDMI out (if it functions like regular ATSC tuner). Thanks
     
  10. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    No, not even program guides because it does not get its info from EPG off broadcasts. All you will be able to do is the trick-play on LIVE TV without the ability to record, without subscription.
     
  11. srk0629

    srk0629 New Member

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    Dec 14, 2010
    Thanks for the clarification.

    I was trying to cut the cord and feed OTA channels into a Google TV Blu-ray driven setup. Without EPG, integration of OTA TV channels with Internet is not going to work. I may have to go to a standalone ATSC tuner....other OTA DVRs are expensive....bummer!
     
  12. itzcaroll

    itzcaroll New Member

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    Dec 25, 2010
    So I got a new tivo premiere box and so far I can record, watch over the air tv, and see the tv listing for all the OTA channels. I can do all this without a subscription.

    I am not quite sure what to make of this...

    Any ideas?

    I got my box independently from ebay so I am thinking this is the only way possible of bypassing the subscription requirement with tivo.com and amazon.
     
  13. JimboG

    JimboG New Member

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    San Diego, CA
    Don't be surprised if your Tivo turns into a brick in 30 days or less without a subscription.
     
  14. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    You get 7 free days on any new TiVo, the system info screen will show you how long you have left. The E-Bay person also may have shipped you the wrong TiVo as it may have had Lifetime on it.
     
  15. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    It could also still be on the old users account until the new user switches it to theirs.

    This was the case on the TiVos I had on monthly that I sold. Until the new owner transferred it to their account, they could use everything normally under my account.
     
  16. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    I guess when someone (like the OP) tell you they got a NEW TiVo it could be new to them as opposed to a new in the box TiVo.
     
  17. Pelee

    Pelee New Member

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    Does anyone know if you sign on to a one year subscription and decide a few months later you want to upgrade to the lifetime, that TiVo will let you upgrade and credit you for what you have spent so far on the one year subscription?
     
  18. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Potato and pen.
    That's not the subject of this thread.

    You should post your own thread-opener, or find a thread that addresses this subject.

    This thread asks about Premier model TiVos working without subscription.


    __________________
    In the barn with blue.
     
  19. replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

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    Denver ish...
    What does it say on the 'system information' page of your Tivo as far as the account status?
     
  20. apietivo

    apietivo New Member

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    Oct 8, 2005
    i also bought a tivo from ebay -- it was new/never used (packages were sealed). it was already activated when it came to me. the ebay ad said nothing about lifetime service, so i fully anticipated having to pay for service... but it works... for 2 week so far.... i'm afraid to call the tivo people to have it added to my account, cuz then they might want some money. in the system info it says the status is 11: evaluation. does anyone know how long i will get free service?
    thanks!
     

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