Series 1 - status after digital transition?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Elmer Fudd, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd New Member

    Aug 18, 2007


    We have a Phillips Tivo Series 1 with a lifetime subscription. We do not have cable, it is used for OTA (over the air - antenna) reception. Our question is what are our options for using the unit after the Feb. transition? All of our analog televisions have converter boxes, a mix of Zeniths and DTVPals.

    We did buy a new Tivo XD XL for our main OTA family room unit. Combined with our Netflix subscription who needs cable :D

    We want to use our old Series 1 unit in the kids playroom to record PBS kids shows off a single channel OTA.

    The only option I see is to use it as a "dumb" equivalent to a VCR. I can set the converter box to the PBS channel (10-1)and leave it, then set the Tivo for a manual time recording for each show on the converter box output channel (3). This will work, however none of the recordings in 'Now Playing' will have a meaningful title. And will Tivo keep providing phone updates to at least allow the Tivo clock to keep in synch?

    It would be nice if Tivo would do two things to support these old units: provide one last software update allowing you to set a fixed input channel (3 or 4), regardless of the channel you have selected to record in the guide, and continue to provide guide data. This would allow those of us with lifetime Series 1 subs at least some basic functionality post-transition.
  2. newskilz

    newskilz New Member

    Jul 11, 2008
    There are several threads concerning this exact thing. Basically use a converter box and with the IR Blasters to control the converter box, go into guided setup again and tell the tivo that you are going to be using cable with a box, and set it up that way. Many boxes are compatible, just not officially supported by TiVo. All of this will allow you to get the analog channels you get now, but no sub-channels (IE 10.1 or as tivo sees it 10, but not 10.2 etc.) To get the right guide info for the tivo, you will need to search your area (including different zip codes) for existing cable companies and find one that matches your line up, or in your case at least matches the same channel for PBS that you want to record. Good luck.
  3. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.

    Please don't give out mis-info.

    Few if any places in the country have cable lineups that match the OTA lineups.

    Setting a TiVo to work with cable in order to work with a digital converter box is NOT the solution.

    Also, digital converter boxes do NOT allow you to get analog channels. You get DIGITAL channels off a DIGITAL box.

    The method to use that's worked for quite a few Series 1 owners (if not everyone who's tried it) is to go thru Guided Setup and tell the TiVo you're using a satellite service, as if you had a satellite box with OverTheAir digital tuner.

    In my case, I tried using Dish's lineup, but for some reason they didn't show one of our local channels, so I tried out the one for DirecTV. Perfect match.

    After Guided Setup I went thru the "Channels I Receive" list and (this took a while) deleted all the cable-type channels, leaving only the local OTAs checked.

    I also told the TiVo it was working with a Dish Network receiver (which it accepted despite "knowing" I'd picked DirecTV as my service) since my digital converter box uses Dish Network remote codes.

    I'm a little vague on how to figure out what remote codes to select for other boxes. People have been doing it, tho', so there's gotta be info on these forums.

    You can also get digital converters that have their own event timer, which solves the IR control problem, at least for timer recordings. (The ones I know of are the Zinwell Zat 970A and 950A, and the Dish Network TR-40 and DTVPal boxes.) You set both boxes (the TiVo and the converter box) to the same channel and on/off times, and you're all set. Live TV? Gotta use the converter's own remote for channel changes, but that's not so bad. (Of course, with the Dish box, since you can select "Dish" as an IR choice for the TiVo, you DO have the option of still using the IR blaster.)

    My converter and TiVo have been getting along pretty well. :D
  4. ota_series_1

    ota_series_1 New Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    Thanks for the post on a low tech solution to use digital converter box with series 1 tivo. I get lost when other posts start talking about bash prompts. I bought a dtvpal at Sears yesterday since they have a good return policy and I read that some dtvpals have problems. Had a few false starts but it was up and running with my tivo in about 2 hours. I ended up doing a guided setup since I had to add the satellite box and that took at least another hour and then a few hours to chug through the data. Don't start the update if you have something set to record in the next few hours. For some reason I had to manually eliminate all the extra channels since the delete all channels option would not work. This took a while too. One complaint is that the dtvpal turns it self off periodically. I tried to turn off this feature and it whined about needing down time to perform maintenance. I set timers to turn the dtvpal on twice a day and I'll let it be off at night when I don't record anything - not much on network tv at night anyway! Overall, I am very pleased with this solution.
  5. newskilz

    newskilz New Member

    Jul 11, 2008


    I highly doubt this is mis-info since many people are indeed using this method. How do you think I learned about it? To my knowledge there is a lot of area in the US that this would exactly work for, based only on the fact that a large majority of people live near or around metropolitan areas.

    Not any more of a solution than what you say below, which is setting Tivo to work with satellite, the end is the same, just slightly different means. So if this isn't a solution, how is the satellite direction a solution?

    Isn't that what the converter box is for? To get the digital stations and change them so that TiVo or a tv can still tune to the digital stations? You ALREADY get analog channels. Not sure what you were getting at there.

    As I said above, different means for the same result. I will say however that setting up as satellite will probably be easier than trying to find a local cable channel line up that matches.

    But (and forgive my ignorance since I haven't had satellite in many years) doesn't satellite only give you the channel line up for about 4 channels or so?( ABC, NBC, CBS) and none of the other local channels?

    I was simply trying to help in the same manner as a lot on here helped me and what they used.

    So in summary, if you can get the channel line up and guide data you want by setting up TiVo to think it's talking to a satellite box, then that is probably the easier route for obtaining guide data. But if you already have satellite or need to get guide data for channels that may not be on satellite, then you need to set up the tivo to talk via 'cable box'. As a side note, you will probably have to delete a lot fewer channels you receive if you use a cable line up instead of a satellite line up.

    My TiVos and converter boxes have been getting along well too! :)

    Back to the OP, having the TiVo record whatever signal is coming in at specified times is not in it's original design, and if I'm not mistaken, they took that fairly close feature off of the boxes a short while after they started making the S1 boxes (manual record setup). It would be nice, but they probably will not supply such an old technology new software; and already have chosen not to support the boxes into the OTA digital era, hence they are giving support to S2 to use converter boxes but not to the S1.

    Hopefully one way or another, you get the idea of what we all are saying. There are work arounds, just find the right one that works for you best and preferably the easiest. :D
  6. Dancar

    Dancar Member

    Oct 8, 2001
    If you don't want to give out misinformation, at least read the OP's message. Which asked how to set up a series 1 to record from ONE channel only, after the digital conversion when there are NO anolog shows OTA.

    So the steps are:
    1) Repeat guided setup telling the TiVo you're using a cable box.

    2) Set the digital converter box to the local OTA PBS channel, then hide the remote so the channel doesn't change accidently.

    3) Set your season passes to the one station, and you'll be good.
  7. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

    Nov 12, 2004
    If they have ATT Uverse available near them they could check that line up. I found that ATT Uverse lineup was a perfect match. And you don't get all the extra guide data you don't need by getting Directv's lineup.

  8. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd New Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will try these techniques out and report back.
  9. Mar 2, 2009 #9 of 11
    Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd New Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    Thought I would post a followup on this.

    I hooked up our old series 1 TIVO with a lifetime subscription to a Zenith model DTT901 converter box, which is left always on on our PBS channel 10-1. The Zenith converter box is, of course, hooked to our rooftop antenna array. The Zenith is set in the options/settings menu to output on channel 4 (it allows the option of channel 3 or 4). I then changed the TIVO setup to use a local cable provider's basic cable lineup which by luck had PBS in the channel 4 position. This provides me with guide data for PBS and allows the use of season passes for PBS. It will only work for the one channel, PBS, but that is all we allow the kids to watch, so it works for us.
  10. realtoratlanta

    realtoratlanta Tivo User Since 2000

    May 7, 2008
    I see you're using the APEX DT250 with your Series 1 recorder. I have the same recorder and am looking for the right converter box. Do you know which cable box you told the tivo you have to get the IR blasters to work with your converter box?

    Thanks!! Michael

  11. newskilz

    newskilz New Member

    Jul 11, 2008
    Glad I ran across this soon for you. :)

    To directly answer your question, select Hughes as your cable box manufacturer when using Apex models, I understand the newer Apex model works even better than the DT250 which I'm using. But should work the same. I believe there is only one code choice for that box. It will work, when the IR blasters are set over the IR receiver on the box.

    As a side note, I would recommend using an Apex model simply because it's one of the few boxes that has S-video: or S-video and works with TiVo.

    Below is my original post that outlines what you had to do, however things have gotten easier... Series one and getting guide data for converter box Works for me at least... not clear whether this guide data will be available after the actual digital transition or not, but I'm inclined to think it will since it seems based off of the actual digital OTA channels, and not cable channels. I could be wrong though.

    So hope this covered your question and then some. :)

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