Series 2 80hr with Charter Digital Cable - need Set Top Box?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by rctoyguy, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. rctoyguy

    rctoyguy New Member

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    Apr 29, 2002
    I have Charter digital cable in Birmingham, Alabama - to get the "digital" channels, I have to use their set top converter box. (TV's without the box don't get all of the channels)

    The Series 2 Tivo says that you can record 2 digital cable channels at once - but it doesn't say anything about using the cable company's set top box.

    Does this mean that the Tivo is able to handle incoming digital cable without the converter box? (cable straight from wall to tivo) ---- or does it mean that I would have to run cable from wall to Charter box then A/V out or something to Tivo with Tivo controlling the set top box for channel selection, etc....

    I *HOPE* that the Tivo will do all of this without having to use the settop box.... and I don't want to sink the money into a new Tivo if I still have to use the Charter box with it.

    I asked the person at Tivo on the phone, and her answer was about as clear as mud - can someone here verify one way or the other for me?
     
  2. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    The TiVo Series 2 Dual Tuner does NOT say it can record two digital channels at once.

    It says you can record one digital and one analog, or two analog.

    The only TiVo that can record digital channels without a set top box is the one that has a digital tuner, and that's the Series THREE.

    It can record OverTheAir digital channels, or with cable cards, digital cable channels.

    The Series 2 TiVos have NO type of digital tuner, and the instructions with the DT say plainly you have to feed the cable box into the TiVo to get the channels only the box can bring.
     
  3. dvr4me

    dvr4me New Member

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    Jul 10, 2007
    Hmm... When I read the spec on the series 2DT that said "record one digital and one analog, or two analog" I was under the impression that the S2DT could in fact record digital.

    Are you saying that the only way it can record digital is by using a digital converter box that converts the signal to analog?


    Update: I'm going to answer my own question...


    Here is a blurb from the owners manual, page 3:

    "The TiVo Series2DT DVR can record two basic cable channels at the same time, or one basic and one digital cable channel at the same time (if you have a digital cable box)."

    Further down on the same page:

    "Digital cable channels are encoded and need the cable box to decode them. Because the cable box decodes and sends only one digital cable channel at a time, the TiVo DVR can record only one digital channel at a time."


    I cry Bullsh*t and foul. The digital cable box is doing the decoding and converting the signal to analog. So in fact the Series2DT CANNOT record a digital channel period. It is only recording an analog signal from the cable box. :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:

    That's like saying I can speak french, chinese, and dutch* (*with optional english to french, english to chinese, and english to dutch interpreters, sold seperately).
     
  4. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    Poppycock.

    It IS recording a digital channel.

    It's simply recording a Standard Def downrez of that channel.

    The machine CAN record digital channels IF it has a digital box. (And that is plainly stated.)
     
  5. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

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    Jan 16, 2007
    Madisonville...
    With the Series 2 Tivo, you need to use the Cable Companies (Charter) Set Top Box. The Series 2 Tivo does not have any Tuners in it. Also the Series 2 DT cannot record 2 Digital Channels at once as told by gastrof above:

    Altho this answer is also a little incorrect. The Directv/Tivo units can record Digital Channels, as all Sat Channels are in Digital. These units do not need a Seperate Set Top Box as they are an All in One unit. But in this case, as the OP has Cable, the Directv/Tivo units do not apply.

    I have to agree with the OP. Technically they are correct. The Series 2 DT does not record a Digital Channel Program, but records an Analog conversion of the Digital Channel. I have never thought about this till now.
     
  6. dvr4me

    dvr4me New Member

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    Jul 10, 2007
    Well I suppose then it can also record High Definition Channels, Encrypted Premium Digital Channels, Infrared video feeds, and millimeter wave radar... IF you have a proper converter box that converts the feed into plain-ole compatible analog first.

    - - - - -
    As far as being plainly stated, Look on Tivo's site (where I purchased the s2dt) ... Products highlights:

    New! Record 2 shows at once*

    where * =

    * Record from two basic cable channels, or one basic cable and one digital cable channel, at once. Does not support recording from two digital cable or satellite channels at once. Supports recording from cable and satellite sources only; does not support recording from over-the-air antenna.

    - - - - -

    Certainly fooled me when I bought the box. Didn't mention a thing about needing a digital cable box until I received the unit and read the owners manual.

    Glad I have 30 days because it's going back to Tivo. Maybe the S3 lite will live up to it's name and be able to actually record digital channels without using a converter box.
     
  7. rctoyguy

    rctoyguy New Member

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    Apr 29, 2002
    Wow - I didn't expect to start an uprising... I'm just trying to be sure I understand what all will be involved with making this happen.

    I now see/understand how it works, and I'm OK with it - *IF* the tivo box can reliably control my Charter Digital Cable box. I've never worked with these "IR Blaster" things... How well do they really work? (I follow the principal, when Tivo needs to record something on a digital channel, or if you request a digital channel from the remote to the Tivo, it emulates me changing the channel on the cable box) - Now I'm just concerned that Tivo won't know how to control my box, or it won't do it correctly every time, etc.

    Can someone that's using the IR Blaster thing report how well it works in real world conditions?
     
  8. dvr4me

    dvr4me New Member

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    Jul 10, 2007
    Naw, no uprising from me. It's good to ask questions... I probably should have asked a few more before I made the purchase (I just received my unit on Thursday). I really was under the impression based upon what I read on Tivo's site that the S2DT could in fact record digital channels. You'd think Tivo would provide all the details on the product details web page.

    I cannot really comment on the IR blaster as I am trying to avoid using a cable box entirely. The unit I received came both with an IR blaster cable and a serial cable. Supposedly you can use the serial cable to connect directly to the box or use the IR blaster cable to send IR remote signals to the box. I have experience with neither.

    I'm planning on sending this unit back to Tivo and waiting until August to get the S3 lite if/when it's released (rumor is early August). Rumors also suggest it will have dual digital tuners that can do analog, digital, and over the air HD. Of course I'll be doing a bit more research this time however. :D
     
  9. RoyK

    RoyK New Member

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    Oct 22, 2004
    SW VA
    I agree that TiVo's own advertising which states that the S2DT can "Record from two basic cable channels, or one basic cable and one digital cable channel, at once."

    https://www3.tivo.com/store/boxdetails.do?boxName=80hourseries2dt&boxsku=R64980

    mentions nowhere that a STB is required for digital recording with the S2DT. On the contrary it specifically says:
    "Everything required for installation is included:..."

    Its only after you read the manual that you find out you need the STB.

    IMHO that's equivalent to Toyota stating in an advertisement that one of their cars can fly but then putting in the owner's manual that in order to fly you need a C130 or equivalent airplane.

    The whole issue is muddied even more by the use of "DT" in the product name which most television viewers have been conditioned to think means "Digital Television"
     
  10. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

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    Jan 16, 2007
    Madisonville...
    Personally I do not like the IR Blaster at all. Having 2 little prongs sticking out, and MORE wires running everywhere is just not my thing. Also, I had about a 45% success rate if that.

    I use Home Control Cables (or Low Speed Data Cables) to control my SA Tivo. Gets 100% success rates.

    But it all depends on what connections your Cable Box will support. You may be stuck with using the IR Blaster. Take a look at the back of your Cable Box and see what connections it has.

    The Tivo comes with the IR Blaster, and Serial Control Cable.
     
  11. rctoyguy

    rctoyguy New Member

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    Apr 29, 2002
    That's a bummer to hear that about the IR Blaster - I just looked at the back of cable box, and there is one connection labeled "data" - it's a round multi-pin connector.

    It's a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 3000 if anyone is familiar with it.

    Can any one else comment on the IR Blaster?
     
  12. rctoyguy

    rctoyguy New Member

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    Apr 29, 2002
    Only one comment on the IR blaster, and it's negative... that ain't good... :thumbsdown:

    anyone else?
     
  13. lenroc

    lenroc New Member

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    Nov 28, 2006
    I used a IR Blaster for about 3 years, and got about a 99% success rate on average.

    (In very the beginning, I had about an 80% success rate. I had an external RF->IR box pointing at the TiVo, and a lot of RF interference around the house. When I realized that that little box was spewing IR at the TiVo and Cable Box, I unplugged it, and my success rate went up dramatically.)
     
  14. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    3,959
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    Oct 14, 2004
    Philadelphia...
    The IR cable on my Series2 has never failed to switch channels and record the correct program.
     
  15. pdhenry

    pdhenry Recumbent

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    PA
    I've never missed a channel change with the blaster. I have the blasters sitting on top of the Comcast box and sticking out an inch or two so they shine onto the front of the box.
     
  16. WayneCarter

    WayneCarter Active Member

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    Mar 16, 2003
    The biggest problem I had with blasters when I was using them (ie before serial was an option) was the tendency for them to get dislodged by too aggressive dusting, etc. Properly aimed, they work well -BUT- I'm very glad that ...

    - my S2s have the ability to control some cable boxes via a serial cable,
    - my ComCast cable box has a serial control port,
    - I'm using the serial cable

    ... it's just a much better way of controlling the cable box.
     
  17. Debbie25

    Debbie25 Member

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    Dec 9, 2002
    Oregon
    I have a Series 2 and love it but we also have a Comcast digital box and we would like to record the upper channels (99 and above) but have to put the cable box on that channel and not move it which will not work for us. Even when I connect the RCA cables from the cable box to the Tivo I don't know how to get over to that connection on the Tivo.

    Anyway......

    I would like to ask the same question as the first post but about the Series 3.

    *** Does this mean that the Tivo is able to handle incoming digital cable (meaning channels 99 and above) without the converter box? (cable straight from wall to tivo)
     
  18. rctoyguy

    rctoyguy New Member

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    Apr 29, 2002
    I guess I should follow up to my questions- I got the series 2 box last week, and so far the IR Blaster has been 100% accurate. I just guessed at placement for them, and it has worked perfectly every time.
     

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