Series 2 and Cable Box without IR Cable?

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Resist, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible to connect an older single tuner Series 2 to a General Instrument StarFone SFT-2 cable box without an IR cable or serial cable and get it to work?

    A relative has this setup and insists it used to work and doesn't remember using an IR cable. The Tivo had to be repaired and since its return they can't get past the IR cable question in the setup process. I keep insisting they must of had an IR cable before, but they keep saying there wasn't one connected, not even a serial cable. I'm stumped because as far as I know the StarFone would need an IR cable for the Tivo remote to change the channels. I just don't get how it worked before without one.

    My relative said their previous cable box didn't need an IR cable and they don't remember the current cable box using an IR cable. Maybe there was a cable that plugged into both the StarFone cable box and Tivo, then at some point their cable company did service and mistakenly took the cable.
     
  2. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    I am beginning to think that the General Instruments SFT-2 used the 9 Pin Serial cable, but I'm not sure if the serial port on the cable box is even activated.

    It's so hard to help someone when they don't live close or understand their how their Tivo hooks up.
     
  3. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    The old Series 1s had an IR blaster in the front panel in addition to the cable, but I don't think any of the Series 2s did.

    I would advise them to just use the IR cable.
     
  4. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    Actually the Series 2 also had both the 9 Pin Serial cable and IR cable.
     
  5. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    I meant that the S1s had an additional IR LED emitter in the front panel right next to the receiver. If you got a good bounce off of the walls or ceiling they would control the cable box without using an IR or serial cable. If Resist's relative actually has a Series 1 that might explain why they don't remember using any cables at all. I had to open my S1s and tape over the LED when I put a second SVR-2000 in the same room.

    I know that my S2DTs don't have that, but wasn't 100% sure about earlier models.
     
  6. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    How could the Tivo control the cable box without an IR or Serial cable connected between the boxes?


    They don't have a Series 1, it's a Series 2 single tuner TCD540040.
     
  7. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    MN, greater...
    He just explained it.
     
  8. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    How does an additional IR emitter explain how the Tivo can control the cable box without being connected to it via a cable?
     
  9. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    The IR signal comes out of the front of the Series 1 just like it does from a remote control. It bounces off of something and is reflected back to the cable box. Shazam - no cable needed.
     
  10. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    MN, greater...
    Saying that there is an IR emitter wasn't his explanation. What he said immediately after that about how it works was the explanation.
    You even quoted that. in your response

    And now he's repeated himself.
     
  11. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    My post wasn't about IR reception or how bouncing the signal off walls could control the cable box. My post was about the need to use an IR cable or 9 Pin Serial cable. It's my understanding that you can't control the cable box without having one of these cables attached to it from the Tivo. And just so we are clear, I am talking about using the Series 2 Tivo remote to control the cable box. So without those cables, the remote can't control the cable box.
     
  12. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    Correct. AFAIK the Series 1 TiVos were the only one with a built-in emitter. For a Series 2 you have to use a cable, and it's nearly impossible to find a cable box that still supports serial. Even many of the older boxes that have a serial port have been disabled by recent fimware "upgrades" from the cable company.
     
  13. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    MN, greater...
    An explanation of how a Tivo would control a cable box without either cable is not unwarranted in this discussion especially after you asked how it works.

    That's not clear at all. The Tivo remote does not control cable boxes, just Tivos, TVs (volume and power only) and A/V receivers (volume only).
     
  14. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    I had a simple question, if you don't have an answer then don't respond to my thread.
     
  15. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

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    Potato and pen.
    He did have an answer that was appropriate. Repeatedly.
     
  16. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    My mistake, I was confused what an IR blaster was. But now I understand. And as I said in my first post, I was talking about a Series 2 Tivo so it needs either the IR cable or the Serial cable.

    Anyway, my relative got a new 9 pin Serial cable and connected it to their cable box. Now everything works fine. It's a mystery as to what happened to the serial cable before. And even though they claim not to have had one, they must have had it because they didn't see an IR cable in the front.
     
  17. TiVoJerry

    TiVoJerry Caavo employee (Ex-TiVo, '00-'16)

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    SFT2 may actually be the modem model number of a DCT2xxx series cable box. Those boxes generally support serial control using the 9-pin cable. The cable box must have firmware 7.54 or higher.....and it must be enabled by the cable company.

    Assuming that the cable box was not replaced at the same time as the DVR, it is also possible they connected the serial connection to the IR port of the DVR. They have to choose the option for serial connection when setting up channel changing.
     
  18. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    Jerry,

    Again, they claim that they didn't have an IR or Serial cable connected to the Series 2 and the cable box until recently. That's the reason I started this thread, to see if it was possible for the SFT2 to work with a Series 2 without those cables, which it is not. So I am 99% positive they were just confused and actually had a serial cable connected in the back of both boxes. But at some point that cable was removed, probably from their cable company tech, when they couldn't get their Tivo to operate correctly. The cable company is ignorant in regards to Tivo and how it should be connected.
     
  19. TiVoJerry

    TiVoJerry Caavo employee (Ex-TiVo, '00-'16)

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    I agree, they must be confused. Only Series1 boxes had that ability, as stated above, due to the fact that the front bezel had an emitter.

    If they can't find the cable, there is a picture on our store page. They can buy from us or use the image as a reference.
     
  20. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    As I said in an earlier post, they already replaced the cable, but thanks.
     

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