Series 2 Pre-Purchase Questions

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by gsmith140, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. gsmith140

    gsmith140 New Member

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    Jan 16, 2007

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    Hey everyone, I'm looking into buying a Series 2 Tivo Box with one of the prepaid service plans. A little background info: I just want a pretty standard setup, don't care about recording HD (hence the S2), but I am really interested in the TivoToGo functionality, which is why I'm leaning heavily towards a true Tivo setup instead of the upcoming Comcast setup.

    Here's my current setup:
    -Magnavox HDTV
    -Comcast/Motorola HD Digital Cable box (not sure of the model #)

    Here are my questions:

    1.) Hooking up the Tivo won't impede me from just watching programs in HD, correct?

    and furthermore...

    2.) Can I still pause and rewind an HD program using an S2, even though it can't record those HD programs?

    Keep in mind I don't want to actually record in HD, just pause/rewind. Sorry if these questions have been answered, but I searched around and had no luck and the FAQ was a bit too general.

    Thanks in advance for the info!
     
  2. gfxguy

    gfxguy New Member

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    Dec 15, 2005
    That depends on how you hook it up. You'd use a splitter and have one cable go to your HD box, the other to your Tivo. Then you'd have to select the input on your TV depending on what you wanted.
    No, it doesn't work that way. It's always recording (and there's nothing you can do to stop it), and always playing back from the buffer that it uses to enable you to pause.

    Think of it this way, how does "pausing" live TV work? It works because Tivo is recording up to a half hour of TV. Since an S2 can't record HD, an S2 is not going to work AT ALL with HD.

    It gets worse if you don't want just plain analog cable, because then you'll need a standard definition digital cable box, and even then just give up on getting a dual tuner because it wouldn't be worth it. Your setup will be very messy.
     
  3. gfxguy

    gfxguy New Member

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    Dec 15, 2005
    I want to add that there are work arounds for everything, like if your HD tuner can sample down to SD. But then what's the point of having HD at all?
     
  4. gsmith140

    gsmith140 New Member

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    Jan 16, 2007
    Okay, I understand on #2, that's kinda what I thought.

    But for #1, I would have to select a different input for HD and Tivo?


    And this: "It gets worse if you don't want just plain analog cable, because then you'll need a standard definition digital cable box"

    You mean if I want to record a channel from digital cable, my HD box won't let me do it? I'm a bit confused by what you wrote.
     
  5. gfxguy

    gfxguy New Member

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    Dec 15, 2005

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    Ok, to answer the first question first, if you have a signal going to your TV from your HD box (hopefully something like an HDMI cable), and then you have other A/V cables (RCA or S-Video) coming from the Tivo, then you need a way to tell your TV which you want to watch.

    My "good" TV, for example, has three sets of RCA/S-Video inputs and one set of component inputs. I push the "video" button to cycle through the inputs. In my case, I only have Tivo and a surround sound system that doesn't work with the Tivo, so I need to select which input on the TV I want to watch.

    Now, as far as how you would want to use Tivo, it depends on what your "other" signal will be and how you want things to work, because you'll have a couple of choices (or more if you get a dual tuner, so I'm not going to confuse things by discussing it).

    So now you want something to input into the Tivo.

    The simplest and easiest solution is to split the cable from the wall and have one go to the HD box and one to the Tivo. Drawback: the Tivo will only get the analog channels on that cable, so you'll be limited to what you can watch and record on the Tivo - only the non-premium, non-digital channels.

    Choice number two is if the HD box has RCA or S-Video output. The Tivo can control the external box and tell it what channel to select. In this case, you won't be using the Tivo's tuner at all, you'll have access to all SD (standard definition) channels. Drawback: you won't be able to watch HD and have Tivo record something else. In fact, you won't be able to watch anything while recording something else.

    Choice number three: an HD box AND A SECOND digital cable box. In this case you'd split the cable signal again, one goes to the HD box, one goes to the second SD digital cable box. The second digital cable box can be controlled by Tivo and is hooked into the Tivo's A/V inputs. Drawbacks: I can't really think of any... you'll get all the SD channels, including any premium channels and digital only channels through the Tivo, and all the channels including the HD channels through the HD box. You can watch somthing on the HD box while the Tivo is recording an SD channel. This is your most flexible solution, IMO, but also the most costly.

    Maybe someone else here can present more options.
     
  6. gsmith140

    gsmith140 New Member

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    Jan 16, 2007
    You are talking about a dual-tuner setup, correct? I understand your explanations, I just don't get what good a dual-tuner is unless you only have standard analog cable. Seems to limit alot of people (who don't want to spend 700-800 bucks on the S3). Oh well, guess that's the way it goes.
     
  7. gfxguy

    gfxguy New Member

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    Dec 15, 2005
    No no no... I'm talking about a single tuner. A dual tuner makes the list I gave above at least two longer and more complicated.
     
  8. gsmith140

    gsmith140 New Member

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    Jan 16, 2007
    Haha, oh, okay, well, I was definitely looking into the dual tuner... What other options might this give me with a digital cable box?

    Thanks for all your info so far, and in advance on this question.
     
  9. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    gsmith140;

    You pretty much have it down:
    1. A Series 2 DT unit must have an unscrambled analog cable signal for the second tuner to work.
    2. Without access to an unscrambled analog cable signal the Series 2 DT effectively becomes a single tuner unit. It is however a better (and newer) box than the actual single tuner Series 2 TiVo and unless you want to record OTA analog signals the Series 2 DT is recommend over the single tuner Series 2.
    3. With digital or permium cable the only way a Series 2 can record/have access to all your channels is by controling your cable box.
    4. In your case for a TiVo to be able to record all your channels and for you to still be able to view HD channels while your TiVo is recording something you need 2 cable boxes.
    5. The Series 3 is a better solution for you, but it does cost more.

    Good Luck,
     
  10. gsmith140

    gsmith140 New Member

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    Jan 16, 2007
    Okay, I understand now. Thanks for all the info, guys.
     
  11. danschn

    danschn Member

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    Apr 22, 2004
    New York
    If the TV is cable card ready, do what I do: one source cable directly into TV which then received everything, HD and not. Another source cable into HD cable box, output from that into TiVo, output from that into 2nd TV input. This way you can watch what you want and Tivo what you want - standard def, high def, premium stations, etc. - without conflict.

    You can Tivo the HD channels (SVideo out of HD cable box, component to 3rd TV input), but they are downconverted on the Tivo. I do a lot of that, watching (and copying to DVD) programs transmitted in HD using the High setting of Tivo recording quality. Result isn't HD, but is very good, and maintains the wide screen. On playback, I use the (adjustable) Zoom setting of the TV which fills the screen with the correct original aspect ratio.
     

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