Set Top Box Options

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by hblanton, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. hblanton

    hblanton New Member

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    Sep 18, 2007

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    I am getting ready to reconfigure my home entertainment setup. I have a Humax Tivo with the DVD writer which I really love. What I don't love is having to control the Sat box (Dish) with the silly infrared stickon bits (which fall off all the time and are very slow.)

    So, two questions. First, is anyone aware of any cable or sat boxes that have serial inputs which can be used to connect a Tivo?

    Second, does any service provider (Sat or Cable) currently offer a set top box with Tivo built in? My understanding is that DirectTV went to their own DVR, and that it sucks. Any way to have just the single box supplying the content and serving as the Tivo?

    Thanks.

    Oh, and this is my first post so if I am in the wrong forum, my apiologies.
     
  2. Ruth

    Ruth Well-Known Member

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    1. On serial control: Here is a detailed, comprehensive thread on the issue. I'm not sure how up to date it is but it is definitely the place to start: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=128743
    Keep in mind that in many cases it depends on the firmware your cable company is using in these boxes, and that may be difficult to determine.

    2. Not at this time, although I think you may still be able to pick up one of the old DirectTV boxes on e-bay or some such. I'm not a DTV user so my grasp of this is fuzzy, but if you check the DirecTiVo forum I am guessing it's a common question. An integrated comcast cable box/TiVo is rumored to be in the works but isn't out yet.

    Also, if you are having problems with your IR blasters you may be able to address that. If your problem is reliability, I would start by building an IR "fort" that encloses the blasters with the window on your cable box that puts out the IR signal. You want the fort to be coated with something that prevents any other signals from getting in there -- I use a box my checks came in with tin foil on the inside, cut to fit and taped to my cable box with elecrical tape. This has increased my IR reliability A LOT and it's cheap and easy, and it has never fallen off. Also, have you tried experimenting with different IR codes? A slower or different code may get you better results. There's not much fix for slowness though.
     
  3. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

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    I know Directv has Boxes that support the IR Blaster, Serial Connector and Low Speed Data Connector, but am unsure about Dish. Check out the thread Ruth gave you.

    There has only ever been One Provider that did this: Directv/Tivo units. They are no longer made, but you can still find New Ones around. You can also get Used Units that work just as well. They were and still are the "Best of the Best" for both Directv and Tivo. Again, they will only work with Directv Service.

    Comcast/Tivo are supposed to be working on a New Unit to, but it will only work with Comcast Cable. It has not appeared out yet.

    Welcome to the Forum :D
     
  4. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    No Dish receiver os Scientific Atlanta cable box has TiVo supported serial connections. Only some DirecTV receivers (some with a 3rd party adapter) and some Motorola/GI boxes have serial port a TiVo could use to control.


    If this is all about blasters, you could likely mod the Dish receiver to input the IR control signal.

    If you are looking to get away from Dish and considering an integrated Tivo, you could get a TiVoHD or Series 3.
     
  5. hblanton

    hblanton New Member

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    Sep 18, 2007

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    Just to be clear, my IR is working ok, its just that I hate the whole IR blaster thing. Its slow, unreliable,and my cat likes to pull it off the Dish box. I've also done the IR tent thing and it did solve a problem I used to have.

    I knew that DirectTV used to have a deal with Tivo, and doesn't anymore. I also knew about the Comcast/Tivo thing, though I haven't heard if it has full Tivo or crippled functionality (and it isn't here in SF yet in any case.)

    But it was VERY helpful to learn that the old boxes still function. I am getting ready to move, and wanted to factor gettign some sort of integrated solution when chosing my content provider. So I take it I could buy a used or even new DirectTV/Tivo box and subscribe to DirecTV.


    One follow-up - classicsat, you said if I was looking for "an integrated Tivo, you could get a TiVoHD or Series 3." I'm confused by that. How is it integrated? Does a Series 3 or HD replace the set top box in some way? If so, that would seem to be a solution, no?

    Thanks again.

    HLB
     
  6. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    The S3 or THD replaces the box. You just need to get CableCards from your cable company and insert them in the TiVo. Then it can get pretty much all the same channels as a STB, including digital and HD. It can also tune OTA (antenna) channels as well.
     
  7. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    The Comcast/TiVo thing, as far as I can tell, is mostly putting the TiVo UI and some of the guide recording features on the Comcast DVR.

    The Series 3/TiVoHD are fully 100% TiVos, like your Series 2 (except don't have all the transfer features, due to issues with Cablelabs et al.
    It should be made clear that The Series 3/TiVoHD are for cable and/or OTA only, not satellite or IPTV services.
     
  8. hblanton

    hblanton New Member

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Wow, the S3 really looks lke the (Season) ticket. Multi-tuner would just be fantastic.

    I can't say how sad I'll be, however, to get rid of my Humax. Cutting shows to DVD has been fantastic. I get 6 hours of std quality on a disk, and I've taken a dozen disks with me on a 5 week trip. Being able to watch movies, and even stupid TV shows makes it feel like I am at home on the road.
     
  9. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully long term Tivo2Go will get turned on for at least some content for the Series 3 units. I'm still holding out until it does...
     
  10. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    They are turning it on in November. See this thread.
     
  11. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2004
    Thanks, I'll read through that!
     

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