TiVo as a gift, eBay style

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Mike-Mike, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Mike-Mike

    Mike-Mike New Member

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    Louisville, KY

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    So I have a TiVo Premiere which I love, but it's the only TiVo I've ever had.

    I'm looking to get my mom a TiVo with lifetime for Christmas, but I can't afford to get her a Premiere or something like that, or pay full price.

    I'm trying to get it on eBay for the cheap cheap. She is OTA only and has no use for any of the Netflix/hulu/etc, she would only use basic TiVo functionality.


    Tivo 2's are cheap on eBay, would that work for what I'm looking for?

    I want it to be OTA, and 2 tuners. Is this a unit people would recommend? What's the difference between Tivo 2 and Tivo HD? just the UI?
     
  2. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    Tivo with ota and dual tuners = only the original model Series 3, Tivo HD, or Premiere.

    IMO, the original S3 are more problematic and more likely to be at/near end of lifespan.

    Start looking now on ebay/craigslist for a Tivo HD. You will probably need patience and luck to get one for under $300. If you are in/near a large city, you just might have better luck via craigslist.

    With some wise shopping, you could probably manage a new Premiere with lifetime for a total of about $460. Not that much more.

    No Series 2 units are useable for ota without an additional digital adapter box. Only single tuners, and no high definition quality picture. Most S2's are pretty near end of life also. Not that big of a deal for most Tivo addicts here to repair, but probably a pia for the casual user.

    User interface on all modern Tivos(from S2) pretty much the same(ie, sdui), except the Premiere has the option of the hi def interface, but only with a hi def tv.
     
  3. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

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    Since the OTA digital transition, Series 2 boxes are largely obsolete since they are analog and standard definition only. It would require one of those digital-to-analog converters to work. I don't know if those converter boxes support dual tuners or not, so it may also knock out one of the tuners.

    The TivoHD tunes digital OTA channels internally.

    But I'll diverge with dwit and say that I've had fewer problems with the original Series 3 than the Tivo HD. But either one is suitable IMO.
     
  4. JulianSF

    JulianSF Jack of all trades, master of none!

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    I have a premier in my living room, but recently got a Series 3 HD for my guest room, and it is great. I'd recommend this.
     
  5. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    The Original Series 3 HD, TiVo HD, and Premiere all work great as an OTA DVR, I have one of each and use them for OTA.

    However if you find any of them with lifetime for under $400 you will be lucky. Plus if you are buying your mom a used Series 3 HD or TiVo HD as a gift and the hard drive hasn't been replaced you really should replace it.

    If your mom still has a SD TV most single tuner Series 2 TiVos will work with some digital converter boxes to record OTA (dual tuner Series 2 TiVos do not work with OTA at all). I have a Series 2 I used with a converter box for awhile and it worked fine. However if your mom has an HD TV she really needs a Series 3 or 4 TiVo.

    Good Luck,
     
  6. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    The $9.99 per month for a Premieres receiving OTA ONLY was supposed to have ended yesterday, but check to see if it has been extended. BB had a NEW Premiere bundled with an OTA antenna for $99. Then, when activating the TiVo (from other retailers, as well, but NOT if purchased from TiVo) one enters the Antenna discount code, and so long as a CableCard is NOT or EVER installed, one receives the discounted monthly rate of $9.99 indefinitely--or it is TiVo's intention to continue the $9.99 rate after the first year, provided no CableCard is installed.

    I got one and because I activated a Premiere, I was offered by S3 a lifetime at $99. Great deal.
     
  7. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    How long did you have that S3 before you got the Premiere?
     
  8. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    If she wants over the air (now digital) and both tuners to work, it'll have to be a Series 3 or newer.

    How much are you willing to spend total?

    I assume she doesn't have cable. What about internet? Dial-up? DSL?

    (apparently Premieres have to be connected to a working internet connection in order to function, not just when it needs to download the program guide, but all the time)

    What's your geographic relationship to mom? Same house? Same city? Same state?

    There may be a sneaky way for you to get her a Series 3 of some flavor, subscribe it in on your account, then threaten to cancel and get lifetime on it for $99, although the chances would be better if you'd already had it before you got the Premiere.
     
  9. Mike-Mike

    Mike-Mike New Member

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    she has DSL and I have an extra wifi router she can use...

    she's like an hour and a half away from me
     
  10. jilter

    jilter Not.

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    What is that based on?
     
  11. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Keep a close eye on Craigslist and you might be able to grab an S3 HD for $50, no sub, or maybe for a little more with a TiVo wireless G adapter thrown in.

    Then you could try subbing it on a month by month, call near the end of the first month to cancel, and since you have a Premiere, you might be able to get the $99 lifetime deal on it.

    There are a couple of threads around here about the $99 deal (which is actually at least 2 different deals, one for people who prepaid for 3 years on HDs when lifetime wasn't available, and then later people wanting to cancel HDs they'd had for 3 years, but not necessarily pre-paid on, and one for people with Premieres wanting to cancel S3s and even S2s, although I haven't heard of anyone getting the deal on a TiVo they got after they got the Premiere, but maybe you'll be the first.)

    If you have more time than money, feel free to start reading.
     
  12. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    The cheapest option is going to be a single tuner S2 with an over the air digital to analog converter box. You can probably get both of those for ~$150. If you spend some time searching, then you might find a better deal.
     
  13. Mike-Mike

    Mike-Mike New Member

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    so break this down to me...


    OTA comes in at digital, the I would have a digital to analog converter change the signal from digital to analog to go into the old S2 with one tuner.

    with lifetime I'd still have regular TiVo functionality, but just one tuner, and it would only be analog...

    then this would go from the tivo to her almost brand new HD TV... would I need to convert the signal from the TV analog to digital for the TV? or the newer tv should do that on it's own?
     
  14. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    The Tivo would just come in through the analog connectors. So, no need for conversion to the TV because it would already be analog (I would think).

    Also, keep in mind that most TVs have a tuner inn them. So, she could record one channel with Tivo and watch another (using her TVs tuner).
     
  15. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    Correct.

    Correct. Only the single tuner S2's will work with OTA.

    Correct.

    No.

    Correct. The TV should have a composite video input and an S-Video input and the Tivo will have composite and S-Video outputs. You can use either one, but S-Video requires a special cable that you may not have. Composite uses a regular RCA cable. The audio will use separate left and right RCA cables from the output of the Tivo to the input of the TV.

    You want to split the coax cable coming from the antenna so that one feed is going directly to the coax input of the TV and the other input is going to the input on the digital converter box. This will allow you to use the TV tuner to watch a different show when the Tivo is recording on another channel.
     
  16. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Tell us the maximum you can, or are willing to, spend on this right now and the maximum total you can put into it over say the next 3 years.

    I'm not trying to find out how much money you have (which is meaningless if I don't know your expenses and obligations anyway), I'm trying to find out how much money we can throw at this problem to better figure out the optimal solution. I'm just going to assume you're trying to save money on this because of how much you're paying for mom's new Mercedes-Benz.
     
  17. Mike-Mike

    Mike-Mike New Member

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    Louisville, KY
    Well, i'm a newlywed, with a son of my own, and now 2 stepchildren... so I'll be bleeding money for Christmas...


    My mom is a recent widow and doesnt' do much for fun besides watch tv now, and she was complaining she missed an episode of a show she liked the other day, so I got the idea for the tivo...



    so I am currently bidding on a Tivo S2 with lifetime and a HD to analog box on eBay... pretty much perfect for the above post...


    I'm also bidding on a few super cheap Tivo HD's and TiVo Premiere's...


    I was hoping to get the whole lot for under $300...

    but if I have to, I could just get a Premiere or HD and put it only monthly for a temp basis..



    as I said, I'm a newlywed, so we currently have two houses, once my house sales, I'll have plenty of money to toss around, so i could potentially put my mom on month to month (with me paying the bill) and then buying lifetime later
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    The risk there is winning more than one auction.

    Load the Louisville Craigslist and put tivo into the search box.

    There's people trying to unload Premiere's for $50.

    There are some older ads for HDs asking more, but since they're older but still up they may be willing to come down on price.

    There's one from October 15 that hasn't been removed where they've also got the TiVo G wireless adapter they'll throw in for what's a pretty good price.

    Assuming the ad's still up 'cause they still want to sell and haven't so far in the past month and a half, you can probably tell 'em you'll give 'em the asking price if they throw in the adapter free and talk them into it.

    If you've already got a TiVo you can add this one at $9.95 per month, setting it (and that spare router) up at your place and getting the rate locked in, then re-running Guided Setup at your mom's.

    Come to think of it, search the Craiglist for where she lives as well.
     
  19. Mike-Mike

    Mike-Mike New Member

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    Louisville, KY
    Well I just "watch" the eBay auctions until it's at the end, and then I bid on them.

    I actually got a Premier with a wireless adapter, and a tivo slide remote for $86

    I figured the remote and the USB alone were worth something




    so... I set up the Premier on the router at my house with the router I'm going to give to my mom, and then set it up with TiVo for service? Try to get a deal on lifetime, or take the $9.95 deal, and then reset it up at my mom's house?
     
  20. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    Sounds like a great deal. Congratulations.

    Your set up plan may be okay, assuming you are in the same general location as your mom. Of course the antenna reception could be a little different. It's quite possible that you could receive perfect reception of a given station at your location, whereas it may be less than perfect at your mom's, and vice versa.

    As far as "a deal" on lifetime, for your 2 Premieres, there probably isn't anything better than the published rate of your msd of $400 for the second Premiere.
     

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