Tivo as a tuner

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by bearcat29, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. Feb 5, 2012 #1 of 28
    bearcat29

    bearcat29 New Member

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    Sorry I have searched the forums and I have not found a specific answer to my question.

    I already have 2 cable boxes and I don't really want any more.

    I bought a 720p projector for my basement for movies. I would also like to occasionally watch a tv show on it.

    My question is if I buy a tivo (3rd party off of Amazon or Craigslist) can I use it as a high def TV tuner WITHOUT a subscription or a cable card? I DO NOT care about recording anything, seeing the guide or getting on demand channels etc. I just want to watch live sporting events (ESPN & the Duce, Fox, ABC) maybe 6-10 times a year and it is not worth $18 a month for the privilege.

    I obviously can not hook a coaxial straight to my projector, and I just want/need a HD tuner for it. Thank you.


    FWIW, I would LOVE to get TIVO subscription instead of the 2 DVR's I have now, but my cable company charges the same for a cable card as a HD DVR box. Trust me, I looked into it.
     
  2. Feb 5, 2012 #2 of 28
    spsmith303

    spsmith303 New Member

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    Come on......
    You cant find an answer to this question?! This is ask almost everyday!!!!
     
  3. Feb 5, 2012 #3 of 28
    bearcat29

    bearcat29 New Member

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    I have seen other postings, but I have not seen one specifically without a cable card. I have also found older postings that do not relate. I'll keep searching, but if someone could give me a link or answer my question I would very much appreciate it.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2012 #4 of 28
    replaytv

    replaytv gun talk ignore list

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    You can in most cases, but it has annoying banners that come up on the screen every time you change the channel (the time that they are on the screen can be reduced but not removed), and the time shown will be off immediately, or soon after. Except if you allow it to connect to Tivo to update the time. And people have been reporting that the new software from Tivo is reducing what a Tivo will do without a subscription even more than before.
    You will have to let it connect to Tivo by broadband or telephone line to set it up to your channel lineup if it is not set up the way that you want it when you buy it.
     
  5. Feb 5, 2012 #5 of 28
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Do you want to use it as a cable tuner or an over the air broadcast tuner or both?
     
  6. Feb 5, 2012 #6 of 28
    bearcat29

    bearcat29 New Member

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    I would like use the TIVO as a TV tuner for both. With my cable boxes where I will watch +95% of my TV I get 400+ channels.

    With just the coaxial I get the basic 1-99 channels. I want to use the TIVO (without a cable card or subscription) to get the 1-99 channels. I thought about a vcr as a tuner, but would not get HD signal.

    I would like it to watch college football and a few MLB games when I have people over for a party. ESPN, Fox sports and the OTA channels is all I really want (which are in the 1-99).

    I have an older tube 36" TV to flip channels if I want in the basement also. The TIVO banner would not be an issue as I would just put the projector on the game and leave it on that channel.
     
  7. Feb 5, 2012 #7 of 28
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    When you say "With just the coaxial..." I assume you mean with just the cable company's coaxial cable, but none of their boxes or adapters.

    When you say "...I get the basic 1-99 channels...", do you mean analog cable channels, the kind a 10 to 30 year old "cable ready" TV could tune in?
     
  8. Feb 5, 2012 #8 of 28
    bearcat29

    bearcat29 New Member

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    Yes on both questions.

    Forgive my lack of AV knowledge. Could I run a coaxial cable from my HD DVR box (it has a coaxial out) to the HD TIVO and then from the TIVO HDMI out to the projector. I do not care if the TV and the projector linked to the same channel.

    My other option is to overpay the cable company, run a 50' hdmi line from the other cable box using a splitter or switch, or bring down the other box every time I want to watch. The splitter seemed like a good option until I found out the "handshake" would bring down both the TV and projector to 720p. I don't want to use a HDMI switch because I would like to have the big game on both the TV & projector for guests.
     
  9. Feb 6, 2012 #9 of 28
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    Well, let's start out at the beginning:
    - TiVo S1 and S2 are only capable of getting analog SD signals (either over-the-air or via cable) so if your main priority is HD, those are out.
    - TiVo S2 and above require a subscription (either month-to-month or lifetime). So if your main priority is to run without a subscription, you want to make sure and look for a box that already has a lifetime subscription.
    - Without a cablecard, you'll be limited to either "in the clear" QAM channels, which will almost certainly only be OTA channels.

    The odd part about your description is that you want to watch channels 1-99. In most places, those are still the analog, standard definition channels, *not* HD and not even digital. (If you can plug an old analog TV or VCR into your cable coax and get those channels, then those are analog, not digital or even HD.)
     
  10. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    It's midnight here, conversation continues tomorrow.
     
  11. bearcat29

    bearcat29 New Member

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    QUOTE: "The odd part about your description is that you want to watch channels 1-99. In most places, those are still the analog, standard definition channels, *not* HD and not even digital."

    Yeah, I wasen't thinking. I should have known those are analog. Basically I want most of the OTA channels and the ESPN family to watch sports.

    I was going use an old VCR (just to see how bad it looks), but it only has RCA outputs which won't work with my projector without an adapter. (projector has S video, hdmi and dvi)

    I would even take a way to take the coaxial from the HD DVR box out and
    find a device to transfer it to HDMI to the projector. Could an HD tivo do that.
    I have found a few on craigslist for $50.
     
  12. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    If you went with a TiVo S3, HD, or Premiere, all would be able to tune in analog cable and any digital cable sent "in the clear" (more than likely just OTA channels) without a cablecard. All would interface with your projector via HDMI.

    If you went with an old TiVo S1 or S2, they would be able to interface with your projector via S-Video, and would be able to receive just analog cable. With all but the very earliest TiVo S1, you would still need a subscription.
     
  13. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    Well, he did say he just wanted to use it as a tuner.. So that would work without a subscription.. but not even trick play (as others have said for the Premiere, IIRC) will work on the newest ones without a subscription.

    But yes, he'd need a cable card for the vast majority of channels. I'd say it would probably work with more than JUST OTA. At least I remember being able to get _some_ of the "extended basic" type channels, but not the whole set.
     
  14. robomeister

    robomeister DVD TiVo Expert

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    Here is another wrinkle in the mix.

    The Series3 and Series4 TiVos only have coax inputs, one for cable and one for OTA. Unlike the Series2 and Series1 Tivos, the HD TiVos have no other inputs (component, composite or S-video), just the coax. So running the output of one of the HD cable boxes to the TiVo wouldn't work.

    If you want any digital cable channels, you will need a CableCard to decode the cable signal. And using a cable card requires a subscription and some interaction with your cable company to authorize the cable card to work on the cable system.

    As has been stated numerous times, most Tivos don't work very well without a subscription. It's often referred to as "Boat anchor mode". You will find some who claim their TiVos do work with a sub, but this is becoming more and more rare every day. And in most cases, these require the TiVo to be subscribed and then have the subscription cancelled and not phone home.

    Forms of the original question occur almost every week, if not more often. (I just want to use it to record from a camera, don't need trick play. I got a TiVo at a flea market/garage sale/from the trash. How do I get it to work without a sub? etc.) This is why you may get some slightly abrasive answers.

    In short, to be useful, a TiVo needs a subscription. If you can't afford or don't want to pay for a subscription, TiVo is not for you.

    Hope that helps,
    robomeister
     
  15. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Are you sure about this? That just seems like it would be against some FCC regulation.

    I don't think you are right, but I'm not going to subscribe to cable just to find out. :)
     
  16. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Completely false - a Tivo S3/HD/Premiere works perfectly fine as an analog/HD tuner without a sub (and with the latest software), which is all the OP is asking for. Please stop spreading misinformation, I've done it before as have many others here and elsewhere (e.g., fatwallet users).

    If you get an older S3/HD you will also still have trick play of live TV (pause/ff/rew), it was disabled only on the Premieres recently.
     
  17. robomeister

    robomeister DVD TiVo Expert

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    Sorry, I wasn't clear. I didn't state that the unsubscribed Series3 Tivo couldn't be used as a tuner. I was only saying that it isn't very useful as a DVR without a subscription. I know that is not what the OP asked, but I was trying to give a complete answer, or at least complete the answers already given.

    An unsubscribed Series3 Tivo can be used as a tuner and can do trick play on the buffer(s). But you will get nagging messages to get a subscription. And you won't be able to do any other TiVo functions after the 7 day grace period after completing Guided Setup.

    Sorry for "spreading misinformation." But please read what has been written entirely before accusing someone. It's getting like deedeebee in here.

    robomeister
     
  18. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    I would think that using a cablecard, that is to say, getting any use out of a cablecard, would require a cable subscription.


    You need to consider the sentence as a whole.

    "And using a cable card requires a subscription and some interaction with your cable company to authorize the cable card to work on the cable system."


    Whether it also requires a TiVo subscription is a separate issue.
     
  19. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Cablecards are only available through your provider. If you got one from any other source it won't work as your provider won't authorize it.
     
  20. bearcat29

    bearcat29 New Member

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    Dec 29, 2010
    Ok, you guys answered one question.

    My other question will this work?

    Cable box (fully functioning with cable card on main TV) Coaxial out of cable box to Tivo (no subscription or cable card). HDMI to projector. Will this work and will it be a high def signal?

    So cable box -> coaxial -> HD TIVO (no sub or cable card) -> HDMI -> projector.
     

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