Tivo Functionality Without Service

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by jpascone, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. jpascone

    jpascone New Member

    Oct 8, 2001


    I have a Series I Tivo I simply want to use like an old skool VCR except it won't even let me watch live tv? Is this the case? Do I need the Tivo service for this unit to watch and record live TV?
  2. CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

    Jan 13, 2005
    You can watch live TV and it will automatically record a 30 minute buffer, but you can't save it. You won't be able to record either, but you can watch recordings made when it was subscribed.

    If you can't watch live TV on it, either you set it up incorrectly, or it is broken.
  3. Hawkeye22

    Hawkeye22 New Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    I had a Phillips Series I and I could record manual programs with no problem. I had basic cable. Of course I'd get a nag screen now and then telling me I was out of guide data.
  4. LifeIsABeach

    LifeIsABeach Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001
    Drexel Hill, PA
    All Philips Series 1 and most Sony Series 1 TiVos can be used as a digital VCR without a subscription. However, if you can't even see live tv then there are bigger problems with the TiVo than whether or not the unit can record without a subscription.
  5. turbobuick86

    turbobuick86 Member

    May 2, 2002


    Did you set the input/output in the configuration menu? If I remember right, you have to select the proper diagram/schematic.

    What source are you trying to watch?
  6. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    Some Series 1s that were subbed at one time have some setting change that prevents them from being used without the TiVo service, but TiVo willingly resets such machines for you if you call up with the ID number on the back of the machine.

    Since we don't know for sure this Series 1 is one of the "works without service" ones, this effort may not work, but it's certainly worth a try.

    If it IS one of the machines that'll work without service (and this has been the problem), once TiVo resets it, it should be fine.
  7. neil_h

    neil_h New Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    I am currently using a Tivo Series 1 (Philips) without a subscription. Took a while to get it setup with Comcast DTA, but it is working as a VCR.

    I am new to Tivo and was wondering if this same arrangement can work if I purchase a Series 2 Tivo. (i.e. no subscription since I am only interested in manual recording). Opinions from Series 2 owners will be appreciated.
  8. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    Series 2 units do not have that same loophole.
    Series 2 DVD/DVR combos with Tivo Basic will still let you have 3 day guide and record however.
  9. nlrushing

    nlrushing New Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    i have a toshiba series 2 dvd/dvr unti sd400 - it appears (not yet confirmed) that it may not support all digital format from my cable provider even with a cable box. i think we have just gone all digital, i get signal fine to the cable box, just not to the tivo. it appears like it thinks it is working and displays the guide info correctly, i can watch prev recorded programs and transfer shows around thru my network. i suppose if this is the case i can retire it to the kids room and record programs in one room and then just transfer to that room for them to watch. is there a flaw in this theory, if i just added a router it would continue to "talk to tivo" and function except for live tv and recording? sad but a last resort. will this work?

    reason for this, is that a call to tivo tells me that my provider just went all digital and the toshiba unit "may" only have an analog tuner. i have to call toshiba to confirm they say.
  10. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    Ok.. and what does this have to do with the thread you posted it to?
    And you are correct, your Tivo has only an analog tuner however the cable box OUTPUTS AN ANALOG SIGNAL... if the cable box sends it out on composite, then the Tivo can see it.

    You may want to try posting in a more appropriate thread.
  11. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    As others have said Series 2 TiVos require a subscription. However you should be able to pickup a Series 2 with a lifetime subscription for $150 give or take so I would just spend the extra bucks and get one with lifetime.

    Good Luck,
  12. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    nlrushing, your TiVo definitely has an analog only tuner. You need a full cable or DTA box to get the cable channels back.

    You need to repeat guided setup and tell the Tivo you now have cable with box, and choose the appropriate IR code to use for the IR blaster. Check the DTA threads for what code to choose, how best to use the IR blaster, or how to get and use the GGray cable.
  13. nlrushing

    nlrushing New Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    thank you classicsat for your post. i apologize, but please consider me as a DTA do you mean a tuning adapter? i had thought those were for the hd and cable card boxes. i do have a digital cable box already, i have rerun guided setup, everything is hooked up correctly and no result. i do not use an ir blaster, i have a serial port and cable and my tivo remote changes channels on my cable box for this unit perfectly. (not the case on my dual tuner since the conversion to all digital (no analog channels now) format in my area recently) tivo support tells me they dont think this box will support digital - period. they tell me to call toshiba to confirm, but i think she just couldnt officially tell me as she isnt supposed to support toshiba units, evidently. i also do not know what you mean by GGray cable, but will try to search for it. i evidently do not use this forum correctly, but i have searched threads for days now before i started posting. i cannot find anything that speaks to this issue on a series 2, every thread that seems same is for units requiring cable cards and tuning adapters. i was considering just retiring this particular unit to be used to transfer programs to it and leave it in the kids room where they dont have a cable box, just a dvd player and basic cable running directly into the tv. channels 2-13. per tivo website if i have a digital cable box, i should not be affected, but tivo tech said it is the toshiba unit that doesnt support it, is why my other tivo will still show the non-encrypted channels. make any sense?
  14. nlrushing

    nlrushing New Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    DTA thread very helpful so far, got my dual tuner going by selecting cable on channels 2-69 and box on the rest and shazam, i have dual tuners and all of my channels again, no dta, just the digital cable box. so maybe we didnt go all digital yet or ????
    going to find out from charter, and take a day or two off as this has consumed me for over a week. but thank you so much. when i find out for sure what charter has done, i will come back and ask for help with the toshiba or post how i resolved it. thank you so very much. DTA (digital to analog) i get it now. :)

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