TiVo, Vonage, Wireless - Downloading ? and Vent

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by KarenCo, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. KarenCo

    KarenCo New Member

    Nov 23, 2005


    Hi to the community. I have had my TiVo 8 days now. I've read all the help topics (repeatedly). I've read many of the threads in this community. I'm about ready to pitch the damn TiVo unit out the window I'm so frustrated.

    We have a series 540 TiVo, with software version 5 installed, purchased directly from TiVo
    We use Vonage for our phone
    We have a home network with both wired and wireless connections
    I bought the recommended wireless adaptor (NETGEAR WG111.. serial numbers starting with WG72 or 130)

    First of all we had to move our entire network system downstairs since we don't have any TVs upstairs. Brought down the cable modem, the Vonage box, and the wireless router/hub and set them up in the living room.

    Plugged in the TV to Vonage. Managed to get thru the testing calls. Took 3 days to complete the setup calls. Three very long and frustrating days. We were so excited when it completed - we thought we were home free.

    Plugged in the wireless adaptor. No connection. Read more. Found out that we have to have software version 7.1 or later to use the wireless. How to get that? Dial in and upload it. So we forced a connection. So far we've done it 114 times over the last 5 days. Yes, I've counted. Every connection is logged on our Vonage phone activity log. Connections last from less than a minute to a maximum of 27 minutes. The average length of connection is 6 minutes. Then I get a "Failure. Call Interrupted." message.

    I've tried using a wired connection to the network and ,#401.
    I've tried using the Vonage and ,#99
    I've tried every configuration I've read about here and on the TiVo site.

    Nothing works. I'll be damned if I'm going to cart this over to a friend's house and make them reroute their entertainment system just so I can update the software.

    We love the concept and we love the way it works on the limit use we've had. Being able to record things with a season pass is fabulous. My husband loves the ability to rewind live TV during his ball games. We *want* this system to work for us. But we're reaching the end of our ropes. Our living room looks like a bomb went off in a wire factory - there are cords and cables and connections all over the place. Our entertainment center has been pulled away from the wall for over a week now becuase we don't want to put everything back until we're completely done with the setup and have the wireless working. We haven't been able to use our Vonage phone for a week because it's hooked up to the TiVo and from the time we get home in the evening until the time we go to bed after midnight, we're dialing for updates.

    I have to say I'm *extremely* disappointed in TiVo. I think it's positively ludicrous that something that is branded as the future of television is so antiquated as to REQUIRE an analog phone line for setup. There is no reason in the world why this process should be so difficult for those of us who choose to live in the modern era with cell phones, broadband internet, and VoIP. TiVo is falling down hugely in this area. If we can't get it to work after this weekend, we're returning the unit and asking for a refund.

    It should NOT be this hard.

    That said ... now we get to my question. How long is the total download for the software update and does the download continue from the point it left off every time you reconnect or does it start over every time? If it continues from the point it left off, then I *might* see some light at the end of the tunnel and we can keep doing this until we finally get the whole thing. If it starts over every time, then the damn thing is going back in the box tonight and being returned to TiVo.

    Anyone know?

    Thanks for listening and thanks for any help.

  2. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2002
    Tivo DOES store partial downloads. Forcing a daily call does not erase the partial download. Note that test calls DO clear out the partial software uploads.

    At this point, you should probably take it to an analog phone line and let it complete the download. It typically takes about an hour on a clean phone line. It's difficult to say how long it will take using VoIP -- there's no way to know if the 27-minute call did anything or if the modems were simply renegotiating speeds and protocols the entire time. It does sound like you are making SOME progress.

    The wired USB adapter should be working, if it's from the official list of approved adapters for software version 5.0. Does your router give it an IP address? The Belkin F5D5050 gives people the most success. Believe it or not, some USB network adapters are incompatible with certain routers. Keep your receipts.

    Unfortunately, after you get the update, there is a small chance you may have problems with your Netgear wireless adapter. Isn't this fun? :rolleyes:
  3. digitalAir

    digitalAir New Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Just bought my Series2 last weekend.

    I have Vonage, also... took a lot of searching and reading...

    here are the settings that actually worked...

    Dial Prefix: ,#034,
    Caller Waiting: *99,

    I disabled Call-Waiting from the Vonage site so I didn't have to add the *70 to the tivo.

    I left the download running and went to bed, but it was ready to go on 7.2.1 the next morning.

    Once I restarted the TiVo, it recognized my NetGear WG111NA (S/N: 130xxxxxxx)
  4. fredericbien

    fredericbien New Member

    Sep 17, 2005
    I'm surprised that you were able to install your TiVo (series 2) over a Vonage phone line. A couple of months ago, I tried and tried again at my house; i tried many different setting combinations. I could get my TiVo to dial and connect over Vonage, but the big program data download required during TiVo installation would always break in the middle.

    I looked at Vonage's website and bulletin boards. I called Vonage, and had them change the settings on my line: turn off Echo Cancellation and improve data transfer quality. TiVo would still break the connection in the middle of the program data download.

    Eventually, after wasted hours, i got tired of it. I called TiVo support phone line (where it takes more than 30 minutes to get a human being on the phone!). They told me TiVo has installation problems over Vonage, and i would have to do the installation over an analog phone line.

    I asked my 70-year old neighbor to borrow their analog phone line. (MY neighbor had never seen a TiVo; in fact they do not even have cable TV, only broadcast). Naturally TiVo worked over analog line. I let my TiVo do all its installation at my neighbors which takes a couple hours. (I left my box there overnight). The next day, i brought my TiVo at home. I connected a wireless 802.11b adapter (DLink - be careful many 802.11g adapters do NOT work with TiVo - look at Tivo's website /adapters ). My TiVo was able to connect over wireless broadband without problem. It was all fine, and has been fine since.

    Moral of the story for me: Why is TiVo requiring a phone call for installation, instead of enabling installation to happen over broadband? If TiVo is this complicated to install over VOIP, it will severely limit its market penetration...
  5. The.Mayor

    The.Mayor From Alabama

    Oct 25, 2005
    Brainy Boro, NJ


    I am in process of switching to Vonage from MCI. I shopped and shopped all over and Vonage told me right up front they would not support Tivo. My heart fell as the savings of using Vonage was over 100 bucks / month.

    Seeing you have a network, unless I am missing something, just use your router, if you don't have one, they are cheap. I ran out of ports on my router and picked up a switch yesterday which now gives me 8 ports, wireless and wired, 2 vonage adapters, Tivo, 3 computers. I have so many cables coming from the router / switch it looks like a bowl of pasta.

    Don't give up, I think you have many opetions left.

    Good Luck.

  6. The.Mayor

    The.Mayor From Alabama

    Oct 25, 2005
    Brainy Boro, NJ

    Follow up!

    Believe it or not, I still do not have my Vonage phone line switched from MCI to V. It is almost 6 weeks. I am up to top level excutive support and have my own personal consultant with V. I raised h*ll to get them working on my problem. I am supposed to get V finsihed porting my MCI phone numbers by 12/21. They have a long way to go in providing tech support. If they get their personell problem fixed, I think they will have a good thing going.

    How you doing?
  7. fusionFool

    fusionFool New Member

    Dec 20, 2005
    Mayor, you sound like you know what you're talking about. Perhaps you can take a gander at my situation... Here's my deal:

    I maybe getting a series 2 Tivo for Christmas but I want to be certain that I can use it. I do not have a land line phone, nor do I plan on getting one. My mother has a Vonage account (well, it was mine, but I gave it to her when I moved out). I can easily borrow the adaptor and bring it to my new house. The question is, can I use Vonage for the initial set up? I plan on using my wireless network beyond the initial setup. I called the Tivo sales line and the rep told me that this is NOT possible, but on these here forums, it appears that it might be doable.

    So, can this be done? If not, then it sadly appears that TiVo is not in my future.

  8. jtrelfa

    jtrelfa Superstar

    Dec 20, 2005
    I was able to do it, but the software download after initial setup took about 4 tries to get the whole download. I pretty much just followed this advice:
    I ignored the #034 because it kept giving me a busy signal. I think the most important part was disabling call-waiting on the Vonage site and using the *99 code.

  9. donivan

    donivan New Member

    Jul 20, 2004
    I have a Directivo - RCA DVR40, but I suppose that the fixes for Vonage are similar. I disabled call waiting from the Vonage website prior to making the call. These are the settings I used:

    set your Dial Prefix to: 2122773895
    Then your Call waiting Prefix to: ,#034
    Then set your area code to 212 and download new call in numbers
    when that goes through select the 212-277-3895 number
    set it up to dial with or without the "1" and give it a try --

    To be specific I also had phone available detection and dial tone detection off and I did not use a DSL filter. It hung on "negotiating" the first few tries,(maybe the partial download thing was happening?) but then it connected and worked like a champ after that. I was able to make test calls and the daily call and my 6.2 (Newest Directivo OS) software upgrade installed just fine. FYI it took 214 minutes worth of calls 2 update 2 Tivos. I found this on the Vonage forum here.
  10. hesam

    hesam New Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    I have a Tivo Pioneer 810 w/ DVD and have tried all the prefixes mentioned previously with no luck can anyone suggest any other dialing prefixes?
  11. DrinkGuinness

    DrinkGuinness Slightly Drunk User

    Sep 11, 2005
    I have Vonage as well. I have had Vonage since it came out, so I have the old Cisco box. Here is what worked for me. You will need:

    DSL filter, you can get them anywhere and there is only one type from what I can find.
    A phone cord, I used one of those 6 in. ones.
    And a female/female adaptor.

    Plug the adaptor on the end that is attached to the filter.
    Plug the phone cord comming from the Cisco ATA into the filter.
    Finially, plug the extra phone cord into the other end of the adaptor into the TiVo.
    Turn off call waiting.

    I have had this work 100% of the time. T never had to type in any codes.
    When I did have my TiVo connected to a land line, I would get the incomplete calls like some others are getting. I would just try another phone #.

    Good Luck.
  12. Stanley Rohner

    Stanley Rohner New Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    Did you call or e-mail VONAGE to rant about the VONAGE system not working with your TiVo setup ?

    It's not TiVo's problem that VONAGE is not compatible with products designed to work with regular telephone line equipment.
  13. mick66

    mick66 Dirty Burger

    Oct 15, 2004
    The 'verse
    It's not Vonage's problem that a device that needs to transfer data over a phone line has great difficulty doing so over their system made for voice use.
  14. Stanley Rohner

    Stanley Rohner New Member

    Jan 18, 2004
    The TiVo was designed to communicate over a phone line, not a VONAGE system, cell phone, or any other phone system that's been invented.

    Appartently VONAGE isn't compatible with devices that were designed to operate over normal phone lines. That's not TiVo's fault.
  15. dgh

    dgh New Member

    Jul 24, 2000

    Vonage's system is meant to simulate an analog phone system which has been a standard that phones and modems have been designed to for around a century. It's either Vonage's problem to make it work, notify customers that it won't work, or it's the customer's problem for not paying attention to Vonage's warnings. It certainly isn't the problem of modem designers who designed modems to work with real phone lines years before VoIP even existed.

    Since Vonage is one of the VoIP providers that has claimed that modems will work, that makes it their problem. Many other VoIP say modems won't work, thus transferring the problem to their customers.
  16. TiVoJerry

    TiVoJerry Ex-Caavo employee (Ex-TiVo, '00-'16)

    Jul 26, 2005
    Woodside, CA
    This is a problem we've been working on for some time and we have actually already fixed the issue in brand new units going forward. In order to utilize a network connection out of the box, we had to rework Guided Setup. Since we had a large list of changes we wanted to make, this became a SW release all on its own (7.2) which went out last year. This SW made it into new units that were shipped just before Christmas. Only units running older SW will still have to face this issue, but that number is quickly shrinking.

    Per this online article:
    Many new TiVo DVRs will be shipped pre-installed with software version 7.2 or later. The following is a way to determine if your new DVR has software version 7.2 or later already installed before you begin Guided Setup. Look at the orange box your TiVo DVR came in:

    On the side of the orange box, look for your 12-digit UPC code. If the UPC code has the letters "SS" next to it, your TiVo has been sent to you with the 7.2 software version or later, already installed. You may connect your DVR to your network during Guided Setup.
  17. HEB1022

    HEB1022 New Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    Thanks Jerry,

    I have an older HD-250 unit. Will I be able to put version 7.2 software on it, and how do I get that done, so I can use network connection vs. dial in?


    Harry in Georgia
  18. TiVoJerry

    TiVoJerry Ex-Caavo employee (Ex-TiVo, '00-'16)

    Jul 26, 2005
    Woodside, CA
    7.2 was not designed for the combo DTV units. Officially, those units have not been enabled to utilize the USB ports, even to allow for network connections just to finish setup.

    That being said, you may want to visit the Underground Playground as there are other members of this forum that may be able to help.

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