TivoHD as tuner?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by cmaasfamily, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. cmaasfamily

    cmaasfamily New Member

    Jan 26, 2006


    Yes, I know - an unsubscribed Tivo is just a brick, but I'm thinking maybe all I want is a brick. Here's the deal:

    I have two S2's and one S3 so I am pretty much set Tivo-wise. I recently added a theater - with "movie only" intentions and setup - blu-ray, projector, no cable, no tuner. Now I'm thinking there may be occasions for TV on the big screen (super bowl, for example), but it would be rare.

    I looked for over-the-air HD tuners, but the pickings are very slim and no new products in recent years that I can find. Dusty boxes in the corners of warehouses for the most part.

    Then I thought of TivoHD. I'd be OK without program guide or recording - although a buffer would be nice.

    What do you think - would a TivoHD in brick mode serve my purposes of an over-the-air HD tuner? How about if I put a cablecard in it? Would it allow me to manually tune HD channels?

    Alternately, any recommendations for tuners?
  2. Jazhuis

    Jazhuis New Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    I actually thought about this when a friend was recently buying a new plasma monitor (note: high-end monitor, not a TV, so no tuners). They were asking about external digital tuners, and not knowing the satellite units that had tuners built in, I suggested that the TiVoHD (or the S3) might serve his purposes. He'd only have the buffer to play with, and would have to deal with "please subscribe" notices, but it would serve his OTA tuning purposes.

    The only digital tuner I could find was right around $300 anyway, and it didn't even have the potential DVR functions of the TiVo. With the HD, he could use it as the straight up tuner, and then might decide to get the TiVo service later anyway.

    I wonder how many other people have pondered this, what with the lack of external ATSC tuners right now?
  3. cmaasfamily

    cmaasfamily New Member

    Jan 26, 2006
    Thanks. At least good to know I'm not the only one with the idea.
  4. tomryan

    tomryan New Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    hrmm.. might want to wait until someone else chimes in, iirc, the tivo's have annoying popup banners that ask you to subscribe to their service when they're out of subscription.. might impair its use of a tuner just a bit :)
  5. jtown

    jtown New Member

    Sep 26, 2002


    I don't know about the unsubbed HD's capabilities but you can get a ATSC tuner for about $80 bucks on ebay. As for new or old, what does it matter if it's been sitting on a shelf for a year or two? It doesn't have an expiration date.

    Since it's just for occasional use, you may also want to consider getting one of those USB tuners and hook a laptop to the projector for those rare times you'd want to watch TV. DVR software would give you the pause/replay/ffwd features you're looking for. I don't know about the quality, though. If you go that route, do some research to see if the video is compressed in the USB device before being passed to the laptop.
  6. oldnacl

    oldnacl New Member

    Mar 23, 2007
  7. wgw

    wgw Member

    May 16, 2007
    You could get a DVD Recorder with built in ATSC tuner. You may not need the recorder capability, but you can use it as a tv tuner and dvd player.
  8. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    It would make a BAD OTA only tuner. No guide, nag screens, etc.

    Buy a good OTA STB or DVD Burner.

    EDIT: Or just activate it, it would make a GREAT OTA DVR... :)
  9. cmaasfamily

    cmaasfamily New Member

    Jan 26, 2006
    All great suggestion, but so much more thinking/researching to do. Oy!

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