Two TV's with one HD XL?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dmarty, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. dmarty

    dmarty New Member

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    Sep 26, 2009

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    I'm new here and not very tech savvy, so please bear with me. I'm finally getting around to replacing my Replay TV DVR (with lifetime service) that worked flawlessly for 8 years. I've decided that I'll get an HD XL with the lifetime service. I have broadcast only with no plans to get cable. I have a home network and plan to transfer recordings to my computer and download movies from Netflicks or Amazon. I have questions concerning two topics.

    Is the $150 savings for the refurbished HD XL a good deal? Is the warranty as good? Or am I better off with a new unit? I have heard rumors that if a Tivo unit needs to be replaced, I will lose my lifetime service. Is this true? My Replay was replaced under warranty after 3 years and they continued to honor my lifetime service without additional charge. However, Tivo says the service is good for the life of the machine, so if the machine needs to be replaced, will I have to buy a new service plan? If so, then I need to get the most reliable machine and not be as concerned with saving a little up front.

    Can I connect two TV's to the same HD XL unit? That is, can I use two outputs simultaneously? I plan to put the HD XL in the family room next to my plasma TV and connect it with HDMI, but I have an open floor plan and would also like to connect to my LCD on the kitchen counter. That way I can have either or both of the TV's playing the same recording and watch it while moving around between the family room and the kitchen. What output should I use for the LCD? The cable will have to be about 70 feet long, so I'll likely have to make one. I currently have Cat5e cable installed at each location. Could that be used with video, s-video or component connections? Will two of the various HD XL video outputs work at the same time, or just one? This setup worked well with my Replay as I used the video out for the main TV and the antenna out for the kitchen TV. I know it was crude, but it was easy to run a coax cable to the kitchen and actually the quality wasn't too bad. The HD XL doesn't have an antenna out, so I'll have to go with one of the video outs for the kitchen. Any ideas on which is the best route to go?

    Thanks,
     
  2. DocNo

    DocNo Member

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    Bristow, VA
    Just beware that many HD channels are copy protected so transfers don't work. It varies wildly by cable company so unfortunately the only way to know for sure is to record and see if it's blocked :(

    Lifetime is with the box, not the hard drive and that's what fails 99% of the time in a Tivo. Between InstantCake and other ways to recover from a dead hard drive, I wouldn't worry about it. I just picked up a floor model HD from Sears for $50 - so far it's working fine (the case was filthy and looks like it had liquid spilled on the outside of it). If the hard drive goes, I'll replace it. Actually, I will probably replace it ahead of time to put a bigger drive in anyway. I'll keep the original drive for a backup.

    As for the lifetime, people have had a generally positive experience when dealing with Tivo for dead Tivo's. Being polite and flexible is the key.

    I dunno, but when my new LCD TV for the bedroom arrives later this week I'm going to try something similar - HDMI to one TV and component out to another. I don't think it's gong to work, I'm pretty sure it only outputs to one set of outputs at a time.

    Also, the only thing the XL has is a larger hard drive. You can add an external hard drive with the drive expander or upgrade the hard drive yourself. It's fairly easy and I personally wouldn't pay the premium for the XL, but can understand the convenience factor if you aren't comfortable doing the upgrade yourself.
     
  3. dmarty

    dmarty New Member

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    Sep 26, 2009
    Thanks for the info. If you try HDMI and component outputs simultaneously I would like to know the results. BTW, do Tivo's require you to select an output when setting up? If so, then two TV's on one machine probably won't work. If there's no selection requirement on the initial setup, then maybe two will work. Also, you mentioned that cable HD recordings may not allow me to send them to my computer on the network, but what about OTA HD? Are they protected as well? I have no plans to get cable.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    See this current thread where a user is doing exactly what you are talking about. There are complications due to the handshaking aspect of the HDMI, as you will see.

    Maybe if you never switched the input of the HDMI-connected TV (?)
     
  5. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

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    Neither...

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    No. All the outputs are active.

    However using HDMI simultaneously with another output can cause an issue related to the HDCP handshaking. With many TV's, the handshaking is turned off when the TV is set to standby, and with some TV's even when you switch to a different input. When this happens, the TiVo stops all video output. Normally this would not cause a problem, but when the TiVo is outputting to two TV's it becomes an issue.
     
  6. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    He'll have less issues because he says he's not using cable, just OTA. In the past I've run HDMI to one television and component to another. Or HDMI to one TV and component to a Slingbox. All outputs are active simultaneously.
     
  7. JimG19

    JimG19 Member

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    Jun 30, 2005
    As info, I have a tivo hd connected to two tv's, one via hdmi and the other via component, and have had no issues.

    Jim
     
  8. dmarty

    dmarty New Member

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    Sep 26, 2009
    Thanks to all for the info. I'll give it a try and see what happens.
     
  9. dmarty

    dmarty New Member

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    Sep 26, 2009
    One more comment. I will always have both TV's set to the same input. That is, both on antenna or both set to Tivo. After reading the other thread, it appears that part of the problem may be when one is set to antenna and the other to Tivo via component. As I said, I'll give it a try, but it's nice to have the information in advance. Thanks again.
     
  10. TiVoEvan74

    TiVoEvan74 Active Member

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    You could get the AVCast media kit which can transmit one Tivo's shows from one location to TVs in different rooms. There's also a Radio Shack wireless solution that does the same.
     
  11. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    Just be aware that it will output the same format over HDMI and component. You can't make it output differently to each output.
     
  12. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

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    Houston
    We use only the component output to a whole house video distribuion amplifier that sends component to 6 users. HT room, kitchen, bedroom, exercise room and slingbox all get the same HD signal. I will not put up with the DRM issues of HDMI.

    Oh, and for OTA HD programs, you will have no diffeculty with copy protection when you go to transfer to your PC. There are no restrictions on OTA broadcasts, that is only a cable company construct to prevent the use of the programming you paid for.
     
  13. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    Years ago, I did one of those wireless distro systems. It sucked, wasn't usable. Is AVcast HD capable?
     
  14. TiVoEvan74

    TiVoEvan74 Active Member

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    The wireless system worked fine for us-- Series 2, basic quality recordings-- although phone calls on the cordless phone would interfere with it.

    The AVcast system is fantastic! We have a Tivo in the basement and it "broadcasts" to the TV in our 2nd floor bedroom without any glitches! Now, again, we're not HD, so I don't know what happens, but I'd imagine it would work fine. The AVcast people are incredibly responsive, so anyone thinking about this could shoot them an e-mail and ask them.
     

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