Upgraded 5 year old TIVO to new TIVO need help.

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Blueshard, May 19, 2011.

  1. Blueshard

    Blueshard New Member

    May 19, 2011


    I am a happy TIVO user sence 2005. I have been looking to upgrade my TIVO for some time because I have a 2 1/2 year old son that likes cartoons and sometimes we like to watch something else while his cartoons are playing. Unfortunately, my TIVO only has a single tuner, and would need to upgrade to a dual tuner model to solve my problem.

    I called TIVO and upgraded to their series 4 unit. I specifically asked the sales person if it was dual tuner because that was my main concern. He assured me that all series 4 units are dual tuner. We just needed to drive up to our cable company and requests a M-Class card which they must provide by law. What I did not know is that the M-Class card he spoke of was basically a cable box for HD channels and upper end digital channels, and the cable company will charge me $10 a month just to have it. Unfortunately, my TV is not high definition , and we receive only basic cable which does not require a M-class card. Is there any options for me as a consumer to use both tuners in my tivo without this M-Class card? I really do not want to call TIVO back and return the unit if there is something I can do to get the new TIVO up and running without a $10 monthly charge just to use a second tuner.

    Thank you for your time,
  2. TheWGP

    TheWGP Hmmm...

    Oct 26, 2007
    If all you get is basic analog cable without any HD, and don't expect that to change, you might want to look into finding a Series 2 Dual Tuner model - it sounds like it might be cheaper and easier to use for your purposes (I assume a Series 2 single tuner was what you had from 2005).

    Just a thought - it's not as straightforward as buying a new box but it might fit YOUR usage situation better for what you want to do.
  3. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    you can hook the cable to the TiVo DVR you have and set it up (Guided setup) without having to give TiVo payment info. You have 30 days to take it back so I would do that this weekend and see if it suits your needs.
  4. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    The m card has nothing to do with the use of both tuners. It is used to correctly map your digital channels.
  5. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area


    Any Tivo, single or dual tuner model, will only let you watch 1 at a time. A Tivom such as the Premiere, will let you record from the 2 tuners, and you can watch a recording on the TV connected to the same Tivo. If you want to watch something else, use another TV/Tivo.

    For example, you can have a TV/Tivo in his play room, for his cartoons. You can have a TV/Tivo in the Living Room, for your movies, and everything else.

    Each tuner on the box is capable of recording on a channel, but the TV, can only show 1 at a time. If the TV has a feature like PAP (Picture-and-Picture), that can show 2 different inputs/channels on the screen, side by side. Tivo is only on 1 input. Audio is can only be on 1 of the inputs.
  6. Blueshard

    Blueshard New Member

    May 19, 2011
    Whiskey Tango, I completely agree with your statement. That is why I am scratching my head when TIVO's literature explicitly states that in order to use your second tuner a M-Class card must be installed.

    Thank everyone for your advice. I do have 30 days to decided whether I want to purchase a series 2 with two physical tuners, or keep the new one loaded with features. You all have helped me gain a better perspective on my options.

    Thank you,
  7. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    Please remember that a cablecard is required only if you wish to tune to digital channels. If all you subscribe to is analog basic, no cablecard is required and both tuners will work. I did that for over a year on my bedroom Tivo HD before adding the cablecards.

    However, if you do want digital channels, you will need a cablecard to decrypt the scrambled ones and to map them to the published channel numbers.

    You should be fine without the cablecard, at least until your cable company shuts off all analog channels.

    Also, as ThAbtO said, a Tivo can play back only one program at a time. It can record two programs simultaneously while you watch a third pre-recorded program. If what you want to do is WATCH one program while your son watches another simultaneously, a Tivo will not do that. However, it will let you RECORD your program and his program at the same time.
  8. Blueshard

    Blueshard New Member

    May 19, 2011
    a68oliver, your absolutely right! I just got a text from my wife at home and she was watching one cable show while another was being recorded. What a relief! The country music must be playing backwards here!

    Everyone have a great day.
  9. bmgoodman

    bmgoodman Member

    Dec 20, 2000
    FWIW, when I first got my two S-cards in my Series 3 many years ago, Comcast tried to move me automatically to some digital + HD tier. But I called them and insisted that cable cards are simply the mechanism to tell my Tivo which channels I get and nothing should require me to purchase additional channels.

    Not only did they give in and provide 2 cable cards while keeping my existing plan, but they told me they'd be provided at no charge. So for over 4 years now, I've not paid a dime more! Of course, YMMV.

    As for your wife telling you she's watching one channel and recording another, have you checked to see that you're getting all the channels that you should, and that each of those has guide data?
  10. Blueshard

    Blueshard New Member

    May 19, 2011
    Yes, all TV channels are here and accounted for.
  11. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Great! I hope you enjoy your new Tivo.
  12. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    In fact you can watch something previousy recorded while two other programs are being recorded. There's really no point in watching anythng "live". I haven't watched a "live" program in almost 12 years.

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