Wow, Totally Lost

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by neboo, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. neboo

    neboo New Member

    Aug 17, 2011


    If this is in the wrong section, please move it. I didn't know if I should put it in the help section because I do not own a Tivo yet.

    I am looking at getting a Tivo. I am a staff member that lives in a residence hall (dorm). I have basic cable so I only get the over the air hd channels, so I don't think an HD Tivo is necessary. I have a coax cable for hookup and I also have an ethernet port right by the TV. I can get a phone line to it, but I don't think that is right by the TV.

    So here are my questions:

    1. What would be the best Tivo to look at getting?
    2. I saw that members post their's for sale on here and I know I could also get one on ebay, craigslist, etc. How can you get burned in a sale?
    3. I would ideally like to get a box that has a lifetime subscription on it, but how does that work?
    4. Is it possible to buy a box that owes money?
    5. Any other advice?

    If anyone could steer me towards some good deals that would be awesome!

    Like I said, it just needs to be basic and able to record basic cable. From what I have read it looks like a series 2 would best serve my needs, but I am still not sure. I hope I can get some help. Thanks in advance!
  2. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    1- do you get analog cable or digital cable? That has more influence to your decision than hd/sd. OTA is probably all digital in your area, so you would not be able to use a Series 2 or older unless you have the right OTA box. same thing for cable- if you receive analog then a s-2 is fine, if digital you will need a converter box to get an analog signal.

    Using these kinds of boxes allows use of only one tuner.

    A used series 3 or HD unit would be easier and not need another box for OTA and could use both tuners.

    2- ??

    3- You buy it and have the lifetime put into your name by a TiVo csr. Not sure if that can be done online....

    4- I don't think so- if they don't pay the guide data just goes away and the TiVo becomes a brick.

    5- Read through this site- seach out your questions, and figure out if you need a digital version or can handle an old analog unit.
  3. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    I'm not quite sure what you mean. Most, but not all, CATV lineups still have analog channels. Some do not. HD is always digital, while SD can be either analog or digital.

    Is your CATV provider a reasonably large franchise system, or is it just a campus-wide, internal provider? If the latter, Tribune Media may not have any interaction with your proovider, in which case using a Tivo of any sort is going to be problematical.

    With a USB Ethernet adapter, an S2 can communicate over the internet. S3 and above all have Ethernet ports built in. Note if your campus environment has a brain-dead proxy firewall, neither may work.

    I would say an S3 or else a THD, preferably with lifetime service.

    As with any other used item, it might be dead or dying. They might send you a brick and leave town.

    You won;t have to pay a monthly subscription fee. If you get a second unit, you will qualify for a Multi-System Discount on either monthly service or a lifetime subscription. If you upgrade, Tivo may allow you to transfer the lifetime sub to your new Tivo for a fee smaller than full lifetime service.


    You need to do a little more research on the nature of your CATV and Ethernet service.

    An S2 might, but most models won't record two channels at once. No S2 can record digital signals directly. If your CATV provider drops analog service, you will need a set-top box to get your channels, and in that case, even a dual-tuner S2 will only be able to record one channel at a time. An S3 or newer is liable to meet your changing needs longer than an S2.
  4. neboo

    neboo New Member

    Aug 17, 2011
    Wow, I can't believe I did not mention my signal in the first place.

    The cable is actually an analog signal through Charter. If they switch to digital I do have a converter box that I got during the transition in 09 that I do not currently use.

    I am fairly certain that I can register the box with the school to use it on the ehternet. I figured out that the phone line by my tv actually works as well so I could use that as well.

    I've been talkin to my wife about it and she is pretty certain she wants a dual tuner, so I think my options are a little more limited because of that.

    Any idea what price range I'd be in for a used box with a lifetime on it already?
  5. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area


    Most any Tivo except for the old series 1, you would need a Tivo subscription to even record, you would also get guide and other features, otherwise the box will not function and all you could do is watch TV with a 1/2 hr buffer to play through. Service is separate and needed in addition to purchasing a Tivo.

    A Series 2 would need a digital converter box, which the Tivo controls to change channels on Over-the-Air channels, or a cable box for digital cable.

    A Series 3/HD or Premiere will be able to record 2 channels from the source of either cable or OTA at the same time. These do not use a cable box for digital cable, rather uses cable cards. There are 2 type of cards, single and multi stream. A multi stream lets the box access multiple streams of cable signal The Premiere will only accept 1 multi stream, Series 3 must use 2 cards no matter the type, HD use 1 Multi or 2 single stream.

    Subscriptions for the Premiere is different then for the older models, 19.99/month and its 12.95 for the older models.

    Lifetime subscription is solely on the life of the box and not the person whose name is on the account. If its sold, the lifetime goes with it.

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