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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been searching over the last week trying to find the answers I need to get my parents' TIVO up and running. Today, I will be driving 6 hours round trip to see if I can get a wireless network up and running so that they can download the program guide info. They activated their service with a lifetime agreement 25 days ago, so this is the last chance to get this working before they have can cancel their subscription if a solution is not found.

A little about their system... They have a series 2 Tivo with the model tcd540080. Their home has VOiP through a local cable company called Millineum (it is hooked up so all phone outlets that were already in the house prior to VOiP are live); tv programming is also through this company, though they do not have digital cable, just basic. Broadband is of the cable variety, also through Millineum. The computer they own is relatively old (runs on OS ME, not XP) and is located about 50 yards away from the room with the tivo (3 walls separate the computer f/ the tivo). On initial setup, we hooked up the tivo to the neighbors phone to get the latest software update (it is running 7.2.1 now). I worked great for a couple days, but it's program guide is now empty so it won't let it record off of the guide.

Although I know quite a bit about consumer electronics, my knowledge about computer networks is zilch. I think I need to get a network adaptor that is on the Tivo site. This adaptor, I think, requires me to buy a ethernet cable? Is a network adaptor a wireless router? Also, is it hard to install these things to my parents' computer or is it pretty much plug-and-play? and what about getting the other device that hooks up to the Tivo that gets the info from the LAN... is that the network adaptor? if yes, does this require me to get a specific wireless router? Do i need to buy a special cable to hook it up to the Tivo? And then what about security in creating this network; is one firewall program more appropriate/practical/effective than others?

I know all this has probably been covered elsewhere on this site, but I really have been trying to research this over the last week. I've been to the tivo site, the microsoft site, the linksys site, and a few others that have been a bit helpful but not enough to give the confidence I need to want to risk a 6 hour drive to find out i don't know what I'm doing. So I do apologize for "wasting" your time for redundant requests, but I just want to be sure I can do this right.

BTW - I have a dvr by dish network and this is what gave my parents the idea that they wanted a dvr also. their cable company does not offer one, and they have a bundled package for phone, broadband, and cable so they could not go to satelite. So i got them the tivo for x-mas and got them the lifetime membership. I talked to the Tivo customer service people and the rep told me that once we got 7.2.1 we could plug into VOiP to download the guide info. So much for that.... :mad: The rep even said that he recommended unhooking the tivo every week to take to the neighbor's house to update the guide info!! What a crock!!! So I'm coming to the conclusion that the tivo customer service reps don't really know what they are doing....
 

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I know nothing about VOIP other than it is causing many TiVo owners problems. For the network you need to go either wired or wireless, with the former much more reliable if feasible. Most wireless routers also have wired connections on the back for mixed applications. You will need a USB network adapter (either wireless or wired) to plug into the back of the Tivo. Some of these plug in directly, while others attach with a USB cord which allows for better positioning of the adapter to maximize signal strength. I think if I were in your situation I would buy at least one each wireless and wired adapter, enough cable to reach from router to tivo and take back whichever unit you do not end up using. If you have a Fry's, CompUSA, or some place similar they should be able to help you. Most places will not hassle you on these returns since a lot of people have network connection problems. One other advantage of wired connection is not having to worry about the security as the firewall in the router will take care of most potential threats. I would not depend on TiVo for any help at all regarding this, and if you cannot make it work do cancel the subscription.
 

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zzzoom6 said:
I talked to the Tivo customer service people and the rep told me that once we got 7.2.1 we could plug into VOiP to download the guide info. So much for that.... :mad: The rep even said that he recommended unhooking the tivo every week to take to the neighbor's house to update the guide info!! What a crock!!! So I'm coming to the conclusion that the tivo customer service reps don't really know what they are doing....
Some VoIP services are good enough for a modem to work, and some are marginal and work sometimes and for some people, so it would be hard for a CSR to say anything for sure. If you haven't already checked with the VoIP provider to see if they claim modems will work, that may be worthwhile. Sometimes they can fix it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips! I'm now at my parents' house and we've been trying to get this sorted out for the last few hours without success. So far we have got the wireless network working (we tested the network with one of their laptops and it is receiving signals from the router). However, we cannot get the $#@@[email protected]# tivo to recognize any of the network adaptors that we have tried. Yes, I have tried more than one! I went to Best Buy and CompUSA and bought three different ones.

the first one is the D-Link DWL-G122 (this one is on the list of models that the tivo site says should work).
the linksys wusb54g is another model.
and the last one we tried was the netgear wg111 v2 with a serial # that starts with 165.

i've tried restarting the tivo between changing network adaptors. i've tried unplugging the tivo and waiting a minute before plugging them in then adding power to the tivo. i've tried tapping my head while scratching my left elbow while singing the national anthem.

one other piece of info that may be of importance is that my parents' desktop does not have an ethernet plug. instead it used a usb plug from the cable modem. personally i did not think that this would matter...we just hooked up an ethernet cable from the VOiP box to the router and the wireless network was working. but we thought that maybe it was important for the computer to be hooked up directly from the router (maybe to download drivers or what have you) so we hooked up the laptop to the router, but still no luck. I'm about at my wits end here; i was about to make a sacrifice to the tivo gods, but my parents talked me out of it... anyone have any better ideas? and thanks again for your help...
 

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Hi,
First I want to say sorry for your trouble...
Second, about your adapters, Its all about the version number. The netgear wg111 v.2 is incompatable. The linksys one isn't on the site at all, and you have to check the version of the d-link one on the tivo site...
<sorry, too new to post links>
If your d-link is listed there, plug it in and see if any L.E.D.s light up on the adapter itself if it has any (most do).
If they do, leave the adapter pluged in and try restarting the tivo either in the on-screen menu, or by puling out the plug for 10 seconds and plugging it back in.
If it still doesn't recognize it and it is on the list of approved, it is most likely a defective adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I went into Best Buy, I brought my tivo approved adaptor list with me so I had a pretty good idea that the linksys one would not work (but since one of the routers my parents bought was a linsys, i thought that a similar brand might have a better chance). The netgear model was listed with a thumbs up but with a note saying only models that started with 165 (and a couple others) which the one i bought did. the d-link dwl-g122 is also on the list but there is one ok'd and one not depending on the version. unfortunately, the box, unit, or cd/instructions don't identify what i have.

as far as the lights are concerned... the netgear light does not come on when plugged into the tivo or laptop. but when plugged into the laptop, we can get the internet. even when we are 5 feet away from the tivo. so i know it's not a reception issue. same thing with the d-link. no lights, but laptop connects. i am willing to consider that these network adaptors are faulty, but does the fact that the laptop is getting a stronger signal with the usb adaptors than without make sense (i should mention that the dell laptop is wi-fi ready; it's just when we plug in the usb adaptors, the signal gets much stronger) i think next time i get my parents a gift, it will be a stuffed animal.

i have been reading a thread where some have suggested tweaking some settings in the control panel of their pc to make things work. at this point i'm willing to do most anything... I JUST WANT MY DAD TO BE ABLE TO WATCH THE SUPERBOWL IN 30 MINUTES!!!! (i did warn him that if he uses his tivo in this way, he won't see the wardrobe malfunctions of yesteryear....)
 

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Here's the list
http://customersupport.tivo.com/knowbase/root/public/tv2184.htm?
You may want to note that not all adapters on the list are compatable. Some are only compatible with certain Tivo models. Others are listed but not compatible with any Tivo at all.

The Netgear with a serial number that starts with 165 is on the list as not compatible with any Tivo.
There are two D-Link DWL-G122 models listed - version B1 is not compatible with any Tivo and version A2 is compatible with only certain model Tivos.
The Linksys isn't even on the list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i geuss that's that. i can't believe that it has been this hard to do. i geuss if i could find the right hardware, i would have a chance, but it's not like i haven't tried. i've been to three stores so far and i can't find anything on these lists. i really don't know what to do now. i think my dad could maybe finish this off, but if it doesn't work, he probably won't tell me. and by that time, i think the tivo is only 1/4 useful and i don't think they should keep it but it will be too late to return. in fact, i think it's too late to return the tivo unit itself, but i may be able to cancel the lifetime subscription. i'll make another stab at it tomorrow to find an approved adaptor, but after all this i'm feeling pretty discouraged. waste of time, gas, effort, hope, money, and a perfectly good weekend. anyways sorry to be so despondant, but as you can tell i'm a bit frustrated. thanks to all who responded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ok...dad has given up. doesn't want to drive me to fry's to look for a network adaptor even though i think this store is the best chance. he would rather buy the network adaptor online. i saw that Newegg has the Linksys wusb11 although the site does not specify which version is shipped. looks like some got ver 2.6 (which is compatible) while others got 4.0 (which is not). anybody know a reputable place to buy an adaptor that will work (don't want to wait for the tivo one to get back into stock which their website says March).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
one other question; do i have to have an analogue phone connection plugged into the tivo at the time that i plug in a compatible wireless adaptor?
 

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I thought wired network was an original possibility - did you give up on that? Fry's would certainly have some hardware you could use.

Makes no difference whether phone line is connected or not connected, but while trying to make the wireless work better to leave it disconnected.

It sounds to me like you are depending on the laptop to tell you the new network card is working, but it sounds to me like all that is working is the card installed in your Dell rather than the one you just plugged into the USB. If the new network adapter is working one light will stay lit and the other will blink when data is being sent or received. No lights means no connection via that adapter.

I have a Linksys WRT54G Series 2 wireless router and a Dlink DWL-G120 USB network adapter working fine with my TiVo on my network.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks funtoupgrade...the hardwiring idea was not received too well by dad. the idea of going into the crawspace after 30 days of rain did not sound fun...and if we kept the wire on the ground floor, it would snake through all the main hallways and across the path that goes to the front door. so wireless seems to be the method of choice. as far as running a phone cord to the VOiP, that was the first thing we tried. but it did not work. I think i remember hearing that someone was using an external modem between the VOiP connection and the tivo...but problem is that the phone connection that is reasonably close to the tivo has been cutting out from time to time. so i'm back to wireless. i've been to a couple more brick and mortar stores and not found anything in the way of approved network adaptors. any other ideas as to where to get one (the tivo unit is backordered for more than a month)?
 

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zzzoom6 said:
i've been to a couple more brick and mortar stores and not found anything in the way of approved network adaptors. any other ideas as to where to get one (the tivo unit is backordered for more than a month)?
ebay.
If your parents only have the one Tivo and only need to get guide data I'd stick with a "b" such as the LINKSYS WUSB11 v. 2.8 which is readily available on ebay.

Go here and do a title and description search for "Tivo" just to narrow the field.
 
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