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Move to DirecTV Building

935 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ggieseke
Hi everyone,

I've been with TiVo for the last 4 years or so, and loving it. I'm currently using a TiVo HD with a HD upgrade I did myself, to 1GB, which has been absolutely fantastic.

Unfortunately, as I'm looking to move, it's very possible I end up moving into a building that is wired exclusively for DirecTV (with cable service included in my HOA fees). I'm wondering what my options are here, should the move happen, with respect to TiVo. For what it's worth, I *don't* have lifetime service (just month-to-month).

I've read a number of the existing threads, but everything seems to be from 2006-2008, so I wasn't sure what the latest information is.

From what I've heard, DirecTV no longer makes TiVo boxes, but you can buy old boxes in some capacity? Are these things I'd look for on eBay/Craigslist? If so, I've seen a lot of models listed, but what are the best ones, and what's the difference? Is it possible to buy one of these boxes and (like I did with my TiVo) upgrade my HD to get back to 1GB (128 hrs) of recording?

If I can't use and/or find an old box, meaning I need a normal DirecTV box of some sort, what are my options? Is there any good way to use TiVo with the box? As far as I know, cable cards aren't an option with DirecTV, and I had a previous experience (back in '07) having to use the IR Dongles in front of TiVo and it made TV watching fairly annoying -- I'd change channels on the TiVo, which would then send a signal to the cable box to change channels, so it would take a good amount of time to switch, and I'd often lose the beginning of recordings; if the dongles were knocked out of the way, TiVo would unknowingly record the wrong channel (not to mention if I use my Slingbox to change the TiVo via IR, which would then change the cable box via IR). I'd like to say that a pure DirectTV to TiVo via IR changing is not an option.

That said, I know that my TiVo came with some sort of Serial cable that I thought could be used to directly change channels, though I've never been able to/needed to figure out how to use it. Either way, do I lose the ability to have dual-tuner support if I want to use TiVo along with a non-TiVo DirecTV?

Lastly, and I know this isn't necessarily the right forum, but does anyone know if it's possible to upgrade DirecTV boxes (or if you own them yourself like TiVos or rent them like normal cable DVRs) ? And if so, does anyone know of a forum like this that might be able to help me?

I'm a little depressed at the prospect of having to give up TiVo, so any help anyone can provide would be *greatly* appreciated!

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DirectTV doesn't have a current box with TiVo software. They currently have their own DVR boxes, like most cable companies. I have not used one personally, so I can't speak to the quality of it.

Your current TiVo, or any other HD capable TiVo, will not work with DirecTV - they will only work with cable. This is because of the types of streams the boxes receive (MPEG2 vs MPEG4), as well as how they access the system you attach them to (i.e. CableCard vs Access Card).

The older TiVo DVRs for DirecTV won't be something you want. The original models are not HD, and the lone HD model isn't compatible with the newer satellites that transmit MPEG4. If you want to use an HD DVR on DirecTV today, their current boxes are really the only choice.

The good news is that DirecTV has gone back to TiVo and they're supposed to put out a new generation of true TiVo boxes that operate on DirecTV. The bad news is that they have been delayed time and time again. The exact launch date for these boxes is basically a moving target.

Hopefully this helps clarify things a bit for you.
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Thank you, that certainly cuts down on the options I have. Looks like, at least until they (theoretically) create the new DirecTiVo box, If I live there, I'll have to use their box and watch out the last of my recorded shows on my current TiVo.

Has anyone out there lived in a building where DirecTV is included (rather that one you've installed yourself)? I'm wondering if, when I (theoretically) get the DirecTiVo box, if I own or rent it (or if I have the option), and if I'd be able to upgrade the drive. I think the current HD DVR from DirecTV gets 40 hrs of recording, which just isn't all that much. Is it even possible (if I owned it) to upgrade a DirecTiVo HD?

Also, I'm a frequent user of the convenient Netflix integration into my TiVo, and I don't think DirecTV has that integration. Is it possible to connect my TiVo to my TV and just use it to watch the last of my shows (no new recordings) and connect to Netflix? Would think only work until my current service runs out, or do these features persist as long as you have the box and an internet connection?

Thanks again everyone!
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Do you know how they are providing DirecTV?

They could be offering SMATV, which is kind of like cable, as far as the residents go, in that cable ready tuners go. There may or may not be HD. A TiVo HD or similar should work with that.

They could be offering an MDU dish, which each unit gets one or two dish connections, and is responsible for their receiver and subscription, and possibly a dish maintenance fee. In that case, if you want HD, it might pay to forsake TiVo, and keep that for an antenna.
Hmm...I don't know. I can certainly ask, as I'll be there on Thursday. What in particular should I ask about? I know there are cable plugs in the wall, and it's a new building so I'm about 99.9% sure there'll be HD, or at least the option of it for $.

Are you suggesting that SMATV I could just plug my tivo into the cable outlet and it'll work? Or that they have cable cards?

I know that the cost of cable (at least basic package-wise, in some capacity) is included -- does that sound more like an MDU situation, in which I get some number of receivers from them? If that is the case, then, I'd just have to either wait for the new DirecTiVo and in the interim (or beyond), get a DirecTV HD DVR and keep my TiVo with an antenna.

Still wondering about the previous question -- if I have TiVo plugged into an antenna, obviously I can just get over-the-air channels while my subscription is still going (through February or so). The question is, after February, what good is my TiVo to me? Can I use it after my subscription has expired to watch Netflix streaming? Can I use it just as a standard basic DVR box with no channel listings (for example, to use PIP on my TV, using an RF modulator if necessary since I have to have coax in for my PIP)?

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If you let the subscription run out, the only thing it will do is play existing recordings and buffer 30 minutes of live TV.

My guess is that the system will be SMATV and your HD will work fine. If that's the case and since it's a new building there may not be a customized lineup yet. You can check by going to www.zap2it.com and entering the zip code. If there isn't one listed have your building contact TiVo.
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