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· Registered
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have about 8 TiVo series 2's that I have used as instant replay stations at my gym. They used to be very easy to set up as "Cable only" boxes and then I just plug a CCTV camera into it and then easily play, rewind, slow motion, and then just keep it on a delay. A few of my systems have crapped out so I purchased new ones and tired to set them up. In the past I used a phone line but now they have discontinued the phone service, so I tried the network and it wont go past the ZIP code input. I cannot find any zip code that will work, not even 00000. I'm hoping they have not changed it to where I cant set them up anymore as Instant replay like I used to do but Im worried they are. Any help with getting past setup would be great!

· Deadlines Amuse Me
194 Posts
I don't believe older TiVos, like your Series 2's, are able to go through Guided Setup anymore. I believe they nixed the ability to set up older TiVos some time ago.

· Registered
223 Posts
If the TiVo has lifetime, it should still work.

It is correct that month-to-month and other non-lifetime plans on older TiVos are no longer allowed. I believe this applies all the way up to Premiere/Series 4.

· Registered
3 Posts
I am running a pair of Series 2 devices that I bought from eBay earlier this year, January and March. Both of them have lifetime service. Was able to do guided set up multiple times after upgrading the hard drives.

· Registered
20 Posts
All of the Tivo Series 2 models from Pioneer, Toshiba and Humax for Lifetime have been archived and are available.

These models can have one of five types of hard drive image:

1. New In Box, never activated
2. Basic subscription, activated
3. Month to Month subscription
4. Lifetime subscription, dialup
5. Lifetime subscription, ethernet enabled

The New in Box versions, cannot be activated. They can only be used for parts now.

Basic subscription, activated will still work, if the dialup image is replaced with an ethernet enabled image and it has an ethernet adapter attached.
Month to Month, activated will still work, if the dialup image is replaced with an ethernet enabled image and it has an ethernet adapter attached.
Lifetime subscription, activated will still work, if the dialup image is replaced with an ethernet enabled image and it has an ethernet adapter attached.

Its very difficult to simplify this complicated tree of information, you just have to sort your situation into the categories and figure out what applies to you.

Bottom line, (Never Ever) reset or wipe a Tivo, or attempt to change the Zipcode and trigger a clean setup.. that pathway will almost certainly "brick" the unit since there is no effective way to get out of that loop except to wipe the hard drive and apply a new image that isn't trashed by the attempt to complete the New Setup Wizard.

If you are (100 percent) certain your Tivo has an ethernet adapter and can complete 2 or 3 Successful connections to Tivo central over the Internet, and you have a complete hard drive image backup.. you can cautiously.. attempt a clean setup or zipcode change.. but be sure you have the hard drive backup.. because it can go south in a hurry.

The goal with any ('activated') Tivo is always to make sure it has the hard drive image that supports a number of Ethernet to USB adapters, so you can configure it to by-pass the dialup modem and contact Tivo over the Internet. Even the "Basic subscription, but activated" Basic mode Tivos need the Ethernet adapter.

You can get old Tivos Series 2 models that are New out of the box and never been activated.. there is nothing you can do for them if Tivo doesn't already have a record of them being activated.. Tivo will not activate new Tivo Series 2 models anymore.

Tivo does honor both Basic subscription and Monthly / Lifetime Subscription activated Tivo Series 2 models.. they work fine. But there is no dialup service to upgrade them, or to provide them with fresh program guide information. The Tivo service only works over the Internet now.

The most common (happy) situation, is someone finds a poor slightly abused (but activated) Tivo Series 2 model, and tries to connect it to the Internet. But its hard drive image is too old, and doesn't have Ethernet to USB adapter support.. then all you need is a a backup image from a Tivo Series 2 model the same brand and model and restore that to your hard drive, connect up an Ethernet to USB adapter and hook that up to your Internet connected network.. and it will boot and connect to Tivo Central and sort out its licensing status with Tivo.

Beware that some old Tivo Series 2 models were "de-activated" by their owners many years ago.. when Tivo offered a "trade-up" program. If the original owner did this Tivo (deleted) the activation of the motherboard from their roles.. and if it tries to contact Tivo Central the licensing status will be revealed to be de-activated. They won't re-activate it.. i'm not even sure if they have anyone on staff that would know how to re-activate a Series 2.. so it may not be their fault.

I have never been in that situation.. I think people who de-activated their Tivo Series 2 models mostly trashed them or sent them to the dump shortly after getting their Trade Up model and never tried to re-sell them. But from time to time.. such crippled models do still appear for sale. If your certain its one of these, it can still be salvaged for parts.

Its also (possible) to run across "someone elses" attempt at performing a reset or clean setup or zipcode change. You can't get passed the New Setup Wizard and might assume it was hopeless.. it never really is hopeless.. until you've replaced the hard drive image with one that lets you use an Ethernet to USB adapter and let the motherboard attempt to contact Tivo Central.. only after Tivo Central has talked to the motherboard and rendered a verdict.. as to if it has a motherboard activation.. or does not have a motherboard activation.. is the situation truly known.

Its truly remarkable these are still working and available.. and that Tivo does honor and support them with new EPG guide data.

They don't get much love these days.. but they have composite and s-video inputs and some have firewire inputs for camcorders. And if you like to burn DVD's and the drive still works you can do that too. They also share video between their models and the Tivo Series 3 via the network connection and can move video around from unit to unit.. or to PC and Mac's running Tivo Desktop or Toast. Video can be uploaded to them if you have a Tivo Desktop license.

This message was written from the date - June, 18, 2021
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