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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been away from these boards for awhile so I've got behind the times with what Tivo now offers, I've been to their website and I'm still not sure what I need. Here's the deal, my son is moving to Madison, Wisconsin and he now needs a Tivo as we had Direct Tivos at our home. I also have a stand alone Series 2 with Lifetime that my mom is using but after using a DTivo with two tuners I don't think he would be happy with a single tuner plus I'm not even sure it would work in his situation.

I believe the 8-plex he's moving into uses Charter Communications as it's cable provider and included in the rental price is Expanded Basic Cable (2-77) which I assume is analog. He will add HBO which according to the cable companies website is digital. We come from a very, very small town so before we got Direct TV we had a local cable company that didn't have any digital channels nor did we have cable boxes so this is all greek to me.

With cable companies in bigger cities do you always have a cable box or just when you're receiving both analog and digital channels? Going to Tivo's website it appears my son needs either the Series 2DT ($100) or the HD ($300) but which does he need? Knowing nothing about cable cards will he have to get one?

I have more questions about subscription plans, etc. but maybe someone can help me decide what he needs first.
 

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Well, in general, if I were buying a new Tivo today, it would be the TivoHD box. That will essentially replace a cable box and get everything EXCEPT HBO without using CableCARD(s) and everything with them. (You can't use a cable box with the THD - no inputs)

You would need a cable box if you got the Series 2 DT - feed the output of the cable box into the S2DT inputs and split the cable (one feed to the DT, one to the cable box)

Obviously, there is a significant difference in the box cost, but the Tivo HD box is more future-proof than the S2DT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay can you explain some things:

1. Is the TivoHD based on Series 2 or 3?

2. Concerning cable boxes, you don't need them for analog channels but only for digital channels like HBO right? I guess what I'm trying to determine is since his rent includes expanded basic (analog channels) will there already be a cable box there or only if he adds HBO?

3. How do I go about getting cable cards, do I just call the cable company and say I need one? Do I need 1 or 2? And do you buy them or pay monthly?

4. If I buy the TivoHD will I need the cable company to be there or can I just hook it up?
 

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The TiVoHD is a Series 3 based unit.

Likely he will have to subscribe to digital cable separately, and obtain appropriate hardware to access the digital services.

You request Cablecard(s) when you subscribe to the digital service. You rent them usually. For now, for dual digital tuning, you need two S-cards for any HD TiVo, or one M-card for the TiVo HD (Dual Tuner Single M-card support for the Series 3 Classic is coming). Or you can get one Cablecard and opt for single tuner mode.

You can set up the TiVo to be ready for the cable tech to install the cablecards. Have it through GS and the latest software downloaded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Still trying to wrap my head around setting up the Tivo HD. I thought if you bought the HD model it eliminated the cable box and with the cable cards you were able to view both analog and digital signals, so what do you mean when you say "Likely he will have to subscribe to digital cable separately, and obtain appropriate hardware to access the digital services"? Is'nt the Tivo HD all I will need?

Do you have any idea what cable companies charge for cable cards monthly like a M-Card?
 

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Think "CableCARD = STBox"

For digital services you'd need either and HDTivo with CableCARDs or a S2DT with a STB.

Rental fees for CableCARDs vary from $2 to $5 depending on the provider.


Digital service plan/tier is somewhat separate from the hardware and includes all of the digital channels. Can you get HBO without all of the digitals?
 

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Makes no difference what his lineup is.

If he wants a subscription channel, he'd need at least one cable card.

The Series 3 TiVos do NOT mean you don't need cable cards or a cable box. It means you CAN use cable cards, and will need to if you have cable and want to get anything beyond unscrambled analog channels.

If your son has one standard card in his machine, only one tuner will get anything beyond unscrambled analog. I'd suggest two cards, or a single card that will work with both tuners (apparently called an "M" card).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I understand now that I need either one or two cable cards I was just trying to understand what classicsat meant when he said something about obtaining appropriate hardware to obtain digitals channels unless he was talking about the cable cards.
 

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mccoady said:
I was just trying to understand what classicsat meant when he said something about obtaining appropriate hardware to obtain digitals channels unless he was talking about the cable cards.
He meant either a STB if you choose the S2DT route or the CableCARDs if you choose the THD route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Got it! I'm still trying to decide the biggest difference between the DT and HD besides one being a series two and the other a series 3 plus what's best for my son. If you were never going to use the ability to record in HD and always used cable as your source, would you still recommend the HD over the DT?

Are there any bugs with the HD?

Is there any advantage to buying either the HD or DT from Tivo or just get it anywhere it happens to be on sale?
 

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Unless you are going to use the box with satellite service, I would always recommend a Tivo HD over a Series 2 box, whether you had an HD or set or not.

From your original post -
If your son doesn't get HBO, he won't need cable cards to get his channels, but he could if he wanted to get the digital versions.

If he does get HBO, he will need either a single MCard or two SCards.

I would get an HD at Circuit City or Best Buy if there is one nearby or you could get one here at the TCF store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay I'm going to order the HD then. What happens if in the future they offer (if they haven't already) a deal where you can transfer Lifetime from an older box to the HD Tivo is this something they usually offer to current owners or for only new purchases?

When I go online to activate it will I be able to get the MSD $6 discount if I sign up for 3 years, I have a series 2 with Lifetime?

If so then will I be billed $6.95 monthly or do you have the option of paying for 3 years at a time? And what happens at the end of of the 3 year contract?
 

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mccoady said:
What happens if in the future they offer (if they haven't already) a deal where you can transfer Lifetime from an older box to the HD Tivo is this something they usually offer to current owners or for only new purchases?
All the previous deals have been for new activations. You could transfer the current service contract from the Tivo HD to another box and transfer the lifetime to the Tivo HD (since it would no longer be activated), but if the offer is restricted to "previously unactivated boxes" that would not work.

When I go online to activate it will I be able to get the MSD $6 discount if I sign up for 3 years, I have a series 2 with Lifetime?
Yes. If you are signed into your Tivo account, the MSD rate should automatically be reflected. If you can't get any deals locally, you could always buy the box directly from Tivo.

And what happens at the end of of the 3 year contract?
Don't remember the current terms - check at tivo.com. I believe you move to month-to-month at the current rate unless you sign up for another contact (wouldn't have to be the same length).

If you are pretty sure you are going to have Tivo service on ANY box, best deal is to go with the three year term, since the service contract is freely transferable to any box you own on your account.
 

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make sure you can use cable cards at the complex. they might have some get one signal centrally and then pump it out to the units.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I hope this is not the case as I have decided to buy the HD. Who do I ask, the cable provider or the apt. manager?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Okay got the HD Tivo and hooked it up to my free dialup number at home and downloaded updates so it will be somewhat ready when I get to my son's apartment. The cable guy is coming Saturday to install cable, internet , phone service (not sure what he does as it has been enabled in the apt. before) and is bringing two cable cards:

1. I will have the Tivo hooked up to the tv when he gets there but will he have to hang around to install the cable cards until I first install the router and Tivo Adapter, or can I go ahead and install them both without having any internet service?

2. I understand after he installs the cable cards I have to run the Tivo Setup again, why do you have to do this again? And is this when I tell it I am using a wireless adapter because when I originally did this at home I used dialup?

3. It mentioned in the instructions that if you had Caller ID you had to add some Prefex which I didn't understand but is this mute if you are using the Tivo Adapter?

4. It also mentioned something about putting filters on your phone line if using DSL will the installer already know this or will I have to tell him?
 

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mccoady said:
3. It mentioned in the instructions that if you had Caller ID you had to add some Prefex which I didn't understand but is this mute if you are using the Tivo Adapter?

4. It also mentioned something about putting filters on your phone line if using DSL will the installer already know this or will I have to tell him?
3 and 4 are for using the dial up access only. You can ignore that for broadband connection
 

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mccoady said:
Okay got the HD Tivo and hooked it up to my free dialup number at home and downloaded updates so it will be somewhat ready when I get to my son's apartment. The cable guy is coming Saturday to install cable, internet , phone service (not sure what he does as it has been enabled in the apt. before) and is bringing two cable cards:

1. I will have the Tivo hooked up to the tv when he gets there but will he have to hang around to install the cable cards until I first install the router and Tivo Adapter, or can I go ahead and install them both without having any internet service?

2. I understand after he installs the cable cards I have to run the Tivo Setup again, why do you have to do this again? And is this when I tell it I am using a wireless adapter because when I originally did this at home I used dialup?
the cable or DSL modem will be a special one that also does the telephone part. Nothing special there save for being able to get your phones hooked up to it.

1. You can install the TiVo adpater at any time - it just wont find a connection of course until the wireless router is hooked up to a working cable or DSL modem

2. you are going from an analog only lineup to a digital lineup of channels. Rerunning Guided setup will let the TiVo make the switch to the digital lineup
 
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