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Basic help wanted for someone interested in TIVO

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by dUnKle, Jan 1, 2002.

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  1. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Im not a huge recorder of things off the TV but what with ENTERPRISE, BUFFY and ANGEL all coming too Sky 1 in the next few weeks im interested in getting a TIVO box to make sure I dont miss an episode.

    But have no idea what I need and how much it will cost !!

    How do I go about getting a TIVO box and then get in to record every episode of the above said programs ?

    I have a Nokia ITVDigital box.

    Also how easy is it to then transfer the programs onto tape ?
     
  2. MartinB

    MartinB
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    There are a couple of threads here http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/forumdisplay.php?forumid=14 discussing availability of TiVos from Martin Dawes and Powerhouse for £149/£199. You'll then need the subscription which is £10/month or £200 for the lifetime of the machine.
    To record every episode, you just set up a season pass for each series on each channel you want. This will record all of a programme on the channel selected, ie, setting up a season pass for Buffy on Sky1 will not record any from BBC2.
    As for dumping to tape, there is a Save to VCR option which gives you a countdown so you can start your VCR. This stops you accidentally interupting the playbck, but does mean you can't skip ads. However, normal playback puts the signal out to the VCR scart anyway.

    Martin.
     
  3. Milhouse

    Milhouse
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    First of all you need a TiVo - there is some discussion here about TiVo's being available for between £149 - £199 but generally they cost about £250.

    Once you have got your TiVo, you will plug your ITVDigital box into the TiVo via the AUX SCART connection and then the TiVo into your TV's SCART input. Having done this you will then begin the guided setup which identifies your region (via postcode) and downloads over the telephone the relevant Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). This will take about 3 - 4 hours as the EPG will need to be indexed and there will be a lot of channels. Also, within the first day or two you will automatically download v1.5.2 software which fixes a number bugs in the shipping v1.5.1.

    The TiVo will control (ie. change channels on) the ITVDigital box by using either the IR emitter on the front of the TiVo or alternatively using the supplied wired IR emitters so that you can place the ITVDigital box out of sight if you prefer. The guided setup will take you through the IR configuration and you will choose from several possible codes before deciding which works best with your Nokia box. For basic TV viewing you should no longer require your Nokia remote control, instead use only the TiVo remote.

    To continue using your TiVo after initial setup you will have to sign up for either the £10 monthly or £200 lifetime (of unit) subscription - call TiVo customer services to arrange this. If you do not subscribe, fairly soon your TiVo will offer only very limited functionality. I would suggest leaving your TiVo permanently connected to a telephone socket since it will dial out each day (to a freephone number) to download up to date EPG and any available software upgrades. You can if your prefer connect once every 2 weeks (this is how long the TiVo keeps information for) and force a call manually but you will miss out on daily updates.

    Once everything is all set up, recording programmes is a piece of cake. Find the programme in the on screen guide or by searching the channel or by searching by name. Having found the programme, select it and with one more button press you can choose to make a one-off recording or alternatively setup a "Season Pass" which will record all occurences of the programme no matter what time they are on (as the EPG is updated with new programme times so will the season passes).

    I too never bothered recording programmes onto my VCR - I must have recorded about a dozen programmes in as many years. Now with TiVo I'm recording stuff all the time!

    There is a built in facility to dump programmes to VCR from the TiVo - connect your VCR to the VCR SCART socket on the back of the TiVo and for each programme select the "Save to VCR" option... this will display a short lead in and programme synopsis before playing the programme to the VCR (which should now be recording).

    This link will give you a feel for new features that are coming in the next version (v2.5) of the software that is currently undergoing Beta in the UK and will hopefully be available (automatically downloaded to all subscribed owners) within the next 2 - 3 months (this is my timeframe, TiVo are not stating when it will be available). Note that these images are from a dual-tuner TiVo (DirectTiVo) which is not available in this country (only in the States where the new software is already available) so dual record functionality will not be available on the version released here :(
     
  4. RoyT

    RoyT
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    Just to pick out a couple of comments, Milhouse, you said that the dual tuner Tivo is available in the states.. is this functionality based purely upon the software or is a new box required when/if we get it over here?

    The £200 lifetime subscription - once you've paid this , do you think there is any risk of there being some kind of "we've released new functions, therefore we need an additional £xx to increase your sub"?

    I guess the advice you gave about the ITV box is the same as you woudl do for a Sky Digibox?

    Thanks, you guys obviously have gottent o grips with this well, I'm a bit put off as it sounds like hard work but I am also tempted to bag me one ;)
     
  5. Milhouse

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    No, this functionality is based on hardware - the UK (and also "normal" US) TiVo's have only one MPEG decoder (effectively it's tuner) so are only able to record from one source. The DirectTiVo's are sold as part of a deal with a major US satellite broadcaster (DirecTV) which sells TiVo's with dual tuners - these are almost identical to Sky+ in that you need two satellite feeds etc. although of course you get the TiVo goodies you don't get with Sky+ :) Should TiVo ever release a dual tuner unit in this country it will require new hardware :(

    I very much doubt this will happen, I'm not sure of the legal position but if TiVo ever tried this I think they would be on very dodgey ground not to mention generating a huge amount of bad publicity. To be honest the lifetime sub is really a means of generating money up front while TiVo is establishing itself - it's unlikely to offer lifetime subs forever, Sky don't with Sky+.

    Yup, anything with a SCART output will work as I described the OnDigital box. The TiVo also has an RF input for analogue cable and analogue terestrial. In some cases it is possible for the TiVo to use both (still with the understanding it only has one decoder so can only record from one source at a time!)

    Hard work? No way! Once it's all set up (which admittedly takes a few hours but most of this is waiting for the indexing to finish - the button pushing [on the remote] is about 20 minutes of guided screens with full instructions, and the manual is quite good) you'll take a few days to aclimatise to your new way of watching TV but after this you'll wonder how you got by without it... trust me! :)

    Then of course, once you have one you can upgrade the hard disks to much bigger capacity allowing you to record even more... hmm, maybe leave that till later! :D
     

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