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tivo woes
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My Tivo abruptly decided tonight to stop the video and go audio only. I have no idea if the video is still recording or not since I cannot see anything. I have thoroughly troubleshooted my entire system in the past 2 hours and the DVD signal to TV works fine, so it's not the internal video bus of the receiver nor the connection from the receiver to the ancient TV I keep expecting to break any day now. So, I pulled out my friends' old DirecTivo from my garage, hoping at least I had a backup, which seems to work fine video, audio & full signal from both satellite channels, even triple the recording space as mine, plus it's been hacked with an ethernet cable sticking out of the bottom, but putting my access card into it didn't give me any service so I called.

In March DirecTV had no issue activating a friend's old equipment as an additional receiver with the access card already in the equipment, but tonight they refuse to activate previously-owned access cards and insist on sending me a new one that may or may not work in the old equipment, which I must wait even to order until after 6am from another department...and that will take 5-10 days to receive. Once things get working again, I will bitch for a refund for the time my service was completely unusable to me since I CANNOT SEE IT.

Before anyone volunteers purchasing assistance, no, I don't want to spend the money on upgrading right now since I would need to get new everything. I won't be buying a new DVR without investing in HD which would also require me getting a new TV for sure. After the October from Hell Visa bill I just paid, I am nowhere near ready for that kind of luxury expense right now. I have also been hoping that by the time I am forced to go HD, DirecTV will have reconciled with Tivo, even though I hear that's a long shot. I've had first hand experience this weekend with my parents new DirecTV DVR and it totally sucks compared to real Tivo.

At least the weekend went well and I had watched all the main shows I had recorded from last week. No Chuck or Heroes for me tomorrow since I'm at choir rehearsal, and I don't even know what else was going to be new this week for the rest of my shows. Extra irony is that I saved a bunch of living room Christmas decorating like putting lights on my tree & ironing new curtains & tablecloths for later in the week when I could be watching TV at the same time... *sigh*

Edit: The daytime people know more obviously, since after finally getting through and getting transferred to the access card department, they say I should be able to link my access card to the replacement equipment by model# & serial#, which I asked last night and was denied. So they put notes in my account and I will call & try that after rehearsal tonight. Still no Chuck or Heroes for me since I'll get home too late, but hopefully I'll be okay the rest of the week...wish me luck!
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Did you try transfering one of the audio-only files to the computer to see if the tivo is actually recording video. That would confirm if it is the connection between the tivo/tv (which you probably could fix with a new cable) or the tivo itself. Sure you already thought of that since you're more tech-savy than me, but worth a try. I know I'd be freaking if my tivo went down....

Unfortunately I have no network connection since mine is a Series 1 Tivo, no USB or anything. I never spent the money to hack mine to add the network capability. Since I've used the same connection cables with my friends' Tivo unit which shows video & audio fine on my system, it has to be my Tivo unit itself. It might be recording video but it's not outputting any video signal anymore even through a known-good cable.

Yeah it sucks, but nowhere near the October from Hell quality of suckage, so at least that's something. :)

Yeah its amazing what one or a few bad months will do to put things in perspective. But still don't mess with my TiVo......

Brother is saying the exact same thing about the Direct TV DVR. He's trying to be diplomatic about it, explaining all the things that are wrong about it, but he says it's miles inferior to Tivo.

I'm recording Chuck and Heroes tonight, and my TiVo has a DVD burner so I'll burn them to DVD for you.

-Nat

Thanks so much Nat! Can you bring them Sunday to the concert? Thankfully the newest plan worked so now tonight I have service back up & viewable...sure wish they knew last night that I was asking the right questions and they just had the wrong answers for me... :)

I don't have TiVo (*gasp*), and I've gotten pretty bad at setting the timer on the recorder. However, nbc.com has lots of shows you can watch online, including Chuck and Heroes, which is a tremendous help. I know it's not the same as the big screen, but it beats missing them altogether!

- fishgirl

In case you get ambitious, WeirdStuff Warehouse (and the place next-door that does free electronics recycling) had all sorts of dead TiVOs, WebTVs (!), PowerBook Duos (!!) and the like. Perhaps you could cobble together one out of two?

Or grab a cheap PC and roll your own MythBox and go subscription-free.

Is your series 1 Tivo a life time subscription or no? If it is, I'd hang on to it cuz you may/should be able to transfer the life time subscription to an HD Tivo in the future.

People bid up life time subscription tivos on Ebay all the time.

I hacked (upgraded) a series 2 Tivo back in January and was an electronics major in college, so if you would like me to take a minimally invasive try at reviving your Tivo, let me know. I was poking around on the web and you may have either a power supply problem or just need to have the cables reseated, who knows.

-Kevin C

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