TIVO to FTA?

Status
Please reply by conversation.
Skyscanner

Skyscanner

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 20, 2008
455
143
Sportsman's Paradise Northern Mi
A few weeks ago I ran across a TIVO box for sale. Am I correct in the assumpion that these are recording devices? If they are, are they adaptable to FTA? I didn't buy it because I know less about it than I do FTA, which isn't much. I didn't know if it has some kind of controlled access than only the major sat providers offer, or if it somehow might need to be authorized or card-controlled. If it willl work on FTA, would it need to be driven by a PVR-enabled receiver, or can it be installed between a regular FTA receiver and TV like the VCR I have? Any information would be helpful if I ever run across one again. Thanks,
Sky
 
M

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
312
59
Mankato, MN
TIVO Units need a subscription to work. The only ones that will work without a subscription are the Series I units. They usually have a lifetime sub. I learned that the hard way. I bought a Series II from a goodwill and couldn't get it past the "welcome" screen. It would just say "starting up" and wouldnt get past that

It can be hooked between the TV and the FTA box. They have an coax & a/v inputs
 
swampman

swampman

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 22, 2006
503
3
South Louisiana
I bought a Series II from a goodwill and couldn't get it past the "welcome" screen. It would just say "starting up" and wouldnt get past that

When it gets hung up on "Starting up", or "almost there" its usually a good sign of a bad hard drive. Something I also found out the hard way. :)
 
B.J.

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
TIVO Units need a subscription to work. The only ones that will work without a subscription are the Series I units. They usually have a lifetime sub. I learned that the hard way. I bought a Series II from a goodwill and couldn't get it past the "welcome" screen. It would just say "starting up" and wouldnt get past that

It can be hooked between the TV and the FTA box. They have an coax & a/v inputs

I have 3 of the series I TIVOs, none of which have a lifetime sub, and all work fine as a "dumb" VCR. They're only "dumb" with respect to not being able to give you the program guide, and functions that require the program guide. Actually, the Canadians figured out a way to import your own program guide into the thing, back when they weren't allowed to subscribe, but I never bothered to to try that.
I've been using mine for years, and for SD content, they are great. TIVO will still let the series I unsubscribed units log on and get channel lists, and set their clock, etc, and it's very easy to set up programming manually by time/channel, and actually that's more reliable than using the program guide anyway. Most people with subscribed units complain about things like NFL games being cut off at the end, when they go overtime, etc, or recording the wrong game. Doing it manually, I just added a half hour of recording, so I'd get everything if the game went long.

Anyway, series I are usable units, but if you want to use it with FTA, I'd get a standalone (SA) unit, and not one of the DTV/TIVO units that have a built in DirecTV, because the SA units have RCA A/V inputs. If you tell it that you have DTV or DN AND OTA, it will configure the upper channels to take input from the A/V, and the low channels to take input from the RF input, so you could conceivably have input from two different FTA boxes that way.

Also, if you buy a turbonet adapter from 9thtee, you can set up the TIVO to communicate with your computer via network, and you can download video to your computer and edit with a few different programs to create mpg files. You can also control the TIVO from your web browser. Adding the turbonet, and the various programs just mentioned require a bit of manipulation, usually involving pulling the HD, and mounting it in a computer while booting on a floppy or CD with a small version of Linux on it, but there are lots of directions on the web that makes it fairly easy to do if you are comfortable with changing hard drives and have even a slight knowledge of linux commands.
 
C

classicsat

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 28, 2009
195
0
Ontario, Canada
For the record:
Most Series 1s can manually record without a sub. It seems the change in policy was applied to manufacture around October 2001, where TiVos need a sub to record*.

*it seems sometimes a Series 2, when disconnected from its modem/network connection before it subscription is canceled, can sometimes retain the ability to manually record for some time, at least until it is allowed to call home again. BTW, amongst the honorable members of the couple TiVo boards I belong to, making a TiVo that ought to get service have subscribed features without subscription, is considered theft of the TiVo service, and there is no justification to do so.

Toshiba and Pioneer DVD combo units come with a free TiVo Basic level of service, but can optionally be subbed to the full service.

All Series 1/2 Standalones can manually work with most FTA receivers. TiVo doesn't have IR codes for most, if any FTA receivers. You can hack in IR codes for your FTA receiver, if you know how.

I have a Series 2 primarily set up for my pay satellite service, but has a fake cable lineup I use to manually record from my FTA box on the RF in.

DirecTV TiVos cannot be hacked to do FTA, or at least nobody has tried that I know of them.
 
B.J.

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
.....
BTW, amongst the honorable members of the couple TiVo boards I belong to, making a TiVo that ought to get service have subscribed features without subscription, is considered theft of the TiVo service, and there is no justification to do so.
While I'd agree with it being theft of service if you're making the TIVO call TIVO to get program guide info, I don't agree with the wording with respect to "making a TiVo that ought to get service have subscribed features" *IF* that can be done without having the TIVO contact TIVO for the info. The best example of this is what the Canadians did. Ie from what I understand, they set up their own source of the programming info, and people just told their TIVO to call THAT number instead of the regular TIVO number, without any changes to their hardware.
Also, when it comes to the series I TIVOs, in my opinion, I guess it depends on how you define what you call "subscribed features", because those receivers were sold under the understanding that they would function as a dumb VCR without a subscription. To me anything you make those receivers do that doesn't involve having it fradulently getting programming info from TIVO, or changing the authorization status of the receiver somehow, should not be considered theft of service. Basically, I see the TIVO hardware and the TIVO service as two different things. If you buy the hardware, and can make it do something that a subscribed TIVO does, I don't see a problem with that. The problem come into play when you try to get the hardware utilize the TIVO service to perform that function. But that's just my opinion. Back when I used to read all the TIVO forums, there used to be several hacks that the TIVO company seemed to approve of and had no problem with, such as upgrading your hard drive to larger size, and adding TIVONET/TURBONET, and installing 3rd party tivoweb and other software. But for some reason, which I never quite understood, TIVO apparently did NOT approve of 3rd party software that would allow you to extract videos from the TIVO down to your computer. Perhaps they were afraid that they would be sued by the movie producers, but I really don't understand that, because the downloaded copies are hardly different from what you'd get by connecting a good VCR or DVD recorder to the TIVO, so I'm not quite sure why they were so sensitive about that. But apparently that sensitivity resulted in there being TIVO groups that discussed extracting videos and other TIVO groups that prohibited this discussion. But the groups I read didn't discuss anything about fradulently obtaining the TIVO service.

All Series 1/2 Standalones can manually work with most FTA receivers. TiVo doesn't have IR codes for most, if any FTA receivers. You can hack in IR codes for your FTA receiver, if you know how.

....

I think it is too complicated to even bother trying to get any FTA or 4DTV or analog receiver to be controlled by a TIVO. There are just too many variables involved. However the series I SA TIVOs work great in terms of recording whatever is coming in through the A/V inputs. I just tell it to record on any DTV channel, and it will record whatever is coming in over the A/V inputs, whether the the DTV is connected or not. Only problems with that are that I end up with a bunch of recordings that might be from some sat channel showing up as being on CNN or whatever channel I've left the TIVO on. Also, you have to control your FTA receiver separately, ie put it on the proper channel at the right time, or use the programming features on the FTA receiver to automatically take the receiver to that channel, then set up the TIVO to record at the proper time. Slightly more effort to set up 2 boxes to schedule a recording, but not much of a problem. I used to do this a lot before I got spoiled by all the HD stuff. I don't watch all that much SD content anymore, so I don't use my TIVO as much as I used to. It's too bad that the new HD TIVOs don't have any way to function with generic HD content, such as .TS streams from satellite. I think if they could do that, I'd think about buying a new one.
 
Corrado

Corrado

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2007
2,411
291
Hudson Valley Region, NY
I noticed the screen shots that some ebay sellers put up state "lifetime service" in the Tivo acct status field and others state "not setup". So for a series 1 model, it doesn't matter?
 
C

classicsat

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 28, 2009
195
0
Ontario, Canada
While I'd agree with it being theft of service if you're making the TIVO call TIVO to get program guide info, I don't agree with the wording with respect to "making a TiVo that ought to get service have subscribed features" *IF* that can be done without having the TIVO contact TIVO for the info.
That is beside the point. The point is, on most models and software versions, a certain set of software features require subscription to enable. The way current versions of the Series 2 and 3 software is written is that you obtain service keys from TiVo, which enable the features of the TiVo software. I should mention the terms-of-use of the TiVo software, which make it clear some features require subscription.
The best example of this is what the Canadians did. Ie from what I understand, they set up their own source of the programming info, and people just told their TIVO to call THAT number instead of the regular TIVO number, without any changes to their hardware.
Actually no. Users of that system had to revert to an older version of the sofware on a Series 2, or use a Series 1. That "system" existed because TiVo never sold service in Canada when it was created. When TiVo officially sold service to Canadians, a lot of users of the "system" switched to the real TiVo service.
Also, when it comes to the series I TIVOs, in my opinion, I guess it depends on how you define what you call "subscribed features", because those receivers were sold under the understanding that they would function as a dumb VCR without a subscription.
True, but that mode of operation did not make enough money for TiVo, so they changed the policy on newer units to require subscription for any recording feature.
To me anything you make those receivers do that doesn't involve having it fradulently getting programming info from TIVO, or changing the authorization status of the receiver somehow, should not be considered theft of service. Basically, I see the TIVO hardware and the TIVO service as two different things. If you buy the hardware, and can make it do something that a subscribed TIVO does, I don't see a problem with that. The problem come into play when you try to get the hardware utilize the TIVO service to perform that function. But that's just my opinion.
You are forgetting the TiVo software, which comes with a terms of use license whose terms state it requires subscription to do much of anything. You need to change the authorization status of the TiVo to use the features, either by patching the software, or by faking the TiVo service, and since that would deprive TiVo of the subscription revenue, it is considered "Theft of service" If you can make the TiVo hardware work without the TiVo software (and therefore its subscription requirement) at all, all the better for you, but I haven't heard of any non-TiVo DVR software to run on TiVo hardware. If you think your rights should be otherwise, complain to TiVo to change the TOS and software (which they are likely not to do, since the Series 2 platform is practically dead for further development).
Back when I used to read all the TIVO forums, there used to be several hacks that the TIVO company seemed to approve of and had no problem with, such as upgrading your hard drive to larger size, and adding TIVONET/TURBONET, and installing 3rd party tivoweb and other software.
Most of those mods never took anything away from TiVo Inc.
But for some reason, which I never quite understood, TIVO apparently did NOT approve of 3rd party software that would allow you to extract videos from the TIVO down to your computer. Perhaps they were afraid that they would be sued by the movie producers, but I really don't understand that, because the downloaded copies are hardly different from what you'd get by connecting a good VCR or DVD recorder to the TIVO, so I'm not quite sure why they were so sensitive about that.
Actually, it wasn't TiVo, it was the tivocommunity forum with that rule. In exchange for Tivo's support and participation, they would have that rule. As for why, likely because it was too easy to have what at the time would be nearly perfect copies, which is what could put TiVo in hot water with the studios et al.
But apparently that sensitivity resulted in there being TIVO groups that discussed extracting videos and other TIVO groups that prohibited this discussion. But the groups I read didn't discuss anything about fradulently obtaining the TIVO service.
They respected the TiVo service and had rules banning how-to disussions. Any discussion basically turned into a why/not thread.
I think it is too complicated to even bother trying to get any FTA or 4DTV or analog receiver to be controlled by a TIVO. There are just too many variables involved. However the series I SA TIVOs work great in terms of recording whatever is coming in through the A/V inputs. I just tell it to record on any DTV channel, and it will record whatever is coming in over the A/V inputs, whether the the DTV is connected or not. Only problems with that are that I end up with a bunch of recordings that might be from some sat channel showing up as being on CNN or whatever channel I've left the TIVO on. Also, you have to control your FTA receiver separately, ie put it on the proper channel at the right time, or use the programming features on the FTA receiver to automatically take the receiver to that channel, then set up the TIVO to record at the proper time. Slightly more effort to set up 2 boxes to schedule a recording, but not much of a problem.
That is basically how I use my TiVo (Series 2 with PL serivice) with FTA, although mine is set up primarily for a very existant pay satellite TV service (Shaw Direct/StarChoice), and a non existant cable TV service (Rogers Toronto), which I originally had set up becasue they have NASA on their digital lineup, so I could use it with a Dish receiver set on NASA TV, which I traded for an FTA receiver. I use the NASA channel on that cable lineup as a gateway for my FTA receiver to record it. I manually set channnels on the FTA receiver as needed, and also have it directly connected to an A/V in on the TV.
I used to do this a lot before I got spoiled by all the HD stuff. I don't watch all that much SD content anymore, so I don't use my TIVO as much as I used to. It's too bad that the new HD TIVOs don't have any way to function with generic HD content, such as .TS streams from satellite. I think if they could do that, I'd think about buying a new one.

I watch SD from TIVo quite a bit. FTA I usually just watch/listen to on weekends.
 
C

classicsat

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 28, 2009
195
0
Ontario, Canada
So long as it is a Philips Series 1, you are fine. Most Sonys should be okay, just make sure the manufacture date is before October 2001.
 
B.J.

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
That is beside the point. The point is, on most models and software versions, a certain set of software features require subscription to enable. The way current versions of the Series 2 and 3 software is written is that you obtain service keys from TiVo, which enable the features of the TiVo software. I should mention the terms-of-use of the TiVo software, which make it clear some features require subscription.
Everything I wrote about pertained to Series I SA units. I don't see anything like what you describe in the terms of service for the Series I, in fact it says that terms of service pertains to once you activate the TIVO service, and doesn't mention what you do with the hardware if you don't use the TIVO service. And despite the fact that they claim ownership of the software, the manual admits that the OS is linux based, and theoretically any software that uses the linux routines, which this clearly does, is supposed to be open source. They go on to state that anyone can have the source code if you pay for shipping. To me this tells me they were OK with whatever you do with the hardware, that they were really selling the "service". Again, this is Series I I'm referring to. Things changed with the later versions.
Actually no. Users of that system had to revert to an older version of the sofware on a Series 2, or use a Series 1.
Again, I'm talking Series I, and the Canadian thing was just an example of getting the full functionality of the TIVO legally without hacking the TIVO and without using the TIVO service. I agree that once TIVO started selling the service there, that what they did wasn't necessary, and they then used the TIVO service.
True, but that mode of operation did not make enough money for TiVo, so they changed the policy on newer units to require subscription for any recording feature.
I agree, although, I'd bet that it was the plan all along, ie people were likely to be reluctant to buy a unit that wouldn't be good for anything without paying for service, unless they knew what it could do, so they gave people a taste of what the TIVO can do by selling them a unit that at a minimum would perform as a digital VCR, then once it became popular, they limited the functionality without the service.
You are forgetting the TiVo software, which comes with a terms of use license whose terms state it requires subscription to do much of anything.
Again, not true of the Series I, and Series I has terms of service that begins when you subscribe it. No mention of terms of use, except for use of the service, not use of the hardware.
I watch SD from TIVo quite a bit. FTA I usually just watch/listen to on weekends.

I pretty much just use my TIVOs for recording off my DirecTV now. All the SD and HD OTA and FTA stuff I can record much better directly to my computer without going through analog and back to digital and back to analog. I mainly use it for a few programs that I can't get off OTA digital or FTA digital.
Speaking of analog-->digital-->analog, etc,etc. One of the fun things I tried once is to put a switch on the input of my TIVO, where one switch input was real video from satellite, and the other input was the output of the TIVO. That was really neat. When I flipped the switch, the input would be a couple seconds of delayed video just prior to flipping the switch, that would repeat over and over. I did this to see how much degradation resulted from each A/D/A cycle. Turned out that I hardly noticed any degradation up to about 8-10 cycles, but by the time you got to 20 cycles, you couldn't even recognize the original video. Everything was just a big blur.
Anyway, I really love my TIVOs. I really wish that they had a version that was capable of working with a HD FTA receiver, either via the component or HDMI signals, but I guess their new ones only work with digital cable.
 
B.J.

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
I noticed the screen shots that some ebay sellers put up state "lifetime service" in the Tivo acct status field and others state "not setup". So for a series 1 model, it doesn't matter?

Lifetime "service" means that it can forever connect to the TIVO service and download programming guide info, and perform the functions that require the programming info. Not set up could mean that either it's a TIVO that has never been subscribed and never ever contacted the TIVO service, or it could be a used TIVO that had been set up, but that later had the original disk image put back. But in either case, I would think that a not set up series I TIVO could perform as a dumb VCR, but not perform functions that require a subscription.

Relative to the not setup thing, when people sell TIVOs that have had their original hard disk image put back on them, when booting them up, they appear to have never been set up, however upon connecting to the TIVO service, they are immediately recognized as NOT being virgin TIVOs. The only difference is that it used to be that a brand new, never used TIVO, would act like a subscribed TIVO for a short period, something like a week or two, just as an advertising gimick, and after that, it would revert to being a dumb VCR (BTW, when I say dumb vcr, they are actually smarter than any VCR I've ever seen, just dummer than a subscribed TIVO). It may be that TIVO doesn't honor the free initial service thing anymore for the old series I TIVOs, but I think it's more likely that people are selling used TIVOs as new.
For all my TIVOs, as soon as I got them, I pulled the hard drives, and made a copy, so that once the hard drive died, I could put in a new hard drive on which I had placed the original firmware back on. I think most of my TIVOs are on their 3rd hard drive by now, because running constantly is pretty hard on them.
But it wouldn't have been as easy to replace the hard drives if it weren't for the TIVO people allowing us to download channel lists free, even if not subscribed. Ie each time I put a new hard drive in the computer, I end up connecting to TIVO to get the up to date channel list for my area. They didn't have to allow us to do that.
 
A

adm22

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 17, 2008
42
0
There are also Tivo like devices that are hard to find, that are better than a Tivo since they do not require any subscription and they will work with a FTA or 4DTV sat receiver.

These things are very hard to find. The one model you can sometimes find currently is the Magnavox 2160A- It has a 160GB hard drive, it also has an ATSC SD tuner and a DVD unit that allows you to dub shows from the HD (which can have the unwanted programming material edited out) to a DVD.

I have had a si,milar unit from the same manufactuerer with a Phillips name plate for several years. just bought one of the Magnavox ones for myslef and another for my girlfriend. Git the pair for just under $400 from Southesat Sales you can contact Ron there at 229 803-0757
 
M

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
312
59
Mankato, MN
I've got 3 DVD recorder/Hard drives from Radio Shack that are like that adm22. Accurian models
Also have a Poloroid unit like that but it doesnt have the ASTC tuner (the old NTSC one)
 
Corrado

Corrado

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 2, 2007
2,411
291
Hudson Valley Region, NY
I have a Phillips PVR unit with 160 gig HD, DVD recorder and has ASTC tuner. I got mine for $169 on the discount shelf at Sam's Club. It works great.

I never see these machines new anymore. The used ones on ebay sell for more than mine cost new.
 
B.J.

B.J.

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 15, 2008
2,029
1
Western Maine
There are also Tivo like devices that are hard to find, that are better than a Tivo since they do not require any subscription and they will work with a FTA or 4DTV sat receiver.

These things are very hard to find. The one model you can sometimes find currently is the Magnavox 2160A- It has a 160GB hard drive, it also has an ATSC SD tuner and a DVD unit that allows you to dub shows from the HD (which can have the unwanted programming material edited out) to a DVD.

I have had a si,milar unit from the same manufactuerer with a Phillips name plate for several years. just bought one of the Magnavox ones for myslef and another for my girlfriend. Git the pair for just under $400 from Southesat Sales you can contact Ron there at 229 803-0757
Shortly after I bought my first TIVO, RCA started selling a TIVO-like device. I think it was a DRS7000. It had a moderately sized HD, and it had better picture quality than the TIVO, and somehow (I can't remember how), it got programming info off air (this was back in the analog days), so it didn't need a subscription. It had SVID and A/V I/O, and component and digital out, and also had a DVD player built in. It all sounded great, but you couldn't upgrade the hard drives, and couldn't hack it to connect to networks, or put in 3rd party software. So even though it worked better than the TIVO for recording, I quickly stopped using it. It's still sitting in my junk pile. Now it's probably 98% useless, since it was analog and SD only, however I guess it could connect to the analog outputs of a SD FTA box.
Anyway I guess this was a bit off topic, but the mention of TIVO like devices reminded me of the thing.
 
C

classicsat

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 28, 2009
195
0
Ontario, Canada
More notes on TiVo: The Linux parts of the operating system are open source. You can even download open source code. However the TiVo application is closed source and proprietary to them, as is any modules relating to Broadcom hardware. The hardware is also closed source, so there is no practical way to use TiVo hardware as a DVR without using TiVo software. Yes, for the pre-change Series ones, the TOS is different and allows manual recording without subscription. I was just making it clear that that isn't general to all TiVos, that post "change" ones basically need a subscription to work. Lifetime can be two things, at least according to some sellers. The first is "Lifetime Basic", which is the no-cost Basic level of service on Toshiba and Pioneer branded DVD combo units. Really, they should not be marketed as such, because it can be confused with real Product Lifetime, which is the lifetime service all TiVos can get (called Lifetime Plus on Toshiba/Pioneers). The Canadian thing was quasi-legal because at the time TiVo wasn't (yet) selling service to Canadians. It became quasi-illegal (as illegal as violating TiVo's TOS would be), in September 2005 when TiVo launched 7.2 software that had Canadian postal code entry and welcomed Canadian subscriptions (and at the same time required one year service commitment).
 
Status
Please reply by conversation.

Similar threads

airgator96
  • Locked
Replies
2
Views
1K
scottc98
scottc98
L
Replies
2
Views
5K
Mr Tony
M
R
Replies
3
Views
3K
SatelliteAV
SatelliteAV
P
Replies
1
Views
1K
SatelliteAV
SatelliteAV

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Latest posts

Top