Hello I am thinking about getting the tivo series 2 and using it instead of my cable box. I spoke with tivo and optimum and they say it will work if i have basic cable all i have to do is connect the coax cable. I just want to know if i just get series 2 with out acticating it will it still work? I heard when its not activated there is a message on the bottom that says activate tivo. Is this true or is it true if you have phone line plugged in?
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A tivo without a subscription is an expensive paperweight!
Tivo will not work without a sub. Well let me amend that. It may work for about a month then the only functions that will work will be the 30 minute buffer. No recording , season pass etc.
If you want tivo functionality you will have to pay for it.
The old series one tivos did work as a basic dvr without subscription i.e. manual recording is available. You could probably find one of them on ebay for not a lot of cash.
Agreed, there were also some SD Tivos (Humax I think??) that included a DVD burner and a basic version of Tivo's software. They also included the free version of guide service. A series 2 definitely requires a sub. and why bother with a Series 2, for $199 you can find a Tivo HD and the sub. will be the same price.
Where did you find the hd for $199? Cheapest I've found is $240 on amazon. I know tivo offered some refurbs a month ago for that price but I didn't have the cash.
Sears had the new Tivo HD going for $199 for several months, maybe longer. Not many have them left though. I also think Tivo themselves had a $199 deal, although that may have been a referb.
Originally Posted by freebird73717
So you're just wanting to use the Tivo as a tuner and not a recorder?
yes for now. just want to know if cable channels will appear? I have basic cable no premium channels like hbo starz etc...
Don't know the answer to that. Unless jjeff has the answer try asking at the tivo forums.
No, I was hoping maybe you would. I would agree to try Tivocommunity.
There are other considerations beyond whether you need a a TiVo subscription or not.
First, does your cableco provide analog service directly within its system or has it converted to an all-digital system requiring even basic cable subscribers to have a STB to both tune and convert the digital signals to analog?
If your provider provides analog basic cable service directly, any cable-ready TV with an NTSC (analog) tuner should be able to tune basic cable, no STB required. That includes just about all TVs made since the 1980's. Under those circumstances only way you would need an STB is for a tunerless TV or tunerless recording device.
If your provider has an all-digital system, you can't use a Series 2 TiVo as a substitute for their STB. Series 2 TiVos only have analog tuner and don't accept cable cards. As far as I could find out only the TivoHD or Series 3 models have QAM tuners, or accept cable cards.
While basic cable offerings are often carried in clear QAM within a digital cable system, they don't necessarily have to be carried that way. Cable cards are needed for the channels not available in clear QAM. There is often a monthly rental fee charged for cable cards needed to tune digital channels not carried in clear QAM, as well as an initial installation fee.
In addition, if you currently have VOD or Pay-Per-View capability through your cable box, you may loose it after switching to a TiVo. The information I could find online about VOD and Pay-Per-View service with a TiVo was inconclusive, but if it is possible, a cable card would be required for that too.
[Edit] I need to clarify something. Some Series 2 TiVos actually do include digital tuners as well as analog, but they're ATSC tuners -- only useful to antenna users, and no use at all for tuning digital cable channels.
I am using a Tivo HD without a subscription and have been doing so for 4 months without any issues. I use it to watch tv and to record programs by date and time (Tivo Central/Find Programs/Record by Date or Time). I see a brief nag screen every time I change the channel in lieu of the normal program information. I bought the unit used and connected it to the Tivo service on the previous owner's account one time to get it started (but I don't believe that was even necessary). I disconnected the phone line and NEVER connected it again as I am afraid that might disable the unit if it sees the account is no longer active. It's set up to record some programs every day and others once a week. It works like a charm, the only thing missing is the program information. It records 2 HD programs simultaneously. I have cable TV and am not using a set top box or a cable card.
If you can receive more than digital locals and a few miscellaneous channels, plus analog, with the TiVo HD and no cablecard or STB, consider yourself lucky, but it may not last. If you are a Comcast subscriber, it definitely won't last.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 8th Dec 2010 at 18:57. Reason: punctuation, clarity