Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tivo: Setup for Idiots and Tivo Series 2 DT Features

T ivo, Tivo...where to begin? I loved you one day, and hated you the next, then I loved you again, then I hated you...
I bought the Tivo Series 2 DT model (dual tuner) at the official Tivo website, thinking that spending more would mean better service. Boy was I wrong. (I'll get into that later).
My Tivo came neatly packed in a standard ups box, and inside of that box was the official Tivo box, and inside of that box.. was the Tivo box. Yeah the one you plug in.
Anyways, I figured life would be simple; I mean they make it look so simple online and on TV. Just plug it in, and you're ready to experience TV like never before...or some cheap marketing slogan like that.
Anyways, I plugged mine in, and...and...a dud. The thing fizzed out in less that 24 hours, and after spending 3 hours on the phone with a service technician I finally got the approval, that my box was a lemon. The guy had me doing numerous tests that consisted of plugging in, unplugging, re-plugging, plug plug plug... I was going nuts, and the guy annoyed me. He just couldn't take my issue and believe it. The damn thing is broken okay! I know! It does not work!
So instead of being a great reputable company they tell me they can not replace my box until they receive the broken one first. To me that was shady as hell. I had already waited a week for it to come in the mail, now I have to wait a week till they get the broken one, and now another week for the new one. YAY ME!
After arguing for a good hour wanting an explanation on why I have to wait I still did not get my way. It's the Tivo way or the highway. And good luck canceling. I was going to do that and say screw it. But they get yah. If you cancel you have to pay them a $150 early cancellation fee. Lovely company right folks?
So 2 weeks later I finally get the dang box. By now I'm so annoyed with the company I barely even wanted to hook this one up. Anyways when I did I noticed that the box called for 2 input output cables and Tivo only includes one. So if you find yourself having issues hooking up keep in mind you need 2 of these cables and not just one. Tivo the cheap dirt bags they are think it's cute to have people running back and fourth to Radio shack just to hook up to their services.
This is exactly what I ended up doing. You see if you hook your Tivo up to your wireless home network you can schedule recording on their site. Pretty cool, but good luck with that. You are better of hooking up using a telephone line. However if you are unlucky like me, you will find that you have no choice but to hook up a wireless network. And I'm here to help because TIVO, has a bunch of fools who give you the circle run around.
You know what the circle run around is... let me explain. The circle run around is when no company is willing to take the blame. So when I had difficulty setting up the TIVO, I call them, and they tell me to call my Internet provider. The Internet provider tells me to call TIVO, but then TIVO says 'oh call the routers helpline'. Seeing how no one could help me, and TIVO just sent me in a circle of wasted time, I had to figure things out on my own using trial and error.
SO... Here is the idiots guide on what you have to do if you want to set up TIVO to a wireless network.
1. Buy TIVO's $60 wireless adapter. Plug it into the back of your TIVO's USB hub. Then place the adapter somewhere high.
2. Buy a router. LINKSYS was easy to hook up, and I am a wireless network moron, and it took time but I figured it out .
3. Plug an Ethernet cable into the number 1 on the back of the router, and have this cables other end go into the modem. Then plug an another Ethernet cable into the slot that says 'Internet' on the router. Then take the other end and plug it into the back of the computer.
4. Go to and download easylink. (You need this to install the router- would of been nice if the manual said that. I had to call to figure this need step out) Follow the easy steps that easylink asks you for, and remember your encryption key.
5. Then use the LINKSYS set up disc that came with the router. This is to recognize and setup the router.
6. Then go back to the TIVO and set up your wireless home network under manage and setting tab.
Now if you are clueless you may see other network names magically pop up on your screen. Ignore these. They are signals from other routers in the neighborhood, and you cannot access them. (Man I was confused!)
7. Plug in your network name. -You were prompted to choose a name when you use the setup CD. So choose that name on the TIVO list of networks. Or plug it in manually. Then you simply type in your encryption key using the Hexadecimal. Remember that. Alphanumeric will not work.
Next you should get a screen on the TV that will display how strong your signal is. YOU ARE FINALLY DONE! You can now connect to TIVO. Phew!
Now TIVO couldn't just help me out with some easy information on how to set this thing up. I mean their company makes something capable of going wireless, yet they don't know how to help a customer do it.
NOPE! Instead TIVO will recommend you spend another $300 to have the geek squad come over and hook it up for you. NICE! Thanks for the tip blah... but I will play with it until I electrocute myself.
So after all is said and done with many trials and errors, the TIVO series 2 will cost you $220, the router another $40, the wireless adapter for TIVO $60, and 2 Ethernet cables that do not come with TIVO for another $35.
Too bad TIVO does not let you know about all of that added garbage you need just to hook up. That's some BS!
Next TIVO will need about an hour to download information and update the viewers guide. (Viewers guide is a list of tv shows).
Now that TIVO is all set up, you can begin setting up show recordings. Now with the series 2 DT you can record 2 shows at the same time. But not 3. Don't worry though, because if yo schedule 3 shows all at the same times, TIVO will warn you and ask you what you want to do. You can then change which shows it will record.
There is also a season pass. For instance, if you love 'THE SIMPLE LIFE' or 'UFC' you can set up a season pass to ensure that you will not miss any episodes while you are out. You can set the TIVO to record reruns and first runs, or just first runs.
Once you have a list of shows you like saved to be recorded, once they are recorded you can pause, rewind and fast forward them. You can save them, or delete them as you please.
Or you can burn them to DVD using TIVO DESKTOP which you can download at the TIVO site.
This feature is just okay, and it is really not as cool as it sounds. Yep, you can pause live TV. But you can not fast forward live TV. You can rewind it sure but not fast forward it, unless you have it paused for some time, then you may fast forward, but only up to the part that is airing. It's only handy when you get a phone call or need to go to the bathroom. The pause feature will only stay paused though for a half hour. So be aware.
This is where TIVO gets it's TIVO suggestions. If you like a show, or a movie you just watched hit the green thumbs up. If you hated it. ed thumbs down. TIVO supposedly stores this information, and will record things it thinks you may like. But this feature is flawed. Read on...
This seems to be the most annoying feature with TIVO. Now i I wanted to record a show I would of programmed TIVO to do so. However if nothing is recording TIVO will record something it thinks you like. However most of the time, even when I give a show a thumbs down, TIVO will still record it. It seems to think I like Ned's Declassified and SCRUBS. 2 shows I have never even cared about.
Here in the system settings you will find wish list. You can add in your favorite actor or actress or the name of a movie you are waiting to see. Whenever the name comes up on the guide TIVO will record it. So say you are in love with VIN DIESEL... plug in his name, and TIVO will record anything involving him. Even news or talk shows he may be on. This is probably a favorite feature of mine... but it is flawed. I plugged in Lindsay Lohan as an actress on my wish list, knowing she would be on an E! True Hollywood that night. TIVO did not record it, and nothing else was set to record at that time, so there is no excuse as to why it did not record.
Aside from going wireless being a major costly headache TIVO has another issue. CLARITY! They are aware of it too, because in TIVO's manage settings, there is an adjustment to soften the picture. However if you enable this setting, clarity is even worse. So leave it off.
My usually TV picture was crystal clear, but once TIVO came around things were fuzzy, and just ugly looking. I called TIVO... and I was told to tighten the cables. I did so, and got nothing. My TV is not as clear as it used to be, but there is honestly nothing I can think of to improve it. I sure as hell am not going to buy an HDTV to accommodate TIVO. I expect TIVO to solve the problem, and not me once again. This is something TIVO really needs to work on, and it has nothing to do with loose cables. The TIVO manager looks crystal clear, yet the TV shows look like garbage.
You're sacrifice, quality for quantity. (TV shows).
1. Other new shows don't stand a chance. If you are constantly fast forwarding through commercials how are you supposed to know when new shows that may interest you are coming out?
2. Setup will take approximately 3 days if you don't know what you are doing.
3. The price of TIVO increases when you find out you have to buy a whole slew of other devices to get it to work. Also if you hook up through the phone, the calls are not free. Costing more money.
4. Clarity is awful.
5. Technical support is ridiculous. First you get a robotic answering system that takes you through a bunch of yes no step questions before you get a live agent. HERE IS A TIP: When the robotic answering machine asks what your issue is keep saying AGENT. It makes the call go faster, and you get in touch with an agent much faster.
6. You can't fast forward live TV no matter how much the commercials say you can. You can pause live TV, but only fast forward up to where the show is left off live.
TIVO is a major headache to hook up, but I'm digging my service and what I am able to do with it. However once my year subscription runs out, I most likely will get the DVR recorder from my cablevision provider.
If you just bought one, it's too late to save you now. But for everyone else, just go buy a dvr recorder from your TV provider. TIVO is not worth the headache.

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