No Tivo Subscription....works ok? -- TiVo Premiere Series 4 DVR TCD746320 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-04-2013, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

Sifted through many threads but before spending the money wanted to get some feedback from those in the know...

I just want a decent OTA tuner...will this work ok without the subscription?
- Can you organise the list of OTA channels, add labels etc
- Wondering what kind of functionality it has

(I just received a Channel Master CM-7001 and you can't even edit the channel list...sending back)

Any other suggestions welcome....

Thanks....
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-04-2013, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Albert View Post

Hi,
Sifted through many threads but before spending the money wanted to get some feedback from those in the know...
I just want a decent OTA tuner...will this work ok without the subscription?

If you get a new, or otherwise unused unit, you'll be able to run Guided Setup and at least get your channel lineup from TiVo. However, you won't get guide data once your ~1 week of free trial runs out.
Quote:
- Can you organise the list of OTA channels, add labels etc

No, you can mask out irrelevant channels, but you can't change the order in the guide or change call letters. TiVo doesn't have that sort of feature. Personally I've never cared, but I almost exclusively watch shows recorded - I almost never watch live TV anymore.
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- Wondering what kind of functionality it has
(I just received a Channel Master CM-7001 and you can't even edit the channel list...sending back)

Well, what sort of functionality are you expecting? It's a DVR, and it's focused primarily on DVR-type operation. If you aren't paying for the TiVo service, you can't record shows, and you won't get guide data - all you'll get is the ability to watch shows and trick-play functionality (pause for up to 30 mins, rewind/ffwd on live buffer).
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-04-2013, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks demon...just looking for ota tuner basically, no recording needed.

You can get tivos for $60 on eBay, better than paying $125 for a atsc set top box like the Channel Master I just received that has no list of channels at all. Will send it back I think.

I use an rs40 projector so I need a tuner. Tried the hdhomerun but the play back is crappy through my HTPC and I'm sick of jacking with drivers etc.

For movie and blu ray I use a Dune h1 which is great.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-06-2013, 12:34 AM
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You're not going to get that list of channels after the trial runs out on the Tivo, though.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonfoo View Post

If you get a new, or otherwise unused unit, you'll be able to run Guided Setup and at least get your channel lineup from TiVo. However, you won't get guide data once your ~1 week of free trial runs out.

Well, what sort of functionality are you expecting? It's a DVR, and it's focused primarily on DVR-type operation. If you aren't paying for the TiVo service, you can't record shows, and you won't get guide data - all you'll get is the ability to watch shows and trick-play functionality (pause for up to 30 mins, rewind/ffwd on live buffer).
Just got TiVo and paid for the full ride, lifetime and all that, however have not had it hooked into the internet since the initial setup routine where it "activated" itself. Since I don't use what it seems like you are paying for with the lifetime thing, i.e., the guide data, it had me to wondering if I did not need the subscription at all -- if I couldn't just buy a box, set it up for channels etc., and do what I do now: thereafter set up only manual recordings from programming info pulled from the internet, while recieving only OTA and CLEAR QAM direct from cable without a digital box.

But you seem to say here that recordings are not possible, even if you make no use of their guide data? Thanks!
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-25-2013, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Emaych View Post

Just got TiVo and paid for the full ride, lifetime and all that, however have not had it hooked into the internet since the initial setup routine where it "activated" itself. Since I don't use what it seems like you are paying for with the lifetime thing, i.e., the guide data, it had me to wondering if I did not need the subscription at all -- if I couldn't just buy a box, set it up for channels etc., and do what I do now: thereafter set up only manual recordings from programming info pulled from the internet, while recieving only OTA and CLEAR QAM direct from cable without a digital box.

But you seem to say here that recordings are not possible, even if you make no use of their guide data? Thanks!

You can do manual recordings, as long as the last time the unit talked to TiVo, your subscription was current - though the clock is also updated when it contacts TiVo, so the unit's clock may drift forward or backward as time passes. I believe the info from the TiVo service has a "good through" date though, so if you haven't reconnected and re-verified your subscription before the unit's clock passes the "good through" date, the TiVo will also stop allowing you to record.

You don't have to use their guide data, but unless TiVo goes out of business and signals all boxes that "we're gone, no more guide data, just run forever", you will have to pay for a subscription (whether it's monthly, yearly or Product Lifetime). TiVo makes all the actual profit on their retail devices through the guide data service, and they've set the software up to prevent you from being able to record indefinitely without paying money for the service.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-26-2013, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonfoo View Post

You can do manual recordings, as long as the last time the unit talked to TiVo, your subscription was current - though the clock is also updated when it contacts TiVo, so the unit's clock may drift forward or backward as time passes. I believe the info from the TiVo service has a "good through" date though, so if you haven't reconnected and re-verified your subscription before the unit's clock passes the "good through" date, the TiVo will also stop allowing you to record.

You don't have to use their guide data, but unless TiVo goes out of business and signals all boxes that "we're gone, no more guide data, just run forever", you will have to pay for a subscription (whether it's monthly, yearly or Product Lifetime). TiVo makes all the actual profit on their retail devices through the guide data service, and they've set the software up to prevent you from being able to record indefinitely without paying money for the service.
Thank you so much for that definitive answer. It was all very confusing when I set out to replace my aging DVHS systems -- couldn't figure out what the subscription was for, except the guide data -- but from what you say, I have learned that functionality for the DVR aspect would be lost as well. I guess this makes me not so displeased that I bought into the lifetime, since I bought TiVo as a recording unit. So far I've not had even one occasion to make a recording with any of the four HD reciever/DVHS pairings I was using before. Of course another thing I found out in my quest for info was that the FCC has granted cable cos the right to scramble their CLEAR QAM now, which will have me scrambling for another solution if ever implemented....
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-26-2013, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Emaych View Post

..... Of course another thing I found out in my quest for info was that the FCC has granted cable cos the right to scramble their CLEAR QAM now, which will have me scrambling for another solution if ever implemented....

Just get a CableCard from your CableCo for $2 a month and you're good to go . . . smile.gif

Don't ever make the MISTAKE of buying a Samsung TV..
They consider THIS
normal on a two month old set..
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-26-2013, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Just get a CableCard from your CableCo for $2 a month and you're good to go . . . smile.gif
Alright. Sounds painless enough I suppose to deal with what would be a very major problem, even though I absolutely hate the idea of tacking on more and more incremental monthly charges until your bill doubles and triples -- one reason I got the lifetime thing from TiVo -- just be done with the chipping. Thanks for the useful info!
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-27-2013, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Albert View Post

Thanks demon...just looking for ota tuner basically, no recording needed.

You can get tivos for $60 on eBay, better than paying $125 for a atsc set top box like the Channel Master I just received that has no list of channels at all. Will send it back I think.

I use an rs40 projector so I need a tuner. Tried the hdhomerun but the play back is crappy through my HTPC and I'm sick of jacking with drivers etc.

For movie and blu ray I use a Dune h1 which is great.

If all you want is OTA you'd be better served getting a $300 used lifetime Tivo HD on fleabay (or possibly cheaper on craigslist) - the tuner by most accounts I've seen is better than the one in the Premieres. And once you get used to the DVR features you won't mind paying the extra money vs. a non-subbed box. But if all you want is a tuner, a $50 or less Tivo HD is fine for what you need with the caveat that you'll not get a program guide etc.
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-27-2013, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

Just get a CableCard from your CableCo for $2 a month and you're good to go . . . smile.gif

Not necessarily, unfortunately.

Although all-digital Comcast in my area offers one CableCard for free for a device that requires only one and charges $1.10 monthly when a device (such as TiVo's S3) requires two, it also charges $8.75 monthly for each such device after the first one.

I recently replaced a second TiVo with CC's with MOXI w/o CC's which can assign EPG info for most (not quite all) Limited Basic cable channels to restore full DVR functionality from Comcast at no extra charge. MOXI can't record OTA channels so the TiVo (w/o CC's) receives B'ham's two OTA stations plus Vancouver, BC's OTA.

All in all, watching TV can be a bit complicated these days!
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