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Old 09-08-2005, 10:53 AM   #1 (Print)
salperin
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Suggestion: "digital cable box PLUS analog cable feed" option

I am a longtime Tivo subscriber and love it! I just got a digital cable box and discovered a limitation to the system that must have a fix. Here is my situation:

If I want to be able to record premium or other digital channels, I must hook up the digital cable box to my Tivo using the “Cable w/ Box” option in the Guided Setup (GS). Once I’ve done this, my digital box is tied up exclusively to Tivo and really can not be used for viewing other programming when Tivo is recording something. Therefore, if I am recording something on the lower or analog portion of my digital cable box, I can not watch anything live on the digital tier. In other words, if I’m TIVO-ing “ER” from my local NBC affiliate (on the analog tier), I can not watch HBO live since my digital box is tied up recording the analog channel.

I thought I had a possible solution but it does not work currently, but might with some assistance from our good friends at Tivo.

There is an option in GS to select your programming as coming from Satellite and Cable. To take advantage of this, you must use the composite video/audio outputs from the satellite box (the red/white/yellow RCA jacks) and connect those to the corresponding composite/RCA inputs on the Tivo, and then connect your analog cable feed using the RF input on the Tivo. Presumably you would then have to tell Tivo what channels to find where and it would switch between the RCA and the RF inputs for the corresponding channels.

I tried this setting in GS thinking that I could do the same thing using the RCA outputs of my digital cable box and then provide the analog cable feed. I thought that this would then allow me to tell TIVO to record anything below channel 99 (or wherever the analog channels end) from the RF input but anything above channel 100 using the RCA inputs. Imagine my surprise when GS asked me to select my Satellite provider and I did not see my local cable company included. Maybe I wasn’t really surprised, but disappointed that my plan did not work. A call to Tivo customer service confirmed my suspicion that I can not stretch the technology the way I desire.

I don’t know anything about the way that TIVO does their computer coding, but on the surface, my idea seems to be somewhat easy to accomplish. If TIVO would allow the Satellite and Cable option to include Digital Cable boxes as a kind of Satellite box, then all they would need to do is include the local cable operators info as part of the GS option under “select Satellite provider” and then you could use a digital cable box to record digital tier channels and use the RF/analog feed to record analog channels, freeing up your digital box for live viewing of the digital tier. The programming content information would likely be the same as I believe that most cable providers keep the analog portion of their digital service consistent with the ordinary analog feed but simply add additional channels to the upper, or digital, tier.

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions on how I could get this idea to the correct folks at TIVO would could make it happen. I see lots of benefit for something that appears to be easy to accomplish.
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Old 09-08-2005, 11:33 AM   #2 (Print)
dirtypacman
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First off you can make that a suggestion for future updates here:

http://customersupport.tivo.com/kno...lic/tv2192.htm?


I agree that would be wonderful... what your asking though is to be able to write two things at once on the hard drive and since the Tivo only has one tuner it cannot possible write from two different tuners (since there is no 2nd tuner).

Tivo I believe has said they are working on Tivos with : HD recording ability, Cable card availability, and 2 tuners. I am not sure if this will at all happen but its been discussed.

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Old 09-08-2005, 11:35 AM   #3 (Print)
Stainless Steele
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That would make life better..good idea!

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Old 09-08-2005, 12:05 PM   #4 (Print)
mmascari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtypacman
I agree that would be wonderful... what your asking though is to be able to write two things at once on the hard drive and since the Tivo only has one tuner it cannot possible write from two different tuners (since there is no 2nd tuner).


This is not what the suggestion is at all.

This suggestion would still only record one thing at a time. It would just give the option to use the CATV tuner built into the TiVo instead of just A/V inputs as a possible source. Right now with a cable box the built in CATV tuner isn't doing anything ever.

The idea is to treat any external tuner the same instead of making the artificial distinction between cable and satellite.

Today, "Satellite and Cable without Box" works just fine.
Change this to, "Set top box and Cable without Box" with the exact same functionality as today would solve the suggestion.

This could be done two ways.
1: Change guided setup by adding "Cable Box and Cable without Box" as a valid selection. This has been done on hacked series 1 units, so it's possible.
2: Change the list of available line-ups for Satellite to include Cable line-ups that require a cable box and make those IR codes available in the IR selection screen. This solution essentially changes the meaning of "Satellite" to "Set Top Box".

Either one would meet the requesters requirements.

This allows advantages of being able to use the cable box directly with the tv for other things while the TiVo is recording analog content. It also uses the analog tuner in the TiVo instead of the one in the cable box.

It does have the disadvantage that if you change the cable box without checking if the TiVo is using it first, you'll mess up a recording. Also the TiVo may decide to record something from cable while you're using it for something else and change the channel on you.

These are small risks for the added functionality.

Easy usage scenario. Friday night and several prime time network/analog cable things are scheduled to record, but you want to watch a movie on demand or PPV. Both of those require going around the TiVo anyway. Today you can't, even though all of the hardware parts are present to allow the TiVo to record the programs anyway since it doesn't really need the cable box. It's a completely software related limitation.
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Old 09-08-2005, 01:50 PM   #5 (Print)
dirtypacman
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I think I understand better now... you just want the ability to have the RF/coaxial cable line (without cable box) to be used as your signal source if the requested program would be on the 0-99 lineup ... this would allow you to use your digital cable box for the channel 100 and up while it records using the rf/coaxial feed.

I like the idea even more now

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Old 09-08-2005, 02:10 PM   #6 (Print)
salperin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmascari
Change guided setup by adding "Cable Box and Cable without Box" as a valid selection. This has been done on hacked series 1 units, so it's possible.

I guess I forgot to say that I have a series 1 unit (an original Sony SVR-2000), so do you have any idea as to how to implement this hack?
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Old 09-08-2005, 02:12 PM   #7 (Print)
mmascari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salperin
I guess I forgot to say that I have a series 1 unit (an original Sony SVR-2000), so do you have any idea as to how to implement this hack?


You'll need to search in the Underground forum for the details. It's not something that I have tried since I don't have a series 1.
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Old 09-13-2005, 09:20 AM   #8 (Print)
Duksrule
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I had the same problem and this is how I fixed it and can now TIVO with the digital box and also watch analog TV.

I hooked up a splitter with one out going to the TV and one to the Box. Then I connected the TIVO to the TV with RCA cables. Now if I want to watch digital cable or the TV I hit the TV/VIDEO switch on the TV and if TIVO is recording I hit the switch and just wach TV using the TV's tunner.

Hope this helps
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:08 AM   #9 (Print)
salperin
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I think you missed the subtle nuance of my situation. I want to be able to record off either an analog feed if I'm recording an analog channel or an output of the digital box if it's a digital channel.
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:26 AM   #10 (Print)
JamieP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salperin
I guess I forgot to say that I have a series 1 unit (an original Sony SVR-2000), so do you have any idea as to how to implement this hack?

Here's a starting point. Unfortunately, 7.2 just broke it, but that shouldn't be a problem for you on a series 1.
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Old 09-13-2005, 12:41 PM   #11 (Print)
mmascari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duksrule
I had the same problem and this is how I fixed it and can now TIVO with the digital box and also watch analog TV.

I hooked up a splitter with one out going to the TV and one to the Box. Then I connected the TIVO to the TV with RCA cables. Now if I want to watch digital cable or the TV I hit the TV/VIDEO switch on the TV and if TIVO is recording I hit the switch and just wach TV using the TV's tunner.


This is the reverse.

You still can't record analog content and watch digital/premium content at the same time.
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