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Getting started with TiVo - Some noob questions

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  • Ptv Tivo
  • Tivo
  • TV
  • Cable
Last response: in Home Theatre Legacy
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Anonymous
April 20, 2005 3:31:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

We are considering a first-time TiVo box purchase, and have a few
questions.

Background considerations:

We have Comcast Basic Service Cable (no cable box) and Comcast
internet. We do not want to upgrade to DirecTV or Comcast Digital
Cable service, which is the minimum requirement for Comcast's DVR.

The television in question is located in a combination home
office/exercise room. It is a standalone TV, no home theater setup
here. Currently the cable feeds through a combo DVD/VCR player to the
TV.

We want TiVo primarily to watch programs while exercising. We've been
using the VCR, but limited scheduling abilities of the VCR, lack of
tape indexing, constant tape re-winding, and running out of tape before
completing the exercise is getting annoying. On an average day, three
people spend an average total of two to three hours exercising. TiVo
would allow us each to view what we want without shuffling tapes or
fast forwarding. We'd like to keep the VHS/DVD player in place for
occasional DVD viewing. While in home office mode, a fair amount of
live viewing is done, usually sports, news, or one of the non-premium
movie channels..

The questions:

1. Would the TiVo box be hooked up between the incoming cable and the
VCR?
2. Can TiVo record a program while a different one is being viewed live
(by using the VCR tuner?)
3. Does the TiVo tuner replace the TV tuner for live viewing?
4. Given our background considerations, and there any downsides to this
setup of which I should be aware?

Thanks for any help!

More about : started tivo noob questions

Anonymous
April 20, 2005 7:03:00 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

> We have Comcast Basic Service Cable (no cable box) and Comcast
> internet. We do not want to upgrade to DirecTV or Comcast Digital
> Cable service, which is the minimum requirement for Comcast's DVR.

I'm with you here, the digital cable requirement adds *a lot* to the
monthly cost.

>
> The television in question is located in a combination home
> office/exercise room. It is a standalone TV, no home theater setup
> here. Currently the cable feeds through a combo DVD/VCR player to the
> TV.
>
> We want TiVo primarily to watch programs while exercising. We've been
> using the VCR, but limited scheduling abilities of the VCR, lack of
> tape indexing, constant tape re-winding, and running out of tape before
> completing the exercise is getting annoying. On an average day, three
> people spend an average total of two to three hours exercising. TiVo
> would allow us each to view what we want without shuffling tapes or
> fast forwarding.

All excellent reasons to acquire a Tivo.

> We'd like to keep the VHS/DVD player in place for
> occasional DVD viewing.

Have you considered replacing the VHS/DVD player w/ a Tivo/DVD player
combo? It's not necessary, but worth considering.

> While in home office mode, a fair amount of
> live viewing is done, usually sports, news, or one of the non-premium
> movie channels..
>
> The questions:
>
> 1. Would the TiVo box be hooked up between the incoming cable and the
> VCR?

Probably not in the most flexible arrangement. The biggest requirement
here is your TV. If it's even remotely of recent vintage it should have
more than one input, at a minimum one coax input and one set of RCA
(Left/Right/composite video) inputs. That would be good enough, an
S-VHS input would be a bonus.

Take a cable splitter and attach it to your incoming cable. Run one
cable from that to your tivo, and another to your DVD/VHS. Then run
coax from your DVD/VHS to your TV coax input, and RCA cables from the
Tivo to your TV RCA inputs (you can use either composite or SVHS for
video). Once that's complete you can switch from Tivo to DVD/VHS simply
by changing the Input source on your remote. You can switch what input
cables you use with which device if you so choose, the RCA connections
should give you the better picture over the coax.

> 2. Can TiVo record a program while a different one is being viewed live
> (by using the VCR tuner?)

Yes, if hooked up as above. You can view a live signal through the VCR
connection while the Tivo does it's own thing.

> 3. Does the TiVo tuner replace the TV tuner for live viewing?

If you're on the Tivo input yes. If hooked up as above, you can use the
Tivo's tuner or the VCR tuner depending on the input you've selected
(well both will be in use, you'll only *see* the input that's selected).

> 4. Given our background considerations, and there any downsides to this
> setup of which I should be aware?

Well, you won't have any live buffer to rewind or pause live content if
you're viewing live via the VCR input while the Tivo is recording
something else. But that's about it.

> Thanks for any help!

De Nada,

Randy S.
Anonymous
April 20, 2005 11:05:31 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

>The television in question is located in a combination home
>office/exercise room. It is a standalone TV, no home theater setup
>here. Currently the cable feeds through a combo DVD/VCR player to the
>TV.
>
>We want TiVo primarily to watch programs while exercising. We've been
>using the VCR, but limited scheduling abilities of the VCR, lack of
>tape indexing, constant tape re-winding, and running out of tape before
>completing the exercise is getting annoying. On an average day, three
>people spend an average total of two to three hours exercising. TiVo
>would allow us each to view what we want without shuffling tapes or
>fast forwarding. We'd like to keep the VHS/DVD player in place for
>occasional DVD viewing. While in home office mode, a fair amount of
>live viewing is done, usually sports, news, or one of the non-premium
>movie channels..

Some TVs have "input select" capability so you can choose:
(a) the RF input, and pick a channel with the TV's tuner,
(b) VIDEO 1, an A/V, S-Video, or component video input,
(c) VIDEO 2, another A/V, S-Video, or component video input, or
(d) VIDEO 3, yet another A/V, S-Video, or component video input.

If you've got even one video input plus the RF, you might want to
set it up this way:
___________ VCR/DVD ______
____/____ \ RF
Antenna =========| Splitter TV
--------- / S/Video
\____________ Tivo ________


Using this setup, you can simultaneously:
(a) Record something with the TiVo, using the Tivo's tuner
(b) Record something with the VCR, using the VCR's tuner
(c) Watch any one of:
(1) What the Tivo is recording (select VIDEO 1 on TV)
(2) Something recorded on the Tivo (select VIDEO 1 on TV)
(3) Watch live TV (select channel on TV, using TV tuner)
(4) Watch a DVD (select channel 3/4 on TV, play DVD)
(5) Watch a video tape (select channel 3/4 on TV, play tape)

This particular setup does not handle transferring VHS recordings to
the TiVo or recording TiVo recorded programs to video tape. You
didn't indicate that you needed that.

>The questions:
>
>1. Would the TiVo box be hooked up between the incoming cable and the
>VCR?

I prefer the above setup *IF* your TV has selectable inputs. If all
it has is RF in, then it's probably:
Antenna ===== Tivo ======== VCR/DVD ======== TV

>2. Can TiVo record a program while a different one is being viewed live
>(by using the VCR tuner?)

Yes, using either of the above cable setups.

>3. Does the TiVo tuner replace the TV tuner for live viewing?

Yes, in the second hookup above.
In the first hookup, you've got your choice of watching live TV
using the TV tuner, VCR tuner, or TiVo tuner, but each choice limits
what else can be going on at the same time.

>4. Given our background considerations, and there any downsides to this
>setup of which I should be aware?

A splitter does cost money (maybe $5). But it gives you
a lot more flexibility. Running the signal through the TiVo and the VCR
before it gets to the TV might degrade the signal a little. I doubt
it would be very noticable though.

Gordon L. Burditt
Anonymous
April 20, 2005 11:05:32 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

> If you've got even one video input plus the RF, you might want to
> set it up this way:
> ___________ VCR/DVD ______
> ____/____ \ RF
> Antenna =========| Splitter TV
> --------- / S/Video
> \____________ Tivo ________
>

You've got a better diagram then me ;-)

Randy S.
Anonymous
April 21, 2005 9:46:21 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

Gordon Burditt wrote:

> Using this setup, you can simultaneously:
> (a) Record something with the TiVo, using the Tivo's tuner
> (b) Record something with the VCR, using the VCR's tuner
> (c) Watch any one of:
> (1) What the Tivo is recording (select VIDEO 1 on TV)
> (2) Something recorded on the Tivo (select VIDEO 1 on TV)
> (3) Watch live TV (select channel on TV, using TV tuner)
> (4) Watch a DVD (select channel 3/4 on TV, play DVD)
> (5) Watch a video tape (select channel 3/4 on TV, play tape)
>
> This particular setup does not handle transferring VHS recordings to
> the TiVo or recording TiVo recorded programs to video tape. You
> didn't indicate that you needed that.

Nope. We have no need to keep anything on tape once we've seen the
Tivo recording. It's the easy 'find, capture, view, and discard' that
makes Tivo appealing to us.

> A splitter does cost money (maybe $5). But it gives you
> a lot more flexibility. Running the signal through the TiVo and the
VCR
> before it gets to the TV might degrade the signal a little. I doubt
> it would be very noticable though.

Sounds like using a splitter is my best option, if possible. I'll pull
the TV out tonight to look at what inputs it has on the back. (Using
the remote, my only choices are viewing either "TV" or "Video", so I'm
not sure what's really back there.) If I have more questions, I'll be
back.


This has all been very helpful. Thanks, everyone, for taking the time
to explain and diagram this out for me!
!