Dish Network and Cable with Tivo

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I have a TiVo series 2 box and both
a Dish Network DISH311 receiver and
Comcast cable with a Motorola digital STB.

After some learning curve, I am happily
recording with TiVo from both sources;
TiVo switches automatically to the appropriate
source for each channel. Tivo is great!

Yet there are some glitches that really
should be addressed. TiVo could fix them
all, though one of them is really Dish Network's fault.

Real Problem #1:
The worst glitch, which causes loss of data
and much gnashing of teeth, is that Dish Network's
box gets its panties in a knot if you
accidentally go to a channel you don't subscribe
to. It displays the message
This is a subscription channel which has not
been purchased. ... Press the "UP" or "DOWN"
arrow button to change channels.'
It then refuses all further input until you
press the up or down buttons on the remote.
What's wrong about that? It means that the
unit ignores all further channel change requests
from TiVo. This means you could lose a week's
worth of recordings if you don't check to make
sure the box isn't in this state.
This happens occasionally even if you have
everything set up properly, and it's a real
annoyance. TiVo could work around this easily
by always sending "channel up" before sending the
numbers when controlling a satellite. (Since
this is an awful kludge, perhaps it should be
configurable. Just as AOL lets you say
what you need to dial to get an outside line,
perhaps TiVo should let you say what whacky
workaround it should use when changing channels.)
I guess I should report this to TiVo. I haven't yet,
but I will soon.

The next glitch is that telling the TiVo which
channels come from which input is painful.
The TiVo screen that lets you do this
is Setup / Settings / Channels / Channels You Receive.
Real problem #2:
That screen has a bug: after you clear ten or fifteen channels,
it drops out of the mode without saving. You
have to laboriously save after each ten clicks.
Enhancement request #3:
Although there is a way to clear all
channels, there is no way to clear just the
cable or just the satellite channels. That
would be most helpful. In particular, we
subscribe to all cable channels, but only two
of the thousand Dish Network channels.
We had to click about two hundred times to set
this up properly. A 'clear all satellite channels'
would have brought this down to ten or twenty clicks.

(The symptom of having the Channels You Recieve
set up wrong is that TiVo picks the satellite
when it should have picked cable, so you get the nasty
"Attention: this is a subscription channel..."
dialog, and all further TiVo recordings are
ruined because of problem #1. The quick
way to check if you're going to run into
this while recording your season passes
is to look at the To Do list screen,
and verify that no improper satellite
channels show up there. If they do, go
to "Channels you Receive" and disable them.)

I hope this info is useful, if only to let
people know that TiVo does indeed work
fairly well with both cable and dish network
hooked up together.
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  1. Hello,

    I have the same set up but am unable to get my tivo to work with both. It worked perfectly with a dishnetwork receiver and basic comcast (without the dta box). But now that I got a digital adapter from comcast in the picture, tivo does not work with it. It still works with the dish receiver. I followed the instructions correctly on how it should all be cabled. But when I do a guided setup, there is no choice for satellite and cable (with a box). Can you please advise on what your set up is and how did you get it to work ? Thank you.
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