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TIVO and cable

Old 02-11-02, 02:28 PM
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TIVO and cable

Okay, I did a search and found this question not specifically answered, so forgive me if this is common knowledge? I have an RCA direct view set with no PIP. I have basic cable with no exterior box, I use the TVs cable ready tuner for all access. I have a DD 5.1 receiver which I run a DVD player and VHS player through S-video to the monitor. I would like to ditch the VHS for a TIVO, but I am a little confused. I know by default you can't watch one show and tape another (but you can watch a show already recorded on TIVO and record another). Unfortunately this conflicts with some of my needs. I would like to be able to watch another channel while TIVO records a seperate channel (ala, I have a a tv/vcr switch on my VHS that allows this). So I was thinking, would the following work... could I put a splitter on the cable, one pathnto the T.V and the other to the TIVO? I figure I can hook up the TIVO to the remaing S-vieo input on my receiver (SAT) and switch over when I want to view stuff on the PVR. This would leave the T.V.s tuner free and give a clear signal to the TIVO tuner. If I put it on a T.V. with PIP would this work? I'm not a total home theater newbie, but this has me confused. If this would work, is there a specific type of splitter I should use? Avoid? Any potential issues with signal quality? I don't have a ton of money to sink into this, but I would love the convenience that TIVO offers. Any input would be appreciated.
Old 02-11-02, 02:44 PM
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Yep just use a cable splitter. Send one to the TV and the other to the PVR. Use the video/audio out on the PVR and connect that to a video/audio in on your TV.

You could also run the video/audio out from the PVR to the receiver and use the video out on the receiver to the TV. That way you have the PVR sound on the receiver.
Old 02-11-02, 04:32 PM
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I have my cable split, with one line running to TV (viewed and listened to as TV on receiver), and one line running directly to TiVo (viewed and listened to as VCR1 on receiver). Works great. I hardly ever watch live TV, but the kids like to do that, so this set-up doesn't delete a recording if someone turns on the TV at the same time.

Important tip: If you have more than one split (as in other TV's in the house), you should seriously look at a signal amplifier for the cable. This boosts your signal so that basic recording quality is almost acceptable.

The only reason to keep your VCR would be to watch the VHS movies you already own.
Old 02-11-02, 05:39 PM
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Thanks for the answers guys. Scott, could you expand on the signal amplifier and possible recomend a source?
Old 02-12-02, 08:34 AM
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please check over at www.tivocommunity.com before adding an amplifier.

I had read in an older post there that some people had used amplifiers that were too strong and it affected their box.....

Amplifiers shouldn't be an issue, but just check to make sure you do what is most appropriate.....
Old 02-12-02, 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by styx670
Thanks for the answers guys. Scott, could you expand on the signal amplifier and possible recomend a source?
The amp I selected was at RS for about $25. They had two. This one has a variable gain, so you can set the amplification that's best. The other one was fixed. It is a bit of a pain in the neck to adjust, because you need one person at the amp (best placed where the cable first enters the house) and another person at the TV watching the picture.

So it takes about 10 minutes to purchase, about ten minutes to install (it just goes inline, and most cable installers will but some kind of junction at the entry), and less than 30 minutes to adjust. Works great from there. (The reason why you install it at the entry point is so that you are not amplifing noise.)

I'm sure that you can buy signal amplifiers almost anywhere. RS was convenient in location for me, and had a good price.

(And I DID check over at TiVo Community before adding the amplifier. That's where I saw the remedy for my particular problem. The TiVo forum is a very good place for information.)

Last edited by Scott; 02-12-02 at 10:28 AM.
Old 02-12-02, 05:14 PM
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Just one note.
I have a ReplayTV unit (nearly same as Tivo)

I have my cable split between my TV and my PVR
I have my PVR hooked to my TV via Svideo and RCA for sound (Video-1 input).

I then have Audio out on my TV hooked to my Receiver as TV. This is nice cause no matter if I'm watching direct cable or video through my PVR the sound still come out my Home theatre setup and I don't have to switch the source.

As long as your TV has an Audio out this should work for you too.

Another thing, I also have PIP and with this I can record on my PVR (Video-1 on TV) and then have my PIP with two seperate live channels, but that's only because my TV has two tuners.
Old 02-12-02, 06:41 PM
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Well, to handle our scheduling conflicts (Thursday night's are rough) - my setup is a 3-way splitter. One to the TV, one to the VCR, and one to the digital cable box which then runs to the Tivo via S-video, but the same setup should work without the cable box for basic cable. Everything is run to the receiver from there. Allows me to record one show on Tivo, one on the VCR, watch another on the TV and PIP if I want - but I never use PIP.
Old 02-12-02, 10:18 PM
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I have a Radio Shack signal amp w/ variable gain that has a built in splitter. I hook it up to my TiVo and my VCR. I highly recommend it. It cleared up a couple of cable channels that came it poorly and when I move next month I can adjust the gain for my new cable signal.

BTW, I love TiVo and it will greatly improve your TV watching.
Old 02-15-02, 09:45 PM
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Well, I gave in tonight and ordered a Series 2 from the Tivo web site, I'll post my thoughts when it arrives. Have to stop into radio shack tommorow and look at splitters, anybody have an opinion on the splitters from Monster Cable? Needless to say, I'm pretty excited, I've been kicking this purchase around for about year.
Old 02-18-02, 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by styx670
...anybody have an opinion on the splitters from Monster Cable?
I've never actually tried Monster cables, but my impression is that they are over-priced. I'm perfectly happy with the RS signal amp. You might see if you can get a Monster with full return rights, and an RS, and test them both. Ny guess is that, unless you have a huge front projecter, you will never see a difference.

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