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Digital Cable and TiVo

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Digital Cable and TiVo

Old 08-25-05, 09:32 AM
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Digital Cable and TiVo

I am finally upgrading my analog cable to digital, but I am worried on how TiVo will work. Do I need to only use the digital guide, or can I still use all of the Tivo guides and menus that I am used to?

I have a series 2, will TiVo degrade my digital signal coming into my Tv, essentially defeating the purpose of digital, since TiVo works in analog.

Would I need to have one input to my TV be digital, and another for TiVo to use only when I watch a recording?

I would like to make the switch soon while I have some time, so any feedback would be great.
Old 08-25-05, 10:04 AM
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You would have to use an IR blaster. There should have been one in the box the Tivo came in.
Old 08-25-05, 10:53 AM
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The signal will be degraded. It's up to you if you want to have a digital and TiVo output to your tv. I did on mine because I like watching widescreen as widescreen. Your box might have a serial port which means you could use that to change channels.
Old 08-25-05, 11:45 AM
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You'll want to record at Best Quality, otherwise the picture looks pretty crappy.
Old 08-25-05, 01:33 PM
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I have been recording at high quality for most things, and that is somewhat tolerable. Is there a way to know if the box has a serial connection, or just get one and check?

What does it mean "I like watching widescreen as widescreen"? Tivo or the box wouldn't reall matter does it? Does he mean he uses 2 seperate inputs because Tivo makes the picture 4:3?
Old 08-25-05, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jon-w9
Is there a way to know if the box has a serial connection, or just get one and check?
Can you check the cable website for it's specs? Or, if you can find the model number: you should be able to go to the manufacturer's site to check.
Old 08-25-05, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jon-w9
I have been recording at high quality for most things, and that is somewhat tolerable. Is there a way to know if the box has a serial connection, or just get one and check?
If you look on your cable co's website they'll usually show what box you're getting and have quick install manuals in PDF format. Download them, they'll have pics of the back of the box on it.
Old 08-25-05, 02:12 PM
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The site has instructions for a Motorola DCT2000. The picture of the back does have a 9-pin port, but next to it is says "TV Pass Card". Is that what I want?

Did Tivo come with a 9-9 cable, or do I need to buy one someplace?


http://www.mdm.net/web/images/equipm..._userguide.pdf

Last edited by jon-w9; 08-25-05 at 02:18 PM.
Old 09-01-05, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jon-w9
I have been recording at high quality for most things, and that is somewhat tolerable. Is there a way to know if the box has a serial connection, or just get one and check?

What does it mean "I like watching widescreen as widescreen"? Tivo or the box wouldn't reall matter does it? Does he mean he uses 2 seperate inputs because Tivo makes the picture 4:3?
Sorry I didn't get back to answer this sooner, but Tivo makes it 4:3 and then you also have tivo encoding the video and playing that so the quality is reduced a little.
Old 09-03-05, 07:36 AM
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Tivo doesn't do anything to the aspect ratio of the picture and it doesn't "make" anything 4:3! If you're recording widescreen (as in an HD channel), Tivo records the whole picture just as it's broadcast -- although not in HD.

Try checking the display settings on your widescreen TV -- if you've recorded something in widescreen and are getting black bars, change your TVs display to "Expand" or whatever the equivalent is on your TV.
Old 09-03-05, 08:13 PM
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When I record stuff of the HD channels that is widescreen, the result with Tivo is bars on the top and bottom. If I put my tv on full, the bars are still there.
Old 09-03-05, 09:31 PM
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That's because the output to the Tivo is not HD and it's adding the black bars to the HD signal that's been converted to SD. HD programming is 16:9 and SD is 4:3. So when the 16:9 is converted to 4:3 the black bars are added and the AR is changed for the frame that holds the image but the image you recorded in HD widescreen will now be SD widescreen .
Old 09-07-05, 09:48 AM
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I know that's why, I was just explaining why I have one output from my cable box going straight to the tv and one to the tivo. The guy above my post was saying it wasn't converted to 4:3 which it's obvious it does.
Old 09-07-05, 01:35 PM
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I know. I was just adding the details in to explain to him how and why it works that way.
Old 09-07-05, 01:54 PM
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Does your cable company offer an integrated HD digital box w/ a DVR? That way, you get the best of both worlds - HD recording with the integrated program guide and usually two tuners. These things generally run $8-$10 per month, which is cheaper than the TiVo service fee.
Old 09-07-05, 03:33 PM
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I use a Tivo standalone unit with my digital cable. Works great. You need to use an IR blaster to have the Tivo be able to change channels on the box. Other than that, no issues. The digital cable box feeds Svideo into my Tivo, the Tivo feeds composite into my amp/input switcher, the amp feeds composite to the TV.

I tried one of those cable PVR boxes, and ended up sending it back. Yes, it can record two things at once, and yes, the quality is "perfect" on the digital channels. But the interface is so horribly abysmal that it completely ruins it. I much prefer the real Tivo.

The Tivo guide works fine, just as normal. You never notice it, really. You may need to tweak your cable boxes settings slightly. I had a problem for a while recording shows late at night on Sundays, because my cable box shuts itself off every Sunday. Never figured out why, but I did figure out that there's a setting in there to let the box turn itself on when it receives channel change commands. That fixed it. The box still shuts off, but when Tivo changes the channel, the box comes back on.

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