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Advice to TiVo owners and prospective owners.

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Advice to TiVo owners and prospective owners.

Old 04-11-01, 01:47 AM
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My modem got fried in a storm even though I had the phone line going through a surge protector. I searched through the Tivo forums and this seems to be a major and frequent problem. The modems are apparently junk, and are extremely succeptable to surges. Also I had the line coming out of the surge protector split with one line going to the TiVo modem and one to the Dreamcasts. The DC's modem is fine, further proof that the TiVo one is crap IMO. If your out of warranty, like me, they charge 99.95 labor to fix. The warranty is 90 days labor, 1 year parts. If your past a year it will be more because you'd have to pay for the modem in addition to labor. To avoid this be sure to buy your TiVo somewhere that will sell you a warranty, so you can get the store to replace it for you for free. This is still a major inconvience so I suggest doing one of the following to prevent you modem from frying. 1) Buy a wireless data phone jack. There expensive, but they'll ensure that no surges ever get to the TiVo. 2) Keep the phone line unplugged from the TiVo and just plug it in and force it to make the daily call ever few days, then unplug it again. This will greatly minimize the chance of getting hit with a surge. 3) Do some research on Replay TV and Ultimate TV, see if their modems seem to have the same problem in the same alarming numbers. I don't have the money to buy one, so I haven't checked. The TiVo's no great loss for me financially, I won it in a contest, and I only had a montly subscription so I'm really not out any money. I will definitely miss it though. No modem=no service, which means it's really nothing more than a VCR without the tapes.


[Edited by joshhinkle on 04-10-01 at 11:49 PM]
Old 04-13-01, 10:57 AM
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Up. I never bump my own thread, but I want this one to stay on the front page for a while. People spend a lot of money on TiVo's, they should know that they need to take precautions to protect the modem. 90 people have viewed the thread so far, hopefully it will save some modems.
Old 04-13-01, 01:18 PM
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Thanks. It's definately something to think about since I may be buying a TiVo.
Old 04-13-01, 01:32 PM
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It's not always a storm that fries a modem.

In the telecommunication field there is a tool that is used to locate troubles in the cables. Sometimes if a tech uses this tool without disconnecting the drop from the house(shortcut) this device can surge 600 volts through a cable and pair with the strict purpose to short the pair out at it's weakest point. The trouble spot. Weld it together. Crappy Modems when looked at with a KS meter look like an escape. A swinging short. So if the tech does not remove all the drops on the Terminal that are being tested. He could blow out CPE. Customer Premise Equipment. When a tech sometimes sees that swinging short they will hit it with the tool. Then the tech uses a device to listen for tone. Where the tone stops is where the trouble is. The odds for all of these Tivo's getting blown out by storms is highly unlikely. And lightning could very well melt the phones in your house. Also your neighbors would experience the same problems if the cable was hit by lightning. And one other thing. Your telephone terminal on the outside of the house should be grounded. Modems are more sensitive to surges than phones but a direct lightning strike? I think that would have melted your Tivo. If this seems to be a frequent problem, then call your local telephone company and see what they suggest. Lightning strikes are not the only culprits that can blow out modems.
Old 04-13-01, 08:22 PM
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Oh I agree, surges can be caused by things other than storms, that's why the TiVo modem problem is so widespread. In my case it was most likely a storm, as it the modem died the night of a bad storm. And the phones were dead immediately after the storm. I eventually figured out that the TiVo was causing all the phones to go dead, because when you unplugged it you get a dial tone, plug it in and they all go dead. The TiVo rep I spoke to said he had heard of the same thing happening and that it was a sure fire sign of a fried modem. I ran all the tests I could find on the TiVo forums to make sure it was fried, and not just needing reset or something. As for why the TiVo wasn't fried other than the modem, it couldn't have gotten much of a surge. The phone line was going through a surge, al beit a cheap one. In fact the line coming out of the surge was split, with one going to the TiVo and one to the Dreamcast. The Dreamcasts modem is fine, so that pretty much shows that the TiVo modem is really succeptable to surges.
Old 04-13-01, 09:02 PM
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Replay is MUCH better overall.
Old 04-13-01, 09:25 PM
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Originally posted by babka
Replay is MUCH better overall.
That's a matter of opinion.
Old 04-20-01, 11:54 AM
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Up. Protect your tivo, being tivo-less sucks.

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