Tuesday, January 02, 2007


As I waited for the TiVo to arrive this morning, after doing my other netting and chores and such, I decided to figure out how to connect the thing to our morass of a system using TiVo's on-line help and such. I dug out the user manuals for the TV, VCR, and DVD players, and tried to work out how we currently have everything connected. Then I went to the TiVo site and tried to figure out from their help pages what I would need to do.


The instructions on the TiVo site never once mention a DVD player. A little deeper digging and I discover that they expect you to always hook your DVD player directly up to your TV. Hmmm. Odd, but not totally unacceptable. I think the way we currently have our DVD set-up, connected to a different line on the VCR, might still work. Ok. One problem down.

Next issue: the TV doesn't seem to have the same connections as the TV in the TiVo directions. Could be a problem... no... I've found the explanation in the TV's user manual. All the connections are there, just labeled slightly different. Whew.

The TiVo has a composite line in. Does that mean we could hook up a computer to the TiVo, play some video on the computer, and have the TiVo record it? That might be useful for us to free up Eric's computer while we showed the latest meme video from YouTube to friends. Hmmm. A check through the knowledge base says it's possible. I'll have to look at the user guide when the TiVo finally arrives.

We may need to get a splitter for our line so we can watch a different channel while recording something with the TiVo. Now I'm beginning to wish we'd been able to spring for the Dual-Tuner. Those are standard now, on TiVo. We got in on the very last of the non-DT TiVos. Heh. Still, a splitter shouldn't cost too much. Heck, we might even have one lying around if I could find the "box of extra cables"... ah, a search of the pantry finds it. Lots of extra coaxial cable, some composite cables (those might be needed later), and phone stuff. No splitters. Ok, a run to Radio Shack may be in the cards later. But no field trips until I know everything we might need.

Found the bit on the TiVo website about needing a landline: "You can run Guided Setup using your network connection if your DVR has software version 7.2 or later pre-installed." then a little later: "Many new single tuner TiVo DVRs are pre-installed with software version 7.2 or later. The following is a way to determine if your new DVR has software version 7.2 or later already installed before you begin Guided Setup. Look at the orange box your TiVo DVR came in. On the side of the orange box, look for your 12-digit UPC code. If the UPC code has the letters "SS" next to it, your TiVo has been sent to you with the 7.2 software version or later, already installed. You may connect your DVR to your network during Guided Setup." So, when it arrives, look for the double-S.

If it doesn't have a double-S, it's going to be a serious pain to set up. Apparently, the Guided Setup takes awhile to finish, and you can't upgrade the version until the Guided Setup is actually done. Luckily, it doesn't need to be on the phone the entire time, but it may require multiple phone calls, spaced hours apart. Which would be a real pain. So I've got my fingers crossed for the double-S.

It's arrived! It has a double-S! I'm saved! Now I've got to get it set up before Jeopardy comes on, so hubby-Eric doesn't miss it!