TiVo Series 3 Day 2

Cable Card Installation

The Comcast cable guy showed up knowing he had to install two cable cards, but he didn’t know anything about a TiVo. Fortunately the nice folks at tivocommunity.com had already given me a heads up about what to do.

  • Familiarize yourself with the cable card menus (See the cable card sheet that came with your TiVo)
  • Insert the lower card first – don’t set up card 2 until card 1 is fully completed
  • Be patient and wait for the MMI screen with the host and data information
  • Have the cable guy write down the numbers, because the TiVo will time out while he is on hold 🙂
  • Verify the numbers he writes down because my guy transposed two numbers
  • Teach the technician the differences between a O and a Zero
  • Be patient
  • Once the technician has given the data to Comcast, use the Cable Card 1 test channels option
  • If you see “no channels” press Clear to Exit and wait a minute, try again
  • Once you see channel names, you may need to press channel up to get an image
  • Check your basic channels, plus HD channels, plug Discovery HD, and if you get HBO, both HBO SD and HD channels
  • Once this is ok, press TiVo to get the main menu and start over with card 2

Card 1 installation went ok. On card 2, I could not get Discovery HD, HBO, ESPN, etc. The technician wanted to try a new cable card, but I had him call into the office and have them reset the card. This procedure fixed card 2.

The technician was very happy that I had some idea of what to do. I copied the TiVo instructions for him to take back to the office. 🙂

The instructions at the bottom of the cable card help sheet that comes with the TiVo is very helpful in getting back to the cable card setup screens should the TiVo time out and change the screen you are on.

Season Passes

The Season Pass system, normally perfect, seemed to have problems. I’m using the Browse by Time feature alonng with favorites to quickly add programs. I added Heroes, which runs 9-10 on Monday, then added 24, which also runs 9-10 on Monday and TiVo told me it will NOT record 24 due to a conflict with Heroes and that I already had two programs set to record. What? Well once I got to the To Do List screen, it became clear what happened. Family guy on Sunday preempted Sopranos to Monday, which blocked 24, but the TiVo didn’t inform me of the other conflict, only one. Confusing. Whats more odd is that Sopranos was also on Tuesday, but rather than push that recording to Tuesday, TiVo just took the next available airing. So I had to prioritize my Season Pass based on the scheduling conflicts and not which shows were important to me. I view this as a flaw.

Ok, I understand that if Sopranos is 1,and Family guy 2, then Heroes 3 and 24 4 that TiVo will make sure it gets Sopranos. But I’d like a setting where I can tell the TiVo to try and get as many passes as possible and enter a value like “Delaying some recordings for no more than 5 days” or something. Then TiVo would know its ok to push the Sopranos recording to Tuesday in order to get the other three shows. If there were no re-airings of Sopranos within 5 days, it would bump Family Guy.

I just don’t like baby sitting a $500 recorder 🙂


The TiVo is VERY SLOW loading listings in the Browse by Time mode when using a favorites list of only 5 channels. I guess its processing the entire list deleting what it does not need. From pressing the right key to seeing the list is about 25 seconds. The same goes for scrolling down.

Channel Changing

Channel Changing is decent, but you sure can’t continually next channel, at least not with my Harmony 890. It often ignores channel ups until the next channel has displayed.

Episode Datum

It seems Tribune still sucks when it comes to some data. For example, TiVo wants to record 1998 episodes of Simpsons on Sunday even though I said First Run Only and the original airing date is 1998. This is most likely due to the fact that tribune did not mark this episode as a return. I suppose TiVo is airing on the side of caution, but its still annoying that in this day and age, I again have to baby sit my TV. 🙂

Guide Data Loading

Wi-Fi rocks. I now have 2 weeks of guide data, vs 24 hours or so it would take to get on my Series 1. Very nice!

Software Updates

Yesterday I received software revision 8.1 but I have not received 8.3 yet. The folks over at tivocommunity.com say to just wait. I wonder how TiVo decides when to get updates?

TiVo Central Online

Since I had set my TiVo up as analog cable device, the online website only listed analog channels in the guide. After I had run guided setup again, it took about an hour for the TiVo to contact home base and update the online guide for me. Curiously, when searching for a show on TiVo.com, they show the SD channel first, but you can change that via a popup menu once you’ve told a program you want to record it.

Channels You Receive

Channels you receive is a list of channels you get from the cable company. A master list if you will. While the TiVo lets you make favorites, I prefer to turn off channel I never want to watch. The TiVo is better than my DirecTV and 6412 were in this area because it shows a better channel name, but its still not enough. I’d like an option to turn on a Picture in Picture of the channel live, so I can determine if I want this channel or not.

Front Display

Did I mention that the front OLED display is very nice? Its a bit tiny for my aging eyes, but thats nothing moving closer doesn’t cure 🙂


I never used Wishlists much but now with the improved categories, I will! I’ve added some of my favorite comedians and told TiVo to search Comedy->Standup. Thanks to Elizabeth for this tip.

Where Wishlists could shine however is if TiVo added options like Record First Runs Only, similar to Season Passes.(TivoCommunity.com comes through again! You can set first run on auto recorded wish lists!) I hear 8.3 will let me set up HD wishlists which sounds awesome. The two of these combined would let me set up wishlists for upcoming HBO shows that are not currently in the guide but I only want first run/HD versions of.


TiVo rocks! TiVo is like a Macintosh – its so good it makes you think of small ways to improve it and make it rockin’ good. Maybe I should get a job at TiVo 🙂 All I can think to say, the TiVo said itself:

image of TiVo displaying thank god you're here