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The Trials and Tribulations of Acquiring and Hooking up TiVo

November 6, 2004

Thursday night, I purchased that TiVo DVD recorder combo I've been eyeing from Circuit City's internet site. Between the sale price and rebates, I think I got a good deal.

To make it work well, I needed to get another digital converter box from Time Warner. I called Time Warner Customer Care (available 24 hours a day!) and cancelled Cinemax to save money and order a converter box. The lady said I could go to the Time Warner offices to pick up the converter box.

Friday, at lunch, I made my way up to north Austin to the Time Warner office. I walked in and got my converter box in less than 5 minutes. With things going so smoothly, I decided to drive down to south Austin to pick up my new TiVo box.

Thirteen miles later, I was told by the Circuit City associate that the internet was wrong... they don't have those in stock, but they have one in stock at the north Austin store. Grrrr... retracing the thirteen miles back up to north Austin, I got my TiVo box. Yay!

As soon as I got home from work, I started putting it all together. I connected the converter box, and called a phone number per the instructions to get it "authorized" but it no worky. I moved on to other things.

I hooked up all the cables on the TiVo and started the long TiVo setup process. After 20 minutes, I called to "authrorize" the converter box again. It still no worky. I called Time Warner Customer Care (available 24 hours a day!), and it only took her a few seconds to press some keys on her computer and make my converter box work. Yay!

The TiVo setup was going well until I got to the part where I have to try several codes to get the remote to change the channels on the converter box. None of the cods worked. [EDIT: none of the *codes* worked either.] The next screen said to call TiVo Customer Service.

I tried the voice response system first for help, and the robot talked me through making the remote turn my TV on and off. That was good, but that's not what I was having trouble with. The robot asked if that solved my problem, and I told him no. He handed me off to a human. Yay!

The first thing the human did was walk me through how to get the remote to turn my TV on and off. It took about 10 minutes to make him understand the problem wasn't turning the TV on and off. He started searching through their knowledge base. During that interlude, I thought of something someone told me at work one time about when you're having trouble with some programming. He told me to never assume anything, including that you've done everything correctly. Somehow that made me think about where I plugged the IR cable in at the back of the TV/TiVo/converter boxes. I looked back there, and saw I had plugged it into the converter box instead of the TiVo box where it belonged. Embarrassed, I didn't tell the guy what I had done. I just told him I was fiddling with things, and it started working. blush

I finished setup with no other problems. There was one more hurdle, though... getting the TiVo connected to my home network wirelessly. This is something I failed at with my other TiVo which is currently wired to the network with an ethernet cable. It wasn't as easy as pie to get the new TiVo to work wirelessly, but I finally did get it to work. Now I can transfer shows from my living room TiVo to my bedroom TiVo and vice versa. How cool is that?

I'm living large now. I tested the DVD player, and it plays. I haven't burned a DVD yet, but I don't have the right kind of media. I have DVD+R discs, and it only uses DVD-R.

Good lord... you really read this far? Hug

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What's on TiVo?

September 21, 2004

What's on TiVo?
TiVo recordings I need to watch


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