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DVR Just Became Obsolete?
Old 09-21-2009, 01:48 PM   #1
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DVR Just Became Obsolete?

Last week my Panasonic DVR stopped getting programming information from the cable company. This information is sent during the blanking interval between video frames. I'm discussing this with tech support, and awaiting a call from TV Guide, but I suspect that, related to the digital switchover, this information is no longer being transmitted.

If so, I'll either have to manually setup recording times, or switch to TIVO.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:14 PM   #2
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Did you buy it (rent) from the cable company

I bought one myself before I had Dish... there were some mention about getting info from somewhere... but I never tried to get it to work... then the wife made me get some kind of cable... went with dish... got a nice HD recorder that has all the info on the channels... still trying to decide what to do with the old one...

SOOO, I do not think it is due to digital switchover...


Does anyone know if you can go from DVR to DVR? The Panasonic also is a recordable disk... so if I want to save a movie or something....
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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My HD TV with TV Guide gets the TV Guide schedule just fine. If your DVR is analog, you may be SOL. I doubt the cheap analog-to-digital converter boxes do the conversion.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:43 PM   #4
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I don't subscribe to Cable or Satellite but the method I use to record OTA would work as will for those services. I have a SiliconDust Homerun Dual ATSC Tuner between my antennae and a computer. I, then, use a SageTV HD Theater to record to a 1tb hard drive. I, then, play the recording back on the TV(s) with an ethernet cable. (Since it has two tuners, by the way, I can record two programs with conflicting schedules at the same time.) I previously used Windows Media Center to do the same thing but disliked the lack of closed captioning.

To do this with Cable or Satellite simply connect to the STB instead of the Antennae (or both if you will).

The advantage to this system (in addition to the HD recording) is the use of Mouse/Keyboard input instead of that Remote Control thingy to do your programming.

Another advantage to SageTV is what they call "Place Shifting." This means you can record (or watch live) say in South Dakota and watch it in South Carolina. (Broadband Internet access required, of course.)
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:39 AM   #5
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+1 or +2 for TiVo.
We have one TiVo S3 taking signals from extended basic cable (analog) and an antenna (for local HD stations, and there are lots of over-the-air HD transmissions here) and an S2DT picking up the analog extended basic cable. We really like the TiVo service. Total of 4 tuners that can record simultaneously, 2 HD (or analog) signals on the S3, and the another 2 analog on the S2DT. It's overkill, as we don't watch that much TV. We almost never do this, but we have the capability to record 4 channels on TiVo while watching a 5th live on the TV.

One of the nicest things about TiVo is how it records programs that you are interested in watching.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:24 AM   #6
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If so, I'll either have to manually setup recording times, or switch to TIVO.
Series 2 TiVos (analog, no HD) are pretty cheap on Craigslist. Some sellers even transfer the lifetime subscription along with the hardware.

The programming guide comes from Internet access, either dial-up (TiVo does its own dialing) or a wireless adapter to a broadband connection. I think it's the same data as the Zap2It.com website.
TV Listings Guide and TV Schedule, Where to Watch TV Shows - Zap2it
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:12 AM   #7
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TitanTV - Free Customizable TV Listings is another on-line TV Guide. One that I prefer to Zap2It but both are almost identical.

Did I mention that the MS Media Center or SageTV setups I mentioned earlier match everything Tivo can do plus a lot more... and you don't have to be reminded every month of how costly your television watching is since there is no subscription. (I will admit that it is somewhat complicated to set-up but what isn't these days?)
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:38 AM   #8
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My understanding of Tivo is that the cost would either be $12.95/month or $399 for the life of your Tivo box. I thought there was a subscription-free option??
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:10 AM   #9
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My best guess at this point is that the TVGOS system was turned off by the broadcaster that used to transmit it. So in our area of perhaps 70,000 cable subscribers, there should be at least, say 200 that have DVRs that use TVGOS. You'd think that at least 50 of those would call the cable company and ask what's going on. But when you call the cable company, they don't have any information.

Similarly, if this is happening around the country, Panasonic should be getting literally thousands of calls on this issue. But you can't get straight answers.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:55 AM   #10
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My understanding of Tivo is that the cost would either be $12.95/month or $399 for the life of your Tivo box. I thought there was a subscription-free option??
The best deals come from the desperate Craigslist sellers who are throwing in their lifetime subscriptions to raise more cash help get rid of their old TiVos with small hard drives as they upgrade to Series 3 HDs with terabyte drives. Sometimes their stories make me feel like I'm handing a fifth of Everclear to an alcoholic.

I'm not aware of any subscription-free options, although they may exist. I think TiVo's charges are mainly for the programming info... the advertising doesn't quite make the business profitable.

The lifetime subscription on the second Tivo is only $299!

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Similarly, if this is happening around the country, Panasonic should be getting literally thousands of calls on this issue. But you can't get straight answers.
You have the skilz and the patience for the Media Center option and the TiVos hacks. (I don't have the patience.) TiVo's OS is surprisingly stable given the things that people are doing to it. There are many passionate TiVo users out there, too, and they have lots of experience with other systems. They may be talking about the Panasonics somewhere or be able to point you to some answers:
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:36 AM   #11
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My understanding of Tivo is that the cost would either be $12.95/month or $399 for the life of your Tivo box. I thought there was a subscription-free option??
Correct on the pricing. There is also a one year subscription for about $100/year which brings down the per month cost. Our S3 is on lifetime (transferred from an older S2) and the S2DT is on the $100/year.

There is currently no subscription-free option, but I seem to recall there was one at one time. If it ever existed, that plan ended years ago.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:36 AM   #12
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Al are you renting the dvr from your cable co or did you purchase? we rent ours and can get a replacement any time if there is a new version or old one is not working...the digital conversion shouldn't have affected cable users...
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:45 AM   #13
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For those of you who have Motorola DVR's, the first tip here is a code to allow you to skip ahead 30 seconds at a time: Five Quick Remote Control Hacks to Save You Time and Money | Wise Bread. My DVR (from Comcast) didn't have the skip-ahead feature on the remote. But the sequence to get your remote to do it worked for me, then I moved it over to my universal remote.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:14 PM   #14
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For those of you who have Motorola DVR's, the first tip here is a code to allow you to skip ahead 30 seconds at a time: Five Quick Remote Control Hacks to Save You Time and Money | Wise Bread. My DVR (from Comcast) didn't have the skip-ahead feature on the remote. But the sequence to get your remote to do it worked for me, then I moved it over to my universal remote.
The 30 second skip is very useful. One can pretty quickly learn how many 30 second skips it takes to get through the commercials on a program-by-program basis.

TiVo doesn't really advertise the availability of this, but the enabler is to press <select> <play> <select> <3> <0> <select>. This sequence toggles one of the remote buttons to skip ahead 30 seconds. Of course the advertisers hate this, to TiVo left it as a "hack" -- FWIW, this is hardly a hack, by any definition. We used to have to do this every time the TiVo was rebooted (like after a power failure), but now the OS remembers this across reboots.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:15 PM   #15
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Al are you renting the dvr from your cable co or did you purchase?
I purchased it (Panasonic D85H) about four years ago.

I just got off the phone with a very helpful technician at the local TV broadcasters. He said that the way this works, is that Gemstar or TV Guide sends them a box that has a phone connection, that they hook up to one of the station's broadcast equipment. They don't know anything about it, but every once in a while Gemstar calls them and asks them to unplug it, count to thirty, and plug it in again. But this guy says they haven't had the box for years. He knew surprisingly little about it.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:20 PM   #16
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Just got a call back from the PBS technician, and he confirmed that they stopped sending that TVGOS info two weeks ago. It's probably not coming back.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #17
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I have Dish with DVR. I run two tv's from one box. I there a way to hook up a tivo, keep the DVR, and record four shows at the same time?
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:50 PM   #18
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I'm purchasing a used Tivo with lifetime subscription from a fellow forumite -- and he gave me a great ER Forum discount!
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:53 PM   #19
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I'm purchasing a used Tivo with lifetime subscription from a fellow forumite -- and he gave me a great ER Forum discount!
Have we become ERbay?
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:08 PM   #20
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Have we become ERbay?
Moderators get an 8% commission for facilitating the transaction, right?
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