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  • Using TiVo's Find TV Shows and its Features

    TiVo.Com has a variety of resources, for TiVo users to use, that can enhance your DVR experience. TiVo.Com was set up to offer services you can access even when you’re away from home and without your TiVo remote. “Find TV Shows” is just one of those great features.

    “Find TV Shows” allows you to preview some of the upcoming shows, email your favorite people about the shows you like, and schedule recordings from wherever you have internet access. Some people find this feature particularly helpful when they realize they forgot to set up a recording before they left home for the day.

    On “Find TV Shows” you can use the TV Program Guide to find the show you’re looking for. Then you can record a single episode or use the “Season Pass” to record upcoming episodes as well.

    “Find TV Shows” offers a Discovery Bar that offers ideas for shows you may enjoy. This includes the most popular shows among TiVo users and TiVo “expert” picks as well. Clicking on the image of the show will give you more information about the show and allow you to record it if you choose.

    If you know what show you want to record, you can use the “Search TV” feature to do a quick search. If, on the other hand, there’s a show you know you want but you aren’t sure what it is called, you can use “Advanced Search” and search by show description or even air date.

    If you’re just scoping the site looking for ideas, you can browse by category, channel, or TV listings to find something that interests you. Once you find a show you like, there is actually a 1-Click Recording option for both single episodes and Season Passes.

    Make sure that you schedule recordings at least an hour before airing, if you have high-speed broadband internet. If your TiVo is connected by phone line, you’ll need to set it up 36 hours in advance. Either way, the convenience of using “Find TV Shows” online is a benefit all TiVo users can enjoy.

  • TiVo's DVR and Functions

    TiVo offers its consumers detailed program information including a description of what the show is about, who the regular actors and guest actors are, the director name, which genre or category the show fits into, whether the show is new or a repeat, and whether you can get the show in HD or not. Tribune Media Services updates this information daily.

    TiVo users can use the well-known TiVo remote to select program offerings from the comfort of their couches at home. Users can set a recording for a single episode or a “Season Pass” that would record each episode as it airs.

    When setting the recording options, one can select First Run only, First Run & Repeats or All Episodes. “First Run” means that the show is being aired within two weeks of its original air date.

    If a TiVo user has set up two different recordings that end up conflicting, the lower priority program will either not be recorded, or will be clipped off where it overlapped with a higher priority program. That is why it is important to rank your shows in order of priority.

    If, on the other hand, you have a TiVo DVR with two tuners, you can record two top priority shows at the same time. Another option is to have more than one TiVo DVR in the house, each recording different shows.

    One helpful feature of the TiVo interface, is that TiVo users can rate programs that they like or dislike with “TiVo Suggestions.” Users rank shows from three thumbs up to three thumbs down, though how they ended up with three thumbs is a mystery.

    A final feature to be mentioned here, though there are so many more, is also within TiVo Suggestions. Users can identify their favorite shows. For example, “Chopped” and “Iron Chef.” Then, another TiVo user who just watched “Chopped” may get a recommendation to check out “Iron Chef.” For more features and benefits, checkout the TiVo website.

  • TiVo Subscription Service and Service Availability

    TiVo users have the benefit of viewing TV schedules and individual show descriptions through a subscription service. The standard subscription does cost a monthly fee, but is necessary for accessing the TiVo benefits, using the specialized TiVo remote.

    In Australia, however, users can pay a one-time lump sum with the purchase of the TiVo recorder and enjoy the benefits of subscription, without further expense. In the U.S., lifetime subscriptions are available to TiVo users whose TiVo boxes are satellite enabled.

    The “Satellite Lifetime Subscription” remains active as long as the account remains active and is not specific to a particular piece of hardware. If you have a “Basic Lifetime Subscription,” you will be limited to VCR-like recording.

    The “Product Lifetime Subscription” is another option. But, when it says “Lifetime,” it is referring to the lifetime of the TiVo DVR, not of the subscriber. While there is no warranty in regards to how long the TiVo is expected to last, TiVo has, at times, offered trade-up programs to allow lifetime subscribers to transfer their subscription to a newer TiVo box, without much extra cost.

    TiVo service is available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan. TiVo 1 and 2 DVR’s have been modified by end users for use in Brazil, the Netherlands, and South Africa.

    In the UK, TiVo was launched in the fall of 2000. It didn’t sell too well at first and has had some technical difficulties. Now, however, a new deal with Virgin Media is going to change that. The new high definition TiVo boxes are produced in partnership with Virgin Media in the UK, leading to better service than ever available before.

  • More TiVo Tips and Tricks

    If you are using your TiVo regularly, but want to know more about how you can get more out of it, look no further. Starting with the Now Playing List, here are a couple of great tips you can use to maximize the benefit you get from your TiVo DVR.

    Starting with the Now Playing List feature, you can increase the user-friendliness of it by creating groups folders to sort your favorite shows into groupings. To do this, press the “Enter/Last” button on your TiVo remote and, on the “Now Playing List Options” select “Sort.”

    Toggle with the left or right button to select the “Groups” option. Again, use the left or right button to toggle between “On” and “Off.” Select “View Now Playing.” You can even sort these groupings or shows alphabetically, if you choose.

    Using a Guru Guide can help you find shows that have been recommended in a specific category. To access these Guru Guides, go to TiVo central.

    Select the option, “Find Programs & Downloads.” Scroll to “KidZone Recommendations and Guru Guides.” Search through the list of Guru Guides to find one that you want to try.

    Once you select the Guru Guide of your choice, movies from the list will appear in your Now Playing List. Now, you can go through the movies on the list and watch the ones that interest you.

  • How TiVo Works

    TiVo was the original pioneer that took the first steps in to digital video recording (DVR). This service, initiated back in 1997, allowed viewers to set the TiVo box to record their favorite shows, even whole seasons, with a one-time setup.

    For the first time, people were able to set it and forget it, unlike recording manually with a VCR.  Now, there are different manufacturing companies who have partnered with TiVo to make the brand-name recording devices, but they are all pretty similar in their makeup.

    Each TiVo uses a hard drive, much like a desktop computer, to save and run the programmed recordings. The TV signal comes in to the TiVo through an antennae, satellite, analog cable, or digital cable.

    Regardless of the type of signal, the TiVo is able to track programming on television offerings. Current models go beyond the original features to offer a wider array of benefits, including even being able to select a favorite actor and all shows and movies with that actor will be recorded.

    To make this possible, the incoming TV signal (if it is analog or antennae) has to pass through the MPEG-2 encoder.  This encoder converts analog signal to digital. The digital signal is necessary for the digital receiver to process the input.

    From the encoder, the signal travels to the hard drive where it is processed and, if programmed to do so, recorded. Unfortunately, if a consumer has an analog television, the signal will have to be transferred back to analog after exiting the TiVo, before it can be viewed. This can be done with the MPEG-2 decoder, not to be confused with the MPEG-encoder.

    If you have digital service, you will need CableCARDs, which are adapters. These allow the digital signal to be passed form the cable company to the TiVo. Most consumers will need a technician to install the CableCARDS into the TiVo.

    The included TiVo remote is used to program show recordings. Then, the digital TV programming is stored on the hard drive for later viewing.

  • Using Your TiVo with Comcast

    Comcast has its own DVR receivers, which can record shows adequately. But, for those who want extra features and a more user-friendly system, the TiVo is the way to go. TiVo is compatible with Comcast. That is, at least most of the TiVo receivers are.

    The TiVo HD, Series 3, or TiVo Premiere receivers can all be programmed to work with your Comcast service, following these relatively simple instructions. If you have a more basic Series 2 model, you will need to get other instructions, because the programming is a little different.

    Start by connecting the TiVo receiver to your TV with either a component cable or HDMI cable. If you have an HDTV, a TiVo receiver that is HD compatible, and HD service through Comcast, you need to use an HDMI cable. If you don’t, you’ll be throwing money out the window for HD service that you’re paying for but not receiving.

    You can get the TiVo online, at this point, by one of two ways. You can run an Ethernet cable from the router to the TiVo for a wired connection. Or, for wireless receiving, use a TiVo wireless adapter in a USB port on your computer.

    If you use the wireless adapter, when you are in TiVo’s setup Wizard, you will need to enter the wireless network key specific to your internet service. This will synchronize the TiVo to your wireless network.

    All three TiVo models covered in these instructions require the use of CableCards. The TiVo Premiere needs a dual-streaming CableCard. The Series 3 TiVo must have two single-tuning CableCards. The TiVo HD can use either of the aforementioned options.

    Once you have placed the proper CableCards, plug in the TiVo and turn it on. The TiVo should configure itself automatically, though you may be asked for some information like your zip code. Once you finish with this simple step, you should be ready to enjoy your favorite shows on TiVo.

  • Setting Up Your TiVo on Dish Network

    While Dish Network has recently begun offering On-Demand programming, which is a great benefit, it is still not the same thing as being able to record the shows you want. When it comes to DVR services, there is only one on the market that offers features like the ability to select a favorite actor and having the DVR automatically record any films by that star for you- the TiVo.

    If you have Dish Network, you can program a TiVo receiver to work with your service. It just takes some steps, a few extra cords, and a little patience to get there.

    Start with your first coaxial cable. Connect the satellite box (RF port) to the cable jack with this cable, using a cable splitter in the jack, because you’ll need another connection for the TiVo. Now, using a second coaxial cable, you will need to run it from the cable input on the back of the TiVo to the other half of the cable splitter in the cable jack.

    If you have more than one cable jack in ready access, however, you can skip the splitter altogether. Just hook up the satellite box and TiVo box to separate cable jacks. Then use an RCA cable to run between the A/V input jacks on the back of the TiVo to the A/V output jacks behind the satellite receiver.

    Using another RCA cable, run a connection from the A/V inputs of your television set to the A/V outputs on the back of the TiVo box. With a third coaxial cable, plug one end into the RF output of your TiVo box and the other into the RF input of your television set.

    Use an Ethernet cable to run a connection from the TiVo box to your network router, or use a wireless card with a wireless router, if you have it (Of course that will require a little more setup effort later). The purple IR cable emitter needs to be hooked up to the TiVo next, and the emitters placed on the top and bottom of the satellite box. At last you can plug in the power cords for the TV, the TiVo, and the satellite box.

    Now for programming: Press the “System Info” button on the satellite receiver and write down the remote address. Find the “SAT” button on the satellite remote and hold it down until you see all the mode buttons light up. Press “1” on the satellite remote and then the pound key. This should cause the “SAT” button to light up three times.

    Now push the “Record” button, still using the satellite remote. After you push the “System Info” button on the satellite receiver, it should now show a remote address of “1.” Your TiVo should be able to take over the satellite service from here. Follow the TiVo guided setup to start using TiVo!

  • Programming a Thomson TiVo Remote

    Thomson is a TiVo manufacturer in the United Kingdom. The remote they produce is much like the TiVo remote used in the United States. The TiVo is a popular product in both countries.

    However, also like the remote in the U.S., the remote is not just a use-right-out-of-the-box kind of product. You need to program the remote to work with your TV and stereo sound equipment.

    Using your TiVo remote, go to the “TiVo Central” which is the main menu on the TiVo system. Find the “Messages and Setup” option in that menu and select it.

    In the menu options that follow, find the “Settings” option and choose that. In the “Settings” menu, the next selection should be “Remote Control.”

    You will need the code for the item you are programming first, whether that is your television or your stereo. The manual that came with your remote has a list of brand and product codes you can look through. Or, you can go online to the TiVo website to get a list of codes.

    You will need to enter the code for your device, using your TiVo remote, and press “Select.” Now, you should be able to use the TiVo remote to control the power and volume of your device.

    Whether you programmed the remote to your stereo or TV first, you can now follow the same steps to program the second device. Once you have done this, you should be able to turn off or on the TiVo box, TV, and stereo altogether with one press of the remote.

  • New TiVo Remote Fixes Clunky Text-Entry

    TiVo customers are in for a real treat. The new Slide remote has resolved a major annoyance from the original TiVo remote. The Slide TiVo Remote has addressed the problem of having to use the arrows on the keyboard to scroll through 26 letters again and again to make a word.

    For those who have been spending a lot of time on this slow form of entering text, “annoying” may not be a strong enough word. So, eager to keep its customers happy and stay on top of available technology, TiVo came up with the Slide remote.

    Imagine a high-tech cell-phone with a slide-out keyboard. That is what this remote can do. Now, with a handy full keyboard, search features and text entry is surprisingly faster than it used to be.

    Also a nod to the best cell-phone technology, the new slide remote does not use infrared to communicate with receivers. Instead, it uses blue-tooth technology much like a hands-free device for your cell phone. The blue-tooth technology is required for the advanced form of text entry and because the remote does not point directly at the receiver when a user is entering text.

    Still stuck with an outdated model TiVo remote? You don’t have to spend a fortune to upgrade. At $90 for the remote, including the keyboard and all the original features of the TiVo remote, it is really an investment to consider.

    If your significant other needs some further convincing, remind him or her that you can also program the TiVo remote to control your whole entertainment system including the TV, player, and the stereo system. Who can argue with that kind of power?

  • Hacking Your TiVo Remote

    It seems like companies are finding more and more creative ways to compel us to sit and stare at the commercials. Free TV shows online, for example, have required commercial viewing with a separate play bar from the show, so you cannot fast forward or skip the commercials. They also have a second countdown, to let you know you don’t have time to leave the room for a break.

    Whether you’re watching on live television, internet downloads, or even recorded programs, they’ve got a way to get you to watch the commercials. Companies even make the volume louder for the commercials, in case we decide to talk through them or walk out of the room.

    If you are one of the many TiVo customers, who are sick of watching the same commercials over and over with every show, even with recorded shows, there is an answer. You can “hack” your TiVo remote to allow you to skip forward 30 seconds or rewind even live TV, so you can decide for yourself when you want to take a break or not.

    Start with fresh batteries in the TiVo remote, so you can set it properly. There is a specific code you will need to enter in a precise order, to correctly “hack” the remote. Make sure that you can aim directly at the TiVo receiver as you do this.

    While pointing at the receiver, press the following buttons in order, “Select,” “Play,” “Select,” “3,” “0,” “Select.” This should prompt three ringing tones. If you don’t hear anything, you might want to try it again.

    Now, pick one of your recorded programs to try it out on. You should now be able to press the advance button (the one with the play arrow and the vertical line on its right side) to skip forward 30 seconds. This should probably cut it for most individual commercials, so you may need to skip three or four times to get through all of them.

    Now, when watching live TV, you can use the button directly opposite the advance button to rewind 10 seconds. That way, if you took too long in the kitchen during the commercial brake and missed something, you can just skip back to where you want it. Happy viewing!

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