View Full Version : Interested in Tivo but Need Advice

03-28-2003, 01:16 AM
After much thought I have decided I want to add a DVR Tivo unit to my entertainment center. Currently I have a HU DTV subscription. I do not have any knowledge of Tivo systems. My goal is to purchase the best system that will allow me to transfer my HU Sub card from my existing IRD to a Tivo/SAT unit. Or add a stand alone Tivo unit that previously had a lifetime subscription.

There are several types of Tivo units available. I have been reading there are many types of software versions and Series two units. However, I am still confused about what would work in my situation.

Can someone please recommend the best Tivo unit that would suit my needs above? Or suggest an alternative plan that would be better than my goal above. I don't know if a stand alone or combo unit would be best. Any help on this matter would be appreciated. Currently I am looking on ebay for a used unit to purchase.

03-28-2003, 09:22 AM
Firts, I'd like to congratulate you for making a wise choice in adding a DVR to your home entertainment system. I used tohave as many as 3 S-VHS VCRs running simultaneously in my system. I haven't used a VCR in almost 2 years ever since I purchased my first DVR (a SA Tivo).

DTV won't transfer subbed access cards between receivers. If you subscribe with a DirecTivo, DTV will send you a P4 card and most likely update all your other receivers you have subbed with P4 cards as well. For some reason DTV has targeted DTivo owners as being among the first to be victims of the card swapout. There have been scattered reports but it is unlikely that DTV will sub any new receivers, especially DTivos, with Hu cards.

Aside from the obvious difference between a SA Tivo and a DTivo, they also come in both series 1 and 2 units. Series 2 DTivos currently work only with P4 cards and series 1 DTivos with 3.1 software will only work with an Hu card with some modifications to the boot299.btl file. There are several threads about using Hu cards with 3.1 software so I'll let you do your own searches for the info.

The series 2 units are limited as to what can be hacked. There's an entire forum for these units so you should look there for details. Series 1 DTivos are the main focus of hackers in these forums since there is so much more that can be done with them.

If you're trying to decide between a SA Tivo or a DTivo it really boils down to whether or not you are recording from cable or an external antenna in addition to DTV. If you are using DTV exclusively as your source then the DTivo is the way to go. The dual tuner function makes it the better choice, IMO. The picture quality is superior to a SA Tivo since it is recording and playing back the original digital stram from the satellite.

The SA Tivos have to convert an analog output from a DTV receiver (which has already been converted from digital to analog in the receiver) back to an mpeg2 digital signal for recording to the hard drive and then converted back to analog for playback. The image quality suffers noticeably from the extra processing but it is still better than any VCR available to consumers. If you have a big screen TV then the DTivo will provide a better picture than the SA Tivo. The difference is less noticeable on a smaller screen (i.e. less than 32").

03-28-2003, 09:44 AM
Thanks for the info. I notice some post that talk about 2.5 software in here. Is that software compatible with HU cards without modification? I have the ability to place my HU card into any IRD.(wink). If I purchase, for example, a Sony T60 with a lifetime subscription, could I just pop my HU sub card in and be done with it? Or will it require additional modifications?

03-28-2003, 11:13 AM
Hu cards will work on versions 2.5 and 2.5.2 with no problem. An unhacked (i.e. non-Xtremed) DTivo will only function for a short while without a phone line connected. You will get nag messages telling you that your DTivo needs to dial in or it will eventually stop working. Buying a T60 with a lifetime sub (I'm assuming that you're thinking about getting one on ebay) usually means that it's already been hacked with 2.5Xtreme and has a pseudo lifetime sub and not a legit one. This will allow you to use your DTivo without connecting it to a phone line and also allow you the use of your Hu card (wink!).

03-28-2003, 11:35 AM
Thank you.
I have been looking at some Sony Sat t-60's and Philips DSR6000 systems like yours. It seems like those two are the best to suit my needs. Do you have any idea what would be a acceptable price to pay for one of those units? I really dont know how much they should sell for, and do not want to over pay for one.