Friday, September 2, 2011

How to Set Up Your TIVO

To watch TV at your convenience your need to record it.    Your choices are limited.    I have found the TIVO to be the best bet with Comcast.

The TIVO is by far the most versatile box apart from a computer. It accesses pre-recorded shows from such sources as HULU.

Browse these videos to get the idea:

Here is a video on how to do the basic setup.

Now, the TIVO needs to be connected to your TV provider and to your phone or internet.    I connected mine to internet with TIVO’s wireless adapter, which just plugs into the back of the TIVO.     

I have Windstream as my internet provider, which installed a way to connect my computer wirelessly.   I like the fact that Windstream did the installation and provided a simple and reliable combo “box”.

For those who want to know the details, the Windstream DSL router, which plugs into a telephone jack, is uniquely a DSL combo modem/router and has wireless built-in.     It could not be simpler to use.    

The Windstream internet service is a sustained speed of 3 mbps, just enough to handle TIVO, movies, and all the rest.  

Alternatives to Windstream:  

maybe...Clear Communications - I have had this service for a year now..     It could not be simpler to use:   Just a small device which needs only power.   A computer with wireless picks up internet from it wirelessly.    With Clear it is important to make sure it will work at your location---easily done by borrowing someone else’s device.    Works well with Netflix.   BUT, there may be setup issues with TIVO---I have it only for use with my iPad.     Try at your own risk.

Comcast internet service offers faster “burst” speeds but no sustained guarantee.   Not only must the user pay for a modem but also a wireless router, and here, have Comcast cable, too.  For every HDTV device attached, you pay more.      However, you CAN use TIVO with Comcast; it works well.    Even a Comcast service tech recommended it over the Comcast box.   A cable card from Comcast is also required.       Comcast is starting to provide these from its stores for self installation into the TIVO box

This brings me to a key point.    To get full use of TIVO, such as Netflix, movies, and pre-recorded TV from YouTube and HULU---like 50 past shows of NOVA, a few more things need to be done.    I would not have it any other way, as major TIVO functions would be lost.    This requires internet service as described, and wireless, unless you have internet service at your TV.

TIVO takes you thru the steps to activate all the wealth of TV and video online.   What is happening is that you are connecting TIVO to internet via your internet service.   These are described in the documentation and on the website.

What needs to be done is to set up networking.    This is done at the TIVO.    Anyone with computer savvy will find it a smooth process.     For wireless, TIVO will ask the name of your wireless and the password.    

Connecting to computer makes it easy to access photos and music.   TIVO guides you through that.    At this point others who do not have or use a computer will have TIVO access to internet, where most of the action is nowadays.   (It should not be necessary to be computer literate to use TIVO and access online stuff, but computer literacy helps with installation.)

Then, another optional step.    TIVO offers a way to transfer recorded shows to a computer and reverse (the latter costs another $25 or so).    Since my computer is where I exercise, I view TV on computer while exercising, when I have time.    I don’t need the reverse function---everything is already accessible on TIVO.

I had trouble finding a complete setup video on YouTube.   Here is a “wordy” but thorough setup.

Another resource is “TIVO for Dummies”.   I found it quite useful and available on Amazon new as a remainder for less than $2 but with $3.99 media shipping.    Also for Kindle, etc.

Note: SeniorTV will be offering ISP service here at WV, but we will not know how it will perform until installed. We need to learn if it will provide the needed bandwidth or speed in mbps locally and, especially, under load for video. The TIVO channelguide may or may not work, or work well, with SeniorTV.

1 comment:

  1. great, it really helps someone like me who know nothing about TIVO.