TiVo review

TiVo is a new way to record TV. Find out how it performs.
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02.Setting up TiVo

Getting started with our TiVo proved to be a little more complicated than with most digital video recorders (DVRs). We connected the video and sound outputs to our TV and sound system and the TV aerial to the back of the TiVo box — no difference so far, but then came the connection to the internet service. Menu

The box has very little function without an internet connection so you don’t really have a choice in this department. You can connect using a wireless attachment for $69.99, or directly using a cable from the modem. We chose the direct connection.

Having connected all the inputs and outputs and turned it on, the onscreen instruction told us to go to our computer and register the box on the TiVo website. The process took about 15 minutes and required:

  • Entering a number found on the back of the TiVo.
  • Agreeing to an onscreen contract.
  • Entering some personal details such as name, address and an email address that must be confirmed before you can continue.

Then we had to go back to the TiVo itself and confirm we'd completed the registration.

It took about 15 minutes for the box to download data and set itself up. The entire process took around 50 minutes all up — it wasn’t difficult but it was a bit fiddly.

Aerial worries

We set up our TiVo box in a house in Sydney's inner west that already had three fully functional digital tuners of different brands. None were having any problems picking up any channels.

Once set up, however, the TiVo couldn't display Channel 7 without serious picture and sound break up. We tested the tuner's ability to deal with difficult signals and found it performed quite well, so we deduced something was wrong in the house.

It turned out the aerial was old and analogue. It was doing an OK job for most digital channels but for some reason was only picking up some of the signal from Channel 7. We replaced the aerial — albeit at substantial cost — and the Channel 7 problem went away.

This kind of problem could happen to anybody setting up a digital DVR, but it’s ironic that the problem should be so specific to Channel 7, given the network’s close ties with TiVo.

The new digital world, which is to be forced on us from 2010, is likely to be fraught with old aerials doing an OK job most of the time, but failing often enough to introduce a cost many can't afford.

CHOICE will ask ACMA for an indication of how the Government plans to deal with this issue. We'll keep you posted. You can also provide feedback about your TV aerial in an online poll.


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