TiVo Upgrade part 2
I know that probably no one who normally reads my blog has any interest in these posts, but I like to document certain things for my own sake, and the sake of anyone Googling for info.
When we moved into the condo, a new problem presented itself. The TiVo, which needs to make a daily call to update its information, had no phone jacks anywhere near it. Not even any that were in a location that could have been used with our 50′ phone cable which was used in the apartment to run across one doorway and around the edge of the room to the phone jack. It would have had to run across our main entryway and kitchen doorway into the kitchen where the nearest jack was. No way. It was time for the great TiVo Upgrade, part two.
I had always intended to this upgrade at some point, but could never be bothered to unhook the TiVo and take it apart, buy the parts I needed, etc., since everything was fine as it was in the old place. Since I knew we needed to do it now, I just left the TiVo unhooked after the move. The first upgrade I had done was adding a second hard drive to increase its capacity to 40 hours of recording at the best quality setting. I love TiVo but I think their naming conventions are deceptive. A “30-hour TiVo” is only 30 hours at the crappiest quality setting, which was unbearable to me. At best quality, it was more like a 6 hour TiVo.
For round 2, I decided to install a CacheCard. I had also other options, but this seemed to be the best. I could put a 512 MB stick of RAM on the card to cache the TiVo’s database, thus speeding up the access to menus and certain operations, plus the card also had an ethernet connection on it. Since there are also no ethernet jacks in the living room, I also bought a Linksys wireless bridge to connect to the TiVo and give it access to our wireless network to make its daily “call”. I followed all the instructions for backing up my TiVo and installing the CacheCard and drivers, and that part all went flawlessly. I had various fiascoes in the wireless bridge department, but that’s another story not worth the telling. Eventually I got it all working, and now my TiVo makes its “call” via wireless networking, which has the added advantage of being a LOT faster than the phone call, too.
I figured as long as I was tweaking, I might as well also install Tivoweb Plus. Now I can also access my TiVo via the web to do anything I can do on the TiVo itself, plus far more. Mine is an old school Series 1 TiVo (the modern ones are Series 2 at the time of this writing), and sadly a lot of the cool new features (such as TiVo’s own multimedia network functions) will never be available on Series 1 units, but since I’ve done all this upgrading, and since I bought the lifetime subscription (which has long since paid for itself) I’ll be sticking with unit. To be honest it does everything I need it to do, and while I love bells and whistles, I certainly don’t feel like I’m really missing out.