Tag Archives: tivo

What’s in a TiVo?

wpid6174-IMG_1483.jpgNot so long ago, my TiVo packed up. This was part of a string of technology failures I suffered in a short space of time and about which I have previously posted. I was getting ready to dump the old box but, the engineer in me can’t just throw something like that away before having a poke around inside it to see what was there. Consequently, I fished out a selection of Torx fittings for my screwdriver and opened up the case to see what was inside. Not a huge amount really. It is no wonder that the replacement box is considerably more slimline!

wpid6176-IMG_1484.jpgThe hard drive was the most obvious element. It was a “massive” 250Gb unit. No wonder too many HD recordings meant it started to fill up. I removed that since I figured it was probably worth trying to find out what files were on it later. After that, the board is in two parts. One of them is a very simple looking board and the other is something far more old school with a selection of more traditional components. I don’t know how TiVo design their system but it looked like the first board could deal with the digital signal processing while the other board was an analog tuner since this TiVo had the capability to manage old analog signals. (The new unit is digital only which is fine since we don’t have analog broadcasts anymore.)

wpid6178-IMG_1485.jpgThe connection between the two halves seemed to have a lot of cables but I have no idea what they all achieve. My assumptions about the functionality may be completely wrong. I am not an electronics guy so I have an excuse and a blog is a perfect place for making guesses about stuff with nothing to back you up. That is what the Internet is based on! However, if you do know about this stuff, do comment below and let me know what the various bits are for. Now, to see what is on that hard drive…

Arghh!! Technology Hates Me!

Time for a quick vent.  It seems I have brought down upon myself the curse of technology.  Being a techie type, there are plenty of forms of technology in my life.  Recently, they have been conspiring against me.  I am not a superstitious type of person.  The world has more than enough of those so it doesn’t need me to add to the list.  However, even a rational person could begin to wonder.

First, the TiVo packed up.  It had been misbehaving for a while.  Finally, it gave up and could not be restarted.  It just kept running through the beginning of the start cycle but never got any further.  Time for a new TiVo.  I had been pondering an upgrade for a while so a repair did not seem the way to go.  Plus, I wanted to have TV back quicker than the repair would manage.  While working on this, I go to the computer to look something up and it is off.  It shouldn’t have been.  A reboot brings up a warning about the CPU fan failure.  Crap!  That is a lot cheaper to fix but still, CRAP!

Next day a new TiVo and a new CPU fan are in my possession.  I need cablecards for the TiVo and have two from the previous unit.  Only one is needed for the new one but it has to be the M-Card, not the S-Card.  I start thinking this is going to be the next problem.  I must have the old card type rather than the one I need.  A quick Google on my card tells me it is an M-Card.  Hurrah!  Plug it in and the TiVo is not so convinced.  I need an M-Card.  Quick cal to cable company says no problem.  Place isn’t open until tomorrow but it is an easy swap.  Meanwhile, I can replace the CPU fan.

Next day, a quick swap is performed and I have an M-Card.  The TiVo likes it.  I get some details and call to activate.  Done.  No picture yet but I’m sure it takes a while.  Later on, still no picture.  A call to cable company and we run through some stuff.  Should be working they say.  It isn’t.  All tricks tried.  No luck.  We’ll send out a guy – tomorrow.  Okay.

Next day guy arrives, tries all I tried and no luck.  He is confused.  Calls the office and they un-pair the card and my account and then re-pair them.  Bingo!  We have pictures and sound.  Something is working.  Shame we couldn’t have tried that yesterday but never mind.  Is everything working now.  Appears to be until, oops, a couple of days later, the website – this website – seems to have vanished.  A little tech support from the hosting company and it turns out the database password has miraculously changed to something different in one of the website config files and it is nothing like the password I set up years ago when I created the site.  (This is a password I have not needed since so do you think I know what it is supposed to be??  Of course not.)

All of these things are now fixed.  The question now is, what’s next?  Place your bets on the next thing to go wrong…