Tivo had a great deal. Buy a year of service and get a refurbished 40 hour box for free. Ok we bit, because it’s our second box the monthly service is just over half of what a normal box is so the year of service will last us almost 2 years. Yesterday the Tivo arrived. Happy day? Kind of. I put the kids on the bed and they play while I climb up and down connecting all of the cables to the TV in the bedroom. Then I manage to connect two phone lines together to streak to our Vonage router. All good. I’m running through the setup no problem. I make the initial phone call to get the dial up numbers, no problem. Then it comes time to connect and download the guide and setup info. Problem. I called about 20 times and each time it would get to various states in the connection process and then fail. I got “failed while configuring”, “failed while transferring” etc….. So I go to the web. Well don’t you know it Vonage is not compatible with Tivo. The call over the Vonage line couldn’t sustain a connection at high enough quality to transfer the information. So I went to the web. I found lots of information suggesting various prefixes to send to the modem to slow the transfer rate etc… nothing. The most frustrating part was that each time I changed the prefix I had to go through about 20 min of stuff just to find out it wasn’t going to work. FINALY I came across this blog http://www.pvrblog.com/pvr/2003/07/how_to_setup_a_.html It was a total life saver.
Basically if you have a USB wired Ethernet card (which I have on our other TiVo) you can connect it to your Tivo and then use the dialing prefix ,#401 to have the TiVo connect using the Ethernet card rather than the modem. I’m not sure how long it took someone to figure this out or if they learned it from Tivo tech support but it worked like a charm. Granted I had to disconnect everything and drag it into the living room but IT WORKED!
Now the next frustrating thing is that the wireless Ethernet card that they sold me with the unit only works with the latest Tivo software v7.1 The box ships with 5.x so now I have to wait and drag the box out to the livingroom every night and force an update to see if I get the latest software. I requested it through their web site but it could take up to 4 days. UGH. So the easy Tivo set up was not so easy.