Tivo HD XL setup

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Superbowl was exciting and we were rooting for the Cardinals too bad. In the mean time though, it was a 30 minute mission to get this new TiVo HD XL setup. Actually was amazingly easy if a bit frustrating. Some notes:

  • You get these magic Cable Cards from Comcast. There are apparently two flavors, multistream and singlestream. If you get a multistream card, you only need one of these. Comcast actually gave me a pair, so one is logged in an useless
  • There is a guided setup that takes you through things. Reasonably clear, until you get to the Cable Cards, then it gets techie. You basically have to call Comcast and have them read a zillion numbers. Also, you need to have an internet connection via broadband ideally, so plan ahead.
  • You may want to watch things instantly, but it takes the TiVo about 20 minutes to download programming data. And it doesn’t multitask for you. How sad
  • You can stick an external eSATA drive to get even more storage than the 1TB that is there how cool is that.
  • You can use Netflix downloads to your TiVo, but it requires version 11.0 of the firmware. TiVo is a bit strange. It requires that you do two connections to the internet before you get a firmware download
  • With a PC, you can watch anything on your TiVo DVR with their Tivo Desktop or for $25 with Desktop Plus, you can transfer it to your iPod. With the Mac, you can’t watch DVR, but you can listen to your iTunes and iPhoto albums on your TV. Pretty useless for me since we have a Mac already connected to the TV. You can buy Roxio Toast Titanium 9 or their current 10 (About $80) which does do the DVR to Mac, iPod or PSP or even to your Mac DVD Burner. The How-to’s look pretty straightforward.
  • You can also control your TiVo via your phone at m.tivo.com

because ordinary mortals don’t care. In this case, the TiVo HD XL comes with version 9.x, so all the directions on the web on how to connect it don’t make sense with the older firmware.

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