How to tell if a new TiVo has 7.2 or better before opening the box

TiVo released the 7.2 software a couple of months ago, and that introduced network Guided Setup, which completely eliminated the need for a phone line. However, the retail channel is still packed with pre-7.2 boxes. But there is a way to tell if you’ll need that phone line or not without opening the box and booting the TiVo:

There’s two ways to tell if the box contains the 7.2.1 update, which does not require a land line.

The first way is to look at the UPC label. If it’s marked “SS” in front of the UPC code then it contains the latest software version.

The second is to look at the text on the carton messaging around the phone line which will mention different requirements. The carton text reads:

You get: Instructions, TiVo Remote, Cables, TiVo DVR.
You’ll also need the easy-to-use TiVo service plus your existing phone line or broadband connection. You’ll need to activate and connect to the TiVo service through your existing phone line or via your existing wired/wireless home network* and broadband connection.

Remember, if you’re setting up a new unit on a network you need a supported adapter: or

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  • furplay1

    Have they ever mentioned why the box has relatively useless USB ports but they never put an ethernet port on the thing?

  • megazone

    USB allows them to support both Wired and WiFi. Keep in mind that out of 1.4 million or so standalone boxes, only about 300,000 people currently have them connected to broadband. The majority of users are still using the modem. And that’s today, when the Series2 boxes were originally designed in 2001 broadband and home network penetration was even lower. Also, Ethernet chipsets were more expensive then, and in consumer electronics you look to shave pennies off each box – it adds up.

    Also, TiVo was still thinking of themselves as a media hub, and there were plans to have games, directly connect media devices like MP3 players, etc. That changed and TiVo shifted to more an edge device role.

    Also, the chipset TiVo used had USB integrated so they could get it ‘free’.

    It made sense for several reasons. But with broadband use growing rapidly, and more and more reasons to network a TiVo, the balance is shifting. The units which just came out in Taiwan have RJ45 Ethernet (and USB for WiFi), and the HD prototype also has Ethernet.