All across the US and Canada today there will probably be a lot of people opening TiVo boxes and setting them up for their first time. This is TiVo’s heaviest support period of the year, and the activation servers can get a might overwhelmed. So if you have any troubles, take a deep breath, and remember that, as cool as TiVo is, it is TV and not life and death. Give it a try again later, even tomorrow. Mellow and enjoy the day.
Some tips for the new TiVo people joining the fold – or old timers who weren’t aware of these:
30 second skip – There is a hidden 30 second skip feature on the TiVo. While watching a video enter Select-Play-Select-3-0-Select (SPS30S) on the remote. This toggles the Advance (looks like ‘->|’) button into a 30 second skip button. Each press will advance you 30 seconds. It is easiest to enter this while watching a recording.
On-screen clock and Elapsed Time Indicator – Similarly, Select-Play-Select-9-Select (SPS9S) turns on an on-screen clock in the lower right corner of the screen. While watching a recording it also shows the elapsed time of the playback.
Series3 only – Select-Play-Select-Replay-Select toggles an on-screen data display that shows different information along the bottom of the screen depending on if it is a recording or LiveTV.
To disable any of these, simply enter the code again. You may need to exit the video and return to the menus (Hit ‘TiVo’) to clear the on-screen clock. Also, if the TiVo ever reboots, these will reset and need to be reentered.
Similarly, there are navigation shortcuts that can make your life easier:
TiVo+TiVo = Now Playing List
TiVo+0 = Plays the boot animation
TiVo+1 = Season Pass Manager
TiVo+2 = To Do List
TiVo+3 = WishList Search
TiVo+4 = Search by Title
TiVo+5 = Browse by Channel
TiVo+6 = Browse by Time
TiVo+7 = Record Time/Channel
TiVo+8 = TiVo Suggestions
TiVo+9 = Showcases
While in most menu screens, Chan Up/Down will move you one screen up/down in the menu. And Advance (->|) will jump to the end on the first press, then to the beginning on the second press. This can really speed up the menus.
In the Now Playing List, press ‘Enter’ to change the settings – or just press ’1′ to toggle the sort between name and date, or ’2′ to toggle groups on/off.
If you’re planning to network the TiVo instead of using the phone line, and I do *highly* recommend doing so, see http://www.tivo.com/adapters before buying an adapter. And if you’re going to use WiFi, just get the TiVo branded adapter and don’t even think of another one. Trust me, it is worth it for the lack of headaches and higher performance, plus it is the only adapter to support WPA/WPA2 encryption.
If you’re already thinking about upgrading your TiVo – such as with a bigger drive – you’ll want to see WeaKnees, DVRupgrade, or 9th Tee. For the do-it-yourself folks see the Interactive TiVo Upgrade Instructions.
If you have any questions or problems, feel free to post for assistance.
And if you’re feeling that giving spirit, and you don’t know someone to give your TiVo referral points to, your friendly neighborhood community maintainer always welcomes them – tivo at megazone dot org. Thanks, enjoy, and welcome to the Cult of TiVo.