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How To Video
Set up a TiVo DVRIf you've never experienced the joy that is TiVo, Brian Tong shows you everything you need to get started.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:09 >> What's up? I'm Brian Tong with CNET TV, and we're gonna show you how to get started with a TiVo. So first of all, what is TiVo? Well, TiVo is the pioneer of the digital video recorder. We call it DVR for short. It allows you to pause or rewind live TV and record TV shows directly to the device without you having to be there. That's really the heart of the set-top box. Now, if you have a high-speed Internet connection, you'll also be able to stream movies and content from Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, plus access additional content like CNET TV's weekly tech segment made just for TiVo viewers. Pricing starts at $149.00 and moves up to $299.00 and higher for models that support high definition video recording. Another cost you should factor in is a $12.95 monthly service fee. This does turn off some people from the device, but your TiVo won't function without it. You guys can also choose an annual or multi-year service that reduces overall costs. Now, we have a TiVo HD DVR with us, so let's take a look at it. We're gonna start with the back. So to get your video source, you'll see a cable in, and that's where you'll connect your line from your cable provider. And next to it, there's an antenna in. TiVo supports over the air antennas, and many people don't realize that you can actually get free HD television from all the major networks in your area with a digital antenna. You'll find all your video out connections. There's HDMI, component, composite, and S-video. Component and composite video cables are included, but there's no HDMI or S-video cables in the package. You'll also see your optical digital audio port here, and the standard red and white audio outputs. This TiVo also requires a connection to get its program data, either through a phone line here, or via Ethernet. A phone cable is included, but not an Ethernet one. Now, if you don't want to run cords through your home, you can purchase their $59.00 wireless G adaptor and connect it to one of the USB ports. And the last port on the back is an eSATA port to connect an external eSATA hard drive if you want to expand your TiVo's recording capacity. Unfortunately, you won't be able to use the USB ports for storage expansion because they're not compatible to do that. The front of the TiVo is pretty clean, but there is a panel that you can flip down, and it reveals two cable card slots. You'll need to get a cable card directly from your cable provider, and you want to make sure you get a multi-stream card. This allows you to get access to digital programming and the special packages like HBO. It also allows you to record two programs at the same time when you're away or watch one while recording another. Now, here's a quick look at the remote. It uses two double A batteries and talks directly to the TiVo interface. You can also configure it to control your specific TV's volume and power it on or off. The TiVo will always stay on so it records your programming. Okay, that's an overview of the hardware. Let's get this thing set up. First thing you're gonna want to do is connect your video cables to your TV set, hook it up to your Internet, and connect the TiVo to your power source. And you'll see a launch window telling you it's powering up. And this can take about three to five minutes to get started, so you guys need to be patient. Once that's done, it will walk you through a guided set-up that takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to complete, but will show you a few key parts. Some TiVos are purchased pre-activated, but if yours isn't, the onscreen set up will ask you to visit TiVo.com/activate, and prompt you to type in your TiVo service number and email address to activate it. Our guy is ready to go. Now, next, there will be a prompt asking you to pop in your cable cards that we talked about earlier. But you can still set up the TiVo without them. The TiVo will then test your network connection, and when it's done, it will start downloading set-up and channel information, and this is going to take you guys about another 15 minutes. Once it's finished, you'll get a congratulations, and it's time to play. Now the button you'll use the most on the control is the TiVo button, and it takes you to the home screen where you get access to all your content. Now Playing is where the shows you have recorded live on your TiVo. Watch Live TV is self-explanatory. But even better, there's a button on your remote to take you there, and you will use the standard controls to rewind, pause, and fast-forward through shows. You can also press fast forward three times to increase its fast forward rate each time. So let's do what this thing was made for and actually record a show. So we'll jump into Live TV, and when you find the show you want, we're gonna press the record button. And it will start recording that specific show. Now, let's say you want to record a whole season's worth of episodes. On the program information screen, select "Season Pass and other options." And then from there, you'll see another panel. And I'm gonna go down to "Get a Season Pass." I'm gonna go into the options of that section, and then here, you can see things like I can record it a high quality or keep five episodes at most. Just play around with it and see what you like. And then, when we're done, we're gonna select "Record Season Pass with these options." And from now, upcoming episodes of that show will be recorded without you lifting a finger, and you'll be able to find them in your "Now Playing" list. There's plenty of other things you can do with your TiVo, but we just wanted to get you started with the basics, and I guarantee you, your life will never be the same. I'm Brian Tong, showing you how to get started with your TiVo. And that's how you do it. ^M00:05:16 [ Music ]