TiVo Tip: Unpack, Update

One thing I didn’t realize with my new TiVo, was that it doesn’t update itself as part of the setup process.

This actually may have caused a lot of the snags with my CableCARD setup yesterday. As TiVo notes in a buried support article, the TiVo won’t update to the latest software until two days after being setup.

It also might explain why all my TiVoToGo transfers have failed out of the gate…
Update: Sure enough, 9.3a update fixed it.

You can speed up this process though. After the TiVo completes the Setup Guide, go to Settings > Phone & Network and force a connection to TiVo. Now, repeat the process, and do a second connection to TiVo.

According to TiVo, the update process is complex, so they don’t want it to begin until your TiVo has downloaded the full guide data… and that’s why you have to repeat the connection process twice.

In case you were wondering, my TiVo HD refurb unit came with firmware… brace yourself… 8.7 (horribly out of date). I’m really surprised TiVo doesn’t update their refurb unit firmware at the factory. Apple does this, and it’s one of the reasons why refurb iPhone and iPod units are held with such high regard… they don’t come with the bugs.

Updating a TiVo unit at the factory can’t cost a lot of money. It just requires better supply chain management, and perhaps a few new protocols to ensure that a TiVo gets plugged into a service terminal before shipping out.

4 Responses

  1. Stephen Mack
    Stephen Mack May 6, 2008 at 6:55 pm |

    Hi Christopher,

    Sorry you had trouble. We do update our factory drive master image frequently, but please bear in mind that if you bought your unit at retail, it was probably manufactured quite a while ago, and the newest release that you just received is less than a month old.

    While each new release does fix issues, the 8.7 release that you started with is a very solid release and doesn’t have any known issues with CableCARDS to my knowledge.

    Sorry again for the inconvenience.

    Best regards,
    Stephen Mack
    Director of Operations

  2. Christopher Price
    Christopher Price May 6, 2008 at 9:13 pm |

    Stephen, thanks for your comment. It’s good to know that the TiVo wasn’t the cause of the CableCARD’s failure.

    My TiVo HD was purchased from tivo.com as a refurbished unit. My comments were specifically to the TiVo Refurbished Unit sales… I was suggesting that all refurbished TiVo units be updated right before shipping. In general, updating refurbished units with the latest firmware reduces consumer complaints (and stigma) about refurbished products.

  3. Mike
    Mike June 29, 2008 at 9:13 am |

    I had the same issue Stephen. Actually I think the firmware I showed was 6. something and I received the refurb TIVO June 24th 2008. I cant remember honestly but I know I had to update it twice to get to 9.3a because of restart issues. I still have those really really annoying restart issues which lead me to think the TIVO HD refurb unit I have is not any good. I get the restarts when I am usually scrolling the guide or doing something processor intensive. It was plugged into a surge protector and I just plugged it straight into the wall and still have the same issues. I also have used Kickstart programs but in the end I just think this unit is a lemon. One more little annoying twitch is: On my TIVO website account it still shows I have no TIVO DVR…urrrggg.

    I have already bought a 1 year subscription. I really like the programming, functionality, and using cable service (Comcast).


  4. Jon
    Jon December 3, 2008 at 9:48 am |

    I purchased a refurb unit, got it plugged it in and spent about 5 hours of frustration and 4 calls to TiVo, the last called told me that I had a bad hard drive. I got the replacement, hooked it up, it worked fine for about a day then it started rebooting itself every 10 minutes. It;s going back to TiVo, and I am cancelling my subscrition.


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