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Information for persons referred to this webpage for information on TiVo modification services
I can do an ozTiVo PROM chip change and software patch to make your TiVo work with the new community server for $40 (no GST as I'm not registered) + freight at cost (if not collected during business hours from my workplace in Taita, Lower Hutt) per TiVo. Your TiVo gets cleaned inside, the necessary hardware and software patch done, old EPG data flushed out, and run up on the new EPG to ensure the connection is working properly.
I can also do a 2TB disk upgrade, done at time of chip and patch, additional $185 (total $225 + freight), including a new 24/7 rated, video optimised HDD. A TiVo with this upgrade shows it can hold up to 800 hours of HD and 1600 hours of SD video!
If you decide to retire your TiVo, please let me know, I may offer to buy it from you for a price commensurate with its condition and completeness of accessories. One of my key motivations is to save TiVos from becoming waste and there is more than one way to achieve that.
Self-install PROM chip and socket kit $4.50 per set. Post/courier would be at cost ($1 or $7.25 respectively) if you aren't picking up. This is potentially a good option for those who are comfortable with Linux boot media creation and use, and have the necessary static safe environment, technical skills, and equipment for sub millimetric soldering.
The below should answer most questions about the upgrade:
I'm a private individual, not in trade, doing this to help out the TiVo user community. The CGA therefore doesn't apply and I will be doing this work on an "all care, no responsibility" basis.
No responsibility for items damaged or lost in transit. I encourage the use of courier services or self pickup / delivery over untracked post.
Contact, delivery address details, payment arrangements, will be provided once you have indicated that you are ready to go ahead.
PROMs will be sent with sockets. Links to the instructions on PROM fitting and software patching can be found on http://kingey1971.wixsite.com/tivorepairs.
PROMs will be sent out in antistatic packaging.
All PROMs that I send out will have been fully verified as working and correctly programmed by the PROM programmer before being sent. Failures reported on receipt will be assumed to have been caused by misinstallation or bad antistatic handling by the recipient.
If you find your PROM doesn't work, check your socket installation (correct orientation and positioning, all pins soldered, no PCB tracks damaged, no solder bridges) and antistatic procedures, then buy a replacement PROM if it still doesn't work after your rework. A socket installed back to front will all but assure destruction of the PROM. Replacement PROM without socket $3 + post/courier.
TiVo conversion (patching) to ozTiVo servers:
Units for conversion must be original Australia / New Zealand market TiVo HD models (TCD663320 or TCD663160).
To ease tracking I will issue a returned material authorization number (RMA number) for each TiVo to be converted. This will be advised when I am ready to receive your TiVo. This number must be written on the packing box or on a piece of paper inside it, so I can easily tell your TiVo apart from other people's and ensure the correct one is returned to you.
TiVos sent without a RMA number will be treated as an unsolicited gift for me to use as I please or sell for my own benefit! I will check with the owner (where known) first to confirm that that is their intention, and mark the RMA on the received unit myself if it isn't. But I strongly recommend the sender mark the shipment themselves before sending to avoid any possibility of TiVos getting mixed up. If you accidentally send your TiVo anonymously, you can claim it within 6 months of sending by advising me of its TSN (the 663-0001-... number) which is shown on the back label of the TiVo unit, the courier ticket number it was sent on, or other unique identification.
In addition to the RMA number, the following information should also be included with the returned TiVo:
- Contact name
- Return shipping address
- Contact phone number and email address
- Any relevant notes or instructions.
The pickup / drop-off point is in Taita, Lower Hutt, and is open during business hours. The actual address and other contact details are advised when the RMA number is issued. It could be that other pickup / drop-off arrangements may be possible upon enquiry, otherwise units may be sent to me by post/courier/freight.
I will use the same packaging to return the unit as was used to send it to me. Therefore any transit damage resulting from inadequate packing in either direction will be the fault of the original sender.
Most TiVo units have been running for many years continuously, and switching the units off may stress them and trigger some to fail. Units will be go/no-go tested on arrival, and run up as part of the upgrade process and final test, but it's probable some will die sometime between the time they are taken out and the time they are reinstalled. In these cases I would be happy to help try and get them going again as far as I am practically able, and correct any issues with the specific work I have done, but ultimately not accept any responsibility for TiVos failing.
If you treasure any of your TiVo recordings, please back them up using your HNP before sending the TiVo to me. The patching process doesn't normally result in lost recordings but there is no guarantee this will never happen. As part of the patching I will do a WinMFS Truncated Backup first, to protect against any catastrophic failure of the patching process. A truncated backup basically just backs up the minimum file set needed for the TiVo to be restored into a working state. These backups will be deleted once it is clear the patching was successful. The backups can be burned to CD and passed onto you if you request this. I'm not offering a full backup service as these can take hours to do.
The patching procedure asks for a login password to be set. I have been setting this as 1234. This is for logging into the command line as root using SSH. If you didn't understand a word of that, no problem, as in this case this will be a function you will never use. Normal usage does not need this password.
Please include accessories (remotes with working batteries, power cords, antenna cables etc) in a package or bag marked with your RMA number. If you are using an external expansion drive, I will need the drive, it's power supply and eSATA cable too.
By default the old PROM will be disposed of for you, but I can return it to you if you prefer.
TiVos not paid for within 6 months of payment request will be disposed of for my own benefit.
An extra $10 charge may apply for TiVos with failed HDDs, or running software earlier than 11.3b8. In those cases be prepared to receive your TiVo in a default state with all recordings, MAK and every user setting deleted, although in rare cases it may be possible to preserve some or all of these. The only TiVos likely to be affected by the software version limitation are units that have been disconnected for several years or have never been connected to begin with. In the case of a TiVo having a failed HDD, the cost of a new HDD will apply ($135 in the case of a suitable 2TB drive) if the owner wishes for their TiVo to be repaired.
If your TiVo already has some modifications or hacks applied to it, the results of the ozTiVo patch will be unpredictable. So far the patch has worked fine with TiVos with retrofitted large hard drives.
If your TiVo has a fault, I will not go ahead with the work (and not charge anything other than return freight charges where applicable) if the fault is clear and obvious to me. In some cases I will agree to look at units with known faults so I can recommend a suitable course of action going forward. If the fault is more subtle and not obvious, I will probably not notice and go ahead with the work in which case all my charges will be owing in full. My workstation is only equipped with a composite video only silent monitor and has no TV aerial, so issues with sound, HDMI, component video signals, signal reception will not be noticeable to me.
I will take the utmost care to ensure your TiVo (including accessories) is kept safe and secure while it's in my care. But if any loss or damage does happen, your TiVo is insured by you! The courier should be contacted in the case of loss or damage in transit.
The ozTiVo server is run by volunteers, and it comes with no guarantees at all, including any regarding it's performance, uptime, quality of EPG data, or long term availability. The ozTiVo group has been around for many years providing a server for old Series 1 TiVos in Australia during that time, so they do have something of a track record behind them anyway.
There is currently an issue with TiVo to TiVo transfers. It seems that TiVos check if they still have authorization to do this from time to time, and this authorization is not currently supported on the ozTiVo server. This is being worked on. The volunteer developers may succeed in emulating this feature after some undetermined time, they may possibly never succeed. Transfers between TiVo and computer still work OK though. If TiVo to TiVo transfering is a feature you use, this will probably not be able to do this after a short amount of time.
The hard disk drive will be upgraded to a continuous duty, streaming video optimized, brand new Western Digital 2TB Purple series hard drive.
The upgrade process doesn't normally result in lost recordings, but there is no guarantee that will never happen. Refer the paragraph "If you treasure any of your TiVo recordings..." in the previous section.
The hard disk is covered by a 3 year manufacturer's warranty. Should your new hard disk fail in that time, I will liaise with my supplier to work out the best course of action for them to remedy the situation. In a normal scenario of warranty claim acceptance, the supplier will offer a new blank drive which will still need to be configured to your TiVo. I will do this at a negotiated reduced cost to you, but all associated courier and other charges will be your responsibility.
You may BYO your hard disk in which case the upgrade charge reduces to $50 (i.e. $90 including the ozTiVo conversion). Technical limitations with the NZ/Aus versions of TiVo means that only 2TB will be utilized if the disk you supply is larger than 2TB. A small extra charge may also apply if your chosen HDD needs some special setup before using in a TiVo (e.g. WD20EARS hard drives needing their Intellipark disabled).
The upgrade is only offered where the current drive is a 160GB or 320GB original TiVo drive. Other source drives are currently untested and may have unpredictable results if the upgrade is attempted.
The upgrade is not possible if the TiVo has an external expansion drive installed. Before sending such a unit, it will be necessary to first remove any treasured recordings you may have using your HNP, so you can write them back to your TiVo later. Then perform the necessary procedure under your Tivo's Settings menus to remove the external drive. Expect to lose almost all, if not actually all, recordings on the TiVo when doing this.
The external expansion drive is no longer supported once the 2TB upgrade is done, even though the TiVo setup menus will still offer this. I will leave the eSATA connector disconnected internally to protect against external drive connection, which would otherwise have unpredictable consequences.
TiVos sent in by courier should be packed such that there is sufficient room in the box to safely include the original HDD, which will be returned to you with the upgraded TiVo. The old hard disk may be useful to keep as a backup should the new hard disk ever fail. No ozTiVo patch will be applied to the original HDD unless specifically requested.
If there is insufficient room in your box to safely pack the original HDD in with your TiVo, the HDD will be packed separately for courier. This could potentially double your return courier charges, so better if possible to use a sufficiently large box to hold both.
Freight only applies if you are not collecting your TiVo. I will use non-urgent, signature required variants of Fastway's Parcel Connect service, or Courier Post's Send It Now! service to return units. Your reimbursement to me will be at cost.
Courier costs will have a dependency on your packing (i.e. total size and weight), your location, service options and the courier, but will typically be (including their GST):
- Wellington/Hutt/Porirua local area, $9.90 (Parcel Connect)
- Courier Post 1 Sector $11.25 (e.g. Levin, Masterton)
- Courier Post 2 sectors $13.55 (e.g. Palmerston North)
- Rest of North Island $23 or $30 box size dependent (Parcel Connect)
- South Island $40 or $47.61 (box size determines carrier)
Refer to Parcel Connect's and Courier Post's websites for more detail.
You may include tickets for your favourite courier or arrange pickup independently if you prefer. If the box will be underticketed with the tickets you supply, I may ask you to post supplementary ticket(s) or make alternative arrangements for the collection of your item.