Tivo: Dialing forever

James Robinson mentions his first-gen Tivo has the wrong timezone — fortunately it seems that Tivo was smart enough to send show times in epoch time instead of local time so recordings still work.

My DirecTivo had similar problems, but they were compounded by the fact that the thing hadn’t dialed in in 2.51 years. So saturday night I tried for about the 10th time to change the dial-in number to one that works. Same thing. Punch in your area code, please wait while we call, it connects just fine..

Then it gets stuck. It should only take 30 seconds at most to download the list of numbers, and every time I’ve tried this I’ve pulled the plug on the phone after 15 minutes because, clearly, something must be wrong.

Well, what was wrong was me. It turns out that the Tivo will try to download software updates on any phone call, not just a nightly call, so it was trying to download the entire 6.2 release along with my phone numbers.

So, if your software’s out of date, just do the phone number change late at night and just let it run. Better yet, if you run unplugged most of the time, is plug the phone in and try to do a daily call instead, because at least then you can use the tivo while it’s downloading.

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