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How to Add and Stretch Hard Drive Space For TiVo DVRs

Geek Tip: Three Ways to Stretch Your TiVo's Space

Nothing's worse than finding that your TiVo has deleted one of your shows or hasn't recorded an episode because it has run out of space. I get it; I'm a TV junkie too, and have a few tips for pushing your TiVo's space to the max.

  • Record shows in lower quality rather than highest quality. Note: this is only for standard def TVs and series 2 or lower.
  • Modify your Season Pass settings to record a low maximum number of episodes, and make sure you select "first run only" for shows so you don't get any reruns (if you don't want them).
  • When in doubt, add an external hard drive. Western Digital makes a TiVo expander that will add a ton of hours to your TiVo's hard drive, available in 500 GB or a terabyte.
Image Source: Getty
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Blaq Blaq 6 years
@suzirider: when talking about recording or live TV, what matters is _tuners_. The Series2 uses 2 tuners: its own internal tuner, and that of your cable box. The internal tuner can only access unscrambled channels, typically in the 2-125 range, but that varies by provider. (TiVo tags these with "cbl" next to the channel number, on the info bar when you press Info or switch channels.) The tuner inside your cable box, obviously, can feed your TiVo any channel you subscribe to. Let's call these "box channels"; TiVo tags these with "box" next to the channel number. At any time, you can watch and/or record one "cbl" channel and one "box" channel. The only limitation is that you can't record _two "box"_ channels at once. There are workarounds to this, thanks to TiVo's superior scheduling ability. If you request two simultaneous "box" recordings, and one show is available at a different time, TiVo will simply record it then. To help keep the cable box unused during prime time, when you're likely to want to watch live TV and don't want to be prevented access to a "box" channel if TiVo is recording another "box" channel, follow one simple rule. Try to initially set up recordings and season passes outside of prime-time. This is easy, since cable providers often include "timeshifting" packages — extra feeds of ABC, NBC... from various time zones. (Instead of setting Survivor to record at 8:00, pick the West-coast episode at 11:00.) As for specialty channels, they typically rerun most programming several times, again offering you safe, middle-of-the-night recording timeslots. _____ So when watching _live TV_, your viewing will require one of the two tuners. You can watch a _recording_ from the Now Showing list, however, at _any_ time. Watching a recording leaves both tuners free, so TiVo can record two shows (one "cbl" and one "box") while you watch a third, _pre-recorded_ show at any time.
Tech Tech 6 years
Hey suzyrider--AnsSuz is right, and additionally, you can get a series 2 to record 2 shows at once, but be warned, if you have an HDTV and record HD shows with a series 2, the picture will be stretched out and not look great in the recording. If you want to watch in HD, definitely go for the series 3 or HD TiVo. The expander, I believe, works with both standard definition TiVo and HD.
suziryder suziryder 6 years
OK, I have a TiVo question - I want to get one. I have comcast digital cable. Does the lowest level DVR they offer (series 2) allow someone with digital cable to record two shows at once? Or do I have to get the $300 HD DVR? And when it says it can record two shows at once, does that mean it can record two and you can watch a third? Or does it mean you have to record only one if you want to watch another show? OR if you record two at once, and watch a third, are you watching the third without the ability to pause and rewind? And can you get a TiVo expander for Series 2, or just the HD DVR?
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