Connecting Your TiVo and Selecting Channels

A TiVo lifestyle begins with something unavoidably awful: connecting TiVo to your TV, weaving strands of cables into just the right configuration. Thankfully, TiVo's installation happens only once. And basic installation can be a breeze.

After you have your TiVo up and running, you can happily surf the channels by using the TiVo remote, which works very much like that old standard you use for the TV.

Hooking up your TiVo

Although there's no single "right way" to connect a TiVo, all installations follow these three steps. The differences depend on the type of connections found on your TV, cable or satellite box, and other accessories. For the best possible picture, always identify and use the highest quality connections available on each piece of equipment.

1. Place TiVo near your TV.

2. Connect TiVo to your phone line.

3. Connect TiVo to your television signal.

If you don't have a cable or satellite box, you may be able to simply screw your cable TV's cable into TiVo's RF In jack and then connect an identical cable between TiVo's RF Out jack and your TV's RF In or Cable In jack. (Sometimes the TV's jack is simply called "Antenna.") Tune your TV to channel 3 or 4 to see TiVo.

Cable or satellite box users have to follow two additional steps to complete the installation:

• 1. Set up TiVo to change the box's channels.

• Depending on your type of cable or satellite box, you need to connect either TiVo's IR Control cable or its Serial Control cable between TiVo and the box.

• 2. Connect sound and video cables from your cable or satellite box to TiVo's input ports.

• TiVo accepts sound and video in several different ways, depending on your needs. Always choose the highest quality connections available.

Make sure that you have your TiVo, your TV, and your cable box, if necessary, plugged into the wall and turned on. (TiVo turns on automatically as soon as you plug it in.)

That's it. You're done! Your TiVo can now show you any channel that you want to watch (or record) through your TV. Ain't technology grand?

Consider buying an inexpensive Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) for your TiVo (and cable/satellite box). Although TiVo handles power outages gracefully, it doesn't like power fluctuations. (Your computers don't like these, either.) Plugging your TiVo into a UPS (350VA rating or more) protects it and your recorded shows from harm.

Changing channels

You change channels with TiVo's remote just as you did with your old remote — the one that came with your TV or cable/satellite box.

Just press the Channel button toward the top to advance a channel; press the lower part of the button to move down a channel. TiVo dutifully changes the channel accordingly.

The only time you may run into something odd is if TiVo's currently recording the show you're watching. TiVo must stay tuned to the current channel in order to record the show, so TiVo fills you in on its dilemma with a message that appears on the TV screen.

If you don't want TiVo to finish its recording, choose "Change the channel, stop recording." TiVo stops recording, saves the portion it has already recorded, and lets you change channels all you want.

But if you want TiVo to finish recording the show, press Select to abandon your channel change. TiVo continues recording the current show.

TiVo normally changes channels more slowly than your old TV or cable/satellite box remote. But if TiVo's not changing channels properly, you may need to adjust TiVo's setup.

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