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Do Not Throw Away Your TiVo Just Yet!



TiVo Series 3 (AUS/NZ)
Do not throw away your TiVo!

You may have heard that the TiVo service in Australia and New Zealand has come to an end at the end of last month. After almost 8 years since being sold in NZ, the TiVo has been one of the best performing Personal Video Recorders out in the market, and if it wasn’t for it ending its service, it would have still been leading! Fortunately, some very hard working TiVo community developers have been kindly volunteering their free time to help keep TiVo alive, after its official End of Service. This is why you should not throw away your TiVo just yet…

If you connected to the TiVo servers on the last day of official support (31st October 2017), you should have guide data for up to 14 more days. Since the official TiVo Service has withdrawn, the following features will also stop working unless you patch your TiVo to the community modded software (see way down below):

  • Season Pass recording functionality;
  • WishList and Title Search recording functionality;
  • TiVo Suggestions recording functionality;
  • TiVo Genie remote scheduling functionality;

and Home Networking Package functionality will be limited*.

TiVo also go on to mention that as long as you do not run a Guided Set Up or Clear & Delete on your device, after 31 October 2017 you will still be able to use your TiVo Device to:

  • convert and receive digital channels on an old analogue TV;
  • watch recordings made on the device prior to 31 October 2017 (“existing recordings”);
  • pause, rewind and instant replay live TV and existing recordings;
  • fast-forward existing recordings;
  • use TiVo KidZone and Parental Controls so far as they relate to existing recordings;
  • record the channel you are watching in a 30 minute block (from the moment you press record);
  • record items manually if you know the start and approximate end time for each program (although this will be a lot more difficult to do without the Electronic Programming Guide); and
  • *transfer (subject to being Home Networking Package customer) recordings from their TiVo device to a PC/ Mac.

The AUS/NZ TiVo community have now developed a patch/fix that will keep your TiVo running and continue to be able to get an EPG from an unofficial source, OzTiVo EPG. However, in order to be able to change to this software, you also have to physically replace a PROM chip which will test your soldering skills.

See also: A New Era of TiVo in AUS and NZ!

Thanks to Darren King and OzTiVo, here is the full guide on how to change the TiVo PROM chip on the motherboard, applicable to AUS/NZ Series 3 TiVos: http://files.nztechblog.net/TiVo_Series_3_PROM_chip_swap_technical_documentation_2017.pdf

TiVo Series 3 (AUS_NZ) PROM Chip Original
The PROM chip in a Series 3 TiVo. Photo: Darren King – www.OzTiVo.net

As of yesterday (1st November 2017), the Community Developed Software that will enable your TiVo to keep running with an EPG has been released to the public. The document that describes how you can install this modded software (after you’ve changed the PROM chip as described above) can be found here: http://hd.oztivo.net/twiki/pub/S3FAQ/S3HowToKeepUsingTiVo/TivoInstaller_0.6.pdf

The install will get rid of your current recordings in Season Pass and in the ToDo list, but your existing recordings on the hard drive should still be there after the upgrade. However, as mentioned in the software install document, it is best to back up your original TiVo HDD through WinMFS.

TiVo users have confirmed that everything is working as it should, and that their Home Networking Package that was previously available to them, are also working and recordings can still be transferred to the PC using the TiVo Desktop software (provided you have the Media Access Key).

It’s a new era for the Australia and New Zealand TiVos. Credit must be given to all those who have helped out to develop this modded community software, and have kept the TiVo alive! Tell your friends and family not to throw away their TiVos just yet! There are always people willing to help upgrade your TiVo, especially on the NZ Geekzone Forums, and on the Australian Whirlpool Forums.

I will be attempting my upgrade very soon, once my soldering kit gets here. Good luck if you are upgrading yours too!