miscFAQ Site Change tivo repair Troubleshooting Help WeaKnees News

WeaKnees Now Offers Flat-fee TiVo Repair

At WeaKnees, we have been reviving TiVo DVRs for years through our extensive inventory of replacement parts. Now, with our ability to repair motherboards, we’re offering flat-fee repairs on most non-DirecTV TiVos. This means that for one price, starting at $149, customers can be assured that their TiVo will be repaired, no matter what (or how many!) problems it has.


While $149 may initially seem like a high price when new Dual Tuner TiVos can be purchased for $149, the key is that our repairs retain the customer’s lifetime service, or prepaid service. So if a customer has a lifetime plan on a TiVo DVR covered under this program, they can keep that in place. New lifetime plans from TiVo for new DVRs cost up to $399, so repairing an existing unit often makes much more sense than replacing the unit.

Under this program, we can essentially fix any problem with these units, as long as the unit has not been physically damaged or tampered with (beyond normal hard drive upgrades and installation of replacement parts). So unless it’s been run over by a truck, we’re able to fix it. To date, units we’ve brought in under this program have been revived – 100%.

Another great advantage to choosing our flat-fee option is that customers don’t have to try to diagnose the issues at all. If customers are not sure what’s going on with the unit – of if they just aren’t interested in trying to figure it out – they can just let us do everything.

In addition, for customers looking to upgrade the capacity of their unit while it’s here at WeaKnees, that’s an option with these repairs. We can add capacity, and we can do so at a discount while the unit is here.

Please see the options for models and capacity upgrades on our flat fee TiVo repair page.

miscFAQ Product Information TiVo News

Blockbuster on TiVo is Live

We haven’t tried it yet, but according to Engadget, you can now pay to stream movies from Blockbuster on your TiVo.

Really, this isn’t a whole lot different from the Amazon Video On Demand (formerly Unbox) streaming that has been available for a few years, but it is different from Netflix streaming in three key ways: it costs money, there is a wider selection of movies, and it’s available on Series 2 units.

The latest info about this that we could find on TiVo’s site is still a signup page for info. That’s here. So maybe this is still in the early rollout phase.

We’ll post more info as we learn more about the service, but it’s great to know that TiVo is now the gateway to even more video for your living room!

Customer Contacts DirecTV miscFAQ Troubleshooting Help

DirecTV TiVos and Dialing In

We often get asked a question about whether DirecTV TiVos really need to dial in. Sometimes, it’s because the modem is broken. Other times, it’s because the phone line isn’t anywhere near the TiVo.


And the answer is: most DirecTV TiVos do not need to dial in. We’d love to sell you a TiVo external modem kit to fix your broken modem or to make your TiVo work with VoIP or digital phone lines, but in many cases, you just don’t need to have the TiVo dial in. Series 1 DirecTV TiVos DO need to dial in – the rest of this does not apply to these units (Sony SAT T-60, Philips DSR6000, or Hughes GXCEBOT). But Series 2 and the HR10-250 units get their guide data and everything else they need from the satellite.

If you don’t let your TiVo dial in, you’ll get the “nag” screen, once per day. Here’s a nag screen of a TiVo that hasn’t dialed in in quite some time.

My TiVo is crying for help!
My TiVo is crying for help!

So what is your TiVo missing out on if it can’t dial in? The main things it misses are:

  • Pay Per View: Once you fill up your unit’s limit,  you won’t be able to do more Pay Per View until your unit dials in and unloads the info.
  • System OS Updates: While the update itself generally comes down from the satellite stream, it’s the phone call that authorizes the installation of the update. So if you don’t have a phone line connected, the update won’t install.
  • Uploading your data: TiVo uses information from viewing habits to aggregate and sell to advertisers and other interested parties. If your unit can’t connect back, it can’t send this data.
  • The “nag” screen: dialing in gives you relief from this once-per-day message for 30 days.

If those issues don’t bother you or don’t apply to you, then you can happily just leave your Series 2 or HD DirecTV TiVo disconnected from the phone line, and you shouldn’t have problems.

    DirecTV miscFAQ

    miscFAQ: Phone Lines and DirecTV TiVos

    We often get asked questions about phone lines and their need and use with DirecTV TiVos (or DirecTiVos, as many call them). So here’s some Q & A:

    Does my DirecTV TiVo get guide data from the phone line or the satellite?

    DirecTV TiVo combo units get their guide data from the satellite, sent down as data instead of video. The phone calls for these units don’t supply the units with data, which is why most don’t call in more than once per week.

    So why does it use a phone line?

    The phone line is used to check continuing activity, upload preferences and viewing history, authorize OS updates, and interact for PayPerView purposes.

    Does it NEED a phone line?

    The early DirecTV TiVos do need a phone line: Sony SAT T-60, Philips DSR6000, and Hughes GXCEBOT. The later models (any unit with a USB port on the back, even though they aren’t active) don’t need a phone line once the unit is up and running. But they will produce a “nag” screen asking the customer to have the unit dial-in properly, after 30 days of inactivity, then every day after that.

    How do I get rid of the nag screen?

    Just choose “skip for now” or a similar option, depending on your OS version. You can’t permanently get rid of it.

    Can I just network it?

    No – no DirecTV TiVos can be networked. (Technically, there are some hacks that attempt to accomplish this, but we don’t recommend them as they cause several other problem while attempting to solve this minor one.) Non-TiVo DVRs from DirecTV can use a network instead of a phone line.

    If I change my drive, will I need a phone line then?

    Yes. Replacement hard drives for DirecTV TiVo units must dial in (generally twice) during initial setup. If you don’t have a phone line for this purpose, we recommend that you bring the unit to a friend’s house for these dial-ins. You do NOT need satellite access at the same time, so your friend doesn’t need to have DirecTV to accomplish this.

    Can I use my VoIP phone line?

    In most cases, the modems in DirecTV TiVos aren’t compatible with VoIP, but sometimes it works. For other situations, we have a TiVo external modem kit that works with most VoIP providers.

    Can I use my cell phone line?

    No. We haven’t found any way to connect one of these units using a cell phone.


    miscFAQ: The TiVo Series3 – Currently with a $200 Rebate


    This edition of miscFAQ focuses on the Series3 TiVo, which currently has a $200 rebate from TiVo.


    What’s the difference between the Series3 TiVo and the TiVo HD?

    The biggest differences between these units are the price and the size of the starting hard drive. But with the rebate, and with our low price on the box, the price difference is essentially zero. Beyond that, see our HD TiVo comparison chart for a full list of differences between the units.

    How do I get lifetime service on my Series3 TiVo?

    There’s no official way to get lifetime service on the Series3 at this point. In fact, only one unit is currently eligible for lifetime service at all from TiVo (the Humax DVD TiVo). That said, TiVo did have a program where you could pay to move lifetime service from an older box to a Series3 for $199, and they would give you one year of service on that older box. While that program expired, we still hear from customers who are able to get TiVo to honor it. If you want to try, when you get your Series3, call TiVo at 866 424-8486.

    But if you already have lifetime on a unit, or even have monthly on a unit for that matter, you really only pay $6.95/month to add another TiVo (HD units included) to your account. TiVo charges full boat for the first unit, but additional units are only $6.95/month. So if you have a lifetime unit, you might even just stick it in the closet but keep it on your account. That qualifies your next units for that lower secondary monthly fee.
    (EDIT: A reader wrote in to tell me of a term in TiVo’s info on this. It says that the unit with lifetime must connect within 180 days, or the $6.95/month price is invalid. So you’d need to pull it out of the closet once every five months to be safe, and have it connect to home base.)

    What’s the deal with Multistream or M CableCARDs?

    For a good primer on CableCARDs, see our CableCARD blog entry. For the quick and dirty answer, the Series3 unit can only record one stream from a CableCARD, even an M card. But with two M cards, you can record two channels at once. So you aren’t really losing anything here, other than needing two cards from your cable company.

    Does any HD TiVo work with DirecTV?

    The two current HD TiVos – the TiVo Series3 and the TiVo HD – don’t work with DirecTV or DISH. They work with cable, antenna, and/or an OTA HD antenna. DirecTV and TiVo did make an HD TiVo for DirecTV (and we still have some) but DirecTV has refreshed their line with a new HD DVR, and it doesn’t have the TiVo OS. The HR20 is the only current unit to record HD signals from DirecTV.

    How do I get a unit with HD and DVD?

    There is no DVR that both records HD and contains a DVD player or burner. Even standalone HD DVD burners are still in their infancy. We don’t expect an all-in-one unit with both HD and DVD anytime soon – we haven’t even heard rumors about it.