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TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL – Flashing Green Light is now Fixable!

The TiVo HD (TCD652160) and the TiVo HD XL (TCD658000) are the second HD DVRs for cable that TiVo produced. They’re great units, and many customers bought lifetime service for theirs, which makes them valuable units.

Over the years, we’ve seen many, many of these units with a failure that results in a flashing green light, and no startup response beyond that at all. For years, we’ve been unable to fix this failure, but with some help from our friends in Australia, we’re now able to fix these – so far in pretty much all cases we’ve seen.

We’re very happy to have finally overcome this hurdle. This was, by far, the most common failure that we’ve seen that we hadn’t been able to fix. Our repair department is already able to fix 95%+ of the units that come in here – this brings us closer to our goal of 100%.

The process and the pricing for the fix works this way: you’ll start with our Series3 and Series4 TiVo Repair Program fee of $99.99. That includes labor for the diagnosis and testing of all parts, and also includes return shipping. Then, once we receive and test your unit, and assuming we find the problem in question, there will be an additional $79.99 fee for the parts and labor involved in this repair. So, potentially for $180, you’ll be salvaging a fantastic HD TiVo – and saving the costs of a new TiVo Roamio and lifetime fee, starting at about $600.

And if you’re in Australia and need your TiVo repaired, drop us a line and we’ll get you in touch with our friends down under.

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Get your TiVo HDMI Port Repaired at WeaKnees

If you have a TiVo Series3, especially a TiVo Series3 with lifetime, that has a bad HDMI port, WeaKnees can fix it.

We’ve been fixing HDMI ports for a while on these units. It’s not an easy fix, but our technicians have become adept enough at it for us to offer it on our site.

See the full TiVo HDMI Repair page for info.

This TiVo HDMI repair applies to these three TiVo models:

  • TCD648250B
  • TCD652160
  • TCD658000

As yet, we aren’t offering this program for Series4 units. If you have a problem with the HDMI port on a Series4 unit, though, there is still a good chance we can fix it. See this TiVo Series4 Repair Program.

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Troubleshooting TiVo Noise: What’s the Source?

Now that some TiVo DVRs can be as old as 13, we get a lot of questions about how to quiet the actual unit. The older units get, the louder they get, physically.

In a TiVo, there are basically two sources of on-going noise. There is also a third potential source of noise, but if you have that, your TiVo probably isn’t functioning. I’ll cover that at the end.

The two potential sources of noise inside a TiVo are the two moving parts: the fan and the hard drive. Both parts create friction and heat and wear out over time in ways that increase their noise. And both parts are replaceable, but the fan is much easier and less expensive to replace.

For most TiVos, there’s a pretty easy way to tell if the fan is the source of the noise or not. Just stick a toothpick in the fan grates, and see if the noise stops.

Fan grates on the back of popular model TiVos
Fan grates on the back of popular model TiVos

Be sure not to leave the toothpick in there – you don’t want to stop the air circulation inside your TiVo for too long. On some models, especially early DIRECTV TiVos, the fan is in the center of the unit, so you can’t reach it with a toothpick. You’ll have to open the unit and unplug the fan on those models.

If you’ve determined that the fan is the source of the noise, you can order a replacement fan for most TiVo models from our TiVo fan page.

On the other hand, if the noise continues once you’ve disabled your fan temporarily, then you very, very likely have a loud hard drive, and a loud hard drive is a problem for two reasons: the noise, and the increased friction that it’s experiencing, meaning it’ll likely fail before too long. Granted, we do see some drives come in to our office that sound like jet engines but perform fine, but usually noise = imminent failure.

We have replacement TiVo hard drive kits for every model of TiVo.

Then, the third potential source of noise from a TiVo is a ticking noise. This one is pretty rare, and if you hear it, most likely your TiVo isn’t booting at all. This is a failed power supply. My guess is, you’ve already figured that out or sent us the unit since this problem is much more urgent, but in case you haven’t, we have a complete line of replacement TiVo power supplies.

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Care for Your TiVo During Power Outages

While we certainly expect that many of you in the mid-Atlantic region who have lost power due to the storms last weekend have bigger problems to deal with, taking a moment to unplug your TiVo or other DVR while your power is out is a good bit of preventative caution.

This advice can probably apply to many different types of electronic equipment, especially computers, but since we’re all about DVRs here, we’ll speak directly to these. One of the main components in a DVR is a hard drive, and hard drives really like consistent power, or consistent lack of power. But spinning up and down as they get and lose power is really not great for these components. And that’s generally what happens when power is out – bits come through as the crews work on getting everyone’s power back on. So you might have power for a bit, and then it’ll go off again for a bit, or the amperage or voltage will be below normal.

We generally recommend a UPS for just about everyone, and especially for situations with power fluctuations. But a UPS can only help short-term. The power it stores probably can sustain a DVR for a few hours. And it’ll be beeping that whole time, generally. See our earlier blog post for more info about a UPS working with your TiVo.

Even if you already have a UPS, you should unplug both that and your DVR, and wait until your power is on consistently. That should do a lot to protect your unit – those quick fluctuations can’t touch your unit if it isn’t plugged in.

So if you don’t have power at the moment (and you’re somehow reading this) unplug your TiVo! It can’t record now anyway! And if you have friends or relatives without power, tell them to unplug next time you talk to them.

And, should you have a problem with your unit after power restoration, we have a complete TiVo repair department, and lots of TiVo troubleshooting resources, and we can take care of almost any problem.

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Beach TiVo

I just had to post this – it’s amazing was the salt air can do to a TiVo.

And yet, it still boots!