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“Call Interrupted” Problems Seem to NOT be Resolved . . .

We previously wrote about TiVo DVRs having problems dialing in – specifically getting “call interrupted” errors.

Then we wrote to say that TiVo had alerted us that they had fixed the problem.

Well, unfortunately, I’m back to say, that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least for all users. Plenty of our customers are still seeing these dial-in problems. So if you are also, you’re not alone.

TiVo is on the case, but feel free to email us more info on your situation if you’d like, and if you include your 15 digit TiVo Service Number (TSN), we’ll pass it on to TiVo while this problem persists.

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Series1 TiVos Getting “Call Interrupted”

If you’ve got a Series1 TiVo (Sony SVR-2000 and Philips HDR series) and you’re getting a lot of “call interrupted,” you’re not alone.

We’ve been getting a LOT of inquiries via email and phone from people having this problem. We’re pretty sure it’s not a problem in the TiVos themselves, but rather at TiVo HQ. There are just too many reports for this to be a coincidence.

Over at TiVoCommunity, there’s a whole thread on the issue full of people experiencing these problems.

So, while we’d love to sell you a replacement hard drive or an external modem, we really think the best move is to sit tight and see if TiVo sorts this one out.

UPDATE: Looks like this does NOT just affect Series1 TiVos. I’ve been corrected by several people here at WeaKnees that this is happening with Series2, HD, and even Premiere units, not just with phone lines, but also with network connections.

TiVo! Help!

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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.

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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.

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    TiVo Dial In Problems

    We hear from a lot of customers who have problems with their TiVo modems. And we sell a TiVo external modem kit to address many of those problems – basically the ones either involving hardware failure, or VoIP phone lines such as Vonage.

    But there’s another issue that accounts for many modem failures at the moment, and you don’t need our modem kit to fix it: a problem with local dial-in numbers. We’ve been getting calls from many customers over the last week about this problem, and TiVo has a support page up for these problems. They are basically telling customers to access a new dial-in number by having them query the main TiVo number for an updated list of local access numbers.

    So if you think you might be having a problem getting local guide data, and you use a phone line to access TiVo, then you should visit the above link, or, if you have a Series2 or Series3 TiVo, consider networking your TiVo to avoid these problems.