How do I set up my single tuner DVR with a TV that only has RF (coaxial) input?

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NOTE: The illustrations below show the Cable/Antenna label that is present on most Series2 DVRs. However, Series2 DVRs that have serial numbers beginning with 542 will work with cable or satellite signaling only.

ParagraphThe setup information in this article applies to any single tuner TiVo DVR. The illustrations shown are specific to the Series2 DVR manufactured by TiVo (see alternate Series2 back panel) but can be adapted if you are using a different DVR. If you have a Series2 DT (dual tuner) DVR, see How Do I Set Up My Dual Tuner DVR?

If your DVR did not come pre-activated, we recommend that you activate your service before beginning the following setup process.

To use this configuration with your TiVo DVR:


1. Connect the RF coaxial cable coming from the wall to the connector labeled RF In on the cable box or satellite receiver.

Image of step one

2. Connect an RF coaxial cable from the cable box or satellite receiver RF Out connector to the Digital Video Recorder RF IN.

Image of step two

3. If you have a satellite receiver with serial control capability, connect the control cable from the Serial connector on the receiver to the Serial connector on the DVR. Otherwise, connect the IR control cable to the IR connector on the DVR. For information about setting up the IR control cable, go to How Do I Verify My IR Cable Connections?

Image of step three and four

4. Set the CH 3/4 switch on the back of the DVR to 3.

5. Connect an RF coaxial cable from the DVR RF OUT connector to the Antenna In connector on the television.

Image of step five

NOTE: Ensure that the AC cord is connected to both the DVR and a wall outlet. Also, be certain the phone cord is connected to both the DVR and an analog phone jack. Confirm that the analog phone jack has a dial tone present.

6. Set up either a network connection (recommended) or phone connection from the DVR to the TiVo service using one of the following methods.

  • Wired network connection: If you have broadband and you want to use a wired connection, connect a wired USB network adapter (sold separately) to one of the USB ports on the DVR. Connect one end of an Ethernet cable (also sold separately) to the Ethernet connector on the adapter, and connect the other end to a port on your network hub or router. Refer to Which network adapters work with my TiVo DVR?for a list of compatible adapters.
  • Wireless network connection: If you have broadband and you want to use a wireless connection, connect a wireless USB network adapter (sold separately) to one of the USB ports on the DVR. A compatible wireless adapter is available at WWW, or go to Which network adapters work with my TiVo DVR? for a list of compatible adapters.
  • Phone connection: If you need to use a phone line to connect to the TiVo service, connect the provided phone cord from the DVR to a nearby wall jack. Use the provided phone line splitter if the DVR is sharing the wall jack with a telephone.

NOTE: If you use a phone line to connect to the TiVo service and you have DSL, you will need to use a DSL Filter on your phone line to improve your connection.

7. Connect the power cord from a wall outlet to the back of the DVR.

8. Turn on your TV, and then tune it to channel 3. If you see the "Welcome to TiVo" screen, you are ready to begin Guided Setup. If not, you need to find the correct input settings by pressing the Input or TV/Video button on your TV remote control until you see the "Welcome to TiVo" screen.

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