How do I set up my single tuner DVR with a cable box or satellite receiver and a VCR?

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ParagraphThe setup information in this article applies to any single tuner TiVo DVR. The illustrations shown are specific to the Series2 DVR (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 television does not have Composite A/V Connectors, go to How Do I Set up my DVR with a TV that Only Has One Input (RF)?.

If you have a DVD recorder, simply substitute it for the VCR in the hookups below. If you have a DVD player, hook it up to a different input on your TV.

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 Digital Video Recorder, perform the following steps:


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

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2. 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?

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3. Connect the composite A/V cables from the cable box or satellite receiver Audio/Video Out to the Audio/Video INPUT connectors on the DVR.

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4. Set the CH 3/4 switches on the back of the DVR and VCR to 3.

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

6. Connect an RF coaxial cable from the VCR RF Out connector to the Antenna In connector on the TV.

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7. Connect the composite A/V cables from the DVR Audio/Video OUTPUT connectors to the Audio/Video Input connectors on the TV.

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8. 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. Go 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. For a compatible wireless adapters go to Which network adapters work with my TiVo DVR?
  • 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.

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

10. 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.

Need additional assistance? Chat with a TiVo representative.

To get help from other TiVo users, visit the TiVo Help Forums.

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