Further to this post I replaced the hard drive in my old Tivo Premiere with one from EBay. The EBay drive had the Tivo operating system on it. The Premiere won’t work without an OS on the drive. Unfortunately my original drive died, and I lost the OS as well. The replacement drive works fine.
Replacing the HD is easy. There are 5 screws in the back of the Premiere case, and then the cover slides off. There are 4 screws holding the drive to the motherboard. Just remove the SATA cable, the screws and an additional 4 screws holding the drive to the drive caddy, pop in the new drive, reverse everything, and you’re done. Takes 5 minutes.
I booted up the Tivo and went through the setup. First I reset and erased everything. I paired the cablecard to the Tivo via my cable company. Then chose the channels I want to see and that’s it. It took several hours to complete the process because the Tivo updates took a long time.
So what do you get if you don’t pay Tivo for its service? Not much. The Premiere has 2 tuners, but I can only use one. I can’t record anything – not live TV or manual recording of future TV. I can’t use any of the streaming services. I have no program guide.
But … I can watch live TV fine. The picture looks great, and I can pause, rewind and fast forward live TV. And I don’t have to pay the cable company for a cable box.
So, all in all I am happy with it. I don’t watch much TV so I am happy to give up my program guide in exchange for saving $100 a year on cable box rentals.