My girlfriend's mom gave us her old Tivo as a gift. We were excited about it, it was nice and thoughtful of her - we would now be able to ensure we get to see our favorite ghost hunter / ghost lab shows and random history channel specials. It has since proved to a drain on our time and money. In order to get it to work:
-Tivo yearly service - $129.00
-Because it is an older model, it was designed to connect with the Tivo service line through a land line. Getting it set up with a wireless adapter ($31.00) was not successful. In order to set it up the Tivo unit needed to complete guided set up, and the last step was to connect to their database.
-Linksys, we needed to configure the wirless router to open up some ports so the Tivo could work with the wireless adapter and finish the last step. This involved calling Linksys support - apparently our warranty was up, so would cost us $29.99 for a one time service or $39.99 for a six month service plan. We went with the six month plan. He opened up the ports, we rebooted the Tivo - it did not connect successfully.
So far we were $199.00 the hole with out a working Tivo. He mentioned he could pass this on to their sister company, where a team of engineers could solve our problem for a one time fee. We opted no, asked for a refund, and we were successful at that! We cancelled our Tivo service plan. We are over this costly and time consuming process to get an electriconic box to record more television shows for us, when we still have to finish our Twin Peaks, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia marathons. And when it comes down to it, we have an old fashioned VCR.
Tivo will be up on e-bay at some point soon if you want to give it a whirl.