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Welcome to Canada, My New TiVo!

posted at 6:23 pm
on Oct. 2, 2005

Comments: 17 so far



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My TiVo arrived today.  I ordered it as soon as I heard you could get TiVo service in Canada.

Nice box, nice packing, nothing amazing but still rather well organized. The manual’s thick and hardly inspiring, and full of marketing-speak.

I have encountered two problems so far:  1) The software on the box, 5.3, doesn’t deal with Canada.  So you have to set it up with a U.S. zip code (


82327 is what it currently thinks), so that you can connect and download the update to 7.2.

Problem 2)—not really a problem, but I’m off to buy a USB to Ethernet, or USB to wireless (Wifi) adapter.  Without that, you can get program data via phone, but you can’t make your TiVo play with your other home computers, nor will you be able to tell it what to download via the TiVo Web site.

More later—the software download’s taking about an hour via the phone line (I guess that’s another reason to get the USB/Ethernet adapter).  Darren, you can come try it if you’d like.

Update: It’s later, and I’ve got lots more.  First of all, rereading above, I don’t sound too enthusiastic.  Well, I was tired today, and also I’ve had a TiVo before, so I’m not as excited as I was when I got my first one (which was my gift to myself after a particularly good week in 2001).

So, the total set up time, from opening the box to getting it running, was several hours, during which time I watched some TV, made some dinner, and blogged.  Not bad.  Not great, but not bad.  What slowed it down was that I had to call in multiple times to set up, then re-set up, the TiVo.

Darren asked in the comments about the zip code thing I mentioned above.  I had to tell it a zip code so that I could get past the startup.  Zip code 82327 is in Wyoming, and therefore it has to download as little program data as possible.  Once it’s downloaded the program data, it’ll then download the software update.  That took about 40 minutes on the phone.  Now, it’ll accept postal codes.

Once it was up to date, I fell in love with it all over again.  First of all, I used the built-in TV Guide, and discovered The Simpsons was on a channel that I didn’t know it was on at 7:00.  Then, I was disappointed that I was going to have to make dinner and would miss part of it, when I remembered that I could pause live TV.

We paused TV until dinner was ready, then sat down to watch the show—after rating it a hearty three “Thumbs Up” so that it would suggest other shows we might like.  A commercial came on, and I actually watched the first one, until I remembered that we could zoom through them in no time.

Then, I told it to tape Law and Order: CI for tomorrow, so I could come write this blog entry.  Setting that up took about 20 seconds—far less time than setting a DVD to burn it would take.

Later, I came out to find Susie watching a documentary.  I got engrossed, so she backed it up so I could see the beginning of the section I’d missed.  When my Mom called, Susie paused it while I took the call.

Darren, I have to admit, I can understand your position a little better now, honestly.  I was a TiVo evangelist when I had one before, and in the past year, I’d forgotten how good it makes things.  You really don’t understand it until you use it.  The remote control is pleasing to hold, the sound effects are pleasant and perky.  The interface is jolly.

All-in-all, Susie and I are super-pleased to have TiVo back with us.


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Previous entry:
Friday Night in Vancouver

Next entry:
One Year in Vancouver


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

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“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?







Hi Tivo!

I'm anxiously awaiting your review on how it works North o' the 49th!


Posted by Jen
  at 10:08 pm on Oct. 2, 2005




I just might. In the meantime, I have stupid questions:

1. How can you be sure of getting the correct program data, if you have to set an American postal code (or are those unrelated)?

2. On a related question, I use a small startup called Novus for my TV and Internet. Will this impact matters?


Posted by Darren
  at 11:45 pm on Oct. 2, 2005




I was offered the choice of two cable systems for which I could download program data.

One was Shaw, and I don't remember the other one because I chose Shaw. I can't go back and look up cable systems without going through the Guided Setup again, so I can't answer your second question, Darren. But if Novus is the second provider for which it has the information, you're set.


Posted by Travis Smith
  at 12:27 am on Oct. 3, 2005




Yeah, I doubt Novus is the second provider, because they're a tiny Yaletown operation.


Posted by Darren
  at 8:58 am on Oct. 3, 2005




Interesting that it might not accommodate Novus, since the TiVo site claims to work with any local cable provider, or even just an antenna.


Posted by Jen
  at 10:29 am on Oct. 3, 2005




Where'd you buy it from? Any issues with having it shipped through customs?


Posted by Bill Stilwell
  at 3:08 pm on Oct. 3, 2005





How did you get it here (to Canada). We read that it could only be shipped to the States..
What are the options for getting it here..
Thanks for any help you can provide..
Cara and Zeljko


Posted by Zeljko
  at 11:40 am on Jan. 20, 2006




I bought it from Amazon and sent it to a friend. Then I arranged to pick it up from the friend.

Amazon will probably ship it to Canada, but you'll pay duty on it.


Posted by Travis Smith
  at 11:44 am on Jan. 20, 2006




I have a question:
I own a regular Shaw Digital Cable Box.

Is there any way to somehow get TiVO to record & even anticipate/record my digital channels that are coming through this shaw box??

I want a TiVO soo bad I can almost Taste IT!! Help PLease!


Posted by David Watters
  at 10:51 am on Jan. 21, 2006




You can now buy Tivo in Canada!! is an retailer out of Calgary. I bought mine from them and love it. Dual tuner Tivo all the way!


Posted by john wright
  at 7:19 pm on Jan. 2, 2007




Have you any cahngets of heart in the past few years? And if you were making the decision now, would you do Tivo 2 or Tivo 3?


Posted by Dave Orchard
  at 1:20 pm on Oct. 15, 2007




I'm eyeing the TiVo HD these days. It's a great box. I just don't have the spare cash to spend on something that'll ultimately use even more of my time... and I dislike the monthly fee instead of the lifetime one. But no, I still love TiVo and have a hard time watching TV without it.


Posted by Travis Smith
  at 2:23 pm on Oct. 15, 2007




I heard that Tivo HD doesn't work in Canada from a friend's brother, but I haven't tracked that down. Something about the encoding is different here. So maybe Tivo 3?


Posted by Dave Orchard
  at 2:30 pm on Oct. 15, 2007




Any update re: Novus and Tivo? I live in Yaletown in Vancouver. Thanks.


Posted by Randy
  at 7:06 am on Dec. 2, 2007




Ha! Just saw Tivo 2s are in canada at BestBuy, London Drugs, Future Shop...


Posted by Dave Orchard
  at 8:53 pm on Dec. 2, 2007




Hi all,

We just got a Tivo for Christmas. We live in Delta B.C. have Delta Cable company and they say they do not support Tivo. I called Shaw cable and they said they do not support as well.
I then called Tivo support and tehy say it does not matter.
I am going to try to set it up tonight but if anyone has any advise please let me know.


Posted by Darry
  at 4:13 pm on Dec. 28, 2007




I don't know whether it's just me or if everyone
else encountering problems with your site. It appears as if some
of the text in your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and
let me know if this is happening to them too?
This may be a problem with my browser because I've had this happen before. Appreciate it


Posted by how to atract woman
  at 10:13 pm on Apr. 22, 2013

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