Tivo Tip: How to Watch Live TV While Recording Another
If you have a Tivo, you already understand how it’s a revolutionary device. “Time-Shifting” is the term that the chipheads use – basically, having the ability NOT being tied to a specific time to watch specific programs. Kind of like creating your own “on-demand” catalog at home. Or another way to put it is a suped-up VCR or DVD-Recorder (think about it, all the Tivo does is automate recording TV shows for you and sorting through tapes or DVD’s with the power of a remote control.
But one limitation most Tivo users kind of “get used to” is that if your Tivo is recording a program, it looks like it has taken control of the TV, and in order to switch the channel, you have to go through a menu screen that asks you to make a choice:
1) keep recording the program that it’s currently recording and you can watch it as it goes along or
2) Cancel the recording so that you can watch live TV and skip around channels.
Little do most Tivo owners know that there’s a 3rd option:
I can hear you right now screaming “HOW?” How much does it cost? Where do you upgrade your subscription? :-) Nope, it’s not an “upsell” from Tivo, although they should sell a kit that makes this nice and easy for you to do.
With a basic little thing called an RF splitter that you can pick up from Radio Shack for under $10. And your TV must have both composite video and RF connections (most TV’s do these days). Tivo.com has simple instructions on how to set-up the wiring so that you can acheieve this Tivo Nirvana.
Although the aim is not to watch live TV (that’s the whole point of Tivo!), if your record a lot of shows, there will be enough times that there are head-to-head programmed shows that are both worthy of watching. Now you don’t have to sacrifice one of the shows!
Along with the 30-second skip Tivo Hack, this is probably the most useful Tivo tip around yet one of the largest Tivo secrets.