Keep TiVo Premiere Recording Suggestions

Not long ago, I wrote about how I had to reset our TiVo Premiere to get suggestions working again. It worked great – suggestions came back, for the first time in months. Essentially the first time since we had had the unit.

The problem is that they soon went away again. I was about to scream. I would have pulled out all of my hair, but I really don’t have any. So I went back to the drawing board.

I didn’t want to go through all that process again, especially since I had just done it, and I figured that I was close, so I started thinking about all that I had heard previously. One thing that kept coming up was the timer. Apparently if you put your tuning adapter on a timer, it would bring back suggestions.

I figured it was worth a shot. In fact, I had tried it before, but it didn’t work. I think that maybe the suggestions list needed to be completely reset or something along those lines.

Whatever the case, I picked up a new timer, plugged it in and promptly set about trying to figure out when we could schedule the timer to shut down the tuning adapter. This isn’t easy. Essentially, it involves scrolling through the To Do List and finding a window that works. It may not have to happen every day, but I have it set to happen every day. If I decide to play with it more, I might try and do it once a week – but for now, I’m good with not making more changes.

We don’t record much during the afternoon – but my wife does tend to leave the tv on in the afternoon as background noise, and if the tuning adapter is off, it won’t work. So that’s out. About the only other time we have is early morning – roughly 2am until 5am. Once every couple of weeks something might come up in that window, but it’s rare. We may need to tweak it, say to 2:30am to 4:30am or something like that, but we’ll see.

One thing that is helpful in this case is the use of a digital timer. Those old-school mechanical timers are nice because they don’t require anything like batteries or they don’t have to be reset if you lose power, but they can be more of a challenge to set correctly.

So, after plugging the timer into the UPS (this should help with not losing programming), and plugging the tuning adapter into the timer, I watched it. This didn’t help – I wasn’t going to sit up all night. But I wanted to see if it did anything. Nope. Looks fine.

The next question is what in the world is going on? At first, I thought perhaps the connection to the TiVo service needed to happen during this time, and even though I’ve had multiple units for years, I had no idea how to make this happen. So I forced a connection, to see if I could figure out how to get the times running at a particular time of day, and would go from there.

By the next morning, suggestions were running again. I have absolutely no idea how it worked. The last connection was the night before, when I forced it. All I can suggest is that during that downtime, the TiVo does some sort of internal maintenance, and by taking the tuning adapter offline for a while, it gives it a window to do it – so the connection doesn’t have to happen during the window, it just needs to be there.

The only downside is the somewhat-annoying message that the tuning adapter has been connected. You have to click through this to get back to the TiVo menu. It doesn’t impact the recording of channels while the message is up, however (though recording of any switched channels while the tuning adapter is off will of course be impacted). A minor price to pay.

Problem solved. For now.