Tips & Tricks

Congratulations on your new TiVo DVR. Here’s a helpful list of TiVo Tips & Tricks that will help you make the most of your TiVo experience.


Transfer your Season Pass® recordings from another TiVo DVR

Just get a new TiVo DVR? The first thing you'll want to do is make sure your favorite shows are still getting recorded. Skip the hassle of setting up all new Season Pass recordings and transfer the ones you already have. Just go to to start.

Customize your channel lineup

It’s easy to minimize the number of new channels in your program guide. Simply access your channel lineup and select the desired channels by repeating guided setup. Go to TiVo Central > Settings > Help > Restart or Reset System > Repeat Guided Setup.

Restrict Search to your subscribed apps only

You may want to restrict your TiVo DVR to only those streaming services with which you have a current subscription. To do so, go into TiVo Central > Settings & Messages > Settings > Channels > My Video Providers and personalize the services so that your searches only includes your available content providers.

Setting up Slide & Glo remotes

If you’re lucky enough to have a TiVo® Slide or Glo remote, you’re about to strike gold. We’re going to show you how you can teach your new TiVo remote your old remote’s tricks by simply holding down a few buttons simultaneously. The Slide and the Glo are multilingual, in that they can talk to your original remote no matter how obscure the brand. For details, visit this page, where you’ll find more information, detailed steps and a visual as to how you can accomplish this sync.

HDMI Splitter

Having a house party for a big game? Make sure that everyone has a good seat. TiVo DVRs are the only cable boxes that let you view the same content on multiple televisions, with the help of an HDMI Splitter. In fact, you can have the same content playing on up to 16 televisions at once.

Have a ‘backup plan’

TiVo is the only DVR that allows you to archive your favorite shows for the ultimate backup plan. How? Download TiVo Desktop software for free and you’ll be able to download all your recordings to your computer.* Also, get a network attached storage device to store your TV shows on an external platform for as long as you want.

* Not all shows transferrable due to FCC copyright regulations. Those shows are usually marked with a red circle slash icon.

Remote buttons

Return to the show you were watching

When you go to TiVo Central while watching a recorded show, the program you were watching will show up in the video window in the upper right hand corner. When you’re ready to return to that show, just press the Zoom button. If you want to return to live TV, just hit the Live TV button.

Return to the TiVo Central menu you were just on

To return to TiVo Central you only need to press the TiVo button at the top of your remote. But what if you want to return to the menu you were on before you started watching a show? Simply press the Left Arrow button to go back to your previous menu.

Hide the live video window

If you don’t want the see the show you were watching in the live video window in TiVo Central, just press the Slow button to hide it. Want it to reappear? Just hit the Slow button again.

Faster fast-forward

Press the Fast-forward button and you’ll begin scrolling through a show. Want to go faster? Press Fast-forward again. Really want to move through a show? Press the Fast-forward button a third time to really move along. Press the Rewind button in a similar fashion to access three speeds of rewinding.

Quickly check what’s recording

When you have four or more tuners, it can be difficult to remember what’s happening on each of them. Press the Info button and scroll down to get a quick rundown of what’s being recorded on each tuner.

The re-Zoom button

Most TiVo users know that when on the Guide, clicking the “Zoom” button will resume the show in the upper right-hand corner. Get it? Re-zoom. Resume. Just a little shortcut secret between you and your DVR.

Skip to tick

The white marks on your Trick Play Bar (which shows you where you are in a show’s recording) are more than just decoration. Let’s say you turn on your TV to find that the special that you had intended to watch is already halfway over; while rewinding, press the replay button to take you to the previous ‘tick’ instantly. In an opposite scenario, avoid watching the scenes go by in triple time by pressing the jump-forward button while fast-forwarding and get to the next ‘tick’ in a flash.

Speed through your My Shows list

Got a long My Shows list and growing? Instead of “blooping” your way down each and every show, hopefully you've discovered this little (not-so-secret) secret: Use the CHAN UP/DOWN button to quickly browse page by page. This especially comes in handy when you use "View upcoming episodes" following a WishList® search that garners umpteen results ( e.g. Keyword: 2006, Category, MOVIES).

Quickly navigate lists

Click on the ‘Advance’ button to go to the end of the list, and press it twice to go to the top. You can also go page by page if you so choose, by clicking the ‘Channel up’ and ‘Channel down’ buttons, accordingly. From there, scrolling to your destination won’t be as time consuming, and you can spend those few extra seconds doing some quality watching rather than scrolling.

Delete an entire group of shows

Erase all the episodes you’ve recorded by enter your My Shows folder, highlighting that show’s folder and pressing Clear button.

TiVo menus (User Interface)

Use your Tuner Swap to the max

The tuner swap might as well be called magic. Watch two shows live without skipping a beat. Say you’re on one tuner in real-time, selecting Live TV allows you to switch to another tuner where you’re free to rewind and fast-forward another show. So, go ahead. You can switch back to the other tuner and rewind to catch up on what you missed. It’s a sports fan favorite. Let the watching begin.

Find more favorite shows with the Discovery Bar

Don’t forget about the feature that gets personal. The Discovery Bar menu gives you a feed of show recommendations based on your interests and what’s popular in the TiVo community. An easy shortcut is to hold the “Up” button to get to the very top of your list.

See what TiVo thinks

The TiVo Suggestion feature records shows that you might like based on what you’ve watched before. These shows are recorded on a ghost drive and therefore don’t take up any space on your TiVo DVR. It’s like having an extra TiVo that knows you better than you know yourself.

Customize your Collections

You might already know that you can record a whole collection; all you have to do is go to TiVo Central > “Find TV, Movies & Videos,” > “Browse TV & Movies” and select a Collection, where you’ll choose “Record This Collection” at the top of the page. But did you know you can customize this request to accommodate your personal needs? Once you’re in the Collection you would like to customize, just go into “Browse Options” and sort by HD, cost or rating.

Optimizing your Suggestions

You can help your TiVo better understand your viewing likes and dislikes by rating shows on a scale from three thumbs up to three thumbs down. Open the suggestions folder and use the skip to bottom trick to get to the bottom of the list, where you’ll find an option called ‘Improve Suggestions.’ Select this folder and vote on how much you like a series of selections to allow your TiVo to make suggestions accordingly. The more thumbs up you give a show the more you love it; Thumbs down means TiVo will have better luck hitting your sweet spot with other show suggestions.

TiVo Central shortcuts

Here’s some convenient ways to save the time spent searching for folders or trying to access your shows. When you’re at the TiVo Central screen, the numbers 0 through 6 on your remote will act as the shortcuts listed below, making it easier to zip around the already easy-to-use interface that you know and love.

  • 0- Replays the TiVo intro video
  • 1- Season Pass Manager
  • 2- To Do List
  • 3- WishList
  • 4- Search
  • 5- My Shows
  • 6- History


Find shows faster

Looking for a specific show on the Guide? Instead of clicking through all the channels, just press Enter to get to the search menu.

WishList® searches cater to your interests

Odds are you're not taking full advantage of one of TiVo's best features: the WishList search. There is no better way to personalize your TV experience, so grab that remote and customize. From TiVo Central, select Find Programs & Downloads, then WishList search. Once you create your search term, you can choose to "View upcoming episodes" every 14 days or so, or set it to auto-record every match.

WishList® search for sports

Keeping up with all your favorite teams while you’re out and about is made even easier with WishList® searches. Just select the “Sports” category and you’ll be able to pick from a wide range of sporting events. From here, dive deeper into your specific interests with keywords like “San Francisco Giants” or “New England Patriots.” You can customize your TiVo to record the most recent game, too. Your TiVo DVR can even be set to record this game and delete the previous one each day, so the games don’t pile up. Have bandwagon friends? You can help them set their TiVo DVR to only record during the playoffs. Remember, too, that WishList search feature can also apply to actors, directors and many other filters as well, so be sure to play around with these capabilities.

When you're not sure how to spell it

Use asterisks when you're looking for a range of similar words, or are uncertain how to spell a word. For example, the keyword AIRP* will find shows containing airport, airplane, or airplanes, as well as the movie Airplane. Use the Slow button to enter an asterisk.


That blue light means ‘web’

The first web tip we can give you is about the blue light on the front of your TiVo DVR. You may or may not have noticed it. This blue light indicates that you’re accessing content from the web, which is one of the best reasons to own a TiVo DVR in the first place.

Record your podcasts

Podcasts are great to enjoy on the go, but you don’t have to restrict yourself to the sound system of your mobile devices. Just as you might already enjoy your Pandora music from your TiVo DVR, you can download your favorite podcasts, so you can go about your cleaning or cooking and keep on listening. In TiVo Central, go to Find TV, Movies & Videos > Browse Web Videos > Video Podcasts > Custom RSS Feeds > Add a new RSS Feed and type in the URL of the podcast you wish to record. There’s also an option for ‘Web Videos FAQ’ in the ‘Video Podcasts’ list that may answer any additional questions.

YouTube™ channel surfing

We all have those YouTube videos that we can’t get enough of. Now you can put them in your My Shows folder and watch them on your TV whenever you want. Just sync your tablet to your TiVo so that you can send videos to it. You’ll find the sneezing panda is even funnier when you share it with others on the big screen.

Keep track of your streaming services

Keep in mind that each streaming service has a maximum number of devices that can be simultaneously activated. So the next time you sign into your Netflix account on any device, remember that it’ll be taking up one of the 6 accounts that you’re allotted. If you’re having trouble accessing your account from your TiVo box, this might be why! The maximum number varies from service to service, so be sure to look into this before activating.

TiVo everywhere

You may not need TiVo Stream

If you own a four-tuner Roamio or a Premiere series DVR, you’ll need to add a TiVo Stream to your setup to download and stream shows on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. However, if you’re the proud owner of a Roamio Plus or Pro, TiVo Stream and all its related benefits are built right into your box. Either way, streaming is a great way to make the most of your TiVo DVR.

TiVo Mini gives you flexibility

You might be aware of the Mini’s capabilities, but in case you’re not, we wanted to fill you in. The Mini will allow you to do ALL of the following:

a. The same show can be watched on two different TVs at one time, with individual DVR controls
b. Two different shows can be watched on two different TVs at one time
c. You can start watching one show on one TV and continue watching it on a second
d. You can access any web apps on your Mini without utilizing a tuner on the DVR.

Control TiVo Stream download speeds

TiVo Stream’s maximum transfer speed is 4x. In other words, it only takes 15 minutes to download 60 minutes of content. However, if you’re streaming to two devices at once, the transfer speed goes down to 3x (meaning it would take 20 minutes per device), and one more for each additional device added (three devices would put you at 30 minutes and four devices would each take 60). Simply put, be aware that if you are streaming to other devices during downloads it will affect your transfer speed, so choose accordingly when deciding whether to download all at once or one after the other.

Tuner tip

Confused about your TiVo Stream or TiVo Mini tuner use? This tip will help you understand when you’re using a tuner and when you’re not. The TiVo Stream will use a tuner when it’s utilizing the Record & Watch feature. However, a tuner is not in use when the TiVo Stream is being used to watch pre-recorded content. Similarly, the TiVo Mini is using a tuner when it’s being used to watch live TV, but is not using a tuner while you’re watching pre-recorded content.

Using TiVo Mini with older TVs

Thinking about purchasing a Mini? It’s important to remember that not all TVs are created equal. If you’ll be running the TiVo Mini off of an older TV – one without an HDMI connection – you will need a breakout component cable and/or the composite cable to properly connect your Mini to an older TV. However, if your TV has an HDMI connection, you will not need this pack of cables. For your convenience, these cables can be found and purchased on our website.

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