Tuesday, April 07, 2009

TiVo Series 1 and ooma voip dialup strings

I just tried the test call and 4 out of 5 times this worked for me. I then made the daily call which worked the first time. That is reliable enough for me as the TiVo carries enough data at a time and tries enough times to ensure I get my updates.

If you've arrived here and need a voip service that works with ooma, buy one through this link and support theroblog.


I have a Sony SVR-2000 and I'm using the dialup modem to update the guide over the ooma VoIP service. Don't laugh, I paid $20 for it at a garage sale and it has LIFETIME service! I have Comcast cable as my ISP.

On your TiVo just set these settings under Phone Dialing options on your TiVo.
Make your screen look like this: (click the pic)

Phone Dialing Options
Use these dialing options
Set Dial-In Number: 281-969-1100
Set Dial Prefix: ,#034
Set Call Waiting Prefix: *99,
Set Tone/Pulse: Tone
Set 'Phone Avail.' Detection: Off
Set Dial Tone Detection: Off

Alternately you can use ,#019 as the Dial Prefix. This slows the modem down even further.

Turning off phone detect and dial tone detect and using a filter in the phone line can also help if your TiVo won't dial due to a modem hardware breakage issue. That fixed mine.

Did this help? Donation based tech support: you pay what you think it was worth. Drop a buck in my Starbucks fund. (Actually, I make my own, but you get the idea.)


Anonymous said...

Thank you.
Thank you.
How did you find out the right strings to use?

This worked well on my Phillips Tivo

Rob said...

I just googled for the TiVo dial prefixes to see what to tell it.

All you are doing is telling the TiVo "slow down your data rate" with ,#034 and telling ooma "this next call is data" with *99,

ooma compresses the data going out over the phone line and that really messes with a data transmission unless you slow it down and tell ooma it's data.

Sarge said...

Fantastic!!!! This worked brilliantly on a Series 1 OLD SCHOOL Phillips TiVo that I simply love. It has a lifetime subscription, and I thought that I would have to abandon it. I tried everything - but this worked with my Ooma. Thanks so much

Anonymous said...

I tried this with my DirecTV Hughes HDVR2. Test calls on the Ooma work great (90% of the time), but the modem cuts out in the middle of large downloads and fails during DVR service calls. I think the Ooma is hanging up prematurely, or the signal is interrupted during data transfer, which cause the Ooma to hang up. Any thoughts? I have yet to make a successful download.

Rob said...

If test calls work, I'd think it's some sort of stability issue. Try lowering the speed of the connection with ,#019 as noted above for the prefix. Did you make sure to turn call waiting off? Anything else in your house perhaps interrupting it? Make sure you don't have too many devices plugged into your phone system. Might be a REN issue. (Google that-you're limited to a set amount probably even on an ooma.) Try a filter. I had to put a DSL filter inline on my old Tivo to get it to dial at all, because it's modem is flaky. Something's shorted I think. A noted SVR2000 flaw. Also, try some data calls with other devices if you can. That's all I can think of!

Anonymous said...

i was wondering how you have the ooma setup. i have my tivo series 1 Philips connected to the scoutt do i need it connect to the main unit or the scoutt would work. i have tried doing the other things i still have not gotten it to work.

Rob said...

I have my ooma core connected directly to a phone jack, and the line is disconnected at the outside box. So no phone line comes into my house. Basically the house wiring acts as one big splitter and everything is effectively plugged into the core. I sold my scout because I didn't need it.

Frank said...

I just got the ooma. Find your sight thanks. Tried it and could not get through. Always said line busy. Then went back to Cable phone (did not discontinue yet) and could get it to work with both set dial prefix and wall waiting prefix to none. but when just trying with the #034 or #019 in dial prefix get that number busy error. Should this happen even with a line that works with none. or is this just for ooma. Thanks

Rob said...

Did you add the comma and make your screen just like my screen? The comma is necessary, it is a pause before it dials the rest.

Frank said...

Did some more digging and just noticed the comma that is used for pause. Will be trying again with this after the download is done and will post results. I figure should work with the ,#034 if it works without it. Will find out.

Frank said...

Added the comma and got it to work on the cable phone line. So off to try the ooma line. It does up to preparing and dialing but now it says "Failed. Service not answering" Tried #034 and #019 no help. Do I need to try different primary number. Also took comma out after *99 but no difference. Is there something about your primary number that is important the 281 area code. Also noticed on Wiki that someone suggest 212 area code. Thanks for help.

Rob said...

Dial it via your ooma line with a phone and listen to see if it picks up on the other end. I don't think it's restricted by area or anything.

Try the 212 hurts nothing, since it's free long distance.

Is there a filter on your line maybe?

Is the tivo the only thing connected to the ooma?

My Ooma is plugged into the house wiring downstairs, and the TiVo upstairs, and other phones are too throughout the house.

Wiring is disconnected outside, that might make a difference somehow.

Think of the house wiring as just a big phone extension cord.

If that's not it, and the TiVo works otherwise, it might be something in your router settings.

Some have a VoIP priority. Might try enabling that and setting it up for the ooma or turning it off if it's on.

Kinda running out of ideas. :) Mine was fairly painless. If it's not the TiVo and the Ooma, the only thing left is your network.

You could also try a serial connection to an external modem, or a PC via PPP but that's another article entirely.

Also, you could get one of the LAN adapters they sell for Series 1, but you have to open your tivo and install it. Also it's about $100.

Rob said...

http://www.9thtee.com/tivoupgrades.htm has some networking equipment to put your TiVo on Wifi or a wired LAN.

Dave said...

I've had VoIP for at least 5 years with several different services. TiVo worked with ATT, but they discontinued that service a year ago. ViaTalk is a great VoIP service ($200 for TWO years), but TiVo only worked once for every 50 connection attempts (with all sorts of different connection strings).

By the way, I've had a TiVo series 1 with lifetime service since 1999 (it was only $99 back then). What a deal that has been until I lost the ability to dial out and successfully connect!

Your post convinced me to try ooma. My first attempt - TiVo connected and downloaded the whole ball of wax! AND, I think ooma may now replace the rest of my VoIP's - it seems like the best deal yet!

I'm buying your next cup of coffee dude!

Rob said...

I wish you'd bought it from our link, but I'll take a donation for some coffee too! :) That Paypal donation link is somewhere over on the right side...

Frank said...

Well got around to trying to get my series one taking on ooma again. This time put the ooma directly into cablevision modem then out of ooma into linksys wireless router. Also connected ooma directly into the phone line of the main unit not the scout. Did as told with ,#034 and did *99,, Did two comma as I think i saw this somewhere. Well it worked. Had only few days of programing left as I canceled the cablevision phone line. Thanks all.

Rob said...

I don't use the scout. See how mine is wired above, but basically:

Cable Modem-Router-ooma-house wiring-Tivo

Can't recall if Voip priority is enabled in the router, so if you have trouble, try it both ways.

Frank said...

I guess for me I had to do wiring a little different. I also like it as it puts the ooma first then the router. I go cable Modem-ooma-house wiring-dsl filter(your suggestion)-Tivo. Mine wouldn't work with cable modem-linksys wireless router-ooma-housewiring-dslfilter-Tivo. Could have been something in my router. Everthing is working so all is well in the universe. Thanks for all the help

Anonymous said...

Is the phone number important?
Mine is 1-978-xxx-xxxxx

Is the 1- a problem?
I can’t figure out how to change the number. The only option I see is to dial in to get new numbers but of course I can’t dial in.

Rob said...

You don't need the 1.

On your first dial up, just use the same prefixes as the screenshot shows. It should ask you.

Mike P said...

I've tried everything here and no luck with my series 1 Philips Tivo. It still says the service isn't answering. I even tried a DSL filter, no luck.

I can't try any other dial-up numbers because, well, I can't connect, and you have to connect to change the phone number.


Steve said...

This article was originally written several years ago and the suggested phone number of 281-969-1100 may no longer work - at least it did njavascript:void(0)ot for me.

Otherwise the general strategy worked great switching from my cable VOIP to OOMA, already having configured a good local phone number.

I wanted to check some alternate numbers as well and found that I could override the local number in the CW setting, for example:

Set Call Waiting Prefix: *99,8772823840,,   (note 2 commas at end)

This is one of the toll-free numbers that tivo uses during guided setup in order to get the list of local numbers. Basically it dials the alternate number first, pausing 4 seconds before dialing the 'local number'. By that time the call is already being connected and the remaining digits are ignored.

For those needing a few known working numbers as of Nov 1 2014 I used these:


For more numbers I suspect the S1 forum on tivocommunity.com would help.

Long live Series 1!

Robert Bullock said...

I just dialed 281-969-1100 manually and it worked, at least a modem picked up on the other end.

I now have THREE TiVo's (S3/Premiere/Roamio...I have issues!) so the old Series 1's are looking for a new home.

I can't do SD any more. :)

The Roamio was overkill but they had a $199 lifetime offer so I bit. That's 2001 era pricing.

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