TiVo & Daylight Savings Time

dali-clock.jpgIn an attempt to save energy nationally, Congress has extended the period of Daylight Savings Time here in the US. So we’ll be springing ahead a few weeks early this year. I’ve received several news alerts in the last week regarding TiVo and DST, a few of which caught my attention…


And even V-C-Rs and Tivo which don’t have built-in updating devices

Mercury News:

But be prepared to reset your computer clock, too — and the clocks on your TiVo, BlackBerry and anything else electronic that depends on time.

TiVo units do have the ability to receive updates via dial-up or broadband and I don’t recall ever setting the time on my DVRs, so I did a little digging around. From some posts on the TiVo Community Forum (here, here, and here) it seems like:

  • TiVo Series3 units are completely updated to accommodate the new DST schedule.
  • TiVo Series2 units are mostly updated to accommodate the new DST schedule. Recordings will happen at the appropriate times, though the Guide and the external clock (on DVD models) and will be one hour ahead for a period of hours. A future software update will resolve this before the next time change.
  • TiVo Series1 units haven’t received software updates for some time and none are scheduled now. Initial testing indicates shows will record properly, though the displayed times (Guide, To Do, etc) and manual recordings will be out of sync for several weeks.
  • DirecTV TiVo units have DST-compliant software available, though it’s not clear if the rollout has occurred yet.

Update: Great minds think alike? I just noticed TiVo Lovers also has a roundup of similar info.

11 thoughts on “TiVo & Daylight Savings Time”

  1. One quick update to the DirecTV TiVo section. The same thing applies to Series 1 vintage units, they have not been and don’t appear to be getting an update. The Series 2 (including HR10-250) DTV units have the update available to all users. If it is attached to a phone line it should have it now.

  2. @Dave Zatz

    I have three TiVos. One series2 w/lifetime and two Series1 both w/lifetime service. The oldest one is nearly seven years old. It’s burnt out the modem and gone through two HDD upgrades and still churning along. As long as the main board doesn’t get fried and TiVo doesn’t back out of the lifetime service I should be able to keep it going forever. I think it may be immortal.

    So, from my personal experience 66.6% of all TiVos are series 1 units :), although YMMV.

  3. “Mercury News:
    But be prepared to reset your computer clock, too”

    Ok, so either the author of the mercury news article is completely out of the loop, or is one of the people who has their PC set to not receive updates and is helping all those spammers/crackers out there. Thanks Mercury!

  4. I’ve got an old series1 too; it has started to get flakey lately, i thought it was the hard disk so i replaced it, but it’s still flakey. sigh. Maybe I’ll have to replace it.

    w/r/t tech support calls, tivo has “messages” function for them to notify you of changes; it warned of the issues. I doubt they’ll have much of a problem.

    It’s pathetic that they don’t fix this, though; unless they did something very very silly designing their application, it’s a really simple fix.

  5. re: the DirectTivo (DirectTV Series 2) systems, the new DST update requires a modem connection. Programming info is received via satellite, but software updates are over the phone.

    Since I decided to keep my clicking data to myself, I disconnected the modem 500+ days ago and have not made a daily call since. Guess I won’t be getting the DST update.

    Such is the price of vigilance.

  6. it’s pretty silly they can’t provide a handful of files( locale files ) for Tivo Series 1 units. That’s all it took for me to update a handful of systems and virtualmachines around the office and home.

    Now, I wonder what’ll happen if I shell into my Tivo Series-1 and update the /etc/localtime file myself? Will it screw it all up because they’re now hacking the program schedule to handle this? Or do they check to see if your system time is correct and give you the appropriate program schedule?

  7. My guess given the description and standard UNIX practices (Tivo run on a Linux kernel), the internal clock is probably UTC, and the guide data is probably UTC (since recording itself works right on unpatched boxes). It would then just be the onscreen guide and clock that convert UTC to localtime (incorrectly on older units) for display. In which case, updating the timezone info on your Series 1 should be fine.

  8. FYI TiVo has posted a support note indicating the time will be displayed off by one hour on Series1 units and manual recordings will need to be scheduled one hour early.


    Our engineers have been working on alternate solutions for the Series1, but unfortunately none exist. While we know that it is not ideal to adjust manual recordings for these three weeks, unfortunately it is the only alternative for those customers who rely upon VCR-style program scheduling. We apologize for this inconvenience.

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