Just a helpful note if you have both TiVo and children: set a parental control code or your children will.
Tonight, the wife and I sat down to enjoy some wholesome television, including Moral Orel and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. We quickly learned that our child, currently fast asleep, had set a parental control code and limited us to TV-13 or somesuch. I was unable to guess what the boy might've used for a code, so I turned to the interwebs.
After some Googling around, I learn that the only solution is to call TiVo customer support.
First, you get dumped into an IVR system that attempts to have a conversation with you. Instead of the obnoxious "press 1 if you are having trouble with...", you simply must speak your troubles into the phone, and it'll route your call accordingly. In theory. Instead, you get to have a conversation with a rude, dim, and deaf IVR system.
I was taught, as a child, not to interrupt when someone else is speaking. But the IVR never stopped talking. It'd tell me to state my problem, and then just keep yammering away about other options I might have, or that I could try using tivo.com, or perhaps I would like to answer a survey. Being a parent, I'm aware that if someone is talking, they certainly are not listening.
The IVR had difficulting understanding the word "no" even. Just like a child.
Ultimately, after enough cursing, I got bumped to the queue to speak to a live human... if I wished to wait an estimated 15 minutes.
After 40 minutes, I do finally get to speak to a human. During the 40 minute wait, I was reminded a dozen times that I could use tivo.com to solve my problem. Of course, tivo.com is what ultimately told me I had to use the phone.
Once I had Dusty (a very helpful and friendly support person, I must admit) on the line, I gained some insight into the workings of the TiVo parental control system. He provided me with a 4-digit code that would work until 4pm tomorrow. This was without contacting my device or having it dial in for an update. It would seem that in addition to the user-set parental control code, there is a secondary code that can be derived from a combination of the device service number and the date.
Considering the annoyance of the faulty voice-recognition IVR and the long wait times, I fully expected TiVo to have to send me a piece of physical postal mail with the code printed on a piece of paper in 4-to-6 weeks. I was pleasantly surprised.
Of course, no matter how annoying or evil TiVo gets, I'll remain loyal. We tried the ReplayTV and returned it within a day. Anything through the cable provider is bound to be even worse, both in terms of technology and service.