Please help if you can! Tivo series 3 unit.

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Please help if you can! Tivo series 3 unit.

Good morning.

I am new to the TiVo world.

I was looking for a unit that I could record both OTA and cable programs. I just have basic cable so no cable box or need for cablecards. I researched several foruns, listings on Craig's List and ebay and found several conflicting statements as to whether or not the TiVo box could be used as a stand alone dvr without the service. Some say yes, some say no.

I went ahead and took the chance and ordered a Series 3 HD unit from Amazon. Came with manual and remote (which sometimes is hard to find). Received it, hooked it up and picture looks beautiful. Connected to an Onkyo AV receiver and my trusty Toshiba 34" HD 'tube' television. Works great. All cable/OTA channels that I'm supposed to get are there and I dont have to change tv inputs, etc. I've read in several places that you can go to manual settings and set up recording, however when I try and select it, it just goes back to the TiVo home screen. When I pull up the settings screen it says "account closed". I know that TiVo will not activate a unit this old. Let me also say that I know that these forums do not support "theft of service" which I completely agree with. I am not interested in the TiVo service, per say. I use a TV guide app on my phone for a program guide. If TiVo would activate this box I would gladly pay it, possibly even lifetime just to be able to record. Since they won't activate it, is there anyway I can get this to record? Thanks for any help you can offer.