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CableCARD installation FAQ

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jfh3, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Nov 21, 2007 #41 of 646

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA
    It's worse than that. I was at Best Buy and I overheard a MANAGER tell a woman buying an HDTV for her husband that she would need some form of cable box to be able to receive HD. Granted, it is possible it was an LCD without a ATSC/QAM tuner built in (how many still exist anyway), but there was no noticable knowledge that if she chose the right TV, she could get HD (local) for free.

    I am very excited to be getting a Vizio LCD come holiday time. I only pay $10/mon to Comcast for my "lifeline" service. I'll only need to add $2.50/mo for cablecards. Now, if I am lucky and my local office has M cards, then it would be free (the first card is free followed by $2.50).

    Can't wait to watch and record (if TiVoHD is purchased by then) the Superbowl in HD!!!!
  2. Nov 29, 2007 #42 of 646

    don5438 New Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Am I right that with a Series 3 HDTV Tivo, I need 2 cards, whether multi or single, to get the TIVO to work properly? Comcast coming on Tuesday and I want to be sure they bring all that they need.

  3. Nov 30, 2007 #43 of 646

    TheBar1 Long Time Lurker

    Dec 26, 2001
    Northern NJ
    You are right, don5438, Of the newer TiVo models, only the TiVO HD can use one multi-stream cablecard for dual tuner service.

    Good luck!
  4. Dec 14, 2007 #44 of 646

    sjn4138 New Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Just checking: if I were to put just one Cable Card into a Series 3, would it be able to record digital/HD on one tuner and just basic on the other? Or would I only have one functioning tuner, period? I've actually got two Series 3 boxes, and was hoping to get by with just two cards.....

  5. Dec 15, 2007 #45 of 646

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    One functioning tuner period. (People have gotten the TiVo into states where it is still using both tuners with only one cablecard, but it means lots of missed recordings as the scheduler tries to use the non-cablecard tuner for a cable HD show).
  6. Dec 19, 2007 #46 of 646

    cwise Should of Never Left

    Dec 19, 2007
    KnoxVegas, TN
    I am coming back to TIVO after 3 years of dealing with Comcast DVR. I got confused about one thing during my research. When you mention the new Series 3 HD TiVo, that only needs one mutlistream cablecard, you are talking about the $299 one that TiVo is selling? The only series 3 that has to have 2 cards (no matter if single or multi) is the more expensive one?

    I think my confusion has come for me skim reading the forum. I went to Best Buy thinking that the Series 3 needed 2 cards while the cheaper box TiVo HD box only needed 1 m-card because it was a Series 2 box. Imagined my confusion when I found out that both boxes are Series 3. So model # TCD652160 only needs one m-card.
  7. Dec 19, 2007 #47 of 646

    pl1 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Correct. The TiVO HD for $299 only requires one Multi-tuner card but can use two S-Cards. The more expensive Series 3 requires two cableCARDS. Either 2 S-Cards, 2 M-Cards, or any combination.
  8. Dec 19, 2007 #48 of 646

    tamooreindy New Member

    Aug 16, 2007
    I don't think this is any longer correct. I just received a new Tivo HD Series 3 yesterday. The installer instructions (to hand to the installer) say that it can use one M card for two tuners. It is definitely a Series 3.
  9. Dec 19, 2007 #49 of 646

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Series 3 is used by people to designate the more expensive version with the OLED screen. Even though the TiVoHD is technically a series 3, people just call that a TiVoHD.
    What people call a Series3(OLED screen) can only accept single stream cards(it can actually use M cards but only use it in single stream mode so you would still need two cards)
  10. Dec 20, 2007 #50 of 646

    pl1 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    The THD has no OLED display on the front panel and it does not have the glow remote. That is the cheaper $299 version. It only requires one M-Card.


    TiVo® HD DVR $299.99

    The ultimate HDTV DVR—all-in-one cable box replacement
    Works with basic cable or digital cable using CableCARDs
    Control Cable TV with pause, rewind, fast-forward slow-mo
    Record 20 hours in HD (or up to 180 hours in SD)
    Record two shows at once in HD*
    Easily expand your storage capacity ‡

    TiVo® Series3™ HD DVR $599.99

    World's only THX-certified DVR
    Control cable TV with pause, rewind, fast-forward slo-mo
    Record 32 hours in HD (or up to 300 hours in SD)
    Record two shows at once in HD*
    Easily expand your storage capacity ‡
    Premium backlit, programmable TiVo® Glo remote
  11. Dec 21, 2007 #51 of 646

    cramer New Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    An installation FAQ that doesn't even mention "firmware update"? Or does that need it's own sticky?

    Tivo's "The CableCARD is Getting a Firmware Update"; bottom line (literally):
    If the process takes more than 40 minutes, or the update stops and then restarts, the firmware update failed and the CableCARD is unusable. If the installer is not there, you will need to contact your cable provider to get a replacement CableCARD installed and activated. The Tivo (TivoHD at least) will timeout after an hour, at which point the update will be attempted again. From what I've seen and read elsewhere, Tivo's information is spot on. (I have a CC that's been looping for hours. Someone else reported waiting 24hrs and it never working.)

    It shouldn't take long if it's actually going to work. The firmware file(s) aren't that big... at 1544Kbps (OOB speed) up to 38.9Mbps (QAM256), it should take seconds to transfer and minutes to flash. The longest wait will be for the head end of the transmission loop.
  12. Dec 23, 2007 #52 of 646

    philhu User Since Day ONE!

    Apr 11, 2001
    Funcity, MA
    I just had 2 TivoHD get cable cards. M-cards.

    The installer was here all of 15 minutes. The cards are starting to show up at Comcast. This guy only had my cablecard installs and didnt want to do 4 s-cards, so he 'stole' 2 m-cards from inventory. He says they are hoarding them right now here in Boston as they do not have that many.

    The cablecard was brandnew, in the boxes, and had the latest firmware, no fw upgrade occurred.

    That in itself, saves me $2.75 X 2 a month or $5.50!!! I only pay for 2 cards, not 4

    The m-card seems to work just fine. The interesting thing is it has an extra screen, called network. It is disabled but it looks like a way to get 2-way communications from tivo to comcast, current not used.

    The picture is great. HD is superb.

    Tivo mentioned somewhere a dongle 'soon' to do the 2 way when it is available, that would be cool.

    Also, and this is a surprise. I kept the comcast dvr to get on demand. I noticed that the dvr rental went to HALF marked 'Tivo Leads' on the work order sheet.

    Now, I wonder if I upgrade that box to tivo software, just becoming available, whether it can MRV like my 2 TivoHD units.
  13. Dec 23, 2007 #53 of 646

    cramer New Member

    Aug 14, 2000
    Interesting. The cablecard is supposed to be able to handle the DOCSIS protocol side of the DSG (Digital Setup Gateway) using the host's RF modulator -- which the tivo doesn't have. On the SA card I've looked at, the network information shows up within the diag screen.

    Yes, it will have multi-room viewing, but it's not exactly like Tivo. Tivo transfer content to the local drive before playback -- the playback tivo has to download the entire thing first. The moto stb's live stream content.
  14. Jan 4, 2008 #54 of 646

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA

    Any specific things you said when you made your appointment related to the M-Cards?

    At my local office in Newburyport, they say they don't have M-Cards, but I don't buy that. Do all the greater Boston Comcast outlets source their cards from one inventory location?

    I would love an M card, but I will be ok with two S cards......
  15. Jan 5, 2008 #55 of 646

    mrlajoie New Member

    Aug 18, 2003
    I just finished with the Comcast TiVo Beta here in New Hampshire and according to everything I have seen so far there is NO networking support on this unit. Perhaps it wasn't activated for the Beta, but I would think that was something they would want us to work on.
    The Comcast TiVo has MOST of the functionality of the TiVo HD unit and the menus are setup ALMOST the same way. For people who want/need to retain VOD and appreciate the TiVo interface it is a good choice.
  16. Jan 16, 2008 #56 of 646

    aidtopia New Member

    Jan 15, 2008
    Hayward, CA
    Is it possible that a mistake made at the dispatch end would require replacing the physical CableCard? After four techs and two phone calls, Comcast now claims that, because they made a typo early on, my card cannot be properly paired or authorized. They want me to take time off work, bring the card into a service center and exchange it for a new one and then start all over. This sounds fishy to me. Shouldn't they be able to completely reinitialize the card?
  17. Jan 20, 2008 #57 of 646

    kunikos MOAR HD

    Jul 24, 2007
    Reno, NV
    Why wouldn't they just truck roll a tech out to exchange and install the card for you? I have yet to hear any CSR ask me to bring anything into a service center.

    Anyway, if they are willing to exchange the card at the service center that's all fine and dandy but if they won't pair, validate or activate it over the phone then it's useless.
  18. Jan 20, 2008 #58 of 646

    david4788 New Member

    May 19, 2007
    The first part about the card being entered incorrectly is on par with what I have seen and expereinced. The second part about you having to bring the card in is hogwash, unless you picked it up there to begin with.
  19. Jan 30, 2008 #59 of 646

    dwit Active Member

    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    I have a Tivo HD with a Comcast(Atlanta, GA) Motorola M-Card which was successfully installed(first try by tech) 3 weeks ago. I have the digital starter package, no premium channels.

    I decided to give Comcast voip a try and in the process, I will be given an upgraded Digital Preferred package with HBO. They will be here next week to install the phone service.

    I figure the tech and I were lucky the first time and am wary that if we have to go through the cable card installation procedure again, things may get fouled up.

    Question: Will the cable card need to be reconfigured and basically taken through the process similar to the original cable card installation or will I just be able to tune the additional digital channels and HBO?
  20. Jan 30, 2008 #60 of 646

    drhankz Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    The Premium Channel Upgrade will be 100% Transparent
    to you. The Encryption Keys for those channels will be sent
    to your "M" Card and the channels will magically appear.

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