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Can I just buy a cable card on Ebay?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by moon_tower, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. moon_tower

    moon_tower New Member

    Feb 2, 2008
    There appears to be someone selling them. I have no idea if they are the M-type of the S-type. Furthermore, I don't know if Comcast would even activate them for me. I might be able to lie since I've had three different appointments to get a new card, but they keep canceling because they don't have any.


  2. alansh

    alansh New Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    In a word, no. Your cable company will only activate cards they provide, and they do have to provision them on their side so you can't just use one without telling them.
  3. vstone

    vstone New Member

    May 11, 2002
    Plus, Motorola systems require a Motorola card and SA systems require an SA card.
  4. StriderWA

    StriderWA New Member

    Aug 12, 2007
    Furthermore, any CableCards found on ebay are probably either stolen or weren't turned in to the carrier in which they were leased from. If you even got one for the same carrier in which they were used, chances are the Cable Co would refuse to activate them and insist you surrender them or persue legal action to retrieve them.
  5. ciper

    ciper New Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    There were a few cable co's that allowed you to purchase the card rather than lease it. It's still useless unless you put it back on that same network.

    I'd only buy it if you are interested in taking it apart and then taking pictures.
  6. mattack

    mattack Active Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    But wouldn't it work for purposes of clear QAM mapping (if it's the proper type for that cable system)? Does it have to still be authorized in that case?
  7. trussrules

    trussrules New Member

    Oct 3, 2007
    Yes it still has to be authorized. The cablecard is tied to the cable company. In order for it to work, it has to be paired and authorized by the cable company and they won't authorize cards that they did not provide.
  8. ThaddeusMcP

    ThaddeusMcP TiVolutionary

    Jan 6, 2009
    No Bueno!
  9. ciper

    ciper New Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Not without it being added to the system. The easiest way I can explain it is MAC based VLAN assignment or DHCP reservations. The "computer" boots up and based on its MAC address it gets a specific configuration (different lan segment, dns servers etc). Each cable card has it's own ID number and associated with that ID number is a certain set of maps that get downloaded.

    The funny thing is that two Tivo's in the same house/account can receive different configs. I helped someone that was getting 2-99 analog on one THD and 2-99 digital on the other. It was extremely difficult to explain to the cable tech what was happening so I eventually said "can you just copy whatever is on unit 1 to unit 2?

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