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Series 3 and the MCard?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by danjw1, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    I would jump at the chance to have my TiVoHDs replaced with the S3.
    The S3 is better, especially with the audio. My S3 boxes audio come right up in a split second with channel changes, but my TiVoHD boxes take one to two seconds for the audio to come up.

    My only complaint with the S3 boxes are the cable card slot locations. The back is not a good place for the cablecard slot in a SetTopBox.
  2. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Record two premium digital channels and see what happens.
  3. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler losing enthusiasm

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    IIRC, some have noticed it works until you repeat guided setup (for your new channels). I could be wrong though...
  4. drew00001

    drew00001 New Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I expect the majority of S3 owners would prefer to use an M-Card, especially since Comacast is charging excessive fees for a 2nd Card. I pay $5.10 a month ($61.20 per year) for my 2nd Cablecard. TiVo could make a lot of its dedicated client base (early adopters who bought the S3) happy by saving them this money.
  5. sinanju

    sinanju Active Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    If you are being billed that way by Comcast, you need to call them back. They have a CableCARD package especially for the TiVo. The first card is free with the digital package and the second card is around a buck and a half.

    Refer to this when you call:


    The line item on my bill reads: "Add'l Digital Outlet(s): Cable Card Same Outlet Charge - $1.50"
  6. sinanju

    sinanju Active Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    While the numbers on M-Card support are small, they represent the folk who are willing to pay a pretty high premium for TiVo product right out of the chute. While there is an up-front expense for providing that support, there is some value in ensuring that crowd will be there, wallet in hand, for your next big release.

    Some time in the future, folk may look at how the early adopters were handled -- no M-Card, long wait for TTG, etc, and decide to wait a year following the next product introduction, just to see how things shake out.

    Its not a big deal for most, on its own, but it is added to the equation when considering the Series 4, whatever that will be.
  7. drew00001

    drew00001 New Member

    Jan 13, 2007

    I spoke with a Comcast CSR once about this, as I have seen other indviduals being charged $1.79. I will give it another shot after reading your link. Thanks.
  8. drew00001

    drew00001 New Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I called again, and this time the CSR was either smarter, reasonable, or better informed . . . probably all 3. In any case, my 2nd Cablecard fee is reduced to $1.79.

    On a separate note, Pony, I have 2 TiVo (1 THD & 1 S3), and it would be very helpful if the S3 could use a M-Card. This way I could have cablecards for both boxes, without paying for a additional port, not to mention saving the 3rd Cablecard fee altogether.
  9. Gregor

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002
    I've got 2 S3s, bought 1 the first day out. Both have 2 S-cards at $4/mo each. They work, and work well. I'm OK with them working as they are, it's just not a huge deal for the S3s to work on an M card (assuming Verizon had any).

    Besides, V would charge me for a visit, and it would take some period of time to recognize any savings.

    I would hope Tivo can find better things to work on.
  10. Tommy_D

    Tommy_D New Member

    Feb 24, 2006
    I was, past tense, able to record two HD digital programs at the same time-- but TIVO sent a message for me to go through Guided Setup again. Now for some reason I can only record one program. What's up with that? Obviously it's not that the SERIES 3 can't record two programs with one m-card... it's the software/Guided setup that blocks the capability.

    I'm think I'll try resetting the TIVO and start over. I have only one Comcast M-card.
  11. morac

    morac Cat God

    Mar 14, 2003
    Technically the S3 can record cable channels without any cards at all. The cards only provide channel mapping data and decryption capabilities. Since the channel mapping data is the same on both cards, really only one card is needed for channel mapping.

    The problem is that on the S3 an M-Card can only associate itself with one tuner and therefore only decrypt channels tuned on that tuner. So if the S3 tunes to an encrypted channel on the tuner not associated with the m-card, that channel can't be decrypted so it will appear blank.

    So yes, technically the S3's software is blocking dual-tuner capability with one m-card, but it is doing so to prevent the problem mentioned above.

    In other words, just get Comcast to give you another card. If they won't have them call Tivo's CableCARD hotline so TiVo can explain it to them.
  12. Lenonn

    Lenonn Member TCF Club

    May 30, 2004
    Had I known that the Series 3 was likely never going to support M-cards, I would have just gone with the HD. I could have sworn only a month or two ago, I checked TiVo's website and it said they were either trying or investigating M-card support on the Series 3.
  13. JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

    Apr 12, 2005
    Cocoa, Florida
    Never buy a product based on promised future features.
  14. ewilts

    ewilts Who, me?

    Feb 26, 2002
    Mounds View, MN
    The back is a great place, IMO. You install them once and then leave them there, out of the way of prying hands.
  15. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    Agreed. The only time it's not a good place is when they are originally installed. And, even then, GET OVER IT! :D There's no reason to fiddle with CableCARDS once they are installed and working properly.
  16. ZildjianKX

    ZildjianKX New Member

    Jun 11, 2004
    Like others have said, this makes me never want to be a TiVo early adopter again. Everyone in the "small" percentage of people paying more for their second cable card is also the same group willing to pay the $800 premium on a new TiVo. I'm not sure if I'm going to be in the same group next time.

    You have to understand that some of us feel triple screwed.

    1. No M-Card support, so we pay a lot more each month from our cable company
    2. Significantly cheaper hardware comes out, that does support M-cards
    3. New TiVo subscribers who bought an S3 couldn't get a lifetime, which was later offered for the TiVo HD

    The cheaper hardware was expected, the others weren't.

    Regarding the CableCard issues, if you can't fix it, that's one thing. You could make it up to your series 3 base by offering a promo on the future series 4 or giving us a few free months, etc.

    Right now as it stands, it doesn't look like TiVo cares about the eager early adopters who support the company.
  17. pkscout

    pkscout Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Honolulu, HI
    I think you mean if they are ever installed and working properly. If I only had to put them in once and never touch them again, the back would be fine. I would very much like to live in that fantasy world.
  18. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I have two original Series 3s with two cable cards each and never had a problem, so some people do have successful installations.
  19. maharg18

    maharg18 Active Member

    Dec 3, 2002
    Chattanooga, TN
    I haven't touched mine since they were installed in both my Tivo's, 1 and 2 years ago, respectively.
  20. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Ziphead

    Aug 2, 2003
    On one S3, I haven't touched them. On the other one, I've had one card go bad, so I tried popping it out and putting it back to fix it, but that did nothing -- rebooting did.

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