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Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by cannonz, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. cannonz

    cannonz Active Member

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  2. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I just discovered this box earlier today. Amazon has it for $127.99. It's a direct replacement for an existing set-top cable converter that allows you to rent just a cablecard and not one of your provider's STBs. The recent laws passed allow you to use your own equipment with a cablecard. Many providers had a restriction that used to require that you rent at least one of their boxes. Now you can use 100% of your own equipment and not have to deal with the cableco hardware at all other than the cablecards. I'd like to get one and dump the HD box I've been renting from Verizon for $11.99 per month.
     
  3. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    MN, greater...
    An S1 or S2 (or any tivo for that matter) w/o the guide is a tivo w/o service and therefore has very limited, if any, functionality as a dvr. That Samsung box would be of absolutely no benefit to a tivo user and if samsung decide to pretend that it's not yet 2013 and make one with a composite output, that box would be of extremely limited benefit, if any, to a subscribed tivo and even less so to an unsubscribed tivo.
     
  4. cannonz

    cannonz Active Member

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    I was referring to a lifetimed series 1 or 2 obviously. Would just have to put the digital guide choice in (just like if using a cable co box) would be of great benefit in 2013 and beyond. I was referring to the guide in cable co box you pay for when renting their box.
     
  5. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Near...
    Here's the owners manual for it:
    http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/c...-00568A_ED01_GX-SM530CF_User_Guide_130816.pdf
    It does support TA's, see page 15.
    It doesn't do OTA.
    Being discussed on the AVS forum by at least one owner.

    Of course this will probably receive the same warm reception and excellent support the cable cos give Tivo. :rolleyes:
     
  6. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    Considering that all cablecard devices can now be installed by the end user, I doubt that the cableco will know or even care what kind of device it is. OTOH, what would you expect when the feds put something into law that takes money out of the providers' pockets and actually benefits the consumer?
     
  7. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    MN, greater...
    How is "without having to pay for guide" an obvious reference to already having lifetime service?

    and how does buying a box vs renting from cable co affect tivo service in any way?
     
  8. Dec 1, 2013 #8 of 24
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I picked up one of these on ebay and got it yesterday. It was pretty simple to set up, but there is a glitch in the software that results in a message indicating the guide data is unavailable if you shut it off and then turn it back on again. If you make a change in the setup menu, and it doesn't seem to matter what change you make, the guide data reappears after making the change. I suspect that this is something that will be fixed in an upcoming software/firmware release.

    I replaced the HD box in the master bedroom with this and so far it seems to be working fine. I replaced two Ceton InfiniTV 4 cablecard tuners in my HTPC with a single InfiniTV 6 so it freed up one cablecard to use in the Samsung. The InfiniTV 6 arrived on Friday from Newegg so I activated the cablecard with Verizon early Saturday morning over the phone using the automated system About an hour after setting up the InfiniTV 6, FedEx arrived with the Samsung converter so I activated the 2nd cablecard shortly after the first one. Activation was quick and easy and I had both the InfiniTV 6 and the Samsung up and running with FIOS TV in just a few minutes each.
     
  9. Dec 1, 2013 #9 of 24
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    Not quite. Unlike the cable company provided converter, this box:
    1) Does not use the guide data provided by the cable company; it uses guide data provided by Samsung
    2) Does not use the same software or interface as the cable company's converters
    3) Does not do bi-directional communication; it depends on a tuning adapter to receive SDV channels
    4) Does not allow access to cable company on-demand programming

    In other words, if you are familiar with how TiVo works with cable cards and tuning adapters, this box is similar. On the other hand, if you were hoping that this box would be exactly like a converter you rent from the cable company, unfortunately that isn't the case.

    Samsung makes converters that they sell to cable companies for rental to consumers. I don't get why they can't just take that exact hardware and sell it direct to consumers. At least that way, the box should be able to function exactly like one you rent from them, including being able to access OnDemand, and not needing to use a tuning adapter. The only reason I can envision that they don't is to protect the cable company revenue stream.
     
  10. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Birmingham, AL
    Even if you could buy the MSO-provided receivers at retail, many of the functions you refer to still probably would not work. The Samsung receivers you get from the cable company are pre-loaded with the cable company's software. The box you'd buy at the store wouldn't be. There are a (very) few tru2way retail devices out there, or were at some point, and they still couldn't do all the interactive stuff.

    And, even if the tru2way and OpenCable stuff was working like CableLabs and the MSOs had envisioned, it would negate a major selling point of buying retail devices--you'd end up with their crappy UI all over your new, third party, differentiated retail device.
     
  11. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    North...
    The major reason is probably that the hardware (and software) is franchise dependent. They "tried" for many years to get a two-way cable-card standard and were never able to settle on one. One attempt even reached the field-trial stage in Chicago, but it failed. The equipment wasn't portable to other franchises or cable companies. So Samsung could market a converter that would work in a few franchises, but not others. That would be a marketing nightmare for them; that's not what consumers expect.
     
  12. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I am aware of the differences between the two. The Samsung box is for the wife's TV. She does not use VOD and could care less who provides the guide data, although she does miss the extra info about the old movies she watches that is provided in the Verizon guide but appears to be lacking in the Samsung guide. Chances are, Samsung gets their guide data from one of the major providers anyway. We're on FIOS so there's no tuning adapter required.

    Aside from the missing extra program info (i.e., primarily info on the cast), this box does exactly the same thing she used the old box for. With that in mind, it is essentially an exact replacement and does everything I both expect and want it to do. It has guide data and can tune to FIOS channels. Anything else is superfluous.

    I said what I meant and I meant what I said. ;)
     
  13. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    No doubt. Just trying to clarify for "the masses." ;) :D
     
  14. cannonz

    cannonz Active Member

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    Makes me wonder if the new Channel Master DVR will be OTA and cable supporting card and TA.
     
  15. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Birmingham, AL
    I doubt it. They'd have to build out guide data infrastructure which an OTA only box doesn't have to fool with. If I were a CE company, I wouldn't be getting into the CableCard-device business. It's clear that the trend is away from those types of boxes and with Charter getting a waiver, it's just a matter of time until that starts filtering up to some of the even bigger companies.
     
  16. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    I'd be surprised if cablecards go away anytime in the very near future. Cablecos have a lot of money invested in their current hardware and there are probably millions of STBs with cablecards out in the wild. I didn't realize my Verizon Motorola HD STB used a cablecard until I pulled it from service. The cablecard is enclosed in a small cage on the rear of the unit to keep customers from fooling with it.
     
  17. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I would expect what we get .... clueless poor support. Actually I should have said this device will receive even poorer support than Tivo's do. There are millions of Tivo's in service compared with maybe a few of these. At least most cable cos have heard of Tivo and know it's an established product. For this STB thing it will be even easier for them to point the finger at the product and leave you caught in the middle.
     
  18. JosephB

    JosephB Member

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    Nov 19, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    Yes, all cable boxes right now have cablecards in them. That is a requirement under the FCC rules for separable security. However, installation and activation of a cable company provided STB with a cablecard pre-installed is not the same as the activation of a retail cablecard device. When activating a Cisco cable box a few weeks ago as a temporary box until I got my TiVos going, all I had to do was provide two serial numbers--the box and the cablecard--and they were able to activate it instantly.

    That's where the FCC's separable security mandate fell short. They should have mandated that the activation process for cable company provided boxes be exactly the same as retail devices, IE: no pre-binding host IDs and cablecards in the system, no pre-installing the cards, etc. I would almost go as far as saying the boxes should have to have separable tuning adapters (or at least "activate" internal tuning adapters separately from the conditional access)

    All of that said, CableCards are still indeed an endangered species. Charter was recently given a waiver for the separable security mandate, meaning they can begin deploying boxes with "downloadable" or integrated security, provided that they can get *one* retail device on the market that supports this security (don't expect it to be a TiVo). Right now that doesn't mean they can drop support for CableCard devices, they still have to support retail CC devices. However, it is the first step.

    Whether anything comes of AllVid, who knows. The cable companies are releasing apps for all kinds of devices, which may sway the FCC into dropping CableCard/AllVid. The FCC's goal was to get cable content on all kinds of devices. Unfortunately for people like us who like alternative interfaces and being able to record the content locally, a move in that direction would mean being forced to use the cable companies' UI and cloud storage for DVRs, etc.
     
  19. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    Paradise...
    If you're in a time warner market, they're apparently working on porting their TWC app over to this Samsung, which should have access to their on demand content.
     
  20. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Active Member

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    Ellicott...
    You can't really expect a cable provider to provide support for third party devices. They're only responsible for supporting whatever signal comes out of their hardware and the infrastructure leading up to your house. If you want to use your own box then you're on your own. That's pretty much a given. Renting the cableco hardware provides a security blanket for the less technically inclined. You're basically paying for an insurance policy so you will always have TV.

    FWIW, I swapped out two cablecards this past weekend. I bought a Ceton InfiniTV 6 cablecard tuner to replace two Ceton InfiniTV 4 cablecard tuners in my HTPC. The InfiniTV 6 arrived on Friday so I swapped out the tuners Saturday morning and used the Verizon automated phone menu to enter the new number data for the device and cablecard. The new tuner was working within minutes. The Samsung box arrived about an hour after activating the first cablecard in the Ceton so I put the second cablecard in the box and activated that one as well. I literally had a picture in less than two minutes. The activation was about as quick and painless as it gets.

    Nobody should ever have issues with cablecard activations these days, regardless of whatever device you're activating the card in. You get the info off the cablecard screen of the particular device with the card installed and you give the three strings of numbers to your provider. If it doesn't activate the card then chances are someone is fat-fingering the data at the other end. The only other explanation is a defective cablecard.
     

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