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Tivo Hd Digital Question

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by dgutley, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. dgutley

    dgutley New Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    Hello. I just received my HD TIVO. I understood that I'd need cablecards for the "encrypted" digital cable channels, which are coming on friday. However, the TIVO will not pick up the any digital channels without the cablecard. My television has a digital tuner that will pick up all of the unencrypted digital channels just by plugging the coax into the TV. I ran set up and it picked up all the analog and digital channels through the TV without the TIVO.

    Am I wrong here? Does this TIVO pick up the digital channels that are unencrypted like my television? I may not full understand what encrypted is versus unencrypted is; but remember, my Magnavox Television did pick up all those channels.

    Thanks so much for your help.
  2. TriBruin

    TriBruin Active Member TCF Club

    Dec 10, 2003
    Bartlett, IL
    The TIVO will pick up the unencrypted QAM channels just fine. Have it do a scan for all the channels on your cable and it will find them. Assuming your cable company passes the PSIP data, the Tivo will map them to the proper OTA channel.

    However, currently Tivo lacks any guide data for these channels. This means you can not do anything other than watch live TV or schedule manual time/channel recordings.

    Please search this forum for unencrypted QAM for more information.
  3. dgutley

    dgutley New Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    If my Television picks them up; shouldn't the TIVO? Any way i can tell it to look for QAM.
  4. visionary

    visionary HAVE BRAIN WILL USE!

    May 31, 2006
    Norfolk Va.
    Yes, you do a channel search in the Tivo, just like you did on the TV, and it finds them same way.
  5. dgutley

    dgutley New Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    I did it twice; but i'll do it again. It only picked up the analog; not the digital.
  6. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    It depends completely upon your local franchise and what they do with PSIP data. Neither my S3 nor TivoHD can find the unencrypted HD channels on a scan. Some TVs in the area can, and some TVs can't. Knowing the channel locations (like 103-2), I can tune 3-4 out of the 7 available channels (your local HD thread in the avs forums will often list the channels in your area, though they can change). Other people have stated that my local franchise has malformed or incomplete PSIP data. Some TVs can handle the bad data, and some TVs, and my TiVos, cannot.

    If you give your location in your Forum User Profile, somebody in your area may be able to chime in.
  7. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    My Samsung HD TV (living room-S3) found the virtual OTH channel numbers from the PSIP data fine. My Tivo HD (bedroom SD) did not. However, I know most of the QAM tuner channel numbers and can tune to them directly with my Tivo HD. Unfortunately, there are a couple of channels I haven't been able to find.

    It has been a while, but I thought that my S3 found some of the virtual channel numbers prior to installation of the Cable Cards. I have tried repeated scans on my THD (no Cable Cards, no connected HD TV) and still can't find the QAM or virtual channel numbers.

    I suppose someday I will upgrade the TV connected to the THD to an HD television and add Cable Cards. I don't watch this TV that much and it is not a big issue.
  8. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    This was sort of mentioned by CrispyCritter, but the channels won't be something like 731,
    it will be 5-1, or something like that.

    Use the -> key on the remote to enter the 'dash'.
  9. thebanker

    thebanker New Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Pulled QAM channels in the past and it is a pain to track and change the channels. Best to patiently wait for the cablecards and enjoy all of the glory of HD from your cable provider.
  10. areaglew

    areaglew New Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    My local cable provider (Newnan Utilities, Newnan, GA) provides the proper PSIP data for my TivoHD to find 8 channels of unencrypted HD. Of course, there is no Tivo guide data for these channels.

    I only have the Expanded Analog package... no access to Digital channels. It's $18 more per month for the Digital channels, not worth it to me. For another $13 I could add the "HD Package". If I wanted two Cable Cards, I'd have to pay an extra $6 per month. That's a total of $37 to get all the HD from my local provider. For me, not worth it.

    I only want the free HD channels, but I'd love to have the guide data in Tivo for them. My question:
    If I somehow talked my cable company into allowing me to rent Cable Cards from them without forcing me to purchase the Digital Tier, would I be able to have Tivo guide data for the unencrypted HD channels?
    In other words, do Cable Cards allow mapping of the free HD channels?
    bill buck
  11. [NG]Owner

    [NG]Owner Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Kansas City
    Yes, that's exactly how CCs would work. One way to get to where you want is to order the packages and get the CCs. Then a week (or less) later cancel the digital packages you don't want, but keep the CCs. Usually that will get you around the "requirement" to have digital tiers to have CCs. Once you have CCs, the CableCo won't force you to turn them back in when you cancel the digital tiers.

    In KC, we have it a bit easier. CCs are like the digital box (in that CCs enable the reception of digital channels), but there are no requirements around having a package to get the CCs. For the longest time, I've had CCs with the analog enhanced (no digital/premium channels, just all the analog ones). And with the CCs I got all the free HD channels mapped to their proper location wtih guide data. Just like you want.

    Good Luck!

  12. areaglew

    areaglew New Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Just to follow-up on this thread... some comments and a question below.

    Thanks NG-Owner for the response. I followed your advice. Here's what happened:

    - I called my local cable co to get CCs. They said I could only have them if I ordered the digital package. I complained, talked to the people in Marketing, and even a Director... but no luck. No CCs without digital.
    - Ok, fine. I ordered the digital package at $17 per month. For a couple days, I got EVERYTHING. I mean ALL the channels were coming through free and clear, including premium networks, pay per view, etc. Then they shut me down.
    - I called the next day to cancel the digital package, hoping they would forget about the CCs. They said I had to turn in the cards before they would stop charging me for the digital package. Bummer.

    Anyway, last night I pulled-out the CCs and rescanned the channels with Tivo. My Tivo suggested that I rerun Guided Setup, but I declined. To my surprise, the unencrypted digital channels were still mapped in Tivo (prior to the CCs, they weren't mapped)... so now - without CCs - I get the HD channels _and_ I get Tivo's guide data for the HD channels. Kewl.

    One problem, though... Tivo continues to tell me that I need to "re-run Guided Setup or Tivo will not function properly". I'm afraid if I re-run Setup, I'll lose the mapping of my HD channels. Is this true?

    Are there any drawbacks of _not_ re-running Guided Setup? Will Tivo continue to be able to map the HD channels if I don't run Guided Setup?

    bill buck
  13. bizzy

    bizzy New Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    You are in a special place we've briefly discussed before. To the best of my knowledge, nobody on the forum has tried to keep his tivo in this state for an extended period. Given that I've never needed to re-run guided setup, you may be set for mapping; at least until your cable co moves any channels.

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