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Tivo HD without cable card

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by briankasperek, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. briankasperek

    briankasperek New Member

    Mar 17, 2009
    I have basic analog cable, no cable box or digital box.
    When I got my HD Tv, it set up for about fifteen digital channels. The info on the Tivo HD says you need a cable card to record HD stations but one of the threads said you don't need it for OTA. Will the Tivo HD record digital stations that come in on the cable even without any cable box?
  2. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    You can record any unencrypted digital (clear QAM) channels, but you will not get any guide data for them. The Tivo Series 3/HD/XL models require CableCard(s) to get guide data for digital channels.
  3. Rodwalls

    Rodwalls New Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    King, North...
    Speaking of OTA, I can record in HD no cards needed. I only do OTA so I can't answer the cable question.
  4. Joe01880

    Joe01880 I love my TiVo

    Feb 8, 2009
    Your TiVo will NOT record any digital (Cable) channels that are encripted without a cable card or STB!

    With "FiOS" and possibly cable companies without a cable card or STB running off the coax alone you can get SD and Local HD channels WGN and many music channels. if you have a cable company you may get other analog channels. FiOS is all digital!

    Your TiVo WILL record any OTA channels.
  5. darksurtur

    darksurtur New Member

    Jan 2, 2008
    This is just wrong. First, your Tivo CAN record digital channels without a cable card. But these will all be QAM "in the clear" channels, which usually includes the local OTA channels and some others, sometimes more. But you will have no guide data - just manual recording.

    Second, after June it's true there will largely be no more OTA analog. But many cable companies will still be providing cable analog, though this is changing in some regions as the companies migrate to all digital lineups.
  6. Pixel

    Pixel Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Not true. On Time Warner cable (and probably others) in SE Wisconsin there will continue to be SD analog channels following the shut down of analog broadcasting.
  7. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Charter in NC/SC doesn't even broadcast 2-99 in digital and they have no plans to change on June 12th. They will continue with their analogs for quite some time.
  8. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    By "basic" do you mean lifeline, or do you have a more general basic package? IOW, are you paying more like $20 or more like $50 a month. Do you get channels like ESPN, TNT, Comedy Central?

    If so, you can probably get a CableCARD and it'll add about $2 to your monthly bill. Completely worth doing. At least with Comcast, there's a "Digital Starter" package that's the same price as analog Expanded Basic, only with a digital box (or a CableCARD if you ask).

    With Comcast, that package includes more channels in HD that just your OTA channels. This is the list for Digital Starter in Philly.

    ABC Family HD* Children & Family
    Comcast SportsNet HD* High-Definition TV
    ESPN HD* High-Definition TV
    ESPN2 HD* High-Definition TV
    TNT HD* High-Definition TV
    HD Theater* High-Definition TV
    VERSUS HD* Sports
    Golf Channel HD* High-Definition TV
    Universal HD* High-Definition TV
    Palladia* High-Definition TV
    A&E HD* High-Definition TV
    HGTV HD* High-Definition TV
    Food Network HD* High-Definition TV
    History Channel HD* News & Info
    TBS HD* High-Definition TV
    CNN HD* News & Info
    USA HD* Lifestyle
    Discovery HD* High-Definition TV
    TLC HD* News & Info
    Sci-Fi HD*
    Animal Planet HD* Children & Family
    WPVI - ABC HD* High-Definition TV
    WCAU - NBC HD* High-Definition TV
    KYW - CBS HD* High-Definition TV
    WTXF - FOX HD* High-Definition TV
    WPHL - MY HD* High-Definition TV
    WPSG - CW HD* High-Definition TV
    AMC HD* Movies
    Disney HD* Children & Family

    You need equipment to receive them, either an HD cable box or a TiVoHD with a CableCARD.

    If you're on the $20 lifeline package, you might still be able to get a CableCARD for just the $2 rental fee without upgrading your package, but you might have to fight about it. If you can, I would.
  9. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

    Apr 6, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    If you can receive channels without either a cable box or cable cards, the Tivo will receive the same. Just the encrypted digital channels you will not receive without cable cards.
  10. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    The TiVo will receive them. But if they're digital channels, it won't know what they are and won't be able to create season passes with them, record with auto-recording wish lists on them, or otherwise know what's on them at any given time.
  11. fgcchevy

    fgcchevy New Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    i have the limited basic cable package $11.95 per month, i can receive all local broadcast stations in hd. i cannot get the program guide data but i can record the hd channels by maunually recording them. manual recordings also give you the option to record once or every week on a specific day and time. i am happy with my set up because i will now save around $80 per month on my cable bill.
  12. mattack

    mattack Active Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Not completely true. There are low power analog stations that can stay analog. I realize this doesn't affect the vast majority of people and qualifies as a nitpick.

    He was talking about OTA. Cable is irrelevant.
  13. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    Oct 17, 2003
    Looks like he was talking about cable, OTA and anyplace. He's wrong about the first two, not sure about anyplace.
  14. tombro

    tombro New Member

    Mar 18, 2009
    Central NJ
    Good thread, good replies. I am a noob here and just got my TiVo HD last Sunday. I scanned for channels, and noted that to get the guide functionality, etc, a cableCARD is needed.

    We have central NJ Comcast, and have been getting starter digital without a box for the longest time. We only have one HD TV, which is where the TiVo is connected. As a previous poster said, you can record HD channels manually. I cheat with the guide part by viewing programming guides for the analog (if recording network TV) station, then setting my record Fx manually for the HD signal. Just like VHS tape-recording.

    I am ordering my cards for the ease of use, however, from Comcast.
  15. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA
    I know what you mean, but be careful how you say it. Yeah, with the cable card, what you can record includes the OTA channel being passed along the cable wire. But that is not the same as using a OTA antenna to get your channels. If you use an OTA antenna, even without cable cards, you will get guide data.

    I have comcast lifeline too and I love it this way. You might want to spring for the card so you don't have to worry about tons of manual recordings. In my region, the first card is free. So thankfully, they had M series cards when they did my install.
  16. fgcchevy

    fgcchevy New Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    yea i tried getting the cards, but they told me i would have to upgrade to the digital starter pack then pay an extra $6 or so for the cable cards. if idid that it would put me in the same range of price as where i was at. i think they are lying about needing to have the digital pack just to get my higher subscription back. i am tired of comcast lying about this that and the other, i will just stick with the manual recordings, whick isnt really that big of a deal anyway and pay a lot less $
  17. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    Some people have tried upgrading to Digital Starter, getting the CableCARDs installed and working, and then downgrading back to Limited Basic a month later and seeing if they let you keep the CableCARDs.
  18. fgcchevy

    fgcchevy New Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    i already did that, i had the cards installed and working, then i called to downgrade my service. when they came out to put the trap they said they had to take the cards. i argued with the tech about it, telling him that i was gonna get a monthly charge for the cards, why didnt he just leave them in. i did realize that with trap put on my line and the cards installed i still got all the hd channels in the higher price plan, thats probably why the take the cards.
  19. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA
    I think denying cable cards unless you get a certain package is wrong and illegal.
  20. fgcchevy

    fgcchevy New Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    do u have a link to that law? if u do please post it for me so i can call my cable company about it

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