Short story: My new Tivo Roamio Pro seems to be working just fine without a tuning adapter. I am a new Tivo/Cablecard user. Anyone know what channels need a TA, if any?
I want to detail my recent experience in dealing with Cablevision employees while trying to setup Roamio. I am hoping others can provide input / learn how clueless their employees are.
I am on their "Raritan Valley" system in Central NJ. My subscription level is the "Optimum Value" package and HBO. Prior to going to CV, tried doing my own research on their site and I found two help documents which listed different channels as requiring a TA.
- lists foreign language, some sports channels, and 3d channel
- lists foreign language, more sports channels, and 3d channel
- also lists "limited premium HD movie channels" (which means 1 or more channels in each movie package, HBO, Showtime...etc)
I headed to the "Optimum Store' in Piscataway to get a CableCard and TA (Tuning Adapter) if I needed one. I asked for a new CableCard and the slob behind the counter said "oh I don't have a way of knowing if it's new; whatever the warehouse sends us". Maybe a clue that the one she gave me was old and roughly used would have been the multiple dents in the card, and the 2009 date on the sticker. I explained the conflicting list of TA channels to her and asked if she could look at my subscribed channel list and let me know if I need it and what for. Her response "oh you should just check online, but I will give you one now and if you don't need it, just bring it back."
So I get home and I try calling their 24/7 support. I explained that I just picked up a CableCard and a TA and I wanted to know what channels required a TA because of the web site conflict. This guy seemed to not have a clue as to what either device was. After a few minutes, and putting me on hold, he tells me "Well the difference between a CC and a TA is that with the TA you will be able to get the digital program guide, video on demand...and with the CC you won't." =)
Eventually he transfers me to the "CableCard dept who is more knowledgeable". This person seemed to be a little more educated on the matter. Yet he still couldn't give me a good answer to my TA question. His answer was "Yes, well I think for all the HBO channels you need the TA". I told him some of the reasons I was getting Tivo was because I haven't been happy with the existing hardware performance for years and the new software/guide they recently pushed out has broken features/created at least 10 bugs. I told him I submitted the issues and got a response to the effect of "we know that the new guide will take some time to get used to..." and I know that they started rolling this out a year ago on Long Island, and the same issues came up and haven't been addressed. Crickets from his end...I guess they can't acknowledge they have problems.
So then the the next day I finally get my Tivo and I call into CV to pair the CC with my Tivo. I asked for someone knowledgeable in CC and I was transferred to another dept. So we initialize the card and then I tell him that I picked up the TA with my CC but I don't have it hooked up yet. Again, I ask what is it needed for? This might be the best response yet: "You need it for most channels, the higher the channel number is, the lower the frequency is, so it is harder for the Tivo to tune it in. You should hook it up." From what I have learned on my own from the internet, the TA is a two-way box that is there for the SDV channels only. Tivo sends the channel request to the TA, the TA then asked for the SDV channel to be thrown on a set of limited bandwidth frequencies and then the TA tells the Tivo which frequency to tune to for that SDV channel. Then after some timeout if no one in the area is watching that, it drops off and the channel is not longer tune-able without another request from the TA.
So I still do not have the TA hooked up. Based on one of the lists in those "help documents" saying the TA was needed for 803 (hbo family hd), 804 (hbo comedy hd), I have been continually checking if the Tivo picked them up. Each time I have tuned to 803 or 804, it works
and there is no extra delay or anything.
Is there anyone on the same cable system that can confirm the necessity of a TA?
No one at Cablevision seems to know a thing. If there is no real purpose for it, why waste the electricity and any possible added delays for Tivo <> TA <> HeadEnd communication.