Here's a break down of my experience getting cable cards for my Series 3 from US Cable. US Cable is a mid-sized cable company with operations in small markets in several states. I was dealing with their Cold Spring, MN branch.
I called US Cable before buying the Series 3 to check to see if they had CableCards. They said that they did, so I got the Series 3. I called back a couple of days later to setup the appointment to get the CableCards. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of letting them know that the cards were for a TiVo. The customer service rep wasn't sure if their CableCards would work in TiVos . She asked her supervisor who said they would not work. I asked to talk to the supervisor, who called me back a half an hour later. I tried to convince the supervisor, but she was sure that there CableCards were too old and would only work in TVs. She didn't want to schedule an appointment to at least try to put them in, but I did get her to give me the info on the CableCards that they have. She said the were Motorola MediaCiphers - part number 469140-003-00.
I took that info and searched online and found several places - including in this forum - where people said that they have successfully used these 469140-003-00s in Series 3s. So I prepared myself to call back and argue again. This time I was smarter though. When I called yesterday to get the appointment I just said that I wanted two CableCards installed - I didn't mention the TiVo. They set up the appointment for this afternoon with no questions about what devices I wanted the cards in.
This morning the cable tech called to ask if he could show up early since he was already done with his morning run. I said fine and he was here withing 5 minutes. The tech had never installed cards in a TiVo and in fact had only done a few other CableCards, but he didn't seem overly worried about it. I had printed out the online directions - CableCard Installation Directions
- which are nicer than the ones that came with the HD TiVo. The tech worked off those directions and with a little help from me and the person at their home office, the Cards got installed and setup in a little less than an hour and a half. Most of that time was spent waiting for the CableCards to be recognized and download the data that they needed.
Anyway, way this note is probably a little longer than it needed to be. I hope that it helps any US Cable customers who come across this.