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Old 06-13-2007, 04:06 PM   #391
litkaj
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Just thought I'd toss in here here that I had an installer come out on Monday to "install" the CableCARDs in my new S3. Aside from some confusion about that 161-4 error, everything went smoothly and the guy was done in about 45 minutes.

I've checked out all of the channels and it doesn't look like I have any of the PQ issues that some of you described. All of my channels are registering on the TiVo with 97% signal strength or higher with about 85% of them pegged at 100%.

One thing worth mention is that about 4 hours after the installer left, my new S3 took a dump and refused to turn back on. I exchanged it for a new one, fully expecting to need to call Verizon to have them reactivate my cards, but I was simply able to swap them from the busted TiVo into the new one and they worked as expected. It looks like Verizon may not be pairing the cards to a specific device during the activation process.
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:15 AM   #392
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I searched this thread and didn't find anything, so I thought I'd just ask:

Has anyone else with Verizon FiOS run into an error that says "CableCARD 1 is not in normal operation"?

I got this error using two different CableCARDs when the Verizon tech came over yesterday to do my install. (Up until now I've just been using the Series3 for analog stations, and I finally got around to requesting the CableCARDs.)

The Verizon tech called whoever it is that they call with technical questions, and that person had no answer. So I called TiVo tech support and they thought it was probably the CableCARD slot(s), and they're sending me a replacement TiVo.

I convinced the Verizon tech to leave the CableCARDS behind so that I can try them myself when the new TiVo arrives, rather than trying to schedule another Verizon visit. Apparently there is an 800 number I can call to activate them. If they don't work, I can call to schedule a visit to get two new cards to try.

While I await the arrival of the replacement TiVo to see if this one works with the CableCARDs, I just wondered if anyone else had this issue.

By the way, I also had the screen about error code 161-4 popping up, but I couldn't ignore it and go ahead with the activation because instead of getting the screen with the Host ID and so on, we got a screen that just said "CableCARD 1 is not in normal operation."
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:53 AM   #393
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Originally Posted by JustAllie
IHas anyone else with Verizon FiOS run into an error that says "CableCARD 1 is not in normal operation"?
(
Yes...when Verizon installed the CableCards we had a few of them come up with this issue...we have 2 Series 3s and it took about 8 CableCards to get 4 good ones. The card would look OK on insertion - but when the activation was sent - the card would not activate properly and then go into this mode which would cause a repeated error to pop up every couple seconds...my advice would be to pull out the card and try another.
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:04 PM   #394
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Originally Posted by pfortin
...my advice would be to pull out the card and try another.
Well, we tried two, and the Verizon guys only seem to carry around the number that they actually need that day. In fact, the tech said that they often don't have CableCARDs at all even if you've set up the appointment specifically for a CableCARD install, and then a supervisor needs to bring one out, or they end up having to schedule a second truck roll. The Verizon tech seemed to indicate that it was a regular issue for them, since he said the techs only find out what is needed for a given appointment after they arrive at the appointment, and they're not allowed to cart around a bunch of spare CableCARDs.

Anyway, we tried both of the ones the guy brought with him, so it's certainly possible that they're both faulty, but maybe it was the TiVo. I guess we'll find out!
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:54 PM   #395
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Originally Posted by JustAllie
Well, we tried two, and the Verizon guys only seem to carry around the number that they actually need that day. In fact, the tech said that they often don't have CableCARDs at all even if you've set up the appointment specifically for a CableCARD install, and then a supervisor needs to bring one out, or they end up having to schedule a second truck roll. The Verizon tech seemed to indicate that it was a regular issue for them, since he said the techs only find out what is needed for a given appointment after they arrive at the appointment, and they're not allowed to cart around a bunch of spare CableCARDs.

Anyway, we tried both of the ones the guy brought with him, so it's certainly possible that they're both faulty, but maybe it was the TiVo. I guess we'll find out!
Follow-up: The replacement TiVo exhibits the exact same symptoms with these CableCARDs.

The Verizon tech support guy I just talked to on the phone is trying to find someone who can figure out what's wrong, to see if replacement cards are needed or if these just need to be activated. I don't see how they can be activated if I can't even get the CableCARD menu to display the HostID. It just says "CableCARD 1 is not in normal operation."

Sigh.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:05 AM   #396
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OK, we finally got two CableCARDs that work. We had to try 7 different cards in total.

For future reference, this part of TiVo's online support documentation was kind of helpful:

Quote:
The CableCARD will take a minute or two to initialize. During this time, the CableCARD screens will display a message such as "Card not in normal operation". This does not indicate damage to the CableCARD; as soon as initialization is complete, the message will be replaced with information generated by the CableCARD and the installer will be able to proceed with activation.

If you see the message Updating Firmware when you insert a CableCARD, or if the configuration screen does not appear within 5 minutes, it means that your cable provider is updating the CableCARD's internal software. DO NOT remove the CableCARD or unplug the DVR until the firmware update is complete! Doing so may permanently damage the CableCARD.

<snip>
For Motorola CableCARDs, many cable providers send an activation signal that causes the DVR to issue error 161-4. This is normal and can be ignored. If you see 161-4 more than once, or if you see any other 161-x signal, it means that the card is damaged and needs to be replaced.
All of the non-working CableCARDs we tried gave the 161-4 error dozens of times, not just once.

I wonder if the other CableCARDs were damaged when someone yanked them during a firmware update.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:35 AM   #397
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My Cable Card installation required 2 technician visits -- the first tech didn't activate the premium channels on one card. The hardware was fine, but neither installer, nor the people on the other end of the phone, had any clue about what they were doing. I had to walk them through the process, and they didn't seem particularly interested in learning something new. Disappointing, but they did arrive on time and were reasonably polite about the whole thing.

That said, now that everything is in place and working as expected, this setup is much better than anything else -- picture quality is superb and the dual tuners work seamlessly. I don't miss the junk of On Demand at all, which is a bit of a surprise.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:03 AM   #398
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By the way, the tech couldn't answer this question, and now I'm really curious -- why do I get two copies of some channels? I'm not talking about a standard and an HD version, or an analog and a digital version -- they seem to be identical.

For example, channel 160 is the SciFi Channel, and so is channel 560. (This is in the Northern VA FiOS lineup.) These are both in the digital category, but not in the HD category (which is up in the 800s).
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:09 AM   #399
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAllie
By the way, the tech couldn't answer this question, and now I'm really curious -- why do I get two copies of some channels? I'm not talking about a standard and an HD version, or an analog and a digital version -- they seem to be identical.

For example, channel 160 is the SciFi Channel, and so is channel 560. (This is in the Northern VA FiOS lineup.) These are both in the digital category, but not in the HD category (which is up in the 800s).
Fios has a Spanish-language package, which includes the channels in the 500s. I think these are duplicates that are to be replaced at a later date.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:13 AM   #400
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Fios has a Spanish-language package, which includes the channels in the 500s. I think these are duplicates that are to be replaced at a later date.
So I guess I should tell my TiVo to ignore the channels in the 500s or risk finding that all my recordings of Stargate Atlantis are in Spanish next season?
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:06 PM   #401
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So I guess I should tell my TiVo to ignore the channels in the 500s or risk finding that all my recordings of Stargate Atlantis are in Spanish next season?
Only if you're paying for the Spanish channels. If you don't there's no signal.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:10 PM   #402
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Only if you're paying for the Spanish channels. If you don't there's no signal.
There are a couple stations, including the SciFi channel, in the 500s that you get even without the Spanish-language channels.
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:21 PM   #403
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Yeah, it's silly that Verizon "bundles" duplicate channels into another channel block just to make their "packaging" simpler...

Those "Spanish" channels really aren't. The *footnote says that "Spanish is available as secondary audio" on those channels. Otherwise, they're the exact same feed with just a different channel number and a (sometimes) translated Information block...
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:45 PM   #404
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Using FiOS in Virginia Beach

We live in Virginia Beach, VA, and Verizon began our FiOS installation on Saturday, June 23. We previously had Verizon standard phone service, Cox internet, and Verizon DSL. The installer did not bring the 2 cable cards that were ordered--this seems to be their standard procedure from what I've been reading--and he worked about 6 hours getting the telephones, internet, and televisions more-or-less working. He didn't change the voice mail over to the new account (but same Verizon telephone number), and of course, the Tivo Series 3 did not get its cable cards. He also left several messy places where he worked. He said he would be back first thing on Monday with the cable cards, but on Monday around 8:30 a.m. he called to say he couldn't get the cable cards, but that another installer would bring them on Tuesday. This time there were two installers, but one admitted he knew nothing. The other said he had installed cable cards once, and that was about six months ago. Then he asked for the television's original remote so that he could get the information that he needed to install the cable cards. I told him that there was no information that he could get from the tv that would assist in setting up the cable cards in the Tivo. He was quite dismissive to me and essentially told me I didn't know what I was talking about, and he continued to search the various television menus for quite a few minutes before giving up and going to the Tivo. Meanwhile I held my tongue and went to my computer and printed out the cable card instructions from the Tivo site, and gave them to him. Through trial and error over about an hour and a half, he managed to get the cards working.

We didn't watch much television over the next several days so we don't know if the pixelation was there from the beginning, but now although most channels work just fine there is severe pixelation on Channels 800, 803, and 805--the local broadcast channels. When my husband called Verizon about this, the person he spoke with seemed quite surprised and suggested that he contact Tivo.

One more thing about FiOS. When I tried to set both our Series 3 and Series 2 Tivos after converting to both FiOS television and internet, I couldn’t get them to connect to the network. The Tivos could see the network, but they wouldn’t connect. The problem must have been the change in the router that came with the conversion to FiOS, because to make a long story short, I bought Tivo Wireless G adapters (Model AG0100) and after connecting them, the Tivos connected the network with no problem.
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Old 07-22-2007, 09:43 AM   #405
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Anyone is the Montgomery Country, Maryland Area having problems with there Verizon FIOS TV service and their Tivo 3 over the last week?

I'm getting what I'd call garble (distortion) on the screen of many of my channels intermittantly.

My cable card installation was a few months ago, and everything pretty much went well. However, now I'm seeing this issue.

To say that Verizon has been a PITA is an understatement, but for us it's not be on the technology side, but with there billing. They turned off our service because the tech never told them he finished the install, so we got a free month of FIOS TV... I can't imagine that them reactivating the cards would cause any issues.

Oh, an I didn't let the tech install the new router or any of the additional on-demand stuff... I simply want normal TV service.
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Old 07-22-2007, 11:04 AM   #406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhard
Anyone is the Montgomery Country, Maryland Area having problems with there Verizon FIOS TV service and their Tivo 3 over the last week?
I'm in Chester County, PA and I have had problems with a couple channels (only 2 or 3) over the past week (although I haven't seen it in the past two days). I was getting artifact, as if the signal was too weak, for a second or so, every ~20 seconds, for a total of 4-5 minutes, before it would go back to being fine.

It's affecting my STB in the bedroom as well as the S3, so, at least here, it's not the TiVo. It seems to be on the broadcast side BEFORE Verizon transmits to me since the S3 never claims that the signal drops below "100".
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Old 07-22-2007, 06:50 PM   #407
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I've only been seeing at the S3... When they came an installed FIOS here, they removed my professional in-line distribution amp and put in their splitter. The amp I use give a +3DB gain without distortion. The S3 report 94dB at the unit...

Humph.

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Old 07-22-2007, 10:21 PM   #408
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhard
I've only been seeing at the S3... When they came an installed FIOS here, they removed my professional in-line distribution amp and put in their splitter. The amp I use give a +3DB gain without distortion. The S3 report 94dB at the unit...

Humph.

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What amp were you using?
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Old 07-22-2007, 10:33 PM   #409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litkaj
I'm in Chester County, PA and I have had problems with a couple channels (only 2 or 3) over the past week (although I haven't seen it in the past two days). I was getting artifact, as if the signal was too weak, for a second or so, every ~20 seconds, for a total of 4-5 minutes, before it would go back to being fine.

It's affecting my STB in the bedroom as well as the S3, so, at least here, it's not the TiVo. It seems to be on the broadcast side BEFORE Verizon transmits to me since the S3 never claims that the signal drops below "100".
How much trouble was installing the cable cards? When I asked a Verizon tech doing an install for my neighbor he told me that Verizon wasn't supporting cablecards for Tivo yet.
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:46 AM   #410
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There are a lot of us with Verizon that have had a Tivo Series 3 for months. Mine was installed before Christmas and was a very quick and easy installation. You tech was confused.

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Old 07-23-2007, 09:28 AM   #411
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Originally Posted by Gregor
How much trouble was installing the cable cards? When I asked a Verizon tech doing an install for my neighbor he told me that Verizon wasn't supporting cablecards for Tivo yet.
They're certainly installing them down here in Virginia -- although the techs complained that they don't get a lot of demand for them, and thus most of the techs have never installed one in a TiVo before. You'd do well to read as much documentation about the installation as possible, because the tech will probably not know how to navigate the TiVo menus or what to do if there is any sort of problem with the installation.

Ask them to bring a bunch of CableCARDs if at all possible, because most of them don't work. I think we tried 7 cards on 3 different service calls to get me 2 working CableCARDs. Oh, and at first we thought the problem was the TiVo, so I had to swap out the TiVo for a replacement, too. (Definitely skip that step unless you've tried a bunch of CableCARDs, because I seriously doubt the TiVo was at fault.)

This post I made after my experience has a link to TiVo's online documentation regarding CableCARD installation, and the part that I found particularly helpful when I was dealing with bad cards. The problem I was having was a "CableCARD 1 not in normal operation" error, and the gray CableCARD MMI screen never showed up when the bad cards were installed.
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:18 PM   #412
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They're certainly installing them down here in Virginia -- although the techs complained that they don't get a lot of demand for them, and thus most of the techs have never installed one in a TiVo before. You'd do well to read as much documentation about the installation as possible, because the tech will probably not know how to navigate the TiVo menus or what to do if there is any sort of problem with the installation.

Ask them to bring a bunch of CableCARDs if at all possible, because most of them don't work. I think we tried 7 cards on 3 different service calls to get me 2 working CableCARDs. Oh, and at first we thought the problem was the TiVo, so I had to swap out the TiVo for a replacement, too. (Definitely skip that step unless you've tried a bunch of CableCARDs, because I seriously doubt the TiVo was at fault.)...
I second that installations are happening without question in Virginia. I had two FiOS CableCards installed in my first S3 in January, and two more installed in my second in June. Each time, it was the tech's first S3 install (3 techs came for first install in January just to watch a TiVo install, 2 techs for second). I was lucky in that I didn't have any bad cards. First 2 worked in each S3.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:06 PM   #413
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I think "we don't support cablecards in TiVos" is the standard answer you get from any provider. They say it because they don't understand the subject, and it's the best answer they can come up with.

"Not supporting", I can understand. They can "not support" (ie, not provide service for) cablecards in my TiVo all they want - BUT, that doesn't mean they can't help me install a couple cablecards in my TiVo.

When I first got my S3 on release day, I had cable TV. I called the cable company and even though they didn't really understand, I told them I needed 2 cards and they were both going in one device, a Series 3 TiVo. The guy didn't question it. The installer came and he'd never heard of such a device, but I handed him the "instructions for installers" sheet that came with the S3 and I helped him through it. Both cards worked fine on the first try once he called in to have them activated.

When I recently switched to FIOS, of course the CS rep on the phone had no idea what I was talking about concerning the cablecards, but again I told her they were both going in one device. FIOS tech (2 of them) showed up, and neither one of them had ever heard of the S3 either. But I again walked them through the setup, and this time one of the techs activated both cards from his laptop computer while sitting on the floor in my living room. In a couple minutes, both cards came up. Again, no problem.

The only thing I'd advise is, when you call to request the cards, make sure the CS rep knows that both cards are for one device, so they don't try to charge an "extra outlet activation" (extra TV) hookup fee.

Nobody at Verizon seemed to know for sure, but I finally got it out of the installers that they don't carrry the cards around with them. They're sent out with jobs. They might occasionally end up with a stray one on the truck, but as a rule, they're sent out with the workorder.

Knock on wood, I've had no problems with 2 rounds of activation with 2 different providers. Biggest problem I had was the button on the bottom cable card slot on the S3 is busted. It will no longer push the card out of the slot.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:11 PM   #414
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Quote:
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Nobody at Verizon seemed to know for sure, but I finally got it out of the installers that they don't carrry the cards around with them. They're sent out with jobs. They might occasionally end up with a stray one on the truck, but as a rule, they're sent out with the workorder.
I heard the same thing from every tech I dealt with. They don't carry them around with them. In fact, one guy said they sometimes don't even look at the work order to see if they might need one until they're already at your house, and so they have to go back to the office to get them or have a supervisor drive some out to them.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:18 PM   #415
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Yep. That's the impression I got. Nobody on the phone end of customer service knew for sure. In fact, one guy I got tried to tell me they carry them around on the truck, which I questioned. Another person said no, and another wasn't sure (I had to call several times, as my original workorder mysteriously disappeared. Somehow Verizon thought I had FIOS TV, and I didn't!).

All in all, the techs don't seem to care for cablecards. And they are very leery of them. My techs were relieved, and they even thanked me, for knowing how to work the TiVo, and for knowing where the cablecard information screens were. So my other bit of advice is, help your installer out - learn the cablecard menus and be prepared when they stick the cards in to know how to get back to those screens. It will help your installer a lot. And follow the directions carefully. Insert the first card in the bottom slot, activate, check channels, then once that's working, rinse and repeat with the other card slot.
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Old 07-23-2007, 03:37 PM   #416
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Note the tab on the right side of the Verizon page says "Cable Cards:"

http://www22.verizon.com/content/fio.../faqs/faqs.htm

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Old 07-23-2007, 04:45 PM   #417
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As to the line (whole house) amp I've got:

Electroline
EDA-FT08100
"Drop Amp"

7 output

+3dB gain
0dB reverse loss

5-42 & 54-1000MHz & 6kV Surge Protection

(powered)

Made for use with cable modems and whole house installations, and specifically does not block the return path to the head end.

Verizon Splitter:

PDI
6 Way at 11.5dB loss per connection
5-1000MHz
PDI-6WMS-5 combo-wave
"Mega Splitter"
(not powered)

I've got absolutely no problem with the drop amp I purchased, and it works flawlessly. The Verizon tech told me that it couldn't be used, but considering that they install the same amps when the splitters degrade the signal too much, I thought he really had no clue what he was talking about.

(But, then again, I'm a systems engineer... and I can read the documentation from the vendor...)
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:04 PM   #418
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Since I'm hogging the thread anyway...

I did notice that some of the channels are at 97% and others are at 100% signal strength.

Yesturday, with the drop amp reinstalled, I was seeing signals around 90%.

So I think there may be intermittant issues FIOS TV in the Germantown, MD area.

Gerhard
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:21 AM   #419
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Posts: 1
MS CableCARD?

Hi newbie here.

I just had FIOS TV installed last week with no STBs but a CC in my Panasonic plasma. It's working great.

I've been waiting for a cheaper HD TiVo for a long time and now the new TiVo HD is announced and it's said to support MCard out of the box. So my question is does Verizon provide MCard now?

Also, if somehow I find out the card in my TV is an MCard, can I just pull it out and plug it into TiVo and activate it with Verizon by calling some number?

Thanks.

BTW. I am in Boston area.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:02 AM   #420
bdraw
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 456
M-Cards are out in the wild, but who knows what your chances of getting one is. You may have to really raise some hell to get one. They do say M-Card or multi-stream right on the card, so they are easy to identify.

As for swapping CableCARDs, you're not supposed to be able to, but many have been.
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