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Old 02-21-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
audiodane
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Thumbs up Digital cable guide data from eBay CableCard

I could not decide which thread to put this issue in, so please pardon my starting this one. It's a fairly specific topic however, and if I'm right may prove to be quite useful to others. I tried searching for answered regarding this particular topic but kept finding conflicting results.

Quick Summary
I'm now getting guide data for the unencrypted clear QAM digital cable channels (abchd, cbshd, nbchd, etc) withOUT any cablecards.

"Quick" Background
I had a cable modem go bad. A knology tech came out (modem is rented) to test and replace the modem (power supply failed). After some discussion, the next day he came back and installed a cablecard (Mcard) while I was at work. Came home to play with it and woohoo! ... uh-oh... only one tuner working. Online research = S3 needs two cards. I leave him a message to come back when he can for a second card, and in the meantime remove the Mcard. Re-ran guided setup for cable+antenna, back to normal, both tuners working with OTA antenna. (e.g. I have analog cable SD and OTA HD for the broadcast channels abchd, cbshd, etc. I can manually tune to ch901-905 for the CATV-packaged versions of the abchd, cbshd, etc channels but have no guide data.)

Here's where it gets interesting. In re-running guided setup, one Tivo S3 screen (sorry, don't have a screenshot right now [at work]) talks about CableCARDs and gives me three choices: "no cable card," "yes cable card," and "going to use cablecards but don't have them yet." I thought to myself, hmm... I wonder where the guide data / channel maps REALLY come from... Hopped over to TitanTV.com and looked up the Knology analog and digital cable listings.. Identical! Except the digital listing goes on forever where the analog listing stops at channel 99 or so. Hmmm.....

So I go back to the Tivo and selected "going to use cablecards but don't have them yet." Tivo did it's thing connecting and downloading data, yadda yadda. When it finished I went to LiveTV, I could still tune all my analog channels just fine, and what's this?? All the digital channel guide data is in place! Of course I can't tune any of those channels... but wait, what about channels 901-905 (abchd, cbshd, nbchd, etc)? Guide data? YES! Tunable? YES! Went into Tivo->"Find Programs" and tried one at random ("WIPEOUT") ... Three listings showed up: analog cable SD (ch12), OTA antenna HD (ch31-1), and digital cable HD (ch901). Went into ch901 and setup for a season pass, checked upcoming episodes, and the episode on ch901 was setup to record! Not wanting to wait, I selected a few upcoming programs that day on several of the 901-905 channels to record. That night, all had recorded just fine, with program information fully intact!

Now, the questions..
I *did* have a cablecard installed. But then I took it out, reran guided setup back to analog cable, then reran guided setup AGAIN and went back to "going to use cablecards but don't have them yet." So one of two things is going on then, I think--

1) "residual" guide data leftover from when a cablecard WAS installed; or

2) guide data for digital cable is in fact available over Tivo/TMS, Tivo just chose to have the digital lineup behind the cablecard screens and leave the "cable/antenna/cable+antenna" analog only for a "less complicated user experience." That would mean that the CableCard does provide the 'decoding' for subscription digital channels, but not the actual "channel map" (as suggested everywhere else on these and other forums).



Has anyone else tried the above without ever having a cablecard?

thanks,
..dane
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:30 PM   #2
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First off, you are thinking wrong about the cablecard possibly not providing the channel map. It does. Now there are two things that could be happening (one of which you have already mentioned).

1. The mapping as it is right now is temporarily in the system from when you had the cablecard inserted.
2. FACT: The cable companies can choose a virtual channel number to have their channels show up on. Typically they use one of two virtual channel numbers. Either their analog channel number with a "-1" appended or the OTA number (which also has a subchannel). POSSIBLE EXPLAINATION/THEORY: Knology chose for their virtual channel number to exactly match their digital channel number (901 in your case) with no subchannel (no "-1"). Assuming that is possible and the case, I theorize that the Tivo would properly associate guide data under that circumstance as the channels exactly match.

Again, I stress that what I wrote for 2. is only a theory. Although, I would love to validate it. One way to try to test it is to do a channel scan with a HDTV and then try tuning to channel 901 and see if it comes in that way (with no subchannel) on the TV.

Josh
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:50 PM   #3
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Hey Josh,

Okay, there is certainly some stuff in your reply that I don't fully understand.. channel mapping vs virtual channel numbers vs TitanTV's channel guide lineup (which I assume also comes from Tribune)...

But I can confirm that a year ago when I first got my HDTV (months before getting the TivoS3), I did a channel scan and yes, channels 901-905 were available as the unencrypted hd broadcast channels. Once I did get the S3, of course I could still manually tune to channel 901 and it would work, but no guide data. And if I did a Tivo channel scan, it would also find 901 (and others) but of course still no guide data.

In Knology/Huntsville-AL's lineup, channel 12 is analog ABC-SD. Using my OTA antenna for the past couple of months, OTA channel 31-1 is ABC-HD (OTA). And as I just mentioned from testing a year ago (Feb 2010), ABC-HD (CATV) is channel 901.

What I don't get is the distinction you are placing between the HDTV's tuning of channel 901 and the Tivo's tuning of ch901-- are you suggesting that what the HDTV sees at ch901, the Tivo guide data might have seen as something different? And that we just "lucked out" that Knology-HsvAL just happened to decide to map them together?

Admittedly I don't know a ton about virtual channel mapping, etc.

thanks,
..dane
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:05 PM   #4
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Yeah, I gotta go with the leftover mapping theory. Possibly it will even remain valid until the cable company decides to move some channels around.

Don't confuse the mapping with the guide data, BTW; those are two different things. The mapping (between real and virtual channels) is provided by the CableCards, while the guide data comes from TiVo.

Edit: Ah, never mind, apparently scenario 2 is correct after all. Weird.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:12 PM   #5
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I can tune local HDs off cable in my area like this. My understanding is that the clear QAM channel has data attached to it that tells it what virtual channel to map to. So, while the QAM may be 80-1 it knows to show up as channel 705. When you select "getting cable cards later, use digital line up" then the Tivo has the guide data for those channels. In my area the TV Starter package includes several digital channels and after a channel scan and guided set up to use the digital line up they all show up as they would with a cable card.

From what I've seen here, most companies do not include this data on their clear QAM channels so it only works for a small number of people.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
Yeah, I gotta go with the leftover mapping theory. Possibly it will even remain valid until the cable company decides to move some channels around.

Don't confuse the mapping with the guide data, BTW; those are two different things. The mapping (between real and virtual channels) is provided by the CableCards, while the guide data comes from TiVo.

Edit: Ah, never mind, apparently scenario 2 is correct after all. Weird.
Is there a "layman's guide to channel mapping and guide data" somewhere? The guide data is for what, virtual channels? And the Tivo has to tune what, Real channels? so the channel mapping is between the two?

I FULLY understand the difference between real and virtual channels as it relates to OTA reception. Here in Huntsville, AL, virtual channel 31-1 is real channel 32. I understand that guide data comes in a "virtual channel" but that the tuner is actually tuning to a frequency determined by the "real channel." Does that same process apply or is it something different for digital cable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey Griffin View Post
I can tune local HDs off cable in my area like this. My understanding is that the clear QAM channel has data attached to it that tells it what virtual channel to map to. So, while the QAM may be 80-1 it knows to show up as channel 705. When you select "getting cable cards later, use digital line up" then the Tivo has the guide data for those channels. In my area the TV Starter package includes several digital channels and after a channel scan and guided set up to use the digital line up they all show up as they would with a cable card.

From what I've seen here, most companies do not include this data on their clear QAM channels so it only works for a small number of people.
So your understanding is that the QAM channel can contain virtual mapping information, but not all providers do give virtual mapping on their clear QAM channels, right? Might there be a reference you can cite that I could read up on about that in more detail?

..dane
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
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I just read the Wikipedia entries on QAM channels and PSIP data. But I have a Tivo that has never had cable cards in it and it gets all the local HDs on the cable channels my provider indicates. I originally had done a channel scan and found the QAM style channels. A few months later I wasn't getting a picture and so I scanned again and noticed the channel numbers matched the channel guide. I re-ran guided setup and told it to use the digital lineup and I had guide data to match. I also have noticed that if I look through the QAM channels from the channel scan it will show up briefly with an odd number (like 79-1) then change to a regular number (like 131). My best guess is that it takes the tuner a second to read the data and redirect to the virtual number.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:52 PM   #8
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Hey Grey, thanks for that reply. So just so I can understand things a little better, you did a channel scan and it worked for a while but then you lost signal. Running guided setup to use the digital lineup however, and since then have you ever had a loss of signal to need rescanning again? I imagine "no" but wanted to make sure..

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Old 02-21-2011, 09:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by audiodane View Post
Okay, there is certainly some stuff in your reply that I don't fully understand.. channel mapping vs virtual channel numbers vs TitanTV's channel guide lineup (which I assume also comes from Tribune)...
...
Admittedly I don't know a ton about virtual channel mapping, etc.
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/298

Why do you assume that TitanTV has any relationship w/Tribune? http://info.titantv.com/ says "In February 2010, TitanTV was acquired by Broadcast Interactive Media..."

If one goes to http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun...lineup_4362178 and select Verizon FiOS, you can see the mappings are a mess and the list is woefully incomplete. I'd wager than 60+% of the channels are missing.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Hey Grey, thanks for that reply. So just so I can understand things a little better, you did a channel scan and it worked for a while but then you lost signal. Running guided setup to use the digital lineup however, and since then have you ever had a loss of signal to need rescanning again? I imagine "no" but wanted to make sure..


In December 2008 I got my 2nd S3 OLED and did a channel scan. At that time the local HD channels showed up as QAM frequencies like 80-1 and 101-3. I used manual recordings to record the shows on this Tivo as I was basically using just it as a 3rd and 4th tuner. In April '09 I noticed that the local HDs were not tuning on the channels they had been. I had read that companies often move channels to different QAM frequencies so I ran another channel scan and found the locals again. On my cable system the local HDs are channels 704-711. I noticed after the scan that the channels matched the digital cable lineup. Since I had told Tivo I didn't get digital I didn't have any guide info for those channels. That's when I redid guided setup and told it to use the digital lineup and I would get cable cards later. I have had to rerun the channel scan when they added a new channel like CW or ION but I have received the local networks on the correct channels with guide data ever since.

I have also noted that this only works on the channels in my providers "limited basic" package. That package includes the local HDs and about a dozen other digital channels. I pick up all those on the correct channel numbers but I'm not able to get any other channels from the digital or HD tiers.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwerdna View Post
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/298

Why do you assume that TitanTV has any relationship w/Tribune? http://info.titantv.com/ says "In February 2010, TitanTV was acquired by Broadcast Interactive Media..."

If one goes to http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun...lineup_4362178 and select Verizon FiOS, you can see the mappings are a mess and the list is woefully incomplete. I'd wager than 60+% of the channels are missing.
Thanks cwerdna for the links. To answer your question, I had assumed that Tribune provides all the program listings for north america. My bad. Looking at wikipedia I see there are a small handful of information aggregation companies that provide such data. thanks for the tip. And thanks also for the Fios example. You're right, it does look quite the mess. So it looks like a few of us are just lucky (for now, at least)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey Griffin View Post
In December 2008 I got my 2nd S3 OLED and did a channel scan. At that time the local HD channels showed up as QAM frequencies like 80-1 and 101-3. I used manual recordings to record the shows on this Tivo as I was basically using just it as a 3rd and 4th tuner. In April '09 I noticed that the local HDs were not tuning on the channels they had been. I had read that companies often move channels to different QAM frequencies so I ran another channel scan and found the locals again. On my cable system the local HDs are channels 704-711. I noticed after the scan that the channels matched the digital cable lineup. Since I had told Tivo I didn't get digital I didn't have any guide info for those channels. That's when I redid guided setup and told it to use the digital lineup and I would get cable cards later. I have had to rerun the channel scan when they added a new channel like CW or ION but I have received the local networks on the correct channels with guide data ever since.

I have also noted that this only works on the channels in my providers "limited basic" package. That package includes the local HDs and about a dozen other digital channels. I pick up all those on the correct channel numbers but I'm not able to get any other channels from the digital or HD tiers.
Thanks Grey-- that agrees with what I've seen on my own tivo. Seems Knology (and your provider) has done us a terrific service to map their clearQAM channels the way they have.

thanks!
..dane
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:27 PM   #12
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Thanks cwerdna for the links. To answer your question, I had assumed that Tribune provides all the program listings for north america. My bad. Looking at wikipedia I see there are a small handful of information aggregation companies that provide such data. thanks for the tip. And thanks also for the Fios example. You're right, it does look quite the mess. So it looks like a few of us are just lucky (for now, at least)?
TV Guide/Gemstar (producers of the TV Guide print magazine) was always a competitor to Tribune Media Services. Now that Rovi owns TV Guide/Gemstar, I don't know the relationship between "TV Guide Online Holdings LLC " listed at http://www.tvguide.com/services/copyright.aspx, the print version and Rovi.

As for FiOS, here's the national portion of my lineup: http://www22.verizon.com/NROneRetail...ne_Nov2010.pdf. This doesn't include my locals which spans some channels <100 and a few in the 500 range. Despite what might seem like random numbering due to the list being alphabetical, they actually are logically grouped.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:03 PM   #13
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Resurrecting an old thread of mine to provide an update; it seems no matter what I try I cannot get my TivoHD to accomplish the same goal as my Tivo S3OLED did back earlier in this thread (two years ago).. My dad did the same trick I did two years ago with his TivoHD, and it worked the same as my S3OLED.. Now, however, the TivoHD cannot seem to accomplish the same goal.

After re-reading this thread, however, I wonder if I need to re-run guided setup as analog-only, THEN channel scan, THEN go back and re-run guided setup with digital cable.. That seems silly, but is just about the one thing I have not yet tried.

I've considered picking up another S3OLED and copying the HDD from one to the other and see if the channel mapping copies over that way too. Somewhere someone told me that would not work.. I don't have a spare S3OLED to try it though.

If I could get the free HD broadcast channels on this TivoHD, I'd be golden..

cheers,
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:00 PM   #14
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There was a suggestion recently in another thread that a CableCard purchased from eBay worked for mapping, even though it couldn't be authorized or paired, and so couldn't decrypt anything. I can't vouch for this, but it's an intriguing possibility.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:30 AM   #15
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Wow, very interesting.. I will have to look for that thread. Thanks for the tip..

..dane
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:01 PM   #16
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I recently cancelled my cable and had to return the cable cards in my S3. As soon as I popped them out I lost all the channels.

Buy chance I had purchased a couple of cable cards for $7 each on eBay. I was going to swap them out and save the rental fees but never got around to doing it.

So i figured this was a good time to install them. As soon as installed them, I was able to tune the local HD. Guide data still working. But it too soon to tell if its just buffered.

These used cable cards came from 2000 miles away, no way they any previous connection with my channel line up.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:45 AM   #17
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I recently cancelled my cable and had to return the cable cards in my S3. As soon as I popped them out I lost all the channels.

Buy chance I had purchased a couple of cable cards for $7 each on eBay. I was going to swap them out and save the rental fees but never got around to doing it.

So i figured this was a good time to install them. As soon as installed them, I was able to tune the local HD. Guide data still working. But it too soon to tell if its just buffered.

These used cable cards came from 2000 miles away, no way they any previous connection with my channel line up.
Thanks so much for your post, nlayton. If you don't mind updating us in two months if the channel mapping still seems to work, that would be fantastic.

cheers,
..dane
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:48 PM   #18
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Well I went ahead and bought a Motorola card today for under $7 shipped.. We'll see how that pans out first.. Not a whole lot to loose for less than 10 bucks.. If it gives me the free broadcast channel-mapping, then I am an extremely happy camper!
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:04 PM   #19
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Well I went ahead and bought a Motorola card today for under $7 shipped.. We'll see how that pans out first.. Not a whole lot to loose for less than 10 bucks.. If it gives me the free broadcast channel-mapping, then I am an extremely happy camper!
That's probably the same vendor I used ... good luck!
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:08 PM   #20
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Thanks. I'm trying to keep realistic expectations. I have no reason to believe that it will do any good at all. But it's too cheap and easy to pass up "just trying it."
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:18 PM   #21
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So how did this turn out. Did the ebay cable cards allow your clear channels to be properly mapped?
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:41 PM   #22
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Cool A long story, but hopefully an interesting read..

Hi Jim.. thanks for the poke..

I received a motorola mcard about mid-feb.. I had been getting my hopes up.. I could hardly wait to try it out.. That night I went to the CC setup screen and installed the card.. Poked around the CC menu for a while, not really knowing what I was looking for, just looking around.. Tried to go to LiveTV, saw the message, "getting channel information..." so I waited.. and waited.. after a while I thought maybe I did something wrong, so I removed the card. Tivo wanted me to then go through guided setup again since I had removed the card. Okay, I thought. when I got to the CC portion of guided setup, I reinstalled the card.. Finished guided setup, went to live tv, same message, .. getting channel information.. so I just left it and went to do some other chores while I waited..

Later that night, I came back and there was some sort of message indicating that it failed, but that I could hit the Tivo button to return to Tivo Central. So I did.. NPL, MRV, etc all worked fine.. Went back to Live TV.. "getting channel information.." ugg.. I became disheartened.. I took the card out. Tivo wanted me to go through guided setup again.. ugg.. okay, one more time.. Then went to bed.. (actually I think I dozed in and out during some of the "please wait" segments of the guided setup, ha ha) .. I was disappointed.

Next day at work I figured I would try ONE more brand.. Moto didn't work, what about scientific atlanta? $5 and a week later and I had one in my hand.. But it was the night before a really important business trip that I had to prepare for, so I had to leave it for later..

After returning home from the trip and decompressing, I was ready to try the SA Mcard.. I was just on regular live TV, and plugged it in.. After not too long, a white screen popped up with a black text region that read:

Code:
CableCARD FIRMWARE UPGRADE

TunedFreq : 609000 KHz
Collected Blocks : [8 / 508]
Status : 2% completed...
Hmm, I thought, this is new.. It flipped back and forth between that screen and, I can't remember.. NPL? Tivo Central? Live TV? but only for about a second, then it would go back to the status screen with an updated amount.. 4%, 6%, 8%, ... about 20-30 minutes later it finally hit 100%. I think then it gave some message about rebooting.. I was getting pretty excited.. The moto card didn't do this..

Then my hopes were dashed yet again, when the following message popped up:

Code:
In order to start service for
this device, please contact
customer service at
Ph# 410-427-9600
CableCARD(tm): x-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx (not shown b/c I don't know its sensitivity)
Host ID: x-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx (not shown b/c I don't know its sensitivity)
Host Type: One-Way
I was disheartened..

I decided to go into the setup menu next.. The CC Menu is vastly different.. a lot more information than the moto card offered. Again, I didn't really know what I was looking for.. But then I decided to "Test Channels" from the Tivo CC menu. I can't remember if I saw the "gathering channel information" screen or not. I might have.. But at least after that, it actually went to live TV! I was hesitant and confused.. It said it didn't have service.. but it was tuning live tv. Granted it was just one of the standard analog channels that I'd been getting all along, but either way, it was progress from the moto card. I was happy that at least I wouldn't have to re-run guided setup..

I tried 901 (abc).. nothing.

Figuring, "well, at least it seems no worse, I can just leave the card in for now.. might as well try some other channels," I tried 902 (cbs) .. blank for a second, then some buzzing for about a second, and then WHAM! Picture!

Confused and excited, I tried the other broadcast channels (nbc, pbs, fox).. Long story short, I think 3/5 of them work, and 2/5 of them are still black with a "Searching for signal on CableTV" or whatever that message is..

So, as it stands today, the card has not been paired, has not been activated, but I have gotten some kind of channel map. Interesting, I looked up the phone number that the message above gave me.. turns out to be Comcast in Baltimore, MD. Not only am I not in MD, I'm not even on Comast-- I'm on Knology! So, it seems Knology both upgraded the firmware of the card (whether it was "out of date" or "wrong provider" [comcast instead of knology], I have no clue), and allowed at least SOME sort of channel map update to pass through to the Tivo. It's partial/incomplete, but given that it's not activated nor paired, it's a start!

It's been in there about 24 hours at the time of this post. I'll be checking over the coming weeks to see if the other couple broadcast channels come in or not. I will have to go back and remind myself (and write down) which of the channels I'm receiving, and which I'm not, so that I can track it better..

I've gone ahead and placed an order for a couple more SA cards for my other Tivo.. I don't plan on using them unless something on that Tivo changes. It still tunes all five broadcast channels without any CC whatsoever (2 yrs later).. Weird, but I'm not complaining! But since it's an s3oled, I'm getting two SA cards as backups just in case I ever need them..

If I was really curious, I'd take out the SA card from the S3HD and see if it maintains the channel map over the coming months.. but unfortunately I'm not that dedicated right now.. sorry.. I have something (partially) working.. That's good enough for me (for now). If it goes months with no change, then I may revisit things..

I will leave the speculation to those more knowledgable than me.. All I know is I got absolutely nowhere with one brand card, and at least a partial success from another card that has not been activated or paired, and came from another provider.. Weird..

cheers,
..dane
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:05 AM   #23
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Or you could just pay $2 (or $5 or whatever) and have it actually work right.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:11 AM   #24
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Or you could just pay $2 (or $5 or whatever) and have it actually work right.
But, I can't "just pay $2 (or $5 or whatever)" ... that's the whole reason I'm here in this thread.. I'm on extended basic analog for cost-savings.. I have a digital tuner and because I am getting CATV service I am allowed to get the HD broadcast channels free (abc/cbs/etc). I have tried once before and have talked with them on more than one occasion about it. To get a CC for the $2-ish/mo rate I have to convert to digital cable (but not digital HD), and Knology will charge me both a $10 "outlet fee" and a $2 CC rental fee, both monthly. So three cable cards (one S3OLED needing two CC's and one S3HD needing one CC) would cost me 3 x ($10 + $2), or $36/mo. And that's on top of converting to their digital lineup which is another $5-15/mo (digital HD package costs even more).

So, it's this approach, or some $35+/mo approach. $35/mo is a huge rate increase.

This approach at least for two days has gotten me several of the broadcast channels. Therefore, my goal is largely achieved.

While I wish there was an affordable Knology solution, I'm not here to bash on Knology. I'm here to share my experience in hopes to help someone else in a similar situation-- namely someone with basic analog cable who wants to also get the fcc-mandated free broadcast channels without the hassle of an OTA antenna..

cheers,
..dane
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:47 AM   #25
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Okay, understood.

Be aware that they can change the channel map at any time without notice and break the stuff you do have currently working.

What about upgrading for a month, install their CableCards, get everything mapped, then go back to basic service? Sometimes they won't ask for the CableCards back in that situation. Or they might drop the service level and keep charging for the cards. It's worth a shot at least.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:22 PM   #26
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That may work.. good idea.. Worth a shot, but still potentially a lot of hassle.. I'm getting pretty tired of hassles (not just with cable providers)..

The first time around a year or two ago, I had only a S2DT and the S3OLED.. So they brought out two cards and did the upgrade. At the time, billing and the technician assured me that they could simply add the cost of the cards ($2-3/mo each) and not change my plan. So I went down that path. He had to come back out a second time because he didn't realize up front that I needed two cards even if they were Mcards.. Anyhoo, all was great, then a month later I get my bill and it had inflated some $70/mo, because they not only pushed me to the digital package, but the digital HD package (probably because I said 'free broadcast HD' in my request). Well that was outrageous, and took me several hours talking with their reps and then returning the cards back to them to get it all undone. And they would only partially refund the monthly charge since I had enjoyed the service during that time..

This time around I spent the hour on the phone with the rep BEFORE the truck roll, and had to repeatedly re-word my questions and ensure they understood in multiple different ways exactly what I was trying to do.. After about an hour, they finally agreed, nope, I would have to convert to at least the digital SD base package, plus the outlet fee (per CARD, not per TV), plus the card itself. So I declined, and picked this thread back up on my own DIY attempts to get the channel map.

Yes, the channel map may change, and apparently HAS changed, since the above scenario. Oddly enough however, my S3OLED has kept up with the changes, even though it has no CC's. I cannot understand nor explain it. My dad's has done the same thing (kept up with channel map changes), and he never even had a CC to begin with! He just said, "use digital lineup, get CC later" and it worked. That was then, on his S3HD. Trying to do that now on my S3HD (same model as his), doesn't work. It's really odd, I admit freely that I don't understand all the dynamics going on.

But since all I'm looking for are the basic broadcast digital HD re-encapsulated channels, I'm willing to spend a few bucks on a "DIY"-ish type solution. Time will certainly tell whether or not it seems to work long-term..

..dane
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:25 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcady View Post
Be aware that they can change the channel map at any time without notice and break the stuff you do have currently working.
Umm, he has the cable card in there -- so it will deal with the remapping… Even if it's not authorized.

My Tivo HD has a cable card that's not *paired* (I *think* it's one of the real cable company ones -- I *also* have some cards I got when I bought a used Tivo, and unfortunately have gotten them mixed up.. but I *think* the ones that were in the used Tivo were S cards.. ) Anyway, I still get the OTA channels & some more, just like the other guy. (Yeah, eventually I'll have them mapped, but I swap out the hard drive every once in a while with an older one that's semi-flaky to get stuff off.. so dealing with getting them to repair it is a pain.. so I just record OTA-rebroadcast only stuff on that one Tivo.)
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:20 PM   #28
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Doesn't the brand of CC have to match your head end? In my case the local cable co uses NDS CCs. Wouldn't that mean a Motorola card wouldn't work for me? I wonder if that is the case with the OP, the head end supports SA CCs and not Motorola.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:02 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by LI-SVT View Post
Doesn't the brand of CC have to match your head end? In my case the local cable co uses NDS CCs. Wouldn't that mean a Motorola card wouldn't work for me? I wonder if that is the case with the OP, the head end supports SA CCs and not Motorola.
You know I thought the same thing when the OP started saying they would try a different mfr, head end and card have to be matched is what I've always heard.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:34 AM   #30
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Well, I didn't know at the time starting down this road what the head end equipment was.. I've since gotten in touch with a technician for my cableco and he affirmed that they use SA PKM600 cards for single stream and PKM800 cards for multistream. So that certainly fits in-line with what y'all are saying. I only wasted about $5 on a moto card before I knew all that, so no worries there. The tech also indicated that TiVo units used to access those (free HD broadcast) channels without a card in them at all, and that he doesn't believe they do anymore after they consolidated their DNCS (whatever that is), because they no longer assign a virtual channel number to them any more, since they don't have a consistent line-up between their different regions..

So with that information, it seems that all the pieces are starting to fit together nicely. There are still plenty of unknowns- like will this work for someone else on a different cable network? Is the fact of unprovisioned cards working specific to particular settings on the head-end equipment, or is it a more universal fact? Who knows.. But for now I'm getting the channel map for all but one of those free HD broadcast stations, which is a lot more than I used to have, so I am very pleased. We'll see how long it lasts.

Interestingly, about two or three weeks after the SA card was successfully installed, my wife called to say that no matter what she did on that Tivo, trying to watch LiveTV was black (even standard analog channels). She could go watch NPL programs but no TV channels.. I can't recall now whether or not I tried to reboot it first (I think I did?), but I know that after removing and reinstalling the SA card, the channels came back. During the boot process it had to do something (re-aquire the channel map?), but then the channels came back just as before.. all our analog channels plus the free HD broadcast channels. It's been 2-3 weeks now since that happened, so I'm curious if it was a one-time thing or if it's going to happen again within the next two weeks..

I also went ahead and bought two more SA cards in case my S3OLED Tivo ever stops receiving the free HD broadcast channels. It still has no card in it (and my dad's S3HD never HAS had a card in it), and still tunes the free HD broadcast channels just fine. For some reason, my S3HD wouldn't until I put in a card.. In the back of my head I wonder if the previous owner had a card installed, whereas my dad's has never had one installed period..

anyway, enough update for today. sorry it got long.
..dane
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