TiVo Community
TiVo Community
TiVo Community
Go Back   TiVo Community > Main TiVo Forums > TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs
TiVo Community
Reply
Forum Jump
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-24-2011, 12:11 PM   #1
adamwsh
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 156
Question Can a cablecard be purchased on ebay and used in Tivo?

If I purchased a cablecard on ebay, could I successfully use it in my TivoHD on Fios?
__________________
-Adam
One Tivo XL4 (Lifetime)
One TivoHD (Monthly)
Two Tivo Series2s (One Lifetime, One Monthly)
----------

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
adamwsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2011, 01:20 PM   #2
SpiritualPoet
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 568
No. Each cablecard is the property of the issuer (cable firm) and has unique electronic serial number known to the issuer. It will not function as it can't be paired - not legally and not ethically.
SpiritualPoet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
donniesd
Registered User
 
donniesd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiritualPoet View Post
No. Each cablecard is the property of the issuer (cable firm) and has unique electronic serial number known to the issuer. It will not function as it can't be paired - not legally and not ethically.
What does ethically or legally have to do with anything. Hell if who ever did not return the card, they were sure billed for the cost of it. So some it might be worth the $150 bill from the cable provider for the card.
donniesd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2011, 01:57 PM   #4
sddave
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by donniesd View Post
What does ethically or legally have to do with anything. Hell if who ever did not return the card, they were sure billed for the cost of it. So some it might be worth the $150 bill from the cable provider for the card.
Why would any one want to pay $150 for a cable card that his next provider would not put the serial number in their system or pair to maintain the channel mapping.
sddave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2011, 09:50 PM   #5
mattack
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: sunnyvale
Posts: 16,532
You *MIGHT* be able to use it for OTA guide "pairing". You likely won't be able to use it for premium channels (even if you pay for them) due to the pairing issue people are talking about.

I'd be vaguely interested in getting one just for the OTA channel guide issue..
mattack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2011, 03:37 PM   #6
CharlesH
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Milpitas (San Francisco Bay Area)
Posts: 941
The whole idea of cable cards was your cable company subscription authentication would not be in a cable-company owned set top, but would be reduced to a cable-company owned cable card that could be put into customer-owned equipment. They trust their own cards to enforce their authentication, but don't trust random hardware that comes from some unknown source.
CharlesH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2011, 03:47 PM   #7
SullyND
W:29-16
 
SullyND's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Chicago Burbs
Posts: 7,463
I believe some providers used to sell them (Didn't Raj say he had to buy his?)
__________________
Earl: A purpose is a great thing to have, it gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
Randy: So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
Earl: Exactly.
SullyND is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
randywalters
AVS Old Timer
 
randywalters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: El Segundo, Southern Calif
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamwsh View Post
If I purchased a cablecard on ebay, could I successfully use it in my TivoHD on Fios?
You shouldn't even be able to buy a CableCard on EBay (at least not in the USA) as they're the property of the cable franchise that rented it to the subscriber. If it's on Ebay, then it's probably stolen - and it will not work with your provider. Same goes for cable boxes and cable DVRs.
__________________
Randy

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Series3 w/500GB, TWC Cisco 8742HDC DVR, Panasonic TC-P50GT50, URC R40 Remote, , Onkyo 605 AVR
randywalters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2011, 04:08 PM   #9
swSteve
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by randywalters View Post
You shouldn't even be able to buy a CableCard on EBay (at least not in the USA) as they're the property of the cable franchise that rented it to the subscriber. If it's on Ebay, then it's probably stolen - and it will not work with your provider. Same goes for cable boxes and cable DVRs.
This... and "Unethical to buy a Cable Card"?

What a load of Hogwash.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves for propagating this kind
of baseless and slanderous BS.

So you're saying that the current eBay auction entitled
"Lot of 3000 - Motorola M-Card MediaCipher" are all stolen?

That's THREE THOUSAND.

Go Ahead. Call the Police if you don't believe that a Cable company
can sell off surplus assets. Better than going into a landfill.

Like it or not, those perfectly fine cable cards are now on the market
for any interested buyer.

Steve
swSteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2011, 04:36 PM   #10
Jstkiddn
Registered User
 
Jstkiddn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,583
Quote:
Originally Posted by swSteve View Post
This... and "Unethical to buy a Cable Card"?

What a load of Hogwash.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves for propagating this kind
of baseless and slanderous BS.

So you're saying that the current eBay auction entitled
"Lot of 3000 - Motorola M-Card MediaCipher" are all stolen?

That's THREE THOUSAND.

Go Ahead. Call the Police if you don't believe that a Cable company
can sell off surplus assets. Better than going into a landfill.

Like it or not, those perfectly fine cable cards are now on the market
for any interested buyer.

Steve
Just an observation.

Almost 5 years here and THIS is what makes you finally come out and post your first post? LOL!

Must have some strong feelings on the issue.

That is all...carry on.
Jstkiddn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2011, 06:37 PM   #11
randywalters
AVS Old Timer
 
randywalters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: El Segundo, Southern Calif
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by swSteve View Post
This... and "Unethical to buy a Cable Card"?

What a load of Hogwash.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves for propagating this kind
of baseless and slanderous BS.

So you're saying that the current eBay auction entitled
"Lot of 3000 - Motorola M-Card MediaCipher" are all stolen?

That's THREE THOUSAND.

Go Ahead. Call the Police if you don't believe that a Cable company
can sell off surplus assets. Better than going into a landfill.

Like it or not, those perfectly fine CableCards are now on the market
for any interested buyer. Steve
Don't be ridiculous. There's a huge difference between an electronics salvager selling a $21,999 bulk lot of used surplus CableCards (obviously targeting a commercial buyer or a cable provider or even a recycler), as compared to a private individual selling one CableCard on Ebay to an unsuspecting buyer (such as the OP) as if he can use it with any cable provider. I have seen countless posts on AVS and other forums over the years where people have bought Cable DVRs, Cable Boxes, and CableCards off Ebay and not a single one of em was able to get it to work on their cable system or get their cable provider to make it work on their system. They buy it, then they come to the forums and ask why it won't work.

Name one USA cable company that sells CableCards to the public or on Ebay.

Name one USA cable company that will allow you to use an Ebay-bought CableCard (or any CableCard not supplied by them) on their network.
__________________
Randy

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Series3 w/500GB, TWC Cisco 8742HDC DVR, Panasonic TC-P50GT50, URC R40 Remote, , Onkyo 605 AVR
randywalters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2011, 06:56 PM   #12
dianebrat
Uncontrolled Force
 
dianebrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: boston'ish
Posts: 7,545
Quote:
Originally Posted by randywalters View Post
Name one USA cable company that sells CableCards to the public or on Ebay.
In general I agree 100% with your post, but there are a few threads floating around TCF about users in small cable markets where the cable company insists the user buy the cableCARD for a decent chunk of change, so it is out there, but rare.
__________________
"There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out."
dianebrat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2011, 10:31 PM   #13
segaily
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NH
Posts: 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by randywalters View Post

Name one USA cable company that sells CableCards to the public or on Ebay.

Name one USA cable company that will allow you to use an Ebay-bought CableCard (or any CableCard not supplied by them) on their network.
When the S3 first came out I lived in Rochester NH. The cable company was Metrocast and they made me buy my cable cards for $100 each. I have moved since and I think they rent them now but they certainly used to sell them.

If I sold the cards to another metrocast user I would think they would have had to let you use them. I doubt most cable companys would let you use them however.
segaily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 12:30 AM   #14
dwit
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,652
Seems to me, cable companies have enough issues with their own cards, which they provide, much less trying to support some "unknown" piece of equipment, from who knows where.
__________________
Tivo HD Lifetime 1TB int, 1TB ext
Tivo 540040 400 GB Lifetime
Tivo S2DT 750 GB msd
Toshiba sdh400 r.i.p.
dwit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 02:43 AM   #15
swSteve
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by randywalters View Post
Don't be ridiculous. There's a huge difference between an electronics salvager selling a $21,999 bulk lot of used surplus CableCards (obviously targeting a commercial buyer or a cable provider or even a recycler), as compared to a private individual selling one CableCard on Ebay to an unsuspecting buyer (such as the OP) as if he can use it with any cable provider. I have seen countless posts on AVS and other forums over the years where people have bought Cable DVRs, Cable Boxes, and CableCards off Ebay and not a single one of em was able to get it to work on their cable system or get their cable provider to make it work on their system. They buy it, then they come to the forums and ask why it won't work.

Name one USA cable company that sells CableCards to the public or on Ebay.

Name one USA cable company that will allow you to use an Ebay-bought CableCard (or any CableCard not supplied by them) on their network.
So you have conveniently forgotten all about your own ridiculous post
and changed the subject completely.

Without missing a beat you've gone from accusing the
eBay sellers of THEFT (without a shred of proof) to a new
contention that it is not worth buying these cards because they
won't be authorized.

Well here's some more news for you, Inspector Lestrade.

Had you taken one moment to check the eBay listings,
you would have seen that the seller of the 3000 cards,
"lost-circuits" is ALSO offering INDIVIDUAL CARDS for $19.99
in an auction entitled "Motorola M-Card MediaCipher Multi Stream Cable Card"

Your contention is false.

Like I said: Hogwash and BS.

Steve

Last edited by swSteve : 06-26-2011 at 02:59 AM.
swSteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 03:03 AM   #16
Wil
Senile Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,238
Quote:
Originally Posted by swSteve View Post
So you have conveniently forgotten all about your
own ridiculous post and changed the subject completely.
You are shocked ... shocked to find that there is imperfect posting going on at TCF!

This place is closed until further notice? Or could we just calm down a little bit and have some fun here, flawed as the playground may be.
Wil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 07:53 AM   #17
brewman
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 138
One thing that's not clear to me is why go to the trouble and expense of buying a cable card on ebay? Sure, if you can get it to work on your cable network, and that's a really,really,really big IF, you'll eventually save money even if the payback period is several years, but with the monthly cost of a cable card from the cable company being fairly low ($1.50/month at Charter in Gwinnett,GA) why bother?
brewman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 09:20 AM   #18
swSteve
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil View Post
You are shocked ... shocked to find that there is imperfect posting going on at TCF!

This place is closed until further notice? Or could we just calm down a little bit and have some fun here, flawed as the playground may be.
Good perspective.

I'm reminded that it is actually Big Cable, and not any posters
that is the culprit here.

They are uncooperative and continue to place obstacles in the path of
TiVo causing years of extra work and a sub-par user experience!

Steve
swSteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 10:21 AM   #19
segaily
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NH
Posts: 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwit View Post
Seems to me, cable companies have enough issues with their own cards, which they provide, much less trying to support some "unknown" piece of equipment, from who knows where.
I think I have read that there are only 2 brands of cards so it really should not be any extra work for a cable company to support a card from e bay as long as it is the same brand as they already use.
segaily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 10:33 AM   #20
jondar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by randywalters View Post
Name one USA cable company that sells CableCards to the public or on Ebay.
Let's try the first cable company in the U.S., Service Electric:

http://www.sectv.com/LV/cable_card.html

A little over 42 months before you break even, but it's certainly available.
jondar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 10:34 AM   #21
dianebrat
Uncontrolled Force
 
dianebrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: boston'ish
Posts: 7,545
Quote:
Originally Posted by segaily View Post
I think I have read that there are only 2 brands of cards so it really should not be any extra work for a cable company to support a card from e bay as long as it is the same brand as they already use.
Except cable companies have IMNSHO proved themselves to be about the greediest group out there with anything they can charge for, they will, they view that $3 per month per card from the user as THEIR money.

When you think of how much trouble they have even properly configuring their own CableCARDs, I can't imagine them even pondering letting any unknown card come into the ecosystem.

Since the CableCARD is the gatekeeper to all their riches (in their minds) letting a card in that they do not own and control fully seems like something I would never see them doing.
__________________
"There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out."
dianebrat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 06:50 PM   #22
segaily
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NH
Posts: 249
I agree that most cable companies are unlikely to allow people to use cards that they purchased. I am just saying it really should not be any more work for them.
segaily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 07:17 PM   #23
dwit
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,652
Quote:
Originally Posted by segaily View Post
I agree that most cable companies are unlikely to allow people to use cards that they purchased. I am just saying it really should not be any more work for them.
It would probably be more "work for them". Whatever issues they have with their own cards are likely to be added to, maybe multiple fold, by dealing with these "unknown"(counterfeit, damaged, etc) cards.

For all we know, that 30,000 lot of ebay cards were ultimately sourced from inoperable cards collected and/or returned by cable companies.

Again, the cable industry seems to struggle enough with getting their own cards to work. How many stories are here in these forums of techs carrying multiple cards, in hopes of getting just one to work.

What do you think the tech, and the super is going to say when they try to activate the "unknown" card, and it doesn't work? When it's their card, it's all on them as far as getting it to work. They are accountable only to themselves for hours of lost work, etc.

Do you think they want to go through this with some "counterfeit, and/ or damaged" ebay card?
__________________
Tivo HD Lifetime 1TB int, 1TB ext
Tivo 540040 400 GB Lifetime
Tivo S2DT 750 GB msd
Toshiba sdh400 r.i.p.
dwit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 10:07 PM   #24
CharlesH
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Milpitas (San Francisco Bay Area)
Posts: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by dianebrat View Post
Since the CableCARD is the gatekeeper to all their riches (in their minds) letting a card in that they do not own and control fully seems like something I would never see them doing.
I think that this is the key issue for why they insist on their own cards, rather it just being a support issue. It is the cable cards that enforce that you can only see the channels you have paid for. They are not going to trust some unknown, perhaps counterfeit, piece of hardware to control access to what they consider their valuable property.
CharlesH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2011, 11:23 PM   #25
zowwie85
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 89
Portability just isn't designed into these things...

Aside from the debate over legal, ethical... Some cable companies in Canada used to accept outside equipment including boxes from the US. If you've read the top-of-form 'sticky' postings on outside equipment in the "Rogers" and "Shaw" forums on Digital Home Canada dot com (I don't recall if its a no-no to post a link), a pattern is clear:

The Motorola-branded hardware, in some cases, is portable between Motorola-based headends provided the user can determine the unit's serial number, the box can tune to the right control channel and compatible firmware is present already on the 3rd-party system. Lots of "if's."

Scientific Atlanta cablecards (or anything) must have been staged in the cable company's servers. Only the company that bought the device gets the secret key from Cisco used to sign the entitlement management messages ('hit', or GBAM) sent to the card. Another cable company could not activate the device even if they wanted to, they would have to somehow obtain and load the unique key for that card. Cisco is only going to release it to the original purchaser.

IF cable companies with Motorola systems wanted to, they likely could activate cards or boxes bought from outside but it would be a huge headache. The practice got shut down up north. (a) it's a support hassle and (b) there may have been pressure from the manufacturers and/or the rightful owners of the equipment.

Portability just isn't a consideration on these devices. This is very similar to trying to take a Sprint device and make it work on Verizon.

Oh, and the Service Electric link is hilarious. "Go wire-free with a cablecard?!" There's an SDV rats nest behind my TV.

Last edited by zowwie85 : 06-27-2011 at 12:08 AM. Reason: add comment about service electric
zowwie85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2011, 09:01 PM   #26
randywalters
AVS Old Timer
 
randywalters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: El Segundo, Southern Calif
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by jondar View Post
Let's try the first cable company in the U.S., Service Electric:

http://www.sectv.com/LV/cable_card.html
I did say that if someone is selling a CableCard on EBay, it's probably stolen, not absolutely positively stolen. Sure there are some small cable companies in the USA that sell CableCards directly to their subscribers, but they don't sell them to the general public and they don't sell them on EBay. Now if the OP happened to live in the area served by such a cable company, and the EBay seller was in the same area and he'd originally bought the CableCard from the same company and is selling it for use with said cable company, then i suppose his idea would work, providing that company allows it's subscribers to to resell their CableCard to another local subscriber and would be willing to authorize it and get it working.

My point to the OP was that if he buys a CableCard on EBay, he almost assuredly won't be able to get his cable provider to authorize it or allow it to be used on their network, even if it were physically possible. Why should they? I recommend he call his cable company and ask if they would allow a random CableCard bought on EBay to be used on their network. I'm sure the answer would be no.
__________________
Randy

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Series3 w/500GB, TWC Cisco 8742HDC DVR, Panasonic TC-P50GT50, URC R40 Remote, , Onkyo 605 AVR
randywalters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2011, 09:30 PM   #27
mattack
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: sunnyvale
Posts: 16,532
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewman View Post
One thing that's not clear to me is why go to the trouble and expense of buying a cable card on ebay? Sure, if you can get it to work on your cable network, and that's a really,really,really big IF, you'll eventually save money even if the payback period is several years, but with the monthly cost of a cable card from the cable company being fairly low ($1.50/month at Charter in Gwinnett,GA) why bother?
several years?

Some of these auctions are less than $10 per cable card.

I can *very* easily envision having a "legit" cablecard for a premium device, and an eBay cablecard just to get guide data mapping for OTA channels.

Since the OTA channels are NOT encrypted, if this works (which I believe someone confirmed in another thread), this seems reasonable to me.

You would not only save the cablecard price itself, but also an extra digital outlet fee.
mattack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2011, 09:41 PM   #28
dianebrat
Uncontrolled Force
 
dianebrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: boston'ish
Posts: 7,545
Quote:
Originally Posted by randywalters View Post
My point to the OP was that if he buys a CableCard on EBay, he almost assuredly won't be able to get his cable provider to authorize it or allow it to be used on their network, even if it were physically possible. Why should they? I recommend he call his cable company and ask if they would allow a random CableCard bought on EBay to be used on their network. I'm sure the answer would be no.
Exactly my impression of the way it will all shake out also.
__________________
"There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out."
dianebrat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2011, 09:43 PM   #29
dianebrat
Uncontrolled Force
 
dianebrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: boston'ish
Posts: 7,545
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack View Post
several years?

Some of these auctions are less than $10 per cable card.

I can *very* easily envision having a "legit" cablecard for a premium device, and an eBay cablecard just to get guide data mapping for OTA channels.

Since the OTA channels are NOT encrypted, if this works (which I believe someone confirmed in another thread), this seems reasonable to me.

You would not only save the cablecard price itself, but also an extra digital outlet fee.
So you're saying that an unauthorized unpaired CableCARD will do QAM channel mapping? (let's not muddy the waters saying OTA, it's not OTA, it's clear QAM.)
__________________
"There is a distinct difference between having an open mind and having a hole in your head from which your brain leaks out."
dianebrat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2011, 08:43 AM   #30
adamwsh
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by jondar View Post
Let's try the first cable company in the U.S., Service Electric:

http://www.sectv.com/LV/cable_card.html

A little over 42 months before you break even, but it's certainly available.
Nice find!

So, this proves it CAN be done. But in this case the card is coming from the provider itself. I guess I should just call Verizon and ask. I'm guessing they'll say no.
__________________
-Adam
One Tivo XL4 (Lifetime)
One TivoHD (Monthly)
Two Tivo Series2s (One Lifetime, One Monthly)
----------

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
adamwsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Forum Jump




Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Advertisements

TiVo Community
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media

(C) 2013 Magenium Solutions - All Rights Reserved. No information may be posted elsewhere without written permission.
TiVoŽ is a registered trademark of TiVo Inc. This site is not owned or operated by TiVo Inc.
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:49 PM.
OUR NETWORK: MyOpenRouter | TechLore | SansaCommunity | RoboCommunity | MediaSmart Home | Explore3DTV | Dijit Community | DVR Playground |