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Old 09-14-2011, 09:30 PM   #1
sjordan14
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Optimum (Cablevision) Cablecard vs HD Box

I got a brand new Sony Bravia HD set on Monday. When I initially installed it with a Optimum HD box, everything was great. The HD picture was coming thru on the regular (2-600) channels. Installed a Premiere XL with a M cableCard last night. Now the regular (2-600) channels look awful and I have to go to the 700's to get HD picture. Cablevision doesn't know what I'm talking about when I call them and insist that the HD programs now comes through on the regular channels. That seemed true for the box, but not for the card. Does this sound right to anyone? If it is, is there any way to fix it or am I stuck having to choose between easy HD channel access with a box or Tivo with a card with awful regular TV Channels?
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:47 PM   #2
jcondon
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Most if not all the channels are in HD on the Tivo in the 700s.

On my Tivo 2 is SD. 702 is HD.

Are you not getting the channels in HD on 700?

Pick your channel line up by area at the link below. Whenever possible pick 700s over single or double digits channels.

http://www.optimum.com/channel_lineups.jsp
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:52 PM   #3
sjordan14
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Yes, I can get the 700's. What's confusing me is that without the Tivo and the CableCard, the HD was showing up on the regular channels as Cablevision says it should. But now, HD seems relegated to the 700's which seems like a big step backwards. No one at either Tivo or Cablevision can tell me why the box and the card seem to be acting differently.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:53 PM   #4
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Oh and on their equipment 2 will be HD. They just map the HD channel to it. This happened about a year ago.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:56 PM   #5
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Their line up is a mess. About a year ago my MIL had a 4250HD box (their cablebox) plugged into a SD TV. They changed how they handle their channels. Before she could get a full screen picture on 2 -99. Then they switch something and everything was a postage stamp for her. We had to swap the box out for 4250 (not HD).
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:01 AM   #6
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Wow - I just set up my Premiere yesterday and experienced the same issue. It reminds me of the way Cablevision used to be - where if we wanted HD, we had to go to all the 700-level channels. I can remember being at quite a few houses of people who had HD boxes/TVs but had no idea that they needed to use these stations to actually get HD programming. It was just a great step forward when we could finally start tuning in to the regular channels (2, 4, etc.).

I have had an HD box for a long time and remember when just getting a new channel in HD was a big deal. I feel like we've come a long way, so the fact that I now have to use the 700/800 channels now does feel like a large step backwards.

I do imagine that the Cablevision HD boxes are just mapping the "regular" channels to their HD counterparts. After all, there are people that have SD boxes, so clearly they still need to have the SD stations.

But if their boxes can map to the HD channels, is it possible that this can be done on the TiVo box as well? If it is possible, I would think that this would be something handled on Cablevision's side - so finding an answer to this will probably be difficult (as the OP would attest to following their interaction with CV's customer service).

I would love to hear if anyone else has any insight on this issue!
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Player01 View Post
Wow - I just set up my Premiere yesterday and experienced the same issue. It reminds me of the way Cablevision used to be - where if we wanted HD, we had to go to all the 700-level channels. I can remember being at quite a few houses of people who had HD boxes/TVs but had no idea that they needed to use these stations to actually get HD programming. It was just a great step forward when we could finally start tuning in to the regular channels (2, 4, etc.).

I have had an HD box for a long time and remember when just getting a new channel in HD was a big deal. I feel like we've come a long way, so the fact that I now have to use the 700/800 channels now does feel like a large step backwards.

I do imagine that the Cablevision HD boxes are just mapping the "regular" channels to their HD counterparts. After all, there are people that have SD boxes, so clearly they still need to have the SD stations.

But if their boxes can map to the HD channels, is it possible that this can be done on the TiVo box as well? If it is possible, I would think that this would be something handled on Cablevision's side - so finding an answer to this will probably be difficult (as the OP would attest to following their interaction with CV's customer service).

I would love to hear if anyone else has any insight on this issue!
I left Cablevision 3-1/2 years ago for their lack of support for TiVo owners. They had not yet offered the additional tuner converter boxes needed to make the TiVo units compatible with the system changes they were instituting. At that time all HD was channels 700 or higher.

Since converting to Verizon FiOs service, I have never had an issue with cable cards or the need for tuner converters. I have never had to reboot my modem to reconnect to the Internet. FiOs is flawless.

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Old 09-15-2011, 06:08 AM   #8
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The situation you are describing is common with all providers, not just yours. The lower channels are most like SD analog versions (maybe digital) for those subs that don't have HD capability. The CableCARD doesn't know or care what you TV can do and just provides the channel map.

It sounds like the providers HD converter assumes you never want to watch the SD versions and maps the HD channels over the SD ones. Reasonable, but then you lose access to the other versions.

This is not a TiVo problem in any way.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:09 AM   #9
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The situation you are describing is common with all providers, not just yours. The lower channels are most like SD analog versions (maybe digital) for those subs that don't have HD capability. The CableCARD doesn't know or care what you TV can do and just provides the channel map.

It sounds like the providers HD converter assumes you never want to watch the SD versions and maps the HD channels over the SD ones. Reasonable, but then you lose access to the other versions.

This is not a TiVo problem in any way.
I must agree.

About a year ago, Cablevision began mapping HD versions of SD channels down to their SD locations if you had a HD box installed.

If you were to look at a Tribune Media lineup for your cable system, you would see that (at least in New York), WCBS Channel 2 is mapped to Channel 2 on your CV STB. WCBS-DT (HD Version) is listed as 702. Now, if you have a HD box, the BOX itself maps 702 to 2, and throws away the SD feed.

Your Cable Card driven Tivo does not do this.

Consider yourself luck that you COULD record SD feeds of shows if you want to maximize storage space. Others are not so lucky.

Cheers!
-Doug
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:36 PM   #10
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I must agree.

About a year ago, Cablevision began mapping HD versions of SD channels down to their SD locations if you had a HD box installed.

If you were to look at a Tribune Media lineup for your cable system, you would see that (at least in New York), WCBS Channel 2 is mapped to Channel 2 on your CV STB. WCBS-DT (HD Version) is listed as 702. Now, if you have a HD box, the BOX itself maps 702 to 2, and throws away the SD feed.

Your Cable Card driven Tivo does not do this.

Consider yourself luck that you COULD record SD feeds of shows if you want to maximize storage space. Others are not so lucky.

Cheers!
-Doug
I suppose that's one way of looking at it!

I have a DVR extender so space isn't too much of an issue for me. Having become used to the way my old CV box was working, this is really just an annoyance more than anything else (especially for my wife!). I suppose it is something we will just have to get used to.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:13 PM   #11
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I have Cablevision here on Long Island and find this to be annoying but the ways I have learned to live with it is this

- Delete the SD channels that you don't use like 2,4 ,5 ,7, 9, 11, 25, etc so when you do a search it will only show the HD version of that channel. Be sure you setup your season passes to record on the HD only channels as well.

- Record all my 3 year old son's stuff in SD (He has like 8 season passes) this way I can get some good use of my upgraded s3 box

Eventually those SD channels will vanish....
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Alvysyngr View Post
I have Cablevision here on Long Island and find this to be annoying but the ways I have learned to live with it is this

- Delete the SD channels that you don't use like 2,4 ,5 ,7, 9, 11, 25, etc so when you do a search it will only show the HD version of that channel. Be sure you setup your season passes to record on the HD only channels as well.

- Record all my 3 year old son's stuff in SD (He has like 8 season passes) this way I can get some good use of my upgraded s3 box

Eventually those SD channels will vanish....
I did just that - deleting SD channels that had HD counterparts. Took forever but it was worth it!
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:00 PM   #13
sjordan14
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Thanks for all the good feedback. One would think that the CableCard "expert" at Cablevision would know this, but not so much.

It's odd that the CableCard is different technology than the HD box, but either Cablevision doesn't really care about the quality of the card, or the manufacturer doesn't make the similar technology in a card. Either way, after having gotten used to the HD box, its a big step backwards to have to memorize new channel positions.

And while it is not a Tivo problem, you would think that they would want to know about it and be intelligent about it if queried as opposed to be no help. For me, the non-HD channels are so bad that it made me think seriously about returning the box and getting a refund on the lifetime service.

For almost $700, I shouldn't have to work so hard to get a decent HD picture.
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:50 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the good feedback. One would think that the CableCard "expert" at Cablevision would know this, but not so much.

It's odd that the CableCard is different technology than the HD box, but either Cablevision doesn't really care about the quality of the card, or the manufacturer doesn't make the similar technology in a card. Either way, after having gotten used to the HD box, its a big step backwards to have to memorize new channel positions.

And while it is not a Tivo problem, you would think that they would want to know about it and be intelligent about it if queried as opposed to be no help. For me, the non-HD channels are so bad that it made me think seriously about returning the box and getting a refund on the lifetime service.

For almost $700, I shouldn't have to work so hard to get a decent HD picture.
I do agree that the non-HD channels do seem bad. When I first set up the TiVo the other day, I had really forgotten all about the 700 channels and was just testing using 2,4, etc. I initially thought there was something seriously wrong with my box since the picture quality was so poor before I realized I had to use the 700s to get HD programming.

Since my last post, I've actually done a little testing on my other tv that is using a CV box. They definitely do seem to just be mapping the "regular" channels to the HD ones. If you go to say, channel 2, and then change to 702 - there is no flicker or any kind of indication that a channel has been changed like you would normally see. I also noticed that there are some channels (in the 1000s) that are just the SD versions of channels. Not all, just some. For example, it seemed most of the sports channels have SD versions available (ESPN, YES). I don't know why these are there - just thought it was kinda odd.

Anyway, it really does seem logical that if CV can map "regular" channels to HD ones, there should be some way to do the same on TiVo. I'm gonna do a little more digging and see what I can find out. Although the "experts" at CV are not a great resource!
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:02 AM   #15
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It's even worse - Cablevision doesn't support channels above 1100 on a tivo, even with a tuning adapter.

I don't mind not getting the Matlock Channel or G4, but I do mind that the U.S. Open 3D feed on 1300 didn't work last week. I had three techs come out, multiple tuning adapters, and was ultimately told that cablevision doesn't support these channels on anything but their own equipment.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:08 PM   #16
sjordan14
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Just received a note from Cablevision. They confirm that my observation was correct. The HD box and the cableCard work differently. The HD box does remap the HD channels down to the regular channels, but the card does not. They confirm that you have to go to the 700's to access the HD programming.

My project for this weekend is to create a map that shows old channel position and new channel position.

Even with this hassle, the Tivo is still much better than the CV DVR option.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:15 PM   #17
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Just received a note from Cablevision. They confirm that my observation was correct. The HD box and the cableCard work differently. The HD box does remap the HD channels down to the regular channels, but the card does not. They confirm that you have to go to the 700's to access the HD programming.
It probably doesn't have anything to with the CableCard, but the device into which it is inserted.

The CV HD Box probably has all the two-way communication needed to do this 'mapping', where the Tivo does not.... Remember, CV was able to turn this feature on from the head end. They didn't need to come to each house and insert a new CableCard in their STBs.

Cheers!
-Doug
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