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Old 12-24-2011, 04:34 AM   #1
petscheb
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Using tivo with my cable

I've been interested in getting a DVR and TiVo definitely seems like a better choice than going with my cable company... But I don't know anyone that has TiVo, so my knowledge is limited. Does TiVo work with any/all cable companies? I realize I could call and ask them, but I prefer not to if I can avoid it... Thanks for any and all responses!
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:32 AM   #2
dlfl
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It would help to know what specific cable system(s) you could use but TiVo works with almost all of them. There can be serious problems however, as you can see by scanning some of the threads on this forum. My advice would be to get your TiVo connected and working satisfactorily as soon as possible so you can use the 30-day money-back warranty if necessary.

Some of the worst problems center around Tuning Adapters (TA), which are needed to get a lot of your digital channels if the system uses SDV (Switched Digital Video). They are usually furnished free. Sometimes it can be hard to find out if a system uses SDV but you should try to find out, and be sure the TA is furnished if necessary. It may be easier to find out by posting your location and cable co here. And of course you need a CableCARD (CC) for a TiVo to get digital cable at all. These rent for a few bucks per month but with them you don't need a STB (Set top box). You have to make clear to the cable co. that you have a TiVo and need the CableCARD and possibly a TA. You can self-install both CC's abd TA's once you get them from the Cable Co, although they may pressure you to pay for a service call to install them.

Most people on this forum will say the TiVo is a superior DVR but there are three advantages of using cable co-furnished DVR's:
1. There are no CC or TA concerns -- their funtionality is integrated into the cable co DVR.
2. If you have problems with a TiVo you can easily get caught in the middle with both the Cable Co and TiVo pointing the finger at each other, while the Cable Co has sole responsibility for their DVR.
3. TiVo's cannot order up VOD.

My advice about keeping the 30-day return option alive is based on item 2.
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:16 AM   #3
telcoman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petscheb View Post
I've been interested in getting a DVR and TiVo definitely seems like a better choice than going with my cable company... But I don't know anyone that has TiVo, so my knowledge is limited. Does TiVo work with any/all cable companies? I realize I could call and ask them, but I prefer not to if I can avoid it... Thanks for any and all responses!
I'm in Central NJ with Comcast. We have three series 3 TIVO's using M cable cards with lifetime and cable service provided by Comcast. Recorded programs can be moved from one TIVO to the other over our home network. No problems and no additional monthly charges.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
Some of the worst problems center around Tuning Adapters (TA), which are needed to get a lot of your digital channels if the system uses SDV (Switched Digital Video).
While there are indeed issues surrounding the TA, usually they are still of a low order. There is no question the TAs are not a stable as they should be, but most people do not have serious problems with them. They do typically have to be rebooted every few weeks. A few people are experiencing more serious issues, but this is not common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
Most people on this forum will say the TiVo is a superior DVR but there are three advantages of using cable co-furnished DVR's:
1. There are no CC or TA concerns -- their funtionality is integrated into the cable co DVR.
That doesn't mean they are not an issue. The CATV leased DVRs have many issues related to the CableCards and their own two-way communications as well. It's just the issues are clearly the responsibility of the CATV company to address. Now, that last is significant, but it doesn't mean the user will not experience problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
2. If you have problems with a TiVo you can easily get caught in the middle with both the Cable Co and TiVo pointing the finger at each other, while the Cable Co has sole responsibility for their DVR.
Now that's true, and it can be a real pain. As a corollary, there is always the chance the issue *IS* due to the TiVo, in which case it is the subscriber's responsibility to get it fixed. This is the responsibility one takes on with ownership (of anything).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
3. TiVo's cannot order up VOD.
<yawn> Owning and properly using a TiVo makes most VOD moot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfl View Post
My advice about keeping the 30-day return option alive is based on item 2.
I would say it is good advice, no matter what. Any platform that offers an outlet for buyer's remorse is doing the consumer an estimable favor, if you ask me, and should at least be recognized for the fact.
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:18 AM   #5
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...Any platform that offers an outlet for buyer's remorse is doing the consumer an estimable favor, if you ask me, and should at least be recognized for the fact.
Considering that you have to buy the hardware and are still faced with subscription costs before you can truly test-drive the "TiVo Experience", I'd say it's not a favor, it's a way to get people to give them a chance who well might not otherwise.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:58 AM   #6
lrhorer
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Considering that you have to buy the hardware and are still faced with subscription costs before you can truly test-drive the "TiVo Experience", I'd say it's not a favor, it's a way to get people to give them a chance who well might not otherwise.
That's true from TiVo's perspective, and no doubt is a significant reason why they do it. From the buyer's perspective, however, it remains a boon and a chance to limit one's commitment until one has a chance to sample the goods.

I think the term "favor" describes the situation quite well. After all, doing someone a favor implies an expectation of a return favor. Otherwise it would be a gift.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:37 AM   #7
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Considering that you have to buy the hardware and are still faced with subscription costs before you can truly test-drive the "TiVo Experience", I'd say it's not a favor, it's a way to get people to give them a chance who well might not otherwise.
I think you can use a new Tivo for 7 days without paying a subscription.
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