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Old 12-11-2011, 08:09 PM   #1
PGHammer
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Seriously Investigating Tivo Premiere (and why)

After years of avoiding the Tivo fanatics, I am finally facing that Tivo is pretty much the only alternative to STB heck.

CableCARD is supported by Tivo and (certain) PC devices; if you want CableCARD support in a TV, you must settle for RPTV (including DLP), which is way too large for most rooms.

CableCARD lease fees (where charged - some providers, such as Comcast in their Beltway Region, don't charge at all for the first one) are less than an STB (let alone a DVR).

I'm looking to purchase a Premiere (local retailer) and will be using this strictly as an HD STB (no DVR functionality at all) - my existing 42" Philips plasma never paired properly with the (installed) CableCARD (apparently due to a TV-related problem, as it actually downloaded the proper channel lineup, and displays unencrypted local programming, HD or otherwise, and Versus HD and AEHD, properly; also, the TV has a solid black stripe running off-centerline from top to bottom), which means eventually I'll be replacing the FPTV altogether.

1. I have no plans on using any features beyond the STB/channel tuning features at all, and there are no other Tivos in the house - will I still need to subscribe to use the basic (channel lineup, etc.) features?

2. Considering that my existing M-card never paired, I should have no issues pairing with the Premiere; true?
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:52 PM   #2
rainwater
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Are you trying to use a Premiere without a subscription? I'm not sure I see the benefit if you don't want DVR functionality. Especially if it is unsubscribed.
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:38 PM   #3
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Perhaps I wasn't clear....

Quote:
Originally Posted by rainwater View Post
Are you trying to use a Premiere without a subscription? I'm not sure I see the benefit if you don't want DVR functionality. Especially if it is unsubscribed.
The issue is not wanting to pay extra fees for the extra functionality (after the thirty day trial) if I'm not going to use that extra functionality. (It would be like renting/leasing a DVR - at DVR rates - and not using that DVR functionality; what's the reason for that?)

The issue, to put it bluntly, is that otherwise, I'd be paying monthly fees for an STB.

I *have* a CableCARD already - while I would rather not get rid of it, the TV that I am using it with needs replacing. That means two alternatives - STB or Tivo. (The CableCARD costs me nothing, as it's the only one in use - that is, in fact, the CableCARD's only advantage.) I don't record *period* - if I did, I could see paying extra, either for the Tivo service or a DVR from Comcast, my cable-TV provider; since I don't, what's the point?
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:26 PM   #4
rainwater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGHammer View Post
The issue is not wanting to pay extra fees for the extra functionality (after the thirty day trial) if I'm not going to use that extra functionality. (It would be like renting/leasing a DVR - at DVR rates - and not using that DVR functionality; what's the reason for that?)

The issue, to put it bluntly, is that otherwise, I'd be paying monthly fees for an STB.

I *have* a CableCARD already - while I would rather not get rid of it, the TV that I am using it with needs replacing. That means two alternatives - STB or Tivo. (The CableCARD costs me nothing, as it's the only one in use - that is, in fact, the CableCARD's only advantage.) I don't record *period* - if I did, I could see paying extra, either for the Tivo service or a DVR from Comcast, my cable-TV provider; since I don't, what's the point?
But you aren't going to get guide data with a unsubbed TiVo. And annoying messages about it not being subscribed. TiVos aren't really designed to be used without a sub. You can try but I don't think you will be very satisfied.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGHammer View Post
The issue is not wanting to pay extra fees for the extra functionality (after the thirty day trial) if I'm not going to use that extra functionality. (It would be like renting/leasing a DVR - at DVR rates - and not using that DVR functionality; what's the reason for that?)

The issue, to put it bluntly, is that otherwise, I'd be paying monthly fees for an STB.

I *have* a CableCARD already - while I would rather not get rid of it, the TV that I am using it with needs replacing. That means two alternatives - STB or Tivo. (The CableCARD costs me nothing, as it's the only one in use - that is, in fact, the CableCARD's only advantage.) I don't record *period* - if I did, I could see paying extra, either for the Tivo service or a DVR from Comcast, my cable-TV provider; since I don't, what's the point?
If you haven't already read this thread, I think it about covers everything to do with running a TIVO without paying a monthly subscription fee. http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=478314
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainwater View Post
But you aren't going to get guide data with a unsubbed TiVo. And annoying messages about it not being subscribed.
This.

Also, IIRC you can only change channels by using the numeric keypad to enter the channel number directly or by using the channel up/down button.

The only benefit is you still get a 30 minute 'live TV' buffer with trick play functions on two tuners.
IMO, if I didn't care about guide data and being able to 'jump' to a channel through the guide, and I didn't care about any other services, this would be reason alone to use a Tivo over a STB.

ETA - Another benefit: Using a Tivo as a STB might get you the BYOB discount that the cable companies are required to offer when applicable (check with your provider).

ETA #2 - BTW, TiVo's 'free trial' with full functionality is only 7 days, not 30.
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Last edited by steve614 : 12-12-2011 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGHammer View Post
I *have* a CableCARD already - while I would rather not get rid of it, the TV that I am using it with needs replacing. That means two alternatives - STB or Tivo. (The CableCARD costs me nothing, as it's the only one in use - that is, in fact, the CableCARD's only advantage.) I don't record *period* - if I did, I could see paying extra, either for the Tivo service or a DVR from Comcast, my cable-TV provider; since I don't, what's the point?

You should record -- even if it's with something other than a TiVo.. You can watch the same amount of stuff in less time _or_ watch more stuff in the same amount of time.

(I've been recording the vast vast vast vast majority of what I watch since long before I had Tivos.. I had multiple VCRs so I could watch something while recording something else, as much as to record 2 things at once..)
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainwater View Post
But you aren't going to get guide data with a unsubbed TiVo. And annoying messages about it not being subscribed. TiVos aren't really designed to be used without a sub. You can try but I don't think you will be very satisfied.
Contrary to what some folks here think, Tivos work fine as a dumb HD STB and they will pay for themselves vs. renting a box very quickly. Tivo doesn't want you to know this, but with Premieres going for $50-80 on a regular basis it's almost a no-brainer if all you want is an STB.

And you can avoid the sub nag banner issue by going into display settings and changing banner to disappear quickly.

Note that if you're on Comcast, they recently got an HD DTA box approved by the FCC so that will also be a cheap alternative soon to renting a regular HD STB. But the Tivo will get all the channels you're paying for (including premiums), where the DTA will only get a subset.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:08 PM   #9
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This brings up a question I have been having. What exactly does Comcast charge for the Cards? I have a premier and a card. When we looked at buying our premier I could have sworn the cards only cost $1.50 or so. But I see a 8.50 charge on my account and then a 2.50 user equipment credit? We also have a Comcast HD DVR in one room and they charge us 9.95/month where I see they are supposed to be 15.95? That is a $6.00 variance. It seems like they give me a $6.00 deduction on one, and charge me $6.00 on the other? We are strongly looking at another premier, but a bit confused on what our true costs could/should be. Hoping we can contact comcast and get lower card rates, but need some background info 1st so we can sound well informed and not ge the usuall doublespeak sales spin..
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:49 PM   #10
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We can't answer, the prices aren't consistent. But generally, the FIRST cablecard is "free", if it is INSTEAD of a cable box. That is, it is included in your digital cable subscription.

Another cable card for use IN THE SAME DEVICE (e.g. S3, TivoHD if they're S cards, NOT PREMIERE RELATED), should be low priced.

If you have MORE than that, and/or have a cable box, then you will likely pay a "digital outlet fee" ALONG with the cable card... and then the second for *the same device* again would be cheap...

So it sounds like you're probably being charged an extra digital outlet fee.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:31 PM   #11
Lrembrey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack View Post
We can't answer, the prices aren't consistent. But generally, the FIRST cablecard is "free", if it is INSTEAD of a cable box. That is, it is included in your digital cable subscription.

Another cable card for use IN THE SAME DEVICE (e.g. S3, TivoHD if they're S cards, NOT PREMIERE RELATED), should be low priced.

If you have MORE than that, and/or have a cable box, then you will likely pay a "digital outlet fee" ALONG with the cable card... and then the second for *the same device* again would be cheap...

So it sounds like you're probably being charged an extra digital outlet fee.
I think your right? I know my Tivo has a M card in it. Here is my bill outline..
Right now I have Comcast HD DVR, Tivo, 2 DTA's. a total of 4 connections.

Hd/dvr Service(includes HD Technology Fee) $9.95
This to me looks like thier $15.95charge - $6.00 "free device" included in package?

Digital Additional Outlet Service (includes Equipment) $8.00
(elswhere on bill)->Customer-owned Equipment Adjustment -$2.50

So there is a $6.00 outlet fee for cable card.

Then I have 2 lines with $0.00 for my DTA's

So if I look at this right I could cancel my HD DVR which saves me $9.95, get a free cable card to put into another Tivo Premier? So a second premier in essence is only $5.00 more than I pay now? (14.95/month sub for second unit)
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattack View Post
Another cable card for use IN THE SAME DEVICE (e.g. S3, TivoHD if they're S cards, NOT PREMIERE RELATED), should be low priced.
I tried relentlessly for months to convince Comcast of this fact and the only, I do mean only, way they could ever get two S- or M-cards to work in my original S3 so that I received encrypted channels was to sub it with an additional outlet fee. I realized they were charging me that way after they reorganized the bill. I paid for an additional outlet I never had for 18 months. When I tried to get that off, they crippled the second card. I talked to all the help people, multiple techs at my house so they could actually see it and the Comcast district manager and still could not get it straight. I finally gave up a shoved...gave the second card back to Comcast and bought a Premiere.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:17 PM   #13
Lrembrey
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Can someone clarify for me?

For a premier they require the M cards? Or could Comcast try to stick me with a pair of S cards and ding me the extra $1.50 fee?
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lrembrey View Post
Can someone clarify for me?

For a premier they require the M cards? Or could Comcast try to stick me with a pair of S cards and ding me the extra $1.50 fee?
It's doubtful you will find an installer with S-cards anymore. The Premiere only has one slot so only a M-card will work anyways.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:26 PM   #15
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Thanks Rainwater!!

I don't plan to have a truck roll. I have a premier already in the other room, I know my lines are good from the comcast DVR install in this room. I plan to sit at my local comcast center and turn in the comcast DVR and get a self install card.. Just making sure when I get there I can know what I am talking about if they try to hand me a S card..
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:37 AM   #16
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With the new FCC rules, only M-cards are allowed. You won't have a problem with Comcast.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
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But you aren't going to get guide data with a unsubbed TiVo.
My guide data (TV guide) is always right beside me on my Android tablet while watching my unsubscribed TiVo.
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