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Old 08-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #1
jaimejean478
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Moving - cable card question - can I go without?

I moved over the weekend from my own apartment where I've had comcast and my Tivo HD set up happily with 2 cable cards for a couple of years now - into my fiance's house where he has his own comcast account and his own comcast DVR. He of course doesn't want to switch to Tivo only, and I am partial to the service that I purchased a lifetime use for.

My question - how will the Tivo operate if i go without cable cards? Can I just watch live tv at that point? Or can i record 1 at a time? And will it then not broacast in HD? If I keep 1 cable card (at $1.50) and give up the 2nd (at 9.99) what will the ramifications be?

I just want to make sure I'm all primed up with answers before I ax my comcast account, return cable cards, and then have to reinstall 1 or more with a $30 service call.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
jrtroo
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Try it and see how you like it, I think you'll hate it. Why pay for a comcast box with less features while you have a fully working Tivo (on demand?)? I tried a comcast box and man- what a mess.

Cable card installs can be done on your own these days. No need for a truck roll.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:02 PM   #3
jaimejean478
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I very much dislike his comcast dvr box.

I'm just wondering how the tivo would operate though without cable cards. Would it? Or is it live tv only?
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaimejean478 View Post
I moved over the weekend from my own apartment where I've had comcast and my Tivo HD set up happily with 2 cable cards for a couple of years now - into my fiance's house where he has his own comcast account and his own comcast DVR. He of course doesn't want to switch to Tivo only, and I am partial to the service that I purchased a lifetime use for.

My question - how will the Tivo operate if i go without cable cards? Can I just watch live tv at that point? Or can i record 1 at a time? And will it then not broacast in HD? If I keep 1 cable card (at $1.50) and give up the 2nd (at 9.99) what will the ramifications be?

I just want to make sure I'm all primed up with answers before I ax my comcast account, return cable cards, and then have to reinstall 1 or more with a $30 service call.
If you are using two CableCards, then what you have is the original S3 Tivo, not what is commonly referred to as the S3 HD. Giving up both CableCards means having only the capability to receive analog signals over the cable. Not sure about OTA since I've never owned the original S3. Keeping just one card would probably mean that you could do digital and HD on one channel only. Considering that the second card costs $10, that might be a good compromise. You didn't say if the Tivo has lifetime or not. If it does you might consider selling it and buying an S3HD (the one that comes with the 160GB drive). It only requires a single CableCard and you might break about even on the trade.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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If you are using two CableCards, then what you have is the original S3 Tivo, not what is commonly referred to as the S3 HD.
Probably, but not necessarily. The Tivo HD (XL) has 2 cable card slots and uses 1 M card or 2 S cards. Or there's also the chance that the OP is being ripped off by the cable co. by charging him for two M cards.

Quote:
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You didn't say if the Tivo has lifetime or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaimejean478 View Post
and I am partial to the service that I purchased a lifetime use for.

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Old 08-02-2012, 02:37 PM   #6
btgulledge
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I think what jaimejean478 means is hook it up just with coax cable and no cable cards. Like a series 2. Will it still record two shows or any shows at all? I think it will, just do guided set up again and select you wont be using cable cards.
lillevig, she ( I assume a lady) said it is a lifetime unit.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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Whether the OP needs a cable card depends on the cable system she is connecting to and whether or not she wants to "use" her Tivo.

At the very least, she's most likely going to need a cable card to get the guide data mapped to the QAM channels.

Without a cable card, the Tivo will be able to tune (and manually record) unencrypted QAM channels, but that's like going back to the days of the VCR.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:20 PM   #8
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OTA is an option that has not been discussed. I tried it without a cablecard and it was extremely frustrating.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
lillevig
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Originally Posted by btgulledge View Post
I think what jaimejean478 means is hook it up just with coax cable and no cable cards. Like a series 2. Will it still record two shows or any shows at all? I think it will, just do guided set up again and select you wont be using cable cards.
lillevig, she ( I assume a lady) said it is a lifetime unit.
My bad on missing the lifetime statement. The box should work like an S2 if the cable system includes the analog versions of the digital channels. My system does. I think it's just the newest Premiere that doesn't decode analog channels.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #10
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What model tivo is it? Does the model number start with 648 (S3 model), which must have two cable cards to tune two digital cable channels, or 652 or 658 (HD or HD-XL models) which need just one multi-channel cable card (m-card) to tune two digital cable channels? If you have an HD or HD-XL model you should demand an m-card to replace your two s-cards so you only pay for one card. My impression is most cable cos haven't even been supplying s-cards for years now. Cable Cards can be self-installed, without paying for a service call.

You can use your tivo without cable cards but it will only receive analog cable signals and only if your cable system is broadcasting analog versions of at least some channels, called "simulcasting". Some systems have dropped all analog channels. None of the analog channels will be HD.

You haven't mentioned a Tuning Adapter. Does this mean your system doesn't use SDV? If it does use SDV you will be unable to tune many channels without a TA, which is a separate box usually supplied for free by the cable co. Sometimes it's hard to find out whether your system uses SDV. You can try asking the cable co or looking on their web pages, but you also could post your location here so someone else in that system can tell you.
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