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Old 04-04-2012, 05:38 PM   #1
SirMontego
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Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Honolulu, Hawaii and My Tivo Premiere XL

This thread is for Oceanic Time Warner Cable customers in Honolulu, Hawaii considering getting a TiVo Premiere.

Oceanic Time Warner Cable has a maze of billing options. Many of the "packages" are not posted on the internet so it is a matter of calling customer service and guessing. I recently navigated through the mess and I hope this post will prevent others from the headache.

I had the Oceanic DVR (Scientific Atlantic 8300HDC), Road Runner internet service (10 Mbps), and the High Definition HD package. My bill was as follows:

Before Getting TiVo:
$102.95 Surf Pak Xtra (Standard TV, Digital Variety Pak, Road Runner and Box) (Savings: $23.12)
$ 10.95 Digital Video Recorder
$ 6.95 HD Entertainment Pak
$ 4.09 Cable Franchise Fee
$ 6.17 State General Excise Tax
========
$130.63 Total


After I got TiVo and changed my services:
$55.95 Digital Cable Pak Special (Standard TV, Digital Variety Pak, and Digital Cable Card) (Savings: $20.34)
$35.95 RR Residential (Savings: $14.00)
$ 6.95 HD Entertainment Pak
$ 2.96 Cable Franchise Fee
$ 4.80 State General Excise Tax
=======
$106.61 Total

My saving is $24.02 per month. All the language above is exactly as it appears on my bill.

I'm not sure if changing my package is compliant with FCC rule. According to FCC Rule 76.1205(b)(5), a cable company must provide a customer a discount on any package that includes the price of a set-top box if the customer chooses to use his or her own CableCARD-enabled device. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cablecard-know-your-rights and http://www.hallikainen.com/FccRules/2012/76/1205/. Oceanic told me that I could not purchase the "Surf Pak Xtra" if I did not accept the cable box. This seems to be violation of the FCC rule on its face, but since the total price of the "Digital Cable Pak Special" and "RR Residential" are less than the "Surf Pak Xtra", I think Oceanic would probably be found in compliance with the rule because I am effectively receiving a discount.

Two days after requesting the equipment from an Oceanic customer service representative, I received a multi-stream cable card (m-card), the Cisco STA1520 tuning adapter, an instruction sheet, and various wires in the mail through USPS (it was mailed from Mililani). I installed everything myself without any major problems. The only small problem I had was that the instructions told me to call a certain number to activate the cable card, but when I called, that office was closed; so I just called the main customer service number and the representative knew exactly what to do.

People should be aware that cable cards do not have all the features of a digital cable box. A cable card cannot access Pay-Per-View, the interactive program guide (TiVo has its own guide), NBA league pass, and other interactive services. http://www.oceanic.com/products/television/cablecard

The Cisco STA1520 tuning adapter (which must be left on all the time) uses about 9 watts of electricity (as measured by a Kill-A-Watt). At 32 cents per kilowatt hour (yes, Hawaii has expensive electricity) it will cost about $25 per year in extra electricity costs. The TiVo Premiere and the Scientific Atlantic 8300HDC use about the same amount of electricity, about 24 watts, so there is no increased cost in that respect.

The Cisco STA1520 tuning adapter also came with the latest firmware (1501) so I have not experienced any of the rebooting problems experienced in previous versions.

Aside from the small loss of features, I think TiVo is an excellent alternative to the cable company DVR. From an investment standpoint, a TiVo that lasts the following number of years will provide the following rate of return:

3 years: 10.57%
4 years: 22.69%
5 years: 29.44%
6 years: 33.41%
7 years: 35.86%
8 years: 37.42%
9 years: 38.44%
10 years: 39.12%

Assumptions: the user would have purchased a cable company DVR at the prices I listed above, Tivo Premiere cost is $150, lifetime subscription cost is $500, Oceanic fees do not go up (hahahahaaha, if fees do increase, the rate of return will increase), electricity costs remain the same, and the final value of the TiVo box is zero. Note that these returns are GUARANTEED, subject to the above assumptions.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:52 AM   #2
rainwater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirMontego View Post
People should be aware that cable cards do not have all the features of a digital cable box. A cable card cannot access Pay-Per-View, the interactive program guide (TiVo has its own guide), NBA league pass, and other interactive services.
NBA League Pass should work just fine. Just like PPV, you will have to order the package over the phone but they will authorize those channels in the package. Be careful not to confuse VOD with PPV. It has been almost a year since I had TW but you could order PPV over the phone just fine back then. It would activate that channel during the airing and you could watch the event just like on a cable box. VOD is a separate issue and certainly will not work although you can use Amazon Instant to order movies on the box if you are into that.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
SirMontego
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Originally Posted by rainwater View Post
NBA League Pass should work just fine. Just like PPV, you will have to order the package over the phone but they will authorize those channels in the package. Be careful not to confuse VOD with PPV. It has been almost a year since I had TW but you could order PPV over the phone just fine back then. It would activate that channel during the airing and you could watch the event just like on a cable box. VOD is a separate issue and certainly will not work although you can use Amazon Instant to order movies on the box if you are into that.
Unfortunately for Time Warner Oceanic cable card users in Hawaii, that is not the case. The information in the link at the end of that paragraph is current.

To double check, I chatted with a customer service person. This is the important part of the transcript:

SirMontego: I have a tivo with a cable card. Is there a way for me to get pay-per-view and season sports packages (e.g NBA League Pass) by calling to get it or by another method?

Customer Service: Sir, if the feature does not works with the cable card will not work it does not matter if you call or send an email requesting a Pay-Per-View, the card do no take orders like that.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:21 PM   #4
rainwater
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Originally Posted by SirMontego View Post
Unfortunately for Time Warner Oceanic cable card users in Hawaii, that is not the case. The information in the link at the end of that paragraph is current.

To double check, I chatted with a customer service person. This is the important part of the transcript:

SirMontego: I have a tivo with a cable card. Is there a way for me to get pay-per-view and season sports packages (e.g NBA League Pass) by calling to get it or by another method?

Customer Service: Sir, if the feature does not works with the cable card will not work it does not matter if you call or send an email requesting a Pay-Per-View, the card do no take orders like that.
That sounds like something they would say. However, there is no technical reason PPV or sports packages wouldn't work. Most likely you would just have to get a hold of the correct person.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
SirMontego
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Originally Posted by rainwater View Post
That sounds like something they would say. However, there is no technical reason PPV or sports packages wouldn't work. Most likely you would just have to get a hold of the correct person.
In the event someone wants to obtain a sports package or a pay-per-view program, what FCC rule should that person cite when attemting to convince Oceanic Time Warner Cable to provide the pay-per-view or sports package.

I'm not disagreeing with you on the hardware, but without an actual rule, it seems Oceanic Time Warner Cable is within its rights to deny cablecard users these features.
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:32 PM   #6
Zip
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I am upgrading from Series 3 to Premier...I currently run two single stream cards and a tuning adapter in the Series 3. Oceanic says that if I upgrade to the Premier, one of the single stream cards and the tuning adapter will work...that is, I will be able to record on multiple channels with the single stream card and the tuning adapter. They say the tuning adapter is what gives it the multi stream capability. Doesn't sound right to me. They also say that they do not have M-Cards... Anybody also raising the BS flag on this one?
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:39 PM   #7
rainwater
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Originally Posted by Zip View Post
I am upgrading from Series 3 to Premier...I currently run two single stream cards and a tuning adapter in the Series 3. Oceanic says that if I upgrade to the Premier, one of the single stream cards and the tuning adapter will work...that is, I will be able to record on multiple channels with the single stream card and the tuning adapter. They say the tuning adapter is what gives it the multi stream capability. Doesn't sound right to me. They also say that they do not have M-Cards... Anybody also raising the BS flag on this one?
Single stream cards do not even work in the Premiere. It requires a M-card. Perhaps you actually have 2 M-cards in your S3? Otherwise, you will need to replace the two cards with a M-card.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:38 PM   #8
SirMontego
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Originally Posted by Zip View Post
I am upgrading from Series 3 to Premier...I currently run two single stream cards and a tuning adapter in the Series 3. Oceanic says that if I upgrade to the Premier, one of the single stream cards and the tuning adapter will work...that is, I will be able to record on multiple channels with the single stream card and the tuning adapter. They say the tuning adapter is what gives it the multi stream capability. Doesn't sound right to me. They also say that they do not have M-Cards... Anybody also raising the BS flag on this one?
Like the person above me wrote, you probably have two m-cards.

As for Oceanic saying they do not have m-cards, you probably were talking to someone who didn't know what he was talking about. Perhaps the Oceanic customer service person does not know that M-cards are multi-stream cable cards.

FCC rules require cable companies to provide a multi-stream cable card. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cablecard-know-your-rights Oceanic saying they don't have any is pure crap.

After you get a Tivo Premiere, put one of the cable cards in and see what happens. Another option is that you can go to an Oceanic store and get an m-card. Since you're going to have to go to an Oceanic store to return at least one of your current cable cards, it may be best to just exchange both of the cards for a guaranteed m-card.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:02 PM   #9
Arcady
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You could just unplug your TiVo, eject one of the cards, and see if it says "M-Card" on it, instead of all this guessing.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:19 PM   #10
blueafra
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Hello All. Glad to see this forum! I'm by no means a technician, however here is our problem as best as I can describe it: I have a Tivo Premiere with Cisco STA1520 & Cable M card. We have been quite frustrated since starting service with Oceanic Time Warner. Often the feed for HD channels and the Sports Pass randomly drop from the card, but basic service continues. First-line oceanic staff don't know why this happens. A simple reboot from the cable office solves the problem. This seems to happen once per month. But why should this keep happening?!? The frustration of course is that we don't know when the feed will fail, or that the feed has failed, until we see that recordings have failed. Like today for instance, when our recordings for the long-awaited British Premier League final games failed because the feed failed overnight (these games were the whole point for us paying extra for the sports pass in the first place). I try to explain this problem to Oceanic staff, but I just get the typical response of 'check your coaxial'. Its as if our account settings keep randonly dropping from the cable card. Anyone else experiencing these random feed drops?

Last edited by blueafra : 05-13-2012 at 11:31 PM. Reason: forgot some information
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:04 PM   #11
SirMontego
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Originally Posted by blueafra View Post
Hello All. Glad to see this forum! I'm by no means a technician, however here is our problem as best as I can describe it: I have a Tivo Premiere with Cisco STA1520 & Cable M card. We have been quite frustrated since starting service with Oceanic Time Warner. Often the feed for HD channels and the Sports Pass randomly drop from the card, but basic service continues. First-line oceanic staff don't know why this happens. A simple reboot from the cable office solves the problem. This seems to happen once per month. But why should this keep happening?!? The frustration of course is that we don't know when the feed will fail, or that the feed has failed, until we see that recordings have failed. Like today for instance, when our recordings for the long-awaited British Premier League final games failed because the feed failed overnight (these games were the whole point for us paying extra for the sports pass in the first place). I try to explain this problem to Oceanic staff, but I just get the typical response of 'check your coaxial'. Its as if our account settings keep randonly dropping from the cable card. Anyone else experiencing these random feed drops?
Wow, that's rather unfortunate. I personally have not seen this problem, but off the top of my nontechnician head, my first guess would be to make sure your tuning adapter has the current firmware (1501, I believe). If that doesn't work you can ask to exchange your tuning adapter with Oceanic for a new one, maybe even ask for a new M-card while you're at it too.

Lastly, add a amplifier to your cable line. Oceanic did this for me for my internet.

If all of that fails, call Hawaii Telcom and see if you are within the area of their television service.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:41 PM   #12
blueafra
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Originally Posted by SirMontego View Post
Wow, that's rather unfortunate. I personally have not seen this problem, but off the top of my nontechnician head, my first guess would be to make sure your tuning adapter has the current firmware (1501, I believe). If that doesn't work you can ask to exchange your tuning adapter with Oceanic for a new one, maybe even ask for a new M-card while you're at it too.

Lastly, add a amplifier to your cable line. Oceanic did this for me for my internet.

If all of that fails, call Hawaii Telcom and see if you are within the area of their television service.
Thanks SirMontego,
I checked the Cisco box and found it does indeed have the 1501 firmware. I also checked our internet speed and was bit shocked that something called 'road runner' could be as slow as it is. Glad you mentioned the amplifier. We may have to exchange the Cisco box and card as you suggest. We still notice certain HD channels dropping off and on. In a way I regret investing this deeply into Tivo (started with the old Tivo single tuner, then bought into the Premier box). Somehow I feel like we'll deal with these interface problems with any number of cable providers in the future. I wonder if succumbing to convenience and just renting out a cable provider DVR is the way to go? It feels slimy somehow, but just as we did in the past, we're getting tired of the fight to get the Tivo to work with our cable company's infrastructure. Take Care!
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:09 PM   #13
clark_kent
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I have a CICO STA1520. I can't find the firmware version. Little help please. Thank you all.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:07 AM   #14
SirMontego
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Originally Posted by clark_kent View Post
I have a CICO STA1520. I can't find the firmware version. Little help please. Thank you all.
Sorry for being a bit late with this answer:

Tivo button
Settings & Messages
Settings
Remote, CableCARD, & Devices
Tuning Adapter
Tuning Adapter Diagnostics
Version and MACs
and you should see on the third line "Flash . . . . STA1.0.0_1520_LR_F.1501"
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