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Old 07-10-2014, 06:42 AM   #1
LI-SVT
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Help me choose an Ebay cablecard

I know people here have had success with Motorola CCs from Ebay. The thing is my cable company uses NDS cards. In a year of poking around Ebay from time to time I have never seen an NDS card for sale. Does anyone know if a Cisco or Sci Atl brand card is compatible with an NDS head end?
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:48 AM   #2
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I'm not sure where you got your information but cablecards purchased on ebay will be worthless to you. You need to get one from your provider. They will not activate any cablecards they have not provided.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:09 AM   #3
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I'm not sure where you got your information but cablecards purchased on ebay will be worthless to you. You need to get one from your provider. They will not activate any cablecards they have not provided.
You might want to rethink that, at least as far as clear QAM channels are concerned. See this post.

Note: I have no direct knowledge and no possibility to gain any. Comcast in the ATL no longer has any clear QAM.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:55 AM   #4
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I'm not sure where you got your information but cablecards purchased on ebay will be worthless to you. You need to get one from your provider. They will not activate any cablecards they have not provided.
You can only do OK only if the cable card had been activated on your system as you may get the basic ch even if there are scrambled, but how you could know is beyond me.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:01 AM   #5
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Sorry for the confusion. I have three cablecards I rent currently and receive all the channels in my package as expected. I also have a spare Tivo HD hooked up to an older TV. Currently I use it for clear QAM(no guide date), MRV and my Netflix cue. If I could add a working CC to this Tivo I could use the two tuners for recording local broadcast stuff.

I am not looking for the full lineup on this Tivo.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:07 AM   #6
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Who is your cable company and what brand are the 3 cablecards that you currently rent?
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:52 AM   #7
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OK, if you only want the cablecard for clear QAM then you can use any brand you like. You just can't get it activated by your provider.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:58 AM   #8
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OK, if you only want the cablecard for clear QAM then you can use any brand you like. You just can't get it activated by your provider.

OTOH, do you even need a cablecard for clear QAM in a Tivo? A cablecard should only be required for encrypted channels AFAIK.
You don't need a CableCARD to view clear QAM channels. You do need one to get guide data.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:17 PM   #9
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You don't need a CableCARD to view clear QAM channels. You do need one to get guide data.
AFAICT, for some cable systems, but not others, the channel mapping is not protected which means the Ebay card may be able to map from, say, 107.1 to channel 7 for your local channel 7. But it's hit or miss whether your cable system allows that, and whether they will continue to allow it. It may be worth trying it, for the very limited purposes that the OP has in mind. The Ebay card won't, in general, help to get guide data at all.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:32 PM   #10
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AFAICT, for some cable systems, but not others, the channel mapping is not protected which means the Ebay card may be able to map from, say, 107.1 to channel 7 for your local channel 7. But it's hit or miss whether your cable system allows that, and whether they will continue to allow it. It may be worth trying it, for the very limited purposes that the OP has in mind. The Ebay card won't, in general, help to get guide data at all.
You can get guide data even w/o a CableCARD, it's just that it is for the cable channels. You need the channel map in order for the TiVo to know how to tune to the cable channel that the guide has.

As you say, there's no guarantee that a third part CableCARD will work.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:35 PM   #11
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You don't need a CableCARD to view clear QAM channels. You do need one to get guide data.
In my cable system the local channels are clear QAM and they map to the natural OTA numbers. So this particular TiVo doesn't have guide data for the channels it tunes.

For example my local OTA CBS is 2.1. On the cable system it is 702. The Tivo maps the QAM channel to 2.1, as it should. Its just that there is no guide data for cable channel 2.1, there is for cable channel 702.

Most o the cards on Ebay are Motorola. My cable co does not use Motorola. I was under the impression that the cards have to match the cable head end brand. I am in doubt that a Motorola card would acquire the channel mapping.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:24 PM   #12
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Does your cable company give you a free cable box with your service? If so, then you could theoretically remove the cablecard from the cable box and use that. I'm pretty sure that's where most of the ebay cablecards come from.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:50 PM   #13
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Good idea but no, they charge for all equipment.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:54 PM   #14
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Well then, instead of searching ebay for a cablecard, maybe you could try searching for one of your cable company's cable boxes being sold on ebay (or elsewhere) and you could cannibalize the box for its cablecard.

Barring that, you might should just get a Cisco CableCard and try it. Since Cisco bought NDS over 2 years ago now, it might be compatible especially if it is a newer CableCard, so get one with the latest manufacture date you can find. I know your original post essentially asked this very question about compatibility, but I don't know if they are compatible or not. Hopefully someone around here can give you a definitive answer, but if not you might just have to get one off ebay and try it to find out.

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Old 07-11-2014, 08:11 PM   #15
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How many / what lineups do you have in your zipcode on the TivoHD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LI-SVT View Post
In my cable system the local channels are clear QAM and they map to the natural OTA numbers. So this particular TiVo doesn't have guide data for the channels it tunes.

For example my local OTA CBS is 2.1. On the cable system it is 702. The Tivo maps the QAM channel to 2.1, as it should. Its just that there is no guide data for cable channel 2.1, there is for cable channel 702.

Most o the cards on Ebay are Motorola. My cable co does not use Motorola. I was under the impression that the cards have to match the cable head end brand. I am in doubt that a Motorola card would acquire the channel mapping.
I can't tell if this is referring to the CableCard-ed Tivo's or the Card-less Tivo's.

If I'm interpreting it right, 702 is not a native channel number, but mapped. That means your locals are already in their original / correct channel slots, unless the Tivo is picking up some PSIP metadata. You can check this by tuning to 2.1 and looking at the tuener frequency in the Diagnostic screens.

If this turns out to be correct, you would use move the cable line to the Antenna IN and select the OTA channel map as your provider.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:58 PM   #16
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How many / what lineups do you have in your zipcode on the TivoHD?



I can't tell if this is referring to the CableCard-ed Tivo's or the Card-less Tivo's.

If I'm interpreting it right, 702 is not a native channel number, but mapped. That means your locals are already in their original / correct channel slots, unless the Tivo is picking up some PSIP metadata.
That is exactly what happens.

Quote:
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You can check this by tuning to 2.1 and looking at the tuener frequency in the Diagnostic screens.

If this turns out to be correct, you would use move the cable line to the Antenna IN and select the OTA channel map as your provider.
Cable and OTA use different modulation and the frequencies are not the same. You clearly have never run with clear QAM channels. I have. If you do a cable channel scan and an antenna scan, you end up with 2 entries in the guide for each channel, one with program data (the OTA channel) and one w/o (clear QAM). They are separate and distinct. If you select the the one w/o program data, it tunes to the clear QAM channel. I don't remember which one you get if you manually tune.
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:32 AM   #17
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Cable and OTA use different modulation and the frequencies are not the same.
Some of the frequencies, particularly VHF are the same.

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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
You clearly have never run with clear QAM channels. I have.
I've run clear QAM before, but usually not on Tivo since Comcast dropped clear QAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
If you do a cable channel scan and an antenna scan, you end up with 2 entries in the guide for each channel, one with program data (the OTA channel) and one w/o (clear QAM). They are separate and distinct. If you select the the one w/o program data, it tunes to the clear QAM channel. I don't remember which one you get if you manually tune.
Are you talking about the setup, an Antenna to the Antenna jack and a Cable from the wall to the Cable jack? Your experience applies to one type of cable system. Even if it were the most common, it might not apply to OP's system.

To be sure, OP needs to tell us what's the ZIP/cable system, frequencies and modulations for the channels that are being picked up. Also what kind of cable box is typically handed out.

Last edited by telemark : 07-12-2014 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:38 AM   #18
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Some of the frequencies, particularly VHF are the same.



I've run clear QAM before, but usually not on Tivo since Comcast dropped clear QAM.



Are you talking about the setup, an Antenna to the Antenna jack and a Cable from the wall to the Cable jack? Your experience applies to one type of cable system. Even if it were the most common, it might not apply to OP's system.

To be sure, OP needs to tell us what's the ZIP/cable system, frequencies and modulations for the channels that are being picked up. Also what kind of cable box is typically handed out.
To be sure, you have no idea what you are talking about. If you could get program data for clear QAM by simply connecting the cable line to antenna in, people would have done it a long time ago.

You stated that you have no experience running clear QAM on a TiVo. Please cease assuming that you know how it works. You might want to do a bit of research on the subject before you post again.

See

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=362736

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...ight=clear+QAM

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...ight=clear+QAM
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:09 PM   #19
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lpwcomp: Your attitude is uncalled for.

You're not a Mod, nor the OP, nor a Tivo Engineer.

I'm leaving this thread because you were obnoxious, not because I don't have a good understanding on how to solve it.

As much as I'd like an apology, you should apologize to the OP instead if you don't find him a solution.
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Old 07-12-2014, 02:40 PM   #20
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lpwcomp: Your attitude is uncalled for.

You're not a Mod, nor the OP, nor a Tivo Engineer.

I'm leaving this thread because you were obnoxious, not because I don't have a good understanding on how to solve it.

As much as I'd like an apology, you should apologize to the OP instead if you don't find him a solution.
I have absolutely nothing to apologize for. You are the one who should apologize to the OP for disseminating patently false information and telling him to waste his time by following your suggestions.

You seem unable to grasp the concept that if the third party CableCARD doesn't work, there is no "solution" other than renting an additional CableCARD from his cable company.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:19 AM   #21
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I would think that you would have to have an NDS CableCard to get the channel map on an NDS system.

This does work with Cisco/Scientific Atlanta CableCards on our local Comcast system to get the local stations that are still unencrypted here. I did it for my son's HD so he could get those on his TiVo while he's home from school this summer.

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Old 07-13-2014, 02:39 PM   #22
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Just out of curiosity I'm going to see if it will map QAM on brighthouse, card is only $3.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:40 AM   #23
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Since Cisco bought NDS I amy give a Cisco CC a try.
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