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Old 10-01-2013, 02:47 AM   #1
Boneless
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Roamio have OTA QAM tuners?

I still use my series 3 HD and receive OTA HD locals. I can't get guide data by cablecard since I don't pay for a cablecard so I find the shows I want on the analog guide data and setup a manual recording on the OTA QAM stations. Does the Roamio have QAM setup also or is my series 3 the last models with it?

I also read a vague description somewhere of people able to buy a cablecard on ebay and be able to sync the OTA QAM guide data with the analog on the tivo so I wouldn't have to do it manually anymore. Any truth to that?
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:36 AM   #2
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The base model Roamio has both ATSC and QAM tuners. You can use one or the other, not both. OTA is ATSC, not QAM. QAM is CATV only and Tivo only supports CATV guide data with a cable card on all Tivos.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:08 AM   #3
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Any ideas why Tivo excluded OTA tuners on the Plus and Pro models?
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:14 AM   #4
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Any ideas why Tivo excluded OTA tuners on the Plus and Pro models?
They probably would add a significant cost to the box to add and their "research" probably showed a small market. That would mean extra money for every box, but no/little gain on income. On a more direct side, I bet the available chips are set up to more easily do 4 tuners for OTA and there isn't one for 6. This is all guessing of course.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:50 PM   #5
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The base model Roamio has both ATSC and QAM tuners. You can use one or the other, not both. OTA is ATSC, not QAM. QAM is CATV only and Tivo only supports CATV guide data with a cable card on all Tivos.
So that means the roamio is different from mine in that I can't do a setup for cable and get guide data without the cable card?

I can't remember exactly how I did the setup, but I have the guided setup for the analog channels which I pay for through TWC, but can also receive my HD broadcast channels without an antenna through the cable as well. So I get the analog guide data but wish I could assign the data over the the HD broadcast since they are essentially the same shows just on a QAM frequency. My tivo is basically a HD VCR now which is better than nothing.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:57 AM   #6
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Any ideas why Tivo excluded OTA tuners on the Plus and Pro models?
Just speculation...
The more OTA tuners you have, the more the signal must be split up.

For example, the Roamio Basic has four tuners, which means that although you may be able to get 100% of your OTA signal from your antenna to the TiVo box, each tuner is only being supplied 25% of the signal since it is split up four ways. That's already a significant signal loss for those of us that live far from the broadcast towers. Dividing the signal six ways, as in the Plus and Pro, would require the user to receive an incredibly strong initial signal to be able to afford to slice it up that many times.

Perhaps TiVo determined that four tuners was all they were capable of providing while still maintaining OTA signal reliability.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:20 AM   #7
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So that means the roamio is different from mine in that I can't do a setup for cable and get guide data without the cable card?

I can't remember exactly how I did the setup, but I have the guided setup for the analog channels which I pay for through TWC, but can also receive my HD broadcast channels without an antenna through the cable as well. So I get the analog guide data but wish I could assign the data over the the HD broadcast since they are essentially the same shows just on a QAM frequency. My tivo is basically a HD VCR now which is better than nothing.
The Clear QAM setup hasn't changed since the S3, if you don't have the CableCARD you don't get guide data, and Tivo has never shown any sign of changing this situation.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:26 AM   #8
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Just speculation...
The more OTA tuners you have, the more the signal must be split up.

For example, the Roamio Basic has four tuners, which means that although you may be able to get 100% of your OTA signal from your antenna to the TiVo box, each tuner is only being supplied 25% of the signal since it is split up four ways. That's already a significant signal loss for those of us that live far from the broadcast towers. Dividing the signal six ways, as in the Plus and Pro, would require the user to receive an incredibly strong initial signal to be able to afford to slice it up that many times.

Perhaps TiVo determined that four tuners was all they were capable of providing while still maintaining OTA signal reliability.
Not likely. I can split my OTA signal several times without any issues. I little four way split will not cause me any problems(a 3-way split, a 2-way split, and then another 3-way split before being split internally two ways and I still have plenty of OTA signal strength on my Premiere). I'm not real far away but I'm not very close either to the transmission towers. I'm between 25 and 35 miles away. I do have a preamp on my two joined Square shooter antennas. But I need the preamp to pick up the signals from the distance I'm from the transmission towers.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:42 AM   #9
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Any ideas why Tivo excluded OTA tuners on the Plus and Pro models?
AFAICT, the capabilities of the different models are based on what's available in terms of chipsets.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:37 PM   #10
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Does the Roamio have QAM setup also or is my series 3 the last models with it?
Uh, no models have it, including yours. What you're describing isn't a feature, it's just you cobbling something together. Why are you doing this, anyway?

The Roamios won't tune in any analog channels. I'm not sure if that affects what guide data is available.

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I also read a vague description somewhere of people able to buy a cablecard on ebay and be able to sync the OTA QAM guide data with the analog on the tivo so I wouldn't have to do it manually anymore. Any truth to that?
Yes. You just buy a card and pop it in (and run guided setup to tell the TiVo to use the digital lineup, if necessary). See here.

This just maps the digital channels to their proper numbers, so the TiVo's guide data matches up. It doesn't have anything to do with analog.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:32 PM   #11
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Uh, no models have it, including yours. What you're describing isn't a feature, it's just you cobbling something together. Why are you doing this, anyway?

The Roamios won't tune in any analog channels. I'm not sure if that affects what guide data is available.



Yes. You just buy a card and pop it in (and run guided setup to tell the TiVo to use the digital lineup, if necessary). See here.

This just maps the digital channels to their proper numbers, so the TiVo's guide data matches up. It doesn't have anything to do with analog.
I don't think my situation matches yours so I'm outta luck. I only pay for local broadcast channels from 2-13 all analog. However, when I used guided setup on my tivo3 I can pickup more analog channels that I didn't pay for and all the clear QAM locals.

Because I can receive guide data for the analogs, I was hoping I could find a workaround to get the analog guide data to match to the clear QAM channels my tivo can see but just has that "unannounced" program data. That way I can do program guide recording without having to do manual recordings for the clear QAM. The program schedule are exactly the same, but I just need to transport that analog data to the clear QAM channels. I was hoping maybe something changed with the Roamios.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:57 PM   #12
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If those lower channels are also simulcast, or all available as clear QAM HD, then buying a CableCARD like wmcbrine describes should work.

What you'd do is buy the card, pop it in, then rerun Guided Setup on the TiVo and tell it you have the full cable package. Then when it's done you'd have to go through the channels and figure out which ones worked and then uncheck the ones that don't from the list.

I believe the card needs to be the same brand used by your local cable company, so you may want to look into that before you buy.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:01 PM   #13
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The solution is to actually pay for the service you are using.
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Old 10-04-2013, 01:45 AM   #14
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The solution is to actually pay for the service you are using.
He does pay for basic service so it's not like he's stealing it. If the cable company chooses to broadcast free to tune channels, then there's no reason whatsoever that he has to pay for said service!

Do you force payment to the people that give you free samples at Costco?!?!?
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Old 10-04-2013, 01:53 AM   #15
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The solution is to actually pay for the service you are using.
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He does pay for basic service so it's not like he's stealing it. If the cable company chooses to broadcast free to tune channels, then there's no reason whatsoever that he has to pay for said service!

Do you force payment to the people that give you free samples at Costco?!?!?
Like Harper said, I do pay for basic service. I don't care about the other analog cable channels even though I go get them and the guide data. I just really want the guide data for the clear QAM locals so I can record HD on them. It just seemed odd to me that I could get the guide data for locals on lower channels, but could't find a way so that the data was simply copied over to the HD locals.

I'll try to research the brand my cable co uses for the cards and give it a go. They're not too expensive. Would I also need a tuning adapter? That's specified on TWC website for using it with cablecard and tivo.

Last edited by Boneless : 10-04-2013 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 10-04-2013, 02:12 AM   #16
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Like Harper said, I do pay for basic service. I don't care about the other analog cable channels even though I go get them and the guide data. I just really want the guide data for the clear QAM locals so I can record HD on them. It just seemed odd to me that I could get the guide data for locals on lower channels, but could't find a way so that the data was simply copied over to the HD locals.

I'll try to research the brand my cable co uses for the cards and give it a go. They're not too expensive. Would I also need a tuning adapter? That's specified on TWC website for using it with cablecard and tivo.
No, you don't need a TA. The free qam channels are not SDV and are broadcast on the line at all times.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:21 PM   #17
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Like Harper said, I do pay for basic service. I don't care about the other analog cable channels even though I go get them and the guide data. I just really want the guide data for the clear QAM locals so I can record HD on them.
You need a cablecard for this. It has been rehashed a zillion times, esp when previous Tivos (e.g. original series 3) would have IMHO been more 'reasonable' to use with clear QAM (since there was also lots of analog back then, which of course doesn't use a cablecard)..

But it's never gonna happen.. You need a cablecard to get the mapping for the channels.

You have to find out if you need a tuning adapter if you care about/pay for channels that are only available via SDV.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:12 AM   #18
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He said he's only paying for 2-13, so no SDV channels and no need for a tuning adapter. He'll probably only get the local channels in HD and maybe a handful of stragglers.

Boneless - One thing to keep in mind. Legally they are allowed to encrypt the local channels if they switch to an all digital lineup. If they do that then they are required to give you a free CableCARD for one year and it'll have to be one of theirs paired to their system. So if you get a letter saying they're going all digital keep that in mind.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:26 AM   #19
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Do be aware that ALL cable cards in the US belong to their respective cable companies. None are sold. So any you 'buy' on eBay are actually stolen property. Now add the fact that you are connecting it to your CATV system for which you have an account. They can read the cable card serial number and will know it is not one of theirs. Some CATV operators are extremely vigilant on prosecuting theft of catv service and they have you red handed.....something to think about.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:13 AM   #20
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They can read the cable card serial number
I don't think they can. Recall all the fuss about one-way vs. two-way hosts, and how this is supposedly why we can't get VOD (even though we now can, on some systems), and why tuning adapters exist, and even why we have to give all the serial etc. numbers for activation and pairing to the cable company ourselves, rather than simply having them read the numbers from the card remotely.

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Do be aware that ALL cable cards in the US belong to their respective cable companies. None are sold. So any you 'buy' on eBay are actually stolen property.
I'm pretty sure that's not correct, either. Granted, neither Fios nor most other systems sell cards to their users, but I've heard of a few systems that do. More directly, could I not buy a batch wholesale from, e.g., Motorola?

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Some CATV operators are extremely vigilant on prosecuting theft of catv service
The status of the cards themselves aside, this is not theft of service. If you have access to clear QAM channels, they're already there, to be viewed by any device with a suitable tuner. All this does is map them. It doesn't get you anything that you're not paying for.
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:23 PM   #21
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CableCARDs are one way. The cable company can not read anything from them. So there is no worry about getting caught.

That being said you are right that they are technically stolen, so if you have a moral objection to that then this isn't the way to go. However he is NOT stealing service. The card is simply providing a map between the TiVo guide data and the frequencies. He can already tune all the channels he'll be able to get. The card simply allows them to be associated by the TiVo so they can be recorded properly.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:16 PM   #22
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Has anyone gotten this to work with a Roamio? I bought an unregistered card and plugged it in and the Roamio got hungup on the acquiring channels screen (either at 50% or 75%). I ran setup without it and the clear QAM locals do come through, but the cable card mapping did not work as the acquiring channels portion never completed with the cable card. I'm on Mediacom, I know the people have reported success were on Fios. Just looking for any tips as antenna reception at my place is sketchy.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:02 PM   #23
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Just pay for the limited basic service that basically only gives the local networks. It's typically about $15/mth and in some cases if you use them for HSIA you get a discounted rate for both and end up paying less per month or very little more.

You may even get a legit Cablecard for little to nothing too. Just tell them it's to map the channels properly in your TiVo.
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