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Old 01-25-2014, 06:04 PM   #1
kturcotte
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TW refuses to give cable card?

I've been using my Roamio for OTA, but getting only 2 channels isn't cutting it (This is my location, but the fault of the Roamio). I called Time Warner to see what they'd charge for the locals only package. They said it would add $20 to my bill (Currently have high speed internet with them), which I thought was ridiculous, but said go ahead anyway, but when I mentioned that I needed a cable card for my Tivo, they flat out refused. I told them they were required by law to issue cable card, and they said yes, but not for this particular package. It REQUIRED their receiver, and REQUIRED a professional $50 install as well. Is this right? Can they refuse to issue cable cards on their basic, locals only package?
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:23 PM   #2
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If it requires a box then they are required to give you a CableCARD.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
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They are required to give you a CableCard if they require you to take their receiver.

You probably need a CableCard for the channel lineup to work properly anyway, and I think they would still be required to give you a card.
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:30 PM   #4
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Is there basic package analog only? If it is then maybe they are not required to give you a CableCard.

But if it's digital, or includes HD they must give you a CableCard, especially if they say you need their box.

Try calling TiVo Support, they will get on the call with you with TW
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:39 PM   #5
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Sounds like you're getting the runaround from some ignorant individuals in support. You need to call back, and if they continue to act like that, speak to a supervisor. They made a couple pretty stupid mistakes though:

From the FCC's site , in very plain English (ie: no lawyer speak)

#1: As others have mentioned, they're required t give you a cablecard.
#2: They're required to give you a discount. This means they cannot charge you more than (or equal to) the amount they would charge you for their cable boxes.
#3: They're required to provide you with a self install option. They can no longer require you to pay the $50 truck roll fee.
#4: They may NOT under any circumstances hide anything, or refuse to provide anything (other than On Demand) to you, the customer, via cablecard
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:46 PM   #6
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If your local channels are not encrypted, then you shouldn't need one if those are the only channels you are going to be getting. Although, if they weren't encrypted, you could have just hooked a cable into you tivo and gotten the channels without paying extra for them.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:46 PM   #7
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I'll call back tomorrow and see what they have to say. I'll ask to speak to a supervisor and quote FCC laws of necessary.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:48 PM   #8
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If your local channels are not encrypted, then you shouldn't need one if those are the only channels you are going to be getting. Although, if they weren't encrypted, you could have just hooked a cable into you tivo and gotten the channels without paying extra for them.
I tried that, and it didn't work unfortunately.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:21 AM   #9
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Yes, you can try to fight them the hard way on this, but I suggest just doing it the easy way. Sign up for their digital cable package, get the CableCard (and tuning adapter just in case), and then once you've got the card installed and paired, call them up and drop down to basic cable only. I'm pretty sure they'll prorate your bill, so you'll probably only wind up paying for the higher tier rate for a few days, so you'll only be out a few bucks.

But here's what I don't understand. On my TWC, they send through the local broadcast channels in HD unencrypted. Other users on this board have reported that they have been able to get unencrypted channels on a Roamio without a CableCard installed. I'm a little surprised you can't get them on your TiVo without a CableCard and manage to save the monthly CableCard rental fee. Have they actually activated basic cable on your account yet? Have you tried scanning for channels with the coax hooked up to the TiVo? What channels can you get when you just hook up a TV straight into the coax without a cable box?

Last edited by tarheelblue32 : 01-26-2014 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:22 AM   #10
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On my TWC system, the HD locals and a few others are unencrypted and can be viewed on any TiVo or TV with a digital tuner after a channel scan. The problem is that TWC assigns those channels to virtual channel numbers equivalent to the OTA equivalent, such as 10-1 or 34-1.

In order to get guide data to work, you have to have the CableCard to re-map those channels to the channel numbers the TiVo is expecting to find the HD locals on. For my example, those are 1010 and 1007.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:02 PM   #11
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But here's what I don't understand. On my TWC, they send through the local broadcast channels in HD unencrypted. ?
They probably haven't "ungraded/" your area yet. Here you get nothing without some type of box. If you go with the cheap mini box you get nothing in HD. Pretty sad to have pay for the local in SD.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:06 PM   #12
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On my TWC system, the HD locals and a few others are unencrypted and can be viewed on any TiVo or TV with a digital tuner after a channel scan. The problem is that TWC assigns those channels to virtual channel numbers equivalent to the OTA equivalent, such as 10-1 or 34-1.

In order to get guide data to work, you have to have the CableCard to re-map those channels to the channel numbers the TiVo is expecting to find the HD locals on. For my example, those are 1010 and 1007.
Actually, they are just picking up the virtual channel numbers from the OTA Feed TWC is making available through their cable feed.

Guide data will not work for these channels like you said.

And they are not visible, you need to scan for channels and the TiVo finds them, and then you have to add them to channels you receive before they even show up.

So recording on them is only possible via manual recordings by channel number, time and duration. If you hit record on a show you are watching it will just record a half hour regardless of what the length of the program is.

This is no ideal, and rather a pain. I had to put up with this 6 or 7 years ago when I was in my senior year of college, and students living on campus apartments could not rent any equipment from comcast, as the school provided cable paid for already for you and their contract with comcast didn't allow for students to obtain anything digital packages, cable boxes, premium packages or what not.

I ended up with a Series 3 full of manual recordings, and you could not tell what they were, you had to play several of the before you found the recording you actual wanted to watch.

Go with the cable card
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:16 PM   #13
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I tried that, and it didn't work unfortunately.
In my area TWC installs a filter on the cable to prevent receiving cable channels when you are signed up for internet only. That's probably your situation too.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:46 PM   #14
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I called them, and after being told again that I could not receive a cable card for that particular package, I insisted on speaking with a manager. They balked at first, and didn't want to do that, but finally relented. The manager was extremely snooty, not understanding why I couldn't just subscribe to their basic digital package and their DVR for $64 a month. I kept telling him that was more than I cared to spend on TV when I can get 95% of what I want with broadcast channels. Then he kept going on about how great their DVRs were compared to Tivos, and I just kept laughing to myself. Finally I had enough and told him that I wanted the just the broadcast channels package, and I wanted it working on my Tivo, like the law and FCC says they have to. He didn't really like that either, but finally relented. Then he told me that he could have somebody here in 2 weeks to install the cable card, and that it would cost $50. I had to again tell him that the FCC doesn't allow that. He didn't like that either but again relented. I told him that I was headed down there tomorrow to pick up my cable card and that it had better be ready or I would be letting the FCC know. FCC seems to be the magic word when they know they're in the wrong lol We'll see what happens tomorrow when I try and go pick my card up. The way this has gone, I'm expecting something. Why do they make it so difficult for me to give them my money?!
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:51 PM   #15
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I commend your persistence in getting TW to live up to their legal duty. On the bright side, since you will only be getting the basic cable channels, you won't need to mess with one of their shoddy tuning adapters, unless you really want to be able to get the community access channels or C-SPAN.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:17 PM   #16
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Here's to wishing you luck tomorrow. The battle is not over yet.

My get is they are going to get you on the pairing. You are going to get someone who can't get it right and what not. Then they are going to try to get you to get their DVR again, and when you decline will try to talk you into having a truck roll again.

Don't give up if they try something like that, sounds like you are determined so far and by being persistent you will get what you want.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:36 PM   #17
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Here's to wishing you luck tomorrow. The battle is not over yet.

My get is they are going to get you on the pairing. You are going to get someone who can't get it right and what not. Then they are going to try to get you to get their DVR again, and when you decline will try to talk you into having a truck roll again.

Don't give up if they try something like that, sounds like you are determined so far and by being persistent you will get what you want.
Actually, since he's just getting basic channels, he might not even need to pair the CableCard. After I installed my CableCard from TW, I was able to get the basic channels without doing the pairing. And if you call the TW CableCard activation line, the people there seem to know how to pair properly since that's basically all they do all day. But if you call the main TW service line, you are correct. They won't know what the hell a CableCard is.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:59 PM   #18
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I called Time Warner to see what they'd charge for the locals only package. They said it would add $20 to my bill (Currently have high speed internet with them), which I thought was ridiculous, but said go ahead anyway, but when I mentioned that I needed a cable card for my Tivo, they flat out refused. I told them they were required by law to issue cable card, and they said yes, but not for this particular package. It REQUIRED their receiver, and REQUIRED a professional $50 install as well. Is this right? Can they refuse to issue cable cards on their basic, locals only package?
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If it requires a box then they are required to give you a CableCARD.
Dan hits the nail on the head, they're not required to give you a CableCARD on a service level that doesn't require it, and the "locals only" if not encrypted won't "officially" need it, you only need the CC to have the Tivo map the channel map. For once TW isn't in the wrong.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:25 PM   #19
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Dan hits the nail on the head, they're not required to give you a CableCARD on a service level that doesn't require it, and the "locals only" if not encrypted won't "officially" need it, you only need the CC to have the Tivo map the channel map. For once TW isn't in the wrong.
I think you'd probably prevail on an FCC complaint, though, since it is required to make the channel map work.

I don't really get why they wouldn't want to offer him a CableCard, though. It isn't detrimental to them when they give someone a card, they will charge a rental fee. I have to think it was simply uneducated/shoddy CSRs and supervisors.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:25 AM   #20
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Why do they make it so difficult for me to give them my money?!
Because they want more of your money than you want to give up. Their default is 'give us all of it'

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Actually, since he's just getting basic channels, he might not even need to pair the CableCard.
He won't. Pairing is only required for copy protected channels (premium channels typically)
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:11 AM   #21
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I think you'd probably prevail on an FCC complaint, though, since it is required to make the channel map work.

I don't really get why they wouldn't want to offer him a CableCard, though. It isn't detrimental to them when they give someone a card, they will charge a rental fee. I have to think it was simply uneducated/shoddy CSRs and supervisors.
I disagree, the channel mapping isn't required to view, just to get guide data, not TW's issue.

As far as "why wouldn't they just give him a card and charge?" because with every bone in their corporate body they have no interest in seeing CableCARDs work and do what they can to discourage their use, just look at their overly aggressive protection settings.

Even Comcast in several markets I've been in won't give a CC to a basic "analog level" user, you have to sign up for a higher level, get the CC, and then drop your service level and keep the card.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:34 AM   #22
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I disagree, the channel mapping isn't required to view, just to get guide data, not TW's issue.

As far as "why wouldn't they just give him a card and charge?" because with every bone in their corporate body they have no interest in seeing CableCARDs work and do what they can to discourage their use, just look at their overly aggressive protection settings.

Even Comcast in several markets I've been in won't give a CC to a basic "analog level" user, you have to sign up for a higher level, get the CC, and then drop your service level and keep the card.
I don't know how this would hold up, but I believe 100% that they are required to do something in the situation where you receive digital channels. The problem is that they are required to provide you with the information on what channel what content is available. This is a long standing rule that predates Cablecard. Applied in this situation, I have yet to see a cable company publish the location of their digital channels, so providing the cablecard would provide that information. I haven't figured out why the FCC continues to allow them to have the digital channels on unpublished channel numbers. For those who state that they use the OTA numbers, that isn't valid as the broadcast schemes are different and that is not consistent amongst providers.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:36 AM   #23
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Dan hits the nail on the head, they're not required to give you a CableCARD on a service level that doesn't require it, and the "locals only" if not encrypted won't "officially" need it, you only need the CC to have the Tivo map the channel map. For once TW isn't in the wrong.
I should have made my previous reply directly to this one. It does officially need it because they are required to provide a channel map. They don't.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:38 AM   #24
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Actually, since he's just getting basic channels, he might not even need to pair the CableCard. After I installed my CableCard from TW, I was able to get the basic channels without doing the pairing. And if you call the TW CableCard activation line, the people there seem to know how to pair properly since that's basically all they do all day. But if you call the main TW service line, you are correct. They won't know what the hell a CableCard is.
With certain providers, others have purchased CCs off eBay and used them unpaired for locals. They cost about 10 bucks if you want to try. I would attempt to get either Motorola or Cisco/SA depending on which type of box your local office uses. It won't authorize any channels, but it might be able to pick up the map for you.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:43 AM   #25
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So you are recommending the OP scan fleabay and purchase stolen merchandise? Great solution bud.

As bad as TWC is, there are legal and ethical ways to fix the OPs situation.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:59 AM   #26
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So you are recommending the OP scan fleabay and purchase stolen merchandise? Great solution bud.

As bad as TWC is, there are legal and ethical ways to fix the OPs situation.
There is nothing unethical about purchasing a cablecard from ebay. If the owner is selling them stolen then it would be unethical for them. There are several smaller cable companies that sell their cablecards outright instead of leasing them. There are other legal ways to obtain them. I admit that there is no way for a user to know whether or not one was stolen (but that is the issue with purchasing anything, especially on ebay). Many of them are sold by hardware scrappers (most likely scrapping decommissioned boxes from the cable companies, since they never remove the cards from their own boxes).
There is nothing directly illegal about purchasing a cablecard and using it. Only if you tried to hack it to receive something you aren't supposed to would it cause a problem.

Edit:
Note: If you actually believe that a specific item on eBay was stolen, don't buy it and report it.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:00 AM   #27
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There is nothing unethical about purchasing a cablecard from ebay.
Yes there is. Buying stolen property is just as bad as selling it, and yes, it's well known that you cannot buy these online legally
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:17 AM   #28
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Yes there is. Buying stolen property is just as bad as selling it, and yes, it's well known that you cannot buy these online legally
You are making the presumption that it is stolen. There are numerous ways to get a cablecard that it is not stolen. It is not well known that you can't buy them online legally, you just assumed and made that up.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:41 AM   #29
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I should have made my previous reply directly to this one. It does officially need it because they are required to provide a channel map. They don't.
Please quote that specific law -- that's news to me.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:31 AM   #30
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Please quote that specific law -- that's news to me.
I never said it was law (many here confuse rules with law). However, I haven't been able to find the associated rule. I might be confusing it with "Identification of must-carry signals." That is a written request rule and may or may not define frequency/channel information.
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