Cable card in Romio OTA

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by DLA, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. DLA

    DLA New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 25, 2018
    I have a Romio OTA. I bought it a few years ago to ditch cable. Have been happy with it for the most part, but I have never been able to get all the broadcast channels that are available. I can fiddle with the antenna in the attic to get most channels, but not all. Fox and ABC need alternate fiddling, which eliminates reception of the other channels. Tired of this. Decided on a cable card with my internet provider as it seemed a reasonable upgrade: all local channels and 10 cable channels of my choosing. From my digital provider I got a cable card, AND a digital receiver box that they said I may or may not need - I need to install the card in my Romio first to find out. And there's my issue. The card and the slot in the Romio aren't compatible. The business end of the card looks identical to the receiving slot in the OTA, but I need a 90° double male adapter that will allow the card to sit flat. Through some research on this forum, I found a guy on ebay who is selling them for $30 (he makes them himself?!?). I can afford that, but am wondering why this is the only outlet for this application of cable card and OTA. The cable/internet company is no help. I called Weaknees for support, and was told that OTA means just that - over the air - and that my Tivo won't work with cable card. This seems contrary to a lot of other information I have found.

    Questions:
    1) Has anyone else encountered the situation I am in?
    2) Why would Weaknees tell me that it the card and box are incompatible, when so much info talks about that combination?
    3) Does anyone have any information about the strange digital receiver box that I may, or may not need?
     
  2. waterchange

    waterchange Member

    166
    13
    Jun 29, 2010
    The Roamio OTA is meant to be an OTA unit only. That's why Weaknees is telling you it's incompatible. You can "hack" it to accept a cable card and this "hack" involves purchasing the missing cable card bracket that would be present in regular Roamio (cable & OTA) units. Again, the Roamio OTA is not meant to work with cable and doesn't not have all requisite hardware to support a cable card. Turns out that buying and installing a bracket from a guy on eBay or other source is a relatively easy way of adding back cable card support to these units. No idea what the digital receiver box is that you have but likely you shouldn't need it if you get the cable card hack working on your Roamio OTA. Likely it's just a regular standalone cable box.
     
  3. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    15,327
    2,751
    Nov 25, 2003
    The prior post (and prior reading) should have you covered on the need for the bracket. (The Roamio OTA was sold at a discount relative to other models, including a discounted service plan. Removing the bracket was TiVo’s not terribly foolproof way of preventing these discounted boxes from undercutting sales of the retail CableCARD-capable boxes.)

    Not knowing the identity of your secret digital provider or model number from the box leaves one to guess ... so mine would be that the box may be a SDV Tuning Adapter.

    https://support.tivo.com/articles/FAQ/How-Switched-Digital-Video-Impacts-Me-FAQ
     
  4. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    18,175
    3,248
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
  5. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    24,118
    7,578
    Jul 28, 2005
    There is a longstanding thread here on the topic of modifying a Roamio OTA to be cablecard compatible, including sources for the needed cablecard adapter and instructions on how to do the mod (depending on the cablecard adapter you purchase). That should provide you with a wealth of information.

    Roamio OTA cable card slot?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
    unclehonkey and fcfc2 like this.
  6. DLA

    DLA New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 25, 2018
    Wow, you all have provided me the information that my cable provider and Fry's were unable to. Thank you! Sound like it's worth a try to proceed with this 'hack', especially with such great support found here.

    My internet, and now quasi-cable provider is Spectrum. The digital receiver box I was given with my cable card has no buttons or remote control, so it can't be a stand alone cable box. It has RF out/in, a USB port (funky printer/scanner type - terminology unknown), a DIAG port, and the dc power in. Model number is MTR700. Is this the SDV tuning adapter that krkaufman spoke of?

    Before I commit to this plan and order the 'hack' adapter, I'd like to know how the Tivo will provide access to the additional 10 cable channels that the cable card/cable plan comes with. Will they appear in the guide? As a separate app?
     
  7. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    18,175
    3,248
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    First: Roamio OTA cable card slot? It's not a "hack". It is a piece of hardware and the screws are really small, so don't install it on a shag rug. The adapter doesn't have an eject lever, so a little care is needed to remove the card.

    Second: I don't understand "10 additional channels". I am lucky to not have SDV.

    MTR700 is a tuning adapter https://support.tivo.com/articles/F...l-a-Tuning-Adapter-for-Switched-Digital-Video:

    If you knew the channels, you could decide if you want them. If you don't want them, you don't need a tuning adapter.
     
  8. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

    4,135
    934
    May 29, 2012
    Riverside, CA
    First, yes, that box is a Motorola tuning adapter. With only 10 channels plus broadcast channels, you MAY not need it. It will be simple to just see if you can get the channels to tune in without it. I’m seeing posts that Spectrum is starting to put many more channels on SDV so you may need the tuning adapter. Btw, don’t use the coax out on the TA. Use a splitter with one end to the TA, one end to the TiVo.

    Youll need to run guided set up for cable now. You’ll get the entire Spectrum lineup and you’ll just have to pare it down in the channels menu.

    I’m not absolutely positive that Spectrum sends the channels via QAM. It is possible that they are IP. I did see a post elsewhere that they got them via QAM. YMMD.
     
  9. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

    4,135
    934
    May 29, 2012
    Riverside, CA
    The plan he is talking about is a new low cost offering from Spectrum. Broadcast channels plus 10 other channels of your choice.
     
  10. DLA

    DLA New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 25, 2018
    So, the TA does its job without using the output of the device itself? Interesting.

    Another TA question: What is the USB connection for? The TA has its own 12v DC in. It uses 12v AND 5v? I ask because my understanding is that the USB plugs on the Tivo are strictly for charging other devices - not data.

    I have ordered the bracket from ebay. Until I get it all installed and have attempted set-up, I am done here. My brain is full. Thanks for everyone's help. Cheers!
     
  11. tim1724

    tim1724 Active Member TCF Club

    517
    111
    Jul 3, 2007
    Temple City, CA
    The TiVo communicates with the TA over the USB connection to tell it what channel you want to watch. The TA then talks to the SDV head end (over the cable connection) and gets that channel turned on. Then the TA tells the TiVo (over USB) what frequency the channel is on and the TiVo tunes to that frequency.
     
    unclehonkey, kpeters59 and krkaufman like this.
  12. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    15,327
    2,751
    Nov 25, 2003
    See:
     
  13. opsman

    opsman Member

    51
    11
    Sep 22, 2018
  14. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    18,175
    3,248
    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
  15. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    3,022
    893
    Aug 13, 2015
    I had the exact same plan from Spectrum and used it with Tivo, cable card and tuning adapter. Works exactly like regular cable tv (appears in guide. recordable, etc.), but you can also watch on other devices like Roku and Apple TV in other rooms via an app if you wish. The app is completely unrelated to your Tivo system and is just another way to watch the channels in your package.

    I loved the package but ultimately dropped it when they raised the "broadcast channel" fee to $9, which they just raised to $10 for the channels I can get OTA for free. Those fees plus taxes makes it about the same cost as DirecTV NOW which has about 100 channels. So now, I use a combo of OTA on Tivo plus DTVN on Roku for the balance of my former cable channels.
     
  16. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

    4,305
    571
    Jan 12, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    Didn't bother to read the whole thread, but if you just google "PCMT-134-02-L-D-RA-02-SL" you will find multiple online retailers selling the bracket for around $10.

    And I wouldn't call this a hack, I'd call it a hidden feature.
     
    unclehonkey and Mikeguy like this.
  17. opsman

    opsman Member

    51
    11
    Sep 22, 2018
    Same seller I bought from.

    Quick shipping (I got it on the east coast in 2-3 days) and fit perfectly-came in a Lean Cuisine box LOL
     
    tenthplanet and krkaufman like this.
  18. DLA

    DLA New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 25, 2018
    Alright...I got the cable card adapter. I installed the card, have hooked up the tuning adapter per the instructions included in this thread, and have booted up the Tivo. The unit gets to 72% on downloading my channels, then faults out. I called Spectrum to have them activate the cable card. They asked what type of unit I was using ("Roamio OTA"), and they told me the same thing that Weaknees told me: "The OTA means 'over the air', and isn't compatible with cable cards", which everyone here says is B.S. I know this will work based on all the input I've received here. But if Spectrum isn't on board, then I've wasted a sh*tload of time on this project, not to mention $34 for the card adapter.

    Any input would be welcomed.
     
  19. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

    4,305
    571
    Jan 12, 2014
    Raleigh, NC
    You shouldn't have said "Roamio OTA". You should have just told them "TiVo Roamio". Try again.
     
    unclehonkey, Mikeguy, opsman and 2 others like this.
  20. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

    15,327
    2,751
    Nov 25, 2003
    opsman likes this.

Share This Page