Cable Cards

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Ron DeGumbia, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Ron DeGumbia

    Ron DeGumbia Member

    Sep 18, 2012
    Are there no sources for residential customers to purchase new cable cards?

    On Ebay I see plenty of used, Scientific Atlanta and Motorola M-cards but no new cards.

    Scouring the net I have been unable to find a source for purchasing new cable cards.

    This is assuming for example that once paired with the tivo Comcast can still activate a privately owned card and hit it with an encrypted signal.
  2. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    unfortunately, cable cards can't be owned and can only be rented. They are also solely distributed by your local cable company. Think of it sort of like a cable box; it has to be given to you by your local cable company & only them.

    It baffles me how people try to sell cable boxes on ebay for their cable system & people buy them. Apparently, they don't realize that NONE of the cable companies will authorize a box you buy used somewhere else. Hell, even if they tout it as "new", they won't authorize it either. I don't even think you could buy a Comcast issued box (used or new) from someone in San Francisco and try to use it on a Comcast system on the other side of the country in Atlanta.

    Same goes true for a cable card so even if you bought one of those used cable cards off ebay, chances are VERY high your cable company won't allow them and deny authorization as well.
  3. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Short answer - no, there are no sources. There are a lot of (good) answers why.

    Even if you had a new, virgin card you would not be able to use it in your TiVo or other device without your Cable company registering/initializing the card first (assuming that the type of card you got was compatible with the head end equipment.
  4. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    I can buy the same model CableCard that my cable company uses but they will not allow me to pair it because it didn't come from them. Instead I have to lease their card for $3.99/month. I suspect that most cable companies have the same policy.
  5. GAViewer

    GAViewer Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    My cable company (TruVista) will rent a cablecard for $4 a month, or sell one for $100. But they will not set up a cablecard that they didn't supply. So the only reason to buy it is that after 25 months you will save the $4 a month.
  6. buscuitboy

    buscuitboy Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    I think this is EXTREMELY rare that a cable company will allow you to actually flat our purchase a cable card. I don't think any of the big boys (Comcast, TW, Charter, Cox, etc.) will allow this, but could be wrong.
  7. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    If it is the same type of cable card, wouldn't you at least be able to get expanded BASIC channels? None of my cable cards are actually paired, but I get everything besides the premium channels. (Though upon reboot, switching to expanded channels does put up the standard cablecard page once per channel.)

    I have some cablecards that were in a S3 I bought, but they're S cards, so wouldn't work in the Premiere 4 I got (and am about to exchange since it seems to be a dud). The S3 isn't subscribed either so I can't experiment there.
  8. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    The cablecard needs to have the cableco's own firmware on it to enable the decryption of the channels.

    Having your own "portable" cards that were flashable by the cableco was more or less part of the tru2way spec, but that never materialized.
  9. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Yes there are no sources end users can outright buy cable cards, for most providers in the USA. If you could, you could probably buy them at Best Buy.

    On a side note, in theory (maybe in practice), firmware aside, Motorola DCII cards/boxes can be authorized across providers, as keys are accessed over a national network, Cisco/SciAtl Powervu cards/boxes don't have a network, so each system needs the keys for a box programmed in. They do that with a CD that comes with lot of cards/boxes a provider receives from the manufacturer.

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