CableCARD and Dual Tuner

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Debbie25, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Aug 1, 2007 #1 of 22
    Debbie25

    Debbie25 Member

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    Dec 9, 2002
    Oregon
    I have a Series 2 right now and was looking to get a Tivo HD so I can record my Comcast digital channels (99 and up).

    I was reading on the Tivo web site about this unit (fine print) and it states:
    "Two CableCARDs™ may be required for dual tuner functionality and to receive dual digital cable channels."

    I'm able to get 1 CableCARD from Comcast free but does this unit have to have both card to use the dual tuner part of it?

    I understand that with only one cableCARD I would not be able to get 2 digital channels but I'm figuring that if I only have 1 cableCARD then it can still:
    Record 1 digital, 1 analog
    Record 2 analog
    Record 1 analog, watch live
    Record 1 digital, watch live

    Is this correct?

    Thanks,
    Debbie
     
  2. Aug 1, 2007 #2 of 22
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    The most common cards are s-cards. Tivo HD will permit both tuners if you have TWO cards or NO cards. With one card it acts as a single tuner. You will be able to watch/record only one station (regardless of source). You will be able to watch a recorded show while Tivo is recording another.

    The Comcast stated policy is that the first card is free, and the second is a "nominal" cost. In most areas that cost is $1.50 to $2.75 per month.

    There is also an m-card that is just beginning to show up in some Comcast regions. A single m-card in the Tivo HD will permit the use of two tuners and give complete functionality.

    You'll have to contact your local Comcast to get pricing and avialability of the m-card.
     
  3. Aug 1, 2007 #3 of 22
    Debbie25

    Debbie25 Member

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    Dec 9, 2002
    Oregon
    Ok, thx for explaining that.
    It just seems strange that if you only use 1 CableCARD it will disable to second tuner.

    Will the Tivo HD handle these other cards you are mentioning:
    s-card
    m-card

    And what are the differences?
     
  4. Aug 1, 2007 #4 of 22
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    The s-card is the original cable card that is currently used for most installations. It passes a single video stream to one tuner only. The m-card passes multiple streams to multiple tuners (I think it is six).

    The S3 currently only supports the s-card, and the m-card in single stream mode.

    The Tivo Hd supports both cards, including the m-card for dual tuners.
     
  5. Aug 1, 2007 #5 of 22
    Debbie25

    Debbie25 Member

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    Dec 9, 2002
    Oregon
    Well I just called Comcast.
    They just have the s-card, she didn't know anything about the m-card
    I was told last night that the first CableCARD was free.
    That is only if you return your current digital cable box and only use the CableCARD.
    Each CableCARD is $6.95

    So in other words.....
    You have to pay $6.95 for each CableCARD to get the dual tuner to work so you can even record a channel and watch live digital TV.

    So what would the purpose be of the dual tuner if you can't record 2 shows at once.

    Bottom line is, we pay:
    $13.95 a month for single tuner Tivo
    $6.95 for our HDTV digital cable box (plus so much for the cable service)

    If I was to get a Tivo HD (at about $299) and go this route it would be.
    $13.95 for Tivo a month
    $13.90 for the 2 CableCARDs

    Now I can trade in the HDTV cable box I have now and get the HDTV/DVR from Comcast and pay $11.95 a month instead of the $6.95
    Which would be cheaper

    Gee let me see

    I think I will be holding out for awhile on upgrading my Tivo

    Don't get me wrong here.
    I'm definitely not knocking Tivo, I love my Tivo and wouldn't trade it for nothing I just wanted to let other's know what I found out so people won't go out and get the Tivo without doing some homework first.
     
  6. Aug 1, 2007 #6 of 22
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    There is no question that using the Tivo HD will be more expensive than using the Comcast DVR. However, the difference should not be as great as you indicate.

    You indicate that you have a Tivo now. If the THD is going to be added to your account it is eligible for a $6 per month discount as a second box (MSD).

    If you are replacing the older Tivo, you can prepay 3-years for service at $299 ($8.30 per month).

    There is something wrong with what Comcast quoted you (which is the norm). Here is the link to Comcast's own website concerning the cost of cablecards for Tivo:

    http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq/FaqDetails.ashx?ID=4156

    The may also charge you for an additional Digital Outlet (although I was able to argue my way out of that), and that could add $3-4 per month.
     
  7. Aug 1, 2007 #7 of 22
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    By the way. I just reread your original post and see that your objective is to record the digital channels (above 99), no mention of HD.

    If that is the case why not just get the comcast set top box and connect it to your S2?

    If your current S2 is not dual tuner, you can get them very cheap right now.
     
  8. Aug 1, 2007 #8 of 22
    richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    All correct. :up:

    We pay Comcast $1.50 per cable card in our area so I'd push back on the price they quoted.

    If you opt for the Comcast DVR you will eventually want to smash it to bits (if it or the half-dozen replacements you'll eventually end up with don't burst into flames first) and come begging for TiVo again. Save yourself the grief and hassle and get the new TiVo HD. You'll be glad you did. ;)

    Or that's another option! :)
     
  9. Aug 1, 2007 #9 of 22
    Debbie25

    Debbie25 Member

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    Dec 9, 2002
    Oregon
    Just talked to Comcast again

    As you said they misquoted the price..... Who'ed know, everytime you call it's different

    Here is the scoop:
    Each CableCARD is $1.79, first one is free if you turn in your current cable box
    If I was to go with Comcast HDTV/DVR cable box, HERE IS WHERE THEY GET YOU....
    You have to get at least the digital Plus package with 1 movie channel
    This option could be different in other areas. I'm in the Portland, OR area

    So for us:
    We already have the digital Classic package, so upgrading to the plus would only be $3 more... No problem but we not going to pay the $15.99 a month more for the movie channel we will hardly watch. We are not movie buffs

    Final decision is:
    We are going to purchase the Tivo HD for around $299, pay the same monthly service charge and then get the 2 CableCARDs from Comcast for $1.79 each and keep our current HDTV cable box that we only pay $6.95 a month for.

    Thanks for all your help
    Off to find the best deal for the Tivo HD
     
  10. flightrisk

    flightrisk New Member

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    Jul 25, 2001
    Am I reading that right... are you saying it is not possible to have a cable and antenna connected, with only one cable card, and use both tuners? Seems like I should be able to record/watch a show off cable and a show off antenna at the same time.
     
  11. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Seems that way...but you can't.
     
  12. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Oct 17, 2003
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  13. Debbie25

    Debbie25 Member

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    Oregon
    Thx so much.
    That was good

    I like the part:
    And they charge you at least $50 to come out and plug this card in.
    I'm sure I can do it.

    Now if it does require intervention from a Tech meaning they are the only one that can call in and activate it, please let me know.

    I would like to know if I'm going to be snowed over in paying an extra charge or not ahead of time.
     
  14. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    There is only one reason that you can't do it yourself...they won't allow it. Actually in some parts of the country they do allow you to pick it up at their office and self install. But the vast majority require a truck roll.

    I was charged $14.95 for the truck roll. They had to come back twice more until it worked, but I only got charged once.
     
  15. Debbie25

    Debbie25 Member

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    Dec 9, 2002
    Oregon
    I will check into this.

    I don't think I will have a problem since when I upgraded from basic cable to the HDTV digital box I just picked it up.
     
  16. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    Comcast Portland requires their techs to come out and install the cable cards. They charged us $14.95 to do it. All-in-all it took the tech about 30 minutes from the time he arrived. Everything worked the first time.

    It's not just a matter of plugging the cards in like a PCMCIA card in a computer. The cards have to be activated from their HQ while the tech is on the phone with them...reading various serial numbers and codes, etc. It's worth the money to have them there and ensure everything is working.
     
  17. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

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    That is why a Tech must do it. They are (supposivley) trained in what to do. Also, the Cable Companies are not going to just give out the Support HQ Phone Numbers so every body can call in and annoy them.

    Also, if something does go wrong, its on them to fix. Doing it yourself and something goes wrong, its on you. And sometimes things are alot harder to fix than what the cost would of been just to get the Truck Roll.
     
  18. Debbie25

    Debbie25 Member

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    Dec 9, 2002
    Oregon
    Thx so much for the update and yes that wouldn't be that much to have them do it.
     
  19. cr33p

    cr33p New Member

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    Jan 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor MI
    I just got off the phone with my local comcast Ann Arbor Michigan and have successfully arranged an install for 2 cable cards first one free second 1.99 a month. And I was able to get it with only the digital starter package and not the digital plus package. So I will see an overall increase from my basic service of 18.00 a month. New total is under 40 bux a month with 2 cable cards. At first she had it billed as 6.95 for the second card until I made her look further and then she was able to even drop the package to lower the cost
     
  20. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    It seems that if you push and pull Comcast CSR's long and hard enough they can be very "creative". :rolleyes:
     

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