Can a cablecard be purchased on ebay and used in Tivo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by adamwsh, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. adamwsh

    adamwsh Member

    Oct 22, 2002


    If I purchased a cablecard on ebay, could I successfully use it in my TivoHD on Fios?
  2. SpiritualPoet

    SpiritualPoet Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    No. Each cablecard is the property of the issuer (cable firm) and has unique electronic serial number known to the issuer. It will not function as it can't be paired - not legally and not ethically.
  3. donniesd

    donniesd New Member

    Jun 16, 2011
    What does ethically or legally have to do with anything. Hell if who ever did not return the card, they were sure billed for the cost of it. So some it might be worth the $150 bill from the cable provider for the card.
  4. sddave

    sddave New Member

    May 2, 2008
    Why would any one want to pay $150 for a cable card that his next provider would not put the serial number in their system or pair to maintain the channel mapping.
  5. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001


    You *MIGHT* be able to use it for OTA guide "pairing". You likely won't be able to use it for premium channels (even if you pay for them) due to the pairing issue people are talking about.

    I'd be vaguely interested in getting one just for the OTA channel guide issue..
  6. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

    Aug 29, 2002
    The whole idea of cable cards was your cable company subscription authentication would not be in a cable-company owned set top, but would be reduced to a cable-company owned cable card that could be put into customer-owned equipment. They trust their own cards to enforce their authentication, but don't trust random hardware that comes from some unknown source.
  7. SullyND

    SullyND L: 31-14 (10-2) TCF Club

    Dec 30, 2004
    Chicago Burbs
    I believe some providers used to sell them (Didn't Raj say he had to buy his?)
  8. randywalters

    randywalters AVS Old Timer

    Oct 21, 2003
    El Segundo,...
    You shouldn't even be able to buy a CableCard on EBay (at least not in the USA) as they're the property of the cable franchise that rented it to the subscriber. If it's on Ebay, then it's probably stolen - and it will not work with your provider. Same goes for cable boxes and cable DVRs.
  9. swSteve

    swSteve New Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    This... and "Unethical to buy a Cable Card"?

    What a load of Hogwash.

    You should all be ashamed of yourselves for propagating this kind
    of baseless and slanderous BS.

    So you're saying that the current eBay auction entitled
    "Lot of 3000 - Motorola M-Card MediaCipher" are all stolen?


    Go Ahead. Call the Police if you don't believe that a Cable company
    can sell off surplus assets. Better than going into a landfill.

    Like it or not, those perfectly fine cable cards are now on the market
    for any interested buyer.

  10. Jstkiddn

    Jstkiddn Shutity up up up

    Oct 15, 2003
    Just an observation.

    Almost 5 years here and THIS is what makes you finally come out and post your first post? LOL!

    Must have some strong feelings on the issue.

    That is all...carry on. :D
  11. randywalters

    randywalters AVS Old Timer

    Oct 21, 2003
    El Segundo,...
    Don't be ridiculous. There's a huge difference between an electronics salvager selling a $21,999 bulk lot of used surplus CableCards (obviously targeting a commercial buyer or a cable provider or even a recycler), as compared to a private individual selling one CableCard on Ebay to an unsuspecting buyer (such as the OP) as if he can use it with any cable provider. I have seen countless posts on AVS and other forums over the years where people have bought Cable DVRs, Cable Boxes, and CableCards off Ebay and not a single one of em was able to get it to work on their cable system or get their cable provider to make it work on their system. They buy it, then they come to the forums and ask why it won't work.

    Name one USA cable company that sells CableCards to the public or on Ebay.

    Name one USA cable company that will allow you to use an Ebay-bought CableCard (or any CableCard not supplied by them) on their network.
  12. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    In general I agree 100% with your post, but there are a few threads floating around TCF about users in small cable markets where the cable company insists the user buy the cableCARD for a decent chunk of change, so it is out there, but rare.
  13. segaily

    segaily Member

    Aug 2, 2003
    When the S3 first came out I lived in Rochester NH. The cable company was Metrocast and they made me buy my cable cards for $100 each. I have moved since and I think they rent them now but they certainly used to sell them.

    If I sold the cards to another metrocast user I would think they would have had to let you use them. I doubt most cable companys would let you use them however.
  14. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Seems to me, cable companies have enough issues with their own cards, which they provide, much less trying to support some "unknown" piece of equipment, from who knows where.
  15. swSteve

    swSteve New Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    So you have conveniently forgotten all about your own ridiculous post
    and changed the subject completely.

    Without missing a beat you've gone from accusing the
    eBay sellers of THEFT (without a shred of proof) to a new
    contention that it is not worth buying these cards because they
    won't be authorized.

    Well here's some more news for you, Inspector Lestrade.

    Had you taken one moment to check the eBay listings,
    you would have seen that the seller of the 3000 cards,
    "lost-circuits" is ALSO offering INDIVIDUAL CARDS for $19.99
    in an auction entitled "Motorola M-Card MediaCipher Multi Stream Cable Card"

    Your contention is false.

    Like I said: Hogwash and BS.

  16. Wil

    Wil Unknown Member

    Sep 26, 2002
    You are shocked ... shocked to find that there is imperfect posting going on at TCF!

    This place is closed until further notice? Or could we just calm down a little bit and have some fun here, flawed as the playground may be.
  17. brewman

    brewman Member

    Jun 28, 2003
    One thing that's not clear to me is why go to the trouble and expense of buying a cable card on ebay? Sure, if you can get it to work on your cable network, and that's a really,really,really big IF, you'll eventually save money even if the payback period is several years, but with the monthly cost of a cable card from the cable company being fairly low ($1.50/month at Charter in Gwinnett,GA) why bother?
  18. swSteve

    swSteve New Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Good perspective.

    I'm reminded that it is actually Big Cable, and not any posters
    that is the culprit here.

    They are uncooperative and continue to place obstacles in the path of
    TiVo causing years of extra work and a sub-par user experience!

  19. segaily

    segaily Member

    Aug 2, 2003
    I think I have read that there are only 2 brands of cards so it really should not be any extra work for a cable company to support a card from e bay as long as it is the same brand as they already use.
  20. jondar

    jondar New Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Let's try the first cable company in the U.S., Service Electric:

    A little over 42 months before you break even, but it's certainly available.

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