Do I need digital cable for HD for series 3

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by chadFL, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. chadFL

    chadFL New Member

    Dec 19, 2006


    I am still on the fence about switching over my lifetime from series 2. Standard Cable (no box) comcast, is provided to me free through my home owners association. We were thinking about switching over to HD because of the cancellation of tivo lifetime membership. (I am still using a SD tv, and planning on buying a HD this Christmas)

    If i get a series 3 can I get the HD channels without having to spend an extra $75/month for comcast digital cable?? Is it worth it?

  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    You can use it for OTA HD, OTA analog, and analog from the cable.
  3. slydog75

    slydog75 Not all that sly

    Jul 8, 2004
    Warminster, PA
    In other words you cannot get HD channels over analog (Standard) cable.
  4. chadFL

    chadFL New Member

    Dec 19, 2006

    So i dont need to worry about the cable cards then, right?

    I know ABC, CBS, NBC, are OTA HD, is ESPN?? If not does anyone know if they plan to be?
  5. lordrichter

    lordrichter Registered User

    Jan 10, 2003
    Chapel HIll, NC


    No cable card needed for OTA.
  6. ewilts

    ewilts Who, me?

    Feb 26, 2002
    Mounds View, MN
    ESPN is not OTA - if you want it, you'll have to pay for it.

    There is some chance that even though your association is providing analog cable that digital signals may be there too. If you have an HD TV with a built-in digital tuner, try to see what you can get - you may find the local HD stations there. ESPN HD will be encrypted so you'll need some sort of digital package and a cablecard for that.

  7. kido

    kido New Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    your cheapeast option is to try OTA for HD in addition to your existing standard cable. this doesn't get you ESPNHD, but it also doesn't cost you anything extra other than the cost of an antenna.

    if you don't have an account with your cable company, you may have to ask you home owners association how others have added services in the past. if they don't have a clue, you'd have to setup an account with your cable company. you might be able to get your HD channels with just cablecards plus a basic or standard cable package plus a HD Tier charge which would be less than a digital cable package most of the time.

    the best way to get the cheapest quote in my experience is to start by asking about just getting a HD set top box along with basic cable to tune the local HD channels only. Then ask about adding other channels like ESPNHD, DiscoveryHD, HBOHD, etc. Then ask about cablecards instead of the STB, then ask about 2 cable cards. If you mention TiVo or DVR first you get the standard sales pitch for upgrading to "digital cable" and renting their DVR.
  8. Poochie

    Poochie New Member

    Dec 26, 2003
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Definitely go the "find out what it takes to get the minimum additional package for HD" route.

    I also live in a townhouse (rental) that provides all the analog cable channels (no box) for free - included in the lease. When I went HD a few years ago, I was able to rent a Moto 6200 for $5/month and get the local HD channels - OTA reception was too spotty, and renting a temporary box at $5/month was better than buying an OTA receiver at the time for like $350. Then later I added digital classic, which got me DiscoveryHD and ESPN-HD along with a subset of the digital SD channels for another $5/month. If I didn't live in a bandwidth-limited system (Sunnyvale CA) I would have also gotten more HD channels for the same fee, but that's a separate issue. In my case, the townhouse manager gave me the number for the part of Comcast that deals with bulk accounts such as townhouses (Business Services maybe? I don't remember the name, it wasn't the standard 1800-COMCAST number)

    Now I have my S3 w/Lifetime transfer, and all I end up paying Comcast for per month is the digital classic @ ~$5/month and the 2 cablecards at whatever they worked out to. Works great, and less than $10/month to Comcast.
  9. chadFL

    chadFL New Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Thanks for the help guys. Im going to give the OTA a try and hope for the best as far as free digital cable from the existing cable. Now I just have to wait til after christmas to pick up my HD TV.

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