Do I really need to pick up FIVE Cable Cards?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by mattdm, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. mattdm

    mattdm New Member

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    Oct 25, 2016
    I have RCN, and just got a retail TiVo Bolt+ (instead of continuing to rent the old model I had). The email I got from TiVo after subscribing says:

    This seems... amazing. Is this really likely to be the case? RCN is about a half-hour trip from my house, so I'd love to avoid doing that twice. The cards are $2/month, and RCN confirmed they'll give me as many as I want to pay for, but doing this basically guarantees at least one trip back. On the other hand, if I get one and it doesn't work, that'd be pretty annoying too.

    How seriously should I take this?

    (PS: Sorry if this is covered already; with the site upgrade here and the reindexing, searching is hard. I did try a Google search restricted to this site and didn't find an existing thread.)
     
  2. thyname

    thyname Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    Yes, this has been discussed often. They are probably exaggerating with five CableCards, but they tend to be finicky, including "human error" from the cable co. tech who can mess them up. I would suggest getting at least two.
     
  3. mattdm

    mattdm New Member

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    Oct 25, 2016
    Okay, thanks! I guess I'll get at least three, because two means one trip to return one anyway, which is effectively the same as just going back to get a new one if the first has a problem. :)

    If it doesn't work or gets messed up due to human error (either mine or the cable company), how will I know? Is it immediately obvious or might it take some time (hours?) to discover?
     
  4. thyname

    thyname Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    Oh yes, you will know. If it is paired and activated correctly, you will get all the channels almost instantly. If not, you will not get any or some.

    If you are a detailed person by nature, go below:

    https://support.tivo.com/articles/T...ooting-Roamio-Series-and-Premiere-Series-DVRs
     
  5. RePo

    RePo New Member

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    Jun 5, 2016
    Houston, TX
    More important that the quantity, is the quality. Ask (and inspect) the card for the most recent mfg date. My first one was from 2007 and never had a chance of working. Then I got one from 2014 and has been a gem.
     
    mattdm likes this.
  6. mattdm

    mattdm New Member

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    Oct 25, 2016
    So, for what it's worth, the woman at the counter thought that getting more than one was a crazy idea, and I let her talk me out of it. I don't know if I got lucky or what, but that one works just fine.

    Thanks for your advice, everyone, even though I didn't take it. :)
     
  7. thyname

    thyname Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    Glad you got it working. Enjoy!
     
  8. BrentlyL

    BrentlyL Brently AV

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    Jul 29, 2008
    Palm...
    As an installer I always pick up 2 cards and 2 tuning adapters. I see more issues with the TA's than the cards. I'm in a Time Warner area that is transitioning to Spectrum and the biggest problems right now are head end coding issues. You would not believer the horror stories I've been seeing
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
    thyname likes this.
  9. Nov 5, 2016 #9 of 15
    rustymike12

    rustymike12 New Member

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    Feb 23, 2013
    Central Ohio
    I can attest to the T/A trouble. I went through 3 to get a good one. The Bolt doesn't need a T/A though, is that correct?
     
  10. thyname

    thyname Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    Needing a tuning adapter or not is not up to TiVo. It is up to the provider (for SDV channels)
     
  11. BrentlyL

    BrentlyL Brently AV

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    Jul 29, 2008
    Palm...
    We must use tuning adapters on all our installations (except of course OTA)
     
  12. BrentlyL

    BrentlyL Brently AV

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    Jul 29, 2008
    Palm...
    Get this, Time Warner once handed us a tuning adapter package in which both the adapter AND the power supply were both dead dead dead. (We tested the power supply with a voltage meter and confirmed the dead adapter with another adapter). They DO NOT "refurbish" or test anything. Now when I return known defective equipment I scratch the word DEFECTIVE onto it. I despise this company!
     
  13. rustymike12

    rustymike12 New Member

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    Feb 23, 2013
    Central Ohio
    I agree, I think they just wipe'em off and shrink wrap and call it done.
    I don't even bring anything into the house until I take it to the garage and use my compressor to blow them out good to make sure there aren't any creepy crawly vagabonds on board.
     
    PCurry57 likes this.
  14. PCurry57

    PCurry57 Liberal Hippie Chick

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    Feb 27, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    I received a DOA Tuning adapter self install kit from TWC also. Truck roll to bring me another brought another DOA Tuning adapter. I told them if they didn't being a working tuning adapter that day they'd be receiving the other working adapter and I'd be canceling all services (at the time I got internet via Clear). One year later they had a very public fight with CBS/SUNDANCE and SHOWTIME, I pulled both cards and packed up both tuning adapters. I've been OTA ever since, and loving it

    In the 18 months I had TWC TV I went through six tuning adapters on two TiVo Premieres due to failures.
     
  15. randy1649

    randy1649 Member

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    Apr 18, 2011
    The cable card failure issue is all bunk.
    99.999 of all cards are just fine functional wise.
    The problem is.... the card was not de-authorized properly from the old unit/owner by the cable co, or the CS rep/tech authorizing a new hookup lacks the knowledge to do it properly.

    If the card has not yet been de-authorized at all (usually the case) or not de-authorized properly and still linked to another unit/customer then nothing the cs rep or tech installer does will allow the card to work.

    So I guess one could try several cards and find one that works, but as far as electronic failure within the card itself, that is extremely rare.
    These cards are pretty rugged.

    I have found it best to simply visit the cable company (in person) and pick up the card(s) yourself. Ask that the card have been checked out and is good to go.
    Get the card and the do-it-yourself install worksheet they should provide when handing out the card. The worksheet should have simple instructions and a tele number listed direct to the cable co tivo activation dept.

    I've had several tivos over the years and the do-it-yourself method has never failed me not one time.
    Only when the installer tries to do it have I encountered a nightmare.
    Add to that.... I don't think installers like to mess with the cards anyway, and they screw around for a while with the card and calling their tech support only to give up and hand the problem off to another installer and another home service call for another day.
    The time involved for the installer takes away from valuable time he/she could be spending on non-tivo cable installs.
    So they just don't care. They want to get out of there asap and onto the next job.
    I have heard them on their cell talking and seeking card install help and I've heard the installer say "yes, its one of those".
    Meaning, a blankety blank darn cable card/tivo install.

    If possible, just pick up the card(s) in person and do it yourself.
    I have had 100% success going that route.
    Only when an installer gets involved does it turn into a total nightmare requiring repeated home service calls that can string out for weeks.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
     

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