dual tuner with only 1 cable card on s3

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by suzook, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. suzook

    suzook Member

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    Oct 22, 2006
    long island
    i am waiting for a tech to come out to replace one of my cc which has recently failed. in the meanwhile i have one cc working. to my suprise i still have dual tuner capability. the only channels i dont get are the premiums which are encrypted. i still get all my other digital channels on both tuners with only 1 cc. i had no idea this was possible. i found out by mistake when one of my season passes started recording on the other tuner, which i assumed would be blank. well it wasn't. i have confirmed this because i have buffers on 2 different channels. did anyone know this was possible? i had no idea
     
  2. Dr_Diablo

    Dr_Diablo Dr_Diablo

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    Nov 23, 2003
    Midwest
    tell your cable guy to snap to it
     
  3. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    It's probably because you have two physical cards in the box, right? Even though the card is not "activated" and decrypting the digital/premium channels, it's still working as a second tuner.

    Just a guess ...
     
  4. beady

    beady New Member

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    Oct 30, 2006
    LI, NY
    I have the same issue (one bad CC that I removed) and saw the same thing (non-encrypted channels work on the tuner without the CC.) I think it is because you had two cards in the box so it still has the channel mappings for both tuners. As long as you don't run guided setup you should be ok. When I re-ran guided setup it noticed I only had one card and it disabled the dual tuner option.
     
  5. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    Good point ... not re-running Guided Setup is probably the key there.
     
  6. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Yes, this is an undocumented feature (or bug) and will work fine as long as you don't re-run GS
     
  7. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Pittsburgh
    You may get a message telling you to rerun guided set-up. If so, ignore it.
     
  8. cyclical

    cyclical New Member

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    Sep 1, 2005
    Sorry to bump an old thread...

    I had this happen to me today, installer installed an M-card in slot 1, and then installed a S-card in slot 2. S-card was not working, so he removed it...

    Tivo was letting me dual tune on digital channels (hbo/starz), and letting me record on the 2 channels at once, with just 1 M-card. There was no other physical card in slot 2. Anytime we went into the cable card menu, it would tell me tha we needed 2 cards to dual tune etc.. we just hit cancel.

    I then repeated guided setup to add new channels and the tivo turned off dual tuner... Sh#T!

    Initially the Tivo was set up with just cable, no cable cards, so it was set up to receive from the coax cable, and dual tune all the basics. I had to re-run guided set up in order to add the digital channels into the guide (I could change to them manually, but they did not appear on the guide)

    Anyways to trick it to activate dual tuner mode again?
     
  9. Saxion

    Saxion Substantive Member

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    Sep 17, 2006
    San Diego
    The next logical question: what happens when you remove both cards? Does the channel mapping remain as long as you don't run guided setup?
     
  10. cyclical

    cyclical New Member

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    Sep 1, 2005
    when I took out the card the channel mapping only stayed for a few minutes, then were grayed out.


    However with the 1 M-Card running, and the 2nd S-card taken out because it was bad, tivo still had dual tuner activated, and I could record/watch two premium channels (needing encryption) to work. The problem I had was that I had to manually key in the channels, because at the time the tivo was only set up for basic cable. As soon as guided set up was re-ran, the cablecard menu told me that I had to have 2 cable cards in order for dual tuner to be re-activated.


    Soo.. it appears that it "can" do M-card dual tune, but it has to be tricked. Only problem is I can't force it to just turn on dual tune.
     
  11. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    I take it you've got an S3 and not a THD?
     
  12. cyclical

    cyclical New Member

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    Sep 1, 2005
    yep.. an S3
     
  13. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

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    Mar 22, 2006
    Comcast appears to have a rather devious pricing policy for CableCARDS. Their published Rate Card, under Equipment and Options, states that a "2nd CableCARD for Multiple CableCARD Device" costs $1.79 monthly.

    But when I went to Comcat's local store to return their Moto DVR and asked about an 'M' card for the HDTiVo I just got I was told that the first CableCARD is free; a second costs $1.79 monthly, and that all cards after the second are billed $5.10 monthly (which is Comcast's Additional Outlet Fee). A subsequent call to Comcast's 800# appeared to confirm this. CableCARD pricing is apparently based purely on the number of cards on an account, not on whether devices they're installed in require 1 or 2. It also doesn't matter whether a card is an 'S' card or an 'M' card.

    I p/u an 'M' card and next day returned an 'S' card which had been installed in a single tuner Sony DVR. We now have 3 CableCARDS; 1 'M' and 2 'S'.

    After learning about Comcast's apparent pricing policy and reading this thread I figure it's time to do a CableCARD "Maximum Smoke Test" on my S3! This morning out came the top 'S' card. The S3's CableCARD set-up screen then stated that functionality would revert to single tuner mode and that Guided Setup should be rerun. But it presented the option of doing so later.

    As of now, a couple hours later, S3 retains full dual tuner functionality running 1 'S' card. Over the weekend I'll check for no status change and whether any nagscreens regarding Guided Setup appear. If everything remains as now, there'll be an 'S' card going back to Comcast on Monday. I'll post a followup.

    It'll be interesting to see next month's bill!
     
  14. elambeth

    elambeth New Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    Anyone know a backdoor way to enable this? My HD Tivo has only 1 S-Card, but it sure would be nice to be able to use the 2nd tuner for the non encrypted channels.
     
  15. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Perhaps you should refer them to the Comcast web site, which says differently.

    http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq/FaqDetails.ashx?ID=2651

    You are not supposed to pay the "outlet fee" for the second CableCard in a TiVo. If you are paying the outlet fee for the second card, then it was not added to your account correctly.
     
  16. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    There is no known backdoor. If you want to enable this dual-tuner functionality with a single CableCard on the Series3 (unnecessary for TivoHD), you will need need to have two CableCards installed and activated long enough to run guided setup.

    If you do this --you install and activate two CableCards, run guided setup, and then remove the second CableCard -- be aware that TiVo Series3 doesn't know which tuner has the CableCard and which does not. Hence, for scheduled recordings from encrypted channels like ESPN-HD, there will be times when the tuner without the CableCard tries to record, and all you will get on that recording is a black screen.

    Of course, if you only record from locals and other non-encrypted channels, then that isn't a problem.
     
  17. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

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    Mar 22, 2006
    Thanks for the FAQ link.

    No, they're not charging an 'Additional Outlet Fee' for the second CableCARD, they're charging it for the third. But that's what the FAQ states.

    Last year, before CC pricing changed, 3 CableCARDS were installed on my account, 2 for an S3 and one in a Sony DVR. Comcast never charged for them. Now that an 'M' card was added for the HDTiVo, they will. I returned the Sony's card.

    Regarding the FAQ, however, here's what it states regarding installing CableCARDS. Yet, in my area I had no problem getting cards at Comcast's store and self-installing them. So, all in all it's a mixed bag!
     
  18. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

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    Mar 22, 2006
    Thanks for your detailed explanation. That's exactly what I've just found. S3 with one CC works to some extent but acts flakey and recordings are a hit-or-miss proposition.

    Running an S3 with only one CC in place when subscribed to encrypted digital service isn't a viable option.

    I just reinserted the second card and the S3 began recording normally without Comcast having to re-authorize the card.

    It doesn't appear to be top priority for TiVo and may not even be possible because of S3's h/w but it would be nice to hear from a TiVo Rep. at this Forum as to whether or not S3 users can eventually expect 'M' Card functionality.
     
  19. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

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    Mar 22, 2006
    I have a second S3 w/o CC's at another TV for recording Comcast's Limited Basic hi-def OTA simulcasts. (Actual OTA here is only available from one local station and Victoria/Vancouver BC because of a mountain between here and Seattle.)

    I called Comcast today and was told that they'd only bill $1.79 for one CC after the second card was returned when an S3 was set-up with two CableCARD's and that it didn't matter to them if an S3 was used to receive Limited Basic with only one CC. Next week I'll check with Comcast's local store to verify that their info agrees regarding the amount billed.

    For $1.79 it makes sense to use one CableCARD in an S3 if the object is to enable all of TiVo's features using both tuners to recive Comcast's Limited Basic and OTA. But if the $5.10 Additional Outlet Fee applies I'll pass.

    Canada's OTA is scheduled to convert to digital in 2011 I believe. Currently 2 Canadian digital stations (CIVT and CBUT) are available OTA. Analog reception is excellent from two OTA stations (CIVT and CHAN) but watchable from 7 others including CBC's CBUT.
     
  20. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

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    Mar 22, 2006
    I checked with the Comcast store today. Bottom line is that whether an additional TiVo uses an 'M' card or 1 or 2 'S' cards the account will be billed the $5.10 monthly Additional Outlet Fee. If no CableCARDS are installed there's no charge for additional S3's or HDTiVo's.

    I actually caused a problem for the rep. by asking. (She was unaware of another instance where an account had 3 hi-def TiVos.) She knew nothing about the technical issues involved, was uncertain about 'S' cards vs. 'M' cards (there's no billing difference; Comcast apparently just counts the number of DVR's using cards), and didn't initially know how to enter my request into their system to display the charges.

    (I wonder if Comcast's reps. at different times and locations will come up with different figures. The 3 reps. on duty when I went in discussed among themselves how to enter my request into their billing system to come up with an answer. At first the system wouldn't allow the rep. to enter two additional 'I' cards at all.)

    Their billing as explained actually makes sense, except for the extra charge for a second CC on the first S3 on an account. So 1 HDTiVo with an 'M' card costs $1.79 less monthly than 1 S3, but more than 1 are apparently treated the same, as 'Additional Outlets'. Go figure!
     

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