FIOS/TivoHD - Unpaired cablecard still works?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by winter, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. winter

    winter Member

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    Had problems with my original TivoHD so I just bought another one from CC, took the cablecards out of the original TivoHD and placed them in the new one.

    At this point I assume that the cablecards are unpaired because they are in a different TivoHD. I did not contact VZ yet to pair the cablecards with the new unit.

    On the new TivoHD unit, I am receiving all VZ FIOS standard programming, not just the unencrypted local channels but all cable channels that I should get (e.g. TNT, MTV, etc) Note that I do not subscribe to any premium channels like HBO et al so I can't speak to that.

    I would have thought that without cablecard pairing I would not have gotten anything but locals...can anyone explain why this is working in its current unpaired setup?
     
  2. mulscully

    mulscully Member

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    Malvern, Pa
    I believe FIOS does not pair the cards to the unit...
     
  3. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    Really?
     
  4. winter

    winter Member

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    Jan 27, 2002
    When VZ came to install the cablecards, the guy wrote down all the details (unit id, host id, etc) then punched them into his laptop and I watched the on the TivoHD screen as something happened (161-4 errors on each card I believe).

    He certainly led me to believe that the cards were being paired (as do all the other FIOS posts in this forum)
     
  5. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    There is a difference between pairing and activating. He was probably activating them.

    I've been out of the loop for a while on the details, but very recently Verizon had not yet updated their DAC to the version that provided the pairing functionality. Verizon is very deliberate and cautious when updating headend gear. I would not be surprised at all if Verizon did not pair cards to boxes.

    Soon they will though.
     
  6. winter

    winter Member

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    Does that mean right now that I could take my card and move it to any other cablecard device (perhaps even to a neighbor who gets VZ FIOS TV) and it would receive the same stations?

    Seems like it could be a risky thing for VZ to allow security-wise.
     
  7. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you should be able to do that until they upgrade their Digital Access Controller (DAC) device.
     
  8. litkaj

    litkaj Member

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    Exton, PA
    Yeah, my installer activated my cards, my S3 died shortly after he left, I exchanged it, and then just popped the cards into the new device.
     
  9. Charles R

    Charles R Well-Known Member

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    For my local provider (Insight) the moment you plug the CableCARD into another device the chain is broken. You will no longer be able to view encrypted channels even if you place them back into the original device.
     
  10. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    SA or Mot. This seems to imply there is some sort of upstream communication to the headend.
     
  11. Charles R

    Charles R Well-Known Member

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    USA
    This was with single cards (Motorola). I have been learning quite a bit about the topic of late. :) There are three numbers:

    CableCARD: The CableCARD's ID?
    Host: The device's ID?
    Data: Generated at the time of insertion?

    I think the first two never change and the third being a generated key. The installer has to give all three to the office for activation. Once I removed the card and inserted it into another TiVo HD the second and third numbers changed.

    When I placed it back into the original device only the third number was different. All of this is my recollection of the slow moving events to get all of my channels working!

    My guess is it's one-way. The cable company sends the three numbers and if they don't match you don't get the encrypted channels (the card blocks their viewing). Until your cable company repeats the process.
     
  12. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, I did not know the time of insertion was somehow hashed into the mix. I just thought the Host and CableCARD id were hashed together. I'll ask some folks who would really know the final answer and let you know what I find out.
     
  13. Charles R

    Charles R Well-Known Member

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    USA
    I'm no expert! But I'm guessing if the card isn't paired with the device (already) it generates a somewhat random number. I hope you can remove the card and insert it back into the same device and still be good to go. I think when I plugged it into the other TiVo HD it paired itself with the new unit breaking the pairing with the first one.

    When I inserted it back into the original TiVo HD it generated another number that of course didn’t match what the cable company had on file.
     
  14. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    I know with the Comcast cards I could remove them and as long as I reinserted them in the same slot I was fine. I have removed one of the cards from FIOS with my TiVoHD and it ws fine wen I reinserted it in the slot. I'm waiting for them to replace the slot one card so I can put a Terabyte drive in it.
     

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