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Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by abooch, May 3, 2010.
Is the only thing I need to get all channels through Comcast an M-card?
Unless Comcast uses SDV in your area, the M-card is all you will need. If you do happen to live in an SDV market, you will also need a tuning adapter.
What is SDV? I'm in NJ..
It stands for "switched digital video". Basically, it's a form of on-demand where a particular channel is only sent to your house when you request it. This allows a cable operators who is strapped for bandwidth to provide more channels. In order for the TiVo to request an SDV channel, it needs to be connected to an external device called a tuning adapter (TA). Like the CableCARD, the TA is provided to you by Comcast. If you want to find out if SDV is deployed in your area, you should stop by your local Comcast office and ask them.
If your comcast office is anything like mine, you aviod stopping by like the plague. Took me over an hour to turn in a cable box, why? Because one lady was out to lunch, the other lady could only do billiing, and the other was busy helping a customer decide if he wanted triple play or not. For 45 minutes! Oh yeah there was a line 15 people deep. People were getting po'd and saying things, and their response was, were all adults, be patient please.
Yeah, fun stuff. Imagine what its goign to be like in a few weeks when the analog stations are turned off. Weew.
Your going to also want to get a BIG bottle of Jack Daniels, so you can get through the nightmarish installation with comcast.
Seriously though, hope your installation goes better than what most of other people get with comcast.
And yes, M-Card is all you will need
In my area, they now require digital converter boxes on all TVs in order to get any channel above 20. (Not sure if this means there is SDV here or not.)
My Tivo works fine with just a CableCARD though.
I was expecting a nightmare after reading some posts, but Comcast was done installing an m-card in my premier XL in about 10 minutes, everything works great.
I hope it goes smooth...Do I tell them specifically I need an M-card for my tivo..and what are the fees?
They ought to know you need an M-card, but....... A truck roll here is $16.50 and cards run less than $2/month each
You don't need the SDV switcher if you are using a cablecard, I believe. At least not in my area, we got switched over to the comcast SDV "Xfinity" thing and Premiere still works with cablecard only.
I went through 6-7 iterations (chats, phone calls) before I got it figured out: all you need is the M-Card.
You lose the onscreen Comcast video on demand ability, but you should get your tiered cable channels fine (after the card is activated and paired properly...which is another issue).
Xfinity does not have anything to do with Switched Digital. Xfinity is just a branding label for Comcast cable TV, Internet, and phone service (kind of like "U-verse" is for for at&t).
Switched Digital means that certain "channels" are not assigned a fixed frequency on the cable; there is a pool of frequencies and a much larger pool of channels, and when a customer wants to watch one of those channels, the set-top box send a request to the cable system, which assigns the channel to one of the available frequencies and tells the set-top box what frequency to tune to to get that channel. The problem with TiVo is that, due to licensing obstacles thrown up by the cable companies, the TiVo cannot do this SDV protocol itself; it depends on an external box provided by the cable company that is hooked to the TiVo; this is the "Tuning Adapter".
Cable cards are related to decrypting channels per the package of channels you have purchased from the cable company, and are not directly related to SDV (although the two work together).
Well whatever they call it, I got sent a letter saying that they are removing all analog channels and that all TV's will need a small box to recieve the channels. They called it Xfinity. My comcast calls the TV, internet, phone thing Triple Play.
Does anyone know if Comcast uses SDV in the Washington DC area? And do they charge for Tuning Adapters (or M-Cards?)
You need a cable card to receive those channels with TiVo. They are doing the same thing in the DC area. Although a in my area they are supposed to be keeping a small amount of analog channels.
I was told today by more than one Comcast rep that the CableCard would not pick up the HD channels in HD, but SD. They said that I would still need an HD box. This isn't true, right?
No that's not true. Cablecards replace the cablebox entirely, with the exception of SDV. See posts above.
There is an item on your bill for an HD converter. This has to be on there for your account to be authorized to receive HD channels beyond the locals. I tried removing it from my bill and I lost ESPN HD, etc. While I was still with the rep, I had them add it back and the channels reappeared.
Thank you all for the responses! I think I just talked to people that were not really familiar with the cable cards.