Price difference between standard and M CableCard?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by brianlees, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. brianlees

    brianlees New Member

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    Apr 16, 2007
    I'm just about ready to get a TivoHD and I was wondering what experiences others have had with billing between MCards and regular cards.

    If you have one M Card, you can record two things, correct? If that is the case, are you still only billed for one cablecard? Also, were you able to request an MCard?
     
  2. funtoupgrade

    funtoupgrade New Member

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    Call your cable company and ask - most likely they don't have them yet.
     
  3. alansplace

    alansplace ------ Alan ------

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    Southern...
    my experience, now with two installs, is that time warner doesn't seem to have any M's! i say 'M-type cablecard' when requesting a cablecard install on the phone and they go off to ask someone else and come back confused (i don't even get a price). ultimately i end up getting two single stream cards.
    --
    Alan :D
     
  4. DeathRider

    DeathRider New Member

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    Boston Area RCN
    I have RCN in Boston area. When I had S cards, they were $1.50 each.

    I now have 2 M-Cards. They no longer carry S-Cards for new installs. They are still $1.50 each.

    I have an S3, may get a TivoHD when the 12 months is over for the S2...
     
  5. brianlees

    brianlees New Member

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    Apr 16, 2007
    Am I missing something? Why do you have two M cards for one unit?
     
  6. robomeister

    robomeister DVD TiVo Expert

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    Beltsville, MD
    Because he has an S3, which can't use a single M-card to tune both tuners. Only the TiVoHD can do this. With the S3, you have to have 2 cable cards to get 2 channels, no matter if the cards are S-cards or M-cards.
     
  7. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    Dallas
    I have been in a cave for a while

    WTF is an M-type cable card and how does it play into Series 3/TiVo HD units??
     
  8. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    DC Metro Area
    The 'M' stands for multistream, which means it can support multiple tuners with one card. The older 'S' (single-stream) CableCard could only support one tuner each.

    Note the older 'S' (single-stream) CableCards were discontinued a few months ago. Only MCARDs are now in production. However, some cable companies still have excess 'S' CableCard inventory.

    The new TivoHD supports multistream functionality, meaning you only need a single MCARD to support both tuners. The Tivo Series3 does not currently support the 'multistream' feature of MCARDs; it will work with MCARDs, but it treats them as the older 'S' Cards so you still need two.

    If your cable provider gives you two cards for free, it's a non-issue. On the other hand, if your cable provider gives you one card for free and charges you for the second, then having the ability to support both tuners with a single MCARD is beneficial. The difference becomes more significant if you want multiple dual-tuner Tivos in your home.
     
  9. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    ahhh... OK. I remember all the talk about the Multi-stream cards before.


    Do the MCARDs handle SDV, or are people still screwed there if their cable co. uses it (or plans to use it)
     
  10. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Both the older 'S' CableCards and the new MCARDs can handle SDV. The hardware in the product (in this case, the hardware in the S3 and TivoHD) determines whether bidirectional communication is supported as necessary for SDV.

    Products with a built-in unidirectional (one-way) OpenCable receivers cannot support SDV or VOD. Only products with built-in bidirectional (two-way) OpenCable receivers can support SDV. Unfortunately, the current Cable Labs' licensing agreement does not allow anyone to produce bidirectional hardware using their own interface. That is why TivoHD had to use a unidirectional design. If they had used a bidirectional design to support SDV and VOD, then they would have to use the cable company's interface.

    The Tivo Series3 and TivoHD both have an on-board, programmable Xilinx FPGA which could be configured to add upstream communication, and hence bi-directional capability to support SDV. However, as noted above, the Cable Labs' licensing agreement currently prohibits that capability in any product with its own interface, so Tivo couldn't add that capability even if all the necessary hardware was in the box.

    Tivo has said they are working with cable companies (and Cable Labs') to try and bring SDV capability to the TivoHD. Before that can happen, they've obviously got to drop the requirement that the box use the cable company's interface.

    How many analog channels does your cable system have?

    Most 860-1Ghz systems have 135 channels. Unless you've got 90+ analog channels on your system, they'll have plenty of capacity for HD. Simple equation to find the approximate number of new HD channels your system can support:

    Take 135 and subtract

    1. # of analog channels
    2. # of digital channels / 12
    3. # of HD channels / 2.5
    4. 10 channels (allocated for VOD)
    If you are on a 750MHz system, start with 115 and subtract. Some 860MHz systems have 130-132 channels instead of 135.

    Take the result and multiply it by 2.5 to find the approximate number of new HD channels your system can support without SDV.

    A bunch of Comcast systems had just 75-80 analog channels before they started migrating (moving) channels to the digital tier, so they were in a much better position than some Charter and Time Warner systems which had upwards of 90-95 analog channels.
     
  11. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    Grrrrrrr.....

    DEATH to Time Warner!!
     
  12. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    If you live in the Dallas / FW area, Verizon FiOS may soon be an option for you, if it isn't already.

    FiOS has no plans to use SDV.
     
  13. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

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    I do, but I live in Dallas. we aren't Verizon. we are at&t. we used to be Comcast for cable. Then, we became Time Warner. :(
     
  14. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    To answer the original question -

    I have both SCards and MCards and am being charged the same for each - $1.50 per month (Denver area, Comcast)
     

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