RCN Digital Cable Box with Series 3

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by tivochiguy, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. tivochiguy

    tivochiguy Member

    75
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    Feb 16, 2004

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    In Chicago, many of us who use RCN are being converted to all digital where we must have a digital converter box of some type. On my Series 3 I don't have cable cards and I don't need HD content. Will I be able to connect my digital converter box from RCN directly in to my Tivo or will I also need cable cards. I know this question will confuse RCN if I ask them! Unit is DCT700.


    Thanks,
    Paul
     
  2. maharg18

    maharg18 Active Member

    3,644
    13
    Dec 3, 2002
    Chattanooga, TN
    You will need cable cards. The S3 and TivoHD are not compatible with cable boxes, as they are meant to replace them.
     
  3. mwwilliams10

    mwwilliams10 New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007
    I have a Tivo HD, with two cable cards, using RCN in Chicago. The setup is fairly painless and the cards cost $1.50 each/month. I've had very few issues (knock on wood).

    I believe that RCN will mail you the cable cards (I know they are mailing the converter boxes). It beats waiting for the installer or going to their nightmarish facility (what respectable cable company has only ONE customer center in a city of 6 million and only keeps it open only Mon through Fri from 9 to 5!). But, I digress.....
     
  4. singletb

    singletb New Member

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    May 12, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Can I ask why, exactly, you paid high $ for a Series 3 if you don't use it for High Def?
     
  5. fergie8

    fergie8 TiVoite via RCN

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    Oct 26, 2006
    Chicago, IL

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    Just curious as to how/why you ended up with two cable cards? Are they 'S' cards? I'm also an RCN/Chicago customer with a TiVo HD, but they supplied me with a single 'M' cable card and it works fine.

    Did you do the setup of the cable card yourself then? If so, how did you get the cards from RCN? I ask because I tried to get RCN to let me do that and they said no. They told me they had to send out a tech. Then when TiVo had to replace my defective TiVo HD, I had to get a tech to do that cable card install bit again for the replacement unit. Big waste of time!

    But I was dealing with one of their call centers rather than the local Chicago RCN office. It sure would be nice to be able to do the cable card install myself in the future if the need arises.

    Ah, but have you had the opportunity to deal with RCN's tech support call centers? That one in the Philippines is pretty hopeless and to be avoided at all costs. Grim indeed.

    But I used to have Comcast. They're not any better, imo.
     
  6. tivochiguy

    tivochiguy Member

    75
    10
    Feb 16, 2004
    Sounds crazy at face value. Well, I wanted to transfer my lifetime over to a series 3. I'll have a new HD TV in a month or two so there was just a period with using standard def.
     
  7. DrewTivo

    DrewTivo Member

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    Mar 29, 2005
    So that makes sense. I'd just get the cablecards so you're set to go.
     
  8. mwwilliams10

    mwwilliams10 New Member

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    Aug 22, 2007
    I'll be quick so as to not hijack the thread:

    1) I don't know why they gave me S cards rather than an M card. For my own sanity, I avoid questioning why cable companies do things.

    2) RCN installed the cards. I think they might send them out via mail with the coming conversion (set for 3/25) because they are actually mailing cable converters to people. Conversely, they are charging $50 to install the converter in your house.

    3) I don't think you needed to have a tech reinstall the card. I swapped my CCs from one Tivo to another and was able to do it without a problem. You might need to call RCN to have the CC refreshed, but that can be done through the automated menu.

    4) Yes, the call centers are terrible. To quote Homer Simpson, "I didn't think it was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows".
     
  9. fergie8

    fergie8 TiVoite via RCN

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    0
    Oct 26, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Actually I was mostly wondering if they had given you two M cards. The first RCN installer I had was going to try to do that with my TiVo HD but I wouldn't allow him to go there. He kept insisting only one tuner would work, but when both ended up working with the one M card he was strangely silent.

    I am quite the opposite.

    I always question the what and why when I'm dealing with cable companies. That comes from a fundamental lack of trust that I have for the cable industry as a whole.

    I went through that cable box self-install already for one of my Series 2 TiVos. The all-digital conversion was done in our neighborhood in the middle of February. Big nightmare!

    The self-install step itself was trivial, but the automated call to authorize the box was a failure. I think that's because the system was(is) overwhelmed with authorization hits. In my case, when the phone call failed to produce results, the RCN telephone tech support person I had to deal with actually took down my other already working converter box in the process of trying to authorize the new box. He also whacked my TiVo HD, which then lost all channels for a short amount of time before coming back to life on its own. However the two converter boxes were toast. So they had to send out a tech anyway who ended up replacing both of the boxes without the $50 fee.

    I don't see any tie-in between the converter box self install program and mailing out cable cards though. Were you actually told that by RCN personnel?

    Cool. That's good to know. Thanks.
     

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