Roamio versus Dish Hopper? (re: thinking about switching from Dish)

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by sofakng, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. Jed1

    Jed1 Well-Known Member

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    You are in good hands then. The engineer is old school and extremely thorough.
    I was the first to use cablecards with Service Electric. That was in 2004. It took your engineer about two hours or so to get it working. But after that that card worked non stop up until my new division took it out of service two years ago for a mistake they kept making with their cablecard lineup.
    SECV ended up giving me two cards for free and they have been working non stop since then.
     
  2. sofakng

    sofakng Member

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    Dec 18, 2003
    Good to hear.

    I just have to figure out how to get a card that supports 6 streams then. I'm guessing I have an uphill battle ahead of me. :(

    Here's what I got so far:

    @sectv on twitter: Our cablecards only support 2 tuners.
    Phone call to sectvwb: This is a Tivo issue and you need to contact them.
     
  3. Jed1

    Jed1 Well-Known Member

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    Don't fret about it. It is possible that the Motorola Cards they have may already support 6 tuners. If not I do believe they will try to get you one. See about renting one first, if it works then you can have the option to buy it if they are still doing that.
    When you call for the cablecard mention them that it is a 6 tuner TiVo Roamio so they know up front what device they are installing it in.

    In my case I know when they swapped my cards they had M4 on the case and that meant that they supported 4 tuners. I never tried mine in a 6 tuner unit. If they won't work then I know they will not give me any new ones so I will have to rent one.
     
  4. sofakng

    sofakng Member

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    OK - I'll see what happens. I'm just trying to avoid any delays or problems by figuring this out before the installer comes to my house.

    Anyways, I spoke with somebody on the phone (at SECTV-WB) and they really didn't understand anything I was talking about but eventually transferred me to somebody else from one of the cablecard departments.

    She seemed to understand a little more and I pointed her to the Tivo support page explaining the firmware versions and she is going to give me a call back.

    I'm only worried because nobody seemed to understand what I was talking about and they didn't have anybody else to transfer me to. I did ask for an engineering or support department but apparently the department I was speaking with was it. :(

    Oh, and you can purchase a cablecard for $125 as previously mentioned, but they already have them in-stock at the office so I would just be getting an older version I'm sure. They don't place a new order from Motorola.

    My friend also just had an install (but only needed a 3-tuner card) and the installer told him the cablecard supports up to 4 streams. He didn't ask about a 6-tuner version because he didn't need it, but I'm wondering if they even have any...
     
  5. Jed1

    Jed1 Well-Known Member

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    Yea you just spoke to a CSR that may have some experience in pairing CableCards. She will probably ask her supervisor or the engineer I mentioned. I know that he will know the answer as he will contact Motorola(Arris) if necessary.
     
  6. sofakng

    sofakng Member

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    Thanks for your help with everything :)
     
  7. Jed1

    Jed1 Well-Known Member

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    No problem. Give an update when you get the card installed.
     
  8. sofakng

    sofakng Member

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    The CSR just gave me a call back. She tested a few cards in an older Tivo and it showed v6.25 for the Motorola which according to Tivo should support all 6-tuners.

    She said she will make sure the installer brings that version because they do have older cards as well but she will make sure I get the latest one.

    So far so good!! :)
     
  9. Diana Collins

    Diana Collins Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    If they are installing the Arris 6 tuner home media center, wouldn't that mean that at least the head end, and the cards in the Arris units, will support the required firmware for 6 tuners. The only question is what firmware is on the card you get. :)

    EDIT: Never mind, I see that it is SECV that is currently installing the Arris HMC, not SECTV.
     
  10. Jed1

    Jed1 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Diana,
    SECTV is installing the Arris unit also. The DVRs actually come with the card installed so the newer firmware is on the cards already. This would be similar to the one issue were new Roamio owners had to request a certain M card with a newer part number so all six tuners would work.

    Also I know for certain that the retail CableCard devices have a separate channel map so if they actually update the cards in the STBs, it doesn't mean that the retail units get updated.
    If you perhaps to buy your own cable modem, which is the same that they are using, they will not update the consumer owned units because of liability issues.
    They also figure if the retail CableCard units are functioning fine with the card that is installed they will leave it alone.
    In my case, I own my cards so even though they can push an update to my cards, they probably won't. This will force me to dispose of the cards and rent a new one, as my division no longer sells them.

    In fact, in the ten years since I have been using CableCards, I can not recall any updates to the cards.

    I do know that in my division, there is only a dozen or so cards in use. I have two and I know that the rest is on older TiVos and CableCard TVs. This is out of an estimated 50,000 subs.
     
  11. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford New Member

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    Glad to see someone on here with the similar concerns and intentions. I am on Dish right now with a Hopper, but I am getting tired of these constant negotiations and losing channels.

    I don't want to hijack this thread, but let me know how your transition goes. I am going to make a separate thread right now but for Comcast.
     
  12. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    LOL the thread was already WAY hijacked into the Service Electric Cablecard provisioning thread. Not very much discussion about Roamio vs. Hopper here.

    My only add, not being a Dish customer (I'm on Comcast), is that I wouldn't be a very happy Dish customer given their constant fighting and dropping of channels. I mean they don't carry AMC either, right? Gotta have me some AMC dramas, it's one of the best cable networks around.
     
  13. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    The current Dish retrans fight is Turner, not AMC. AMC was resolved in 2012 I think. Last year's included Media General which affected me. CBS and TBS/TNT are coming up before the end of the year though. CBS will be interesting after their dispute with TWC.

    I believe AMC is coming up for renewal on DirecTV which should be interesting.
     
  14. joetekcor

    joetekcor New Member

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    I was a long time Dish customer who until 3 months ago had 2 1st Gen Hoppers and 4 Joeys in my house. I cancelled Dish and purchased the Roamio OTA. Between OTA and the Internet I'm getting just about everything I need.

    As far as the Roamio hardware goes it's great. Just as fast and responsive as the Hopper. Actually it's probably more responsive than the Hopper at times. Yes I miss the autohop and Prime Time Anytime features but with 4 tuners I can record anything OTA that I want.

    The multiroom functionality is the only thing I truly miss. I have Roku's throughout the house but only one Tivo for OTA. I haven't invested in any Mini's yet so we have to go old school and gather in front of the Living Room TV to watch our Prime Time shows.
     
  15. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    FYI: I find the Mini experience to be far snappier than what I had with the Joey. I won't miss the big pauses the Joey always delivers.
     
  16. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    I would've agreed with you before the recent Mini price drop, but multiroom is really a non-issue now whether you go with Tivo or Dish.
     
  17. sofakng

    sofakng Member

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    Is there any way to view channel bitrate or export a QAM channel listing?

    I'd like to see if Service Electric (SECTV) is using 2:1 HD channels per QAM, etc.
     
  18. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

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    If it's SECTV Lehigh Valley, I guarantee they use 3:1 since they still support a lot of analog stations and wouldn't have space to do 2:1. (I'm a former customer.)

    I wish the Tivo would spit out QAM frequency lists easily, but you can only examine a few channels at a time manually by going under System Info > DVR Diagnostics.

    You can also make a good guess by examining program sizes. If a 1 hour HD program is roughly 5.x GB, that's a channel using 3:1. If it's closer to 7GB/hr, it'll be 2:1.
     
  19. sofakng

    sofakng Member

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    I'm in SECTV but the Wilkes-Barre region. I have no idea if they still have analog channels but I'm guessing they do since they are the same company (SECTV).

    I'll be curious to see the picture quality, but I'm going to be comparing Dish and SECTV (with Tivo Roamio) to see which I prefer. I was hoping for 2:1 QAM channels which I think would beat Dish Network's but 3:1 will probably be close.
     
  20. Jed1

    Jed1 Well-Known Member

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    It will be 3:1. It would not make any difference if they do 2:1 as it is totally dependent on what the bit rate is coming off the birds.
    If Discovery is sending Discovery HD at 6 to 8 million bits/second in MPEG 4, the cable system will send it down to its customers around 10 to 12 million bits/second in MPEG 2. Running it at a higher bit rate will not improve the picture quality.
    Since QAM 256 can support a bit rate of 38.8 million bits/second, then they can easily fit 3 HD channels to one QAM.
    Now with the Wilkes Barre broadcast channels, WBRE HD and WYOU HD will come to you at 17.8 million bits/second. WNEP HD is lower at about 13 million bits/second because they stat mux WNEP 2 on their signal. WVIA HD is lower at around 10 million bits/second as they are stat muxing 4 channels on their feed. WOLF HD is also low as they also broadcast WQMY HD on their signal. So with the broadcast channels you will not see the difference between the antenna feed and the cable feed.

    The term used in the industry is WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). If the source sends a crappy picture then the cable/sat operator will send the same crappy picture to you. You can not improve a poor quality feed by increasing the downstream bit rate.
    All the sat/cable operators receive the same feed. Nobody gets anything special.
    FiOS is no different as their head ends are configured the same as a traditional cable operator. The only difference is how the feed travels from the head end to the side of your house. After that it is all the same.

    Once the cable ops switch to MPEG 4 then they can easily fit 4 HDs to each QAM. Maybe 5 depending on the feeds from the source.
     

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