Series3 and the M-Card -- Do they work together?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by golubian, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. golubian

    golubian Member

    Apr 5, 2001
    Houston, Texas


    I decided -- probably stupidly -- to replace my two cards per S3 with one M Card in each unit. The initial swap went fine. Popped the olds cards out, installed one M Card in each, called the cable company, activated them -- everything was just great. I didn't even have to re-run guided setup. Both S3s had dual tuners active. It was all good.

    I then got a message saying I had to re-run guided setup. So I did. And once I did that, I now have one cablecard (albeit an M-Card) and only one active tuner per unit. The second tuner has flat-out disappeared.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Am I doing something wrong, or is the M-Card just not supported on an S3?

    2. If not formally supported, is there a workaround to get dual tuners working? Or, do I need to reinstall the original cablecards?

    3. Alternatively, can I have two M-Cards installed in a single S3, one in each cablecard slot?

    4. Or, can I install one of the old cards into slot 2, leaving the M-Cards installed in slot 1 on each unit?

  2. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    Oct 14, 2004
    You need two cards per S3; they can be S or M cards.

    Until they update the software, a single M card acts as a single S card.
  3. George Cifranci

    George Cifranci TiVo Bolt 500GB - TE4 UI

    Jan 30, 2003
  4. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Aah, ok, so this is a software thing and not a hardware thing.. is that absolutely confirmed?
  5. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area


    As confirmed as it's ever going to be until someone from Tivo says otherwise.

    Can't find it now, but someone had implied in another thread that the chip supplier may not have provided Tivo enough info to properly write/support MCard drivers. If so, it's possible there won't be an upgrade for S3 MCard support for a while, if ever.
  6. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    Mar 3, 2002
    Yeah, and I saw something recently in one of the FCC filings I was reading that listed the companies that had signed on to support M-Card or something like that - I don't remember the whole list, but Motorola, SciAtl, Digeo, TiVo, and ViXS were on the list. ViXS makes the chip used in the TiVo HD which provides the M-Card interface. Broadcom was not on the list... Hold on, I'll find it...

    Here it is, footnote on page C-3.
    I remembered it because, at the time, it made me wonder if the chips used in the S3 have an vendor support for M-Card or if it is one of those situations where the hardware *could* do it, if only the software/firmware/drivers was available to enable it, and TiVo is out in the cold. And could that be part of their motivation for using the ViXS chip in the TiVo HD?

    In any case, I suspect that the software for the HD cannot simple be ported to the S3 as the CableCARD hardware is different. Different chips, different code.
  7. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

    Oct 14, 2004
    Didn't the prototype S3 at CES have a label on the back that indicated it would support multi-stream cards? And then the production unit was missing it? If they bothered to change that, then maybe the box doesn't have the hardware in place.
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

    Jan 10, 2002

    looks like it IS a federal project and may never happen.

    saw this in another totally unrelated thread and figured many here in the HD forum would miss it -


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