Series3: Can it be used without a cable card?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by HotStuff2, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. HotStuff2

    HotStuff2 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2005
    Well, a power surge this weekend blew out the power supply in my Series2 (single tuner) unit. :( I'm on the phone with APC right now; fortunately, the TiVo (along with my 50" plasma HDTV, Xbox, DVD player, and speakers) were plugged into an APC battery backup/surge protector. Nothing else was damaged, but the TiVo won't power up at all. The fan ticks slightly, and there's a weird "chuck chuck chuck" sound coming out of the speakers when I have it set to the TiVo. Of course APC is looking at this as a warranty issue, which is why I use them; they have a lifetime warranty against surge damage, up to $100k. (And before anyone asks or says anything, there was no phone line plugged in, and the coax runs thru the APC as well, so it was covered there; no CAT-5 cable either since my TiVo conects thru 802.11g wireless. Therefore, the surge SHOULD have been stopped by the APC unit.)

    Anywho...since APC should be paying for a new TiVo (as opposed to trying to fix a 3-year-old unit that isn't made any more and could possibly have more damage to it than it's worth trying to fix), I was wondering if the Series3 (or the TiVo HD aka Series3 Lite) is able to be used without a cable card. I get free SD cable TV thru my apartment complex, and it's all I need. Since APC will (or at least SHOULD) be paying the replacement cost of the Series2, I could put that toward the cost of the Series3, which right now is $599 + tax @ Circuit City. The only Series2 units I could find are the DT ones, which are $249.99 + tax; basically I figure I could get a Series3 for about half price (If APC pays the $249.99 + 7% tax, $17.50 = $267.49, that would bring the Series3 down to $374.50, or possibly the TiVo HD for $53.50.) But either unit would only be useful to me if I can use it without a cable card.

    Anyone? :confused:

    edit: I see there's a $200 rebate for Series3 units, which would mean I could get the Series3 for $174.50 after rebate. :up: BUT, all I want to do is replace my existing (and now non-working) Series2 with a new unit; I don't want to sign up for new service. Right now I pay $6.95/month for TiVo (under a retention deal), and that's all I want. So I guess the second part of my question is: IF I get the Series3, and IF it can work without a cable card, can I just replace the non-working TiVo with the new Series3 and be working? I know I'd need to put in the new TSN on the TiVo website, of course...
     
  2. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    Jan 8, 2006
    Yes, it works fine without a CableCARD you just won't be able to get any digital cable channels (either the digital tiers or the digital simulcasts of the analog tier). You could use an antenna for HD as well if you are near enough to the antennas ( http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx and click the choose an antenna button ).
     
  3. HotStuff2

    HotStuff2 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2005
    Sweet, thanks for letting me know. I'm not interested in getting any HD content, since I get that thru other means; I just use my TiVo for casual viewing of shows I watch.

    I updated the original post with a new "second part" question, which I guess is the other thing I need to find out.

    APC is sending me the info on what to do for a warranty claim.
     
  4. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Yes, you can swap the TSNs on the web site, no problem. Two things to note:
    1) You won't be eligible for the Series 3 rebate (for new service only)
    2) You MAY lose your retention pricing when the TSN swaps.
     
  5. HotStuff2

    HotStuff2 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2005
    Well, one can always send the rebate in and see what happens. ;) Won't count on it, of course.

    But I do not (and will not) lose my retention deal. If TiVo took that away, I'd simply cancel service all together. It's just not worth it to me at anything more than $6.95/month. :cool:
     
  6. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    4,471
    2
    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Well, by upgrading to a new unit, you've shown Tivo you don't need to be "retained" - why should Tivo give you a special rate?
     
  7. HotStuff2

    HotStuff2 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2005
    First off, it's not an "upgrade" - it's REPLACING a unit damaged by a power surge. Secondly, TiVo has two options: lose my monthly fee altogether, or match the rate from my local cable co. It's pretty simple, actually: TiVo either gets the cost of a new unit and $84 a year for the service, or nothing from me. Does TiVo lose anything? Uh, no. In short, they have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

    Hmmm....which do you think they'd rather do? :rolleyes:
     
  8. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

    2,493
    156
    Jan 8, 2006
    The problem here is that TiVo relies on the monthly fees to recoup a part of the cost of the box. Discounted service stretches out the time period of that recovery.

    If the cost of the box is totally recovered already, then you run into the problem of precedent setting. If they make retention deals too easy to get then everyone will want one. At some point, the company has to wish you well on your adventures and say goodbye in order to protect the revenue stream from the majority of their subscribers.
     
  9. HotStuff2

    HotStuff2 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2005
    True, but TiVo has to remain competitive with the cable co. As I said, I'm already paying the $6.95/month rate, and TiVo isn't worth any more to me (no offense to anyone else.) In this case, their options are leave the service (and the fee) as is, or lose the revenue stream entirely. Stands to reason the company would rather receive the revenue they're getting, as opposed to losing it entirely. :cool: Truth be told, I'd have preferred my Seried2 ST to not have died at all and I've have stayed right where I was at. Unfortunately, mother nature forced me to go a different route. The cost of the replacement box should be covered by APC, so TiVo will get paid for a box, and the monthly service should continue as it has been.
     

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