Single S card behavior

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by borabora, May 31, 2009.

  1. borabora

    borabora New Member

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    Aug 30, 2007

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    So, when Comcast originally installed Cards in my tivo HD they left me with an M card and an S card incorrectly installed and not working. I fixed things with a couple of phone calls and the box has been working without too many problems for nearly 2 years. This leaves me with a spare S card and I am now thinking of buying another tivo to replace my lousy cable box. A bunch of questions for the experts:

    1. How likely will the spare S card work in a new tivo for non-premium channels without having to call Comcast? (By "work" I mean correct channel guide and ability to tune all non-premium digital channels.)

    2. If it works what will be the tivo's behavior?
    a) Will it behave as if it only has one tuner?
    b) Will it behave as if it had one digital/HD tuner and one analog-only tuner?
    c) Will it behave as if it had two digital tuners

    3. Any other issues when using a single S card only?

    I am not trying to save money here but am very afraid that if Comcast has to show up for an installation then they will mess up my working tivo.

    Thanks for any feedback!!
     
  2. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    It won't work. 0% chance.

    After you get it paired, it will behave as if it only has one tuner. Analog, OTA, Digital, doesn't matter.
     
  3. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

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    I dunno, lots of reports here where people can swap cards between devices and it still works. If they originally provisioned it, it might. Depends on their system. Probably won't, but worth a shot IMO.
     
  4. borabora

    borabora New Member

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    I also think that it might not be a 0% chance that it works and the reasons are:

    - This card did work as an S card giving me non-premium channels when it was originally installed (the M card was in the incorrect slot so both cards were acting as S cards).

    - When Comcast changed something about 3 months ago, my premium channels became inaccessible. When I called them they told me that all my tivo and card info was wrong in their system (but non-premium worked anyway!)

    When comes to tuner behavior, I wonder why the unit would act as if it had only one tuner when used with a single S card when it acts as if it has two (albeit crippled) tuners when operated with *no* cards.
     
  5. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    It has to be paired to the device you are putting it into.

    If you install it in a device it isn't paired with it wont work.

    But go ahead and do it if you want....
     
  6. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    The default action of a a Tivo S3 with a single card, or a TivoHD with a single S-card is to revert to single tuner operation, no it's not smart, and you're right in that with no cards it's a dual tuner, this is just the way the chips fall in the way the units operate.

    Diane
     
  7. Jun 1, 2009 #7 of 11
    Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

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    It only needs to be paired to receive copy protected channels (i.e. non-zero CCI). If none of the channels you want to receive are copy protected, then it works just fine to move it between devices.

    However, cable companies vary widely on how many and what type of channels are copy protected. The only thing that's constant is the rebroadcast network stations aren't copy protected.
     
  8. Jun 1, 2009 #8 of 11
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    This is incorrect; it depends on location.

    There are a lot of Comcast franchises that don't pair their cablecards (and a lot that do). I'm in one that doesn't - I've moved my pair of cablecards through 3 S3's and an HD-XL, and have never had to deal with Comcast on the cablecards other than the initial installation on my original S3. (I've added and removed premium channels but cablecards never came up in those conversations.)
     
  9. Jun 3, 2009 #9 of 11
    borabora

    borabora New Member

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    Aug 30, 2007
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I received my tivo HD yesterday and got it working after some work. Everyone who replied was at least partially right.

    The old S-card did not work. I called Comcast and was told that the card had been reported lost and could not be reactivated but that I could swap it out. I took it to the local Comcast store where the old card was swapped out for a new M card without a problem. No charge.

    It took me a couple of calls to Comcast to get the new card working with all channels. Now I am the happy owner of two tvios with M cards.

    For those who care: I think the answers to my original questions are as follows (but keep in mind that different cable compnaies or even different offices of the same company may dictate different behavior):

    My old (unpasired) S card would have worked for channel guide and free channels (not including CNN, ESPN, etc. and definitely not including HBO) if it had not been reported lost and was still listed in the Comcast inventory. I would have been able to activate (pair) it for all channels with a service call. A single S card limits the box to strictly single tuner behavior.

    In a perfect world one would plug in a new tivo and it would simply work but given real-world constraints, I do have give Comcast an A for making this pretty easy for someone who knows how to ask the right questions.

    I think my bill will continue to be for 2 cable cards. There should be no change.
     
  10. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    One bit of clarification just to make absolutely sure...

    Does the Tivo handle you changing BETWEEN cablecards too? (That is, I'm not sure if you've just moved cablecards from a Tivo that had them to another tivo that had never seen cablecards before..)

    Why I want to do this:
    I have 2 S cards at the price of 1 M card, because they didn't have M cards at the time that I went in and griped that I lost my channels (because of the cable digital switch of the vast majority of extended basic channels).

    I originally put them in my TivoHD, and if everything goes well after my appointment tomorrow to fix my signal so I get all the channels I should, I would be willing to get an M card for the TivoHD, and use the 2 cards in my S3..

    So can I just pull the two S cards out (I know it gives me a warning, I pulled one out already to see what would happen), and put an M card in the TivoHD... and it won't be "confused"? I know I'll have to call Comcast to enable the new M card..

    (I know I *could* ask the guy tomorrow for a cablecard, but since I can pick them up myself, it depends upon how well things work out whether I want to get another one or not.)
     
  11. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    *IF* you're in an area that doesn't pair, I don't see why it wouldn't work. I didn't test your scenario. I did move my cablecard pair to a second TiVo and then back to the first TiVo without problems. I would actually be less worried about your scenario than what I did - cablecards get replaced all the time.
     

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