TiVo Bolt without Cablecard at USC

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by JPA2825, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. JPA2825

    JPA2825 Member

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    Ft. Thomas,...

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    Just moved daughter into school at USC in LA. They apparently have their own cable system which does not require any intervention of a cable box or cablecard device. Just plug the RF cable into the TV and it picks up all the channels (digital, HD, pay, etc.) without any encryption (apparently).

    Problem is that without a cablecard I can't get TiVo Bolt to work. I currently have it setup w/ an HD antenna to get those stations and have the RF cable going directly into the TV to allow her to watch cable shows live if she wants. Obviously, a lacking solution.

    I researched and found this thread which was very helpful and enlightening (Digital Cable without CableCard / M-Card?). Just wondered if anything had changed in the last 2 years which would change the conclusion reached in that thread - if you can't get the provider (i.e., USC Housing in this instance) to make a cablecard available, the Bolt is gonna be a glorified paperweight in this setup.

    Any insight anyone can provide would be appreciated. I do have a TiVo HD DVR (TSN starts w/ 652) that I could ship out to her if she could use it without a Cablecard. Anyone know if that would work and, if so, how?

    Also, if anyone knows anyone who has gone through this experience at USC and resolved it, I'd greatly appreciate a contact #. The person we talked to a CS today was not very knowledgeable or cooperative. May just have to play CS roulette and try to find someone. You'd figure a self-contained system that is as large as USC would have encountered it already. Are they a big enough system where the FCC would require them to be cablecard compliant? Probably not, but I don't know the rules on that.

    Any help appreciated.
     
  2. Sparky1234

    Sparky1234 Well-Known Member

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    Model and settings?
     
  3. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Version 20.7.1 was supposed to add Clear QAM Scan to the Bolt but the release notes still say *with* CableCard.

    Clear QAM Channel Scan is available on BOLT UESs: This release brings to Bolt / Bolt + the same Clear QAM scan that exists on Roamio. Enables channel scanning with cable card for Clear QAM setups

    You were able to pick the University of Southern Carolina during Guided Setup? You might look for the Channel Scan option.

    We did this with an HD for my son at GMU and it worked fine (we did have to scan channels on that model as well).

    Scott
     
  4. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Thanks for the quote. Let me add something that I left out. Recording will be virtually impossible. Well, very hard. I know that sounds cruel, but while the other items in that post are still true, recording was not discussed. Perhaps @HerronScott can explain how to make recordings.

    Since you haven't seen the system, it's an unknown exactly what you will receive. Does the feed also move the channels to whole numbers? There's a chance the system is actually supported by TiVo, in which case just supply the zipcode and we can check if tvguide.com, tv.com and zap2it.com have it listed as a cable provider. That would be great, but still leaves you with the cable card problem. A cable cad has two jobs. It decrypts the signals and it maps the QAM channels to the even number channels that cable users and the guide are expecting.

    I still have two clear QAM channels on my feed, five analog (vsb) and a Premiere without a cable card connected. Maybe someone with a Bolt and no cable card can give you some advice also. I have two Roamio units and all three TiVo units block channels scan when a cable card is active.

    update: with 20.7.2.rc22, the option for a channel scan has been removed from a Roamio. The apps option was moved. So I wonder if it will be removed when my Premiere gets the latest update.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  5. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar situation at my kid's school and gave them an iView. Worked fine. Just make sure you get one that supports clear QAM.
     
  6. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    A wise solution. I have a BV-980H. Primitive but it works.
     
  7. JPA2825

    JPA2825 Member

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    Ft. Thomas,...
    Bolt 500GB. TSN begins w/ 849
     
  8. JPA2825

    JPA2825 Member

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    Ft. Thomas,...
    I should have mentioned that the Bolt was able to pick up the University of Southern California as a cable system during Guided Setup. When we tried to tune to channels without the cablecard, the guide and banner data matched up to the channels that were on the TV when RF was plugged directly into the TV.

    This suggests that there has at least been some interaction with USC to get it into the process. Maybe a call to TiVo CS would be worth a discussion in addition to the calls to USC CS.
     
  9. JPA2825

    JPA2825 Member

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    Ft. Thomas,...
    I can't remember exactly, but I am pretty sure all the decimal channels were converted to whole #s in the Guides as discussed above.

    As to the update above, I wonder if they'd reach back as far as the TiVo HD I have with any software updates? Also, anyone know what the capabilities of the TiVo HD might be to work with this system without a cablecard?
     
  10. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Sounds good. Call USC first. TiVo may get you Asia. In the Channel List, be sure channels you want are checked and set the guide "A" option to My Channels. Good luck.
     
  11. fredi

    fredi Member

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    My TiVo HD powers the video system in my RV, I quit using my satellite system years ago. Every once in a while I pull into a campground that has "free" cable. Most are ClearQAM in standard def and I use my antenna to get HD over the air. But some are old cable systems that are ATSC. If the TiVo doesn't have the "cable" system listed (or nobody knows which one it is) it scans the channels and then ask what you see on random channels. Some times that works great, but rarely on old ATSC cable systems.
     
  12. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    I am still on 20.7.1 and using CableCARD with Roamio Pro. When I select Settings->Channel->Channel Scan it says Channel Scanning is not available for your current setup. Channel Scanning can only be used to identify channels when neither a CableCARD decoder nor Tuning Adapter is used.

    For 20.7.2RC22 is it possible TiVo removed the option if you are using CableCARD but it would show up if you pulled the CableCARD or is the unit you tried already not using CableCARD?

    It would be kind of annoying if a release that was mostly for UI just removed a feature people could be using with no notice.
     
  13. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I concur. I guess when my Premiere gets the update I will know. Maybe it has moved, like they moved the apps management option. One can hope.

    Sorry, but my TiVo with 20.7.2.rc22 is used a lot, so I'm not going to pull the card & repeat GS.
     
  14. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    So the Bolt showed whole numbers for each channel but I noticed that the channel listing USC has shows x.1 channels. Did you try tuning to one manually and have you tried a channel scan (if that option is truly available without a CableCARD)?

    A TiVo HD is what we used at GMU who uses Campus Televideo services with clear QAM. They actually have a post regarding TiVo's and needing to do a channel scan. Of course the HD, isn't going to help with the streaming side of things as it only has access to Netflix through a very old crude client.

    Scott
     
  15. JPA2825

    JPA2825 Member

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    Ft. Thomas,...
    We switched it back to Antenna and repeated GS before I left and started this thread. Not sure what you mean by tuning to a channel manually (as opposed to through the Guide?). We did do channel up and down and got the banners but no video or audio. I didn't see an option to do Channel Scan but may not have been looking in the right place.

    If we don't get an answer here, from USC or from TiVo, I will probably just ship the TiVo HD with Lifetime to her and see if I can find a place for the Bolt. She can use a cheap Roku or Fire for all the apps on a different HDMI input if she has to use the TiVo HD.

    Thanks for all the feedback. Appreciate any more suggestions anyone may have. Will update if any developments.
     
  16. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Manual channel tuning is using the channel number. Enter the numbers on the remote, and use the ->| key for the dash or decimal point. It has a small (-) printed above it. You can enter ANY channel with this method. Channel up/down only selects channels that are checked in the channel list (My Channels).

    While getting the channel banner is normal for any channel in the guide or found by a scan, you need to wait a few seconds to see which message appears. Either "no signal" or "Not Authorized". Not authorized would be for cable. No signal can be for either.
     
  17. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    So I had a Roamio Pro that just picked up 20.7.2.RC24.

    For 20.7.1 with CableCARD I verified the "Channel Scan" was present under "Settings->Channel->Channel Settings". When I selected the option it said "Channel Scanning is not available for your current setup"

    For 20.7.2.RC24 with CableCARD I verified the "Channel Scan" was NOT present under "Settings->Channel Settings".

    For 20.7.2.RC24 without CableCARD I verified the "Cable Scan" was added under "Settings->Channel Settings" after I shutdown, pulled the CableCARD, and booted with no CableCARD inserted (without needing to run repeat guided setup) I chose the option and it asked me "Cable Channel Scan: Notice - Would you like to scan for new channels?"

    So it seems the option was not removed, but was made conditional on whether a CableCARD was installed, whereas before the option was always present but told you it couldn't scan if you chose the option while having a CableCARD installed.
     
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