TiVo HD XL - Needs both CC slots filled?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by BobbyWDC, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. BobbyWDC

    BobbyWDC Member

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    Mar 28, 2005
    Washington, DC

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    I just got a TiVo HD XL, and was on the phone to a very helpful guy named Pete at the TiVo Cablecard hotline, trying to solve some pairing issues with the card and Comcast (probably a bad card). He was surprised, and I was too, when he told me that he'd found that having a single M-card was NOT sufficient to have 2 working tuners on the XL model, that both slots needed to be filled.

    He said that an M-card in Slot 1 would give me one fully working tuner, but that some channels would not come in on the second tuner. He said his information showed that the XL model needed a second card in the other slot, even if the first card was an M-card. The second card could be M or S, it didn't matter. This guy really seemed to know what he was talking about on everything, so I guess I believe him. When I told him that meant Comcast would be charging me $2/month for the second card, he actually gave me a credit to my monthly TiVo subscription to make up for it for a handful of months. (The monthly is on a Series 2 box...I bought lifetime on the HD)

    So my question to any TiVo HD XL owners (XL only!): does anyone have just ONE M-card in slot 1, with slot 2 empty, and get the full set of channels on both tuners? Thanks.
     
  2. LifeIsABeach

    LifeIsABeach Active Member

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    TiVoHD (XL or not) should work just fine with only one M-Card.
     
  3. BobbyWDC

    BobbyWDC Member

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    Mar 28, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Sure, that's what I said, and what he thought, too. But he really knew his stuff--I talked to him about 45 minutes, and he knew cablecards & TiVo inside & out. He said it's unique to the XL, and was surprised when he discovered it in the knowledge base they use. It doesn't help TiVo to tell me this--in fact, they lost money, since he gave me a credit to help make up for it.

    Which is why I'm posting here, to see if there are XL owners who can disprove it based on their own setup. When they come to replace the bad m-card, I'll see if they can get everything working, on both tuners, and all channels, with just the one installed. If so, I won't have them put anything in Slot 2. But any input from current XL owners with just Slot 1 filled, and properly getting all their digital channels on both tuners, would be very helpful.
     
  4. janry

    janry New Member

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    Jan 2, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    No, it's unique to the original Series 3. He doesn't know whan an XL is. The XL only requires one working M card. It says so at TiVo's site, and mine works with only one M card.
     
  5. bobfrank

    bobfrank Active Member

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    Mar 17, 2005

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    My the HDXL works perfectly with only one M card.
     
  6. shrike4242

    shrike4242 Member

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    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    S3 only needs two M-cards. Tivo HD and HDXL only need one M-card.

    Are any of the channels that won't come in on the 2nd tuner ones you'd be paying extra for?

    I ran into issues where neither tuner on my HD would see some channels, and it's because they didn't add the card to have access to the channels. Charter had to come out and do a truck roll to fix it, and it was because the back-end programming wasn't right. I've had other issues with some channels not coming in correctly because they didn't do back-end programming on it.

    I'd have them redo the pairing with the card, and see if that fixes it. They should also send a "hit" to the card to reinitialize it, first, before re-pairing the card with your HD XL.

    My guess is that it's either a defective card or bad back-end programming issues on your provider's side.

    I don't suppose you know if they do SDV (Switched Digital Video), since you'd need a Tuning Adapter for some channels if they're doing SDV.
     
  7. BobbyWDC

    BobbyWDC Member

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    Mar 28, 2005
    Washington, DC
    I think full HD signals do require an adapter, but at the moment, that's not my concern, or what I'm paying for. Haven't bought the HDTV yet, and won't for a while. I just wanted to escape analog cable & move to digital before Comcast yanked it out from under me, as I know they're doing in certain regions already. And getting an HD seemed like the "easiest" way to do that. Even after reading all the cablecard horror stories here :)

    Of course, the guy they sent admitted he'd never done a cablecard install before. He said "hey, this is cutting edge stuff--they've been around, what, 3 months now?" When I told him at least 3 years, he didn't believe me. So I wasn't surprised, when some digital channels came in and others didn't, that he said "it'll take a few hours for them all to download." I knew that was crap, but didn't know exactly how to diagnose the problem. After talking with the TiVo cablecard hotline (which I strongly recommend, even if Pete got the XL/2 card stuff wrong), I now know better. Comcast insisted on another tech coming out (admitting it was probably a defective card), and I insisted that they send someone WITH SOME EXPERIENCE doing this! Hard to believe they're still sending out novices who barely know what cablecards are. This is Comcast in Washington, DC, not Joe's Cable in some small town somewhere. Sigh...
     
  8. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    Wait- was Pete a Tivo employee or a Comcast employee on some kind of help line? Only the original series 3 needs two cards, and that model is no longer available. I could hardly believe a Tivo rep would get that wrong, but a Comcast rep, sure.
     
  9. BobbyWDC

    BobbyWDC Member

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    Mar 28, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Pete was the TiVo 2nd-tier support guy I got through the TiVo Cablecard hotline, 866-986-8486. He was definitely advanced support, since he didn't ask me to do any of the dumb stuff, spoke to me like I had some brains, and was also NOT reading any kind of a script. Talked me through a lot of stuff in a 45-minute call, and even set up a 3-way call with Comcast and explained the pairing problem to them. He showed a lot of expertise and was very knowledgeable, but I guess on this point he was using faulty information. I can't believe he could've confused a 3 with an XL.

    But I definitely believe the people on this forum who HAVE XLs themselves, that are working on both tuners and all channels with just one M-card and an empty slot 2.
     
  10. lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    I'd drop TivoJerry a PM. Sounds like there is some confusion in the data base used by tivo CSR.

    Alternately there is some issue with cable cards and SDV adapters that is known to tivo but is unknown to posters on TCF. There are a couple of posters who've been having issues with SDV adapters.
     
  11. hank12345

    hank12345 Member

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    Sep 27, 2005
    Could you be more specific about this? Charter just switched over to SDV in my neighborhood, and I keep loosing digital channels on cable card one for some reason... Other than that, the SDV tuner seems to be working fine.

    a reboot fixes the problem, then it stops working after a bit... I was going to call charter, and swap out my two s cards for an mcard, but if it's a tivo issue, I'll wait it out.
     
  12. lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the PP, I think the tivo rep either mis-read the information or there is an error in tivo's database. I suggested a PM to TivoJerry so tivo can clean up the database used by the phone reps.

    I throw in the other comment in case there is some rare circumstances where 2 cards are required and the situation is either so new or so rare that posters on TCF aren't aware of it.

    A number of posters bashed the first poster who told us about the new fee to transfer LS to a refurbished unit supplied by tivo to a unit more then 3 years old. One poster will always be the first to report something new.




     
  13. Sy-

    Sy- New Member

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    Sep 29, 2005
    Ewa Beach,...
    <Raises Hand> 1 Tivo HD XL, 1 M-Card in slot #1, 1 SDV Tuning adapter..... No problems accessing either tuner or any other problems whatsoever! Now where is that piece of wood I should knock on? :)
     
  14. JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Extend right arm and bend it slowly at the elbow as far as possible. Now duck your head slightly and knock gently. :D
     
  15. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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    Fishers, IN
    Not true. It will take two M-cards or two S-cards or one M- and one S-card.
     
  16. JWThiers

    JWThiers Smartypants

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    Cocoa, Florida
    The point is that on an S3, M-cards operate in single stream mode only, so you don't get any benefit from the multi-stream capability. So I think it goes without saying that S-Cards work fine.
     
  17. Adam1115

    Adam1115 Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Denver ish
    No, he did not.
     
  18. AbMagFab

    AbMagFab What happened, TiVo?

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    Bingo.

    To paraphrase Jerry McGuire, you lost me with "he really knew his stuff"...
     
  19. BigBearf

    BigBearf New Member

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    Aug 17, 2005
    Have TivoXL, single M-Card and SDV adapter. No problems. Fellow was misinformed.
    BigBearf
     
  20. BobbyWDC

    BobbyWDC Member

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    Mar 28, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Thanks, guys. As far as my thinking he "knew his stuff"--I think it was Mr. Spock, or maybe Sherlock Holmes originally, who said, roughly, "Any technology sufficiently advanced will appear to be magic". As a cablecard novice, but someone who has done tech support in other fields, I judged the friendliness and no-BS quality of the guy as a sign he knew his stuff.

    But I did know enough to come here and ask the real experts :) Give me credit for that.
     

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