Use One MCard in Two HD Units?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by deecee, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. deecee

    deecee New Member

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    I have one MCard installed in my TiVoHD. The self-install was successful with Comcast and took about 30 minutes. I am getting a second TiVoHD. I do not plan on using both TiVoHDs simultaneously and therefore do not want to rent a second MCard. I want to use the same MCard in both TiVoHDs, but obviously not at the same time. Will I be able to swap the MCard back and forth between both TiVoHDs without calling Comcast support each time?
     
  2. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    I am confused by what you mean by not using them simultaneously. Do you mean not WATCH them at the same time?

    TiVos work while you are not actually watching them as they record shows, season passes and suggestions (if you prefer). None of this will be possible if you don't have the card installed.

    Edit - wrong cable provider - Anyway, Comcast usually pairs cable cards to devices so you won't be able to swap them without a major hassle.
     
  3. andyf

    andyf Well-Known Member

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    It depends whether your cable company requires host/card pairing. I think most cable companies do. The only way to know for sure is to try swapping it and see if it works.
     
  4. deecee

    deecee New Member

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    Thank you both. I will get the new TiVo next week and will try the swap but I think Comcast requires the host/card pairing.
     
  5. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    Dude,
    I think you are in for a heap of difficulties trying to operate this way. I think everytime you insert/remove the cards you will need to redo guided setup. You will miss any recordings you have set up on the machine which temporarily has the card removed.

    What is the benefit?
     
  6. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

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    I guess to save $1.50 a month.
     
  7. deecee

    deecee New Member

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    I plan to use the new TiVo as my main box when my prepaid subscription runs out on the old box. (I got lifetime with the new box and will give the old box to a friend.) When I get the new box next week, I want to set it up for use and test it but don't want to rent a second cable card just to do so. I will probably try the swap only once for this purpose.
     
  8. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

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    Ok, that makes sense then. I'd just swap it out and try it. I could have sworn I read on here where with Comcast you could swap them around from machine to machine. Let us know how it turns out.
     
  9. 20TIL6

    20TIL6 BaDoop BaDoop BaDoop

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    I agree with that. Everytime you remove/insert the card, the TiVo will want to reset things as it thinks it needs to operate differently each time. Re-run guided setup, etc.

    I just think you might introduce some possible problems by doing this. My advice is just rent the additional card. Running guided setup and then letting it just do its thing is the best move to me. Plus that's how it was designed to be used.
     
  10. deecee

    deecee New Member

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    I will try to remember to provide a follow-up post here after I have had the chance to see if it works later next week. It will be nice to learn if Comcast allows this kind of swapping.
     
  11. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

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    Neither...
    Even if Comcast allows it, you will be pestered into having to re-run Guided Setup every time you do this, plus you run the risk of damaging either the CableCard and/or the TiVo through repeated handling.

    If you really want to save on the rental of a second M-card, I suggest letting the one with the card do all the digital recording. Network them together and using MRV transfer the programs off the digital channels to the second card-less TiVo. The second TiVo can still record the analog channels, plus if you have an antenna you can get it to also record any OTA digital signals.

    It's not as convenient as having two fully working TiVo's, but a lot more convenient than re-running Guided Setup and eliminates the problems and hassles of repeatedly removing and reinserting CableCards.
     
  12. deecee

    deecee New Member

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    Dec 20, 2007
    Thanks for the warnings. I will probably try this swap only once. If the swap doesn't work, I like Ron's suggestion of networking the new box to the old as a way to test the proper functioning of the new box, at least as a means to test recording analog and playing back digital recordings.
     
  13. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

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    You won't have to re-run Guided Setup. I just got two new cards and there was no prompt. And even if you were prompted, you can decline.
     
  14. rvsj

    rvsj Member

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    Comcast requires pairing. If you move the card to a different slot on the same unit or to a slot in a different unit the card will generate new pairing data and you will have to call Comcast to get the card reauthorized.
     
  15. deecee

    deecee New Member

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    Dec 20, 2007
    Thanks to you both for adding to the discussion. It sounds like I should plan on having Comcast reauthorize the card when I swap it to the new box and then again when I swap it back to the old box. The authorization went very smoothly the first time and I can only hope it works as well the next time!
     
  16. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

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    Neither...
    Last week, I started having problems getting a particular HD channel and decided to pop out the two S-cards to see if it would solve the problem (it didn't). When I reinserted them I immediately was prompted to re-run Guided Setup.

    Just yesterday, a tech from Charter came out and as part of the fix he swapped out the two S-cards for a single M-card. It again prompted me to re-run Guided Setup. I declined the prompt as I still was able to use both tuners (except the channel I was having the problem with) but that only worked until I knocked the plug loose, causing the THD to reboot. Once it stopped rebooting, it automatically went to the Guided Setup screen. I couldn't exit out of it, I had to go forward in order to make the TiVo useable again.
     
  17. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

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    I'm using an S3, but the software should be the same. The tech wanted to power down, so we did, popped in new cards (M cards instead of S cards b/c of their poorly designed ADS deployment) and powered up. No guided prompt. We went in and called in the pairing numbers, etc to get my premium tier. I've rebooted since then and have been fine.

    I have noticed if you pop them out and pop them back in (in the past) you can get a prompt, but can easily decline. But on my swap, no prompt. Perhaps there is a hardware difference but that would be odd. From a software perspective, that's bad design if you are forced to re-run setup.

    Just my experience.
     
  18. andyf

    andyf Well-Known Member

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    Not all Comcast areas require pairing. Here in Houston I can swap cards around at will.
     
  19. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

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    Neither...
    Actually the software of the S3 and the THD are not exactly the same. For one thing you can add any eSATA drive you want, whereas I can only use a My DVR Expander without hacking. The way the two models utilize M-cards is another significant difference.
     
  20. azitnay

    azitnay Active Member

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    If your username of "deecee" happens to imply that you live in DC (and hence have service through Comcast of DC), then they most likely will not pair your cards... In fact, they started using CCI in DC recently, causing some of us to complain, and instead of bothering to go back and pair our cards they just removed the CCI :).

    Of course, as others have mentioned, swapping the card for any reason other than a one-time test would be pretty crazy.

    Drew
     

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