Using tivo with my cable

Discussion in 'TiVo Home Media Features & TiVoToGo' started by petscheb, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. petscheb

    petscheb New Member

    Dec 24, 2011


    I've been interested in getting a DVR and TiVo definitely seems like a better choice than going with my cable company... But I don't know anyone that has TiVo, so my knowledge is limited. Does TiVo work with any/all cable companies? I realize I could call and ask them, but I prefer not to if I can avoid it... Thanks for any and all responses!
  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    It would help to know what specific cable system(s) you could use but TiVo works with almost all of them. There can be serious problems however, as you can see by scanning some of the threads on this forum. My advice would be to get your TiVo connected and working satisfactorily as soon as possible so you can use the 30-day money-back warranty if necessary.

    Some of the worst problems center around Tuning Adapters (TA), which are needed to get a lot of your digital channels if the system uses SDV (Switched Digital Video). They are usually furnished free. Sometimes it can be hard to find out if a system uses SDV but you should try to find out, and be sure the TA is furnished if necessary. It may be easier to find out by posting your location and cable co here. And of course you need a CableCARD (CC) for a TiVo to get digital cable at all. These rent for a few bucks per month but with them you don't need a STB (Set top box). You have to make clear to the cable co. that you have a TiVo and need the CableCARD and possibly a TA. You can self-install both CC's abd TA's once you get them from the Cable Co, although they may pressure you to pay for a service call to install them.

    Most people on this forum will say the TiVo is a superior DVR but there are three advantages of using cable co-furnished DVR's:
    1. There are no CC or TA concerns -- their funtionality is integrated into the cable co DVR.
    2. If you have problems with a TiVo you can easily get caught in the middle with both the Cable Co and TiVo pointing the finger at each other, while the Cable Co has sole responsibility for their DVR.
    3. TiVo's cannot order up VOD.

    My advice about keeping the 30-day return option alive is based on item 2.
  3. telcoman

    telcoman Telcoman

    Dec 27, 2007
    Central NJ
    I'm in Central NJ with Comcast. We have three series 3 TIVO's using M cable cards with lifetime and cable service provided by Comcast. Recorded programs can be moved from one TIVO to the other over our home network. No problems and no additional monthly charges.
  4. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    While there are indeed issues surrounding the TA, usually they are still of a low order. There is no question the TAs are not a stable as they should be, but most people do not have serious problems with them. They do typically have to be rebooted every few weeks. A few people are experiencing more serious issues, but this is not common.

    That doesn't mean they are not an issue. The CATV leased DVRs have many issues related to the CableCards and their own two-way communications as well. It's just the issues are clearly the responsibility of the CATV company to address. Now, that last is significant, but it doesn't mean the user will not experience problems.

    Now that's true, and it can be a real pain. As a corollary, there is always the chance the issue *IS* due to the TiVo, in which case it is the subscriber's responsibility to get it fixed. This is the responsibility one takes on with ownership (of anything).

    <yawn> Owning and properly using a TiVo makes most VOD moot.

    I would say it is good advice, no matter what. Any platform that offers an outlet for buyer's remorse is doing the consumer an estimable favor, if you ask me, and should at least be recognized for the fact.
  5. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC


    Considering that you have to buy the hardware and are still faced with subscription costs before you can truly test-drive the "TiVo Experience", I'd say it's not a favor, it's a way to get people to give them a chance who well might not otherwise.
  6. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    Aug 31, 2003
    That's true from TiVo's perspective, and no doubt is a significant reason why they do it. From the buyer's perspective, however, it remains a boon and a chance to limit one's commitment until one has a chance to sample the goods.

    I think the term "favor" describes the situation quite well. After all, doing someone a favor implies an expectation of a return favor. Otherwise it would be a gift.
  7. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    I think you can use a new Tivo for 7 days without paying a subscription.

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