Why OLED Series 3 Needs Two Cablecards?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Resist, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    I realize the OLED Series 3 needs two cablecards to record two channels at the same time, I just don't understand what about the hardware is it that makes this so. I'm sure others might want to know the reason as well. I never questioned this before until I heard that the new Tivo Elite only needs one cablecard and can record up to 4 channels at the same time. And the TivoHD only needs one cablecard to record two channels. I know it's a hardware thing, but what specifically in the hardware is the reason? And what is the limit to how many channels a cablecard can decode to record, or is there one?
     
  2. andyw715

    andyw715 Well-Known Member

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    Just a WAG. Both the S3 and HD have 2 CC slots. The HDs (and later are newer) and can accept an M-Card. Which means there is some circuitry in there to get the 2 streams from the one reader and process it.
    The S3 otoh has 2 sep S-Card readers which provide only 1 stream each.

    The HD can determine the type of card and will let it know it can handle 2 streams.

    I don't know how many streams an M card can provide. I'm thinking I remember 16??
     
  3. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    I already understood this, as I have a Series 3 and TivoHD. I'm just trying to understand how it works, hardware wise.
     
  4. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    Ahem. No, it's 6, not 16.
     
  5. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    I'm not sure anyone outside TiVo really knows. Suffice to say they have reported it to be a hardware issue and they are not going to fix it.
     
  6. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    Because the multi-stream standard for the cards wasn't yet fully implemented when the original S3 came out, it was single-stream cards only.

    Tivo had hoped to be able to make a software update to allow the S3 to use a single multi-stream card ala the Tivo HD but it never happened. There have been many angry threads on this subject, but the core reason is that the hardware does not support the multi-stream cards by default.
     
  7. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    I understand that the hardware didn't support it, I was just trying to find out if anyone outside of Tivo knows exactly why. I'm one of those people that likes knowing how things work.

    Really was a shame about the OLED Series 3. I really like the looks of that box, but hate that it requires Two cablecards. I like that it shows me what shows it's recording, without having my TV on. And the clock is a nice thing to have.
     
  8. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    I love my S3 and have no hesitation in paying for the extra $3.99 for it's 2nd CableCARD, the unit is just that much nicer than anything since, and that includes my Premiere XL
     
  9. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    And I thought paying $2 per card was expensive with my local Charter Cable. I doubt I'd do it at $3.99 a card.
     
  10. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    Outside of TiVo engineering it is all speculation. My speculation is that the chipset TiVo chose to interact with the card has firmware limitations that preclude it from working. I can picture the engineers at TiVo cursing at that chip saying

    "Their m$&# %$&*$E^& spec sheet said that it would work this way but we're seeing this other behavior!!!"

    "Why did we pick this $&^$ chip!"

    "Pony is going to hate this news, who is going to tell him?"
     
  11. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    San...
    I can't quite say that. I certainly enjoy my S3 TiVos, but until recently the four CableCards they host cost me $3.95 each per month. Multiply that by the 110 months I have cumulatively owned the pair and that comes to over $400, vs. a bit over $200 if I only needed 1 card. I could surely use that $200. It also rather grinds my nards that the CATV company has charged me over $500 for a set of 5 cards that in toto only cost them about $75. At least they have come down in price since the FCC ruling.
     
  12. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    My cards used to be $1 per month, now they are $2 per month.
     
  13. Soapm

    Soapm Active Member

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    If it's like my cable company you get the first card free so it's really the same price.
     
  14. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    If that's the case, then I'm only paying $2 for two cablecards.
     
  15. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

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    Not on my FiOS account, it's $3.99 x4, I should go ask about that however, I must have missed that previously.
     
  16. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I'm not feeling as bad now about paying $5/mo for two S-cards in my TiVo HD. I asked for the M-card upon installation in July 2009 but my wonderful TWC (Southwest Ohio) claimed they didn't have them and also claimed they didn't have them again when I checked back a month later. This was of course in violation of FCC rulings since devices requiring M-cards were supposed to be supported at that time. I've just settled for paying $2.50/mo more than I should rather than risk how they might foul things up if I tried to get an M-card, following the "don't fix it if it ain't broke" principle.
     
  17. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    I got my two S-cards for my lifetime series 3 back when they were $2.99 per month from Verizon (I'm still grandfathered under the original rate). My Tivo is currently being used as a tuner for a Sony 42" HD monitor. Considering that an HD cable box from Verizon costs about $10 per month and current M-cards cost $3.99 each, I'm saving $2-4 per month with this setup. A single M-card under the current pricing structure would only save me $2 compared to what I pay for the S-cards..
     
  18. shaggy314

    shaggy314 Member

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    So if I follow this correctly the single m-cable card that is currently on its way to me will not be useful and I need to return it for two s-cards for my Series 3?
     
  19. GBL

    GBL covert opiniative

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    True, if your Series 3 has a TSN starting with 648.
     

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