Will tivo work with 'Free' cable (no cable card)?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by hager4283, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

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    And you had no CableCARD or TA?
     
  2. hager4283

    hager4283 New Member

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    (OP here)

    The channels I'm receiving after cancelling my cable services (kept internet service) are IDENTICAL to the channels I received when I had my cable company's DVR. (The only difference is that I do not get HD channels for anything other than the local channels.) The channels are not displaying any decimals. The cable tech told me that they had tried to encrypt it but it screwed something else up for the technicians, so they've shelved that attempt and don't seem to be too concerned with it. So basically, once you've had the cable service, you'll continue to have it by plugging cable from wall to tv, at least until they come up with a way to prohibit it.
     
  3. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    It is indeed possible. On commercial cable installs like we have at my location, the mso maps the channels to the same channel number and creates a custom lineup where each tv at each location only needs to plug in the tv and run a channel scan which picks up the channels without a box, cablecard or TA.

    These custom lineups can indeed be reported to the guide data companies like gracenote and Rovi. I was able to find the same commercial lineup in TiVo's list using a nearby island's zip code. I selected that one when I did guided setup and was able to run my Roamio without a cablecard WITH the guide data properly lined up.

    As long as the virtual channels are set in the modulating equipment to the same channel that they actually are transmitted in and are the same in the guide data info, then you'll be fine.

    Of course, I have tried the eBay cablecard trick which works as well, if you need the channels to be remapped. A Tuning Adapter also works.

    Maybe the OPs cable system is setup similar to a commercial operation? If it's not serving a large area, it's a possibility. Maybe they're not big enough to operate two separate plants, a retail and a commercial, so they use one at can serve both clients?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  4. osu1991

    osu1991 Well-Known Member

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    No cablecard or TA. Didn't get those until I actually switched tv service to Cox. I still had Dish for tv and Cox for internet only last year. This was about 6 months before Cox went all digital in Tulsa and encrypted everything.

    TV worked the same way, I could plug the coax directly into the TV and scan cable and the HD locals appeared in the 1000's like they do with a Cox set top.
     
  5. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    But that implies that the TV has PSIP data to work with. The OP wants to use a TiVo. No PSIP support. I have no clue how that will work for channels that high. Judging from the lineup, nothing is higher than 300 so it might be good.
     
  6. hager4283

    hager4283 New Member

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    I just bought an old Roamio on ebay so I guess I'll know in the next week if this will work for me! I appreciate everyone's input.
     
  7. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Hmm... this sort of implies you want to use it without Tivo service as well. It may tune channels, but that's all it will be able to do - no guide, no DVR, no pausing live TV, etc.
     
  8. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    After you get it, stop back and we can help you get it configured.

    It would have been better to buy a Premiere even though it's much slower.
     
  9. hager4283

    hager4283 New Member

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    My intent is to pay for tivo service
     
  10. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Just in case you aren't aware, a new Roamio OTA with lifetime is around $370 at the moment. That's less than a 2 year payback. Beats paying $15/month forever.
     
  11. osu1991

    osu1991 Well-Known Member

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    What does the OTA PSIP have to do with cable? Once I scanned for cable, the tv just displayed the locals as 1002, 1003, 1004, 1005, 1006, 1007, 1008, 1009, 1010, 1111 which is where all the Tulsa locals are on Cox. The TV didn't have guide info for any of the cable channels.

    I just meant that Cox was doing the mapping needed for the Clear QAM channels, no cable card or tuning adapter were needed unless you actually subscribed to a pay tier with encypted channels.

    If the OP's tv is displaying the digital cable channels on the same number as a cable box, then I will bet the Tivo will work fine once guided setup is complete. If the TV was displaying 723.43 or something then yes a card or tuning adapter would be needed. I went thru this with my old Sony DHG dvr and my old plasma years ago, when Cox first started adding digital channels. They would both display the digital cable channels as 7xx.xxx something and occasionally once a year or so, I would have to rescan the cable band, whenever Cox made changes and the channels moved.
     
  12. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I was trying to stay on topic. No OTA. But PSIP must be used to get channels over 135. A TiVo doesn't care about PSIP. This puts a damper on using a TiVo without a cable card.

    I had four Sony DHG units (no cable cards) on a clear QAM cable system that stripped the PSIP. I still get two clear QAM channels that my Premiere without a cable card and TV can receive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  13. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    What if there was Clear QAM on channel 158? It would make no sense, and in practice the few operators running 1ghz systems (mostly Cox) probably don't have Clear QAM or TV at all above 860mhz, since a lot of TVs can only tune to 135, but could TiVo tune that?
     
  14. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I can tune 135 on my Premiere but it's an analog test pattern, same for my TV. My system is only 860MHz anyhow, with internet at the top. We still have many blank channels since SD is packed about 10 to 6MHz. My total with a scan is about 460.

    I'm going to wait for the OP to get the Roamio and ask for help.
     
  15. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    But in theory, what about on a 1ghz system if somehow they did stick a clear QAM channel up there somewhere?
     
  16. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Someone who knows more about cable cards would have to answer that.
     
  17. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    My point is that I'm assuming it would be the same up to channel 158 as it is from 2-135.
     
  18. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I can't explain it, but all my Sony televisions have specs that say they support digital channels 2-135.
     
  19. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Right. They have 860mhz tuners. Premieres and Roamios have 1ghz tuners. They have been used at 1ghz before with CableCards. My hypothetical question, which has probably never happened in real life, is what if a clear QAM channel were up in the 860-1002mhz range? The reality is that putting clear QAM up there makes absolutely no sense, and I believe even Cox mostly for fully backed off of using those frequencies for encrypted TV channels, instead using them for internet capacity.
     
  20. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

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    The cablelabs cablecard spec requires boxes that do NOT have cablecards must read the cvct and tvct psip information on the cable input. So, if your cable company is providing that psip data with the 1-part channel numbers (which it sounds like it is), then you just need to be able to get through guided setup and select a lineup with matching channel numbers. You should be able to do that if you say "I'll get a cablecard later" (and, then ignore any warnings that you don't have a cablecard). And, pretty sure the ota hardware should be able to do that.
     

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