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(Last Login: Mar 19, 2014 at 1:58:34 PM) cowboychincs
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TiVo HD WITHOUT cable cards... yippee!!!!!
Jan 23, 2010 at 9:08:03 PM  |  #1
[Archived]  

Now that would be a GREAT idea.... why in the world would I want to go to cable cards when they (a) are not reliable, (b) they dont come in two-way versions... thus I cannot use on-demand from my cable company and (c) there is NO NEED to have a TiVo box that requires it... if I have a perfectly good HD cable box... then please provide me with a plain old HD TiVo that I can use that does not require me to use cable cards.  There are way too many war stories on this forum and others about cable cards.  I love my TiVo, but I will be damned if I am going to spend the bucks on one that requires cable cards that dont work and I lose my on-demand with my cable provider.

Does ANYONE at TiVo here us?Yell

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(Currently online) curiousmark
curiousmark
Jan 24, 2010 at 1:40:24 PM  |  #2
[Archived]  

Here are a few bits of information for you.

A TiVo HD DVR does not require cable cards to view Over the Air (OTA) television from an indoor or rooftop antenna.

A TiVo HD DVR does not requires cable cards to access basic analog cable service and unencrypted digital channels on your cable system (however, not all channels will have guide information)

To get anything more than that the cable companies require that you either use their cable box, their DVR or cable cards.  They only require the last option, cable cards, because the FCC requires it of them.  Their support of cable cards is the absolute minimum required to meet the federal regulations, they would much prefer you dump your TiVo DVR and use theirs.

Cable companies insist that on demand service only be provided by their own equipment or special TVs or DVRs that they can take over the user interface of completely in order to provide the on demand menus.  A third party DVR that met such a requirement whould have two interfaces that you would have to switch between in order to use it.  Worse, when in the cable company interface, the native functions are not allowed to work (i.e. recording TV shows not set up in the cable company interface).  So effectively the unit becomes a cable company DVR with its limited feature set and no access to the internet or home network.  (Yes, the network interface is not allowed to work on True2way DVR)

So in the mean time we have cable cards that you don't like, that cable companies only support because they have to, and TiVo trying to make the best of it they can, given the limits imposed on them by the cable companies.

TiVo more than anyone else knows your pain.  They have even asked the FCC to make changes to make things better.  Changes the cable companies opposed in their inputs to the FCC.  The best way you can help is to add your comments to the FCC (if the comment period is even still open) and or let your congress critter know that things are not right in TV land.

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(Last Login: Mar 19, 2014 at 1:58:34 PM) cowboychincs
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Jan 24, 2010 at 3:26:13 PM  |  #3
[Archived]  

Dear Curiousmark:

Thanks so much for the input... and I will indeed make comments at the FCC.  However, I still believe that TiVo can easily produce a DVR that would be compatible with a cable box.  Yes, I know there may be limitations for a dual recording capability for HD... but if TiVo can change the cable box channel, and take the HD output of the cable box, then I see no reason why it cannot work just as a normal TiVo works.  However, I may be missing something really basic here... but I dont think so....

I would love to keep my cable box because my wife loves to catch up on her TV shows via on-demand... but would also love being able to record in HD with my TiVo for all my shows I watch either on the regular HD channels or the prime channels I subscribe to. 

Soooo, that is my wish list as well as my gripe... but am willing to listen to where I am in error as well as write the FCC... two-way cable cards would be a big step in the right direction to help with this issue... but am still worried about the reliability issues that we all see on these forums... as well as the poor knowledge that the cable company techs have for cable cards....

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(Last Login: Jun 10, 2014 at 8:51:25 PM) pdonoghu
pdonoghu
Jan 24, 2010 at 3:46:12 PM (Updated: Jan 24, 2010 at 3:50:44 PM)  |  #4
[Archived]  

A few additional things to consider.

Keep in mind that when you see customers posting here, you are only seeing those with problems. People rarely come here to post that everything works fine. When cable cards first came out, there were issues, mostly with cable companies understanding how to properly provision them. Most cable companies now understand how to correctly setup cable cards. I've had cable cards for several years, and have not had any problems.

As far as a Tivo HD controlling a cable box, several major issues. One, it would be a single tuner, and I don't think most would find that acceptable. As far as the technical issues, the Tivo would need to encode a digital stream. The circuitry to do this is cost prohibitive. Tivo just takes the digital stream as it comes in, and records it, only having to decode it. There is relatively cheap hardware available to do this. This is why there is no quality choice in recording on a Tivo for digital channels, unlike analog channels. In addition, a first cable card is often free, or if one has to pay, much cheaper than the rental of a cable box. 

As far as 2 way, cable cards are 2 way today. The Tivo is not 2 way. To realistically have 2 way, the cable industry needs to widely implement true 2 way technology standards. Tivo would then need to build a hardware platform to support it. There are challenges and risks on doing this, true 2 way is way behind being implemented as to where it was supposed to be for now. With the availability of so much Internet based content, many of us find we don't need or miss the on demand content from cable companies. I have several Tivos, including 2 that control cable boxes, and find I never use the cable company's on demand services. I do rent movies from Amazon. Net cost to me is lower with cable cards instead of cable boxes.

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(Last Login: Mar 19, 2014 at 1:58:34 PM) cowboychincs
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Jan 24, 2010 at 5:23:20 PM  |  #5
[Archived]  

Dear pdonoghu:

Thanks... great input... helps explain it even more... good to know that cable cards are better and that the cable companies are starting to get the hang of it in configuration... you and the other provider of input might just swing me to go for a TiVo HD and do away with my cable box and just use cable cards... my wife wont be happy as she REALLY loves on-demand via the cable box... but maybe I can place the HD TiVo in my bedroom and keep the other for her in the den where she most frequently uses it. 

Soooo, that brings me to another question.... if I do get the HD unit for the bedroom... can I transfer (via my network) recorded programs to my TiVo Series 2 DVR in the den????  That would be the 'for sure' clincher of a deal...

Again, I really appreciate your input as well as the other... so thanks lots...

 

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(Last Login: Jun 10, 2014 at 8:51:25 PM) pdonoghu
pdonoghu
Jan 24, 2010 at 5:56:24 PM  |  #6
[Archived]  

You can transfer programs between Tivos with several caveats. Both Tivos need to be on the same account and network, so that should not be an issue. You can not transfer HD content to a Series 2, nor can you transfer content that is copy protected.

If your cable provider uses switched digital video (SDV) technology, that requires a tuning adapter for the HD, there is a bug that prevents the Series 2 from seeing the now playing list on the HD. Not an issue if you don't use a tuning adapter.

As curiousmark previously mentioned, if you add an antenna, you can get over the air programs in addition to cable.

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