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(Last Login: Jan 16, 2011 at 8:15:05 PM) garnold
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Using Tivo with Service Electric Cable Cards
Feb 5, 2010 at 9:05:03 AM  |  #1
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I have Service Electric Cable and wanted to know if anyone else has them with a Tivo system? The situation is that I currently own 3 Tivo systems and really enjoy them. In order to get all the channels I need a cable box but that is such a pain to use with a Tivo so I think I'm just out of luck there. Though one of my Tivo systems is a HD one with the option for cable cards. From what I have heard these are pretty fragile and you need to be careful installing them. Is it worth getting them? It's gonna cost me $300 to upgrade to these because the Tivo needs two and Service Electric charges $150 per (ouch). Has anyone bought these and used them with Service Electric? Pretty much I just want some info before I drop this kind of cash?

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(Last Login: Jun 10, 2014 at 8:51:25 PM) pdonoghu
pdonoghu
Feb 5, 2010 at 10:18:24 AM  |  #2
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No experience with Service Electric. Most cable companies provide cable cards for a nominal monthly fee. The first one is sometimes free. $150 each sounds outrageous and a total rip off. I'd ask to speak to a manger to understand how they can justify that kind of fee. It really goes against what the FCC is trying to do to open the cable market up to 3rd party devices. You could also complain to your local cable franchise regulatory agency.

If you have the original Series 3 with the OLED display on the front, and the cable card slots in the back, you do need 2 cable cards. If you have the newer HD or HD XL, you only need one multistream cable card.

Line any electronic component, cable cards need to handled carefully, mostly to avoid a static shock. They are not that fragile. Once installed and properly authorized by the cable company they work reliably.

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(Last Login: Jan 16, 2011 at 8:15:05 PM) garnold
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Feb 5, 2010 at 10:51:32 AM  |  #3
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Yeh can you believe that it costs that much money! Now the really bad part is that think about how expensive it is going to be for me to update my Tivo systems..

1. All three have life time support but I can not transfer those contracts to new HD Tivos so I have to pretty much loose that investment.

2. I have to buy 2 new HD Tivos.

3. I have to spend $300 per (on top of the cost of the Tivo system) for the cable cards.

Or I could just get the Service Electric DVR boxes and spend a few bucks a month :( They really make it hard to keep using Tivo which is a same. I would really miss my Tivo systems because they totally blow away the DVR systems you get from SE but at that cost, not sure if I can pull it off.

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(Last Login: Jun 10, 2014 at 8:51:25 PM) pdonoghu
pdonoghu
Feb 5, 2010 at 11:21:50 AM  |  #4
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1) While you can not transfer lifetime as it is for the life of THAT specific Tivo, you are eligible for a discount on additional lifetime subs of a $100, for $299 for an additional lifetime sub. As far as having no value, you can sell your older Tivos. With lifetime subs, they carry a premium over an unsubed used Tivo. This would offset some of your costs.

2) There is no reason you can not continue to use your older Tivos. I have a Tivo HD and several Series 2s that I continue to use. The decision to go all HD is up to you.

3) Did you read my first response? You only need one multi stream card per Tivo HD. I think it is worth pursuing the price Service Electric is charging, as it is ridiculously high. Very few cable companies sell cable cards, most rent them. I'm aware of one other cable company who only sells them, and they were about $80 each, almost half of what Service Electric is quoting you.

 

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(Last Login: Jan 16, 2011 at 8:15:05 PM) garnold
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Feb 5, 2010 at 11:26:36 AM  |  #5
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I thank you for your reply. Did not even think about selling the ones I have because I thought no one would want them, guess I was wrong. I also will be talking to the cable company and explaining how much cheaper Direct TV would be ;) Thank you again for you insight!

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(Last Login: Jun 10, 2014 at 8:51:25 PM) pdonoghu
pdonoghu
Feb 5, 2010 at 12:09:05 PM  |  #6
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Good luck with Service Electric. Leveraging going to a compeitor is a good stragety. Please let us know how you make out.

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(Last Login: Feb 6, 2010 at 2:13:18 PM) jste6666
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Feb 6, 2010 at 2:22:45 PM  |  #7
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I have Service Electric with a cable card.  I am using a single multi-stream card for my Tivo HD.  You do not have to buy the cards.  I pay somewhere around $5/month for the card.  When I first got the cards and tried installing them it was a huge pain in the butt.  I first started off with two cards and it didn't work, then I took the cards back and got two new cards and it still didn't work.  After a few phone calls and trips to the building they finally figured out that they didn't activate the cards properly.  From what I remember from the phone conversation there is an additional activation step needed to activate cable cards as opposed to cable boxes.  Keep this in mind if you end up having the same issues.  Other than the install issue, everything works well. 

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(Last Login: Mar 5, 2010 at 4:53:01 PM) ddonohue
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Mar 4, 2010 at 5:42:51 PM  |  #8
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Hey, jste6666, do you recall any specific details about your cablecard issues with SECTV? My experience with them was this - I got a TiVo HD when they first came out, but didn't have HD service yet. I got all SD channels with a single multi-stream card since day one, and both tuners worked. No problems.

However, when I added HD service after about a year (December of '08), they couldn't get the card to authorize the HD channels. Hours of diagnosis, multiple M-Cards, no luck. They were able to get the HD channels working on a single-stream card, but the catch is that they have not been able to get two single cards working at once. And I'm talking about days of phonecalls and hours of trying. I actually took days of vacation from work to get this resolved with no luck.

So faced with dual-tuners and no HD, or HD but only 1 tuner, I opted for the HD. I currently have 2 single cards installed, only 1 of which works, and I get HD. I'd love to get an M-Card up and working, including HD this time.

SECTV quickly reached the end of their technical ability, which seemed pretty limited and they constantly fell back on "we don't support TiVos" until I reminded them they were supporting the cablecards, not TiVo. It's been a year since I went through all this and I've often wondered if I should take another shot at it since time has passed. Your details might help me try successfully this time, or suggest to them some details to look into. Thanks!

 

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(Last Login: Mar 5, 2010 at 4:53:01 PM) ddonohue
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Mar 4, 2010 at 5:58:04 PM  |  #9
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garnold, I think you have a few facts wrong. I have SECTV, a TiVo HD, and 2 TiVo Series 2s.

First off, the Series 2s work perfectly fine with a cable box, you just have to make sure you have a box that allows a serial connection. I had constant problems with an older one that relied on the IR connection (the channel-changing was hit-or-miss), but I called SECTV and asked to swap it with a newer one with serial control and they did it without question. I've had zero problems since then, and get all the channels they offer including digitals, HBO and PPV.

Second, there's no reason to purchase a cablecard (and lots of reasons NOT to), and in fact I didn't even realize that you COULD purchase them. I got mine from SECTV and pay 2.95/month. Well worth it. They don't seem to be especially fragile, and SECTV will do the installation for you anyway. Note, however, that I have had some problems getting HD channels with the cablecards. I replied to another poster (jste6666) about this, but he seems to be doing fine.

I would call the cable co and ask for up-to-date cable boxes for your older TiVos and a cablecard for the HD and have them bring them all at once. You'll only pay one service charge that way, and your monthly bill should only increase by about 9 bucks. You might even get the first converter free with your monthly service.

 

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(Last Login: Jan 16, 2011 at 8:15:05 PM) garnold
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Mar 4, 2010 at 6:07:15 PM  |  #10
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I'm sorry I should have followed up on this and given my current status. I called SE and got a MS card. Renting it not buying it. I got home with the card and plugged it in. Called SE and they Auth'd it and all is well. I'm pretty darn sure I'm recording 2 shows at once but will make sure. What I didn't know what I could get a cable box with a serial port from SE. That is really great news! I'd like to get all the higher channels on my other sets without upgrading to HD. I'll make sure the Tivo boxes I own support this and then contact SE. Wow learn something new everyday :) Thank you for this!

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(Last Login: Nov 29, 2010 at 12:59:14 AM) tjs1894
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Nov 29, 2010 at 1:10:36 AM  |  #11
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SECTV does charge $150 to purchase a cable card, but they can be rented for only 2.95 a month. When I got my Tivo Series 3, I simply called them and asked for two cable cards. They wanted to know what they would be used for and I said a Tivo Series 3. They said no problem and asked if I wanted to pick them up or have a cable guy come out. I picked them up, called the activation number, inserted the first card, the tech then activated it, then the second card and in less than 15 minutes it was all working. I eventually returned my cable box that came free with my plan since I didn't need it anymore and they then gave me one of the cable cards for free. But that changed when they elimated package pricing and I now pay $5.90/mo for the two cards for the Series 3.

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