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Need a Tivo Primer
Old 08-27-2015, 07:17 PM   #1
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Need a Tivo Primer

Following a tip on a Tivo promo from poster Ready (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f27/tivo-promotion-78360.html) for a TIVO promo, I took the leap and bought one of the Roamio and a lifetime subscription. Wanted to do this for some time but, but
NOW, I am appreciating I had a pretty shallow understanding of how the Tivo model works.
Got the thing installed today with cable card from Time Warner. First lesson, cable card only gets you the basic cable! The stuff TWC puts in their extended package has to come from the Tivo system. Except there is no access to the subscription services like HBO,etc.
For example, now we must find our History favorites and let Tivo record? Is that correct?
Is this what the One Pass mechanism in Tivo does?
Am I correct this service included in the life time service or is it extra?
The stuff I read from Tivo seems to imply it all part of the service. If so I am good with that but guess I need some input from Tivo experts on the best way to use our new gadget.
The good news if I have the basics correct our monthly cable bill drops from 135 to 80 including our hi-speed internet.

Many thanks in advance for any coaching the esteem membership has.

Nwsteve
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Old 08-27-2015, 07:27 PM   #2
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Ok - if your cable card is "mated" (usually requires you to go through a screen or have a tech help you... might have to call and have them do it from their end) you should be able to get all the premium content you want to pay for. The cable card is just "separable security" - it's acting as the gatekeeper cable box... getting authorization for what channels you have.

Another cablecard/tivo issue... If your cable operator uses something called "switched digital video" you'll need another box from your cable operator a SDV Tuning Adaptor... it will communicate with your tivo box AND the cable head end to tune switched digital channels. (Switched digital channels are a scheme cable operators use to reduce bandwidth - it only provides SDV channels if someone tunes to/requests that channel.) NOTE - if your cable operator balks at getting you a SDV tuning adapter tell them they are REQUIRED to provide it by FCC regs because they cannot offer less to cable card users than to cable box users.

More later -dinner is ready.
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Ok -
Another cablecard/tivo issue... If your cable operator uses something called "switched digital video" you'll need another box from your cable operator a SDV Tuning Adaptor... it will communicate with your tivo box AND the cable head end to tune switched digital channels. (Switched digital channels are a scheme cable operators use to reduce bandwidth - it only provides SDV channels if someone tunes to/requests that channel.) NOTE - if your cable operator balks at getting you a SDV tuning adapter tell them they are REQUIRED to provide it by FCC regs because they cannot offer less to cable card users than to cable box users.

More later -dinner is ready.
Hope your dinner was primo! If you got more I am all ears. The cable card is fully mated to the Time Warner system But--tech says card is limited to "basis" cable. He said there is no card that offers more than basic.
How do I determine if TWC is using SDV? I was told I can get a non dvr box that will provide extended basic for "only" 12/month. So I guess I would need to put a splitter on the cable lead? But still would not have DVR ability for the extended channels like History/Food/Travel/etc. Or is there a SDV cable card?
Thanks
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:28 PM   #4
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Ok - had my pork tamales and salad... ready to help you with Tivo.

Disclaimer - I have an old series 2 (standard def), and a tivo xl. I had a tivo series 3 for years - but it's hard drive finally crapped out a few years ago. The roamio has some different features - but I suspect the basics of the user interface are the same.

Cablecard setup. As mentioned - you probably need it activated by the cable provider - but you'll need to get into tivo menus to do this. Go to settings & messages, then settings, then remote cable card and device settings, then cablecard decoder. If you have a cablecard installed - it will give you a cablecard generated menu (cisco, arris, motorola gui, not tivo gui).

Netflix account entry is in a similar spot - Settings - account and system info - netflix account info.

You use the search function to find your favorite shows. (Find tv, movies, etc on the main menu.)
When you find your program it may be offered on more than one channel (tv, amazon, netflix, hulu), select the source you want.
If you only want new episodes going forward - set up a pass that only does new episodes... If you want all episodes that come on - it will default to get you a one time recording of the show - new and old episodes... It will not record more than one of the same episode... It won't re-record an episode you watch and delete.

Channel maps: settings - settings - channel map - video providers... Check your various video providers: amazon prime, amazon video, vudo, netflix, youtube, hulu, etc...

Scan for channels will pick up what is available over antenna or cable.

Now - back to onepass etc.

When you want to see what has been recorded - go to My shows.
When you want to see what will be recorded in the next 2 weeks go to Manage Recordings and OnePass, then To Do List.

I know the cablecard stuff can be challenging... And even worse if you add a tuning adaptor into the mix. But it's all doable... (I blame the cable card folks and the tuning adaptor folks for the crappy interface to get it set up.)

Final disclaimer - I worked on cable set top boxes, cable cards, SDV, etc during my career... Feel free to blame me if it all sucks. I know the real blame is schedules, price points, and greed on the MSO's part.
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:43 PM   #5
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I don't think TWC is giving you correct information. I have Verizon FIOS now, but I used to have TWC and never had any problem receiving all 1,000+ channels with my cable card. The new cable cards are called "M-cards" because they can record multiple shows at once. The only limitation that may still exist with some cable cards is video on demand services do not always work properly with Tivo.

I do subscribe to HBO, and have no problem watching and recording HBO programs on Tivo. There was one tweak I had to do in setup to get it to work. If HBO is channel 900, go into settings, channels I receive, go to channel 900, and make sure it is checked. This tells Tivo that you are paying for this premium channel and it should include it in the list.

Tivo can't tell if you are paying for a premium channel, so you have to tell it once during the initial setup. After that it should be seamless.
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwsteve View Post
Hope your dinner was primo! If you got more I am all ears. The cable card is fully mated to the Time Warner system But--tech says card is limited to "basis" cable. He said there is no card that offers more than basic.
How do I determine if TWC is using SDV? I was told I can get a non dvr box that will provide extended basic for "only" 12/month. So I guess I would need to put a splitter on the cable lead? But still would not have DVR ability for the extended channels like History/Food/Travel/etc. Or is there a SDV cable card?
Thanks
Nwsteve
Your installer is full of pooh. Cablecards offer the media access to premium channels - JUST LIKE A CABLE BOX. Call tech support (with a good book cause you'll be on hold a while)... they'll eventually switch you to the 1 guy in your area who knows cable cards (most techs and customer service is clueless) and she/he will get your cable card authorized for the package you are subscribing to.

I had a small premium package when I used a cable card.

As far SDV and whether you have it... if you have Time Warner, you likely have it.

Comcast (if that's your provider) has paid lots of fines for not properly supporting/installing cable cards... Cite the 1996 Telecom act if you decide to escalate this to a manager at your cable provider. (Citing this got me my SDV tuning adapter the next day after repeated requests for the box.)

Articles of interest.
Stop the Cap! Cable Company Hassles Make Life Difficult for Newest DVR Competitor: TiVo's Roamio € Stop the Cap!
FCC Fines Cox, Time Warner For CableCARD Screw Ups - Aggressive switched digital upgrades prevented CableCARDs from working... | DSLReports, ISP Information
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Old 08-27-2015, 08:50 PM   #7
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As Rodi pointed out, the cable companies suck at supporting cable cards. It took me half an hour on the phone with a Verizon tech rep last week to explain to him that my Tivo won't work until he activates the card. He kept telling me to switch to channel 111, which is their video on demand and troubleshooting channel, but that only works with their set top boxes. With Tivo, until the card is activated, you can't select any channel.

Once he found a supervisor to explain how to activate the card, and I read off a bunch of really long digits on the Tivo cable card setup screen, it all started working fine.
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Old 08-27-2015, 11:30 PM   #8
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I have 2 TiVo Roamios on Time Warner in San Diego. Rodi is right, and your TWC reps are wrong. You absolutely, positively can get all the channels you want with your cable card and a tuning adapter. The only thing you can't get is On Demand / Start Over / or whatever they call it now.

To find out if your CableCard is paired, press the TiVo button to bring up the menus. Then go to Settings & Messages / Settings / Remote, CableCARD, & Devices / CableCARD Decoder. There's a diagram at the top of the screen, and you should see in green letters "M-Card inserted". If you don't see "M-Card", that is a problem. For a Roamio, you need an M-Card, not an S.

Assuming that's ok, choose CableCARD options (for Installers) / CableCARD Menu / Cisco CableCARD CP Info. I am assuming, since you are also on a TWC system, that you'll have a Cisco (Scientific Atlanta) CableCARD. If you have a Motorola card, you may have different menus and you'd want to google to find the right way to tell if its paired. Anyway, on the CP Info screen, look for "Auth Status: CP Auth Received" on the 3rd line of text. If you don't see that, then TWC needs to resend the auth hit. Until you have CP Auth Received, you are only going to get the basic channels, which are not encrypted.

If you have to call them to get them to reauthorize the CableCARD, use this # 1-866-532-2598 instead of the normal support line. I also recommend calling during their off-prime hours. For some reason, it's much easier to get past their Tier 1 support and reach the Cable Card desk, where the people who have heard of TiVos are sitting, if you call in the evening or on the weekend.

If your CableCARD is properly paired, and you're still not getting all the channels you previously subscribed to, then one of two things is wrong:
1) they are using SDV channels, and you need a Tuning Adapter to get them. TWC provides these for free (I believe the FCC forces them to do so.) You can go into any of their stores and pick one up if you need one. No splitter is necessary. The cable from the wall connects to the tuning adapter, and that connects to the cable-in port on the TiVo. Once you have this all inline, then you have the full DVR functionality for all the channels you subscribe to, even HBO and History. No need for a splitter.
2) they haven't authorized all the channels correctly on your account. The guys at the phone # above should be able to help with this.

Once you can see all your channels, then you are ready to setup your One Passes (formerly known as Season Passes). To do this, go to Find TV, Movies & Videos / Search / and start entering the title of a show you like. Select the show from the results list, then choose Get this show / Create a OnePass. You can adjust options to record new episodes only, or include reruns or whatever.

There is lots more you can do, including streaming from Amazon Prime, Netflix, dowloading or streaming recordings to an iPad, etc. But I'd start with setting up a few One Passes and exploring more after those are working.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:00 AM   #9
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A couple of things.

Visit http://online.tivo.com/ It's a web interface to your TiVo. Often it's a bit easier to search and modify things here than on the device itself.

Get the iOS or Android apps! It's nice to be able to watch anything from your TiVo on your phone or iPad - even remotely over the internet. You can also edit your One Pass and other settings from the apps.
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:10 AM   #10
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WOW what great help! Thanks to all who weighed in. What an incredible difference it made when I connected to the cable card specialist.
Got everything working the same as the old TWC box
Thanks again.
Nwsteve
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Old 08-28-2015, 05:50 PM   #11
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Love my tivo! Glad you are getting the support you need. #1 lesson with a Tivo, never trust the installer - they have zero idea what they are talking about.
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:25 PM   #12
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Yay! Glad it's working now.
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:47 PM   #13
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Plus your Tivo box has "how to use these features" as instructional videos within the setup menu.


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Old 09-01-2015, 01:44 PM   #14
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TIVO is the greatest. If you have more questions you might have better luck reading their forums. TiVo Community


We've had them for over 10 years now.
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