probably a dumb question - cablecards still used? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-12-2013, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to get a TV to hand on the wall in the basement and I don't have a good spot for a TiVO or DVR from WOW. I was just going to slap a cablecard in it but as I'm looking at TVs I never see "cablecard support" or anything similar listed in the specs. Is it just assumed that all TVs support cablecards now? Or did that die off and nobody supports them anymore??? I'm looking at something like a 40-50" LED (like the LG 47LS4500) if that matters.

Probably a dumb question but I haven't shopped for a TV in quite a while so I haven't been paying attention...

Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-12-2013, 09:28 AM
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Funny, I wondered the same thing recently as I investigated adding a cablecard tuner to an htpc. I made the same observation as you, but haven't investigated new tv's to see if there is a cablecard slot anymore. It may now be referred to as an 'm-card', so look for that in the specs.

The cable guy who came over to do the cablecard setup, said there was no such thing as tv's with a cablecard slot. Apparently, most of their cablecard installed were for certain Tivo units, and he actually showed up saying "I am here to install your Tivo". Obviously, I assumed he was crazy or badly misinformed, until I learned of the connection between cablecard and Tivo. They sent a more knowledgeable tech who had pc skills to help with our setup.

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post #3 of 15 Old 01-12-2013, 02:36 PM
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Slots for cableCARD on TVs died out several years ago. I've heard a couple of explanations why, but when they were around, cableCARD usage wasn't as big and most people opted for cable boxes which at the time didn't use the cards (except TiVo.)

Since then the FCC required separable security for encryption, leading to new cable boxes to use cableCARD, but the TV manufacturers didn't bother to start installing them again.

Best be looking for a wall mount for the TiVo/DVR as this point. I doubt the slots are coming back for TVs.

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post #4 of 15 Old 01-13-2013, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Slots for cableCARD on TVs died out several years ago. I've heard a couple of explanations why, but when they were around, cableCARD usage wasn't as big and most people opted for cable boxes which at the time didn't use the cards (except TiVo.)

Since then the FCC required separable security for encryption, leading to new cable boxes to use cableCARD, but the TV manufacturers didn't bother to start installing them again.

Best be looking for a wall mount for the TiVo/DVR as this point. I doubt the slots are coming back for TVs.

That sucks. But thanks for the explanation.
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-04-2013, 11:02 AM
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If you get a TV that has DLNA capabilities (most new TVs have that), then you can mount a SiliconDust tuner anywhere on your network, and just tune the TV using DLNA server in the SiliconDust tuner. Wired network is highly recommended. But, it may work over wi-fi, if the router and TV are within line of sight.

SiliconDust just released beta firmware for the tirple Tuner HomeRun Prime, quad HomeRun Prime is scheduled for release this summer.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-07-2013, 02:17 PM
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I'm looking for the same thing - SORT OF.

I was using a non-subscribed TiVo as a tuner for an extra bedroom TV (with a cablecard installed).
We lost that when we recently moved - now it wants to go through the setup again.

That probably means having to subscribe to get it to find the channels - which we DON'T WANT TO DO - we already have a lifetime subscription 4 tuner TiVo Premiere 4.

So..... I'm in search for any hardware box that can act as a set top tuner for basic & basic HD cable channels - so we don't have to pay $100-120 per year for life - renting a cable box.
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-07-2013, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGirl View Post

So..... I'm in search for any hardware box that can act as a set top tuner for basic & basic HD cable channels - so we don't have to pay $100-120 per year for life - renting a cable box.

For in the clear digital (HD) channels, you'll need something with a QAM tuner. There are a couple of them on the market, like the Channel Master CM7001.

DVD recorders might also work, though you lose HD capability.


For encrypted channels, you're hosed. You need a cable box or cableCARD for that.

As to what is defined as encrypted and what are basic channels, that's up to the cable company. The networks should be in the clear, and maybe a few others, but those have been disappearing.

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post #8 of 15 Old 02-08-2013, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGirl View Post

So..... I'm in search for any hardware box that can act as a set top tuner for basic & basic HD cable channels - so we don't have to pay $100-120 per year for life - renting a cable box.

Build your own TiVO., Most people already have 90% of the hardware and software needed and just need to add a CableCard tuner, which have become very affordable.

A PC with suitable hardware running Windows 7 will support up to 6 TV's at once, and you don't have to pay any lifetime or subscription fees, other than CableCard rental fee. You get all of the channels, including premium on any TV connected to the system over your home network.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-09-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGirl View Post

I'm looking for the same thing - SORT OF.

I was using a non-subscribed TiVo as a tuner for an extra bedroom TV (with a cablecard installed).
We lost that when we recently moved - now it wants to go through the setup again.

That probably means having to subscribe to get it to find the channels - which we DON'T WANT TO DO - we already have a lifetime subscription 4 tuner TiVo Premiere 4.

So..... I'm in search for any hardware box that can act as a set top tuner for basic & basic HD cable channels - so we don't have to pay $100-120 per year for life - renting a cable box.


Was the non-subscribed Premiere able to manually record or do something other than just being a tuner? If you only need it as a tuner, then you should be able to connect it to the internet and run setup again to get your new channels. If you somehow could manually record with the non-subscribed Tivo, I suspect that would no longer work. I would also suggest only connecting the Tivo to the internet just long enough to run setup. Leaving an unsubscribed Tivo connected for too long will upgrade the system software which will likely remove more features. For a Premiere, the upgrade would disable the internal buffer used for live channels.
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

Build your own TiVO., Most people already have 90% of the hardware and software needed and just need to add a CableCard tuner, which have become very affordable.

A PC with suitable hardware running Windows 7 will support up to 6 TV's at once, and you don't have to pay any lifetime or subscription fees, other than CableCard rental fee. You get all of the channels, including premium on any TV connected to the system over your home network.

I already have that too - EyeTV and a dual channel SiliconDust HDHomerun - and more channels of recording can be added as required with more hardware - however -

"add a CableCard tuner"

Not. Silicon Dust (HDHR) and Elgato (EyeTV) are so far, not supporting the HDHomerun Prime (Cablecard) box. This will possibly change, but for now, no.

Meanwhile - we also have a Tivo Premiere 4 (cablecard) - with 4 tuners and a lifetime subscription. The Tivo shows, Live TV, and anything we else add to the network with EyeTV or in iTunes are all available on iPad - or other players and TVs throughout the LAN and WLAN and via internet (if the connection supports it). Just missing the extra cablecard set top tuner however.
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post #11 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by WackyPacks View Post

Was the non-subscribed Premiere able to manually record or do something other than just being a tuner? If you only need it as a tuner, then you should be able to connect it to the internet and run setup again to get your new channels. If you somehow could manually record with the non-subscribed Tivo, I suspect that would no longer work. I would also suggest only connecting the Tivo to the internet just long enough to run setup. Leaving an unsubscribed Tivo connected for too long will upgrade the system software which will likely remove more features. For a Premiere, the upgrade would disable the internal buffer used for live channels.

The Tivo Premiere we have was being used only as a tuner - however it WAS able to manually record. It was set up once and then quickly disconnected from the internet to STOP Tivo from updating/removing features.

You're right - I think Tivo eventually figured out people could still record manually and had live buffers, and killed it with a poison pill software update - it was nice to have the buffer - but the recoding was a PITA anyway though and we never used it.

I was under the impression that now Tivo wouldn't even allow getting a channel lineup without subscribing - or giving them your first born child - so will have to get a cablecard installed and give it a shot I guess. :-)
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGirl View Post

I already have that too - EyeTV and a dual channel SiliconDust HDHomerun - and more channels of recording can be added as required with more hardware - however -

"add a CableCard tuner"

Not. Silicon Dust (HDHR) and Elgato (EyeTV) are so far, not supporting the HDHomerun Prime (Cablecard) box. This will possibly change, but for now, no.

Meanwhile - we also have a Tivo Premiere 4 (cablecard) - with 4 tuners and a lifetime subscription. The Tivo shows, Live TV, and anything we else add to the network with EyeTV or in iTunes are all available on iPad - or other players and TVs throughout the LAN and WLAN and via internet (if the connection supports it). Just missing the extra cablecard set top tuner however.

Why not use Windows 7, which is already certified for Cable TV decryption by the Cable Labs? Just add ANY CableCard enabled tuner, and use included FREE Windows Media Center. It will decrypt and record all of the encrypted channels, and allow you to dostribute it to up to 6 TV's at once.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #13 of 15 Old 02-11-2013, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGirl View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

Build your own TiVO., Most people already have 90% of the hardware and software needed and just need to add a CableCard tuner, which have become very affordable.

A PC with suitable hardware running Windows 7 will support up to 6 TV's at once, and you don't have to pay any lifetime or subscription fees, other than CableCard rental fee. You get all of the channels, including premium on any TV connected to the system over your home network.

I already have that too - EyeTV and a dual channel SiliconDust HDHomerun - and more channels of recording can be added as required with more hardware - however -

"add a CableCard tuner"

Not. Silicon Dust (HDHR) and Elgato (EyeTV) are so far, not supporting the HDHomerun Prime (Cablecard) box. This will possibly change, but for now, no.

Meanwhile - we also have a Tivo Premiere 4 (cablecard) - with 4 tuners and a lifetime subscription. The Tivo shows, Live TV, and anything we else add to the network with EyeTV or in iTunes are all available on iPad - or other players and TVs throughout the LAN and WLAN and via internet (if the connection supports it). Just missing the extra cablecard set top tuner however.
What is 'Eye TV'? Some kind of Mac software?
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post #14 of 15 Old 02-12-2013, 05:39 AM
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post #15 of 15 Old 02-12-2013, 10:18 AM
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Speaking of SiliconDust, the new beta firmware allows you to bypass the computer altogether, and use DLNA TV to stream from the tuner directly. You lose DVR and guide, which may be OK for some people.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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