buying a replacement for time warner cable's hd box - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-04-2013, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Per http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/residential-home/tv/equipment.html Time Warner pretty much leases a Cisco Explorer 4642HDC to subscribers for $10.00 / month. I think that's ridiculous. At $10 / year I'll have paid $120 for the unit and after 10 years I'll have paid $1,200 for it. At that point it seems like it really would have been a better investment just to buy it.

I did a search on eBay for Cisco Explorer 4642HDC and found one for $209.98 and one from Canada for $100. Would the one from Canada work? Are there any other brands that'd work?

The 4242HDC manual says it has a "multi-stream cablecard interface" so I guess I'll need one of those too. I guess Time Warner leases those for $2.50 / month. Can I just buy one of those off of eBay too or do I need to get one from Time Warner?

Any insights would be appreciated - thanks!
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-04-2013, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by yawnmoth View Post


I did a search on eBay for Cisco Explorer 4642HDC and found one for $209.98 and one from Canada for $100. Would the one from Canada work?

No, don't buy either one. They won't be authorized to work with TWC and will just be expensive doorstops. The Canadian one doesn't even use cableCARD.
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Are there any other brands that'd work?

The only ones that work right now are the TiVo DVRs, the Samsung GX-SM530CF media player, and cableCARD tuners that you'd use in a PC.

If you don't need a DVR, I recommend the Samsung. It pretty much is a cable box with a cableCARD slot and some apps like Netflix.
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I guess Time Warner leases those for $2.50 / month. Can I just buy one of those off of eBay too or do I need to get one from Time Warner?

Nope, must be leased from Time Warner. No way around it.

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post #3 of 17 Old 12-04-2013, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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No, don't buy either one. They won't be authorized to work with TWC and will just be expensive doorstops. The Canadian one doesn't even use cableCARD.
The Cisco Explorer 4642HDC is what TWC cable gave me and what I'm currently using..
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-04-2013, 09:34 PM
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The Cisco Explorer 4642HDC is what TWC cable gave me and what I'm currently using..

Yeah, but they're not for sale through retail channels. Cisco only sells cable boxes to cable companies in the U.S. Any you buy off of eBay are either gray market from Canada (useless because they don't have cableCARD support) or stolen from a cable company and therefore unable to be authorized. TWC will only authorize a box it leases. The only exceptions are the TiVo and the Samsung.
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-05-2013, 10:05 AM
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If all you want is a simple dual tuner DVR, you can build one for under $200, and still come out ahead. IF you are not planning on connecting additional TV's, an off-lease PC with windows 7 installed is $100 - $150, and it already has pretty much everything you need to run it as DVR (mainly Windows Media Center). Get a dual CableCARD tuner for $50 - $60, or triple for $99.

Rent CableCARD from TimeWarner for $2.50/month, and you are all set.

You don't need a super duper powerful PC to run as a DVR. A dual core Intel Atom is more powerful than your typical DVR, or even TiVO processor.

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 17 Old 12-12-2013, 09:05 PM
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Tulpa, to update the Canadian situation see the first post in this thread.

To summarize the newer cable boxes have M-Cards inside them but the major Canadian cable cos won’t support cablecard usage out of the cable box. Stupid policy, yeah I know.
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-18-2013, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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So I got the Samsung box and the cable card from Time Warner and... when I plug it in and turn it on the CableCARD Info option is grayed out as though it's not detecting the plugged in cable card. Pic:



Here's a pic of the card in the box:



Any ideas? Thanks!
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-18-2013, 11:39 PM
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http://www.avsforum.com/t/1498949/samsung-gx-sm530cf-cablecard-tuner-and-media-streamer

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-19-2013, 08:07 AM
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Did you call TWC and have them activate/authorize the card?


EDIT:
Here's another thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1504880/samsung-gx-sm530cf-cable-card-problem
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-19-2013, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I got the card from their brick and mortar store so I assume that that'd mean it was activated. And even if it wasn't I'd still kinda expect the cardinfo dialog to display stuff even if it couldn't use the card?

Like if I have an encrypted zip file on my laptop the file shows up in the filesystem regardless or whether or not I know the password. Seems like the CableCARD thing ought to behave similarly?

And if I do need to activate it what numbers would I need to give them?

The other thread you mentioned suggests that the card itself might be bad. I can return it but I just want to make sure I've exhausted my other options before going that route. I mean if it's just user error on my part then I'm wasting a trip lol.

Thanks!
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-19-2013, 11:40 AM
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Just picking up a card doesn't not mean the card is activated/authorized. wink.gif

1) check the manual
2) call TWC


We all know what ASSUME means. smile.gif
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-19-2013, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yawnmoth View Post

Like if I have an encrypted zip file on my laptop the file shows up in the filesystem regardless or whether or not I know the password. Seems like the CableCARD thing ought to behave similarly?

Two very different technologies. It's like expecting a refrigerator and toaster to work the same, even though they're both in the kitchen.

The box may recognize a card in its slot, but that doesn't mean it'll show up on the GUI.
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And if I do need to activate it what numbers would I need to give them?

Generally you don't have to give them anything beyond home telephone number or last four of your SSN (if they use it.) You call them up and they send a signal to your home that activates any unactivated devices (activated devices may reset, but are otherwise unaffected.) Takes anywhere from two to twenty minutes.

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post #13 of 17 Old 12-19-2013, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by yawnmoth View Post

Like if I have an encrypted zip file on my laptop the file shows up in the filesystem regardless or whether or not I know the password. Seems like the CableCARD thing ought to behave similarly?

Two very different technologies. It's like expecting a refrigerator and toaster to work the same, even though they're both in the kitchen.

The box may recognize a card in its slot, but that doesn't mean it'll show up on the GUI.
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And if I do need to activate it what numbers would I need to give them?

Generally you don't have to give them anything beyond home telephone number or last four of your SSN (if they use it.) You call them up and they send a signal to your home that activates any unactivated devices (activated devices may reset, but are otherwise unaffected.) Takes anywhere from two to twenty minutes.
How do they know the signal is going to your house? Does the NSA tell them where you live? biggrin.gif
(You'll probably want to have at least the serial numbers of the involved equipment handy)...
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-19-2013, 09:51 PM
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How do they know the signal is going to your house? Does the NSA tell them where you live? biggrin.gif

I think they know my address since their bills come to my mailbox on the regular. I don't think they need the NSA. cool.gif
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(You'll probably want to have at least the serial numbers of the involved equipment handy)...

Never had to give them a serial number for anything other than box exchange (which they read off the box.) Certainly not for activation.

I give them the phone number they have on file and minutes later my cable boxes get activated. That's it.

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post #15 of 17 Old 12-19-2013, 11:31 PM
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Right. But the OP is having some difficulty activating. When I activated with ComCast they did ask for CC ID, Unit Address and serial number. It really won't hurt to have some of this info available.
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-20-2013, 07:19 AM
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Honestly, I don't think he's tried activating yet, but fair enough. From my experience and what I've read, TWC isn't nearly as difficult to activate as Comcast is. TWC has other aggravating issues.

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post #17 of 17 Old 12-20-2013, 04:48 PM
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For a cable card activation, you must provide the cable company with the Host ID and sometimes a Data string which should show somewhere in the GUI for the device. A cable card is a one-way device. It can't send any data back upstream to the cable company. There is no way for them to get the Host and Data info unless you tell them or they send a tech to your house and read it themselves. If the Samsung doesn't recognize the card at all, there are other issues at work (card is defective, plugged in upside down. bent or broken pin, or other hardware failure).

Some cable companies have an online cable card activation page. I'm not sure it TWC is one of them. In any case, somebody has to submit the data to them before the card can be paired. I've done this at least a dozen times myself, so I have way more experience in this than I ever wanted to have.
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