Originally Posted by DSperber
Just in passing, I'm not sure that either the S-cards or M-cards are "2-way". I had always thought that they were both "1-way", and do not support any of the pay-per-view or related on-demand services which require 2-way communication. I may be wrong here, if you're theoretically able to use Tivo for pay-per-view.
In particular, the S-card are "single tuner" cards intended for single-tuner cablecard-enabled devices, like TV's with a cablecard slot. This enables the TV to receive encrypted channels from the cable company.
The M-cards are similar in purpose, except that they support up to 4 tuners simultaneously (e.g. installed in a Ceton 4-tuner card, in my HTPC). Again, they do not support pay-per-view type or other 2-way interactive services but they do support up to 4 tuners in a single device. In fact, there's an M-card locked into the Motorola DVRs to serve the dual-tuners in those boxes.
I believe you're right - the TWC CSR said something about 2-way during our CableCard discussion and i think the term i should have used to describe the M Card is "Multi-Stream", not 2-way. It's the Tuning Adapter that handles the 2-way communication between the Tivo and TWC's head end.
The TWC CSR (a real live American who actually sounded knowledgeable about Tivo and CableCards) indicated that their newer M Cards might play nicer with their new SDV network than my old S Cards are, and recommended a truck roll to check my setup and signal. At first i declined, but they don't charge to come out and they can come after i get home from work, and i'm hoping he can check my for problems with my TA or maybe replace it so i requested a visit. Maybe the tech knows some tricks to get all this stuff working better.
I don't know if devices designed for S-cards (e.g. TV's, old single-tuner Tivo's?) can accept an M-card as a replacement, or if they must use S-cards.
I've been led to understand that the M Cards will physically fit into my Tivo Series 3 slots, but will only stream one signal per card since each of the Tivo's two tuners have their own CableCard slot (each card will act like a single stream card). The newer Tivo HD and current Tivo Premier have only one CableCard slot and do use a single M Card to feed both internal tuners.
Per a response i got on the Tivo Community Forum, i moved my Tuning Adapter's cable from the 3.5db output on my TWC splitter to the 7db output and i was then able to tune to virtually all the problematic channels without issue, and the few channels that say are temporarily available can now be tuned by pressing SELECT, which has never worked before. And a few times pressing SELECT didn't work so i did channel up/channel down and the channel then tuned in ok. I've been changing channels for the past half hour and now channel tuning 95% reliable, where it was about 50% reliable in the past weeks.
But last night right before i moved the cables on the splitter i'd gotten an automated call from TWC saying they found and corrected a "Network Issue" and my "services should now be restored", and asked if i wanted to cancel tomorrow's truck roll which i declined. I have been insisting that they're having a network problem since most of these new channels are also not tuning on my 8300HD (as well as a few neighbors' 8300HDs) since they activated SDV last month. So now i don't know if my newly improved situation is because of moving the cable on my splitter from 3.5 to 7, or if the problem was just fixed at TWC's head end and moving the splitter feeds had nothing to do with it.
When the tech arrives tonight, i'll ask him if there would be any benefit to switching to new M Cards, or if i should just keep my old S Cards. So now i don't know if my newly improved channel tuning situation is because of moving from 3.5 to 7, or if it was already fixed at TWC's head end and moving the splitter feeds had nothing to do with it. I also might have him try a different Tuning Adapter in case mine has some sort of intermittent problem.