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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Charter in our area is dropping analog cable and forcing customers to get converters for each set. I have a number of elderly folks in my neighborhood who are looking for alternatives to the monthly rental costs being imposed by Charter.


I know a Roamio with the requisite # of Minis would do the trick, but for most of these people that is way overkill and pretty expensive. Anyone have a somewhat turnkey solution for this type of consumer?


Thanks in advance...
 

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What exactly are they wanting? How many TVs on average are we talking about?


If they want to get all the channels they have currently, then yeah, they'll probably need a cableCARD device for each TV, or the TiVo setup. You could get that Samsung cableCARD/stream box for about $140 each, but that is one for every TV.


There really isn't any cheap alternative to the TiVo/Roamio that will work just as well. There's a reason it's as expensive as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa  /t/1522468/diy-roamio-like-setup-possible#post_24481175


What exactly are they wanting? The ability to watch cable like they used to with no DVR How many TVs on average are we talking about? 2 to 3


If they want to get all the channels they have currently, then yeah, they'll probably need a cableCARD device for each TV, or the TiVo setup. You could get that Samsung cableCARD/stream box for about $140 each, but that is one for every TV. I'll check this out, haven't heard of it before.


There really isn't any cheap alternative to the TiVo/Roamio that will work just as well. There's a reason it's as expensive as it is. Understood, just throwing it out there. These folks don't need all of the bells and whistles that the Roamio provides beyond the mult-tuner and the minis.
 

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If you want like Roamio set up, Windows Media Center with extenders will do the same. In fact, TiVO waited for Microsoft patent to expire to bring out the Mini. Windows has been offering extender set up since 2003.


Some Windows Vista, all Windows 7, and some Windows 8 are capable of decrypting encrypted cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I was aware of the extenders, it's just that I wanted to avoid any overly complex set up for this type of consumer...and that is very interesting in regards to the patent.


And shame on me for not knowing that Windows can decrypt cable. Just need media center?
 

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And a cableCARD capable tuner in the computer, assuming encrypted channels are desired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, that makes more sense. I was thinking that Media Center somehow had the ability to do it natively...which was why it was news to me. Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod  /t/1522468/diy-roamio-like-setup-possible/0_60#post_24493417


If you want like Roamio set up, Windows Media Center with extenders will do the same. In fact, TiVO waited for Microsoft patent to expire to bring out the Mini. Windows has been offering extender set up since 2003.

For the folks he's talking about? No way in hell, Tivo is pretty much the only decent choice. But honestly if they don't want that expense the only alternative is either Charter's STBs and DVRs or the Samsung cablecard box , assuming you can find one (I think they've been spotted in some Wal-Marts). And then they get to rent Cablecards and have fun with Charter getting them activated...


Yes I know you're going to come back and say WMC is fine for everyone but you're insane if you insist that elderly folks can run that setup day after day. I'd bet OP doesn't want to be their tech support rep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Exactly, this type of person just wants their old tv back. Plug and go. Too bad there isn't a Roamio Lite(DVR-less), because I think there would be a lot of takers. Are you listening Tivo?
 

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It should also be noted the Samsung box is HDMI only. Hope they all have newer TVs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangel42  /t/1522468/diy-roamio-like-setup-possible#post_24498241


Exactly, this type of person just wants their old tv back. Plug and go. Too bad there isn't a Roamio Lite(DVR-less), because I think there would be a lot of takers. Are you listening Tivo?

TiVo's sunk so much investment in DVR software and such that they won't make a cable box replacement. It's DVR or bust for them.


Honestly, I'm surprised Samsung even entered the cableCARD ready box market. Most standard cable box makers won't touch the consumer market. They only sell to cable companies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's not about the CableCard part, it's the multi-tuner support in conjunction with the mini's that is the holy grail imo. Being able to watch any station on any tv with only having to rent one CableCard. DVR is great, but most folks would be fine without it.
 

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He makes a good point though that you can't overlook - if they're still using old CRTs and don't want to upgrade them, they'd be much better off getting the free boxes from Charter until they figure out what they want to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yep, understood. But I haven't seen anything definitive on those free boxes yet. Normally they are $6/mo per box.


The other part is simply based on principle. They signed up for one thing and are now being forced to do something new(plus pay for it...maybe) to maintain their previous level of service.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit  /t/1522468/diy-roamio-like-setup-possible#post_24497995


For the folks he's talking about? No way in hell, Tivo is pretty much the only decent choice. But honestly if they don't want that expense the only alternative is either Charter's STBs and DVRs or the Samsung cablecard box , assuming you can find one (I think they've been spotted in some Wal-Marts). And then they get to rent Cablecards and have fun with Charter getting them activated...


Yes I know you're going to come back and say WMC is fine for everyone but you're insane if you insist that elderly folks can run that setup day after day. I'd bet OP doesn't want to be their tech support rep.

Op is setting it up. Operating an extender is no different than operating a TiVO mini.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangel42  /t/1522468/diy-roamio-like-setup-possible#post_24502213


It's not about the CableCard part, it's the multi-tuner support in conjunction with the mini's that is the holy grail imo. Being able to watch any station on any tv with only having to rent one CableCard. DVR is great, but most folks would be fine without it.

It would be a very limited market that's already eaten by TiVo (who won't do a DVR-less box) or a DIY computer setup. Like I said, it's surprising Samsung went with the cable box replacement, and no one else will touch that market, let alone a Roamio-like setup without a DVR.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod  /t/1522468/diy-roamio-like-setup-possible/0_60#post_24505451


Op is setting it up. Operating an extender is no different than operating a TiVO mini.

No, he's not. He's asking what's out there, not saying he's going to be their system builder and tech support.
 

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Yeah, I got the sense he's asking for a plug and play box (with or without cableCARD) to pass along to them so they can get one, hook it up, and go.


I think a PC would be unwelcome anyway unless the older neighbors already own one. If there is any demographic that would be resistant for whatever reason, it'd be that one.
 
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