Are CableCards swappable?
May 1, 2010 3:13 PM   Subscribe

Are CableCards swappable?

I have an HD TiVo with a CableCard. If I buy a new TiVo or decide to setup DVR functionality on a HDCP-compliant computer with CableCard-compatible tuner, can I swap my current card into the new device or will the dreaded service call to the cable (TimeWarner SoCal) company be necessary?
posted by drpynchon to Technology (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: In most cases, the card and host are paired with a unique key derived from a combination of the host and the card. This means you'll probably have to make the dreaded call.

You might be fine out of the gate; you'll typically still get channel maps and "normal channels" with the existing keys, but premium channels may start falling out as keys expire, and channels protected with CCI (Copy-never, etc) may not work at all.

Your account will already be set up for CableCard and most of the techs are finally getting used to them, so hopefully it won't be as painful in the past. Anyone with the basic knowledge should know to just bring up the unit address, take the new host ID, and send a hit in about 30 seconds.

If you have a Motorola card, this is done on the "DAC", if it is a Scientific Atlanta / Cisco card, this is done on the "DNCS". They may well have custom frontends to make this more rep friendly, but if you do run into troubles spouting this stuff might get you to someone who knows what they are doing more quickly.

Good luck!
posted by SpookyFish at 3:50 PM on May 1, 2010

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