Tivo filter: Can I take working cablecards from one Tivo and put them into another Tivo?
October 8, 2007 12:16 PM   Subscribe

Have a Tivo HD with two working cablecards, but about to get a Tivo S3 - can I just take the cards and put them into the S3 until I get the installer out to put in new cards?
posted by VeniceGlass to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have not used them before, but I would say yes. The cable company activates the cards. They generally don't care or even know if they are in a TV or a Tivo. You will not do any harm by switching them, even if they don't work. I am curious of why you upgraded. I am trying to decide between the two and am not sure which one to get.

I have had enough of the comcast DVR. I works just enough to make you mad.
posted by Climber at 12:25 PM on October 8, 2007

Actually getting a second one - always knew they were *that* good, but only finally got rid of the 8300HD frankenbox. The HD is great, but since there's a $200 rebate on the S3, figured why not.
posted by VeniceGlass at 12:30 PM on October 8, 2007

I would also expect it to "just work".

Question (not to derail)-- why the TivoHD --> TivoS3 switch? I thought they were very very similar...
posted by gregvr at 12:31 PM on October 8, 2007

Also in the plus column for the S3 is that it can be expanded now via eSata.
posted by VeniceGlass at 12:42 PM on October 8, 2007

I don't think you'll be able to view encrypted programming with the CableCards in the new Tivo. They might not even function at all until activated...

As I understand it, everything in the system has a unique ID associated with it: the CableCards themselves, your Tivo, and even the display device, if it supports HDCP over HDMI. These IDs are then used (in part) to decrypt content from the cable company.

That's why the cable guy can't simply register the CableCard IDs at the the central office. The registration has to be done at your house, where he/she can see the IDs associated with your particular setup.

(The S3 is a lot more expensive, but has a larger hard drive. Maybe get an upgrade with weaknees.com?)
posted by lalas at 1:11 PM on October 8, 2007

Concurring partially with lalas. The Cable Cards you already have will work in the S3, but the S3 will have a different identifier for each card than the identifiers you have on record for the previously-existing cards. This is used, indeed, to decrypt channels. The installer does need to come out to look at it and make sure that the S3 is playing well with the cards. The S3s are kind of finicky.
posted by Electric Elf at 1:45 PM on October 8, 2007

No, I don't think this will work, because the CableCards are linked to your current TiVo HD. TiVo Community Forum is the best place to go for definitive answers.

If have to add, it also seems odd to me to spend the money on a new Series 3, when you already have a working TiVo HD, particularly considering that multi-room viewing isn't enabled yet. The TiVo HD should be expandable just like the Series 3 by the end of the year.
posted by designbot at 2:08 PM on October 8, 2007

New cards won't be necessesary -- but you'll probably have to call your cable company to get the old cards to work in the Series3. Depending on how knowledgable the person you get on the phone is, and how comfortable you are setting up electronics, you may be able to do this without having to pay for a truck roll. However, if the cable company won't help you over the phone, or you prefer to have someone else just make it work, then someone else may have to do it. But, all the actual work will be done by phone, beyond physically putting the cards into the box.
posted by garlic at 2:11 PM on October 8, 2007

OK - tried to put the cablecards in the new box. Most channels actually do come in fine including the HD channels - but the premiums do not, bringing up an error from Cablevision...
posted by VeniceGlass at 3:00 PM on October 8, 2007

Quick update - it appears that every channel does work, except for 2 of the 8 non-HD HBO channels. Weird.
posted by VeniceGlass at 3:23 PM on October 8, 2007

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