Thursday, February 14, 2008

mikey now has a tivo

i just bought my brother a tivo series 3 HD dvr (above) for his birthday and i have to say it's much better than the cable co's "digital receiver" box. the menu system is faster, the interface is cleaner and simpler to find the shows you want to watch.

but, the series 3 (not to be confused with the "tivo HD dvr" below) had a minor hitch when getting the digital cablecard hooked up. the channels took time to trickle in before becoming "viewable". it was a little weird. but worked after you let it do its thing for 10-15 mins.

the tivo HD dvr was reported by the (second) cable installer to work pretty much right out of the box.

just a few notes for you all if you want to get the newest tivo and digital cablecard working.

  • the cablecard needs to be DIGITAL cards (the first cable installer who came in didn't know what the tivo box took -- and put in one digital and one analog card in -- i wasn't there to tell 'em they needed to be both digital)
  • you need to have an M-card (multi-stream) on the tivo HD - this allows the tivo box to watch/record 2 channels with just one cablecard
  • the series 3 tivo can take both M-card and S-cards (single stream) -- but the series 3 does not make use of the multi-stream capabilities (hence the two slots)
  • on the series 3 -- YOU NEED TO PUT IN AND INITIALIZE (a hit signal from the cable operators) ONE AT A TIME STARTING WITH THE BOTTOM SLOT FIRST
  • DO NOT SWAP THE CARDS ONCE THEY ARE IN -- or you will need to re-initialize the cards because the cable company uses the slot number as part of the cable card's identification/authentication value
this basically boils down the forum posting i found for RCN here in chicago:

and just in case you need to brush up on the tivo setup steps:

the second RCN guy who came in knew exactly what needed to be done and was really a cool guy to get it all working for me so i can watch all of the premium channels mikey was paying for.

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