Sharer

Considering a CableCard

I am seeking feedback from people that have used a CableCard and have used the TWCTV app via a Roku or some other means to determine which is a better choice for my purposes. I am considering a change to my existing setup and feedback on my options would be appreciated. My significant other is not very technologically minded so something complicated will not be an option (for her, changing the input source is a hassle). 

This would be for a secondary tv that currently has a non-DVR set top box. I do not use DVR and rarely use On Demand on this tv. I see my options as:

  1. Leave as-is with the set top box;
  2. CableCard;
  3. TWCTV app with a Roku;

I see the CableCard as the simplest option and less expensive than buying a Roku (or a Samsung smart tv). My only problem is that I have no experience with the CableCard and I don’t know anybody that has ever used one to pick their brain. My understanding is that I would not need the separate tuner adapter unless I have a specific setup (TIVO for instance). What is the experience like when using a CableCard? Thanks for any suggestions and insight you guys can offer.

7 REPLIES
Expert

Re: Considering a CableCard

The cablecard plugs into something to decrypt QAM

Like a tivo or Cetron which becomes a full featured cable box when a Tuning adapter is added.

 

It can also be used as "authorization" by TWC to watch TWCTV at home and not plugged into anything.

It's a big unknown what the supposed Spectrum transition will change.

 

Sharer

Re: Considering a CableCard

So if I'm only using the tv and no TIVO, Ceton, Moxi, etc. does the tuning adapter become necessary for SDV channels? Does the tuning adapter then have it's own remote needed to change channels or does it just passively sit there?

Expert

Re: Considering a CableCard

The tuning adapter is just a no thrills docsis 2 or 3 cable modem that has an internal 2 way splitter (bad thing if you don't terminate the out port and instead of ethernet, it has a usb port to go to your Tivo or Ceton to give it SDV, PPV and MOD capabilities. It does nothing for a "boxles" cable via TWCTV only.

 

Participant

Re: Considering a CableCard

[ Edited ]

There are many different options:

 

1.  If ANALOG Cable is still available in your area, simply plug the cable into the back of the TV for channels 2-135.  If it is an HDTV built within the last 5 years, it has a CLEAR QAM Tuner built into it.  Meaning it will also DECRYPT any UNSCRAMBLED HDTV CHANNELS, these are usually OTA channels(ABC/NBC/CBS/PBS/WB/FOX/etc...).  This is a simple way to get some of the channels you may be suscribing too.  If you are getting  a lot of digital/premium channels, you need the Cable Box/TWC App/TIVO with Tuning Adapter.

 

2.  ROKU with TWC App.  Get either a ROKU 3, or one of the newer Roku Premiere+(SKIP THE ROKU 4.  HORRIBLE MACHINE/BUGGY).  The ROKU 3 can be found on EBay CHEAP.  With this unit, you can get all the channels you subsscribe too, PLUS VOD channels, which are not available on the ANALOG SETUP, or the TIVO with TUNING ADAPTER/CABLECARD setup.  

 

3.  TIVO with the TUNING ADAPTER/CABLECARD.  I have this setup, and it works really well.  I "WISH" the TUNING ADAPTER was not neccesary, as it is just another device that needs to be plugged in, and can get screwed up.  WHICH IT DOES ON OCCASION, casusing me to unplug it, reboot it, and replugging back into my TIVO ROAMIO.  But, overall, it works really well.  Also, like MS. RAYE said, NOBODY knows the future of CABLECARD with the new SPECTRUM company of the merged TWC, and Charter Cable.  Rumors are abundant that they are dumping it, to force people to rent their boxes.  Others say no, and the goverment will step in, and stop this once again.  Here it is:  NO ONE KNOWS!

 

But if it was me, I would go either with number 1 or 2.  One being the easiest, and number 2 being the easiest/cheapest(in long term) solution to get ALL the channels you subscribe too.(Analog/digital/Premium/plus VOD/NO PPV though)

Sharer

Re: Considering a CableCard

1. Not an option. My area is all digital. That was the original setup that the wife preferred until I was forced to get the digital adapter (this started the cycle of using 2 remotes which she hates). The adapter had to go because I switched to a Spectrum package.

 

2. Rather not go the Roku route as I hear way too many horror stories here about them (plus I'm holding out hope Apple TV gets on the good list at some point). My fear is that using the Roku would be even more complicated for her to use than the cable box.

 

3. TIVO is not a option.

 

Ultimately I want to be able to eliminate all extraneous devices and remotes from this one room so the CableCard seemed to be the best option but like I said, I have no experience and know nobody that actually uses one to ask about their experience. When I started reading about them the tuning adapter kept coming up but it sounds like if I'm not using a TIVO (or any other box) then it won't be needed as long as my TV is cablecard ready...is this correct?  I don't care about getting on demand, all premiums, VOD, etc. on this tv but do want essentially basic and expanded cable channels.  Aren't CableCards FCC mandated?

Participant

Re: Considering a CableCard

[ Edited ]

Does the TV you want to use the CableCard with, have a CableCard Slot built into it?

 

If it does, then that is an OLD HDTV.  At least 8-10 years old.  CableCard Slots, at one time, were built INTO HDTV's.  The ones that had them were usually at the higher end of the premium HDTV's available to the public.

 

I remember Mitsubishi HDTV's had them.  But like I said, we are going back 8-10 years ago, when those Mitsubishi HDTV set's were TUBE HDTV's, weighing about 250-300 lbs, for 36".

 

But something tells me you do not have this.

 

So JUST FORGET CableCard, unless you are looking about buying/getting a TIVO, or the like.

 

Your solution's are these:

 

1.  Rent the STB from TWC

2.  Get the ROKU, or wait for AppleTV to get the app.  I thought you could add the TWC app to the LATEST AppleTV BOX(generation 4)?  Pretty sure you can.

3.  Hook an antenna to the tv for OTA watching.

 

But, from what you are posting, just FORGET the CableCard.  It is NOT what you think it is.

 

And the thing about FCC mandating them.  I "think"(not 100% certain) the mandate for Cable Co's being forced to use them ENDED at the end of 2015.  That's right.  2015!

 

With the push towards Internet provided TV, CableCards, and Cable Boxes, are slowly becoming useless to A LOT of people.  This is why people are "shaving" their cable costs, and going with INTERNET ONLY.

 

No NEED for Cable company anymore with Netflix/Amazon prime/SlingTV/Playstation VUE/OTA HDTV Antenna/Nearly every station has their own WEB APP/etc... causing poeple to DUMP their CABLE/Telephone,a nd just keep INTERNET, cutting/slashing their monthly costs in HALF in most cases.  Even more in other's

 

This is what has everyone, myself included, sort of worried that Spectrum may discontinue use of them.  This is why I WILL NOT upgrade to a TIVO BOLT.

 

No sense in investing in something that could be USELESS within a year or two.

Sharer

Re: Considering a CableCard



Got it. I assumed all tvs still had cablecard slots. I have an old plasma in another room that still does have it but my newer 2 tvs do not.  Apple TV 4 does not support the app, unless there is some hacked work around out there I haven't come across yet.  Looks like I'm sticking to the box a while longer.  If it were just me I'd seriously consider dropping cable for the OTT services but gotta keep the better half happy.