A note on hooking up a cable card with TIVO. The DMC box is required to recieve a few channels only. In my area Velocity and BBC America. The correct procedure is to hook up the DMC to the incoming cable and the TIVO cable connection. You must then also hook up the USB cable from the TIVO to the DMC (USB B) and then set up the Digital Media Adapter in TIVO.
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I assume you are referring to the tuning adapter? Yes it is required for some channels if they are on switched digital video to free up bandwidth.
There are two schools of thought on the "correct" method of connection:
1. Incoming coax to TA, then coax out to TiVo. Also USB from TA to TiVo.
2. Incoming coax split with one leg to TA and other leg to TiVo. Then USB from TA to TiVo.
I have used both methods and both work fine for me. It seems the internal splitter built into the TA can be a bit touchy, hence the separate splitter option working better for some people.
Use the TA's internal 2 way splitter.
DO NOT DO THIS it will result in bad signal levels in the TA ( usually 10dB of splitter loss from the street):
"2. Incoming coax split with one leg to TA and other leg to TiVo. Then USB from TA to TiVo. "
The reason a splitter and 2 cables were included was to self install off the modem line and possibly first generation TA's did not have the internal splitter.
A TA is nothing more than a usb output cable modem
You need a tunning adapter if you are using a tivo instead of a cable box... Or a DTA, if they will still give them out and you were a boxless cable ready connection.
Spectrum has switched most areas to encrypted qam defeating all cable ready sets.
Do not confuse TA's (a usb cable modem that converts tivo's from 1 way to 2 way)
with a DTA (really basic 1 way digital box for the starter cable tier) They are totally different animals
next issue is excessive splitters that digital will not handle but the analog cable ready sets had a much more sensitive tuner and could handle lots of splitter and crappy coax loss. all that needs to be removed