Can you purchace your own cable box and use it w/ your cable?

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SupermanTB in Charlotte, North Carolina

91 months ago

I currently have Time Warner Cable and rather than pay Time Warner a small fortune to lease one of their HDTV/DVR cable boxes, I was wondering if it was possible to buy my own and have it work w/ my cable. This will be my second cable box in my home. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Anon in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey

91 months ago

This is a forum for jobs related to Time Warner, not for someone asking tech questions.

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Bruce in Torrance, California

90 months ago

SupermanTB in Charlotte, North Carolina said: I currently have Time Warner Cable and rather than pay Time Warner a small fortune to lease one of their HDTV/DVR cable boxes, I was wondering if it was possible to buy my own and have it work w/ my cable. This will be my second cable box in my home. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

lol, anyway the answer is no, the cable companies can tell, thru their network equipment which boxes are theirs and which aren't; I think it's like IP addresses for computers on a network (in fact each box probably HAS an ip address anyway). it's a nice idea though because their "scientific american" DVR's aren't the best; I would rather buy a nice DVR at best buy with a bigger hard drive, etc, and use that, but, oh well....

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Call me Carlie in Atlanta, Georgia

90 months ago

I once temped for Scientific Atlanta repairing those type of boxes. The reason another box won't work is because there is a chip inside each box that (as Bruce has indicated) provides an identification resource that not only determines which channels the box will tune in for you, it provides pay-per-view information so that you can be correctly billed for the viewing.

I mention the details only to tell you how fervently some people are, about getting a service without paying for it. We would get boxes in that had been run over by cars, burned, smashed with a sledge hammer - you name it. The chip was so protected that we could almost always remove the chip, put it into a working unit and still bill the customer for the pay-per-views.

That chip is the same sort of thing that is in your cell phone that gives you things like your telephone number and carrier. To attempt to modify that chip or use it without paying for the service is quite illegal.

That is not to say, however that Time Warner might be willing to allow you to buy your legitimate boxes instead of lease them. Only that chip/card would then belong to them. You'd have to ask them that question. Actually it seems they would love to sell it according to this article.

abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=3345352

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Bruce in Torrance, California

90 months ago

oh, i knew they had some way of telling, lol. the SA box, the main problems I have with them, the hard drives aren't large enough, and they are not dependable; the first box I had would reboot whenever it felt like it, and finally one day, just stopped working, with all my favorite shows of the last few weeks of last season on it. Now, I know that, since the unit has a hard drive, somewhere in there must be an operating system; I called Time Warner and asked, is there a way I can use a PC to acess the content, archive it off, and save it (the box has a whole forest of ports, including USB< that are, apparently turned off). They said no (of course I know there IS a way), sorry all that content is lost. I have another (same) box now that's working a little better. They also claim that the better DVR is for HDTV only; I don't know if that's true or not.

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Call me Carlie in Atlanta, Georgia

90 months ago

Bruce in Torrance, California said: ... I know that, since the unit has a hard drive, somewhere in there must be an operating system; ....They said no (of course I know there IS a way), ... the better DVR is for HDTV only; I don't know if that's true or not.

You are correct of course. The data is, however, recorded as a straight MPEG stream so it isn't formatted into files the same as what a Windows operating system might expect. Still it could be retrieved. They just didn't want to "provide that service" to the public as it were.

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Bruce in Torrance, California

90 months ago

Well isn't that special? if only they could have given me some tech advice i could have done it myself, i'm sure. If it's an MPEG couldn't an authoring program like nero convert it to .wmv or .avi or whatever? What O/S does the unit have, unix based? They actually tried to tell me, no, there's no OS, and I knew that wasnt right-SOMETHING has to manage the streams, caches, saving the files, making sure youre not using ports youre not supposed to and so on. they're all a buch of big, fat liars. Bah.

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Call me Carlie in Atlanta, Georgia

90 months ago

The problem is that the file structure on disc need not be compatible with operating systems in common use.

Unix is an operating system. The manipulation of data internal to something like a set top box does not have to depend on such a sophisticated program.

Even inside your PC, digital data is being manipulated by logic gates and firmware no matter what operating system you run on the machine. Since the set top box is not a PC it has no need to run an operating system as is commonly recognized.

I remember the first time I got on the internet. I connected to an IBM bulletin board system one night. As I read along, there suddenly popped up a screen which we all call instant message today. The system operator just wanted to chat.

He asked me what kind of computer I was using. I told him I had no computer. I had only a video terminal and a 2400 baud modem. I manually typed the commands to the modem to dial the number and connect. After that it was just a two-way data stream.

All this computer and digital electronics is not really as complicated as you might believe. As they have always said, it's just ones and zeroes. You can make it do anything you like and call it an operating system or a BIOS or just a control processor with ram.

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Me in Hillsborough, North Carolina

89 months ago

Call me Carlie in Atlanta, Georgia said: You are correct of course. The data is, however, recorded as a straight MPEG stream so it isn't formatted into files the same as what a Windows operating system might expect. Still it could be retrieved. They just didn't want to "provide that service" to the public as it were.

How can you gat shows off of the DVR? There is a USB port on there, too and I don't know exactly what it does, or how it works

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You're Joking of course in Orange Park, Florida

89 months ago

Me in Hillsborough, North Carolina said: How can you gat shows off of the DVR? There is a USB port on there, too and I don't know exactly what it does, or how it works

You don't really think someone is going to divulge proprietary programming information here in public and tell exactly how to manipulate the data in the device do you?

As the tech said, it is not something the cable company wants to provide to the public.

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Me in Hillsborough, North Carolina

89 months ago

You're Joking of course in Orange Park, Florida said: You don't really think someone is going to divulge proprietary programming information here in public and tell exactly how to manipulate the data in the device do you?

As the tech said, it is not something the cable company wants to provide to the public.

Yeah, I guess that wouldn't be very smart.

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JFK-LaGuardia-Newark in Englishtown, New Jersey

88 months ago

NEWS! You can rent an access card (not CableCard) from the company for $1 a month. Put it in to your favorite cable box and you are connected to digital cable! it at least saves you money on the bill.

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ceveret3 in Trenton, North Carolina

45 months ago

SupermanTB in Charlotte, North Carolina said: I currently have Time Warner Cable and rather than pay Time Warner a small fortune to lease one of their HDTV/DVR cable boxes, I was wondering if it was possible to buy my own and have it work w/ my cable. This will be my second cable box in my home. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Ever heard of tivo?

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anselmo3456 in San Antonio, Texas

42 months ago

Anon in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey said: This is a forum for jobs related to Time Warner, not for someone asking tech questions.[
\
ur wrong and i ask a time warner person they is not illegalll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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mike in Baldwinsville, New York

39 months ago

Bruce
I was wondering if you could answer me a question.
I have basic cable at home. I plug the cable wire directly into my tv. a week ago I took and extra box from a room at my parents and brought it to my house and plugged the cable from the wall into it and then plugged into my tv. I recieved all of the cable channels that they get including all of the HD channels. My question is..... can Time Warner know that I am doing this?

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Bill in Van Nuys, California

38 months ago

SupermanTB in Charlotte, North Carolina said: I currently have Time Warner Cable and rather than pay Time Warner a small fortune to lease one of their HDTV/DVR cable boxes, I was wondering if it was possible to buy my own and have it work w/ my cable. This will be my second cable box in my home. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

I have an old Proscan tv that has PIP. It also has two inputs A" and "B". I have an ab splitter on the cable from Time Warner. I have a DVR box from Time Warner cable on my "antenna b" input that has my vcr-dvd player after the box. I just have a plain cable lead in the "antenna a" input. I can get most of the cable stations up to 99 on the "antenna a" input and I also can get my PIP on "antenna a" also. So I don't need the cable box to watch a lot of stations, but I think I need it for digital stations and of course the pay stations. I can watch PIP on "antenna a"(that's 2 stations) and record two stations on the DVR player. Quite handy.

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