Cable TV Box

KP16

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Jan 31, 2017
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I have two questions...

Would you be able to see a TV guide on a used cable box even if you dont have cable?


Ex. I buy a used Scientific Atlanta Explorer old box on Ebay...would I be able to see a TWC or Charter TV guide? Something like this ??????


If yes, which cable TV box would most likely have the guide which is shown below? What would you guys recommend???

hqdefault.jpg
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
As time progresses, it becomes less and less likely. The cable companies have a lot of control over provisioning cable boxes now and if you don't subscribe to their TV service and register the box with them, they won't provision it.

It is no longer a matter of the box tuning RF 3 and playing an analog TV channel.

If all you need is guide data, consider titantv.com or screenertv.com (formerly zap2it.com).
 
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EarDemon

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 5, 2014
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I would say probably not. I would imagine TWC has a database with all of the stolen/non returned cable boxes and they are blacklisted from accessing any service, including the guide data. The past few times I've swapped out cable boxes, as soon as the box goes through it's POST and bootup process, it comes to a screen saying call them to activate. No menu/guide functions work, until the box is activated.

That guide is an early release of the ODN/MDN Navigator system released in 2010 to most markets, but was in testing in Nebraska as far back as 2007 or 8. The GUI is now black (with the option to go to a blue/yellow UI) and is formatted to fill a 16:9 screen.
 
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Troch77

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 4, 2015
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Those cable boxes still require cable cards.
Which would only be obtainable from the cable company, and the ones on Ebay are more than likely already been deactivated for non payment.
 
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harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
17,546
3,363
Salem, OR
Those cable boxes still require cable cards.
Cable Cards aren't required for basic content. DTAs don't have Cable Cards but, if provisioned, can receive and display guide information.

It is pretty difficult to obtain a clear cable box (regardless of the federal gubmint ruling that you must be able to buy them). If you're buying one on eBay, it is probably "stolen" and that doesn't change if someone paid a non-return fee.

The websites are reasonably accurate and eminently more searchable.
 

kittyhas1000legs

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Aug 8, 2012
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The easiest way to get the guide would probably be through Windows Media Center*. Set up the tv signal manually (may only work if you have a tuner) and pick your local cableco as the source for the program guide. You won't be able to watch the channels obviously, but it should download the guide. At my old apartment I had both OTA and cable channels listed in the guide and I just deleted the extra channels.

*probably not available in Windows 10.

How it looks:
Untitled.png
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
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Sep 29, 2003
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I have played with a TIVO unit connected to a cable system, but without a cablecard. If the TIVO has a subscription, you will receive the entire guide. It is then your job to mask off the channels you cannot receive.

The big thing I found was in mapping the clear QAM broadcast channels. Say your cable system maps your NBC HD feed to channel 1004, but when you do a channel scan, you find the clearQAM feed on channel 85-3. TIVO will provide the quide info on 1004, but you cannot receive the station there without a cablecard. Channel 85-3 will show up in your channel list, but as undefined. You can see the programming, but will not have guide info. Makes it difficult to program the dvr function.

Of course, since an FCC ruling a few years ago, cable systems are no longer required to provide clearQAM feeds of the broadcast stations. Many, including mine have eliminated all analog channels and require a box for everything.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
I have played with a TIVO unit connected to a cable system, but without a cablecard. If the TIVO has a subscription, you will receive the entire guide. It is then your job to mask off the channels you cannot receive.
If you have a subscribed TiVo, the guide data comes from TiVo and it should be mapped appropriately (with or without a CableCARD). The same is true of other Internet-based guide services.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
17,546
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Salem, OR
There are supposedly workarounds, but I don't have 10 and can't say how reliable they are.
The writing is on the wall with respect to WMC. It is fading away and as uptake of Windows 10 becomes greater, it will likely stop working at some point never to return.

Most people are dumbfounded to discover that Windows 10 doesn't even include a simple DVD player. Maybe Microsoft has finally learned something about staying out of other publisher's business.
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
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If you have a subscribed TiVo, the guide data comes from TiVo and it should be mapped appropriately (with or without a CableCARD). The same is true of other Internet-based guide services.
Glad you KNOW. I am only reporting on what actually happened when I selected cable without a cablecard. Of course, that doesn't hold a candle to what you KNOW.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
17,546
3,363
Salem, OR
Glad you KNOW. I am only reporting on what actually happened when I selected cable without a cablecard. Of course, that doesn't hold a candle to what you KNOW.
I was speaking in terms of where the guide data comes from. The TS was seeking guide data from the cableco and a TiVo is not going to facilitate that.
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,837
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Sheboygan, WI
I was speaking in terms of where the guide data comes from. The TS was seeking guide data from the cableco and a TiVo is not going to facilitate that.

I answered most carefully. I am very careful with my answers to not give out information that facilitates theft of services of any sort. The site has had issues in the past with this and has a rigid policy against piracy, even if it is only guide data.
 
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