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Time Warner digital cable descrambler

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

How to avoid Time Warner

112 months ago

- Was this comment helpful? / 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.

- Was this comment helpful? / -

111 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.

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.

- Was this comment helpful? / 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.

- Was this comment helpful? / 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.

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

- Was this comment helpful? / in the device do you?

- Was this comment helpful? / company wants to provide to the public.

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

- Was this comment helpful? / box and you are connected to digital cable! it at least saves you money on the bill.

Ever heard of tivo?

63 months ago

- Was this comment helpful? / at home. I plug the cable wire directly into my tv...

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