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Do cable companies use "M cards" and let you use your TiVo instead of their issued DVR or cable box?

johngerity asked
Last Modified: 2013-12-07
This is going to sound way ignorant, but I have to know something.

My Cable Company (Time Warner) recently upgraded their DVR OS or GUI so that now I cant do 2 things I was able to do a week ago.
1  Specify a block of time to record on one channel
2  Specify to record a series only on one channel, as opposed to every single channel it plays on

While Im usually tolerant of such minor BS, cable keeps costing more and more. So, Im going to return the DVR and downgrade to a regular cable box, and either buy an old timey VCR, or get TiVo or use Windows Media Center. Now, its always been my experience that cable companies are extremely opposed (sometimes even litigiously) to you using anything other than their socialist issued boxes (and Im a hippie liberal saying this! XD). However, dont most people have cable? So doesn't that mean most people who HAVE TiVo or use WMC are using it with cable TV?

Therefore, do most people with TiVo have a piece of tape holding a little black IR transceiver thingy on top of their cable box so the TiVo can change the channel when its record time? And how do they record one show and watch another? Or do they?

One 2007 advert YouTube video from B&H implies that cable companies use something called an M-Card to allow the TiVo to replace your cable box. Is this still done?

Also what do most people who have Windows Media Center do?
Thanks for reading all this, I appreciate it, as well as any and all responses, no matter how me too they are.

(Sorry, I couldn't find Windows Media Center under Zones)
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