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Contributor
mrod305
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-26-2010
0 Kudos

Buy my own CableCard - save $4/mo ?

Hi,

 

I notice that you can find CableCARDs on ebay that are Motorola M-cards for probably $20 or so.

 

Can I just buy an M-Card and have Verizon pair it?  Is there any difference with an M-Card that the tech brings me versus the same make/model M-Card that I get from somewhere else?

 

I would like to own my M-Card, because paying $4 / month adds up.  I'm aware if you "lose" your M-Card, Verizon charges you $100 for it.

 

An alternative might be to "lose" my M-Card, pay the $100 fee, but then continue to use that M-Card after I "find" it.   At that point, I've paid the $100 for the card, and so I could tell them to no longer charge me per month.   That way, no $4 / month fee.  For those of you doing the math, it pays for itself after 2.5 years.  If you own your own home, or anticipate being a CableCARD fios user, that may be a better way to do it.

 

Thoughts?

Silver Contributor III
PJL
Posts: 2,012
Registered: ‎08-07-2008
Location: Long Beach, California
0 Kudos

Re: Buy my own CableCard - save $4/mo ?

Verizon will likely not pair any card they don't provide, and if you "loose" the one you have they will deactivate it.  They charge for the card for a reason.

Contributor
mrod305
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-26-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Buy my own CableCard - save $4/mo ?

I guess that's what I'm trying to find out.  What would Verizon do? Would they allow me to use my other CableCard?  What would they do if I "lost" my CableCard?

 

I know they want to keep me in this perpetual racket of paying $4 for a card that costs them probably less than $10.  But I don't like that, and it certainly goes against the spirit of FCC regulations and the idea behind CableCard.

 

And by the way, other cable companies allow you to purchase a CableCard instead of leasing one.  It seems rediculous that I'm forced to lease a CableCard for perpetuity through Verizon.  

 

We'll be able to test the whole buying your own CableCard thing in a year though, since the new FCC regulations require that they allow user-activation at home, without the need of a tech coming to my home.

 

Silver Contributor III
PJL
Posts: 2,012
Registered: ‎08-07-2008
Location: Long Beach, California
0 Kudos

Re: Buy my own CableCard - save $4/mo ?


mrod305 wrote:

I guess that's what I'm trying to find out.  What would Verizon do? Would they allow me to use my other CableCard?  What would they do if I "lost" my CableCard?

 

I know they want to keep me in this perpetual racket of paying $4 for a card that costs them probably less than $10.  But I don't like that, and it certainly goes against the spirit of FCC regulations and the idea behind CableCard.

 

And by the way, other cable companies allow you to purchase a CableCard instead of leasing one.  It seems rediculous that I'm forced to lease a CableCard for perpetuity through Verizon.  

 

We'll be able to test the whole buying your own CableCard thing in a year though, since the new FCC regulations require that they allow user-activation at home, without the need of a tech coming to my home.

 


Ah but you sitll have the issue of pairing the card. 

Contributor
mrod305
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-26-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Buy my own CableCard - save $4/mo ?

What do you mean by "pairing" the card?  I thought that CableCards were naked - that you pair them by calling Verizon (as the tech does), giving them the serial number, and then they input it into the system.  The whole point, I thought, was they serve as a key, and nothing more. 

 

I wasn't aware there was anything more magical about a Verizon-provided CableCard than if I somehow got an OEM CableCard. Is there anything special about them, or anything that Verizon does to them before you get one?  Or better said, anything that they do to them that is necessary to make them work?

 

Otherwise, what's the difference aside from the fact that Verizon wants to keep up their racket of making you pay $4/mo for a really cheap piece of hardware that is a CableCard.

 

 

Platinum Contributor I
prisaz
Posts: 6,813
Registered: ‎08-23-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Buy my own CableCard - save $4/mo ?

To my knowledge the cards are activated similar to the way a STB is activated. Pairing means the card is paired to the device and can not be moved to a new device. If I look in my cablecard menu, my card is not paired to the device. There has been discusions regarding cards possibly being paired in some markets but mine is only activated.

 

In regards to renting a card, and not buying a card, I am not sure what the legal rules. Time will tell. They have to cover their cost in managing the cards and keeping track of what is activated where.

Platinum Contributor I
Hubrisnxs
Posts: 5,780
Registered: ‎07-22-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Buy my own CableCard - save $4/mo ?

Verizon operates a controlled inventory.  the second they pair a device billing begins. 

 

So its pretty pointless to buy a card.   Plus they likely won't activate it if the serial number doesn't appear already in their network/systems.   And/or if it shows up as quarantined or "lost/stolen"

 

IOW   no you can't buy one and have them activate it and not pay the 3.99

Contributor
Bcdavid258
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-02-2013
0 Kudos

Re: Buy my own CableCard - save $4/mo ?

Any update on using your own cable card?
Silver Contributor V
TNS_2
Posts: 2,095
Registered: ‎12-16-2012
0 Kudos

Re: Buy my own CableCard - save $4/mo ?

No.  Still worthless to buy,even if they would authorize, as they will charge you the $4 month on pairing.

 

My Verizon

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