I never meant to hold the cable guy hostage. But there he was sitting in my desk chair just a few feet away from my plasma, watching the little "preparing" prompt on my TiVo setup screen spin round and round and round . . . Then round some more . . .
Cable Guy would sit there for 30, maybe 40 minutes, just staring, watching, waiting . . . But I would not let him leave - not till my TiVo HD fully recognized the Multi-Stream CableCARD (M-Card) that he came to install (he was the second cable guy to come by; the first guy failed). On speakerphone, meanwhile, through the whole ordeal, was a delightfully perky TiVo technical support person.
Did it have to come to this? If only my cable company had its poop together. If only they knew what a Multi-Stream CableCARD was (or a "tuner" for that matter - more on that later). If only they understood the steps required to install this card, which would allow my TiVo HD to record two channels at once - without a cable box.
Hell, I read all the forums beforehand. I knew this would be tough. But even when I assumed the cable-bots would be incompetents and planned accordingly . . . they turned out to be even bigger incompetents!
What I needed was a guide - a primer, a manual. I needed a way to troubleshoot any possible misstep before it happened. I needed to know just how to finesse my cable company so that it might actually succeed at M-Card: Impossible.