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Bright House - refusing to provide cable cards

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by pzook1, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Sep 2, 2008 #321 of 379
    modnar

    modnar Active Member

    1,894
    0
    Oct 15, 2000
    Arkansas, USA
    My local cable company charges $38.50 for the install. Fortunately, they were a couple hours late, so they're going to refund the fee.
     
  2. Sep 2, 2008 #322 of 379
    LonghornXP2005

    LonghornXP2005 New Member

    38
    0
    Feb 18, 2005
    Well I ended up getting everything installed and working but with quite a few hurdles though. First the tech (Knight Enterprises) rep (not the tech) called to inform me the tech would be coming within half an hour. The tech called me to help find my apartment which was good as its a bit hard to find. He showed up and I found out he was doing his first cable card install. He followed the Tivo install manual quite well and ended up getting one tuner to work. The cards both showed as being married, authorized and a powerkey status of ready so I figured I would let him on his way and figure out the account reason for this.

    While I was on the phone with a very good rep from BHN we decided to just start over via taking out the cards and doing everything over. This was my first big surprise. The first card I took out via Slot 1 was an S-Card. I next went to pull the card from Slot 2 only to find out it was an M-Card.

    This was a big red flag right away as an M-Card "will NOT" work in Slot 2 of an HD Tivo and it also can cause conflicts with the S-Card in Slot 1 causing many tuning issues. Once I noticed this I informed the rep about the issue and we went on to install just one cablecard (M-Card) into Slot 1.

    After doing this and getting the card married I ended getting all the channels I ordered on "both" tuners nearly right away. A few channels (mostly on tuner 2) took a couple of minutes to work.

    The only channels that don't work are UHD, Discovery HD Theater, MGMHD, HDNet, HDNet Movies and Mojo. This I'm sure is because I don't order the HD Pak. I however thought that Discovery HD Theater wasn't part of the HD Pak anymore and the rep said my type of account (via promo) didn't get that channel converted into the digital tier so she will be looking into that for me but its not a big rush for me.

    All in all they didn't seem to be trying to make things a hassle and I believe they really did run out of cable cards because it was the last day of the week for cable card installs. I will say this much if they ever started charging they better damn sure have techs "just" as good as I am if not better. For the most part I did all the work "and" I did all the troubleshooting as well.

    To the poster that asked these questions I'll answer below.

    1. Yes I can view Science Channel HD without problems.

    2. I did get an M-Card (maybe by mistake though) and they have the M-Card in the system as costing 2.99/month not counting the 95 cent digital outlet fee which is charged per "hardware unit" not per tuner or cablecard.

    So this means that my install was for one hardware unit (ie HD Tivo) so I'll be charged 95 cents total regardless of whether my install included 2 S-Cards or 1 M-Card.

    All in all I'm one very happy camper right now looking forward to shaving 20 bucks off my bill once I return their POS HD DVR box.
     
  3. Sep 2, 2008 #323 of 379
    guarh

    guarh New Member

    33
    0
    Jul 18, 2008
    Ok. The installer showed up today with 3 M-cards(even though the CSRs said they don't have M-cards)
    We set up the first one, they activated it, the channels above 99 came up ok including HD, but the channels below 99 were still in analog and fuzzy, low quality. I showed him the difference on the same channels but on BHN STB and they looked perfect. So he called them, spoke to a few different people, none of them were able to help. He then put in another M card, pairded it, same thing, everything below 99 is from the analog lineup. More talking on the phone and nothing. His supervisor suggested, that he comes back with two S cards, but I refused. It seems like Brighthouse doesn't care much about it's customers using Cable Cards. I told him that I read here about similar problem and that they need to "Remap" the CCs to pick up the digital versions of those channels, as the STB does, he told that to whoever he talked to at Brighthouse but they were not able to help.

    I will try to call them and see if this can be resolved, even though I highly doubt it.

    I will also try to see if Tivo can be of any help, but that's unlikely since the issue seems to originate from BHN's network.

    I kept my STB just in case. The tech said that even in analog the channels should not look as bad, my signal level was kind of low, -10db. I will schedule an appointment to have an amp installed, and if after that the analog channels are still crappy I may return the Tivo, even though I don't want to.\

    Has anyone with Brighthouse had a similar problem with channels below 99, and if you managed to resolve it, how did you do it, and who did you talk to?
    Any help is appreciated.
    Thanks!

    -------------------
    EDIT
    Longhorn
    Do you now have one Mcard in slot 1, and one S card in slot two?
    Are you receiving channels below 99 in analog, you can usually tell the difference, they look dark, grainy, etc.
     
  4. Sep 2, 2008 #324 of 379
    windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    11,580
    3
    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    Argh! I have called BHN many times in the past few months asking if they carry M-Cards yet and the answer has always been no. I would love to at least get an M-Card in my THD, I know I'm stuck with the two S-Cards in the S3.
     
  5. Sep 3, 2008 #325 of 379
    EpcotEric

    EpcotEric Member

    40
    0
    Dec 21, 2001
    St...
    I have tried several times to get Brighthouse to map AD simulcast to cableCARD. Once you get someone who understands what you are talking about, they end up just saying that they are not implementing it on CableCARDs.

    I wonder if they are using SDV for the AD simulcast. I have tried to figure it out on the STB diagnostic screens, but the SDV pages are not populated.

    I pretty much gave up since most of the channels I watch have a HD version in 600s & 700s. It would be nice though. WGN looks like crap on my TiVo, but looks great on the STB, since I do like to watch a few Cubs games.


    They just started digging for FIOS conduit in the neighborhood a block away. I'll just wait it out and switch to FIOS when it's available (hopefully by next year).

    Eric
     
  6. Sep 3, 2008 #326 of 379
    guarh

    guarh New Member

    33
    0
    Jul 18, 2008
    If it's SDV, that makes sense and I guess that would explain why the Tivo would not tune to those channels, not until it gets a Tuning adapter.

    I was also lookint to Fios, they keep sending me flyers for internet/cable/phone $65 first 3mnt and then $99 for the first year (plus FREE dvr for 1 year) but I haven't switched yet because their HD lineup is kind of poor right now. They say they will have up to 100HD channels by year end, so we will see.

    BTW, when I got the first letter from them with the $65 offer, I called Brighthouse to see if I can get something free, was hoping for a free DVR....
    They have nonexistent retention policy. The first guy that I talked to almost said, you can try Fios for 3 months and comeback after, I could not believe my ears, and that coming from sales.... :confused:
     
  7. Sep 3, 2008 #327 of 379
    Duke

    Duke Member

    124
    2
    May 6, 2000
    St....
    I live in Saint Petersburg, and can receive the lower AD channels just fine on my S3 THX. I don't think BH is using SDV for them, otherwise there would be a lot of folks complaining. Mind you the AD channels look pretty bad compared to HD channels, especially if you have a large screen.

    If guarh's signal strength is -10dbm, that's pretty low; let us know if an amp improves the situation. I had a similar situation; BH came out and cleaned the connections at their box out on the street, and removed some old drop cables that were causing degradation of the signal.

    Duke
     
  8. Sep 3, 2008 #328 of 379
    LonghornXP2005

    LonghornXP2005 New Member

    38
    0
    Feb 18, 2005
    I just have one card in slot 1 which is an M-Card. I don't have a card in Slot 2 just so you know. Also my analog channels look for the most part okay and I'm assuming they aren't digital simulcasts because when I schedule a recording on any channel below 100 it has the option to select the quality (ie low quality or best quality etc). When I schedule a recording on any channel above 100 (HD and SD) I don't have the option to pick the quality at all.

    Either way I don't see much of a difference in picture quality on channels below 100 on the Tivo compared to my old 8300HD box from Bright House.
     
  9. Sep 3, 2008 #329 of 379
    guarh

    guarh New Member

    33
    0
    Jul 18, 2008
    I just compare by switching between the cable stb and the tivo on the same outlet/same tv and there is night and day difference, the stb picture is so smooth and nice, on tivo its dark and grainy.
    So, you do receive the digital versions of those channels? (I am not sure what AD means)

    We will see if the amp. will fix things on Friday. The CSR said he will send me Brighthouse tech after I told them that the contractors that visited the last two times did a so so job. I kept my STB for now, just in case the tech doesn't agree about the quality.


    Thanks for the info. Seems like you are in the same situation but at least your signal levels are good enough. I will make a few pics when I get home tonight and will post them, so you can see how much difference there is.
    And yes, SD does look ugly on a HD TV, but Brighthouse stb makes me realize how bad my analog signal is.
     
  10. Sep 3, 2008 #330 of 379
    EpcotEric

    EpcotEric Member

    40
    0
    Dec 21, 2001
    St...
    So you are getting the Analog-Digital Simulcast (AD or ADS) of the lower channels? If you pick to record, say BayNews9 on channel 9, does it ask for the recording quality (Best, etc.)? If it doesn't, you're getting the Analog-Digital Simulcast. If it doesn't, then it's analog. You can also tell by the DVR Diagnostic screen. It will show analog or digital tuning. I also know that some channels in the lower tier are only available in analog (I think channel 4, for example.)

    I live in Largo/Pinellas Park unincorporated Pinellas.

    If you do get the ADS channels, I'm going to need to make a few calls to BH again! :)
     
  11. Sep 3, 2008 #331 of 379
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
    0
    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    DO NOT have an amp installed. Is the absolute responsibility of the CATV provider to deliver decent signals to the eve of your house. Under no circumstances whatsoever should the signal level of any analog channel be lower than +4 dBmv nor of any digital carrier to be lower than -6dBmV, and typically most channels should be at least 5 or 6 dB better than that. Do not accept any excuses on this point. If they balk, threaten to write a letter to the FCC, and remind them a failure to comply with minimal signal quality per the FCC Proof of Performance regulations can elicit fines up to $150,000 a day. Take down their names and employee numbers, and explain to them you will be sending out the letter to the FCC with their names included, and a copy will be sent to the General Manager of your local CATV system if the signal issue is not resolved in 72 hours. This, regardless of any performance issues or lack of same on any device in your house.

    Note if the signal level at the eve of your house is good, but you have a large number of outlets and / or very long cable runs before reaching your receivers, then an amplifier may be warranted, but only if the signal levels at the eve of the house are good and you can establish the low levels are not due to plumbing problems (bad cable, bad splitters, incorrectly installed splitters, bad connectors, etc.) inside the house. In my house, for example, I have some fairly long drops and 12 outlets. The passive loss on some legs is 17dB, and cable losses on the longest drops at the highest channels are more than 10 dB, so an amplifier is definitely required. In a house with 2 or perhaps even 4 outlets (7dB passive loss for 4 outlets) no more than 20 meters from the point where the cable drop attaches to the house (about 5dB loss at 750MHz), no amplifier should be required. With 4 or more outlets and long wall drops, an amp might be necessary. With 8 or more outlets, an amp is almost surely necessary - especially since 8 outlets also implies a fairly large house.

    Check the system diagnostics when tuned to a channel and it will tell you specifically if the channel is analog or digital. Note that digital transmission will only alleviate artifacts caused by CATV plant problems. If the signal is poor reachng the headend, digital transmission won't help.
     
  12. Sep 4, 2008 #332 of 379
    guarh

    guarh New Member

    33
    0
    Jul 18, 2008
    lrhorer: thank you for your valuable input!

    I have two lines going in from the box outside the house. One of them has my Tivo, cable modem and one analog tv connected, the other line has two analog tvs. The first line where the tivo is, the total length of the line before reaching the tivo is about 20-25m, and I am not sure, but I think there may be one or two splitters on that cable. The second line is shorter than that though and it only has one splitter, and quality is still crappy. I will have the tech check the signal levels at the eve and at the tv. So, I should have at least -6dbmv at the Tivo, and better than this at eve (around +5dbmv or better) if I understand correctly?

    Funny thing is, the first time when Brighthouse contractor came to connect cable at the house, I asked him about the signal levels and if he had a tool to measure it. He said the standalone tool is very expensive and he didn't have it.
     
  13. Sep 4, 2008 #333 of 379
    Duke

    Duke Member

    124
    2
    May 6, 2000
    St....
    If the cable drop from the BH monument on the street to the side of your house is old or damaged, it is quite acceptable to ask them to replace it. Irhorer is correct, BH should be delivering a clean strong signal to the eve of your house. An amp may be needed from that point to your TV's depending on the number of splitters, cable length, number of TV's, etc.

    I've never seen a cable tech that didn't have a signal strength device with them. It's their basic tool for troubleshooting.

    If your internet connection is on the same drop as your TiVo, TV's, etc. that could be a problem. BH should have installed a Hi/Lo splitter to isolate the internet drop to your cable modem from the rest of your cable TV system. That is typically done at the eve of the house, with a separate cable line going to your modem.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Sep 4, 2008 #334 of 379
    Duke

    Duke Member

    124
    2
    May 6, 2000
    St....
    I'm in South Pinellas. Using your method I tested many channels from 3 to 99, and all of them are analog, not ADS. I thought BH had shifted some of these lower channels to digital, but I guess not yet.
     
  15. Sep 4, 2008 #335 of 379
    guarh

    guarh New Member

    33
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    Jul 18, 2008
    I remember they put one of those hi/lo splitters when I lived in Clearwater(two years ago), but that was done by a Brighthouse tech who seemed to know what he is doing, he mentioned he is working for BH for 8 years.

    The contractor said that the tool is like $2K, which sounds ridiculous to me.

    O btw, they changed the underground cable coming to my house during the initial install, but I guess that didn't help much.
     
  16. 25Tango

    25Tango New Member

    1
    0
    Sep 20, 2008
    Ocala, FL
    I live in a community that furnishes Brighthouse Basic service with our HOA fees that only includes about 20-30 analog chans and a good many QAM.
    I bought a TivoHD a few days ago and scaned the QAM channs which includes some HD chans. More than are shown in their pdf file here:
    http://cfl.mybrighthouse.com/products_and_pricing/digital_cable/programming/channels/default.aspx

    I bought the THD to record the digital chans and HD and was surprised to learn that Brighthouse would not rent me a cablecard. After reading a lot of posts here about the various results of getting a CC from BHN, I persistently tried several times by phone, email and a walkin at office without any results. They said I had to upgrade to "Standard pkg" from Basic before I could get a CC. I am not interested in upgrading or getting more chans, so I declined each time.
    I have been able to record the shows that my wife and I generally watch via manual recordings and season pass; they are really great. But, in the now playing list, they have no program info. I can get by this way, but it sure would be nice to see the qam chan programs/info on the guide.
    Several questions:
    1. Would a cablecard show the qam chans on the guide?
    2. Is there a work around to get the qam chan program info?
    3. Is Tivo working on a solution to this or is it practical for them to do so?
    TIA,
    MR
     
  17. Oct 9, 2008 #337 of 379
    scottopus

    scottopus New Member

    26
    0
    Oct 26, 2004
    Seminole, FL
    I'm getting ready to fire my BH DVR. I’ve purchased a used Tivo HD (Model #TCD652160). I currently have it setup and connected to my TV and broadband connection (wired). I plan on subscribing to Tivo service today.

    I live in a new (2005) condo that has cable outlets in every room. The Tivo is to the same outlet as our cable modem. BH installed a splitter to goes to the modem and DVR. I’m planning on using the same connection to the BH DVR for the Tivo.

    I called BH for the first time today to request a CableCARD. The associate (Carol) had knowledge of CablesCARDs and went over the price to install ($39.95) and cost of the card ($2.95). I told her that I read that there was an additional “device” charge for the cableCARD. She then informed me that I was correct and it was 0.95. I felt like I should have been provided this cost up front but that seems to be standard operating procedure for BH (try to find the DVR/HD DVR smart box charge on there website or on any printed material besides on your bill!). I asked to setup an installation appointment. She was able to schedule it for tomorrow late afternoon. I asked her if I could specify that I need an M-card. She said that she doesn’t know what the tech is going to have so I’ll have to ask them when they come.

    Besides handing the installation sheet from Tivo and only letting them install 1 S-card at a time (hopefully I get an M-card), is there anything else I should be doing to insure a smooth install?

    Thank you,

    Scott
     
  18. Duke

    Duke Member

    124
    2
    May 6, 2000
    St....
    Just make sure they follow the installation sheet TO THE LETTER. Sometimes they like to short-cut it by sticking in both cards at the same time; a no-no.

    Good luck.
     
  19. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

    531
    0
    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    Technically, it works just fine to insert both cards at the same time. Realistically, it's easier to do one card at a time, so they don't get confused. So, I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a "no-no" just not ideal.
     
  20. scottopus

    scottopus New Member

    26
    0
    Oct 26, 2004
    Seminole, FL
    Knight Contracting showed up about a half hour later than the 2 hour install window I was given from Brighthouse. The good part of that was I got the install ($39.95) for free but it did take 5 minutes of me explaining to the Brighthouse CSR that according to there website it should be free.

    The installer said this was going to be his first Tivo install and was glad that I had the instructions printed out. I asked if he had any M-cards. His reply was that he didn't know but showed me the two cards. Both were SA cards with a production date from 2005 so I know they were S-cards. I asked if he had anymore cards in his truck and he said "no" :rolleyes:.
    We followed the directions exactly until it came to step 8 which was to call the cable company to activate the first card. I asked him if we could call it in, but he informed me he could only call Brighthouse once both cards were installed. Since my job isn't installing cableCARD's, I let my point be noted but didn't push for the call. We proceeded to install the second cableCARD without issue. He placed the cableCARD serial number bar codes on both his work order sheet and my instruction printout which I keep for my records. The install wrote the host ID beside each cable card serial number bar code as we went through the instructions. He then placed the call to Brighthouse to activate the cards. As soon as he finished on the phone, we tested each individual card to see if they were getting digital channels (channel 100), local HD channels (channel 628), and HD cable channels (channel 707). They were all there and he was on his way. The whole install lasted about 35 minutes and not calling in the first card in step eight didn't affect the install.

    My only complaint is I didn’t get an M-card but Brighthouse never said that I would get one.

    One thing I would like to pass along to the next person getting an install is to insure that all your cable connections are tight and have RG59 printed/stamped on them. I had some pixilation issues that are currently have been resolved by replacing a cable and tightening all the connections.
     

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