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CableCARD installation FAQ

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jfh3, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. smedley12

    smedley12 New Member

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    Nov 22, 2008
    Hoping someone can help me as I couldn't find the answer to my Q in the FAQ list...

    I just upgraded to TiVo HD and my multi-stream cable card doesn't appear to be properly linked with my account. (The cable guy left as the screen that was supposedly linking up all of the cable channels was up... I was stupid and believed him when he said once it cycled through everything would be cool, and let him leave.) Now I've been on the phone with Comcast at least four different times and they can't figure out what's wrong. They have another tech coming next weekend but thought I'd try posting here.

    My cable is coming in properly - I can see all the channels I'm supposed to get through the HD cable box (which I got bc I still want to be able to get on demand).

    My TiVo box is working - if I remove the splitter, I can get basic cable channels but not any of the other HD channels or the HBO, etc. I should be getting.

    What do I need to do to get my cable card talking to my account properly? AND, is there any way to do it online without calling Comcast again? I am going to tear my hair out if I have to talk to a clueless phone tech again.
     
  2. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
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    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    Your LIFE is in the Hands of Comcast.

    As long as your CableCard is in the correct TiVo Slot.
    That is all you can do on your end.

    After that there is nothing you can do EXCEPT read the Comcast
    Tech on the phone the correct PAIRING info. No one needs
    to come out. You just need to reach a Comcast ATS [Advance
    Tech Support] technician who can KEY IN the right pairing
    info. The problem is convincing the 1st line tech support
    person that you need to talk to someone else.
     
  3. Dec 3, 2008 #183 of 646
    jon96cobra

    jon96cobra Member

    73
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    May 24, 2006
    Northern VA
    I have Cox cable and I have 2 S cards in my Series 3 When the cable company runs updates to add more channels do I need to do anything to the cards or to the tivo to start viewing the stations. About a month or 2 ago my tivo notice a cable line up of my discovery tier picking up the HD version of there stations but when I go to the stations they are black but have the guide information. I'm about to call my Cox Cable and mention I'm not getting the stations but I want to make sure its not something I can handle myself with a simple reboot of the tivo or to the Cable cards.
     
  4. Dec 3, 2008 #184 of 646
    a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    431
    0
    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...
    There is nothing for you to do when it all works as designed. I have had a couple of channel upgrades with Comcast and had to do nothing. Sometimes it can take up to 24 hours for both the channel map and the guide to get in sync with each other.

    However, when it doesn't work as designed..... Perhaps Cox has not authorized the new channels in your package. If a reboot doesn't fix it, at the least, I would call them, explain your problem and ask them to "hit" your cards again. If that doesn't work, then your account is probably misconfigured on their end. Good luck getting them to sort that out.
     
  5. Dec 9, 2008 #185 of 646
    ericbro

    ericbro New Member

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    Mar 22, 2008
    I have a new TiVo HD. Comcast (Nashville) allowed me to pick up my M-card and I installed it following the directions. I now have access to only the very basic channels (I think they call it "limited") - basically local channels only. None of the other basic channels like ESPN, CNN, etc. Those screens are black. My channel guide lists ALL of the channels.

    Just had a technician come out. His dispatcher that was the "supposed" cable card expert said that M-cards worked only intermittently on Tivo's. They might work for a while then drop channels. She insisted that we would need two S-cards (for which she would charge me $6.95). And, of course, although I asked if he would have extra cards on the truck when I placed the service call, he didn't have any. So they scheduled a service call for the morning.

    I think they're wrong, but I don't know what to do to get those missing channels. I've tried stepping through the troubleshooting steps at the beginning of this forum, but I'm not sure what's up.

    I don't trust them, and don't want to wait. Suggestions?
     
  6. Dec 9, 2008 #186 of 646
    jon96cobra

    jon96cobra Member

    73
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    May 24, 2006
    Northern VA
    Talked to Cox cable today they told me they have a fix for the problem of the channels I'm not able to get. The told me its a Cable card Tivo Adapter. It will be available in my area this Thursday. I can't wait to see what channels I will get back.
     
  7. Dec 9, 2008 #187 of 646
    ericbro

    ericbro New Member

    12
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    Mar 22, 2008
    Here's an update. Contacted TiVo tech support - he was great. Walked me through checking out the card. Determined that Comcast hadn't activated the card. (I don't know what, if anything, they did when I had called before. I probably didn't ask the right questions.) I called Comcast and had them activate the card and pair it to the slot - a couple of times. Still no change. TiVo's next guess was a bad card. I've got a service call schedule for the morning. I'll update again.
     
  8. Dec 9, 2008 #188 of 646
    crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
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    Oct 31, 2008
    If M-Cards are installed, paired and "initialized" properly they will work just fine. They will only drop channels if the pairing information changes, your cable package changes, or if the card(s) need to be re-authorized. Is you card Motorola or Scientific Atlantic?
     
  9. jman

    jman New Member

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    Sep 17, 2002
    I have a tivo series 3 HD. I have a M card. I do not recieve all HD channels. I am told that this is due to the way the cable company scrambles the channels. I forget the terminology. I have Cablevision. As I understand it all the other cable companies have an add on box or fixed the cable cards to watch all paid for channels. When is cablevision going to fix this? Are they just trying to bust tivo so you have to buy their own dvr?
     
  10. ericbro

    ericbro New Member

    12
    0
    Mar 22, 2008
    My M-card is a Motorola.

    Comcast tried again to activate and pair the card, but it didn't take. The next TiVo tech support person wasn't quite as good. Whereas the first one said they'd get on a 3-way call with Comcast, this one said that "sometimes she can't connect" when trying to call the customer back. Why she had to hang up to call me back to establish the 3-way call is beyond me. I think she just didn't want to do it.

    Comcast is due here in an hour or so. More to come.....
     
  11. wkearney99

    wkearney99 Bill Kearney

    1,920
    14
    Dec 5, 2003
    Bethesda,...
    Not all phone systems are configured to allow establishing those kinds of calls. It could just be a human nature issue where she just didn't want to deal with the hassle, or didn't know how to use the phone system to do it. Regardless, the ineptitude on the part of the cable providers is legendary; Comcast more than others.
     
  12. ericbro

    ericbro New Member

    12
    0
    Mar 22, 2008
    Actually, that was the TiVo person who didn't seem to want to do the 3-way call. The first TiVo person volunteered an offer to do so. The second one was obviously reluctant.
     
  13. ericbro

    ericbro New Member

    12
    0
    Mar 22, 2008
    The Comcast technician just left. Just for giggles, we removed the M-Card and stuck it back in, and had Comcast re-activate it. It worked.

    End of story. Hope this helps someone.
     
  14. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
    0
    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    I have seen that problem before also.

    It seems the CARD won't ACCEPT the info from Comcast
    unless a COLD REBOOT is done [aka Extract and Insert].

    This is not always necessary - just some times. I have
    5 DVR's with "M" cards. I only had to do it on 1 out 5.
    I can't explain it.
     
  15. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    They are full of $#!&. M-cards work fine on TiVos. The only issue relate dto M-Cards is they will only work in simplex mode on the original Series 3, so if the user has an S3, they need two cards whether they are M-Cards or S-Cards. On the TiVo HD or HD XL they work just fine. I've had a TiVo HD for a year, now, with the same M-Card in it the entire time. I've never had any channels drop. In fact, unless you count a handful of shows which did not air when they were listed to air and a couple of power ouatges, I've never missed a single recording.

    Be very nice and patient, but firm and confidant sounding. Do not BS them, but don't allow them to push you around, either. Be adamant they be very specific in their statements, and make it obvious you are taking down a full set of notes, including names, dates, serial numbers, and times. Chances are good they will accommodate you to get things working. Make sure you know everything you need to know prior to interfacing with them, such as the fact there are tens of thousands of TiVo HD units in the field equipped with M-Cards and there have been no widespread reports of intermittent problems with M-Cards on the THD. Give them plenty of rope to hang themselves, if they so choose. In the event they do so choose and try to snow you again, turn nasty. I mean really nasty. Remind them pointedly that you have names, dates, and serial numbers. Point out very clearly that you know they are lying and exactly how you know. I would avoid foul language, but call them liars flat-out to theri faces if their behavior warrants it. Be sure to have the name and address of the local General Manager - and their e-mail and phone number if you actually can get them - and tell them in no uncertain terms the GM will be receiving an angry letter / e-mail / phone call from you with names, dates, serial numbers, and an accurate transcript of the events of the trouble call, including the specifics of any lies they told. If you still receive no satisfaction, then make the call. Don't let them off the hook.
     
  16. lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    It sounds like you mean Switched Digital Video. It has nothing to do with scrambling. It has to do with drastically increasing the number of available channels on the CATV system by implementing a switched protocol - SDV - rather than the very limited traditional method of broadcast delivery.

    Assuming the issue is indeed deployment of SDV, the resolution for TiVos and possibly other future CableCard based unidirectional receivers (UDCPs) is called the Tuning Adapter. The two major SDV systems in the United States are made by Scientific Atlanta (Cisco) and Motorola. Both Cisco and Motorola have developed TAs for use with CableCard based UDCPs that have appropriately enabled USB ports, such as the S3 and THD TiVos. There are a handful of local franchises which have delivered TAs to their subscribers, but as of yet most have not. They are due to be delivered on a widespread basis to the general public within the next couple of months. Several MSOs have suggested they may be supplying them free of charge, but few have committed to this policy, yet. For more info, see the SDV FAQ in this conference.
     
  17. wizzle

    wizzle HD Happiness

    13
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    Jul 9, 2007
    Raleigh/Durh...
    Thanks for this post.

    If anyone could share their experience w/ Tivo HD in the Raleigh/Durham area using TWC, that would be great.

    More specifically...the use of CABLECARDS and HD content available with the basic cable lineup.
     
  18. mike32940

    mike32940 New Member

    79
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    Jan 18, 2003
    I'm getting screwed by Comcast for the additional outlet fee and the cable card fee in order to have a 2 scard configuration and would like to cut back on my cable bill. If I removed one scard would I be able to get all the channels on 1 tuner but only those I get in the clear on the second? Would Tivo handle this intelligently when schuling shows? This would work for me as I hardly ever get a conflict between 2 encrypted channels and I know I'm getting the major networks in HD in the clear as I can see them ok using the tuner on my TVs.

    Is this feasible? Anyone got this sort of configuration?
     
  19. Adam1115

    Adam1115 20,000!!! TCF Club

    27,658
    33
    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    No, It will simply record one show at a time and work otherwise exactly the same as it does now.
     
  20. Vern_l

    Vern_l New Member

    2
    0
    Aug 9, 2007
    Hope this helps someone know what to expect. Here is my experience with Comcast in Northwest Georgia, a Tivo HD XL, and an S3 getting outfitted with CableCARD's

    Friday, Comcast Installer came out for the install, he had 4 Motorola M-cards.

    Tivo HD XL was the first and got 1 M-card, info relayed to dispatch over the phone, and card seemed to be downloading a file. Thought the card may not be doing what it was supposed to and sent several additional "hits" to the card. Still thought it was not pulling in the channels, but about 30 minutes to an hour later I had all my channels and everything was working correctly.

    The S3 had a similar experience, except it got 2 CableCARD's 30 minutes to and hour after install, CableCard 1 was working, but CableCard 2 was only getting unencrypted channels. The install tech was long gone by this time, but had a service call scheduled for Monday before he left. It was his first cablecard job, when he left I was only receiving unencrypted channels on all 3 cards. Two started working correctly about 30minutes after he left, and the last one never fixed itself.

    I tried calling service on Saturday hoping someone there could fix it, they "hit" the card again, but no luck. I waited for the service call on Monday.

    Monday, the service tech arrived, I showed him the problem with Cablecard 2 in the S3 using the channel test for that card. He asked me to show him the pairing info for that card, and then he was able to "initialize" the card using his handheld magic box, and it started working almost immediately.

    Things I learned:

    1) Initial activation of the Cablecards may take 30minutes to an hour to receive all the channels.

    2) Install techs for Comcast are technically challenged.

    3) Some of the Comcast service techs know what they are doing and were able to fix my cablecard problem using only their handheld computer.

    4) An "Initialize" signal is different than a "hit" and could fix your cablecard issues if your channels are not working an hour after initial install.

    Hope this helps, someone know what to expect.
     

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