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CableCARD installation FAQ

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

  1. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    TiVo with a single "M: card works great in Salem, NH on Comcast.
    In fact I have 6 DVRs with "M" Cards

    Kingston is just to far in the woods :up: :)
     
  2. scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    I had already printed that screen out and showed it to the techs. I pointed to the AUTH field and said "this field needs to show as S before the cable card will work. We're not even seeing that part of the page." They didn't seem to care about that.

    Yes - every time I go into the Network screen the number of messages has increased.

    Yes, it's V0x01. It seems like we tried every combination of sending hits to the card, rebooting, redoing guided setup. Like I said, they were here 5.5 hours. :)

    I'm really hoping the "cable card guru" they have escalated me to knows what he's doing. I'm waiting for him to contact me to schedule a visit.
     
  3. scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    Can I refer Comcast to your installation for reference? :)
     
  4. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    I'm sure I am not the only one in the NH Comast Territory.

    I have GREAT Techs that made everything work - they made it feel simple.
     
  5. scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    He came today, and I still don't have a TivoHD with working cable cards. :(

    He tried two S-cards instead of the M-card and the symptoms are exactly the same - tuner 0 gets no channels/program lock at all, and tuner 1 only gets analog 2-23. The one thing that changed was the CA screen now shows all of the fields it's supposed to, even though the AUTH field says "Unknown".

    He's now escalating my case to the "Super cable card/tivo guy" who is going to see if it's something in my local network that's causing the problem. If that doesn't help, he has a tivo set up and working in his office that he will bring to my house and see if it has the same problems pairing/authorizing as mine. If his has no problem, then my signal is adequate and I can only assume it's the tivo and I'll need to exchange it.
     
  6. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    If only ALL cableco's had that capability (and dedication)! It does sound more and more like there is a tuner problem in your TiVo. Rare but not unheard of. Thanks for keeping us up to date! :up:
     
  7. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    OH NO - TWICE in one Month I am AGREEING with Rich. This is FUN ;)

    It is sounding more and more like it is a TiVo Problem.

    This past week - I was getting some pixilation on my CableCard
    DVRs including TiVo. I have each Theater DROP Specially set up
    to make sure Signal Strength is set to be 90%.

    When I checked this week because of seeing the pixilation - all
    6 of my DVRs where showing 100%. Comcast must have boosted
    the Signal Strength out in the street. If they stay at 100%, I'll
    knock it down a few DB to get it back to 90%.

    Has any of the TECH used their real spectrum analyzer to look
    at your signal at the TiVo.
     
  8. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    I already told you...stop drinking the Kool-Aid! :)

    A few months before we switched to FIOS Comcast definitely boosted the signal on our street. Prior SS would fluctuate between 92 and 98, maybe as low as 82 or so on some channels but suddenly everything was pegged at 100%. The only issues we saw were on Scripps channels (HGTV, etc.) which had some periodic pixelization. Two things coincided: added HD channels (reducing bandwidth and increased compression for each channel) as well as higher broadband speed. In the middle of the night download would go as high as 34Mbps! During the day it was another story though...apparently we have a lot of geeks on our block because it would drop to 12 to 14Mbps. :mad: Glad to have a steady 20Mbps from VZ now.
     
  9. scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    I think the second tech(s) that came out did. They used some kind of little analyzer box, and didn't like a "drop off" that they were seeing. So they completely replaced the cable coming from across the street, up my driveway to my house with brand new (fatter) cable. But it didn't make any difference as far as the TivoHD was concerned.

    I told those same two techs that you guys advised that the signal strength needed to be at least 85 according to the tivo diagnostic screen, but they said the signal was plenty strong and they thought any stronger would be "too hot", even though tivo reported it at only 56. I told the same thing to the third tech yesterday, and he said he'd mention that to the "expert cable card/tivo" guy that my case is being escalated to. He seemed to be more open to the advice from this forum than the second techs were.

    I already have a signal amp in my basement that Comcast installed years ago, and the signal strength is still only 56. Are there different strength amps?
     
  10. scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    My TivoHD is "recertified" - I wonder if that was why it was returned in the first place?

    I bought it on 11/5, so I only have until sometime next week to exchange it (I think). I did make one call to Tivo's cablecard hotline, so there should be a record of me having problems with it.
     
  11. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    I know it sounds counter intuitive, but is there a way to remove the signal amp from the line going to TiVo? There have been reports over the years that signal amps ended up causing more problems (for TiVo) and once they were out of the loop things were good. Just a thought.

    Just to be safe I'd call TiVo and get a trouble ticket number. As long as you started the process under the 30 day warranty you should be fine, but having the number would be wise.

    IIRC TiVoStephen (one of the TiVo employees that frequents the forum) said that all refurb units were fully bench tested prior to shipment. But of course something could have been missed.

    Hopefully you can get this resolved soon! Best of luck and thanks for keeping us posted.
     
  12. scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    Do you mean the signal might end up being higher than 56 if I skip the amp on that line, or are you referring to other types of problems that an amp might cause? I could skip the amp at least temporarily and see if it makes any difference.

    Good idea. :up:
     
  13. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    It's possible that the signal could/would improve, yes. There are other issues amps can cause as well (besides "small garbage in, bigger garbage out"). TiVo tuners as well as cable cards can be very sensitive to a number of anomalies introduced into the line by amps. I'm not saying that it will improve, but removing as many things as possible between the raw signal and TiVo (and being positive that the coax that carries it is as good as it can be) may make a difference.

    However with all of the other info, I'm still leaning toward a TiVo tuner issue. Just wanted to see if taking the amp out of the loop might help.
     
  14. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
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    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    I'm not sure were the CableCard Locks itself down and stops
    receiving the signal - but I don't think it is far from the 56 level.

    The Cable Amps Cable Companies give away are NOT USUALLY
    GOOD ONES. Good Cable Amps cost money. My Installation here
    covers a very big Area. I have spent a LOT of money on Cable
    Amps to get the Signal Levels Correct.
     
  15. Dec 1, 2009 #315 of 646
    HeatherA

    HeatherA Old AVS Forum Member

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    Jan 9, 2002
    I just finished reading this thread and I am extremely nervous about my upcoming cablecard install. Who would think that getting something as simple as a "card" working would be such a nightmare. I only hope that I am one of the lucky ones that gets it set up without a hitch. However, knowing my luck...
     
  16. Dec 1, 2009 #316 of 646
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    There's really very little need to worry. People that have problems find there way here...the majority by far have no problems what so ever. Even if you scroll back you'll see many posts by people (like us) who said that they've never had any issues.

    Give the cable tech the cable card installation sheet you received with your TiVo (also found at the link below) and as long as they follow it there really shouldn't be any issues.

    http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/135/c/105,110/r_id/100041

    And here is a nice little video:

    http://www.tivo.com/setupandsupport/cablecard-wizard/index.html

    If something doesn't go right, TiVo Support can help and of course you can always come back here for help, but odds are everything will go fine.

    Enjoy your new TiVo!
     
  17. Dec 2, 2009 #317 of 646
    scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

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    Don't look now, but YOUR PANTS ARE ON FIRE!

    :p

    The most recent tech is coming back tomorrow with the TivoHD that works in their office to try it on my account. If it doesn't work, then it's something on my line that's causing the problem. If it works, then it must be the tivo and I'll exchange it.

    Either way, I hope this nightmare ends soon.
     
  18. Dec 2, 2009 #318 of 646
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    D'oh! :eek: I have to admit that yours is one of the most unusual situations I've read about in a very long time. One way or the other you should be able to get this thing put to bed soon. :up:
     
  19. Dec 2, 2009 #319 of 646
    drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
    0
    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    Is Tomorrow Wednesday or Thursday?
     
  20. Dec 2, 2009 #320 of 646
    scooterboy

    scooterboy Coney Island Small

    29,944
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    Mar 27, 2001
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    He's on his way right now (12/2 10am EST).
     

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