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CableCARD installation FAQ

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

  1. Nov 1, 2007 #21 of 646
    Craig T

    Craig T New Member

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    Nov 1, 2007
    Thanks for the reply. It's good to know that it's probably a case of just being able to get transferred to a supervisor(hopefully one that has a clue).

    I asked several CSR's about whether M cards or S cards are being used when I called asking about prices but they didn't even know the difference. I did get connected once to tech support but he only knew the cards were being used for TV's. Boy, trying to get connected to someone at Comcast who knows anything about cable cards is turning out to be a real challenge. Even the CSR's I did get to talk to had to ask somebody else- and their info is apparently wrong. I really need to be sure of the costs before I can even think about ordering a TIVO. Thanks again.

    Craig
     
  2. Nov 2, 2007 #22 of 646
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

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    It's different everywhere, region by region, with Comcast. Here in the NE, it's free for the first one, and $2.75 per A/O (Additional Outlet) if you have any premium stations. I think it would be totally free if you just needed it for the local and basic tier. But, I have HBO/SHO and with 4 cableCARDS, I get charged for 3 A/O's at $2.75 each.
     
  3. Nov 2, 2007 #23 of 646
    Craig T

    Craig T New Member

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    Nov 1, 2007
    I finally got connected to a Comcast CSR that apparently even knew what a cable card was and looked up to see what type our area was using. It showed we are now using M cards so the cost factor of a second card is null and void. At least I hope so and this would explain why the others consistently came up with costs showing up as the price for a second outlet. Thanks guys.

    Craig
     
  4. Nov 2, 2007 #24 of 646
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

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    Jan 17, 2007
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    For TiVo HD only (as you say, that's what you are interested in.) The series 3 unit requires 2 cableCARDs, whether or not they are S-Cards or M-cards. And that does not look like it is going to change, according to TiVo Jerry, which really stinks for S3 owners.
     
  5. Nov 3, 2007 #25 of 646
    scroos

    scroos New Member

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    Jun 6, 2006
    Could someone elaborate on this one? The tech sent to my house swankered in like John Wayne and put 2 M-Cards in at the same time. It wasn't until I stepped in that I realized that he was clueless. After removing Slot 2 Card, and several reboots, I am still having the aforementioned issues with HD Channels (CableCard greyscreen).

    BTW....This is on my first Tivo HD <-----n00b

    TIA

    OO
     
  6. Nov 3, 2007 #26 of 646
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

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    Jan 17, 2007
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    The main reason you want to do this is because there are two tuners and once both cards are in, it can be difficult to tell if both tuners are authorized. But, that said, there is really no problem with installing both at the same time. In my current case, I had a perfectly functioning S3 with two cableCARDs that Comcast blew the settings on at their office. I left both cards in, the tech called in both sets of numbers, and I am up and running. So, it is not a necessity. It just makes it less confusing. Less confusing is good.
     
  7. Nov 3, 2007 #27 of 646
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

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    Jan 17, 2007
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    I had to have my Series 3 cableCARDs re-paired this morning. I asked the tech on-site where the data ID was stored. (That is the only number that changes when you modify the hardware.) He said that the number is generated by the DAC and stored there. Seeing as the cableCARD is a one way device, the DAC sends the new number to the cableCARD. The only thing I still can't figure out though is why they have to call in the data ID and manually enter it if their own equipment is generating the number.

    DAC = Digital Addressable Controller

    http://broadband.motorola.com/catalog/product_documents/CableCARDpaper_sept03.pdf

     
  8. Nov 3, 2007 #28 of 646
    jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Actually, the Data ID is stored on the hard drive of the Tivo box. The data value is not generated by the DAC, but by the Tivo/CableCARD. The validation key is generated by the DAC - perhaps that's what he was talking about.
     
  9. Nov 4, 2007 #29 of 646
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

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    Jan 17, 2007
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    It's not stored on the hdd. I just got finished testing this theory. It is possible that the cableCARD stores the DATA ID.

    Anytime you make a significant change to the system by either swapping cableCARDs or hdd's, the DAC generates a new DATA ID. It is stored on the DAC and it is transmitted to the cableCARD. The cableCARD can not transmit back. What needs to be manually entered is the Hosting/pairing info into the CPMS (COPY PROTECTION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM) wich generates a validation key. That is then updated back to the DAC.

    EDIT: The reason most of us believed that the DATA ID was stored on the hdd was because you can make an image of your hdd and transfer it to a new drive. When you put in the new drive, it keeps the same DATA ID. So, it was assumed (and I myself always assumed) that it must be kept on the hdd. The reason that it worked was because the hdd APPEARED to be identical (to the DAC).

    I have my original hdd with the cableCARDs I currently have. After losing my DATA ID on my side, I put back in my old drive. It generated a third DATA ID proving that a new number was generated once the DAC saw a change.
     
  10. Nov 4, 2007 #30 of 646
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    I did not mean to disagree with this statement. I pretty much believe that this is very possible and most likely. I'm guessing the tech is not 100% sure how it all works, he just knows that the cableCARD must be configured in the DAC. The reason I asked was that I was hoping to get the facts, but after re-reading the Motorola white sheet, it does appear that the DATA ID is generated locally. So, my apologies.
     
  11. Nov 7, 2007 #31 of 646
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
  12. Nov 12, 2007 #32 of 646
    mpmclaugh33

    mpmclaugh33 New Member

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    Dec 30, 2004
    This is definitely a key piece of info. I had a cablecard install this past Saturday. It took about 2 hrs. Ultimately the issue was the device order. Once they got the cablecard in there first everything went smooth.

    My installer was good. He didn't know a ton about cablecards but he was pleased to learn new stuff. He didn't know that if you used a multi stream card that you only need one card. I gave him the Tivo cablecard install sheet that came with my TivoHD so he could have it for future reference.
     
  13. Nov 14, 2007 #33 of 646
    oklapoema

    oklapoema New Member

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    Jan 2, 2007
    I just got a replacement S3 Tivo and I am wondering if I can switch out the cable cards myself. My old S3 works fine other than one of the standard def tuners keeps on going black and white. Any suggestions on if switching the cable cards myself is a good idea. I would hate to have to call suddenlink and pay another fee for cable card install, when it is the same cards going in the same type of device.
     
  14. Nov 15, 2007 #34 of 646
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Jan 6, 2003
    Houston &...
    Just to be absolutely clear, you can even mix the cards. An S3 will work with 2 SCards, 2 MCards or one of each. It doesn't change the fact that at this time MCards still only feed one stream in an S3. :mad:
     
  15. Nov 16, 2007 #35 of 646
    benh57

    benh57 New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    Westchester, CA
    Just picked up 2 cc's for my new TivoHD from time warner. Called them for pairing and they had no clue how to do that. So they are sending a tech out. She didn't think it was allowed for a customer to pair them themselves.

    Maybe i should just call back till i get someone who knows?
     
  16. Nov 16, 2007 #36 of 646
    kgcore

    kgcore New Member

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    Nov 16, 2007
    To all,

    I just wanted to provide a blow by blow on how I got Tivo working on Comcast. I hope it helps someone else not spend the 8 hours I did.

    I will bullet it by action:
    - I hooked up my New Tivo HD.
    - I put it on my network: No problem, Tivo HD has an ethernet port.
    - I put my M-Series Tivo card (only needs 1) in my Tivo I got from Comcast.
    - Started the CableCard installation process.
    - Went all the way to the end.
    - Called comcast and gave them the two IDs Tivo displayed in the grey commodore 65 font (The host ID and Data ... found on the "CableCard Pairing menu")
    - Clicked Live TV ( It sat on the dreaded "Please Wait...Acquiring Channel Information" screen for like 10 to 15 minutes...)
    - It eventually failed and gave an error.
    - I then saw that I had neglected to hook my Tivo up to cable. (The internet was working but the splitter wasn't plugged in ... I'm an idiot )
    - Because of this I think I had to jump through additional hoops to get it to work.
    - I plugged cable in and it still didn't work.
    - After more blog reading I came up with a new strategy. A blog said that you may need to update the Tivo software to use the new M-Cards. I think this was more for the series 3 rather than the Tivo HD but was willing to give it a try.
    - I re-connected to Tivo mother ship (because the faq says that tivo does not download any updates to its core system until the second time you connect ... )
    - Tivo rebooted and then sat on the "updating software ... this could take more than an hour " screen for like 45 minutes.
    - After it .... finally ... came back, I clicked on the "watch live tv" and still no luck ... the endless "Please Wait...Acquiring Channel Information" came on again.
    - After more blog reading I called Comcast again.
    - I told them my plight and they wanted to send someone back out. Poor comcast reps doing Tivo support ... you can tell they absolutely hate it and their approach is to bill their own company another 200 - 500 bucks by rolling a truck for no good reason.
    - Hung up ... Now have a saturday appointment for 10:00.
    - Back to the blogs
    - Found out about some cool codes that can actually tell you a lot on the tivo screen.
    - Go to (aprox) settings->Cable Cards-> Cable Card Menu->Network Setup
    - There is another commodore 64 menu that shows oob count. Go in and get the count then leave and go back in and get the count again. It should be going up. It was.
    - This is good news. It means that the card is communicating to the mother ship.
    - Found a blog that said you should call comcast and get them to reset it.
    - I called them again "number 3" and the nice lady wanted to roll another truck.
    - I asked her that I already had a service scheduled but wanted to try one more reset. She said that this had already been done twice. I said humor me and do it one more time.
    - I was in the "Conditional Access Screen" and saw the "Val:" change to "V 0x03" I had read that this was another good sign.
    - Back to "Please Wait...Acquiring Channel Information". I asked the comcast lady how long this would take and she said 45 minutes. I hung up. (Just think what this does to their call time metrics.. You know there are plenty of people that just want them to wait......)
    - I hung up rather than torture her more and hit the Tivo button to bag out of the screen and went back to the settings->Cable Cards-> Cable Card Menu->Diagnostics and saw "Program Lock: No" curses foiled again.
    - Back to the blogs then looked back up at the screen and saw "Program Lock: Yes"
    - It must have been doing something. Could it not be ..... Wait Wait
    - Went back to "Watch Live TV"
    - No Acquiring Channel Information screen .. But a blank grey one
    - Waited and behold .... Glorious TIVO in glorious HD.....

    My Takeways
    - Make sure you have the tivo connected to the cable when you do an initial set up.
    - If that dosn't work connect to Tivo twice to make sure it gets the most current software load.
    - Look at the CableCard diagnostics screen to make sure Tivo is communicating to Comcast
    - After all that ... make sure Comcast sends you an activation signal. (Previous ones they have sent may not have worked).
    - I don't want to be a comcast customer support person the day after christmas.

    I think something is good on Discovery HD.....I think I will go watch it.

    I hope this helps someone else.
    Thanks,
    Kent
     
  17. Nov 17, 2007 #37 of 646
    xena

    xena New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    Pasadena having problems....got charter sa cards inserted today by rep. followed instructions...shows as auth. received and ready, however do not get many channels 2, or 500 or some HD as well - dumbfounded....please tell me what to do, charter coming in the am to insert mcard (i hope)...funny they say they have only one m card at irwindale to bring....
     
  18. Nov 18, 2007 #38 of 646
    jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    4,469
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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    I'll make the clarification. I have a number of updates I hope to get done shortly.
     
  19. Nov 21, 2007 #39 of 646
    mikeylikesit40

    mikeylikesit40 New Member

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    Nov 28, 2006
    I called the local number for Chamersburg, PA.

    This was my third call over the last year. First two were to the 800 number.

    I spoke with a person (Melissa) who initially spouted out the exact billing I should be recieving. I have Digital Classic and HDTV (obviously no box from them).

    According to their billing schema, first cable card is free for an outlet, second card is $1.91. HDTV, they say is $5.00 per outlet. hmmm, I never saw that listed anywhere.

    So, I was being charged $10.00/month for the last year.

    She agreed it was wrong but wanted to check with a supervisor. Supervisor said it was correct... $10.00. $5.00 per hdtv access to each card.

    She said she was sorry and I asked to talk to the supervisor.

    I explained that I have only one outlet. I directed him to the cablecard billing schema of 1st free, 2nd $1.91.

    I then explained that I was being charged $10.00 for an equipment rental and I have no other equipment than the 2 cablecards.

    He said it was for HDTV to each card ($5.00 each). I asked where I could find that charge explained.

    He had no answer.

    I asked him to read through the schema to me and tell me where each charge on my bill comes from. Of course, at this point I won.

    He took it off my bill, credited me $110 for the last 11 months.

    Here is the kicker, for my trouble, he didn't put the $1.91 back on my bill. He also dropped the facade of the $5.00 for HDTV with no equipment.

    So, I was expecting at most half the money credited and at worst them agreeing that it was one outlet with 2 cards and HDTV ($1.91 + $5.00 mystery HDTV charge). Instead they made me a happy happy man!
     
  20. Nov 21, 2007 #40 of 646
    mikeylikesit40

    mikeylikesit40 New Member

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    Nov 28, 2006
    PS. Just in case it helps others. I forgot to mention a part of the conversation.

    Look at their Basic Cable service lineup. It includes HDTV local channels. Read the fine print.... To recieve HDTV, you may need a TV or Converter that can interpret HD signals.

    So, for $21.95 a month, you could get all your local TV and a few shopping networks plus all your local TV in High Def.

    Now, if you need a converter box, they will rent you one for $9.95/month. If you don't need it then fine. No Charge. That is an equipment rental.

    Hmmm... You will need a couple of Cable Cards for your Tivo though. That will cost you $1.91/month.

    The argument that HDTV costs $5.00 per month is something they made up. Look at all the package channel line ups. It's included. You just need equipment to tune it.

    Anyone paying more than $1.91/month for their Comcast cablecards OR paying extra for HDTV needs to contact Comcast and get their money back.

    May I also suggest being polite about it. I even explained to the Supervisor that although it's been a year and three phone calls, I'm not frustrated. I realize that HDTV, TIVO's and CableCards are new to everyone and it will take some time to get it all sorted out.

    He thanked me for my patience.
     

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