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CableCARD installation FAQ

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

  1. kellykhori

    kellykhori New Member

    9
    1
    Jul 26, 2010
    Holtville, CA
    I had two cable cards installed by TWC yesterday. The tech said he had never done a TIVO before. I took him 1 hour and 45 minutes on my Series 3. He was very polite and understanding.
     
  2. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Welcome to the forum and thanks for the info. Seems pretty rare to have techs that haven't seen a TiVo these days, but it happens. He might have been new to the job as well I suppose. Glad to hear he was able to get things going though.

    Don't be a stranger! :)
     
  3. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

    1,555
    0
    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    Nah, a good VZ tech will have access to either S cards or M cards, and will know that some TiVos require one type, some require another type. My VZ tech earlier this year knew this!
     
  4. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Oh...you know better..the Series3 can use two S or two M cable cards. (FWIW our S3 has two M cards) The TiVo HD/HDXL can use two S or one M card and the TiVo Premiere and Premiere XL require one M card.

    FWIW the VZ tech that I spoke to a couple of months ago said that they haven't had S cards for about a year. AFAIK that's pretty much the case nationally although some could be scrounging around in an old box of supplies out back I suppose. ;)
     
  5. Robbdoe1

    Robbdoe1 Tivo Obsessed

    525
    0
    Dec 29, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    Rich,
    I sprung for the HD from Block Buster yesterday :) cause I was starting to get shaky. Brighthouse let me call in the CC info :up:. I had 1 S card and 1 M card (SA) from the defective S3. I used the M card in slot 1 and Tivo saw it and poped up the MMI screen. I gave Brighthouse the SN from the card and the Host ID from the MMI screen. All is good except for a few of the copy protected channels that I should be getting.

    When I select 1 of these channels the MMI screen pops up. I used the info from Tivo Support to determine on the CP info screen that the card is not bound and paired with the slot.

    It says: Auth Status: Waiting for CP Auth.

    Any thoughts on how to get BHN to fix it? I called a few times but they are not getting me. I do have a truck roll for Sunday if I can't get it before then.

    Thanks.
    Robb
     
  6. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Almost there I see! Believe me, I fully understand why you wouldn't want to go w/o TiVo one minute longer! ;) Cool that your cableco is progressive enough to let you call in the numbers. However the problem with some of the channels sounds like an authorization issue and it's almost certainly on BHN's end. Unless you can convince someone on the other end of the phone to start from scratch and re-pair/bind the card once again you'll probably have to wait fof the tech to do it.

    It's remotely possible that something is up with the cable card, a firmware issue or something, but really not likely as you'd probably see issues across the board.

    If the tech has a new cable card with him, it might be worthwhile to have him install that one...at least you'll get a fresh start.

    Let us know how things go!
     
  7. Robbdoe1

    Robbdoe1 Tivo Obsessed

    525
    0
    Dec 29, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    Yep. I could not wait another minute. I figure I can always sell the refurb S3 when it arrives or I can use it :D. Just don't tell the Mrs.

    I'm thinking the card is good since I just got all the channels that I'm now missing on the S3 a few days ago with that card. I'm sure it is on BHN's end. The truck roll is from 8-10am so I will wait till then and just let them figure it out. It sounds like the card is activated but not validated to me.

    Once this is all done I just need to figure out how to sneek a 1TB drive into the house ;). Shhhhh!

    Robb
     
  8. Robbdoe1

    Robbdoe1 Tivo Obsessed

    525
    0
    Dec 29, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    Well that went great. I'm all set now :).

    We could have saved a truck roll though. They had the CC paired wrong. I spoke to 3 CS reps and confirmed the numbers 2 times Friday and 1 time Saturday to avoid a truck roll and they all confirmed the numbers were correct. The installer called in and the numbers were wrong. They had the CC SN wrong and the Host Id wrong. Oh well.

    Thanks again for the help.

    Robb
     
  9. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Details, details! :rolleyes: Glad to hear that you're all set...finally. :up: Enjoy!
     
  10. dforemsky

    dforemsky New Member

    43
    0
    Aug 6, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Everything went fine. Less than an hour to put multi-stream cards in three TivoHDs (most of the time spent typing numbers into the tech's activation program. Why isn't this more automated?)

    He tried to get authorization to take the single stream cards and set top box, but he couldn't and said that I would be better off calling for a return box anyway. (if you do that, they go directly to the department than can take the items off of your bill, but if he took them it may take a couple of steps to get to the right department)

    All in all, pretty painless once he got there. A little annoyed since the appointment was for between 1 and 5 on Friday. The tech called my home number on Friday morning to say that he would be there between 12 and 2, called again at 12:30 that he would more likely be there between 2:30 and 3:30 and finally arrived at 3:15.
     
  11. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Thanks for the follow up. It does sound like things were pretty painless...nice! Enjoy!
     
  12. mchammerheim

    mchammerheim New Member

    3
    0
    Sep 22, 2010
    New to the forum, and new to cablecard issues. Received a S3 from my brother when he upgraded to an XL. The S3 worked for him with 2 cablecards (as required) only a few weeks ago, so when I scheduled Comcast to come out I let them know that 2 cards were needed. The tech had 2 M-cards and did the install and activations.

    Now the issue: card slot 2 does not seem to work. Problem follows the slot after we swapped cards, even after trying new card in slot 2. Diag screen show the QAM bouncing between 64 and 256(?), so the card is not locking?? Card 2 does receive some channels above analog, but not many. I have tried restarting system as well with no help. Should I do a complete system wipe?

    Tivo support no help, only offered me a replacement DVR (@$149) or an upgrade (@$209) Grrrrrrr
     
  13. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Welcome to the forum. How frustrating! It's quite possible that something has gone south with the slot, sometimes if a card is forced into place the port can be damaged. But it's more likely that the cable cards that have been tried aren't working. There have been reports of cableco techs going through as many as a half-dozen before finding one that actually works.

    That said, unless you can get them to try several new cards it's going to be difficult to diagnose anything else.

    The Series3 is a great DVR…we bought one when they first came out and it's still humming along (even with changing providers a few times). So if you can get things ironed out you s/b very happy with it.

    Others may chime in with some additional thoughts.

    Best of luck!
     
  14. mchammerheim

    mchammerheim New Member

    3
    0
    Sep 22, 2010
    Thanks for the reply.

    The tech did look at the slot for card 2 to verify no bent pins, etc., but it is so dry here a static event is not outside of possibility.

    Tech tried 3 M-cards, all worked in slot 1, none work in slot 2, so I may be SOL.I really hope to get things working with the S3, I haven't heard a lot of good things about the XL series (which is what I assume Tivo would upgrade me to), but my info is limited so far.

    Luckily I still have my Series-2 connected and working, so I can at least deal with the issue without total Tivo withdrawal.
     
  15. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Ah, got it. It does sound like an issue with the slot then. You might have a look inside (you'll need a Torx 10 screwdriver to open the case). There might be a loose wire or something I suppose.

    Not sure what the upgrade might be either. Could be a TiVo HD…which works perfectly fine, could be a TiVo HDXL as well or maybe a Premiere. Although The TiVo HD and basic Premiere both have a smaller hard drive (160GB Vs 250GB in the Series3) it might be worth a look. It's not likely it would be a TiVo Premiere XL at that price, but if it were a TiVo HDXL (1TB hard drive) I think I'd give that serious consideration (or they might let you "upgrade" for a little more).

    It is indeed good that you have a TiVo in any case. Anyway, let us know how things go!
     
  16. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    431
    0
    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...
    Did the tech completely install the first card and pair it before attempting to pair the 2nd card? The original S3 requires each card to be paired separately and not simutaineously in the phone call to home base. After swapping cards around, was there an attempt to re-pair those cards? Some of the pairing numbers will change when a card is moved to a new slot.

    If a card is not properly paired, you may receive some unencrypted channels but not those that are copy protected. You said you were receiving SOME channels on the 2nd card/tuner.

    There have also been reports of problems when devices were not listed on your account in the proper order at Comcast. I am not sure what the order should be, but perhaps someone else can chime in with that info.
     
  17. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    All very good points! It's been so long since I worked with a Series3 I neglected to consider all of those well-known variables. Thanks very much for that. :up:
     
  18. mchammerheim

    mchammerheim New Member

    3
    0
    Sep 22, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback. Another service call, another card installed, but slot 2 still not working on all channels. Couldn't try more cards since Comcast techs only carry at most 2 cards in their trucks at a time?! I also tried doing the activation myself (following your input) with the same results. Sad to say I may have to replace this S3 unit with a newer unit which only requires one M-card.
     
  19. hmm52

    hmm52 New Member

    405
    0
    Feb 25, 2008
    Lower...
    I'm partial to S3s. I bought 3 more of them on Ebay last week to help friends new to TiVo. I set up the first S3 for installation last night - switched escutcheon with display module, made truncated backup image of 1TB HDD already installed, prepared it for local Verizon using one of my cards, and so forth. This morning at the destination house I removed all the Comcast equipment, straightened out cabling messes, moved furniture out of the way, even put a work table in the basement for the tech.

    I've been a defender of cableco techs on this forum, Comcast and Verizon, as even the green ones have at least known to quickly call their supervisor - based on my previous experience with cablecard installs and issues dating back to 2005. The Verizon tech I dealt with today was beyond belief. To say he was incredibly surly, arrogant and obstinate in the extreme would just be a baby step towards describing this jerk. To make it even worse there were two women I know very well observing every minute of the fun we had together. The tech didn't hesitate at all to reveal his massive personality defects in front of them.

    From my point of view the installation should have been a piece of cake, not the 5.5 hour debacle it turned out to be. An ONT, UPS, etc. was already installed in the garage by a previous owner using FiOS. Work only with 4 outlets - 2 digital/analog converters, 1 VZ HD STB, 1 TiVo S3; just 1 new coax; 2 Cat5e cables; router. Big deal. Early on we had a small quarrel about the need for 2 cablecards, but I thought the issue to be settled. Not so. He piddled around on his laptop for 40 minutes with only the locals showing; he thought it just needed more time; he had another appointment to go to. I told him it wasn't initialized properly and to call his supervisor. He did so with nasty reluctance and finally got everything up - on the first card.

    He then announced he was done and got up to leave. I told him "No", the second card needed installation. He barked that he new cablecards and TiVos well; all Verizon cards are "two tuner" cards; no TiVos need more than one of their cards (all M cards now). I showed him the diagnostics screen with no data for tuner 0; this didn't faze him in the least. One of the women there was my sister in law; she's known me for 30 years; she's never seen me angry in all that time; until today. I was livid. I began screaming at this jerk as he made his way towards the door. It was necessary anyway to force another call to his supervisor. I spoke directly to him and he seemed reasonable; but another 20 minutes were wasted as the jerk read the S3's model and service #s over the phone to somebody. Eventually the second card install went better than the first. The tech would still be there probably if I hadn't found his van keys for him. He did manage to leave his Sunrise meter behind; AFAIK he did nothing with it besides losing and forgetting it for an hour and a half. My rage a little unsettling perhaps?

    I guess my point was just to rant. In a practical way, if you are a FiOS customer living as far away from Hatboro, PA as Blue Bell, PA is and you get a tech named Pete, watch out!! He's incompetent and unbelievably arrogant to boot. If, on the other hand, the VZ tech at your door is a very cute young blond woman named Suzie, you are truly blessed! Not only is she very pleasant, she really knows her stuff; she's a great pole climber as well. Why can't they all be like Suzie?
     
  20. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Holy cow! I've had my share of knowledgable and not so bright cableco techs, but that one should be nominated for some sort of prize! That you avoided inflicting bodily harm is testimony to your patience. Some folks should just not be doing what they are doing.

    FWIW I too am still a big fan of the Series3. Although our Premiere XL has a few more bells and whistles...it wouldn't phase me in the least to swap it out with our Series3, which after these many years still performs like a champ.

    Glad to hear that you were able to lend a hand to your friends...they'd no doubt have a lesser opinion of TiVo (and probably men in general) had you not been there. :up: Thanks for sharing the story.

    BTW, it's taking everything I've got to avoid commenting about Suzie's pole climbing abilities. D'oh...too late! :p
     

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