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CableCARD installation FAQ

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

  1. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    14,222
    1
    Jan 17, 2002
    Northern...
    Dunno if this is where to post it....but I have two M CableCARDs working in my old Series 3 HD Tivo on Comcast Waukegan (far north of Chicago.) This when I was very, very wary of surviving another battle with clueless employees at Comcast.

    The installer was given only one card and says that's all they ever get. When he saw I'd need two he had to drive to get the second from another tech.

    So after the cable was made live, and my house was prewired in the first place...

    I had two sessions of get the card serial number, wait 30 minutes for the one guy who knows how they work at Comcast to call, with the run for the second card in between. Each time he had to "hit it again" for me to see premium channels.

    By following the info here an the TiVo FAQ I ended up with three long trips through guided install (which makes no sense for the second card).

    I was panicked at first that the Series 3 didn't work with the M card. Reading here and at Tivo I found that's not true.

    My scheduled 8-10 install window ran until 2:00PM.

    The tech was good. He rang my doorbell at like 8:20 as I was hanging up the phone with his boss telling me he was a mile away. I could see why he hates CableCARDs, but it would have gone a lot better if they had listened to me and given him TWO CableCARDs. I can imagine what would happen if he had a busy upscale customer looking over his shoulder screaming he didn't know what he was doing. (He did.)

    I transfered all of Season Passes from my HD DTivo. The bad news: This morning the Series 3 was dead and locked up. I had to power cycle it. I'll accept if it had a brain hemorrhages at the end of a busy day, but I hope it's more reliable than that.

    I like finally really getting channels in HD. +

    Oh. One issue. The TiVo doesn't have programming for WTTW-DT. It shows "To be announced." So my Season Pass for Newshour, and I assume other PBS shows, doesn't work. What does it take for the guide data to get fixed? :confused:

    Because mine is already telling me it'll be out of space by the weekend, with the info in the other FAQ, I just ordered a 1TB external hard drive setup with a Hitachi drive.

    I'll be cancelling DirecTV in a day or two. :p
     
  2. Jul 7, 2008 #102 of 646
    thilt

    thilt New Member

    11
    0
    Nov 2, 2007
    I have an M card and an S card installed in a Series 3. I am a Charter customer. I finally now receive all channels fine (including HBO, Starz and Showtime) except one. It's a Nickelodeon teen channel called THE N (104 in my area). When I tune to it, I get video for a tenth of a second then the gray and black "Call your cable company " screen. On the Conditional Access screens, it appears that neither card has been validated. Questions:

    1. Does it make sense that I would get all the premium channels except one in this scenario? (i.e. is lack of "validation" my problem?)

    2. A CSR last night told me validation required a tech visit. I've had 4 tech visits and 6 cards installed in the last two weeks to get me this far. I'm inclined not to schedule another visit for a channel I won't watch much of anyway. Shouldn't I be able to "validate" by phone and, if so, can anyone help me with some buzzwords or phrases to use with the CSR to get this accomplished?

    Thanks.
     
  3. Jul 9, 2008 #103 of 646
    husky55

    husky55 Member

    175
    0
    Feb 2, 2008
    Madison, CT
    The reboot can take 5 min or longer, much longer depending on what you have on your HD or HDs. That makes your question even more relevant.

    You do not need to reboot when you swap out the cable cards. But you have to reboot after the tech has done with his pairing and authorization of the card. And then do a guide setup again since your channel configuration has changed.
     
  4. snaveca

    snaveca New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 24, 2008
    I'm a Comcast customer in the SF Bay Area, just got a TivoHD.

    I'm now on my 4th cable card install try (Mcard). The first three generated an error code of 161-38.

    Question: Does the Host ID change when you swap out the cable card? My Host ID has remained the same, although the Data ID is different each time a new cable card is inserted.

    The Comcast phone rep told me the problem is with my Tivo and there's nothing wrong with the CCs.

    I'm skeptical.
     
  5. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
    0
    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    Your Comcast Cable guy could be very right. That error code
    if from TiVo - not the M-Card.

    Check with TiVo Tech Support - they answer the phone.
     
  6. snaveca

    snaveca New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 24, 2008
    I talked to Tivo and they told me the Host ID stays the same regardless of switching out the CC.

    So I'm off to do battle with Comcast.
     
  7. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
    0
    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    TiVo should know - but one thing I know with my 5
    other DVRs - NOT TiVo - Everytime a Cablecard is
    removed and even inserted back into the same DVR
    30 seconds later - THE PAIRING INFO CHANGES and
    Comcast needs to do it all over again.
     
  8. stewc

    stewc New Member

    20
    0
    Feb 28, 2003
    Seattle, Boston
    This may sound odd, but if you get the card paired and authorized and this error code is your remaining issue, have you tried just letting it "bake" for 24 hrs? I saw this code on my THD during card install and first 12 or so hours afterwards, but I get all my channels so I let it alone and haven't seen that code again. In other threads, others have reported the same experience.
     
  9. snaveca

    snaveca New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 24, 2008
    I'm on the 4th CC now, no error code (yet). With the previous 3 cards, the error code came up before they could even be authorized or paired.

    The current CC seems to be receiving info from the headend (EMM count keeps going up) but still isn't "authorized".

    The last Comcast rep I spoke with sounded at least somewhat familiar with CCs and corrected the serial number of the card (which was incorrect in their system - no wonder the prior 3 calls produced no results. Ugh.). He resent the (HOPEFULLY) proper signals.

    I'm going to let it sit overnight and see if that does any good. If not, I guess I'll spending Sunday on the phone with Comcast.
     
  10. bdconn

    bdconn New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 6, 2006
    I found this on the Tivo help forum:

    As TiVo gets busy for downloading a lot of channel info in the setup stage, not while it's running normally, I don't think that could have been causing the case. And the Firmware Upgrade doesn't happen while it's running regularly. It displays a special message on screen and stop doing everything but upgrading firmware. So, this shouldn't be the case either. Moreover, the error of 161-38 indicates that that's caused by CableCARD, not TiVo.
    That being said, I am seeing exactly the same symptom - no single hitch after the first day. I am feeling uncomfortable with it but can't complain since no errors :-/

    i would seem to indicate that after 24hours the card will settle down and stop giving the error.
     
  11. bdconn

    bdconn New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 6, 2006
    Hopefully a quick question: How should cablecards be physically handled? by that i mean should you hold them in your bare hands without danger of shorting them out. I only ask because the last tech that was at my house to install a CC just carried it in his hand, turning it over and over in his hands like it was a credit card.
     
  12. cableguy763

    cableguy763 New Member

    525
    0
    Oct 29, 2006
    Austin
    They are not that fragile. Have you ever messed with a pcmcia card? About the same size and feel.
     
  13. snaveca

    snaveca New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 24, 2008
    So after 3 more long calls with Comcast CSRs who were unable to get the CC initialized and paired I finally asked for a truck roll this morning. They were able to schedule one for this afternoon (very unusual!).

    Tech showed up, I was a little concerned because he said he hadn't done a Tivo CC install in "a while", but had done quite a few in December.

    They couldn't get the last CC I picked up from the Comcast office to work, so he tried one he had picked up at the warehouse that morning and VOILA, it worked like a charm.:up: Took about 10 minutes for the channels to show up, but once they did everything worked perfectly.

    His supervisor said that most of the cards customers pick up themselves don't seem to work. They don't know why but it seems to just be that way. The tech said he has had few problems with the cards they get from the warehouse.

    He agreed that training on CC Tivo activation/pairing seems to be a low priority for the callcenters.:rolleyes:

    But all is sunshine and ponies now because I've got my TIVO back!

    Edited to add:
    The only thing the installer did that I DIDN'T do was call his dispatch center. I asked him why they didn't just give customers a dedicated number to call instead of making us call the 800 number and deal with often clueless reps, especially since there doesn't seem to be a high volume of Tivo users at the moment (he said they got a flood of Tivo CC installs right around Christmas but haven't had very many since then). He replied with a sheepish grin and a shoulder shrug. Can't really blame him.

    Also, just to clarify, the Host ID NEVER changed from cable card to cable card (the Data ID did change). FIVE different cable cards. So if comcast tries to tell you that it should they are wrong.

    Also, the installer confirmed that the 161-38 error is a cable card issue, not a Tivo issue.
     
  14. fredfisher

    fredfisher New Member

    3
    0
    Jul 11, 2008
    Atlantic broadband in Florida told me they don't send installers for m cards

    Atlantic broadband told me to pickup the m card for the TIVO HD and install myself

    What are the steps that I have to take to get all the channels

    Is it easy to do myself

    Thank You

    Fred
     
  15. Aug 1, 2008 #115 of 646
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Your TiVo came with a cable card installation sheet or you can find the instructions here. You'll need the cable card activation telephone number from your cable company so you can call in and give them the numbers that they're looking for. That will allow them to "pair" your cable card. (That's usually where people run into trouble as most cable companies don't want anyone but their techs calling in.) Other than that just follow the directions and you should be fine.

    Once your cable card is properly set up, just run Guided Setup from the Settings menu and everything should be working.
     
  16. Aug 4, 2008 #116 of 646
    gary325

    gary325 New Member

    35
    0
    Aug 29, 2001
    Rochester, NY
    Can anyone comment on the ability of the Original Series 3 and it's use of CableCards: either s-card OR m-card?
    I do recall that the new Tivo HD units do make use of the m-cards (only one needed for both tuners) but the original Series 3 requires 2 s-cards or 2 m-cards to enable both tuners.
    Did the Summer Update change this requirement?:confused:

    I want to get ready for the Fall! Finally going to go CC + OTA

    TWC in Rochester NY, home of the SDV experiment:thumbsdown:
     
  17. Aug 5, 2008 #117 of 646
    Brighton Line

    Brighton Line Member

    143
    0
    Mar 15, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Series 3 will require two cards, I beleive it is a hardware issue not software.
    Tivo has discontinued the Series 3 in favor of the Tivo HD so I don't think you will eveer see the Series 3 using a single card.
     
  18. Aug 5, 2008 #118 of 646
    gary325

    gary325 New Member

    35
    0
    Aug 29, 2001
    Rochester, NY
    TivoPony stated in the forums that it was technically possible, but the feature and investment in time did not justify the R&D. :rolleyes:

    So I will have to get the two S or M-cards either way. I was hoping to reduce my already sky-high cable bill a little.

    How about one card and continue with OTA HD? Would Tivo know that it would need to record form the CC for those channels that it cannot get from the OTA input? Or would it not record something because it was recording from the CC that which it could get from the OTA input? :confused:
     
  19. Aug 7, 2008 #119 of 646
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
    2
    Jan 4, 2003
    Not to change your thinking, but have you checked to see how much 2 CC's cost? Our first one is free and the second one is $1.50/mo. YMMV of course.
     
  20. upatoi15

    upatoi15 New Member

    11
    0
    Jan 1, 2008
    I've narrowed down my issue as not having the most up to date firmware on my cablecard with my Tivo HD. My cable company seems to give all their boxes firmware updates but the latest I have is from April 2007. Anybody know how to update the firmware??

    Lee
     

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