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CableCARD installation FAQ

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

  1. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    12,345
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    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    Well, I may have spoken too soon. After the techs left, I've been adjusting my channel list, and now I'm discovering that sometimes the channels are there, and sometimes they're not. I checked my cablecard diagnostics and all seems to be OK. Cable signal strength is 90+. But sometimes the channels are there and sometimes the screen is just black. What gives? I know they tested my signal strength and put in an amplifier just to make sure it was good. I just don't get it. There's no rhyme or reason to this...like I said, sometimes the channels are there and sometimes not. Phooey.
     
  2. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    OK...what I've found in the MMI screens (conditional access screen) is that neither of my cards has been paired. I'm contacting Mediacom now to see what can be done and how soon.
     
  3. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    You don't want to put them in at the same instant but you do not need to activate the first one before inserting the second one. The first one simply needs to be recognized by the TiVo first before proceeding with the second. Those instructions are a way of idiot-proofing the the installation and god knows they need to do that. You don't want a neanderthal slamming both cards in at the same time. That is where the stories of the installations not working come from.

    On both of my installations (one from an experienced Comcast tech and one a self-install) the first card was inserted and then second card was inserted after the first was recognized (about 20-30 seconds). Host and Data IDs were noted and then both cards were called in at the same time. Much more efficient but it assumes an experienced installer. Since that can't be assumed, the TiVo provided procedure is best but it is not required for any technical reasons.
     
  4. kochsr

    kochsr New Member

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    Jan 28, 2002
    WOW came by today, popped in the M-card, and placed a call to the NOC. it worked in 2 minutes, no problem, even though the guy had never done it before with a tivo.
     
  5. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    Well, I called Mediacom CS and they said everything looks good on "their end". They're sending someone out Monday or possibly tomorrow (if they have a cancellation). I'm hoping it's either a pairing error or flakey cards. They installed one M card and one S card (which TiVo says should work), but perhaps if they install both as S cards that might help. I specifically asked for S cards when I put in the original order and they said no problem. But when the guy came today he said all he just takes what he's given. He didn't even know if they were S or M cards....turned out it was one of each. One thing I have noticed during this whole snafu -- I've never lost my unencrypted channels (local HD channels); they've always been there. All the other channels come and go.
     
  6. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Exactly. :up:
     
  7. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    It does indeed sound like a pairing issue. One "M" and one "S" should be okay...or two "S" or two "M" should be fine too. But one card may be flaky. Have you noted which tuner is problematic or does it happen on both? Hopefully they'll get it right and thanks for the updates!
     
  8. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Chalk one up for TWC (it's rare I know ;) ). Glad to hear all is well...now enjoy!
     
  9. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    On the advice of a Mediacom tech who posts on DSLReports, I pulled both cards, then re-inserted them one at a time. The M card was in the bottom slot (#1), and, after inserting it, I tested the channels. I got nothing but my unencrypted QAM channels. Then I re-inserted CableCard #2, and, when I tested the channels on it, I got all my low end (2-78), nothing between 100 and 600, of course I got my unencrypted, but I also received the HD tier (which I wasn't getting with CableCard #1). #1 is the M card and #2 is the S card (if that makes any difference). So it appears the second tuner/card is "better" than the first, but still not receiving all the channels I should get. Odd thing is yesterday, before the techs left, we tested the channels on both cards and, as I recall, they seemed fine. But I'm sure we didn't check every channel, so I could have been missing some right off the bat with knowing until I checked thoroughly (after they left of course!).
     
  10. richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    So it sounds like at least the "M" card may have problems but that possibly neither are fully paired/activated.

    Make sure the cableco CSR knows that the tech needs to bring more than a couple of cable cards with them when they return. There are stories here of techs going through as many as a half-dozen cable cards before finding one that works so I'd keep after them. And keep us posted!

    Cableco techs usually check a limited number of channels; certain ones that are within each frequency band/set. If those work they'll declare everything working, but we all know that isn't always the case. Don't be afraid to have them do it up again, re-run TiVo's Guided Setup once more and then sit and click through various or all of the channels until you're satisfied. They may get antsy as most are contractors that get paid by the job, but it'll save you some time and aggravation in the long run. Offer them something to drink and have a good chat about something and who knows, they may become your best friend. ;)
     
  11. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

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    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    Thanks Rich. I'm on hold now with Mediacom CS so I can make sure they bring several cards. In the meantime, I just pulled the cards so I could record the shows I want over this weekend.

    EDIT #1: Boy, are these people dense. After telling me she would contact a supervisor to send a hit to the card, they put me on hold. She then comes back and says "They say it's not the cablecards, it's your signal strength." I said, no, they checked my signal strength yesterday, and it was just fine. I said, please send a hit to the cards and let me test the channels. Now I'm on hold again.....

    EDIT #2: Oh, this just gets better and better. I'm on hold for another 10 minutes, she comes back and says two supervisors tell her "We don't troubleshoot TiVos." I tell her it's a registered Cable Labs device, and yes they should send me a hit. I've asked to speak to a supervisor now....and am on hold once again. This is turning into a frickin' nightmare....

    EDIT #3: OK...they sent, what they called, strong hits to both cablecards, I noticed a couple different pieces of info (under conditional access and the DVR diagnostics screens), tested the channels received and am now repeating guided setup. We'll see if this "sticks".
     
  12. captkirk685

    captkirk685 New Member

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    Nov 22, 2006
    Indiana

    Just wondering how things turned out, I read your entire post and now I am left without an ending...:D I hope it worked for you
     
  13. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    12,345
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    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    Well, here it is so far. From Saturday, after they re-initialized the cards, until tonight, everything was jim dandy. Then I came home after taking my wife out to dinner for her birthday, and I discovered USA HD had disappeared. Every other channel was fine.

    So I spent some time with Mediacom CS on the phone tonight. He said that, from what he saw, my cards were "unresponsive". I asked what that meant, and he said they were dead. I said, no they're not...I'm getting all the channels I'm supposed to get except USA HD. He said that, as far as he knew, USA HD was fine on their system. He supposedly sent hits to both cards after I pulled them and reinstalled, but that made no difference. Tech is supposed to bring two new cards on Tuesday.

    So the ending hasn't yet been written...:(
     
  14. captkirk685

    captkirk685 New Member

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    Nov 22, 2006
    Indiana
    That sucks, I guess I am one of the lucky ones with no issues so far, but its only been 10 days. I have 3 tivo hd's with single stream M cards in each and so far haven't had any problems. Avenue broadband is our cable system, they just bought out Charter in our area( southern Indiana) good luck I hope you figure it out because these tivos are awesome when they work.
     
  15. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    12,345
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    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    Well now, the interesting thing is I just discovered USA HD is back. This is aggravating. I hesitate to cancel another service call, so I may just have them come out as scheduled tomorrow to check things out. You're right; when it's working the way it's supposed to, it's awesome.
     
  16. jmaditto

    jmaditto New Member

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    Jul 29, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    I'm similar to BierBoy...everything was working Sat and Sun and then sometime Monday, I lost my digital encrypted channels. Unlike last week, my card status is "Ready" as opposed to “Not Staged” so I'm calling TWC C/S to hit the card and see if that will do it. I probably should have just called their National Cable Card Support Line as this rep immediately wanted to send out a tech. I told her that probably won't help and that she needs to work with the Headend. On hold now while she checks. She probably isn't checking at all and is laughing at me right now. :D

    Oh well, assuming this works out, I sure hope I don't have to make a weekly call to TWC to hit my card.

    I'm telling you, it sure seems like the CS reps with TWC are not very familiar with cable cards and certainly not TiVo. I thought since I waited a year all this would be smooth now. Oh well.

    Update - All finished with TWC CS....once I directed her to the Heandend it went well. Someone removed the CC serial from my account. She worked with the Headend and they say everything is good now. I will find out later today.

    Another Update - it took one more call to the TW National CC Hotline as the Host ID was entered incorrectly. It's all good now. I'll tell you one thing, no more calling the general CS number for CC issues.
     
  17. rlcarr

    rlcarr Member

    429
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    Jan 18, 2003
    Arlington, MA
    Just wanted to pass along a snippet from my install and what I've found from subsequently asking around.

    It looks like RCN doesn't bother to pair the CC with the TiVo. Both here in Arlington, MA and apparently in at least NY they just call in or transmit in the CC serial number to the mothership and install the card. No interest in even looking at the host IDs (let alone calling them in). So there's activation but no pairing.

    However, I do get all my channels fine and it at least a couple of people I've talked to who have also verified their card(s) are activated but unpaired are getting premium channels OK. So I guess RCN isn't copy-protecting channels (yet).

    On the positive side, this would appear to mean you should be able to move the cards around between devices at will (useful if installing a clean upgraded hard drive too, I'd imagine). On the downside, if RCN starts using copy protection things could be hosed, especially if RCN's provisioning application isn't set up to do CC serial number/host ID associations.
     
  18. jmaditto

    jmaditto New Member

    143
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    Jul 29, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    Sounds good to me. Less things to screw up during the install/config process. Glad it worked out for you.

    Another topic - if you upgrade your internal drive on a THD, does it affect the cablecard pairing? Im afraid to mess with mine since evertthing is stable at the moment.
     
  19. captkirk685

    captkirk685 New Member

    69
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    Nov 22, 2006
    Indiana
    I have upgraded 3 THD's and all my cable card settings stayed in tact with no problems..
     
  20. rlcarr

    rlcarr Member

    429
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    Jan 18, 2003
    Arlington, MA
    How did you do the upgrade, though? Did you use a clean drive? Or did you copy (at a minimum) the settings, etc. off your old drive?
     

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