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Charter & Series 3 Problems

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by ckoble, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. Nov 7, 2006 #501 of 1052
    Leo_N

    Leo_N Lucky 200 member

    532
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    Nov 12, 2003
    Wisconsin, USA
    Congrats on the install!
     
  2. Nov 9, 2006 #502 of 1052
    crabbon

    crabbon New Member

    63
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    Jan 9, 2003
    Good story about Charter (San Luis Obispo, CA).

    First, I updated from expanded cable + internet to cable + HBO + SHO + Movie Tier + HD Tier + Family Tier + HD Digital Box + Internet + 4 Cable Cards (2 Series 3's). Ended up my bill went down. Go figure (some promotion).

    Anyway, I was skeptical, especially after reading almost all of the posts on here.

    Appointment scheduled from 1 to 5pm. I was getting worried, and called Charter at 3:30, and had them confirm the appointment and requested that they tell the guy coming out to make sure he has cable cards, and to make sure to bring extra. Just before I hang up, at 3:50pm, the cable guy shows up.

    His name is Ken. He's done several series 3 installs, and they allotted 54 units for this install to him. At 5 minutes per unit, that comes down to 4.5 hours. So, since he said he had done several, I didn't even hand them the Tivo sheet (though I had it out), but instead let him go at his rate.

    Sure enough, he did a great job. Did one at a time. Never ever did we need to reboot. Didn't do the guide setup until he was done, and 4 out of 4 cable cards worked.

    Here was tricks that he mentioned (and verified).

    1) He wrote down all the right numbers prior to inserting the card, and then he made sure that the numbers when he gave to dispatch was correct (says many times the numbers get transposed or heard wrong).

    2) After inserting the card, he waits about 4 to 5 minutes before getting the the screen where it tells you the numbers. On one card, I didn't wait long enough, and got the error "could not load..." Went back, and just waited a few more minutes, and it worked.

    3) After he gave dispatch the numbers that are on the Tivo screen, and after they said it's all good, we waited another 3 or 4 minutes before testing channels. Again, one time I did it too quick, and sure enough the pinwheel came up. He said he had never seen this before. That was the only card that gave us a little difficulty in that the digital channels and premium channels didn't work. In the clear QAM and analog channels worked. After waiting another 15 minutes, they mysteriously just started working. Not sure if he called something in or not, because I was busy with the kids. Both of us just wrote it off that we tested the channels too soon after dispatch said it "go".

    Ken told me that these cards were brand new (even though they said April 2006 on them). He just picked them up. Also, he says some guys try to go too fast, and you must give things time. The last thing is that San Luis Obispo has a history (from the posts I have read) of things working out pretty good.

    Ken says that he has heard of some people in SLO having problems, but he rarely has any problems. Again, he just goes nice and slow.

    Hope this helps you guys. And if anybody is in SLO, and ends up with Ken, be happy. Also, Ken may not work on Mondays, so don't schedule your appointment on that day :)
     
  3. Nov 11, 2006 #503 of 1052
    kabewm

    kabewm New Member

    4
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    Apr 22, 2005
    I bought my TiVo Series 3 from eBay for $700, it was scheduled to arrive yesterday. So I called Charter and scheduled a CableCARD install today. Once I got my Tivo Series 3 yesterday, I transferred my lifetime from the Series 2.

    Today the Charter guy arrived, and we got the two CableCARD's activated in minutes. Smooth as silk. . .
     
  4. Nov 13, 2006 #504 of 1052
    cotton168

    cotton168 New Member

    228
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    Aug 8, 2006
    Monterey...
    You are one lucky person kabewm. Most of us here had or are having issues with the CC installs from Charter. Consider yourself very lucky and congrats on getting your S3. :D
     
  5. Nov 13, 2006 #505 of 1052
    ChromeAce

    ChromeAce Early Adopter

    212
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    Sep 20, 2002
    Chesterfield...
    I am about to purchase a couple of Series 3 units, switching from DirecTV (they've served me well but when they dropped TiVo they lost my enthusiasm).

    Here in St. Louis I was discouraged by a local professional audio/video install shop from trying to use a Series 3, saying they don't recommend them due to "problems with Charter and the cablecards". There were a couple of Series 3 units at Best Buy in Chesterfield a few weeks ago but now they have none for some reason. I thought maybe Charter had them pulled from Best Buy as they won't work here? I also read this thread so I thought I better call Charter first to see if maybe I could get their opinion.

    Got a clueless CSR in India but all I needed was the information on her screen, so I asked if Charter supported TiVo Series 3 and she said yes, it's on their list of supported HD cable boxes and asked me if I was buying my own or wanted one from Charter. This was an interesting piece of news to me, since apparently Charter will now be selling or renting the TiVo Series 3. I asked her how much for it from Charter and she put me on hold, came back, and said sorry it's not available at this time from Charter. I responded that I was going to switch my entire 5-home family from DirecTV to Charter but that when I checked, I actually didn't have a 5-home family.

    So I told her I would go buy one myself and then call back to schedule an installation appointment and she said that would be no problem.

    I recorded the call and cautiously await delivery of the Series 3 units from Page Computer, which appears to have the lowest price (even lower than Weaknees after all their little rebate and coupon tricks) at $632.10.
     
  6. Nov 13, 2006 #506 of 1052
    Leo_N

    Leo_N Lucky 200 member

    532
    0
    Nov 12, 2003
    Wisconsin, USA
    Good luck! So far I am at 7 weeks installed with Charter, two S3s and 0 install or operating problems. So it is not a completely hopeless cause :up:
     
  7. Nov 14, 2006 #507 of 1052
    jwdderm

    jwdderm New Member

    2
    0
    May 21, 2006
    I'm also in St. Louis, having purchased a unit (Costco, unlimited return policy) but not yet scheduled for installation. Local Charter rep told me directly that Series 3 is not supported, but she referred me to Cust. Service.

    Curious if anyone has had a successful installation in the St. Louis area, and if so, with whom did they work?
     
  8. Nov 14, 2006 #508 of 1052
    dwarner

    dwarner New Member

    132
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    Feb 14, 2003

    Thanks for the post. Now I know that CC's can be made to work in Gwinnett, and I can order my S3 now. (Pending a few other questions, such as channel changing speed.. )

    I suppose I'll hold off on the cablecard install though, since I don't have a HDTV yet, and need to buy a new HVAC system first.. Still, I need to get the S3 this year so I can transfer my lifetime sub.
     
  9. Nov 14, 2006 #509 of 1052
    bubba1972

    bubba1972 New Member

    195
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    Mar 28, 2005
    I have mine up and running in St. Charles and my parents have their's going south of St. Louis in Festus. Both through Charter. My install was a pain in the ass, but it does work. The tech showed up 6 hours after the automated phone system called me at the wrong number to tell me he was on his way. Once here, he had no clue what a Tivo Series 3 was but did at least bring two cards as requested. After plugging in the first card, the Tivo rebooted. It finally came back and the numbers came up after a couple of minutes that he needed to call in. He informed me that he would probably be on hold at least an hour trying to get the cards activated (he was right). The tech guy on the other end of the walkie talkie conversation said Tivo would never work on their system. After activating the card we tested the channels, but they were not all there. We put in the second card and activated it. That time I got the error message that the installation instructions from Tivo.com said you can ignore. The tech said the channels may not show up until he closed out the work order. I didn't quite understand that, but soon after the rest of the channels did show up. At least I thought. Apparently the cards have to be provisioned for extended basic because Charter simulcasts all channels in analog and digital. I had to waste an hour and half the next day with their tech support in India to get channels 28-100 activated. Be sure to verify that you receive those channels before the tech leaves. They both seem to be working correctly now. Some of the channels (specifically 784 (HD CBS) and HD Cinemax) have lower signal levels and are having occasional pixellation problems. You can check signal level through the channel configuration screen. They are both around 81 while all other channels are around 93. Definitely check those two out before they leave. They may be able to configure your splitters to get the best signal to Tivo first. I returned my Moxi HD recorder to Charter a couple of days later and they made a complete mess of my account. I still don't know if they removed it or not. Their system doesn't handle having cable cards on your account very well.
     
  10. Nov 17, 2006 #510 of 1052
    CraigHB

    CraigHB __________

    809
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    Dec 24, 2003
    Reno, NV
    Anybody in the Reno/Sparks, NV area get an S3 working with Charter. If so, how'd it go?

    Thanks
     
  11. Nov 17, 2006 #511 of 1052
    johnwillo

    johnwillo New Member

    6
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    Sep 20, 2006
    Reno, NV
    This is copied from a note I sent another local user. The first time that they showed up, they brought no cable cards. It took eight days to get them back. The tech was willing to work with TiVO's instructions.

    we followed the instructions TiVo provided, and it went fine. About five minutes each for the cable card activation to take effect. We did get the error (I forget which one, but it ends in a '4') that others have reported, but that seems to be a sign that the cable card is connecting successfully. Just happened at initial set up. Off air antenna works well, too, with simple rabbit ear antenna. Some of the non-HD shows, especially animated ones, are recording with white streaks flickering across the screen, it seems independent of the compression settings. I don't see the problem live. Not sure why that is. I have also had a cable card lose its mind a little bit, and record a blank grey screen instead of the scheduled programming. This clears up after you switch to a specific channel (any channel). It's happened twice in maybe three weeks. Frustrating, but probably a bug fixable in software when TiVo gets around to it. I also got the weaknees 750 GB update, which is really nice. The noise reported from the drive doesn't bug me, since our family room is already pretty noisy!

    Compared to my DirecTV HD 10-250 Tivo, this is MUCH zippier, and the HD is wonderful. I'm less happy with the non-HD channels... Charter doesn't provide the same quality signal that DirecTV does. I am also having the issue others have reported where analog channels drop out unexpectedly. I'm hoping that a software update from TiVo will fix this.
     
  12. Nov 17, 2006 #512 of 1052
    RandyDtg

    RandyDtg New Member

    73
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    Apr 16, 2005
    It helps during the cable card install if you have a TV that also can take a cable card. That was the only way I could prove to the cable guy that one of the two cable cards was actually defective. Two days later the cable company (WOW, not thankfully Charter) came with a card that worked fine.

    If you can get the Host ID on a cable card TV, then the card will work in TiVo.
     
  13. Nov 18, 2006 #513 of 1052
    MsKathyK

    MsKathyK New Member

    1
    0
    Nov 18, 2006
    SLO, CA
    Well, the guy who came to my house apparently had never seen a Tivo before! :( The biggest mistake he made was connecting the cable to the antenna in instead of cable. He thought the cable in was used with a cable box. (Oops) Although he seemed really experienced with Cable Cards so he got one working in the first slot. One card he tried in the second slot didn't seem to work at all. He put in his spare, and that one was semi-working, but not getting the digital packages. He was here for a little over an hour and went back to the office to get another card to try. He said they run into the same kind of problems installing Cable cards in TV's.

    When he came back, he got the new cable card working right away and was gone in about 10 minutes.

    So, I'd say he did okay. Charter was really good and didn't give me any hassles.

    I'm so happy to have Tivo again. I tried Charter's Moxie box before getting the Tivo, but I really love Tivo and missed it. It was worth the god awful price tag. :)
     
  14. Nov 19, 2006 #514 of 1052
    jwdderm

    jwdderm New Member

    2
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    May 21, 2006
    Thanks, I'll schedule the install and mention the problems you encountered to the tech.
    Wish me luck; sounds as though I'm going to need it. Thanks again.
     
  15. Nov 21, 2006 #515 of 1052
    JohnnyB1

    JohnnyB1 New Member

    2
    0
    Nov 1, 2006
    I just want to report that I got the CableCard installation working and, just as everyone else here says, it is worth it. Love it, love it, love it. It is an expensive indulgence, but it is just terrific. No problems, stunning picture, fast performance.
    Cotton168: I appreciated the encouraging words. Thanks.
    I failed to "keep you posted" after my frustrated post of 11/1 (#489) because the whole thing worked the next day and I was just delighted and didn't want to think about the frustration of getting there. For the record, I am in Pasadena, CA and interacted with supervisor "Tito" whom others have mentioned in this forum. The guy is very competent and earnest. I told him that I wanted to install 3 CableCards (2 in one Tivo, 1 in the other) and he sent the tech out with 6 CableCards. That's experience talking. In the order they were inserted, the 6 cards worked, failed, worked, failed, failed, worked. So 6 cards turned out to be just enough for 3 working ones.

    For my part, I really do believe that Charter management wants CableCard installations to be a frustration and fail commercially to maintain control over premium content. Legally, they know they have to support it, but they can drag their feet by not training or suporting techs and not addressing reliability issues (50% failure rate). The tech at my house says he has a lot of customers screaming at him when the cards fail. I believe it and it sounds like a stressful, horrible job. My perception is that Tito and his techs are trying to do the best they can, but their managers don't support them because they don't actually want them to succeed. That can't be fun. Anyhow, that's my conspiracy theory and I'm delighted that I don't have to deal with it anymore. Best of luck to all.
     
  16. Nov 21, 2006 #516 of 1052
    cotton168

    cotton168 New Member

    228
    0
    Aug 8, 2006
    Monterey...
    JohnnyB1, I'm so happy to hear from you again! Great news on the working S3 and I'm glad that you and the rest of us are experiencing lovely pictures that I've never had before. :D I'm still excited everytime I get my "Now Playing" list and to see all the programs that I love in Hi Def. It's a great thing to happen. Of course we early adopters pay a premium to be EAs but the way that I see it, we were the first ones to get it and use it. It also came with some heartaches as all of us here have had with Charter and also sometimes with TiVo, but I think it was still worth it. :)

    It is a shame to see Tito, Pedro, and other Charter tech managers getting hassled with the CCs because the big wigs don't want them working at all or carry them but the law is the law and I'm glad that at least some of the techs care about their customers.

    Enjoy the S3 and take care!!!
     
  17. Nov 22, 2006 #517 of 1052
    fierobuff

    fierobuff New Member

    2
    0
    Nov 21, 2006
    Successful Instal, Charter Long Beach, CA

    Just want to let everyone know my experience. I called up Charter to request two cable cards for my Tivo S3 and they told me they didn't have any HD cablecards available in my area. After doing some research I found out that the cable card itself didn't need to be called HD. I then called back and requested two cablecards to be installed. They added the cards to my account and sent out a technician. The technicians seem to be getting better at this because they jumped right in on it. They had the first card up fast but the second one wasn't pairing. Fortunately they had some spares and were able to get them both up and running. All in all it took about an hour and a half to get it up and running.

    S3, sooooo worth it!!!!
     
  18. Nov 24, 2006 #518 of 1052
    Havanese_boy

    Havanese_boy New Member

    36
    0
    Jan 29, 2003
    Rolling...
    I was able to go to my local Charter office and get two Motorola CC's without any hassle.

    I came home and installed them into my new S3 with lifetime and followed the instructions that came with the box. Let me say here - man does that box look better than the Moxi!

    I got the screen that shows the Host and Data ID, but when I went to call Charter all they wanted was the SN of the two cards as I was speaking to Billing.

    Don't I need to give someone the Data ID to activate the cards? I called the tech support ppl and got overseas "dog chasing their tails", but no one would take my info.

    I cannot get the cards to do any channel testing as I think they are in Charter's system but not activated.

    I have removed the cards until Monday when I can go to the local office and speak to a friend of mine who works there. What should I tell the guy?

    With no cards in, I am able to watch SD channels and the PQ of 2-77 leaves Moxi in the dust.
     
  19. Nov 24, 2006 #519 of 1052
    kabewm

    kabewm New Member

    4
    0
    Apr 22, 2005
    Pasadena Install was smooth and painless. It took less than five minutes in and out to get my Series 3 (w/ lifetime) working with digital and hd.
     
  20. Nov 27, 2006 #520 of 1052
    Havanese_boy

    Havanese_boy New Member

    36
    0
    Jan 29, 2003
    Rolling...
    To finish my story...

    I went to my local Charter office this morning and found out my inside guy was out sick, so I explained that I had the two CCs and both were in the S3, but I needed to get them activated. She had no clue and after sticking her head in the back office, a lady came out and rambled about how a tech had to come out...I presented her with the two serial #'s and the Host/Data ID info for each card. She looked at me and took my paper with the info on it and went to the back again. After an hour of waiting she comes back out and smiles and says the cards are active and she showed a good signal to my house.

    I went home and everything came up great with digital and HD channels. My signal strength is at a steady 96 - 98.

    My Sammy HL-S6187W will be here Friday and I am so glad that the Tivo is ready.
     

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