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Charter & Series 3 Problems

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

  1. mojoxp

    mojoxp New Member

    Jul 14, 2004
    Here in Madison, WI the CableCard install wasn't a problem. Guy got them in and working in no time flat (longest part was being on hold with Charter to get them hit).

    Getting service on the cards is a different matter. For some reason Charter is unable to get the Digital Tiers working or the HDTV tier. I can get local HDs and thats it. Some of our channels (all?) are simulcast in digital, and I get those as digital... so its not a technical issue just a problem on the customer service end (surprise, surprise).
  2. sduston

    sduston New Member

    Dec 1, 2006
    I have Charter service and I haven't really had any difficulties getting the cable cards. However, I am part of the few that have had a lot of reboot problems. In my case, I have found channels 792 (TNTHD), 793 (UHD) and 799 (MTV HD) have been giving me a message stating something about activating the cards, call the cable provider, Host ID and all sorts of stuff...

    A little background:
    In my case, I have had the S3 Tivo for just over a month now. Upon first installation it was fine, no reboot issues. After a few weeks or so, after a couple of software updates and a little use, I began having a rediculous amount of reboots. It seemed to get increasingly worse as the days passed. It got so bad that is started freezing, and shutting down, and rebooting sometimes 8-10 times before stabilizing and becoming usable again. I tried dealing with Charter, and getting a technician to actually show up was a job in and of itself. So, since I had actually spent the extra $50 or whatever to buy the ever hated "service plan" from Circuit City, I took the Tivo back and swapped it for a new one to hopefully eliminate hardware failures as a potential cause. About a week later I began seeing a reboot once and a great while, but more often than not I would get the black/gray screen with Host ID info and such on some channels.

    Previously, I would occasionally see this message with my original S3, but the Tivo would almost always reboot after displaying that message for a few minutes.

    Bottom line, I still have occasional reboots, but not as bad as before. I am trying to get Charter out to replace the cable cards, then I'll go from there. Charter has never said to me that they do not support the Tivo... at least So Far...

    For me, I have a Tivo Wireless G adapter on my S3. Otherwise nothing out of the ordinary. Any insight or other experience? I personally haven't had any kind of specific issues recording NBC-HD so far, just as a side note.
  3. cotton168

    cotton168 New Member

    Aug 8, 2006

    Sorry to hear about the issues you are having with your S3. :( Have you tried contacting TiVo to see if they have a remedy for this issue? I know that there are other people who also suffer the dreaded reboots so I'm wondering if this can be fixed by TiVo? Luckily you did get the extended warranty so you can exchange the item but that is also a pain in the a$$. Good luck to you and if you hear of anything, let us know. :)
  4. TAsunder

    TAsunder Debates Ghee vs Gi

    Aug 6, 2003
    Madison, WI
    Just got installed this morning, 2 cable cards, also in madison, WI. I had been using a digital STB before. Are you having problems solely with the cable card digital or all digitals?

    I'm not sure you are missing much with the HD tier. You still get locals and premiums in HD without it. Or at least, I do.

    It really shocked me to discover that neither fox nor the CW are carried by charter in HD. I have to use an OTA antenna to get them.

    The install guy refused to even look at the instructions and kept telling me to try various menu options until the MMI screen showed. He also was trying hard to sell their DVR service (favorite line: "you know these things work better with satellite?"). But it worked out just fine. Biggest problem was his shoes were wet.
  5. TMTBoomer

    TMTBoomer New Member

    Oct 20, 2006
    I you have not done so already, you need to call Charter back with the new Host ID's for the replacment S3. The Cable Cards you have are tied to the original Host ID's. Example: Cable Card #1 is tied to tuner #1's host ID. This would be like swapping the Cable Cards from one slot to the other, it should not be done unless the server has been updated also. This goes for any host device including TV's.

    This would explain the channel behavior.
  6. shrktank

    shrktank New Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    St Louis
    Charter came out today to install my cablecards.

    The tech was professional and eager to install the cards (I think it was his first HD Tivo).

    I had the Tivo CableCard install sheet on top of the unit. I am pleased to announce that the installer read these before even attempting to start!

    Installed the first card with no hitch. Called in the numbers. Proceeded to card#2. no hitch with this one as well. Called in again for card #2.

    Within a few minutes we observed channels coming in from the Test Channel screens.

    Excellent install and fantastic experience with Charter.

    I think the longest time was spent with the tech on hold to activate the cards!!

    Not sure why they cant access through the web some how!!
  7. pbrass

    pbrass New Member

    Sep 26, 2003
    Charter sub-contractor showed up ~ 30 minutes late for his 8 am to 12 pm scheduled appointment. While this was his first CC install, he did have the presence of mind to bring 3 cards with him just in case. He had never seen a TiVo before apparently and felt obliged to tell me that Charter's DVR was easier to set up. He also let me know he was only getting ~ $13 for the job.

    Upon seeing that I had a handle on what to do, he backed off and simply relayed instructions from the Charter employee at the head end. CC's were originally slow to pick up a signal and the 1st card wouldn't get Digital or HD for quite a while. On impulse, we plugged in the 2nd card and the 1st one got its HD programming immediately. I suspect this was simply a coincidence, but the timing was uncanny.

    I continue to be amazed at how good a job the Series3 does at up-converting SD signals (and of course HD is amazing).

    The tech was on site for less than an hour and all channels came up after the cards "sync'd" with the head end.

    FWIW, the employee at the head end seemed to be knowledgeable about the TiVo interface or, at the very least, had a good script to work off.

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread... it made the process MUCH easier.
  8. jjk58

    jjk58 New Member

    Jun 29, 2003
    So, I called in to order 2 CCards. The rep asked if I wanted a tech to come or if I wanted to pick them up. I was surprised and asked if she was sure if I could pick them up... yes, not a problem. I could even do it today. I'm out the door....

    Go to the office and get told only a tech can do it... grrrrrrr!!!!!!

    Worse yet, the system doesn't show a request by me... After a few minutes of poking the office rep sees that the system is bouncing my request for a ccard since I have a digital box... she said she would call me

    She called back about 1 hour later. She tried to talk me out of the cards saying that they're not as good as a box and I won't have VOD and PPV... Apparently the supervising tech was talking them down as well.... I did not mention that it's for a S3...

    They're coming on tuesday. I'm wondering if I'll need to do the install for them...??
  9. jdmass

    jdmass New Member

    Dec 1, 2002
    Westborough, MA
    Exactly my initial experience with Charter (discussed earlier in this thread). I hope that you demanded that the house call be free since they misinformed you and put you through the inconvenience of going to their office.

    It's sad to hear that they are still giving out misinformation after all of these experiences. I think that it shows how little they care about support. I believe Charter has made a calculated decision to make the cablecard experience as unpleasant as possible to try to discourage customers from using them. As a result they provide no training for their people. I don't blame the techs and phone people -- I think this is a deliberate policy at the top.

    I'm not usually this cynical, but given what it must be costing them in truck rolls and support calls, it is the explanation that makes the most sense.
  10. iWish

    iWish New Member

    May 15, 2005
    Unbelievably, Charter is still refusing to "support".

    Just received an S3 from Dell and I called to order the cards.

    Was told Tivo not supported.

    Best I could manage was an address of a local office where I could supposedly pick up some cards.

    No phone number, just an address.

    I guess they are still making this tough on us.

    Thanks for all who have posted to help me get through this bullsh$$.
  11. iWish

    iWish New Member

    May 15, 2005

    I called the 888 a second time and was told again that Charter doesn't support Tivo. This time they said I could either pick up the cards myself or have a service call to have them "dropped off" -- meaning they would not install them!!!!

    Went to local office in West Sacramento at 5:00 last night who corrected the 888 service reps and informed me that they do indeed install Tivo cable cards.

    Got an appointment for the next day.

    Though the installer had never done a Tivo cable card install, he had done others and the whole thing went smoothly even though my power cord unplugged between installing the first and second cards!

    Though I haven't tested fully, everything looked good!!!

    Kudos to the Charter local branch in West Sac!
  12. CheezWiz

    CheezWiz ReplayTV->S3 Tivo

    Dec 29, 2006
    Got an HD DCR Plasma last month.
    Went in and requested a cable card for it, was told that it would not get guide data or VOD and would cost $1.50/month rental. I said that was good for me and it was scheduled for the next day. Came in, installed it, re-did the wiring outside the house, done. Took my old box with him which reduced my fee by $3.95/month. 45 minutes total.

    Got my S3 from Dell yesterday (At a GREAT PRICE!!) and went by the office to request the cards. No problem, same disclaimer. Scheduled for next day (today). Two hours late, but not a problem, the contractor arrives. Checks signals and wiring. Installs cards, all good. One important thing is that after installing the cards, go to test channels. Don't go through the entire guided setup! That took 20 minutes after the guy left for new guide data to come down. Test channels will immediately show you that they are working. They did have to hit the cards a second time to get the going. In and out in 30 minutes.

    We are in the backwaters of civilization here and I have had ZERO problems with Charter. They are a great bunch here... :up:
  13. rczig

    rczig New Member

    Mar 25, 2006
    I called Charter last week to schedule the installation of Cable Cards (I didn't mention it was for my TiVo :rolleyes: ) and, amazingly, they were able to move up the appt since the cards arrived early. The installer showed up on time with ONLY TWO cards, so I was a bit nervous. He had never even seen a S3 TiVo, but seemed pretty impressed. He was willing to follow the installer instructions precisely- and even read them all the way through prior to the installation! We did get the "171-4" error code with both cards before they started to work. However, the installation went smoothly (both cards worked on the first attempt1), all of my channels appear to be working, and the installer said IT WAS THE EASIEST CABLE CARD INSTALL HE'D EVER DONE! He said that many TVs have problems with the cards and that some of them even require a firmware flash. He also told me that evidently Charter wasn't even charging me for the service call! (I'm doubtful on that last one, I still expect to see a $19.99 service call charge on my next bill)

    All in all, it was a GREAT experience! No problems whatsoever! :up:
  14. joe warner

    joe warner New Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Granbury, TX
    I am in Texas and I have Charter and I have absolutely no problems with the cable cards or install. Charter gave me no problem in installing them in mt TiVo. Both cards were installed and working in less tham 45 minutes.
  15. timebeing

    timebeing New Member

    Jan 4, 2007
    I got my S3 tivo around early Dec.

    Called Charter (Burbank, ca) late at night. Talk to someone for about 45mins. Had issues with the computer with me only having 1 TV but needing 2 cable cards and a Cable Box (for on-demand) but they got a Tech guy and worked it out, Waived the installation fee.

    Tivo was getting all TV just fine with just the digital cable plugged into it, but just not my HBO.

    Sent someone out next day, and installed it quickly with no problems, said it was his 3rd Tivo that day (just did a house with 3 S3s)

    Flash forward 30days. New HD TV shows up. Call Charter tell them to give me the HD channels, and everything goes in the toilet. My cable goes in and out, and the only way to get it back is to reboot the tivo. 3 calls back and they get it fix, but I still get Cable card errors on 3 specific HD Channels but everything else is working fine and staying on. Guy comes out next week to try and fix those 3 channels.
  16. crabherring

    crabherring New Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    I've been on the phone multiple times with Charter and have had the joy of two tech visits. Here is where I'm at:

    Both cable cards are recognized by S3 on the cablecard set up menus. I'm receiving all analog channels and local HD channels with no problem. I do not receive digital channels (channels 100+) or the HDTier channels on either cable card.

    I've gone through the forums and had the last tech (who was very willing to help) go through the key problem areas:
    1) checked signal strength and integrity (no problems)
    2) rechecked all numbers from Cable Card and S3 (host id, etc...) with settings at Charter (all okay)
    3) tech asked Charter cust serv to make sure the correct cable card enable codes were used (saw a post that said DCT codes were different). This was also okay.
    4) Had Charter rehit the cards (cards have been rehit, including cold hit, multiple times now)
    5) Restarted Tivo and redid guided setup.

    Still only analog channels. I have a DCT box in the house and can confirm that it is receiving the digital channels.

    The tech then got on the phone and told Charter to schedule another visit to include bringing two new Cable Cards.

    Any other ideas?

    (By the way).... On the first tech visit (4 hours). I got the hypnotic screen of death when doing channel test on the cards. As others have posted, it took quite some time for the cable card firmware loads or whatever to happen. I also found out that Charter had a huge queue of new devices to enumerate on the network. So, if you get the spinning disk on channel check this could be the cause. About 6 hours later (10 total from cable card install), I got analog channels active on both cards and started working through trying to get the digital channels going.
  17. jdmass

    jdmass New Member

    Dec 1, 2002
    Westborough, MA
    I guess it's possible that both cablecards are bad, but I would bet that step 3 was not done properly. The onsite tech may have the best of intentions, but it seems that the majority of people at the other end of the phone for Charter are incompetent.

    When I had my S3 installed I was fortunate to get one of the head end engineers to actually call dispatch and tell them specifically which codes were needed. He told me that they almost always get it wrong.
  18. eric_mcgovern

    eric_mcgovern New Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    The day has finally come that Charter adds new HD channels! Yeah!

    I received a letter, telling me TNT HD, Universal HD and Cinemax HD are being added. So I tune to the channels they list, and TNT pops in for about 2 seconds before the "please call Charter" message from the CableCARD pops up. So I give Charter a jingle, and they are utterly confused by what I am asking. I get transferred around about 3 times, I finally end up in "repair".

    I keep explaining to them I simply need the CableCARDS authorized for the new channels, as they are mapping them (TiVo has the correct station name in the upper right corner), but I am just not authorized. They keep telling me I have that package and I should get them. I was getting somewhere with repair, but I was hung up on, and didn't feel like calling back (even though I gave everyone my number 3 times, I guess they can't call out).

    The TiVo lineup change hasn't occurred, but I figured that when it does I want to be able to get those channels from day 1.

    Has anyone had success during lineup changes?

    My Series 3 box with has worked flawlessly with the CableCARDS since day 1, I just hope this doesn't goof up my good fortunes :)
  19. j0e

    j0e New Member

    Jan 1, 2007
    I got my first Tivo, a Sony, just over 6 years ago and it immediately became indispensible. I never could understand why everyone with a TV did not get one. Anyway, aside from upgrading the storage and adding a wireless card I never did much with it except enjoy it.

    A few days ago I bought an HDTV and the S3 box. I dreaded what was going to happen when I ordered the cable cards. Turns out that it was not too bad. I called up and based on these notes said I had gotten a new TV and wanted 2 cable cards for it. I got the speech about VOD and MOXIE and then was told the TV only needed one card. So I said I got 2 TV's. They had plenty of cards, but the installers were tied up and I was told I could not do them myself so I had to wait 5 days.

    So the cable guy showed up on time and said he had not seen the S3 and asked me if I wanted to plug them in myslef. I did so and first put in the bottom one. Took a long minute before the screen with the numbers came up. The canle guy told me to do the guided setup but I told him to wait.

    After putting that one in, I put in the upper one. Nothing happened for 2 minutes and then an error message about calling home came up. I told him that I had read on the net that there were a lot of bad cards so he just went out to the truck and got another one. Popped that in and it came up fine in about 45 seconds.

    He then got a call from his boss who told him he had to come to the office even if he was in the middle of a call. So he said he would call in the numbers and get the cards turned on and be back as soon as he could.

    Within a few minutes. I was able to get HD and it sure looks great. Of course some channels did not come in because they forgot to turn on the HD service. So when he came back he had to call the head end to turn some more channels on. Also we noticed a few glitches across the screen so he decidded to clean up the levels. I have a three way splitter and learned that one of the outputs on a three-way is half the loss of the other two. It was well market. Anyway it looks great, Tivo has improved a lot in 6 years, and the HD picture is well worth it.

    This forum made it a better experience because I did not tell charter that it was a Tivo, I put myself into the installation loop and did not freak whem one of the cards did not work.
  20. 2big4burb

    2big4burb New Member

    Sep 23, 2006
    Anyone have Tito's number?

    This is getting really old. It's been 3 months, 4 different technicians, and a ton of calls into Charter. The current party line from Charter is "cable cards are not available in your area" Really? Then how did I get these 4 cable cards that don't really work? (I've got 2 S3's that currently only get channels 2 - 101)

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