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Charter & Series 3 Problems

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

  1. Jan 19, 2007 #561 of 1052

    pvthndl New Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    Southern Oregon
    The Charter guys showed up this AM. They had never done a Tivo before, but I had it all set up for them. Put the first card in, and after a few minutes (and a 161-4 error) it came up. Dito for card 2. So, I'm golden.

    Best of all, they took that piece of (@&#% Moxi with them.

    Master - hook up the box and go through a guided setup as if it had no HD channels, once this is done you a finished until the Cable Cards show up.
  2. Jan 19, 2007 #562 of 1052

    jahwz New Member

    May 3, 2006
    Same error here. The tech on the phone (the one who knew what was going on) said they always have to just ignore/bypass that message.

    Yes, finally rid of that piece of garbage!
  3. Jan 19, 2007 #563 of 1052

    MasterCephus New Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    Thanks guys!

    I think I figured that I could go ahead and use my Tivo before I got the cable cards, but was just wanting to make sure.

  4. Jan 19, 2007 #564 of 1052

    eric_mcgovern Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    For those of you that have had the "Waiting for CP Auth" issue with Scientific Atlanta cards, how was it finally resolved?

    Charter added some new stations, and they decided to set the CCI bit at 0x02, while all the original channels are 0x00. Both my CableCARDS are "Waiting for CP Auth" so I can't received any of the new channels. I have tried just about everything, and the responses I receive are "Waiting for CP Auth doesn't mean anything" and "We don't know what's wrong". I have done the phone support route 5 times, the chat route 2 times, and had a very long tech visit with multiple techs showing up. Not sure what the next steps are, as I really want the new channels.
  5. Jan 19, 2007 #565 of 1052

    ChuckyBox New Member

    Oct 3, 2005
    This is just more from Charter's bottomless arsenal of deliberate incompetence. Their "engineers" at the head end need to configure the system so that cablecards can decrypt the new stations. But they don't want to make this work, they want to you to get the Charter DVR.

    Your next step should be a complaint to the FCC: http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/cib/fcc475.cfm

    But don't expect a resolution any time soon.
  6. Jan 22, 2007 #566 of 1052

    neek New Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    So far, so good. Installer came out with a stack of SA Cablecards, we got all four installed and called them in... two of them wouldn't pair! Strange thing is, they worked. I get all my programming on both tuners.

    Hopefully it'll KEEP working. :cool:

    The installer said it was his first Tivo install and was by far the easiest CC install he had ever done.
  7. Jan 23, 2007 #567 of 1052

    rkdahl New Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Well I just did my Series3 Charter cable card install warm up dance. I called our Charter 800 number today to ask to have 2 cable cards installed in my brand new TiVo Series3. The conversation went like this:

    ME: Hi I'd like to get 2 cable cards installed in my new Tivo device
    Charter rep Katrina "I'm sorry we don't support Tivos'

    I'm not asking for any support I just need two cable cards installed at my home
    "we don't install cable cards in Tivos"

    I think maybe you do...maybe you're not familiar with a Tivo but I know that Charter does in fact install cable cards in Tivos all over the US as per the FCC requirements.

    "well I don't know anything about FCC requirements but I know for a fact we don't support Tivos and we cannot install cable cards in your Tivo only in TV's"

    Ok...well I think you may want to do some research on this because I know that is incorrect.....and while you're doing that can you transfer me to a manager? And what call center are you in?

    "I'm in the Vancouver call center. I'd be glad to transfer you to my lead who will talk to you. Have a nice day"


    "Hi this is Chance how can I help you"

    Hi Chance, I'm trying to get 2 cable cards scheduled for installation in my Tivo box

    "I'm sorry sir we don't support Tivos"


    Well I know that in fact Charter does do this and I can show you information that documents the FCC ruling supporting this so can you please just have someone bring out 2 cable cards for me?

    "No sir we do NOT install cable cards in portable devices!"

    Portable devices?

    "Yes, we install cable cards in TV's but not in portable devices like Tivo's!"

    Can I have the name of your manager and can you transfer me to them?

    "Here's the number of our corporate resolution center 866-212-1063, you can contact them directly"

    OK..I will, and I suggest you folks do some additional research on this topic so you can see that you do in fact support Tivo cable card installs.

    "OK thanks for calling. Have a nice day!
    So I hang up and call back to the same 800 Charter number I originally called. Push the same VRU buttons, get routed to a rep:

    "Hi this is Bruce how can I help you?"

    ME: Hi Bruce what call center are you in?

    "I'm in Rochester MN"

    Ahh..OK. Hey I was looking to get 2 cable cards installed in my new Tivo box

    "Sure...I can set that up for you. That'll be an additional $1.50 per card and the earliest I can get that scheduled for is Monday"

    After I got up off the floor. I thanked him profusely, asked that he transfer me to his manager so I can thank her, which I did. Then I called the Charter corporate resolution center to complain about the previous reps support and their lack of professionalism.

    Looking forward to the tech coming out.............................. maybe.
  8. Jan 23, 2007 #568 of 1052

    stevetd New Member

    Sep 23, 2006
    Western, NC
    When I called, I didn't tell them into what I was installing the cards. When the tech got there I told him "mine" was a dual tuner and that I would be happy to squeeze behind the TV and insert the cards. Install went like a charm and the tech still doesn't know the cards went into a TIVO! ;)
  9. Jan 23, 2007 #569 of 1052

    haysdb New Member

    Dec 11, 2002
    I "lied" about what the CableCards were going into also. I just said they were for a new TV. I didn't want to get into an argument with a CSR. Hopefully that won't be an issue when the installer gets here, supposedly this afternoon, SOMETIME between 1 and 5.

    Update 1: Charter guy is here. Says he's done Tivo CC installs before. Interestingly he asked when he came in the door, "This is for a Tivo, right?" I can imagine the request for TWO CableCards was the giveaway, huh? No worries, he didn't even pull a face at having to do a Tivo install.

    Update 2: Got the 161-4 error but the installer said it just needed a signal hit, which took quite awhile. He was here about an hour. It's "Getting Program Info" at the moment, so I don't know yet whether I have all the channels I'm paying for. Hopefully when I get home from work tonight it will be working.
  10. Jan 23, 2007 #570 of 1052

    TMTBoomer New Member

    Oct 20, 2006


    I know the easiest thing to do is just tell them it's for two TV's. If enough people do what you did things will change. It will take time, but they will change.

    Bravo! and a thumbs-up to you sir!
  11. Jan 25, 2007 #571 of 1052

    kduerr New Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    The original install took a long time (not too mention the obligatory 2 week wait since they didn't have cards in stock) but it eventually worked perfectly.

    Since then, I have the problem much discussed here about the Premium and HDTier channels going out. "Channel Not Available" is the only message. I have 2 cards in the S3 and 1 card in the Toshiba LCD (for POP purposes). All cards are exhibiting the same behavior. If I unplug everything and let it reset the channels initially come back. However, as soon as I change channels or tuners the same problem comes back.

    I called and asked for a hit, but the tech (though very nice) didn't seem to no the difference between a CC hit and STB hit. He put me on hold and called his helpdesk. Then he tried a "different" hit. Still nothing. So he took the easy way out and scheduled a tech visit. Since these same cards worked for the last 2 weeks, I have little hope that the tech visit will yield any results.

    Is anyone else experiencing this issue? I'm in the Western CT (Newtown) region.
  12. Jan 26, 2007 #572 of 1052

    timebeing New Member

    Jan 4, 2007
    Update. Guy came out swapped out both cable cards for OLDER versions he had and it fixed the problem i get all my HD now.
  13. Jan 26, 2007 #573 of 1052

    bernmart New Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    I'm confused. I had a technician booked by the Irwindale office install two cable cards in my TiVo a couple of weeks ago without complaint and without complication. My son (who is a lawyer) assured me just in case that the FCC does indeed require them to install them.

    What's going on, I wonder? Sounds like someone in the Irwindale Office was spoiling for a p*ssing contest!
  14. Jan 29, 2007 #574 of 1052

    rkdahl New Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Charter cable card install update....


    So as it turns out, so far at least, my telephone request to have the Charter cable guy come out and install two cable cards in my TiVo took LONGER than the actual install! As noted a few posts above I spent almost an hour on the phone talking to the Charter corporate escalation center and the charter call center in Vancouver who insisted till their last breath that they do not support TiVo's. And then I call a guy from Charter's Rochester, MN center took less than 5 min to set up an appointment!

    Lesson learned: when you have an agent from Charter that will not schedule an install Cable Cards in your TiVo. Immediately get their manager involved and call the Charter Corporate Resolution Center 866-212-1063 and share your story. Then get an agent that will schedule it cause it IS in fact supported.

    So today the Charter installer, Greg, gets here on time as promised at 08:45am. He has never done a TiVo Series3 he says...I start worrying. But in his next breath he says "No problem, we'll get this up and running!" Nice.

    So I show him the TiVo, how it has 2 slots, I share that there have been a lot of issues around the country with this, and that I have printed some updated install instructions that may help. He says.."OK Great, lets do it!" I really like this guy!

    We put in Card 1, we wait a few minutes and the MMI screen pops up. So far so good. At this point, he really wanted to put in card to so he only had to do one call, but after we chatted a few minutes he agrees, we better do one at a time. So he calls tech support, reads the info, and we wait. Not sure how long to wait so we agree on 4 minutes. We get 161-4 error, no problem, ignore. Then at the 4 min mark we check. All channels basic, premium and HD work fine! Cool!

    OK onto card #2, same process, call tech support, exchange info, then we get two 161-4 errors. Hmmm...weird, but we don't panic yet. We wait 4 minutes and then check Card 2 channels. Everything is there just like card 1. So everything works!

    Time from him walking in the door to right now? 40 minutes!!!

    Greg completes the paperwork. Meanwhile I'm going through guided setup on the TiVo. We both finish up and he takes my Moxi and another STB I don't need. He walks out the door less than an hour after he got here.

    He was a great Charter install guy, the best I've ever had. And everything so far is working wonderful!

    Good luck with yours!
  15. Jan 30, 2007 #575 of 1052

    CharterJames Digital Guru

    Jan 29, 2007
    Hickory, NC
    I'm catching up on some posts here, I hopped into this forum to find some answers on some issues some of my S3 customers had and have found alot of good information here.

    I'd also like to clear up a few points

    1) "We don't support TIVO"

    As a general rule we only support our equipment and lines. When it comes to CableCard enabled equipment (usually TVs, but the S3 clearly falls into that category) we are not trained by the manufacturer, we do not get any updates or firmwares to keep their equipment current and we are not even given basic specifications for what signal levels the equipment prefers.

    We are required to support CableCard and we do, however all that means is we set up the CableCard in our system, activate it, and hook it to the line. Any errors, all setup and configuration etc falls on the user.

    This is the same thing with VCRs, Computers etc. In the past, we would not have any problem making connections to VCRs etc because those devices were pretty simple and stright-forward, however now they are much more complex. A field technicians job is to get your signal quality within CableLabs specs.

    Most call center people will say "we don't support that" because they won't know anything about how to work it, many installers and techs will as well. As such you'll need to know how to work your equipment.

    2) "We don't have that box in our database"
    Here's where a little information is a dangerous thing. Every digital system has a Digital Controller. Motorola systems call them DACs and I believe SA uses what's called a DNCS. Either way, this server controls the boxes and their ability to access programming. CableCards are set up in the controller like boxes. All a CableCard is a module with a Serial Number and MAC id burned into it so the controller has a verifible ID to decrypt signals (the technicial term is Conditional Access Module) Our boxes have to be listed on this server and have to have their firmwares loaded onto it. Other equipment only needs an Active cable card (and a cold initialization to "pair" the device)

    For a smooth install here's what I recommend

    1) Pre-work
    If you have any obivious signal issues (tileing on one of our digital boxes, bad picture on analog etc) go ahead and get that taken care of

    2) The install
    Call in and request an install for 2 cable cards. You don't have to tell them what it's for, any customer server person should assume it's for a TV (most don't realize there are other equipment that can use them yet) If you do tell them, let them know you only need the cards to be installed. If they say "We don't support TIVO" let them know TIVO supports cablecard and you want to get two cable cards. If they give you any more problem request a supervisor.

    The easier route is to deal with the local office if at all possible. I work for Charter, I take pride in my job, but I have not only heard customer complaints about the call center, I've had bad experiences myself. I personally do not believe the customer is best served by people who are graded on how many calls they answer, not how many they RESOLVE. On the other hand, most the time if you go to the local office they will either have or know someone who can answer your questions. We don't give cards out at the office (because of all the difficulty we have in getting them to work) but we can schedule someone to come out for you.

    3) print this page

    Most installers and technicians should be able to follow this without a problem.

    4) be ready, willing and able to work the remote and navigate the menus for the Tech / installer. If they are not familar with TIVO it will probably go easier if you're driving. Again, we aren't trained how to use these boxes and most of us haven't used one ever.

    If everything is done right, the card should pair up after a cold initialize passes through the system to the TIVO. Most people have to do this from the Billing system so it may take as long as 30 minutes under the worst computer traffic situations. Generally it should take less than 5.

    5) After the install -
    If you lose a single channel of a package (or a few, but not all) try to get someone to Cold Initialize your cable cards first. sometimes this will fix it.
    Most cards don't need this, but some card/box combinations tend to lose their authorization.

    If the cold doesn't fix it ask for a trouble call - usually a single channel or several channels indicate a signal issue. Especially HD. HD's and Analogs are the first to show bad signal.

    Snow, pixlation, tileing (little blocks usually black) and most audio issues directly with the TV (not getting stereo sound on a stereo transmission, most HDs have dolby...) are often caused by signal, though I've seen issues with some TVs that will not pass Digital audio out their optical (I have one such TV) which is more specific to that hardware than the signal coming out the box.

    Worst case senerio - if your getting an unusual problem signal wise, ask them to put a box on just see (temporary) if it's duplicated on the box - if it is, the tech should have no issue fixing it. If it's not, you may have to do some digging to see why the S3 would require better signal specs than our boxes. (becase if they are in line with Cablelabs, they should not.)

    Some boxes (read MOXI) are pickier than others, I will say that. I've yet to really experiment with an S3 (looking forward to it!) I will say I'm definitely fond of the Motorola DCT6416 (especially compaired to the Motorola/Moxi BMC 9012)

    Btw - Motorola has quit making moxi boxes and it's my understanding that Digeo is going to be releasing CableCard moxi boxes to the masses. The expected price is somewhere between $800 to $1000. Personally, unless they put much better analog and digital tuners in the boxes (and unless they speed up the interface and cut the fan noise!) I wouldn't give $200 for one. - but soon S3 won't be the only mainstream cablecard DVR (I think a few other companies make them, but they aren't major names.)

    It's also my understanding that Windows Vista is supposed to have CableCard support, but I don't have any real dirt on that.

    The point being, alot of people would like to sweep cablecard under the carpet and pretend it doesn't exist. Personally I know it's a tech support nightmare, however I also know it fits a need and they aren't going to go away. Even new TVs without cablecards are being built with a QAM tuner to allow for receiving of unencrypted digital channels (often the digital PBS networks, Local HDs and the digital music stations are unencrypted).

    I would love to see a day with java based interactive services that can load on any box / intergrated TV with a card... and it's actually been something that's been in the works forever (even old DCTs have a slot for a Conditional Access Module) - it's just a matter of bridging the gaps.

    Unfortunately between now and then there's a bumpy road and a very badly written roadmap! :eek:
  16. Feb 1, 2007 #576 of 1052

    MasterCephus New Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    I would just like to say that I got my cablecards installed this past Saturday and it was the easiest thing. The guy came and left within 20 minutes. He said I was the 2nd one he had installed.

    He was very professional, didn't get into long conversations, he was there to do a job and he did a great job. Once he left, I finished the setup and had all the channels I was supposed to have, and the picture was awesome.


    Let me also say that this was the BEST technician I have ever had. I have had people come to look at fixing my internet being down and ask "What's a network?" and when I got my moxi box, I asked the guy if he had installed cablecards on a Tivo and he replied "What exactly is a cablecard?"

    I was about to the point to just get rid of cable alltogether, but this guy gave me hope for charter again :)
  17. Feb 1, 2007 #577 of 1052

    CharterJames Digital Guru

    Jan 29, 2007
    Hickory, NC

    :D Good To Hear!!! :D
    I'd like to think more often than not our techs will be curious and interested in finding out and resolving customer problems or already knowledgable about them. I know when I did Pipeline HSD support our attitude was if we don't know, we'll find out!

    While there's always "bad apples" in the bunch I definitely encourage customers to let their local office know about install and trouble call problems as that's the only way we know who's doing their job and who isn't!

    I actually hit the goldmine on TIVO information as some TIVO technicial support staff saw some of my posts and emailed my personal email, so I'm getting a great crash course on what's going on there.

    I was also very happy to find out they do have a test headend to duplicate what we have here in the field and I started comparing notes to see what I can do here to make the s3 run better for my customers (as well as passing along my findings to other Charter Systems)
  18. Feb 1, 2007 #578 of 1052

    haysdb New Member

    Dec 11, 2002
    My Charter install went very well also. This was the beginning of last week. I asked my guy if he had done Tivo's before, and he said "sure," as if it were a normal part of his day.
  19. Feb 1, 2007 #579 of 1052

    CharterJames Digital Guru

    Jan 29, 2007
    Hickory, NC
    I got a call from one of our installers a few months ago who was freaking out about it and I told him "should work just like any other cable card device" one card didn't work out and I'm thinking now it's probably the firmware that was on the card. Stayed pretty quiet here until this recent one and that was after I advised them how it should work... so I think it was a matter of people not following the instructions TIVO has (which when my customer showed them to me I was already jotting down the URL *L*) :D

    I'd like to think they are more mainstream. Makes me wonder how hard it is for people with Sony and other non-TIVO cablecard enabled DVRs...

    Know anyone willing to part with any cablecard based equipment (tivo or not) on the cheap? I've got to get something so I can play with this more!

    (course my wife will KILL me if I bring home another DVR... I've already got a Digeo Moxi (Motorola) BMC 9012 and a Motorola DCT6416)
  20. Feb 1, 2007 #580 of 1052

    DLSDO New Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    I have a Moxi via Charter and am considering a T3. There has been a heated debate specifically in regards to your assertion above over at the Moxi site here http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=412846

    With Charter passing out 3416's instead of Moxi's we assumed the Moxi was being phased out by Charter.

    But a Diego rep named "MoxiGuy" confidently indicates otherwise :confused:

    Please join us over at the Moxi thread and offer your viewpoint.

    Thanks in advance

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