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Charter & Series 3 Problems

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

  1. Jul 29, 2008 #921 of 1052
    bdconn

    bdconn New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 6, 2006
    My wife was fedup with our Charter HD DVR and wanted to go back to Tivo, So, being a good husband i went down to Best Buy and got a Tivo HD on Saturday July 26. The tivo setup was a dream and went without a hitch.

    Then i called the Fort Worth office of Charter Cable to get the Cablecards installed. Now here is where i become puzzled, Charter would not let me come down to pickup the cards because a Tech HAD to install them. I say OK and setup an appt. for Monday. The rep that made the appt. assured me that the tech coming out would be a Charter employee and not a contractor, and that he would be trained in the installation of CableCards, and he would be bringing several cards. Well, guess what showed up Monday. A contractor with no knowledge of cablecards much less any experience, and he only had one card. I had to walk him thru how to install a cablecard in a Tivo. Now if the cablecards can only be installed by a tech why do they send out techs that do not know how to install them? Now once we had the card in the tivo, it immediately went into the firmware updating phase, and did that for about an hour before saying firmware update failed.

    The tech talked to his office and I talked to Tivo cablecard support. The Techs office started by saying that the firmware update came from Tivo and if it failed it was a bad Tivo. I showed him that the firmware of the Cablecard had to come from the cable company, which he finally excepted. Then his office told him to just leave the card and it might start working in a few hours. Again i told him if it ain't working now it isn't going to. I told the Tech that it was a bad cablecard, and his response was " OK, do you want me to leave it or take it with me?" I was truly astonished, I told him " What use is a bad cablecard that doesn't work to me?" I made him take it with him.

    I now have made another appt. for this coming Wednesday. But really, these Charter people seem clueless about cableards. And I am anticipating a long fight with them to get one working card.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make this process easier?
     
  2. Jul 29, 2008 #922 of 1052
    norcoast

    norcoast New Member

    3
    0
    Jul 1, 2008
    Every Charter tech I talk with tells me that the cable cards are new to them and they have very little if any experience with them.
    Make sure they bring the Motorola cards, they are the newest ones Charter carries. Also make sure they get the ID numbers of each card correct and what slot each card is in.
    I was having a few minor problems after installation and it ends up the original Charter Tech gave his service center the wrong slots and numbers. Once that was straightened out by a different tech everything has worked well. and they didn't charge me for the second visit.
    It helped that the worker at the service center was the most experienced one with cable cards.
     
  3. Jul 31, 2008 #923 of 1052
    bdconn

    bdconn New Member

    4
    0
    Jul 6, 2006
    I thought it only fair to report back about a success with Charter, finally. When I setup my second appointment to install a cablecard, i told them I wanted a supervisor or a manager, and I wanted them to bring at least two cards. They actually did it. They sent out Brian, a supervisor, and he brought 3 cards. He had never installed one in a Tivo before, but, he was receptive to my help. I copied down all the numbers for him and he called them into the office. Within a minute I had all the channels I'm paying for, Basic, Premium, and HD. Brian was there less than 15 minutes, and he left a happy customer.

    Now mt only problem is this, Since Charter cable says cablecards must be installed by a tech, and I had to walk both of their techs thru installing a cablecard. I'm thinking I need to bill Charter Cable for Technical services so the two nice techs who were at my house will not get in trouble for not following the rule about only techs installing the cards.
     
  4. Aug 12, 2008 #924 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
    0
    Mar 28, 2007
    Hi,

    I have Three Series 3 Tivos, when I installed the first two about a year ago and 6 months ago, no problems setting up the cable cards ... it was very smooth.

    Not so with number three Series 3, I have had Charter out twice now, the first time they did not have the M cards Activated. The second time, New Scientific Atlanta M cards were installed and were Authorized and Paired and they work, but with problems I am only getting the BASIC CHANNELS and ONLY the BROADCAST HD CHANNELS. Only Channels 2-99 and 781-788 work.

    I am subscribed to (but not getting) all the Premium (HBO, Showtime, Starz, Encore, etc) Movie View, and HD View (all the rest of HD Channels).

    On the bad channels, I see the Channel info but not the show, the screen is black.

    When I am on a non-funcitiong channel, On the Cable Card CA Screen it shows:
    "Status Not Staged" where on my other (working) Tivo it shows "Status Ready"
    Also on page 3, Line 2 it shows "N/A-5-Ent-0-0-0" where on my other Tivo it shows "N/A-4-Ent-3106-2-99"

    On the Cable Card CP Info Screen it shows:
    "Auth Status:CP Auth Received"
    "VerifyKey Status:OK"
    Same as on my other Tivo.

    I was told on the phone by Charter (a so called Tivo Expert) that the problem is the cable cards need the following:

    1. The cards have to be set up at the cable companies Head End with the TIVO SERIAL NUMBER.
    2. The M cards need to say Tivo on the card. (I am assuming that once the set them up with the Tivo Serial Number they write "Tivo" on the cards)

    I know Charter did not ask me for the serial number on my first two Tivo’s, but the Tech said that he thought this was a new requirement in recent months.

    SO MY QUESTIONS ARE:
    1. Is this true that Tivo Serial Number has to be set up at the head end?
    2. Would the cards not being setup with the Tivo Serial Number’s cause the cards to receive some channels but not others?
    3. Any other thoughts on why I would get some channels but not others?
    4. On the Cable Card CA Screen it shows: "Status Not Staged" does Status Not Staged tell us anything?

    Thanks
     
  5. Aug 12, 2008 #925 of 1052
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    supie,

    As I posted on your tivo.com post:

    There are no such things such as TiVo Cablecards, nor is there anything in the authorization process that would require the TiVo serial number. It does, however, usually require the cablecard serial number, and the Host Number, which is an internally generated number which identifies the TiVo.

    However, it is possible (although I've never heard of it) that your local Charter office has tested a batch of cablecards on TiVos and have manually written TiVo on it just to make their life easier. It's also possible that they are recording the TiVo Serial number in their system (I have no idea why) for some control purpose. The lack of it however would not hinder the cablecard authorization process.

    It still appears that the cards were not properly authorized/paired. There are several other posters on this thread who were told that the "Not Staged" message meant that the cards were not properly initialized in the office before they were released to the field. That may be your problem.
     
  6. Aug 13, 2008 #926 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
    0
    Mar 28, 2007

    Thanks again for you prompt response.

    I am waiting today, for a call from Charter to come out with the new cards, which should be initialized at the Charter Head End Office.

    I have read many other threads about “Not Staged” and the common theme seems to be, in the CA Screen, in addition to the Status “Not Staged” which needs to be “Ready”, that IF the last line in the first page is EMMs Processed: 0 it should be a number NOT ZERO such as EMMs Processed: 34. Here is what mine shows:

    CA Screen (Incorrect Settings)
    -----
    Status: Not Staged
    CA Time-Waiting For Update...
    Time GBAM: 0
    App GBAM: 0
    EMMs Processed: Processed: 0


    CA Screen (Correct Settings from another Tivo)
    -----
    Status: Ready
    CA Time-August 13, 2008 – 4:45AM GMT
    Time GBAM: 62195
    App GBAM: 76239
    EMMs Processed: 38


    Question 1. What can I tell the Charter Techs at their office to do to send the proper signals or EMMs? If I understand it correctly, that they have to hit the cable cards at least twice?

    1.Once the Serial and Host ID Numbers are entered, and the cards are paired, at the Charter office, a host validation hit needs to be sent to each card.
    2. Then follow up with an EMM hit. (this loads the SA - EMM .tar file for that card and loads it into the DNCS)

    Question 2. What are the steps to get to this diagnostics screen?

    Jrm01 posted on Tivo.com Forum:
    With the card installed you should go to the cablecard diagnostic screens and check some settings. Check the settings for the Conditional Access Screen for the cablecards. In particular look at 3 fields there:
    Con:
    Auth:
    Val;
    They should say: Con: Yes Auth: Subscribed Val: V

    Thanks
     
  7. Aug 13, 2008 #927 of 1052
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    Forget the Conditional Access screen info that I posted. that was before I knew you had SA cards. The key for them is exactly what you have found: the EMM count. From TiVo webpage:

    You will not be getting any premium channels with an EMM count of 0. It may not always be 34 (depends on the package you have), but it will be close.
     
  8. Aug 14, 2008 #928 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
    0
    Mar 28, 2007
    After doing nothing for the past two days, now CHARTER'S LOCAL OFFICE IS TELLING ME that the cards NEED SPECIAL PROGRAMMING and they have to send them to another office to download the special programming on the cards and it will be another 5 DAYS BEFORE THEY CAN COME TO INSTALL THEM.

    When I got my first two S3 Tivo's set up they did not even know they were coming to install them in a Tivo and they worked fine.

    Question 1. So do the cards need special programming before they install them other than what they do to stage or initialize all cable cards?

    Question 2.Once the installer comes to install the cards, what can I tell the Charter Techs, at their office, to do to send the proper signals or EMMs?

    If I understand it correctly, once the Serial and Host ID Numbers are entered, and the cards are paired,that they have to hit the each cable card at least twice?
    1. Once to do a host validation.
    2. Then follow up with an EMM hit. (this loads the SA - EMM .tar file for that card and loads it into the DNCS)

    Question 3. Does this sound right?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  9. Aug 15, 2008 #929 of 1052
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    Question 1: I have never heard of any special programming that is required. However, your local office may have determined that the cards need to have a certain firmware level in order to work with tivo. That is usually something that they can do in their office (update the firmware), in fact it can usually be done in the field. But who knows?

    Question 2: Usually there are two "hits" that are required, and everyone seems to have a different name for them. The first is to pair the card to the host device. This may be called Validation, Pairing, etc. The second is to authorize the card for the encrypted channels that it is allowed to decrypt. This may be called Authorization, etc. The key though is that the second (or last) hit for these cards is only successful if you see the EMM count being incremented. In fact if you look at the diagnostic screen while this is going on you can see the number be incremented (you may have to refresh the screen. If this is not incrementing, the authorization is not working. The cause for failure can be many things, including improper pairing during the first hit.

    When they are doing the first hit make sure they are not botching the numbers (easily transposed) for card serial number, host-id and data number.
     
  10. Aug 15, 2008 #930 of 1052
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
  11. Aug 16, 2008 #931 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
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    Mar 28, 2007
    Yes this does help alot, it points out the problems and hopefully allows you to zero in on what to fix. Thanks

    Now if I could get Charter to come back and fix it. I will keep you posted as to what the final outcome is.
     
  12. Aug 21, 2008 #932 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
    0
    Mar 28, 2007
    Did anyone have Charter in San Luis Obispo County install Cable cards in the Last 90 Days?

    I would like to hear from you if it was successful or a problem? If so tell me a little about how it went.

    Either way I would like to ask a couple of questions, The questions will be based on your success or problems.

    Last Week:
    This Week:
    Now Charter is telling me it will be another 5 Days or maybe a week before they will have the Cable Cards done with the special programing.

    Three Weeks now (haven't been able to get this Tivo Set Up) and counting.

    Really fustrating .... I bought this unit so I can get all of the Olympics and for the new fall season.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  13. Sep 1, 2008 #933 of 1052
    pops_porter

    pops_porter New Member

    125
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    Sep 26, 2005
    Minnesota
    Just wanted to post my Charter experience. I had Charter come out on Saturday morning, and it was one of their contractors. The guy said he had no idea how to do this and at first said he only had one card it's a single stream. So he calls around to other guys out in the field to see if they have extra cablecards, no one does. He brings it in and it says, Motorola M-card, so I have to tell him that this will be just fine. We set it up and all I get is gray screens, he says"well i'm not sticking around all day to fix this" and sets me up with an appointment for Tuesday, supposedly he requested the one guy in the area that know how to do this. So the Charter guy was a mix of nice/and unhelpful, from the start he said he didn't know how to do this and it wont work.

    After the guy life I found I do get the basic SD channels and basic HD channels (NBC, ABC etc.) but nothing else. I can see the main problem is my card says Auth:MP so it's not getting the correct authorization. I have had charter try and authorize it again, but no luck. Hopefully this second visit by Charter will fix this!
     
  14. Sep 1, 2008 #934 of 1052
    GadgetVirtuoso

    GadgetVirtuoso Member

    74
    0
    Sep 27, 2001
    Fort Worth,...
    You may find it will start working in a couple days, mine did. You may also find that rebooting the unit will correct the problem.
     
  15. Sep 1, 2008 #935 of 1052
    karenmae1983

    karenmae1983 New Member

    2
    0
    Mar 7, 2007
    I had the worst Charter experience ever! I have had my cable card (an m-card) for about 3 months without a problem. Last saturday, my card stopped working. Apparently, Charter decided to deactivate the card. I had someone to my house on Wednesday, he took my mcard and put in one single stream card. When I cam home I was missing most of my channels and noticed the single stream card. I called Charter, explained the problem, and told them to make sure I had an mcard installed. I also taped a note to my box. The next day, he came, put a power booster on the cable, and left the single stream card. I called Charter again- told them I needed an Mcard. On saturday, a tech came and said that they're not allowed to install mcards anymore- the company took them all away. I just got back from the weekend. After being hung up on, transfered no less than ten times, and many many threats of calling the FCC, I SHOULD be getting an mcard tomorrow. Hopefully.
     
  16. Sep 8, 2008 #936 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
    0
    Mar 28, 2007
    I have exactly the same problem, so please lets us know what fixes this, and I will do the same if it happens for me first.

    I had Charter here today and the said they could not try new cable cards because they were having Head End Problems and could not provision the cards even if they changed them, and no forecast as to when this problem will be fixed, so I am back in limbo land.
     
  17. Sep 9, 2008 #937 of 1052
    pops_porter

    pops_porter New Member

    125
    0
    Sep 26, 2005
    Minnesota
    The one Charter guy in the area that knows about cablecards came out and had it fixed in about 10 minutes. I asked him what was wrong and all he would say is that dispatch had it set up all wrong. I wish I could tell you more, but the card was just fine but Charter was messing up on what signal was being sent to it.
     
  18. Sep 12, 2008 #938 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
    0
    Mar 28, 2007
    Had Charter install Cable Cards and the problem is: All I get all the Basic Channels 2-99 and the Broadcast HD Channels 781-788. I have since found that this means that I am NOT getting the encrypted channels which consist of everything else I am subscribed to such as 100-188, 500-735 Premium Channels and 754-780 + 789-799 HD Tier Channels.

    Charter came back and tried a total of 8 Cable Cards, two at a time (4 M Cards and 4 S Cards) each time the M Cards came up at Not Staged and the S Cards come up as CP Auth Not Recieved,

    When I go and compare this to my other two Tivo S3’s (which are working fine) the M Cards should say Ready and the S Cards should say CP Auth Received

    Charter is now saying that it is the New Tivo Box that is having the problem and it is not the cable cards.

    So here are my Questions:
    3 Does anyone think the problem is in the Tivo Box?

    2. I heard that Charter has a setting at the Head End which sets how many cable card each account has, is this true? In my case I had 5 cable cards (four for the two Tivo’s one for a HDTV set) before adding this Tivo Unit and that setting should now be 7, could it be that they still have it set at 5 and therefore I can not get the encrypted channels on the new Tivo Box?

    3. Anyone have any other suggestions?

    I have called the Tivo Cable Hot Line and they took some information from the DVR Diagnostics screens and they are escalating it to a Level 2 tech who is supposed to call me back next week.

    Thanks again for any help.
     
  19. Sep 13, 2008 #939 of 1052
    GadgetVirtuoso

    GadgetVirtuoso Member

    74
    0
    Sep 27, 2001
    Fort Worth,...
    That sounds about right. Have them install the cards and wait a couple days. I kid you not, that for some reason Charter has extreme difficulty making the cards work.
    Possible? Certainly. Given that it took 6 visits before they could get it right for my S3 I doubt it. Charter is just incompetent. At one point I had a CSR try to tell me the TiVo wasn't even supports. She shut up pretty quick when I started telling her it was cablelabs certified and they are required to support and provide cable cards by the FCC.
    The headend distributes the signal and has nothing to do with how many cards can be used at any given residence. In fact the actual residence is completely irrelevant. Every residence and every cable outlet has every channel, its only a matter of tuning to any given channel. I might buy the billing system is only setup for so many units for residential accounts but its more likely a policy and not a limitation of the system. The cable cards aren't receiving the signal to start decrypting the channels. Could it be there are too many splits between the tie off outside and the tivo? Did they even check the signal level?
    It could be the TiVo but given my experiences with Charter and cable cards in a S3 and HD unit I'd put my money on Charter being the problem, not the TiVo. Charter doesn't actually need to come out to install the cable cards at all. The information needed to pair the cards to the TiVo could be read by the customer over the phone, that's all the tech does. The cards are working if you are receiving the HD channels, they just aren't being authorized in the system correctly.
     
  20. Sep 15, 2008 #940 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
    0
    Mar 28, 2007
    Matthew, thanks for your response.

    Answer: I have waited more than 2 days on at least 3 sets of the cable cards.

    Answer: This still could be the problem since I do know they have to tell the billing system how many cable cards and cable devices there are. Earlier this year when I added the HD Tier I could get the HD Tier on my cable boxes but not the Cable Cards, it turned out that they had to increase the count of cable devices from 3 to 8 and then the HD Tier worked. (At this time I had 3 cable boxes, 5 cable cards).

    Question 1: Any further thoughs on this?

    Answer: Yes they checked the signal level each time and at this unit we get a +8 because it is right near my structured wiring box and I have an amplifier feeding the whole house.


    Question 2: Basically since the dianostics are saying the card are NOT AUTHORIZED any suggestions how tell them to do it correctly? PS They confirmed that they were paired each time we tried new cards.

    Thanks Again
     

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