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Charter & Series 3 Problems

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

  1. Sep 15, 2008 #941 of 1052
    GadgetVirtuoso

    GadgetVirtuoso New Member

    74
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    Sep 27, 2001
    Fort Worth,...
    If that's the case you might want to call and ask. Each cable card is the same as a converter box in the system. S3 units will need two cards regardless which type they give you.
    CP Not Authorized is as you say not authorized meaning they haven't set the cards up in the system correctly. I'd call tech support and speak with a supervisor about the problem. If you still haven't made any progress I'd take it to the next step.

    You have two ways to file a complaint: First, file a complaint with your city. Each city has a liaison that deals with the Cable company. Sadly this is sometimes the only way to get the attention needed in some situations. Second, file a complaint with the FCC. The FCC's consumer site has submission page for this purpose. You'll need to provide them with as much detail as possible.

    Of course before you do all of this I'd wait to hear from TiVo. There is still a chance the unit is defective, although given my experience with Charter I doubt it.

    best of luck.
     
  2. Oct 3, 2008 #942 of 1052
    The Tsar

    The Tsar New Member

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    Oct 3, 2008
    This is the EXACT same problem I am having. Are you also getting error messages (161-38 and 161-52)? I am in Athens, GA, and Charter is my provider as well. The guy who installed it yesterday was completely clueless, but the guy who came in today seemed to know what he was doing, and was baffled by the continuing error messages.
     
  3. Oct 3, 2008 #943 of 1052
    jimmyo258

    jimmyo258 New Member

    5
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    Feb 11, 2007
    When are you getting a 161-52 error? When the card is first inserted?
     
  4. Oct 16, 2008 #944 of 1052
    Iggy54467

    Iggy54467 New Member

    1
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    Oct 16, 2008
    Unlike many others, my experience went quite smooth. In fact, the longest part of the process was waiting for the TiVO HD to transfer information back and forth with the added Moto M card.

    1 - Charter tech was at the house 20 minutes before the scheduled time
    2 - He spent roughly 5 minutes on the cell phone to pass the card info to the headend (could have been less if his cell phone wasn't loosing signal)
    3 - Ran through the guided setup on the DVR
    4 - Watching digital and HD channels 30-40 minutes after his arrival

    It's a shame I done that while on lunch (would have loved to stay home and enjoy the TiVO goodness.
     
  5. Oct 25, 2008 #945 of 1052
    ethicalpaul

    ethicalpaul New Member

    7
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    Jan 14, 2008
    Kalamazoo, MI
    You can see my messages earlier in this thread about my first TivoHD install. It ranked about a 6 on the Charter CableCard Nightmare Scale™. I'm with Charter in Kalamazoo MI

    But once it got working, it's been great ever since. Now I want one for my basement. So I bought a refurb HD from Tivo and so I call Charter to arrange for a card.

    The CSR tells me that I can just go in and pick one up! Now I know deep down that she is full of crap, but I go down to the office anyway because I had an extra cable box to turn in.

    The counter rep tells me that WE DON'T DO CABLE CARDS ANYMORE!! I look at her funny and tell her, that well, it's the law that they must. She shrugs and says "well, we don't".

    So I call charter (call #2) and the CSR says of course we still do cable cards, but of course you can't just go down and pick one up silly! We have to send a tech who doesn't know anything about it and charge you $30!! (I've seen this movie before...in fact I starred in it)

    So I made the appt for the "tech" to come with a card. I told them to have him bring an M card (which they did last time).

    I do have a slight fear that in fact he will come and say "Oh you wanted a CABLECARD!? We don't DO THOSE ANYMORE!" I will report back after the appointment which is in 3 days.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2008 #946 of 1052
    ort

    ort Member

    189
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    Jan 5, 2004
    Just so it's not all doom and gloom, my cablecard installation just went off without a hitch. Charter in St. Louis MO.

    So far so good.
     
  7. Oct 30, 2008 #947 of 1052
    ethicalpaul

    ethicalpaul New Member

    7
    0
    Jan 14, 2008
    Kalamazoo, MI
    OK so today was the day.

    The guy was supposed to arrive from 5-7 and so of course he arrives at 4 before I am home and my wife is mad at me because I don't want him to start without me, but I quizzed him on a couple questions and deemed him worthy to start without me.

    I was still a little concerned because he didn't know the difference between an Mcard and an Scard but it turned out he had an Mcard so that was OK (determined after he called his supervisor).

    I was shocked when I arrived home 40 minutes later and he was already gone. I was even more shocked when my premium channels actually were working on my new, 2nd Tivo.

    So here's to you, anonymous cable guy, you did good!
     
  8. Nov 5, 2008 #948 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
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    Mar 28, 2007
    After 3 months of fighting with Charter, they finally got the Scientific Atlantic M Series Cable Cards working on my Tivo S3. I had to make at least 50 phone calls (to get them to respond) and they sent out tech’s over 11 or 12 times and I was told many different stories.

    So what was the final solution? At first, Charter said that cable cards do not work with Tivo.

    When I pointed out that I have two other Tivo’s with cable cards which work fine they scratched their heads and tried more cards.

    After many go a-rounds it finally came out. The local Charter Office said that they had to install a new software at local Charter’s Head End to recognize the Cablevision’s new version of the Cable Cards.

    So it seems that per Charter, the new version of Cable Cards will not work on Tivo’s and certain TV’s, so therefore the CC’s need Special Programming, which has to be done in another office.

    So finally I get a call from the local office supervisor and he said that they got a pair of cards that now have the Special Programming and they have tested them on a Tivo in there office. They came the next day and installed them and they worked.

    I am not sure when they figured out that the New Version of the Cablevision’s Cable Cards needed Special Programming. If I did not already have two working Tivo’s I would have pushed a lot harder.

    In the end I still do not know if the cards needed SPECIAL PRORAMMING or they just had a bunch of bad cable cards and finally got some new ones. I find if very odd that I cannot find any one else on the forums that were told that the cards needed special programming?

    I have never seen such bad service, if Charter had to compete (like most companies) they would be out of business.
     
  9. Nov 20, 2008 #949 of 1052
    sduston

    sduston New Member

    4
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    Dec 1, 2006
    First post here, but thought I'd add to the list. I've been going back and forth between Tivo and Charter, and Cable card exchanges over and over for nearly a year off and on. It was working fine for a good 8-12 months but then something started to get progressively bad until HD channels (only HD channels) would stall out completely while watching something. Sometimes it would just constantly glitch, pixelate and drop out every 30 seconds. A lot of times it would eventually freeze and often reboot. Towards more recently, it got so bad that when it would reboot it would freeze on the welcome screen and would be unresponsive. After anywhere from 5 minutes to more than an hour later it would eventually reboot again on its own. Add to that, this was on my SECOND Tivo after paying for a replacement AND a second round of cable cards swaps. Oh, then there's the fact that I moved from one place to a completely new place and the problems followed me to the new place.

    Most recently, I got another replacement from Tivo (as the Tivo support rep basically said there was nothing left for him to do, and I demanded they at the VERY LEAST replace the unit again...seeing how I pay for the service and have been paying for it and the box is not working even 50% operational still and he had NO suggestions of what to do next). Interesting thing I found THIS time when I took the cards out of that box. I had one Multistream card and one Single stream card. Well, that would explain having problems at least this round. None the less, the second replacement just arrived so I'll have to update once everything is up-to-date again and I get another replacement card. I think I know more about configuring and diagnosing Tivos and Cable cards than Tivo support AND charter techs. I dont claim to be that great at it, but when a Tivo support rep can't identify a card mismatch (even when I asked him if it was possible to tell) and Charter techs dont realize they can't put mismatch cards in the same box...that seems like troubleshooting 101.

    Anyhow, I'm calm now, but certainly still irritable about the whole situation and how difficult it seems to be to find someone capable of helping and doing basic troubleshooting. Crazy fun times just trying to watch a little TV! haha Its kinda funny when you think about it.

    Best luck to all. Any advice, I'd love to hear it. Anyone know if the HD Series 3 (32HR) Tivo supports Multistream cards? If it does, would you still need two cards or only one in that case? I'm sure this has been answered somewhere but its not easy to find.

    Thanks!
    Shannon
     
  10. Dec 6, 2008 #950 of 1052
    papapelican

    papapelican New Member

    3
    0
    Dec 6, 2008
    central...
    Today, I had a Charter Cable Card install on a Tivo series 3 DVR. The install was coordinated out of the Charter San Luis Obispo office.

    The tech arrived with a number of "M" and "S" series SA cable cards and he assured me that they were programed and activated. He installed the first "M" cable card into the bottom #1 slot and we got a "MMI" screen with the host number and serial number. He called the Charter Office and requested the "host and emm" hits. The other technician informed him that the Cable Cards had to be sent to another location for special programming.

    Charter requested the Tivo Series 3 service number which they called a "serial number" in order to have the Cable Cards programmed to the Tivo Series 3. I was informed that the cards would not be back for a minimum of 6 weeks.

    I was flabbergasted that programming the cards would take so long and made several phone calls to Charter. I was finally given the Charter Corporate Resolution Center phone number 1-866-212-1063 which I plan to call on Monday.

    I feel that I am reliving "supie's" experience with this same Charter Office. I would like to think that Charter will be able to improve on the 6 week delivery time.
     
  11. Dec 7, 2008 #951 of 1052
    papapelican

    papapelican New Member

    3
    0
    Dec 6, 2008
    central...
    Some good news! I received call from the local Charter Office in San Luis Obispo last night. They apologized for the muffed installation of the cable cards and stated that the cards could be programed locally and no longer needed to be sent to another office.

    They scheduled an appointment to install the "programed" cable cards on Monday.
     
  12. Dec 8, 2008 #952 of 1052
    papapelican

    papapelican New Member

    3
    0
    Dec 6, 2008
    central...
    Even better news! The same Charter tech came out this morning and installed the two "specially programmed" SA Cable Cards. After getting the 2 hits on both cards, the channel tests proved all the basic and premium channels were operating correctly.

    It is apparent that the San Luis Obispo Charter office has learned how to install the Cable Cards for Tivo. Once the cards were correctly programmed and activated the install went fairly smooth.
     
  13. Dec 12, 2008 #953 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
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    Mar 28, 2007
    Troubleshooting Check List - FYI for future Charter/Tivo Customers:

    1. CARD TYPES: You can have two "M" Series Card or two "S" Series Cards but not one of each.

    2. INSTALLING CABLE CARD’s: The Tech should do the following:

    1) Write down the serial number from the first card.
    2) Insert that card into the bottom slot of the TiVo
    3) Wait for black MMI screen to appear
    4) Write down the Host and Data numbers that appear on that screen.
    5) Call the cable company and give them the information you wrote down for the card.
    6) Repeat for card #2, inserting into top slot
    6) Call the cable company and give them the information you wrote down for the card.
    7) Wait about 5 minutes then test each card using the "Test Channels" item under the CableCARD menu.
    8) The installer has to call the Dispatch (i.e. network head-end operations) and ask them to transmit at least four sets of EMMs, also called SUPER HITS. The default sent is like 4 EMMS and that is not enough for the Cablecard to start working. Part of the Card status windows:

    If the Test Channels fails call the cable company back and make sure they have the information entered correctly, then have them re-hit the cards. Provided neither of the cards is defective this should work and you should be good to go.

    If you have bad channels, you will see the Channel info but not the show, the screen is black. Go to Steps 3 or 4.

    3. CHECK SETTINGS on M SERIES CARDS: If the test channels do not work and if you have M Series Cards: Go to “Messages and Settings” menu, click on “Account & System Information”, click on “Cable Card Decoders”, click on Configure “CableCARD1”, click on “CableCARD Menu”, click on “SA CableCard CA” Screen in this Menu … STATUS needs to show READY, EMM’s needs to show 10 or better EMM’s and on Page 2 SUBEXPIRETIME and EUTUPDATETIME need to show current dates. i.e. SUBEXPIRETIME 2 week from today and EUTUPDATETIME Today’s Date. Also the SA CableCard CP needs to show CP AUTH RECEIVED. Check all of the same menus for “CableCARD2”. Here are samples

    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)
    -----
    Status: Ready
    CA Time-August 13, 2008 – 4:45AM GMT
    Time GBAM: 62195
    App GBAM: 76239
    EMMs Processed: 38

    If all the screens are good then go back to the TEST CHANNELS menu and make sure you are getting all the channels you expect by testing a sampling of Broadcast Channels 1-99, Expanded Channels 100-??, your HD & Premiere Channels and any other tiers you may have.

    4. CHECK SETTINGS on S SERIES CARDS: If the test channels do not work and if you have M Series Cards: Go to “Messages and Settings” menu, click on “Account & System Information”, click on “Cable Card Decoders”, click on Configure “CableCARD1”, click on “CableCARD Menu”, click on “SA CableCard CA” Screen in this Menu … STATUS needs to show CP AUTH RECEIVED, EMM’s needs to show 6-10 or better EMM’s AND POWER KEY STATUS needs to show READY. Also the “SA CableCard Host ID Screen” needs to show AUTH RECEIVED. Check all of the same menus for “CableCARD2”. Here are samples

    CA Screen (Incorrect Settings)
    -----
    Status: Not Ready
    EMMs Processed: Processed: 0
    Power Key Status Not Ready


    CA Screen (Correct Settings)
    -----
    Status: CP Auth Received
    EMMs Processed: Processed: 6
    Power Key Status Ready

    If all the screens are good then go back to the TEST CHANNELS menu and make sure you are getting all the channels you expect by testing a sampling of Broadcast Channels 1-99, Expanded Channels 100-??, your HD & Premiere Channels and any other tiers you may have.

    5. CHARTER DISPATCH OFFICE: I have found that some of my problems were due to a person in the office not setting up Charter's Billing System with the right information. (i.e. if the office does not check off the correct boxes which allow each cable card to operate and the encrypted services to be authorized) In my case, at one point I had 7 cable cards and 3 cable boxes, they couldn't seem to get all the boxes checked correctly, then when I returned cable boxes they marked the wrong things and had new problems.

    The point is, if you're not getting all the channels you are supposed to get, then most often it is because you're not getting all the EMMs to the CableCARD you are supposed to. A person looking at the Actual Conditional Access Provisioning Server would see why right away. But since all employees must interface through the BILLING System, the only way to fix the issue for you, is to try changing your billing codes...which are typically ALWAYS the reason you're not getting the channels you're supposed to get.

    WHAT HAPPENS WHEN DISPATCH SENDS THE INFO TO THE CARDS: Usually there are two "hits" that are required, for each card, 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. BE SURE TO REQUEST SUPER HITS. (see above)

    6. CALLING TIVO: If everything else fails to work it may be time to suspect the TIVO unit. I have called Tivo many times and have to say they do not have their act together. Tivo's Level One Techs do not seem to be able to troubleshoot the cable card problems, after many calls and arm twisting, they sent me a exchange Tivo at a cost of $89.00 for the exchange (because my Tivo was over 90 days old) and a refundable $809.99 for Advanced Cross shipping. The exchange unit did not solve the problem and I finally sent the exchange Tivo back and got a full refund. (Only after 15 calls to get my money back) Suggestion: see if you can get to a Level Two Tech to do the Troubleshooting.

    7. OUR LOCAL OFFICE: The San Luis Obispo Charter Office finally bought a Tivo to test the cards in before going to the customer. (So if your having problems you could ask your local office if the have a Tivo Testing Unit? Also ask have they tested them locally?

    8. WHAT ELSE CAN GO WRONG:

    1) STAGING: The tech comes with cards that were never Staged.
    When you check your CableCARD configuration menu the Cable Card and the Host ID number do not appear. This was caused by the card not being "Staged", the CableCARD wasn't properly set up when it was brought into inventory. There is a ".tar" file associated with each CableCARD, which must be loaded into the head-end.

    2) For CableCARD TO WORK it has to:
    a. Be paired correctly: Has to be paired with your device. So CC1 & CC2 must be paired with their appropriate slots on the Tivo.
    b. Be authorized correctly: Cable Company has to authorize the cards and pairing. If this occurs right, then your channel map should be downloaded correctly to the card.
    c. Pairing and Authorization is done by the Local Office Dispatch when the Tech is at your home and by customer service if you call in.

    3) WRONG DATA INPUTED: Make sure they have not botching the numbers (easily transposed) for card serial number, host-id and data number, have Dispatch read the numbers back to you. Also make sure the Tech has the right numbers.

    4) SPECIAL PROGRAMING: According to our local office the most recent cable cards need Special Programming for Tivo. The programming of the cards, if sent out to another office, should only take about 5 days not 6 weeks. (If the local office can do it, it should only be a day or two)

    Thanks to Papapelican for the Charter Resolution Center number (866) 212-1063, I never had that before but I would call it if you are not getting anywhere.

    I hope my four month learning curve helps someone else.

    Good Luck

    Tivo is great when it is working properly.
     
  14. Dec 12, 2008 #954 of 1052
    dolphin

    dolphin New Member

    74
    0
    Dec 3, 2007
    It seems that there could be a relatively easy solution for cable installs, except requiring some work on the part of TiVo.

    Since the cable companies use contractors, TiVo should consider setting up a separate services subsidiary to be a contracting entity to the cable companies.

    ** ring, ring **
    CableCo: Charter Cable, how may I help you power up with Charter?
    User: I need to get my tiVo box connected, so I need some cable cards.
    CableCo: Certainly, sir, we'll send out our TiVo subcontractor specialist.
    ** hang up **

    I don't know about anyone else here, but I would pay EXTRA to have a TiVo professional vs. some smelly, smarmy, uneducated cable contractor (those are the ones that we've seen) in our house.
     
  15. Dec 12, 2008 #955 of 1052
    rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,057
    1
    Sep 21, 2004
    Did you try calling TiVo's CableCard hotline?
     
  16. Dec 12, 2008 #956 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
    0
    Mar 28, 2007

    Yes that is where I felt they could not and did not troubleshoot the problem correctly. Which cost me about a month of the 4 months and alot of extra effort calling Tivo, Charter, installing many more cable cards, checking forums, packing, shipping 15 calls to get my money back, etc.
     
  17. Dec 12, 2008 #957 of 1052
    supie

    supie New Member

    58
    0
    Mar 28, 2007
    I like this idea but I think it would be hard to implement across the country.

    Since the Tivo Community shows that the one of the biggest problems for new Tivo users is installing the Cable Cards, which also seems to be across the board with all the Cable Companies.

    I would think Tivo would at least have a web site support page or pages that would show a flow chart troubleshooting guide:

    i.e. if you look at the Cable Card Configuration Menus: Does the STATUS show NOT READY then go to this box …. or if STATUS shows READY go to another box. Each box flows to another box until it gives you the possible solution, or a statement that this is what your problem might be.
     
  18. Dec 18, 2008 #958 of 1052
    PatrickHerman

    PatrickHerman New Member

    1
    0
    Dec 18, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    I'm a Charter customer residing here in Portage, Michigan. Following the installation of one of this company's Cable Cards, I am unable to view the premium channels I pay for. Thus far, I've jumped through every hoop imaginable without success. Should any of you have any advice to offer me, I would deeply appreciate your kindness.

    Sincerely,

    Patrick Herman
     
  19. Dec 18, 2008 #959 of 1052
    dolphin

    dolphin New Member

    74
    0
    Dec 3, 2007
    I don't think it would be that tough. TiVo doesn't really have to hire employees in a special subsidary. They could just subcontract out to (for example) Geek Squad. Geek Squad could then work with Charter/Comcast/TimeWarner to be an authorized contracting agent.

    I'd pay TiVo an extra few dollars to be my agent, my representative. TiVo passes off some of the $$$ to Geek Squad. How about if I buy the TiVo from Best Buy, then its free.

    The key to this idea is that there is a human being on your side, instead of the evil cable company, and the standoffish TiVo web site. If the channels don't work, then your guy is going to stay there and make sure it works. As a cable subcontractor, he theoretically should have more knowledge about how all of the pairing and cbale head stuff works.

    tivo, what do you think?? Come on, you already have a relationship with Best Buy as a hardware distributor. And you have relationships with the cable companies.

    Me, I'd pay another $50 to have an authorized TiVo subcontractor install and do the cablecard install. Maybe more.
     
  20. Dec 18, 2008 #960 of 1052
    rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

    7,057
    1
    Sep 21, 2004
    So who is going to train the techs to work with each cable company? Either way you will end up with a cable tech that knows nothing about cablecards or a cablecard tech that knows nothing about the cable company.
     

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