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Cox Cable Cards

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jcaudle, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Jan 7, 2007 #341 of 2181
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    11,141
    31
    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    No it will not work with Switched Digital Video (SDV) channels if/when they are deployed by Cox. So far though AFAIK no Cox market has deployed this technology yet and if they do it should be limited to the least watched channels so may even not be a factor for you.
     
  2. Jan 7, 2007 #342 of 2181
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    2,013
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    Jul 31, 2003
    Northern...
    Cox had an SDV trial in Tyler Tx. with 2,000 participants and has announced plans to deploy SDV in two (undisclosed) markets.
     
  3. Jan 7, 2007 #343 of 2181
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    11,141
    31
    Jan 23, 2006
    Mission...
    Yes, and I heard unofficially that my market (Orange County, CA) is one of those markets - to happen sometime this year. Since I record mostly HD locals on the S3 I'm not too worried about it since as last resort I can go with OTA for most of those. Just hoping that some of the more popular cable channels do not go SDV (such as SciFi, ESPNHD, TNTHD).
     
  4. Jan 7, 2007 #344 of 2181
    jtown

    jtown New Member

    441
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    Sep 26, 2002
    Man, I can understand why the average consumer would give up on this.

    My installer showed up this weekend and said he'd done a few of these installations before and never had any problem. He installed the first card and got the 161-4 error. "I've never seen that before." "You can ignore it." He finally did but the channel test didn't work for premium channels. Got everything but premium channels. Including HD. The card was paired, the CA data was there, the channel lineup was available. It just wasn't authorized for my full lineup.

    The installer kept trying to say that the 161-4 error was probably to blame and installed the second card to see what would happen. Same thing. He started making calls to "digi-ops" but nobody was there because it was the weekend. Every time he left a message, he referenced the 161-4 error and said that he thought he was dealing with a bad tivo.

    That just got me steaming. Obviously, the tivo was able to access the card and the cable company was able to hit the card or it wouldn't work at all. This was clearly a problem with the person on the other end failing to authorize the full channel lineup on my cards before hitting them. When I pointed this out, the installer said, "Oh, no. He knows what he's doing. He's done Tivos before." Finally, he started over with a new card, specifically stating that everything but premium channels were working on the existing cards. For some reason, it took a lot longer for them to hit the new card. Probably 15 minutes before it finally paired. In the mean time, the installer was leaving more messages about the 161-4 error and probable defective Tivo.

    Then the new card was hit and all the right channels came in. I'll bet it took so long because the guy on the other end made sure he was authorizing the right lineup this time. :p He put in the second card and, 2 minutes later, we were done.

    The whole process took nearly 90 minutes. It should have taken about 15 if both the installer and the person on the other end of the phone had a thorough understanding of what they were doing (which would have enabled them to effectively troubleshoot the problem).

    If I had been uninformed and believed the installer, I would have thought the 161-4 error meant my Tivo was defective. If the installer had been informed, he wouldn't have wasted the better part of an hour trying to get someone in digi-ops. He would have called back the first guy and said, "Hey, did you authorize all the right packages correctly?" and that would have fixed the problem.

    I don't understand why cable companies refuse to train their staff to properly handle cablecards. It doesn't make sense. The cable companies should love cablecards. It ties consumers into their system. If I'm renting their DVR for $15/month with no contract, I have no ties to them and no incentive to stay with them if I get a better offer from a satellite provider. But, when I've got $600+ tied up in a piece of equipment that requires cablecards to achieve its full potential, the cable company should be stoked. Yeah, I'm no longer giving them $15/month for their box but they trade that bit of income for the knowledge that I'm much less likely to switch to satellite as long as I've got those cards in my box. And they get $4/month (and a $40 install fee!) for the card rental.

    I just don't understand why they want to make this process so difficult. They should be ecstatic about any technology that ties their customers to them.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2007 #345 of 2181
    thatothergirl

    thatothergirl New Member

    1
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    Sep 25, 2006
    I have Cox in San Diego. When I called to schedule the cable card install, I was quoted $30 for the install and $2 per card per month (so, $4 per month). The girl had never booked an order for cable cards and put me on hold for a while (reading the instructions?) and then had a bit of a hard time with the idea that there are 2, and they're going into a Tivo not a television (obviously not covered in the instructions), but she seemed to get it worked out.

    The rep came out (on time) on Saturday, Dec. 30th. He had done a few Tivo installs before; he did refer to the Tivo-provided instruction sheet but seemed to have a good grasp on what he was doing. The only bump in the process was our weak cable signal -- we've always gotten a weak signal in our apartment building, and he was concerned that the signal wouldn't be strong enough to "reach" the cable cards (my term, not his). After a while of the cards not picking up the authorization, he decided to remove the signal amplifier that had previously been installed on our line. Then he called to have the auth signal resent, and we waited with baited breath. It worked! He put the second card in, called it in, waited, it wasn't picking it up, called for another signal resend, and ta da!

    I can't quite remember how long he was there for... sometime between 40 - 60 minutes, I think.

    A few days later we received the upgrade drive we had ordered, and we were nervous that after the install the cable cards wouldn't work anymore and Cox would insist that we needed another $30 visit. The cards were indeed not functioning once the install was done, so I called tech support and just said that my cards "seemed to have lost their authorization, could you resend the authorization signal?" - she put me on hold for a couple of minutes, then asked me to check my channels, and poof, there they were!

    Overall, not too bad at all - the only thing remaining to see is whether my bill will be accurate to the price they quoted me.
     
  6. Jan 9, 2007 #346 of 2181
    ChrisMc73

    ChrisMc73 New Member

    96
    0
    Dec 27, 2006
    Oklahoma...
    I'm still having issues...after finally getting a Tivo to read the cards, and a cable guy to come out and activate them, I still have issues!!

    Cable Card 2 doesn't have any premium channels, I can get some of the HD channels, like my local ones, but not ESPN, HBO, SHO, INHD, etc...

    Called Tivo, the card is ready and set fine for accepting the Cox signal, so he told me to call Cox and have them refresh it, they said they did but nothing happened. Only thing I can think of was he refreshed the wrong card, maybe Card 1 which works, or my other HD DVR Box that is theirs I still haven't returned? Or the card just is messing up or not configured right...yet.

    Then sometimes, even on Cable Card 1 that works 75% of the time, other times certain channels dont show up then show up all of a sudden after not doing anything...??

    I know that when I record, and then try to view TV (using the 2nd card I'm assuming) I get same results as above, see some basic channels but no premiums.

    Singnal strenghts are really high, even on stations that are not returning anything but a blank screen. Been through the setup a few times as well.

    Any ideas to what I'm experiencing? I'm about to scrap Tivo and just go with the Cox stuff that works...it shouldn't be this hard.
     
  7. Jan 9, 2007 #347 of 2181
    Jombi122

    Jombi122 New Member

    45
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    Jan 4, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I also live in loverly Sandy Ago and have Cox (North) but when I had my two CC installed about 4 weeks ago I was charged $30 per card. I wasn't happy when I scheduled it and challenged the scheduler several times but she wouldn't budge. Can you confirm that you were only charged $30 once?

    Also are you in Cox South or North?

    Thanks
     
  8. Jan 9, 2007 #348 of 2181
    ChrisMc73

    ChrisMc73 New Member

    96
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    Dec 27, 2006
    Oklahoma...
    Ok Cox Subscribers...I know the Digital Gateway issue has been discussed before, but let me ask something its about the Music Choice channels, I didn't have them yesterday on the one cable card that works, so I called into Cox and they said it was part of another package I didn't have on my cards, that was only $2 a month, so I had him add it to both cards, so I can get those music channels...I said is this the Digital Gateway he said yes it was called that, something new now, but same thing...and it basically has those channels and some of the Menus/Guides and PPV? Is this right to your understanding?
     
  9. Jan 10, 2007 #349 of 2181
    ehardman

    ehardman Member

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    Feb 18, 2004
    Kansas
    Call Cox and have them send a "Cold Hit" to both of the cards. A refresh will not solve the problem.
     
  10. Jan 10, 2007 #350 of 2181
    ujculbe

    ujculbe New Member

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    Jan 4, 2007
    Given that in Fort Smith, AR Cox is charging $50 per card, I'd settle for $30 per card. I've called several times to try to get this changed, but they won't budge either. Highway robbery! But, that's what monopoly power will get you, I suppose.
     
  11. Jan 10, 2007 #351 of 2181
    fredr1

    fredr1 New Member

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    Dec 6, 2003
    I use Cox San Diego (North County). After having my two cable cards installed ($30 each!) I find that I no longer recieve the local radio station simulcast (channels 948 and up). I get all the digital music channels, which are part of the same "package", so I'm not sure what's up. Can any other San Diego people confirm that their radio channels have disappeared? Try 952, 953, and 954, for example. Thanks,

    Fredr1
     
  12. Jan 10, 2007 #352 of 2181
    ChrisMc73

    ChrisMc73 New Member

    96
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    Dec 27, 2006
    Oklahoma...
    It was a bad card in #2 or one that wasn't taking hits, so he replaced it, activated the new one, had the hits sent, and now both my tuners work!!!

    I'm very happy now I can attempt to play with the true functionality of this thing!

    :D
     
  13. Jan 10, 2007 #353 of 2181
    pkscout

    pkscout Active Member

    3,928
    0
    Jan 10, 2003
    Honolulu, HI
    Cox, Las Vegas.

    I just got my first bill and I did (as I expected) get charged two installation fees of $30 each for the cards. I think I'm going to get over it and move on with my life. Watching the installer, he did have to repeat the entire process for both cards, so it really was two installs. The only thing he didn't have to do was leave and come back. I also got charged for internet install and phone install, all for one visit. So really the install charge is per action, not per visit. Yes, they make a bit more when you do multiple actions but, as I said, I'm just going to stop worrying.

    I found out that here there is no "HD Tier." If you get one of the digital tiers (not just the gateway) you should be able to get the HD channels (i.e. TNT-HD, Discovery HD Theater, INHD, ESPNHD and ESPN2HD). So I think I might call tonight and talk to someone about that. While I'm at it I'll see about getting the digital simulcast of 1-99 too. Apparently they are done with that transition here but haven't announced it. The local cable shill on the AVS Forum local board for LV said you might have to have a STB to get the digital simulcasts, but I'll give it a whirl anyway.
     
  14. Jan 10, 2007 #354 of 2181
    jtown

    jtown New Member

    441
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    Sep 26, 2002
    It probably wasn't a bad card. It sounds like they didn't properly provision the second card during your initial installation. If it was a bad card, how did it pair? How did it receive the channel lineup? (If it hadn't paired and received the channel lineup, you would have received a message stating that no channels were available when you did the channel test.) Hitting a card with incorrect provisioning over and over won't help.

    It is my understanding that both have to be configured individually for your specific channel lineup. If they set one up for the works and just added the second one to the account without specifically authorizing your premium and HD channels, they didn't finish the job. The tech on the other end of the phone during your last visit removed the "defective" card from your account, and added the replacement properly with a full channel lineup.


    As for digital simulcasts, you can check to see if it's already been done without having to trust the word of a CSR. Go to the signal strength meter (this will kill active recordings!) and flip through your regular channels. The meter only works on digital channels so, if there's a meter, it's digital.

    And your full HD access may be a limited time offer. In my area, Cox is (was?) offering a year of HD for free (including Discovery and ESPN which are normally $5/month). Keep an eye on your bill to see if they slipped in some promo package that'll expire soon and start hitting you $5/month for Discovery/ESPN.
     
  15. Jan 10, 2007 #355 of 2181
    pkscout

    pkscout Active Member

    3,928
    0
    Jan 10, 2003
    Honolulu, HI
    No, I'm definitely getting the analogs 1 - 99. Every time I record something it asks in what quality I want to record it.

    I've looked and looked and looked at the Cox Las Vegas site, and there is no mention of a cost for the HD channels. I guess the extra rent they charge you for the HD box must cover the channel costs. Maybe with the cablecards they will charge a tier fee. I have no idea.
     
  16. Jan 11, 2007 #356 of 2181
    gwsat

    gwsat New Member

    455
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    Sep 14, 2006
    Oklahoma City
    Cox OKC installed my CableCARDs this morning and got everything to work – finally. As happened to ChrisMc73, one of the cards that Cox OKC installed was (apparently) defective. Fortunately, my installer, a conscientious young guy, was able to find another Cox tech who was working just a few blocks away who had a spare CableCARD. It worked.

    All three cards the tech had were made by Scientific Atlanta and had been “remanufactured.” Make of that what you will.
     
  17. Jan 11, 2007 #357 of 2181
    jtown

    jtown New Member

    441
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    Sep 26, 2002
    So does mine, even though I have no analog channels at all available (that I know of). I think it's just easier to slip a snippet of "if digital, then ignore quality" code in the system than it would be to retool the user interface. Not to mention having to explain to users why the quality setting can't be configured on some channels. And it would get really weird for wish lists that cover a mix of analog and digital channels.

    Jamie
     
  18. Jan 13, 2007 #358 of 2181
    fzz

    fzz New Member

    4
    0
    Oct 6, 2006
    S3 works for a while. COX RI

    Well, 4 cable card swap-outs later and I'm stumped. Unlike other posts, I have been able to get my cards installed correctly. Initially, both cards seem to work perfectly for all service tiers (Digital, HD, Premium (HBO, Cinemax and Starz)). but then after a while I loose the premiums on my 2nd tuner. Sometime it's taken 2 weeks to fail and most recently it was under a day!

    I should also mention that, for some reason I can't seem and have never been able to tune in 144 (DIY) or 135 (SPEED). Nor have I been able to get any digital music channels (901-941 range). For these "problematic" channels I get heavy tiling and audio dropouts. The techs (I have 3 different ones come) have all checked the signal strength on my line and I've got plenty of signal. I've also used the S3 signal strength meter and on problem channels it never dips below 93 and usually hovers around 97-98 (for all channels).

    I had the technician out again last night to fix my problem with HBO (et al) on the 2nd cable card. He popped out the card, popped in a new one and the S3 didn't detect it! He tried another card and same thing. I rebooted the S3 with the 2nd new card in it and he came up, detected the new card and walked us through the MMI provisioning page. The Tech called in the card and voila...HBO on the 2nd tuner again.

    I showed him my DIY/SPEED/Music channel problem. He thought it was stranged, called up the office and had them check the signal on 144 and 135. Everything appeared fine. He then asked them to make sure both cards were properly provisioned for all packages (digital, premiums, hd...etc.) and everything was fine. He checked my wiring and temporarily replaced my spliter with a pass through, no difference!

    We then speculated that may the 1st cable card was bad. I had never swapped that card out since the first installation so I thought, what the heck! He swaps out the card, provisions it...still same problem (can't get 135, 144 or 901-941).

    Oh well. At least all the OTHER channels seems to working properly on both tuners! (this is Last night at about 7pm -- tech was at my house troubleshooting for 2 hours!)

    Wake up this morning to catch something on HBO -- Guess what! I can't tune it in on the 2nd tuner! AAAAARGH!

    Questions:
    1) Could it be the S3? 4 different cable cards, everything (except DIY et al.) works fine for a while, then EXACT same failure mode (can't tune in premium tier on 2nd card)?
    2) Is anyone else experiencing problems with like this where the S3/CCARDS work for a while then stop working on only one tuner!)

    By the way, it seems like rebooting the box seems to fix the problem for a little while but the problem always reoccurs

    The really crappy thing in all of this is that I've never worried about TIVO missing a program. I have two other S2's that have been working FLAWLESSY for 4 years. I've had the S3 for 30 days and already I've had handfuls of problems. Not to mention, when I leave I'm always wondering which tuner I'm going to get to record my shows and what suprise awaits me when I go to watch it later!
     
  19. Jan 13, 2007 #359 of 2181
    phoenixZed

    phoenixZed New Member

    14
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    Jan 5, 2007
    Well, after the Dell deal last month, I decided to retire my S1 to secondary service after six years of faithful performance. Today, Cox Fairfax came out to install my CCs. They showed up 10 minutes into the 2 hour appointment window, one experienced tech and one just learning the ropes. As they came in, they confirmed they were here to install CCs in a DVR. I asked if they had worked on a TiVo previously, and the experienced guy said he had done one last week, but it was the junior guy's first.

    The first CC install went smoothly. They only glanced at the instructions, but they seemed followed them OK. They installed one card at a time, waited for the first card to fully initialize, and tested the channels before moving on to the second card. That's when the fun started :)

    The second card initialized, but there were no channels. We wait...nothing, wait some more...nothing. The techs called into the home office to "hit" the cards again, we wait, and then a couple of channels show up. We waited, still just a couple of channels, "hit" the cards again, and the TiVo reboots. CC1 gets all the channels but CC2 only gets a couple. The tech suggests that CC2 is bad, so I ask him if he has any spares. He says no, he only has these two. I ask if there is another tech in the area who might have some, and he tells me they are only provisioned each day with equipment for that day's work, so if another tech had some, he couldn't use them since they are allotted to another customer. Uh-oh.

    He called the home office to ask about swapping the cards to try troubleshoot whether it is the CCs or the TiVo that was acting up, but they were pessimistic. At this point I am thinking it's looking like I'll need another appointment, when the junior guy said he thought he might have another CC in the truck. He said it was a "lost" card, I guess meaning it hadn't been turned back into inventory. He returned with the "lost" CC, they install and initialize it, a couple of minutes go by, and we're golden :p

    While we were waiting on the "lost" CC to fully initialize, the techs looked at the bad card. They saw a couple of dings, but when they turned it over, it split open like a bad clam!!! The interior circuits were exposed for all to see. The senior tech just shook his head, saying he had just pulled it out of inventory this morning as new. I am just glad it didn't come apart inside the TiVo!

    A couple of notes, the senior tech said the TiVo needed 2006 cards. His other TiVo install failed when he used 2005 CCs. Evidently the old cards don't have the right firmware. My CCs are SA v2.3.149s2. Also the techs seemed surprised that the S3's had been out since the fall, they only heard about them in the past couple weeks. They laughed and said it figured they were the last to know.

    All in all, a big thumbs up :up: to Cox Fairfax. They spent about an hour an half, took their time, worked the problems, and got me set up. Now let's just hope the CCs don't go bad..
     
  20. Jan 13, 2007 #360 of 2181
    brndnkjns

    brndnkjns New Member

    1
    0
    Oct 7, 2006
    I've been experiencing the exact same problem here in Phoenix and haven't been able to figure it out. Rebooting the box to watch TV is getting old. Cox points at Tivo and Tivo points at Cox. Frustrating.
     

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