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Cox Cable Cards

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

  1. Mar 14, 2007 #441 of 2181
    beboyle

    beboyle New Member

    15
    0
    Dec 3, 2003
    Arizona
    I just wanted to report a good experience with Cox Phoenix. They installed my Series3 Cablecards with no problems. I called and they confirmed that they understood what the Tivo is and knew it would be two cards. When the installer arrived I asked if he had two cards, and he did. I also asked if he had ever installed a Tivo before - he said "I think so." That made me a bit nervous, but he did take the instructions and follow them. The only problem he had was that he went ahead and inserted the second card too soon. The head end technician actually told him to take it out - said she had a bulletin about only installing one card at a time. She also talked him through getting the right information - he wanted to give her the TV model info (it doesn't even take Cablecards). After that it went smoothly. He verified I had all channels on both tuners (took about 10 minutes for them all to come in) and was out in about 45 minutes total.
     
  2. Apr 3, 2007 #442 of 2181
    wierdo

    wierdo New Member

    379
    0
    Apr 7, 2002
    Arkansas, US
    I finally got frustrated enough with the Passport software on the Motorola 3416 Cox gave me and the ridiculously tiny 160GB hard drive to drop the $600 on an S3.

    Has anybody had any luck getting Cox to let you pick up the cable cards and do a self install? The price sheet certainly doesn't say anything about requiring professional installation on the cable cards, not that that really means anything. Even so, adding an extra $30 onto the cost of the TiVo and the 500GB drive I'm going to put in it isn't all that much more, but I'd still rather not give them any more if I don't have to!

    The TiVo will be in Tulsa...

    Now my only debate is whether to swap out their DVR for a standard HD box (so I can keep using onDemand) or to forget the cable box entirely.
     
  3. Apr 3, 2007 #443 of 2181
    rdowty

    rdowty New Member

    14
    0
    Dec 31, 2002
    Springdale, AR
    I'm in Tulsa too. I checked and assuming you already have digital cable then the two cable cards will be $1.99 each per month and you'll have to pay $30 install for the first card and $15 for the second.
     
  4. Apr 3, 2007 #444 of 2181
    wierdo

    wierdo New Member

    379
    0
    Apr 7, 2002
    Arkansas, US
    :p

    Until very recently, I also lived in Springdale. Small world, I guess.

    I know that if they require somebody to come out to do the install, I'll have to pay for the install; I was just hoping that someone had previously been successful in convincing them not to send someone out to do it. I'd rather drive over to their office than pay them $30 or $45. Even if they do require someone to come out, I think we'll have a long discussion about how it is they feel justified in charging me two installation fees for one device. ;)
     
  5. Apr 3, 2007 #445 of 2181
    ehardman

    ehardman Member

    159
    0
    Feb 18, 2004
    Kansas
    I don't beleive anyone has been successful in getting Cox to alllow a self-install. They charged me for both cards but I was able to get Customer Service to take one of the install charges off after I got the bill.
     
  6. Apr 3, 2007 #446 of 2181
    ehardman

    ehardman Member

    159
    0
    Feb 18, 2004
    Kansas
    This is a common problem with Cox as they are used to sending "hits" to their digital boxes. This will not work with your cable cards.

    Have them send a "cold hit" to the cards. That should take care of it.
     
  7. Apr 3, 2007 #447 of 2181
    wickerbill

    wickerbill Member

    153
    0
    Apr 3, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    I tried getting Cox in Tulsa to let me do a self install, but they would not allow it. It's ridiculous, but I can somewhat understand why they do it. Physically installing the cards is simple, but then they have to send in a bunch of numbers for each card to the main office where the real activation takes place. They used their computer to send it right into the system. It would take forever to try and read that many numbers to somebody over the phone and you would probably end up getting one wrong anyways. Just hope that you get somebody competent at the main office, that's the person that will most likely determine whether you have a good install or not.
     
  8. Apr 3, 2007 #448 of 2181
    wierdo

    wierdo New Member

    379
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    Apr 7, 2002
    Arkansas, US
    Oh, if they bring a computer and do it online, that's at least a decent reason for not allowing a self install. I was under the impression that they called in to get the numbers entered into the system anyway. Now that I think about it, when the guy was here installing the 3416, replacing the splitters, and all that he called in the box numbers. Odd.

    Either way, they really should note on the price list that a self install isn't available with cable cards.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2007 #449 of 2181
    wickerbill

    wickerbill Member

    153
    0
    Apr 3, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    It's not just a few numbers. It has been a few months, but it was easily 30-40 digits per cable card. It's ridiculous.
     
  10. Apr 7, 2007 #450 of 2181
    Testpattern

    Testpattern Testpattern

    91
    0
    Dec 5, 2006
    OKC America
    Well, yesterday I took off work for the cablecard install. The Cox tech started the event by saying how pleased he was to finally see a Tivo... it went downhill from there. Nice young man and to his credit I believe he did what was necessary from his end, but...

    We now have about 1/4 of the channel lineup which is strange since this includes some analog, some SD Digital, some HD Digital, some OTA, but no premium encrypted channels. Both cards appear to report about the same channels.

    Question... after the numbers have been transferred to the home office and the system responds, did your cable guy do a "test channels"? We did and observed a banner on a black screen for each channel expected.... but later (much later) discovered there was apparently supposed to be a picture displayed as well. I discovered only the few channels we receive actually will display a picture. Not knowing a picture was actually supposed to be there we continued the install with card 2 and basically observed the same thing with the banners.

    Believing we were receiving all of the channels I let the cable tech go while I ran guided setup. This ultimately revealed the present situation with only a few channels actually being received.

    Cox is supposed to return today, but I'm concerned that we may not know what to tell the office with respect to "reconditioning" the two existing cards. Is the appropriate solution to go through the basic card installation again, only stay with card one until you can verify all channels are being received on the "Test Channels" menu? Or will new cards be required?

    I've searched this forum and the Tivo website for some detail on card installation only to find this is apparently some sort of state secret. Does anyone know of any info on this subject which may assist me in helping Cox to correctly handle their end?

    Thanks, all donations greatly appreciated
     
  11. Apr 7, 2007 #451 of 2181
    Shawn95GT

    Shawn95GT Tivo, in HD!

    887
    0
    Oct 7, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Sadly... 99% of the problem is the back end provisioning. The tech is just there to stand in your house and talk to the people on the back end.

    I believe the magic phrase is to have them 'cold initialize' the cards.

    Good luck with it. The setup sucks but as soon as it's up and running you can put all of this behind you :).
     
  12. Apr 9, 2007 #452 of 2181
    wierdo

    wierdo New Member

    379
    0
    Apr 7, 2002
    Arkansas, US
    My CableCARDs are installed and working! Unfortunately, it took a little over two hours, thanks to two bad cards and the installer's wireless data card crapping out.

    Installation in slot 1 seemed to go fine, so he moved on to slot 2, which didn't like the first card, but the second worked fine. After having the dispatcher send hits to the cards, card 2 sprang to life and started showing video. Card 1 would only show the basic channels. I checked card 2, and it wasn't showing HD channels, but everything else was working fine. He had them fix the provisioning on my account and after a few minutes the HD channels started coming in on card 2.

    Card 1, on the other hand, was a tough nut to crack. It would not, even after sending a reinitialize/cold hit/whatever and rebooting the TiVo change status from MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY. After a while, he swapped out the card again, (this time having to call in the hit, thanks to the aforementioned laptop problems), and within 5 minutes everything was gravy.

    I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the dispatcher entered the CableCARD info and sent the hit..it took less than 5 minutes.

    The moral of the story is that if at first the CableCARDs don't work, swap, swap again. You'll eventually find one that works.

    They use Motorola cards, btw.

    P.S. The best part is that I didn't have to mess with my season passes, which had previously been configured to record OTA. ;)
     
  13. Apr 9, 2007 #453 of 2181
    Testpattern

    Testpattern Testpattern

    91
    0
    Dec 5, 2006
    OKC America
    I'm about to leave work early again for my 3rd visit by Cox OKC to install my new S3. So far no one has ever seen, much less, installed a S3. I do recognize the real issue is with the "dispatch" person who is setting up the box back at the facility.

    At this point I have what appears to be Card 1 authorized and ready to go with no observed issues as presented on the CableCard installation screens. However, it doesn't work.

    Card 2 is another story. It's authorized but not ready on a couple of parameters.

    Tivo tech support tells me I should receive all of the intended channels on a correctly set up card if it is working, even if the other card has issues.

    I receive about a forth of the channels due, none of which are encrypted premium channels. Always the same channels on both cards no matter what has been done by Cox in working this issue.

    Tivo TS tells me this is probably because Cox hasn't "packaged" the required channels correctly and I'm just receiving what's been incorrectly set up.

    Further research into the EMM and ECM terms shown on the CableCard screens may confirm this. These are the basic messages which must be sent by Cox to provide encryption on the card. Status on the cards shows these to be "0" in some cases. I'm thinking the system cannot work if one or both of these terms are listed as "0" on a given card. Can someone confirm if this understanding is correct?

    If so I can substantiate the programming by Cox to be the issue and defend suggestions it is my Tivo which may have an issue.
     
  14. Apr 9, 2007 #454 of 2181
    wierdo

    wierdo New Member

    379
    0
    Apr 7, 2002
    Arkansas, US
    My problem with Card 2 (the one that always worked) was that they hadn't "balanced" the account, so I was getting different services on that card than I get on my box.

    The problem with Card 1 was a broken card that wouldn't take the hit. It manifested itself as being able to only receive the basic cable channels (SD and HD basic)

    When card 2 was working and card 1 wasn't, the channel test for card 2 showed all the channels, while card 1 would receive only the aforementioned basic channels.

    Either your account isn't set up right, or you have bad cards.

    Oddly, my CableCARD conditional access screens are wildly different, but they both work fine.

    Oh, and on my status screen, both of them still say "wait to start," and have nothing under Entitlement Management Messages.
     
  15. Apr 10, 2007 #455 of 2181
    Testpattern

    Testpattern Testpattern

    91
    0
    Dec 5, 2006
    OKC America
    Followup from previous two installation attempts....

    Cox came prepared last night with a sack full of new cards. The tech removed the two which had been previously installed and started fresh with new cards. After about an hour he determined one of the cards was bad and replaced it.

    The second card was installed before the first was completely set up but this didn't appear to be an issue even though Tivo advises against it.

    The CP screens indicated Authorization was approved on both but counts were "zero" on the EMM and ECM lines. The tech called dispatch and tracked down someone he knew (not simple because the computer communication system was down) and he checked the "balance" and other particulars and issued a multitude of hits.

    The EMM count climbed to 37 but no channels would come in other than the non-encrypted basics and pass throughs. ECM remained at zero. Based on this forum, I knew zero counts on either the EMM or ECM lines were a problem. Additional work by the dispatcher raised the EMM to 38 and counts begin to appear on the ECM line as well. Channel test revealed channels were beginning to be added. After about 3-5 minutes all of the anticipated channels were there. The tech and dispatcher repeated this on the previously "approved" second card with the same results.

    At the conclusion with all working as expected, the two CP screens were not identical in their status but all appeared to be okay. Guided set up went without an issue and... "Houston, we have Tivo".

    Fernando, our Cox Tech, was key to this success. I had basically blew off trying to proceed when we discovered communications was down at dispatch. Fernando persisted with phone efforts and found a backdoor to finally reach someone he knew.

    Fernando, as was the case with both of his predecessors, had not been trained or had opportunity to experience any significant Tivo install activity. To my amazement, none of the Cox Techs had been educated on the significance of the ECM and EMM fields on CableCard installation. This knowledge made all the difference in how things went. Without knowing these counts could not be zero and the system function, he was able to persuade dispatch to keep trying when they thought all was well. I was impressed with Fernando's persistence and he was glad to learn about EMM and ECM fields.

    This does leave me with a very disturbing question... why would Cox not take a couple of minutes to explain something as vital as the ECM/EMM fields to people who have the technical responsibility for installing CableCards. I might add dispatch didn't seem to have this understanding either.

    Anyway, all appears well at the moment.... Thanks Fernando! (and this forum)
     
  16. May 21, 2007 #456 of 2181
    segamartinez

    segamartinez New Member

    11
    0
    Jan 23, 2007
    I have Cox service in Las Vegas and have the MLB Extra Innings package...problem is that it does not work on my S3 cable cards. I've spoken with several representatives because most have no clue what's going on...some say I cannot get the package on the cable cards and some say it should be able to work.

    Anyone have a similar experience or is there anybody out there with Cox in LV with the MLB EI package working on their cable cards? Thanks.
     
  17. May 24, 2007 #457 of 2181
    Bodie

    Bodie New Member

    257
    0
    Mar 12, 2003
    Rhode Island
    I had Cox NE (CT/RI) out yesterday. As I suspected as I was hanging up with the person who took the order, the tech only had 1 card with him, fortunately his coworkers in the area supported him (one even came by to help).

    I got 3 cards, two in the S3 and one in the TV (for watching a game while the other two tuners are recording shows). The initial hit didn't quite work, the second one worked on card 2 and the TV and then replacing card 1 got it going too. All said and done it was about 2 hrs 15 mins (perhaps 30-45 waiting for more cards to arrive) and now I have everything working just fine! :)

    (Now to see what the bill is for 3 cards vs just 1, not the extra $1.99 ea, but if there's an extra "Digital Gateway" charge for each :rolleyes: )
     
  18. Jun 7, 2007 #458 of 2181
    Droobiemus

    Droobiemus PSWii60

    3,108
    0
    Sep 30, 2004
    Might as...
    Just had a wonderful experience with Cox installation. The guy came and was in and out in about 15 minutes! :up: I'm now running guided setup again to get the new program info.
     
  19. Jun 7, 2007 #459 of 2181
    bryanb

    bryanb New Member

    49
    0
    Oct 26, 2001
    Where do you see the Digital Gateway charge? On mine I see DIGITAL CABLE SERVICE above each cableCARD.
     
  20. Jun 8, 2007 #460 of 2181
    hammer32

    hammer32 TiVo Combat Crew

    131
    0
    Jul 4, 2001
    North America
    We just got our Series3 installed yesterday. The install was painless, but I had to reassure the sales person over the phone that I needed 2 cable cards and didn't need an HD DVR from them.

    Cox quoted me $70 per card for the install. I had been trading emails with them over the weekend to find out exactly how much (including tax) it would cost for me to switch from DirecTV to Cox for HD. They had never mentioned the installation fees. When I placed my order online there was no option to order two cable cards so I called in and thats when I was told that it would cost $70 per card. I told them no thank you.

    After a quick research trip to these forums I found folks in VA, CA and AZ had been charged $30 for the install. When Cox called me back and I told them that they lowered it to $15 per card.

    The day of the install I got a Cox HD DVR delievered by UPS, I had the installer take it back.

    The install itself took about 15 minutes from the time I handed the guy the cablecard instruction sheet that came with my Series3 to the time he asked if he could keep it :)
     

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