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Cox Cable Cards

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

  1. Sep 24, 2006 #121 of 2181

    Willin New Member

    Sep 1, 2001
    I'm in OC and getting CC installed next week. They told me $3.48/mo for each card. They didn't break the price down like that. I've read somewhere else that it is a single device and they can't charge the 'additional outlet' fee for the 2nd card.
  2. Sep 24, 2006 #122 of 2181

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Willin, the $3.48 ($1.99+$1.49) per card makes sense if you are keeping a digital box (DVR or non-DVR) from them. However, if you are not keeping a box then the 1st CC should only be $1.99 since there is no 'additional outlet' fee for the 1st digital connection. Technically one could also argue that the Tivo is 1 device taking 1 outlet to have them waive the $1.49 additional outlet fee on the 2nd CC.
  3. Sep 24, 2006 #123 of 2181

    Jayster36 New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    Had a cable tech out yesterday to install the CableCARDs for my new Tivo S3 in Orange County, CA. Tech didn't really blink an eye when he saw the Tivo. Put the first card in and very shortly was able to get the pairing information. Tech immediately called in and gave them the numbers that came up. The office said they activated the card. We went to the "Test Channels" options and waited for about 11 min. while the Acquiring Channels screen came up. Eventually, the Tivo said it couldn't find any channels.

    I'll spare the gory details, but after changing splitters and rerunning the process multiple times (and trying different cards), there was no difference. The tech eventually (after almost 2 hrs.) threw his hands in the air and said they did all they could do.

    Don't really know what the next step is. Should I call and hound Cox? Tivo? Give up and return the unit? Never thought a standards based product on a standards based system would be such a hassle.

    And for this "service" I was billed $39.95 per card. I'm not quite sure how Cox can justify an $80 to dispatch a technician who has no idea to install a CableCARD - but sure did a good job wasting a Saturday afternoon.
  4. Sep 24, 2006 #124 of 2181

    pkscout Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    Honolulu, HI
    I would start by calling TiVo's HD group. They will try and work with Cox to resolve the issue (even the issue is likely 100% on Cox's end). Barring that I would file a complaint with the FCC. Cox is required by law to support those Cablecards, and they will have to whatever it takes to get them working. No ifs, ands, or buts.
  5. Sep 24, 2006 #125 of 2181

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    If the Acquiring Channels screen took more than a minute, your cablecards are initalized or authorized properly.
  6. Sep 24, 2006 #126 of 2181

    Jayster36 New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    Already got a Tivo person on the phone and arranged a conference call with Cox Communications. Once the Cox tech support was on the phone, the Tivo person went absolutely silent. I'm not sure he even said anything during the entire call other than to introduce himself. The only thing Cox was willing to do was schedule another installation appointment by one of their highly experienced techs during two hour appointment windows during my working hours. I guess I will have to wait another week (until next Saturday) and wait all day for another technician to come out, read numbers off of my TV screen and call them in. (Something Cox insists I'm not qualified to do.)

    If I have to pay an $80 install fee to watch someone come out and do nothing other than sit on the phone for an hour trying to get this to work (and fail by the way), then by my calculations, Cox now owes me something in the neighborhood of $720 for my efforts.
  7. Sep 24, 2006 #127 of 2181
    Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    How many cards did they try? Two of my cards were bad (they eventually got it working, though).
  8. Sep 24, 2006 #128 of 2181

    Jayster36 New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    The tech tried 3 different cards in the first slot. The results for all three were the same. We never even got to try any cards in the second slot.

    What cable company are you with, Dark?
  9. Sep 25, 2006 #129 of 2181
    Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    I'm with Cox/Fairfax County (Northern VA). Hrm. It's not impossible you have a bad Tivo, you know. It _sounds_ like they did everything right. Mind you, I'm not the CableCard expert by any means ... I am only a consumer, and after a few bad CableCards they got it right. I will say that I was glad that I have a CableCard television as a fallback test device (but luckily I never had to use it). You know, I think this underscores why forcing the cable companies to use cablecards in their devices is so important ... if that was the case, they'd have a lot more experience in making CableCards work. Right now the CableCard knowledge is really hit and miss. I sure wish I knew more about the information presented on the CableCard screens.

    BTW, what do you get on the signal strength meter? (I think it's under Settings->Channels, but I forget). I'm in the mid-90's.
  10. Sep 25, 2006 #130 of 2181

    boywaja Active Member

    Sep 30, 2001
    Just had an install from Cox Fairfax. Pretty straight forward. The tech was a nice guy and had done a tivo at least once before.

    I probably slowed him down more than anything chatting with him about the modem upgrade fiasco of a few years back, and the digital/analog simalcast . In my part of fairfax we just recently got a simalcast of channels up in the 800s. Apparently most of the rest of the county already had that.
  11. Sep 25, 2006 #131 of 2181

    timmetro69 Vegas Baby

    Jun 11, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV
    pkscout - I'm in Vegas and I had a smooth cablecard install. The tech was only on-site about 25 minutes from start to finish and everything worked perfectly when he left, and continues to now over a week later.

    Good luck.
  12. Sep 25, 2006 #132 of 2181

    MichaelMI New Member

    Oct 24, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    We had our install today and it went very smooth. Cox San Diego rocks!
  13. Sep 26, 2006 #133 of 2181

    JeffDan New Member

    Jun 2, 2004
    I am sure you all probably hate me. I just got back from the long weekend (I left the morning after the cable card installed) and everything worked great. All my shows were recorded perfectly.

    My install went great, no issues at all. I actually came home to a phone message from the tech and just got off the phone with him. He wanted to know if I did anything special before he came out and we went over what we did step by step. It seems I am one of very few success stories for them. The most common problem was only one card working.

    I didn't do anything special. The only difference we did was to pop in card 1 and then card 2 right after it. The screens finally popped up with the card info but I closed them and instead went to the card configuration menu and then host id screen. That's it, nothing else was special.

    I told him to make sure he puts in the #1 card first, but I don't think that really makes a difference if you have two cards. They just want to make sure if you have one card that it is in the #1 slot.

  14. Sep 26, 2006 #134 of 2181

    ehardman Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    My Cox install is scheduled for in the morning. I have learned a lot from this thread so I hope to avoid the problems others have had.

    I am also having them install a cable card in my Pioneer 5070 plasma. This way, I can record two channels on the Tivo Series 3 and watch a third in real time. I must be sick!
  15. Sep 26, 2006 #135 of 2181

    GuyInTulsa New Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    I had my install yesterday in Tulsa, OK by the friendly Cox technician.

    I placed the call on Thursday and set an appointment for Monday afternoon. I don’t remember the exact install price, but I do remember I got ½ off the second card since they were going in the same box.

    The tech had a genuine interest in HD stuff and was eager to see it work as I was. He read the one page sheet provided with the TiVo and went to work. He did have to talk the person on the phone through the activation process. She had never done one where both cards went into the same device.

    The whole process took about ½ an hour. That included the TiVo setup and guide download via the web. We played with it a while and when his curiosity was satisfied he left.

    Nice and neat. The last install, for the Cox DVR, was much worse.
  16. Sep 26, 2006 #136 of 2181

    ValleySooner New Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    Norman, OK
    My cablecards were installed today in the Cox OKC market, and I had a similar experience. When I called for my installation, the CSR said it'd be $30 to install the first card and $15 for the second one.

    Two very friendly and knowledgable techs showed up on time today to pop in the cards. They had provided cablecards for one other Tivo before, so they didn't need to look over the instructions sheet. It took about 15 minutes for the activation process to complete, but when it was done, I had program guide data and all my encrypted QAM channels available on both tuners.

    I'm not sure what they'll charge me on recurring basis. As far as I know, we don't have outlet fees in OKC. However, I'm positive I'll have to pay two digital gateway fees... and don't know whether the fee goes up exponentially based on the number you have. I already had two (for $7.50) prior to the cablecard install.

    Anyway, it was a positive experience overall. I only wish I could've done the install myself. I had to wait 9 days for the cards in total.
  17. Sep 26, 2006 #137 of 2181

    RoanokeHokie 1 of the "Lucky" 200

    Nov 16, 2000
    Cox Orange County came by at 2pm (appt. was for 4-6pm, but they called early because of availability) to install CableCARDs. The technician was friendly and knowledgable, in my opinion. He also read over TiVo's instructions, then commented "seems like a normal install" and went to work.

    The technician installed both cards into the TiVo and then activated them. He had some trouble on the phone. He provided one card's information on the first call and then hung up. While we waited for the first card to activate, he mentioned that when he "saw a CableCARD install and a DVR pickup, it just seemed like a TiVo install" and so he brought 2 cards anyway.

    Just when channels showed up on the first card, he was called back for the second card's information. He provided that, confirmed my DVR pickup, and then was off the phone again.

    The first CableCARD activated fine, with all of my programming (Showtime, STARZ!, and the "HD pack") worked as expected. When the second CableCARD activated, though, none of the premiums were authorized but 'basic digital' was working. It took two more calls before the technician got the data "worked out", but when he left I had two fully functional CableCARDs with all programming.

    In the two call-backs, I took a little time to teach the Cox technician a little bit about navigation on a TiVo box. The "TiVo button" on the remote was the only real trick - hey, when I got my first TiVo box, it took me a while to realize that, too.

    It turns out it was a pretty "light" day for this technician, as his next install was another 4-6pm window. I re-started guided setup and left it on guide data download to head back to work.
  18. Sep 26, 2006 #138 of 2181

    gwsat Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    Oklahoma City
    That’s really good news! I am pleased and relieved to learn that Cox OKC’s not-often-ready-for-primetime cable guys got the job done without incident. I may bite the bullet and order an S3 and get rid of one of my 8300HDs.

    I continue to think that the decision to charge two digital gateway fees for the two CableCARDs in one S3 was made by somebody who doesn’t understand what the S3 is about. After all, the 8300HD has two tuners, too, but we only get charged one digital gateway fee with it. Go figure.

    Requiring a service call to install CableCARDs is equally senseless, it seems to me. But sensible or not, we are stuck with it for now. As Tony Soprano says, “Wadda ya gonna do?”
  19. Sep 26, 2006 #139 of 2181

    jodell TiVo geek

    Jul 9, 2002
    Irvine, CA
    I am waiting for my first bill after the cable card install to re-address the 2 digital gateway fee issue. I am going to use your exact argument - the DVR only has 1 gateway fee even though it has two tuners -- why is a TiVo different?

    This is probably an exercise in futility but what is the worst Cox can say? No? :')

  20. Sep 27, 2006 #140 of 2181

    Jayster36 New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    I've been trying to get the CableCARDs to work on Cox OC now for a week and had some really trying experiences, but I'm happy to report it is finally working.

    The initial visit by a cable tech was on Saturday and it was a total waste of time. The second visit was by a senior tech today.

    The visit was almost 2 1/2 hours, but it is now working perfectly. For those having similar troubles or bracin themselves for the installation I'll share what I learned.

    1. Schedule your install for a weekday - I was told by both techs that the guys behind the scenes who really make this work "Digital Ops", usually only work weekdays. If problems come up during the weekend, it's much harder to get the proper technical support for the install. Trust me - the second visit was on a Tuesday - and the installer had the right guy on the phone. If you have to schedule a weekend install - make sure to ask if the high level back-end tech support people will be working that day. Don't know if every cable provider calls them "Digital Ops".

    2. There are a lot of bad cable cards - Again, trust me. I've seen several posts echoing this, but I didn't believe it. How could such a high ratio of cards be bad? Well, guess what...I ran into three bad cards before this started working. The first two never registered with the cable system, the third came up but would only display basic cable stations (including basic HD channels)...but no enhanced tier proramming would come up. If this happens - have the tech check the "Conditional Access" page. This particular card indicated that it couldn't negotiate an encryption key with the cable provider (CP). When this happened, the card in slot 2 was working completely and the "Conditional Access" screen for that card indicated "Subscribed" or "Possible". Your tech may not know to look there. This is what took almost 2 hrs to figure out. Once that card was swapped for a new one, all channels came up right away.

    3. After the first good card was installed, we ran the "Test channels". It ran for almost 7 minutes and I thought for sure we were headed for another failure, but all of a sudden a screen popped up indicating that you were about to start a function that would stop programs currently recording. This is good news - it means that you've discovered channels. Never got this far on the first appointment. When the second "good" card came up and was called in by the tech - the channel testing came up after only about a minute. After that it was smooth sailing.

    Anyway, it seems that although I had one of the tougher experiences, it did finally work and so far I'm happy with the results. Can't be 100% sure, but it does seem that the picture quality is better than what I got with the Motorola 6412 DVR. I've learned quite a bit about CableCARDs in the process.

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