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Getting Correct Comcast CableCard

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by Bphagan, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. Oct 3, 2013 #1 of 21
    Bphagan

    Bphagan brettdog

    62
    0
    Jul 22, 2010
    Florida
    I have a new Roamio Pro coming next week.
    I need to take everything (2x DTAs, 1 HDDVR, 1x TivoXL CableCard) back to Comcast and get a CableCard for the Roamio.

    Is there a way to determine what cablecard I need to pick up and what firmware is on the Card? It's a 20 min drive each way and do not want to make multiple trips.

    Would it be better to order the card over the phone?

    Maybe I should get the card first to ensure everything is working before returning other equipment.

    bdog
     
  2. Oct 3, 2013 #2 of 21
    jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
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    Jan 20, 2004
    Why can't you use the cablecard you already have? You shouldn't need to return it if it is a Motorola M-stream card.
     
  3. Oct 3, 2013 #3 of 21
    buscuitboy

    buscuitboy New Member

    736
    0
    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    Yea, you can use the same cable card from your older TiVo in the new Roamio. This is assuming it is a M-card (multi-stream) & not two S-cards (Single Stream). If it is indeed an M-card, you simply need to call Comcast and "pair" the cable card with your new Roamio. I have done something similar several times (from Series 3 to a Premiere) so no need to return the cable card & then get new ones.

    Comcast even has a special cable card hotline especially for doing this. When you get your Roamio and are ready to put the M-card in it, give them call at 877-405-2298. You will essentially need the cable card serial number and the host ID info (retrieved from Roamio cable card info page)
     
  4. Oct 3, 2013 #4 of 21
    DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    269
    0
    Sep 29, 2013
    I would advise anyone going to their local Comcast office to get a CableCard to get two or three -- so many of them are DOA. I guess they don't test returns -- they just throw them in a box and give them out to the next customer.

    We set up two Roamio Pluses in our household last week -- went through 4 cablecards to get two working ones.

    This Saturday I'm returning the extra (defective) cablecards and my Comcast STBs.
     
  5. Oct 3, 2013 #5 of 21
    kbmb

    kbmb Active Member

    1,290
    14
    Jun 22, 2004
    NH
    Yup, just check your current card. From the Troubleshooting section here:
    http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2566



    EDIT: BTW if you have a Motorola card, you may see firmware FW* 06.25 instead. Not sure if Tivo mixed the numbers up or not from their support doc. That is a known version that works. That's what I have on my Comcast card.

    -Kevin
     
  6. Oct 3, 2013 #6 of 21
    jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
    0
    Jan 20, 2004
    He already has a working cablecard. If he puts it in the new box and calls the cablecard helpline at Comcast he should be up and working in short order.

    FWIW I suspect that 90% of "bad" cablecards aren't bad at all. They are just programmed incorrectly at the head-end.
     
  7. Oct 3, 2013 #7 of 21
    buscuitboy

    buscuitboy New Member

    736
    0
    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area

    Really? Kind of odd as I currently have about 7 cable cards from Comcast and have NEVER had a defective one and/or needed to return any of them. 3 M-Cards and 4 S-cards and they all have been good for me. Strange that you have had so many problems.
     
  8. Oct 3, 2013 #8 of 21
    DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    269
    0
    Sep 29, 2013
    Interesting.

    Once programmed correctly, and working -- are they reliable? This is my first experience with a cablecard.
     
  9. Oct 3, 2013 #9 of 21
    DeltaOne

    DeltaOne Mount Airy, MD

    269
    0
    Sep 29, 2013
    I kind of expected getting a bad cable card, having done research on the Xfinity user forums.

    I was interested in their new X1 platform. Spent a month reading tons and tons of complaints on the user forums. Scared me so bad I began researching TiVo.

    There are many posts about getting bad cable cards on those forums.

    Now, I know the only people that post on those forums are those having problems -- you almost never see a post saying "Mine works great!" And two Comcast techs assured me the X1 system was working well and was reliable. They're already testing the X2 system! But you read those forums and X1 sounds like a horrible nightmare!
     
  10. kbmb

    kbmb Active Member

    1,290
    14
    Jun 22, 2004
    NH
    I had a tech go through 2 cablecards during my initial Tivo install 8 years ago that were just flat out bad. No idea why.....but he was baffled. Thankfully he had 3 with him :D

    -Kevin
     
  11. markp99

    markp99 TakoKichi TCF Club

    11,131
    16
    Mar 21, 2002
    Nashua, NH
    No Comcast cable card issues for me over the years. One and done each time.
     
  12. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
    0
    Jan 20, 2004
    They are as reliable as any other solid state device with no moving parts. I have had half a dozen of them over the years and they have always worked.
     
  13. fdisker2000

    fdisker2000 New Member

    83
    0
    Nov 26, 2006
    JBLM, WA
    In my experience the "bad" cards are either still attached to another account or not entered into the system properly. I've never had a problem with a cable card when I've gotten a competent person on the phone.
    Cable cards are essentially big memory card (PCcards) and their rates of failure should be fairly low, if handled properly.
     
  14. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,647
    1
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    My experience is like the others. Over the years I've gotten 5 Comcast cable cards; all have worked first time (required a bit of effort for the first few, but they got things straightened out at their end); all have continued to work, including the 2 S-cards I got over 7 years ago.
     
  15. fdisker2000

    fdisker2000 New Member

    83
    0
    Nov 26, 2006
    JBLM, WA
    Comcast's tech support will almost always resort to the "bad cable card" or your TiVo is defective excuses.
    Probably just to get you off the phone.
     
  16. Bphagan

    Bphagan brettdog

    62
    0
    Jul 22, 2010
    Florida
    Many thanks.
    I do have a Motorola M Card with FW* 6.25.

    Using the same card sounds like the best/quickest way to proceed with good chance of success.

    bdog
     
  17. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
    0
    Jan 20, 2004
    Yes, just call the cable-card hotline # provided above, do NOT call your regular Comcast customer service telephone #.

    I migrated my CC from an XL4 to a Roamio Plus and they had it all paired and working in less than 5 minutes.
     
  18. tim1724

    tim1724 Member TCF Club

    257
    5
    Jul 3, 2007
    Temple City, CA
    They can die, just like any other device. A few years ago I had a (rather ancient) Cisco S-card die in my Series 3. (It was bricked during a firmware update sent out by the cable company.)

    But this is very rare. Generally they should last for years.
     
  19. Devx

    Devx New Member

    274
    0
    Jun 1, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I can see how a firmware update could cause problems. My Moto M-cards have been solid for 7 years.
     
  20. yukit

    yukit Member

    206
    0
    Jul 23, 2005
    So I got my new Roamio setup with a new hard drive last night, did the guided setup without the CableCARD, activated it with lifetime online.

    This afternoon, I was ready to swap out one of my HD with the new Roamio. I just removed the CableCARD from the old unit, inserted into Roamio. Hooked up the cable coax.

    I expected to get no HD or special channel, but everything came up immediately. I even got 6 HD tuners working without calling Comcast.

    This was too good to be true, so I called Comcast (the number that comes up on the Tivo pairing page) to verify. The first CSR couldn't really help me, so she gave me a number to call; it turned out to be Tivo support number.
    He understood what I was doing, but when I told him everything seems to be working fine, he said that I was done. He gave me a number to call in case of CableCARD issue.

    I called the number; it turned out to be Comcast number with staff familiar with the CableCARD pairing process. I went through the SN, host ID, data ID stuff. I verified they actually sent a signal because the channels went out for about 10 secs.

    Finally my question is, could I have saved myself 45 mins today if I just ignored to call Comcast?
     

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