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HBO / Cinemax pixelating

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by zordude, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. nycityuser

    nycityuser Member

    269
    0
    Dec 30, 2004
    New York, NY
    I am having a Roamio delivered on Monday. It is replacing a TiVo HD. Since my current cablecards are likely older versions, I went to the FIOS store and picked up a new one with the 514517-017-00 code.

    I subscribe to HBO and Cinemax. Does the online activation of a cablecard now also pair the card? Or is it absolutely necessary to call Verizon to get the card paired? If it is the latter then there is obviously no reason to activate it online since it will end up unpaired by doing so.

    If I have to call in for activation and pairing, what words should I use with the representative to make clear what I need to have done? From what I've read here the phone reps seem not to understand how their system works. Using words and processes that they can see on their screen seems to be the key.
     
  2. cram501

    cram501 Member

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    Oct 22, 2002
    Once your Tivo gets done updating, the pixellation bug should be gone. The old cable cards don't seem to have the issue any longer (I'm using at least one of the old ones now.)

    With a brand new cable card, the online process might both activate and pair. The issue is usually with pairing, not activation. I did find if it fails, and you try repeatedly, it may deactivate the card. You have to call at that point anyway so it doesn't really matter.

    You have to keep an eye on a couple of items depending on what the Verizon representative does:

    After they say its' paired, check one of the copy protected channels (HBO, CIN, or 143). If those work, your good since the card has to be both paired and activated to get those channels.

    If those aren't working check to make sure:
    - CON = "yes"
    - Auth = "S"
    - Val is V + some number (make sure no ?? 0x00 in there)


    If Con and Auth are ok the card is activated.
    If Val has question marks after it, it is not paired. (This is usually where the problems reside)

    If the card is not paired, make sure you and the verizon rep recheck the information. When a verizon tech deactivated and reactivated my card, my Data ID changed. That means it couldn't be paired until that value was reentered. Keep an eye on the data id. During the process if it changes, the tech has to reenter it. If it keeps changing, they have to stop deactivating the card when they go to pair it.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, if you keep having problems you can post on the dslreports "Verizon Direct" forums. It's a private forum so you can post your info (all 3 values + the CC serial #) and they can help. it's usually faster than calling and they've always done it right for me.
     
  3. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

    2,778
    8
    Mar 21, 2004
    Chances are you'll have to contact Verizon to finish the pairing.

    Ask them to "manually validate" or "manually re-validate" the card.

    If dealing with questionable phone support isn't your thing, You can also do this over online chat or twitter at @verizonsupport if you give them the cablecard ID, Host ID, data ID, as well as the serial number written on the card itself as well. (Their twitter support is actually quite good.)
     
  4. nycityuser

    nycityuser Member

    269
    0
    Dec 30, 2004
    New York, NY
    Thanks BigJimOutlaw and cram501.

    So I'm thinking I'll first activate the card online and cross my fingers for pairing. When/if it isn't paired I'll contact Verizon Direct via dslreports as I have a logon there.

    I just want to clarify what info I'll have to give them. I'm looking at the Cablecard Pairing screen on my TiVo HD and see the four items mentioned: 1)Cablecard ID, 2) Host ID, 3) Data ID and 4) card serial number (which I have already written down).

    Do I also have to give them my Verizon account number or something like that to identify which FIOS customer I am? I don't have a FIOS phone number so my account number would be it, I guess.

    I would write to them and say that my cablecard is activated but is not paired, preventing me from watching copy-protected channels like HBO and Cinemax. Or should I just tell them that the card has to be manually re-validated by them for me to watch HBO and Cinemax?
     
  5. cram501

    cram501 Member

    70
    0
    Oct 22, 2002
    I gave them my name and address each time I asked, but I doubt it's necessary. They should see the cable card info on their side.

    I would just tell them it the status: Activated but not paired or it needs to be reactivated and paired. Every time my card has been reactivated, my Data ID changed. If they have to activate it, you may have to follow up on the thread with a new data id.
     
  6. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

    2,778
    8
    Mar 21, 2004
    I had given them the normal 3 data lines, but then they asked for the card's serial number. That was apparently all the twitter support folks needed. They can probably pull up the rest on their own. But you can tell them whatever personal info you think is helpful.

    For the card itself, I would just say the automated activation didn't pair the cablecard to my new Tivo. Please *manually* validate the card so I can receive all the channels. Thanks.

    It might help to stress the *manual* validation, as they have an "auto validate" option in front of them which they might be used to using, and it won't work for the same reason the online validation didn't/won't work (whatever reason that could be).
     
  7. Feb 2, 2014 #167 of 183
    Hammie5150

    Hammie5150 New Member

    2
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    Jun 17, 2010
    Is this issue limited to subscription channels? I have the affected cable card model number (514517-006-00) but do not subscribe to any premiums. Do I need to replace my card. I loathe the idea of trying to get Verizon to swap the card without having them show up with the same model number or disconnecting my cable card before the new one arrives, etc.

    Thanks,
    Hammie
     
  8. Feb 2, 2014 #168 of 183
    nycityuser

    nycityuser Member

    269
    0
    Dec 30, 2004
    New York, NY
    According to cram501 in Post #162 above the old cablecards seem not to be having the pixelation issues anymore.
     
  9. Feb 2, 2014 #169 of 183
    BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

    2,778
    8
    Mar 21, 2004
    Is the card paired? (To find out, check to see if you receive anything on channel 131.)

    A couple people have reported pixelation on non-premium channels, but it went away by having the card paired.

    If you're not getting anything on channel 131, follow the above advice and ask for the card to be *manually re-validated.* (You may need to pull the card out to get the serial number first.)

    If that doesn't work, Fios's hot signal might cause pixelation too. In which case you could try adding an attenuator or splitter to your coax right before connecting it to the Tivo to try easing the signal strength.
     
  10. Feb 4, 2014 #170 of 183
    nycityuser

    nycityuser Member

    269
    0
    Dec 30, 2004
    New York, NY
    So today I set up my new Roamio Pro with the cablecard I picked up last week from Verizon. I elected to activate the cablecard as part of going through the setup of the Roamio. So when the Roamio asked if I had a cablecard I said yes and it instructed me to put it in the slot. When I did the appropriate screen popped up with the info I needed to activate the cablecard through Verizon.

    I then went to the FIOS website where activation is done. I put in the appropriate information and got it to say that it was initializing the card and that I should wait. When it finished it said activation was successful.

    The TiVo then let me check a few channels and, lo and behold, even HBO and Cinemax had been properly paired.

    Thank you Verizon for a seamless process.
     
  11. priced

    priced New Member

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    Oct 25, 2004
    Well, is there a way to ID the cable card without physically looking on it? E.g. from the menus? My Tivo is buried within an entertainment center and not exactly convenient to pull out... also I'd have to do it when Tivo is not recording something.

     
  12. take5

    take5 New Member

    23
    0
    Jul 27, 2003
    I bought a Roamio Plus to replace a TiVo HD. The card in it was a Motorola "002". I went to the office and swapped it for the latest card they had, which is a 012.

    I paired it over the phone with the activation folks. It took a couple of tries, plus an inexplicable wait (30 mins or so). When I was about to schedule the appointment, all channels started working.

    It has been running for a few weeks, recording on 6 tuners, no problem. Then I noticed Cinemax (which I rarely watch) starting to pixelate. Now HBO has pixelated as well and is unwatchable. All other channels good, including Showtime.

    My Tivo Premiere is on the same cable and is working perfectly on all channels.

    I assumed that the firmware updated on the 012 card, so I am surprised to have this "slow degradation" kind of situation. Usually, a Tivo install is hours of pain followed by years of nominal performance.

    So, do I need to "017" card, or is that a red herring?

    Is it about signal strength?

    I see a lot of "rubber chicken waving" going on in these threads.
     
  13. take5

    take5 New Member

    23
    0
    Jul 27, 2003
    I started recordings on HBO and Cinemax to lock a tuner on each.

    HBO is only 58% signal strength and 23dB SNR, though it jumps occasionally to 97-100% and 39dB. RS corrected and uncorrected errors range from zero to (occasionally) over 7000.

    Other channels consistently show 97-100% and ~39dB.

    So, this is not a bad connector on the cable, right, or they all would be bad? It's a variability of signal strength on two channels on the cable.

    I guess I will check the signal strength on my other TiVo. I don't understand how it could not have the problem being on the same cable.
     
  14. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

    2,778
    8
    Mar 21, 2004
    This particular pixelation and card swap issue was exclusively a Verizon Fios thing, resolved a month or two after the Roamio launched.

    Yours sounds like a signal strength issue of some kind. You could check the diagnostic menus to see if HBO/Max share the same or similar frequencies, which might support the theory.
     
  15. djgoldman

    djgoldman New Member

    5
    0
    Oct 22, 2014
    My 6 tuner roamio plus was working fine for almost a year. Sunday we started to see this same problem. Screen looks like this: [media]http://www.zatznotfunny.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/cablecard-pixelation.jpg[/media]

    This is a Verizon FIOS install. Roamio plus 6 tuner with 2 minis.

    This affects all channels. Either they can't tune at all or (most) show as stripes. Saved content plays fine and the menus are clear. Just no live TV.

    Yes, it is the older 002 m-card. They sent a replacement but I didn't know at the time to ask for the 017. Replacement didn't help. I'll take it out and check the number later today. A third card is already in the way. Hope it is a 017.

    Weird. Really strong signal (still) so not a signal issue. No problems before Sunday. It is like they pushed down a card update that broke it.
     
  16. GrillMouster

    GrillMouster New Member

    9
    0
    Jul 27, 2009
    I don't subscribe to HBO or Cinemax, but in June Verizon gave me complimentary HBO through September. For whatever reason the HBO continued into October and kept working on my Premiere Elite XL4. I did a Google search and found other people that reported that their free trial HBO also continued past the supposed expiration date until one day it just stopped.

    HBO worked on my XL4 until I moved the M-Card (with the 017 part number) to my new Roamio Pro last week. I guess the process of pairing it to a new box caused the HBO to fix itself and end. I wonder how long it would have continued on the XL4 if I hadn't removed the M-Card.
     
  17. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Active Member

    2,778
    8
    Mar 21, 2004
    Is the new card paired? Do you get anything on 131.
     
  18. djgoldman

    djgoldman New Member

    5
    0
    Oct 22, 2014
    The TiVo MCard steps all look good and the card seems paired. The signal strength on most channels is 100. Everything seems ok except no picture.

    We are on MCard #3. The first one was an old one (that worked for a year).
    The second and third were the new 017 cards. No luck.

    When you look at the CableCard status it looks paired but I don't see a lot of activity in the statistics screens. I really think something is not configured still.

    Anyone got specific things I should look for?

    I just had Verizon reset it. They said wait up to 30minutes. That's over. Still nothing. Channel 131 dumps me back to the pairing screen in Tivo. Things no longer look paired. I gotta call them again.

    And if it makes any difference, the cards no longer say Motorola. The 017 cards both say Arris so they must be recent as they just bought Moto's set top business recently.

    Odd and very frustrating.
     
  19. djgoldman

    djgoldman New Member

    5
    0
    Oct 22, 2014
    I have gotten things to improve slightly but not fixed by attenuating the crap out of the incoming signal. I had a few attenuators left over from previous homes. I put all of them in (almost 30db) and things are still scrambled but I occasionally get a whole image, especially on low def channels.

    I really think the issue here is the signal is just too hot.

    I hope this hasn't damaged my Roamio or the cable card. We'll see if the FIOS tech agrees with the assessment.
     
  20. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,162
    21
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    Well at least that is a nice change. They used to start charging you for the premium channel once the trial ran out. So if you never canceled it you would continue to be charged the full monthly rate. Which is way too expensive for what you get with HBO.
     

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