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How did your CableCARD install go?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Dan203, Sep 18, 2006.

How di your CableCARD install go?

  1. They installed perfectly and have been working perfectly ever since

    291 vote(s)
  2. They took a little work to get going but they're working fine now

    242 vote(s)
  3. They've been installed but they're still not working right

    167 vote(s)
  4. The cable company refuses to install CableCARDs into a TiVo

    19 vote(s)
  5. Don't have a S3, just want to see results

    77 vote(s)
  1. hiker

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    What is the MMI screen? We saw that in the instruction sheet but don't think we ever saw something labeled MMI screen.
  2. T1v0Fan

    T1v0Fan New Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    After 3 visits from Comcast contractors, 3 calls with support, and one call with a supervisor, my TiVo series 3 is up and running.

    Here's what made the difference:
    Activating one card by itself, with ONLY that card in the TiVo, then activating the second card.

    Here's some things I learned along the way:
    Do not let anyone tell you these cards do not work with TiVo. Several people at the Comcast dispatch tried to get rid of me that way. One said I had to get special cards at Best Buy.
    Just keep telling them you know people who got their cards to work.

    My card worked even though the Data ID was not displayed. The supervisor I spoke with said he needed a Data ID, which led to a call with both him and TiVo support. The person at TiVo support said the fact that my Data ID was not displaying on the Cable Card Configure screen (the one that refers to the Host ID) meant the cards I had installed were bad. That wasn't true, as the next day with a Comcast contractor in the house, we got those cards activated. I know it's mentioned on the forums here that Data ID is needed, but I'm up and running without it. Not sure what that means.

    Here's the information Concast needed:
    1. MAC address, found both on the card itself and on the TiVo Cable Card Configuration Screen: CP Information
    2. Host ID: found on the TiVo Cable Card Configuration Screen: Host Information
    3. CableCard ID: found on the TiVo Cable Card Configuration Screen: Host Information
    On that screen the CableCard ID appears as CableCard(tm): Number
    The fact that the (tm) was there (obviously a trademark symbol) confused tech #1 who was at my house on 9/26

    With those 3 pieces of information, inserting then activating the cards one at a time, everything was set up successfully.

    If I had a tech who cared at all, and/or they were able to reach someone from Comcast who knew about these installs, I would have had everything set up on 9/26 instead of 9/30

    If you are in South Jersey and have Comcast (in this area, formerly Garden State Cable), pay attention to this next part

    I had three visits from three different technicians. They all were from Amtech. The first two experiences were horrible, the third was great.

    I will say that all other service I get from Comcast: Garden State Cable has been great. These guys are contractors and they don't care at all - except for tech #935, Kerel. He was awesome!!
    You can actually ask for him specifically, and I highly recommend it. I'm going to write a letter to his supervisor about how great he was.

    The superviser who was from Comcast (Joe), was fantastic. He even called today on his day off to make sure I was up and running. He came into the office specifically to check on just this case. So the problem isn't everyone at Comcast, or even everyone at Amtech, the Comcast contractors, you have to find people who actually want to help and they'll get you up and running.

    One more thing that may help you to be patient with Comcast: some people there didn't want to provide installation until the information circulated around the company, but the higher-ups decided they'd do a "test install." So we are actually part of a test program, even though no one says that. While most people blame Comcast (or more accurately their contractors), TiVo has to take some of the blame for selling a product before the market is prepared. Now, I didn't have to buy it yet, but the appeal of the lifetime transfer was too great. Oh, TiVo charged me twice for that by the way. Now everything is all set up, I have to deal with that.
  3. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    Technically, this isn't required. It's just conceptually easier to deal with one card, get it working, and then deal with the other card. I just had cards installed in my second S3, and we shoved both cards in at the same time. Installer called the mother ship, and gave them the cards' serial number (didn't even need the Host ID/Data ID on my system), and a minute later, both cards were working fine. Maybe 5-10 minutes from the time the installer rang the door bell to fully functional cards.

    The Data ID is only relevant for Motorola cards. Based on the fact that you talked about MAC address, you have a Scientific Atlanta card. I guess Tivo support didn't understand that difference - but I would have expected a Comcast tech to know about their own cards!

    I don't understand what you mean by "test program."

    While I'm sure Tivo could have done more to "prepare" the market (and other than the FCC filing, we'll never know for sure what they did to), cablecard is not new technology to the cable companies. The only new thing that the cable companies have to deal with on the S3 are two slots, instead of one on a TV. From the sound of many of the installation gripes here - very few have been associated to the way the S3 works - but has been some sort of screw up on the cable companies side. As mentioned above - it's not Tivo's fault that the Comcast supervisor didn't know that his own company's card didn't have a Data ID.

    The other thing is that Tivo in some sense if forcing the cable companies to understand this cablecard thing... If you had a cablecard TV, after 1 or 2 visits, you'd probably give in and just deal with the Cable companies box. Whereas a vocal Tivo fan is more likely to force the cable company to get things installed correctly.
  4. T1v0Fan

    T1v0Fan New Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Thanks for explaining the Data ID difference.

    I don't think the responsibility was on TiVo to prepare the market, but some collaboration between the two companies to distribute instructions to techicians would have been easier. Perhaps they couldn't agree on who would pay for it. Regardless, without a forum like this to tell me what to do, I most likely would have had to return or sell the TiVo and that's not good for either company.
  5. TravisKU

    TravisKU The Cable Guy

    Nov 26, 2001
    I had my cards installed Thursday evening.

    The Cox Cable tech arrived around 5pm, inserted the first card, called it. I got a little worried because not all the channels showed up. Then they realized that the Cox DVR was still on my account and that was causing the problem. The 2nd card went in with no problems.

    The tech left about 5:30pm. I was really impressed that it went so smoothly. He did mention that this was the 1st TiVo Series 3 install that he did. He actually liked the machine so much he said he was going to pick one up at BB.

  6. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Tivo did this. Whether the cable companies actually distributed it internally is an entirely different matter.
  7. Oct 1, 2006 #187 of 276

    Greeby Clueless Loser

    Dec 15, 2001
    New Freedom, PA
    When I had my Adelphia CCs installed last week (Tuesday) I was the first Series three they had installed in miramar/Pembroke Pines. The installer had no idea what a Series 3 was. He called his supervisor who brought over another couple of techs just to see the install. The supervisor did have an email and a copy of the TiVo sheet that is ships with the box.

    Took them 5 hours to get 4 CCs up and working. Was quite a fiasco. I have everything Adelphia has to offer and the quality is quite good with the exception of the locals in analog. Quite a bit of ghosting on some of them.

    Sometime overnight Friday night my "HD Plus" channels dropped off all 4 cablecards. HD Plus is all the encrypted HD channels. Took 4 calls to the support number and one conversation with a supervisor to get the problem corrected. Everyone wanted to roll a truck to fix the issue.

    FYI....The supervisor issued a "repair" command to all the cards followed by a re-hit and that corrected the problem. Took about an hour...maybe 90 minutes.
  8. Oct 1, 2006 #188 of 276

    Crichton New Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    Had my install of 2 cablecards this past Friday. The Charter tech showed up and asked what TV these are going in. Told him it was going into a Tivo Series 3 and he goes "Oh great, this is going to suck, I've never done one of these before." After inserting the first cablecard, the tech had to call in to dispatch. After waiting for dispatch for about 35 minutes, we started the card process. Got the 161-4 error and found out one of the cards was still bound to another tv. After clearing that, it was about 5 minutes and we had both cards set up and had channels up to 28 (to which the tech said he's seen this before and the cards needed to be balanced, so he called dispatch to have them do it.) The tech left and I redid guided setup and lo and behold, all my channels were there. The tech was at my house about 2.5 hours. Essentially would have been less had dispatch gotten back to him quickly.

    All in all, I love the S3 so far, especially the fact that I hooked it up to my antenna in the attic and I get all my local HD channels.
  9. Oct 1, 2006 #189 of 276

    russkle New Member

    Sep 25, 2003
    Again, my milage varied, we HAD to do one card at a time; otherwise it caused problems when dispatch tried to auth the cards. Once we only had one card in the TiVo could they do it.
  10. Oct 1, 2006 #190 of 276

    russkle New Member

    Sep 25, 2003
    See, that is odd as well. My "Acquiring Channels" screen took a whole 5 seconds and immediately went to "No Channels Found". It was 2-3 days before the Test Channels ever showed anything. Odd.
  11. Oct 1, 2006 #191 of 276

    fl_dba New Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Third attempt by BH Tampa Bay on Friday failed. Both cards say Waiting for Auth. Tech insists that the cablecard and host id pairing are correct. Being sent up to the engineers to see if they can figure out what is wrong. Have to credit BH for not giving up. This has been very frustrating and will be a nightmare for the cable companies once more people try to buy one of these things.
  12. Oct 1, 2006 #192 of 276

    CALnyc New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    I just wanted to let everyone know that my CableCard install went flawlessly this week. The guy was here about 30 minutes, but mostly because he had to wait for someone at the office to get in touch with him to activate the cards. Both cards worked fine. The installer was Frank, and was one of the nicest and most compentent cable guys I've ever dealt with.
  13. Oct 1, 2006 #193 of 276

    jetforme New Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    San Carlos, CA
    The installer had only done one S3 install before my visit, on the 29th, and it would've gone smoothly except apparently the original workorder paperwork had something wrong with it. Each time he had Comcast "hit" the cards, nothing happened. Once they got it straightened out, it worked fine.
  14. Oct 1, 2006 #194 of 276

    rickertk Not quite new Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    Mine was my installers first S3, but far from his first Cablecard. First card went fine, second card he had problems for a while because he'd mistranscribed one of the numbers. After that, there were a couple of issues getting the programming right on them, but it ended up working out, just took quite a while with him on the phone most of that time.

  15. Oct 1, 2006 #195 of 276

    alee New Member

    Mar 24, 2002
    New York, NY
    Was this Franklin (tech #262)? If so, I absolutely agree... one of their best techs.
  16. Oct 2, 2006 #196 of 276
    Nate Finch

    Nate Finch New Member

    Apr 20, 2005
    Belmont, MA
    Comcast (in Belmont, MA) came by (45 minutes early!) and installed the cards. This was the guy's first cablecard install, and he said that they've done very few of these. Most of the time was spent on the phone with the people at dispatch etc... dunno what they were doing, maybe reading up on the manual about how to do these... but once they did it... bam, it just worked. Happy day :)

  17. Oct 2, 2006 #197 of 276

    gagadguy New Member

    May 2, 2006
    Comcast - Atlanta area

    Mine went Ok. I needed to do a self install, and finally was able to get Comcast to allow me to pick up two cards at one of their offices. After installing them, I found that one was activated, but the other one was not. If the non-activated one was in the Tivo, the guided setup would not complete. After a call to Comcast, a guy told me that he did not know why, but he could not activate the 2nd card and would have to send a message to some other group to have it activated. The next morning, it was still not activated, so I called back, a lady told me that it was not activated because there is a fee associated with the 2nd card, I agreed to the fee and it was then active, but neither card showed my scrambled channels. She then sent a reset to the cards and all came to life. Now I have my HD Tivo up and running.
  18. Oct 2, 2006 #198 of 276

    PPC1 New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Mine went fine. I am on Brighthouse in Indy. The tech had no idea what he was doing, but the guy on the radio walked him through it. Both cards authorized okay, and all channels are being tuned in. Although, I did have only a partial recording of the Colts-jets game Sunday
    :( So, I am reluctant to vote that everything is working perfectly, but to say that it took a little work is not quite accurate either. I will therefore vote that it is working perfectly, with that caveat since it doesn't seem to be a cable card install problem, but a tivo problem.
  19. Oct 2, 2006 #199 of 276

    RCflier In The Dark

    Feb 17, 2004
    I was pleasantly surprised with my install with Cox Phoenix.

    The guy showed up an hour early (called to see if I was home and if that was ok).

    Showed up, had not done a Tivo install before, just said they had had trouble with the SA cards in tivo's, but was willing to give it a try.

    He brought in three cards, first one had a 162-2 error. The next 2 went perfectly following the instructions, and got all channels on both... he was gone within 45 minutes.
  20. Oct 2, 2006 #200 of 276

    IceStorm New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    My initiall installation was fine. I was good from the Wednesday of my install last week until Saturday night.

    I unplugged the TiVo to move it (power and cable line). When I turned it back on, I lost the ability to watch several channels (most HBO, Starz, Encore, BBC World, etc). The fault appears to be the CableCARDs and not HDMI as it's the CableCARD screen that comes up for the respective tuner trying to get the channel.

    In the CableCARD CP info screens, both of my cards are in a "Waiting for CP Auth" state.

    Cablevision is dragging their feet on fixing it (assuming they can). It took three reps to find out that there are no Tier 2 people in on the weekends, and that it'll take them 24 to 48hrs to get back to me once they are in...

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