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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)
    36.6%
  2. They took a little work to get going but they're working fine now

    242 vote(s)
    30.4%
  3. They've been installed but they're still not working right

    167 vote(s)
    21.0%
  4. The cable company refuses to install CableCARDs into a TiVo

    19 vote(s)
    2.4%
  5. Don't have a S3, just want to see results

    77 vote(s)
    9.7%
  1. Sep 20, 2006 #41 of 276
    ThePlungerMan

    ThePlungerMan New Member

    88
    0
    Sep 13, 2006
    So.Ca
    Wow, I feel your pain and totally relate, (I’ve had many probs with Charter, in another thread) I’m with you on your, would quit but refuse to let them win attitude. Good for you. Your helping others as well. Keep on keeping on, and good luck,,,,,,, and be sure to update. Thanks
    P.S. Call Tivo and they will get on the line 3rd party style, see post #31
     
  2. Sep 20, 2006 #42 of 276
    megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
    0
    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    The initial install from Charter went fine. Cards worked and everything was fine.

    I had to send that S3 back to TiVo and I moved the cards to a replacement. I called Charter on Saturday to tell them and the CSR said no problem. I gave him the numbers and he said I was set. It seemed to be OK - but later I found some channels didn't work, I got the 'Please call to activate' screen from the CableCARD. I *knew* what it was - they didn't update my Host IDs.

    So I called support again on Sunday, but the person I got couldn't get it and said they needed to send someone out. OK, fine. So they came Tuesday and spent most of an hour playing around, hitting the cards, turning off digital tier, turning it on, etc. I said upfront I thought it was my Host IDs. So, after trying everything else, they checked the Host IDs - which were wrong. So they corrected that, and everything was fine.

    The techs were all good guys, but I could tell CableCARD was still a bit alien.
     
  3. Sep 20, 2006 #43 of 276
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,453
    166
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Are those the opposite coast feeds of HBO and Sho? If so then it's probably because they're Switched Digital Video channels and as such incompatible with CableCARD.

    Dan
     
  4. Sep 20, 2006 #44 of 276
    Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,746
    14
    Feb 18, 2002
    Terrible. The installer came with 1 card not 2.

    Got error 161-1 and when the tech called it in he was told that "We don't support Tivo".

    Comcast in Chester County, PA.
     
  5. Sep 20, 2006 #45 of 276
    aztivo

    aztivo Member

    399
    0
    Feb 23, 2005
    AZ
    the error 161-1 is notorious with sony ( I hade this one one of my HD tvs) it is a bad card reader... you sould contact tivo about this. once sony changed the card reader it has worked like a champ for over a year
     
  6. Sep 20, 2006 #46 of 276
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    My card install had gone alright, now I'm fighting a battle to get digtial, not analog channels. I get all the channels I should, but the lower channels are broadcast in both digital and analog in preparation for turning off analog. I actually want the digital channels (though some people prefer analog), the analog quality sucks, and digital takes less disk space.

    I ring Comcast to get the cards reprogrammed to present the digital channels instead, the rep seems to be just about to do this when she told me my system didnt have the digital versions yet, and she couldn't tell me when they were due.

    So I go looking for the digital versions to check this story. To tune to a random QAM channel you have to remove the cable cards. So I did that, got 430 channels, then looked through them to see which channels were what, I found most of the basic channels. So I know that the rep was wrong, I do get the digital channels, the cards just need to be told this.

    So this morning I ring again. This time the rep tells me the cable cards can't get those channels, that I need a cable box to get them. I couldn't persuade her this was all in her hands. I'm supposed to be getting a call from a supervisor about this, I'll beleive that when I hear it.
     
  7. Sep 20, 2006 #47 of 276
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

    2,211
    0
    Jan 8, 2006
    How can I check if my 1-99 channels are being recorded digitally?
     
  8. Sep 20, 2006 #48 of 276
    sharding

    sharding New Member

    250
    0
    Feb 11, 2001
    Seattle/East...
    If you get recording quality options from TiVo, it's analog. If there's no option for the recording quality, it's digital. There may be another way to test, but that's how I did it. However, I can clearly tell just by looking that it's digital. The artifacts and video quality of the cable company's digital channels is noticably different than what I get when the TiVo is encoding from an analog signal.
     
  9. Sep 20, 2006 #49 of 276
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,453
    166
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    Go into the cable signal meter under Messages & Setting -> Settings -> Channels. This will only show digital channels. So if the channel shows up in there it's digital, if not it's analog.

    Dan
     
  10. Sep 20, 2006 #50 of 276
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    The easiest way is to hit the record button. If it offers quality choice (Eg "Record at best Qulaity"), its analog. If it offers no such choice its digital.

    There's also the diagnostic screen next to the system information. It'll tell you what each tuner is doing, the "modulation" entry seems to the important one, if it says QAMXXX its digtial. It seems to say "Unknown" for analog.
     
  11. Sep 20, 2006 #51 of 276
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

    2,211
    0
    Jan 8, 2006
    Three responses at once, and all with consistent info! Thanks all!
     
  12. Sep 20, 2006 #52 of 276
    nightstrm

    nightstrm New Member

    22
    0
    Sep 12, 2006
    Maumee, OH
    Just got my cablecard install done with... The guy ran into problems and called into the main office. He was transferred to the head of new installs who told him that she had just received a S3 at the office and had just gone through the setup. There was an issue with the way they were trying to initialize the cards, she quickly figured that out and I was up and running.

    Buckeye Cable here in Toledo has definitely changed since I first moved here.
     
  13. Sep 20, 2006 #53 of 276
    lemketron

    lemketron Senior Bit Twiddler

    73
    0
    Jun 24, 2002
    Sunnyvale, CA
    OK, I'm getting wise to this TiVo web feedback thing. :cool:

    The first time I went to the feedback page (last week), I got an error. Then I forgot all about it and was sticking to the forums. Then I saw Pony's posting requesting feedback on the URL provided, so I tried it again. This time I just entered "just testing" rather than type out my whole story again.

    It's still not working. I'm on Windows XP using Firefox, and got:
    ADODB.Parameter error '800a0d5d'
    Application uses a value of the wrong type for the current operation.
    /includes/dbConnOpen.inc.asp, line 640​
     
  14. Sep 20, 2006 #54 of 276
    lemketron

    lemketron Senior Bit Twiddler

    73
    0
    Jun 24, 2002
    Sunnyvale, CA
    I had a similar experience in the office (Sunnyvale) but had read in one of these forums that you should call 1-800-COMCAST and as soon as you talk to someone, ask to be transferred to "The Cable Card Department". It worked. I got someone who knew about cable cards. Didn't have the foggiest idea what a TiVo Series 3 was, and also didn't know that BOTH cards were supposed to be free, but the put me on hold, checked with a supervisor, and wrote it all up just like I wanted. I added Digital Classic ($9.95/mo) to my expanded-basic analog service, with two cable cards, and a one-time charge of $15.99 for a truck roll to do the "install".

    You'll probably be feeling pretty good (as I was) once you get that far. Not so fast. Yesterday the guy brings two cards. We follow the VERY sparse instructions that came in the box from TiVo, but (IMO) TiVo could have done SO much more to tell you what the heck to expect when you stick the card in. It says to insert the first card and then have the installer call (corporate) to activate it. There is NO information as to how to verify that it's been activated, and (at least on older systems like Sunnyvale's 550) it takes a while for any information to flow down to the card from the head end.

    TiVo reported that the card had been inserted, but was "waiting for channels". A few minutes later a CableCard (funky black screen) pops up on the screen, and somewhere along the way I get a TiVo warning that I need to repeat guided setup. Nothing was working, so I rebooted. Still nothing, so I (re-)did the guided setup while he waited. After that (though I suspect it may have been simply because the programming finally arrived) we got channels. We inserted the second cable card, called to activate it, and (again, due to lack of information) had no obvious way to figure out if it was working but we had channels on "Live" so he left.

    Last night, it seemed that I wasn't getting ALL of new channels -- plenty of "in the clear" and even free HD channels, but not some of the (encrypted) digital classic ones. Then I discovered the "Test Channels" option on the cable card menu (which should be first and foremost on the installation sheet, to verify that EACH card is getting ALL channels). Here I discovered that cable card 2 was getting NO channels.

    I called Comcast this morning, and through a combination of rebooting TiVo (which takes quite a while) and having them re-send the programming for the second card, I was able to get the second card to receive everything that is normally in the clear (QAM), BUT no (oddly enough, encrypted) Digital Classic channels.

    They sent out a tech to swap out the second card. We futzed around with the original two cards for a while: we swapped slots and proved, fwiw, that it doesn't matter which card is in which slot -- the "good" card now worked in slot 2, and the "bad" card still didn't get encrypted channels in slot 1. We put the "good" card back in slot 1, replaced the "bad" card, called up to activate it, and a few minutes later I was able to get all channels (again in "test channels") on both cards.

    The key point for me was that you can't simply "switch tuners" by hitting "Live" twice, as TiVo is playing games behind the scenes (e.g. if it's not recording anything at the time) and there doesn't appear to be any good way to view the channels on a specific card EXCEPT in: Messages & Settings: Settings: Cable Card: (select card): Test Channels screen. That should be made crystal clear in the notes, along with some hints on when and why you need to re-run guided setup (if it has NOTHING to do with validating channels, then tell the user to defer it and don't make the cable guy wait -- that's just gonna piss off the cable people), and some notes about the fact that it takes a while to receive the card activation. The other cable card screens seem to be next to useless, at least without more information describing what they mean and what to look for when troubleshooting.

    Just my $.02. I'm a bleeding edge kind of guy, so I don't mind helping to figure this stuff out, but it's got a ways to go before I'm confident that your average user can be SURE to have a positive experience. TiVo can help that with better docs, and I think they could also greatly improve the initial cable card setup process with better software. If the cable people have ANY experience with cable cards at all, it's gonna be of the form "stick the card in a TV and see channels", and the TiVo experience is quite a bit different.

    The end results are awesome, though, even if getting there is a bit rough. ;)
     
  15. Sep 20, 2006 #55 of 276
    mikebridge

    mikebridge New Member

    712
    0
    Sep 18, 2000
    Plainfield, IL
    getting an error when trying to submit my cablecard feedback.
     
  16. Sep 20, 2006 #56 of 276
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,453
    166
    Apr 17, 2000
    Nevada
    I think over the next couple of months the S3 is going to push the CableCARD market forward. In the past CableCARDs were only used on high end TVs, and were kind of a after thought, so the number of people willing to push the cable companies to get them working was probably pretty low. However the CableCARDs are at the heart of the Series 3 and are required for full functionality of the device. Which means there are now thousands of people out there with incentive to push their cable companies until they figure out how to make CableCARDs work correctly. It's going to be good for the technology and ultimately end users who aren't so willing to live on the bleeding edge. :up:

    Dan
     
  17. Sep 20, 2006 #57 of 276
    stoneyb

    stoneyb New Member

    10
    0
    Sep 20, 2006
    Comcast in Mass. scheduled an appt for the next day, and showed up 1/2 hour early. The cable guy had not installed CCs in a TiVo before. It took 1.5 hours because "dispatch" screwed up entering the numbers into their computer. Once that was straighened out, activation was a couple of minutes. While waiting, I went through the tutorials that had DL'd overnight, and afterwards, the cable guy said he wants one now.
     
  18. Sep 20, 2006 #58 of 276
    SteveJ

    SteveJ New Member

    16
    0
    Jun 14, 2003
    Merrimack...
    I was shocked at how well my Comcast CC install went. The installer mentioned that he had only ever installed one before, and he didn't think people really used them. I told him the Series3 just came out so he'd probably see more of these. He was happy to read the instructions to installers that came in the box with the Tivo. He popped the cards in, called the office to activate them, went through the setup, and voila. The entire event took maybe 20-30 minutes. Painless.
     
  19. Sep 20, 2006 #59 of 276
    tmackie

    tmackie New Member

    25
    0
    Dec 18, 2004
    Newnan, GA
    Newnan Utilities - Newnan, GA. Scientific Atlanta Cable Cards.

    I picked up my cards yesterday at the office and installed them this afternoon when the box was delivered. The technician had to send the signal several times but after about 10 minutes on the phone everything was working perfectly. The cards are $5.95 each per month (no install charge)
     
  20. Sep 20, 2006 #60 of 276
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    I got my analog channels converted to digital, so I'm basically set. I plugged in the right cable box and this caused the head end to reprogram my cable cards. It had been suggested that this might happen on AVS, but I was surprised at how rapidly it happened. I never even saw a picture on the TV, because as soon as I plugged in the box it reprogrammed my cable cards to be digital. So I could no longer see the cable box on analog channel 3. (I was plugging it in via RF just to get it working.)

    Previously, and much to my surprise, I did get a call back from a supervisor at Comcast. She again said that my cable cards could not receive the digital versions of the analog channels. She refused to rise to the bait of "so you supplied defective cards then", she wouldn't listen to any reason about how the answer was in her hands if she'd just type the right thing into her computer.

    She reiterated that I needed a cable box if I wanted the digital channels. I asked if this would cause the analog channels to magically become digital she denied this, saying only the box could get them. She said I needed a DCT700 box and my local office could supply one to me. I thought I'd give this a try as the local office is quite convenient.

    The local office supplied the box, its tiny, about 4"x4"x1". They said there would be a charge for this, I pointed out their web site says its free for cable card users. That's a battle to be fought later, if I don't return the box. I plugged it in and as I said above saw nothing, I called the number to authorise the box, and we were both very confused as to why I was not seeing anything. Eventually I had the idea to plug it in to the OTA jack and looked at the cable to see that I really did have digital channels.

    I could just return the box and say thanks for the magic token, or I could play with it a while and see to see what VOD and PPV it can get me. Most importantly, can I see the PPV on the TiVo.
     

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