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Is it Comcast idiots, or bad TiVo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Christof60, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Christof60

    Christof60 New Member

    Nov 11, 2012
    I recently bought a used Series 3 HD TiVo and picked up the two cards the "net" said I would need for dual tuner. Well, first thing, the box told me right off I had an "M" card, therefore slot two would be idle.
    Okay, so I call to get card activated, and I got everything but HD channels. So another call, they refreshed signal, then got no channels.
    Next call got all non-HD channels, and all the local (ABC, CBS, NBC) local HD channels, but no AMC, TLC, TNT, DISCOVERY, etc.... Just black screen. So I got TiVo tech on phone, they said TiVo diagnostics were fine.
    So, to make long story short, I spent a total of 33 hrs over 3 days on the phone (or Comcast chat) and am still left with all non-HD, and the few local HD's as previously listed.
    I have tried four different M-Cards, makes no difference. And it seemed that only 3 of the 18 Comcast techs I spoke to asked me for all the M-Card info (the rest said they only needed Card S/N....
    Comcast said that if it was a fault of them not sending proper authorization signal, I would get error screens rather than black screens.
    So what do you think, bad tuner in the TiVo? It doesn't matter whether tuner 1 or 2, same deal.
    I am returning the TiVo, since it seems to be a unit problem, and have a Premier model (brand new) coming Monday. I guess I'll know for sure then.
    I can't express how angry (let alone flat worn out) spending that much time on the phone and getting up and down to change cards, reset unit, etc., and I finally told the last tech that they owed me big time.
    So I'm getting the second tier of HD (I pay for Started HD package), AND $20 off my bill for a year.
    Oh, and I even tried twice resetting the TiVo to factory default, erasing and resetting everything.
    Anyone have ideas on the problem, I'm nervous as hell to get the new unit and go through that horror again.
    Comcast is absolutely THE worst company I have ever dealt with, but my only choice here since I need high speed Internet also.
    Had my first question answered not only fast, but absolutely spot on.... If only Comcast could have that kind of talent/brain power working for them....

    Have a great week all!
  2. lillevig

    lillevig Cold in East Iowa

    Dec 6, 2010
    Marion, Iowa
    Hopefully someone with Comcast will chime in re: their experiences. In general, cable companies do not know how to get CableCards working with Tivos. And that's just the truck technicians. The phone people know even less. I went through the same thing with a brand new Premiere. Three cards and at least a dozen phone calls before it worked. The ironic thing is that my cable company uses Premeires as their leased DVR. I am reasonably sure that Comcast needs to enter more than just the card s/n into their system. I finally realized that my cable company needs three pieces of info entered so my next box went slightly more smoothly. The standard response seems to be that they can send a truck out so make sure that you tell them that it is not your problem and that you will not pay for the truck roll. Reminding them of the FCC mandate that CableCards be installable by homeowners doesn't hurt.
  3. stark

    stark Member TCF Club

    Dec 31, 2003
    The Series 3 needs two cablecards to use both tuners. It only supports S-cards (single channel), not M-cards (multi-channel).

    You can use either S-cards or M-cards (acting as an S-card), but you need two cards. Comcast might try to tell you differently (my tech did), but they are wrong.
  4. shwru980r

    shwru980r Active Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    TCD648250 - Needs 2 cablecards.

    TCD652160 and TCD658000 - Need one M card.
  5. dianebrat

    dianebrat drastically off narrative TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    Incorrect, the m-cards will run just fine in most S3's but you need 2 of them as you state, they won't function as multi-stream. My Comcast installation used 2 M-cards, and my current FiOS install uses 2 M-cards in the the S3 in the house.

    But to answer the bigger question usually the issue is Comcast being morons.
  6. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    As stated previously, only the original TiVo Series 3 (AKA the "OLED" TiVo) needs two CableCARDs. Both the TiVo HD and HD XL need only 1 m-card. If his TiVo is telling him that an m-card is in slot one and that slot two will not be used, it is not an original Series 3 and therefore needs only the one card.
  7. takeshi

    takeshi New Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    Try the Comcast cable card thread. IIRC there's an email address for escalation in there. The problem is that you need to find someone at Comcast who knows what they're doing. Good luck with it. I had to fight them for months to get them to fix a signal issue that was causing my THD to reboot.
  8. Christof60

    Christof60 New Member

    Nov 11, 2012
    It was the machine itself that first said it only needed one M card, TiVo rep then confirmed that I had a late model machine that although still boxed a series 3, was just a TiVo HD...
    I think he said the older ones had card slots in back and display on front, mine has slots in front.
  9. Christof60

    Christof60 New Member

    Nov 11, 2012
    I have the 2160....
  10. Christof60

    Christof60 New Member

    Nov 11, 2012
    Will do that, I quickly browsed and found the machines thread, if I still get the issue with the premier machine (hopefully gets here today), and by God I'd better not have to go through the same thing, I will look up that thread.

    Supposedly though, because I read the last guy the riot act, I'm supposed to get the second tier of HD channels (subscribe to starter HD) and $20/mo off my bill for a year. But I can't find anywhere on Comcast site where it shows what I have (besides TV, Internet) and will have to wait for next bill cycle.
    I just want the damn TiVo to work....
  11. shamilian

    shamilian Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    They are authorizing the card using the S/N but they are not pairing the card as that requires the other two numbers (host/data) the data number may change if you remove and reinsert the card...

    An authorized card (not paired) will let you get analog and unencrypted channels only.

    I think comcast has some special phone number for cablecards, they should know what to do.
  12. d_anders

    d_anders Sr Legacy Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    Twin Cities...
    Yeah, getting two different cables cards working in the same unit...ehh...

    Are you certain that your used Tivo was fully functional for the previous owner before purchase?

    You're also dealing with the first HD capable Tivo (Series 3), and since then Tivo has released two other upgraded HD models (TiVO HD, Premiere, and Premier 4 Tuner). All the current software updates and capabilities (TiVo Stream & Download to iOS devices, etc) only basically apply to the Premier models.

    I hope you got a great price for the Series 3 (assuming it has lifetime) to make up for the pain to get it up and running in your place. That would only be the only reason for me to bother myself...
  13. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    No, he isn't. He has a TiVo HD, which is also a Series 3.
  14. Christof60

    Christof60 New Member

    Nov 11, 2012
    No... Found out today (finally) from TiVo online tech, that although I have erased everything and gone through setup 3 times, the machine still shows them that I am missing an external tuner, which I don't need, but previous owner apparently did.
    So it seems mystery has been solved, faulty unit.

    I got it for $69 plus $20 shipping, and although seller had "no returns accepted", it's covered by eBay buyer protection...
    She was VERY helpful at first, but has now ignored 3 emails to try and return unit to avoid the buyer protection procedure (not good for seller). So I had no choice but to file the complaint (item not as described), and have no doubt I'll get my money back.
    Found a 2012 "Premier" with 500gb drive, brand new, for $105/free shipping, should be here tomorrow... Fingers crossed I can get this one working..

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