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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by amjustice, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Feb 7, 2007 #2121 of 9367
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    51,192
    98
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    For what it's worth the person I've been talking to at Comcast is saying the same thing about the CableCARD availability in this region (Central NJ). He's currently contacting someone in a central warehouse to determine exactly when more will arrive and what's going on with them. He mentioned that in the most recently received batches thay've had a lot of problems and apparently some 300 of them even had been stolen. So who knows what's happening.

    This person was referred to me after I faxed a lengthy list of problems to Comcast's corporate offices in Philadelphia. As I find out more details, I'll post them here.
     
  2. Feb 7, 2007 #2122 of 9367
    mgar

    mgar New Member

    1,779
    0
    Feb 13, 2005
    San Joaquin...
    My install was successful on the Thursday before the Super Bowl. Two CSR's showed up with three Motorola cable cards. Neither had ever seen a Series 3 Tivo. I handed the install instructions to one of them, and we proceeded.

    The first cable card worked very quickly after the CSR made the phone call. All HD channels were available, including the scrambled ones.

    The second cable card was more of a problem. Initially, only the HD locals were viewable. The CSR made a couple of phone calls, and after a couple of 161-4 errors both cards were working.

    Both cards have been flawless for one week as of today.

    I was told on the phone when I made the appointment that the first card would be free, and the second would cost $1.50 per month.
     
  3. Feb 7, 2007 #2123 of 9367
    Varmint

    Varmint New Member

    1
    0
    Jan 19, 2007
    Belmont, CA
    Just to add some positive balance to the this thread, here's my installation report from yesterday in the San Francisco bay area. After reading this thread I was completely paranoid that this would turn into a 3 hour exercise in futility if we sneezed at the wrong time during the install. First, much to my dismay, the installer didn't read the instructions, as he said he'd done a few Tivo HD installations before, and promptly jammed both cablecards into the slots at once. Not a good start, I thought. Well, we waited a couple of minutes until the first cablecard message came on the screen and he called the dispatcher with the displayed data and requested an hit on cablecard1. Then the second card window appeared, same drill. We couldn't get any stations but then saw the 161-4 "error" appear and slowly the channels started appearing on the first card. The second card also started working pretty quickly after that, including HBO. So, total time, about 20 minutes. So I guess the lesson learned here is that it CAN work, even if you do it "wrong". It's probably a matter of making sure you know which card is in which slot and hitting them in order, hence the specific instructions that Tivo provides.
     
  4. Feb 7, 2007 #2124 of 9367
    KevinG

    KevinG Member

    304
    0
    Sep 3, 2003
    Mt. Laurel, NJ.
    I just have one of those Zenith Silver Sensor(?) things in my attic. I'm only 20 miles from the antenna farm in PA though. We also have DirecTV on 2 DirecTivos in the meantime...so we weren't missing anything while trying to get the Series 3 working.
     
  5. Feb 7, 2007 #2125 of 9367
    CharlesH

    CharlesH Member TCF Club

    1,068
    3
    Aug 29, 2002
    Sacramento...
    What's one going to do with a stolen CableCard? Until they are paired up with the head-end, they don't do much good.
     
  6. Feb 7, 2007 #2126 of 9367
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    51,192
    98
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    1) Encase them in Lexan and sell them as paperweights.

    2) Drill a hole in them and put a chain through it and sell them as jewelry.

    3) Weld or glue them together and call it art.

    ...and so on...
     
  7. Feb 7, 2007 #2127 of 9367
    SC0TLANDF0REVER

    SC0TLANDF0REVER I Love my TiVo!

    198
    0
    Dec 9, 2001
    Raleigh, NC
    Anyone in the NoVa area been successful lately?

    I'm *this* close to starting the arduous process again to get this thing fully operational.

    Right now I'm getting basic & local HiDef on both cards.
    Extended/digital on one card and no HBO/HBOHD/DiscHD/INHD etc on either card.
     
  8. Feb 7, 2007 #2128 of 9367
    PaulS

    PaulS Member

    685
    2
    Sep 16, 2002
    Southern NH
    Update :

    Called the 800-COMCAST number tonight, and got a knowledgable and helpful CSR. No, really I did! :)

    Of course we had to power-cycle the TiVo (no card yanks, though). She did some fiddling of my account also, and hit my cards. Net result was that Card1 remained fully functional (as before), and Card2 became somewhat functional (only broadcast HD channels tuned, no analogs or other digitals tuned). She said she'd have to set up an escalation call, which should happen within a day or so.

    She did say that she could see the "SA CableCARD" and "CableCARD" clearly on her display, but she wasn't able to correct that. Hopefully the escalation will take care of that.
     
  9. Feb 8, 2007 #2129 of 9367
    mre35

    mre35 New Member

    6
    0
    Jan 28, 2007
    No technical merit? did you try it? yea, I'm posting it because it works, absolutely. What comcast needs to figure out is that while they're raising their rates, they dont have a clue what they're doing 90% of the time, and they're severely understaffed in the SF Bay Area. And GUESS WHAT? They helped MY installers, so yea, it has technical merit, with all due respect, and 4 more successful installs on another board from the same post.

    If you dont want to ask your cable installer to wait around for a reset, fine, then wait 3 days to try to get someone back. Maybe youre sitting around playing video games all day, my time is worth something. Dont ask a cable installer to read the tivo instructions either, they look it over and do what they want anyway. In any case, if it doesnt help you, fine. keep it to yourself. its working for everyone else with similar issues in my area.
     
  10. Feb 8, 2007 #2130 of 9367
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    51,192
    98
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    I understand why you're getting defensive, but your post is about like saying "my installer hopped on his left foot counterclockwise in a 10' diameter circle starting 3' NNE from my Series 3 for 11 minutes and my CableCARDs worked, so that's what your installer has to do to make them work, too." I know you're just trying to be helpful, but what you relate simply doesn't have anything to do with the operation or authorization of the CableCARDs. It's certainly good to know all the different things that have worked for people in order to, perhaps, try to identify where things might go wrong. But just because things went OK following those steps doesn't mean any of them were necessary, either.
     
  11. Feb 8, 2007 #2131 of 9367
    mre35

    mre35 New Member

    6
    0
    Jan 28, 2007
    I think folks are missing the part about this is what COMCAST is sending to their installers, like I said, I'm posting verbatim from a comcast email. So rather than bash me for posting it, maybe it would be more constructive to send a copy to comcast and ask them if this is the training they're giving their techs? I did. And it took a friggin week for something this mundane to work.

    Anyway I hear what you're saying, but its another case of dont shoot the messenger. I'm just another 'victim.'

    Mike
     
  12. Feb 8, 2007 #2132 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    Then Comcast is simply wasting a lot of time and resources with bad instructions.

    Unless the S3 is somehow totally messed up to begin with, there is absolutely no reason to go through Clear and Delete Everything and rerun the Guided Setup. No reason to shut off the S3 for 3 minutes.

    My installer came and put in both cards at the same time. Called in the serial numbers, and both cards worked fine. Why? Because the person at the headend set up my account properly and sent out the correct sequences of signals. My installer was here for only about 10 minutes.
     
  13. Feb 8, 2007 #2133 of 9367
    dconner

    dconner Member

    106
    0
    Mar 13, 2004
    Northern...
    I did finally succeed with mine, though it seems like we might have different problems. Mine ultimately was quite simple technically, in that my Cablecards were never properly initialized *at all*, never getting beyond "Waiting for CP Auth." It was "simply" a matter of having non-clueless people on both the installation end and in the office at the same time. Up until the very end, all the CSRs I talked to seemed to think the *only* conceivable answer was "The cards must be defective."

    But my guess is that your problem is slightly different, as I never had *any* channel other than the unencrypted analog 1-100 and unencrypted local channels 200-220 until I finally got the clueful tech who asked me for Host ID and (Other) ID numbers for both cards, and entered them into the system.

    My hunch after reading all these messages is that your problem might be more on the billing and "what channels am I authorized to receive" side, so my experience might or might not be encouraging.
     
  14. Feb 8, 2007 #2134 of 9367
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,683
    116
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    I see Comcast around here is adding the National Geographic HD channel at the end of the month. Will my current cable cards start receiving that channel automatically or will they have to send a signal to tell them to decrypt the channel?
     
  15. Feb 8, 2007 #2135 of 9367
    kjmcdonald

    kjmcdonald New Member

    310
    0
    Sep 8, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I ran guided setup more than once now. I've looked through the alternate lineups (there were only 2) And I'm still confused.

    My lineup only includes the analog basic channels. I've done a channel scan and found over 300 total channels. (about 2/3 digital.) I havn'e gone through them yet to see which I can get because I'm not sure it's worth the time if the tivo doesn't have them listed in the lineup - There won't be any guide data.

    I don't have any CableCARDs installed yet. I'm trying to figure what I can and cannot get without them.

    What does it take to get Tivo to show me a lineup with the digital channels? On my S2 I had to pick between 'extended basic cable', and 'digital basic cable'. On the S3 I can't find anywhere to do this.

    Should I tell it I have CableCARDs even though I don't? Is that the missing thing?
    In guided setup so far I've always told it I don't have them, is that why it's only showing me analog lineups?

    -Kyle
     
  16. Feb 8, 2007 #2136 of 9367
    azitnay

    azitnay Active Member

    2,977
    0
    Jan 20, 2003
    Washington,...
    You won't get guide data for your digital cable channels without CableCARDs. You can look through the channels the channel scan found, and even create manual recordings on them, but that's as far as it goes.

    Drew
     
  17. Feb 8, 2007 #2137 of 9367
    KevinG

    KevinG Member

    304
    0
    Sep 3, 2003
    Mt. Laurel, NJ.
    Well, after 5 total visits, I'm finally up and running.

    Comcast employee came last night to replace the card in slot 2, within 15 minutes the new card was running just as well as the card in slot 1. Fingers crossed that they STAY working.
     
  18. Feb 8, 2007 #2138 of 9367
    kjmcdonald

    kjmcdonald New Member

    310
    0
    Sep 8, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I was under the impression that if your cable company did things the 'right way' then the Tivo would be able to find the digital channels in it's lineup whether you had CableCARDs or not.

    I know there are problems where the local Cable Plant doesn't send the correct info down the wire. It may still be that I'm on one of those networks. I'm just trying to figure out that for sure.

    Is there anyone out there with out cable cards that has unencrypted channels working (not just tunable, but recordable?)

    If so were they in your lineup?

    Did you have to answer 'yes' to the cablecard question even though you don't have them?

    -Kyle
     
  19. Feb 8, 2007 #2139 of 9367
    dconner

    dconner Member

    106
    0
    Mar 13, 2004
    Northern...
    Just an incidental chuckle, but I thought James Lileks perfectly described what it's like to deal with Comcast today (though it was, in his case, DirecTV):

    And it's not usually a question of English fluency, literally speaking, but just general comprehension of the problem....
     
  20. Feb 8, 2007 #2140 of 9367
    fergusean

    fergusean New Member

    8
    0
    Feb 8, 2007
    I just got Comcast's BASIC CABLE SERVICE (as in, analog channels 2-32).... it took me a while, but I found the unencrypted digital broadcasts of all my local stations (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC).

    My question is this: if I get CableCARD(s) from Comcast, will I get programming information for these digital channels despite the fact that I only have the basic cable service? It would be really nice if my HD shows recorded themselves instead of scheduling them manually......
     

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