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Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by amjustice, Sep 14, 2006.
LOL! If it were only this easy ...
I sent a lengthy email to Comcast requesting a Corporate response to the issues. We'll see if I get one.
This is going to be a problem for Comcast and all the MSOs. Without question, this quarter will be the largest increase in cable card deployment simply because of the Series 3, not that the S3 will ship in huge numbers, but that so few have really had a reason to get them - most people these days want a DVR, so (generally) why bother put one in a TV?
Comcast had to go through all sorts of hoops to get my account to even accept cable cards because of defects in their billing system. As a result, I have a set of features I don't want rather than the same programming package I had when I had the 6412 box and a monthly bill that's considerably higher. I have no doubt that it will get fixed, if only because I have a bulldog for an advocate in my local Comcast division (because he understands I won't be the only one with this problem and better to fix it properly than put a band aid on it).
Even my Internet package got removed and added back in yesterday, because one of the reps apparently didn't think you could have a cable modem and cable cards on the same account.
Yes, bills over the next few months will be fun.
My experience with Comcast (Boston area -- N. Andover)
The cablecard installation went very smoothly. The service tech brought two motorola cards. Super-nice kid. He said this was his first Tivo installation and said he had no idea that a cablecard Tivo even existed.
I had previously brought up on Tivo the pre-Guided Setup "welcome" screen that shows the cablecard slot status, so we were all set to go. I had the tech insert cablecard #1. The Tivo immediately indicated that a card had been inserted, but then nothing else happened for about 3 minutes. Just as I was starting to get a little nervous, a screen finally came up containing all of the cablecard activation information.
The tech then called the activation center and read the numbers on the screen to someone who punched them in on the other end. The activation person then said he was sending a signal to the card to activate it. A message immediately came up stating that an error of type "161-4" had occurred. The cablecard instructions on the Tivo website say that this error can be ignored, so I simply dismissed the error message by pressing "clear."
The Tivo then went back to the cablecard slot status screen, and I had the tech insert the second cablecard, while the activation center person was still on the line. Tivo immediately indicated that card #2 had been inserted, but again, nothing else happened for about 3 minutes. Finally, the second activation info screen came up. The tech read the second set of numbers to the activation person, who then said he was sending a second signal. The "161-4 error" message appeared, and I again pressed "clear" to dismiss.
The activation center person then told the tech I should be all set. I went into the "configure cablecard 1" menu and selected "test channels." A message came up saying "no channels" or something like that, so I went back to the main cablecard screen. We waited for about 30 seconds and then tried again. This time, when I selected confiture cablecard 1 --> test channels, channel 01 came up with a big banner indicating the channel number and info. Channel 01 is comcast's VOD channel in our area, so the banner said "Channel 01 - VOD" but of course there was no picture. I then punched in the channel number for HBO, and it came on, full picture and sound. Beautiful.
I then tested channels on the second cablecard in the same way and was satisfied that the second card was also working fine.
I thanked the tech and sent him on his way, and then I completed Guided Setup. That was it.
Oh, Comcast is charging me nothing for cablecard #1 and $2.75/mo for cablecard #2, and $12.85 for installation.
Good luck to all of you who are awaiting cablecard installation. Hope yours goes as smoothly as mine.
Installer came with one card, not two.
Got a 161-1 error. Tech called it in and was told that "Comcast doesn't support CableCards in TiVo". At that point he left, leaving the card.
Off to call Tivo.
What a bunch of crap, I swear if they show up today with only 1 card and pull that I might freak out. It took me almost an hour to convince my local Comcast office manager to agree to an install and then she said she would only be sending 1 card, i told her to bring 2 and I knew they would work. Im holding my breathe, I sure hope I dont die from lack of oxygen
This will probably be frustrating - but most likely a 161-1 error is caused by a bad card.
Specifically this is "POD READY signal does not go active." This means the card isn't communicating with the host at all. To double check it's a card problem, you can always put it into the other slot - if you get the same error there, it tends to point to the card.
When I called Comcast:
ME: I need two cablecards installed and to return your STB
CC: Does your TV have CC slots? Why do you need two?
ME: Its for the new TiVo, and it requires two unless you have a multistream card available.
CC: We can only install CCs in TVs.
ME: It's the new Series 3 TiVo, and it requires two CCs...
CC: We can not install a CC in a TiVo. We...
ME: Ma'am... ma'am...MA'AM. Thank you. As I'm sure you're aware, the FCC requires you to supply CCs for devices that are certified by Cablelabs. The new TiVo is on that list.
CC: Um... please hold...
<insert lengthy delay>
CC: Sir. I checked with my supervisor and he was not aware of a TiVo like you described, so we asked our manager who said that there is a new TiVo and it requires two CCs.
<insert me thinking "That's what I told you..."
CC: I can schedule a technician for Friday.
ME: Thank you.
<insert meaningless scheduling chatter here>
Hopefully the install on Friday will go smoothly...
Actually we did that and got the same error. The tech put it in slot 2 1st.
My Comcast installers just left. The guy assigned to my install had not done a S3 so he found another installer that had done 'one' already. I'm very glad for that. These guys rocked. They did a great job, gave me a new splitter and cables, and waited until everything was done (TiVo programming) before leaving. They did have some issues getting the cablecards going on the provisioning side, but that was apparently due to a lack of knowledge on that side. I'm 5/5 now and a happy camper.
I will add one bit of info on the cost. I was told that the cable cards were free by the CSR in the store that stopped in to. That it NOT correct. The installer mentioned that they are not even setup to bill properly for multiple cable card on one outlet so they will likely be setup as separate outlets and cost 6.95 each. That may change soon and I will be sure to call and discuss it once I get my bill. Just don't be shocked when you "free" cablecard shows up on your bill.
Things work much better when you go stand in line at the local office.
When I called Tivo's tech support line, they wanted a local # to call. I couldn't find a local number for Comcast (even Tivo knows the guys at the 1-800-Comcast# are worse than useless) so I decided to go down to their office and see what could be done.
After some discussion of Tivo and the difference between it and a television, the counter person went to find their tech manager Jim, and I explained what I wanted to do. He explained that he wasn't aware of a new Tivo and didn't know if it could be supported, so he took the model # and when I could be available, and went off to talk to his "cable card guru".He took the model # and went off for a few moments. He returned and said he'd talked to their training department, who is just getting word of this new unit. They're not sure if it can be supported immediately and he characterized the problem "like trying to run Mac software on a PC".
I now have another appt on Monday with the "guru" and we'll see what happens.
Yesterday I called the local Comcast number and talked to a CSR that indicated I could pick up the cards at the local office and install them myself. So I drove up to the local office only to find out that they would not give them to me there and had to schedule an install. Not completely surprising since about two years ago when I picked up my first CC for my HDTV, they had to send a tech out to install it, actually they had four guys at my house then, the driveway looked like a Comcast convention.
The bigger issue I have is the claimed $38/card install fee the counter woman quoted me. I seem to remember something much less for the last card, like $12.95 or something. Additionally, I have not been charged monthly for the CC in the TV, but they are claiming that each of these new cards will have a $5 card rental fee and a $6.95 additional outlet fee.
Hopefully, the installation goes correctly on Friday and I will be able to sort out the billing after the fact. It would be much more customer friendly if Comcast would set and enforce corporate pricing and installation policies.
wow.... I don't have a S3... but reading this whole thread made me hate comcast even more then I already do.. (dispite still bring a customer of theirs.) I can't stand them
Comcast dude just left. Was his first S3 - was interested, asked if he could take a copy of the "for cablecard installers" sheet.
Cards needed a second initialisation, but after that both work fine.
They did put a hold on my internet connection though, that I had to call in about later to get fixed. Grrr.
Comcast sent a contractor to my place, who doesn't install CableCards. The supervisor missed the two lines of CableCards listed on the requisition, and the note stating it was going in a TiVo, and instead sent a digital set top box, no CableCards, and a contractor instead of a technician.
Now I'm on hold trying to reschedule an appointment (I work 2 weeks straight without a day off -- lovely). I'm trying to persuade someone to just give me the cards, and if I can't get them working, then I'll request a technician.
Something tells me that between my issues with CableCards and Series 3 shipping delays, God does not want me owning a Series 3.
Count me as one of the positive experiences. I called Comcast, in Westford, MA, said I wanted two more cable cards (I already have one in my TV), and they said no problem.
The tech came today, and installed it without any problems. I helped him with the Tivo UI (he had never seen a series 3, not surprisingly) a little, but mostly he just had to read numbers to a tech support rep at comcast. It's silly that they had to send a tech to do it, I could have easily done it with the same phone number.
The whole process took about 45 minutes, and now my new S3 is working fine.
As an aside, I called Tivo to transfer my lifetime service from my old Series 1 Tivo. I bought it in 1999, and it has been watching TV for me continuously for the 83 months since then. Apparently, since that unit is so old, there is a grandfather clause and I was able to transfer my service to the series 3 for FREE. That's right, $0.00.
Hopefully, I'll get another 7 years of service from this one.
So if you have a very old Tivo from which you have NEVER transferred lifetime service, make sure you ask for this option!
So what do you know my wife just called me from home, installer just showed up and has only one Cable Card. How could I have guessed this would happen. I cant begin to explain how stupid Comcast emplyees are. The installer even tells my wife he did an install yesterday and went out with 2 cards and wondered why he was only there with one today. So now im on the phone with comcast and will have to re explain my life story about a Tivo what it is what it does and why you the CSR do not know anything. You got to love em hey ?
I just received my Series 3 from UPS and called for installation. The Comcast representative was very helpful and polite. She did initially claim that, to receive HD service, I would need an HD cable box. I told her that I thought that installing the cable cards in the TiVo would be sufficient. SHe then asked me for the TiVo model number, and said that they only installed cable cards in certain kinds of TiVos. My model number, TCD648250B, qualified. I'm scheduled for Friday, October 6, with a 9-12 window.
Costs: $20.95 for installation (one-time),
$10 per month for two cable cards (even though it's only one outlet)
less $3.95 per month for returned cable box.
Called local office Monday and Tech showed up today. First word was WOW we have NEVER installed these in a TIVO. First card was installed and info on the screen was up in about 3 minutes. 3 minutes later we go the please wait acquiring channel information. This went on for about 5 minutes then a blank grayish screen showed up. All channels under 98 worked fine but none of the upper channels worked. The tech ask for a second hit to be sent out. We waited for a few minutes. Still nothing. He called a friend that had just installed 2 cable cards into a TV and he had almost the same problem. Digital and HD channels took multiple hits to get them to come in. Cable card status showed 0 segments left to download and state was wait to start. At this time he hooked up his test set to the cable line to check signal. Low signal, so we trace down a splitter and remove it, much better signal. Calling for a re-hit again as we dont have any digital channels. Checking Network setup and all looks good there, but no under test channels we get No channels. 40 minutes later we are going to swap the first card out. At least he brought 3 cards with him. Calling dispatch back to have them setup the 2nd card. Quote from Dispatch I hate cable cards, tech me too Double checking with dispatch the verify the settings. We are now over 1 hour with no digital or HD channels. No dice on digital channels on card 1 so he wants to install card 2 and then wait for the supervisors meeting to get out. I am fine with that. All the sudden Tivo blanks out and jumps to ESPN-HD. Install the 2nd cable card and started guided setup again. Now back to work I will see what is up after I get back
2:30 lunch I need to go back.
I called the general Comcast 800 number and explained that I had a S3 that had two cable cards in one device. They didn't flinch at all and offered me a next-day appointment for installation. The S3 just arrived today and I'm not available until Friday, so I made the appointment for then and we'll see how this all turns out.
The agent said that is no charge for the service call and no charge for either of the cards. I repeated that back to the agent and he confirmed that there would no charge. I'm not sure how that's possible, so I'll be checking out my next bill to see what really happened.