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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. azitnay

    azitnay New Member

    2,977
    0
    Jan 20, 2003
    Washington,...
    When we first had CableCARDs installed, both Discovery HD and MTVHD only tuned well through the first CableCARD -- they came in terribly pixelated through the second CableCARD. Not caring much about either channel, I ignored it for a while, and it resolved itself. Not very helpful, I know :).

    Drew
     
  2. RSPinCT

    RSPinCT New Member

    1
    0
    Mar 28, 2007
    Northern...
    Well, after reading the onslaught of horror stories there may be some hope for Connecticut owners. Here's the recap....purchased the S3 and called Comcast. Rep told me to go to local Comcast Service Center and get the card. Bring the unit and they will install them for me. Well, of course I got there and the two guys there looked at me and each other with that "clueless" look. Of course, they had no cards and don't give them out. Ok, that went well. Got home, called Comcast very unhappy. Rep was great. Offered to send a truck, waive the $14.95 fee, and got the 2nd card for only $2.75/mo. (1st was free).

    Truck arrived two days later... installer was great, really cool guy, but, only had ONE of the two cards. Ok, I have 14 years in Info Systems so the technology aspect of this was easy for me to discuss with him. He told me he has only done one CC install and that almost 6 months ago! So, I told him I would handle it and he was fine with that. He called his office to register the card's serial # with my account. Slipped the card into bottom slot, all looks good. He calls the Advanced Support office to pair the cards. On hold forever. By now we've chatted for a while and we agree I can hanlde it from here as I had to get to work and he had other jobs. He also offered to drop the second card off to me the following morning. I get the correct # to call (sorry, I assured him I would not post the # anywhere as it is for Comcast staff only). Get to the right department about 20 minutes later and when we get the right job# and ready to go we find out no card is assigned to my account. Ok, that's a problem because I cannot call the dispatch office to get the card assigned. Anyway, I am able to call the installer that came out and again he was great. Said he would call me right back. After he called his office as it turns out, the card was accidentally assigned to the wrong account. All fixed. After getting home from work that evening I tried again. This time, the card was there and I provided all the proper numbers. Couple minutes later, channels appear. Ok, hung up with him. Thought I was OK but I was only getting the basic cable channels and I have everything Comcast offers. Called regular Comcast support and had the agent send a hit to the card. Bingo, on came all the channels. Everything works great... checked all 20 HD channels and the many premium ones. All good. Following day, came home from work, and, as promised, the 2nd card was there waiting. Called Advanced Support again, did the pairing on card #2, and all channels online and working for that card too....this time all the channels were up and running. :)

    So, although a few hic ups, nothing even close to what some of you have seen or are still going through. Seems like Comcast here in CT has a better grip on the process and if you yourself know what you are doing, you're one step ahead too. Another note, the Advanced Support center I called is also in the CT/MA area, (they even had a menu option # just for Cable Card Installs!), and all three persons I spoke to from that group seemed to know the process although in chatting with one of them he admitted the Tivo's could be aa pain in the butt. It would seems that training throughout the country varies from none, (like you poor guys in VA), to very knowledgable (fortunately, the later appears to be the case here). Now I'll just wait and see if there are no sudden issues with lost channels that some of you have seen although I think they will be easily resolved by sending a hit to the card if necessary. We'll see! I hope this info helps some of you. Rick
     
  3. davedonohue

    davedonohue New Member

    90
    0
    Oct 20, 2004
    Charlottesvi...
    My CableCards here in Cville can tune in DiscoveryHD, TNTHD, and the local HDs with no problem - but that's ALL they can do. The frustrating part is that I do pay for digital and premium channels. Your experience is just like ours - it sounds like your installer is well versed in this setup :)

    I am jealous that your setup is working for you!

     
  4. synch22

    synch22 New Member

    335
    0
    Dec 30, 2003
    let me add to my story

    just went in and swapped cards, 15 min drive or so. SO i come home and one of the cards off the bat is bad lol...161-2 error.

    Second card I went through the process and guy tells me in 15 mins I should be validated.

    I just checked and that card gets only a few channels. I am feeling pretty much done with this process...I dont know what to do. Do i just get a truck roll? Why does the cable card on my tv get all channels and is validated no problem.

    I may try a reset of the whole tivo....erase everything and try again. Is my TIVO the problem or is it comcast?

    $700 + $200 lifetime and the thing wont work for me the way it is supposed to.
     
  5. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,746
    14
    Feb 18, 2002
    You might have to wait a few hours for the info to filter through their conditional access system. The first one of mine took overnight, the second took a service call and an "initialization hit" from the CO to work.

    Remember with 1 cable card the Tivo reverts to single tuner mode.

    My guess is your problem is with the cards, not theTivo if one of the cards works.
     
  6. Apr 1, 2007 #2426 of 9367
    jeffsinsfo

    jeffsinsfo Member

    131
    0
    Oct 15, 2005
    San Francisco
    I'm guessing it's a Comcast problem.

    Does your TV have dual cable card slots or just one? Did Comcast actually have to pair the cable card to your TV or was it more "plug and play?"

    As I documented in this thread during my 3+ week ordeal with Comcast getting them to get the data at their head end set correctly, if Comcast gets all of the data correct AND correctly enters it into their computer, then the TiVo works properly. If they screw up things on their end (cards not authorized for the appropriate package, incorrect data values entered, etc), then the TiVo doesn't operate correctly. I'm glad I didn't follow Comcast's (and TiVo's) advice after my first unsuccessful installation appointment and go through the hassle of exchanging my TiVo box. All it took was someone who knew what they were doing at the head end and finally all of my channels worked properly on both tuners.


     
  7. Apr 2, 2007 #2427 of 9367
    Mike in NJ

    Mike in NJ New Member

    20
    0
    Sep 12, 2006
    NJ
    Called Comcast on Thursday to get them to fix the account - I was being billed for two "additional outlets" at $7.95 each. The CSR said she adjusted those charges off the bill and made corrections to properly account for the cablecards. She promised that the cards would continue to work properly. Wrong... Starting Friday, a bunch of digital channels have now become "black screens" (no sound or video).

    Called customer support several times, and got the same story each time. Their knowledgebase now says not to send a "hit" to re-initialize the cards under any circumstances because "sending a hit will fry the cards, guaranteed". They have to send a tech.

    The tech will arrive Thursday, supposedly with new cards. Super. :(
     
  8. Apr 2, 2007 #2428 of 9367
    sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

    1,269
    0
    Jan 6, 2007
    In my experience dealing with the additional outlet fee, their system is overloading the outlet fee as an on/off switch for the CableCARD device. If you take them off it disables the CableCARD. This may not be true for all coded devices so your experience may vary depending on how they coded your CableCARDs.
     
  9. Apr 2, 2007 #2429 of 9367
    Mike in NJ

    Mike in NJ New Member

    20
    0
    Sep 12, 2006
    NJ
    If you are correct and this is the case here, is there a known workaround to address the excessive charging, or do I just need to suck it up and pay $16 a month in order to use the Tivo?
     
  10. Apr 2, 2007 #2430 of 9367
    Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,746
    14
    Feb 18, 2002
    I gotta wonder if the conditional access system is so bad that the only way to fix a problem is to delete the cable cards and enter new ones.

    IIRC, replacing the cards seems to be the only way Comcast has of fixing problems?
     
  11. Apr 2, 2007 #2431 of 9367
    cgould

    cgould Member

    200
    0
    Dec 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    Supposedly the $1.50 "tivo 2nd card" charge was present to address this, enabling an actual charge item for the 2nd card (so the billing system can track and enable both), but that shouldn't require an addnl digital outlet charge.
    If their system can't bill it right still, you might have to eat the ADO charge, but (from other VA poster above?) you shouldn't have BOTH the $1.50 Tivo charge, and the ADO.
    Push them to check for the special corporate memo re the Tivo $1.50 charge/account setup for dual cards on single device.

    some of this may be regional pricing, but more likely it's simply ignorance/incorrect setup on comcast's end.
     
  12. Apr 2, 2007 #2432 of 9367
    lachacg

    lachacg Go Giants!

    307
    1
    Jan 11, 2003
    NJ
    Exact same thing happened to me, Comcast of Union NJ. They took off the extra outlet charge, and lo and behold, my second cablecard is missing channels. I have to wait until next Tuesday for a tech. Please post back how it goes, so I know what to tell my tech guy.

    I can't wait for FIOS to get to town.
     
  13. Apr 3, 2007 #2433 of 9367
    Mike in NJ

    Mike in NJ New Member

    20
    0
    Sep 12, 2006
    NJ
    Will do. (I'm dealing with Comcast of Union also).

    I've got FIOS Internet and phone already but am staying away from FIOS TV as I'm getting the impression that there are more issues to be had with that than with cable.
     
  14. Apr 3, 2007 #2434 of 9367
    AutumnT

    AutumnT New Member

    3
    0
    Nov 20, 2006
    FYI this is complete BS. I've had problems with my cablecards twice (usually after a power outage) when I lost the cable channels and both times I called Comcast and they entered a "Hit" and a "CCV Hit" and it fixed them. Nothing is fried and everything works. Don't tell them you have a TIVO, just ask them to do this.
     
  15. Apr 3, 2007 #2435 of 9367
    Mike in NJ

    Mike in NJ New Member

    20
    0
    Sep 12, 2006
    NJ
    I certainly won't argue that it's not BS, and I'm sure you've been successful in the past. Perhaps you will be successful in the future also.

    Nonetheless, I called them three separate times over 2 days. I never mentioned that I had a TiVo. Each time I just asked them to send a hit to the cards, and each time they refused. Each time they said the exact same thing. This is apparently a new procedure they have been asked to follow.
     
  16. Apr 3, 2007 #2436 of 9367
    ac3dd

    ac3dd New Member

    178
    0
    Mar 2, 2002
    Comcast changed around their digital channel numbers, but TiVo didn't pick them up the new numbers and ended up recording the wrong thing. It still didn't recognize the new channel numbers after I made it connect and download the guide data and also repeated the Guided Setup.

    Have any of you experienced something like this? Is this a CableCard issue or a TiVo problem? Do the CableCards need a "hit" to pick up the new channel mappings, or do I just wait for another day or two until TiVo eventually downloads them?
     
  17. Apr 4, 2007 #2437 of 9367
  18. Apr 4, 2007 #2438 of 9367
    ac3dd

    ac3dd New Member

    178
    0
    Mar 2, 2002
    Thanks, I followed the steps and got the channels to update after 3 tries.

    The problem is that the HD channel names are now longer and don't fit properly in the guide, so instead of the usual 4-letter names, the names are like HD - ABC or HD - CBS, which shows up as "HD - ..." in the guide. So I get a bunch of channels in the guide that all have the same indistinguishable "HD - ..." name.
     
  19. Apr 5, 2007 #2439 of 9367
    ejs2000

    ejs2000 New Member

    3
    0
    Apr 5, 2007
    Hi, all. I've had a TiVo (series 2) for a long time, and I just upgraded to an HDTV. I was planning to upgrade to the S3 ASAP, but now, reading this thread, I'm not so certain.

    Are you all with the serious problems a minority, or does everyone with CableCards have to deal with this hell? Based on what I'm reading here, this whole CableCard business seems not ready for prime time. But I would hate to lose my TiVo functions for HD.

    So, may I ask-- Are there a lot of you out there who have never had any CableCard problems? Or should I plan to take a week off work when I want to get them installed, and look forward to rebooting every day?

    In case this is relevant-- I live in San Francisco and have Comcast.

    Thanks!

    e
     
  20. Apr 5, 2007 #2440 of 9367
    ac3dd

    ac3dd New Member

    178
    0
    Mar 2, 2002
    I didn't have any trouble with my CableCards ... install took less than 15 minutes, and they've been working since. My only complaint is the "additional outlet" fee (I think it was $6.99) for the second card.

    A nice benefit of the TiVo S3 is that it can record over-the-air HD channels if you have an antenna, and cable cards are not needed for the analog non-premium channels. So you don't necessarily need CableCards to make good use of the S3. If Comcast gave me too much trouble with the CableCards, I was willing and ready to drop all the digital and premium channels, and then use the money I save to rent or buy more DVDs.
     

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