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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. May 5, 2007 #2601 of 9367
    audiowizard

    audiowizard New Member

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    Mar 25, 2005
    I was on the phone with Comcast for an hour, attempting to get my CableCARD's to work in the Series3 Tivo. Initially we kept getting a error code 161-1 and 161-4 over and over again. Then we just got 'CableCARD 1 is not in normal operation', and 'CableCARD 2 is not in normal operation'.

    We gave up and they are sending a technician, and STRONGLY recommending I get in contact with Tivo over this matter because Tivo's software isn't allowing them to see what's going on.

    I just rebooted Tivo and it's back to the error code messages.....

    ...sigh, this hasn't been fun.
     
  2. May 6, 2007 #2602 of 9367
    audiowizard

    audiowizard New Member

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    Mar 25, 2005
    Got a comcast technician here, he's stumped and doesn't seem to have any info on how to deal with this at the office either.

    After inserting a cableCARD with the CableCARD Error 161-4 or 161-1 pops up repeatedly, or the CableCARD Menu says 'CableCARD not in normal operation'.

    No one at comcast seems to know what the problem is...

    on another note: How about a sub category for comcast pricing, etc, and one for actual CableCARD install errors. Navigating through this thread is nearly impossible, as it's huge.
     
  3. May 6, 2007 #2603 of 9367
    audiowizard

    audiowizard New Member

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    Mar 25, 2005
    Technician tried a different CableCARD and we were both surprised when the MMI screen finally popped up. He's taking the info at the moment.
     
  4. May 6, 2007 #2604 of 9367
    audiowizard

    audiowizard New Member

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    Mar 25, 2005
    Out of 4 CableCARDs the technician was able to get one cableCARD to work in Slot 1.

    No luck on Slot 2. He's considering having another technician come out later this week. He located another comcast technician with 2 CableCARDS in the area, and is meeting up with him to try those cards.
     
  5. May 7, 2007 #2605 of 9367
    audiowizard

    audiowizard New Member

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    Mar 25, 2005
    Out of 6 CableCARDS 2 of them worked. I now have two functioning CableCARDS in the Series3 Tivo, receiving HD Cable. The technician has no idea why this happened, apparently the others aren't broken. They are Motorola CableCARDS.

    My recommendation, is make sure your installer brings at least 10 CableCARDS.

    For clarification my problem was that upon inserting the CableCARDS, the MMI screen would NOT appear, therefor Comcast could NOT get the Host ID. Instead the CableCARD error message would repeatedly appear, clicking OK would result in the error message reappearing after about 6 seconds. For whatever reason, only 2 Motorola cableCARDS out of 6 would initiate the MMI screen.

    While the process of upgrading to the Series 3, and getting it to receive HD Cable was like finding something in a dark cave while blindfolded, now that it works... WOW!!. Simultaneously recording two shows is very nice, and HD is incredible.
     
  6. May 7, 2007 #2606 of 9367
    Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Member

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    Feb 12, 2002
    Wood Dale, IL
    For CableCards not working, I might suggest this, which I was guilty of during my install.

    Once inserted, I had expected a card's info to come up right away on the menus. I can think of at least 4 cards we deemed 'damaged' when this did not happen during my install. After the installer left, I called Comcast and a knowledgeable CSR helped me. While I was putting them in and taking them out I noticed that sometimes it takes a little bit of time to populate the info. I'm guessing a lot of those 'broken' cards were fine.
     
  7. May 7, 2007 #2607 of 9367
    audiowizard

    audiowizard New Member

    52
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    Mar 25, 2005
    Yeah but not in my case Corran Horn.

    4 out of 6 Cable cards would NOT initiate the MMI screen, even given 20min to load/populate the info.

    2 out of 6 did initiate the MMI screen, and only took approx. 2-5min to load.

    But thanks, it is important to note that the MMI screen doesn't popup immediately. It can require bypassing ONE error message, and waiting up to 5-10 minutes.

    It was Comcast's positions (technician, phone rep, and retail employee) that the other 4 cableCARD's were not broken.
     
  8. May 7, 2007 #2608 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    How do you know that the other four cards weren't broken?
     
  9. May 7, 2007 #2609 of 9367
    ZildjianKX

    ZildjianKX New Member

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    Jun 11, 2004
    Just got my cable cards installed the other day. First card worked great, took two cards to get the 2nd one working.

    Very weird thing though, one of the two cards gets full digital cable and it's not suppose to...
     
  10. May 7, 2007 #2610 of 9367
    santanaf

    santanaf New Member

    3
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    May 7, 2007
    Got my 2 cableCards on Sat... Long story...

    Alexandria, VA

    Thursday 4/26, called Comcast was told to come into Cust Serv. to pick up the 2 CableCards.

    Took afternoon off of work on 5/2 to pick them up, drove over in heavy traffic to learn that I actually had to make an install appt. I told the lady on the phone previously. Angrily I called cust serv from teh cust service store and was given some service credit and made an appt for 9-11am on 5/5.

    On 5/5 at 11:15am I called to see where the installer was. To my surprise someone had changed by appt to 11-1 window, didn't bother telling me. So I sat around.

    On 5/5 at 1:15pm I called to see where the installer was. Was told he would be calling me in 10-15 minutes to let me know a status.

    On 5/5 at 2:00pm I called to see why no installer had called, was told that head of dispatch would be calling me in 5-10 minutes... "Sorry for the delay"

    On 5/5 at 2:20pm, the installer called and apologized for being late, then asked my wife what a "CableCard" is and what it does.

    On 5/5 at 2:30pm, the installer arrived and didn't know what to do. I ended up doing the entire install myself, including telling him what numbers to give the dispatch to enable the card. At one point he even said "Woah, it works, what'd you do?"

    Then I realized that CableCard2 is fully functional with all digital channels and HBO and CableCard1 doesn't get Premium content channels. So Sopranos recorded last night as a grey screen #$%#$#@!!!!

    So I call Cust Serv. today, they told me to unplug and then plug in the CableCard1 again, then wait an hour. I hope it fixes it, but I am not holding my breath. She offered to have a tech come out, that didn't sound too great.
     
  11. May 7, 2007 #2611 of 9367
    ccoulson

    ccoulson Member

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    May 24, 2003
    Sounds like we could really use a good checklist of things to go over as we "supervise" Comcast during their CableCard installs. Has anybody put anything together? My HD SET and Series 3 arrive Wednesday, Comcast comes on Thursday.
     
  12. May 7, 2007 #2612 of 9367
    Gregor

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    47,181
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    Feb 18, 2002
    As long as you have them follow the instructions on the sheet with the S3, you should be fine. The gist of the instructions is to get one card working and then proceed with card #2. Jamming both cards in the Tivo at the same time will not work, and it seems most techs want to do that, in the experience I've had.
     
  13. May 7, 2007 #2613 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    That works as well. Mine did. However, installing one card at a time is probably easier to debug and less prone to human errors.
     
  14. May 7, 2007 #2614 of 9367
    jeffsinsfo

    jeffsinsfo Member

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    Oct 15, 2005
    San Francisco
    I think the main problem is the staff at the head end, not the person who shows up at your home (assuming they actually show up when they are supposed to and have working cable cards). Unfortunately there's no real way to "supervise" the employees in Comcasts' offices to make sure they are doing their data entry completely and accurately.

    As I posted (many pages up at this point, I assume), Comcast either has poorly trained staff attempting to enter cable card information or their system is buggy and needlessly complicated. It's amazing that they can't manage to reliably insert a cable card (or two or however many are needed) into devices at a customer's home and then enter the appropriate authorizations necessary to make everything work. It took four appointments to get both of my cards to work. I only recently discovered (thanks to the "heads up to Bay Area Comcast customers" thread as well as a message from TiVo) that I should re-check to see that my Host Validation information is correct for both cable cards; lo and behold, one of my cards is not properly authorized. I haven't had the courage to call Comcast yet to fix the problem because I don't subscribe to any premium channels and, so far, all of my channels are working. But my experience with Comcast surrounding the installation of the cable cards has me convinced that Comcast, while charging premium prices for supposedly premium services, isn't interested in providing consistently good customer service. Who knows how many calls I'll need to make to get both cable cards paired properly again (and what Comcast will manage to temporarily "break" in the meantime)? Last time they turned off my internet service because they couldn't get the cable cards working. :rolleyes:
     
  15. May 7, 2007 #2615 of 9367
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Dec 3, 2000
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    What would help immensely is for TiVo to provide installation instructions that include the common front-end instructions for the head-end configuration system. That, more than anything else, is where the problems seem to happen most.

    There's realyl no good reason the entire process shouldn't be very simple. There's two numbers needed in the system, plus a third number for certain Motorola cards. But somehow cable companies have made this extraordinarily complex for their own people to handle. And mostly where it goes wrong seems to be at the point the CableCards are entered into their authorization system initially. Once that's done wrong, you're screwed no matter what you try. But for most of us, it's just a "black box" as to exactly what can possibly have been done wrong.
     
  16. May 7, 2007 #2616 of 9367
    Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

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    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    While I'm all for tivo helping out the cable companies as much as they can to make the S3 sucessfull, at some point, the cable companies need to take responsibility for their own equipment/procedures.

    Tivo probably doesn't have the expertise to even do this. Who knows what equipment tivo uses internally, and I would guess it doesn't include any of the systems that an actual cable customer support rep would use.
     
  17. May 7, 2007 #2617 of 9367
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Considering it's pretty likely there's jsut a couple such authorization systems, and those should be well documented version-by-version, and TiVo obviously has been working with Scientific Atlanta and probably Motorola, there's likely something helpful they could be doing to help train the cable techs, even if it had to be done via the consumer reading off a cheat sheet included with every Series 3.

    When my Comcast tech came out to do the install, he actually had the sheet from TiVo himself; so info they send out does make it to the right people. They just need to send out more info. :)
     
  18. May 7, 2007 #2618 of 9367
    bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance TCF Club

    25,993
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    Dec 1, 2000
    Silicon Valley
    The Comcast guys left their instruction sheet at my house the other day. It's from the "Comcast University" or some such thing. It was pretty thorough and correct. It had not only all the Tivo information but info for cable card TV sets. So the installers had the info but not so sure about the people they were giving the numbers to on the other end of the phone. All my problems came from the other side getting the numbers wrong. Those people could certainly use some help with LISTENING. She managed to screw up the numbers on ONE card while I sat there and listened to her on the speaker phone. Clearly there is no accountability for the people at the other end of the phone. The installers on the other hand disconnected the WRONG card so they need a lesson in learning how to READ. I'm not so sure this is a problem of not enough information being out there and more a problem of hiring people who just don't seem to give a rats butt if they make a mistake.
     
  19. May 7, 2007 #2619 of 9367
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    The 3 times I'd had installers over about 10% of the conversations between the tech and whoever was manning the phones was business; the rest typically was personal, flirting, talking about sports, or just otherwise chit-chatting about things.

    The process could be improved about 30-fold and cut down to 1/10th the time by automating it; either via wireless PDA or touch-tone/voice response phone.
     
  20. May 7, 2007 #2620 of 9367
    TBoyd

    TBoyd Less Cable, More Net

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    Apr 9, 2000
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