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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Jun 8, 2007 #2761 of 9367

    osterber Active Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Watertown, MA
    Just for the record in this thread... had a successful Comcast install in Watertown MA (just outside Boston). It took 4 cablecards to get 2 working, but everything was working after a single, 2-hour, appointment.


  2. Jun 9, 2007 #2762 of 9367

    McCarron New Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Well I'm awaiting my CC installation, appointment from 10-12pm. No tech here yet. Comcast even sent me an automated call saying the appointment was from 10-12pm at 11:50am. Then once I confirmed it, said he wouldn't be here until 1pm. Love how they stick to their own schedules.

    I called back to talk to a human, and after navigating some menus got someone. She credited me $20. Which is almost the cost of the installation of two cable cards that they quoted me earlier. Also said there would be no monthly fee, so lets see if they stick to that.

    This is going to be a fun day.

    It took 2 and a half hours and 4 dead cards before we got it up and running.
  3. neoman

    neoman New Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Just figured I'd add a story of relative success to counter balance the doom and gloom. Called Comcast on Saturday, requested two cable cards for a TiVo. The (very nice and helpful) Comcast lady went off to ask a couple of questions and came back to set me up for Monday (today.) Claimed $29 for the install, and $1.50/mo for the second card. (we'll see)

    Tech showed up today right on time, commented that he had the last two cable cards in the building, and proceeded to go to work. After about 20 minutes of phone calls and diagnostic screens everything started working. Everything is still working, I'm happy to say.

    So, there it is, a successful install. I'm in an old Adelphia area with SA equipment.
  4. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    Full Disclosure: Second-chance install took place at noon. It took about 40 minutes. The tech had never done a CableCard install before. I installed the cards; he called in the numbers. 161-4 each time. No problems seen yet. Everything appears to be working right now. I have 8.0.1b; we'll see what happens when I get 8.3.
  5. bornad

    bornad New Member

    May 22, 2007
    So Comcast (Southern NH) came yesterday to install the cable cards - 2 hours later they left after failing to enable the cards properly.

    Both (SA) cards were recognized by my S3 and both reported their settings via the cc screens. However, both cards got stuck at 'Not Ready, waiting for MMI's', although on line 1 they said something like 'CP Auth Received/OK'.

    It seemed like the Comcast back office tech enabled them OK, but is that all he needed to do? They tech who came seemed to think the back office guy didn't know what he was doing.

    Tomorrow they're coming back with 2 new cards, and I'd like to be a little more informed, so any suggestions are welcome. Does the above make sense? Generally what steps do they have to perform back at base to get it working.

    FYI - The tech totally blamed the CC process, and said it was nothing to do with the Tivo box, which I agree, but was nice to hear him say so.

  6. maynerd

    maynerd New Member

    May 7, 2004
    So what is the exact process that people have had success with? I'd like to make sure I have this information for the installer on Saturday.
  7. mnc042

    mnc042 MarcBot

    Dec 13, 2000
    Windham, NH USA
    Just got my new S3 activated on Comcast in Southern NH.

    Technician who showed up had already done several TiVo activations, and was familiar with the procedure. Came with three cards, in case.

    First card reported error message when inserted; TiVo wouldn't recognize it as a valid card (it also had a "REMANUFACTURED" sticker on it, so we were both suspicious of it), so we skipped that and went right to one of the other ones.

    Inserted, TiVo brought up the programming screen, and he called Comcast. After roughly a 25-minute wait on hold, got an *extremely* knowledgeable rep who knew exactly how to do the activation. Took the card ID and host ID, triple-checked it with the technician before entering into the system.

    The rep also took the time to scan the Comcast registration database to ensure the cards were not already paired with another device. He said this is a common cause of problems, and it was important to ensure the cards were clear, even though this took some extra time.

    The extra time was well worth it, the first card activated with the first hit, became fully functional when he sent out a second hit ("to speed things up a bit", he said). All channels came up immediately.

    Second card, same procedure, didn't even need two hits -- activated right after the first. Flawless install completed.

    The two key pieces of info I gleaned:

    - The cable company rep should make sure the cards are not already paired with other devices. The system should not allow this to happen, but it does, and it can cause issues when activating. I was lucky to get a rep who knew his way around the CableCARD system and was extremely careful.

    - It helps to have a patient technician who has already done a few S3 installs and knows his way around the menus. I know you can't choose this, but it was the difference between frustrating and rather pleasant. Although the install took about 45 minutes total, everyone was in a very good mood and we had no technical problems to spoil it. :)

    Anyway.. Kudos to Comcast in NH. My S3 is happy, and so am I.

    Hope this helps!

  8. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Yes. Getting a knowledgeable tech and a knowledgeable person at the Headend is key to getting the cables cards to work.
  9. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    That is actually quite an improvement since they used to not be able to comprehend the notion of two cards in one device. They were responding to your specific request for cards for the S3 which do indeed "come in pairs." If you had said it was for a TV they probably wouldn't have said that.
  10. secondclaw

    secondclaw Member

    Oct 3, 2004
    Well - I got my S3 a week ago, and had a Comcast (Hallandale, Florida, 33009) cablecard order for today (about a week schedule wait). The installer called before he came in and asked how many cards I need - so at least he did not come in with just one card. He got here on time, but apparently he was new and never installed CC's before. So together we read Tivo's CC setup guide and inserted first card. He then called the office to activate the card - and was put on hold - and could not get through for over 40 minutes (he kept trying different numbers, even main 1-800 number). Once he finally got someone from 1-800 number on the phone (Internet department - go figure) first card became active, then the second card. So instead of nearly an hour install this could have been over in minutes had the installer been able to get hold of some one when he got here.

    As far as fees, I asked when I was ordering - and was told there there are no fees for either card - I guess we'll see. The work order copy that I got also shows $0 for install and $0 for the cards. I returned the POS Motorolla DST, so I am very curious what my next month bill is going to be!

    Now for the weird - there are two channels - National Geographic HD and A&E HD - that when I tune to them I see the picture for about 2 seconds, then cablecard pairing screen pops up requiring me to clear it. After that the channels are all black (I am pretty sure I had them working with the Moto). I know I have to call Comcast - but its not encouraging - any idea what would cause this? It happens on both tuners.
  11. maynerd

    maynerd New Member

    May 7, 2004
    So can anyone confirm that this is the correct method to make sure the comcast install goes smoothly?

  12. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003

    In between step 3 and 4 you need to activate the first card, and see confirmation that the activation of the first card was successful, before continuing.
  13. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    Oct 17, 2003
    Actually the knowledgeable person at the headend is all that is required. I was glad to have a newbie tech during my install. I just insisted that he follow my directions, he did, and all went well.
  14. dconner

    dconner Member

    Mar 13, 2004
    True as far as it goes. The only actual skill required of the tech at your end is the ability to decipher letters and numbers and recite them over a telephone (sometimes contract techs do lack this skillset, though.)

    But the real tricky part is whether the tech is capable of making contact with the knowledgeable person at the headend. Comcast doesn't circulate the necessary knowledge widely, and a random contract tech likely won't know the secret back-channel method of contacting the one clueful guy at the headend.

    Or at least that's the way things worked during my ordeal. One would hope they might have widely disseminated the proper headend procedures to initialize CableCards by now, but I wouldn't count on that.
  15. AnonymousTroll

    AnonymousTroll New Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    Had my install done yesterday. I didn't have digital cable before so they had to run a new drop from the street. They also installed a regular digital box as well as the two cards for my S3.

    Entire job took about 1.5 hours. I had two very knowledgeable techs that knew exactly who to call at the office to get the cards working. From what I could gather, everything about the cards was set up wrong initially, but they called the right person and got them corrected very quickly.

    Thanks comcast guys, it's working perfectly.

    Also, the $0/month charge on the cable cards is wonderful. The total expense for me to upgrade from my analog plan to digital preferred was $5.50/month including 1 digital box and 2 cable cards.
  16. lgardner

    lgardner New Member

    May 28, 2007
    The comcast techs came today and left two cablecards for me to install in my new series 3. They claim they activated both. I will try this tonight.

    Any advice?

  17. That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

    Mar 13, 2003
    Benicia, CA
    What, exactly, needs to appear on the screen to be considered confirmation of a successful activation?

    -- Don
  18. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    That will work but having the tech call twice and get the correct person is not congruent with the "goes smoothly" requirement. This is better:

    1. Install the first card.
    2. Wait for the card info screen (don't let the tech play with remote).
    3. Insert second card.
    4. Wait for card info screen.
    5. Call dispatch, give them info from both cards.
    6. Dispatch activates both cards.
    7. Test channels.
    8. Start enjoying S3 sooner.

    Note that there is nothing wrong with following the official Tivo method. It is just not necessary.
  19. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    Agreed (there could be additional problems, too).

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