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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. sfhub

    sfhub New Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    If a particular CableCARD can get CCI=0x02 then it is paired correctly. The problem if you aren't getting all the correct channels then it is an authorization problem.
  2. andydbrown50

    andydbrown50 New Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    But got the Comcast CableCards's installed today.

    1. Guy showed up on time
    2. He knew what he was doing
    3. Once we actually hooked up the cable properly (a good 30 minutes spent trying to figure out why the activation wasn't coming through).
    4. Once hooked up took 10 minutes and everything was all setup - working perfectly.

    Whew.... Talked to the guy for a few minutes some interesting things came up. Installers hate CableCards and the future Comcast cable boxes may be coming with CableCards.

    So I'm pretty excited and relieved....
  3. tils0008

    tils0008 New Member

    Jun 22, 2007
    Ok, I've had my series 3 since last fall doing over the air only as I felt like the cable companies needed some time to figure out the cable card thing. We recently moved into a new house and decided it was time to add cable cards. I thought I'd share my experiences here.

    Called 888.comcast - rep insisted that the 2nd cable card would be $5.95 per month. I insisted that the 2nd cable card was supposed to cheaper, I even pointed him to Comcast's own FAQ about Tivo cable card prices but he wouldn't budge. I said no thanks and canceled the installation.

    Called the Minneapolis/St. Paul local Comcast number. Mentioned I'd like to use my S3 w/ cablecards instead of their digital box. She says, "TS3 - that will be an extra $1.50 for the 2nd cable card." Schedule install for Sunday. Installation time comes - and then goes. Call comcast to ask where they are -I'm told that because I requested cablecards, the installation must be done by one of Comcast's senior techs and therefor has to be done M-F, not on weekends. Reschedule for Monday morning.

    Comcast Senior tech shows up on time Monday morning with two Motorola cablecards. Both cards go in and seem to activate ok, but only getting "basic" cable channels on first card. He makes a call right to a Comcast engineer to help debug. Engineer looks into it, turns out the first card had been used in somebody's Sony TV last fall and it is still bound to that TV in Comcast's system. Engineer deletes old entry in their system, then sends card reset and reinit. Still no luck. Engineer notices that the first card Host ID is 007-xxx... and says this is a problem, since any host ID starting with 007- is for a Sony product. He says all Tivo Host IDs he's seen start with 016-. We try switching cards 1 and 2, the 007- host id follows the card, not the tivo slot. Engineer says its a bad card. Tech of course doesn't have any extra cards, said warehouse would only let him have two cards. Tech calls to bump his next installation to another person, then drives back to warehouse to pickup another Motorola card and returns to my house about 45 min later. This card works fine and now everything is a go.

    Personally, I'm very impressed he drove about 35 miles round trip to get me another card and didn't make me wait for another appointment to get it.
  4. jhstn58

    jhstn58 New Member

    Aug 18, 2001
    Reading all the horror installation stories around here, I was naturally a bit anxious about my install yesterday. In Nashville, we can walk up and pick up the cards, so I got three (just in case), and installed two of them last night. I made the call to Comcast and got an operator who SWORE she had activated cable cards for Tivos S3 before. She didn't ask me for any info other than the usual customer ID stuff, then said she was going to send a signal to "hit the box." She told me to check the picture, but I hadn't completed the guided installation process yet. She put me on hold to speak to another agent and by the time she came back on, not only was the guided installation finished, but I had all channels on both cards.

    I realize it's not true of everyone, but I have had nothing but good fortune with Comcast here in Nashville.
  5. bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance TCF Club

    Dec 1, 2000
    I hope this bodes well for the future. My system is actually working today! All my channels are coming in fine and no audio dropouts since two days ago. I am the eternal optimist and I HOPE this is a sign of better things to come from Comcast. God let's hope so... All I want to do is just relax and timeshift TV without constantly being aware of the fact that I've switched to Comcast...
  6. drcos

    drcos HD where available

    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    Comcast - SW FL (Sarasota) update...I am not sure if the information I was given was accurate, or a 'please stop calling' story, so I have removed it from this post.

    I'm curious as to who else here on the Sarasota head end has the S3...if they're on the board or not??
  7. BigDogues

    BigDogues New Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    Weare, NH
    Hi, I just got my S3 today :D but Comcast won't be here until next Wednesday :( to install the cable-cards. Can I go ahead and set it up and activate my Tivo service without causing any issues for when the installer finally comes? I know I won't get all my channels without the cards but some Tivo, even basic programming, is better than none, right?
  8. hanig

    hanig New Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    I'm in Nashville also and activated my cards yesterday as you described.It was the first time the comcast guy on the phone activated a TIVO.

    Card 1 activated instantly,card 2 only activated analogs 1-99,so I tried a back up card and it activated all channels.Took 15 minutes for the whole process, .Only info he needed was card ID #'s.Problem now is they want to charge 6.95 for each card,seems like too much to me.
  9. drcos

    drcos HD where available

    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    OK, my previous post is full of misinformation from Comcast, apparently :eek:

    Two techs came out this evening and did not know anything about this 'system' problem with the cards. After they were on the phone with the dispatcher, they found the problem with the 'digital plus' tier was that they had removed my SA box from the account, but not entirely. So they moved all the cards 'up' one outlet, re-hit them, and now I have all my channels back. (I believe someone else also had this problem of an 'empty outlet').

    What they also told me was that the phone service folks which we mere mortals can communicate with can only reset the cards based on the serial numbers, while the dispatch (which the techs call) reset the cards based on the MAC address, which is also printed on the card (and displays on the diag screen). I was unable to get the phone number for dispatch, but if this happens again, I believe I will get the number somehow.

    Here's what the SA CP screen looks like, now that everything is working:

    Auth Status:CP Auth Received
    Prog number: (varies)
    CCI byte: 0x02 (also varies, but seems to be 02 for all scrambled channels)
    ECM count: not zero
    EMM count: not zero
    Decryption status:OK
    PowerKey status:Ready
    EID: varies but should NOT be 0xfffffff
    MKS period: 1000 seconds (varies?)
    KSE count:1

    Note that the ECM and EMM count will increase the longer you are on a scrambled channel, but the CP screen is static and does not change (refresh). To see the numbers change, hit CLEAR (to exit) and then go back into the screen.
    EID - Entitlement identifier, apparently 0xffffff is an error or non-subscribed channel, or your card thinks you are not subscribed.

    We should probably post this info somewhere else for those 'what does this screen look like when it works' questions.
  10. tils0008

    tils0008 New Member

    Jun 22, 2007
    You can set it up now without cablecards, but I'm fairly certain you will have to repeat the guided setup once the cards are installed to get all of your channels working.
  11. jpc112

    jpc112 New Member

    Apr 22, 2005
    I used Motor_Head, Maynerd & Jlib installation bullet list found previously in the thread and had no real problems with installation.

    Thank you.

    The actual steps for me went something like this....

    01. Activate Tivo
    02. Run Guided Setup
    03. Later that same day Comcast Tech arrives with Motorola cablecards :) .
    04. He inserts CableCard 1.
    05. Wait for MMI Screen
    06. Write down info on MMI Screen
    07. Comcast Tech calls Comcast Home Office with MMI info.
    Wait for confirmation from CHO that cablecard has been activated.
    08. While waiting for activation I got an error 161-4. I think it simply timed-out.
    09. Went back to previous screen and waited for CHO to say it's activated.
    10. CHO tells tech he activated the card.
    11. Test all channels (including regular, HD, and Premium). SUCCESS CC!!!
    12. Repeat Steps 04 thru 11 (including step 08).
    13. Re-ran Guided Setup.

    Everything works great. I followed many of the suggestions found in this thread, i.e.....

    Have the tech bring out more than two cablecards. The first card didn't work.

    Ask for the CableCards to be Motorola brand cards. Mine were.

    "don't let the tech have the remote. he will just start hitting buttons". Yep my tech wanted the remote too. I handled all the Tivo functions for him.

    This was my techs first Tivo/CC installation. He thanked me for getting him through it.

    I hope this helps others.
  12. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    That's really not a choice; either a market uses Scientific Atlanta equipment or Motorola equipment (or some other brand equipment); cable systems aren't mix-n-match, at least within a single head-end.
  13. jpc112

    jpc112 New Member

    Apr 22, 2005
    Ah. I never thought of that.
  14. ooryl2

    ooryl2 New Member

    May 14, 2007
    I just got my first Comcast bill since getting my cable cards. They don't seem to be charging me a monthly fee for my second card. There is a one-time 1.50 fee for the card, but no monthly fee. Odd, but I'm not complaining :)
  15. That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

    Mar 13, 2003
    Benicia, CA
    That's what I did - it will act like a dual-tuner S2 until the CableCards are installed, after which you have to go through Guided Setup again (although this time it runs faster as it remembers the existing settings).

    -- Don
  16. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    It is nice that Nashville is progressive enough to allow self-installs. It is odd they did not collect any pairing information at time of activation. In N. California they used to that and then realized they really wanted to have that information for encryption purposes and had to get it all after the fact. Not pretty.

    In case anyone else is wondering you do not need to do the guided setup as part of the cable card install process. It is probably even a good way to really annoy a tech if one is there. You can check channels from the cable card install menu. Then do the tedious guided setup after everything checks out.
  17. bbock727

    bbock727 New Member

    Feb 28, 2004
    Longbranch NJ
    If you called we'd greatly appreciate it. The response I am getting from Comcast about the YESHD network is that its a problem w/ my TV and not their service. They believe that since they havnt gotten many calls about it, that its just isolated incidents.
  18. actionj

    actionj New Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    I am in Salt Lake City and just got an S3. The tech forgot to bring out the cablecards (of course) and so I stopped by the local office and picked them up. I got them setup and activated and all channels show up except I have the spanish language package as well mainly for ESPN Deportes and Gol TV. The Spanish language channels are in the guide and I get audio, but no video. Has anyone else run into this??
  19. sfhub

    sfhub New Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    I know the person you were responding to thought there was a choice regarding Motorola or SA, which there normally isn't, however...

    Someone posted earlier that their area had Motorola-labeled cards and Comcast-labeled cards. Presumably they are both from Motorola but the Comcast ones are newer and might have updated firmware or might be M-cards. I'm guessing the Comcast ones are in preparation for the July cutoff. The unsubstantiated claim, from the installer who spoke to the person who posted, was that the Comcast cards don't work in S3s and to make sure to request the Motorola cards.
  20. k2exoman

    k2exoman New Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    I finally purchased on S3 during the father's day promo via Amazon.

    It arrived promptly.

    Naturally, Comcast doesn't let you self install and couldn't schedule an appt. for several days.

    1st attempt was Saturday, June 23rd. Comcast dispatch told the contractor (TBU Comm.) that customer (me) needed 2 cable CORDS, not CARDS.... Contractor shows up with two 6ft coax cables, despite the fact that the work order says cable CARDS and series 3 hi def tivo. WTF! Contractor has no cable CARDS with them and cannot come back until tomorrow.

    2nd attempt was Sunday, June 24th. Contractor shows up with two cable cards. First one presents an MMI screen and he authorizes it over the phone... seems okay. 2nd card presents failure MMI message. "CableCARD 2 not functioning properly." Contractor only has two cards with him. We try it in slot one. No dice. He calls comcast and they authorize serial number with no host id... Still doesn't work. Contractor tells me to bring bad card to comcast tomorrow and leaves.

    I call comcast monday.. they say to hang on to bad card until tech can come. They cannot give me a new card in person. A tech must install it. Okay, when is your next available appt?

    3rd attempt will be Friday evening. Also have noticed 1st card not functioning properly. We are not recieving anything above local PBSHD station, which we pay for. Subsequent phone calls lead to new tech bring more cards on friday. Multiple hits did not resolve issue.

    Heres hoping for success on friday night.

    I am going to complain and see if I can get a month credit or something..

    Bonus rant: Tech was actually impressed by home system setup and asked if i had been a cable installer. I have an S3, an Amp, DVD, flat screen and some speakers... a retarded monkey could have figured out the color coded connections. An installer marveling at your home theater does not exactly instill confidence as he starts to play with you $600 device.

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