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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Aug 6, 2007 #3101 of 9367
    mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

    162
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    I'm having the same problem, and Comcast will be here shortly. How do a I tell them to validate the cards. I've spent numerous hours on the phone, and no one there seems to know what to do.

    My Conditional Access info is as follows:
    Card 1: Encryption: DES, Connected:yes, EnabledByCP:yes, Auth: Subscribed, , CA Enable: Possible, Host Validation: Unknown 00, Copy Protection Key: Disabled
    Card 2: State: Subscribed. (doesn't list the other info listed above for CC1). Host Validation: Unknown 00, Copy Protection Key: Disabled.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Aug 6, 2007 #3102 of 9367
    acheslow

    acheslow New Member

    14
    0
    Dec 14, 2000
    Bothell, WA
    Thanks, I just got off the phone with Comcast after reading your earlier post and requesting that they validate the card. Unfortunately, my conditional access readings are still the same.

    I just read in another thread about having Comcast re-send an INIT command (not just another HIT). Think that might help, or should I just swap out the card?

    Thanks,
     
  3. Aug 6, 2007 #3103 of 9367
    jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    4,469
    0
    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    You went backwards - card one went from validated to not validated.

    Sadly, The only way to fix it is to find someone on the other end of the phone that knows what "validated" means. Ask them to get you to someone who knows what a a DAC is - this will be someone at your local headend.

    The process is SUPPOSED to be automated now - it's possible they could take the card off your account and start over, but that's probably tempting fate.
     
  4. Aug 6, 2007 #3104 of 9367
    jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
    0
    Jan 20, 2004
    My install got pushed out a day. I insisted that they bring an M-card now that I know they are available in the greater Denver area. They said "sure, we'll make sure the foreman knows you want that"... guess we'll see how THAT goes. :)
     
  5. Aug 6, 2007 #3105 of 9367
    mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

    162
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    Another visit by Comcast, another session of outright negativity towards cable cards and Tivo. I won't detail the whole saga again.

    In the end, the tech told me that the dispatcher had to take all of the services off of my cards and basically start from scratch. Two hours later, he told me that all was authotized and validated. Unfortunately, he had stard the guided setup, and neither of us could figure out how to back out of it to confirm.

    He left, and I started guided setup. Before his visit, I was able to get all of my channels except Starz and HBO; after his visit, I am now able to get about 20 total channels (even many of the basic channels aren't coming in). The channels we are getting don't make much sense. There are some basic channels we do get and some we don't; some digital channels we now get and some we don't; we get all of the music channels; and still do not get HBO or Starz.

    When I first reboot the Tivo (I have done this three times), we get Nat'l Geographic HD. When I try to change channels up or down, it tells me any channel I go to is unavailable. If I then try to go back to National Geographic, I get the channel not available. I have tried rebooting numerous times.

    When I go into the conditional access screen for the 2 cable cards, the value changes.

    I have seen the following for card 1:
    Encrytpion: DES, Connected: Yes, Enabled: Yes, Auth: Subscribed (also have seen unkown), CA Enabled: Possible (when Auth is unkown, I see unkown here as well), Host Validation: Valid 00, Copy Protection Key: Enabled (when auth is unkown, I see disabled here), CCI: 0x03 (when auth is unkown, I see 0x00 here).
    Card 2: State: Subscribed, Host Validation: Valid 00, Copy Protection Key: (I am getting readis as both Enabled and Disabled here), CCI (If CPK is eabled, I see 0x03 here; if CPK is disabled, I see 00x0 here).

    I have spent about 45 minutes on the phone with Comcast tonight. That was a pleasure because I dealt with a CSR who assured me that Comcast does not support Tivos, so there is nothing they can do for me. We spent 15-20 minutes dickering back and forth that Comcast is required to provide support for THEIR cablecards. Finally, she promised to have a supervisor call me right back (that was over an hour ago). She did check to ensure that each cable card had the host associated with it and that my full package was listed for each.

    I realize that these problems aren't Tivo's, but I am very, very frustrated at this point. I have lost almost a full day of work because of Comcast's incompetence.

    First of all, I would like to file a complaint With whom do I file one? The FCC, the local franchising board, another group?

    Secondly, does anyone have any specific steps I can take to get this rectified? Would Tivo be able to help resolve some of this? I have to activate my Tivo service by Thursday. If this isn't resolved by then, the Tivo goes back. I realize that this is punishing the wrong party (tivo) and rewarding the wrong party (Comcast), but I don't have the patience nor the available free time to deal with much more of this.

    Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
     
  6. Aug 6, 2007 #3106 of 9367
    mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

    162
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    The specific error that I am seeing when I navigate to one of the many, many channels that is not available is Channel Not Available at the bottom of the screen with the Tivo picture next to it. Shortly thereafter, I'll get a message in the same location that says "Searching for signal on: Basic Cable In. "

    I'll reiterate for anyone who didn't read my previous posts -- after my first install on Saturday night, I was able to receive all channels except HBO and Starz without receiving the message. The second Comcast tech who came today didn't touch any of the cables or do anything that would have made the signal disappear.

    Also the really weird thing is that if I leave it on a channel that is listed as Channel Not Available" "Searching for signal" and then restart the Tivo, when the Tivo comes back on, that channel will be working. It will continue to work until I change it to another channel and then it will be gone again.
     
  7. Aug 6, 2007 #3107 of 9367
    AGBulls

    AGBulls New Member

    89
    0
    Jul 30, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    So my tivo is setup now Without my cable cards (I'm getting them tomorrow). What channels should I be able / not be able to have access to? I can get cbs, nbc, abc, fox, wgn, and a bunch of other crap -- but not espn, spike, or really many other channels. I'm assuming this is because all those other stations are digital, right?

    I just want to make sure that I'm getting everything I'm supposed to right now . It would be ****** to not have anything to watch before i get the cards.
     
  8. Aug 6, 2007 #3108 of 9367
    RavenFan

    RavenFan New Member

    65
    0
    Oct 3, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I can't wait for Verizon either. I work with someone who lives in Parkville who just got a flier for FiOS. Hopefully they move quickly. Even if I don't switch away from Comcast, I want to be able to make a legitimate threat that I will switch away from them.

    As for prices, I probably shouldn't even guess what they will charge me. I was told that it would be $1.95 per month for the CableCARD, but I won't believe it until I see it. The installer brought 2 M-cards to my house and left both of them there, although he did not get either one working due to incompetence from all Comcast parties involved.

    I also had to pay a $17.95 charge for the tech to come to my house.
     
  9. Aug 6, 2007 #3109 of 9367
    RavenFan

    RavenFan New Member

    65
    0
    Oct 3, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I'm guessing that I will have the same problems when I have my second tech visit on Tuesday 8/7 between 4 and 6PM.

    It would be nice if there was some kind of TiVo support # that we could call while the technician is installing the card, or some kind of 3-way call that we could make to Comcast with a TiVo rep on the line. I know that this would be an expense to TiVo, but it might make for a better experience for those of us who want to use their product despite Comcast's resistance.

    It would also be good for TiVo to somehow find a way to track people's experience getting CableCARDs installed. I would think that they would be able to apply more pressure than us individual customers who don't have the right connections to make any kind of difference.
     
  10. Aug 6, 2007 #3110 of 9367
    Dogen

    Dogen New Member

    32
    0
    Jun 13, 2004
    Austin, TX
    My experience with Comcast, which may admittedly be out of the norm since it was really TW Houston until a few weeks ago, went as follows:

    Turned in motorola cable box and picked up 1 m card at midtown Comcast store. No waiting, and the guy behind the counter knew what I was talking about when I asked for an m card. The instructions that came with it were poorly xeroxed, but that's alright since Tivo has its own. All I really needed was the number to call on it to activate, which was legible.

    I called to discover that the 'activation line' is actually a line where someone takes your information down and then puts it into a queue for someone else to eventually activate later, which might take 24 hours.

    Fortunately it didn't take 24 hours, and finally 'searching for channel guide' or whatever disappeared around 5:53 and things started working.

    Sadly I do seem prone to the occasional pixelation problem, but I think that's the Tivo's fault since it pops up on the menu. Not a dealbreaker by any means, though.
     
  11. Aug 6, 2007 #3111 of 9367
    mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

    162
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    One ast post for the night. I tried bestrating the Tivo again. Lo and Behold, it appeared that all of my channels were working. I was seeing Starz, HBO, Nat'l Geo, A&E, ESPN, and Discover in all of the HD glory. After watching for about 10 minutes, I figured all was well and went into the Recording list to see if I missed recording any programming because of the problem. I made some changes to my scheduled recordings and went back out to live TV. Gues what. If you said, none of your channels worked anymore, you would be correct. All of the channels that just worked five minutes before were now giving me the channel not available and Searching for signal on basic cable: In warnings.

    I now feel like I want to throw this Tivo HD through the window Again, I feel comfortable that the problem is on Comcast's end, but this is NOT an entertaining experience. If Comcast wants to disuade users from trying the competition, they are doing a bang up job of it. I'm giving them one more chance to ge it fixed, and then my wife has told me the Tivo needs to go.
     
  12. Aug 6, 2007 #3112 of 9367
    AGBulls

    AGBulls New Member

    89
    0
    Jul 30, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Mike, best of luck to you. What city are you in? I'm going to my comcast office tomorrow here in Chicago to pick up an M card. I'm crossing my fingers i dont run into your issues!
     
  13. Aug 7, 2007 #3113 of 9367
    DonRoeber

    DonRoeber New Member

    63
    0
    Nov 30, 2003
    Comcast came out for the fourth time on Friday, and this time the guy brought two MCARDS with him. I'm happy to report that they actually worked! There was a bit of a problem with channel mapping, but once they fixed that at the head end, all worked well. Even more surprising, everything continues to work.

    Now I get to see what they've done to my bill.
     
  14. Aug 7, 2007 #3114 of 9367
    mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

    162
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    AGBulls,
    The beautiful metropolis of Wheeling, WV (about 45 miutes from Pittsburgh).

    It just doesn't make any sense that it works when it first finished a reboot as long as I don't try to access the Tivo features.

    It was just about perfect with the exception of no HBO or Starz (something I can live with but my wife would raise a fit) before the latest Comcast tech visit.

    The thing that had me most annoyed last night and when I first posted was that even though pretty much the first thing out of every single Comcast installer, dispatcher, and CSR that I've talked to has been that they have very little if any cable card experience, most of them (with the exception of the CSR on Saturday night) made it a point to say very disparaging things about cable cards, Tivo (the installer yesterday did not say outright negative things about Tivo), and tried to convince me to keep their DVR and return the Tivo. When the guy yesterday started going off about cablecards and how I would be better with Comcast's equipment (while he didn't directly blast Tivo, he did take this tact), I informed him that cable cards were the cable companies' idea, not Tivo's. If they don't work properly, he has no one to blame but his company and the other members othat cartel.

    RavinFan, I think your idea is exacly what is needed. If Tivo would make available someone in a three way call with the cable company, I think this would be a much less frustrating experience. I think they need to do something, or with the installation problems and the pixelation issues, they are going to lose customers. I am in the minority when I can listen to what the installer, dispatcher, and a CSR are saying about cable cards and Tivo and have a decent idea of what's true and what isn't. Most folks (the mass appeal that Tivo is hoping for) don't regularly visit boards like this and would probably just take their installer's word for it, keep the Moto DVR, and return the Tivo.
     
  15. Aug 7, 2007 #3115 of 9367
    jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    My suggestion:

    First check the screen called Conditional Access Menu for both cards. It should read:

    Encryption: DES
    Connect: yes, EnabledByCP: yes
    Auth: SUBSCRIBED
    CA enable: possible
    Host Validation: VALID (with a number)
    Copy Protection Key: Enabled

    If it says that for both cards, the Validation hit by comcast was OK (card started and paired properly), meaning the second hit (authorization or initiation) is wrong. It is the second hit that determines which channels you are authorized to get.

    Then call comcast and navigate thru the menu maze, indicating that you want to upgrade your service. When you get to a live person, ask him/her to verify what you are subscribed to at this time. If it matches what you think it should, tell her your problem. This person should be qualified to make the second "hit" to activate the proper level of service.

    The key here is not to try and get a cablecard issue resolved when you first start, but to get to the right person who can change service levels.
     
  16. Aug 7, 2007 #3116 of 9367
    gardavis

    gardavis New Member

    140
    0
    Nov 24, 2001
    Deerfield...
    About a week back, I used the Comcast support chat to ask if M-Cards were available in my area and after a while, he came back saying yes.

    When I made the Comcast appointment, I just said that I wanted an M-Card. She did not know what it was but noted it down on my request anyhow. Tonight is the appointment. I got my HD Tivo last night and got thru the initial guided setup in preparation for the card install. It seems M-Card installs are less troublesome.

    Gary
     
  17. Aug 7, 2007 #3117 of 9367
    mike_camden

    mike_camden New Member

    162
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    jrm01,
    Thanks for the advice. I'll try that from home this evening.
     
  18. Aug 7, 2007 #3118 of 9367
    AGBulls

    AGBulls New Member

    89
    0
    Jul 30, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    well, i just got back from the north avenue Comcast office in Chicago. I turned in my box and received two single stream cable cards. I asked if they had any m cards available -- and he surprisingly seemed to know what i was talking about -- then checked and said they were out.

    i got home, followed the installer instructions and installed the first card. i then called comcast. The rep who was helping me had no idea what to do -- and she tried to send a "ping" to activate it. Nothing worked, and I installed the other card with the same problem. She was nice, but clearly didn't have any other ideas. Frustrated, (since I was told at the office to just call customer support when I got home) I asked to speak to her supervisor.

    Her supervisor, Stephanie, was extremely friendly and genuinely seemed like she wanted to help. She's in the Woodridge, IL office and explained that no one in the office is trained on these cards -- and only their field guys can activate them. Apparently, there are three numbers they need to activate the cards and the third number is something only the "guy in the truck" can decipher. She explained they didn't even have a way to input the info if I knew which number it was. Sounds like I'm pretty screwed, no?

    I explained to her this is what I was told and she said, "well, we're going to send a truck out to you TODAY to have a technician take care of it." I was extremely surprised and thanked her -- and also got her direct number. I think if I have more problems I'm just going to go right to her. Regardless, this technician is coming to apparently tell their home office something about something else that apparently I couldn't do.

    I'm crossing my fingers, and will report back soon.
     
  19. Aug 7, 2007 #3119 of 9367
    boyettdw

    boyettdw Frequent Browser

    26
    0
    Jan 23, 2005
    Alabama
    Mike,

    At least I am not alone. You are the first person I have found who seems to be having a similar problem to mine. I can access all my HD and Digital channels, but can't see any analog ones. If I reboot the TiVo, like you I can see all my channels for a little while and then they disappear into the gray screen again. Yet the analog channels work when the CableCard is not in the TiVo.

    All my calls to Comcast and TiVo have been fruitless. From what I can tell, my CableCards are properly paired and provisioned. I have just about run out of ideas. Let us know if you find a solution and I will do likewise.
     
  20. Aug 7, 2007 #3120 of 9367
    DonRoeber

    DonRoeber New Member

    63
    0
    Nov 30, 2003
    Have them check the channel mapping. There was something screwy with mine that kept me from getting Comedy Central, but able to get every other channel. They fixed it on their channel mapping box.
     

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