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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. dlstrick

    dlstrick New Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    Please post on how yours goes. They are coming for my install next Friday.
  2. jrog

    jrog New Member

    Sep 5, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Comcast came and went in about 30 minutes. They took the old cable cards I had for my two Sony DHG-HDD500s and just put them in the new tivo, called Comcast, gave them the info, and now I'm up and running.

    The guy had never even seen this box, most haven't, I'm sure, but it was easy enough. Now I'm enjoying my Tivo in all it's glory. Thank you Tivo, I ... I love you man.

    Of course, working better than the Sony DVR wouldn't be hard, but it's nice finally having a replacement.

  3. singletb

    singletb New Member

    May 12, 2004
    Chicago, IL

    Well, things ended up going pretty well last night. No, the cards weren't ready to go as soon as I popped them in. I called Comcast customer service, who in-turn put me in contact with their CableCard expert. He was awesome, and seemed to actually know what he was doing. Anyway, it took a few re-boots, but things eventually worked. The guy even gave me their office number, and told me to call if I ever had a problem and leave a message. It is in the Chicagoland area, so if anyone wants the number, just e-mail me at brian.w.singleton@gmail.com.
  4. amjustice

    amjustice FINALY HD w/Series3

    Mar 9, 2006
    Montgomery, IL
    Thats awesome, good to hear they have a few people that know what they are talking about. My install apt is today, so we will see how well things go. I saw some Comcast guys walking into my Apartment yesterday and tried to get them to come give me some cable cards, but they wouldnt, I guess i have to wait until between 1-5 today, can't wait to get things going though.
  5. singletb

    singletb New Member

    May 12, 2004
    Chicago, IL

    Yeah, I picked up my cards at the North Avenue office yesterday afternoon. They told me they would work from the get-go, but I was skeptical. Everyone I talked to on the phone last night was phenomenal though. I guess that is sort-of luck of the draw though.
  6. Bud Green

    Bud Green New Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    I tried unsuccessfully for a week to schedule the installation of 2 cablecards. I talked to numerous sales reps, two supervisors, and even had a Tivo rep on the phone for one of the calls, but all I ever got was misinformation and unfulfilled promises to call me back. I called the corporate number above and the problem was resolved within a couple of hours. I now have an appointment for Monday morning. Thank you geekmedic! :)
  7. geekmedic

    geekmedic TiVo Fanatic

    Apr 4, 2003
    Atlanta, GA USA
    I wonder how many calls the corporate office will receive since I posted the number?

    Nothing like friends in low places! :)
  8. wackymann

    wackymann New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Boston Area
    So I ordered my S3 2 days ago, and called Comcast yesterday to set up the cable card install. I have an appointment for October 2nd. Here are the fees they quoted me:

    Install, card #1: $15.65
    Install, card #2: $14.40
    Monthly fees: $2.75 each

    I told the CSR that I needed 2 cards for the new Tivo, and she just said OK and quoted me the prices above. She also warned me about the lack of program guides and On-Demand content.

    Note that I plan on keeping my Comcast DVR (3412) for now. I figure it can't hurt to have 4 tuners while I'm testing out the new setup! And it's always nice to have a backup for my favorite shows.

    I'll report back on 10/2 with how things went.
  9. doctord

    doctord New Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    I previously posted my failed attempts to get a second working Cable Card (I already had a working one "State = Subscribed" that I transferred from my TV). Here is a recap:

    1. Cable guy installs card #2, screens come up on TiVo as expected, he calls home but can't get it to work, doesn't have time to troubleshoot it and tells my wife that his supervisor will have to deal with it. (Only brought one card)

    2. Second visit by different guy (same day) with a second cable card. Spends his time asking my wife why we want the TiVo when their box does the same thing. Says they aren't supposed to install cards in anything but TV, but installs second card anyway, calls for authorization, says it went through. Unfortunately, my wife can't remember how to get back to the Cable Card screens to check it so he leaves. (Note major clue that it didn't work is no Error 161-4.)

    3. When I get home, the TiVo wants to rerun guided setup. When finished, I now have a dual tuner unit, but second cable card does not decrypt channels. Analog, OTA, and in-the-clear digital work, so I'm getting closer.Card State = CA Disabled

    4. Call #1 to Comcast: CSR has to be convinced to even send another hit to the card. He doesn't want to deal with it, he wants to make a appointment for another visit. Card State = CA Disabled

    5. Call #2: CSR is interested in helping, but after trying a couple of things on his end result in no change, he suggests I make an appointment for next week. Card State = CA Disabled

    6. Call #3: Helpful CSR that wants to get it working. He says they are not busy. Calls in his supervisor and although they successfully pair the card to the unit, it still doesn't decrypt correctly. I spend over 45 minutes on the phone with them until they run out of ideas. Card settings have changed. Card State = Unknown

    7. The next morning nothing has changed on the card (State = Unknown). I think that maybe I would have better luck getting the card working in the TV. I transfer Card #2 to my TV and check the conditional access screen. State = CA Disabled
    Since I know they had paired this card to the TiVo, I change my mind and put it back in slot #2 of the TiVo and call one last time and figure I'll schedule an appointment if it doesn't work. By putting the card in the TV, I believe it was totally reset. State is back to CA Disabled and pairing is gone (Host validation is back to "Unknown" and Copy Protection Key is back to "Disabled".

    8. Call #4: Young sounding female CSR. I tell her no one has been able to successfully authorize the card and ask if there is a local card expect in the house. She asks for the last 4 digits of the card serial number (note this is off of the card, not the TiVo screen. I assume this is so she knows which one to work on.)
    She tells me that she has a phone number written down somewhere for cable card troubleshooting and she will try and find it for me. Instead she finds a step by step trouble shooting guide for cable cards and starts reading.
    Her: take card out of TV
    Me: ok (I'm thinking yeah right, it's not in my TV)
    Her: are you still getting analog stations
    Me: yeah (I know those work)
    Her: put card back in TV
    Me: ok (It's already in my TiVo)
    Her: talking to herself "send re-hit to card"
    Her: Is it working?
    Me: Hold on here, I now have error 161-4 (I know this is a good thing). Let me try the test channels. Test channels show "No Channels Available". Error comes on screen "No signal on Cable In". I'm starting to wonder if we went forward or backward. Then, amazingly IT"S WORKING! Card state = Authorized.
    Me: It works. You're a genius.
    Her: This is the first cable card I've done.


    I'm not sure if the reset of the card by installing it in my TV helped or not, but I thought I would give you a play by play in hopes that it helps someone else.

    At this point, neither of my cards are paired to the TiVo. They have called me a couple of times over the past week telling me that I need to call them to get that done before they do a software update next month. I just wanted to wait until I had the TiVo working before I went there.

    Bottomline, if it doesn't work the first time you call, I would tell the CSR to pull out the manual and follow the troubleshooting proceedure that they have.

    BTW: They just added TNT-HD to the lineup last night in the Chico area. It appears that it is going to rplace iNHD2 though.
  10. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    I'm pretty sure INHD2 shut down around the end of August.
  11. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    Feb 18, 2002
  12. robus

    robus New Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    Mt Pleasant, SC
    Hey doctord - congrats. I'm also having trouble with my second card - I'm reposting my situation from the CableCard issues thread as this one seems more active:

    Well I just had a return visit from a Comcast installer to try and get the second CableCard working and the conclusion is, after another failed effort, their system does not support two cablecards on a single outlet.

    The CableCard says it's authorized (I've never seen the 161-4 error message people mention) - but when I try to access any of the channels beyond basic cable and the local HD I get a blank screen. I even get a blank screen on channel 17 (basic cable feed of HBO) - which makes me think it's account configuration crap not CableCard issues.

    I thnk it's utter ******** and said as much - because the installers and their buddies (that they invariably call to say "Hey - have you ever heard of a TiVo that takes cable cards???" to which the answer is always "No...") seem to barely grasp how CableCard technology works.

    Anyway - single tuner S3 for me for the moment - until I get to talk to someone with half a frickin' clue! I've put a call in to talk to a cablecard expert but I doubt I'll get any joy.

  13. Bodshal

    Bodshal Penguin-tastic!

    Jan 4, 2005
    This couldn't be something mundanely stupid like they're using the same hostid for both cards? (they're different).

  14. ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    My install did use the same host ID for both cards. After all, it is the same host. The installation went well with no problems (other than two of the four cards he tried having problems with the pairing, but he already expected that and brought extras).

    EDIT: I was wrong, different Host_ID for each card.
  15. geekmedic

    geekmedic TiVo Fanatic

    Apr 4, 2003
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Actually, I have two different host ID's on my TiVo. Your TiVo should have two host ID's. It's like your computer has a different MAC address for your ethernet port and your wireless access card.
  16. geekmedic

    geekmedic TiVo Fanatic

    Apr 4, 2003
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Is anyone else having issues where occasionally (maybe 1 out of 20-30 channel changes), the system shows video/sound for 2-5 seconds, then sound goes out for 1/2 second, and then the screen goes blank?

    If you change channels again, it corrects it. I'm assuming the TiVo is getting corrupted data on channel change that it can't handle.
  17. Bodshal

    Bodshal Penguin-tastic!

    Jan 4, 2005
    They need to be different. It uses it and the cards own address to target, across the wire, the messages that unlock the card.

    Otherwise they go to the wrong place.

    Each CC slot has it's own CC host, in essence. It's an important point - it was the first question the installer who came here asked: "Will it give me two host ids?"

  18. Brainiac 5

    Brainiac 5 New Member

    Aug 24, 2003
    Yeah, it doesn't seem to make much sense. Do they wire things differently for digital cable? I only have analog, and to make a new "outlet," all they do is put in a splitter. How would CableCards on the two cables coming out of the splitter even know they were on different "outlets?"
  19. BellevuePaul

    BellevuePaul New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Hey everyone, long time reader first time poster.

    Thanks for everyone's great information here, it was truly a huge help. I'm in the Seattle suburbs and got a tracking mail that said my S3 was on the UPS truck yesterday, so I started figuring out how to install it with everyone's help here. I was able to run up to the Northgate Comcast store from work (P.S. -- 94th St. 1/2 block east of Aurora...in Google Maps it's called TCI Cable not Comcast). Waited patiently in line and said, "I need to get two CableCARDs for a TiVo Series 3." The gal barely blinked, and clicked a couple things, checked my ID, gave me the cards, and said "no charges." So, that was easy. Almost TOO easy... :)

    Plugged in one card this morning, called up 800-COMCAST, went through the "I have a problem" menu and got a CSR. I chose to play it straight and risk that they would know what they're doing (hmm...dicey) and simply said, "Hi, I need to pair and activate a CableCARD for a TiVo Series 3." I said one because I chose to take the safe route with one card at a time. She said OK, went on hold for a couple minutes, came back, went away, came back, and asked for the serial number. TiVo's getting started guide is right -- write down the serial number on the card before you plug it in, because it's not the same as the number that gets displayed. Probably it's buried in there somewhere. The smart lady knew I had two cards, but I explained that I wanted to do one at a time because that's what the Community sez. She simply asked for the last digits of the card that wasn't installed, and then sent a hit to the other one (quick thinking there).

    After a minute of patience and seeing that everything said "Unknown" more or less, I got a spontaneous 161-4. I happened to mention that I got an error message that I was expecting and she said "oh yeah, 164-4 or something?" Cool, this isn't her first box...

    So I went to Live TV, and sure enough it came up. So she was about to say goodbye when I realized I could just keep this Golden CSR on the phone and plug in the second card. So we did that and it seemed that it got the 161-4 about 1 second after she hit the enter key. Literally we both said "geez, that was fast." So that 4 hours quote is obviously total nonsense, though my first card did take about 30 seconds.

    The only part of this that I found confusing is that there's three screens in the CableCARD area that each appear to contain information that might be useful, but unless I go read all 11 pages of this thread, I as an innocent user have very little way of knowing which screen contains the status that I should tell the CSR is what the device says (she just wanted to know so she could know for future boxes) and which screens contain stuff I should ignore. I guess the screens are designed for installer techs, but I somehow doubt that most of those know anything more than I do based on the stories here.

    So, now that it has re-done guided setup and I waited 20 painful minutes for organizing the program guide, I have digital cable on a DVR that doesn't completely blow! Best $800 bucks I've spent recently, and I haven't even watched anything yet...

    Boy, that piano black gloss case looks sweet, too.

    Thanks everyone
  20. Bodshal

    Bodshal Penguin-tastic!

    Jan 4, 2005
    Good to hear it turned out well!

    Those screens are just dumping data straight out of the card - ie, motorola/comcast "designed" them, so they should know what to expect there.

    It was my installers 1st S3 and he knew what to expect on those screens.


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