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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. bluemcduff

    bluemcduff Pushes Buttons

    Sep 8, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I got a wonderful CSR last night who not only appreciated the frustrations I've had with installers who have cut and run at the first sign of trouble she credited the bill for $169!

    Now that's service!

    I now have an appointment tomorrow from 11-2 with a third technician who (hopefully) has expertise with installing cablecards.

    I'm just hoping now that the rest of the Atlanta staff become as helpful and understand that cablecards don't just go into TV's
  2. Uncle_Steve

    Uncle_Steve New Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    What is this phone number?
  3. bluemcduff

    bluemcduff Pushes Buttons

    Sep 8, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I've had to call twice--it's 1-866-986-8486
  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    Jan 10, 2002

    it's pretty much impossible to tell at the moment- not many customers are really paying attention since very few people have anything that curently can transfer content. But when MRV gets turned on and some people have trouble transferring we'll find out exact numbers.

    For the time being I know that there's "enough" posts here and at avsforums to to show me (in my head at leat- LOL) that it's not just limited to my head end. There's clearly many (as in more than a few or several) head ends affected- but as you point out since there's probably hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of head ends in the US it's tough to say how many people are really effected.

    for example this post:
    says timer warner in NYC has it all locked down like that- and that's certainly a big pile of people....
  5. clemon79

    clemon79 New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Excellent, that's really good information to be armed with. I think I'm gonna try to get 'em swapped out on Wednesday....wish me luck!
  6. rad1701

    rad1701 New Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    Still waiting on Comcast cable guy to show up and install my cable card. Appointment time was between 2pm - 5pm today. It's 4:31 pm now. Anyone taking bets out there?
  7. robtech

    robtech Tivohead

    Sep 13, 2005
    Antioch, IL.
    If you are lucky he will bring a Motorola M-card. Been running a single in my Tivo HD for weeks with no issues. :)
  8. rad1701

    rad1701 New Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    Well they came about 15 minutes late. Installed one card. Have to see what type it is. Most seems ok but I'm getting a little audio buzz or clicking noise when I first change channels, but it goes away after a couple of seconds. Signal says it's at about 82 strength. Still doing some tests and going to reset the TIVO.
  9. rad1701

    rad1701 New Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    Crud....now I'm getting nothing on my HD TIVO! It seems I have a Motorola card, went through guided setup twice now. Called Comcast to resend a signal....restarting now. Dang - why is this such a pain?

    P.S. I called Comcast and they said the work order has to be closed out before all my channels will work properly. What a load of ......! They said that can take several hours. I can't even see the basic channels now on my HD Tivo with the cable card inside. Still getting the audio clicking sound for a few seconds after I switch channels on certain ones.
  10. bluemcduff

    bluemcduff Pushes Buttons

    Sep 8, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Finally, I got a wonderful tech who I've gotten before--he brought two good cards.

    We got a 161-4 error and Tivo CC Support had us switch the cards.

    Fifteen minutes later, the headend hit the cards and they worked.

    I am now running my Series3 at full functionality and loving it!

    Now if I could only get Apps.tv and Galleon to work...
  11. rad1701

    rad1701 New Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    Well, I have a good chunk of the channels now working, but quite a few still are not with the new M Card. Now it's like 4 hours since they came. I'll give it overnight - I guess. :(
  12. thedarksavant

    thedarksavant New Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    That is a load. I got really lucky and the Comcast guy had my HD TiVo up and running in about 35 minutes. When he first arrived and I told him what I needed, he was very skeptical. He said the CableCards are a real pain. He called in and the operator on the other end walked him through it. The most trouble he had was working the menus and the TiVo remote.

    All my channels were working before he left, and that is the experience I've become used to with Comcast.
  13. rad1701

    rad1701 New Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    Yep - I agree. I'm calling them again tonight and setting up a new service visit. My fault partly. I didn't check ALL the channels. That's what happens when they come while I'm cooking dinner too. It's too bad too. The guy said he had extra cable cards in the van.
  14. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Sorry to hear that the support person you had didn't realize that 161-4 is a "good" error.
  15. myyours

    myyours New Member

    Aug 28, 2007
    Just thought that I'd chime in with my experience.

    Last Friday was my first install appointment. The installer brought an M-Card and although I had heard that M-Cards were more of a punk than the S-Cards, I was optimistic that things would work out. That said, this was the installer's first cablecard install, and in retrospect, he only gave his guy on the phone the Host ID and Cable Card #. Not the Data ID. Of course, only about 12 stations came in (the networks and their HD channels), but the installer insisted that it would probably take a few minutes to kick in, so he left.

    I spent the next two days on the phone with various support reps and none of them could get the M Card to work.

    To make a long story short...I saw 5 installers, talked to over 15 different reps (I got to the point where I'd call and say "cable card," and if they said "Huh?," I'd say "Thank You", hang up and call back in hopes that the next person knew anything about Cablecards) and I saw 2 M-Cards (which seemed impossible) and 3 S-Cards. There was a time where I had one S-Card fully functioning with premium and digital stations, but when the installer showed up with my second card, he wound up screwing up everything and I went back to have the basic stations again.

    Finally, yesterday, my savior D'Andre showed up. This was his first cablecard install, but he had done some research and had found Celeste, the ultimate local support rep, who seemed to be the text book on all things cable related. When he talked to her over his Nextel, you could hear 2 or 3 other installers asking her questions too.

    She asked him for the Data, Host ID and Cable Card #s. And for the first time, she also asked for the serial numbers on the actual cards themselves. I'm sure this played no part in properly validating the cards, but I'd imagine that it helped her better organize the cards in their system. We went through the 161-4 errors and all of that and finally, everything worked perfectly.

    So, keep trying! There's bound to be one person in your area who knows what they're doing or at least who's patient and thorough enough to exhaust all the possibilities.
  16. Evilmonkee

    Evilmonkee New Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Whoever is in charge of keeping Comcast employees/technicians trained and informed of the systems and hardware they use, needs to be fired.

    I bought a Vizio 42" LCD from Costco and a new TiVoHD this last Friday. I had made an appointment to have Comcast come out and install the cable cards on Saturday. I setup my TiVo and updated it to the latest software(c2) Friday night so it would be ready to go.

    My appointment was to be between 1-3pm. The tech(Patrick) showed up at 4:30p. When I had setup my appointment over the phone I was told that they would be installing a Multi-Stream Cable Card. When the guy showed up he had three Single-Stream Cable Cards. I asked him about the M-Card and he had never heard of them and swore that Comcast didn't use them and nobody else knew anything about it. *Sigh*

    Over the course of the next two hours the tech tried and failed to get any of the three cards working. I could tell the neither he nor the tech on the other end of his phone really knew what they were doing. There was so much confusion over the Host and Data numbers and where they were supposed to be entered. The tech eventually gave up and was forced to leave by his supervisor. He told me to call him the next day(Sunday) and he would have another tech who would be working come out with more cards to try.

    Day two(Sunday). Different tech(Andy) shows up and he seems a bit more knowledgeable. After some back and forth with the tech on the phone he determines that the numbers were input into the system incorrectly the previous day. They also had some account information screwed up. He successfully gets the first cable card in slot one setup but some HD channels and none of the premium channels work. Second cable card does not work at all. One thing the tech determined was that the signal strength to the box was very low. He poked around the box outside and at the curb but couldn't find the weak link. He said that it was probably bad/old cabling in the walls that they couldn't fix. He theorized that the weak signal was preventing the cable card from receiving the hits. He did not have any other cable cards with him to test out so he says he'll come by first thing Monday.

    Day 3(Monday). Andy shows up at 10am as promised. First thing he does is check inside the wall outlets for splitters. In one of the rooms he finds the lines being split twice(there is cable going to 3 rooms in the house). He determines that they are old and underrated so he puts in a new 3-way splitter and tests the signal strength. Way better and within normal levels now. Checking CC1, all channels are now coming in clearly. CC2 is still having problems getting a signal. He brought some more cards to try and finally gets one to work...almost. It gets all channels except for premium subscription(HBO/Encore). Back and forth on the phone several times trying to get the card validated but it is a no go. He doesn't have any more cards to try so he says he can come back on Wednesday(I'm working today) with some more cards.

    It's almost all working. Just no premium channels on the second tuner. This has really been a frustrating process, much more than it should ever be. I'm just astounded at the utter incompetence of some of these Comcast guys. Andy has actually been pretty good. He came out on a Sunday and spent a long time working on the problem. He also solved the signal strength problem. I told him it is hard to believe that there could be a problem with so many cable cards. I thought that maybe something could be wrong with the TiVo itself but he actually said that he didn't think so because if it was then it would hold the pairing information. He also said that a lot of times the cards that may be bad could make it back to the warehouse without being marked bad due to inexperienced techs, and then make it out to other installs. :rolleyes:

    I really hope that a new card will be able to be validated and I can get my premium channels on the second tuner. I also need to see if anything can be done about some intermittent audio drop-outs I seem to be getting on some of the HD channels. Not sure if that is a Comcast or TiVo problem.
  17. bmel

    bmel New Member

    Apr 19, 2003
    I find it odd that we have all these posts about the same problem yet no one can point to a single thing that we can suggest to Comcast to get these things to work right.
  18. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    Sep 8, 2000
    Two things:
    1. Test the cards before they are given to the installers.
    2. Train the people activating the cards at the headends.
  19. Jason C

    Jason C New Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    hello friends. apparently you know my plight. i moved last year making my hd dvr from tivo useless (directv & big trees down the street... no beuno!). so i ordered the dvrs from comcast. dumped the phone company. dumped directv. time to dedicate all my time to my new gf COMCAST. the paris hilton of entertainment.

    after the audio drop outs and utter frustration from the dvr built into that scentific whatever box that i could only equate to the YUGO of DVR's i rushed out and got the $250 series 3 TIVO HD from best buy. got it home. got it outta the box. cable card? whats that? called comcast monday afternoon. said they gotta bring it out. ok cool.

    tuesday the sub contractor comes. he can't get the two MS cards to work. he says he's done two cc stops before and they never worked.

    i'm not gonna bore you with the blow by blow of four days, six techs, six cards, 12 customer service calls, supervisors, dispatchers. they blamed the cards, the equipment, the dog. got a tech named bill santucci who works for comcast out of aberdeen, maryland (harford county). he kept calling bosses at the office, higher and higher. viola! the orginal ms card worked. it was FORMATTING THE SOFTWARE AT COMCAST TO AUTHORIZE THE CABLE CARDS CORRECTLY. That's the fix kids. CAll the CC hotline at TIVO and tell them that comcast is lost. They insist that they've (comcast)has been trained in this arena.
  20. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    That would pretty much cure what ails Comcast.

    When a tech finds a bad one in the field I think they are just recycled into the system. One of my initial cards even had "bad" written on it. And guess what, it was bad!

    Even the training for the activators doesn't have to be very extensive. Just some sort of expert system that they can follow step by step on their computer screen like most tech support is done these days.

    I would like to point out that this thread was started exactly a year ago this week and the stories are indistinguishable one year later. The same thing over and over. A corporate madness of sorts.

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