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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Sep 23, 2006 #341 of 9367

    Kurthi Member "Lucky 200"

    Sep 13, 2006
    SE PA
    My Install was today in Pottstown, PA (NW of Philadelphia)

    2 Techs arrive at 4:00pm. I believe one was an apprentice, the other seemed very knowledgeable about cable cards. I showed them the TiVo and they said that they have not seen one yet.

    They began by looking at the wire from the street pole into the house. The installer said that they needed to run a new cable from the pole to the house because the existing wire was old and CC are very sensitive to signal loss. They also attached a gray box to the outside of the house (signal booster?).

    By 5:00pm they are ready to begin the CC install. He puts in the first card and I immediately notice it's firmware version 4.05. I am a bit concerned due to some posts here about 4.05.

    Because the dispatch que says it will be at least 10 minutes before an answer, we decide to install the second card and try to activate both in one call.

    Once his dispatcher gets on the line, he reads the numbers to him and the first card gets activated. after about 3 minutes I am getting all the channels. :)

    We activate the second card and we get nothing. The dispatcher then tells us that since I had only one STB, The first card replaced it and he would have to duplicate my account for the second card. Ten more minutes later both cards working perfectly. :up:

    To insure my internet is working, I run music on Galleon to see if pictures show up and they do. The installer is totally impressed with the applications in music, photos, and more. His apprentice can't believe how sharp the picture on my TV is compared to what he sees on their Moto boxes. They even offer to take away my old Moto box. At 6:00pm out the door they go.

    He was right about the wire to the house as well. Signal strength went from 90/92 to 96/98.

    Overall experience :up: :up: :) :)
  2. Sep 23, 2006 #342 of 9367
    Wes Mantooth

    Wes Mantooth One of the "200"

    Sep 20, 2006
    Thought I share my cablecard story.

    Went down to my local Comcast office on Monday to try and pick up the cards. Asked the lady at the desk for two cablecards, she hadn't heard of the new Tivo but found the cards and entered the serial numbers into my account. The whole thing took about 5 minutes and I walked out with two cablecards. Unfortunately my S3 didn't get here until Friday. So after work I went home and set it all up. I had both of the cablecards in the Tivo. I called 1800Comcast, and selected the menu for cable tv support. The CSR got on the line and I told him I had two cablecards I needed to initialize. He said, "Two? Is this for the new Tivo?" So I guess word is finally getting around. I offered to tell him the serial numbers, but they were already on my account (from Monday). He sent the signal, I got a 161-4 error. I went to test channels and nothing happened. He sent another signal to card #2, 161-4 error, tested channels and nothing. Back to card 1 a minute later and I had my channels. Went to HBO 'cause I figured if that came in, then all my subscription channels would. Switched back to card #2 and now it worked to. All in all it was probably, 5-6 minutes for the whole process. It was really easy, and I'm glad I didn't have to have a tech come over to do it. I had braced myself for all sorts of errors, 161-1, etc..., but I was pleasantly surprised at how painless it was. I hope it goes this well for everyone else. Good luck!
  3. Sep 23, 2006 #343 of 9367

    jdcountry New Member

    Sep 23, 2006
    I am in Sacramento. I called to obtain the Cable Card for my new Series 3 TiVo. I was told no problem. They would have to send an installer to insert the cards. No charge. The big downer was that the first appoint they had was 1 month out!! Changes in service were back logged!!!!!

    I'm waiting now until Oct 21 to be able to use my new TiVo
  4. Sep 23, 2006 #344 of 9367

    gthassell Member

    Apr 22, 2003
    Willowbrook, IL
    Thought I would post a follow-up. At an appointment this morning to replace the card that was never functioning from a week ago, the contractor for Comcast "refused" to touch my box - told me I had to do all the work - inserting card, etc. - and it didn't work right.

    Eventually I got channels up to 99, and when he called the head end, they said that "everything was working fine on their end" and that I was "only supposed to get analog channels with the second cable card."

    After a call to the National corporate office, the Chicago area corporate office was rather nice, calling me several times, and arranged for a tech to support / troubleshoot over the phone, conferenced in with their MIS department.

    What I was able to discover is that the 4th menu down on the Cable Card Menu / Conditional Access, the "analog" card had settings / displays that did not match the working card (#1).

    After explaining that the bad card did not say Authorized (I think it said "MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY") in the Auth field, the MIS group did a "hard reset" and after 5 minutes, I had full dual tuner access. Net time from Tivo purchase to Dual Tuners, 6 days, 23 hours.

    Now to just try and deal with the billing issues....

    Anyway, I can't believe how great the quality is.

    Go TiVo!
  5. Sep 23, 2006 #345 of 9367

    TBoyd Less Cable, More Net

    Apr 9, 2000
    I ordered one new CC and already had one CC in my Sony TV. The Comcast guy came yesterday before my S3 arrived and I suggested that he install the NEW CC in my TV to check if it worked. He resisted as he thought it might only pair (my word) with the first device it saw so he just left it for me to install.

    When the S3 got here I installed the first card (old TV one) and got the MMI menu within a minute or so. I never did get the 161-4 error message. I called Comcast and they "hit" it and after a bit I got channels. I tested several and all seemed fine.

    I repeated the process with the new card and again didn't get the 161-4 error. Again channels were present a minute or less after they sent the hit.

    I was a happy guy. Had many SD channels and all the right HD channels, including the HBO/Starz premiums that I'd ordered.

    I completed guided setup and proceeded to watch some HD. I also dialed into the Tivo server a few more times to get all the guide data and eventually got the 1a software upgrade.

    Today after work I tried to look at a few more channels and discovered that I get almost everything I had last night but that virtually all the Extended Basic channels were black or very snowy.

    I called Comcast and asked them to hit both cards and the rep did. No aparent change. She went away and came back and suggested I power down and remove the cards and then power back up. I did that.

    Putting first card back in I was NOT able to get the MMI menu again. Same with card two. Hitting both cards again did not produce a change. I suggested that she de-authorize Extended Basic and turn it back on again. She said that wouldn't help and she refused to 'hit' the cards again as she thought too many hits might screw them up. She wants to roll a truck. Seems to me the other option is to call back hoping to get more knowledgeable rep.

    I'm now actually most worried about a big blue and orange "Hunt" display on the CC Network Setup screen for both cards. I also had to re-do guided setup after re-inserting the cards. --- (new edit) The second card now says "MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY"

    I searched for 'missing' in this forum and see that some folks are missing channels too. Any ideas what gives?

  6. Sep 23, 2006 #346 of 9367

    fsponge New Member

    May 25, 2003
    I'm in Arlington Heights, IL (Chicago suburb) and just called 1-800-COMCAST to ask about getting CableCards for my S3. I carefully explained to the rep that I would like to give back my current Motorola box and get 2 CableCards from Comcast to install into the S3.

    She told me "Sir, we don't have CableCards for TiVo, you'll have to go to Best Buy or Circuit City to get those". I felt sorry for her, I got the impression that a lot of people call there asking to buy TiVo. I tried to give her a break and told her "I'm sure I'm not explaining this very well. I want to give back my cable box and start using my new TiVo Series 3 as a cable box. Comcast has two little cards that slide into my TiVo that turn it into a cable box."

    There was enough silence on the other end of the line that I actually thought she hung up on me. I finally asked her if she was still there, and she explained that she was "looking it up".

    After a few more minutes, she agreed that Comcast would provide me with the CableCards, but that she couldn't give me any more information because a supervisor would need to "close out the open ticket" on my phone service first. Surprising, since I have no problems with my Comcast phone service. Anyway, a supervisor is supposed to call me back sometime in the middle of the night. It's 12:25am now.

    Not too good so far! :confused:
  7. Sep 23, 2006 #347 of 9367

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    It sounds like you're getting analog basic channels. Comcast may be simulcasting digital on your cable, which community are you in? You might do better if you could get the digital channels instead. Tech support can't help you in this, they're totally clueless, if you do want digital, you can go to your local office and ask for a DCT700 box. That's a digtial only box and putting that on your account causes them to switch the basic channels to digital. You don't even need to take the box away, they just have to note it on your account.
  8. Sep 23, 2006 #348 of 9367

    TBoyd Less Cable, More Net

    Apr 9, 2000
    Hmm, interesting. But I AM getting HD Digitals fine and even non-HD Digitals. Would your diagnosis still apply?
  9. Sep 23, 2006 #349 of 9367

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Yes. They broadcast basic as analog for compatibility. Simulcasting is the first step in going all digital.

    You can check if a channel is digital by:

    Hit record, if it offers quality settings, its analog.
    Check cable signal strength. If it shows up, its digital
    Check: Messages & Settings -> Account and System information -> Diagnostics. Look for "modulation" on your tuner, if its QAM its digital, if its unknown, its analog.

    I would be really surprised if you didn't get analog basic.
  10. Sep 23, 2006 #350 of 9367

    TBoyd Less Cable, More Net

    Apr 9, 2000
    Yea, it appears that basic and limited basic are analog. Although even my digital channels, both SD and HD, show 'unknown' for modulation.

    So you're just saying that simulcasting, both analog and digital, would make my reception of just one block of analog stuff be less reliable? Aren't lots of places in the Bay Area like mine?

    Thanks for the replies, by the way.
  11. Sep 23, 2006 #351 of 9367

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

    Mar 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    I just got 2 cards installed today. The installer was in a hurry, and the girl he talked to at the other end had no clue. The installer said that no device pairing is required, does that sound normal? I'm in San Jose willow glen / almaden valley area. Anyone else here got it installed yet? After the girl on the other end said she activated the cards, the two cards do seem to at least got the channel lineup. However, I'm not getting anything besides local, PBS, HD local, and ESPN HD ESPN2 HD. It looks like I have nothing besides basic cable. Funny I guess ESPN HD is broadcasted in the clear. Mine also says

    Connected:yes, EnabledByCP:no
    CA enable: not possible

    These 3 lines in my Conditional Access menu don't look very good to me. They are doing atruck roll tomorrow, so will se what happens.

    BTW, everything was going so well. I ordered on Tue this week, with 4-6 day deliver, figure people are waiting for cable card install anyway. But lo-and-behold, there's a box sitting on my porch Thur morning. It could've even been delivered Wed for all I know. Don't know how Tivo got a box to me in 1 day (sorry for you guys with ordering problem, hope you all getting your S3 soon). I'm not thrilled that the delivery left it, but just happy it showed up none-the-less. I called Comcast on Thur, and got an appointment Fri am. I didn't think I could get this lucky. So I guess lady luck was just teasing me.
  12. Sep 23, 2006 #352 of 9367

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Are you sure you're looking at the right tuner? Digtial channels should be QAM.
    The simulcasting shoudln't make a difference to the analog. However, my experience is they're clueless at fixing analog problems, and I prefer to have digital channels. You might still have a channel block on the line somewhere, so getting them to look at it might be profitable. I just couldn't be bothered and (eventually) got them to switch me to analog.

    How are the signal strengths on the digital channels? You may have a problem on all channels, but it only shows up on analog. My signal strengths are in the 96-100 range.
  13. Sep 23, 2006 #353 of 9367

    TBoyd Less Cable, More Net

    Apr 9, 2000
    Digital signal strength is mostly solid 97-99 for the channels I've checked, with a couple down to 92-94.
  14. Sep 23, 2006 #354 of 9367

    KidGloves New Member

    Dec 13, 2002
    Comcast tech (not contractor) came onsite today to install. Never seen the Tivo, told me when he walked in that he 'guarenteed he'd be back' due to Cablecard problems he had experienced (none with the Tivo). In 10 minutes, we were up and running, absolutely no problems. I'm in Southeast Michigan area (Detroit suburb). 16.95 for the service call to haul way the OMFG terrible Moto PVR's and install the Cable cards. I had to haggle on the phone to convince them that I should only have to pay one 'digital outlet fee' of 6.95, since both cablecards are going in the same device, and said device only connects to 'one outlet'.

    I also got rid of the Digital Silver package I had (70.99 / month!) and went down to limited basic ($9.99) + digital outlet ($6.95) so my total bill should be $16.90 + tax every month. I only watch my local HD channels anyway, so I might has well recoup my 1k investment in this Tivo.
  15. Sep 23, 2006 #355 of 9367

    Gerhard New Member

    Sep 29, 2002
    Just tell him that he ComCast site says they are free. Period. ...then refer him to their own website:

  16. Sep 23, 2006 #356 of 9367

    Gerhard New Member

    Sep 29, 2002
    Well, I'm still sorting through all the other posts, but I figured that I'd she my ex-roommates story:

    "Mike" call ComCast to get a set of CableCARDs for his Tivo S3.

    When he told the woman on the phone that it was a Tivo 3, she said "We don't give out CalbeCARDs for Tivos."

    Mike then asked what she meant, and the woman was adament that if it wasn't a TV, then ComCast was not giving him CableCARDs.

    Mike then dropped the "FCC" bomb and said:

    "You are required by the FCC to provide CableCards to for ANY device that is CableLABs certified, which the Tivo Series 3 is."

    The lady immediately changed her story and told him he could go and pick up the cards at the local ComCast service center.

    At this point, I'm begining to think that ComCast is PURPOSEFULLY attempting to deny CableCARDs to customers. I'm also starting to think that maybe we should be contacting the FCC about this...

  17. Sep 23, 2006 #357 of 9367

    Gerhard New Member

    Sep 29, 2002
    To follow that up, even though it's off topic:

    The Harmony remote can control ALL of you equipment.

    I have a Denon 3600 head unit, but it's old enough to only support the older video modes (SVideo and normal video [yellow RCA]).

    So this means that all of the switching capabiliies of the unit are useless with HD (HDMI, Component, and such)...

    The Harmony supports macros and advanced programing... so no only does it eliminate the need for more than one remote, it also switches all of the inputs and outputs on my various componets. (i.e. between the HDTV and the AMP...)

    As such, I really don't need to go out and pick up a new Denon 3800 series A/V Tuner...

    Dell had a instand rebate on them and I got mine for $90.00 new. Great remote, very much like the Tivo remote (which is why it's great)...
  18. Sep 23, 2006 #358 of 9367

    mdreuben New Member

    Nov 15, 2003
    Bay Village, OH
    Scheduled a Comcast - Time Warner (Bay Village, Ohio) Cablecard Install appointment for my Series 3 five days ago for 8 - 12 this morning

    Last night I pulled my entire system apart, including the old HD Motorola Box, Tivo, Digital Motorola box in order to be ready for the appointment. Configured the remaining components so everything would go without a hitch.

    Installed the Series 3 (everything went fine) but of course could not access any digital service.

    Took off work this morning

    Received a message at 7:50 this morning that they were out of cable cards and would call back in a week and half to reschedule.

    Spent 90 minutes working my way up (not very far) through the system so to see if they could at least find some cable cards in the country and send them to me via FedEx or some service.

    "Sorry sir we can't do that". The best we can do is keep your ticket open an give you $20 for the missed appointment.

    I asked the supervisor for the number of a general Time Warner / Comcast customer service department so I could pursue this further. She claimed not to have one.

    Can anyone offer a suggestion of a number I can call to obtain two simple cable cards?

  19. Sep 23, 2006 #359 of 9367

    geekmedic TiVo Fanatic TCF Club

    Apr 4, 2003
    Atlanta, GA USA
    It's more complicated than that. Each CableCard is usually keyed to a specific market. So a CableCard from the Chicago market won't work in the Atlanta market.
  20. Sep 23, 2006 #360 of 9367

    sonicboom New Member

    Sep 2, 2006
    Comcast rolled the truck out to my house yesterday for my S3 CableCARD installation.

    The cable guy brought with him two motorola DVRs and two motorola CableCARDs. I think there was some confusion in the office as to what was actually needed.

    I told him all I needed was the cablecards, and that he could return the DVRs and my original HD STB.

    I showed him the S3. He wasn't surprised to see it. He said they have been installing cablecards in about one S3 a day. A good sign.

    He let me pop the cards in. He didn't have an interest in touching my unit :). He then made the call to the mothership to have them activated. This took a while (45 minutes) but they eventually had it all working.

    I now have dual tuners with HD and digital programming in my Tivo :D

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