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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. jak117

    jak117 New Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Success! I finally was able to get in touch with someone who knew what they were doing and he initialized and paired the card correctly (as I had told 6 other CSRs they needed to do previously). After I gave him my data number and host id, he had the system set-up in about 3 minutes. On my TiVoHD, it did not flash a message and I simply needed to return to live tv to check.

    Thanks to all on this thread for the great help and information.
  2. BPlexico

    BPlexico New Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Well another update - I called Comcast tonight to follow up in regards to the paring. The person took down my Cablecard s/n, Host ID and Data ID. After about 20 minutes he told me there were two issues.

    1. The first had to do with the Host ID

    2. The second had to do with the fact that the serial number of the cablecard associated with the account did not match the s/n of the cablecard I know had and they needed to call the warehouse which had the old cablecard and get some information from them and some data input by them into the system before HBO would work (this part made no sense to me at all)

    They believe everything should work sometime tomorrow after the information is "released" from the warehouse.

    Stay tuned.

  3. SnakeEyes

    SnakeEyes New Member

    Dec 26, 2000
    So Coz has HD? guess that means party at your place on Oct 13th. I'll tell Ben to spread the word. ;)
  4. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004

    Well, if they don't use the info from the card installed in your box, they won't get any further than they are now.
  5. notabbott

    notabbott New Member

    Oct 4, 2004
    Comcast doesn't carry HDNet last I checked, so it's still the Globe for that one, assuming they have their ducks in a row.

    And do we know specifically what this billing hack is? I've got the exact same problem as a couple of other people here, where my second card only gets OTA channels...haven't tried Music Choice. AUTH is subscribed, but EnabledByCP is no, and any new single-stream card we put in that slot does the exact same thing.

    The current thinking is that swapping out the two single-stream cards for a multi-stream card should make the problem go away, but it seems like that's the brute force method.
  6. AlphaDelta

    AlphaDelta New Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    I took the plunge and called Comcast to upgrade to digital and get cards. I had the fee schedule/channel guide Comcast had just sent out in their last bill, and had decided on "Digital Classic" package. The CSR said it was no longer offered, giving me the choice of "Starter" or "Preferred". I wonder if it is really no longer offered, or it is just a tactic to get you to choose the more expensive package. Anyway, I choose "Preferred", not wanting to get in an argument. He then said I could pick up the "self-install kit" :rolleyes: (cable box and some coax) at the local store, or I could have an installer come for $17.95. I then informed him I would need 2 cablecards, and asked if I could pick those up and install them myself. He didn't know, put me on hold to find out. He came back and said they had to be installed by a tech. He then said there would be an addition digital outlet fee for the second device. I informed him both cards would go in the same device, a TiVo. Waiting for the sell for the Comcast DVR, he surprised me by saying he heard the new TiVo's are supposed to be cool :) He had a few openings for the installation the following day, I chose 2-5 pm slot.

    Taking the afternoon off work, I was was watching TiVo, expecting the tech to show up at 5:30. Much to my surprise, about 1:55 I hear the knock at the door. His name is Andrew and has 2 cablecards to install. He seems pretty knowledgeable, has brought the 2 cards but says they are the "new" M-cards and that I should only need one. I tell him the very new TiVoHD will work with 1 M-card but that my S3 is slighly older and needs 2 cards. The cards appeared to be Motorola, but I didn't get that close a look.

    After checking the signal strength, he puts in the first card. (I'm pleased he knows to do them one at a time.) He writes down the pairing ID's and calls to have the data entered and the card hit. After a while the card receives the channels and we test some of them which are working.

    We repeat the process for card 2, and again, everything appears to be working. I now do a more thorough check of the channels and none of the channels in the "Preferred" package are coming in. It seems they had "Digital Plus" on my account (which I gather is what the price sheet calls "Starter"). He calls to have Preferred put on my account, and have the cards hit again. The new channels refuse to tune. They hit them again, and no change. I reboot the TiVo to see if that makes a difference. Doesn't seem to.

    They recheck the pairing data on card 1 and find 1 digit off. It is corrected and they hit the card again. Instead of fixing card 1 we now get no channels, and the 161-4 error shows up. (I've read that this is the "good" error, but don't really see how it is good, when it can't tune any channels.) Card 2 is now working with all the channels in the "Preferred" package.

    I ask Andrew if maybe card 1 is bad. He kind of facetiously says the cards are never bad ;) I bring up the pairing screen again for card 1 and ask them to double check the data. It was all correct. They do some more work, and ask us to check channels again. They are now all working on card 1. I ask if it is voodoo, but just get the response that cablecards are sometime tricky to get configured. Overall it took a little over an hour. Andrew expected it be be just 20 minutes and I think he had to cancel some appointments after me.

    So, pretty much a good experience (just 1 service call and everything is working), plus I have 2 M-cards, so if we get the TiVo service update for S3 M-card support, I can pull the second card and return it, saving $1.50 a month.
  7. TV_or_TVo

    TV_or_TVo New Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    Hi! I have two Motorola HD DVR with my current Comcast service and I want to go TiVo Series 3 HD. Can I just cancel my two cable boxes, remove the cable cards from them (assuming that each one has a cable card in it!), and plug in to the my new TiVo? I am very amateur when it comes to dealing with cable :confused: , so my apologies if this is total non-sense! Thanks!
  8. silypuddy

    silypuddy New Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    No, you can't pull the cards from the DVR and put them in a TivoHD. You will have to get a set of "new" cards from Comcast via a self install or truck roll.
  9. dsnyde27

    dsnyde27 New Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    UPDATE: I call in to Comcast AGAIN and ask for the "go to" person for Service Codes and Cable Cards. The CSR says "I can do that" - RIIIIGHT! so I humor her and tell her the story... she does the usual 'send a hit' thing and no change... I ask for a manager and get that spinning my wheels feeling again as I'm told they are unavailable and all my service codes are correct. I tell her that if my service codes were correct I would be getting my CHANNELS!! UG!! This is NOT that difficult!!!! I hang up in disgust and will try again with another randomly assigned minimally trained CSR and try my luck again.... Russian Roulette anyone? :mad:

    So I call Comcast in a frenzy.... ready to rip some serious anus.... and get a tech scheduled to come out Thursday 8am to 10am... I tell them it better be a tech who knows what he's doing and he better bring 2 M cards, and 2 S cards.....
    Thursday at 7:58am, I get a call from Comcast! A CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY!!! Can you BELIEVE this!?!?!? I put that poor surveyor through hell and back as I ranted on and on.... then the tech arrives... He has two Ms and two S cards.... great! First off, all cards come out.... done..... insert an S card into Slot 0 and we wait.... pairing screen comes up... He calls in to dispatch.... the box driver is down! Can't do a thing!!! It's been down to 2 days and they're supposedly working on it.... great :( So he busies himself running me some new lines, checking levels, putting in an amp... analog has never looked so good! At least this guy is trying.... Finally he calls in and they are able to use the system... so they enter the pairing info in and bam! Less than 10 seconds later I have all the channels I'm supposed to... AUTH=SUBSCRIBED, Host Validated and everything!! YAY!!! So we put in card 2 in slot 1, and no matter what they try, we get black screens on all the channels (channel map comes through fine).... after swapping it out and trying 2 different M cards with the same results, they go back to the original M card and try again.... same result.... they do the deep hit, which gets me the 161-4 error, repair and rehit and no change..... so they remove the S card from slot 0 and put it in slot 1 - clear my account from all CCs and then add this card in again... they pair it and hit it and it's a no go... same thing... no video but channel map info is good..... validation is fine..... auth is fine..... this isn't looking good.... card pairs, auths, and works just fine in slot0 showing all video.... but in slot 1 it pairs, auths, but doesn't show squat! BAD SLOT!?
    So they put the S card back in slot 0, repair, reauth, and I'm up again, then they put an M card in slot1 for another go round.... they do all the magic and it ends up the same... auth'd, paired, but no picture.... so now the guy has been there for over 5 hours.... at least one card is working.... and analog looks great even on my 60" HDTV.... so they tell me that it's possible that video could come in over the next 60 minutes on the other card... and they recommend I contact Tivo about slot 1..... I have to pack it up and get out of town.... so I forget about it.... until I'm on my way home Sunday..... Now I remember I wanted to pull the 2nd CC in case the Tivo is trying to tape my NFL games using that tuner and all it will record is a black screen! Imagine my surprise when I get home and I get full video on both cards! What's weird is that the M card is still showing Val of "? 0x00" but it's displaying video properly and only on the channels that I get.... I'm hoping it doesn't kick off in 30 days or so.... the first card is still good with AUTH and Host Validated.....

    Crossing my fingers... and dreading what I will find on my next bill.....
  10. dsnyde27

    dsnyde27 New Member

    Sep 25, 2007

    As for the Validation, you have to go into your Pairing screen and call Comcast and verify that they have the Card ID, Host ID, and Data ID in properly - they might have typoed it. Also, before you call, you might want to pull the cable card and write down the serial number as well just to verify that as well.....

    Since you are receiving messages, that means that you are connected to the forward data carrier of the cable system... usually a low freq like 75.5 Mhz (each system is different)... this is good. It shows that there are no issues with you receiving carrier due to cabling or splitter or plant problems....

    Cross your fingers when you call that you get a CSR that actually has a bit of knowledge of what they're doing... it's a hit or miss... and mostly misses from what you can see in this forum! (I have to call in again myself - wish me luck!)

    BTW, do you have the "To start service contact your local cable provider" or something to that effect on your conditional access screen? This is a dead giveaway that the cards aren't setup right in the cable system.....
  11. tmesser

    tmesser New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    I'm quickly losing the energy to deal with Comcast.

    My issue (only one working CableCARD) was escalated as an "incomplete work order," which I thought might result in some progress. I was promised return calls on two occasions and didn't receive them; when I called to ask why, I was told they'd left messages on my answering machine! I didn't leave my apartment at all yesterday because I was waiting for the phone to ring, and it never did, so that's a big pile of you-know-what.

    After I called Comcast a third time, the eventual result was a call at 5pm from a deeply apologetic local supervisor who told me no more CableCARDs were available that day because the warehouse closed at 11:30am. The supervisor said he would get a tech out to my place with another card this morning between 8:00 and 10:00, and he would call me at 7:45 to give me the tech's ETA. Did I receive such a call this morning? Of course not.

    The tech showed up at 9:15. With one CableCARD. Which immediately gave a 161-1 error when it was inserted. "And that's the only card I could get today. Guess I'll have to come back tomorrow." Is it really that hard to just leave a few cards for me at the local office? It would stop wasting everyone's time.

  12. kdwarren

    kdwarren New Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    I am worried the same will happen to me on Friday when we have our installation apt. We are not too far from Napperville :)

    I sure hope there are some cards for me cause we work far from home and I can't take off work that much just for cable. stupid comcast!
  13. BPlexico

    BPlexico New Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Well still no luck for me - but I have spoken to some very nice people.

    Called a Supervisor today and she offered to help.

    So I gave her the serial number from the Motorola Multistream Cablecard itself. the Host ID, Data ID, Unit address, and the cablecard ID.

    She doesnt seem to need the cablecard ID. (This by the way is the information that every previous person has entered into the HOST ID field at the Comcast office)

    However she keeps getting an error message when entering the HOST ID, and confirmed that no one has successfully entered the HOSTID for my card since I got it.

    She is very puzzled and is escalating the issue as she has never seen the error message she is getting (duplicate ID or somesuch) and given that she wrote the Cablecard installation guide for Comcast has no peers to turn to.

    More to follow.

  14. tmesser

    tmesser New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Yeah, I'm very glad I have a flexible schedule at work that allows me to come in later or occasionally work from home. Otherwise, this saga would likely take weeks.

    Best of luck with your installation.
  15. wizzy

    wizzy S1, (2) S2, TivoHD

    Nov 11, 2001
    I see some new Chicago folks having fun with Comcast, so I'll repeat some lessons learned from earlier in the thread.

    1) If you're in Chicago proper, pick up your cards at the North Ave location, and save a truck roll. It's across from Home Depot.
    2) If you have premium channels, the front-line techs can't help you. You need to get put in the "four hour callback queue", and have someone from the Tinley Park office call you back.
    3) If all else fails, call Comcast Executive Care at 800-630-2140. Only use this number if you have already failed when escalating through normal channels.

    Good luck!
  16. tmesser

    tmesser New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    I really wish this was an option for me.

    My past experience with getting them to call me back outside of 8am-5pm has been abysmal. My work schedule is flexible, but I really can't stay home for half-days constantly, and I presume they're going to need to talk to me while I'm in front of the TiVo to confirm host/data IDs and such. Is that office open on weekends?

    For now, I have a local supervisor's cell number from my caller ID. :) Thanks for the number; hopefully I won't need to use it.
  17. TaterTot24

    TaterTot24 TiVo Addict!

    Aug 26, 2007
    Memphis, TN

    Well I have called Comcast 6 times now requesting cable cards and each time I am told that someone from the Cable Card department will have to call me back because they are the only ones that handle requests for cable cards. I have been told each time that it would be 24-48 hours before I would recieve a call.

    I have tried to get the "CableCard" department's phone number, but apparently the CSR's can only contact them through email -- so no luck there.

    Yesterday when I called the first time, I was promised someone would call me back in 5 minutes. Five hours later, still no phone call. I finally decided to call back and ask for a manager/supervisor, but I was told I have to wait 24 hours for a manager to call me back (yeah right).

    Everytime I talk to a CSR, they tell me that there is nothing that they can do except send another email. I am not sure what to do, because I cannot even get a hold of a manager....

    I have been keeping a detailed log of people that I have talked to, but i guess I will have to actually go to a customer center to try to get things done.

    I tried to have patience, but the first time that I called them was on 9/4/07 -- so it has been about 3 weeks...

    Those of you in the Memphs, TN area.... you better start calling now...


    I used the LiveChat service through Comcast's website and was actually able to get an appointment setup.

    I requested that installer bring both M-cards and S-Cards AND that the installer has addtional cards in case of failure.

    A one time installation fee of $40 was all that I was charged...

    I guess I will have to wait and see how the installation goes -- It is this Saturday!
  18. Diluted

    Diluted New Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    Well, after reading through this thread I am scared about what will happen here in Albuquerque when the installer arrives to my house tomorrow morning.

    I called to confirm that the installer will be bringing at LEAST 2 S-Cards (they claim M-Cards are not available here yet) and they claimed that 2 are listed on the workorder, and that the installer will usually bring extra because about 1 in 5 CC's don't work (!!!).

    the night I got my TiVo HD, I did take the M-Card out of my SA 4250HDC and put it in my TiVo. It worked fine, except for the encrypted channels. I thought about playing dumb and calling them to re-activate, but I figured at least for the beginning I will play along with their rules and see if the S-cards work for me. My friend bought an S3 a few weeks ago and it took 7 visits for his CC setup, so I am crossing my fingers.
  19. jak117

    jak117 New Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I received a call back via the "four hour callback queue" at 9:30pm, so they are open during non-business hours. I was able to request that they call during a specific time period that I knew I would be home.
  20. TriMan262

    TriMan262 New Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    Wizzy, you were right on. I initially called weeks ago and was told I needed a truck roll and scheduled an apointment. Due to my schedule I had to keep rescheduling appointments so decided today I would just go by Comcast on North Ave. and indeed, had no problems whatsoever in picking one M-Card up. I will say there was quite a line at the comcast store(waited about 30 min.). I initially called and got the first activation(which was useless) then called later in the evening(around 9:30 PM) and they escalated my call and said I would receive a call back. I was expecting to be called the next day, but no more than 10 minutes later I got a call from the cablecard support, I gave him all the pertinent details and numbers and they had me up and running in no time.

    After reading about so many horror stories, I for one am feeling pretty relieved and happy to be back with tivo again.

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