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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. murryamorris

    murryamorris New Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    I live in Sammamish and also use the Redmond office. They are very good there. I just had bad luck with the CSR's when pairing. It's nice they have the M cards at the office now. I had to get a tech to get one last time.
  2. mcalhoon

    mcalhoon New Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Annapolis, MD
    This was interesting. I got my cablecard working a month ago, and I got the bill charging me for an additional outlet, even though we returned our box. I did the online chat and the rep took off the $6.95 charge. Then he tried to tell me HDTV shouldn't work because I don't have a motorola converter. Here is the transcript:

    Michael, I also noticed that the HDTV charge should be removed because you do need a specific converter to receive HDTV. Cable HD will only work on an HD-ready television connected to a Motorola HDD-200 decoder.

    My understanding is that you need that converter for HD service.

    I have been receiving HDTV with no problems on my TIVO for over a month now.

    Okay. This digital video recorder (TIVO) is not receiving the HD signal through a Motorola HDD-200 decoder, though.

    Well, I believe the cablecard is made by motorola.

    I will review my technical notes regarding the cable cards and HD. One moment please.

    I own a new TivoHD...I am using 1 M-card which allows 2 shows to be recorded at once.

    Okay. My concern is that without the specific decoder Motorola HDD-200 your equipment is not receiving the HD signal that your account is set up with. My technical bulletin indicates "A HDTV receiver is not required to receive Comcast's High Definition service. Instead, the signal is received through a "decoder," available from Comcast. You may rent or purchase the decoder from Comcast".

    I recommend that you speak to your local office to review this, Michael.

    But I am watching HDTV on my right now, and have been for over a month. I am very happy with my service right now. I just thought I was being overcharged with an additional outlet. But I will call the local office if I have a problem. I appreciate the help.

    No harm done (so far), still getting the HD.

  3. cjchaps

    cjchaps New Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    I bought a TivoHD last week and had a tech from Comcast come out and install it today. It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes total but I was up and running at the end of the session. The guy basically knew what he was doing. The only hiccup we had was that the first time it was setup I wasn't receiving any channels about 20 after 30 minutes so he called in again to get the card "hit" and about 10 minutes after that I was getting all channels :up:
  4. kupe

    kupe Viva 'la Tivolution!

    Apr 9, 2003
    Hey gang-

    Wife and I discussing buying a new TivoHD and transferring the lifetime from our current Series 2. We are excited about finally getting HD, but she is reluctant to lose PPV and On-Demand with Comcast. I understand because we do enjoy those features occasionally.

    Is the concensus here that losing all the interactive features was worth it to switch to TivoHD with Cablecard?

    And is there an alternative? i.e. rather than CableCard, could we use a new TivoHD with the Comcast provided HD cable box (a Motorola 6200) in order to keep the interactive features? For the matter, is the TivoHD capable of controlling a Motorola 6200?


  5. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    If you really must have OnDemand and PPV access, just also get a Comcast HD receiver or DVR in addition to your TiVoHD. Comcast actually claims online you can get a free HD receiver just for that purpose if you otherwise use CableCARDs, though there may be an additional outlet fee involved.

    You won't be able to record OnDemand or PPV from the TiVoHD no matter what, though.
  6. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    You are entitled to one "free" box as part of your service, however in my experience they will still charge you an extra charge for premium/HD programming for your "free" box.

    My wife and I don't miss on-demand one little bit. I upgraded the Tivo HD to 500GB and we typically have 200 or more programs in our Tivo suggestions folder to watch.... and even better than on-demand these are actually shows that we have some interest in watching.

    The Tivo can't control another box, but if you really miss on-demand you can simply stack another reciever with the Tivo and switch your TV to that input when you must watch on-demand or PPV programming.
  7. bizzy

    bizzy New Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I got the "free" box when I ordered comcast service (I switched to a S3 from DirectTV service when we got sick of their HR20) for the times we wanted On Demand.

    It sat there unused, and every month Comcast would try to charge me various amounts for the "free" box.

    I got sick of having to call them and read them their own web pages, and returned the box. Haven't missed it.

    If you're recording what you want to watch, you already have it "On demand" :)
  8. old64mb

    old64mb New Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Actually, couldn't you do so if you went back to QAM and found the channel that it was being broadcast on? (Immense PITA, I know, but I'm talking theoretically) :)

    Or would that be copy flagged so it would be no-record anyway?
  9. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    It very well could be flagged for no copy; it'd be encrypted -- though I suppose if it's ordered online or by phone for your account any receiver could decrypt it; there'd be no guide data associated with the channel so you'd have to locate it, manually tune it, and manually record it. And while PPV might be orderable online or by phone, OnDemand probably isn't.

    As a practical matter, the answer is simpler as no. :)
  10. old64mb

    old64mb New Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Well, the slate article on VOD and my experiences with QAM tuning (there were certainly enough unencrypted PPV things randomly showing up in the high 80s) gave me the wacky idea that you could, theoretically and with a lot of pain, order and then manually Tivo whatever it was since they probably haven't put a 5c flag on it.

    But yes, that's too complicated. No is probably a better response. :)
  11. limiter

    limiter New Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    Just got a S3 Tivo, and had Comcast come out (East Lansing, Michigan). He had 3 cards, 2 Motorola cards and one with a Comcast sticker on it (almost like a Comcast branded card). He did each card one at a time using the two Motorola cards, but only the 2nd (upper) card worked. The Comcast branded card was registered to someone else so they have to come back out.

    The Motorola card that didn't work was giving a 161-4 error every time we tried to check available channels. Comcast assumed meant it was a bad card.

    The tech was nice and didn't complain about installing cable cards.

    Should I leave the working card (currently in slot 2) and let them install the new one in slot 1? I only ask because the tivo setup guide says to use slot 1 before slot 2.
  12. johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    The TiVo installation instructions say that 161-4 is NOT an error and should be ignored unless it appears more than once.

    From the installation instructions:
    I also noticed in there that removing the card while it is updating its firmware might brick it. Maybe this is why so many cards are "bad" -clueless installers yanking them out when they don't instantly display some reassuring message.

  13. limiter

    limiter New Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    Thanks for the response. The error appeared 4 times, every time we tried to access channels after rechecking all the numbers. This was over a span of 10-15 minutes. I assume that counts as "more than once". The card was never removed during this period.
  14. hummingbird_206

    hummingbird_206 Active Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Near Seattle, WA

    As others have said, the 161-4 error doesn't mean a bad card. When I was installing my 2 M-Cards in my Series 3, the Comcast CSR on the phone knew that the error was ok to ignore, and she just kept doing on her end whatever magic was needed to get the cards initialized. She had to send hits to the cards a few time, but after a reboot of the TiVo all was right with the install and I was good to go.

    Good luck when the service guy comes back. Hopefully he'll get a CSR on the phone who knows what to do to initialize the card even when 161-4 comes up.
  15. Graymalkin

    Graymalkin Grumpy Poster TCF Club

    Mar 20, 2001
    Northern New Jersey
    I got Error 161-4 repeatedly while they were trying to set up my two S-cards. Eventually the home office hit the cards correctly, and I've got all my channels.
  16. kdwarren

    kdwarren New Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    Chicago, IL Suburbs
    I finally got my Multi Card installed on Saturday! We are so very happy to dump the comcast DVR!!!

    Also, After taking with the service techs even they think their customer service is crappy! Such a shame. I did learn that the afterhours comcast people are overseas CSR's. this makes sense because when I called during my work hours I got someone that was more knowledegable and she even looked at local comcast retail stores that might have a cable card. Before I called on the weekends and got some really terrible service. So maybe that will help some people.

    My husband plans to fight the installation fee since he took off work one day and they never showed.

    Good luck everyone!
  17. limiter

    limiter New Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    Comcast came out again and put a new Moto card in and when he called in to activate the woman at Comcast said you can't have the same host ID for two cards (which I explained was the Tivo ID). The woman then hung up on the tech and he called back and got someone who knew how to add it correctly, so both cards are working now. The tech was very nice.
  18. riz

    riz New Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    With the new tivo/comcast software rollout imminent, is there (or going to be) a comcast/tivo thread for the software download to motorola boxes? thx!

    p.s. lol! it took me 7 years to say something! well, to be fair, I was a UltimateTV guy for 6 of those years :)
  19. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    I'm sure once the rollout actually publicly begins somewhere it'll get a thread and shortly thereafter a new forum will be created and any existing discussions moved over to it.
  20. PooperScooper

    PooperScooper New Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Leominster, MA
    Looks like M-Cards are getting more widespread in my area. Tech came this morning with 2 cards (like I requested) and the first one into my TivoHD showed up as an M-Card. 40 minutes later after he finally got through to his support to pair the card everything went smooth. Tech was familiar with Series 3 Tivos. I realized on the way to work I didn't check both tuners but I assume since one sees all the channels the other should be ok on the same M-Card. Supervisor stopped by in the middle of the wait and he replaced my ground block to a newer style while the other guy was on hold.


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