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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    By techie screens do you mean the Cable Card screens? If so what do they say?
  2. Speed RacerX

    Speed RacerX New Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    I must be lucky. For the record, I live in Spring, TX (North of Houston). I picked up two m-cards from the local Comcast office on Saturday but ended up needing only one. One phone call to Comcast got the card activated, and within 24 hours, both receivers on the m-card were working. I could record two programs on different channels at the same time without any glitches/problems. Compared to the setup I went through with my Comcast HD DVR prior to the TiVo HD, it was relatively painless. All I had to do was read some numbers from the setup screen of the TiVo and we were watching HD TV through the TiVo. I didn't have to pay anything for installation, etc.

    Now I have an extra m-card I'll be taking back to Comcast tomorrow along with the DVR I no longer need. Comcast has been nothing but helpful and "on the ball" for me. Now I just can't wait for multi-room viewing to be enabled on the TiVo HD so that I can watch content from my Series 2 TiVo (I hope it will work!).
  3. theinfamous

    theinfamous New Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    Yes the cable card screens.

    on the Val: piece it states it is validated V 0x01

    On the pairing screen. If it is tuned on both of the tuners to different channels I actually see then all it has the network, data, and host ID. I am told this is a good sign.

    However, if it is tuned on a channel I do not see there is a lot of information but as I understand it most importantly the Authorization Auth: states MP. Which I am told is bad.

    My point is that Comcast is limited by just sending a signal on their side. But since the card does not transmit they cannot tell if it is a success. And there is no screen on the TiVo side that will state if receiving the authorized channels has been a success or not. It's complete bullocks. I've been calling every day for around two weeks. The Comcast people have thrown up their hands in surrender and TiVo is asking that I send the box back to them after I have tried a SW update to 9.1 Again I can't t really tell whose side the problem is on.

    This is what I would do if I were TiVo.

    1. List all compatible CABLECARDS
    2. Add a Diagnostic screen that shows channels that are authorized and the date and time that it received the authorization.
    3. When it is receiving the listed channels, state that it is receiving the data. And a success screen when it finishes.

    If I were Comcast I would bring out a cable box and try to authorize the card with the cablebox. Hrrrm I may just call them and see if I can set that up.

    I've been a TiVo lover since around 2000. How easily it can switch to hate and frustration.
  4. theinfamous

    theinfamous New Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    Thanks... misery loves company. I need a lot of company around now. I'm also at a loss. It's been such a horrible experience I'm thinking about just returning the TiVo.

    Actually you should call and ask to talk to Comcast dispatch and then tell dispatch to send a "hard hit" to your cable card. Hope that helps.
  5. murryamorris

    murryamorris New Member

    Feb 1, 2005

    I had picked up my Tivo HD from Costco (have an S3 that works fine with both cards for about 9 months). Picked up 2 S cards since the office didn't have M cards and neither worked after 4 calls to Comcast over about 7 days. I took the Tivo back to Costco and got another unit. Still didn't work after a couple of more calls with hits to the cards. I didn't get any channels on the cards. Ended up with a service call and the guy had 2 M cards. He didn't know much (didn't even know they were M cards) but we pulled the two cards, inserted one M card and dispatch sent a hit to it. Both tuners got channels up to 119 but all the channels above it were blank. Dispatch hadn't sent the correct hit for my account and they resent it with the correct lineup and all started working. I don't know if this is your problem but if you get basic channels (and maybe local HD) but not another tier, you can have them try to check the hit to be sure it is the correct lineup.

    I would get a second unit and try it with 9.1. When neither unit worked, it had 8.x but just before the tech came out with the M cards, it updated to 9.1. I made him wait while the update happened. They really don't like this but it was fun to make Comcast wait for a change.
  6. slay65

    slay65 New Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    I am starting to think that Comcast doesn't want cable card installs to go smoothly. I think they are trying to build up some internal stats that say: we spend XXXX million dollars installing cable cards, and it takes us Y times longer for a cable card install then a cable box install.

    They can use that data in front of congress next time congress calls them to complain about cable rate hikes. They will justify their increase by saying that the government made them support these cable cards which increased their operational expenses. So you can either get rid of these cable cards or we must keep our rate increase.
  7. john wiens

    john wiens New Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I live in York PA, HD TiVo with Comcast and an MCard by Scientitic Atlanta. I have the software v8.1. I too can't get any channles above the basic (78 Channnles). I can get about 8 free local channles ABC,NBC,CBS in HD.
  8. theinfamous

    theinfamous New Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    I was upgraded tonight to 9.2. I called Comcast and verified:

    Cablecard ID
    Host ID

    They said it all matched and I had them send a hard hit. unfortunately it was a no go. However the operator then talked to her supervisor and they said that they sent me a cablecard that was suppose to go into one of their DVRs?? So she set up another service request (the 5th guy to come out now) for this Saturday. We'll see how it goes. She doesn't know if they are sending two cable cards or just one.

    But apparently you need to tell them that this is your TiVo unit you bought not a Comcast TiVo or a comcast DVR. I actually feel somewhat optimistic because it didn't sound like BS. So I'll give you an update this Saturday.
  9. theinfamous

    theinfamous New Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    Yes thank you. It's really not helpful though.

    I'm beginning to think it is a cable company comcast issue. We'll see on Saturday.
  10. mbundrick

    mbundrick New Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    I had two cablecards installed on Saturday (Atlanta area). I asked the guy if he had done a TiVo install before, and he said he had. I don't believe him at all because he seemed utterly clueless. He was there forever and wound up having to call customer support to get the cards activated. He arrived late and wouldn't even stick around to test it. He bolted! Luckily, it all seems to work.

    I'm new to this, but I think I was given two multi-stream cards and apparently I only needed one because my TiVo calls it an "extra cablecard." We'll wait a couple of months to see how it's being charged and return it (if we can) if we're paying for it.
  11. Ryan0751

    Ryan0751 New Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    Got my cable card setup yesterday. The entire experience can be summed up in 3 words: OH. MY. GOD.

    I called last week to setup the appointment, and the person on the phone was familiar with Tivo HD and the cable cards.

    Yesterday, the sketchy comcast service person showed up with no cablecard, and a Comcast DVR. He had never installed a cable card, knew nothing about them other then they existed. At first he told me he would have to come back (after my taking the afternoon off from work).

    For the next hour there were calls to different service people in the area, Nextel's to his girlfriend "yo baby wassup"... and my having to listen to a gangster rap ringtone over and over.

    Then, another service person randomly showed up with two cards. One of them was marked m-card, so I grabbed that one and followed the TiVo instructions. Fortunately I had read up on the card install and knew what to expect.

    The Comcast guy finally got through to someone who could initialized the card, and amazingly enough it actually worked.
  12. murryamorris

    murryamorris New Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    No need for the second card, you can just remove the M card from slot 2.
  13. dmedeiros

    dmedeiros New Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Comcast came this morning and installed a M-Card into my TivoHD. The whole process took about 15 minutes and most of that was the installer on the phone. All channels work as expected.

    Tried to pick the card up at my local Comcast office, which was a no-go. When I called to schedule the appointment, it took a half hour and 3 reps before I got one who knew what a cablecard was but she told me they only had S-Cards. I told her to put a request for the M-Card on the work order anyways.

    Area: North of Boston, MA
  14. lateknight

    lateknight New Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    So I am finally getting my new TV, which (of course) will require the purchase of a THD and upgrade to Comcast Digital Cable. I called yesterday to get a price quote, and I wanted to run past you guys what I was told to see if what they told me was in the right range. We currently have analog cable and internet through Comcast. I'll be keeping the Internet and moving to the Digital Basic Package with the HD channels. They quoted me a price of "around" $97 for Internet, Digital Basic and the HD charge. I confirmed that a single M-Card was included in the price. They tried to sell me on the Triple Play for $99/month which I assume doesn't include the HD charge. The wife and I currently just use our cell phones and don't have a home phone...any reason to add Digital Voice? Does the $97/month sound right to you guys? Can't wait to move up in the TV world! Thanks for the help!


    P.S. I'm in the Oakland, CA area...anyone in that area have good/bad/indifferent luck with installers?
  15. sketchy12314

    sketchy12314 New Member

    Oct 23, 2007
    Does the FCC mandate that cable providers provide two cable cards in the Series 3? Or can they get away with just one? If they do can someone link the source.

  16. robojwfisch

    robojwfisch New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    After 3 days, and mutiple friendly but untrained CSRs, I am finalllly up and running in SE Michigan. I have a Series 3 with 2 cablecards. It took me 8-10 tries before I finally found someone willing to activate each card seperately as described in the Tivo instructions. I was finally put in touch with someone from the dispatch (I think) department. They knew exactly what information was needed from the Tivo unit to activate the cards. The only wierd thing was this person tried activating the first card and it did not work. He tried a different approach on the second card and it worked. We then went back and applied the same approach to the first card. This forum really helped me make sure they followed the right approach. Thanks for the valuable info. :) :up:
  17. Punji

    Punji New Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Well chiming in. Comcast put a multistream card into my TiVO HD a few weeks ago. From time installer arrived to time the installer left leaving me with a fully functional TiVO HD was about 8 minutes. Longest portion of that was him reading off the long string of numbers.

    Location: Central NJ
  18. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    Yes, very interesting. Now that they are using CCs in their units that could very well be an issue. You would think, though, that they wouldn't bother replacing their cards in the field, instead just swapping entire units. Maybe the CC is preconfigured somehow. I sure hope that that is the problem. Good luck!
  19. titsataki

    titsataki New Member

    Dec 6, 2002
    well I got my Tivo HD. I have an appointment for 10/25 8-11am the Comcast folks to install the cards. I talked to the CSR and he was clueless but it may have been me. I asked him to make sure they put a note to have cable cards when the tech comes in. Afew months ago i tried an S3 and it was a nightmare. They kept telling me that the merge of Comcast and Adelphia messed up the codes. so we shall see now. wish me luck.

    Anyone had a smooth install in the Woodbridge/Bethany/Wallingford area of CT? If yes do you remember the name of the tech?



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