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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Nov 2, 2007 #4161 of 9367
    iamjackshandle

    iamjackshandle New Member

    1
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    Nov 2, 2007
    In Charlottesville, VA: got a Tivo HD with M-card as a replacement for Comcast DVR box. Now, all channels work except ESPN & ESPN2 in HD. Other high-tier cable channels work, like Discovery and TNT. Just the ESPN's yield a gray screen. Comcast has been out a few times to no avail. Any thoughts on how to proceed?
     
  2. Nov 2, 2007 #4162 of 9367
    muddball

    muddball New Member

    43
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    Feb 9, 2003
    Poulsbo, WA
    I did a self-install last week in Kitsap County. The receipt I got from the retail store had a different toll free number (877 something, I think) that the lady told me to call and that appeared to go directly to a call center in Olympia (based on the address above the phone number). I think when you call 1-800-COMCAST, and it asks if you are calling regarding an account in WA, it directs you to the same call center. In any event, I think 1-800-COMCAST will work (I used both numbers at different times while trying to get the CCs working).
     
  3. Nov 2, 2007 #4163 of 9367
    TheOrkinMan

    TheOrkinMan New Member

    22
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    Oct 23, 2007
    I feel your pain - if I had another choice around here I'd use it, but FIOS isn't here yet and I can't use a satellite system (strict condo rules). This will get me one step closer to being Comcast free - once FIOS arrives, that may be the last move.

    I suspect most of the people in this forum know more than most Comcast installers...

    Sounds like maybe a lineup problem? Have you tried asking Tivo?

    My receipt had no extra phone numbers on it - it was just one of those yellow receipts that says you now have something that belongs to Comcast...

    Anyway - I'm going to risk attempting this tomorrow morning - if it doesn't pan out, I'll do it Monday. I'll report back one way or the other.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2007 #4164 of 9367
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    1,063
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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    I think I once mentioned this before but if anyone wonders why there is no consistency in the various Comcast offices take a look what Comcast actually consists of. It is just a huge holding company of hundreds of corporate and LLC entities scattered across the country. I thought of posting the list here but there are 18 pages listing the different Comcast subsidiaries. So take a quick peek at Comcast's monstrosity of a Form 10K report to the SEC. Scroll down to Part IV Exhibit 21 Subsidiaries near the bottom for some entertainment. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Nov 3, 2007 #4165 of 9367
    gilbreen

    gilbreen Member

    69
    0
    Sep 5, 2007
    Had Comcast (Northern Colorado) come out today to install CCs in two TivoHDs (We had another one installed 2 weeks ago). The tech came and said he had only done S3 installs before. He had two M Cards in hand. I showed him the Tivo install sheet, he put the M Card in and I handled the remote to make sure we got to the right screens. He phoned Comcast and had them activate the card.

    Each THD took about 30 minutes to be up and running including rerunning the Guided Setup. All channels are working properly (we have the family tier). Really only want the locals in HD but found we also get TBS HD, ESPN2 HD and AE HD.

    Overall no complaints.

    Since we only have one card in each TivoHD, can I call back and have them update my account so I am not charged the $1.50 for the non-existant 2nd card? Has anyone done that before? Not a huge amount of money. Just curious.
     
  6. Nov 3, 2007 #4166 of 9367
    TheOrkinMan

    TheOrkinMan New Member

    22
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    Oct 23, 2007
    Ok - here's the report...

    Installed the cablecard, got the cablecard setup screen. Followed the cablecard install sheet that came with the THD. The screen gave me a phone number to call (it was basically the same as the main 1-800-COMCAST number). The first person had to transfer me to someone else, but they answered within 10 seconds (this was at about 9:30 this morning).

    She asked for the Host ID and Data numbers. Apparently that told her everything she needed to know, including the fact that it was a TivoHD. She then walked me through the Tivo menus (!) to verify everything was working. I'd say it took about 2 minutes for the authorization to occur and overall maybe a 10 minute phone call. Once done, reran guided setup and all was well.

    I now have a working Tivo - can record 2 programs at once and everything. HD channels working and it appears to have all the channels I get.

    I feel extraordinarly lucky that the entire process went so smoothly for me - after reading the posts on this forum, I was expecting the worst. I guess it all depends on where you are, how much training the CSRs have had and who you get. For me, the stars aligned and left me with a very good feeling.

    We're going to leave the Comcast DVR running side-by-side with the THD for a week before we turn in the Comcast DVR, just in case something goes badly in the next few days (I've read a few posts where that happened).
     
  7. Nov 3, 2007 #4167 of 9367
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    There are so many things that can go wrong. There are 2 sets of 4 numbers for a TiVo with two cableCARDs.

    Today, I had a VERY knowledgable tech out to re-pair (validate) my cableCARDs. He is the Supervisor for the local Comcast techs and he has been with the company through 4 name changes. He seemed to hate TiVo, not because of what it does, but because that is what takes up most of their time.

    Anyway, in my case, today, the tech calls in all of the numbers and he tells the person on the other end of the line that the cableCARD has to be added to the DAC (Controller). It was removed in error. The other person keys in all the numbers and it is still showing UN-SUBSCRIBED on my end. ANOTHER 45 min call, tech on hold, finds out the other person did NOT enter the cableCARD into the DAC as requested. (My Father told me his tech was on hold 45 min as well. What a waste of time.)

    So, you see, this happened with a tech who knew what he was doing. And it was ALL Comcast errors. Then they hate TiVo. Go figure. :eek:
     
  8. Nov 3, 2007 #4168 of 9367
    nickff

    nickff New Member

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    May 31, 2007
    Anyone have any insight into the following problem:

    Cablecard #2 repeatedly loses it ability to decode my Encore and HBO channels. It will go out, I call Comcast, they schedule a visit, come out, and re-hit the card. Everything works after that... for about a week. Then, boom, repeat the cycle. This is driving me insane. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting down to watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm" only to be greeted by a gray screen instead of Larry David's bald head.

    During the last Comcast visit, I had them swap out the card and then today the channels went out again.

    Comcast now claims that the slot that cablecard #2 is in is faulty and that I should swap out my S3 for a new one. I don't understand how a faulty slot allows most channels but not my HBOs or Encores.
     
  9. Nov 3, 2007 #4169 of 9367
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Take a look at this link "Troubleshooting CableCARD Activation and Channel Issues". It might help you. There are specific screenshots showing you how a card is SUBSCRIBED (AKA as AUTHORIZED) and VALIDATED (AKA PAIRED).


    http://tivosupport2.instancy.com/LaunchContent.aspx?CID=f8f40dc6-5fb6-4ed8-ac41-d8cd0d5c0824
     
  10. Nov 3, 2007 #4170 of 9367
    mweidin

    mweidin New Member

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    Dec 16, 2006
    Comcast is telling me that there is a monthly charge of $1 for a cable card. Has anyone else been told this ?
     
  11. Nov 3, 2007 #4171 of 9367
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    It's different region by region. Where I am, in the NE, it is free for the first one and $2.75 A/O (Additional Outlet) for each subsequent cableCARD if you have the digital tier.
     
  12. Nov 4, 2007 #4172 of 9367
    cikk

    cikk New Member

    5
    0
    Nov 3, 2007
    I live in Albuquerque and my cable provider is comcast, I'm using 2 scientific atlanta cablecards model number PKM600 and I've had nothing but nightmares dealing with them to get my cablecards properlly installed. They've sent over 6 technicians in the past week and a half. The first time 3 came and they had me insert the card cause he didn't want to be responsible if it broke and when I went outside to have a cigarette he inserted the 2nd one himself before even getting the first one authorized. Then they sat there for an hour trying to get my digital and hd stations to work since only my basic cable and local hd ones were working. They were getting off work since it was the end of the day and the smartest one decided to leave first and at the end I was left with the guy that had never even done a cablecard before. So he tells me he'll schedule another appointment for tomorrow morning. I'm like whatever as long as it gets done tomorrow so I can watch the first day of the basketball season in HD. So another technician comes the next day he complains about the cablecards and how they never work, he then swaps them out for some new ones, the same thing happens. He says he'll bring more cablecards tomorrow and try them. And the same thing just repeats again and again for the next 3 technicians that come out. Supposedly the next one was one of there top technicians yet he did less then the previous ones and just talked to his department using some code words that only they understand and then gave up and told me there was nothing they could do. And finally today the last technician came and sounded extremely rude and said he'd come back but he never did so I sat there from 10am to 6pm waiting for nothing. So finally I got fed up and spent a few hours reading on the internet about possible solutions and called comcast's 1-800 number a couple times and told them what could be wrong since they were absolutly clueless. The first time I asked if theres codes that allow me to view the digital and hd channels were right, they werent, the guy supposedly fixed them, and it still didnt work. I called again to see if they could do a clean reset and check if there was a firmware upgrade, she said she'd do it, it still didnt work. Then I decided to just reset my entire tivo box and redo everything myself and follow the instructions unlike the 6 technicians that came out. Then I called comcast to see if they'd re-input the serial number for my cablecards and the host id's. She tells me there already in there system, so I ask her to check if the information is right. I tell her the serial number on the back of my cablecard, she tells me it's not right, and tells me what she has, but she tells me the host id instead of the number on my cablecard. Then she keeps insiting that thats the right number and that everything looks fine on her end. So I ask her what kind of card it is that I have. She tells me it's an SCard. I ask her if she could get me an MCard and she puts me on hold for half an hour to check if there available in my area. Eventually my calls forwarded to the sales department in my area. The guy said he didnt have any SCards or MCards and that they only have CCards, which I've yet to read anything about on here so it sounds completely wrong. He puts me on hold, comes back and tells me it's an MCard. So now I don't even know what kind of card they gave me, and then he tells me he talked to his supervisor and there was nothing more they could do and that the cards arent compatible with my TiVoHD and that I should just get one of there DVRs which I laughed at and told them NO and hung up. I'd switch to verizon fios in a heartbeat if it was available in my area since I've heard nothing but good reviews on it, but since it's not I'd really hate to have to return my tivo, I've fallen in love with the tivotogo feature using it on my iphone. So with all that being said, is there anything else I could possibly do to get my cablecards to work?

    I forgot to add this. On the pairing screen all I see is CableCARD(tm), and HOST ID:, but no DATA ID. and it says "Waiting for CP Auth"
     
  13. Nov 4, 2007 #4173 of 9367
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    1,063
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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    Nice! It is about time TiVo came up with that info. Thanks very much for the tip...
     
  14. Nov 4, 2007 #4174 of 9367
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    That is odd. I'm still not 100% sure what generates the DATA ID. A Comcast tech supervisor at my house yesterday insists that Comcast sends the DATA ID. But, reading up on the cableCARD process, it appears that the cableCARD being inserted into the TiVo creates the DATA ID. So, I would call TiVo on that. Forget telling them all of the other stuff, just tell them that you are not getting a DATA ID on your TiVo. Proceed from there. Plus, I called TiVo when I was having a cableCARD problem. They have set up a HOTLINE 1-866-986-8486. They told me that if you have an installer on site to call that number and they will help the technician.
     
  15. Nov 4, 2007 #4175 of 9367
    kgt12

    kgt12 New Member

    31
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    Oct 23, 2007
    Wow, your story is similar to mine. It has been a nightmare trying to get these things to work. I don't understand how Tivo stays in business.

    As for your Data ID, my comcast install didn't require that number. They needed 3 numbers - the 8 or 9 digit code on the back of the cablecards (mine all started in PK), the Host ID and the Cable Card ID. That's it.

    I have 1 working Tivo HD and 1 non working Tivo HD. The problems on the non working are very similar to what you have described. 1 of the tuners appears to work fine, but the other only gets the standard SD and HD channels. At times, it will pick up the others, say Discovery HD, but will freeze on the picture within 2 seconds.

    I'm probably going to switch to Fios, but I'm not counting on too much more than what I got from Comcast...

    Good luck.
     
  16. Nov 4, 2007 #4176 of 9367
    cikk

    cikk New Member

    5
    0
    Nov 3, 2007
    ok so I called TiVo today and explained to them that I don't believe comcast even knows what there doing and I got transfered to a higher up and he 3 way called comcast. The comcast guy sounded ignorant and couldn't understand what the TiVo guy was saying. He said he'd have to send another technician out on Tuesday if I wanted to try to re-pair the cards cause supposedly he wasn't able to do it himself over the phone. I demanded that the tech that comes on tuesday speak to tivo when he arrives to make sure its done right. He says its up to the tech and i tell him no he will be speaking to them since its obvious they are doing something wrong since they arent trained well enough to know how to pair my cablecards. After speaking to the TiVo tech its pretty clear that if the cards aren't paired correctly, the cable company can send the cards a million hits but theres no way the cards will even get one of them. I'm starting to doubt comcast even wants my cablecards to work and rather just lose me as a customer which is fine with me since it won't be too hard to find a better and cheaper alternative.
     
  17. Nov 4, 2007 #4177 of 9367
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    True enough. The Comcast CSR's think that all they have to do is send a hit and it magically fixes it. One CSR told me "That's the way it's suppose to work." They do not know what pairing is, they will not forward you to the cableCARD area, and they can't do anything but send a hit.

    CableCARDs require two distinctive authorizations. One is the CPMS (COPY PROTECTION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM) and the other is the DAC (Digital Addressable Controller). If the cableCARD is not correct in both areas and synchronized, it will only pass through free and clear, unencrypted channels. Usually mostly local. (That is not true with all cableco's and maybe not all of Comcast, but it is definitley true where I live in the N.E.)

    Cable Operator Deployment of CableCARD/Host Technology
    http://broadband.motorola.com/catalog/product_documents/CableCARDpaper_sept03.pdf
     
  18. Nov 4, 2007 #4178 of 9367
    bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance TCF Club

    25,955
    8
    Dec 1, 2000
    Silicon Valley
    Does anyone know if SHOHD or HBOHD have changed to a different channel? I'm not getting any guide data for these channels on my usual channel. It's said "To be announced" for three days now. I only get guide data for the East Coast feed it seems, however when I attempt to tune into those channels they come up as "unavailable" since I don't subscribe to them. What's the best way to fix this? Do I need to call Comcast or TiVo"?

    Anyone know the best way to fix this problem? Anyone else having guide problems?
     
  19. Nov 4, 2007 #4179 of 9367
    gconnery

    gconnery New Member

    128
    0
    Mar 31, 2006
    Petaluma, CA
    Comcast in Petaluma. Just got a Tivo HD. M-Card install. Nice guy, had done one other cablecard install. Brought a bunch of cards with him. Seemed to know the menus and such. First card didn't go well, just sitting at the "acquiring channels" screen for over half-an-hour. Reset from Comcast. Reboot the box. Nothing. Oddly, he hadn't taken any particular care with the numbers over the phone. Would seem like just repeating them back would produce fewer errors. Anyway, finally gave up, installed a different card, called and got a different tech and were more careful the second time, and boom, done in like 5 minutes. Can't guarantee it wasn't a bad card, but I'm guessing a bad number somewhere in there on the first one. Now working fine.
     
  20. Nov 4, 2007 #4180 of 9367
    silypuddy

    silypuddy New Member

    56
    0
    Jun 4, 2007
    Minneapolis
    It looks like you have Scientific Atlanta cards. I have those and don't have a data id. I have a serial # on the back of the card and a host id that I get via the Tivo. The Comcast techs here just needed those two numbers.

    From the message you posted, the card has not been properly auth'ed. Instead of calling, if you have comcast internet, use the online chat to talk to a rep. You can get them to tell you what serial # and host # they have in their system. It sounds like they have it flipped and you just got to get them to change it and re-hit your cards.

    Good luck...
     

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