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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. grampy

    grampy New Member

    5
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    Nov 29, 2007
    Hudson, MA
    I can report that my install went very well this week in my Series 3, Comcast tech was here for 1/2 hr, most of the time waiting for a tech to answer the phone at the other end. Total actual time for both cards was maybe fifteen minutes.
    {Edit: just noticed my profile is bare, I'm in Hudson, MA}
     
  2. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Active Member

    7,885
    18
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    Strike One for Comcast.

    I was scheduled for 4-7pm ET today for cablecards in my HDTivo. I get a call at 4:07pm (at least it was prompt) from the tech telling me that the M cards (Scientific Atlanta) were recalled and they were out of S cards.

    Comcast tech support is supposed to call me back later this evening.

    One step closer to Verizon.
     
  3. Washizu

    Washizu New Member

    11
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    Oct 26, 2004
    Audubon, NJ
    I'm in a similar boat as many of you trying to get my Tivo HD to work. Right now I have had two tech vists, two NO SHOWS, and the end result is that I have one of two cable cards working. This means my Tivo HD records dead air half of the time.

    I'll write up a more detailed account when I get home later. Hopefully it will help someone else out there. Overall, Comcast is doing zero training for cable cards for its phone reps and installers. They are all learning on the job.
     
  4. zand94

    zand94 New Member

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    0
    May 20, 2002
    Central PA
    Just wanting to post my experience:

    Today had comcast contractor show up over 1 hour late (called comcast dispatch at 30 min and got a $20 credit). Contractor shows up with only 1 M-Card and I got worried.

    He says he's done the TivoHDs before and it's no big deal - just have to have the right person on the other end of the phone. He calls in and requests someone specific and gives them the info. 5 min later i'm running guided setup and it's all working. I did have to restart in order to begin receiving channels on the 2nd tuner. All channels showing up (no HBO or any premiums here).

    Location: West shore Harrisburg PA area

    Comcast seems to be getting it right here.

    Alex
     
  5. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Active Member

    7,885
    18
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    I talked with a tech manager. Think she was local but I am not sure since I got here from the 800 number. She said she has instructed CSRs to funnel cablecard problems to designated cablecard experts she has set up (minimum of 2 at any time). She said the training is just not there so she has made sure she has a couple well-versed people on staff and rather than try to get training for everyone to just make sure that the non-routine stuff gets sent to them.

    She was friendly, helpful and seemed very knowledgeable on the issues. She even called back with more information and gave me her number.
     
  6. Washizu

    Washizu New Member

    11
    0
    Oct 26, 2004
    Audubon, NJ
    That's great. Actually, almost everyone at Comcast and their installers has been really nice and want to help. The problem is that they don't know how to get it working... here's my extended story.

    I've had a Series 2 TiVo for 3 years and love it. Never had any problems whatsoever. I was planning on getting a new, Hi Def TV in December but I knew I'd have to upgrade my TiVo as well. I bought a beautiful 40" Samsung LCD and and a TiVo HD. I called comcast (south jersey, formerly Garden State Cable) to figure out how to get cable cards. They said I could either have a tech install them or could pick them up at a local store. I said I'd pick them up. I drove to the store after work to find they close at 4:00PM, but are open later on Wednesdays. I drove there Wednesday and they told me that they never carry cable cards and whoever told me they do was wrong. A tech had to install them.

    So I call comcast again and they say the store was right, only a tech could install cable cards and they'd set up an appointment for them to come from 6-9PM. There'd be no monthly charge for the two cards and $5 charge for HD service. Great! I didn't even know comcast had evening hours now.

    Two days prior to the tech visit I hooked up TiVo HD to my regular signal and could get all my channels in standard def. TiVo HD updated it's software and everything was all set. So far everything was running pretty smoothly.

    The tech arrived on time (around 6:00PM) and had two single stream cable cards and put them both in at the same time (I now know this is bad). He was on hold with comcast for about 20 minutes, but 45 minutes in everything seemed to be working. I could record in HD, play it back, etc.

    I had zero prior experience with the TiVo HD, so I didn't think to check the other card. Later that night I went to start reprogramming all my season passes and realized that only one tuner was working. Card 1 had all my standard 2-23, extended 24-199, and HD 200+. Card 2 only had 2-23.

    I called back and they apologized and said they'd give me 6 months free HBO and Starz. Sweet! They also said they have a tech out there the next day from 6-9PM.

    8:30PM rolled around the next day and I called to confirm... No one was scheduled to come out. They made an appointment for the next day from 6-9PM.

    8:30PM rolled around and still no sign of the tech. I called comcast and they said he was held up on a job, but my visit was a "must do" and he would be there a little after nine. Tech called at 9:00PM to say he'd be there at 9:45PM. At 11:30PM he called, waking my wife and I up to say he wasn't coming and would I like to reschedule for the next day? No.

    I called comcast the next day and gave them the story and they took $10 off my bill each month for a year. (At least the service reps are authorized to give out this kind of stuff!) They'd send a tech out the next day (which is today) and have this solved. I asked for someone who has installed cable cards in TiVos before.

    So today, the tech arrives with a multistream card. He said they just got them in two days ago. It doesn't work. He tries and tries and tries, but it only gets channels 2-23. He puts the old single stream back in the same slots they were originally, and this time Card 2 works, but Card 1 doesn't! Card 1 has the exact same problem Card 2 used to have. He swapped out Card 1 with a different one, but had the same problem so he put the old one back in. So now we've proved that the TiVo HD works, both slots work, and both cable cards work.

    The only answer left is comcast. I'm 99% sure it is a setting, or handshake that has to initiated from their end.

    The tech said he would bring it up with a supervisor and would call me on Wednesday morning, which is fine because I don't want to mess with this 2 days before Christmas anyway.

    Any suggestions on what I should do? I actually think I should be able to talk to someone and fix this over the phone.

    I can get Verizon Fios TV in my area (already have it for Internet) and not getting my TiVo to work would be one of the only things that could get me to switch.
     
  7. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

    27
    0
    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    Just to follow up on previous posts :

    After multiple phone calls to CSR's, 2 refusals to come out to bring the cable cards, 1 no call no show, I had an appointment scheduled for today. Original time was for 10-12. Tech called before 10. Said he was on of the supervisors, but he could not make it out until between 1 and 5. I said FINE with me, just come. He said he estimated the set-up of the cable cards, "if it worked" would take at least 2 hours due to all the trouble they have been having. He stated he had not had a successful installation since the end of 9/07. He was willing to give it a try though. One condition - I had to disconnect the wireless and have my box hooked up to the phone line. Not sure what difference that would make, but told him not a problem. A few hours later the phone rang. It was Comcast just calling to make sure it was OK if that guy came out, as he was a from a contracted company, as I had requested a Comcast tech specifically. I told him that the girl told me that might not happen on a weekend, and I was fine with whomever came, but that I preferred that they had some experience with the cable cards. Told him that someone had already scheduled a time, and that was fine. I set up the Tivo with the phone line, and reprogrammed it accordingly. Restarted the Tivo also.
    Around 3 p.m. the supervisor arrives. I recognize his voice as being one of the people who outright refused to come out before. Not sure what changed his mind - maybe my repeated phone calls to Comcast. He repeated everything he had told me before. I told him that based on my research many of the problems had to do with activation (wrong numbers being read to the activation person, etc) or faulty cards. He admitted that he felt there was some sort of computer issue on Comcast's end, but that he couldn't be sure. I asked him about the failure of CC's, and some people needing to go through many cards until one finally worked. He said the most he went through in one day was about 17.
    Says that he and another tech came up with a plan that might work in getting the cards to work. He states it was recommended to him to restart the Tivo after inserting the first cable card, and again after inserting the second card, as this has worked in another state. He seemed to imply that NO ONE in NJ has had the cards working since the end of 9/07, which I corrected him on. I let him know that I have been in contact with people via this forum who could state otherwise. Anyhow, he pops in the first Motorola CC. It is an S card. States that Comcast in my area is not using M cards any longer (probably so they can charge for the second card - but I haven't even got to that issue yet, as I was told there would be no charge for the cards, just the service call). He was able to get in touch with someone he knew in activation so that it would go smoother, and as he put it, so we wouldn't have to wait on hold for 30 minutes. After reading the numbers to her (I listened in and knew he read them correctly), he unplugs the Tivo for 3 minutes. Then he plugs it back in, lets the Tivo reboot and lets her send the signal. SUCCESS!!!!!!! The card works. MAGIC!! This after all the talk about the "compatibility issue" with Motorola CC's and Tivo. I am overjoyed!!!
    Not so lucky with the second card. Does the same thing all over again. Only receiving some channels, and no HD channels. Thinks maybe the girl heard the numbers incorrectly, so he rereads the numbers, and tries the whole process over again. No luck. I think he took the card out at one point in time, so he may have ruined it, but I can't remember the exact order of when he did that. I thought he took the second card out to read something off of it, then put it back in, but before the girl began activation. Not sure if that was part of the problem or not. Anyhow, this guy was very easy to deal with, although he still didn't seem happy to be doing a Tivo CC install. He clearly knew his way around using the Tivo though, which was a BIG plus.
    Bottom line, he suspects the second card was bad. He didn't have extras (not sure why, given his past experience with them - think he said there just weren't any available since it was the weekened). He is to come back on Monday morning to try the second card again.
    I had to redo the Guided Set-up after he left to get the channels to show up on the guide. I kind of wondered if maybe doing that and then retrying the second cable card would have made a difference, but just grasping at straws. Overall, I was just totally happy that that one card worked and proved everyone I had dealt with so far wrong. And I was quite impressed with the quality of the HD channels on the Tivo box. They appeared clearer to me than on the Comcast DVR. I am praying that all goes well on Monday, so I can have my Christmas present actually up and running on Christmas morning!! I am confident it can be done, just not sure where the problem arose. Anyone out there get their second card activated by any special magic?
    Let me know.
    RNSAMRN
    South Jersey
     
  8. Washizu

    Washizu New Member

    11
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    Oct 26, 2004
    Audubon, NJ
    RNSAMRN! We are in the same exact boat and we both live in South Jersey. Read my post about how it may NOT be a bad card, but instead a problem on comcast's end sending channels to two cards.

    Also, the tech said that the only good cable cards were made in 2005. The newer ones dont' work as well. He also said that they've had fewer problems with the Series 3 TiVos than with the new front loading TiVo HDs.

    Let me know if your problems get resolved!
     
  9. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    50,978
    32
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    It's just laughable what some "techs" say about CableCARDs.
     
  10. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

    27
    0
    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    Washizu,
    It has been amazing all of the different stories the people at Comcast have come up with regarding the Tivo units! I have not tried to record any programs since getting the one card to work - noticed you said you get dead air or something? Shouldn't having one card at least let you be able to record, just only one channel at a time, right?
    I have seen some threads where people said the second card didn't work while the tech was there, but hours later they rebooted and it magically started to work. Wish the techs would just leave the second card so I could play around to see if it does the same here.
    Anyhow, I just had to call out sick from work from the raging respiratory infection I have come down with since the "work all night and then stay up over 24 hours waiting for Comcast to not come" episode. Will rest up today, and the Comcast guy is supposed to come back tomorrow, but sure I will get a "it's Christmas Eve" excuse and he won't come. I however will have to drag my sick butt to work one way or another tomorrow night. I will let you know how it turns out.
    RNSAMRN
    South Jersey
     
  11. Washizu

    Washizu New Member

    11
    0
    Oct 26, 2004
    Audubon, NJ
    They actually did leave me with the non functioning card and that's why it wants to record dead air. No magic for me though :( The working card is in slot #2, so I'm afraid to take the other one out.

    Hah. I'm sick, too! Probably not from comcast though.
     
  12. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

    27
    0
    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    FINALLY HAVE MY CABLE CARDS AND THEY WORK IN SOUTH JERSEY!!

    The technical supervisor (contracted by Comcast from a local company) came back this morning. He was very up beat. Excited that he got his hands on some of the Motorola CC's with the serial number starting in NG that they have been saying are the ones that have always worked in this area. Put it in. Waited on hold for 20 minutes or so. Got through, did the activation and TIVO MAGIC!!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS to me!!!

    I redid Guided Set-up as Tivo told me to do, then checked out some of the HD channels. Got the black screen with numbers on it for the CC when I clicked on Showtime channels saying to call the cable company. I restarted the Tivo, and BAM! Everything back to normal, all channels working.

    If anyone lives in may area (near Ocean City NJ) the guy was from Ocean Cable Group, his name is Neil and his ID # is 441. He knows his way around a Tivo. He is a technical supervisor.

    Best of luck to the rest of you, and know that I feel you pain, if you still haven't gotten your Tivo up and running. Mine is the Series 3 HD (more expensive one). Working on one Motorola S-card with serial number starting in MA, the other is Motorola S-card with serial number starting in NG.

    Merry Christmas to all!!!!!!

    RNSAMRN
    Now in Tivo Heaven in South Jersey
     
  13. cwise

    cwise Should of Never Left

    7
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    Dec 19, 2007
    KnoxVegas, TN
    Ok it seems like my ordeal with Comcast is over. All channels are up and running after the tech came out today.

    That said here is an interesting thing I was told by tech. He stated that it is impossible to self-install MCards. They have to do 5 hits to the card to get it to work and the last hit is a special hit that only a field tech can do. So I guess the best bet would be not to self-install and the let the field tech do it.

    I did get lucky with my field tech. He had vast experience with TIVO and cable cards. He told me stories how people have taken back their TIVO boxes because of bad experiences with cable cards when most of the time it was the bad customer service from Comcast.

    I am still going write a letter to Comcast about the many training issues they have in relation to this subject and their bad customer service.
     
  14. danfi

    danfi New Member

    17
    0
    Jan 6, 2006
    Kenmore, WA
    I activated a new TiVO HD unit over the weekend with an M-Card from one of the Comcast stores here in the Seattle area and it went flawlessly. The entire interaction time with Cocmast was about 10 minutes, 5 minutes to get the card and all of 5 minutes on the phone to Pair up the card and verify the channels were working. This was even smoother than when I had to pair the 2 S-Card's on my Series 3. At least out here Comcast appears to have a handle on the CableCARD issue.
     
  15. rjgarcia

    rjgarcia New Member

    4
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    Dec 23, 2007
    I purchased a TivoHD over the weekend and called yesterday for an appointment. The tech showed up on time this morning and although he had only done three CC installs in the past year and a half, we worked through it together and it took about an hour.

    Most of our time was spent waiting on hold and looking at each other trying to figure out what we were supposed to do next. But alas it works on all channels!

    He brought both 2 S cards and an M card with him and we went down the M Card path after hearing all the problems people have with 2 S cards...

    This is in Little Rock, Arkansas....

    -Robert
     
  16. Allez

    Allez Padawan Learner

    42
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    Dec 8, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    I'm glad to hear that finally people are having success. It had been a little bit of a downer to hear what people have been going through!
     
  17. rjgarcia

    rjgarcia New Member

    4
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    Dec 23, 2007
    I was pleasantly surprised after hearing all of the horror stories!

    -Robert
     
  18. JoBeth66

    JoBeth66 Temp

    15,384
    55
    Feb 15, 2002
    Ugh.

    CableCard Installer here now - 2:00pm (contractor) for my new HD. Barely speaks English. What he does speak, he speaks very very softly. I asked him if he's done a TiVo install before he looks at me and sort of nods his head. but he's clueless - that much is clear.

    He didn't even know if he brought S-cards or M-cards, I had to tell him. He didn't know where to put the cards on the HD.

    Now, I was one of the very first people in this market (South Jersey - Burlington County) to get CableCards when the S3s first came out, and it was a hassle - it took 3 people, and multiple trips, and LOTS of arguing to get it going (my initial story is back in the beginning of the thread). I'm really hoping he figures it out.

    And no matter how many times I told him NOT to install both cards at the same time, he's insisting that's "how it's done".

    Yeah.

    not holding my breath that this is going to go seamlessly.

    ...

    and now he's trying to get someone to authorize the card. First they hung up on him. Then they put him through to the Comcast Online department, they thought he needed a modem reset. Now it looks like they're saying the person who does the authorizing isn't there. Um, ok? You do a truck roll for something you can't support??? Now he's on hold again.

    You'd think that the installers wouldn't have to sit in the same queue that everyone else does while they're out on service calls - that they would have an "installer" line for them to go through.

    (Now he's lying to the people at his office and telling them that I "have to go to work" so he needs to get an answer on this pretty quickly. I give him credit for being clueless but at least TRYING!) :D

    ..............

    and now it's 4:15, and he's given up. He's going to try to reschedule for Wednesday. He couldn't figure out what to do, the guy he was talking to on the phone was either more dense than he was, or just didn't get the TiVo.

    I've requested an M card when he comes back. We'll see if they can deliver. This is insane.
     
  19. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

    27
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    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    Jobeth -
    You aren't far from me, although I am in Atlantic County. I have seen the Ocean Cable Group trucks rolling up the Parkway North though in the past. If the contractor used in your area is Ocean Cable, ask them to send out Neil #441. He did my install with a minor problem with one of the cards, which he solved yesterday. He has numbers to people in the activation dept. and he tries to call them first, rather than waiting on hold for 30 minutes.
    If it isn't Ocean Cable Group, then INSIST they send someone with TIVO experience!!!! Otherwise you will be dealing with this issue much longer than you have to.
    RNSAMRN
    South Jersey
     
  20. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,758
    15
    Feb 18, 2002
    Sorry you're having such trouble, Amy.

    My second S3 install was a nightmare as well. As the installer was yanking cards in and out of the box in a seemingly random manner, it was only when I pointed out that the numbers he'd written down at the start were wrong (because the numbers changed after he re-inserted the cards), did things finally work.

    I really wish Comcast would put a customer web page up where customers could input the numbers, but that's probably too simple a solution.

    Hope you get this straightened out soon.
     

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