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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Sep 25, 2006 #441 of 9367
    Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet New Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    So, I live in Northern VA, but I have Cox (but I guess we can't be that far apart, since the area Comcast covers in Northern VA is pretty small). Cox supplied me with two Scientific Atlanta CableCards, and after a few fits and starts, they work fine. I know, this isn't Comcast, but I just thought I'd let you know that Scientific Atlanta cards work for me.
  2. Sep 25, 2006 #442 of 9367

    mweppner Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    OK, I'm still kicking this around. For the heck of it, I decided to call Comcast and see how much they would charge me for 2 cable cards in a single location. I've read in various posts that some are getting them cheaper than others, some free, and some are treating them as 2 locations instead of just 1, etc. I haven't put all thsoe numbers together yet to try to haggle for a deal - just trying to see what they told me.

    I called the 800 number for Comcast and said:

    Me: I was curious how much it would cost for me to add 2 cable cards to my account.

    Rep: Is this for a Tivo Series 3

    Me: Yes

    Rep: Comcast cablecards are not supported for Tivo Series 3 and do not work. You can't do it.

    Me: Are you serious? I've read plenty of forums online where people were successful installing the cable cards with Comcast and the S3.

    Rep: Yes, I'm serious. *insert some sort of technical speak about MAC-ID's or something like that*

    Me: I'm still baffled because I see someone in MD just had it installed 2 days ago and it is working - that is not far from me.

    Rep: We have received complaint after complaint. They just issued a notice today stating that Comcast didnt' support S3 and we are trying to make it work.

    Me: Ok, just for fun, how much would it cost me for the 2 cable cards?

    Rep: It would be $14.95 per month per card - you would essentially be paying for 2 locations in the same spot, almost like having 2 DVR's in the same room.

    Me: Wow - I've read different things online. I guess I'll have to call back and see what other information I get. Thank you.

    Does that seem right to anyone? Am I missing something? I admittedly have not read all 15+ pages of this thread, but I have read a good deal of it, as well as plenty of others in the S3 forum. Is this "Comcast cards won't work at all" new?

    Thoughts? Thanks.
  3. Sep 25, 2006 #443 of 9367

    jay_man2 jay_man-also TCF Club

    Sep 14, 2003
    My Comcast cablecard installation in the Series 3 is done, and I'm re-running the Guided setup as I type this. When the tech saw that the cards were going into a TiVo, he called to make sure it was okay.

    They were on top of it, as the guy back at the office said they'd been emailed information in the last day or so (after a customer in Reston raised heck with them). The first card was bad, but the second initialized just fine. In diagnosing the bad card, I discovered that the little release button to pop the card back out of the TiVo is busted.

    The tech got a new card, it installed fine, received all the channels fine, but the 2nd card took some work. The tech who programs the cards into the head-end was able to resolve whatever the problem was with the 2nd card, ans all is well.

    Happy camper here. The tech said it was the first install in the system here in Manassas, VA.
  4. Sep 25, 2006 #444 of 9367

    getgray New Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    Hi guys: I've had my S3 for a week or so and been chicken to stick in the CC's. I'm in Nashville and after duking it out with a typical conversation on the phone with a CSR they said I could go get the CC myself at the main office. Actually that was my only option, come get them. I'm OK with that and have done so.

    Now, am I going to have to completely reset the box (and what I've already recorded OTA) to get the 2 CC's installed?

    What is the sequence of getting them going with the best probablility of sucess?

  5. Sep 25, 2006 #445 of 9367

    c3 TiVoholic

    Sep 8, 2000
    Step 1: Pray. :)
  6. Sep 25, 2006 #446 of 9367

    Bodshal Penguin-tastic!

    Jan 4, 2005
    No resetting required - but you will have to re-run guided setup. For the OTA stuff, it should offer you the same settings you gave it last time, but this time round you tell it cable+antenna.

    Just insert card 1, get it working, then do card 2. Then re-run guided setup.

    Nothing already recorded will be lost.

  7. Sep 25, 2006 #447 of 9367

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

    Mar 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    Oops, posted to wrong thread before.

    Cable man came on Sat. This guy has never seen the Tivo before. But after reading about the Auth:MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY, I told him to ask the office to initialize the card. The did that, and I got 161-4 error on card 1 in a couple of minutes, and card 2 a couple of minutes after that. Tested and can see HBO-HD on both cards. I got all the channels within a couple of minutes, so the first guy who came on Fri saying thet it takes up to 2 hours for CC to get all the channels was just full of BS, and just looking to get thru with the job.

    The install guy on Sat was interested in Tivo, and pretty glad they he got such an easy install (basically just what I told him to), so he stuck around and I showed him the Tivo box a litte.

    Here are my time line:

    Ordered on Tue
    Got it Wed/Thur !? :)
    Called Comcast Thur, 2 cards, no rental fee on either (forgot to ask about outlet fee though) $16 installation
    1st CC install Fri (failed)
    2nd CC install Sat (good)

    I'm a happy camper :)
  8. Sep 25, 2006 #448 of 9367

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

    May 24, 2002
    I tried to get 1800COMCAST to "initialize" by phone today, but they had no clue. They did not see any of the #'s I gave them from my cable cards. They kept thinking all my "boxes" started with a letter, but none of the CC ID's do.


    Anyway, got another tech coming out Saturday. Hoping the magic word, "initialize", works then.....

    Until then, I have a mostly useless S3.
  9. Sep 25, 2006 #449 of 9367

    corwin_ranger New Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    I had Comcast out on Friday 9/22 to do my CC install. Two techs showed up on site. Looks like this was one of the first in the area. The techs were thrilled when I showed them that my devices were all set up and ready for the CCs. I had them install 3. One in the TV and two in the TiVo.

    It took these guys more time to write down the info and call in the activation than anything else. We had a false start or two until I told them to slow down a bit and do this one card at a time. I think they just wanted to get out fast.

    One thing I will say is that it took several minutes (as much as 5 minutes on one of the cards) for TiVo to display that various Host/Serial number screens, so be a little patient with this step.

    Once they got this info on all 3 cards, they called the home office and had them "hit" the cards one at a time. As each card was activated, the installers were great about taking a minute to check encrypted chaneels to make sure I was getting everything.

    Since this has come up in other threads, my cards were activated BEFORE the software update. They did NOT have to be "hit" again after the update.

    Overall, it was a pretty painless experience.

    I do have one question that I haven't seen in a thread search. Has anyone noticed that you can't change the Recording Quality, even for SD shows? I set my default recording quality to medium (lots of SD kids programming for my daughter). On my Series 2 I could always change the recording quality of a show in Season Pass Manager or at setup time. I understand why this isn't the case for for HD prgramming, but why not for HD? I called TiVo Support and didn;t really get an answer on this, though I did force an update of the sofware as a potential solution, which is why I know the CCs worked after the update.

    I'm going to try and do antother search on this and if I don't find it, I'll start a thread.

    Found the thread: Long story short, if you are recording a digital signal of ANY kind, recording quality is not an option: Recording Quality Thread


  10. Sep 25, 2006 #450 of 9367

    zfalcon New Member

    May 24, 2002
    Surprisingly, I had a good install after nothing but trouble from comcast the last few times. This is Comcast in the SF east bay.

    The tech guessed that I had the S3 after he saw the order. It did not sound like he had done one before, but he knew that you do one card at a time and to put it in the bottom slot first.

    He explained the procedure to his dispatch and made sure that the cards were pinged one at a time.

    There were only a few minor issues.
    1) He did not know his way around the tivo, but wanted to drive. I had to guide him around.
    2) 161-4 error on the first card...I told him this was ok.
    3) After putting in the second card, I let him know that we had to wait until the cablecard mmi screen came up automatically.
  11. Sep 25, 2006 #451 of 9367

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002
    Finally, I am up and running! :)

    The tech (a comcast employee, not a rent-a-tech) was just outstanding. He spend a good 45 minutes to an hour checking the wiring both inside and out before he started working on the Tivo. He changed out all the old splitters and connectors as well. He said most of the problems he has encountered are due to bad wiring more than anything else.

    I told him the first card was bad (161-1 error), and he replaced it and the MMI screen came up just like it's supposed to. He called it in and asked the tech on the other end for a favor as "this is a special case, 2 cablecards in one box", and it initialized. We didn't get the 161-4 error. Tuned to the HD channels and HBO, and repeated for the 2nd card.

    Since I could tune to all the extra channels, he left at this point, repeated guided setup with no issues.

    I am now officially a happy camper. :)
  12. Sep 25, 2006 #452 of 9367

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

    May 24, 2002
    *crossing fingers*

    Hoping to go camping this weekend....
  13. Sep 25, 2006 #453 of 9367

    maharg18 Active Member

    Dec 3, 2002
    Chattanooga, TN
    I feel your pain, man. I've been going through the same thing since last Wednesday.
  14. Sep 25, 2006 #454 of 9367

    dlstrick New Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    I live in Alexandria and they were giving me that same story. They have to provide you the cards so long as your equipment is certified by Cablelabs, otherwise they are in violation of the FCC "plug and play" rule. Articulate this fact to your Comcast rep, and tell them you will be going to your local city cable regulator with your complaint along with filing a complaint with the Consumer Affairs Bureau at the FCC, they will bring the cards out. I cannot imagine compliant cards not working across an entire equipment line barring an ignorant tech or bad cards. I have an install set for this Friday. Has anyone in the Alexandria/Arlington VA area had a successful install? Or is this SA Card issue true?
  15. Sep 25, 2006 #455 of 9367

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002
    I would try talking to your local Comcast office instead of the 1-800 folks, easier to deal with.
  16. Sep 25, 2006 #456 of 9367

    bwherry New Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    Up and Running in Denco. Total time 45 mins.

    The Tech, "Justin" showed up 30 mins early he called but I missed his call. He had just done 2 CC installs that morning in TVs. He had not seen the S3 before. I gave him the cable installer sheet. He took his time and read it twice.

    He checked the levels on a splitter that comcast installed when they installed my cable modem. He told me some taps were also installed. Went to the outside of my house and removed the taps. Came back in. I offered the remote to him but he said your equipment, you drive. Popped one car in... got an error on the pairing screen something like c:\\\POD failed to init... 15 seconds later it cleared and showed the host, data ids, and unit address.

    He called a special tech's only number. on hold less than 30 seconds. The person on the other end was apparently new according to Justin so there was some fumbling on the remote side. 10 mins go by and and he is ready to send the init. got the 161-4 error. About 90 seconds later the test channel screen came up. we flipped around to the encrypted SD channels and HD channels.

    Installed second card. The tivo screen went dark then. I reset the TV, AV receiver and that didn't do anything. so I unplugged the power from the TIVO, it came back on. Went to the cable screen and there was the second card. He called in and he immediately spoke to someone. 2 mins later, we were flipping around the channels on the second card.

    he took my directv bill and had me sign a form. I verified the 0.00 charge for the cable cards. We will see what my first cable bill shows but I am keeping an open mind. Justin said this was relatively painless for cable cards.

    Updated: I'm glad that they rolled the install because the box on the side of my house with the taps had a padlock on it and Justin had the magic key to get the taps off. Otherwise the taps would have blocked some of the HD channels.
  17. Sep 25, 2006 #457 of 9367

    Sfagan Steve

    Sep 25, 2006
    Pardon the newbie - I have Comcast and (not that I'm going to drop $799 - I think that's rape) although I think I have an idea what this is from context, I'm really not sure. Is this a tuner that can be plugged into the TiVo series 3 and obviate the need for the Motorola box?
  18. Sep 25, 2006 #458 of 9367

    bwherry New Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    YES more or less. Right now each tuner in the Tivo needs 1 cable card. When multi-stream cards come out if the TIVO software supports it then only 1 multi-stream cable card is needed. The CC's decrypt encrypted channels. While I was waiting for comcast to show up I was able to see the unencrypted local HD channels (or so I think because they sure looked like high def).

  19. Sep 25, 2006 #459 of 9367

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    A Cable card is the thing which a cable co can/must supply so that cable card enabled equipment can operate on the cable network without the need for an external cable box. Its not a tuner, the S3 has the tuner it provides channel mappings to the S3 (so you know channel 119-7 is really CNN on channel 56) and it decrypts digital channels which are encrypted.

    Yes, its plugged into the S3. If you have a Motorolla box, a cable card in an S3 would obviate the need for the Motorolla box to recevie digital cable channels. (Except for PPV, VOD and SDV.)
  20. Sep 25, 2006 #460 of 9367

    JoBeth66 Temp

    Feb 15, 2002
    2nd visit to fix the card that was in the TV (bad card) took nearly 2 hours for them to get the new one up & running, but now I have 3 tuners!

    GREAT supervisor who came to my house, even played with the cat for a while. :) He stayed here to make sure that *everything* was working, that all 3 tuners were decoding properly, and that there were no issues.

    Festivus, for the rest of us. :D

    Now to re-set my season passes. Blech!

    Hey, TiVo - THERE'S an option I'd like to see! Enable us to upload season passes somewhere and manage them online, change passes around to different boxes, add stuff, whatever - that'd be awesome. :)

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