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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. steinercat

    steinercat New Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Yeps, had mine installed about 3 weeks ago here in Foster City.

    The guy knew exactly what he was doing, and installed on a Sunday. (Except for the part when he pulled the cable card without turning the THD off - I didn't know you could do that...but no harm came of it as I ran setup when he re-inserted)

    Only problem now is I only get 1 Starz channel in the SD lineup. I'll get that fixed next. :)
  2. BeanMeScot

    BeanMeScot Sci-Fi Junkie

    Apr 17, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Installer is here now. He picked up 2 cards even though the order was for 1 because he knew he would need 2 but we are getting error 161-1 on the 2nd card. We have tried it in both slots. It does seem like this is a fatal error. The other card is working fine. Ironically, that was the extra card he picked up. He tried to get an M card but they didn't have any. We are THIS far into using these cards and they STILL don't have them?
  3. BeanMeScot

    BeanMeScot Sci-Fi Junkie

    Apr 17, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    A few questions. I have a Tivo HD which came with 3 free months using the 12 month service. Once the 3 months are up, can you go in and change to another plan, like Lifetime, without penalty?

    I signed up for the Tivo service. How long before the DVR recognizes it? I had it connect to Tivo shortly after paying for the service but it still doesn't think I have service.

    I am running the picture from the HDMI to my Receiver and my receiver to my TV and the picture is not nearly as good as the picture I am getting from my Comcast DVR. I did it that way because my TV only has one HDMI input and I have 2 (and soon to be 3) devices that use HDMI. Is the Receiver causing the poor picture quality? It is a good receiver. Denon AV788. How could I get a better picture?
  4. itcrashed

    itcrashed New Member

    Aug 3, 2006
    Dublin, CA
    Day 1:
    Ordered TiVo S3 + TiVo Wireless adapter online.

    Day 2:
    Anxiously awaiting my shipment and doing lots of research on this forum!

    Day 3:
    9:00 am Recieved my shipment
    12:00 pm Traded my Comcast Motorola DVR for two M-Cards at the Comcast Store. The gal at the counter knew exactly what I was doing and even asked if it was a TiVo S3 that these cards were going in.
    5:00 pm Installed my TiVo S3 with the wireless adapter, activated my TiVo online and started Guided Setup. I wrote down the serial number/host id/and data id of both cards. I inserted both M-Cards and took about 10 minutes to get familiar with all the menus and then called Comcast Customer Support to activate.
    5:30 pm CSR knew what I wanted and he knew what he was doing on his end. We had both cards activated and validated in about 20 minutes.
    6:00 pm All the channels and packages I ordered worked on both Cable Cards!
    7:30 pm All the program data was updated. I noticed my TiVo was on v8.0 so I did a few manual updates.
    9:00 pm My TiVo was updated to v9.3.
    10:00 pm Installed TiVo Desktop on my PC and upgraded to Plus.
    11:00 pm Install 100% complete!

    My experience with setup was way ahead of my expectations (especially after reading most of this thread.) It really only took half a day to get everything running properly. No truck roll needed.

    It really helped to get all of the Cable Card info all in one spot and to be familiar with the Cable Card menu BEFORE calling Comcast support. (It also helped that I previously owned 2x Lifetime S2 boxes in the past - so I knew how TiVos worked in general.)

    I suppose I was lucky that my CSR knew what he was doing. He even gave me his direct extension to call him if there was any problem after activating. He did admit that older, saltier CSRs refuse to learn the applications they use in their system to activate Cable Cards and that is why so many people have many problems getting it setup properly.

    ...one last thing...we'll see what the Comcast bill looks like. I'm curious to see if they entered all my services correctly: Single digital port with 2 cable cards.
  5. jimbo1mcm

    jimbo1mcm New Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    Another missed appointment today, got another $20 credit, plus they waived the truck roll fee. Finally got a tech late in the day who knew what he was doing and the cards got installed and activated in about 45 minutes. Now I just have to wait for the 9.3 freeze!!!
  6. jjobev

    jjobev New Member

    Feb 1, 2008
    I purchased an TivoHD a couple of weeks ago and a Comcast tech came and installed the M card without too many problems. Subsequent to that, my Tivo stopped working correctly, so I exchanged for a new box last night. I put the M-Card into the new TivoHD and I am getting all channels except for HBO, Showtime, Starz and Mojo. I spent about 5 hours on the phone with Tivo and Comcast last night. Some people seemed helpful and some were not helpful at all. However, I was still never able to get these channels working. I think that they did the pairing to make sure the Host ID matched and I even tried with another M-card since the tech left a second one when he came to install thinking I needed that. I don't want to have someone come out again. I feel like with two cards in my possession I should be able to get this done over the phone. Do you all have any suggestions of specific things I should be asking the Comcast people to look for or perform over the phone? We tried sending multiple hits to the box, but I think they had the wrong Host ID for many of those tries even though I had given them the information. Thanks
  7. jimbo1mcm

    jimbo1mcm New Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    Re-do the guided setup and make sure you select the premium channels when asked.
  8. jjobev

    jjobev New Member

    Feb 1, 2008
    I've tried the guided set up a couple of times. When I try to go to HBO for example, the Tivo banner tells me the channel name and programming info, however, it gives me the screen that says "this screen is shown on behalf of you cable provider" and then lists the cablecard id, host id, data, etc. I remember the comcast tech having to read this info when he called back to the office and I provided info from this page to the comcast person I spoke to on the phone. I am trying to figure out if there are any specific things that I should "guide" them to focus on since they don't seem to know to much.
  9. SMWinnie

    SMWinnie Dis Member

    Aug 17, 2002
    Comcast just bumped their local plant from 550MHz to 860MHz and - tada - new HD channels.

    We're getting the new channels on our Motorola 6412P3. The TiVoHD has the new channels in the guide data, but we only get a "Channel Not Available" message.

    I'm guessing this is an authorization issue and that I need to call Comcast. Are there any magic words that will help the CSR figure out how to help?
  10. nirisahn

    nirisahn Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Nov 19, 2005
    Denver area
    I had my M card installed Wednesday. When I originally set the appointment, I asked if they have M cards. The person making the appointment insisted they only have S cards. When the installer showed up, I asked him if he had M cards and he said he's had them for about 4 months. I asked if he could put in an M card instead of 2 S cards. When the tech called in to give the matchup info, the person he spoke to kept insisting the box needed two cards. It took a while for him to finally straighten things out.

    The whole process took about an hour. It would have been less, but the plug came out when he turned the box to see where if the cards went in from the back and when he plugged it back in the TiVo to started to process an update. I was worried the machine would need an hour to process and I'd have to reschedule the appointment. The tech had just hung up the phone from trying to arrange for me to call in the information and finish the match up when the update finished processing.

    Compared to some of the stories I've read here, I'd say the process went relatively smoothly. I love my new HDTiVo!
  11. jwdawso

    jwdawso New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    I bought a TivoHD for Mother's Day. The installer came the day before, and had one M card. The initial install seemed to go smoothly, but ended up with error 161-38. The installer talked to the provisioner, and he said it was in the system as a S card. He changed it, then "rebuilt" it, which took care of the problem. The TivoHD has worked great ever since!
  12. Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Mar 24, 2001
    Ft. Lauderdale
    I'm still holding off on my Comcast cablecard install. The OTA reception on all the local HD channels is fantastic. If there was anything worthwhile on the premium stations, I probably would have gone ahead.

    I still have my HD CAble box, but I never use it. I think I may go ahead soon though. I guess I'm waiting for them to get more experience with installs.
  13. pbw

    pbw New Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    CA Bay Area
    I just wanted to chime in with my frustrating CA Bay Area installation experience (Moto M-Card, TivoHD):
    1) Installer came and seemed to know what he was doing. But after activating the M-Card, I saw error 161-38 briefly pop up and asked him about it. He said it was common and to ignore it. After a few minutes, I started receiving most channels but not all (I only have the Digital Starter package). He said all the channels will tune after about an hour so I stupidly let him leave.
    2) After 24 hours, I still didn't even get expanded basic channels (such as ESPN) or any HD channels besides locals (which I don't care about since I have great OTA reception). So I called. They tried resending a signal a bunch of times and then finally said I must have a bad card. I went to the office and picked up another one.
    3) Installed the 2nd card and activated. I had the exact same problem. The phone tech gave me some bogus excuse that the card was still showing it was "at the warehouse" and therefore they couldn't properly activate it. I asked them several times to double check with a supervisor. Wasted 30 min and I eventually had to go to the office and get another card anyway.
    4) Went to the office and the people there said the phone tech was crazy. They showed me the card was registered properly in the system. So I took it back and went home. They suggested I call and ask for a supervisor to help activate it.
    5) Went home and called again. I explained the situation and had the issue elevated a few times and still nothing. They said they HAD to send an installer out but I refused. I kept asking what that installer would do that they couldn't do. Eventually, they got it working. My guess is this post http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=5990587#post5990587 by Thanatos explains their ineptness. I wish I studies these forums better beforehand.


    To further infuriate me: I signed up for some postcard bundle that gives me Digital Starter plus Internet for $57/mo (great deal). When I signed up, I specifically asked if I could add premium channels or other digital packages and they said "of course. You can even change your programming it over the internet" (falsehood #1). Based on this, I took the plunge and bought a TivoHD with $299 Lifetime (as previous standalone owner; I'm switching from DirecTV since they were going to force me to retire my HR10-250).

    When I asked to add more digital channels, they told me I had to give up the bundle price and pay standard rates!! I told them this was unacceptable since the person I signed up with told me otherwise and that this was a classic bait and switch. Even a supervisor refused to help me (believe me, I was super calm and nice). I find it ridiculous that I am offering to pay them more money and they won't accept it. I was so fed up with Comcast (also due to the installation hassle) that I almost cancelled on the spot - I still might (although I'd have to sell the TivoHD). I can't believe I conned myself into going back to Comcast after seven 100%-problem-free years with DirecTV. I'll probably switch back to DTV after the 12 month pricing expires...
  14. whitenet

    whitenet New Member

    May 27, 2008
    How are your connections to tivo hd done to receive local HD OTA channels? I just upgraded to tivo hd from a series 2 and I used to get all the HD local ota channels by going to standby and relying on the antenna built into my hd tv. I have the coax connected from tivo hd antenna jack to antenna jack on tv and do channel scan for cable and antenna but not get nothing in standby. Any advice suggestions appreciated.
  15. rvsj

    rvsj Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    The antenna jack on your TiVo has to be connected to your antenna. The TiVo is connected to the TV via HDMI or component cables.
    Use the tuner in the TiVo to select the channel that you want. The tuner in the TV is not used at all.
  16. Brute

    Brute Member

    May 14, 2004
    Richmond, VA
    Got the M-card installed in my new TiVo HD yesterday.

    The gentleman that came to my door was great. Courteous and knowledgeable. We installed the CC, and midway through guided set-up a CC (161-38) error popped up. He called in while guided set-up was finishing. Whoever he called fixed the problem. By the time set-up was done, everything was working perfectly.

    I couldn't have asked for an easier, more pleasant experience. :up:
  17. BeanMeScot

    BeanMeScot Sci-Fi Junkie

    Apr 17, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    More contractors came by yesterday to try to get a 2nd cablecard to work in my TivoHD. The first time he put the card in, it didn't give him any information on the pairing screen. He went back and forth a few times and it finally populated. Then it kept changing to error 161-4. He had it bumped a few times and it finally cleared up. I left it alone for a good long time hoping it was just trying to download stuff. It was still working last night. Do you think this card is going to give me trouble down the road?
  18. SMWinnie

    SMWinnie Dis Member

    Aug 17, 2002
    I note that I'm getting "Not Tuned: Wrong Card State" when I try to tune the new channels.

    There are a few posts describing problems similar to this and suggesting that this is a channel map problem that Comcast needs to fix. Any suggestions?
  19. royzda1

    royzda1 New Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I just installed my Tivo HD yesterday. Picked up a Multistream card from the Nashville Comcast office. I put it in my Tivo, call Comcast and 30 seconds later the CSR tells me it's setup and ready to go. I didn't provide them with any info from the CableCard config screen. I check my channels and I'm only receiving 2-9 (analog) and 231-245 (HD). I call them back, they assure me everything is ok on their end and schedule a tech to come out. I also have a CableCard slot in my tv so I stick the card in there and only receive the same channels as above. Could this be a problem with the card? I assumed the cards were all or nothing. I previously had a POS motorola dvr and received all the channels I'm subscribed to. BTW, they told me the M-card had no monthly charge. One S-card was also free but they charge a monthly fee for the second. I had a Tivo 3 years ago and didn't realize how much I missed it until I heard the 'ding' and saw the little Tivo guy. I got a little misty eyed!!!
  20. AutoJames

    AutoJames New Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    old tivo user, still have my series 1 in service :) Recently decided that I could stand the Comcast DVR no longer and that there was no info about when they would be rolling out TiVO software themselves so I bit the bullet and purchased an HD unit. (is there a thread somewhere for just ragging on how horrible absolutely every decision they made in the UI design on the comcast DVR? I'll try not to whine about it here...) Drove to the local cable service place and picked up an MCard to go in it no problem. They did know they existed and that they could give me one, they just weren't sure where to find them in the office. Had to go through several cabinets to find one.

    They assured me at the office that scanning the thing into their computer would activate it and the TiVO is not real clear telling you that it's not activated, you have to go into the cable card screens pretty deep and decode all that gibberish. A call to Comcast got it activated, but even after a reboot I still got nothing.

    After another call I finally got some stations, but I was limited to analog and no HD. The local networks came in digital and in HD, but everything else was analog, or a grey screen.

    Talking to a few more reps on the phone, all of whom seemed intelligent and were very friendly but were completely unable to make the box do anything different. According to what I can find to read here and on TiVO's site, the cable card is both pared and validated. It is locked into it's OOB channel and has received the channel map. I can even tune it to a digital channel and go look at the diagnostics screen and see that the modulation type is QAM 256 and that the channel is locked. So it IS receiving all the information, but I still get a grey screen for digital content.

    Further reading on TiVO's site says that might be something with the card, or the headend being configured to expect me to be a 2-way device, when the TiVO is a one way device? So it would not actually get any of it's EMM's or entitlement packets that tell it just what I'm supposed to be allowed to watch. Does anybody have any experience with this? I just got off the phone with a 4th service guy at comcast who, after giving me the full talking to about how these boxes only support 2 separate cards and not the MCard, ultimately accepted my diagnosis, but after fighting with his machine said it would not allow him to change the address type whatever that means.

    So he's going to find someone who can change that and call me back. Once this is all sorted out though i'm really looking forward to having my TiVO back! Even my 7 year old daughter could program the old TiVO and put on her shows and things for her baby brother. Nobody but me can make the comcast thing do anything at all. What a nightmare.


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