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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. JeffLeyser

    JeffLeyser New Member

    Nov 4, 2005
    Just got a TiVo HD up and running today on Comcast in the SF Bay Area.

    Great experience all around. I called Comcast last week to order the cards, and was told to simply go to my local office. The TiVo arrived yesterday, so I went over to the Berkeley Comcast office first thing this morning -- only to find out they had no cards in stock! But the very friendly Berkeley rep called the very friendly El Cerrito rep, and found two single-tuner cards for me. Zipped over to El Cerrito, picked them up, and came home.

    Installed the cards in the TiVo, and called the number shown on the CableCARD display. Told the Rep I needed to activate my cards, she put me on hold for about 5 minutes, and bingo, HD TV! I told her everything was working, and we hung up -- my only mistake, as I realized about 20 minutes later my premium channels (HBO) were not authorized. But turned out to be no big deal at all: another call, another friendly rep (who this time asked for my Host & Data info!), another 5 minutes on hold, and this time I was told that she saw a problem, and would do something (she was quite vague) and HBO should be available in about 20 minutes.

    Which it was! Whole thing couldn't have been easier.
  2. ruinah

    ruinah New Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    I had a horrible experience and it's still not over yet. Tech came out yesterday at 4 and after 8 or 9 calls to Comcast all they can do is tell me I need a truck roll. So frustrating talking to the level 1 folks. I called the tivo helpline and they said the card looks fine, it's just not setup on their end correctly. I asked the Comcast folks to be connected to Tier3 and they said there is no such thing. I told them when a tech comes out what is he going to do to rectify this and they said call dispatch. I politely asked why they can't call dispatch and after some hemming and hawwing he said he could send in a ticket to them to call me. So, we did that and after an hour no call. Oh, and during one of the 8 or 9 calls I asked to be connected to a manager and they said one would call me back within an hour. It's been 3 hours now, no call.

    Who can I call at comcast that will help me TODAY to fix the issue? I really don't have the time to leave work early to sit here with a tech on the phone when I am perfectly capable of doing it myself over the phone. I just can't figure out how to escalate isues through their system. Asking for a manager or Tier 3 doesn't seem to compute to them.

    Anyone have any backdoors or numbers I can call to get someone?

    The issue is I can't see any encrypted channels and when the people on the phone try to pair the device, they get an error that they know nothing about.

    Thanks in advance.
  3. mae

    mae member

    Dec 10, 2001
    I'm out of town and wondering if anyone on Comcast Howard County could tell me how the total realignment went?

    When it was first announced a while back, I used the online form to let Tivo know what was coming and sent them the new chart. I never heard anything back other than the autoreply.

  4. fronesis

    fronesis New Member

    Oct 12, 2002
    I'm in the same boat in that I can't see any encrypted channels. But I also can't see any of the channels under 100 (are they encrypted). I get channel 8 (comcast) and the local HD channels, and that's it. In my case it looks like the card is paired, but it's clearly not authorized and/or activated. They've 'sent the signal' a dozen times, and I've spent 6 hours on the phone.

    You're question is spot-on: WHO can we call who can do something more from the head-end, since having a 'tech' at my house is NO HELP at all. The only reason to have a tech here is for them to deliver a new card (assuming that mine is bad).
  5. ruinah

    ruinah New Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    I called again and this time the CSR tells me that my M-Card is not in their inventory so it must be stolen or something. She can't add the number to provision it and I need now a new M-Card. I tell her I am not waiting until Tuesday to resolve this, they need to get someone out here today and she said she couldn't. So, I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told one will call me. This is the 3rd request for a supervisor call and no calls yet. The incompetance of these people frightens me. This seems such a simple task. I tell you one thing, no way in bloody hell are they charging me $17 for an "install" for what that joker did yesterday. Especially if this card is bad. A normal person (read: non-tech) would have returned the Tivo after the 2nd call to Comcast. I manage a group of technicians and if my folks spoke to others in half the tone some of the Comcast CSR's use with me, I'd fire them. It is clear that Comcast knows very little about the Cablecards and it's probably in their best interest not to train their staff on installation because if it doesn't work, they always have the crappy comcast DVR they will sell you that they all know how to work. It's an easy way for them to blow off Tivo users.

    I'm not holding my breath waiting for a call. I just wish there was someone at Comcast who you could call to deal with these inept people. It's time to start keeping names of people I talk to at this point.
  6. dbeatydbeaty

    dbeatydbeaty New Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    I hooked up my Tivo HD today and it went flawlessly. I called Comcast here in SW Florida to set up the cable card install. On the phone with the rep I said "I need to order a Multi stream cable card or M card"


    Then after a moment, "you have a Comcast DVR, why do you need a cable card?"

    After explaining I am replacing it with TIVO, I get "I understand Comcast here is teaming up with Tivo on our DVR's soon" , then he tried to talk me out of switching. "No on demand", blah blah, "no TV guide", blah blah....After a while he gives up. Then tries to sell me HBO, Showtime and Phone service. No thanks, no thanks and double no thanks...just a cable card please.

    "Oh, OK, so you need two S Cards."
    I said, well, that would work, but I prefer one M-card.

    He replies, "It's our policy to use S cards with Tivos here."

    So, there you have it. No luck with trying to use the newer technology and save a few bucks. Hopefully it will go smoothly, as I have to wait a week for the install and oh, there where no Cable Card installer instructions in the box. I guess they left those out.

  7. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    That is is usually when you excuse yourself, hang up, call back in a few minutes and most likely get someone else.
  8. evanj76

    evanj76 New Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Cheesehead and We Tigers-- I am also in Arlington, VA and just bought a new TiVo HD and am having the exact same problems as you. The Mcard is in my tivo but I am not getting any of the digital channels. I had one installer here who couldn't figure it out and I have repeatedly tried to find someone on the phone at Comcast that knows how to sort it out. Right now I have a tech scheduled to come Thursday and I plan to keep him or her here until this is figured out.

    Any updates on your end?
  9. dgordonleds

    dgordonleds New Member

    Feb 16, 2007
    The realignment went fine in jessup-anne arundel but tivo hasn't sent the changes to the my S2 yet, still waiting. In order to get it working, I had to rerun guided setup.

  10. oarnura

    oarnura New Member

    Jul 29, 2007
    I am having and issues and comcast is ticking me off with no solution. I had the basic + Digital preferred. So they decided to kill anything HD but local HD. I called and got extended basic added. Every since then I am not able to tune to channels 738, 750, 756, 757, 764, 765 (SF Bay Area). All the other HD channels work fine. Tivo says no signal.

    I have called 5 times and they sent multiple hits. Once the rep did something I saw 738 (USA HD). So I tuned to the other channels I wasn't getting (no signal on those) . I changed back to 738 and again got the no signal. He asked me to get a different cable card. I did called in to re-pair it and have the same problem. I had an appointment for the guy to come in and they for no reason cancelled the appointment. I have one more rescheduled.

    The DVR diagnostics screen. Switches to QAM 64 and QAM 256 and shows no signal or program lock and Tune State: In Progress/Ending (switching between the two every second) on those channels.

    I am convinced this is a configuration issue. I used to get those channels before they mucked it up.

    I wanted some help decoding the cable card setup information. I read the FAQ and I still can't figure out if the cards are properly paired.

    For the channels that are not working:
    Motorola M-Card.
    Conditional Access:

    Encryption: DES
    Con: Yes EBCP:Yes Val: ? 0x07

    Auth:CAD CCI:0x02

    CableCard status:
    FW Version: 02.65, 02.01, 03.25
    Download Status:
    State: Wait to Start
    Out of Band Channel Mode: OOB

    Interactive info:
    Everything is 0 for numerical values
    Signon Status: Unknown

    Do those values look right? What can I do with Comcast CSR to make sure they pair it right. I got pretty clueless reps most of the time. Do I ask for a cablecard specialist or tier 2?
  11. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    Unless the card is sending the wrong channel map (possible, but less likely), this is a signal issue, not a configuration issue. The tuners aren't locking onto the channels. Unless the diagnostics show tuner lock, it doesn't matter what the cablecards are saying, there's no signal.

    Most likely, comcast will need to come out. But, before they do, check all the standard poor signal things yourself: is the cable well connected to the tivo, remove all splitters, etc.
  12. oarnura

    oarnura New Member

    Jul 29, 2007

    I called Comcast and got a really knowledgeable CSR. She got the pairing information and said there were differences in her system and sent another signal. I now get 738. The rest are unreliable, show up sometimes and not others. So it might still be a poor signal issue. Signal strength on 738 is 62 where as all the others are 100.

    Looks like I had a pairing issue and a signal strength issue. I'll just wait for the comcast to come out on Monday. Nothing from my end has changed in the signal path unless comcast came and did some thing outside of the house to disable channels and re-enable them.
  13. RhoXS

    RhoXS New Member

    Mar 26, 2006
    I live in south Florida, north of palm Beach (Stuart). A Comcast sales rep just told me Comcast does not have M-cards and I would need two S-cards. Is this a true statement?
  14. RhoXS

    RhoXS New Member

    Mar 26, 2006
    I called back and spoke to a different sales rep. He said there would be no cable card charge as I only needed a single M-card, the first card is included, and Comcast does have M-cards. He also stated I would receive the music channels with the Tivo. The lady I spoke to initially never even heard of an M-card and insisted a Comcast set top box was necessary for the music channels. The guy in the second call has much more credibility but I would still like to know the real facts based on someones actual experience.

    So....Does anyone in south Florida use Comcast and have an M-card?

    And....Can you receive the music channels via your Tivo and not require a settop box?
  15. Blaster55

    Blaster55 New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    My wife and decided to get three Tivo HD DVRs, and scheduled Comcast to come in on a Saturday over 2 weeks ago (on 8/9/08) to install them and get them running. Here a list of what happened, just to keep it short as possible.

    1.) Comcast subcontractor arrives at house with 2 cable cards, not the three I ordered. He does have 2 multistream cards. Comes in house, and proceeds to tell me how much he hated Tivo. I politely told him I really didn't care, and just install the cards.

    2.) He pops the cards in the DVR downstairs, and and the black & grey screen comes up, which I guess he needs in order to register. He spends 1/2 hoour trying to get through to Comcast to begin what I guess is a registration process with them. I said to him, "Gee, I would think you tech's would have a hotline for direct access for this stuff." He looks at me and says, "this is the hotline."

    3.) The longer this subcontractor stayed (he was not a Comcat tech), the more apparent it became that he did not have a clue what he was doing. When he finally got to speak to someone, they went round & round about something, and too make a long story short, he left me with the screen showing the circular, rotating symbol which said something like "obtaining information", or something like that. He told me I would see that for about 1/2 hour, and then everything would work just fine. Guess what? That didn't happen. He did leave me his cell phone, so I called him, and he came back. Spent another hour at my house, and on the phone to Comcast, and finally got the the two DVR's to work. He left (after 3 1/2 hours), and after he left I saw I was not getting all channels.

    4.) Called Comcast to try and get everything straightened out, and spoke to a very nice lady who told me that one multistream card is not enough, and needed two cards, which would cost us more $$$. I asked her if she was sure of that, and she said yes she was. I then made an appointment for Comcast to come this past Saturday to get everything straightened out. She also apologized profusely for the subcontractor, saying that he should have known better, and that they do go through training.

    5.) I was relieved to see a bonafide Comcast van pull up to my house this past Saturday, with a bonafide Comcast tech driving it. This guy was the best! He had all kinds of cablecards with him, and when I told him what happened, he just rolled his eyes. He also said that the woman I spoke to on the phone was dead wrong, and that all I needed for our DVR was one multistream cablecard, not the the 2 that she insisted I needed. This guy spent one hour at my house, and got all three working perfectly. I asked him if the sub got things so screwed up, and he said kind of, but it was screwed up on both ends. Evidently, some of the info. the sub passed on was either incorrect or entered wrong at the Comcast office. He had to go through the whole set-up again with the Comcast office, but again, he got things completed inside of 1 hour.

    It amazes me the ineptness, and the misinformation you get from this company. Hopefully, this post helps another newbie like me trying to get correctly set-up. If yiu can, insist on a Comcast employee technician.
  16. Blaster55

    Blaster55 New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Whoops, so you'll know, I live in Massachusetts.
  17. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    I don't live in south Florida, but, yes, you can receive the music channels through the Tivo without a settop box.
  18. We Tigers

    We Tigers New Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    It's working, in Arlington, VA!

    The solution was incredibly simple, but it took an escalation tech and a smart lady at customer support to figure it out. It was because I had a 6-month promotional package--the promotional service codes on the Comcast side don't work with cablecards. All the Comcast side had to do was switch the package codes to a regular one, and we were in business. It took about an hour for my tech to get somebody on the Comcast end who knew that, but when we found the right woman (Thank you, Susie!) it was a matter of seconds.

    An insanely simple solution, but apparently the person on the other end for my first install just kept doing the promotional code again and again. Glad to have the TiVo up and running--I'll have to do some image calibrating, as the TiVo naturally seems a lot dimmer than the Comcast box, but the service is going perfectly.
  19. evanj76

    evanj76 New Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Very cool! Sounds like that will (hopefully) be the fix I need as well! As I also have a 6 month promotional package. Can this be something I could call Comcast about or should I wait instead for the installer to come on Thursday?
  20. ruinah

    ruinah New Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    I will mention this to my Comcast person if they spend a lot of time today and can't figure it out.

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