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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Nov 1, 2008 #5801 of 9367
    Tivaxion

    Tivaxion New Member

    7
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    It went VERY smoothly. The guy showed up right in the middle of the two hour window they gave me, and he got the M-card installed and working quickly. Everything seems to be working well. Very satisfied.
     
  2. Nov 2, 2008 #5802 of 9367
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
  3. Nov 7, 2008 #5803 of 9367
    clemon79

    clemon79 New Member

    45
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    Apr 12, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Here's a wacky problem:

    Tonight I discovered that, while I am subscribed to Center Ice, and while it comes in just fine on the standard-issue Comcast digital box in my bedroom, I am unable to pull in Channels 467-470 (that's GAME11 through GAME13) via the CableCard in my TivoHD in my living room. Black screen.

    Has anyone else had this problem? I'm in Seattle...anyone in Seattle with the Center Ice / CableCard combination receiving all of the channels?
     
  4. Nov 7, 2008 #5804 of 9367
    crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
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    Oct 31, 2008
    Try this: tune to any channel 467-470, then press Record on your remote. Go to the Conditional Access screen and look for "Auth: SUBSCRIBED" (S-Card) or "Auth: S" (M-Card) which means the Cablecard recognizes that channel is authorized for viewing. Also check for "Host Validation: Valid" (S-card) or "Val:V" (M-Card) which means the card is paired correctly. If this screen shows the channel is authorized & the card is paired, then do a "DVR Restart". If this still does not display your missing channels, then call your cable provider and ask them to initialize the card(s)
     
  5. Nov 9, 2008 #5805 of 9367
    clemon79

    clemon79 New Member

    45
    0
    Apr 12, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Okay, so: Earlier today, I look, thinking maybe the problem's fixed itself. Lo and behold, I can see 467-470 again! Great! So I go out, do errands, come home, and the game starts at 7:00P, and everything is fine.

    Partway through the second intermission, at 8:40P, the channels disappear. "Searching for signal." And here I am in the bedroom watching the rest of the game.

    Checked the CableCard as directed above, got an Auth:S and a Val:V.

    Rebooted: nope. Called cable people, they initialized the card, that didn't fix the problem.

    Still have an appointment for a guy to come out on Monday (that I was hoping I wasn't going to have to deal with what with the successes I had prior to 8:40P tonight). I suspect he will replace the card, try to get it paired and initialized, and if the problem persists (or if it's even happening when he shows up in the first place) will throw his hands up, blame the Tivo, and leave.

    I am seriously not encouraged about this. I don't need this.

    Can a CableCard die in this fashion; that it will simply lose several isolated channels? The thing that bugs me most is that it's only those four channels, 467-470. EVERYTHING else is FINE.
     
  6. Nov 9, 2008 #5806 of 9367
    clemon79

    clemon79 New Member

    45
    0
    Apr 12, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Some more information, from DVR Diagnostics:

    First, the problem is consistent on both Tuner 0 and Tuner 1. (Both operate from the same M-card.)

    Looking at the Diagnostics, the Modulation is bouncing between "QAM 256" and "QAM 64", where on one of the channels that works it stays on QAM 256. No signal strength, no signal or program lock.

    Also bouncing: Tune Status, between "In progress" and "Ending", and Pending Tune Status, between "Tune pending" and "No tune pending." Makes sense, I suppose, since it's clearly not tuning in that channel right right now.

    I'm curious about the Modulation not locking to QAM 256, though.
     
  7. Nov 9, 2008 #5807 of 9367
    crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
    0
    Oct 31, 2008

    It sounds like your cards are paired and subscribed to the missing channels. "Searching For Signal" is an indication of a signal problem, which can be caused by multiple issues: an incoming signal which is "weak" or "too hot", a loose connection, a bad splitter or a damaged coax. A signal problem can cause a loss of just a few channels. Without getting too technical, "In digital television systems, several variable bit-rate data streams are multiplexed (aka mux) together to a fixed bitrate transport stream by means of statistical multiplexing. This makes it possible to transfer several video channels simultaneously over the same frequency channel, together with various services". The channels you are missing are probably transmitted in the same data stream, channels which you are receiving are transmitted in different data streams.

    If you can get the missing channels on other TV's, the issue is probably isolated to either the cable jack or your connections. Ask the technician to check for a signal problem at the cable jack. If you have a splitter hooked up to your TiVo try replacing it. Also double check connections; unhook the coax from the back of your TiVo and plug it back in.

    Let us know if your problem gets resolved
     
  8. Nov 9, 2008 #5808 of 9367
    clemon79

    clemon79 New Member

    45
    0
    Apr 12, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    That makes sense. And actually I tried that, because I do have the single split at the jack: I basically removed the splitter (which killed my cable modem and the signal going directly to the TV) and ran just the single cable connecting the Tivo and the wall jack. Same problem. So I suppose I should entertain that it could be that length of cable, the one coming from the Tivo. I dunno if I have another length of coax I can get to easily to check this...

    EDIT: Found one. Tried it. Still broken.
     
  9. Nov 9, 2008 #5809 of 9367
    crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
    0
    Oct 31, 2008
    I forgot to include that a signal problem can affect only one "mux". The mux for those missing channels is transmitted over a particular channel which the technician needs to check by using his signal meter. There may be a problem with the wiring inside the cable jack.
     
  10. Nov 9, 2008 #5810 of 9367
    clemon79

    clemon79 New Member

    45
    0
    Apr 12, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    That would be interesting, since I live in an apartment building. I guess we'll see come Monday morning. My fear, of course, is that it's going to "fix itself" again and the dude isn't going to be able to do anything, and life will go on until the next time it decides to screw me...
     
  11. Nov 9, 2008 #5811 of 9367
    crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
    0
    Oct 31, 2008
    Signal problems are not that uncommon in apartment buildings. Wiring can be old/damaged inside the walls. Also, for every cable outlet in an apartment building, the signal is split~one outlet will receive a stronger signal vs 24. It all depends on how your building is wired. Another possibility is that the wiring in the cable box attached to your building is bad.
     
  12. DigitHead

    DigitHead New Member

    19
    0
    Sep 20, 2001
    Harleysville...
    After seeing what a headache it was going to be to get the new DirecTV dish secured so wind wouldn't be an issue and deal with their DVR vs. my HR10-250 along with some other issues with my upgrade I decided to stick with Tivo by purchasing a Tivo HD and going back to Comcast (at least until FIOS TV is available). The tech just got done here and everything seems good, but I had a couple of questions about the way my cable cards are showing.

    The first one is paired and validated OK by all things I can see. It shows subscribed, has a validation value and I get all my channels including HBO.

    The second one (yes, they gave me two S-cards) seems OK, but it's status doesn't show as subscribed, it's "unknown". It does have a validation value and I do get all my channels over it when tested, but should I be concerned about that "unknown"? Also, in the main cable card screen it reports the slot 2 card as inserted, but doesn't report it as an S-Card as it does with slot 1.

    Would any of you experts think I'll have any trouble down the road based on this? Thanks in advance!
     
  13. srauly

    srauly New Member

    95
    0
    Apr 26, 2000
    Simsbury,...
    It seems like many (most?) have had an installer come out, but others were able to go by a local Comcast center and pick up the card. I'd prefer to do the latter. Would I need to call ahead to a) confirm that they're willing to do this, and b) pre-configured the card for me, or can I just show up? A Google Maps search reveals that the local shops don't seem to publicize their phone numbers.
     
  14. janry

    janry New Member

    17,688
    0
    Jan 2, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    I would say most require a truck roll. What have you got to lose in trying to pick it up? Maybe a little time and gasoline. I'd try. When you go, just tell them you want a type M cable card. Don't tell them what it's for unless they ask.
     
  15. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
    0
    Oct 31, 2008
    a)The local offices don't have listed phone numbers, so depending on the location you may be able to pick a card up. If you are willing to take a chance just drive over and ask. b) cablecards are not pre-configured. If you local office does allow you to pick up a card, verify with the person at the front counter exactly which channels your accounts show you're subscribed to, and also make sure they add the billing/service code for a cablecard. When you insert the card, after a couple of minutes the gray pairing screen should automatically pop up, displaying the Host, Data and Unit address. This is the information that you will need to give to the rep on the phone. Once your card has been properly paired, then the card will need to be initialized and you can check your channels. If you have cablecard installation instructions that came with your TiVo, I highly recommend you follow it
     
  16. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
    0
    Oct 31, 2008
    When you say that the status shows "unknown", which screen did you see that on and what is on the left of "unknown"? The Network Setup and Conditional Access screens display information on whichever channel the tuner is locked onto.

    Test all your channels on both tuners. If you are not missing any, I wouldn't worry about it. If down the road you start missing channels, check the conditional access screen which will tell you where the problem is.
     
  17. DigitHead

    DigitHead New Member

    19
    0
    Sep 20, 2001
    Harleysville...
    Thanks for the reply. I'm inclined to ignore it unless something crops up.

    I'm seeing it on the Conditional Access screen:
    State: Not Subscribed
     
  18. Ladd Morse

    Ladd Morse Member

    791
    0
    Feb 21, 2002
    A quick note for future readers searching for information about Comcast in Frederick, MD and CableCards.

    I just had a Multi-Stream CableCard (Mcard) installed in my new TiVoHD and the entire process took less than 10 minutes.

    Note that my visit two days earlier to the local Comcast office to inquire about a possible card pickup and self-install ("no - we don't do that because there are too many problems) elicited the comment "We don't have Multi-Stream cards -- we only have one-way cards".

    I mentioned that one-way and two way protocols are different than single stream cards and multi-stream cards, but no matter. I asked the counter person to type into the Info field of the work order "Customer requests Multi-Stream CableCard for installation into TiVo HD" and hoped the install people would know more than the customer service folks.

    Lucky for me, I was right. The installer arrived with a single, new Motorola M-Card and said he was familiar with TiVo HD installations (albeit confident to the point of dismissing my request to read the CableCard installation instructions provided by TiVo).

    I've flipped through all the HD channels I'm supposed to get (33 although many are listed as HD but they don't actually show any HD programming) and they are all there. I know that some folks lose one or more channels after a while so I'll have to wait and see if that happens to me.

    FWIW: I don't subscribe to any premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) nor do I pay extra for NFL and other sports programming. Perhaps not subscribing to extra-cost programming reduced the chances of screwups.
     
  19. micahmn

    micahmn New Member

    3
    0
    Nov 12, 2008
    I'm in Washington D.C. and it has been a nightmare getting Comcast to get the card to work.

    First, I called Comcast as soon as I ordered my refurbished HD TiVo to find out about the CableCARD. Two reps I talked to told me it was impossible for me to pick up the CC from the Comcast office and I *must* have a rep come out for a $30 fee. I complained to the Office of Cable Television and I heard back fast from Comcast. They told me I could go to the Michigan Ave office and pick up a CC, which I did.

    Basically, only basic cable stations worked, after a few more calls, I got all of my standard cable and premium channels working, but no HD stations. Then I talked to a rep who told me that I need an "HD CableCARD" in order to get HD channels. Needless to say, when I went back to the Comcast office, the woman there laughed in disbelief and informed me that there is only one type of CC, and it handles HD programming.

    Another call to their support department ended up with them comping a tech to come out here because "CableCARDs are unreliable and you need to try 3 or 4 different ones to get them to work." A tech was supposed to come Sunday afternoon, but I got a call in the middle of my window asking if they could reschedule for this morning because none of the techs had a CC so they couldn't help me.

    So now I'm waiting now for the tech to come, and I'll have to wait at least a year for Verizon to come to D.C.
     
  20. Ladd Morse

    Ladd Morse Member

    791
    0
    Feb 21, 2002
    COMCAST CABLECARD SUPPORT CENTER
    1.866.761.0211
    Operational hours are Monday-Friday 9:00am-8:00pm EST., and Saturday 11:30AM-8:00PM EST.
     

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