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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Cablecards are designed to scramble encrypted channels that you do not subscribe to. In otherwords, if you get a cablecard installed, you will only receive channels that are part of the package that you are paying for which in your case is Basic. You will need to rerun the Guided Setup and within 24 hours your program & channel information on the Guide should correspond to whatever is playing on that channel.
     
  2. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    unscramble the encrypted channels that you do subscribe to
     
  3. pldoolittle

    pldoolittle Tivo'ing since 2001

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    May 2, 2002
    Having only read the 1st 10pages and the last ten pages, I will apologize in advance if my question/post is a dup.

    Background
    My situation: We have two S2 tivos and have for years, so I'm not a Tivo newb. We have one HD TV (component = Yes, 720P = yes, 1080x = ??) and no HD tuner so I am an HD newb. I've gotten my wife an HD XL for Christmas to replace the S2 on the HD TV and wish to have it configured, guide loaded, CC installed and operation, and re-boxed for Christmas.

    Comcast Office: Went to their office (Fayetteville, GA) in hopes of getting a cable card. Was told they did not provide them, tech install only. They also told me that they didn't have M stream cards and I would need to acquire (and pay for) 2 S stream cards. I argued and they found they had some M cards after checking... Next, I was told that cable cards for Tivo were $1.50/mo. I argued, and she showed me the data entry screen. It only offers two options "Cable Card - $ 0.00" and "Tivo CCard2 - $1.50". Assuming that the second option is for a 2nd card, I elected "Cable Card - $ 0.00" and was warned that he would arrive with the wrong card and I would also pay for a re-schedule to fix it. I persisted and scheduled the install. No mention of an "outlet fee" or any other type of monthly fee. Scheduled for 12/19

    404-Comcast: I called to confirm the "cable Card - $ 0.00" was for a M-stream card. She said no, I was scheduled for an S. I reconfirmed that I could get a single M-stream for $0.00 and she agreed. Service request was noted to bring multiple M-stream cards for a Tivo install.

    Question:
    - I think I have covered all the pointers here to have the best shot at a successful install. Am I missing anything?
     
  4. PaulNEPats

    PaulNEPats New Member

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    Aug 10, 2007
    Just as a FYI, the cost of CableCards went from $5 per card to $6.95 on my latest billing statement. I'm in the Boston area. I don't get either one for free, so people in my area may want to keep that in mind.
     
  5. psuJC

    psuJC New Member

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    Oct 4, 2007
    Thanks for the info... I havn't called yet, but I have a question. We have 2 Tivo HD's. The one in the living room is working fine, and has been for a year. It's the new one that's acting up. Is it possible for the account to have more than 1 headend code... ie a different lineup programmed for the second m-stream card?
     
  6. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    The Headend code listed on your account will be the same for all your equipment, whether it is TiVo or cable company STB. On the TiVo that is having the problem, check the Diagnostics screen and see if Channel List Received shows YES or NO. This indicates if the channel map (or channel listings) for your subscribed channels have downloaded to the cablecard. It is possible that the headend code is incorrect on your account. The Headend can change headend codes assigned to a specific area and since the other TiVo has been working fine for a year, it is possible the headend code on your account changed since the card was installed on your first TiVo and your cable provider may not have sent any signals to reset the card(s) in it, which can be why when you tune to a channel, the guide matches what is displayed . This may not make sense to you, but it is one possibility why your new TiVo's channel guide does not match what you see on that channel.
     
  7. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
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    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Yep, you missed the tech showing up at your door with an a) HD DVR and no cards, because 'the warehouse is out of stock or they're all broken', or b) 2 S-cards, neither of which were initialized correctly. And that's assuming they don't cancel multiple visits first.

    If you get a tech with one or more M-cards, at least one of which works without multiple phone calls, I'll be amazed. Comcast in the ATL is teh suck for these. Let us know how it goes.
     
  8. Logik2000

    Logik2000 New Member

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    Feb 6, 2007
    Ho-ly crap! You wouldn't happen to be around Clarks Summit, PA, would you? [Oh. Your profile says No. VA] I'm having, word for word, *exactly* the same problem. Right down to which channels are screwed up and the improper channels they're showing.

    I've been back and forth with Comcast for a month now. Though, the first half of the month involved:

    Sales Rep when I verified to order: "Yes, HD is available on Limited Basic"

    CSR to Tech who was at my house for 2 hours, only had MC cards, and stated that MC cards don't work with the Tivo: "You can't get it working because HD isn't available on Limited Basic"

    CSR I called later: "Don't know why they said that. You can definitely have HD on LB."

    Tech on phone before his visit: "You can't have HD on LB on a Tivo HD. The line traps that limit the channels weaken the signal too much. But Standard Basic signal [$60/mo, as opposed to $16/mo for LB] is strong enough."

    CSR on the phone, who powwows with a supervisor and the tech team: "It turns out that HD definitely doesn't work with LB on the Tivo HD. Just let me force-feed you this Standard Basic package and we'll all be happy." [He finally gave me the new customer Digital Starter for $40/mo/6mo when I unleashed on him]

    Tech at my house, who had a few MC and 1 SC cards: "There it is! Looks like we got it working! [with an MC card] I don't see the HD channels, though. I'll schedule another tech to come tomorrow." [My Tivo tests channel 14, which was fine. But then I checked other channels and nothing was where it was supposed to be. Things like Sci-Fi on Nick, Jr or whatever.]

    Tech he sent tomorrow: "Yeah. Hmm... Let me call someone..."

    Someone, now at my house, too: "Hmm... Yeah... [dials phone] Bob? Hey. Blah blah Tivo blah blah."

    Bob, who walks into the room with me, Tech he sent tomorrow, and Someone: "The channels are messed up? Oh. That's Tivo. You have to call them."

    Tech he sent tomorrow: "Hmm... Oh I'm not so sure about that."

    Someone: [staring blankly at the screen]

    Tech he sent tomorrow, on the phone: "Blah blah channels blah blah."

    Me, on the phone with Tivo, telling Larry, Moe, and Curly: "Tivo says it's a Comcast issue."

    Someone: [staring blankly at the screen]

    Bob, who shrugs: "Welp...I dunno..." [He walks out, never to return]

    Someone: [staring blankly at the screen]

    Tech he sent tomorrow: "I'll be back"

    Tech he sent tomorrow comes back and explains that the problem is the channel mapping, that it's definitely on the Comcast side, that it's an issue with the MC cards, and that there isn't a known fix. He explains with the tone that it's no biggie that the MC will work fine and that I'll get all my channels... They'll just be all mixed up...

    Me: "And what of my HD?"

    Tech he sent tomorrow: "Well... That won't work until the channel mapping is straightened out..."

    Me, banging head on wall.....

    He also explains that the cable run in my house is RG-59, the old stuff, and that HD won't work at all over it. *rolleyes* I call and they send another guy the next day. He's the *one and only* tech who has ever gotten a Tivo to work with cable cards. And that was the one and only time he was able. Though, later, he blamed it on the new v11 update and that he's had others working on v9.x. "Others"? Isn't that a plural word? Heh. So, he's not able to make it happen this time. The SC cards won't upgrade their firmware. The card shows an error that the Tivo doesn't have the data it needs. The dude says Tivos are crap and no one should use them, that the Comcast DVR works just fine and there's really no difference. Oy.

    I got him to leave me a cable box, a SC, and a MC card. I tried box to Tivo to no avail, hoping beyond hope that even if the Tivo docs say it won't work with boxes it might just happen to this time. SC still won't upgrade. MC still has mixed up channels. These are Scientific Atlanta cards and cable box.

    That was Saturday. I had to go away for a funeral. And now here I sit. One thing I don't get is that I see a Motorola card thread brimming with success stories. Why can't Comcast yell "Yay, Motorola!", throw a party, and roll out Motorola cards to areas like mine?

    For fun I'll mention that I've either interacted with or had touch my ticket over the last month - 26 individual Comcast employees and contractors, including numerous general supervisors, a regional supervisor, tech supervisors, and 6 on-site techs across 5 visits.

    PS - Since beginning to write this a couple days ago and having to come back to finish it (I shouldn't be so wordy, heh), I took a whack at it again and looked a little deeper. As far as the SC issue goes, these guys need a smack in the head. The last guy who was here said he had come from a house where they let the SC cards sit "upgrading" for 24 hours and that they hadn't finished yet. During the attempt here, as I questioned stuff, he pointed out that we couldn't get to the CC menus during the upgrade and would just have to sit here and wait. He had the controller. Today, I had the controller. It took me 30 seconds to hop over to the DVR Diagnostics menu, find my way down to the card, and find that an OOB (Out Of Band) connection was never established. *rolleyes* Let it sit for 3 weeks if you want, Comclowns. If it can't download the firmware, the upgrade is never going to finish... At least now I can make them aware of that fact and they can focus on the data connection instead of assuming the card/Tivo is unable to process the upgrade...

    Not having time to read literally hundreds of posts and threads about the issue, does anyone know of anyone who has NEVER been able to get service working? I really, really, really don't want to have to waste the $$$ I spent on the Tivo I love (got it on a spectacular sale from Tivo months ago and can't be returned) and give into the company that is at the top of my list of most hated things in the world. If walking, talking, baby-eating giant cancer monsters responsible for destroying all the chocolate in the world existed, I'd still hate Comcast more. The 2 of us have a bit of a tumultuous past.
     
  9. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    At the moment you get two people at your local Comcast office who can't agree on what should or should not work, the best thing to do is to write a normal, paper letter to Comcast's corporate headquarters in Philadelphia detailing your issue and asking for help resolving the problem.

    It really is the only headache-free way to get issues resolved; It's not our job to teach Comcast employees theirs. And corporate is about the only group at Comcast that seems to understand that.
     
  10. Meklos

    Meklos New Member

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    Nov 22, 2002
    Has anyone tried the 'downgrade after the cards are activated' route yet with Comcast? I'm using their HD DVRs right now, my 2nd and 3rd Tivo HDs are arriving today, and I'm considering trying to get an M card installed in each before I go down and take back their DVRs and drop my service to Limited Basic.

    I'm wondering what they'll do when I drop to a non-digital service but I still have the M cards on my account...
     
  11. MisterWho

    MisterWho New Member

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    Oct 7, 2007
    I have always had great responses when writing a detailed message outlining my problems to the link at http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Customers/customercare.html . Use the link to email Rick Germano. I always get a personal callback no more than 24 hrs later from someone at my local offices begging to show up at my convenience to fix my problems. They did fix my problem (one that had been ongoing for months).
     
  12. Logik2000

    Logik2000 New Member

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    Feb 6, 2007
    Was it a Tivo/cablecard issue they fixed? I've worked with Customer Relations with 2 other companies (one of them a huuuge problem with a huuuge company and gotten results). I was going to go the CR route after 1 last try with my local office. At the very least, I want to let them know that I bought $2000 worth of HD equipment, $1500 of which can't be returned for refund, based on their assuring me that I could have HD on Limited Basic, with their knowledge that it would be on a Tivo HD with cablecards.

    And, thanks, dswallow.

    And, where'd my post count go? I used to be quite active in these forums awhile back. I look like just a complaining greenhorn now. Heh.
     
  13. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    There seems to be confusion about if HD channels can be received on Limited Basic service. Only local broadcast HD channels (such as ABC, NBC, CBS, CW) are available on the limited basic package, and yes they come in just fine with a cablecard. If you want additional HD channels such as TNT, Sci-Fi, ESPN, Discovery etc, then you will need to upgrade to a higher level of service which does require that a trap on your line be removed.
     
  14. MisterWho

    MisterWho New Member

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    Oct 7, 2007
    It wasnt a cablecard issue, no. It was, however, an issue where techs had been out, only to not fix the problem and make me reschedule for another day.

    After a couple reschedules, I used the link I mentioned and got results in hours.

    I was impressed, the tech that came out this time seemed like a super-tech by comparison (he didnt talk on his phone with his girlfriend the whole time, was polite, and did not leave until we were both satisfied the issues were corrected).

    I cannot stress enough the difference between the levels of service calling the standard number (and not getting anywhere) versus using the link I provided and getting instant results as well as personal, followup calls.

    Again, I highly recommend trying it.
     
  15. Logik2000

    Logik2000 New Member

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    Feb 6, 2007
    Oh. Woops. Sorry. That's exactly what I'm referring to - locals only. I've had Limited Basic for years and kept my ear to the ground as to whether the HD versions of the local channels were available for it. I got a raise, checked Comcast's site, and they were (are) finally available - ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CW, Fox. $16 Limited Basic + $10 HD = $26. $60 Standard Basic + $10 HD = $70. I've never been able to justify spending that much for TV, and locals give me plenty to watch.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    [Edit: Forgot to include in the original story that my cable run *is* RG-6 throughout the house, with the last 6 feet to this TV extended with RG-59, which worked perfectly fine when we tested the HD with a cable box. And to include that the tech supervisor on the phone said that the cable boxes definitely work fine with the Tivo HD. I think he was referring to the Series 3 HD. Different models if I'm correct. And to include that the last on-site tech, when I told him about the trap limitation, said that they don't use traps and didn't see one when he checked the pole before coming in.]
     
  16. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Logik2000, sounds like the techs are gaving trouble with the cablecard installation. Look for my posted dated 12/7/08, it contains a complete installation guide and a few troubleshooting tips. Are you still missing channels? I believe the main issue why there are so many problems with installing cablecards on TiVo is because cable providers train their employees on how to install, support and troubleshoot cable company issued equipment. TiVo is considered a third-party consumer electronic device which is purchased by the consumer either on-line or at an electronics store. Putting a cablecard in a slot is easy enough, the problem is that cable companies do not receive training from TiVo on how to install cablecards in their Series 3 or HD DVR.
     
  17. pldoolittle

    pldoolittle Tivo'ing since 2001

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    May 2, 2002
    I'm not normally a violent person, but in this case I would probably make an exception...

    Edit: They called today (Friday) to say that they were out of M cards and could not make todays appointment. But the appointment was set (and confirmed separately with corporate) for Monday... When informed of this, he said that they "might" get some in this weekend. What a complete bunch of idiots...
     
  18. psuJC

    psuJC New Member

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    Oct 4, 2007
    Logik, I'm in Dunmore. Same exact problem. Just so you know, I switched 2 month ago to standard cable, and... just like the channel lineup you pick up from the steamtown mall.. the HD's work perfectly.

    This new one... no work. I tried crazi's idea, called up comcast, they guy checked all the codes and it's fine.

    I also went down to the mall yesterday and had them add the digital lineup to the account ( only added 2 dollars, go figure) and my living room tivo picked up the new channels just fine. The bedroom tivo is still doa.... tuning the wrong analog channels, and doing nothing but showing grey screen on all the digital channels.

    The sad thing is they're out of ideas. Noone has a clue why it doesn't work. The tech was talking about you, said he had no luck getting it to work. It was my tivo they tried to upgrade on several occasions for many... MANY hours. I've had 4 techs come out on 6 calls now... and am no closer to solving it than before.
     
  19. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Are you using Motorola or Scientific Atlantic cards? Are you only receiving channel 2-99?
     
  20. psuJC

    psuJC New Member

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    Oct 4, 2007
    They're all Scientific Atlanta.

    I can only watch channels 2-99, but like I said they're screwed up. All the digital channels give a grey screen.

    At least i know i'm not the only one in the area having the same problem.
     

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