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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. tc2

    tc2 New Member

    Dec 25, 2008
    The tech who came out was trying to use the one M card but when he called in for help the rep told him he needed a second m card for my TiVo since it has the cards in the back of it. The second TiVo still has the original 2 s cards in it.

    Sounds like I should call TiVo for my loss of signal issue though.
  2. Lazvon

    Lazvon New Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    Received TiVo HD XL on Wednesday.

    Called Comcast on Wednesday to get M-Card. They refused to let me drive down and pick one up at store, so scheduled a tech for today between 8:30-11am. Not bad! M-Card raised bill by $2, though should be free they say when I return their crappy Scientific Atlanta HD DVR. This is a former Adelphia area.

    Plugged in TiVo to Network, ran through setup, let it update, received software update, rebooted, etc. Things looked as expected with analog channels and guide info.

    Tech came this morning. Very nice guy and after they called, arrived within 20 minutes at around 10:15am. So far so good!

    He brought (2) two Scientific Atlanta M-Cards just in case. First M-Card inserted and he calls service desk to have them "hit it". Voice on phone reports a "P Pound" error message, assuming this is a P# error. Bummer, ejects first card, tries second card. Same P# error on their end. Talks to them a bit, they have no idea. He calls supervisor, talks to him for a couple, he says the cards are bad, come back and get some different cards.

    While he's driving back to office, they seem to figure out a way to "test" the cards at the office. I actually think they are looking up numbers in a database or something because he picked up 8 cards to bring to try and while driving back they call and tell him that 4 of them won't work, and they were able to identify that 4 that "would work".

    Tech plugs the card in, calls the service desk person, and they are all happy, everything "looks good". We check some channels and they look right. Previously (before CableCARD) I had the 1-99 channels, and a few of the HD channels on some of them as well. For example, HGTV HD which should be on 229 was on 29 and coming in clear. With "working" CableCARD channels that are working on the right place now.

    Unfortunately several channels, everything 100-199, and several HD channels, and of course all of the premium channels (HBO, Cinemax, Starz)... are just BLACK SCREENs. Nothing there. Tech waits around for about 5 minutes, calls supervisor again, supervisor says it'll take a 20+ minutes and some TiVo's just have to be restarted. We wait another 15 minutes.

    Like a sucker (since I've already heard him have next customer called twice to tell them he's late) I decided to trust that the channels will eventually come in and let him go. I go ahead and reboot the TiVo as well just in case. That was 6 hours ago, still none of the channels that should be there.

    I call 1-800-COMCAST, and they're coming back tomorrow morning at 11am. Person on the phone says there is absolutely NOTHING that can be done because the tech has to come on site and re-program the CableCARD. I question this, asking if the billing system can't be updated or something and sent to the card, and they respond that no, a Tech definitely has to come out and reprogram the card, or bring a re-programed card. Oh well, we'll see tomorrow.

    Just for reference here is some of then info gathered while I'm "locked" on HBO HD which just displays a black screen.

    Network Interface-DAVIC: Status: Locked

    CA Screen: Status: Not Staged (this doesn't look right)

    CA Screen 3(Page 5 of the PDF) says the following:
    Scientific Atlanta Cable Card(tm)
    CA Screen - Active Program (1)
    4-2001-Ent-0-0-0 (looks like it the card is subscribed to channel)
    ---Elemetry Streams---
    [ Stream Type-Pid number ]
    0x05-0x0056 0x02-0x00C2 0x81-00C3

    CA Screen Page-2 says:
    LastErrorTime: Mon Jan 1, 1996 12:01:28 AM GMT (this a bad thing?)
    SubExpiretime: Mon Jan 1, 1996 12:00:00 AM GMT

    CP Info Screen says:
    Auth Status: CP Auth Recived
    LTSID:0x3 PN:0xf3e CCI:0x0
    LTSID:0x4 PN:0xf3e CCI:0x0
    LTSID:0x0 PN:0x0 CCI:0x0
    LTSID:0x0 PN:0x0 CCI:0x0
    LTSID:0x0 PN:0x0 CCI:0x0
    LTSID:0x0 PN:0x0 CCI:0x0
    MKS Period:600 seconds
    Verify Key Status: OK

    Bldr Ver:121
    OS Ver:01.04.01
    Build Time: Nov 11, 2006 11:20:34
  3. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

    Aug 29, 2002
    Having the service desk say that the cablecard returned an error status is a bad sign. Given that TiVo's have no hardware to send cablecard status (or anything else) upstream to the cable system, any error status seen by the service desk has to be something internal to their network. With some systems, it needs to be specifically told that host is one-way(like the TiVo), so it knows not to expect anything back from them.
  4. Lazvon

    Lazvon New Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    The replacement card worked fine. Unfortunately I was listening to the very nice, but just an installer, interpret what the person on the telephone was saying... so who knows exactly what the lady on the other end said. But he was sure it was a "P#" error.
  5. cherry ghost

    cherry ghost Active Member

    Sep 13, 2005

    Finally got someone who knows what he's doing to help me.


    On both cards
  6. PaJo

    PaJo New Member

    Dec 17, 2001
    We were using our new HD Tivo for about a week, it was working good but we were very limited with what we could receive and the channels were off numerically. We just got our M card from Comcast tonight , it did not look good for a while

    The installer was nice enough but really did not seem to know what he was doing. He warned me several times they have trouble with M cards.

    When he was finished calling in the numbers we tested the channels but had nothing but some message the on the screen stating the Tivo system was acquiring channel information. After several minutes, the installer gave me his cell phone number and took off because he had other appointments.

    After about 45 minutes and still no channels, I decided to try again. First, I called Comcast and asked the lady to send an authorization hit and she said everything was already OK and I would need another tech visit. Actually, at first she argued and said I needed a tech visit to get an authorization hit but I argued that she can send it just as she would if I changed my premium channels. She was quiet for a long time then said she did all she could do and it still didn't work, she scheduled a service call.

    I also called and got voice mail on the installers cell phone - so I removed the M card, rebooted the Tivo and started all over. Once the tivo was booted up and I could get some channels again without any card inserted, I installed the M card again and used the trouble shooting guides on www.tivo.com and saw that everything seemed to be activated and working but I had "no authorization" and NO channels, not even over the air.

    I called Comcast again and got a different woman and after explaining she said she could send the authorization. She also wanted me to reboot again shortly after she sent the authorization "hit" because the Tivo still did nothing, no channels at all - but just as I was explaining it would take a long time to reboot the Tivo, the installer was back at the front door so I thanked her and told her the installer was there now.

    Not long after the installer walked in the door the channels started to come back on line. Apparently the second woman did the right thing and it took a few minutes to show up. The installer first told me it is normal and to take so long on a Tivo because they need to reboot and download stuff before you can use them. He also told me the Tivos usually have problems and take a long time to get going. I disagreed and said I believed it was the second woman that fixed it by sending the authorization hit. He started talking about the cablecards not working in the tivos as well as the Comcast boxes. I listened a bit more and just said thanks as I walked him to the door.

    I installed several access cards in Dtivos and never had a bit of problems, usually was working within a few seconds.
  7. Logik2000

    Logik2000 New Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    /Logik2000 glares at psuJC with death in his eyes...

    But that is *great* info to have - 1) That there are cards out there that work (in fact, I commented to the guy who was here 12/24 about the idea of upgrading cards before bringing them, since it appeared to be unique to our situations/Tivos) 2) That a person only a few miles away, having an identical problem at exactly the same time has been fixed. Order shmorder. They have other service areas within the company with Scientific-Atlanta cards. They sure as hell are going to be ordering some cards whether they know it yet or not. Heh.

    My running account of this debacle - http://logikland.com/comcass/
  8. seanmcsean

    seanmcsean Comcast H8r

    Dec 17, 2008
    I absolutely dread having to call Comcast for any reason whatsoever.

    This experience is no different from any other previous experience.

    I called up my local Comcast office in southeastern CT to get myself a shiny new M card for my fantastic new HD TiVo. Naturally, I expected the worst given my past customer services calls to this delightfully competent and bargain priced service. *tries not to swallow own tongue, making death quick and pain free*

    My local office had no idea what I was talking about. I tried to explain to them that yes, you can buy your own TiVo, and no, you have other options besides the Comcast DVR.

    Since my local nitwit had just crawled out of the ocean for the first time, I decided to take my chances with the general 1800comcast number. The first representative tried to explain to me that no such device (a cablecard) existed in singe or multi stream form. So I told him that his services were no longer needed and I wished to speak to someone else. From there, I got my lovely grade school dropout tech on the other line, who also didn't know that you could purchase your own TiVo. That conversation ended with him saying "why don't you just use the Comcast DVR."

    I'm calling back on Monday in hopes that I just received their "B" squad folks on the weekend.

    Is it so hard to understand that all I want to do is use my new TiVo without renting a cable box from the greedy knuckle dragging troglodytes from comcast?

    And people wonder why I pray daily (and would resort to sacrificing livestock, if needed) that AT&T runs fiber out my way to give me UVERSE.
  9. psuJC

    psuJC New Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Sorry, I emailed them using that link from earlier, and the next day heard back from someone at corporate. I explained the situation, and a couple days later heard back from a supervisor who sent the guy out. If you havn't already, and don't get anywhere, try sending a message to them. fixing the underlying problem obviously isn't a priority, you just have to hope they find a couple cards that work. http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Customers/customercare.html
    I'm anxiously awaiting verizon to bring FIOS to us. The fact there's no competition just makes comcast suck even more.
  10. Logik2000

    Logik2000 New Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    Trust me. If any other option was available, I'd move so fast it would cause a time warp. :D Worst customer service I've ever experienced. And that includes a pretty intense disability rights dust up with a particular department store a year or so ago. Comcast is working hard now, but it took getting to this point to make things happen. They may fix it, ultimately, and I'll give kudos for that, but it's been a pathetic mess up to this point. If they told me on that very first call, when I ordered, that Tivos could be this difficult, I would have just stuck with what I had. But again, the woman had no idea what cablecards were and then took some convincing that they do indeed pull in HD. A simple cheat sheet with pertitnent information like this should be extremely simple to distribute and stick in their script binders. (I worked in a call center for a few years long ago) Oy...
  11. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Call me naïve but I still can't get over what a lousy job Comcast does especially with regard to ill informed CSRs. And while my few chats with them have been frustrating they pale in comparison to some of the threads I read here. Most of the people hanging out on this forum know more than the CSRs and we don't do it for a living!

    After the bogus information I got today from a "senior rep" I was motivated to look at my March 2008 issue of Condemner Reports where they rated "digital TV service." Of the 12 Service Providers Comcast came in 10th - only Charter & Mediacom were worse. And under the 'Support' category only Charter was worse. Verion FiOS got top grades in all categories.

    Granted, Consumer Reports can be a nit picking bunch of old ladies (can we still say 'old ladies'?) but in this case I think they got it right.

    My town is wired for FiOS but the cable component has not yet been approved. I can't imagine anyone (except the terminally lazy) not switching.

    *** BULLETIN ***

    Just as I'm finishing up this posting my wife walked in with the mail which included the Comcast bill! Gee, it only went up $4 this month.

    Hey, also in the mail was the latest CR (Feb 2009) which rated TV Service again. Comcast is now 14th out of 16 with bad Support. Verizion FiOS is still #1 but their Support ratings have dropped also - still better than Comcast however.

  12. bizzy

    bizzy New Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    About a week ago, my Tivo let me know that SPEED channel in HD had been added to my Comcast lineup at channel 731. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked since then. Looking at the conditional access cablecard screen. I see "Auth: NOT_SUBSCRIBED". This strikes me as odd since I can get the SPEED in SD.

    So I call in to Comcast support, and get a very nice old lady. She tried her darndest to help, but could find nothing in her system saying that the SF Bay Area had SPEED in HD; especially on channel 731. At that point I wrote it off as a scheduling misunderstanding between Comcast and Tivo, and that Comcast would eventually somday be adding the channel.

    The odd thing is, I was over at my cousin's house a couple of days ago, and she has the Motorola HD STB from Comcast. It also claimed SPEED HD was on 731; but also just displayed some sort of "Channel unavailable" message when I tried to watch.

    Anyone know whats going on? Think I should play CSR roulette with Comcast a few more times?
  13. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    I hope SpeedHD turns up for real, I've been waiting for that. No peeps about it down here in the South Bay.
  14. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    You're LUCKY - I have 6 Comcast CableCards and this month
    their price went up 40%. In the three years I have had these
    CableCards installed - they have gone up more than 300% in
    Three Years.
  15. seanmcsean

    seanmcsean Comcast H8r

    Dec 17, 2008
    One of the main reasons I got a TiVo was because I wanted to get rid of the cable box I rent from Comcast. I also wanted a DVR, naturally. DVR with comcast runs about 16 bucks a month where I live. That is absolutely obscene. I'm not giving that cancerous corporation one more dime.

    If I can't get cablecards to work from Comcast, the TiVo is being returned. Every time I call comcast, something gets $%#(@ed up worse than it was before.

    If I didn't have to demolish my neighbor across the street's house, and then cut down every tree in both yards, I'd have a friggen dish by now. Comcast is just an embarrassment.
  16. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    TRUST ME :up: CableCards from Comcast in a TiVo work GREAT.

    The only problem is getting Comcast to PROVISION them Correctly.

    That process can make you feel like you died and went to HELL.
    Some Comcast Areas are BETTER than others.
  17. seanmcsean

    seanmcsean Comcast H8r

    Dec 17, 2008
    Given past service quality, I'm not very optimistic about Comcast in my area. My area has only been Comcast for about 2 years now. It used to be Adelphia. From what I read about Adelphia migrations, processes such as these tend to be eternally frustrating. This also could be a result of years of built up ire and frustration with Comcast as a whole. I was kind of hoping with all the economic downturn, that Comcast would be broken up and sold off into parts. That way I'd have at least an outside shot at decent cable service.

    I don't particularly want to hook the TIVO up to piggyback off of the existing cable box. That kind of defeats the purpose, at least in my opinion. If I'm being naive about this, please let me know.

    Alas, tomorrow is another day, and that means another call into my local Comcast branch to see if I can get the cablecards. I'm hoping that I just received bad advice from a few representatives on Saturday.
  18. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
  19. seanmcsean

    seanmcsean Comcast H8r

    Dec 17, 2008
    I'm hoping I luck out tomorrow. I've got the TiVo wireless adapter on the way, and it should arrive tomorrow. I'm going to hook everything up and get it ready for a cablecard installation.

    I'm glad that TiVo has a 30 day policy on new activations. This sucker is going to go right back to Amazon.com if Comcast can't get its act together. I've wanted a DVR for years, but given my past experiences with Comcast, there is absolutely no way that I'm going to be in a customer service holding pattern for malfunctioning equipment. I've been seconds away from pulling the plug completely on cable service as a result of my dealings with them.
  20. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    It is EXTREMELY Important to get the TiVo Working a long time before
    the CableCard and Tech show up. DO NOT WAIT - get it working now.

    The one drawback to TiVo is it is NOT READY the first time you power
    it up. I have my TiVo's working a Week before any CableCard shows
    up. Then the Install is 15 Minutes and all done. NO PAIN at all.

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