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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. May 1, 2009 #6441 of 9367
    Sandylp

    Sandylp Sandylp

    15
    0
    May 15, 2005
    California
    Thanks, CraZi4TV and all others who commented. The Comcast Tech is still not able to have my card activated. He also tried another card, but no luck. I called the Tivo Hotline and he conferenced Comcast. The Comcast technician was very patient and helpful, but she was not able to pair the card. The Tivo tech tried everything, but neither slot would work. At this point the Comcast tech is supposed to come back with another card to try.

    Later: The Comcast tech came back and tried another number at Comcast. He seemed to think the card was fine, but it just wasn't being activated correctly. Whoever he called said they wouldn't be able to help until after 8PM tonight. He said he would try it again tomorrow and let me know.

    If the cablecard can't be activated, will the hd digital channels still come thru the Tivo, or would I have to use an adapter? Right now, I can receive the regular hd channels, but not the premium channels. Anyone know?
     
  2. May 1, 2009 #6442 of 9367
    crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
    0
    Oct 31, 2008
    Cablecards are designed to decrypt encrypted channels that the customer subscribes to. So, if the card has been properly paired and authorized, you will receive all your channels. If there is a problem with the activation process, encrypted channels especially copy protected channels such as HBO, Starz or HD channels, etc will not come in. If you subscribe to HBO, Starz, Showtime etc, what do you see on the screen? If you see the pairing screen with a message to contact your cable provider and Host & Data information, then your card is not paired properly.

    Tune to a channel which is in your cable package and does not display, then press Record on your remote to lock onto that channel and go to the Conditional Access screen. What do you see next to Con, Val and Auth? On the Diagnostics screen, look for Channel List Received. If the channel map has downloaded you should see Yes.

    If the problem you are experiencing is not caused by the card itself but by the activation process, you do not need a technician, just someone on the other end of the phone that knows how to A- verify pairing information and B-send the correct activation signals in the correct order. Supervisors should have more knowledge of cablecards than the average rep. Ask to speak to one, but first have the cablecard menu displayed on your TiVo. Ask the person to read TO YOU what they have listed as your Host & Data. If it is different, they will need to update their information, then send these signals: a cablecard validation, initialize, & hit.
     
  3. May 2, 2009 #6443 of 9367
    jtmiller

    jtmiller New Member

    6
    0
    Mar 28, 2009
    Baltimore, MD
    Just a followup on billing after M-card installed. Just viewed my latest bill online (haven't received paper one yet) and I'm properly being charged for the lineup I'm subscribed to.

    No inappropriate separate "HD" charges on this bill.

    jtm
     
  4. May 2, 2009 #6444 of 9367
    Sandylp

    Sandylp Sandylp

    15
    0
    May 15, 2005
    California
    Thanks, Crazi4tv. Today I asked to speak to a Comcast Supervisor as you suggested, but he was not able to activate the 2nd card. So, another technician is scheduled for Tuesday with yet another card. I do have a question, though. My cable is coming out of the wall to the Tivo, but there's a splitter on it because I also have it connected to a Comcast modem for my internet access. Do you think this could be interfering with the signal coming from Comcast? Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  5. May 2, 2009 #6445 of 9367
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
    0
    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    That's exactly how it is supposed to be. A splitter for cable and Internet. I actually have mine split for two TiVos and the Internet, so a three way splitter.
     
  6. May 2, 2009 #6446 of 9367
    Sandylp

    Sandylp Sandylp

    15
    0
    May 15, 2005
    California
    Thanks for the reply. Do you also have a cablecard? If so, the splitter shouldn't be causing the cablecard to not activate. When I check the signal for the cable on TiVo, the bar lights up all the way across, btw.
     
  7. May 3, 2009 #6447 of 9367
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
    0
    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Yes, I have a cableCARD. It sounds like it's a problem with Comcast putting the right numbers in their system. That is what's wrong a majority of the time.
     
  8. May 5, 2009 #6448 of 9367
    Sandylp

    Sandylp Sandylp

    15
    0
    May 15, 2005
    California
    Following UP: I finally got the cablecard paired successfully!! The technician stopped by tonight with a new card, and after inserting it, and calling in the numbers....I am now able to access all the premium channels that I am subscribed to. So, after two cards that didn't work, the third one worked the first time. I don't know if it was the card or the fulfillment agent on the phone. So, it took 3 technicians and 3 cards to get one to pair successfully.

    Thanks to everyone who replied. I appreciate your help.
     
  9. May 6, 2009 #6449 of 9367
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
    0
    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Congrats on that! It's very doubtful any of the cards are bad, but, it is very possible that the numbers were attached to another account. Still, it makes you wonder why it is SO difficult for Comcast to get it right when they require THEIR OWN technicians. I wonder if it woudn't be better if they just let us install our own cards and call it in.
     
  10. May 6, 2009 #6450 of 9367
    funkmasterdb

    funkmasterdb New Member

    9
    0
    Mar 26, 2006
    Norristown, PA
    Just wanted to post my positive experience with Comcast and Tivo HD. After going Tivo-less for a couple years, I finally got a refurb Tivo HD. Ran guided setup and chose to install the cable cards later. Forced the Tivo to connect to the Tivo service a couple times, which forced it to upgrade to the latest service release.

    I had Comcast scheduled to come out the next day, and told them to bring two cable cards. I didn't want ask for an M-Card and risk them only bringing one S-Card.

    The tech arrives the next day and clearly has no experience with Tivo. Luckily he brings a stack of M-Cards with him. He puts one in the Tivo and the CableCard pairing screen comes right up, automatically. He calls it in, the card is activated and everything works, first try. He comments that he was glad I had everything set up and that "there isn't much to these Tivos, they're pretty easy." He's in and out in 15 minutes. :D

    Still, I think it's luck of the draw and apparently from all the comments, the quality of the cards is spotty. I was half expecting a long ordeal, but it was pretty painless.
     
  11. May 6, 2009 #6451 of 9367
    pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
    0
    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    I'm not going to pretend to know how a cableCARD is made, but I think it is safe to say that there are no moving parts and that it is probably just a small circuit-board that has passed inspection. I really think it is an excuse to say the cableCARDs are bad. I think the more likely culprit is Comcast entering the wrong numbers in the wrong places.

    At one time, I had two cards in one S3. They worked fine. So, I ordered two more cards for my other S3. Comcast mixed up the numbers from first card in my first S3 and assigned it to the first card in second S3. So, I ended up with one tuner on each TiVo. It was like pulling teeth with them to fix it. It had nothing to do with the cards being defective.

    But, of course, if they said it was defective, and then installed a new one with a new set of numbers, the customer would come out believing that in fact the card was defective. Which is probably why we hear so many people say that.
     
  12. May 7, 2009 #6452 of 9367
    beobuff

    beobuff Member

    42
    0
    Feb 6, 2009
    SEMA
    Yes, but that would only solve roughly 50% of the problem.

    Exactly. The morons at the Comcast head end are the other 50% of the problem. They screw up entering the card and/or account info as often as not. They usually require specific sequential information and guidance from the installer/owner if they are to get it right.
     
  13. May 9, 2009 #6453 of 9367
    mooneydriver

    mooneydriver New Member

    21
    0
    Feb 17, 2007
    Just wanted to report a successful CC install for a Tivo HD in New Holland, PA (for my in-laws). I was expecting the worst after spending 1/2 hour on the phone with a clueless agent. The tech arrived on time. He was an experienced tech, but he claimed he had only done 4 Tivo CC installs in his 3+ years of working at Comcast. He kept badmouthing CCs (and the CC protocol) as being the root of all (potential) problems. Nevertheless, the installation (with a single M-card) went smoothly, and we were up and running in less than 15 minutes.

    Another amusing experience during the same trip was stopping at a Sears in Lancaster, PA and inquiring about Tivo HDs (at the Sears sale price). The clerk rolls his eyes and says "Tivo? This is the first time I've heard that word in over two years!" Apparently, Tivo is either not a big seller in Dutch country or people simply don't buy cutting-edge AV equipment from Sears.
     
  14. May 9, 2009 #6454 of 9367
    stujac

    stujac Member

    2,343
    0
    Jan 26, 2002
    Go New Holland!! What's the percentage of households that even have electricity in Lancaster??
     
  15. Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

    53,011
    174
    Mar 24, 2001
    Ft. Lauderdale
    I called Comcast today and told them I wanted to order Cablecards for my Tivo. Unlike the last times I tried calling, the woman knew exactly what a cablecard was, what a Tivo was, and why I was ordering them. When I told her I needed either 2 S or 1 M cards, she knew what I meant then too. Then she told me it would only be $2 a month.

    I'm actually optimistic.
     
  16. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    You will be until the tech shows up, then the crapshoot begins.
     
  17. dverespey

    dverespey New Member

    12
    0
    Jan 26, 2005
    Well my first Tivo had a deflective hard drive so it was off to refurb land with it. The next exchange HD Tivo showed up. Did the whole song and dance to get the latest software version, inserted the cable card, and called Comcast. Ten minutes later it was working great. So I'm two for two on Cablecard installs.

    My only hint, do them late at night. The night crew seems to have a good clue.
     
  18. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    My experiences are just the opposite, that CSRs during the day are usually more knowledgeable. Not just Comcast, but in general.
     
  19. b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

    1,537
    0
    Nov 27, 2006
    chicago, il
    all you need to remember is have them tell the person on the phone the ID # of the Tivo matched with the card. It's randomly generated, so there is no way for that # to already be in the system. If they're not giving them a new #, they're doing it wrong. There's a possibility it could be a number that's already taken. You'll have to pair with the slot 2, then back with slot 1 to get a new #.
     
  20. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    There is a possibility that the cards will not be initialized properly by Comcast, which has nothing to do with pairing.
     

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