1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Sep 30, 2006 #641 of 9367

    TBoyd Less Cable, More Net

    Apr 9, 2000
    1. Filter - Couldn't do anything inside; the filter was installed outside at the box.

    2. Initialize - Well known issue posted in several threads in this S3 section. Yes, 'cold initialze' is sometimes necessary if it hasn't been done properly when sent from the warehouse.
  2. Sep 30, 2006 #642 of 9367

    y2jdmbfan New Member

    May 7, 2004
    Does anyone know if it is possible to get the basic/expanded basic channels digitally with the Series 3? I am in Chicago suburbs and finally got the cards to work, and I get my HD channels now, but how do I get channels 2-99 digitally?

  3. Sep 30, 2006 #643 of 9367

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Its possible if Comcast is broadcasting them digitally and you can persuade Comcast to tell your cards to receive them.

    There's plenty of discussion in this thread about this, search for "ADS" (Analog/Digital Simulcast) or DCT-700.
  4. Sep 30, 2006 #644 of 9367

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    It's called ADS and has to be set somehow by your local Comcast. I have it set for my cable box but have yet to get ADS working for my S3. See this thread,
  5. Sep 30, 2006 #645 of 9367

    Roderigo New Member

    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    No - I didn't mean check something outside. If you plugged the cable directly into a TV you wouldn't have received these analog channels either. Unless you're talking about extended-basic digital channels - in which case I was wrong - there wouldn't be an easy way to test that without a cable box.
    The card's information needs to be correctly entered into the headend/billing system. Other than that, the card itself doesn't need anything done to it before it gets placed into a host for the first time.
  6. Sep 30, 2006 #646 of 9367

    chrishiggins New Member

    Jul 22, 2003
    My experience in Portland, Oregon (east side). The short version: GREAT. I'm a little stunned.

    I got the S3 HD box a little over a week after ordering (VIP, moving up from an older hacked S2 box), and called Comcast immediately. Their next available appointment was today, which was eight days out. I said okay. The rep was a little confused about two CableCards, but got a manager who explained the S3 to him, and he went ahead and scheduled the appointment. I was quoted $16-ish for the truck roll, nothing for the first card, and $5/month for the second card. I didn't fight this, figuring I could call billing later and maybe get the $5/month dropped. I also told them they could take back the Comcast STB (I have the non-HD, non-DVR model...I hate it, and it just barely works with the IR blasters).

    Today, the installer came -- a contractor named Kevin -- towards the end of the install window (3:45 in a 2-4 window), after calling at 3pm to say he might be late. He had two CableCards. I had warned him over the phone that he might need extras, but he said he just had the two. Okay.

    So I gave him the instruction sheet and he reviewed it. He immediately called Comcast and asked for someone (I forget her name, unfortunately. Kim?) he knew, who was "good with CableCards." She had done S3 installs before and walked him through it. Basically she had him put in the first card while I ran the remote. I got a 161-4 error immediately after I heard her say 'hit' over the phone. While waiting for the Pairing screen to show info, she had the installer put in the second card and she hit that too. FWIW, during this process I say the 161-4 error perhaps four times. It popped up in the middle of doing other things, like testing channels. I kept dismissing it, and took it as a good sign. The lady on the phone said something was amiss on the work order, so she was correcting it. I'm wondering if she might have removed the extra monthly fee, but didn't want to push my luck in asking. We'll see what the next bill says.

    Within about three minutes, both Pairing screens were showing info. The installer read off the info and made notes of all of it on the work order, which seemed nice. The lady at the head end has us test Channel 127 on CableCard 1, which is a digital weather station. It worked immediately. I decided to try HBO (550), my only premium package. It worked. I tried the other HBO's, they worked. Then...hoping against hope, I tried the HD channels (700+), which also all worked, including HBOHD. Wow. Then we tried CableCard 2 and had the same results. Everything just works. Whole thing took twelve minutes.

    I am now re-running Guided Setup, but as far as I can see, it just went off without a hitch. Yay!

    BTW, both cards are Motorola with Firmware 4.21.

    I filled out the contractor's satisfaction survey and wrote in extra high marks for him in the comments area. Overall, a very pleasant experience, when I had been prepared for the worst!

    ;Chris Higgins
    ;Portland, OR
  7. Sep 30, 2006 #647 of 9367

    TBoyd Less Cable, More Net

    Apr 9, 2000
    re: Initialization - Maybe so, but clearly SOME conditions can/do cause cards in the field to REQUIRE initialization. That's fact.
  8. Sep 30, 2006 #648 of 9367

    cyeh New Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Another Comcast install horror show.

    My appointment was scheduled from 8 to noon today. I'm upgrading from analog basic to a digital package. The van pulls up at 9:40 and it's clear that it's a contractor doing today's install. Swell. I had read the warnings and was immediately filled with a feeling of dread.

    I opened the door and welcomed in the two techs. The older one said "Two new cableboxes this morning?" Which was the second bad sign. I replied no, two cable cards. He followed me in to the room with the S3, and I asked him if he had ever done one of the S3 installs before, and he said 'Yes', when it was clear to me that he was lying through his teeth.

    At any rate, he has the younger tech take one of the cards and install it into the Tivo. It's recognized. He calls in and gives the card serial #'s to the person on the other end of the line. There's a long pause where we stare at each other waiting for the Tivo. At this point he asks me if I was told that it could take up to 24 hours for the install to finish. What the? He then stays around for a few minutes staring blankly, then he asks me to sign the paperwork so he can leave.

    Okay, so my big mistake here was:

    a) signing the paper
    b) lettting him leave

    So they go off and I figure at least I have the cards, I can figure this out for myself right? Yeah. Right.

    I wait for about an hour, and it's clear that the cards aren't authorizing right. I have the dreaded MISSING_PROGRAM_REGKEY error that people are encountering. So I call Comcast and have them ping the cards. I wait. Nothing. I call again and have them ping the cards. Nothing. I call them _again_ and have them ping the cards. Nothing.

    So I call yet again, and I get a rep I had spoken to earlier in the morning. At this point, it's clear that something is wrong and voice my frustration. At the mention of the word 'frustrating' she immediately wants to dump me off to her manager, who is busy and will call me back by 6 pm.

    It's 5:35. They have 25 minnutes. The lessons learned from this are:

    1) When you call for your installation order, insist on an in-house tech.
    2) When the tech arrives, sit on them if you have to and don't let them leave until things are working.
    3) Don't expect to get proper cards or service.

    You'd think that a service upgrade would merit a greater attention to detail. You'd be wrong though.


    - C

    Santa Cruz, CA
  9. Sep 30, 2006 #649 of 9367

    cyeh New Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    I forgot to add that I'm getting all of the local HD channels and the music channels in the upper digital channels, just not the actual cable channels with content. It seems like they didn't intitialize the cards for the conditional content part.

    - C
  10. Sep 30, 2006 #650 of 9367

    sea_los New Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Yo C...

    I can totally relate to your issue with Comcast.

    I wasted my entire weekend last weekend. First I had an appointment for last Saturday 8 to 12. I had 2 trucks arrive at 1230 and 3 techs came in to install the cards.

    All 3 were sub-contractors who had never seen an S3 before. They popped the cable cards in and called to initialize the cards. Nothing happened at all and we all stared at the screen waiting for the channels to show up. 10 minutes went by and then they told me that they had 6 other appointments to do that day and had to go. They said that if the channels don't show up, that I should call the 800 number to have them re-initialize the cards. I stupidly signed the paper and they were off.

    Both cards never got initialized and when I called the 800 number, I immediately asked for a supervisor. They were very cool and said that they would call the dispatcher to get a supervisor to come out to fix the problem. True to their word, a supervisor came out, looked at the set up and said there wasn't anything he could do.

    I got back on the phone with Comcast and got them to agree that the whole install was a failure and that they would send someone out on Sunday morning (next day) for another 8am to 12 appointment.

    Sunday morning came and went and around 230pm a real Comcast tech showed up and he totally knew what he was doing. Within 15 minutes he had everything initialized and completely working. I told him about my experience the previous day with the sub-contractors and he just shook his head and said to always ask for an in-house tech.

    Before he arrived, I did call Comcast and complained how the techs for both appointments missed their window and basically I was wasting my entire weekend waiting for them. The CSR apologized and offered 1 month of free service and I said that 2 months would make me happy for wasting a weekend. She agreed and I reminded her that I had the Comcast Triple Play uber package at $185 a month. So she worked it out and and said that I would get $370 credit.

    The install horror story does have a happy ending after all. So if you have a bad experience, complain and don't settle for something until you're happy. Maybe telling them that I was considering going back to DirecTV helped!

    Sealos... in San Jose, CA
  11. Oct 1, 2006 #651 of 9367

    cyeh New Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Comcast never called me back by 6 pm, so I ended up calling them back at 6:30. Was immediately connected to a helpful CSR that sent the 7th hit to the cards that day, and promised that I would be put in contact with a supervisor in a few moments. While on hold, Cingular decides that this would be a good time to have lousy service and my call ends up getting dropped.

    After some grumbling and reaching for the land line, I call in again. This time I end up at the Livermore, CA call center and speak to a nice gentleman who wants to try and help. He speaks to his 'technical lead' and reads some of the Comcast Tivo S3 notices to me over the phone.

    One of the things that is clear is that they are finally settling on a pricing and ordering strategy for the S3's. He mumbles something about a new cablecard ordering number that is specific to the S3's, which is going to be rolled out on Oct 6th (or thereabouts).

    The second thing that is clear is that he's having me re-run through guided setup and putting the cards in again after rebooting the S3. I have little hope that this will work, but I entertain the idea that he might know something I do not. After a few attempts at rebooting and reinserting the cable cards, I still have the same problem. He then grabs his call-center technical lead and transfers me to him.

    Suddenly, the world changes.

    The new guy is clued. Very very clued. He tries running me through the CableCard instructions again, but after mentioning the earlier errors of PROGRAM_MISSING_REGKEY, I propose that we need to do a cold initiation of the cards and that I suspect that they never got the account information they needed.

    Now, I had mentioned the need for a cold init to other CSR's, but they said only a tech could do that.

    Thankfully, the guy I was speaking to knew exactly what I was referring to and had no problem calling for that signal to be sent to the cards. He had a ton of experience with CC's and knew the process for sending the cold init.

    That made all of the difference. The Motorola cards I had suddenly popped up with the 161-4 error that I had read about. He then sent the second signal which didn't do anything at first. Then, on a lark, with one CC card inserted, I tried tuning to ESPN HD which I hadn't been able to see before. Huzzah! It worked! I inserted the second card, they did the second cold init, and it again, I got the expected 161-4. A second hit to the second card was sent. Again nothing. After waiting about 5 minutes I decide to hit a channel I wasn't able to get. Huzzah again! It worked.

    Before I hung up, I had him call out channels I should be getting and everything came in great. I made a point of thanking him, and then getting his boss on the line and thanking her for the rep taking the time to get me up and running.


    * If you have a Motorola card and you insert it and don't get 161-4, something is wrong and they haven't initialized the cards properly before you got there. If this happens, they need to send a cold init to the cards to get them to work properly.

    * If at first you don't get the SUBSCRIBED message, try tuning to a channel. That seems to unstick the cards and get them to work (at least for me).

    * It seems clear to me that you get PROGRAM_MISSING_REGKEY, the card was initialized properly and that you need to either get new cards (that have been initted) or have central send the cold-init signal to the cards.

    * HD looks friggin' awesome.

    Good luck to all of you out there.

    - C
  12. Oct 1, 2006 #652 of 9367

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    If I had a scarce, valuable skill, I wouldn't work weekends either.
  13. Oct 1, 2006 #653 of 9367

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002
    Not necessarily true. I think the 161-4 refers to a timing error when the card is resetting and the Tivo can't talk to it. I didn't get this error with either card, and everything is as it's supposed to be. The key point is that if you get this "error", it can be ignored.

    Glad to see more folks are having success at this point :)
  14. Oct 1, 2006 #654 of 9367

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002
    Actually the "guru" in my area (their title) works on Sundays. His days off are Friday and Saturday.
  15. Oct 1, 2006 #655 of 9367

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    Let me revised my comment, then: If I had a scarce, valuable skill, and was a devout Jew, I wouldn't work Fridays and Saturdays either. :)
  16. Oct 1, 2006 #656 of 9367

    Maeglin New Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    Norcross, GA
    After hearing the news about multistream cards not working as one would expect in the S3, I called up Comcast this morning to get the work order for next weekend changed. 3 calls, 2 CSRs (the first apparently forgot about the call and it was dropped), and neither of them were aware of the S3 or that a Tivo device now exists that could handle CableCARDs. I did manage to get the order changed for 2 cards instead of one but, at this rate, it's apparent that this forum (and this thread in particular) will be an invaluable resource in getting things up and running...

    I'll just save the battle about the $5.99 "additional outlet" charge for the 2nd card for another day. If they are multi-stream cards, though, then I'll be sending one of them back anyway when the S3 is updated for proper support of them.

    At the very least, I did manage to get it to sink in that they were both for the same device, which alleviated the need to push the appointment back for getting that fictional second outlet wiring taken care of.
  17. Oct 1, 2006 #657 of 9367

    Bighouse 200 Club Member

    Sep 3, 2004
    Guerneville, CA
    Comcast came and went. Took about 40 minutes total. Cablecard 1 too its hit just fine, but cablecard 2 gave us a 161-4 error. After they rehit it again it worked ok. Then I had to change my cable lineup guide, he stuck around for that just to make sure all the channels worked. They did.

    I think my charge was $16.95 for the install and the cards are free.
  18. Oct 1, 2006 #658 of 9367

    sjca35 New Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    So I ordered my Tivo from CC and it arrived early (Tuesday). Since I already had a tech coming out on Thursday to swap out my cable box which had just died I tried convincing Comcast (San Jose) to do the cablecard install then, but to no avail.

    So my window was from 12-4pm on Sat. 4:30 two contractors show up. It was quite apparent that I knew more then they did. All they knew to do was to write down the serial numbers and plug them in. Said even though they were "enabled" would take 1-2 hours for them to start working. WTF?

    Anyways, I showed them the page that came with my Tivo for the cable card setup, and they actually wanted to take it with them... I guess Comcast isn't giving any directions???

    So of course, later that night they still weren't working. I called Comcast, they sent a signal (not sure which one) and when it didn't work, scheduled a tech (employee not contractor this time at my request) to show up on Tuesday.

    Anyways, after reading this thread, I realized that Comcast doesn't have the Data or Host ID's since the contractors never called Comcast with that info, so I called Comcast again. Talked to "Beverly" who wouldn't send a reset signal (afraid of burning out the card) and all she had access to was the serial numbers of the card, so the missing Host/Data ID's weren't of any use. I got her to send a "hit", but still no worky. Asked if I could talk to the CableCard group and work with them since the contractors were so clueless and I explained about already staying home one day last week for comcast already, but she said there was nobody to transfer me to and they'd have to roll the truck.

    Anyways... the good news is that Beverly called me back and since I've had so much trouble lately, she's going to sneak me in the 2-6pm slot TODAY! Woot. Of course, I'm taking my wife out for dinner for her birthday (reservations @ 6) so hopefully he shows up on the early side.
  19. Oct 1, 2006 #659 of 9367

    sjcbulldog New Member

    Jul 13, 2004
    You know, as I have mentioned in my earlier post, my installer did this "cold init" as a matter of course. He had the CSR send two different "hits" to the card of two different types. The first was some kind of initialization and the second was the actual pairing and binding to my account. I think that if Comcast would talk to my installer or the tech you had that they could write down the "failsafe" steps required, at least for the Motorola cards, and this would go a lot smoother for a lot of the people here having problems.

    I wonder if this is a problem with incompetence or something more sinister?

  20. Oct 1, 2006 #660 of 9367

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

    May 24, 2002
    They're the ones that allowed it to be scheduled on a weekend. TWICE!!!

Share This Page