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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. CraigK

    CraigK (unspecified)

    1,255
    7
    Jun 9, 2006
    North of...

    Press the Tivo button then>
    Messages & Settings>
    Settings>
    Channels>
    Channel List

    When you go through Guided Setup you only tell the TiVo what company (Comcast) and if it's digital. All those channels are potentially available to you depending on how Comcast programs the Cablecard.

    In theory you should only be able to receive the channels you are paying for and the TiVo doesn't know what those are for the guide info. When you remove the channels from the channel list you'll be squared away.
     
  2. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    I have had a Series 3 for almost 3 years and a TiVo HD for one year and have had no major problems with cablecard installations from Comcast. In fact, 3-4 months ago I had to swap out my S3 for a refurb, and I merely pulled the cards from the original, put them in the new box, called in the numbers and had it running in 20 minutes.

    My refurb S3 also failed and I exchanged it at BB (had their 4-year service plan) for a TiVo HD XL rather than try another refurb S3. When I tried to swap the cards this time one of them would not pair correctly and they wanted to do a truck roll to get it fixed. Rather than argue, I decided it would be a good opportunity to switch to an m-card (saves $1.50 per month) so I agreed to it.

    The truck never showed up on Saturday as scheduled, so I called and they sent one on Sunday. Only he didn't have any cablecards with him. So it's rescheduled for today 8 a.m. to noon. Still hasn't shown up.

    I've installed dozens of cablecards (for friends and family) but this will be my first experience with m-cards. I reviewed many of the posts, but while I'm waiting for the truck thought I'd see if there was any advice here.

    From what I've seen the key things to check on the Conditional Access screen are:

    Con=Yes - indicates that the card is properly activated
    EB CP = Yes - indicates that it is paired to the host
    Val: V 0x01 - indicates proper authorization
    ActiveProg: <0> or <1> - indicates it is operating as m-card
    Auth:s - indicates the current channel is authorized

    Does this look complete? Anything else to check?

    Now if they would only show up.

    p.s. - these are Motorola cards
     
  3. rockytop

    rockytop New Member

    2
    0
    Dec 7, 2006
    I am a long time lurker on these forums. I have had Series 2 Tivo boxes, and I finally decided to move up to the HD boxes. I purchased two with Lifetime service during the Father's Day special.

    After 11 years (!), I turned off DirecTV to move to cable. I had fun explaining to them multiple times why I was turning off service: "no, your DVRs are crap". Seriously, I am addicted to MRV, playing my music from the Tivo Server SW on my PC, etc.

    Anyway, I had held off because some of the bad experiences related here.

    So, I stop by in person to the local office. Understand that I live in rural nowhere. They had never done a cable card install at all, but the lady was very helpful. She promised to have a technician come over from the closest city to do the install. She also made a note that I would want M-Stream cards, 1 for each HD Tivo.

    I stop by a few weeks later to actually schedule the install, and another person is working the desk. When I start to discuss the details, he tries to tell me that they don't support cablecards. I firmly tell that they don't have a choice, the FCC requires it. He gets nervous and calls the first lady I spoke to. She calms me down, and we get everything scheduled.

    I got my HD Tivos in a week earlier and set them up and upgraded the SW in advance, which I think was very good advice.

    Installation comes, and they show up 5 minutes before noon (for a promised "morning" install). However, they do bring *3* technicians (and 3 vans)!

    The actual installation goes very fast. I had them pull down all of the crappy wiring I had done myself for the satellites and replace it with much better run cabling. While I am busy running from room to room checking over where they have run the wiring, the most knowledgeable technician was activating the cablecards. I didn't realize that, and I missed most of the fun. :-(

    Everything went much smoother than I expected from some of the stories here. I get all of the channels I care about. The dual tuning capability is great. Plus, I still have my MRV and music. Also, I am now trialing Netflix. I am not so sure about that. I actually prefer Amazon Unbox, where I know I have the whole movie on the HD before I start it.

    The one glitch was that I wasn't getting a couple of channels that I thought I should be. From the notes here, I "diagnosed" it as a pairing issue with the cablecard and device, but that turned out not to be the case -- the local office is transitioning channels into the market this month, and the channels listed aren't actually available. They are being turned on in blocks over the next several weeks.

    Anyway, kudos to Comcast for doing a good job for me.
     
  4. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
    0
    Oct 31, 2008
    From what I've seen the key things to check on the Conditional Access screen are:

    Con=Yes - indicates that the card is properly activated
    EB CP = Yes - indicates that it is paired to the host
    Val: V 0x01 - indicates proper authorization
    ActiveProg: <0> or <1> - indicates it is operating as m-card
    Auth:s - indicates the current channel is authorized

    Does this look complete? Anything else to check?

    Now if they would only show up.

    p.s. - these are Motorola cards[/QUOTE]

    JRM01 You pretty much have the correct information. this is to clarify some of what is displayed on the Conditional Access screen:

    Con:yes - this indicates that the cable provider has turned on service to the Cablecard.

    EnabledByCP:yes - Copy protection is enabled on the channel that the tuner is locked onto.

    Auth:S - The channel your tuner is locked onto is authorized to decrypt the channel.

    Val:V - Simply put, your card is correctly paired.

    ActivePrg:<1> - Means the Cablecard is running in multi-stream mode, and the current channel is being displayed on tuner 1.

    ActivePrg:<0> - Means the Cablecard is running in multi-stream mode, and the current channel is being displayed on tuner 2.

    FYI~ The keys to a smooth installation are:
    1- Accurate billing codes on your cable account.
    2- Installer must follow proper installation steps.
    3- In order to receive encrypted channels, the Host & Data must be paired to the inserted Cablecard. If there is more than one card the Host & Data in each tuner must be paired to the card inserted into that tuners cablecard slot.
    4- the cable provider MUST send the proper signals to activate the card(s)

    Let us know how the installation goes.
     
  5. jludman

    jludman New Member

    16
    0
    Aug 13, 2005
    I live in Derry, NH.

    I just got the triple play thing, and they were charging me $6.95 per card and listing it on the bill as "additional outlets". The Tech that installed it, and 1-800-comcast told me that I must keep their DVR as part of the package, and that I must pay $6.95 extra for each card. On the 6th call to 1-800-comcast, my wife managed to convince them that really, we only have 1 TV so they graciously agreed to only charge us for 2 TVs - $6.95 + $1.50 for the 2nd card on that non-existant 2nd outlet. Obviously, I wasn't too happy with being charged $8.45 to use my TiVo.

    However, I emailed We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com and they had me return the comcast DVR box, and seem to have fixed my bill, so that I will be only paying $1.50 beyond the triple-play price. Maybe I can save the $1.50 if I can get ahold of a multi-stream card instead.
     
  6. JoeyJoJo

    JoeyJoJo Damaged Goods

    6,798
    17
    Sep 29, 2003
    Southern NH.
    Thanks man. They couldn't do the cablecards last week, so I have them coming back on Saturday. If I can't get Customer Service to agree, I'll use that email.
     
  7. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    Well my Comcast experience of getting an m-card for my new XL has ended (I think).

    Saturday they never showed up as scheduled. Called and rescheduled for Sunday.

    Sunday they showed up, but didn't have any cablecards with them. Rescheduled for Tues.

    Tuesday they never showed up. Rescheduled for Thursday.

    Knowledgeable tech finally showed up with the m-card. Installed it and after EMM count got to 3500 we tested the channels and all was fine, total 15 minutes. As he was packing up I got an error message "Cablecard not functioning". We started all over and it wouldn't pair correctly. Then I noticed that somehow the Data-Id number had changed. We fixed that and all went fine and it's now operating for Day-2.

    One "bug" that I noticed. If you use Test Channels under the Cablecard Diagnostics, and you tune to a non-authorized channel it pops you out to the Cable Card Conditional Access Screen. The only way out of that is to press Clear. That takes you back to the Test Channel screen, which immediately throws you back to the CA Screen. Big loop. I finally figured out that when you get to the Channel test Screen you need to quickly hit the Left Arrow Button and it will go to the Cablecard Menu Screen.

    Other than that, everything is fine.
     
  8. froggie

    froggie New Member

    17
    0
    Feb 13, 2005
    Hi all,

    I'm looking for suggestions as to what to try next. My situation:

    - Series 3 Tivo with 2 Motorola cablecards
    - Worked great for over a year
    - Last 3 months, cablecard 1 doesn't show 3 HD channels (419,415, 411).
    - Cablecard 2 shows all channels.
    - Cablecard 1 was replaced and I see the same behaviour
    - signal strength on line was shown to be OK by the comcast tech


    I'm at a loss as to what to try next (short of replacing the Tivo)

    Any suggestions are welcome!

    Cheers,
    Froggie
     
  9. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    50,975
    31
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    It's an authorization issue. If you can't get your local office to fix it, contact the Comcast Cares group.

    http://twitter.com/comcastcares
    We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com
     
  10. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    I found you can get cards from the local Comcast office here. I was helping a friend and was skeptical when the Comcast phone rep said you could get them from the local office, but they really did have them, M-Cards even. Even activating it went without a hitch and the guy on the phone actually seemed to have had some training about them.
     
  11. froggie

    froggie New Member

    17
    0
    Feb 13, 2005
  12. jhgwin

    jhgwin New Member

    4
    0
    May 3, 2009
    I just returned to my house after a few week vacation to the pleasant surprise of having several new HD channels. Unfortunately, I do not have the program information for those channels. It says " to be announced" for each channel. I have forced the tivo connection with no success. I am in the Sandy Springs Ga area. Has Comcast not provided the info yet? Any suggestions?
     
  13. tj722

    tj722 Gagdet Geek

    111
    0
    Feb 15, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Anyone here a Comcast customer in Washington DC that has Showtime? *All* of my Showtime channels now show CableCARD grey screens. I'm not sure how long this has been this way, at least for several days.

    I called customer service today and said he had to roll a truck, which I have a feeling will not solve the problem. I had a similar issue a year or so back with A&E HD (which I posted about on this thread), and it just resolved itself after several weeks of complaining.

    If I can confirm that others have the same problem it would be much easier than having Comcast waste mine (and their) time sending techs that have no clue on what to do.
     
  14. drcos

    drcos HD where available

    253
    0
    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    jhgwin,
    Check your lineup on Zap2It to see if they show information for your new channels. I believe they use the same service as TiVo.

    You probably have to submit a lineup discrepancy at TiVo.com, and they are usually pretty good about fixing it in 3-5 days or so.
     
  15. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    431
    0
    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...
    YMMV. My lineup discrepancy took two months of first reporting with the online form and then multiple phone calls with trouble ticket numbers.

    However, it finally was resolved.
     
  16. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
    0
    Oct 31, 2008
    It sounds like there is a problem with the pairing. Do this to confirm what the problem is caused by:

    1-Tune to a channel that you subscribe to but is not coming in, then press record on your remote (this locks the tuner onto that channel).
    2-Go to the Conditional Access screen. What you want to look for is
    Auth:Subscribed (single-stream card) Auth:S (multi-stream card) This indicates that the channel is authorized for viewing. If anything else is displayed, ask your cable provider to verify that you are still subscribed to the missing channels, then they need to send a signal to reauthorize the channels.
    B]Host Validation:Valid[/B] (single-stream) or Val:V (multi-stream) This basically indicates that the card is properly paired to the card. If you do not see Valid or V, the Data ID in that tuner may have changed and will need to be updated in your cable providers system. If this is the case, write down the Host and Data ID, then call your cable provider. Ask them to tell you the Host & Data ID they have attached to the card. If the information does not match, they will need to update them, then send signals to reauthorize the card.

    If the problem you are experiencing is caused by either of these issues, sending out a technician is not necessary.

    Let us know what information you see displayed on the Conditional Access screen.
     
  17. jhgwin

    jhgwin New Member

    4
    0
    May 3, 2009
    Thanks oliver and drcos.

    I spoke with a tivo tech rep and she confirmed that it was a third party issue and she was reporting it to them. She said that it would take approximately 5 business days to address from their end. I can deal with a few more days without programming info because having the additional HD channels are great. It's amazing that it has taken so long to get channels like CNBC and Fox News in HD. Comcast is finally reacting to market pressure.
     
  18. tj722

    tj722 Gagdet Geek

    111
    0
    Feb 15, 2003
    Washington, DC
    crazi4tv,

    I have a multistream card. When I tune to one of the channels I get the grey screen... on the conditional access screen I have Auth:S and Val:?

    So it looks like the card is subscribed but not paired. But I don't think DC pairs their CableCARDs as I don't think I've *ever* had a successful pairing even though I've had no problem for almost 2 years.

    By the way, if I tune to any Cinemax channel, I get the same grey CableCARD screen. I'm not subscribed to Cinemax, but I shouldn't be getting the CableCARD screeen, I should be just getting a blank screen.
     
  19. tj722

    tj722 Gagdet Geek

    111
    0
    Feb 15, 2003
    Washington, DC
    My problem was fixed!

    I called again and insisted that they attempt to troubleshoot again and to verify my CableCARD config. Turns out they had the wrong Host ID in the system for me. I managed to actually get a customer service rep that knew how to fix the problem for me without rolling a truck! :up:

    Now I get "Val:V" so they must be pairing cards now. It was odd that I was able to get my other subscribed channels but I'm glad everything is fixed for now.
     
  20. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    119
    0
    Oct 31, 2008
    I'm glad it is working for you.
     

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