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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. DaveLinger

    DaveLinger New Member

    66
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    Dec 3, 2008
    2 weeks ago I moved into a townhome in Morgantown, WV. The townhome operators pay for my comcast internet and expanded cable.

    I called 1800comcast the day I moved in, and the nice phone lady said I could go to the comcast office in morgantown to pick up my cable cards and install them myself. I've done this on Time Warner, where they activated them over the phone for me.

    I went to the office, and was informed that they do NOT allow this, and that I'd have to pay for a truck roll to have them installed (I say "them" because the phone lady and the office lady said that they ONLY have S-cards, no M-cards.)

    So they made an appointment for me to have them installed, the next week. A comcast contractor arrived and asked what we needed (he didnt know?) and when I said cablecards, he said that his contracting company doesn't do cablecards, so he left, and made an appointment for me to have a REAL comcast tech come out the NEXT week (today). Finally the real tech came over, and he actually had an m-card, and he actually knew what he was doing. 10 minutes later everything's set up and I'm only paying for one card. The run up sucked, but the end result is good.
     
  2. myyours

    myyours New Member

    25
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    Aug 28, 2007
    Just this might be interesting to someone...

    At my last apartment, it took me 6 visits before Comcast was finally able to get any combo of cablecards to work in my TiVo.

    When I moved out of my apartment and subsequently had to cancel my Comcast account because Comcast refused to acknowledge that my new home existed (long story.)

    Eventually, Comcast acknowledged my house and I got the service again. I was scarred by my previous cablecard fiasco, so I've been attempting to use the Comcast DVR, telling myself I didn't have enough vacation time saved up to spend a couple weeks at home waiting for multiple installers to arrive.

    The Comcast DVR is awful to begin with, but lately, its started recording all New, Repeats, and Duplicates, no matter what setting I choose, so I knew it was time to try to get these cable cards to work.

    When I called for an install last night, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the words, "the next available appointment with an installer who's proficient in installing cable cards..." Unfortunately, the install is 3 weeks away, but I feel optimistic that it might be someone who knows what they're doing on the first try.

    Fingers crossed!
     
  3. romulus

    romulus New Member

    8
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    Jan 6, 2005
    Hi. First off, I'd like to concur, as others have reported, that my local Comcast office has CableCards for self-install. In fact, I got to skip the long line of bill-payers to use the "not paying a bill" window. :)

    The CableCard install went mostly sort of without a hitch. Unfortunately four channels are not showing up. Three of them are local access channels and one is an a la carte foreign language channel (TV Japan). (This last one particularly sucks not to get because we pay $25/mo extra for it!)

    While on the phone with the rep doing the activation, after re-sending the authorization and confirming I still couldn't get those channels, he insisted that the next step was a visit. I insisted that I don't want a visit for numerous reasons and that I really doubt it would do any good, but he wouldn't do anything else.

    Later my GF found the Signal Meter screen and went to the TV Japan channel and it showed zero signal; meanwhile other foreign language a la carte channels that we don't get did have signal.

    What is going on here, do I need a new card or a well-placed phone call, and can it be fixed without one of those really inconvenient and invasive tech visits? TIA.
     
  4. Aug 1, 2009 #6624 of 9367
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    I recently upgraded my package from Digital Preferred to Preferred w/HBO. Naturally, this meant that my Cablecard could not tune any of the premium channels after the switch. Not only that, I lost access to all the Encore channels, Movieplex, and Flix. All of these channels and the HBOs showed 'Auth:CAD' and 'Val:?' on the conditional access screen. All other channels worked fine.

    After numerous phone calls to reps that sent multiple hits, reloads, etc. to the card, Comcast tried to schedule a tech roll. Now, I've had this card in my Tivo for a year without a problem, so why do I need a tech? I escalated this to the office of the regional ops VP (southeast or Atlanta area, not sure which). Within an hour I was speaking to someone in Comcast engineering, who you can never get escalated to any other way.

    Here's the important point (and the fix) - at some point recently, Comcast enabled copy protection on these channels. With that, the only way the Cablecard will work is to make sure that the DATA ID on the Cablecard pairing screen matches what's in their database for your account. In my case, it was wrong and the engineer corrected it and bam, all the missing channels came up. So if channels go missing and you get 'Auth:CAD' on your screen that they make sure that not only the pairing is correct (cablecard id and host id) but that the DATA ID is also correct in their system.

    And once again, the frontline reps should have known this, but didn't.
     
  5. Aug 1, 2009 #6625 of 9367
    drcos

    drcos HD where available

    253
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    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    The cards need to be paired, and in Comcast's case, they need to be properly entered into their system on your account. We had problems initially with them being on the account, but not on the right 'ports' in their system's "snapshot" of my account.
    They work, but they're still prone to being glitchy once in a while, but a restart fixes it.
    In the rare case I need to force a card reset (with SA cards on an S3), I will pull both cards, reinsert, and restart. This seems to force the cards to reload the channel maps from the datastream.
     
  6. Aug 1, 2009 #6626 of 9367
    IJustLikeTivo

    IJustLikeTivo New Member

    26,212
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    Oct 3, 2001
    Gaithersburg...
    Once again Comcast proves they suck. I know at least three people who have suddenly lost all premium channels. Other digital tier channels work fine. When you call, they claom they have to send a tech. I know they don't.

    When we called about my mother's TiVO, they claimed that they're updating to tru2way cable cards and have to come out to install. What a load of crap. If that were true, why have only a few died? Right now all four of mine and 4 belonging to others all have the same exact symptoms.
     
  7. Aug 2, 2009 #6627 of 9367
    kjefcoat

    kjefcoat New Member

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    Jan 19, 2009
    A friend of mine and I are having the same problem with premium channels on Comcast in the DC area. He lives in DC and I live in Arlington. Over the last three weeks we both lost all of our premium channels after previously having them work for more than two years. We both had techs come out and work on them and claim that there is nothing wrong with the cards that it is a "system" issue.

    I am a little encouraged by the post above from tj722. I checked and it does not look like my cards are paired. I called Comcast but they refused to do anything over the phone and said a tech would have to come out. I complained that all the tech was going to do is make a phone call to relay the information that I had handy. They said that they understood that, but that a tech had to come out. Typical helpful Comcast customer service rep.
     
  8. Aug 2, 2009 #6628 of 9367
    kjefcoat

    kjefcoat New Member

    2
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    Jan 19, 2009
    A quick follow-up. Comcast actually called me today to follow-up on the call I made yesterday. The rep who called me actually knew what he was talking about. It seems that my cards were not properly paired. I spent about half an hour on the phone with him and he got one of the cards to work fine. The other card still had a problem that he could not fix. He said that he was not local and that someone local needed to override some information in the system. He apologized a lot, but the end result is that I am still going to have to have a tech come out for one of the cards, but the other one is now paired. So I at least get the premium channels on one tuner for now.
     
  9. Aug 3, 2009 #6629 of 9367
    surfnutbry

    surfnutbry New Member

    12
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    Jan 21, 2004

    Hey kyefcoat,
    I live in Germantown MD and am having the same exact problem. I talked to customer service and confirmed that the data id's are wrong. He was very nice but he said he could not change the numbers and set up a truck roll for Wednesday. Very Very frustrating! Do you know any way to contact someone at Comcast that is authorized to correct Data ids?

    Thanks,

    Bryan
     
  10. Aug 3, 2009 #6630 of 9367
    IJustLikeTivo

    IJustLikeTivo New Member

    26,212
    0
    Oct 3, 2001
    Gaithersburg...
    If anything works, they are paired.
     
  11. Aug 3, 2009 #6631 of 9367
    IJustLikeTivo

    IJustLikeTivo New Member

    26,212
    0
    Oct 3, 2001
    Gaithersburg...
    I suspect someone screwed up a lot of them. I know at least 5 people who have screwed up cards. I'd bet that the data ID's are screwed up on all of them. Someone hosed the data and they're too chicken s#$t to admit it.
     
  12. Aug 3, 2009 #6632 of 9367
    IJustLikeTivo

    IJustLikeTivo New Member

    26,212
    0
    Oct 3, 2001
    Gaithersburg...
    I called comcast since I had the numbers written down and 2 of the 4 were wrong. Still not the problem since the right ones also don't work but interesting nonetheless.

    Interestingly, she said they knew there was a problem with the premium stations but claimed they need to know exactly what the screen on the tivo said in order to know what to do. I think that's a load of crap since the problem is the same but the software on the two boxes just present it to the user differently.

    They hit the card so I have to check when I get home. My bet is that they still don't work. Sigh.
     
  13. Aug 3, 2009 #6633 of 9367
    tj722

    tj722 Gagdet Geek

    111
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    Feb 15, 2003
    Washington, DC
    That's not quite true. My cards were not properly paired yet I was able to get most of the channels.

    Back to kjefcoat's problem: it's a shame they can't figure out how to do this over the phone.

    I have decided that I'm going to cancel Comcast and go OTA for a while. It's just too much of a hassle to deal with every time something goes wrong. Even after several years, it's still hit or miss with CableCARDs... And add this to my perpetual problems with billing (my rates go up and down without warning, my taxes and fees are seemingly made up), it just is too much.
     
  14. Aug 4, 2009 #6634 of 9367
    IJustLikeTivo

    IJustLikeTivo New Member

    26,212
    0
    Oct 3, 2001
    Gaithersburg...
    Yes and no. If they were never paired, they have no channel map and nothing would work. They can become unpaired and unless hit again, they will retain what they had. Two of mine are unpaired since I swapped tivo's but they still worked fine till they rehit the cards.
     
  15. Aug 4, 2009 #6635 of 9367
    adamshipley

    adamshipley New Member

    34
    0
    Aug 21, 2002
    Washington, DC
    This isn't true.

    I had the same problem as tj722. My 2 year old Motorola S-Cards started to lose the premium channels. All the other channels worked.

    What I have found out is that Comcast has started to slowly add copy protection to the premuim channels. Three weeks ago, it started with all the cinamax channels. Next week, it was the showtime channels. Yesterday it was the HBO channels. The CCI byte on all the premium channels are being set to 0x02.

    Comcast could not get my S-cards to pair correctly. It took three weeks and three tech visits to fix the issue. What fixed it was the S-cards were swapped out to M-cards that could be paired correctly.

    The real frustration was that I spotted the issue about the copy protection right away three weeks ago. But there is no way to get the info past the first line phone answer. They are so poorly trained and have no tools other then send a truck to the house. What a waste of my time and comcast's money.
     
  16. Aug 4, 2009 #6636 of 9367
    jcddc

    jcddc New Member

    24
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    Sep 20, 2006
    I have the same problem, for HBO. Based on the information I found on this board, I did manage to get a sympathetic local representative to enter in the CableCard numbers and HostIDs. Unfortunately, that didn't solve the problem. Truck roll scheduled for next Monday.
     
  17. Aug 5, 2009 #6637 of 9367
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Apparently the frontline reps cannot update your card's Data ID in their system, which is what is needed to get the copy-protected channels. So the idiots end up rolling techs to swap the card for something they caused.
     
  18. Aug 5, 2009 #6638 of 9367
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    I observed the same thing with the Encores, Movieplex, and Flix. This was confirmed by the engineer at Comcast that I talked to who corrected my card's Data ID in their system to get the channels back on my Tivo.
     
  19. Aug 5, 2009 #6639 of 9367
    jcddc

    jcddc New Member

    24
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    Sep 20, 2006
    I called again, to try to escalate to an engineer or a cable card specialist. I could hear one talking in the background. Apparently the frontline person I spoke to on my first call was able to enter the proper information, but that wasn't enough to do the pairing. So I still need to have a truck roll. Maybe some subset of problems can't be solved over the phone.

    I am quite annoyed that the Comcast rep, in the three hours it took him to install my cable cards when I had my Series 3 installed nearly three years ago, didn't bother to pair them. I'm hoping it takes less time to fix the problem this time.
     
  20. Aug 5, 2009 #6640 of 9367
    drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
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    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    TRUST ME - the guy on the TRUCK roll will do nothing but
    read the NUMBERS to the Right Person.

    That is a KEY WORD - he calls someone you can't get to :eek:

    It is Called ATS
     

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