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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. leeble

    leeble New Member

    Sep 14, 2009
    Thanks. I thought it was one M or two S. Comcast says one M will work, and since the first card is free, I only have to pay the $16.99 install fee.
  2. dms92969

    dms92969 New Member

    May 24, 2003
    Just wanted everyone to know that I had an M-card installed in my Tivo-HD. No problems so far. They guy didn't know anything about an SDV adapter, but all the channels seem to be comming in ok...

    I called chatted with someone online. They said once Comcast Tivo is available in my area, the SDV adapters will be available. I don't know what that's about... I called them directly, they didn't know what an sdv adapter was. LOL..
  3. EllJay

    EllJay New Member

    Dec 3, 2004
    I'm really frustrated. Got my MCard from Comcast, received my TiVO HD on Friday. Followed all of the directions, but it is not acquiring the channels. I called Comcast tech support a couple of times, and did the online chat - nothing changed. The tech guy came out yesterday, swapped out the MCard, tested the signal strength (it was fine) and tried a few other things. Today, I spent a couple of hours on and off with the tech supervisor. He had me first scan the channel list with the card removed, then do (yet) another Guided Setup with the card in, then configure the card (yet again). Still not acquiring the channels. On the Conditional Access, I see Con:Yes but Val:?0x00
    The CableCard status shows a state of Wait to Start. No Messages are being received. I'm totally at a loss - is the problem with Comcast in general? The particular CableCard? A defective TiVO? Am I doing something wrong? I'd really appreciate some help - thanks in advance!
  4. treaty

    treaty New Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    Installed a new M-card into my TivoHD this weekend for the first time. Went to the local Comcast office and picked up the card, no charge. Came home and slipped it in then called the number on the screen to have Comcast activate. Read them the numbers on the screen and 4 minutes later I was told to do the channel test... was getting all the channels.

    Comcast tech on the phone tried to tell me there would be a $1.75 monthly charge on my bill for the cable card. I insisted that I did not have a cable box already, only the TiVo, no other digital outlets in the house, so there should be no charge - he said he'd have to talk to a supervisor about that. 2 minutes later he was back on the phone to let me know that was indeed correct - no charge.

    I do not know why any cable company in their right mind would do a truck roll to install a cable card into a Tivo - It's a no brainer on the TiVo end, there's nothing to be done. Any complicated work is all done on the cable office switching end. That's where the cable companies need to focus their training/efforts/money.
  5. bicker

    bicker Gruff

    Nov 9, 2003
    Sounds like the installer thought that you were getting CableCARDs to go with Basic Cable service; with that tier, you do pay $1.75 (here) for the first CableCARD.
  6. leeble

    leeble New Member

    Sep 14, 2009
    Here in Chicago - I got the Mcard Saturday, but there were missing channels. Nobody seemed to know anything, and they said the cablecard was bad. Seemed odd to me, why only a few channels, not all? They sent out another tech today, who checked the signal at the cables outside, changed out some splitters, and ultimately they had to send another something signal to the device, but now I have all the channels I am supposed to. Unfortunately I am getting black screens occasionally - just for a few seconds, but it's annoying (during recording). I hear the audio, but the screen goes black.

    RS Uncorrected is 0, RS Corrected steadily goes up. Signal strength, etc. all seems fine.

    They tell me, though, that the first cablecard is free.
  7. spikerjack

    spikerjack New Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Like many here I have both Tivo Series3 and Tivo HD units utilizing S and M cards respectively. Just had my premium channels go out after a Tivo HD upgrade...and after seven (yes SEVEN) calls to Comcast I did stumble upon a troubleshooting method that worked to get my card and channels working again. Here is what I did:

    1) After the upgrade, my Data ID field --did-- change. I had to get Comcast Customer Service to update. That was four of the seven calls. Finally on that fourth call I insisted on a supervisor who could update the field and he did...but a new hit wasn't helping reauthorize. Bummer.

    2) The next two calls were to try and get somebody who could help me troubleshoot the CableCARD screens and to see if there was something I could do short of a tech roll. Simply put - exercise in futility.

    3) I noticed on my Conditional Access screen that Con=Yes, Val did NOT have a V, but that the Auth field showed "UNC". That seemed strange. Rebooting the Tivo with the CableCARD in did not resolve.

    4) I then PULLED the card, did a formal reboot, ignored ALL messages to redo guided setup...got myself back to the Tivo main menu. I then reinstalled the card, again ignored the guided setup warnings, and went back to the Conditional Access screen. This time while Val still did not have a V (didn't expect one) the Auth field did show an "S" instead of "UNC".

    5) At this point I called Comcast to get a regular hit sent and bingo - channels worked.

    I don't expect this to be a magic elixir for everybody as it definitely seems everybody has unique issues...but just wanted to pass on my "try rebooting without the card before calling to get a authorization hit" idea so that others could try it if you have a similar issue to mine.

    I learned alot from this thread...just wanted to share.
  8. Smackfu

    Smackfu New Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    Question on these instructions: It says to run Guided Setup before the installer comes. This isn't a new Tivo HD, but it is a new Comcast install, so do I just pick my Comcast package and do Guided Setup without actually having the channels yet?
  9. gamndbndr

    gamndbndr New Member

    Jul 3, 2007
    Frickin' a - once again all my hi-def channels are gone on both cable cards. Waiting on my 5th call with Comcast this afternoon. First 2 were disconnected as they transferred me to "tech support" where I ended up with 1) "if you'd like to make a call....", #2) busy, 3) "need to get a supervisor", 4) same called back and tried to do it from her screen but no success, 5) should be a supervisor.

    Why do I think this will create another truck roll for Comcast which will be 3 in less than 45 days. And the last 2 guys came in, punched some commands in their Blackberry and "poof" all the HD channels were there after pairing successfully!

    Ever since the digital expansion into the analog range happened and the boxes were sent out this has been a repeating problem. If only the Comcast TiVo boxes were available in Atlanta I'd tell them to send one over and I'd give my Series 3 to my son and let him deal with this!
  10. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Yours is the first one I have heard with this problem.

    I'm a Comcast CableCard TiVo User with NO PROBLEMS.

    Let me take a WILD guess.

    You were previously an Adelphia customer or some other
    Comcast acquired customer.
  11. toddinmd

    toddinmd New Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    You're lucky then. My cards lost auth in July, ended up needing a truck roll to replace the cards. Even the new cards loose all channels in ~3 weeks, sometimes sooner. What's funny, is that comcast will call and ask if my cards are fine, and I'll check and gee they are not working again. So they send another hit. I'm told no changes are being made, but I always wonder why they keep calling when my cards are out.........
  12. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Mine use to do that a YEAR ago. I never had a truck roll.

    I just had them send the Encryption Keys again and they
    started to work. But they were refreshing the KEYS once
    a month. I guess they stopped the frequent refresh this year.
  13. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    For those who wonder why it is a nightmare to get TiVo issues resolved with Comcast either over the phone or by technician visit, here is some information:

    1- They do not provide training on third-party consumer electronic devices ie TiVo, Moxi, & HDTV's w/cablecard slots. only a very small percent of their customers have devices that use cablecards and cablecards do not generate revenue. Many of the technicians who do installations are not employed by Comcast, but work for companies who contract their technicians out. Who knows what kind of training they receive.

    2- Phone reps are allowed to spend an average of only 3-4 minutes on each call. On each phone call they are required to make an attempt to "upsell" the customer, which doesn't allow a lot of time for troubleshooting. If their average time on the phone is longer than 3-4 minutes then they are put on notice, and if that does not improve within a specific amount of time, they can be fired. Troubleshooting TiVo issues takes a lot longer than 3 minutes, so the phone reps do whatever they can in order to get the customer off the phone: they schedule a technician. Also, they are not given access to pair cablecards or update the Host & Data and are discouraged from transfering calls to supervisors who do have access to pair cards.

    They have recently been laying off employees in local call centers in order to "outsource" those jobs, some of which are in other countries (again, who knows what kind of training they receive). It's a crapshoot that you or the technician will actually talk to someone local or that even knows what they are doing.
  14. RJElman

    RJElman New Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    We're having the exact same problem with our CableCard installation in Oakland. Did you ever resolve your problem? We've had 3 different techs out to the house and have tried multiple CableCards.

    Thanks for any info you can share.
  15. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    It sounds like the card is either not paired, or paired incorrectly. Val:? indicates there is a problem somewhere in the Host (TiVo tuner) validation process, which can be caused when your cable provider has not paired the Host & Data to the cablecard. When a cablecard is inserted in a TiVo, it begins to "hunt" for out of band frequencies. If the card cannot find these frequencies, this may cause Network Setup to display a zero count next to Messages. A zero count basically means that the card is not communicating with the cable providers Headend. This can be caused by a problem with the activation, loose/incorrect connections, no incoming signal or a faulty card. There are several things I recommend you do before you call them back:

    The first thing is to press the input button on the remote to cycle throught the settings. The input setting must match the physical connection between the DVR and the TV.
    Next, go to the Pairing screen. If you don't know how, press the TiVo button on the remote, select Message & Settings - Settings - Remote CableCARD & Devices - CableCARD Decoder -Configure CableCARD 1 - CableCARD Menu - Pairing. This screen displays the Host (unique 13 digit # which identifies the tuner the card is inserted in. This # does not change) the Data(11 digit # which is generated between the Host & the card) and the Unit Address (this # is associated to cablecard. If multiple cards are installed this helps to pair the Host & Data to the correct card). If you do not see any data displayed here, then the card may be faulty, not inserted properly, or the Headend does not recognize that a card has been inserted. Write the Host, Data & Unit Address down. Call Comcast. Ask the phone rep to tell you if there is a Host number attached to the card. If there is, ask him/her to read to you what the 13 digit number is and then ask for the 11 digit Data number. If either numbers do not match exactly what you wrote down, or there is not a Host & Data, then they need to be updated which the phone reps do not have access to do, however their supervisors do. At this point they will probably want to send a technician, but insist that a supervisor update your Host & Data info. Once that has been corrected, they need to send a series of activation signals. This part is important; if the incorrect signals are sent, your card will not activate. They must send these signals in this order: Cablecard Validation, Initialize, Hit. Once the card receives the signals, the channels should begin downloading in just a few minutes. Keep the phone rep on the line with you. If you see an error "161-4" it means that the card received the Initialization and is resetting-just press Clear. Go to the Cablecard Decoder screen, select Configure Cablecard 1, then select Test Channels. You should see "No channels available" while the channels are downloading. If everything is working as it should, within a few minutes channels should start appearing. Check all channels that you subribe to on both tuners.

    If this doesn't work, let me know. There are other things we can check to verify what is causing your problems.
  16. sxdxoutlaw

    sxdxoutlaw New Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Can you use a series 3 without a cable card for basic cable?
  17. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    You can, however the cablecard provides access to various features, such as the Guide Data
  18. a68oliver

    a68oliver New Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    Not exactly. Basic cable guide data IS available without a cablecard. My S3 has cablecards and they provide decryption services and channel mapping so the guide will work on the non-analog channels.

    My HD does not have cablecards and has complete guide data for all the analog channels. However, it does not have guide data for the clear QAM channels which it receives.
  19. yukit

    yukit New Member

    Jul 23, 2005
    With recent Comcast updates, I was just verifying the channel lineup in two of my TivoHDs. I noticed that my older TivoHD (paired about 6 month ago)was missing Encore channels, but a new TivoHD XL (paired recently) does see the channels.

    I am guessing that two cableCARDs are activated & authorized independently despite having the same cable package. I suppose I can make a call to CSR to fix this, but I have not missed these channels for the last 6 months anyways.

    I saw missing Encore channels posting about a month ago, but I am not sure if the issue is limited to Encore channels. Anyone else see such weirdness?
  20. furgoon

    furgoon New Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    How do actually get them to come out with cablecards? I have just upgraded to the digital starter package. I confirmed twice with the sales rep via chat that I wanted cable cards. The first appointment time comes around and the installer says that they are out of them and they would have to reschedule. Second appointment comes around and, of course, the tech knows nothing of the cable cards. I had them come out anyway as I needed the trap removed off my line since I had basic cable. I would think I am at least eligible for a free truck roll to get these forsaken cards. I think they are trained not to have them since they lose revenue on them.

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