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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Oct 3, 2006 #721 of 9367

    rickertk Not quite new Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    Well, it was going fine, but now it's screwed up. After the install on Saturday, which took rather long but went ok after an initial number mixup, everything was fine. As of tonight, though, I'm missing channels on one Cablecard only. Interestingly, it's only the digital simulcast channels in the extended basic lineup that won't work. Digital-only and HD channels are fine. The problem channels work ok on one Cablecard, but not on the other, and not on our other digital box. The guy on the phone was not much help at all tonight, so a tech is coming out again to figure it out.

  2. Oct 4, 2006 #722 of 9367

    toddwinkler New Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Knoxville, TN
    I quoted myself, hope that is ok.

    Guy came back with a second card this afternoon. It worked right away. We decided the first card was set up with the wrong "pricing tier" (his words, not mine) and that is why I was only getting some channels. They apparently had my account messed up at the office and when they flashed the card it got stuck with that data. He could not get it to reset.

    He is going to try and bring me another card tomorrow. I get both tuners, I just don't get all my channels on one of them. The tech was very nice and helpful. Hopefully I will hear from him tomorrow.
  3. Oct 4, 2006 #723 of 9367

    BillShannon New Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    Los Altos, CA
    (Continuing my story from post #690.)

    Another day, another visit from Comcast. Today the guy spent 4 hours here. He showed up
    about 3:00. When I got home at 5:30 he was still trying to get one cable card to work. He had
    replaced a bunch of splitters and connectors and had run a new cable to the room with the
    TiVo because he didn't like the signal quality. Of course, all of this had nothing to do with the
    real problem.

    Apparently they don't teach these guys basic fault isolation techniques. This guy was on the
    phone with TiVo support trying to get them to help. I showed up and said "why don't we take
    one of the known good cable cards in my other TiVo and see if it works in this TiVo?" He
    never thought of doing such a thing. When we did that, we quickly proved that the second
    TiVo works fine, the cable works fine, and in fact everything works fine except the cable cards
    he was trying to install, which we proved by putting the new cable cards in my first TiVo and
    seeing that they didn't work there either. One of the cards got a 161-1 error every time it was
    inserted. I'm sure that card is just broken. Another card got further, but would never display
    any channels in the Test Channels screen. I suspect that card was never properly enabled or
    configured at the head end.

    We were able to get a third card working within 10 minutes. Unfortunately, that was all the cards
    he had. He has to come back again with yet another batch of cards to try to find one more that

    Shouldn't these guys have some sort of test device for cable cards? Something they could plug
    into my cable, and plug the card into the device, and see if it really works?

    BTW, all the cards that have worked are Motorola red cards.
  4. Oct 4, 2006 #724 of 9367

    wackymann Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Boston Area
    So I watched all 3 baseball games and Friday Night Lights without a hitch... I'm generally very impressed with my S3! There are a few things I noticed:

    1. If you hit the GUIDE button while watching a recorded show, it dumps you into live TV!! What's up with that??
    2. If you watch a show that is currently recording on live TV (see #1 LOL), there are some weird litttle audio dropouts. If you go back into the "Now Playing" and watch it there, they aren't there (even if/when/after you catch up to real-time). Weird.
    3. If you peruse the guide and push lots of navigation buttons really fast, the audio of the show you're watching tends to drop out.

    #1. is VERY annoying - I often like to browse what's on Live TV while watching a recorded program - just to make sure I'm not missing anything good, or to check in on a Live show momentarily. Not only did it dump me to Live, but it left it on the tuner I was recording, so it ruined all of the suspense of the baseball game I was watching. This NEEDS to be addressed IMHO. Do all Tivos work this way?? My Motorola DVR has a very nice little feature where the "Last" button will toggle you between a recorded show and a Live channel. It's great for hopping out of a movie to check the score of a game. Lots of times I don't have enough interest in a game to actually record it, but I still want to check on the score occasionally. The Tivo doesn't seem to support this type of activity. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong... I am admittedly a Tivo newbie.

    #2,3 are mildly annoying and should be fixed, but easy to ignore.
  5. Oct 4, 2006 #725 of 9367

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Haven't you had TiVo before? They all work like that (at least all of mine have). This is noted in one of the other whinging threads, possibly the S3 bug list, or the what feature do you want thread.

    I agree, its silly. Some people argue for this though.
  6. Oct 4, 2006 #726 of 9367

    ah30k Active Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    When my $190 Comcast bill came in earlier this week I called to figure out what the ^%$ was up. During the long drawn out discussions and several disconnects I finally got a CSR who simply removed the second outlet charge. Great! Now last night my second CableCARD totall looses all access to the Digital Tier channels (except the local affiliate HD stations). Also, the second card had a status of 'not subscribed'.

    All I could get from the several CSRs that I spoke with was an offer to "send a signal" and the usual "we don't support TiVo". This was clearly not a problem with the TiVo, but they kept telling me that I should call TiVo support.

    I got so angry that I called to cancel my total Comcast package and was was ready to go back to OTA and Verizon phone service.

    The rep who answered the 'cancellations' helpdesk couldn't reach anyone but looked into it himself and quickly saw my two CableCARD Pairing Information items and when I told him about the 'second outlet fee' being removed earlier this week he saw that my second CableCARD did not have the Digital Tier enabled. He fixed it by giving me a temporary gratis DIgital Service on that card and said he would need to talk to his supervisor to figure out what to do to fix it permanently.
  7. Oct 4, 2006 #727 of 9367

    jjconte New Member

    Sep 24, 2006

    I too just received my cable bill with per card charges ($5.99/ea) after being told there would be no monthly charges. One problem was they did not remove my DVR package so both CCs were considered additional outlets. After removing the DVR she said now just the 2nd CC would be $5.99/mo. I pleaded my case with dates/names/IDs of the person that told me no charge. She said if she removed the charge from the second card, it would not work (i.e. no premium channels). Sounds like this might be true. I will be curious to see what your outcome is. Also, I mentioned "the $1.50 memo" and of course they knew nothing about it. :mad:
  8. Oct 4, 2006 #728 of 9367

    wackymann Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Boston Area
    Nope - I'm a Tivo newbie. The S3 is my first unit.
  9. Oct 4, 2006 #729 of 9367

    Harrypr New Member

    Dec 27, 2003
    My install in Atlanta went ""fairly"" smoothly. At first the installer called his supervisor and was told told that Comcast does not support tivo. I nicely, but strongly INSISTED that they do and that I wanted him to proceed with the install and that his supervisor was wrong. He agreed to attempt the install at my request. We installed both cards- very easy. He called in the information on the cards and activated them. For 3-4 minutes there was a cablecard error on screen, but that quickly updated and cleared by itself. I checked all of the channels on both cards and all are coming in perfectly, including HD & HBO. Harry
  10. Oct 4, 2006 #730 of 9367

    Maeglin New Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    Norcross, GA
    Hopefully, if I meet the same response on Sat., I can get him to do it as well. As I said before, my experience so far calling CSRs in the area have been "Tivo doesn't support the cards", not "we don't support Tivo". That was a fairly easy one to get past.

    Out of curiosity, did they use the host and data IDs, or just the serial numbers?
  11. Oct 4, 2006 #731 of 9367

    ah30k Active Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    This would depend on which version of the DAC (headend gear that control authorizations) your local headend is using. Older software did not require pairing of the CableCARD to the host and could be set up with just the serial number. This is why some people can get them handed out over the counter and some require a truck-roll. Newer DAC software required the DAC operator (who's phone number is triple-super-duper-top-secret) to manually add the pairing data (CC SN, Host # and hash-data #). The truck-roll tech has the DAC operator phone number.
  12. Oct 4, 2006 #732 of 9367

    Maeglin New Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    Norcross, GA
    I was asking that based on the idea that the version might be consistent at least across most of the Atlanta area (of which Norcross is a part, in case you're not aware).
  13. Oct 4, 2006 #733 of 9367

    toddwinkler New Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Knoxville, TN
    Follow up to post #722

    CableCard install in Knoxville, TN.

    I am up and running right now. They replaced my first card with a card that had been "re-flashed" with my correct channel set and it worked first try. So, for the most part, a smooth install except for the first card they tried. The problem again was not with the Tivo, but with the permissions they set on the first card.

    Hopefully everything will remain working. Thanks to this thread and everyone posting for all their help.
  14. Oct 4, 2006 #734 of 9367

    uksausage New Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    Can you conirm what you are paying for teh digital service as well?

    My comcast install has been disaster from time they delivered a DVR expecting to collect 2 cable cards onwards.
    Finally got great rep to cehck the install and eventually got to the accounts dept who set up codes to get all channels to both cards.

    now the bill comes and I get:
    19.90 for digital service (I already have a 64.95 digital package for another TV)
    9.95 for DVR service
    0 for cablecard (only mentions one)

    Everyone is talking cable card rates but what about the Digital TV service to a second outlet?

    Is there a definitive story from Comcast or isit by region? (I am Northern VA - Scientific Atlanta equiment only) :-(

    I see on the web there is an HD charge of $5 but they told me that the DVR service was that. I cant get a suitable senior person to explain the bill to me at the moment. No escalation routes that I can see either.
  15. Oct 4, 2006 #735 of 9367

    boblip11 New Member

    Oct 6, 2005
    After waiting a week...Comcast, Connecticut showed up to install my cablecards today.

    Final result: Everything seems to be working. Time: 1 hour

    The tech was a bit fearful since he never did a S3 before...but he jumped right in. We followed the directions. He knew cablecards well enough to bring four cards with him. The first two we tried worked fine. (I am in a Scientific Atlantic area).

    Some points of interest:

    Since I have a cablecard in my TV I knew I might get a firmware update to the cablecards. When we first inserted the cards we were able to get the Card and Host IDs. When we tried to go to the status screen, we got an Tivo screen that said "The cablecard is not in normal mode". We took this to mean that the card was updating. It took about 5-10 minutes. Later we were able to get to the status screen...hit the card...and wait for it to authorize.​

    The "Powerkey Status" on card 2 did not go to READY as expected even though all channels seemed to come in fine. Card 1 took about 20 minutes. After waiting about an hour we rebooted the Tivo and both cards looked fine after the reboot.​

    The guy back at the office who enters the card info into the headend knew immediately that this an S3 as soon as the on-site tech said he was going to do two cards. He said that he had gotten a memo a couple of weeks ago about the s3. The note said they did not expect to see many of the devices because they were expensive and high end. He said the memo was wrong as he had done "a ton" of them already. That was good news !​

    Guided setup just finished...now I am waiting for the guide data for the digital channels to populate so I can add all my season passes into the new S3.
  16. Oct 4, 2006 #736 of 9367

    Bklyn Montclair NJ

    Sep 26, 2006
    Is *anyone* else here in NJ on Comcast of Union/Verona? I've now had installers out to my house on three separate occasions, on two of which they did actually attempt to setup the CableCARDs. They have thusfar been unsuccessful and are claiming that they believe there is an incompatibility between their equipment and TiVos.

    Doe anyone else in this immediate area have a working S3 with Comcast?
  17. Oct 4, 2006 #737 of 9367

    Cherylabq New Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    The third time was the charm! My Comcast guy came back for the 3rd time today. I had convinced him to bring the newest cable cards Comcast offers AND encouraged him to bring several. He put a 2006 card in Cable Card Slot 1 (Slot 2 was working with an older card that seemed to get a firmware update during the three hours the cable guy was in my home Day #2). He called in and had the second card configured in less than 10 minutes and we are now up and running.

    What We've Learned...

    1. Ask your cable installer to bring the newest cable cards (and MANY of them)--A TiVo guy told me that on average, 1 out of 5 cable cards actually work.

    2. Do not go through the "Guided Setup" while the cable man is standing there--This can take about 20 minutes depending on how your DVR communicates with TiVo.

    3. Make sure the cable installer and cable operator get the correct numbers (found in the cable card menu) when formatting the cards (listen as he/she reads the numbers and listen as the operator repeats them...you will see most of the numbers on the TV screen).--Miscommunicated numbers can mess up the installation.

    4. DO run the "test channels" for each cable card before doing anything else (this will save you a lot of time). Check for the DIGITAL channels!! --This is very important as some cards will show the lower analog channels and a couple of HD channels. You MUST check all channels in this test mode before thinking all is well.

    5. Make sure your cable company records the services/premium channels you subscribe to correctly when adding the Series 3 TiVo so that your cable card gets correct programming.--The cable operator told me that my services were incorrectly recorded before she fixed them.

    6. If you choose to keep your company's cable box (for On Demand programming, Pay Per View, etc.). Make sure your cable operator doesn't mess with your billing. Also ask what your bill will be with the added two cable cards as there have been various dollar amounts reported in various TiVo forums (I was told it would be an additional $5.95 per month for both cards as I recall).--My Comcast DVR (with Comcast's On Demand/Pay Per View) didn't work when my cable cards were installed into my Series 3...I had to have the cable operator add my Comcast DVR back onto my account.
  18. Oct 4, 2006 #738 of 9367

    toddwinkler New Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Knoxville, TN
    Great advice that mirrors my experience.
  19. Oct 4, 2006 #739 of 9367

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Sounds like a bogus charge to me. You should be paying a charge for an additional outlet, but that's it. In most Comcast locations, that's $6.95.
  20. Oct 4, 2006 #740 of 9367

    mickeymammoth New Member

    May 9, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    I recently got my first Comcast bill, and contrary to the numbers I was given when I originally signed up, they tacked on the $5 HD converter fee! I was lucky in that they aren't (yet) charging me anything for the cable cards, but I felt that this fee was just bogus. So I called up and complained, and they took it off my bill. They didn't even fight me on it much.

    You'll notice how incredibly vague they are in the description of that charge. I'm pretty sure it's an extra fee for an upgrade of their cable box to support HD, assuming I had one, which I don't. All their digital packages include the HD channels, so I'm already paying for HD there. It's in the nature of the cable cards to support HD, so...

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