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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. getgray

    getgray New Member

    84
    0
    Mar 1, 2006
    No not red. But I kept digging and foiund a link to what appears to be a comprehensive technical guide. Someone here wrote it.

    I'm off to CEDIA today and with all the new fall shows coming out, I decided it was self inflicted pain to engage Comcst right now. Screw with them when I get back.

    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  2. ronr2006

    ronr2006 New Member

    67
    0
    Nov 9, 2006
    Richmond CA...
    Just read this off of the Tivo site:

    "Series3 HD DVRs run all CableCARDs in single stream mode, so this model DVR always requires 2 CableCARDS, which can be M-Cards, S-Cards, or a combination of the two."

    "If you install an M-Card in a TiVo HD DVR, it must be installed in Slot 1 (the slot on the right). If you install only one CableCARD in a Series3 HD DVR, even an M-Card, the DVR runs as a single-tuner device."
     
  3. Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
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    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    So I can never remember which is which, so, if you want to be able to record more than one channel at a time:

    Does your TiVo look like this?

    [​IMG]

    If so get two cards. Does not matter if they are M or S.

    Does your TiVo look like this?

    [​IMG]

    Get one M card or two S cards.
     
  4. silypuddy

    silypuddy New Member

    56
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    Jun 4, 2007
    Minneapolis
    Is there a Comcast channel lineup thread? I just got the message about the massive lineup change out here in Minneapolis. The only problem is that the underlying Comcast channels have not changed. The TiVo thinks I'm watching a Music channel when I'm actually watching NBC... This is messed as all my Season Passes are messed.... grrr...
     
  5. Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
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    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/search.php
     
  6. ellinj

    ellinj Seems Very Friendly TCF Club

    12,361
    8
    Feb 26, 2002
    RI
    I Apologize for not reading the entire thread its just too long. My parents just moved to a Comcast area. They are having issues with their TivoHd with I believe an SA M cablecard. Periodically all the channels become black. restarting the dvr fixes the problem for a day or two. Its hard for me to troubleshoot because I am not there so I need to tell them what to look for. Is it possible to fix this remotely or should they just demand a tech come out and replace the card?
     
  7. Mike Wolf

    Mike Wolf Associate

    143
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    Sep 19, 2010
    Toms River,...
    My tech was very friendly and a good listener. We got his dispatch on the phone, and we went through every step me and him could think of. I have alot of experience troubleshooting cablecards, especially my own, so it was easy. I knew my way around the tivo cablecard menus and their options, was able to pull up the cablecard serial number, host id, card id, mac addresses, and all the info that his dispatch was asking for. The issue I was having was that althrough I was able to recieve all my digital channels, copy protection wasn't granted to the card so I couldn't get HBO, Showtime, Starz, and CinaMax channel blocks. Anyway everything's working great now, plus we shared some stories about past support calls gone wrong, like this one time he was sent to a house under the complaint of "at 11:30 every day theres a buzzing sound from the tv" well he came in at 11:20, waited behind the tv for ten minutes, only to find that the elderly couple's clock radio was the cause. Or another time when after arriving to an apartment complex, the customer admitted that the real reason she called was to replace a lightbulb.

    You know what surpised me was that a few hours later I got an automated call from Comcast with a survey, which after a service call isn't unusual, but this time the survey wasn't about if my service was working or not, but about the technician himself. His professionalism, friendliness, and a whole bunch of other stuff, and at the end offered to allow me to record additional thoughts, which I commented that technicians should be trained under him and if he could be my de facto tech for future visits. I'm very impressed by all this. It's a shame he's retiring in three years. I guess him being the most senior tech working for Comcast in my county shows I'm sorry if I'm not making sense, I'm still getting over how impressed I am
     
  8. Mike Wolf

    Mike Wolf Associate

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    Sep 19, 2010
    Toms River,...
    Your best bet is a tech to come out, as there seems to be a failure with the card pairing up properly. This type of thing happens sometimes. :)
     
  9. ellinj

    ellinj Seems Very Friendly TCF Club

    12,361
    8
    Feb 26, 2002
    RI
    Is pairing responsible for periodic outages. Rebooting solves the problem temporarily. Seems odd to me. I am guess a bum cable card.
     
  10. Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
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    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    Once the card is authorized, it's authorized. Could be a low signal issue.
     
  11. ellinj

    ellinj Seems Very Friendly TCF Club

    12,361
    8
    Feb 26, 2002
    RI
    Brand new neighborhood, brand new house, when the tech was out doing the original install his comment was that I should never have an issue with signal.
     
  12. Mike Wolf

    Mike Wolf Associate

    143
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    Sep 19, 2010
    Toms River,...
    Yes it does seem odd. Basically its that when the TiVo is being unpowered and repowered its reinitializing the card to the cable companies controller or headend and doing a handshake, but possibly a memory leak somewhere along the line causes it to forget. Another analogy would be two old friends meeting every day, but both of the friends have short term memory loss and forgets who the other person is every few days.
     
  13. Mike Wolf

    Mike Wolf Associate

    143
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    Sep 19, 2010
    Toms River,...
    Not exactly as even though my card was "authorized" and I could recieve all my channels, because something happened to the computer that manages the cards, copy protection wasn't being granted to my card and I was being locked out of HBO, Showtime, and the rest of the premium channels.
     
  14. morac

    morac Cat God

    8,940
    20
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    The cable company could accidentally unpair the cards while messing with your account, but that's extremely rare.
     
  15. Mike Wolf

    Mike Wolf Associate

    143
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    Sep 19, 2010
    Toms River,...
    True. See with my Moxi I had this exact same issue in February, and the solution the tech came up with was to start from scratch. Take the card completely off the account, remove the device from the account, and treat it like a new install. That worked. Now this time, in an attempt to avoid a service call, I had the tech do this over the phone, but it didn't fix it this time. Kinda glad cause I ended up meeting a cool technician. I won't start ranting about how great he was, you can check my other posts instead :rolleyes:
     
  16. Emtea

    Emtea Student

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Kennesaw, GA
    So I had to get the Cablecard installed by a tech from Comcast. They told me it would cost me $12.99, $1.99 for the card and $11.00 for the install. Well the installer didn't install it right, and I was missing all my HD channels. I called Comcast and they were able to get it working over the phone and took off the $11 install charge. I thought I was in the clear until I got the next months bill. I got charged $26.95 for a Installed Outlet, so I called Comcast, again, and the rep told me that whenever a technician either installs or modify an outlet they charge that fee. I told them that all he did was sit on my couch and talk on the phone and I'm not paying that fee. After much huffing and puffing on their end they eventually took the fee off my account.

    So just a heads up, you might get charged some bogus Installed Outlet fee when they come and install your Cablecard. However, if you call them and tell them the rep didn't do anything with an outlet and you're not paying the fee, they should take it off. But YMMV so I can't vouch for everywhere.
     
  17. Mike Wolf

    Mike Wolf Associate

    143
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    Sep 19, 2010
    Toms River,...
    Yeah same thing happened by me, including when the tech decides to check the signals and "reconfigure" the splitters and replace wires on his own accord. In fact this one time the tech came out, said there was some signal issue (even though it was a coding issue on the account) and decided to replace splitters and run new wires, fixed the coding issue, and left. A month later another issue I was having, with the internet this time, required a tech to come out, and low and behold, same tech, and this time he undid everything he did the previous visit. Guess what, I got charged both times, so after contacting customer service, not only did I have the charges removed, I even got a $20 credit for each visit. Since then i make it a point to have the tech note on the account not to charge for the visit before I sign.
     
  18. hengst2404

    hengst2404 New Member

    16
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    Dec 26, 2009
    Culver City, CA
    Well for the second time my fears of getting my tivo hd xl to perform turned out to be, at least for the moment, unfounded. In Los Angeles Time Warner came out and installed my cards and had everything up and running in ten minutes. They did charge me a monthly fee for the M card though.

    So this week, after moving to Arlington, Virginia and having Comcast come out to help me, I was happy. The tech, when asked about cable cards gave me a pained look. When he found out I had tivo he said he was happy as he was afraid I had a cable card television set.

    He got the m card installed and working in a few minutes before leaving. I am lucky, as I had not been able to complete my guided setup as I had no internet connection prior to his arrival. After the setup was complete my channels were there, the guide was working and my movie channels were there. Thus far I have not noticed any missing channels and I did not need some type of device in addition to my cable card to allow me to get certain channels.

    I just figured that since most postings were horror stories, I would throw this out there so people looking to buy Tivo weren't totally discouraged.
     
  19. agroothuis

    agroothuis New Member

    3
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    Jul 25, 2008
    If you are given a CableCARD by your local Comcast service center - as mine in Chicago will do - and you have the card plugged into your Tivo, ready to call Comcast so that they can activate it, you absolutely, 100% must:

    email executive customer support: we_can_help (AT) comcast.com

    or maybe tweet @comcastcares.

    Do not bother with regular Comcast Customer Service to activate your CableCARD self install. That level of CSR, and even their managers, simply are not trained to do what's called a pairing. At best they will try to send activation signals that will not work.

    And eventually each CSR will tell you that you will require a scheduled tech install appointment to install a Comcast CableCard. This is simply not true.

    This is the classic case of the right hand of Comcast not talking to the left hand, a common problem with Comcast for those who have dealt with them before. That's all you need know. Now, if you want my full story, read on...



    I got a CableCard for my new Tivo Premiere from Comcast's North Avenue, Chicago service center. As you can see, it clearly states "Services Available: Self Installation Kits Available: Digital - CableCard." Here is the link: bit.ly/bizpwy .

    I think, if you search for and find a local Comcast service center with CableCards listed next to Self Installation Kits available, you should assume that if yous show up at the service center they will give you a CableCard to self install.

    So you can see why I thought that A) I would be given a CableCard and B) I would be able to install it on my own with, maybe, a call to Comcast to activate.

    A) was easy. I was given a CableCard by the service center, no questions asked. B) was not.

    I installed the CableCARD properly into the Tivo and called Comcast many different times to try to get it activated. Low level CSRs continually sent activation signals to the CableCard, which did nothing. They confirmed that the Tivo had not been paired with the CableCard.

    Calling Tivo confirmed the same thing: that Comcast was sending an activation signal, but not properly pairing the card to the Tivo. In order to pair the Tivo, Comcast needed several different pieces of information such as the Card #, the Host ID, Data, and Serial Number. Each of which you can find under the CableCARD setting in the Tivo Premiere. So I had this information in front of me but no one would take. Even in a three-way call including Tivo.

    Comcast CSRs continued to tell me that pairing, and more generally CableCard installation, can only be done with a tech installation appointment. But I could tell from my own online research and by Tivo's response that all the installer was going to do was call (a double super secret facility) and read off those numbers. Something I could do just as well as the tech installer.

    I sent a polite email we_can_help (AT) comcast.com and explained the situation, that I knew this could be done by Comcast remotely without a tech install appointment. An executive CSR responded within a day and confirmed that you don't need a home tech install if you've installed a Comcast CableCard correctly in your Tivo. You just need to give those numbers to the right people within Comcast. And he confirmed that regular Comcast CSRs simply aren't trained correctly to activate and pair a CableCard with a Tivo. They are trained to tell us that only a Comcast tech installer can install a Comcast CableCard in a Tivo with a home visit - which he conceded is not true.

    I returned his email, giving him the appropriate CableCard IDs and numbers. He relayed them to (the one mysterious facility in Comcast that knows how to activate and pair a Tivo with a Comcast CableCard??). Within 20 minutes of giving the executive CSR those numbers over email, I had working Tivo and Cable.
     
  20. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
    0
    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    Nothing you said was incorrect.

    Only ACS can key in the Numbers.
    Only a Comcast Employee can talk to ACS.
    That is why they push the truck roll so they can have a tech talk to ACS.

    You and I can do that.
     

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