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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Oct 8, 2006 #821 of 9367
    sjca35

    sjca35 New Member

    31
    0
    Dec 4, 2003
    California
    So had another tech out this morning. This was the 4th time Comcast has been out in 8 days trying to get it to work. While I was promised the supervisor, the guy who came out wasn't but he seemed quite knowledgeable. He immediately called in asking for a "initialize, hit, then refresh" after inserting the first card and the Tivo recognizing it.

    After multiple attempts of that with no change (still showing the card as not authorized and no 161-4 error) he tested the link since an earlier tech said that was likely the cause, but he decided the other tech was full of ****.

    Anyways, this guy decided the problem was with the configuration at the "office"... not sure if he ment the head end or billing system or what, but everything on this end was working properly. Unfortunately, the people who have to fix the office issue don't work on Sundays (of course), so he has to talk to the supervisor.

    Anyways, he's going to call me tomorrow morning and hopefully I'll learn more. I've asked he work with his supervisor to keep his schedule open late monday afternoon so that hopefully I can work with him again and get things working in time for MNF.

    Sigh...

    -Aaron
     
  2. Oct 8, 2006 #822 of 9367
    RKofCAL

    RKofCAL New Member

    31
    0
    Sep 28, 2006
    Not to downplay the problems people are experiencing, this was my experience with Comcast in the Bay area.

    Installer showed up, was very sensitive to the installation suggesting it would take hours and could easily be problematic. He had only performed a few of them, but I could tell he had been bitten by how carefully he wanted to proceed.

    He first put a card in slot 1. He waited 5 minutes, then put a card in slot 2. Made sure that they both appeared as "inserted". He then called base, asked them to "open the head" (whatever that means) and hit the card, providing the ID for the card in slot 1. We went to "test channels", and within 5 minutes they were all there for card 1. He then left, said he would call in card 2 from his truck but wanted to give card 1 a bit of time.

    I checked 1/2 an hour later and all the channels were there for card 2 as well.
     
  3. Oct 8, 2006 #823 of 9367
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    I'm wondering how many folks don't realize they have a problem. :)

    Anyway --- So Comcast came back, with a supervisor, and replaced both CableCards.

    Slot 1 - I have extra single channel I'm supposed to.
    Slot 2 - Missing 26 27 30 31 32 33 34 36 37 40 41 46 48 49 50 51 52 53 57 58 65 66 216 229 231 251 257 305 306 833 839 846 849 850 851 870

    That's unacceptable. Since I've basically been having problems principally with Slot 2 I think that means that it is defective. Does that sound plausible?
     
  4. Oct 8, 2006 #824 of 9367
    Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,750
    15
    Feb 18, 2002
    Did you try swapping cards between slot 1 and slot2?
     
  5. Oct 8, 2006 #825 of 9367
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    Yes. We tried that with the previous set of cards, and it didn't seem to help -- made things worse really because after we did that things got really flaky -- Channel 24 would send us into the CableCard diagnostic screen!!!! So we're not doing that again!

    -----

    UPDATED: Everything is working now. Now I have to try to get my lifetime transfer retransferred. Because I had already reversed it, the system won't all me to transfer it back, and reactivate my S3.
     
  6. Oct 8, 2006 #826 of 9367
    Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,750
    15
    Feb 18, 2002
    So let me get this straight...you had a working cable card on slot 1, and moved it to slot 2 and all the weirdness occurred?

    If so, I agree you may have a defective Tivo.
     
  7. Oct 8, 2006 #827 of 9367
    keenanSR

    keenanSR Member TCF Club

    915
    2
    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    Not necessarily, the CC would be "bonded" to the first slot. If they re-"bonded" the CC to the second slot and it still didn't work, then it probably is the S3. But just swapping cards from slot to slot will not work, the CC sees each slot as a separate and new device and needs to be re-bonded to that device.
     
  8. Oct 8, 2006 #828 of 9367
    BillShannon

    BillShannon New Member

    25
    0
    Apr 11, 2003
    Los Altos, CA
    I've successfully swapped cards between slots and between devices and they still work.
    Maybe some operators are configuring cards in a way that binds them to a particular slot
    and device, but Comcast in my area (Los Altos, CA) is not doing that.
     
  9. Oct 8, 2006 #829 of 9367
    cxn

    cxn New Member

    4
    0
    May 8, 2005
    I just ordered my TIVO tonight. Looking forward to getting it up and running.

    I am South Bay so with the number of cable cards going in, should be a good install :).
     
  10. Oct 8, 2006 #830 of 9367
    rodneyw1

    rodneyw1 Member

    36
    0
    Nov 12, 2001
    Santa Rosa,...
    I also am in the CA Bay Area and now have two S3's. I didn't get them at the same time so comcast did them on different days. First guy didin't want to see TiVo instruction. He just stuck first card in slot 2 then the next card in slot one. Made his phone call, we checked channels for slot 2 and they were all there then checked for slot one and they were all there. Next guy came for second TiVo and didn't care about instructions etiher. He stuck first card in slot one and then second card in slot two. Called in, checked channels for both cards, they were all there. He was here less than 15min. TiVo one has been working two weeks and TiVo two has been working for five days without any problems. Billing however is still a mess. I assume it will be sorted out sometime.
     
  11. Oct 9, 2006 #831 of 9367
    Dougieha

    Dougieha New Member

    32
    0
    Jul 15, 2005
    I've got a good story to report. I picked up my Series3 from Fry's in Renton, WA on Saturday, about 1pm. Took it home, then drove over to the local Comcast office in Redmond. Waited in a long line for about 20 minutes, got to the counter, said I had a new Series3 Tivo and needed two CableCards. Without any problem whatsoever, the worker grabbed two new cards from the closet, added them to my account (NO charge), and I was off.

    Returned home about 3pm, started the install. I put the first CC in the bottom slot, called up Comcast, told them I had a Series3 Tivo and needed to activate two CableCards. The tech seemed well-informed and quite helpful. We activated the first, and I saw the 161-4 "error" pop up, and then disappear, and then we activated the second. Channels came in fine after about 10 minutes.

    After getting everything installed (about 4:30pm), I decided I wanted to upgrade my cable service from basic to get the encrypted HD channels, so I called up, told the tech I had two CableCards and wanted to upgrade my service. I ended up going with Digital Plus for the same price as Digital Classic for the first 12 months. Anyhow, about 15 seconds after I made my decision, the channels (TNT-HD, Disc-HD, etc.) came in perfectly fine. Little did I know that I should have checked BOTH CableCards. After an hour or two and some channel surfing, I realized the second CableCard wasn't getting the upgraded channels. I looked at the "Conditional Access" menu and it said "MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY." So, I called Comcast back up, explained my situation, and the tech commented that he had just heard about this problem earlier that day. He sent out another "hit" to the card, which promptly reported a 161-4 error, and then we waited about two minutes until things got working. The tech mentioned that with the previous customer, he had to wait about twenty minutes. He seemed to have no problem staying on the phone with me until it worked.

    Overall, the experience was quite painless. By 7pm, six hours after I picked up my Series3, I had my CC's installed, and was rebuilding my SP list. I must say that I am quite pleased with Comcast's service and support, especially over the phone. Given some of the bad experiences I read about here, I was pleasantly surprised.

    Now, if I only had more space on the Tivo...
     
  12. Oct 9, 2006 #832 of 9367
    rbryant

    rbryant New Member

    8
    0
    Sep 16, 2006
    Atlanta
    Comcast called this morning to say they had "re-called" the cable cards and could not do our install today. Now the install is sceduled for next Tuesday. . .
     
  13. Oct 9, 2006 #833 of 9367
    jmck

    jmck New Member

    3
    0
    Oct 9, 2006
    From my experience the best thing you can do is know how it works yourself because the Comcast installers and the phone reps are all new to it.

    First do not let anyone tell you can't have two cable cards. Two times I was told this and all I said was I was pretty sure you could and each time they looked a little further and agreed.

    Second, get the installer to follow the Tivo instructions even if they do not want to look at them. When they install the cards it may take a minute or two for the screen to show up recognizing the cards and providing the info the installer needs to provide the office. They need to do it one card at a time.

    Third, do not let them leave until it is working because more than likely it is not coming on because the cable card was bad. My first install did not work and the person left saying it would take a while to register. Well it never took and even after I called and they sent out the signal again I was only getting certain channels so they set up a second tech visit. I was home for the second install and once they were installed and the info was given to the home office they sent out the signal and it worked within seconds.

    Fourth, if you want OnDemand and are willing to pay for the cable box as well as the cable cards you can keep it or get it provided you have a TV with enough video options. All they have to do is put on a splitter with one line going to the cable box and one line going to the Tivo. You can then connect the Cable box to one video port and the Tivo box to another. If you are really a TV junkie this even allows you to record two shows while watching a third.

    The folks at Comcast were actually all very helpful I just think it is so new they have not all been trained. With each person I spoke to it just took a little bit of time but if you do it in a nice way hopefully they will be as helpful as the folks I encountered. In fact, they were able to schedule my second tech visit for the day after the first one resulting in everything working within a 24 hour period.

    :up: :) :up:
     
  14. Oct 9, 2006 #834 of 9367
    MJedi

    MJedi Member

    122
    0
    Jun 17, 2002
    WA
    After reading through most of the thread, I'm nervous about setting this up. When I call to subscribe (actually swithing from DTV), what should I say and NOT say? Is it simply: "I need 2 cablecards which is going into 1 device." Do I say it's a TiVo or not? Can I tell them to allocate 3-6(!) CC's just case one does not work, or can I specify what CC's (brand, firmware, etc.) to send?

    Fortunately for me, my neighbor is a contractor for Comcast, and he'll do the install after I setup my account with Comcast. I already told him I have Series3 and need 2 CC's and he understands. So at least he'll be very helpful. I just hope the Comcast person he will call will not be the one that says, "We don't support CableCards in TiVo." But, with my luck, we'll get that one person who won't be helpful at all. Is there anything we can say to spur this person to action? I heard reporting them to the "franchise authority" or some other office helps. And if we do run into errors, what should we do? Initialize what? And I read there is a good error to get, 161-4 was it? What do we do then?

    Is there a definitive guide in this thread or elsewhere for Comcast CableCard setup?

    Thanks a lot in advance!
     
  15. Oct 9, 2006 #835 of 9367
    vukicevic

    vukicevic New Member

    4
    0
    Sep 28, 2006
    Yep, Comcast in Mountain View as well seems to be keying cards just based on their serial number (which I assume is tied to the card ID in their system), and nothing else.
     
  16. Oct 9, 2006 #836 of 9367
    MJedi

    MJedi Member

    122
    0
    Jun 17, 2002
    WA
    Okay, I just ordered Comcast. I'm in Elgin, so I don't know which local office handled this. Here is the breakdown of the installation:

    59.85 for 1 TV, 2 phones, internet (Triple Play deal)
    13.99 for a 2nd digital box
    23.99 for EACH CableCard :eek:
    13.99 for outlet activation, to be used by the S3

    I KNOW that the CC install is ridiculous. I explained to the rep that the cards are going into 1 device, but she would not budge. Should I play CSR roulette or ask for a supervisor right away?

    Now for the monthly fees:
    109.00 for Triple Play Plus (includes HD locals and other HD channels but not movie channels)
    3.00 for the cable modem lease
    5.99 for an additional cable box
    10.00 additional basic phone line
    7.51 for franchise fee :rolleyes:
    0.06 for FCC fee :rolleyes:

    No CC fees! Just hope that stays true. Have to wait for the bill.
     
  17. Oct 9, 2006 #837 of 9367
    vukicevic

    vukicevic New Member

    4
    0
    Sep 28, 2006
    After my horrible initial "install" on Saturday, today was great. The Comcast guy showed up, said that he'd done 2 S3's before -- the first one neither card worked, and on the second one everything worked within 5 minutes. He said that he brought 4 extra cards with him, just in case. I told him that I was receiving all the basic channels and the non-encrypted HD channels, and he said "huh", and called in a hit and initialize. Within 2 seconds I got the 161-4 error from both cards, and another minute later everything started working.

    Great experience second time around, but they could've saved themselves a second visit if they had just sent someone who knew what they were doing the first time, or if they had done an initialize when I had called. Perhaps the lesson to learn is to not schedule these installs on weekends... But hey, things are working quite well now!
     
  18. Oct 10, 2006 #838 of 9367
    FlippedBit

    FlippedBit New Member

    176
    0
    Dec 25, 2001
    Mountain...
    Finally got mine working after one week. I posted the details in another thread. The key to getting the cable card to work seemed to be doing a "Initialize, hit, refresh" as opposed to just doing a "Hit". Again, I was sufferring from the MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY issue on my second cable card.
     
  19. Oct 10, 2006 #839 of 9367
    TiVangelist

    TiVangelist New Member

    133
    0
    Aug 28, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Update: Our cable card installation is later today. Wish me luck!

    Now, the 2 cablecards are $1.50 per month, instead of the $5 per month I was quoted in September. Wow, how often do things like this get cheaper?
     
  20. Oct 10, 2006 #840 of 9367
    sjca35

    sjca35 New Member

    31
    0
    Dec 4, 2003
    California
    Well Comcast is out right now for the 5th time. Brought two more cards. First card actually worked! It's a miricle. The 2nd card didn't and they tracked it down to the card "not being registered in the DAC". Apparently the wearhouse is supposed to do that, but didn't.

    So now he's trying the 4 other cards left by a previous installer:
    Card1: Not registered
    Card2: Not registered
    Card3: Not registered
    Card4: Not registered

    My favorite quote from the tech, "Wow, we really need to do something about that wearhouse!"

    Anyways, he doesn't have any more cards, and has no way of registering the cards we have, so he's going to try to track down some more cards and bring them this evening. So so far 6 out of 7 cards have been "bad" so far, my guess is that the other 2 weren't registered either.
     

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