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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,075
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Did you ever get the CableCARD paired to the TiVo?
     
  2. BobR1

    BobR1 New Member

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    0
    Mar 20, 2013
    This has been working fine for a year now, it just started having problems with dropping channels this week.

    I haven't had a chance to call Comcast yet (not looking forward to the experience from reading here and on the Comcast forums), so I haven't had anyone try "re-pairing" it to see if that can fix this problem, if that's what you meant.

    (Sorry, I'm just learning all this terminology.... I'm from computer/telco networking and it seems the providers have all made up new names for everything to make it sound mysterious and only an onsite tech can possibly fix things.)
     
  3. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ Member

    523
    0
    Jan 12, 2011
    North...
    An unpaired cablecard might work for a year, then when they changed the flags on some channels might stop working.

    Check the Tivo site, and look at the cablecard diagnostics screens for your brand of card, and check the channels and see what the flags are. Sounds like you might need to get Comcast to re-pair the card.
     
  4. May 1, 2013 #8744 of 9367
    BobR1

    BobR1 New Member

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    Mar 20, 2013
    Well, the CableCard hotline couldn't help with my missing channel problems but he was able to verify (by actually reading me the numbers from my account) that the CableCard ID, host and data were correctly entered.

    Then when I got bounced around on hold and ended up at a sweet young thing in CS, she said all those fields were blank and had me read them to her so she could enter them, certain that was all that would be needed to make things work again (regardless of the fact that about half the channels already did work, which likely wouldn't have happened if the card IDs were wrong), but to no avail, didn't fix anything so she rolled a truck.

    Today the guy comes and says they're doing an audit to make sure people aren't getting channels they're not supposed to get (even though I have the bog standard basic digital plan), and that might have messed things up. He verified all the numbers with CS (after being on hold forever) and nothing they did could get it working again. He said he had a spare CableCard with him, but he didn't think that would fix it since a dead card is usually an "all or nothing" kind of deal- either it works or it doesn't, but after everything else failed he swapped the card (and spent another 10 minutes on hold to get it into the system), and the damn thing started working.

    Last thing I would have suspected to be the problem, but I can't argue with success. Maybe they just got the info correct this time, (it was a different voice at CS that entered the new card's numbers), but I'm happy.

    Now I just hope it lasts.
     
  5. May 1, 2013 #8745 of 9367
    Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
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    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    What part of the country are you in?

    I just recently started getting Discovery in HD even though it's not listed for my package (SD is).
     
  6. May 4, 2013 #8746 of 9367
    burdellgp

    burdellgp Member

    49
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    Mar 27, 2008
    Huntsville, AL
    It probably wasn't a problem with the card. I lost some of my channels, and my sister lost all of her channels, at about the same time (both on Comcast). We both went round and round with customer "service" and got truck rolls. In both cases, a replacement CableCard got it working, but it looked a lot more like replacing the card reset their systems (sending all the channel lists and such).
     
  7. May 5, 2013 #8747 of 9367
    supasta

    supasta New Member

    2,976
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    May 6, 2006
    Colorado
    One month ago I upgraded from a TiVo Premiere to a Premiere 4 in order to add a TiVo Mini to my setup. I swapped the cable card from the old box to the new and called the Comcast Cable Card 877 number. No problems. Working right away. For two weeks. Then I started to notice two channels not working. The local ABC HD network was always completely distorted and unwatchable, but it would record. The local NBC HD station would intermittently not tune and show 'Searching for signal...'.

    Today I called to have the card repaired. She tells me the Data ID in the system was different. How? It was working fine for two weeks! I give it the benefit of the doubt and get the usual "it take 45-minutes to pair." So, I wait.

    Two hours later, no fix. I call back. Now, apparently the cable card is bad. I have to go and swap it. That, or they roll a truck.

    So I am going to jump through the Comcast hoops. I'll go and swap the card. I have an errand near the service center anyway. But I have a feeling they won't have any M cards. They didn't even know what a cable card was last year when I went to get the one I have.

    I'm posting here in case that anyone has any other ideas? I have checked the signal strength on the missing channels through the TiVo, and there is no signal at all. I only noticed the two channels at first, but now that I've flipped through and tested, I find that I am missing 5-7 other channels that I had just a day ago.

    Ideas? Thanks.
     
  8. May 5, 2013 #8748 of 9367
    Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
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    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    They're not allowed to give out S cards any more (FCC told them so). If they hand you one, ask for a different one.
     
  9. May 5, 2013 #8749 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

    8,936
    19
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    If a local channel is having issues, it's never a pairing problem and local channels can never be encrypted. It's likely a feed or signal issue, especially if it's one or two channels.

    Many Comcast areas simply put up antennas to pick up local broadcasts. If the antenna gets out of alignment or otherwise screwed up, the picture will as well. The easiest way to check is to have a neighbor see if they have problems on that channel as well.

    Another possibility is that Comcast remapped your channels, but never sent the new channel mapping to your cards. You can use the DVR diagnostics page to check the frequency mapping for tuned channels. Phone support won't have a clue as to what the mapping is supposed to be unfortunately. You'll need a local tech to verify it's correct. That or you can try emailing your local office from Comcast's contact page.
     
  10. May 5, 2013 #8750 of 9367
    Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
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    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    The reason I have a CableCard is because my local channels are encrypted.
     
  11. May 5, 2013 #8751 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

    8,936
    19
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    Sorry, I meant copy protected. Encrypted channels can be viewed without pairing. Copy protected channels can not.
     
  12. May 5, 2013 #8752 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
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    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    If you have just Limited Basic, there may be a filter that needs to be removed because Comcast moved those channels within the filter range.
     
  13. May 5, 2013 #8753 of 9367
    supasta

    supasta New Member

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    May 6, 2006
    Colorado
    I have a Digital + HD package. The local channels were the HD local channels, but after a quick search, I found that there were other channels missing as well (HDNet, for example). All channels that I was getting without issue just a few days ago.

    I believe that you are exactly right here. I have received 1-2 message per day over the last 3-4 days on the TiVo saying that my lineup has changed. I first noticed the problem just after the most recent of those message appeared.

    I just returned from the Comcast (Xfinity?) local office and got a new M card. Installed and called the 877 number.

    The card is working. In that, I am getting channels - including the channels I was previously missing. However, the cable card rep could not figure out why the Val remains a ?.
    Con: Yes EBCP: Yes Val: ? 0x0A

    Currently everything is working properly - I am getting all the correct channels. She told me that if the Val doesn't correct itself, or if I have any other problems, they will have to roll a truck. Phooey. She was clearly out of canned responses read from her screen. Fingers crossed.
     
  14. May 5, 2013 #8754 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

    8,936
    19
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    Just to clarify things, the cableCard channel mapping and the guide data channel mapping are two different things:

    CableCARD mapping maps a channel number to a QAM channel frequency. Guide channel mapping maps a channel number to a channel name and it's associated guide data. The TiVo puts up messages for the later, but not the former.

    There's really no way of knowing if the CableCARD mapping is wrong without having a cable box to compare with. Since Comcast needs to use cableCards in it's own boxes this shouldn't be an issue though unless the TiVo isn't getting the updates do to a bug or bad card.

    As a new card fixed it, it's possible the card was bad or had old firmware or something. It's also possible that the simple act of activating the card, which sends a "hit" on it fixed the problem. On a side note, sometimes Comcast's local hardware has issues and doesn't actually transmit the commands to perform actions in a timely manner (or at all). That's why Comcast reps say the change can take an hour, even though the change should be more or less instantaneous.
     
  15. May 5, 2013 #8755 of 9367
    supasta

    supasta New Member

    2,976
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    May 6, 2006
    Colorado
    Should I worry or even pay attention to the Val still showing a ? (question mark)
    I do not get any premium channels in my cable package, and everything is still working great. I quickly flipped through and I am getting every channel.
     
  16. May 5, 2013 #8756 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

    8,936
    19
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    That means the card isn't paired. If you don't get any protected channels (Encore, HBO, etc) it doesn't matter, though if On Demand ever comes to your area, it won't work unless the cards are paired.

    You should have Comcast triple check the numbers. I've found that sometimes they don't save them after entering them. Also once entered, they must send a "hit" out with the new info. If there is a problem in your local area, the signal might not go through. Comcast should be aware of problems, though I've found that they frequently aren't.
     
  17. May 5, 2013 #8757 of 9367
    supasta

    supasta New Member

    2,976
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    May 6, 2006
    Colorado
    Damn. You are exactly right. I do have Demand in my area, and it isn't working. I guess I'll be calling again in the morning.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  18. May 5, 2013 #8758 of 9367
    supasta

    supasta New Member

    2,976
    0
    May 6, 2006
    Colorado
    I just got off the phone. After trying to remove and repair twice, the rep put me on hold for 5+ minutes. I don't know what he did, but the Conditional Access screen changed to "Val V" and I am now getting all of the channels AND On Demand is working properly.

    I think they were finally as frustrated as I was. He basically said to not call them back, but rather request a truck roll if the problem persists.

    I don't know what he did, nor do I care. All is well. Thank you for all of the help, morac. Your posts were a helpful reference during my calls to support.
     
  19. May 6, 2013 #8759 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

    8,936
    19
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    Sometimes when all else fails they will basically reconstruct your account from scratch, removing everything and then re-adding it. I had that happen once when one of the lower peon support people somehow managed to put my cable modem on two different Internet plans simultaneously, screwing it up. I'm not sure how he even did it since it shouldn't be possible. It took an executive support person nearly 30 minutes to fix that using "all [her] skills."

    Glad it's working for you.
     
  20. May 8, 2013 #8760 of 9367
    supasta

    supasta New Member

    2,976
    0
    May 6, 2006
    Colorado
    Well, all of that and as of tonight I am right back to where I started. The same channels started with macro-blocking earlier (found on some of the recordings I had scheduled tonight), and now they are back to "Searching for signal..."

    Damn.

    I really don't know what the problem is. The ONLY change that I have made recently was replacing a TiVo Premiere with the TiVo Premiere 4 and TiVo Mini connected via MoCA. It worked for two weeks, stopped working, new cable card fixed it for a few days, and now right back.

    Comcast won't be helpful. They will want to roll a truck.
    Maybe a call to TiVo in the morning for their perspective. I think I'll start there.

    Edit: I have been sitting here watching one of the problemed channels for twenty minutes. It goes from "Searching..." to a few seconds of macro-blocking intermittently. I am also having audio issues on other channels where the video is not a problem. The audio will sound mono and very, very quiet. No voices. If I change the channel and come right back the audio is fine. Hmm.
     

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