1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Remember the first rule:

    ALWAYS KNOW WHERE BOTH ENDS OF THE TIVO POWER CORD ARE AT ALL TIMES

    There are several threads around here somewhere that deal with re-capping S3 platform power supplies, including lists of Digi-Key and Mouser part numbers to aid in replacement ordering.

    As far as is known, the original S3 (the 648) has only one model power supply, whereas there are two models (neither of which is the 648 supply) which can be used in the HD (652) and HD XL (658), so be sure you know which supply you have.

    Something labeled C301 on one board might be called C15 on another one, the important thing is to match the uF number and match or slightly exceed if necessary the V number.

    That's microFarads of capacitance and the highest voltage across its leads to which the capacitor can safely be subjected.

    If the original is rated at 16V, you can't use a 10V or a 6.3V, but if you can't find a 16 in stock anywhere, then a 25V at the same uF would be acceptable, although if the original is a 25, you can't use a 16.

    They need to be rated at 105 degrees C (that's Celsius or Centigrade), not the 85 degrees at which general purpose electrolytic caps are rated, like all the ones in Radio Shack.

    And they need to be what's called Low ESR.

    (Low ESR caps are more expensive than regular ones, which has a lot to do with the shenanigans that got us into this "capacitor plague" mess in the first place.)

    That means that electricity moving in and out of them encounters less "friction", which means that movement of electricity won't generate as much heat as it would in general purpose electrolytics with higher Equivalent Series Resistance.


    Radio Shack has a thing that plugs into an electrical outlet and looks like a soldering iron with a squeeze bulb that's intended for removing solder, but you could probably use it to heat up the two things to be joined so that they melt the solder, which means you can use it for both phases of the re-capping job.

    Use rosin core solder made out of lead and tin and nothing else. Use the size that's about as big around as half way between cooked and uncooked strands of spaghetti.

    Observe polarity. There's a reason why electrolytic capacitors have one side marked with either a + or a - so that you know which lead is which.

    I say side because there are also caps with end markings and one lead coming out of each end, but the kind you want has both leads coming out the bottom.

    When you take out the old one, pay attention to which side went in which hole. You can see from the picture that the board is silk-screened with markings to indicate the - holes (which means by default the other hole is the + one).

    And in addition to the #10 Torx screws holding the power supply ciruit board down to the chassis, there's a #8 that screws in from the outside into the top of the AC input jack.

    Basically, the biggest cap on the board, rated at 200V, should be fine.

    The ones in the size range of those 5 in the picture (the two things on the left are inductors--coils--and the striped thing on the right is a resistor) are the ones you should replace on GP (so that you don't have to replace them later), including the ones on the other side of the heat sink(s), the little ones that aren't as near the heat sink(s) are probably okay as well.
     
  2. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    16,387
    2
    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Forgot to say, the one that's bulged at the top? That means it's going/has gone bad.

    The ones that are still flat?

    That means you can't tell by looking whether they're okay or not, but as long as you have to replace that other one...


    Great picture, by the way.
     
  3. Feb 3, 2014 #8903 of 9367
    tmesser

    tmesser New Member

    121
    0
    Apr 12, 2003
    Naperville, IL
    I just wanted to say how stunned I am that re-pairing CableCARDs is no longer like living Dante's Inferno.

    I bought a TiVo HD in 9/07, and my woes with getting two working S-Cards were well-documented in this thread, eventually involving an escalation to Executive Care. In 1/11, when I bought a refurbished Premiere and replaced the dead drive in my TiVo HD soon afterward, I had to escalate again to get both those units working properly. AND THEN I dealt with months of billing nightmares because the tech swapped my two S-Cards for one M-Card, but I still had an old code on my account charging me for a card I no longer had.

    A couple months ago, the drive in my HD died again. (Western Digital did a free warranty replacement, hooray!) I spent a whopping four minutes on the phone with Comcast via the dedicated CableCARD line, and it worked on the first try. I was shocked.

    I bought a Roamio on Amazon last week. I moved the card from the HD to the Roamio, and called Comcast again. Same deal - four minutes on the phone, worked on the first try.

    And now that the Roamio is up and running, I happily returned the card from the Premiere, because my new Mini does everything I need. Goodbye, $9.95/month Digital Additional Outlet Fee! :D
     
  4. Feb 3, 2014 #8904 of 9367
    Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    How'd you do the OS reinstall (image, duplicate a backup drive)? I think the host ID would've been the same so wouldn't it have worked "out of the box"?
     
  5. Feb 9, 2014 #8905 of 9367
    ncfoster

    ncfoster Member

    168
    0
    Jan 22, 2011
    Sadly, I found that it is still hit-or-miss. I moved a CableCARD from my Premiere to my new Roamio a couple of days ago, and I had to endure a gauntlet of something like 8 phone calls, several promised return calls and desperate lying reps who just wanted me to give up. The main story that I encountered, with many slight variations, was that the CableCARD team was recently denied access to certain options in the computer system related to billing. The upshot of this was that they were unable to remove existing pairings, because the original Tivo needed to be removed from the billing system before the existing CableCARD could be re-paired with a new device.

    Of course, IF this had any truth behind it, it is completely ridiculous, but I am not sure that it had anything to do with the problem. The worst part for me was that the last low-level rep that I talked to was the worst of the "deperate lying reps" that I referred to. He seemed to have some sort of personal stake in convincing me that no matter who I talked to, he was giving me the "correct information", that the ONLY way to repair an already paired CableCARD was to go into the local Comcast office, and turn the card in, and get a new one. I wasted WAY too much breath on arguing with him about how absurd this idea was.

    He eventually transferred me to a supervisor that didn't know a CableCARD from a Birthday Card. That person transferred me BACK to the CableCARD pairing folks, who assured me that they could help...until it didn't work...and then the rep told me the same thing about going into the office. Eventually, I was placed on hold, and she said that she "tried again" (about the 5th try between various reps, to my knowledge), and it worked. No explanation whatsoever was provided about what had changed. But, of course, I didn't much care after several hours of nonsense. Needless to say, it seems to be working fine now.

    No doubt. Can't wait to drop off that other card. Next, I am waiting for a "Digital Tuner Fee". Seems the next obvious line of attack.
     
  6. bobdec01

    bobdec01 New Member

    47
    0
    Jan 20, 2011
    Anyone out there heard of CableCard shortages in the Atlanta area. Tried three different Service Centers within 20 miles last week , none had cards. Two took my name & number but never called back. Tried again this week, same story. Sent a note to we_can-help @ comcast. They asked for my TiVo model (its a Series 3 HD) as they said they do not support the new 6 tuner TiVo's ???. Got a reply 4 days ago that they are still trying to locate a card. It's been about a week and a half..still no card. Almost desperate to buy a service call, maybe the installers have cards..
     
  7. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
    0
    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    For Sure if they send an INSTALLER - He will have one.
     
  8. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,075
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Not necessarily.
     
  9. Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    Tried calling Comcast? Surely one of their distribution centers--like that big one in Utah--could send you one.
     
  10. Devx

    Devx New Member

    274
    0
    Jun 1, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I've had the unfortunate experience of that before with my Elite. Having done it before, I just wanted a cable card to complete the setup myself but none of the centers in Atlanta had them in stock. The waiting game wasn't really working for me either. While the installers are not guaranteed to have cards as lpwcomp stated, it is more likely to get a card from a truck roll than to wait for the centers to call you with any urgency. In their defense, I was rather impatient and they did eventually call me, days after the installer had provided a card already... It all comes down to how long you are willing to wait.

    Also, no problem at all with the new 6 tuner Tivo's and 2 of my cablecards are 7 yrs old at this point.
     
  11. bobdec01

    bobdec01 New Member

    47
    0
    Jan 20, 2011
    Atomic Taco.. None of the Service Centers I have been to have phone access nor email. Plus the HD has told be then no longer ship CableCards. Ends up the process is just to leave my name and number (done this 3 times) on a scrap piece of paper and hope they call when a card arrives.. It's a vicious circle.

    Devx.. How much was that install, looks like $20.00 (1 product install) + $39.00 (Service call) in my pricing chart. . Also following is a cut/paste from the we_can_help people.. " Can you please provide me with the type of Tivo you have purchased as we do not support the brand new 6 tuner Tivos at this time. ". Go figure, hard to tell what real or not !! Only been 10 days, but I'm seriously considering a dispatch if it goes much longer.
     
  12. lstone19

    lstone19 Member

    40
    0
    Mar 28, 2003
    Do keep in mind that when a lot of businesses say they don't support something it merely means they haven't tested it and/or won't help you with any problems. It does not necessarily mean it will not work. For instance, my computer is only "supported" for up to 8GB of RAM but I've had 16GB in it since a week after I bought it.

    Of course whether the model is officially supported or not is completely irrelevant to issues of card unavailability and its disingenuous to ask what model and then say its unsupported as if that explains why no cards are available.
     
  13. Devx

    Devx New Member

    274
    0
    Jun 1, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    It was a little over 2 years ago, but that price doesn't seem too far off. I didn't wait anywhere near 10 days. I think if you hold out, they will deliver but it obviously won't be timely. I didn't want to wait and play their game. It's possible I've been lucky but it's interesting that the centers struggle to keep any cards in stock meanwhile every tech that has visited me has multiple cards with them. I only know that because if a card seems as if it won't work (usually because numbers are being misread, watch out for this), they assume it's bad and start swapping cards like crazy to find one that "works".

    You can safely ignore the warnings from the comcast email reply. If you're activating a CC in a Series3 it's irrelevant.
     
  14. Mar 2, 2014 #8914 of 9367
    bobdec01

    bobdec01 New Member

    47
    0
    Jan 20, 2011
    Just a quick update One of the 3 Services Centers I visited actually called me back Fridaty afternoon saying they had a CableCard. Picked it up Sat, called activation number, the card would not connect. I broke off the call, and I double checked connections and setup, all was good. Called activation back got another person, provided same info, put me on hold about 5 mins and card activated while I was waiting. Asked what problem was and they would not say. Any way I'm now up and running, hopefully happy till next go-round.
     
  15. tivoboy

    tivoboy Member

    681
    1
    Jan 14, 2002
    SFO
    Does anyone have a link to what the process is to move a cable card (m-card) from one tivo (a premier) to a new tivo (a roamio)?

    Is it important to cancel it out before setting it up, or can one move it from the older tivo to the new one and then just contact tivo for registration?

    Does one also have to contact comcast as well if the card is already active on my comcast account?

    thanks for any links!
     
  16. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,321
    0
    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    You just move it to the new TiVo and then call your cable company to re-pair it with the new TiVo. You would only have to call TiVo if you need to authorize the new TiVo and establish service.
     
  17. ncfoster

    ncfoster Member

    168
    0
    Jan 22, 2011
    I had a major hassle doing just that, but I just kept calling and being persistent with them, even when they told me that it could not be done without returning the CableCARD to the local office and getting a new one. It was quite a pain, and it took me a couple of days, but don't let anyone tell you that it can't be done.

    Unfortunately, the only explanation I got when it worked was just that the rep had "tried again", and it worked. Not too helpful, I know.
     
  18. Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    That said, if it is convenient, it may behoove you to visit your local office to grab a new card.
     
  19. midson

    midson New Member

    57
    0
    Feb 26, 2005
    I simply moved my cable card from one machine to the other. All 6 tuners worked and all channels tuned in. No phone calls made. YMMV.
     
  20. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,075
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    I don't know about your area, but here they immediately add an ADO fee to your account when you do that.
     

Share This Page