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Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by amjustice, Sep 14, 2006.
There is only one version of cablecard.
Absolutely, and there was no problems along those lines. The CSRs were professional and effcient, both at TiVo (for the service fee) and Circuit City (for the product).
I had the same experience, and then it stopped working again a few days later.
I ordered a TiVo Series 3 directly from Tivo this morning, because I finally decided I can't pass up the offer to transfer Lifetime from my S2 unit.
I called Comcast (via the 800 number listed on the website, for my zipcode in San Francisco). They were very clueful about Series 3 and CableCARD.
I said, "I have a TiVo Series 3. It's the new model with high definition, and I'd like to get CableCARD service".
The customer rep on the other end came back with, "Yes, you need high-definition CableCARD service. The first card is free, the second is $1.50 per month. Is that all right?"
"Hold on just a moment will I update your account to add the high-definition CableCARDs." Two minutes of silence.
"Okay, I have someone who can come out tomorrow between noon and..."
At that point, I told her the unit hadn't arrived yet. So she offered some other days. When I found out they came out on Saturdays, I asked for Saturday November 4 (weekend after this one) for them to come out and do the installation. That will certainly allow enough time for the S3 to arrive.
We need to have the TV "three feet from the wall", and have an adult on hand for the cable tech.
So far, so good. It's pretty smooth sailing with Comcast so far.
I am being charged $23.99 per card for installation, even though they're going into the same box. There seemed to be no negotiating that. No monthly charge, though...
My complaint letter to Comcast will explain the rest of my experience:
I just acquired a new HD Tivo, which is a dual-tuner, HD-capable DVR. The unit requires two CableCards to decode the digital channels.
I called customer service to request these cards.
The service agent began by noting that I had been a customer for over six years and that I had an excellent payment history, for which he thanked me.
I then explained what I needed for my new Tivo box. The service agent asked me to re-explain my need to his boss, so I did.
His boss told me that if I needed something for Tivo, I needed to call Tivo, not Comcast. I explained again that I needed CableCards for the tuners for the
Tivo, that my Tivo service was separate. He argued that they install CableCards for HD televisions, but that I must be mistaken in what I was requesting.
So I read the instructions that came with the Tivo to him, which clearly stated that I must call my cable company to get CableCard decoders.
I must have spent a full five minutes arguing that I knew what I was talking about; I was told that he had never heard of it after years with Comcast.
Finally, he put me on hold. When he came back, he said that he had found some information about it and that I needed two CableCards - exactly what I had
asked for originally!
This was a VERY frustrating experience. The supervisor I spoke with seemed condescending and assumed my ignorance without checking.
When I was FINALLY told I could schedule a service call for the installation, I was told that the first available appointment was over a week away.
And to top it all off, the agent then tried to upsell me to phone service! After treating me this way, it seems pretty bold to think I'm ready to purchase
additional services from Comcast.
Comcast in Atlanta
Tech showed up last week and said he could only install the cable card in the TV and not in the Tivo. When I made this appointment I specifically had written in the order that I needed two cable cards for a Tivo S3. I sent the tech away and called Tivo and Comcast. Tivo said they had lawyers that handled this but that I should try Comcast further before going that route. Made another appointment with Comcast. The Comcast guy on the phone said there was nothing in the order for a Tivo with two cable cards. I could tell he was lying but I did not pursue this. Second appointment was supposed to be today and I got a call this morning from Comcast saying they are out of cable cards. Made another appointment for next week.
Does anyone know what the government regulatory authority is for cable? Seems like since the government grants the cable company a monopoly (which makes no sense), somehow the government should hold them accountable.
In Georgia at this point I don't believe you have yet gotten shafted by a state-wide franchise agreement. That means that you have a local Franchise Authority. You need to call your city/town/municipal offices and ask who is the contact for your Franchise Authority. They will be non-paid board members appointed by your council. They will have direct contacts with your local cable provider (MSO). Get them involved and you will get better feedback - assuming you're not in a currently transitioning community (involved in the Comcast/Adelphia/TW deal).
A couple notes: Your cable provider is not a monopoly really. Franchise agreements are by law non-exclusive. That means that as many providers as wish to can compete in your area. They choose not to because the cost of rolling out additional infrastructure leeches away margins when they need to share subscriptions. Most franchise authorities would love to have as many providers as possible.
Second, if either a state or federal franchise agreement is ever passed in GA or the US, you will no longer have representatives who can directly touch your providers. The proposed federal legislation puts that oversight into the FCC - but establishes not a single person or dollar to actually do it.
Prior to the Adelphia/Comcast/TW deal, we had some pretty good success in monitoring our provider. We reviewed service calls and requests on a monthly basis and were able to assist our residents. About 3 years ago the FCC removed cable delivered broadband from under the provisions of the Franchise Agreement. As a result, we lost the ability to help residents with service and quality related broadband issues. The FCC has never, ever responded to a single complaint from any of our residents since then.
Food for thought.
The FCC, but they say talk to your local franchising authority in the first place.
Maybe I need to move to SF.
Here in Atlanta burbs, at first they had no clue what I was talking about. Finally, they quoted me $15 install, plus $6.99 PER card per month.
Then they told me 2 weeks before they could get to me. Maybe I shouldn't, but I'm expecting the worst when they finally do show up.
I am beyond thrilled. Both CableCards are working completely now!!!! The Comcast tech left a few minutes ago.
I had the original two cards installed into my S3 around some 4 weeks ago. And all this time one card worked completely and appeared properly provisioned (I think is the term). This was CableCard2. The other card, CableCard1, was never quite right. It would get the analog channels, the HD locals, but no digital channels, nor any HD premium (most notably 720 FSN-HD).
So, today's Comcast visit netted me a new card and a card hit. Now I get all channels on BOTH cards.
Interesting things I've noticed so far:
1) the firmware on the new card (in CableCard1 slot) is 4.21. The other card, CableCard2 is at firmware version 4.05.
2) the TiVo Conditional Access screen has more info under the 4.21 f/w level then the 4.05 level. It lists that there's DES encryption now.
3) the fact of the cards being on different f/w revs seems to have NO negative impact at all on the TiVo.
4) the physical cards themselves match now in terms of the colour and the artwork(?), etc... The old "bad" card had a very worn appearance and had stuff rubbed out on it. It looked pretty dogged. Both cards, that work, are newer looking cards. But indeed that old beat up red card had id'd itself to have version 4.05 of the firmware, which is the same version of the original "good" card.
5) a message that isn't seen on the cards with 4.05 f/w is now seen on the new one with 4.21 and that is on the pairing screen is has the msg "The CacleCARD considers the Host to have only one-way RF capability). That makes sense given that the cards (and service from Comcast is only one direction, i.e. no VOD, no interactive ability). That's at least what I assume the msg means..
6) this time the MMI (the term used here..) or at least that spinning wheel screen, it never appeared. The TiVo seemed to make NO notice that the card was being "re-hit"... I.e., I didn't see any thing happening on the TiVo screens.. I had the TiVo pointed to the pairing screen of the card being replaced (CableCard 1) while the tech and I were waiting on the "re-hit". After he waited on the radio for a response back from the person on the office side, he got her attention and she verified that the card had indeed been re-hit. So, it was then then I went into the "test channels" screen and found that my previosuly missing channels now appeared. Yeah!
So, bottom line, the new card made the difference. So, *maybe* the old card was indeed defective. I had tried to get the card "re-hit" over the phone without a truck roll. This netted NO difference. But even then I suspected that the problem was all at the headend side and not the card itself. But at any rate the new card and it being re-hit has solved my problems... So, I'm an even happier TiVo and Comcast customer now. Hopefully no problems going forward now. And all HD Sharks games will be waiting on the TiVo and no grey screens with empty recordings..
Now if all the audio dropout problems were magically gone...
p.s. this time I did get the oft-mentioned 161-4 error this time either when the TiVo recognized the card on insertion or at the time of the "hit" on the new card (I don't recall exactly). But, I had never gotten that before that I can recall.
Sure do HOPE so....let us know if there is any improvement.
I think the local area Comcast is just royally confused more than anything else. The tech that (finally) came out in my case said that she had 2 CableCARD installs that day, including mine... the earlier one had TiVo on the order when it was for a TV, and mine was the other way around. Fortunately, she had a spare when she came to my house.
There was otherwise no problem with the install... not only would she install in a TiVo, but knew exactly what she was doing.
Arlington, MA (Boston): The first installer here showed up yesterday with 3 cards. He said he'd done S3 TiVos before, but he didn't quite follow the directions. Put two cards in pretty quickly, went to look at their pairings. One card showed the initial "call the cable company" screen after a few minutes. The other card showed "no information", then something like "failed to load pod:///xx/xx" on the pairing screen. This card never worked right--it would cycle between the two states.
The third card got a 161-1 error.
So after fiddling around and hoping the 2nd card would get its brain in order, we gave up and he left me with just one CC in use, and an appointment for today.
Today's tech popped in the new card, left the pairing screen up, and in a couple of minutes it put up the "call your cableco". He called the office, got disconnected (poor Nextel reception), called back, they hit the card (161-4) and voila.
All done now.
Business office quoted free for 1st cablecard, $2.75/mo for the second, and install fees of $15.65 and $14.40 respectively.
I called last week to schedule an appointment to have my cable cards installed. The guy came Monday morning and was very polite but he wasn't familiar with tivo and couldn't get the cards to work. He said someone else would come Tuesday to do it. Tuesday someone called and said they were still checking into it and would come another day this week. This morning I was called and told that my Comcast office's billing does not support cable cards for tivo but might be able to next summer. I was offered dvr's from Comcast. When I mentioned pursuing it further, the guy said he was the operations manager and he didn't know how I could pursue it further. I called the Comcast office in Philadelphia and asked for an executive assistant like I had read about on these boards. The lady that I spoke with didn't seem to know much about it..she said maybe they don't have the cable cards in stock. I explained that I was specifically told that it can't be done since their billing doesn't support cable cards for tivo. She took my info and said someone would call me back today but I never heard anything else. What should my next step be?
I was charged the exact same amounts for my cable card install and monthly digital access fees. They must have standardized the CC fees in Massachusetts. It's funny to read how different they are around the country.
Call Tivo support and tell them you need help getting cablecards. They will get on the phone with you and the cableco
How do I find out where my local Comcast office is?
For me, it's on my monthly statement.
For me, it's a PO Box. Looking up numbers in the phone book, it looks like my closest Comcast office is 30 miles away.