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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. ewilts

    ewilts Who, me?

    Feb 26, 2002
    Mounds View, MN
    My approach was the following:
    1. Take the TiVo out of the box, write down the serial number, and phone TiVo to activate it (I transferred my lifetime from an S2). If you do transfer a lifetime, you also get the old box subscribed for a year for no extra charge.
    1a. Remember to set the remote address - otherwise, both TiVos will respond to your remote. The procedure is documented on TiVo's web site.
    2. Connect the TiVo to your existing and run guided setup. Start watching TV! If you have an HD TV (good assumption or you wouldn't be buying an S3 :)), do a manual scan on the TV. The local HD stations are probably unencrypted. PBS HD is lovely!
    3. You've already scheduled your appointment, so you probably already have HD stations coming through. Do a manual cable scan and look for channel numbers that end in -1 (like 4-1). That might be an HD station. Have some fun! Don't pay too much attention to the channel numbers since the CC install will remap the channel numbers for you.
    4. Your TiVo will come with a separate sheet of paper describing the CC install. READ THIS. Also read the CC install FAQ on TiVo's web site. Pay attention to the 161-2 or 161-4 meanings (one is normal, one means a bad CC and I can't remember which is which).
    4a. Remove any splitters if you can before the tech shows up. If you have any problems, you want to make sure that the problem is as isolated as possible. You might not need to do this if your TV or S3 were already displaying HD stations before the tech arrived.
    5. When the tech shows up, make sure he installs only 1 CC at a time. Slot 1 is the *bottom* slot - do it first.
    6. Be patient during the install. Some operations take a full minute or two. The CC status pages don't automatically refresh. Clear out of the page and go back in again. Ignore the "waiting to start" message.
    7. Test the channels (that's a menu option) when the tech says the card is activated. Make sure you've got a channel lineup handy and test channels in the various ranges including your local and any additional HD stations (like ESPN HD or HBO HD).
    8. Once CC #1 is done, do CC # 2. The access controls on the CCs are configured separately by the cable company so don't assume that if one has all the stations that the 2nd one does too. Mine had only Basic 1 on the 2nd CC until I phoned in the next day.
    9. If the "Test Channels" on both CCs are functioning properly, the tech can leave.
    10. Re-run guided setup.

  2. winpitt

    winpitt New Member

    Oct 17, 2006
    And to take the other side, DBS has an advantage in areas very rural not served by cable. And for people who live in RVs, etc. So?

    And there is a very big difference between actually being classified as a monopoly and having monopoly power. More to the point, there are many (myself included) who would also disagree with the DOJ position around MS - at least with that specific case. There is a fine line between acting in an ant-competitive fashion and leveraging your own capabilities.

    There is a LOT of competition between cable and DBS. Not "some element".
  3. debbie6754

    debbie6754 Member

    Nov 1, 2002
    New Jersey
    After 3 unsuccessful visits by Comcast to set up my cablecards, I decided to exchange my Tivo. I agreed to pay $799 for the new one, which I will get back when I send back the old unit. I ordered the unit last Thursday. Tivo said it would probably ship on Monday and that I would get an email so that I could track it. That is how it went when I received my original series 3. Yesterday - still no shipping confirmation and then when I turned on my Tivo, I got a message saying that my account was not activated.

    I called Tivo. They said the account was not deactivated by them. I should pull the plug and the ethernet line for 2 hours and let it reset. I did that and it is still the same. I belive that Tivo did deactivate my account. They also said my new unit had shipped and would be here today. No confirmation email.

    Between Tivo and Comcast this has been a very unpleasant situation. :thumbsdown:
  4. rrg

    rrg New Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    My saga, at least, has ended well. Comcast's first visit (last Saturday) was unsuccessful: the first cablecard eventually started decoding video but wasn't authorized for any of the premium services. The second cablecard wouldn't work at all, and they could do nothing with it because they couldn't get Data, Host, and UnitAddress information out of the card to even get started. And they had no spare cablecards so that we could try another.

    Return visit was yesterday (Tuesday) and was made by the foreman for my area. He brought another cablecard that worked but, again, after initial pairing and authorization, it still wouldn't decode any of the premium channels.

    Fortunately he knew a super-tech guy working at the head end whom he called directly, someone who actually understands this stuff, and he did a cold initiate on both cards, and within a few minutes all was working as it should.

    Luck of the draw, I guess. The main problem seems to be that most Comcast on-the-phone techs are still not very experienced with cablecards.
  5. driver49

    driver49 I Wrote the Book

    Sep 25, 2003
    Despite all the horror stories reported here, I had a pretty painless installation of my S3 and cableCARDS yesterday. Went through the guided setup once for analog cable, then put in the cards, called Comcast here in Nashville, got 'em activated, and then went throughthe guided setup again and all seemed to be working nominally last night. Granted, I haven't turned it all on again this morning, but I have no reason to suspect it would all go t*ts up over night... So, yeah, it can happen, and I consider myself quite fortunate to have gotten through the experience without so much as a scratch. --PS
  6. djnewlin

    djnewlin New Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    Chicago suburb

    This happened to me, where TiVo did not send me the email and tracking info when they promised they would. I even called them to find out if it shipped, and they said it had not. Ironically, the doorbell rang about an hour after I got off the phone, and lo and behold, it was the S3! I think TiVo needs to improve their order fulfillment process :rolleyes:

    Another approach might be to purchase a new S3 from Best Buy (check for availability on-line before you drive to their store). They have an excellent return policy and you do not have to wait to get one...

    Sorry for your troubles :(




  7. debbie6754

    debbie6754 Member

    Nov 1, 2002
    New Jersey

    Do you happen to remember the name of the guy at the head who actually knows something? After my Tivo gets delivered, I have to call Comcast again.
  8. rrg

    rrg New Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    I didn't get anything more informative than "George", unfortunately. The tech who made the service call to my house was named "Rich". I'll check at home later to see whether there's anything more useful (like his tech ID number) written down on the receipt that he left.

    The only reason we're all suffering is that we're early adopters. I expect that in a month or two Comcast will have this down to a working routine.
  9. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    I second that approach. Its more or less how I did it.

    Though I'm wondering why the post you replied to was labled with an angry thumbs down, I couldn't see anything in it which someone would need to be angry about.
  10. shady

    shady Previously European

    May 31, 2002
    Why do you think that Comcast will take your S2 away from you?
  11. Pab Sungenis

    Pab Sungenis New Member

    Apr 13, 2002
    Vineland, NJ
    No, this is not a dispute over cable. Their inaction had disabled a piece of my equipment, which then resulted in my not being able to receive over-the-air signals with it.

    Blocking over the air signals is definitely under the FCC's purview.
  12. BarryPCC

    BarryPCC New Member

    Nov 3, 2002

    When I said "box" I meant the set-top box from my cable company. My understanding (and I have to read up on this because I have never had a need to run two TiVos on one TV) is I would need to have the set-top box hooked up to my S2 in order to get a picture on my Aux input.

    I could be mistaken, and I might not need the cable box. If I don't cool.
  13. BarryPCC

    BarryPCC New Member

    Nov 3, 2002

    When I typed my original post (around 6:30 this morning) I swear that red thumbs down looked like a red question mark. Added it at the last minute.

    Did not know it was a red thumbs down until I actually read my post on the board.

    I'm not at all angry (yet). I'll check in Saturday to share my install story...
  14. BarryPCC

    BarryPCC New Member

    Nov 3, 2002
    THANKS very much for the detailed "to-do" list. Yes I plan to transfer my lifetime subscription as soon as my new S3 arrives. That was the determining factor in my purchase now, as opposed to early 2007.

    I can't wait for TiVo in HD!!

    Thanks again Ed. I really appreciate your help.
  15. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    I can't see why you need it. You'll have the S3 and the S2 hooked up to the TV. The S3 will give you all the functionality of the cable box (expect PPV and On demand), the S2 will be able to show previously recorded programs, whether you have a cable box hooked up to it or not.

    The only thing keeping the cable box hooked up to the S2 gives you (besides PPV and On demand) is being able to watch cable through the S2. As you'll get a better picture off the S3, I don't see why you need it.
  16. naren

    naren New Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    So my Comcast cablecard installation on the S3 appointment was yesterday, and the results are somewhat mixed. I am also getting some seemingly conflicting information from the Tivo itself, so any help/advice will be appreciated.

    The bottom line is that I have 2 cablecards installed in the unit, with the following current statuses:

    CC#1 (lower slot):
    - Conditional Access screen statuses seem broken: Connect says YES, but others say Not Enabled, Invalid Host Validation etc. and Auth seems to flip-flop between SUBSCRIBED, NOT_SUBSCRIBED, and UNKNOWN depending on when you look. (Is the AUTH field specific to the channel being currently tuned?)
    - Channel Tests work for channels < 100 (non-digital), but fail on higher channels
    - On trying to "Watch Live TV" with the tuner corresponding to this card, I am able to tune to all non-digital channels, and even a *few* of the digital/premium channels, but most digital channels error out to the card pairing screen.

    CC#2 (upper slot):
    - Conditional Access screen statuses all seem to say what they should be (i.e. Enabled/Subscribed/Valid etc.)
    - Channel Tests do *NOT* work - the Tivo says No Channels Acquired!
    - "Watch Live TV" on this tuner does work for all channels (digital and premium), though! (atleast all that I tried, which is most of them.)

    BTW, I correlated the tuners and the cable cards using one of the Tivo troubleshooting screens, which provided the CC# (in hex) for each of the tuners. Incidentally, Tuner0 seems to be coupled to CC#2 and Tuner1 to CC#1 - is this expected?

    So while I am glad to be getting most everything on atleast one of my cards, I am throughly confused at the statuses, and am nervous about what is going to happen when the Comcast folks come back tomorrow to try and fix the remaining issues.

    - Narendran.
  17. debbie6754

    debbie6754 Member

    Nov 1, 2002
    New Jersey
    A word of warning, if you exchange your Tivo, even if you pay in full for the new one, Tivo deactivates your currect unit and activates the new one before it arrives, without telling you.

    This happened to me 2 days ago. My new Tivo arrived by UPS at 6pm last night. I just installed it. Then I called Comcast to start all over with them. They started with their usual song and dance about how they don't support Tivo. I told them they were wrong. They reluctantly agred to send an installer. I requested a supervisor or someone who had successfully worked on ccs for a series 3.

    The saga continues..... :(
  18. Thos19

    Thos19 Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Rockland, MA

    Calling back did the trick. Didn't get anywhere with the new CSR, but her supervisor was much more accommodating. I was polite but firm. She said she couldn't change the existing charges, but added a service charge adjustment of -$25.00 to my account. So now it is only costing $25 for the Cable Card install...I can live with that. :D


    PS I wonder how "BostonLawman2003" did with his install today, across town...
  19. susani8

    susani8 New Member

    Jan 14, 2006
    Thank you very much, Ed! My S3 should be here tomorrow as well as the install. I'm printing off your instructions. I'm so ready for this!
  20. Jeff's Tivo

    Jeff's Tivo New Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    Monterey, CA
    I'm thinking about dropping DTV and taking the plunge to the new TIVO Series 3 HD.
    I was wondering if anyone has yet to deal with Comcast and the cable card in the Salinas, Ca. area? If so, how was the experience?

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