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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Dec 4, 2006 #1381 of 9367
    prisk

    prisk New Member

    63
    0
    Nov 19, 2006
    So, after following this forum closely for several months, I finally took the plunge and bought a Series 3. I also bought a 42" plasma (Panasonic 42PX60U).

    The TiVo arrived first, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I set it up on Sunday as soon as the relatives had cleared out. The TV was scheduled ot arrive the following Friday, and Comcast the day after to install the cablecards. Still had to live with the old CRT TV for a week, so I went to the local Radio Shack and bought a $30 amplified antenna so I could pick up the HD signals. For the record, I live in Chicago, in the city, about 4 miles north of the Loop, and fomr the third floor windows can see the Sears Tower and John Hancock, where most of the TV transmitters are located.

    TiVo setup was fairly straightforward. I hooked up the TiVo network adapter and it found the network immediately and had a strong signal. Hooked up the antenna and the cable. So far, so good. Much to my surprise (and delight) the antenna picked up almost all of the major HD boradcast signals (plus a bunch I had never even heard of). One exception - channel 2-1 (CBS-HD) did not come in. TiVo seamlessly integrated the OTA and cable channels into a single lineup. Nice. For a week, this arrangement worked great. I still had the S2 and cable box, so I could switch between the two if needed. HD looked good even on the old CRT.

    The TV showed up on Friday. Easy to install and hook up. Great picture. OTA broadcasts had a few dropouts, and sound didn't seem to be quite exactly synchronized on one of the tuners, but I was willing to hold off till the CC's were installed before complaining.

    Comcast showed up on Friday, at the very end of their 4-hour window. Then the fun started. First of all, Comcast charged me $43 for the truck roll. When I had set up the appointment, I was very clear that they were installing to a Series 3, to send me an experienced tech, and bring extra cablecards. The tech shows up with exactly 2 cablecards, and hes has NEVER installed a cablecard, much less one in a TiVO. When I look at the work order, there it is "...installing to a TiVo Series 3...". guess he can't read his own work order. Says he told his supervisor that he'd never done it, and they sent him out anyways. So, using the instructions taht came with the TiVo aplus lots of useful info I'd printed off the forum, I went to work (he just sat there quietly - I wasn't about to let him touch my brand new S3).

    In went card #1. a few minutes later, the info screen comes up. He calls dispatch. they put him on hold. The hold message says he should go to comcast's web site for faster info. Funny - they make their techs listen to the same crap we have to listen to. He calls back several times - they hit the card. Some chanels come up. Not many. HBO is missing. As are most expanded basic channels. HD is working. He calls dispatch. They hit the card again...and again... The tech starts calling his buddies for help. They are too far away and don't have a clue.

    He suggests we try CC #2. Against my better judgement, we try CC #2. It goes in. Error 161-4 comes up. Thanks to this forum, I know that that was not a problem. He calls dispatch and they hit the card. And it works! All channels come up. And I scrolled through almost every one. With dispatch still on the phone (this tech seemed to know what he was doing) he hits CC#1 again. We go back to CC#1. And it is also working!!! The tech hands me the work order and asks me to sign. Not so fast, I say. I scroll through the remaining channels on CC1 (yes, this does take a while, but I'm paying for his time, and I am not letting him off the hook so easily). Eventually I am satisfied that both CC's are working properly and all the right channels are coming in and audio is synced up.

    Then I start guided setup again. Since he's never seen a cablecard, much less a TiVo, he thinks it is all part of the CC process (a touch of evil revenge on my part....) I eventually let him go to his next gig. Total time: 55 minutes. And fairly painless, considering the stories I've read here.

    The next day, my wife calls Comcast and complains about the tech's lack of knowledge. Says that he was very polite, pleasant and friendly, but had no idea what he was doing, and that I had to do all the actual work. She doesn;t understand why she has to pay Comcast $43 when her husband did all the work (first time she's ever accused me of *that*). Comcast apologizes and refunds the $43 for the truck roll. All in all, not a bad experience.

    And thanks to EVERYONE who has posted to this forum - without it I would have been lost.
     
  2. Dec 4, 2006 #1382 of 9367
    chsscgas

    chsscgas Member

    55
    0
    Oct 27, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    Comcast is coming Tuesday night to replace the SA cablecard in the first slot due to inability to receive some HD channels (TNTHD) etc.

    Does anyone have any advice what I should or should not have them do when they come out Tuesday? The cablecard located in the second slot seems to be working ok except for no audio on a channel I never watch and no video/audio on the G4 channel which I very infrequently watch. I don't want things to be worse after they come than before they come out.
     
  3. Dec 4, 2006 #1383 of 9367
    Thos19

    Thos19 Member

    169
    0
    Dec 31, 2002
    Rockland, MA
    Interesting note, I forgot to add in relation to my install in Abington, MA: the cable cards were manufactured by Scientific Atlanta, rather than Motorola, like many posting in this thread.

    Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.... :D

    Thos.
     
  4. Dec 4, 2006 #1384 of 9367
    HSW

    HSW New Member

    76
    0
    Oct 24, 2003
    Chicagoland
    After your card is installed and if not working, ask you tech to call his cablecard technician and have a signal sent to reset the card. That worked for me.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2006 #1385 of 9367
    cptodd

    cptodd Just Me!

    3,332
    0
    Jun 30, 2002
    Chicago, IL

    I really want to do this but the guy was so nice. I dont' want to get him in trouble but I have to say that it was ME who got the damn cards working. SHEEH!
     
  6. Dec 4, 2006 #1386 of 9367
    cptodd

    cptodd Just Me!

    3,332
    0
    Jun 30, 2002
    Chicago, IL

    I call and ask them to send the call to a "two hour" . . . oh I foget the name. But this one guy calls and helps. He knows EXACTLY what he is doing. He told me that I should call and get the call sent to a "two hour. . ." I wish I could remember the last word. I am not sure if he is local becaue the number that comes up is a 708 area code. He even called me sunday at like 6 pm to fix a problem with a card. He is quite good.
     
  7. Dec 4, 2006 #1387 of 9367
    mstraus

    mstraus New Member

    12
    0
    May 21, 2006
    I've ordered my S3 and have Comcast scheduled to come out and install the cablecards. At this time, I do not yet have an HD TV. After reading about all the problems with the cablecards, I have two questions:

    1. If I go ahead and just use my old TV for now (1995 Magnavox PIP), should I anticipate any problems when I try to switch to a new HD TV in the future, assuming that the S3 works OK with the current TV?

    2. I may go ahead and just get an HD LCD TV now, so that I don't have to worry about running into problems when I make the switch. Are there any features specific to having the TV work well with the S3 unit that I should be on the lookout for, either to get or to avoid?

    I'm not really technical myself but will have the help of my brother, who is quite technical, if that matters.
     
  8. Dec 4, 2006 #1388 of 9367
    Thos19

    Thos19 Member

    169
    0
    Dec 31, 2002
    Rockland, MA
    When I try the auto-DHCP server option, I get a N02 "server could not be found on network.

    When I try using a static IP address, I get a N07 error, "gateway not found."

    When I choose the let the DVR choose IP address option, I get the N07 error again.

    :mad:

    Thos.
     
  9. Dec 4, 2006 #1389 of 9367
    Brainiac 5

    Brainiac 5 New Member

    451
    0
    Aug 24, 2003
    Columbia,...
    Thos19 - That seems to exhaust my (limited) stock of remedies. :(
     
  10. Dec 4, 2006 #1390 of 9367
    Thos19

    Thos19 Member

    169
    0
    Dec 31, 2002
    Rockland, MA
    I called TiVo, but they weren't much help.

    I played around with the TiVo a little more. I was unable to get an update to work. Yet, I am able to access my pictures and music files on my PC through the TiVo !

    So the router works. The ethernet port works. I can ping the TiVo incoming and outgoing. I can access my media files. But the TiVo can't access the internet.

    I have a modified Series 1 with a turbonet adapter linked to the same router (universal plug and play). It has been able to get updates without issue for the past 3 years. I don't understand why the Series 3 is giving me problems. :rolleyes:

    Thos.
     
  11. Dec 5, 2006 #1391 of 9367
    kriskane

    kriskane New Member

    3
    0
    Feb 4, 2005
    I don't have a series3 (yet), but recently purchased an HDTV. I've got my standby Series2 (sat in a box unused for a year--they were having a sale and we bit) hooked up to it through the s-video cable. Picture's not bad, considering it's upsampling a lossy codec to 1080p. Or i. I forget (I find really knowledgable sales people and then ask them "Which TV do you own?" and generally buy that one). Got an HD set-top from Comcast, hooked that up, and if you're putting off looking at HD pictures, keep putting it off--once you see it, you'll want to buy it immediately. We've got the coax from the wall going through a splitter, with one end going to the set top going through the series two, and the other end going straight into the TV's coax hookup. That way we can watch straight from the split coax while the TiVo does its thing. We want to get the cable card for the TV so we can watch the high end channels and premium content, as well.

    ANYWAY.

    Called my local (Alexandria, VA) Comcast number, talked to someone who seemed knowledgable, he told me I could just go in to my local office and ask for a cable card and they'd hand one over, no additional fee, no additional monthly, premium content, etc. Great, right? I'm sure you see this coming.

    "We don't ... have ... those? We don't give those out. Anywhere."
    "What?"
    "The cable ... things."

    After arguing with the (rude, unpleasant, clueless) counter person at the local office, AND asking for a supervisor (no one was in, as it was after six PM), I got back in the car and called Comcast again. Got someone who actually was knowledgable this time.

    The cable card will be free--no fee, no additional monthly, not even a charge for the truck roll--but a tech has to come out and do it. She even told me not to let them schedule me on Saturday because no one's available at the other end for the back-and-forth call. I even asked if Comcast had insurance that would cover my really expensive TV, in case the field tech screwed up and ended up busting the thing. "Sure do." She even told me that only in-house techs install these anymore, since they're the only ones trained to do so. She volunteered her name and told me to call back to schedule it with her (I didn't have my calendar with me, wasn't sure when I'd be home). Ok, then.

    So I'll call later today and schedule a truck roll for Thursday, and report back.

    Sounds like Comcast in Alexandria may have gotten a call from the FCC about their legal liability for these cable cards--no fee for even the truck roll? Outstanding.

    I'm wondering if this would work for those wth S3s who miss the ability to order pay-per-view through the set top--you could put one card in the S3 and one in the TV, if your TV will handle it, and have the best of both worlds.

    It'll be nice if those rumors about Comcast testing TiVo software in their HD-DVR set tops are true.
     
  12. Dec 5, 2006 #1392 of 9367
    Adam1115

    Adam1115 20,000!!! TCF Club

    27,666
    48
    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    What kind of router/firewall do you have?

    I had MAJOR problems with my Series 3 using a Cisco PIX firewall. I finally gave up and had to fall back to a linksys. It absolutely refused to go out through the pix, even though I'm not blocking anything outbound. Something is funny with the S3...
     
  13. Dec 5, 2006 #1393 of 9367
    Uday

    Uday New Member

    38
    0
    Apr 3, 2002
    I'm in the Seattle area. I've activated & installed two cable cards from Comcast (Motorola brand). The first one seems to catch all channels (including premium HD channels).

    But on the 2nd card can't seem to display any video when I "test channels"- only get the channel banner identifying the channel number and name with a grey screen and no video. when the comcast technician "sent signals" to this card, I got the 161-4 error.

    The CC tech says that the "cableCard is active & responding, and it must be an issue with the Tivo". What could be wrong?
     
  14. Dec 5, 2006 #1394 of 9367
    BarryPCC

    BarryPCC New Member

    11
    0
    Nov 3, 2002
    Hi,

    I recently bought the S3 and had Comcast install 2 cable cards. Everything seemed to be working fine until one day I noticed I could not receive some of the channels which are part of my tier. All of these channels are SD, and most are sister stations of Encore. I get Encore and Encore Action, but I am unable to see Encore Love, Encore Mystery or Encore Western. I also can't see Indie Plex or Retro Plex or BBCAmerica. On all the channels I get a gray screen but I am able to see the channel banner.

    Is this a CableCard problem or a video output problem?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  15. Dec 5, 2006 #1395 of 9367
    cptodd

    cptodd Just Me!

    3,332
    0
    Jun 30, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    It is a cable card problem. When I first had mine installed I received all of the channels (I think) then I tried to record something on mplex (I think that is the channel) and it was just blank and when the TiVo tried to switch to that channel the Cable Card screen popped up saying that I needed to subscribe to that channel. WHen I checked on the "COnditional Access Screen" it said "Connected:yes, EnabledByCP:no" This would revert to "Yes" and "Yes" when I tuned to another channel. I called up and initially they wanted to send someone out but I said NO. They then escalated the problem to the "two hour" specialist unit. They called back and I had to read off numbers from the "CableCARD (tm) Paring" menu and then it worked. I forgot what he said but it was something like the cards and the computers at comcast were out of sync. Now they work fine.
     
  16. Dec 5, 2006 #1396 of 9367
    HSW

    HSW New Member

    76
    0
    Oct 24, 2003
    Chicagoland
    It took me 4 cards to get it right plus a call from a cablecard technician. I would assume its a bad card and demand a new one.
     
  17. Dec 5, 2006 #1397 of 9367
    BarryPCC

    BarryPCC New Member

    11
    0
    Nov 3, 2002
    Thanks! I called Comcast yesterday and they said they wanted to send someone out but I didn't schedule the appointment because a "trouble call" costs around $30 now. I'll call again today and see if Richmond, VA has a "two hour specialist unit" and see what happens.

    Thanks again!
     
  18. Dec 5, 2006 #1398 of 9367
    Brainiac 5

    Brainiac 5 New Member

    451
    0
    Aug 24, 2003
    Columbia,...
    Do you know if the TiVo has the correct IP address for the gateway (the router), and the correct netmask? I think it shows these sometime during the networking setup.
     
  19. Dec 5, 2006 #1399 of 9367
    Brainiac 5

    Brainiac 5 New Member

    451
    0
    Aug 24, 2003
    Columbia,...
    I second what HSW said - it is most likely a bad card. The fact that the CableCARD responded to their signal does not in any way, shape, or form rule that out.

    If you go to "CableCARD Menu" (off the same screen as "Test Channels"), and choose "Conditional Access" (I think that's right; my cards aren't Motorola so they're different), what does it say?
     
  20. Dec 5, 2006 #1400 of 9367
    prisk

    prisk New Member

    63
    0
    Nov 19, 2006

    I did this with my 1990 NEC (talk about old). Had no trouble when the HD TV showed up later. the trick is in getting the TiVo and the cablecards to play nice. You can still see all the output on your old TV (and, by the way, HD looks good on even an old CRT). Once the TiVo is working fine, you should hve no trouble switching to an HD TV.
     

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