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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Jan 7, 2007 #1701 of 9367
    subat0mic

    subat0mic New Member

    87
    0
    Jan 7, 2007
    Chicago,...
    san francisco presidio / (marina / pacheights) area...

    $19 install
    free 1st card
    1.50 2nd card + $6 monthly charge added
    HD package was "required" (i forget what this cost)...

    A failed install happened this morning.
    2 guys came. One had never done cable card before and mentioned how he'd never seen anyone with a Tivo3. I had to explain what the S3 was and why it's good and yes it does take cable card (unlike the S2) which was a question he had.

    the 2nd guy had done a few TV cable card installs, but otherwise same story. never seen a tivo s3.

    plug the cable into the tivo without cards. verified only one channel (81) was working... (big mistake...)

    1st card goes in with power on. he calls in the serial, host and data numbers, and they claim to send a "hit". nothing. no error. testing channels stays stuck on the "acquiring channels" blue screen.

    2nd card, same thing as 1st card... neither card works... we wait around for a 1/2 hr. nothing... the guys say they need to move on to other jobs, and give me their phone number to call them if it doesn't come on automatically in a couple hours... (I shouldn't have let them leave)

    so, after calling comcast 5 times, and getting "hit" 4, and verifying over the phone that they do have the correct serial numbers on file.... -> nothing. stuck at the dreaded "blue screen of acquiring"...

    I decide to take out the cable cards to check out analog cable (whee)... ch 81 is the only channel that works. the local station (KRON channel 4) here comes up white and snowy!!!!!

    Seems like the installers didn't verify the analog signal, or (worse) maybe left the filter on the cable box outside. :eek: Like deer in headlights, I think they were distracted by the unknown that is the TivoS3... :confused: They completely forgot to verify we even had a cable signal! :eek: :eek: :eek:

    I called comcast again with this new info and they're sending someone back in the morning between 8-12 to check it out...

    The punch line to all this is... they came to install 1.) phone 2.) internet and 3.) cable. 1.) the phone number wasn't ready, so no phone today and 2.) I already had comcast internet and 3.) they left without cable working, but they disabled my DirecTV (cutting the wire). Somehow I've let these people into my house and all they did was sever my satellite connection and leave... :mad:
     
  2. Jan 7, 2007 #1702 of 9367
    subat0mic

    subat0mic New Member

    87
    0
    Jan 7, 2007
    Chicago,...
    So... could you describe the steps in this TivoS3 manual she read to you?
    In case others here want to try the same?
    i.e. I'm currently troubleshooting mine, and maybe this could help.
    Thanks.
     
  3. Jan 7, 2007 #1703 of 9367
    rictus

    rictus New Member

    17
    0
    Dec 28, 2006
    Successful install here in Oakland, CA with Comcast. The tech said he had done a bunch of S3 installs, but didn't follow the instructions to the letter--he put both CableCards in before activating them, and didn't wait for the Test Channels on the first one to be successful. After waiting 5-10 minutes, though, everything sorted itself out.

    The S3 didn't seem to know all the channels I receive--it got most of them (and asked me about the premiums), but skipped a few channels that I think got recently added to our packages (e.g. UHD). Otherwise everything seems to be working fine.
     
  4. Jan 7, 2007 #1704 of 9367
    DirkSwizzler

    DirkSwizzler New Member

    11
    0
    Sep 26, 2005
    Good install in Bellevue (King County) Washington. The tech had one card that wasn't in their records and couldn't be activated. But the other 3 (I also had one installed in a TV at the same time) worked fine. All 3 were Motorola version 4.21.

    There was a problem though...

    The tech told me that I might not get all the channels at first (and I didn't). I was missing 30-70 (that includes cartoon network, scifi, and comedy central) on my tivo all day. But was receiving HD channels just fine. On my tv I got all the 1-99 channels. And got some of the HD channels, but the HD channels weren't the right ones. I tried rebooting the tivo, repeating guided setup, nothing helped.

    I finally called comcast this morning and explained the partial functionality. They sent a reset signal or something and said wait 5 minutes. I left the tivo alone for 15 just to be safe and when I came back it was working perfectly. Although my TV doesn't get the right HD channels still, but meh, I can still twiddle with that a bit. At least the tivo gets all the digital SD and HD channels correctly.
     
  5. Jan 7, 2007 #1705 of 9367
    jonman21

    jonman21 New Member

    12
    0
    Dec 18, 2006
    San...
    Yeah, rictus -

    The more I think about what I've read here, and now based on my own successful install experience - it seems like putting in both CableCards at the same time and having Comcast hit them both doesn't hurt the process at all.
     
  6. Jan 7, 2007 #1706 of 9367
    subat0mic

    subat0mic New Member

    87
    0
    Jan 7, 2007
    Chicago,...
    This time they sent 2 comcast techs (yes, real ones, it was contractors before).
    Again, neither has installed a Tivo S3 before, but both claimed to have done cable cards in TVs regularly (they claim that the cablecards are getting more and more popular!).

    And yeah, the cable into my apartment did had a video filter on it at the outside cable box... (the contractors definately did _not_ test the signal!!!! :eek: :eek: )

    They're fixing it as I type this. Fingers crossed.... :up:
     
  7. Jan 7, 2007 #1707 of 9367
    garys

    garys New Member

    62
    0
    Feb 1, 2002
    I finally got the DVR working with both cable cards. The contractor took forever and failed. The Comcast employee walked in, was friendly, and had it working within 15 minutes. Lesson: With new technology, insist that Comcast not send a contractor, but rather send a real employee.
     
  8. Jan 7, 2007 #1708 of 9367
    subat0mic

    subat0mic New Member

    87
    0
    Jan 7, 2007
    Chicago,...
    Tivo S3/comcast "works" now (well better at least)...
    They didn't have to hit the cards for a picture to show,
    but since they haven't been hit, they're only pulling in limited basic (the bottom basic analog channels)....
    I am supposed to have Digital Plus (analog+digital channels, w/ basic and expanded, w/ HBO + stars)... :eek:

    My status on both cablecards is "disconnected", and copy protected content is also "disabled"... I'm guessing this is just the default configuration since these cards haven't been "hit" before...

    The limited basic (analog) HD channels (local HD channels) look really nice though. :cool: The techs say next year comcast is removing all analog channels to make way for more bandwith for new HD channels. woo!

    They're "sending me a download" in the next 40 minutes... We'll see if my cards get the "hit" and start to grok the Digital Plus channel lineup...

    (I can tell already, this was all worth it, tivo rocks).
    If you can, get a comcast tech, and not a contractor!!!
    This is my 2nd bad comcast contractor experience...
     
  9. Jan 7, 2007 #1709 of 9367
    subat0mic

    subat0mic New Member

    87
    0
    Jan 7, 2007
    Chicago,...
    ok, well, things are quite messed up here.
    I still only have the bottom 30 channels.
    My wife called comcast, and the CSR asked her to pull the cards and reboot (the person didn't "get it" that we had a tivo, kept asking my wife to turn off the TV).

    around the same moment, comcast dispatch called to make sure their techs had got me running with a picture, and when I mentioned I hadn't and that my wife just pulled the cards - the guy on the phone says "uh oh, the cablecards will be messed up if you pull them out and put them back in...!!".... well that's not good...

    ...so he sends a 2nd hit to the cards, and nothing happens...

    I now have a "first thing in the morning" scheduled appointment to get replacement cablecards.

    whee... this sucks. :mad:

    does anyone know how to reset the cablecards to factory default?
    does this make sense, that pulling them out would screw them up?
    is there anything I can do to fix this myself?
     
  10. Jan 7, 2007 #1710 of 9367
    subat0mic

    subat0mic New Member

    87
    0
    Jan 7, 2007
    Chicago,...

    googling, here's some neat links:

    How to reset cablecards:
    http://techdigs.net/content/view/46/42/#reset

    What you should expect to see in your cablecard configuration:
    http://techdigs.net/content/view/46/42/#ccconfig

    Apparently, I can reset them myself, then call up a CSR and, if they're competent, they can hook me up on their end... We'll see. Will try this soon...
     
  11. Jan 7, 2007 #1711 of 9367
    rictus

    rictus New Member

    17
    0
    Dec 28, 2006
    I think there might be a minor problem with my CableCard install today. After the install, I recreated the Season Passes I had created on analog channels before the CCs were installed, just to make sure they pointed properly to the new digital channels. However, even after recreating them, they're still showing "Quality" as an option, which makes me think it's somehow still pulling the analog signal for those channels. (SPs I create on channels >99 don't show the Quality option.)

    I haven't stared at the picture on one of the ex-analog channels long enough to tell if it looks digital now. Is it possible that the TiVo could still be getting these channels as analog? (I know that those channels are available digitally, because on my old Motorola PVR, they showed QAM info.)

    nj
     
  12. Jan 8, 2007 #1712 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    In order to get the digital equivalent of those analog channels, Comcast has to program the CableCards as such. I gave up after trying a "proven" method of getting ADS by adding a digital-only STB to my account -- still didn't work.
     
  13. Jan 8, 2007 #1713 of 9367
    jonman21

    jonman21 New Member

    12
    0
    Dec 18, 2006
    San...
    rictus -

    I had this problem too right after my CableCard install.

    I don't think you should worry -- it took my TiVo a couple of hours to download all the new guide data from my Digital Silver lineup...in the meantime, I was still able to tune into the HD (700+) channels...but the SeasonPass searches didn't pick up any of those channels. Thus, when I tried to set a SP for The Office on the Digital NBC 700 channel, I wasn't able to....

    Once I waited a few hours and all the guide data was downloaded, I was able to pick out the digital channels for SPs.
     
  14. Jan 8, 2007 #1714 of 9367
    rictus

    rictus New Member

    17
    0
    Dec 28, 2006
    The guide data is there--it's just that the channels are being recorded in analog instead of digital.

    c3--did you try talking to Comcast about it?
     
  15. Jan 8, 2007 #1715 of 9367
    rictus

    rictus New Member

    17
    0
    Dec 28, 2006
    One more glitch...It doesn't seem like my TiVo is getting guide data for UHD and MHD, though it has guide data for everything else. (These were also the two HD channels that the TiVo didn't originally think were on my "channels you receive" list.) I noticed on TiVo's online scheduler that UHD and MHD don't show up either. Does TiVo just not send out the guide data for these channels?
     
  16. Jan 8, 2007 #1716 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    I did. They either didn't know what I was talking about, or didn't know how to remap the channels. Fortunately, I don't really care much about the SD channels because I have set up my S3s to record HD channels only.
     
  17. Jan 8, 2007 #1717 of 9367
    Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

    531
    0
    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    A) No need to reset the card to factory default. There's very little they can do with motorola cards to permanently screw them up. There is a message they can send from the headend to do a factory default reset - but doubtful that's necessary.

    B) No - pulling the cards doesn't do any harm to them. From the card's point of view, it's like you unplugged the tivo (the card has power, then you pull it, and it doesn't have power).

    In your other post, you said the cards were in the disconnected state. That's the issue the cable company has to fix. Are you getting OOB data (check the Network screen in the cablecard menu - it should say tuned, and OOB messages should be non-zero, and increasing each time you enter the screen). If you're not getting OOB there's no way the messages from the cable company can get to the card. If you are getting OOB, then something is messed up on the cable company side. They're gonna need to figure that out before they can get the right authorizations to the card.

    My cable company accidentally disconnected my cablecard the other day, and it just took a simple phone call for them to fix it (but, I've never had any problem with my cards getting messages from the headend).
     
  18. Jan 8, 2007 #1718 of 9367
    husep

    husep New Member

    4
    0
    Jan 8, 2007
    Just got my Series 3 Tivo last Thurs. First install visit got the first card working with all my premium channels, etc. The second card had the 161-1 error with no luck in fixing. The techs did not have a third card to install. Scheduled another visit for Sat. afternoon. I made a request for the tech to bring 3 cards. They brought 2. The first card got the 161-1 error right away. I thought I was have to return my Tivo due to bad card reader, but the 3rd card worked! (kinda). Then it took another couple of days to get the card programmed correctly to get all of my channels. A major pain in the ass, but finally a GLORIOUS solution compared to the miserable motorola box. I am a DirecTV convert (HR10-250) and now am very pleased.


    Chicago, IL
     
  19. Jan 8, 2007 #1719 of 9367
    husep

    husep New Member

    4
    0
    Jan 8, 2007
    I guess the moral of my story above is to have the tech bring at least one extra card.
     
  20. Jan 8, 2007 #1720 of 9367
    titsataki

    titsataki Member

    94
    0
    Dec 6, 2002
    New Haven, CT
    Ok my turn to take the plunge with the S3. I am Bethany CT, Just outside New Haven. My S3 is coming today so I called the local Adelphia Cable I got transfered to Comcast. It only took 2 mins to figure out that since my house is new (no previous cable service) they needed to do a survey but Adelphia did that. (I reminded them). It took a while to pursuate the lady on the phone that yes 2 cable cards will work on the S3. She kept saying in the TV. She put me on hold many times but she was nice and polite. I am getting the $25 off per month deal for 16 months after I show them my dish bill. total $400 off. Nice. But there was some problem with the codes for new customers so she could not create an order and give an install day. I gave her my work number and she said she will call me in an hour or two. We shall see.

    Now do you guys suggest I need to do something with the TIVO box before they come to install service/ cable cards? I have Dish so no way to test Tivo before Comcast comes for the install.

    Cheers

    Nick

    PS: I have a lifetime sub on my S2 which I will be transfering after all the dust settles down.
     

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