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Official Grande Communications CableCARD Thread

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by gtars, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. gtars

    gtars New Member

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    Nov 23, 2006
    Please post all information regarding CableCARD experiences with Grande Communications here. Grande is a Texas based company and is also in the high speed internet and phone business. I was previously using them for phone and internet, but used TW for cable. I switched to Grande since they had a deal to get 20% off if you used them for all three services. I've also been very happy with their customer service.

    When Grande installed the cable service, they installed the Moto DVR, which I used for one week until it crashed and erased all my recorded programs. When the tech came out to replace it, I asked him if they support CableCARD. He said that they did and to contact customer service to schedule an install. A week later, I had a shiny new S3 and I called Grande (at their toll-free number) about getting CableCARDs installed. I'm near Dallas and got someone in San Marcos. The rep told me that Grande does NOT support CableCARDs. Crap.

    After having some problem with my internet connection, another tech came out and fixed it. I asked him about CableCARDs. He said that he's installed one and called another tech who confirmed that they ARE installing the cards into TVs. No experience with Tivos, though.

    I called Grande again (this time, direct to their Dallas office) and asked about CableCARD support, mentioning I need two cards for a Tivo. They said that they do support it. She gave me no hassles about the mention of a Tivo, either. $46 per month (cheaper than what I was currently paying with the DVR rental), plus $2 per month for the extra card. This price was before the 20% discount.

    Two techs came out and installed the cards, with me running the Tivo menus. They had never seen an S3 before. It took some time after each card was installed (several minutes) to be recognized by the S3. After install, I went through guided setup again.

    At first I had my digital channels, but no premium channels. Tech calls office. Then, all digital channels were gone. Tech calls office. Then they were back on only one tuner. Finally, all expected channels worked on both tuners. It took about one hour total.

    My tips for those contemplating this:

    1. When you call the toll-free Grande number, you could be transferred to Austin, Dallas, San Marcos, etc. It's best to call the direct number (during normal business hours) for YOUR area.

    2. Run through the instructions on CableCARD install (your S3 has a sheet for this). Make sure you know how to navigate your Tivo menus for the CableCARD install. Very likely, the tech won't know a thing about your S3.

    3. If Grande doesn't show up for your zip code during guided setup, try the zip code for the major metro area. I live in a burb of Dallas with a different zip. Grande only showed up as one of my choices when I entered a Dallas zip. Tivo customer support helped me out with this. Just ask them what zip code to use for Grande Communications in your area. Do this BEFORE the tech comes out to install the cards, as you could spend 20 minutes on hold before a Tivo rep comes on the line.

    Hopefully this helps someone save a bit of time. Please post here if you are using Grande!


    Glenn
     
  2. tjramsey

    tjramsey New Member

    37
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    Nov 27, 2002
    Austin
    Makes me wish all the more that Grande had expanded to my new neighborhood. I had Grande until I moved about a year and a half ago (They aren't in all of Austin, just some neighborhoods.) I have to say, I miss Grande quite a bit. Any time I see one of their trucks, I hope I'll see more when I get closer to home, but so far it hasn't happened. They were just cheaper and better than TW. THe cheaper part might just explain why their expansion in Austin seems to have ground to a halt, however.

    Glad to hear that it can work, if they ever do expand the 4 miles north from my old house, they'll be putting two cards in my S3.... That may be the only way I ever get ESPN2HD (C'MON TW!)

    --T.J.
     
  3. Jan 6, 2007 #3 of 62
    dpratt

    dpratt New Member

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    Dec 19, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I just ditched Time Warner for Grande about a week ago, and it's been flawless. The techs that came out hadn't seen an S3 yet, but I wasn't terribly surprised by that. The cablecard install went easier than TW (both cards they brought actually worked) and I am up and happily running with Grande as of now. So far, they don't have any SDV channels, and the people I talked to said they have no plans to move to it any time soon (but that could change, of course). As a plus, speed channel is now in their basic analog service, so I can tape F1 races with my media center PC.

    If you live in Dallas/Austin/San Marcos and have the opportunity to switch, I highly reccomend it.
     
  4. BenMiller

    BenMiller New Member

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    Mar 15, 2007
    I have been having a problem with Grande (in the Dallas area).

    I currently have a package including all four premium packages (all at the 20 percent discount for also having phone and Internet), and I currently have two tuners. I want to replace one tuner with a CableCard - keeping the other tuner. Grande customer service will not let me add CableCard to my current service,

    They tell me I must take the Digital Package - Cable Card (at $52 per month). I then have to add my other tuner and my premium services to this service. Therefore I lose the benefit of the package. Also only the initial package is subject to the 20 percent discount - not the additional premium services. It is therefore more expensive to have the same service with a CableCard than with a tuner.

    Even worse - they said they could not rent me a second Cable Card unless I purchased a second Digital Package - Cable Card at an additional $52 per month. Can you provide some documentation or a specific Grande point of contact that I don't have to pay for all the programming a second time to get a second Cable Card?
     
  5. gtars

    gtars New Member

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    Nov 23, 2006
    Ben,
    Here's the detail on my Grande bill:
    Showtime Unlimited ... $10.95
    Showtime 6 Month Offer ... $-7.95
    Digital Cable: Includes Broadcast Basic ($10.00) and Digital Cable ... $52.00
    Ttp Twenty ... $-10.40
    Additional Cable Card ... $2.50

    The "Ttp Twenty" discount is only on the $52, not the additional service (in my case, only Showtime). So, it's consistent with what they told you.

    As for the second Cable Card, I would call several times and talk to different people at Grande. I got different answers depending on who I spoke to. I don't know how it would work if you got tuners + Cable Card, but they should not charge you an additional $52 to add a Cable Card to an existing Digital Package - Cable Card service.

    Glenn
     
  6. khopesh

    khopesh New Member

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    Jul 31, 2007
    Just wanted to share my experience with getting my new Tivo HD working with Grande Communcations, or should I say not working. I picked up two cablecards from their office and popped them in. I was unable to get them working over the phone with a tech for about an hour. He sent out a tech. He'd never seen a cablecard and 3 hours later I still was unable to view the encrypted digital channels (able to view the unencrypted channels just fine). The next day, a two hour wait (same tech) and still no success. Went through 6 cablecards at last count. Unfortunately they seem quite clueless about the whole cablecard thing, which is unfortunate becuase otherwise their customer service excellent, at least as compared to the alternative cable companies. I'm on hold right now with customer service, we'll see if they pull it off, but I might have had my fill.
     
  7. dowacr

    dowacr New Member

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    Aug 20, 2007
    I've been trying to set up a new TivoHD with Grande and (after an installer actually came to my house) learned that Grande is out of cable cards, at least in the Austin area. Customer service has not yet been able to tell me when more cards will be available. The phone reps have been remarkably pleasant to deal with, as always with Grande. I just wish that the company had its act together on stocking cable cards.
     
  8. wonderbow

    wonderbow New Member

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    Feb 10, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Hey, dowacr....

    I just called Grande here in Austin and the rep said that they do not provide CCs here in Austin. She had never heard of them and would not transfer me to anyone else who may know. Have you heard anything else? I want to get rid of Time Warner with all their Switched Digital Video channels which Grande does not use.

    I will switch to Grande the INSTANT someone there tells me they will install Cablecards for me.

    Thanks.
     
  9. Sep 9, 2007 #9 of 62
    echoout

    echoout Beer Drinker

    59
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    Sep 8, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Me too. I will switch as soon as I hear they support CCs and are in my neighborhood in Austin. TWC are the devil. Anybody remember Austin CableVision?

     
  10. cableguy763

    cableguy763 New Member

    525
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    Oct 29, 2006
    Austin
    Yeah, it was bought by TWC.
     
  11. echoout

    echoout Beer Drinker

    59
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    Sep 8, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    T'was a simpler time.

     
  12. wonderbow

    wonderbow New Member

    13
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    Feb 10, 2005
    Austin, TX
    And I am loving it! The techs had extra cable cards on the truck and we were done in less than an hour as opposed to the 10 or so hours with Time Warner. Also, NO SWITCHED DIGITAL VIDEO! Every channel is available and looks great (except the on demand and PPV of course). I recommend it to anyone in Austin.
     
  13. echoout

    echoout Beer Drinker

    59
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    Sep 8, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    ...who can actually get Grande...

     
  14. j0hnW

    j0hnW is uncool.

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    Mar 3, 2001
    Austin, Texas
    I'm in Austin and have Grande (phone, internet and digital cable). I also have two cable cards installed in my S3 Tivo, with flawless performance (including HD channels).

    Sounds like the tech/sales-person you go ahold of is clueless. Grande does support cable cards (at least S-cards; don't know about the newer M-cards where you only need one card to get two tuners working).

    Granted, even though they provide cablecards, they are likely to be baffled by Tivo. It took three service visits, two different pairs of cards, multiple headend "hits", and lots of homework and lots of persistence on my end to get the cards working. Basically, you should learn everything you can about installing and pairing cards with Tivo -- because you're probably going to have to explain it to the techs (in the end, I was installing the cards and driving the config menus myself while the tech sat on my couch and watched).

    My best advice is that if you have any installation problems, 99% of the time it is going to be due to the way the techs initialized/"hit" the cards at the "headend"; not with your Tivo hardware and/or the cablecards themselves, no matter what the techs may try to convince you of. If you are getting nowhere with the techs on your own, Tivo has an S3 specific tech support number where they will conference call between you, the Tivo tech and the Grande tech, to get things working (unfortunately I don't have that number handy, but a quick search of the forum should turn it up).

    Bottomline: don't take no for an answer. Grande does support cablecards, and you can get your S3 working with Grande cable programming.

    Best of luck,
    John
     
  15. kaseyjohns

    kaseyjohns New Member

    10
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    Sep 27, 2001
    Austin, TX
    Thought I would put in my experiences (so far) on getting CableCARDs for a TivoHD on Grande in San Marcos. Called in, mentioned I had a TivoHD and needed to get CableCARDs for it. The rep immediately knew what I was talking about, went through the plan changes, and set up a service call for today (this was Wednesday afternoon). I asked about self-install and was told that it wasn't an option, that a truck roll was required. Also didn't ask about M-Cards vs S-Cards... figured that might A) confuse the rep and B) the rep could be misinformed... would be a lot easier to sort that out here with the install tech.

    So, fast forward to this morning. Tech shows up - sits in the driveway for about 15 minutes, then comes to the door. When I see him come to the door with nothing but his cell phone, I know something's up. He tells me that they're running short on CableCARDs and he's waiting for a call back to see if they can even *find* any. Sits there for about 15 minutes more until the call finally comes. They can't find any. Says he'll keep searching - if they're able to find some today, he'll call me and come out and do the installation, otherwise we'll reschedule for when they can find some. About 30 minutes later, he calls back and says they'll have some this upcoming Monday (10/1) and sets up a 3-5pm window.

    So... ordering? :up: The actual install? :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown: And not being able to find any CableCARDs... that just amazes me, considering the company is based here. It worries me a bit... if they're having this much trouble tracking down 2 of them, what's going to happen if one of them doesn't work.

    I'll update Monday afternoon after the next install appointment.
     
  16. MPAC

    MPAC New Member

    12
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    Nov 14, 2006
    Grande is Great

    I have had Grande (Midland, TX) and S3 for a year with no problems. When they did the original install they acted like they had already seen several S3's and quickly moved through the setup. I subscribed to a digital package that included one CC and added a second CC for $2.50/month. Grande does not charge installation fees or a fee for a truck roll!
     
  17. Daniel

    Daniel New Member

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    Feb 25, 2001
    Austin, TX, US
    Kaseyjohns -- Any update to the install?
     
  18. kaseyjohns

    kaseyjohns New Member

    10
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    Sep 27, 2001
    Austin, TX
    Sorry, bit of a delay in getting back to this. Let's see, where were we:

    Monday afternoon comes and goes. Haven't heard from anyone at Grande, so call up about 5:45pm to check on the status of the install. The CSR who answers the phone says that it's still in there (as an 8a-7p appt, not 3-5p as the tech from last weekend claimed he would set up) and that there haven't been any attempts or calls made yet that she can see.

    About 30 minutes later I get a call from a Grande tech. He asks me whether my install was for cablecards or cable boxes. I tell him cablecards and also throw in that it's for a Tivo. He says that's what he thought, but that his supervisor insisted that the workorder was incorrect. :confused: Says they don't have them tonight but that they'll have some tomorrow (Tuesday) and sets up another all day appointment.

    Tuesday morning comes. Tech calls me about 10am and says he has some free time and wants to try and knock this out instead of leaving it for the evening. First card goes in, calls the Host ID into tech support to get it activated, and wait about 5 minutes for everything to sync up. About 15 minutes later, he's gone and the Tivo is completely up and running (sans the HD Tier, which I'll get to in a minute). Flawless install. The tech said he had done a couple of TVs with CableCARDs, but no Tivos yet.

    So... bottom line? Install - flawless, once it happened. If the tech would have had to drive the Tivo himself, he probably would have had some issues. Since I did all that, he never touched the Tivo except to put the cards in.

    A couple of days after the install, I call in to get the HD & Sports tiers activated on the cards. After sitting in the hold queue for a few minutes, a rep answers and I tell him what I want to do. He pulls up the account and says "you'll need to come by our office and swap your CableCARDs for an HD DVR". After some back-and-forth, he finally puts me on hold to confer with tech support. He comes back and offers to activate the channels on my cards, but that they probably won't work and I'll need to come by the office and swap the cards for an HD box. I hang up, flip the Tivo to 322, and there's ESPN HD in all its glory. So... customer service is hit-and-miss. I know the guy I talked to for the upgrade was in Austin and the one who set up the initial call was in San Marcos, so (based on the other posts in this thread) it sounds like the Austin office may need some CableCARD training.
     
  19. ulf_a777

    ulf_a777 New Member

    1
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    Sep 30, 2007
    North...
    I case someone with Grande is still hesitant, my experience with Grande, Tivo S3 and cable cards was great! I live in the Dallas area, have one Motorola HD box upstairs in a media room, and a Motorola HD DVR downstairs. I wanted to swap out the DVR and get Tivo.

    On Tuesday I talked to the Dallas sales people at Grande, guy didn't quite know what I wanted, but he connected me to customer service in San Marcos (Brandon) who was very familiar with Tivo and cable cards. Swapped out the digital cable service for cable cards ~$45, plus the additional cable card for an additional $2.50. I also keep my other HD cable box upstairs for the additional $6.50 as before. I haven't seen my new bill yet but I'm optimistic...

    On Friday of the same week the installer (Derek) showed up. Very good to deal with, everything went smoothly except one cable card didn't work. Popped another one in, and it was all done in maybe 20 min.
     
  20. supersnoop

    supersnoop New Member

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    Nov 13, 2007
    Has anyone gotten a multi-stream card from Grande? The sales lady I spoke with is certain that cablecards are available, but doesn't know anything more without processing an order.
     

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