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Official RCN CableCard Thread!

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

  1. fergie8

    fergie8 TiVoite via RCN

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    Oct 26, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    When RCN did the switch in my Chicago neighborhood in February, my TiVo HD cable card picked up the new channel arrangement immediately, but the TiVo itself still had the old channel lineup. However that was an easy problem to fix. I just navigated through the TiVo Central menu system like this:
    Messages & Settings
    Settings
    Channels
    Channel List

    At the bottom of the channel list page is the message "Press ENTER if this is the wrong Channel lineup". Pressing ENTER there led me through the channel lineup selection part of Guided Setup. After that everything was synchronized and the TiVo started fetching the program information for the new channel lineup. It didn't take days, it just took a couple hours for the TiVo to suck in all the programming data for two weeks of programming for all the many channels. After that everything was cool. I thought it was a fairly painless procedure.
     
  2. tiassa

    tiassa Me --Avatar

    1,382
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    Jul 2, 2008
    Thanks Fergie8, that was exactly the answer I was looking for.
     
  3. DrewTivo

    DrewTivo Member

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    Mar 29, 2005

    Thanks.

    Other than the extra $1.50 for the second s-card, is there any reason to get the M-card instead of two S-cards?
     
  4. Lenonn

    Lenonn Member TCF Club

    265
    1
    May 30, 2004
    Well, I just got a second HDTV, and ordered a Series 3 from Amazon (with the rebate, I couldn't pass it up) (the first HDTV has a TiVo HD with a Motorola M-card from RCN). I sent a web-form message to RCN asking about the cost of more cable cards, whether I could get two (one S-card, one M-card) for the Series 3 until the series 3 can handle multistream).

    According to the RCN rep. from the website, RCN only has M-cards. The good news is they only cost $1.50/month each. The bad: $14.95 per install and a "one-time" $49.95 truck roll.

    I didn't realize I was going to need to pay another truck roll fee.
     
  5. DrewTivo

    DrewTivo Member

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    Mar 29, 2005
    1) What rebate?

    2) Question the truck roll fee--it took my rep a few minutes but he determined that a cable card was a new install/upgrade that required only the install fee and not the truck roll fee.
     
  6. DeathRider

    DeathRider New Member

    699
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    Dec 30, 2006
    Boston Area RCN
    I went to local RCN (Arlington, Ma), they gave me the cable cards because I wouldn't be home for the weekend (Sat truck roll), so I plugged in both CCs, then went to work.

    On Monday, I called RCN and had them hit the cards.
     
  7. Lenonn

    Lenonn Member TCF Club

    265
    1
    May 30, 2004
    One valid through August 30. $200 off a purchase of the Series 3 TiVo (not valid with TiVo HD). They probably don't want me to link to it directly, but go to Amazon and search for TiVo Series 3. There will be a link to the rebate.

    Addendum: I contacted RCN again about this. I was told "every card to be installed" costs $14.95 for an installation. This time, I was also told the $49.95 fee is for anytime a technician needs to visit. Funny, it all sounds like a good incentive for me to pick up the cards and install them myself. I guess the question is, how much effort it takes to let RCN let me do this myself.
     
  8. vlFB

    vlFB New Member

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    Jul 13, 2008
    I'm glad to see some people are getting their Tivos to work with RCN in Chicago. I've spent several hours on the phone with RCN and Tivo so far with no luck. Here's my basic story:

    1) Technician came to my place. He was nice but didn't really know what he was doing. We followed the directions on the TiVo website and I seem to get some channels so he leaves. (Obviously I should have checked more channels here but I was in a hurry at this point.)

    2) A few minutes after he leaves, I notice that I am missing most of the channels I used to get. I read a lot on the internet and TiVo's web site and I try various things with the Tivo but I don't make any progress.

    3) I call RCN and get the runaround for a while. Eventually they tell me they will try sending a "strong signal" and I should wait 2 hours and call back if it's still broken.

    4) Still broken of course, so I try calling TiVo. Tivo says that the cablecard is misconfigured and is not sending the right authentication information to enable my cablecard to receive most of my channels.

    5) I call RCN back and am given the runaround for a couple more hours. The reps are polite but don't seem to know what they are talking about. The eventual result is that they insist that my TiVo isn't asking for the channels correctly and it's my TiVo that's misconfigured.

    Question for RCN Tivo Chicagoans: Which lineup do you have? Currently I see WBBM on channel 2 but sometimes RCN says that I should see QVC, and that is evidence that my TiVo is misconfigured. (I'm not talking about what channel Tivo thinks it is, just what channel I actually see and hear.)

    I guess I'll try calling Tivo again (personally I trust them more because they seem to know what they are talking about on the phone) but I'm not sure what's going to happen. I'm worried that Tivo will blame RCN and vice-versa, and I'll just be stuck in the middle paying for cable service that only gives me 20 channels, none of which I actually look at.
     
  9. fitzie

    fitzie New Member

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    Jun 19, 2002
    Boston, MASS
    DeathRider: Who did you call locally? I'm in Somerville, and drive to Arlington is painless. I called the RCN 800 # and they insisted that local pick up was not an option. I have a new TiVo HD and that's precisely what I want to do. I'll even make a second trip to drop off the Motorola box when we're done.

    Can you clarify that you definitely have M-cards? I think I'd only need one. TV (Sharp Aquos) doesn't need one. I could see getting an extra maybe in case I get another TiVo HD, but that might be a while. Which Channel Line up did you use? Any other kinks?

    I'm reading this whole thread, and I really cannot see what VALUE the truck role provides, to the customer anyways. From reading the thread, they don't typically follow the instructions furnished byTiVo, and when they are done "installing", they call a phone # and have somebody else "hit" the card to perform some type of initialization/wake-up procedeure. This isn't rocket science. (Side note, my wife is a rocket scientist.)

    My guess is that because the bulk of RCN techs are actually contractors, there is some sort of contractual obligation. Not exactly a sound business model. The DSL industry figured out that customers were smart enough to eliminate truck roles for most. How screwed up is Comcast with this stuff? I can use either, but I've always considered RCN to be less Evil than Comcast.
     
  10. TomMMD

    TomMMD New Member

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    Sep 2, 2004
    Gaithersburg...
    When the RCN technician installed my multi-stream card he said that the cards WERE 2-way compatitible but that feature was not yet activated.
     
  11. tiassa

    tiassa Me --Avatar

    1,382
    0
    Jul 2, 2008
    Yeah! I'd like to know that as well. I didn't have to pay a truck roll fee, but I was hit with the $14.95 "installation" fee (twice). I so wanted to not have to wait for them to do the "install" but was told it wasn't an option.
    As I said before the first tech was a total idiot, but the only good thing he did was forget to take the (now retired) Motorola box, which I'm going to put on the TV in my home office which was hooked directly to the cable, but now will need a box after they go all digital. I'm really hoping that I don't have to have an installer show up to connect the coax from the wall to the box to the TV.

    As for Comcast check out http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=316310 the Official Comcast thread
    A quick reading seems to tell me that Comcast doesn't give you a break for using a cable card, and is heavily into selling you "thier" Box+DVR. Like you I can use both and from what I see from local Comcast customers RCN is less evil, and more "geek tolerant".
     
  12. chanster

    chanster New Member

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    Jun 25, 2008
    Just an update, RCN came on Saturday and put in a new Cablecard on my HD Tivo. Works great. The older Cablecard had a yellow dot on it I never noticed, probably meant it was a bad one or something.

    As an aside, I called RCN this morning and they are raising their HD DVD boxes to $17.95..makes my investment in a lifetime HD Tivo look a bit better.

    Thanks all.
     
  13. DrewTivo

    DrewTivo Member

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    Mar 29, 2005
    I'm in DC and have had almost exactly the same experience. I was getting regular basic, not hte extended digital basic. I was told that with the HD card I would also get all the non-premium HD channels too.

    Well, I get some of the basic, and some of the HD, all looking sharp. And the others I get nothing or really pixelated picture. Same "hit the card" with a two-hour wait. No joy. Again. No joy. Tech. coming this week. They claim it's not hte cable card, but it's something about the signal strength or some issue like that is my guess.
     
  14. DrewTivo

    DrewTivo Member

    630
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    Mar 29, 2005
    No kidding -- Tivo+Cable Card is less than HD DVR.
     
  15. DeathRider

    DeathRider New Member

    699
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    Dec 30, 2006
    Boston Area RCN
    This was a while back when I lived in Waltham. I went to Arlington and talked to Sheena (IIRC). I did talk to her on the phone when I received my S3. It was Friday afternoon and told her I'd be gone for the weekend, so she found 2 S-Cards for me - said they were the last ones at the time and they would be getting M-Cards in the future.

    On Vacation until the 19th. Will check, but 90% sure when i had RCN install last year in Natick, theyu were both M-Cards. I'll have to check on the lineup as well.

    I don't see them needing a truck role. Like I said, I did to a self install.

    Apparently, not all are smart enough for DSL self install...

    I was on the Dell Community forums and somone was upset because Dell told them they didn't need a modem with their system(I would suspect purchasing a modem) - they did have Bell South DSL...
     
  16. DrewTivo

    DrewTivo Member

    630
    0
    Mar 29, 2005
    So I finally got the Tivo S3 working satisfactorily with the RCN cable card.

    But, I'm not receiving four channels. I have expanded basic (1-99) and with the HDTV cable card I'm supposed to get the HD channels as well. But I don't get them all. I forget the exact list, but I think it's Versus, Scifi, NFL, and something else. All the rest are just fine.

    Of course, RCN tells me this is a Tivo problem. Tivo tells me it's an RCN problem. RCN says I should get those channels.

    Any ideas what's going on?
     
  17. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

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    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
  18. fitzie

    fitzie New Member

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    Jun 19, 2002
    Boston, MASS
    Well, last Saturday I drove over to Arlington, MA and told the lady nicely that I'd love to turn in my cable box and get a CableCard, please. She took the Motorola CBox and looked at me like I had three heads. She explained that they had no CableCards, and that they didn't distribute them. I looked at her and asked so then where do the technicians get them? She explained the obvious, stating "You're not a technician."

    I attempted to explain to her that I was just as qualified as a technician, in that I could insert the CableCard, stare at the screen, think good thoughts and then call the 800 number, as that's precisely what RCN technicans do when faced with installing a CableCard.

    It got ugly, I asked to talk to a manager, there wasn't one, etc..., and I was given back my Motorola CBox. I then waited to tach to an in or outbound tech to see what they thought about the whole process, but it was lunch time.

    I called the 800 # and scheduled and appointment. I specifically requested an M-Card, preferably two.

    The appointed day came, and luckily so did a technician. He seemed to be a nice enough guy, reeked of tobacco, but seemed nice, and reasonably knowledgable.

    The first attempt didn;t appear to work. It saw an S-Card, then an M-card, but seemed to get caught up in the download part. We waited a bit and then power cycled the TiVo.

    The second attempt seemed to work. You shouldn;t expect the load to work immediately. It probably took 20 minutes, maybe longer.

    The guy left after I appeared to have some channels > 99, and I proceeded to rerun the Guided setup.

    It apears to have worked. There are a number of channels in the 100-199 range that say HD in the title, but I don't seem to get some of them. Not sure if I'm supposed to, but I do get all of the premium channels that I know I pay for. I'll have to see if the past 3-4 days has changed anything.
     
  19. chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Active Member

    2,284
    7
    May 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    RCN converted my condo building to all digital April 2008. Basic cable is included in our assessments, so each unit received one digital converter box which works fine with the IR blasters.

    Any thoughts on what will happen next year? Will RCN come up with a similar package of local network channels in HD and the RCN Signature (formerly expanded basic) channels in HD with a new converter box? Or maybe just send out a standard definition version of the HD channels.
     
  20. sirbob

    sirbob New Member

    32
    0
    Apr 8, 2008
    I've been using a TivoHD for RCN basic cable in Boston for the past several months without a cablecard. With the switch over to all digital imminent, I called up their tech number to see about getting a cablecard and was told that I could just go pick it up at one of the service centers and install it myself. I made the tech repeat that several times as I thought it must be my lucky day.

    I went down to the Arlington RCN center where I was promptly told I could not have a cablecard and that only techs could install them. I asked why that was the case and was informed that it was company policy, just like Comcast. I asked what was the reason for the policy, as I could only see it as a way to make another $15 and inconvenience customers, and she just stood by the "it's company policy, here's the number to call to set up an appointment." I told her that's the number I called and was told by a tech that I could just pick them up, only to be told again, too bad.

    Darn cable companies. It tempts me to cancel the cable and just stick with OTA and internet.

    Ryan
     

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