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Official RCN CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Oct 6, 2006 #21 of 395
    beerkensp

    beerkensp New Member

    68
    0
    Dec 29, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    The RCN cable guy came round yesterday and installed both cards. The first one worked fins straight away. The second cable card took about 5 minutes to kick in. I then had him check channel 542 and it worked only on cable card 1. He then spoke to someone on the phone and about 10 minutes later I had all channels.

    When you get your's installed make sure that you check 542 on both cablecards.

    This was very painless. A big thanks for recomending to check the 542 channel.

    Paul
     
  2. Oct 7, 2006 #22 of 395
    lawilson2

    lawilson2 New Member

    438
    0
    Oct 6, 2005
    Chicago
    Glad to see there are RCN users. I think I reported my success in here or another forum, but my local tech is cool (Chicago); he came by, let me install them (which I wanted to do), and we did have 1 dead card, so he came back on his own time the next day with 3 brand new cards just in case! He also gave me his cell number and told me that whenever I need an appointment and RCN says it will be a week, etc, to take the date they say, call him, and he'll get me much sooner. He's done some wiring for me before and is excellent. I've been very happy with them lately; I have their triple package. Great company!
     
  3. Oct 7, 2006 #23 of 395
    sysdude

    sysdude New Member

    32
    0
    Mar 9, 2006
    Channel 542 on both cable cards (in my case -- RCN NYC) got nothing. What should appear?
     
  4. Oct 9, 2006 #24 of 395
    sfox7076

    sfox7076 New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 9, 2006
    Sys Dude,

    542 is in Boston. GO to the 700s in NYC.
     
  5. Oct 9, 2006 #25 of 395
    microkitty

    microkitty New Member

    13
    0
    Sep 13, 2006
    Boston
    RCN, Boston (Newton), MA. Original earliest appointment was Oct 2, which was about two weeks from when I scheduled the appointment. On the morning of the appointment they called to say they were out of CableCards, so I waited until today, Oct 9 to get the installation.

    Cost is about $1.50/mo per card; I had them remove the HD converter box I had before, which had cost $9.95/mo. However, it seems like I lost a little HD programming (Discovery HD, HDNet, HDNet Movies) and may have gained some programming (5 Star Max, Outer MAX, Showtime) although I may have had these before and not known :).

    Cable setup was painless; the cards were recognized by the box upon installation; as soon as they were activated, they came to life. The installer had never done a Series 3 before and was clearly relieved when it "just worked". I was, too.

    One HDMI cable between the TiVo and my A/V Receiver, one network cable, one power cord, one coax cable. And one less hot box (the old Motorola 5200). Pretty cool, so far.
     
  6. Oct 9, 2006 #26 of 395
    Wangooroo

    Wangooroo New Member

    74
    0
    Oct 9, 2006
    My RCN install went well, but took a while. The RCN tech was nice, polite, and stayed through the entire process. The problem was very slow recognition of the cabale cards. We followed instructions perfectly. Eventually we ended up getting basic channels, but for some reason we had to call the RCN provisioning team to get them to "hit" the cards again to get my premium channels working. My only complaint was that the guy could have been in and out in 15minutes or less had he just called them sooner. He kept thinking he could get it fixed without calling. Turns out a 30 second call and things were up and running within 2 minutes. Just goes to show... know your limits, and know when to reach out for support!

    I have S3, 3 cable cards, 2 for S3 one for my Pioneer 1130HD. They all work great, never used VOD or PPV so I could care less that those services do not work with CC1 spec.

    All in all very happy with RCN. Converted from Verizon Telephone, and DirecTV to RCN for everything, Phone, TV, Broadband. Saving a bundle (over $75/mo) and very pleased with RCN's customer service!
     
  7. Oct 9, 2006 #27 of 395
    setanta

    setanta New Member

    34
    0
    Mar 31, 2004
    San Francisco
    ditto.

    RCN have been great to work with from start to finish. Always friendly on the phone (sound like they actually want your business). Card install was a bit tricky. We never read the instructions first time and tried to hit all 4 cards at once. Definately had one bad card 161-1 error. Kept getting 161-4 errors until we stopped took a break and started again from scratch. Learnt some interesting info such as when the control center tells the on-site tech that the cards had cleared after being hit it means absolutely nothing. I had mistakenly patched through the wrong coax. So none of the setup screens actually tell you anything about the network you're attached to. All they know about is the cablecard.

    The other S3 with the good coax worked on one card and was stubborn about coming up on the second one. After several hits though it did finally work. I'm not sure if it isn't the software the control center is using to hit the cards. Looked quite flakey to me.

    PQ is excellent now and apart from minor annoyances (non HD channels are not very good at all), I'm very pleased. And yes with bundled Internet etc it's actually quite a bit cheaper than D* was.
     
  8. Oct 9, 2006 #28 of 395
    sfox7076

    sfox7076 New Member

    8
    0
    Oct 9, 2006
    You know, I hate the RCN Analog cable channels. Mine are all terrible and I am in manhattan, in a building built in the 1980s.
     
  9. Oct 11, 2006 #29 of 395
    apb1978

    apb1978 New Member

    2
    0
    Oct 11, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Well I just got my series 3 cablecards installed so I figured I'd share my experience too. I have RCN here in Chicago and was also quoted $1.50 per card and $15 for the install. I don't recall them mentioning a truck roll free so hopefully that was waived.

    Anyway it took two weeks to get an appointment for an installation done. I was kind of surprised but I'm guessing a lot of people were jumping ship as soon as they announced they would be wiping our Motorola DVRs. The tech showed up and I brought him down to the home theater. He had asked where the cablecards were going and I pointed to the Tivo, he then asked me where the other one was going and I explained to him that they took two cards. So I definitely got the impression he had not seen one before. I then proceeded to hand him the cablecard installer's instructions and he read through it. It sounded like he was kind of impressed with how Tivo had it put together. I don't have a plasma or anything so I don't know how their instructions usually are.

    We popped in Card #1 and it seemed to work great. We were able to pull up channels right away on the Test Channels after the MIMI came up. So we popped in the next card expecting it to go just as easily and it couldn't get any channels. I think it even said 'NO CHANNELS' or something like that at the top of the screen. We then popped out both cards and repeated the process with them in opposite spots. Again that second card did not work even when in slot 1. The first card worked just fine in slot 2. So he called it into dispatch and asked them to 'send a hit' to the cards. After waiting a few minutes and not getting any farther we popped the cards back in their original slot and were right back where we started.

    All of this took about 45 min to an hour. The installer was very nice and very polite, and explained that he didn't have any other cards with him but he would be able to get me one and return that evening (I had a late appointment so this would be less than 2-3 hours). Then he gave me his cell number and asked me to call him if it started working while he was gone, and said he had a feeling it would. At that point I told him ok, but really felt like he was just giving me a line.

    So after he left I played with the test channels a little more. A few channels like Discover HD and some of my premium HD channels weren't coming in. But I decided to go ahead and rerun the guided setup like the instructions recommended. That of course took about 30 minutes to finish processing all of the information even though it was done over the internet. Near the end of the setup I got that error 161-4 error message that Tivo says you can ignore if it happens during the installation. However that error was only happening on the bad card which i left in the tivo while running the guided setup. I had been tempted to remove it as soon as the cable guy left so it wouldn't screw anything up with the setup.

    Anyway after the setup was done I started playing with the tivo and realized that everything seemed to be working. I went back into the cablecard setup to 'test channels' on both cards just to make sure, and it was all working perfectly. I am fairly certain it was not the guided setup that fixed it, so maybe RCN sent another hit to the cards or something. So I called him back and let him know everything was working great and that he didn't need to come back.

    I am getting all of my HD channels including the premium ones. Haven't really tried the SD ones, but I don't really watch them anyhow. No sound problems that I've encountered so far either.


    -Andy
     
  10. Oct 15, 2006 #30 of 395
    tivochiguy

    tivochiguy New Member

    62
    0
    Feb 16, 2004
    I called RCN today to schedule my cable card appointment. They asked me if I had purchased a Series 3 Tivo and I told them yes. I asked him if they had a bunch of people calling and he said not many. He didn't try to push their product on me.
     
  11. Oct 16, 2006 #31 of 395
    laduv

    laduv New Member

    2
    0
    Oct 16, 2006
    NYC
    What is the advantage of putting a cable card in your TV as well as in the TiVo?
     
  12. Oct 16, 2006 #32 of 395
    Hank

    Hank AC•FTW

    20,886
    9
    May 31, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Perhaps to record two things, and watch a third?
     
  13. Oct 31, 2006 #33 of 395
    tivochiguy

    tivochiguy New Member

    62
    0
    Feb 16, 2004
    I wanted to report on my cable card install today.

    The installer who came out had already installed one other Series 3. He seemed very comfortable with what steps needed to be done. I held the remote and ran all the menu commands. RCN's system for registering cable cards is very clever with the hand held device they use to scan the cards.

    The first card registered right away, but we were not receiving all the HD channels. We then moved on to the second card that was also detected right away. Despite waiting 5 or 10 minutes the channels never loaded up on that card. We decided to reboot the Tivo and that solved the problem. After the reboot, the channels were detected immediately.

    The installed told me that cable cards have been in short supply. He also mentioned that they tend to be a pain to work with especially in TVs.

    Overall I was very happy with how things went. I think it made a huge difference that I knew all the screens and options and what to expect. The process would have taken 3x longer if he had to go it alone with past experience. Without experience it would have been 5 to 6x longer.

    The installer was not an RCN employee but a contractor.
     
  14. Nov 6, 2006 #34 of 395
    donthomasj

    donthomasj New Member

    1
    0
    Nov 6, 2006
    Hi, everyone, this is my first post. I'm glad I found this bb as I have the following questions:

    I was thinking of changing my TiVo series2 to the series3 for the HD taping. Then I noted on the RCN website that they also have DVRs that record HD. With the high cost of the TiVo Series3... why would I want to spend $800 for TiVo and its costs instead? (by the way, I'm a TiVo lover anyways, so if there are excellent reasons to go with TiVo instead, I would, but I'm pretty ignorant about my choices.)

    Thanks
     
  15. Nov 6, 2006 #35 of 395
    sysdude

    sysdude New Member

    32
    0
    Mar 9, 2006
    That's easy. I had the DVR you're referring to.

    1) the software was HORRIBLE.
    2) limited to an 80GB HD
    3) It compresses the HD video signal! (so what was the point of HD?)

    HD Tivo is expensive, no doubt, but the idea of a lifetime transfer from my Series 1 made me spend the extra cash. Without the lifetime, not quite so sure I would have done it so soon.
     
  16. Nov 7, 2006 #36 of 395
    Swisher

    Swisher New Member

    61
    0
    May 12, 2000
    New York,...
    I'm a loyal fan of RCN, but I must say I was disappointed with their DVR, especially recently when they "upgraded" the software. This upgrade required that everything on the HD be erased (imagine TiVo doing that!) The end result was a horrible user interface. I'm more loyal to TiVo, so I gave that DVR the boot for the S3. Couldn't be happier.

    Just had my two cable cards installed and couldn't stop the guy from sticking them both in at the same time. Wouldn't bother with the simple instruction sheet TiVo provides. So, of course, the second card wouldn't get my premium channels. The guy said I would only get them on one card and left. Knowing that couldn't be right, I called and had them re-set the second card and now all is good.

    :up:
     
  17. Nov 10, 2006 #37 of 395
    laduv

    laduv New Member

    2
    0
    Oct 16, 2006
    NYC
    The exact same thing happened to me. I have 3 cable cards (2 in the S3 and 1 in the TV) and none of them have premium channels (HBO, Cinemax, etc). All of the other stations work fine. The cable cards in the S3 say: MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY.

    Tech support on the phone was useless. They said the account was active and sent a signal to "balance" the cards that did nothing. I now have a 2 week wait until a tech comes back.

    Anyone have any thoughts?
     
  18. Nov 10, 2006 #38 of 395
    sysdude

    sysdude New Member

    32
    0
    Mar 9, 2006
    They have to "hit" the cards again with a stronger signal. (how's that for a non technical answer) For me, reglar "hits" did not do it, once it was "hit harder" buy the guys at the central office, they started to work. The second card I received was "new" and not provisioned for use by RCN, so it required them to do a firmware upgrade on the card by sending it yet another signal. The firmware upgrade took what seemed like a long time, but in the end it worked.
     
  19. Nov 11, 2006 #39 of 395
    flyersfan

    flyersfan New Member

    364
    0
    Nov 11, 2002
    eastern PA
    While I will be happy to get away from the RCN DVR, #2 and #3 are not correct, at least with the current box. I had a Motorola 6412 Phase III which includes a 120gb hdd. It definitely does not recompress any digital signals - no DVR does that, to the best of my knowledge.

    The new software is what's causing me to jump to a S3. I could deal with the quirks/limitations of the old software, but the new load just does too many things wrong. Now if I could only get the damn S3 in my hands, I'll make the switch.
     
  20. Nov 11, 2006 #40 of 395
    sysdude

    sysdude New Member

    32
    0
    Mar 9, 2006
    the DVR I had from RCN did compress the signal. (granted this was before the "upgrade") It was never more clear than when watching PBS in HD and they were showing a running stream. It was almost unrecognizable as water. Large blocks of pixelation. And I probably had an older box with 80GB HD. However, not being able to expand it made the RCN Box pretty horrible for me. Time shifting for me means I can watch the entire season of 24 and Smallville (among others) in the summer. Could not do that with the RCN box. (besides when they decide to "upgrade" *poof* there goes all your recordings)
     

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