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Official Time Warner Cable Thread

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

  1. afs12065

    afs12065 New Member

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    May 19, 2008
    I live in the Albany, NY area (Northeast Region for TWC) - TWC is moving to switched digital video (SDV) in our area for digital and HD content. I recently purchased a S3 HD DVR from TiVo after becoming increasingly frustrated with the SA 8300 series DVR - but still had some concerns about whether or not I would be able to view SDV channels - and how long it would before that happened.

    So I submitted a request for information via the local TW website, received the standard reply from a CSR that their CableCARD support is UDCP (one way) and that they had no further information on the tuning adapter/resolver (complete with a copy/paste from the website with this information - that I had already read). I then requested that they escalate my question to someone who would have more information/detail and much to my surprise they agreed to do so and three days later I received a call from someone in NC who provided their direct phone number for a conversation on the topic. After a couple of days of phone tag I spoke directly to this person tonight and this was what they told me :

    1) TWC is preparing to deploy a tuning adapter/resolver for UDCP CableCARD devices nationally that would enable full support on TiVo (and other UDCP devices) for SDV content. PPV and VOD support may not be there initially. The technical person even sympathized with the fact that SDV is "unfair" to people who don't have their SA set top box. Interesting. They went on to say that the device has been in testing with CableLABS and certification is expected shortly. Information available on the Internet RE: Interop testing of these devices seems to support that.

    2) TWC is maintaining a list of beta testers for the device that they plan to test this with as soon as it is available (imminently) and installation documentation is available. It sounded like it was planned to be a self-install - at least for beta testers. I asked to be added to the beta test list and we'll see if anything comes of that.

    3) In addition to the list of beta testers, the person I spoke with is personally maintaining a list of people within their team who have "inquired" about the tuning adapter and is planning to notify them when it becomes available nationally to give them the opportunity to obtain one quickly. I'm not sure how you get added to this list if you're not one of the "lucky" ones to get past the first couple levels of support with this type of request - or if your CSR simply doesn't know who to forward the question to - but I hope that gets better as information gets sent down to the local branches of TWC.

    4) The technical rep did state that the number of CableCARD/TiVo customers on the TWC network vs. the customers that have the standard issue SA set top box was much smaller and that deployment of the tuning adapter may be handled from a central location on a region by region basis vs. locally as a result but that those details were still being discussed. I would expect that installation would be no more difficult than installing a converter/set top box so a do-it-yourself install may not be out of the question.

    5) Cost/pricing/lease fees for the device are TBD since they will typically be deployed optionally with CableCARDs and not as "required" devices.

    So, all-in-all the conversation was very positive, friendly and customer focussed - and contained a lot more seemingly accurate information than anyone I know has been able to get out of the local TWC support organization. I hope that the details prove to be true - it would restore some of my faith in TWC customer service.

    There has been recent press on the Internet about the Motorola MTR700 and the Cisco/SA STA-1520 as the 2008 Cable Show is currently underway in New Orleans:
    http://gizmodo.com/391871/tivo-switched-video-tuning-adapters-appear-at-cablelabs

    I would hope that we would see some movement toward deployment after the industry trade show but how quickly that happens remains to be seen.

    I did agree not to publish the technical person's name, contact info, etc. on the Internet as the flood of phone calls that would ensue would be unwieldy but I will post updates as I get them to the board... I was encouraged to call directly for updates periodically as I wanted to - which was refreshing. We can only hope that all of the TWC CSRs are being encouraged to "get answers" to difficult customer questions and to route them appropriately instead of insisting on the brush-off but in reading the board it doesn't seem that is the case - yet - based on what other members have shared as far as their experiences go. *sigh*

    Anyway, hope this helps!
     
  2. Swervo

    Swervo New Member

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    Oct 3, 2006
    Will be reading through most of the thread, but thought I'd post and see if anyone else has any ideas:

    Had Time Warner out this morning to install cards, turns out they brought MCards and had one installed on my new Tivo HD. It's been plugged in and on the network since Friday, and is running version 9.3 of the Tivo software.

    The installers claimed that things weren't quite working because I was on a very old version of the Tivo software, and I can't confirm what version of the software was running when they were here. However, it is at 9.3 now, which they claimed would fix the issue. All I get now is the "Acquiring Channel Info" screen and the spinning beach ball...sometimes it fails after a while, sometimes it just spins forever. I've tried rebooting, etc etc, no dice.

    I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with TW tech support but never made it anywhere (to my rep's credit, she didn't know much at all about CableCARD support but she also freely admitted that and took down notes as I talked to her). Unfortunately, when she put me back into the queue to hopefully talk to someone else more knowledgeable, the system told me my call could not be completed and hung up on me. Whee!

    I've done some research on here, so here's what I see as the pertinent details from the Tivo itself. It tells me the card state is "Wait to Start". I do have something under "Val ?", it's showing "0x01". The messages under the Network Status screen go up each time I look at that screen, so the OOB messages appear to be going across. Oh, and it's a Motorola card.

    I'll try calling Tivo's CableCARD hotline, and also try TW's tech support again later when the queue isn't so full, but I wanted to see if there's anything specific I need to ask them to do. They have another truck roll scheduled for Thursday, and thankfully my work is very flexible with hours/working from home. Still, I'm not happy about having to stay home again. As a side note, I don't know a huge amount of Spanish, but I know enough to know the two techs at my house were busy discussing where they were going for lunch and how much they wanted to just be done with the job so they could go eat...they didn't offer to stick around until the channel test worked.
     
  3. scurby2

    scurby2 New Member

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    Feb 6, 2008
    just an update.

    The time warner tech came out to the house yesterday, i live in Orange county, CA....He had to try 3 different m-cards on my HD Tivo box, but finally got it to work.....I get all the HD channels i was getting before with the TW cable box, i even get several more channels on the digital cable side that i wasnt getting before with the standard cable package. I asked the tech about SDV and to his knowledge they are not going to use SDV in this area. Also they only charge me $1.75 a month for the M cable card, and i pay $5 extra for all the HD channels, much better than renting their crappy hd dvr box alone for $15.....
     
  4. abredt

    abredt West Valley TW L.A.

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    Nov 4, 2004
    Here is an email that I got from TiVo regarding SDV. I live in the San Fernando Valley - north of L.A.

    Dear Valued Customer,

    Your friends at TiVo want to inform you about some changes in digital cable that could affect your TV viewing experience. Some cable operators are in the process of introducing a technology called Switched Digital Video (SDV). You may be made aware of this technology in the context of your provider informing you about the migration of certain lesser viewed existing channels or the introduction of new channels using SDV.

    Unfortunately, today's CableCARD devices including the TiVo HD and Series3 DVRs do not currently support SDV, but the good news is that TiVo is working with cable operators to develop the Tuning Adapter, a solution that is currently being tested by your cable provider and will be available in the near term.

    The Tuning Adapter will enable you to access the full spectrum of HD channels that the cable provider offers and should be made available by your local cable provider later this year. Although the majority of cable customers currently are not affected by switched digital services, we will continue to work with the cable industry to try to minimize the impact to subscribers that are inconvenienced.

    We will keep you posted on developments as they occur and we greatly appreciate your patience during this transition.

    Sincerely,
    The TiVo Product Development Team

    Regards, C.
     
  5. Effinay

    Effinay New Member

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    Aug 17, 2006
    Centerville,...
    abredt - I got that email, too (I live in the Dayton, Ohio area). I'm asuming that cableLabs, TiVo, and Cable companies are getting very close to releasing the tuner adapter. It doesn't affect me yet since TW in my area has only started using SDV for the spanish channels (duh, it's the U.S... I speak English) but it would be good to know that the adapter is ready once TW decides to make the switch.

    Swervo - I was getting that message after my first CableCard installation. TW techs never initialized the card properly. Something about re-sending the EMMs. Basically, you need a tech that knows what he's/she's doing. Unfortunately it may take 2 or 3 truck rolls before they actually send someone taht know's what they're talking about. After I got someone who knew what they were doing, we had the mcard working in my TiVoHD within the hour.
     
  6. Firekite

    Firekite New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    The thing that really discourages me about all of this is that it looks like Motorola and Cisco have put out demo units that are full-fledged pieces of equipment. Motorola's is about the size of a cablemodem while Cisco's is like a whole other DVD-player size piece of home theater equipment, thin but wide and deep. I thought we were looking at a small USB dongle, something cheap and effective. If it's a whole new piece of equipment, are they going to charge us $10 or $15 a month for it, even though without it we can't receive the programming we pay for?
     
  7. cjhrph

    cjhrph New Member

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    Sep 11, 2003
    You can make book on that. It's virtually guaranteed. Hell, they're (TimeWarner) charging me 73 cents per month just for the damned remote rental on the HD box.

    You'll have the HD Tivo Charge, the CableCard charge, the tuning resolver charge, and a real sore ass..:D
     
  8. Swervo

    Swervo New Member

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    Oct 3, 2006
    Well, I've now had the cable company out again and tried multiple cable cards in the Tivo HD with no luck. The last guy who came out claims the signal is nice and strong, and with all the cards he tried, both he and the dispatch support people he talked to seem to think the cablecard is working just fine, and they seem to think there's a problem with the Tivo. It just never gets past the "Please Wait...Acquiring Channel Information" screen.

    Guess it's time to call up Tivo and see what they think about this.
     
  9. 59er

    59er TiVotee

    570
    1
    Mar 27, 2008
    New York, NY
    I had a great experience with Time Warner on Friday. I went in to swap my old TiFaux DVR box (the 8300) for a new non-dvr HD box. (Side note: They said I had to have a box to keep triple play pricing. It's cheaper for me to have the box, and it allows me access to VOD, so it's fine with me to have the option.)

    While I was there, I asked if there was anything they could do to lower my rate, and they agreed to give me $40 off the package per month -- basically a starter rate with a full package. I was a little worried it would screw up my channels, and that I would actually end up with only the starter channels, so when I got home that night I checked my TiVo to see if channels were coming in and if recordings had worked. Of course there were several channels missing, and a couple recordings that had failed as a result. The new box was also having some limited loss of a channel or two, but it wasn't missing all the channels that the cable card was without.

    But then I called Tech Support, where I reached a truly terrific rep in Canada. He put me on hold and sent re-authorization to the cable card, which immediately restored all of my channels on the TiVo. It took a little more work to fix the Food Network on the cable box -- apparently channel 50 is the buggiest channel in new cable boxes from the retail TWC location -- but he got it fixed and confirmed that I am paying the lower price for all the same things I had before.

    Yay, TWC!

    PS: And the best news of all was that the shows that failed to tape were all cable shows that re-aired later that night or the next morning, so I didn't miss anything.
     
  10. edclgr1

    edclgr1 New Member

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    Nov 20, 2007
    I had a great experience about six weeks ago with Time Warner Cable Austin. I added an HD unit to join my S2/DT and called their corporate office about adding two cablecards for it. They were concerned about the SDV issue and brought it up a couple of times, making sure I understood I would be missing some stations. I reassured them that I was keeping my SetTopBox so I could keep those stations, and this ended that part of the conversation.

    The technician who arrived was a Time Warner employee, not a contractor. I was concerned when he arrived with just one (1) M-stream card but he told me not to worry, he hadn't had an M card fail in some time. He had done a number of TiVo units, had a good idea about how much time it would take to "hit" each card, and how much time TiVo would take during the process.

    Less than 30 minutes later (and much of that was waiting on TiVo), the card was ready and viewing all non-SDV channels. Other than having to "hit" the card two times, there wasn't a single problem and it was great having someone experienced there to make it happen.

    SDV seems to be consuming Time Warner Austin HD stations but there are enough out there to make it a real joy. When/if I can get a Tuning Adapter, the STB and S2/DT goes into the spare bedroom, and I will need another 4 hours in every day to spend in front of the HD unit. :)

    -Ed
     
  11. drhendrix

    drhendrix Member

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    Jan 3, 2003
    Loveland, OH
    Hello,

    I've had a Series1 for years and I would like to add an HD unit, but I've been reluctant due to the multiple cards and horror stories about TW Tivo cable card installs. I've decided to try an HD unit if I can get an M-card installed.

    If anyone in the Cincinnati area has received an M-Card, could you tell me how you pulled it off?

    Thanks for any help.

    Dennis Roberts
    Loveland
     
  12. MicahG

    MicahG New Member

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    Feb 15, 2008
    For those in Orange County, CA. Do you guys get DiscoveryHD? If so, what channel is it? I get this channel that's called HDT, but no DiscoveryHD. Any ideas?
     
  13. SCSIRAID

    SCSIRAID Active Member

    2,328
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    Feb 2, 2003
    Vero Beach, FL
    HDT is Discovery HD Theater.
     
  14. JimWall

    JimWall Member

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    Oct 19, 2002
    I have an Tivo HD and one M-card. It works fine.
    The only issues are whether the tech can properly enter the numbers to text back to the office. and the person at the office not make mistakes sending the billing info too soon before the card is ready.
     
  15. drhendrix

    drhendrix Member

    40
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    Jan 3, 2003
    Loveland, OH
    Thanks Jim,

    How did you make sure that they brought an M-Card? I called the support number and they said they do not guarantee that an M-Card would be installed.

    Also, did the techs know what they were doing? Did you ask for someone with Tivo install experience?

    Thanks for any additional info.

    Dennis
     
  16. 59er

    59er TiVotee

    570
    1
    Mar 27, 2008
    New York, NY
    I don't know if it was clear from the prior post that Discovery HD is NOT the same as HD Theater (which used to be Discovery HD Theater, apparently).

    In NYC, I get HDT (channel 718) but not Discovery HDT... yet. I think it is coming to other parts of NYC, so we hope to get it soon.
     
  17. MicahG

    MicahG New Member

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    Feb 15, 2008

    Thanks for that clarification. I wasn't sure. I'm still curious if anyone in Orange County gets DiscoveryHD...
     
  18. JimWall

    JimWall Member

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    Oct 19, 2002
    When I made the appointment the person on the phone had no idea what an M card was. When the tech called he asked and I told him I wanted an M card and he had one. I got lucky I guess. If tech does not bring one then demand one.
    Tell TWC to put a note in service call that customer wants M-card and has a tivo. I got lucky with this tech.
    Make sure TIVO updates are done before tech arrives.

    I also have a series 3 which took 3 service calls get working. The tech on the 3rd call had no problem despite being on the phone most of the time dealing with issues with his pregnant wife!!! He was very casual about how simple CC and tivos are to do. Simply text correctly to back office and don't do hit will billing/channel info until after firmware is upgraded. Sometimes person in back office gets the channels wrong.
     
  19. SoonerOrLater

    SoonerOrLater New Member

    63
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    Nov 8, 2004
    TWC now has a special service that deals with CableCard issues (they said this started in December 2007 due to the many complains, especially related to TiVo).
    I recently experienced "freezing" issues after the 9.3a update (see http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=376153&page=10 ).
    During the process, I talked to someone in this service over the phone, and he seemed to be very knowledgeable about S-Cards/M-Cards. He said that if the Card reset "hit" did not work and a technician visit was necessary, he would specify to bring multiple M-Cards just in case in the work order and include his service number for the tech to call instead of the regular TWC service.
    Anyway, I didn't need the tech since the remote card reset hit worked.
     
  20. Firekite

    Firekite New Member

    63
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    Mar 11, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    What "service" is that, exactly?
     

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