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Patriot Media/Central NJ/Cable Cards/S3

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by trlyka, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. trlyka

    trlyka New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    Anyone use Patriot? Did you set up an appointment to receive a cable card for your S3?
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    changed from directv to cable last week. I had triple play installed but they use contract installers and they wont permit them to handle the cablecards so you have to get a second appointment (which they seem to plan to charge me for but i plan to ***** about the bill when it comes since it's there fault a second truck roll was required.

    I also am having my phone number ported from Sprint/Embarq (the local phone provider here in flemington). Sprint being prehistoric takes 15 days to cough up the number. That makes a mess becasue I have a work order in to port my number. Their system wont allow a second work order to get opened to install the cablecards untill the port is complete. I found the VP of operations email on teh website and asked him if he could help me out and he was really responsive (emaimling me back over the weekend on his blackberry) and they found a way to override the system for me and get me an install today.

    On to the install:

    Basically went ok. The installer put both cards in at once and had the head end hit them both at once. I'm not positive but I think that's a nono. They first card took but nothing but the local HD's were turned on. So the installer had to call back and get the authorization sent for those. THen I checked the second card and it hadn't "paired" at all and refused even to give channel banners (the first card would give channel banners but no picture before they authorized it.) I suspect the tivo can only pair one at a time so when they sent the signal for both at once the tivo only locked on to the first one. He called and they send whatever signal again and all is now well.

    So dont let the guy leave until you make sure all your channels are activated on both tuners.

    settings>cablecard, remote, devices>cablecard decoder>configure card 1 <or 2> (only becomes active after they are installed > test channels> then navigate through them all.
     
  3. cassiusdrow

    cassiusdrow New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    NJ
    My appointment is on Tuesday Oct 3rd. I'm very irritated they require a truck roll to do this. I know the installer is going to take one look at my system and say "You put the card in." That's what they did when the installed the cablebox years ago.

    (waiting not so patiently)
     
  4. trlyka

    trlyka New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    I work in CS at Patriot and I have been trying to get some more information on our cable cards. I only know that they are made by Motorola. I will try to get more information. In the past few days I have been getting a little feedback on any installs we do for cable cards with the Tivo S3. I work closely with the girl who schedules the appointments so I asked her to tell me of any issues the customers call her about after the install of cable cards in a Tivo S3. So far it's mostly been about not receiving certain HD channels on the 2nd card. The cable card product is still fairly new. Now with the tivo S3, we are learning a whole new aspect of using the card. So I'm sure there will be certain issues as we go along.

    I'm happy to hear we were able to get you the appointment for the cable cards before the porting of your phone number. We are typically unable to schedlue 2 different 'Service change' work orders at the same time. Usually one needs to be completed before another is opened. The cable card situation is a little different. We have a limited amount of techs that can actually install the cards. This is why we can't install them on the fly like a cable box or modem. Don't count on the install fee to be waived. It's a standard fee that all cable card installs have.

    I can't wait to get my first S3. I have been a Tivo user since the Series 1 came out. 7 or 8 yrs ago? And have since pruchased 3 more series 2 Tivo's since. I was happy when I was able to get the Motorola HD dual tuner boxes, but I will eventually replace them for the Tivo S3.


     
  5. cassiusdrow

    cassiusdrow New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    NJ
    Why does Patriot require a tech to install a cablecard? Based on the information available to me it sounds like a relatively simple list of instructions:

    1. Connect RF cable to Cable In.
    2. Write down serial numbers from each CableCard
    3. Insert card 1 into slot 1, wait until CableCard MMI screen appears.
    4. Call Cable to activate/initialize the card.
    5. Test channels to verify that the card has been activated.
    6. Repeat steps 3 though 5 for the second cablecard.

    Why can't I stop by the Patriot office and just pick up a pair of cards? Why make me wait over a week and charge me $20 for an install where I'm sure I'll do most of the physical work?
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    I doubt the poster above gets to make such decisions. She/he is just trying to be helpfull.

    I went to the office and they wouldn't hand out the cards. I emailed the VP of operations and they wouldn't hand me the cards. So asking a CSR isn't going to get you the anser you want.
     
  7. cassiusdrow

    cassiusdrow New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    NJ
    I don't really expect an answer from the CSR. Mostly I wanted to vent my frustration.

    I'm sure Patriot is actually trying to provide better service by sending a tech, who is at least somewhat familiar with the possible issues and can troubleshoot and communicate with the home office. Sending a tech better serves most of their customers who would be in over their heads dealing with self-install, and then flooding their call center with complaints.

    Since I am a very technically oriented person, so I am the exception rather than the rule to most of the customers they support, but it irritates me to have to wait for something I could do myself. I'm less concerned about the $20 fee (I bought a Series 3 after all) than I am about the wait for the appointment.

    If you still have it handy, can you PM me the email of the VP you mentioned? I'll send him an email as well.
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    I assume you mean Joanie? She is very nice. (i'm sure she knows who I am- how many Michael K.s that got the VP involved with their install in the last week can their be-LOL)

    But you can watch me ***** about the install fee- LOL. I know you guys dont make the rules so I wont be rude to the CSR's but I will ask that it get waived and then escalate the situation if the CSR cant.

    The price list says that cablecard installs are free on the same trip. It wasn't my fault that patriot sent out an installer who was not qualified to do it in one trip. 21 dollars wont kill me but I really find it unpleasant to pay becasue it was patriots decision to use 2 different techs - not mine. I specifically told the CSR when I ordered that I wanted triple play with one sd STB, one HD STB, and 2 cablecards. Patriot sent out a guy unqualified to install the 2 cablecards- not me.

    I think the problem with the second card not getting the channels correctly is they "hit" the second card before the first one was done doing whatever it does. The installer called in and had them "hit" the first card. it took and the tivo then goes into a screen with a swirl that says somethign like "acquiring channel information" it takes around 5-6 minutes to do that. Midway through that the installer and 'dispatch' decided totry and hit the second card. I GUESS that the tivo wont pair with the second card while it's busy dealing with the first card getting the channel list from patriot. You might want to suggest to Joanie or "dispatch" to tell the techs to let the first card finish 'acquiring channels' before they hit the second card. I think that might solve the problems with the second card.
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ

    sorry dont have the email handy, but it's floating around their website someplace.

    They are very responsive and nice so just drop him a note (unlike many complanies you dont need to get a nasty tone to get somethign done- very pleasant indeed)
     
  10. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    I agree- i think their motivation is good. But I think most of the issue is they just dont have much experience on their end with the cards. SO they need to learn before they can let the end users try.

    One women handles all the cablecard installation requests, only a limited number of techs are permitted to install, and i didn't get the feeling that every one in "dispatch" knew how to send the commands to the cards since the installer asked for a specific guy. So I just think they dont quite feel 100% comfortable on their end yet.

    I get the sense that maybe they only do 5-10 cards a day at this point, so it's possible they've installed some tiny nuymber only in the hundreds or low thousands 100's at this point. (there was a blurb on their website that they only jsut hit their 50,000 broadband and 5,000 phone customers. I would GUESS the cablecard rate is much much lower than either of those.
     
  11. cassiusdrow

    cassiusdrow New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    NJ
    The Patriot tech was here this morning for under an hour and the cards are installed. The first card was bad so he had to swap it out, but the next two cards were fine. Another a small hitch was that the HD Plus tier of channels was not authorized, so the cards had to be hit again. The tech said he had done 3 or 4 other Series 3 installs and he did seem familiar with process outlined by the TiVo package inserts. He was aware that the 161-4 error was nothing to worry about and was thorough in checking that the TiVo could see all subscribed channel tiers on both cards.

    So, other than having to wait 8 days for the appointment, I am very pleased.
     
  12. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    curious was it an african american fellow?

    I'm wondering if they have one guy that does them all since they are so small.
     
  13. cassiusdrow

    cassiusdrow New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    NJ
    No, he was caucasian. I'd be surprised if they only had one tech that does cablecard installs - it's never a good idea to have only one person who knows how to do something important to the company. But it seems reasonable that they would only have a few techs who can do it.
     
  14. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    they are such a dink i thought it possible.

    If joanie is out of the office there is no one else you can talk to in order to get an appointment scheduled.

    Did he ask for "uni" when he called in to activate the cards. I'm not sure if thats a job title or a guys name- curious...


    Have to go back and correct my rant above paying for the install above- I went through the rate sheet again and it says nothing about free install same trip- only says that for HD boxes- so i guess there's nothing to complain about that they forced a second trip.
     
  15. cassiusdrow

    cassiusdrow New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    NJ
    I don't remember who he asked for when he called in, but he spoke to 3 different people.

    I'm having the "copy protection" issue that others on the forum have described. I scheduled two recordings at 3am, one on HDNET the other on INHD. When I checked this morning they had been recorded and deleted due to "copy protection". I checked the CCI settings on my cablecards and both were set to 0x03 (copy never). I am not happy.

    I've a called Patriot Media customer support about this, but they claimed this is not under their control. The CSR said he would email Joanie as she is not currently available and then he would call me back tonight by 9pm.
     
  16. cassiusdrow

    cassiusdrow New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    NJ
    I made some short recordings from the various HD channels and the following channels had copy protection enforced:

    UniversalHD, DiscoveryHD, INHD, INHD2, TNTHD, HBOHD, HDNET, HDNET Movies.

    And the CSR never called back.
     
  17. jbarrie

    jbarrie New Member

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    Sep 17, 2006
    NJ
    Some of you may be interested in my history. I was advised by Darlene, the original predecessor of "Joannie" the CC support person, that I was the FIRST non-TV set installation of a CC performed by Patriot in NJ. And yes, the bleeding edge turned out that way for all of us.
    I had cable cards installed in my Panasonic HDTV and my Sony HDD500 PVR. I also have a Series 2 TiVo-140 that I STILL USE EVERY DAY. That lesson may interest some of you, with or without a Series 3. And, yes, I am looking hard at Series 3 for my next step, but I need some better news on Patriot's practices for the CCI problem.
    What I can tell you is that the customer support that Darlene provided (and Joannie is likely to be the same level) was nothing short of superb. The technical people behind her were also excellent. The home installers visited me a half-dozen times, and included one excellent and knowledgeable Caucasian, and also a splendid installer, young to me, African American, who was a true pleasure to work with. He helped me several times. There were several more CC installers, as of 12 months ago.
    The Piscataway office and their support is great. I confess, that in one chapter, I persuaded the folks to let me reinstall the card for myself without an installer. I can assure you, it's not painless. It turned out in the end that one of my cards was faulty. That's lesson one. The Motorola cards have a significant fail rate at installation. This was a Ptriot-wide experience at that time.
    Lesson 2, was of course, the CCI setting for all the "plus" and "premium" package channels. This prevented my very zealous Sony HD DVR from recording any program on HD channels such as ESPN, Universal and above. That condition is still true. I have diabled the premium+ channels from everything except my STB. I study this forum with interest, because that's also what holds me back from getting a Series 3. Darlene made great efforts to explore the cause of the CCI setting. The last answer I got in spring this year (just before her promotion) is the same as the last post. "Not under Patriot's control." PLEASE let us all know if someone finds the fix for this!
    Lesson 3 is disturbing, HD programs for CBS & NBC at random days (every week or two) fail to record for the same CCI setting reason. To a lesser extent this also occurs for ABC. If you review the AVS forum, you'll find an opinion that this is the result of a faulty operation in a provider, and can also occur because of a failure that scrambles the CCI data somewhere in the transmission path. For example, this blockage occurred on 50+% of West Wing episodes, so don't underestimate the aggravation factor, here.
    Lesson 4, back to good news, HDTV is absolutely superb. You REALLY DO get so spoiled you don't want to look as an SD program again. At first, I was really sorry about my Series 2, because its interface & functionality as a PVR was/is far better than anything else in the marketplace. That's the one I wanted to use, but it isn't an HD recorder.
    Lesson 5a: Patriot has packaged the STB into your service fee. If you return it because you don't need it, you don't get a reduction in fee. So, why return it? That's rhetorical, by the way.
    Lesson 5b, well, HD on Series 2, kind-of. The Series 2 displays outstanding imagery for the little TiVo introduction screen and jingle, when you restart it. Perhaps you wondered why your TV programming is far less in quality. Of course, bandwidth s the answer, but the processor & disk work just fine with an HDTV monitor. Just for a lark, I set my TiVo Series 2 to control the STB (through infrared - since it's a cut down Motorola), and attached the TiVo to the TV with S-video (a measurable step down from DVI/HDMI, but there we are). I now record on the Series 2 lots of HD channel programming. The result amazed me. I record all programs in "best" quality. It's not real HD, but it's a jolly site better than the Series 2 does with ANY SD channel. Yes, you lose the Dolby5.1 sound, and have to put up with synthetic surround from your AV receiver (but a fiber-optic cable does help). Something else, the TiVo2 is quite untroubled by any CCI settings. Guess which channels therefore record without problem? Before anyone yells, I have emphasized that this is NOT real HD quality, but it's a great way for me to continue using my TiVo2 as something more than a door-stop.
    This CCI problem has been solved by other cable companies. It's a shame that Patriot has been turning a deaf ear to some loud customer complaints for a full year now! COMCAST doesn't seem to have this problem. I'm sure Patriot can fix it, if they're motivated.
    As I said at the start, Patriot customer and technical support has been superb. Sadly, the management team behaves like a mule with blinkers. Perhaps this story makes some of you nervous about signing up for the special 2-year service contract offer/bargain Patriot just offered you last month?
     
  18. trlyka

    trlyka New Member

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    May 21, 2003
    Sorry I didn't reply sooner. I was helping my Mom move the past couple weeks.

    Your break down of the process is pretty much how it goes. The cable cards need to be programmed/matched up to your TV set. This is something that can only be done at the time of install. It's similar to programming a MAC address for a cable modem. It sounds easy enough, but it isn't always going to be as easy as it sounds. We want to make sure everything works. This is why we don't hand over the cards and then have to set up a service call when you call to ask why you can't get it to work. It's just easier and more efficient to have a tech do it for you. Perhaps when cable cards become common place, we won't require a tech visit or charge for installation.

    HTH

     
  19. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    trlyka-

    Thanks for takign the time to post

    can you check into the copy protection issue with Joanie or direct us who we need to speak to.

    2 specific questions-

    1) if other providers dont set their CCI to 00x03 for the premium channels (which casues recorded content to self distruct after 90 minutes) then why is patriot? From reading the otehr threads here on the issue seems that most providers have 00x02 set which allows the tivo to record but not save to VCR.

    2) what is with the bogus random copy protection enabled on the boradcast channels- I had it happen to Jericho the othernight on WCBS-DT. I believe that is illegal according to FCC rules.


    Luckily i can get philly OTA for broadcast channels so I'm using those for recording everything HD broadcast. But I'm going to dump the HD package and all my movie channels as they are basically worthless to me with the 90 minute limit.


    (I cant wait to you get your series3 so you can report back to the higherups first hand what a mess the copy protection is!)
     
  20. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ

    do you know does the copty protection foul up the PVR (patriot dvr- moto box)?

    I too am using an SD to record the HD's- Works really well - it's more like a widescreen DVD than HD but as you poitn out still way better than SD.

    I would agree- their people seem great, I'm just not impressed with the companies "systems"
     

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