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Problem with XL4 setup with Comcast Cablecard

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by benna12, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Jul 3, 2012 #1 of 19

    benna12 New Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Hi Everyone,

    First time post here for help. *I spent 6 hours last night trying to set up
    my Premiere XL4 box with a Comcast Cablecard. *After 3 calls to Comcast and
    1 call to the TiVo CSD line (who were very helpful, but when we tried to 3
    way call with Comcast, the call volume was too high and had to disconnect).

    The frist call to Comcast was to activate/pair the Cablecard. *I provided
    them the info they needed from the Cablecard screen and we double checked
    it. *They said they activated the card and it would take 45 minutes to an
    hour for the channels to show up. *After an hour, there were no channels,
    so I called back. *Before I called back I found the screen that showed CON:
    Y, which from what I can tell says the Cablecard was activated, but there
    appears to be no signal coming through, even though one of the screen shows
    messages being received.

    For my second call, they did say the card is showing as active and thought
    it might be a hardware issue (I did and do not think this was the issue,
    but just something they said because she did not know what the problem
    was). *I had another Cablecard, so I swapped the cards and provided her
    with all the same info, which we double checked and she said the card was
    active and would take 45 minutes to an hour. *After an hour, there were
    still no channels.

    I then called TiVo support. *The man I spoke to was very helpful, checked a
    bunch of screens with me and saw the card was active and messages were
    being received, but felt there was an issue with the signal, which is what
    I felt was wrong too. *This is when we tried to call Comcast support via a
    3-Way call, but the wait was too long.

    I then called Comcast a third time, I wanted to let them know I spoke to
    TiVo and it did not appear to be a hardware issue, so they sent the signal
    again, which did not work and have no scheduled for a Tech to come out in a
    few days.

    Has anyone seen anything like this? *I would really like to get this set up
    without a tech coming out as the first open appointment is three days from
    now. *I do see that on the TV screen is a message that says "Please
    Wait....Updating Channel Information", but this never progresses past 50%,
    it just does not appear to be downloading the Comcast Channels.

    I was going to call TiVo again when I get home from work, but figured I
    would post a message first to see if anyone had any ideas I could try when
    I get home before calling the support line again.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Jul 3, 2012 #2 of 19

    WVZR1 Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    The WV...
    Did you just dial 1-800-COMCAST or use the cable-card activation number?

    FOR ACTIVATION: The Xfinity/Comcast CableCARD self-install number is 1-877-405-2298 to activate a new installation.

    I believe that is still the correct number. If NOT I'll be corrected soon enough I'm sure!!!

    These cards you tried were removed from your older Tivos or "fresh" cards from the local ofice?
  3. Jul 3, 2012 #3 of 19

    benna12 New Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    I did try that direct number, talked to three different people each time. They are fresh cards from te Comcast office as far as I know, I went and picked them up from there. I am going to call again, but it feels to me as though they are unsure as to how to activate them correctly, that is the feeling I get.

    I am not sure what questions to ask them to ensure they are doing it correctly.
  4. Jul 3, 2012 #4 of 19
    Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    My guess would be signal strength. Have you hooked it up with the most direct path possible with the fewest splitters?
  5. Jul 3, 2012 #5 of 19

    benna12 New Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    The main signal is only split twice. It is only used for two televisions and the lengths of each cord are very short. I may try it without a splitter and see if that does anything, but from what I read, just splitting the signal to two boxes should not be an issue.
  6. Jul 3, 2012 #6 of 19

    KrustyVT New Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    The first tip with Comcast is if they do something and then tell you "it will work in 45 minutes to an hour" - it won't. Either the reps actually believe this because their script tells them to, or it's just a ploy to get you off the phone.

    Last week I moved a Motorola M-card from my TiVoHD to my TiVo Elite (XL4), and called Comcast to re-pair the device. By the luck of the draw I happened to get someone who knew what they were doing the first time - after supplying the new Host ID and Data ID, he sent the signal and a minute later I was receiving all of my channels on the new box.

    The moral of the story is unless there is some real issue with backlogged activation signals being sent by their system, it will work nearly immediately, or not at all.
  7. Jul 3, 2012 #7 of 19

    benna12 New Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    I was weary of the 45 minute thing too. When I called back they mentioned hownt was over an hour since I called, so I do think it was a ploy to get me off the phone. I am going to try and call them again today, hopefully I am connected to someone a little more knowledgable this time. I really think they are activating it wrong somehow.
  8. Jul 3, 2012 #8 of 19

    sandman55 New Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Last weekend I moved my M card from my Tivo HD to my new X4. Called Comcast to pair and they said someone had to come to the house to do it. I spoke to a supervisor who said the same thing. A tech came the next day (Sunday) with his handheld device and paired it in 10 minutes. He thought it is a stupid way to do things but that's how Comcast in central PA works.
  9. Jul 3, 2012 #9 of 19
    Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    Move the TiVo to the first outlet before any splitters and get it paired/authorized again. If that works, move it back to the current location and see if it still works. If it doesn't, you need better splitters and/or cables or an amp.
  10. benna12

    benna12 New Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    I have now had one rep tell me that there was a billing code that needed to be activated and transferred me, but once she transferred me, the person was not sure what that meant.

    Seems like it is an issue on their end.
  11. frith

    frith New Member

    Jul 4, 2012
    North of Boston
    I had the exact same problem, except that I got some basic channels. The networks, PBS, etc.

    A friend of mine works there so I texted him to see if he'd heard of it and sure enough, he had. The problem was that I got the card from a service center that wasn't in my town. They had a default "Downstream Plant" assigned to the card and it wasn't what I needed to have on it. This is done on their end and apparently it's some kind of advanced technical support that had to fix it.
  12. ComputerLover

    ComputerLover New Member

    Apr 5, 2012
    same my tivo's cablecard problem show 50 percent loading can't thru channels show up ...i call cable service about three time more... cable man came my place and check my tivo's cablecard. exchange it same problme see coaxial cables wires found too old or worn out or ect.. replace new one after cablecard its work all channel show up.. i thought blame cablecard block channel ..im wrong... just coaxial cables wires problem that it...
  13. Innerloop

    Innerloop New Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the "bad cablecard" theory. I've twice now transplanted a cable card from onto Tivo to another, and once the card DID legitimately get fried in the process. These things are not the most robust devices, and seem very sensitive to static and whatnot.

    When I had the one go bad, I did what you did, refused to believe it was the card and tried to re-activate with signals for a couple days before finally giving up and swapping it at the local Comcast office. When I get the new one in, worked like a charm.

    So don't drive yourself nuts over it, there's a non-zero chance it IS a blown card.
  14. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Actually, the cards are quite robust and fail FAR less often then people claim, your experience notwithstanding. I have (accidentally) done things to a CableCARD tat would have fried any other device.

    The biggest problems with CableCARDs - not being properly provisioned for the corresponding head end before being distributed or not being paired on the account properly. The third is not being set up in the proper order on the account (only an issue for some MSOs). All three problems are cable company issues, but fortunately happen far less frequently than in years past.

    The biggest issue on the consumer side seems to be not fully inserting/seating the card firmly into the slot.
  15. PAberts

    PAberts New Member

    Nov 18, 2004
    Manassas, VA
    I have been trying to work through this now for over 3 weeks. The symptoms I am having is a black screen, no video or sound.

    After having 5 different cable cards, 3 different comcast techs, three calls to TiVo all with no luck. The card is paired with my TiVo, but everything looks like something is not set up right in the Comcast cloud. Under the CA menu, third screen, I am not getting any information on the active programs sent to me.

    I have moved the XL4 TiVo to the different locations in the house, no spitters. But according to TiVo, there might be a chance the signal is to hot now.

    I have a scheduled appointment with Comcast this afternoon who I plan to also have a TiVo tech on the phone at the same time. God willing and the creek don't rise, I will have it online this afternoon.

    Manassas, VA
  16. ostimu

    ostimu New Member

    Dec 12, 2008
    Any luck? If so, how'd they fix it? (I'm having the same problem, with a tech visit scheduled for tomorrow.)
  17. benna12

    benna12 New Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Somehow, fours days after they sent the activation signal, the box started working on its own. I had a tech appointment scheduled, but cancelled it. I have no idea how the box started working. I really think they are missing some part of the activation on their end an someone must have looked at my account and corrected it with the proper activation.
  18. coryphaena

    coryphaena New Member

    Jun 1, 2005
    I just got my Premier working after beginning the project at 9:30 am today. Well, that's not technically true. I got the box yesterday and spent an hour on the phone with Comcast trying to get anyone to tell me if the 'local' office did actually have cards at the store. Long story short, the "support" people told me that they had no idea if that store had cards and they had no way of finding out. It took me screaming for tier 2 support (supervisor) who actually told me the same thing. He finally agreed to try and find a way to actually speak to someone in the store and that he would call me back. And he actually did, an hour later. We can only hope it was truly a pain in the a$$ for him, too.

    So I drove the ten miles to this store this morning, got a card in two minutes flat, and skipped out the door. An hour later I was on the phone with Comcast, trying to figure out what was wrong ("loading channels" freezing at 50% or a couple of times, 75%). The chick finally told me I'd be all connected in "20 or 25 minutes". 30 Minutes later, nothing, so, call 2 began.

    Call two was a much nicer guy, but after 30 minutes of him reading help scripts (after he refreshingly admitted knowing ZERO about cable cards), he determined my card was somehow defective. "Go get another one." To his credit, he gave me a $20 bill credit "for the hassle". Assuming I actually get that.

    Trip two to Comcast store. Nine people in line, two CSRs. As the CSR handed me the card, she gave me a little wink and said, I just chatted with our area manager in the back - he says these cards can't be made to work on TiVos! It's not the card, sweetie, but good luck! she grinned. I suppressed the powerful urge to scream at her. An hour later, home with card 2.

    I call to pair the new card. On hold / dead air call for fifty minutes. CSR finally calls in "the genius" and he walks her through some sort of process on their end. Everything working perfectly on my end in under two minutes.

    Morals: Not the signal in my house. Not the card (I'll bet you a Ferrari on that, but can't prove it). Just the fact that...lessee...one, two, three, four, five...six, if you count the unseen "Manager guy" at the store, count 'em SIX Comcast employees that were COMPLETELY unable to get a cable card working in a TiVo and/or had no idea whatsoever what they were talking about. Total trips to store, two. Total number of calls, six. Total time on the phone, five-plus hours.

    Comcast. They're great.
  19. mpnret

    mpnret Member

    Dec 4, 2012
    I had a very similiar experience with Comcast and my XL4. I drove to the Comcast center and picked up the card. That was the easy part. Then called the special comcast number to get the card activated. It worked for the basic cable chanels but gave an unauthorized message for anything above basic. Pretty obvious it's a cable card issue. Then called the activation line many times after that try to activate again with the same results. I then tried calling other comcast numbers in desperation to find anyone who knew what he was doing. Same answer from everyone, might be TIVO, might be cablecard, need to send tech. I told them if they thought it was TIVO, I would exchange it, if they thought it was cable card I would drive to get another but I knew it was their screwed up setup and didn't want to wait a week for a tech. In desperation I called TIVO and asked if they could shed any light on the problem. I talked to a very knowledgeable tech who had me go through a couple of system screens and read some parameters. He confirmed the card was not activated properly and needed to be cleaned off first and activated again. He even offered to get involved with Comcast, which I declined. I called back Comcast mentioned my call to TIVO, told them to completly clean off the cablecard and reactivate and everything worked fine. Comcast get your act together! How many techs are making unecessary trips with customers waiting because you support is incompetent.

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