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Tivo HD/Comcast - M Card suddenly unpaired?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by emily_jd, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. emily_jd

    emily_jd New Member

    Oct 20, 2008
    Edit: It seems there are quite a few Comcast CableCard customers/Tivo users experiencing the same problem I am--sudden loss of all HBO channels. Since I made my original post below, I found information at the following site: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=14899371#post14899371 (I hope it's okay to link elsewhere). Apparently, copy protection was turned on last week for HBO and HBO HD. I guess this means that those of us experiencing this problem never had our cards properly paired to begin with. (?) Anyway, Comcast INSISTS that a truck roll is required. I will post an update after they come out tomorrow. Hope this info is helpful to someone.

    Original post
    After a couple years unhappily dealing with Comcast's DVR, I made the switch back to Tivo almost a month ago. Several rescheduled CableCard appointments (and several no-shows) later, we finally got everything set up on 10/6. Now, however, it seems we've lost our HBO package sometime in the last few days. It had been working--I was sure to check it before the final install tech left, and we watched something on HBO HD just a few days ago.

    I called the 1-800 Comcast number twice tonight. Both times, the CSRs sent hits to the card, saying that that should have fixed the problem. They both insisted this will require a truck roll. Having wasted 3 1/2 days waiting for someone to show up for the initial CableCard installation, I'm not too thrilled about the possibility of taking more time off work just to have the guy not show up or show up and not fix the problem (or worse: show up and somehow manage to lose ALL our channels).

    Does anyone have any advice for me? I called the Tivo CableCard hotline, too, and I have to say that, for once, the Comcast reps sounded more confident that the Tivo rep I talked to! (Of course, that doesn't mean they were right!) I've followed the steps on the Tivo website, and it appears that the card is not properly paired. Here's what I hope is the relevant info:

    From Conditional Access:
    Val:? 0x00
    Auth:CAD <-- what does this mean? I swear it said Auth:S before.

    From the pairing screen:
    eCM MAC: --:--:--:--:--
    Host MAC: 00:00:00:00:00:00

    Should I try to have someone from dispatch call me directly? From my dealings with them, our local Comcast reps are very green when it comes to CableCards. What would cause the card to become unpaired? The Tivo rep seems to be worried that it's a faulty card. Any advice/info would be appreciated--I've learned a lot from this board already!
  2. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

    Mar 11, 2002
    What you mean by "all HBO channels are gone?" The answer to that is critical to help resolve the issue.

    If you try to tune to HBO, and the card pairing screen pops up, then you're having a pairing problem. You card is certainly not paired ("Val:?"), but that only matters if you're trying to watch a copy protected channel (non-zero CCI). So, it's possible that HBO was working fine when you had your cards installed, but your cable company just turned on copy protection. You wouldn't have noticed that the cards weren't paired until that happened.

    If the cablecard screen isn't popping up, then something else is going wrong. Not sure what CAD means, but the Auth line is only valid when you're tuned to the channel that's failing. And, don't forget that the bottom part of that screen is per-tuner. There's a link on the screen to check the other tuner.
  3. emily_jd

    emily_jd New Member

    Oct 20, 2008
    None of the HBO channels in the package we subscribe to (HBO HD, HBO, HBO Comedy, HBO Family, etc.) are viewable.

    You're exactly right. Apparently, they did turn on copy protection last week, so that brought to light that the card isn't paired. I wonder why it isn't possible for them to do the pairing over the phone. After three attempts, they're insistent that they send someone out here. :confused: Oh, well--I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope they figure out the problem.
  4. WebG

    WebG New Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    emily_jd: Thank you, thank you for this post.

    I called the number in the AVSForum post, and within minutes of getting a Comcast rep on the phone, I had my HBO channels running again. They were very nice and knew exactly what they were doing.

    As an FYI - they said that the exact same issue could crop up again at the end of November. If it does happen, just call them back and they'll reset the card numbers in their system again.

    A truck roll is NOT required. Before I called, I had a tech come out, and while he was very nice, he was unable to help (nor did he try) - he said the issue was up the line and there was nothing he could do. He had been dealing with the issue all day for other users, and had already seen that switching out cablecards would not necessarily solve the problem.

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