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Old 09-16-2006, 04:52 AM   #91
nhey
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161-4 error message

http://customersupport.tivo.com/know.../tv010416.htm?


If you see error 161-4 during installation, you can ignore it. If you see Error 161-2, it means that the card is damaged and needs to be replaced.
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:01 AM   #92
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Thumbs up Seattlites

Okay Seattle peeps:

I have two CableCARDS here, just waiting for TiVo to deliver my Series3, which hopefully will happen sometime before the end of 2009. I digress. If anyone sees any more on sale in Seattle somewhere, fill us in.

Now, once I get the TiVo and slide these CableCARDs in, what number do I call to activate? The normal Comcast number?

I picked these up at the Northgate TiVo office. Walked in, asked for two CableCARDs, she scanned two onto my account, I signed and left. Very, very smooth transaction.

Side note - if you are anywhere near Seattle and want to have an awesome time hanging with similar geeks, check out Seattle Mind Camp at http://www.seattlemind.com.
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:17 AM   #93
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I hope Tivo implements better error descriptions in the next update to its software.

If error 161-2 means the card is damaged, the Series3 should display a message on the screen saying that.

Quote:
Now, once I get the TiVo and slide these CableCARDs in, what number do I call to activate? The normal Comcast number?
If they had given you a number, that probably would have cut your time on the phone. But you can call the regular number and they will direct you as appropriate.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:04 AM   #94
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So, Howzit without the Comcast STB?

Aside from all the thorny details of getting all this to work, I wonder, what is the user experience like?

I gather that if I get an S3, my existing Comcast STB-DVR will go bye-bye. I lose their programming guide, onscreen display, video on demand and pay perview.

I don't use their VOD, don't use their PPV, so that's not much of a loss. But I wonder if anybody misses the programming guide on screen display?

Does TiVo work as well as the heart of your cable viewing experience?

Thanks,

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Old 09-16-2006, 09:26 AM   #95
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I don't use their VOD, don't use their PPV, so that's not much of a loss. But I wonder if anybody misses the programming guide on screen display?
You don't lose the guide or program information, because Tivo supplies that. Tivo gives you two different program guides to choose from. And Tivo supplies far more comprehensive (detailed) program information than you get from Comcast. Much of Tivo's advanced capabilities and "intelligent" recording depends on this guide data.

Program and guide information is downloaded automatically from Tivo's servers using your broadband Internet connection (i.e. using your wireless network). If you don't have a network with Internet access, you can get the information by connecting the Tivo to a phone line, where it will periodically dial an ISP (which Tivo pays for) to download the guide information.

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Does TiVo work as well as the heart of your cable viewing experience?
Certainly!
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:27 AM   #96
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Just called Comcast - they wanted to know what I was installing in - advised I need 3 cards, one for a cc-ready TV, and 2 for the Tivo, he had NO CLUE what I was talking about, he has to check into it and call me back, to make sure he gets it set up right. I explained the concept of the Tivo to him, and he really liked the idea, but had never heard of it.

So now we wait for a callback.
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:46 AM   #97
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Anyone have any luck picking up CCs from local Comcast offices in the Boston area?
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:04 AM   #98
sharding
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drusoicy
Now, once I get the TiVo and slide these CableCARDs in, what number do I call to activate? The normal Comcast number?
Yes, I called 1-800-COMCAST.

Also, for the record, I got a bunch of the 161-4 errors during the installation (one for every signal they sent, it seemed). I just ignored them, and it worked fine. Kind of lame, but not a huge problem.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:41 AM   #99
darkcharger
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SF Bay Area Comcast customers:

After getting different information from the 800 number TWICE and then being told at the local Pacifica office that I could not pick up a card there. I went to Comcast's online website and used their live Chat tool.

First and Second card are both FREE. Installation is $15.99 - no pick-up/self-install available in this area. Only problem was no installation available til 9/28.

This is vastly different from the $5 each charge + $6.95 additional equipment fee they originally wanted to charge on a monthly basis. Anyway, thanks to all the help from the various posters here. Pointing out the information from their own website really halped facilitate me getting both cards for free.
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:02 PM   #100
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The installer showed up this morning. Nice fella' for whatever thats worth. They sent an actual Comcast guy rather than a contractor. I had a bad feeling then he walked in with a handful of about 5 cards. Also, the guy in the headend actually called the field rep rather than the other way around, so it was clear they were ready to tackle this TiVo thing.

First one went in and it took a while for the pairing screen to come up. When we went to the pairing screen manually it said 'no info available'. I took well over a minute for the screen to populate. Be patient. The headend guy entered the pairing data and sent a reset signal. An error popped up but didn't seem to be real. We went to the test-channels screen and they slowly started populating with Channel names and actual video. So far, so good.

Popped the second one in and entered the data... No-Go. Failures on the headend side pairing.

Grabbed on of the other ones the tech brought in... No-Go. Failures in the pairing.

The tech said these were all the 'newer' (note still only single-stream, but newer ones) and he had some old ones in the van.

Grabbed an old one, entered the data and everything went well.

Took about 30 minutes to get up and running.

Wow, 50% failure rate on the cards. The tech said he had a feeling and thats why he brought so many. "Customer wants two, bring eight".

The guys on the headend were new to this too! I'm not sure a consumer would ever be able to get that kind of direct access to a headend tech.
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:07 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkcharger
First and Second card are both FREE. Installation is $15.99 - no pick-up/self-install available in this area. Only problem was no installation available til 9/28.
Hmm. Here in Oakland, I was told that my first card was free and that the second one would be $6.95. I'll have to clarify this.

My appointment is for September 30 since my TiVo Series 3 won't get here for a week or so. Otherwise, I could have gotten an appointment for next Saturday.

Can anyone tell me whether two cable cards is all I need? Or do I need a third one for the existing slot on my TV? Or will my TV get its signal through the TiVo?

(Thanks. I've been on this board for years but this is my first TiVo.)
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:41 PM   #102
jhurlbut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhey
http://customersupport.tivo.com/know.../tv010416.htm?


If you see error 161-4 during installation, you can ignore it. If you see Error 161-2, it means that the card is damaged and needs to be replaced.
Thanks for that . . . wish I had checked before I left this morning. But I now have two NEW cable cards to install into the S3 when I get home.

So basically what happened last night is that maybe I didn't wait long enough? I'm so confused!

Here's what happened:

1) Installed CC into slot 1 . . . waited and waited, never got MMI screen, so went to "Configure CC in slot 1" and looked around in there . . . MMI screen popped up while in there.
2) Went to "Test Channels" TOOK forever, like 10 minutes trying to acquire channel information. Ended with a message "Could not acquire channel information" and wanted to know Go back or Try again. I went back.
3) Installed CC into slot 2 . . . waited and waited for MMI screen, never came, went to configure CC in slot 2 . . . again MMI screen popped up there.
4) Test channels again, same long as heck wait with "Could not . . . " error message again.
5) Called Comcrap. Had them reinitialize cards (tech stated cards were already active) got 161-4 error on card 1, got 161-4 error on card 2. Tech said maybe my TV's firmwear was bad. I suspected cablecard issue.
6) Thanked tech, hung up and tried various configs of CCs with no better luck.
7) Everytime I went into the Conditional Access screen, the Auth was "Unknown" as was the SA something below it.
8) Tried cranking up the gain on my CTV signal splitter/booster
9) 1AM gave up
10) 9AM exchanged cards
11) 11AM read post

So what am I missing? It sounds like I need to sit there and wait for however long it takes for the first MMI screen to show up, then continue. Also, it seems as though Comcrap can communicate with the cards since I got the 161-4 error shortly after they sent their mothership signal.

HELP! I'm pulling out my ever thinning hair!

ONE More thing . . how long should it take to acquire channel information when I click on "Test Channels"??

Anyone, anyone? Bueller?

John
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:14 PM   #103
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I picked up 2 cards at the Southpoint office here in Jacksonville. They apparently set them up at the branch because I didn't need to call in after they were installed.
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:18 PM   #104
sharding
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhurlbut
So basically what happened last night is that maybe I didn't wait long enough? I'm so confused!
Your experience doesn't sound very much like mine. Unfortunately, I didn't take notes or anything, so I don't have an exact sequence of events or timing.

I did mine during the initial guided setup (since I picked up my cards on the way home from Best Buy). When I got to the screen where it told me to put in the cable cards, I put both in and it recognized both. Then I did "Configure Cable Card 1," and got the info screen. It may have taken a minute or two to be ready. I called Comcast, and they sent the signals (she said she needed to send five signals) to activate both cards. I just stayed on the card 1 screen the whole time. Every time a signal went through (according to the CSR), I got the error screen, and I just pressed select to continue. It probably took 2-3 minutes for all of the signals to go through (it sounds like there's some sort of queueing on the Comcast end, I don't think it was on my end). As soon as that was done, all of my channels were working on both cards. From the time I first put in the cards, until it was completely done was probably less than 15 minutes, part of which was waiting on hold for Comcast.

I know I didn't exactly follow the instructions (for example, configuing each card individually before moving on to the next), but it seemed to work in my favor this time...
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:26 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharding
I called Comcast, and they sent the signals (she said she needed to send five signals) to activate both cards. I just stayed on the card 1 screen the whole time. Every time a signal went through (according to the CSR), I got the error screen, and I just pressed select to continue.
Were the errors you got the 161-4 errors? Or various errors?

Also, when you went to "Test Channels" how long did it take for you to start seeing channel information? I was on a Blue Screen for like 10 minutes before it finally gave up. The new BSOD? OH NO! Why are they always blue!? Dang you Bill Gates! (Sorry for the Seattle based humor, just trying to bring a little levity to the situation)
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:35 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhurlbut
Were the errors you got the 161-4 errors? Or various errors?
They were 161-4.

Quote:
Also, when you went to "Test Channels" how long did it take for you to start seeing channel information?
What do you mean by channel information? The box knew which channels were which (in the guide) from the beginning. I think there may have been a second or two of grey (not blue) screen before the picture came up on the first one. I did notice that it started out on Channel 1, which didn't have any picture, but switching to 2 worked right away.
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:40 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TIVOSciolist
Hmm. Here in Oakland, I was told that my first card was free and that the second one would be $6.95. I'll have to clarify this.

My appointment is for September 30 since my TiVo Series 3 won't get here for a week or so. Otherwise, I could have gotten an appointment for next Saturday.

Can anyone tell me whether two cable cards is all I need? Or do I need a third one for the existing slot on my TV? Or will my TV get its signal through the TiVo?

(Thanks. I've been on this board for years but this is my first TiVo.)
I was told the same here in Santa Rosa, of course this is after they first wanted to charge me $11.95 a piece for the things until I asked for a supervisor an was given the one free + one charge.

I'm very interested in how you and darkcharger make out with the no charge thing as when I finally send my 6412 back all I will be using is the two cards with the S3.

Do you feed the cable feed directly to the TV? If not you don't need the third card. In other words, if you're only going to use the S3 for the viewing and recording of cable/OTA channels then you don't need the third card.

If you do want to use the internal tuner in the TV and want correct channel mappings for the cable channels then you'll need the CC for the TV.
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:45 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhurlbut
Thanks for that . . . wish I had checked before I left this morning. But I now have two NEW cable cards to install into the S3 when I get home.

So basically what happened last night is that maybe I didn't wait long enough? I'm so confused!

Here's what happened:

1) Installed CC into slot 1 . . . waited and waited, never got MMI screen, so went to "Configure CC in slot 1" and looked around in there . . . MMI screen popped up while in there.
2) Went to "Test Channels" TOOK forever, like 10 minutes trying to acquire channel information. Ended with a message "Could not acquire channel information" and wanted to know Go back or Try again. I went back.
3) Installed CC into slot 2 . . . waited and waited for MMI screen, never came, went to configure CC in slot 2 . . . again MMI screen popped up there.
4) Test channels again, same long as heck wait with "Could not . . . " error message again.
5) Called Comcrap. Had them reinitialize cards (tech stated cards were already active) got 161-4 error on card 1, got 161-4 error on card 2. Tech said maybe my TV's firmwear was bad. I suspected cablecard issue.
6) Thanked tech, hung up and tried various configs of CCs with no better luck.
7) Everytime I went into the Conditional Access screen, the Auth was "Unknown" as was the SA something below it.
8) Tried cranking up the gain on my CTV signal splitter/booster
9) 1AM gave up
10) 9AM exchanged cards
11) 11AM read post

So what am I missing? It sounds like I need to sit there and wait for however long it takes for the first MMI screen to show up, then continue. Also, it seems as though Comcrap can communicate with the cards since I got the 161-4 error shortly after they sent their mothership signal.

HELP! I'm pulling out my ever thinning hair!

ONE More thing . . how long should it take to acquire channel information when I click on "Test Channels"??

Anyone, anyone? Bueller?

John
It doesn't appear to be the problem, but it's worth a shot. Try removing the booster from the cable line. I discovered last night that the S3 has a more sensitive QAM tuner, better signal to noise ratio, than the 6412 I've been using. The S3 output had occasional pixalization with my Motorola booster in line with the feed. I bypassed the booster and everything looks great now. Overdriving a tuner can have bad effects just as a tuner with a low signal can.
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Old 09-16-2006, 04:14 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhurlbut
5) Called Comcrap. Had them reinitialize cards (tech stated cards were already active) got 161-4 error on card 1, got 161-4 error on card 2. Tech said maybe my TV's firmwear was bad. I suspected cablecard issue.
After you get the 161-4 error, it should just be a few minutes before you get a channel list from the card (I'd start worrying after 5 minutes). If the cards aren't active (which it sounds like they weren't when you started), you'll never get past the blue screen.
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Old 09-16-2006, 04:21 PM   #110
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I was just quoted 9.95 for the first card and 6.95 for each additional card.

I need three, one for TV and two for Tivo. That's pure crap. Between the inconsistency of Comcast and now TiVo opening up there lifetime transfer to non-VIP purchases I'm going to cancel my Series 3 purchase. Perhaps if I can get he Comcast issue resolved I'll reconsider. I've been a loyal Tivo customer with several boxes and this just sucks.
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Old 09-16-2006, 04:25 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfaulkner
I was just quoted 9.95 for the first card and 6.95 for each additional card.
I just got my installs done. I paid $14.95 to upgrade from Basic to Digital. This price includes either a STB or a CableCard. I argued that since my S3 is a dual tuner device just like their STB I should be able to get two CableCards included in my $14.95 Digital service.

Bottom line = $14.95 Digital Service included 2 CableCARDS.

Caveat, any additional outlets would be $9.95 so your your extra card for the TV would be charged in my case.
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Old 09-16-2006, 04:35 PM   #112
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Comcast Southwest Florida - Fort Myers

Went to my Comcast office (Yes, with Saturday hours) earlier today after picking up the last S3 in my area at Best Buy and was given the bad news that my division requires a truck roll for $19.95 but that both CC's would be no monthly charge as long as I was turning in my set top digital box and the CC's were both going into one device. The nice CSR at the window wanted to warn me that I should really consider all I was losing in guide data and on Demand. (Ha, I never used their lousy guide and I might have used on Demand twice in two years) She also looked at me funny at first when I told her I needed two CC's but I just told her my device had two tuners and that each tuner needed its own CC. She commented, oh, that sounds nice, and went on without any other questions on the hardware. Now, she really was pleasant, but obviously Comcast had trained them to make everyone aware what they were giving up. I was going to argue for a free truck roll since everyone in the Pacific Northwest seems to be able to self-install, then I thought I shouldn't since they weren't going to gouge me for an additional outlet. So, first appointment next Thursday, until then I'll be using analog and antenna.
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:12 PM   #113
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FWIW, I just picked up two cable cards at my local (Redmond, WA) comcast "store". I brought the FCC regs, and everything expecting a hassle. Nice lady just handed them over, didn't really ask any questions other than my phone number (for acct. lookup) and typed in the SN's, presumably to register that I had them. I was pleasently surprised.

Now, if I can just find a place with an S3 in stock. ;-)
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:54 PM   #114
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My experience (Denver CO)

FWIW, there is no love from the cable company (comcast) for the tivo box or cable cards in general.
$15 install fee and ~$15/month for 3 cable cards (I asked about 3 since I have a set at the bar that could use one, but forget it now). I then called 800-comcast and got different information (5-6 total calls to a mix of local and 800 comcast support numbers).

It is fustrating that they don't have a firm grip on this yet.

Besides wanting to charge me all these fees to get the cards, I've heard the following:
LCR: local comcast rep
800: 800 comcast rep
1. (LCR) 90% of the cable card tvs don't work, stay with our STBs
2. (800) it doesn't support VOD because the cable card doesn't have enough bandwidth (we know VOD isn't supported, but this is the first time someone threw BW into the mix)
3. (800) Cable cards work great and there are no monthly fees, how many do you need? (I kind you not, 10 secs later we got disconnected)
4. (800) We have "HD" cable cards (I asked if this meant multistream and the guy said yes; he was also the one that told me there were no fees besides install)
5. (LCR) we have HD cable cards and SD card, the HD cards are $9.95/mon and the SD are $5.95/month (maybe it was $6.95)

Now my case it may be different since I already have two comcast HD DVRs. I plan on returning at least one, but I do like to have one for VOD and the ability to do firewire transfers to DVHS or to my computer (if only tivo had firewire I would dump all the comcast boxes). From one LCR, I got the impression that if I had no comcast STBs then she thought that 2 cable cards would be provided but I'd still have to pay a $6.95 additional outlet fee (we weren't even talking about the S3 yet, just general cable card stuff). This person didn't know anything about HD (multistream?) vs SD card cards. That's pretty much where I gave up. I might call again tomorrow and see if I can get convergence to maybe 1 or 2 stores, but near term it looks like the S3 will do HD OTA and analog cable and the comcast DVR to do the premium movies/digital cable.
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:37 PM   #115
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Ok, so, I picked up my S3 in Reading PA this morning - only BB close to me that had one.

Never got a call back from "Mike" the rep I spoke with at 10:30, he promised me a callback 'within an hour'.

So, while we're driving from Reading back to NJ, I called back to Comcast and got "Jeff", who apologized for no call back, stated that Mike had even noted in my file that he promised me a call back, and then told me:

A) I would be losing VOD & PPV.
- No problem, I know that.
B) Oh, we don't support TiVos. We got a service bulletin down this morning that they're being tested in your area, if you aren't part of the test market, we can't give you the CableCards.
- I countered this argument with the fact that the TIVO is a Cable Labs certified device, and by FCC mandate they HAVE to give me the card. He didn't know what to do with that.
C) Pricing isn't worked out for these yet.
- Um, they cost what they cost - what would it cost if I were to get 3 for 3 different TVs? I'll pay that.
D) (this was my FAVORITE) The CableCards we have are for TVs. The TIVO records, and the CableCards we have don't record, so we can't install them.
- ??? I just didn't even have an answer for that. I just started laughing.

At this point I asked to speak to his supervisor, and got put on the phone with one Joe Iadanza (apparently a 4th cousin of Tony Danza, he worked that into the conversation) in the Voorhees, NJ office.

He repeated the 'being tested in your area, and we can't roll a truck for you' statement. Repeated the 'new directive came down this morning' statement, then said 'we have 4 different kinds of cards, and we don't know which one will work in the system, so we can't install them. Then with the 'we won't support them or install them in your device because we can't guarantee they'll work'. Went back to the FCC regs & CableLabs certification on that one. He knows nothing about FCC regs, only what his memo says. Then it was 'well, we're going to be rolling new cards shortly that support VOD & PPV' - I wanted to laugh at that one, I explained to him that I found that highly unlikely, because the CC2 standard had yet to be set, so I'm not sure how "shortly" he expected a bi-directional CableCard, but that was irrelevant to my issue, because those cards won't work in my device *anyway*. He didn't have a clue what I was talking about. He didn't seem to know a whole lot, other than what came down on that 'memo'.

He was adamant that he would not give me the CableCards for the Tivo, but he would give me one for the TV. He is going to 'send out some emails' and call me on Monday after he gets a better idea of what he's allowed to do. That's the BEST he'll offer me.

Get off the phone with him, and on the phone with WhoKnows55. WhoKnows pulls the phone number for TiVo for me (Thanks again, Andrew!!) and I call there and get a very helpful woman named Amy. After some minor glitches in her phone system, we're on a conference call with Comcast.

We get a nice CSR named "Chris", and I asked to speak to Mr. Iadanza again. He doesn't put me through, but asks if he can help me. Amy identifies herself, and says that she's from Tivo, and asks me to explain my situation to him. I give him my story with my previous conversations. He starts with the 'compatibility' and she breaks in and says 'all cablecards are compatible with the S3 Tivo.' That took some of the wind out of his sails. He puts us on hold a few times more, and comes back and says 'well, the pricing's not set'.

I said 'you know what? I don't care about the pricing - we'll work that out on the back end. I just want the cards'.

He said 'will you be turning in your current DVR?' I said 'yes'. He puts us back on hold again, Amy & I have a great conversation. He finally comes back and says "I'm going to have to call you back". I said, I'd rather not do that, I don't want to lose this conference call, can I hold. He says 'well, I'm checking for our scheduling, so I will have to call you back with that'. So I decide to say ok, since Amy was a witness to that conversation. Comcast hangs up, Amy provides me with a case number, and says if there are ANY more problems, let her know.

5 minutes later get a call back from Chris - install is set for Tuesday between 4-6, CableCards 1 & 2 will be free, 3 will be $8/mo, but I will be saving $5/mo by turning in the current DVR, so it works out to $1/ea per month, in my mind - more than worth it for triple tuners.

Now we'll see if I get a call back on Monday from the supervisor, or if he just reads the notes and lets it go.

Hubby's theory is that Comcast (at least in our area) is doing ALL they can to prevent these installs, so the script is to deny and delay as much as possible until someone from TiVo is on the line, or the customer persists and seems to know what they're talking about. Wouldn't surprise me.

So, now, we'll see what happens Tuesday between 4-6.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:15 PM   #116
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Well, My comcast story seems to fit in with the bunch. I first tried using comcast web chat since I was out of the country to try and find out about self-installs, availability, etc. Person I spoke with via chat said that Comcast did do self installs, and that I could stop by any Comcast office in the Chicago area - but he couldn't tell me address or phone numbers - gave me a link to the web site for me to put in my zip code. Told me there would be no fee for the cards.

WHen I went to the web page, it asked me to specify what service / reason I was looking for at my Comcast office, and one of the options was: Self Installation, with choices for CableCard, DVR, Digital Cable Box, etc. etc.

When I selected CC Self Install - it told me no "stores" in the area supported it, so I called a different phone number (this general chicago # which WAS listed on the Linked list.)

After waiting on hold for a number of minutes, I spoke with a nice CSR, who told me that Comcast did not support CCs for TiVos, only for TVs. I explained to her that the FCC had mandated that they support them - , so I asked for her name, and her supervisors name, explaining that this was in conflict with the FCC direction.

She then said she could schedule an install for ~2 weeks away, and that I'd have to pay something like a 32.99 install fee for each card, plus a 5.99 fee for each card.

When I asked to speak with her supervisor, she spent about 5 minutes trying to get her on line, and did so. I spent about 30 minutes explaining the new TiVo box to her, walking the supervisor throught the TCF site, showing her links to the FCC filings, etc, and she told me that she would "see what she could do" to make special arrangements to let me pick up a CC, but that this normally was not done (no self installs). She promised to call me back on Thursday (last Thursday). She also gave me her direct line, and said that, since I'd been with them since '97, if she had to roll a truck, she'd wave the fee.

When I landed back in Chicago, no voice mail, no missed call, nada. So I called and left several voice messages, but didn't get a response, and heard that she wasn't working until Sunday afternoon (per her voicemail).

On Friday, after finding that Tivo WAS supporting Lifetime transfers for (at least some) retail purchases, I managed to find a good deal at Abt Electronics, and went to pick up my TiVo. During my long ride, I waited on hold 20 minutes, spoke to someone else who said they didn't support Tivo, that I would be charged a full truck roll fee, plus install for 2 cards, and would have to pay $5.99 per card. I hung up.

I called back, sat on hold for 15 minutes, got the runaround again, and was told my a supervisor that I didn't know what I was talking about - that the previous supervisor from Wed night had not made any promises, no notes in my acct, etc. - and that they'd still charge me full rates for install and monthly. (~ $70 + 5.99 / card) --- BUT that they could schedule an install for Sat Sept 16th. After asking to speak to HIS manager, I was told - "oh, it turns out that it WAS noted on your account that we weren't supposed to charge you for the install" but that they still would add $12 / month to my bill for the cards.

I said "fine, let's do it, and I'll sort out the billing later" - if not today, then it would have been another 2 weeks delay.

Well, the installer showed up today - he called, said he'd be arrining "right away" - but took an hour to get here. When he asked where the TV was, I explained - It already has a cable card - the two are for my new TiVo. He started down the path "we don't do TiVos" - but I said - don't worry, yes you do, here's all the documentation. He pulled the two cards out of his pocket - no case, no protection, a few scratches on them, etc. - and I thought - "Oh Boy."

I had the series 3 pulled out, ready for the install, link to TCF all set (on the comcast page), etc. He called in to register the first card, had some confusion ("we don't do TiVos") - but by this time HE told the office - oh, apparently yes we do. This customer knows EXACTLY what we're supposed to do - and "given this box - it looks really sweet - I bet we'll be doing a LOT of installs."

First card went in with no problem, got the host info, etc. - but as soon as the second card went in, I got a dreaded 161 -1 error - cable card not functioning properly - "please notify your cable company" message. When he called in to report the error message on the second card, the call center person said - "No, we don't do TiVos, thats why the card isn't working" - to which HE now said - Oh yes we do ---- after a few minutes of THEM arguing, I suggested - why don't we just hang up and call back, which we did.

Now, after several attempts, it wasn't working, so I asked him to just pull another card - he told me he didn't bring any others - and he couldn't drive to pick up another one. He suggested just stopping by my local office and swapping it out - "since it was now on my account, they should just give you a new card." If not, he said he'd see if he could come back on Monday - and would call me if he could.

So... I called customer service to get the hours and exact location of my closest office - and after waiting for 25 minutes before I even reached a person, I was told "our systems are down so I can't give you any information - try calling back later" - this was from someone in Florida working at a Comcast call center.

After a few minutes, I called back again, spent on 20 minutes waiting to speak with someone who told me that 1) In the Chicago area, Comcast does NOT do self installs; 2) there should NOT be a fee for the additional cable cards - but there will be a fee in the very near future; 3) the earliest they can schedule a replacement delivery for the 2nd cable card is Next Saturday, again anytime between one pm and five pm.

At this point I am NOT happy, but say FINE - lets make it next saturday so I can wait for another 4 hours. ARGH!

Good news is that I have a single tuner now working - and guide data is indexing. Tomorrow I will call the orignal Supervisor and see what, if anything she can do to help me.

This certainly falls under the topic of "things that ought not be so difficult"

Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:51 PM   #117
jhurlbut
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The Saga Continues . . .

For anyone that still cares that my S3 is not up and running, here is day 3 of the S3 saga:

Came home tonight with my 2 new cable cards (#'s 3 and 4) and promptly inserted one into S3. Waited (not) patiently for the MMI screen to come up. Inserted CC #2 (4?) into slot 2 and waited for the MMI screen to come up.

After both MMI screens had come up, I called Comcast. Spoke to a tech and mentioned that someone else had said they got 5 signals sent to their card(s) and I wanted all 5 signals this time. She mentioned they only do 2 signals, one as an initialization and the other as a channel info signal. I got the 161-4 error as expected for each card. I let her go. I went to test channels again and got the blue screen AGAIN (has anyone else gotten this blue screen?) and waited again about 10 minutes for the S3 to tell me that it couldn't acquire any channel information. <Sigh>

So I called TiVo . . . they suggested I remove the splitter from the equation and try again. So I went to my network closet and used a barrel connector to connect the incoming line directly to the wall socket the TiVo is on. Removed and re-inserted the CCs and called Comcast back. Got an AWESOME tech, Scott! (Scott if you're still reading this forum, thanks so much for your help!) Scott again sent out the signals and mentioned that the signals were backed up in the system, but he expected them to go through in about 10 - 15 minutes. He said he'd call me back to check and see how it was going. Also mentioned only 2 signals, so I don't know who was able to send 5???

Sure enough 10 or so minutes later, I get the 161-4 "error" for each card. Scott calls back shortly after. He asks to stay on the line while I make sure they work. (Thinking to myself, cool.) I try the channel test and get blue screen again. I finally tell Scott we're working on a new Series 3 TiVo. He seemed excited by the prospect and even pulled up the "Installing Cable Cards in the S3" tech note on TiVo.com and we walked through each step in various configurations 3 or 4 times each time ending at the blue screen on the Acquiring Channel Infor screen. He must have been on the phone with me nearly an hour trying to troubleshoot this. He even was reading THIS thread trying to gain some insight. Overall it was a VERY pleasant call even though the end result was the same. No workie TiVo.

He is rolling a truck for tomorrow (Sunday!) between 12-4 for a "repair" of my CC services. In the meantime he provided me the QAM channel information for my local HD channels so I'd at least have some HD programming to watch on the TiVo. I didn't even ask for it, he was reading these forums and said "It says here, you can receive QAM channels in the clear?" and proceeded to provide me with the mappings. Very cool! Very above and beyond the call of duty Service.

NOW, let's hope the tech tomorrow can get me up and running. I'd hate to think I have a thousand dollar boat anchor!

To be continued . . .
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Old 09-17-2006, 12:52 AM   #118
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Quote:
I'd hate to think I have a thousand dollar boat anchor!
As far as boat anchors go, you'd be getting off cheap

Good to hear that there are some Comcast techs who are being helpful and inquisitive regarding the S3.
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Old 09-17-2006, 01:25 AM   #119
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So, I've had two conversations with Comcast reps about the cost of cablecards. The first person, on the 800 line, said that the first cablecard was $5, and every additional one was $11.95. I didn't press the issue at the time.

The second time was on Friday, when I talked to a couple of Comcast reps who had a table set up outside of BestBuy. When I asked about CableCards, I got a couple of blank stares, then an "oh yeahhh, I think I've heard of those...." I explained that I wanted them for my Series 3 Tivo, which I thought *maybe* they would know about, since they were right outside a BB where they were flying off the shelves. Nope.

To their credit, the reps didn't try and BS me too much, and actually went to the effort to call into their office to find someone who knew something. Took a couple calls, but the guy they finally put me on the phone with starts into his pitch about how I won't be able to get on demand, etc. I'm like, "no problem, I want the cablecards for my series 3 Tivo, that's why I want to switch to Comcast from DirecTV. How much are the cards?" And he tells me that they're $6.95 each.

I mention to him that these are for one Tivo unit--hence one outlet--hence I shouldn't have to pay the extra outlet charge. No dice. I mention to him that the Comcast web site says CableCards are free, and that some people are posting here that they are getting them for free.

Now here's the part that really kills me: his reply is, "Well, the Cablecards are free, but there's a $6.95 charge to used them. All those people who think they're getting them for free are going to find another line on their bills for $6.95 a piece per month. It won't be called CableCards, but it'll be another outlet charge or something." That's as near to a direct quote as I can recall.

I dunno if this is true or not--we'll have to wait and see when people start getting their bills--but what amazes me is that he thought that
(a) there's nothing inherently contradictory about "free" cablecards that require a $6.95 charge to "use" them, and
(b) it's fine to have plenty of customers who think they're getting free cablecards but will actually have to pay.

I see why people think Comcast sucks. Right now, the Comcast/Series 3 is somewhere inbetween $25 and $40 more expensive per month--on top of the $800 cost of the box--than the DirecTV/HR20. I'd much rather have Tivo software and not have D* overcompressed signals, but man....to pay that much more with such an evil attitude towards your customers is a hefty burden to overcome.
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Old 09-17-2006, 01:53 AM   #120
amjustice
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It seems a lot of people are running into problems when they are getting too specific with the Comcast people on the phone. I think your best bet it to be somewhat vague but not too vague....I will explain
Dont be so vague as to just say you need 2 cable cards, they will charge you extra fess for installation and additional outlets. However dont be so specific to say that its a Tivo device or a Series 3 Tivo,

I had my best success just saying "Its a DVR which takes 2 cable cards as inputs and therefore is only one outlet."

I don't think your explanation can be much simpler then that and those are all terms that the comcast people understand, when you start throwing out devices and terms they dont know is when they will start kicking back at you.
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