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Old 09-17-2006, 09:18 PM   #1
jhurlbut
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Question Comcast Cable Card Setup Issues

The "Official Comcast" thread is getting fairly long and is more complaining about not getting cable cards, than issues related to install, so I'm starting this one.
  • I've had my S3 now since Thursday, picked up at Fry's in Renton, WA.
  • Picked up my first 2 cable cards at local Comcast store on Friday.
  • Attempted Self-Install Friday evening, got 161-4 errors which at the time I thought were bad.
  • Swapped out CC's on Saturday morning, attempted another self-install Saturday evening.
  • Spent 1.5 hours on the phone with a tech trying to get cable cards working.
  • Everytime they sent their signal, got 161-4 error.
  • When I went to "test channels" I got the blue hypnotic screen for 10+ minutes and then an error that it could not acquire channel information.
  • Comcast sent out a tech today who spent 3 hours with me trying various configurations.
  • Again, everytime the office sent the signal, got the 161-4 error and same blue screen with test channels.
  • Called TiVo they said to use another cable card device and see if that works. Don't have one and think it's silly to go buy a TV just for testing purposes.
  • Had tech test signal levels everywhere for channel 2.
    At the tap, 18 dB, At my network closet, 15 dB, at the TiVo through my -10 dB attenuator, we're at 7 dB. According to tech any reading between -2 dB and +10 dB should be fine.
  • Eliminating the splitter and attenuator provided same end result with obviously higher signal levels.

Also, looking at the CableCard setup screens, under conditional access for Auth: it says Unknown. Under Cable Card Status, under State: it says Wait_To_Start

Can anyone that has a WORKING TiVo look at theirs and tell me what their cable card status and Conditional Access readings are? These are Motorola Cable Cards that I have.

ALSO, if anyone had a tech come to their home and look at signal strength and you remember, could you tell me what the signal level was at the TiVo and anywhere else you may have had a reading done?

Sorry for the long post, I just really want this thing to work. I do NOT want to go back to the the Comcast DVR.

Thanks!
John
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Old 09-17-2006, 09:37 PM   #2
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I already sent this to you in PM, but for the record in case others are curious, both of my cards say:

Auth: SUBSCRIBED
State: Wait To Start

These are Motorola cable cards.

I presume that when you're getting the 161-4 error, you're hitting "select" to clear it immediately? That's what I did, for whatever it's worth. I'd think that your signal is probably ok if they were able to get signals out to the Comcast DVR successfully.
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Old 09-17-2006, 09:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharding
I'd think that your signal is probably ok if they were able to get signals out to the Comcast DVR successfully.
Well, according to TiVo techs (and Comcast techs for that matter), the CableCards are much more finicky than the STB's, DVR or otherwise. I'm really hoping someone (hopefully someone on Comcast in the Puget Sound) can tell me what their signal levels are. The TiVo tech suggested that either it's the TiVo, OR I just won't be able to use CableCard devices at my home. They actually asked me if the cable company had a cable card STB that we could try. Now why would they have a Cable Card STB? The idea of Cable Cards is to eliminate the STB's right? So he suggested I get another CableCard device and test that. So I guess I run out to Best Buy and get a new TV and try the CableCard in that to see if it works? Great.
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Old 09-18-2006, 04:34 PM   #4
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Does anyone know what their signal level readings were when/if a tech came out to the house to do the install? I'm most interested in signal level at the TiVo, but other points along the line, tap, etc. would be helpful in troubleshooting my problems. I still think (hope) it's a Comcast signal level issue and NOT a bad TiVo.

John
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Old 09-18-2006, 04:39 PM   #5
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I was geeky last night and checked mine on my channels. 97 on at least the 5 I checked. Also, my cable line is split near my front door (one to bedroom one to living room). It is split again in the Living room so I can split the signal and watch 50/50 on my Hitachi 51".

FYI using cablevision in westchester new york.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:07 PM   #6
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I just had 4 cable cards installed and thought I would add some additional info that might be useful

1) Assuming they can get your account provisioned for CableCards (see #2).

Cards were newer Motorola cards with firmware level 4.21 (which I believe is the latest)
You can see that info on the "CableCARD Status" screen. These cards did not need/receive a firmware update during install. (The installer originally had some older Motorola cards with firmware 4.05 on them; I asked if he had others, because I remember reading about problems with that firmware level on the Motorola cards, so I can't say if 4.05 would've worked or not.)

The CableCARD decoder menu came up very quickly after the first card was inserted.

Although the instructions say to complete everything with the first card and then repeat with the second, this really isn't necessary. Just provide whoever is authorizing the cards with the host and data id for each card.

A potential gotcha: it appears that the data in the Conditional Access screen is not updated until "Test Channels" has been accessed for that card, so if you are refreshing that item to see if the card recognized by the cable system, it will look like it isn't.

The Component PIDs will both be zeros and authorization status will probably say unknown "Auth: unknown". If you see this, and you think the card has been authorized, go to "Test Channels". When you select "Test Channels", you should see a Warning screen that says you are about the access a setting that temporarily disbles recording, with OK and Go back choices. IF YOU DON'T SEE THIS SCREEN, THE CARD PROBABLY ISN'T AUTHORIZED CORRECTLY.

If you don't see the warning screen, you will see a screen with text about getting channel information - primarily a blue screen with a spinning disc in the center. The text on this screen is misleading - it has nothing to do with the channels you receive or those that you might see in your guide - the S3 is trying to read the mappings from the cablecard. This should complete almost instaneously (when the card was properly set up, I never saw this screen).

When you are in the test channels screen, try tuning an channel that you expect to be encrypted (e.g. HBO) or in most case ESPN-HD or INHD. If you can see the channel, your cablecard is probably set up correctly. Verify by going to the Conditional Access screen and seeing if Auth: now says SUBSCRIBED. Don't get fooled - you will be able to see any unencrypted channel if you have the card in, but it's not set up/paired/authorized correctly.
If you go into the CA screen after attempting a Test Channels and the component PIDs are both still all zeros, you aren't set up correctly.

As others have said, you may see a 161-4 error message. I don't recall the text of the message, but it implies that things are not well and is very discouraging when you see it. Don't worry, just hit select. It's actually a good thing, since it's an apparent ack of communication with the head end. You should be able to go to test channels after seeing that, as above. If you see the blue screen with spinning disc, the cable company isn't finished.

I'll post more later with part two and provising info (the vast majority of my appointment was getting Comcast to allow my account to accept the cards at all). They ran into a problem that may impact some that don't have a common digital package. More in a bit.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3

The Component PIDs will both be zeros and authorization status will probably say unknown "Auth: unknown". If you see this, and you think the card has been authorized, go to "Test Channels". When you select "Test Channels", you should see a Warning screen that says you are about the access a setting that temporarily disbles recording, with OK and Go back choices. IF YOU DON'T SEE THIS SCREEN, THE CARD PROBABLY ISN'T AUTHORIZED CORRECTLY.

If you don't see the warning screen, you will see a screen with text about getting channel information - primarily a blue screen with a spinning disc in the center. The text on this screen is misleading - it has nothing to do with the channels you receive or those that you might see in your guide - the S3 is trying to read the mappings from the cablecard. This should complete almost instaneously (when the card was properly set up, I never saw this screen).
I'm on pins and needles waiting for #2! This is AWESOME information and just about exactly what I was hoping for! After Comcast sends their Authorization request I do indeed get the 161-4 error. I get one for each card and press select to bypass it. Then Comcast sends another "hit" to the card and I never get a 161-4 error for that, just take them at their word that it went through.

I then go to the "test channels" screen and it sits on the Blue Screen with the spinning thing forever. I never get the channel bar. Ever.

So please please please post #2.

Thanks so much!
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhurlbut
I'm on pins and needles waiting for #2! This is AWESOME information and just about exactly what I was hoping for! After Comcast sends their Authorization request I do indeed get the 161-4 error. I get one for each card and press select to bypass it. Then Comcast sends another "hit" to the card and I never get a 161-4 error for that, just take them at their word that it went through.

I then go to the "test channels" screen and it sits on the Blue Screen with the spinning thing forever. I never get the channel bar. Ever.
Before I start #2 - if it just sits on the Blue screen, go to the Conditional Access screen - that info should mean something to whoever is doing the authorization at the head end. We had a number of times where the guy on the phone thought he was done, but the card wasn't set up properly on their end, even though the "hit" was sent properly and everything "looked OK".

The installer had a direct line to a Comcast conditional access expert and found that the cards hadn't either been initialized or set up properly - they have to be tied to the head somehow. It made sense to the installer, since he had picked up cards (which appeared to be new) directly from a regional warehouse and not from the normal stock for the location.

I only heard half the conversation and don't know the specifics, but as soon as he fixed that, the regular support folks hit each of the cards again and all was well.

If the cable company thinks everything is OK, see if they can find someone that understands the info on the conditional access screen. Just watching the screens, it's pretty obvious to tell when things are "right" (the key field apparently being "Auth:")

As for the blue, spinning disc screen, I had talked to a Series 3 support person at Tivo to understand what that screen was (see my previous post) and just wish Tivo would put some text on the screen to indicate that it was trying to get channel info FROM THE CABLE CARD. Anyway, from what I was told, you should never see that screen for long, if at all, if the card is authorized properly. If you see the warning screen, the S3 thinks it has a valid cable card in it. If not, it's looking for one.

And now on to #2:

2) Being able to even get to the point where the cards could be authorized.

The biggest problem we had today wasn't the Series 3 or the cablecards or even properly authorizing the cards, but getting the work order set up in the first place.

There was no issue about what was needed - the installer (who I presume was one of the lead field techs, since he always seems to be involved in the tough problems) knew what we needed to get done. He also had some field experience with CableCards in the past. I had spent some time with him last week explaining the Series 3 and he already knew that a number of the folks wouldn't have a clue. (In fact, one guy asked him "Are you sure this is an HDTV?" and he smiled and said just said yes. According to the conditional access expert, there is NOTHING that would (easily) identify the host as a Tivo Series 3 and that most sending the commands to the card(s) wouldn't be able to tell from their side that it's not a TV.


I have a digital package, but not a standard one. One of my S3's replaced a Motorola 6412 Phase III box, which was my primary (and only) cable box and had been working fine with my expected channels, including the HD ones, so what we expected to do was:

1) Remove the Moto DVR as my primary box and replace it with 2 cable cards. This should've removed the DVR charge, but because a digital box is included in the price of the package, the 2 cable cards should've been "free".

2) Add a "new" digital outlet for the second S3 ($6.95/month total, for the "outlet" + 2 cards.

We weren't really worried about what the charges were going to be, because I knew we could get the backoffice stuff fixed later - the key was to get the account set up and get the cards installed. Not unexpectedly, the installer heard multiple opinions on just what this was going to cost over the morning.

The problem is that the pricing wasn't set up properly in the system. We knew that if you could have a package authorized with the Comcast DVR (and their HD "flag"), that you should be able to have the same package with cable cards in lieu of the box. This was the root of most of our problems this morning - they couldn't get the work order entered into the system to tie the cards to my account. Quite a few people tried, but no matter what they did, they got an error. When they finally figured out that there was an error in the system, they changed the digital package to a different service level and then everything to allow the cards on the account worked. So, right now, I have a more expensive package, but Comcast will get it fixed so I won't be paying more for essentially not using their box. But I expect my next cable bill will be interesting, given the number of changes made this morning.

So - since they have to get the work order set up properly before you can do anything with the cablecards - if they can't even get the cards on your account in the first place, see if the problem goes away if you switch to a different digital package. I presume this may only be an issue for Comcast and maybe only in some areas of the country, but the installer clearly realized this is a backend system problem and nothing that should impact the customer.

(We actually had the conditional access guy temporarily authorize one of my cards manually for one of the premium packages, since I couldn't get any of the channels in test channels, even though it was supposed to be on my account. Turns out when they "fixed" the package to complete the work order, the premium channels hadn't been turned back on. Once that was done, the premium channels tuned properly on all 4 cards).

So, we had two major problems - the cards weren't properly initialized for the head end and my account wasn't set up to be able to tie the cards to the account.

We both believe that, had neither of these been an issue, that we probably would've been done in about 20 minutes. The total visit was about 3 hours, but was worth it - the installer got some good contacts and learned a lot about the Series 3 and I learned a lot about how things worked on the backend.

I already volunteered to be his test subject when the M-stream cards are available and he's going to take me up on it.
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:53 PM   #9
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FWIW, my activation story... Though not as detailed, it may help:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=317349
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:41 PM   #10
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Ok, so I'm having Comcast CableCARD setup issues...

One of the cards (#2) indicates Auth: MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY.

The other card, #1, indicates Auth: unknown

In order to see if a reset would help, I perfrom a Tivo reset...

Previously, both CableCARDs had Auth: MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY.

I called Comcast and that was a useless excersize. The guy I spoke with was basically anti-cable card. ...and his answer to anything was that a tech needed to come out again.

He also told me that the CableCARDs are programmed from the central office AT the central office with the information on which channels you are premitted to view (decrypt). I guess that means that cable cards are flashed with the channels you are allowed to get?

...but that doesn't make alot of sense to me.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhard
One of the cards (#2) indicates Auth: MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY.
This is what my card said when it hadn't been sent the signal required to tell the card what you are authorized to view from Comcast.

Quote:
The other card, #1, indicates Auth: unknown
This rings a bell from some earlier trouble I had. If you check your "Conditional Access" on this card and it does not have "Encryption: DES" -- you probably have a poorly configured card. I am not certain, but I get the impression that if you have one messed up card, neither will work properly.

Quote:
Previously, both CableCARDs had Auth: MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY.
Did just your basic cable channels work at this point? Or not at all?

Quote:
I called Comcast and that was a useless excersize. The guy I spoke with was basically anti-cable card. ...and his answer to anything was that a tech needed to come out again.
I hate to say it, but I'd just keep calling until you get someone who actually cares about doing their job. Just today I finally got a Comcast CSR who actually took the time to help get the cards working. It took 2 days to find that person unfortunately!

Quote:
He also told me that the CableCARDs are programmed from the central office AT the central office with the information on which channels you are premitted to view (decrypt). I guess that means that cable cards are flashed with the channels you are allowed to get?
Definitely not correct. My Comcast CSR sent those signals to my cards during activation.

See my post above yours for my activation story...
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:36 AM   #12
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Good infor jfh3! Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
Before I start #2 - if it just sits on the Blue screen, go to the Conditional Access screen - that info should mean something to whoever is doing the authorization at the head end. We had a number of times where the guy on the phone thought he was done, but the card wasn't set up properly on their end, even though the "hit" was sent properly and everything "looked OK".
So far, I've only had one CSR that gave a rat's patootie. He was kind enough to e-mail me to check in and see how things are going, so I pointed him this way to see if we can't get closer to a resolution.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
The installer had a direct line to a Comcast conditional access expert and found that the cards hadn't either been initialized or set up properly - they have to be tied to the head somehow. It made sense to the installer, since he had picked up cards (which appeared to be new) directly from a regional warehouse and not from the normal stock for the location.

I only heard half the conversation and don't know the specifics, but as soon as he fixed that, the regular support folks hit each of the cards again and all was well.
So far no one has had a clue what the conditional access screen IS, let alone what it SHOULD say.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
If the cable company thinks everything is OK, see if they can find someone that understands the info on the conditional access screen. Just watching the screens, it's pretty obvious to tell when things are "right" (the key field apparently being "Auth:")
So far my "Auth:" says "UNKNOWN". My encryption is DES, so I guess I'm halfway there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
Anyway, from what I was told, you should never see that screen for long, if at all, if the card is authorized properly. If you see the warning screen, the S3 thinks it has a valid cable card in it. If not, it's looking for one.
Well, I see it for 10 minutes or so then it times out. So my cards are obviously not authorized properly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
And now on to #2:

2) Being able to even get to the point where the cards could be authorized.
I remember the lady that gave me the cards in the first place had a devil of a time adding them to my account. She had to have her supervisor come over and do it and it sounded like it was hokey at best, the way they added them. So now you've got me wondering if they were added improperly. ????

Hopefully the nice CSR that helped me the other evening will read his hotmail tonight and give me a call for some more troubleshooting.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhurlbut
I remember the lady that gave me the cards in the first place had a devil of a time adding them to my account. She had to have her supervisor come over and do it and it sounded like it was hokey at best, the way they added them. So now you've got me wondering if they were added improperly. ????
From what I understand, the two parts are totally seperate - the access guys can hit the cards all day long, but if they aren't tied to the account properly, they won't work properly, even if the correct cable card command are sent.

My installer knew that, unless the cards were added to my account properly (e.g. the work order for the cable cards was created without error), that we weren't going to be sucessfull.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLCMike
I am not certain, but I get the impression that if you have one messed up card, neither will work properly.
Not true. At one point today, I had one card working fine, while the other didn't.

I presume had we left it that way, the S3 would've worked in single tuner mode.
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:11 AM   #15
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I should have clarified... By "messed up" I mean totally misconfigured to the point of needing to be returned. That is, if you check your "Conditional Access" on your CC and it does not have "Encryption: DES" -- you probably have a "messed up" card. This is the only major difference that I could discern between the cards that did and didn't work for me. On the cards that didn't work I did in fact attempt swapping CC1 for CC2 and then activating with Comcast to see if perhaps having a dud card in CC1 vs. CC2 would result in at least 1 functional card. It didn't. Thus my assertion!

Having said that, I could still be totally wrong about this issue. It was just my impression that this was the case!
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Old 09-19-2006, 01:19 AM   #16
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Awesome info, jfh3. Thanks for sharing! This seems valuable enough to go in a non-Comcast thread, so people with other cable companies will see it. (Of course, I'm reading all of the Cable Card threads because I'm interested in how it's going; maybe everyone else is doing the same thing).
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Old 09-19-2006, 08:18 AM   #17
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cable card issue?

I'm having an issue, and I am not sure if it is a cable card issue...

One channel has no sound. I still have my cable box running through another input on my television and sound is fine through that.
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Old 09-19-2006, 08:56 AM   #18
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Ok,

Here is the update.

Even though I'm at work, and super busy, I call Comcast.

I got a really nice lady who indicated to me that the guy I spoke with last night was nuts (and probably just lazy).

Comcast absolutely SENDS the proper information to the CableCARDs in order to configured them. THEY DO NOT COME PRECONFIGURED WITH THE CONTENT YOU ARE ALLOW TO ACCESS, THUS REQUIRING YOU TO HAVE A TECH COME OUT WHENEVER YOU CHANGE YOU LINEUP, ETC.

Furthermore, she was able to send a signal to one of the cards and recieve and the ack(knowledgement).

So the cable cards can certainly be accessed for the purpose of uploading viewing content authorization, and then send an ack or and error back.

I got an error on one of the cards, and the "everything is fine" on the other card.

What the cable company can't do is any anvanced troubleshooting that their specialized cable boxes allow them to do.

What I suspect is the problem is:

In the past, if I've had a slitter on the line with two cable boxes, I need to remove one of them while the other is being authorized!

I have no idea how to do this with the Tivo... However, I'm going to start by installing the first card, having them authorize it, then installing the second card, and having them authorize it.

We'll see.

Oh, and both of my cards list DES for EncryptionES.

Gerhard
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:23 AM   #19
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My experience so far

Helpful Comcast installer came out with 3 cards. Was a little non-plussed by the sight of the TiVo but managed to take it in stride and actually seemed to be excited about giving it a go. (I think it was his first CableCard install to boot! - Apparently Comcast doesn't install many around here).

Anyway first card goes in and after the various numbers are exchanged during the Channel Check TiVo spontaneously reboots. After reboot however CC 1 is working perfectly.

CC 2 goes in, numbers exchanged - but no spontaneous reboot and no Digital channels received - except for INHD1 and 2 and the local HD broadcasts (that are of course sending SD because it's not primetime).

The theory is that they hadn't activated the second "line" on my account for the second digital decoder. I'm giving it 30 mins - (and perhaps a magical TiVo reboot) and we'll see what happens.

No error messages have been displayed during the process.

So I've got 1.5 cable cards going

Robert.
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:11 PM   #20
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Well I'm now down to just 1 CableCard - TiVo was thinking the second card was OK and so was scheduling dual recordings - which isn't good as most digital channels on the second CC are blank.

I've got a service call in for someone to come back on Friday.

Generally seems to be major confusion on second card activation - when I called back to this afternoon to say it was still not working - the CSR said "Well it's not be activated for your account yet..." This despite numerous conversations between the installer and base this morning. Unfortunately "activating" the card seems to have made no difference.

My theory is that it's still some Comcast configuration cockup and everything would work fine if they could just get the pieces talking. In otherwords the hardware is fine but the configuration is cocked up.

Robert.
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:47 PM   #21
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Update: For giggles I called Comcast and had them hit the cards again to activate them. (I also changed my service to the Digital Plus 5 plan.)

That didn't work. The cards still didn't pop up under AUTH: SUBSCRIBED.

On the other hand, I decided to try something:

I went ahead and pulled the second card. Then I pulled the 1st card. I then inserted the 1st card, and asked ComCast to authorize it.

BAM: The first card could now see the digital premium channels.

I inserted the 2nd Card, and had Comcast hit the card (authorize it). They did not get an error, BUT the 2nd card reads Auth: MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY.

So I can get 1 card to work, and the other will not.

However, it is clear that the order in which they activate things is important.

I have had a big problem in the past with getting two cable boxes to work on the same physical cable line! Previously, I would have to have them send a signal to one box, disconnect it, connect the other box, and then authorize the other box. I'm wondering if I'm having that problem here.

Gerhard
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Old 09-19-2006, 05:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhard
Ok,

Furthermore, she was able to send a signal to one of the cards and recieve and the ack(knowledgement).

Gerhard
This doesn't make a lot of sense to me, as I was under the impression that there is no facility in the Series 3 to send any kind of messages back to the headend... but I'm hardly an authority on such matters.
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:31 PM   #23
Gerhard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronw
This doesn't make a lot of sense to me, as I was under the impression that there is no facility in the Series 3 to send any kind of messages back to the headend... but I'm hardly an authority on such matters.
It makes perfect sense... the CableCARD would have to be able to acknowledge the reciept of commands.

This is very different than two way communication like On-Demand.

The cable company is completely aware when the card reports and error or doesn't.

Earlier, I had them reset the account and change my service. The caused the 1st cable card to be setup properly. Then, when they sent the activation command to it (which premits use of encrypted digital content), the 1st CC started working.

At every attempt they've been able to tell me if the procedure worked or not. That would have to mean that the card communicated with the central office.
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:00 PM   #24
jhurlbut
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That's weird because every tech I've talked to at Comcast, without exception says they get nothing back from the cards. They send out the command and they can see when the command leaves the system, but beyond that, they have no clue . . . or so they say.
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:29 PM   #25
Aiken
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Here's something entirely empirical about the branding of the cards:

I got two cards last week from the Redmond, WA office in anticipation of getting my S3. (Little did I know.) They were both Motorola, but had different labels. One was Comcast branded (red/black label), the other was just Motorola (various pastel colors on the label).

Yesterday, after I finally got an S3 locally, the Comcast card (with a lower serial number) would not do premium content, but the plain Motorola (with a higher serial number) would. After much time with a really great guy at tech support, we decided to trade in the one that didn't work for one that looked just like the one that did, which I did today. We'll see tonight.

If you're having trouble and nothing else is helping, ask them for two cards with the highest and most similar serial numbers in the pile and identical labels. You're most likely to get current, good firmware that way. It may be significant that the non-branded cards worked, it may not be. It might just be age. I wouldn't be surprised if the Comcast variant is buggier, since they hate CableCards.
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:32 PM   #26
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FWIW, both of my working cable cards have the Motorola label (no Comcast branding in sight).
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:56 PM   #27
jhurlbut
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Ditto here, both motorola, both same label, only difference in serial numbers is the last 3 or 4 digits . . . don't know if this means current firmwear or whatnot, but when I picked up my 2nd set thinking the 1st set was bad, the lady said "That's weird, we just got these in yesterday"
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:58 PM   #28
sharding
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhurlbut
Ditto here, both motorola, both same label, only difference in serial numbers is the last 3 or 4 digits . . . don't know if this means current firmwear or whatnot, but when I picked up my 2nd set thinking the 1st set was bad, the lady said "That's weird, we just got these in yesterday"
So, what's your next step? Are you still waiting on a callback from Comcast?
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Old 09-19-2006, 08:10 PM   #29
jfh3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken
Here's something entirely empirical about the branding of the cards:

I got two cards last week from the Redmond, WA office in anticipation of getting my S3. (Little did I know.) They were both Motorola, but had different labels. One was Comcast branded (red/black label), the other was just Motorola (various pastel colors on the label).

Yesterday, after I finally got an S3 locally, the Comcast card (with a lower serial number) would not do premium content, but the plain Motorola (with a higher serial number) would. After much time with a really great guy at tech support, we decided to trade in the one that didn't work for one that looked just like the one that did, which I did today. We'll see tonight.

If you're having trouble and nothing else is helping, ask them for two cards with the highest and most similar serial numbers in the pile and identical labels. You're most likely to get current, good firmware that way. It may be significant that the non-branded cards worked, it may not be. It might just be age. I wouldn't be surprised if the Comcast variant is buggier, since they hate CableCards.

The red/black cards are older Motorola cards - they had firmware level 4.05 in them. As soon as I saw that, I asked the installer to use the later level cards (regular Motorola label) which had firmware level 4.21.

It's not that the older cards are necessarily bad, but there have been reports of that firmware level not updating correctly or at all, so I didn't want to even risk it, especially since he brought a whole box of the new cards ...
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Old 09-19-2006, 09:46 PM   #30
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So, less that three hours ago, I marched proudly from my local Comcast office with two CableCards for my new S3. I thought I had won the war...little did I know it was only the first battle.

I came home and, according to Tivo's direction, inserted the first card into the bottom slot, waited for the information to appear on the screen and called Comcast. Soon after, the CSR informed me he had to send a request to another department to do the auth. He instructed me to wait 15-20 minutes and call back if the card had not been authorized. I do so (apprehensively).

20 minutes pass and nothing...call back two more times with no avail. When I try to access the Test Channels I get the blue screen for 10-15 minutes before it errors out. Auth status is "unknown", encryption is "DES."

The earliest I can get a truck roll is next Tues! Any suggestions you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
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