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Old 09-21-2006, 05:25 PM   #271
dlstrick
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Techs Saying They Don't Have TiVo Compatible Cards

After reading several posts about the confused nightmare that is Comcast, I called to set an appointment to get 2 cablecards in advance of the arrival of my Series 3. I call Comcast on 9/20. First, the rep tells me that they can only issue one card per customer. Then it changed to one card per television set. Then, the Rep goes into how he has received an advisement from the Tech Department that the cablecards used in Northern VA. are not configured to be used with TiVo. After trying to explain the Cable Labs standard and asking why would VA have different cablecards than the rest of the Comcast network, the Rep told me that he was trying to give me some "understanding" of how things worked, and that he would not issue the cablecards because they will not work with TiVo. Realizing that I had come to a rude brick wall, I asked for a supervisor, and he said there was not one. Will take up that fight on another front. Called Comcast today after reading this thread, and the new Rep, after reading the history of my last phone call, goes into the exact same routine as the first one. Cablecards in Northern VA. will not work with TiVo, we will issue you one card only even if we decide to provide it. After wrangling with this piece of work, she finally relents, sets up the appointment, and tells me she is going to charge me $24.95 to "roll the truck out to prove that the cablecards won't work." They are charging $5 per month per card as well. Has anyone in the DC/No. VA. area encountered this same hostility, confusion and incompetence?
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:04 PM   #272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlstrick
After reading several posts about the confused nightmare that is Comcast, I called to set an appointment to get 2 cablecards in advance of the arrival of my Series 3. I call Comcast on 9/20. First, the rep tells me that they can only issue one card per customer. Then it changed to one card per television set. Then, the Rep goes into how he has received an advisement from the Tech Department that the cablecards used in Northern VA. are not configured to be used with TiVo. After trying to explain the Cable Labs standard and asking why would VA have different cablecards than the rest of the Comcast network, the Rep told me that he was trying to give me some "understanding" of how things worked, and that he would not issue the cablecards because they will not work with TiVo. Realizing that I had come to a rude brick wall, I asked for a supervisor, and he said there was not one. Will take up that fight on another front. Called Comcast today after reading this thread, and the new Rep, after reading the history of my last phone call, goes into the exact same routine as the first one. Cablecards in Northern VA. will not work with TiVo, we will issue you one card only even if we decide to provide it. After wrangling with this piece of work, she finally relents, sets up the appointment, and tells me she is going to charge me $24.95 to "roll the truck out to prove that the cablecards won't work." They are charging $5 per month per card as well. Has anyone in the DC/No. VA. area encountered this same hostility, confusion and incompetence?
Same here the first time, that they reused to install them, using the local Comcast number. Hung up on them. Then went to the local office. Cards are free, but service to each card is $9.95 a month. I left without scheduling an appointment. Then called 800-COMCAST. Different story. Cards are free, and after the rep looked at my account and saw that I pay for HD on 3 outlets, the cards appear to be free, except for a $9.95 per card one-time install fee. I set up a Monday install. We'll see.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:15 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by Jharrington
Is there anything I can do? Anyone else in the area experiencing this? What could I possibly say or do to get them to lower these outragous fees? This is by far the highest price I've seen on these boards.
Comcast's FAQ states here that CableCards are free. If they change their story and say that the charge is not for the CableCards, but for the "additional outlet," I'd look for any inconsistency in that story (like would you have to pay that charge if you were getting one of their STBs?).

Also, Comcast reported to the FCC that they are making CableCards available for free (there's a link to this in another thread, but I don't seem to able to find it right now). If that's not true, then they'd probably like to know that (actually we already know from other people's experiences that it's not true everywhere).
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:24 PM   #274
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Here in southern CT, I had my cablecards installed this afternoon. Comcast sent two techs, and they said it was the second S3 they were dealing with. The guy they were talkking to on the phone said that it was the sixth one he was working on today. I'm not sure if that was just for this local area or not, and I didn't think to ask at the time.

The install was pretty much painless, and works just fine. I'm was charged $15 for the first card and $12 for the second for the installation, and the monthly fees are free for the first and $2.95 for the second.

The bottom line is that I couldn't be happier. (Well, once they activate MRV and I get a second box, I'll be even happier.) This is a great box, the picture is fantastic. It really makes the D* picture, as seen using my hr10-250s, look really poor by comparison.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:39 PM   #275
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So thanks to a WONDERFUL Comcast employee who reads this forum and was sympathetic to my plight, I got a call from a customer service VP in the Voorhees NJ office today. Spent about 15 minutes on the phone with me going over my issues and concerns, explaining that the people that answer the phone aren't always up on the technology and don't know sometimes what the correct answers are, they go by what they "hear" and that's not necessarily the RIGHT answer, but it's human nature. He was very pleasant and confided in me that before he went to work for Comcast he was a DirecTiVo user, and he's jealous of the S3, he wants to open up his Comcast DVR and hack it but he can't.

A few hours later I get a call from the head "CableCARD guy" in Voorhees, he's switching over my appointment tomorrow from the tech it was assigned to, and he's coming out himself, probably with 2 or 3 other techs, to train. (I damn well better not get charged for this truck roll, either!) They're going to leave my Comcast DVR for a month for me to use free to make sure there are not issues - that was nice, I thought.

He's telling me I'm only the 3rd install they will have done in an S3 in the South Jersey market. Nhaigh, you have the honor of being the first, I think - since he said the first they did was in Lawrenceville.

He also told me that after my conversation with the VP this afternoon, they got onto Tivo.com and downloaded the install directions, he also checked THIS forum and found some of the problems others were dealing with.

So we'll see how it goes. I'll report back.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:47 PM   #276
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I have my S3 all hooked up and I am waiting for the Cable guy now... The appointment was from 1-5... and its 4:47. Who thinks he is gonna show in the next 13 minutes?

More to come...
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:56 PM   #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nexus99
I have my S3 all hooked up and I am waiting for the Cable guy now... The appointment was from 1-5... and its 4:47. Who thinks he is gonna show in the next 13 minutes?

More to come...
I had an appointment today from 8-12:00, and at 12:10 I got a call saying that they have no cablecards right now (Sunnyvale, CA) but they could come to my house with a set-top box. Hah!

To be fair, the operator gave me a $20 credit on my bill for this trouble, and rescheduled my appointment to next Wednesday morning. And if the 800-operator I spoke with yesterday is correct, my cablecards should cost me no additional fees each month.

We'll see. At least I have roof-top antenna for receiving HDTV that will keep me happy until next Wednesday.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:11 PM   #278
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Expediated Appointment

So not only did I have a good experience with the Comcast customer support ($15.99 installation, both cable cards free). Originally the earliest appointment they had was October 11, however the technician contacted his dispatch to see if I could get an earlier appointment and a few hours later they e-mailed me saying they could come on September 25.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:16 PM   #279
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Just called Comcast and they are supposed to have someone call me back in 15 mins. (Its 5:16 now).
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:24 PM   #280
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Well, my CableCARD install was completely painless. I put in the cards before I even installed the box or ran Guided Setup. When I got to the part of Setup that asks about the cards it popped up the information about the cards. I spent 3 minutes on hold with 800-COMCAST and then the CSR had no questions for me, he just started firing over the init signals. I got 164.4 on the first card, and then a few seconds later I got 164.4 on the second card. I think the CSR had had a few TiVo installs, because he was completely unfazed by my comments ("Ok, I got the 'good' error, that's good!") I had him hold on the phone until the cards synched, which took about a minute or so, and he said "I'll hold on the line as long as you need me...", so he was in it for the long haul, if required. I kept him on the line until I had HD on both cards (which was just a few minutes), and then let him go.

Completely painless process, probably took 10 minutes total.

Now to re-enter all of the season passes from the evil 6412 and get that dang thing out of my house!
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:31 PM   #281
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So far a pretty bad experience from Comcast here.

Tech was on time -- but that was the only part that worked.

First set of cards installed and the tech struggled to get them to work for 1 and 1/2 hours. Never could.

Second set installed and called to initialize them. Got the "good" error -- but so far (nearly 2 hours later) I only get 2 channels -- both local HD channels.

The cards still show as Auth: unknown so I don't think anything is working right.

I've called to get them initialized 3 times now and just don't get anywhere.

Time to try yet again.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:03 PM   #282
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Just got a call. It looks like the Modesto, CA dispatch center tried to farm this out to some contract installers and it got totally jacked up. They are suppoed to roll a truck tomorrow evening to see if they can do the install. I was happy but now I am sad.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:04 PM   #283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cschamp
I had an appointment today from 8-12:00, and at 12:10 I got a call saying that they have no cablecards right now (Sunnyvale, CA) but they could come to my house with a set-top box. Hah!
Guess there's been a run on CableCARDs with all the S3 installs.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:41 PM   #284
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Our Experiences with Comcast in Jacksonville, FL:

First we called our local Comcast location and asked them if we could get Cable Cards. They told us yes that we could just come pick them up. We arrived at the location an hour before closing and the direct quote from the lady behind the 3 inch thick security plexiglass: "Whats a cable card?" After we got past that she called another location and found that they had them and we dashed to that store 25 minutes away to get the cards.

Today our S3 arrived. We put the cards in and called the local service number to get them authorized. They didn't have any issue with activating them but it didn't work.

We called back to talk to another tech and he immediately said that we would have to schedule a tech to come out. Which we agreed to but asked him to reauthorize them anyway which he agreed to do but then quickly ended the phone with the 15-20 minute dodge.

For some reason my wife who has about 3000% more patience for idiots than I do decided to call back again and try one more time. This time she got a tech who agreed to stay on the phone for a bit and try to get it to work. She apologized for not knowing more about cablecards and admitted that they get no real training and only know how to authorize them and send the initialization command with no real idea how to trouble shoot anything.

This try didn't seem to be working either but about the time she hung up telling us she would keep our appointment for Saturday the cards started working. I'm not sure what she did that the others didn't do but whatever it was finally worked and we have two working Cable cards with all the channels (as far as I've seen I've been all over the dial without finding anything amiss)

Interestingly enough only one of the cards shows "subscribed" in the network information but both seem to be working. I've seen others say they have seen this as well so I'm not sure if it is supposed to work like that or not.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:47 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by DocSavag
We arrived at the location an hour before closing and the direct quote from the lady behind the 3 inch thick security plexiglass
I swear that has nothing to do with me.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:55 PM   #286
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I swear that has nothing to do with me.
The second place had those security barriers too but they only go up half the way to the ceiling which seems a bit pointless..but frankly the lady who said "Whats a cable card" should feel lucky she was behind a protetive barrier!
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:59 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by DocSavag
The second place had those security barriers too but they only go up half the way to the ceiling which seems a bit pointless..but frankly the lady who said "Whats a cable card" should feel lucky she was behind a protetive barrier!
How much did they quote for the two Cablecards?
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:10 PM   #288
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How much did they quote for the two Cablecards?
The first one which we were trading out a digital box for is no additional charge. There was some mention of having to pay a fee for the second one but I don't know what it was at the moment.
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:11 PM   #289
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Hm, noticed one small problem with my cable cards. They map the channel for INHD to NFLNET HD. The mapping for the NFL channel itself is fine. Bah. No doubt it's a mapping issue, so I'll have to convince Comcast it's their problem. It's the only such problem I've found so far though.

(Not least because I value INHD more than any sports channel)

Chris.
I never got round to calling them about this, but it rectified itself sometime today. I guess either a routine update fixed it or someone else noticed.

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Old 09-21-2006, 09:28 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by Bodshal
I never got round to calling them about this, but it rectified itself sometime today. I guess either a routine update fixed it or someone else noticed.

Chris.
Comcast switches INHD with NFLHD and OLNHD quite a bit during the winter to provide another HD channel. OLNHD carries the NHL. It seems to switch the channel labels, we'll have to see how the Tivo PG handles this...
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:51 PM   #291
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the sheet of paper with my channel list shows an INHD2 channel, but i don't seem to receive it, and online listings don't show it either, did they remove it since they printed that list? because i remember getting it on my comcast HD box...
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Old 09-21-2006, 09:53 PM   #292
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Comcast switches INHD with NFLHD and OLNHD quite a bit during the winter to provide another HD channel. OLNHD carries the NHL. It seems to switch the channel labels, we'll have to see how the Tivo PG handles this...
Cablecard specific? Because I've not noticed this on the STB. If it occurs again, I guess I'll go check on the STB (which is currently relegated to Tivo S2 duty...)

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Old 09-21-2006, 10:16 PM   #293
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Since I've been browsing this thread and it's growing quite big, I'll post my comments for someone who may be interested in the results for the Pottstown Area around Phila, PA.

I called the main number this morning and spoke to a pleasant person. I explained that I would like two CableCards and she immediately knew what I was asking for and stumbled a bit in her following words, with her first comment being "You will not have access to HD programming", then I pressed her again and then she said "You wont have any channels above channel 200" Then finally I believe she relented in her push for me to keep the Motorola DCT DVR that I have now. She finally quoted that I wouldn't have access to any PPV, etc. Which I already figured.

Anyhow, as the conversation progressed she told me that theres a 5 dollar charge for the first card and 8 dollars for the second. I told her about the Comcast FAQ indicating that there's no price for the cards, she told me that on Septempter 9th, they changed their policy so the cards are charged (billed) as would a stand alone HDTV receiver.

I said fine, no problem. She told me that there's a service charge for installation and that they'd have to roll a truck as there's no way I could install it myself. I laughed a bit, but played along. She told me she'd wave the installation charge and we scheduled a date for next Friday. No harm, no foul.

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Old 09-21-2006, 10:41 PM   #294
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocSavag
Our Experiences with Comcast in Jacksonville, FL:
Hey, thanks for posting. Good to see another Jax user here.

I went down to the Southpoint office and picked up my Cablecards today. They told me that the charge was $9.95 each for the service (not the card). I only have minimal service, though, so they had to upgrade me to HDTV service.

My Series 3 will be here tomorrow, so I'll keep in mind your wifes patience when I go to activate it! Thanks for the info.
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Old 09-21-2006, 11:01 PM   #295
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No luck on my cable card install. I had one previous installed cable card in my TV that I moved to the TiVo and it works perfectly. State: "authorized" in the conditional access screen.

Two installers, 2 cable cards and 2 phone calls to Comcast to re-initialize the card and the second newly installed card still shows State: "CA Disabled".

The PID's and CCI readings differ between the cards as well.
I guess I'll try the Comcast office tomorrow and see what shakes out.

BTW, the new card does tune the non-encryted analog and digital channels including my HD locals, but none of my package channels.
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:34 AM   #296
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Comcast Cablecards not decoding encrypted channels

Quote:
Originally Posted by doctord
No luck on my cable card install. I had one previous installed cable card in my TV that I moved to the TiVo and it works perfectly. State: "authorized" in the conditional access screen.

Two installers, 2 cable cards and 2 phone calls to Comcast to re-initialize the card and the second newly installed card still shows State: "CA Disabled".

The PID's and CCI readings differ between the cards as well.
I guess I'll try the Comcast office tomorrow and see what shakes out.

BTW, the new card does tune the non-encryted analog and digital channels including my HD locals, but none of my package channels.
I'm having similar problems in Mountain View CA.

At first it looked like the CableCard install went flawlessly -- no problem receiving unencrypted local digital channels such as KQEDDT1-5 as well as local HD channels 702, 703, 704, 705, 707, 709.

Unfortunately, it will not tune in encrypted digital channels. I can't tune in PBS Sprout, SciFi, BBC America, Discovery HD, or INHD.

Customer support couldn't cause things to reset on the phone the other night. The tech who came out today could not get either CableCard configured to tune in encrypted channels. Not in my TV. Wouldn't touch the TiVo claiming they have been instructed not to do anything using the TiVo. His claim was that the problem was that the device was not two-way so they can't inspect information from the central office. True, the device is not two-way and so this could be part of the problem. However, Comcast could not configure their own DVR correctly for several attempts. It took two or three times before their own HD DVR could actually tune in Discovery HD.

Has anyone else in Mountain View CA been successful in tuning in encrypted digital channels with a Comcast Motorola Cablecard?
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Old 09-22-2006, 12:40 AM   #297
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Has anyone else in Mountain View CA been successful in tuning in encrypted digital channels with a Comcast Motorola Cablecard?
Me.
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:06 AM   #298
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My cable card installation went smoothly this evening, though I felt like I was playing a game of Beat the Clock. UPS did not deliver my S3 until 6:50pm, leaving me just over an hour to hook up the machine, do my VIP transfer, install the cable cards, download the initial batch of program info, and set up recordings for two shows starting at 8:00pm. I figured that if something held me up, I could always move the cable back to the S2 box and finish up with the S3 tomorrow.

The VIP transfer was very quick... maybe four minutes tops. Would have even been quicker but for some reason the rep put me on hold for about two minutes in the middle of things.

Then it came time to handle the dreaded cable cards. When I popped the first card in, the resulting info screen did not display a phone number to call, so I just dialed the 800 number and picked the "I have a problem" phone-tree option. This got me connected to someone who could ping the cards, so I guess it was a good choice. Anyway, I feel very fortunate to have read all the other posts in this thread about the "good" error message and that you can click right past that; had I not known that, I might have gotten all caught up on that screen. Both cards hit right away, and within a couple minutes I was able to click through the channels. This call would have only lasted about five minutes, but this was the first S3 this rep had dealt with and he started peppering me with questions. He was very familiar with Tivos, but not this model, so he was asking me all sorts of questions about the number of tuners, hard drive size, etc. It was actually a fun conversation, and I warned him that he'll undoubtedly be hearing from a lot of other new S3 owners in the coming weeks.

I continued with the rest of the Tivo setup, and was able to plug in my first Season Passes at 7:53! Plenty of time to spare!
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:23 AM   #299
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Update:
Call #3 to Comcast found a helpful CSR that called in his supervisor to help. They sucessfully paired the card to the device and changed the "state" from "CA Disabled" to "Unknown" and the "Host Validation" from "Unknown" to "Valid". Unfortunately I have the same problem of not receiving encrypted channels on the one card. They finally gave up saying they were out of ideas.
The bright side is that now that I have 2 cable cards installed, I have a funtioning 2 tuner TiVo. With my OTA networks and the one fully functioning cable card, I can limp by until I find someone at Comcast that is savy. A call to TiVo is probably worth a shot as well.
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Old 09-22-2006, 03:57 AM   #300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctord
The PID's and CCI readings differ between the cards as well.
The PID's and CCI are based on the channel that the CableCARD has been asked to decrypt - so it makes sense that the two cards would have different values.
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