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Old 12-04-2006, 09:10 AM   #1381
prisk
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My Comcast & S3 experience

So, after following this forum closely for several months, I finally took the plunge and bought a Series 3. I also bought a 42" plasma (Panasonic 42PX60U).

The TiVo arrived first, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I set it up on Sunday as soon as the relatives had cleared out. The TV was scheduled ot arrive the following Friday, and Comcast the day after to install the cablecards. Still had to live with the old CRT TV for a week, so I went to the local Radio Shack and bought a $30 amplified antenna so I could pick up the HD signals. For the record, I live in Chicago, in the city, about 4 miles north of the Loop, and fomr the third floor windows can see the Sears Tower and John Hancock, where most of the TV transmitters are located.

TiVo setup was fairly straightforward. I hooked up the TiVo network adapter and it found the network immediately and had a strong signal. Hooked up the antenna and the cable. So far, so good. Much to my surprise (and delight) the antenna picked up almost all of the major HD boradcast signals (plus a bunch I had never even heard of). One exception - channel 2-1 (CBS-HD) did not come in. TiVo seamlessly integrated the OTA and cable channels into a single lineup. Nice. For a week, this arrangement worked great. I still had the S2 and cable box, so I could switch between the two if needed. HD looked good even on the old CRT.

The TV showed up on Friday. Easy to install and hook up. Great picture. OTA broadcasts had a few dropouts, and sound didn't seem to be quite exactly synchronized on one of the tuners, but I was willing to hold off till the CC's were installed before complaining.

Comcast showed up on Friday, at the very end of their 4-hour window. Then the fun started. First of all, Comcast charged me $43 for the truck roll. When I had set up the appointment, I was very clear that they were installing to a Series 3, to send me an experienced tech, and bring extra cablecards. The tech shows up with exactly 2 cablecards, and hes has NEVER installed a cablecard, much less one in a TiVO. When I look at the work order, there it is "...installing to a TiVo Series 3...". guess he can't read his own work order. Says he told his supervisor that he'd never done it, and they sent him out anyways. So, using the instructions taht came with the TiVo aplus lots of useful info I'd printed off the forum, I went to work (he just sat there quietly - I wasn't about to let him touch my brand new S3).

In went card #1. a few minutes later, the info screen comes up. He calls dispatch. they put him on hold. The hold message says he should go to comcast's web site for faster info. Funny - they make their techs listen to the same crap we have to listen to. He calls back several times - they hit the card. Some chanels come up. Not many. HBO is missing. As are most expanded basic channels. HD is working. He calls dispatch. They hit the card again...and again... The tech starts calling his buddies for help. They are too far away and don't have a clue.

He suggests we try CC #2. Against my better judgement, we try CC #2. It goes in. Error 161-4 comes up. Thanks to this forum, I know that that was not a problem. He calls dispatch and they hit the card. And it works! All channels come up. And I scrolled through almost every one. With dispatch still on the phone (this tech seemed to know what he was doing) he hits CC#1 again. We go back to CC#1. And it is also working!!! The tech hands me the work order and asks me to sign. Not so fast, I say. I scroll through the remaining channels on CC1 (yes, this does take a while, but I'm paying for his time, and I am not letting him off the hook so easily). Eventually I am satisfied that both CC's are working properly and all the right channels are coming in and audio is synced up.

Then I start guided setup again. Since he's never seen a cablecard, much less a TiVo, he thinks it is all part of the CC process (a touch of evil revenge on my part....) I eventually let him go to his next gig. Total time: 55 minutes. And fairly painless, considering the stories I've read here.

The next day, my wife calls Comcast and complains about the tech's lack of knowledge. Says that he was very polite, pleasant and friendly, but had no idea what he was doing, and that I had to do all the actual work. She doesn;t understand why she has to pay Comcast $43 when her husband did all the work (first time she's ever accused me of *that*). Comcast apologizes and refunds the $43 for the truck roll. All in all, not a bad experience.

And thanks to EVERYONE who has posted to this forum - without it I would have been lost.
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:14 AM   #1382
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Switching Out SA CC - Any Advice?

Comcast is coming Tuesday night to replace the SA cablecard in the first slot due to inability to receive some HD channels (TNTHD) etc.

Does anyone have any advice what I should or should not have them do when they come out Tuesday? The cablecard located in the second slot seems to be working ok except for no audio on a channel I never watch and no video/audio on the G4 channel which I very infrequently watch. I don't want things to be worse after they come than before they come out.

Last edited by chsscgas : 12-04-2006 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:36 PM   #1383
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Interesting note, I forgot to add in relation to my install in Abington, MA: the cable cards were manufactured by Scientific Atlanta, rather than Motorola, like many posting in this thread.

Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing....

Thos.
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:37 PM   #1384
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chsscgas
Comcast is coming Tuesday night to replace the SA cablecard in the first slot due to inability to receive some HD channels (TNTHD) etc.

Does anyone have any advice what I should or should not have them do when they come out Tuesday? The cablecard located in the second slot seems to be working ok except for no audio on a channel I never watch and no video/audio on the G4 channel which I very infrequently watch. I don't want things to be worse after they come than before they come out.
After your card is installed and if not working, ask you tech to call his cablecard technician and have a signal sent to reset the card. That worked for me.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:33 PM   #1385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prisk
The next day, my wife calls Comcast and complains about the tech's lack of knowledge. Says that he was very polite, pleasant and friendly, but had no idea what he was doing, and that I had to do all the actual work. She doesn;t understand why she has to pay Comcast $43 when her husband did all the work (first time she's ever accused me of *that*). Comcast apologizes and refunds the $43 for the truck roll. All in all, not a bad experience.

I really want to do this but the guy was so nice. I dont' want to get him in trouble but I have to say that it was ME who got the damn cards working. SHEEH!
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:36 PM   #1386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chsscgas
Comcast is coming Tuesday night to replace the SA cablecard in the first slot due to inability to receive some HD channels (TNTHD) etc.

Does anyone have any advice what I should or should not have them do when they come out Tuesday? The cablecard located in the second slot seems to be working ok except for no audio on a channel I never watch and no video/audio on the G4 channel which I very infrequently watch. I don't want things to be worse after they come than before they come out.

I call and ask them to send the call to a "two hour" . . . oh I foget the name. But this one guy calls and helps. He knows EXACTLY what he is doing. He told me that I should call and get the call sent to a "two hour. . ." I wish I could remember the last word. I am not sure if he is local becaue the number that comes up is a 708 area code. He even called me sunday at like 6 pm to fix a problem with a card. He is quite good.
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:32 PM   #1387
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Anything I need to know about buying an HD TV?

I've ordered my S3 and have Comcast scheduled to come out and install the cablecards. At this time, I do not yet have an HD TV. After reading about all the problems with the cablecards, I have two questions:

1. If I go ahead and just use my old TV for now (1995 Magnavox PIP), should I anticipate any problems when I try to switch to a new HD TV in the future, assuming that the S3 works OK with the current TV?

2. I may go ahead and just get an HD LCD TV now, so that I don't have to worry about running into problems when I make the switch. Are there any features specific to having the TV work well with the S3 unit that I should be on the lookout for, either to get or to avoid?

I'm not really technical myself but will have the help of my brother, who is quite technical, if that matters.
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Old 12-04-2006, 08:27 PM   #1388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainiac 5
I had a problem getting networking to work on my S3 as well. It's been a while since I set it up, so I don't remember if the error message was the same. I do remember, though, that even though the TiVo couldn't connect, I could see that my router actually was assigning the TiVo an address.

I found two solutions that worked for me. One was to tell the TiVo to use a static IP address. That worked fine, but I really wanted to use DHCP, so I did some more experimenting and found that it also worked if I set a DHCP client ID on the TiVo (the TiVo asks you if you want to do this when you set up the networking to use DHCP).
When I try the auto-DHCP server option, I get a N02 "server could not be found on network.

When I try using a static IP address, I get a N07 error, "gateway not found."

When I choose the let the DVR choose IP address option, I get the N07 error again.



Thos.
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:09 PM   #1389
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Thos19 - That seems to exhaust my (limited) stock of remedies.
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Old 12-04-2006, 10:54 PM   #1390
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I called TiVo, but they weren't much help.

I played around with the TiVo a little more. I was unable to get an update to work. Yet, I am able to access my pictures and music files on my PC through the TiVo !

So the router works. The ethernet port works. I can ping the TiVo incoming and outgoing. I can access my media files. But the TiVo can't access the internet.

I have a modified Series 1 with a turbonet adapter linked to the same router (universal plug and play). It has been able to get updates without issue for the past 3 years. I don't understand why the Series 3 is giving me problems.

Thos.
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Old 12-05-2006, 06:51 AM   #1391
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I don't have a series3 (yet), but recently purchased an HDTV. I've got my standby Series2 (sat in a box unused for a year--they were having a sale and we bit) hooked up to it through the s-video cable. Picture's not bad, considering it's upsampling a lossy codec to 1080p. Or i. I forget (I find really knowledgable sales people and then ask them "Which TV do you own?" and generally buy that one). Got an HD set-top from Comcast, hooked that up, and if you're putting off looking at HD pictures, keep putting it off--once you see it, you'll want to buy it immediately. We've got the coax from the wall going through a splitter, with one end going to the set top going through the series two, and the other end going straight into the TV's coax hookup. That way we can watch straight from the split coax while the TiVo does its thing. We want to get the cable card for the TV so we can watch the high end channels and premium content, as well.

ANYWAY.

Called my local (Alexandria, VA) Comcast number, talked to someone who seemed knowledgable, he told me I could just go in to my local office and ask for a cable card and they'd hand one over, no additional fee, no additional monthly, premium content, etc. Great, right? I'm sure you see this coming.

"We don't ... have ... those? We don't give those out. Anywhere."
"What?"
"The cable ... things."

After arguing with the (rude, unpleasant, clueless) counter person at the local office, AND asking for a supervisor (no one was in, as it was after six PM), I got back in the car and called Comcast again. Got someone who actually was knowledgable this time.

The cable card will be free--no fee, no additional monthly, not even a charge for the truck roll--but a tech has to come out and do it. She even told me not to let them schedule me on Saturday because no one's available at the other end for the back-and-forth call. I even asked if Comcast had insurance that would cover my really expensive TV, in case the field tech screwed up and ended up busting the thing. "Sure do." She even told me that only in-house techs install these anymore, since they're the only ones trained to do so. She volunteered her name and told me to call back to schedule it with her (I didn't have my calendar with me, wasn't sure when I'd be home). Ok, then.

So I'll call later today and schedule a truck roll for Thursday, and report back.

Sounds like Comcast in Alexandria may have gotten a call from the FCC about their legal liability for these cable cards--no fee for even the truck roll? Outstanding.

I'm wondering if this would work for those wth S3s who miss the ability to order pay-per-view through the set top--you could put one card in the S3 and one in the TV, if your TV will handle it, and have the best of both worlds.

It'll be nice if those rumors about Comcast testing TiVo software in their HD-DVR set tops are true.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:59 AM   #1392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thos19
When I try the auto-DHCP server option, I get a N02 "server could not be found on network.

When I try using a static IP address, I get a N07 error, "gateway not found."

When I choose the let the DVR choose IP address option, I get the N07 error again.



Thos.
What kind of router/firewall do you have?

I had MAJOR problems with my Series 3 using a Cisco PIX firewall. I finally gave up and had to fall back to a linksys. It absolutely refused to go out through the pix, even though I'm not blocking anything outbound. Something is funny with the S3...
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:39 AM   #1393
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CableCard #2 not working. Please help

I'm in the Seattle area. I've activated & installed two cable cards from Comcast (Motorola brand). The first one seems to catch all channels (including premium HD channels).

But on the 2nd card can't seem to display any video when I "test channels"- only get the channel banner identifying the channel number and name with a grey screen and no video. when the comcast technician "sent signals" to this card, I got the 161-4 error.

The CC tech says that the "cableCard is active & responding, and it must be an issue with the Tivo". What could be wrong?
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:16 AM   #1394
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Not seeing Encore Channels or BBCAmerica on S3 w/CableCards

Hi,

I recently bought the S3 and had Comcast install 2 cable cards. Everything seemed to be working fine until one day I noticed I could not receive some of the channels which are part of my tier. All of these channels are SD, and most are sister stations of Encore. I get Encore and Encore Action, but I am unable to see Encore Love, Encore Mystery or Encore Western. I also can't see Indie Plex or Retro Plex or BBCAmerica. On all the channels I get a gray screen but I am able to see the channel banner.

Is this a CableCard problem or a video output problem?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:33 AM   #1395
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It is a cable card problem. When I first had mine installed I received all of the channels (I think) then I tried to record something on mplex (I think that is the channel) and it was just blank and when the TiVo tried to switch to that channel the Cable Card screen popped up saying that I needed to subscribe to that channel. WHen I checked on the "COnditional Access Screen" it said "Connected:yes, EnabledByCP:no" This would revert to "Yes" and "Yes" when I tuned to another channel. I called up and initially they wanted to send someone out but I said NO. They then escalated the problem to the "two hour" specialist unit. They called back and I had to read off numbers from the "CableCARD (tm) Paring" menu and then it worked. I forgot what he said but it was something like the cards and the computers at comcast were out of sync. Now they work fine.
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:04 PM   #1396
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uday
I'm in the Seattle area. I've activated & installed two cable cards from Comcast (Motorola brand). The first one seems to catch all channels (including premium HD channels).

But on the 2nd card can't seem to display any video when I "test channels"- only get the channel banner identifying the channel number and name with a grey screen and no video. when the comcast technician "sent signals" to this card, I got the 161-4 error.

The CC tech says that the "cableCard is active & responding, and it must be an issue with the Tivo". What could be wrong?
It took me 4 cards to get it right plus a call from a cablecard technician. I would assume its a bad card and demand a new one.
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:13 PM   #1397
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptodd
It is a cable card problem. When I first had mine installed I received all of the channels (I think) then I tried to record something on mplex (I think that is the channel) and it was just blank and when the TiVo tried to switch to that channel the Cable Card screen popped up saying that I needed to subscribe to that channel. WHen I checked on the "COnditional Access Screen" it said "Connected:yes, EnabledByCP:no" This would revert to "Yes" and "Yes" when I tuned to another channel. I called up and initially they wanted to send someone out but I said NO. They then escalated the problem to the "two hour" specialist unit. They called back and I had to read off numbers from the "CableCARD (tm) Paring" menu and then it worked. I forgot what he said but it was something like the cards and the computers at comcast were out of sync. Now they work fine.
Thanks! I called Comcast yesterday and they said they wanted to send someone out but I didn't schedule the appointment because a "trouble call" costs around $30 now. I'll call again today and see if Richmond, VA has a "two hour specialist unit" and see what happens.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:29 PM   #1398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thos19
So the router works. The ethernet port works. I can ping the TiVo incoming and outgoing. I can access my media files. But the TiVo can't access the internet.
Do you know if the TiVo has the correct IP address for the gateway (the router), and the correct netmask? I think it shows these sometime during the networking setup.
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:48 PM   #1399
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uday
The CC tech says that the "cableCard is active & responding, and it must be an issue with the Tivo". What could be wrong?
I second what HSW said - it is most likely a bad card. The fact that the CableCARD responded to their signal does not in any way, shape, or form rule that out.

If you go to "CableCARD Menu" (off the same screen as "Test Channels"), and choose "Conditional Access" (I think that's right; my cards aren't Motorola so they're different), what does it say?
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Old 12-05-2006, 12:56 PM   #1400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstraus
I've ordered my S3 and have Comcast scheduled to come out and install the cablecards. At this time, I do not yet have an HD TV. After reading about all the problems with the cablecards, I have two questions:

1. If I go ahead and just use my old TV for now (1995 Magnavox PIP), should I anticipate any problems when I try to switch to a new HD TV in the future, assuming that the S3 works OK with the current TV?

2. I may go ahead and just get an HD LCD TV now, so that I don't have to worry about running into problems when I make the switch. Are there any features specific to having the TV work well with the S3 unit that I should be on the lookout for, either to get or to avoid?

I'm not really technical myself but will have the help of my brother, who is quite technical, if that matters.

I did this with my 1990 NEC (talk about old). Had no trouble when the HD TV showed up later. the trick is in getting the TiVo and the cablecards to play nice. You can still see all the output on your old TV (and, by the way, HD looks good on even an old CRT). Once the TiVo is working fine, you should hve no trouble switching to an HD TV.
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:08 PM   #1401
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Router issues...

Thos,

Have you tried connecting your S3 directly to your broadband modem, bypassing your router? If you have Cable Modem service, you should be able to connect your ethernet output directly to your S3. DSL usually requires a PPPoE client somewhere (either Client or Router).

Have you tried using the TiVo USB wireless adaptor? For some reason, TiVo seems to be tying additional functionality to the use of their wireless adaptor (e.g., WPA).

How frustrating...

Regards,

Doug

=================================

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thos19
I called TiVo, but they weren't much help.

I played around with the TiVo a little more. I was unable to get an update to work. Yet, I am able to access my pictures and music files on my PC through the TiVo !

So the router works. The ethernet port works. I can ping the TiVo incoming and outgoing. I can access my media files. But the TiVo can't access the internet.

I have a modified Series 1 with a turbonet adapter linked to the same router (universal plug and play). It has been able to get updates without issue for the past 3 years. I don't understand why the Series 3 is giving me problems.

Thos.

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Old 12-05-2006, 01:55 PM   #1402
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Hi Doug,

When I got the unit and couldn't get the ethernet to work, I borrowed my brother's TiVo USB wireless adaptor, which worked instantly and flawlessly. I had read on other posts of people with ethernet issues that they were able to get the ethernet to work once the the 8.01b update was downloaded. Well I got the update, but still no internet.

What's crazy is that I can access photo's and music files over the home network. So the ethernet cable works, but can't get to the internet. My brother keeps asking for his Tivo wireless adapter back (of course). I have ordered a usb/ethernet adapter, which I intend to try with once of the USB ports (again, I've read that some people have had success with this method).

I'm not a novice when it comes routers, etc. but this has me baffled. I have VerizonFios, so I don't have a modem...just an ethernet jack on the wall. It hadn't occurred to me to try plugging it in directly. I'll try it tonight.

Thos.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:30 PM   #1403
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhard
I haven't had that issue, but ComCast (CrapCast as I call them) are using Motorola v4.21 Cable Cards here (Montgomery County, MD).

As long as your Cable Card menus report that they are AUTHORIZED, and EnableCP: YES, and SUBSCRIBED... then there is no reason the Tivo would be causing the problem. It's GOT to be ComCasts programing of the head node and your billing information.
Gerhard, would you mind elaborating on what the names of the settings are for those values you mention? Sadly, I don't see Authorized, EnableCD: Yes, or Subscribed anywhere on my CC setup screens.

My Host Validation shows Unknown 00, which I've come to learn (though obviously not from Comcast) should actually be Valid 01. Copy Protection Key is Disabled and State is Unknown. These appear to me to be the most significant settings that just don't look right, and yet are consistent between both my CableCards. Are these the settings you referred to?

-Tarek
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:35 PM   #1404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriskane
I'm wondering if this would work for those wth S3s who miss the ability to order pay-per-view through the set top--you could put one card in the S3 and one in the TV, if your TV will handle it, and have the best of both worlds.

No, because your Tivo isn't dual-tuner (even for analog broadcasts, from everything I've read here) with only one cablecard.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:51 PM   #1405
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarek
Gerhard, would you mind elaborating on what the names of the settings are for those values you mention? Sadly, I don't see Authorized, EnableCD: Yes, or Subscribed anywhere on my CC setup screens.

My Host Validation shows Unknown 00, which I've come to learn (though obviously not from Comcast) should actually be Valid 01. Copy Protection Key is Disabled and State is Unknown. These appear to me to be the most significant settings that just don't look right, and yet are consistent between both my CableCards. Are these the settings you referred to?

-Tarek

Those can be found on the "Conditional Access Screen." It should say "Connected:yes, EnabledByCP:yes"
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:14 PM   #1406
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Originally Posted by cptodd
Those can be found on the "Conditional Access Screen." It should say "Connected:yes, EnabledByCP:yes"
I don't see either of those on the Conditional Access screen. I have firmware version 4.05, if that might (?) explain the difference. What I see on the Conditional Access screen is as follows:

Unit Address: (unit address)
State: (depending on the CC and channel I access varies between Unknown, Subscribed, and CA Disabled [when I try HBO channels I should get, but don't])
ECM PID: 0x0430 and 0x0431 (between the 2 CCs)
Component PIDs: (6 hex numbers for each CC)
Host Validation: Unknown 00
Copy Protection Key: Disabled
CCI: 0x00
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Old 12-06-2006, 06:12 AM   #1407
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Wish me luck guys.

Initial truck roll-out between 2-5 this afternoon.

Any last minute words of advice?

So far S3 has been perfect, let's hope it stays.
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Old 12-06-2006, 06:29 AM   #1408
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OK, here is what happened to me. I don't think I have seen something similar, but with 1400 posts, I may have missed one or two (or two hundred!).

The TiVo without CCs was working fine (on the unencrypted channels). We got the CCs from Comcast. I added the first one, got the correct screen, called them to activate it. They did, so I went to the test channels screen. As soon as it tried to display any video, the TiVo would freak out and lose the output signal (the TV showed it did not have a valid signal). Some time later (a few to 30 seconds) I could go back to the TiVo menus. Every time I tried to display any video (even LiveTV) it would do the same thing (go blank after flashing a couple of large color blocks) and hang up for a bit.

Eventually, I said the hell with it and tried to redo Guided Setup and tell it no card (I removed the CC, of course). When it got to the screen that it shows one of the channels in your lineup is shown to confirm you have the correct lineup, it would again hang up and lose video. This time, it would require a reboot and go back to guided setup, and hang up in the same place every time.

A call to TiVo and they agreed the S3 was toast, and they are sending me a new one. Has anyone seen something like this happen, where putting in a CC messed up the machine? And is this a problem with the machine (so a new one will solve it) or with the CC (in which case I would not want to try that one again)?
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:25 AM   #1409
rrg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrg
I previously reported success (after two service calls) with a Comcast installation of two cablecards in my S3. Getting it to work required a tech who knew someone to call at the head end who knew what he was doing.

I wish I knew how to reach the guy again, because I've lost reception on a half-dozen HD channels (all of which come in fine on the Comcast-supplied STBs) and the CSRs have been absolutely no help at all in getting it resolved. They're instructed to try one thing only (I don't know what that is), and if that doesn't work, to schedule an on-site service call, which is a waste of everyone's time (especially mine) since we know these cablecards are fine.

My fear is that they'll just screw it up so that NOTHING works (instead of just these few channels).
Comcast came and went, and I can now receive all the channels that I previously couldn't, but I'm still unhappy. On the TiVo's "Test Channels" screen for each of the cablecards, it reports "No Channels Available", even though I can tune them all with no problem in Live TV mode.

I pointed this out to the tech, but he just shrugged.

I know something bad is going to happen again.
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:52 PM   #1410
tase2
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Location: Wallingford, CT
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Live update:

Comcast installer here as we speak. So far he put a card in slot 2 only and it is doing set up automatically even though it clearly said to put card into slot 1 first.

Could be a long afternoon.
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