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Old 06-08-2007, 10:52 PM   #2761
osterber
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Just for the record in this thread... had a successful Comcast install in Watertown MA (just outside Boston). It took 4 cablecards to get 2 working, but everything was working after a single, 2-hour, appointment.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=354919

-Rick
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:16 PM   #2762
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Well I'm awaiting my CC installation, appointment from 10-12pm. No tech here yet. Comcast even sent me an automated call saying the appointment was from 10-12pm at 11:50am. Then once I confirmed it, said he wouldn't be here until 1pm. Love how they stick to their own schedules.

I called back to talk to a human, and after navigating some menus got someone. She credited me $20. Which is almost the cost of the installation of two cable cards that they quoted me earlier. Also said there would be no monthly fee, so lets see if they stick to that.

This is going to be a fun day.

Update
It took 2 and a half hours and 4 dead cards before we got it up and running.

Last edited by McCarron : 06-09-2007 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:36 PM   #2763
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Just figured I'd add a story of relative success to counter balance the doom and gloom. Called Comcast on Saturday, requested two cable cards for a TiVo. The (very nice and helpful) Comcast lady went off to ask a couple of questions and came back to set me up for Monday (today.) Claimed $29 for the install, and $1.50/mo for the second card. (we'll see)

Tech showed up today right on time, commented that he had the last two cable cards in the building, and proceeded to go to work. After about 20 minutes of phone calls and diagnostic screens everything started working. Everything is still working, I'm happy to say.

So, there it is, a successful install. I'm in an old Adelphia area with SA equipment.
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:39 PM   #2764
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Full Disclosure: Second-chance install took place at noon. It took about 40 minutes. The tech had never done a CableCard install before. I installed the cards; he called in the numbers. 161-4 each time. No problems seen yet. Everything appears to be working right now. I have 8.0.1b; we'll see what happens when I get 8.3.
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:42 PM   #2765
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So Comcast (Southern NH) came yesterday to install the cable cards - 2 hours later they left after failing to enable the cards properly.

Both (SA) cards were recognized by my S3 and both reported their settings via the cc screens. However, both cards got stuck at 'Not Ready, waiting for MMI's', although on line 1 they said something like 'CP Auth Received/OK'.

It seemed like the Comcast back office tech enabled them OK, but is that all he needed to do? They tech who came seemed to think the back office guy didn't know what he was doing.

Tomorrow they're coming back with 2 new cards, and I'd like to be a little more informed, so any suggestions are welcome. Does the above make sense? Generally what steps do they have to perform back at base to get it working.

FYI - The tech totally blamed the CC process, and said it was nothing to do with the Tivo box, which I agree, but was nice to hear him say so.

Cheers,
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Old 06-12-2007, 02:44 PM   #2766
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So what is the exact process that people have had success with? I'd like to make sure I have this information for the installer on Saturday.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:16 PM   #2767
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Success in Southern NH

Just got my new S3 activated on Comcast in Southern NH.

Technician who showed up had already done several TiVo activations, and was familiar with the procedure. Came with three cards, in case.

First card reported error message when inserted; TiVo wouldn't recognize it as a valid card (it also had a "REMANUFACTURED" sticker on it, so we were both suspicious of it), so we skipped that and went right to one of the other ones.

Inserted, TiVo brought up the programming screen, and he called Comcast. After roughly a 25-minute wait on hold, got an *extremely* knowledgeable rep who knew exactly how to do the activation. Took the card ID and host ID, triple-checked it with the technician before entering into the system.

The rep also took the time to scan the Comcast registration database to ensure the cards were not already paired with another device. He said this is a common cause of problems, and it was important to ensure the cards were clear, even though this took some extra time.

The extra time was well worth it, the first card activated with the first hit, became fully functional when he sent out a second hit ("to speed things up a bit", he said). All channels came up immediately.

Second card, same procedure, didn't even need two hits -- activated right after the first. Flawless install completed.

The two key pieces of info I gleaned:

- The cable company rep should make sure the cards are not already paired with other devices. The system should not allow this to happen, but it does, and it can cause issues when activating. I was lucky to get a rep who knew his way around the CableCARD system and was extremely careful.

- It helps to have a patient technician who has already done a few S3 installs and knows his way around the menus. I know you can't choose this, but it was the difference between frustrating and rather pleasant. Although the install took about 45 minutes total, everyone was in a very good mood and we had no technical problems to spoil it. :-)

Anyway.. Kudos to Comcast in NH. My S3 is happy, and so am I.

Hope this helps!

\marc
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:38 PM   #2768
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Yes. Getting a knowledgeable tech and a knowledgeable person at the Headend is key to getting the cables cards to work.
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:51 PM   #2769
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That Don Guy
When I called to schedule an appointment to install two cards into my new S3, I was told that "they come in pairs," which seems strange if you happen to have a TV that has one CableCARD slot for its digital tuner.
That is actually quite an improvement since they used to not be able to comprehend the notion of two cards in one device. They were responding to your specific request for cards for the S3 which do indeed "come in pairs." If you had said it was for a TV they probably wouldn't have said that.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:24 PM   #2770
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Well - I got my S3 a week ago, and had a Comcast (Hallandale, Florida, 33009) cablecard order for today (about a week schedule wait). The installer called before he came in and asked how many cards I need - so at least he did not come in with just one card. He got here on time, but apparently he was new and never installed CC's before. So together we read Tivo's CC setup guide and inserted first card. He then called the office to activate the card - and was put on hold - and could not get through for over 40 minutes (he kept trying different numbers, even main 1-800 number). Once he finally got someone from 1-800 number on the phone (Internet department - go figure) first card became active, then the second card. So instead of nearly an hour install this could have been over in minutes had the installer been able to get hold of some one when he got here.

As far as fees, I asked when I was ordering - and was told there there are no fees for either card - I guess we'll see. The work order copy that I got also shows $0 for install and $0 for the cards. I returned the POS Motorolla DST, so I am very curious what my next month bill is going to be!

Now for the weird - there are two channels - National Geographic HD and A&E HD - that when I tune to them I see the picture for about 2 seconds, then cablecard pairing screen pops up requiring me to clear it. After that the channels are all black (I am pretty sure I had them working with the Moto). I know I have to call Comcast - but its not encouraging - any idea what would cause this? It happens on both tuners.
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:06 PM   #2771
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Bit-o-news on the Comcast/SDV front:

http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/13/c...-800-the-next/
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:03 PM   #2772
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So can anyone confirm that this is the correct method to make sure the comcast install goes smoothly?

Quote:
1. Install the first card.
2. Wait for the card info screen.
3. Call dispatch, give them card info.
4. Insert second card.
5. Wait for card info screen.
6. Give dispatch info on second card.
7. Dispatch activates both cards.
8. Test channels

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Old 06-14-2007, 05:59 AM   #2773
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No.

In between step 3 and 4 you need to activate the first card, and see confirmation that the activation of the first card was successful, before continuing.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:37 AM   #2774
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt
Yes. Getting a knowledgeable tech and a knowledgeable person at the Headend is key to getting the cables cards to work.
Actually the knowledgeable person at the headend is all that is required. I was glad to have a newbie tech during my install. I just insisted that he follow my directions, he did, and all went well.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:42 AM   #2775
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrm01
Actually the knowledgeable person at the headend is all that is required. I was glad to have a newbie tech during my install. I just insisted that he follow my directions, he did, and all went well.
True as far as it goes. The only actual skill required of the tech at your end is the ability to decipher letters and numbers and recite them over a telephone (sometimes contract techs do lack this skillset, though.)

But the real tricky part is whether the tech is capable of making contact with the knowledgeable person at the headend. Comcast doesn't circulate the necessary knowledge widely, and a random contract tech likely won't know the secret back-channel method of contacting the one clueful guy at the headend.

Or at least that's the way things worked during my ordeal. One would hope they might have widely disseminated the proper headend procedures to initialize CableCards by now, but I wouldn't count on that.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:46 AM   #2776
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Had my install done yesterday. I didn't have digital cable before so they had to run a new drop from the street. They also installed a regular digital box as well as the two cards for my S3.

Entire job took about 1.5 hours. I had two very knowledgeable techs that knew exactly who to call at the office to get the cards working. From what I could gather, everything about the cards was set up wrong initially, but they called the right person and got them corrected very quickly.

Thanks comcast guys, it's working perfectly.

Also, the $0/month charge on the cable cards is wonderful. The total expense for me to upgrade from my analog plan to digital preferred was $5.50/month including 1 digital box and 2 cable cards.
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:34 PM   #2777
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The comcast techs came today and left two cablecards for me to install in my new series 3. They claim they activated both. I will try this tonight.

Any advice?

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Old 06-14-2007, 03:00 PM   #2778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
In between step 3 and 4 you need to activate the first card, and see confirmation that the activation of the first card was successful, before continuing.
What, exactly, needs to appear on the screen to be considered confirmation of a successful activation?

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Old 06-14-2007, 08:11 PM   #2779
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maynerd
So can anyone confirm that this is the correct method to make sure the comcast install goes smoothly?

1. Install the first card.
2. Wait for the card info screen.
3. Call dispatch, give them card info.
4. Insert second card.
5. Wait for card info screen.
6. Give dispatch info on second card.
7. Dispatch activates both cards.
8. Test channels
That will work but having the tech call twice and get the correct person is not congruent with the "goes smoothly" requirement. This is better:

1. Install the first card.
2. Wait for the card info screen (don't let the tech play with remote).
3. Insert second card.
4. Wait for card info screen.
5. Call dispatch, give them info from both cards.
6. Dispatch activates both cards.
7. Test channels.
8. Start enjoying S3 sooner.

Note that there is nothing wrong with following the official Tivo method. It is just not necessary.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:32 PM   #2780
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCD1080
Comcast's contractor tried to install the cable cards yesterday but I think we made a critical mistake. We didn't wait for the MMI screen to come up before he hit Card #1. Instead we pressed the "Configure Cable Card 1" box and hit the card immediately. Would you all agree that the premature hit was the problem?
Agreed (there could be additional problems, too).
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:26 PM   #2781
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I'm in Houston which is switching from TWC to Comcast. Our local store is branded Comcast.

The folks at customer service on the phone said I needed to book a technician to come out and I did. However on a whim I stood in line for twenty minutes at the local store and sure enough they gave me two cablecards for 1.95 a month.

Incidentally, when I got home and got the cards working I cancelled the truck roll. The customer service person goofed as when I returned my old SA8300 the lady said they didn't have it listed any more and they weren't charging me for it any more. Doh!
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:53 PM   #2782
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Chicago Cable Card Troubles

Had my appointment to add the cable cards to my Series 3 this morning. Comcast showed up at 10am with only 1 cable card, had to come back at 4:30 with the second. He called in and told me everything was OK. The screen went to "Acquiring Channels" for the next couple hours. I called technical support and was stuck talking to a rep that had never done a Series 3 install.

Needless to say, I still do not have Tivo after an entire day of trying to get my cable cards to work. The Tivo can identify the cable cards, but the channel line up will not work. The support at Comcast in Chicago has been awful!

They are supposed to call me in the morning to let me know when someone can come back out to try again and fix the problem. They are going to try to install new cable cards and see if that solves the problem.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:36 AM   #2783
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Follow up from yesterday's post.

The comcast tech stopped at my house yesterday and informed my wife that they didn't install cablecards in tivo devices! He left four cable cards and called the office to activate them.

I installed them in two Tivo 3 units last evening. Got no error messages and was able to receive digital and HD channels, but no premium channels on either machine. From what I read this is a problem with "pairing" which I admit to not understanding.

Does anyone have advice as to how I best phrase this issue when I call comcast today to get the best response?

Thanks,

LG
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:33 AM   #2784
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Fun convo I had with a Comcast rep a little while ago:

Got in my S3 yesterday afternoon. Called up Comcast to set up an install for the two CableCards.

Rep asks me if I need the "HD CableCards". I'm like... is there a difference? I said "yes" just to be safe... but is this legit or just yet another misinformed phone monkey?
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:34 PM   #2785
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottW_CO
Fun convo I had with a Comcast rep a little while ago:

Got in my S3 yesterday afternoon. Called up Comcast to set up an install for the two CableCards.

Rep asks me if I need the "HD CableCards". I'm like... is there a difference? I said "yes" just to be safe... but is this legit or just yet another misinformed phone monkey?
Thats's a good one! Maybe you should have said, "No, I want the free ones instead."
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:08 PM   #2786
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottW_CO
Rep asks me if I need the "HD CableCards". I'm like... is there a difference? I said "yes" just to be safe... but is this legit or just yet another misinformed phone monkey?
Just another misinformed phone monkey.
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:51 PM   #2787
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottW_CO
Rep asks me if I need the "HD CableCards". I'm like... is there a difference? I said "yes" just to be safe... but is this legit or just yet another misinformed phone monkey?
I wonder if that is a new way to say you requested an HDTV equipment surcharge?
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:03 PM   #2788
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Yet Another Installation Story (part 1) - Benicia, CA

Last week, I made an appointment for someone to come in and install CableCARDs into my S3 on Friday (June 15), "between 1 and 5 PM." I'm lucky to have gotten home from work at all - after a slight snag at work just as I'm about to leave (and promises to "get right on it first thing Monday morning"), I'm driving home when I turn off the highway onto a secondary street (the 40 MPH kind), come to a stop, and when I put my foot on the gas, the engine starts knocking - foot off the gas, knocking stops; back on the gas, knocking starts and "Check Engine" light flashes for the first time in the seven years I've owned the car. (I just had the tank filled; I hope there wasn't anything wrong with the gasoline.)

Anyway, it's 4:45 PM, and I call Comcast asking when the tech will get there; the person on the other end says the dispatcher will call me. Ten minutes later, the dispatcher says, "He'll be there in about 15 minutes." The cable guys (for some reason, they arrive in two trucks) finally arrive at 6:30. (BTW, Comcast did say they would give me a $20 credit.)

The first card goes into the bottom slot...and error code 161-1 (not 161-4, which is what other people are getting) keeps showing up until the card is taken out. The other card is put into the bottom slot in its place, and after a little back and forth between the techs and the person doing the authorizing, plus a slight delay while they have to move a truck as the person who owns the parking spot (in the townhouse complex where I live) where they parked wants to park his own car there, the first card works. (In the meantime, the techs are surprised to hear that the S3 is HD, as they are wondering why I am having them take back my Comcast HD-DVR box.) Also, during this time, the activator keeps telling them to put the bad card back into the TiVo as he thinks the problem is on his end, but every attempt to put the card into either slot returns a 161-1 error.

Eventually, they put just the one good card in, and schedule an appointment for the next day - all together now - "between 1 and 5 PM" for someone to come by with a new CableCARD (they only have the two). (By the way, the one card works fine; ESPN-HD shows up in all of its 1080i glory.)

Addendum: the guy with the second cable card showed up at 3 PM the next day; there were no problems with the second card, other than taking a few minutes for the hit to be recognized by the TiVo, but both tuners recognize the digital channels (during which we had a chat about Slingboxes and how the NFL threw a fit because they could be used to get around their blackout rules). As a bonus, the tech said there was no charge for the second visit.

-- Don

Last edited by That Don Guy : 06-16-2007 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Added second day
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:20 PM   #2789
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Arrow Atlanta help! Missing channels...

Wondering if anyone has had this happen and maybe steer me (and the local Comcast Cablecard sticker-inner) in the right direction.

I had Comcast come haul off my HD DVR last week and install 2 CCs in my Series 3. The install seemed to go well, but like a moron, I let the tech leave before I had a chance to verify all the channels. After the CC install, my S3 doesn't let me see all the channels I used to get on the old Comcast DVR. I only get 2-19 (basic cable, I think) and 803-813 (broadcast HD channels.) When I tune to a digital channel, either get just a black screen with the Info banner, or a black screen with a banner reading "No signal detected." The Comcast phone people tell me that my account shows I should be receiving those channels; they're stumped.

So when the tech comes out on Sunday (!) to fix this, he should bring 2 new Cablecards. But is there anything else I should suggest he try? Did I just get 2 bum CCs, or is the problem somewhere else (billing, headend, etc.)?

Thanks guys, love this site!
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:35 PM   #2790
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Another Install - Houston (success)

Went to 3 Comcast centers yesterday and only got 1 card. Found out later they can look up inventory on other branches if you ask but you can't call a branch office nor can you call anyone at Comcast to tell you if/where they are in stock.

This card did not work. Today based on the horror stories in this forum and the trouble I had finding them I got 4 cards to be safe. Yesterday one phone tech told me it can take 3-5 cards. The first 2 worked although the cable card channel tests showed and still say they cannot receive channels on the second card. However the dual tuner is clearly working when you ask it to record 2 shows at the same time or 1 and channel surf live tv.

I activated them at 4:30 and they told me the premium channels would be locked until the next day from 8am-5pm. However when I tested HBOHD a couple hours after calling it already worked. So far picture is good...
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