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Old 10-12-2007, 07:52 PM   #3901
murryamorris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid123
So I walked into the Redmond office, and they were on top of things. They asked me if it was for Tivo, and when I asked for the M-Card, they knew exactly what it was. Within 10 minutes I walked out with my Comcast CableCard and headed home.
I live in Sammamish and also use the Redmond office. They are very good there. I just had bad luck with the CSR's when pairing. It's nice they have the M cards at the office now. I had to get a tech to get one last time.

Last edited by murryamorris : 10-12-2007 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:09 PM   #3902
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This was interesting. I got my cablecard working a month ago, and I got the bill charging me for an additional outlet, even though we returned our box. I did the online chat and the rep took off the $6.95 charge. Then he tried to tell me HDTV shouldn't work because I don't have a motorola converter. Here is the transcript:

Comcast:
Michael, I also noticed that the HDTV charge should be removed because you do need a specific converter to receive HDTV. Cable HD will only work on an HD-ready television connected to a Motorola HDD-200 decoder.

Comcast:
My understanding is that you need that converter for HD service.

Me:
I have been receiving HDTV with no problems on my TIVO for over a month now.

Comcast:
Okay. This digital video recorder (TIVO) is not receiving the HD signal through a Motorola HDD-200 decoder, though.

Me:
Well, I believe the cablecard is made by motorola.

Comcast:
I will review my technical notes regarding the cable cards and HD. One moment please.

Me:
I own a new TivoHD...I am using 1 M-card which allows 2 shows to be recorded at once.

Comcast:
Okay. My concern is that without the specific decoder Motorola HDD-200 your equipment is not receiving the HD signal that your account is set up with. My technical bulletin indicates "A HDTV receiver is not required to receive Comcast's High Definition service. Instead, the signal is received through a "decoder," available from Comcast. You may rent or purchase the decoder from Comcast".

Comcast:
I recommend that you speak to your local office to review this, Michael.

Me:
But I am watching HDTV on my right now, and have been for over a month. I am very happy with my service right now. I just thought I was being overcharged with an additional outlet. But I will call the local office if I have a problem. I appreciate the help.


No harm done (so far), still getting the HD.

Mike
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:37 PM   #3903
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I bought a TivoHD last week and had a tech from Comcast come out and install it today. It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes total but I was up and running at the end of the session. The guy basically knew what he was doing. The only hiccup we had was that the first time it was setup I wasn't receiving any channels about 20 after 30 minutes so he called in again to get the card "hit" and about 10 minutes after that I was getting all channels
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:46 AM   #3904
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Hey gang-

Wife and I discussing buying a new TivoHD and transferring the lifetime from our current Series 2. We are excited about finally getting HD, but she is reluctant to lose PPV and On-Demand with Comcast. I understand because we do enjoy those features occasionally.

Is the concensus here that losing all the interactive features was worth it to switch to TivoHD with Cablecard?

And is there an alternative? i.e. rather than CableCard, could we use a new TivoHD with the Comcast provided HD cable box (a Motorola 6200) in order to keep the interactive features? For the matter, is the TivoHD capable of controlling a Motorola 6200?

Thanks!

Kupe
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:49 AM   #3905
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kupe
Wife and I discussing buying a new TivoHD and transferring the lifetime from our current Series 2. We are excited about finally getting HD, but she is reluctant to lose PPV and On-Demand with Comcast. I understand because we do enjoy those features occasionally.

Is the concensus here that losing all the interactive features was worth it to switch to TivoHD with Cablecard?

And is there an alternative? i.e. rather than CableCard, could we use a new TivoHD with the Comcast provided HD cable box (a Motorola 6200) in order to keep the interactive features? For the matter, is the TivoHD capable of controlling a Motorola 6200?
If you really must have OnDemand and PPV access, just also get a Comcast HD receiver or DVR in addition to your TiVoHD. Comcast actually claims online you can get a free HD receiver just for that purpose if you otherwise use CableCARDs, though there may be an additional outlet fee involved.

You won't be able to record OnDemand or PPV from the TiVoHD no matter what, though.
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:01 PM   #3906
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kupe
Hey gang-

Wife and I discussing buying a new TivoHD and transferring the lifetime from our current Series 2. We are excited about finally getting HD, but she is reluctant to lose PPV and On-Demand with Comcast. I understand because we do enjoy those features occasionally.

Is the concensus here that losing all the interactive features was worth it to switch to TivoHD with Cablecard?

And is there an alternative? i.e. rather than CableCard, could we use a new TivoHD with the Comcast provided HD cable box (a Motorola 6200) in order to keep the interactive features? For the matter, is the TivoHD capable of controlling a Motorola 6200?

Thanks!

Kupe
You are entitled to one "free" box as part of your service, however in my experience they will still charge you an extra charge for premium/HD programming for your "free" box.

My wife and I don't miss on-demand one little bit. I upgraded the Tivo HD to 500GB and we typically have 200 or more programs in our Tivo suggestions folder to watch.... and even better than on-demand these are actually shows that we have some interest in watching.

The Tivo can't control another box, but if you really miss on-demand you can simply stack another reciever with the Tivo and switch your TV to that input when you must watch on-demand or PPV programming.
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:09 PM   #3907
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I got the "free" box when I ordered comcast service (I switched to a S3 from DirectTV service when we got sick of their HR20) for the times we wanted On Demand.

It sat there unused, and every month Comcast would try to charge me various amounts for the "free" box.

I got sick of having to call them and read them their own web pages, and returned the box. Haven't missed it.

If you're recording what you want to watch, you already have it "On demand"
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:12 PM   #3908
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswallow
You won't be able to record OnDemand or PPV from the TiVoHD no matter what, though.
Actually, couldn't you do so if you went back to QAM and found the channel that it was being broadcast on? (Immense PITA, I know, but I'm talking theoretically)

Or would that be copy flagged so it would be no-record anyway?
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:36 PM   #3909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old64mb
Actually, couldn't you do so if you went back to QAM and found the channel that it was being broadcast on? (Immense PITA, I know, but I'm talking theoretically)

Or would that be copy flagged so it would be no-record anyway?
It very well could be flagged for no copy; it'd be encrypted -- though I suppose if it's ordered online or by phone for your account any receiver could decrypt it; there'd be no guide data associated with the channel so you'd have to locate it, manually tune it, and manually record it. And while PPV might be orderable online or by phone, OnDemand probably isn't.

As a practical matter, the answer is simpler as no.
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:36 PM   #3910
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswallow
It very well could be flagged for no copy; it'd be encrypted -- though I suppose if it's ordered online or by phone for your account any receiver could decrypt it; there'd be no guide data associated with the channel so you'd have to locate it, manually tune it, and manually record it. And while PPV might be orderable online or by phone, OnDemand probably isn't.

As a practical matter, the answer is simpler as no.
Well, the slate article on VOD and my experiences with QAM tuning (there were certainly enough unencrypted PPV things randomly showing up in the high 80s) gave me the wacky idea that you could, theoretically and with a lot of pain, order and then manually Tivo whatever it was since they probably haven't put a 5c flag on it.

But yes, that's too complicated. No is probably a better response.
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Old 10-14-2007, 03:03 PM   #3911
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Just got a S3 Tivo, and had Comcast come out (East Lansing, Michigan). He had 3 cards, 2 Motorola cards and one with a Comcast sticker on it (almost like a Comcast branded card). He did each card one at a time using the two Motorola cards, but only the 2nd (upper) card worked. The Comcast branded card was registered to someone else so they have to come back out.

The Motorola card that didn't work was giving a 161-4 error every time we tried to check available channels. Comcast assumed meant it was a bad card.

The tech was nice and didn't complain about installing cable cards.

Should I leave the working card (currently in slot 2) and let them install the new one in slot 1? I only ask because the tivo setup guide says to use slot 1 before slot 2.
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:17 PM   #3912
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The Motorola card that didn't work was giving a 161-4 error every time we tried to check available channels. Comcast assumed meant it was a bad card.
The TiVo installation instructions say that 161-4 is NOT an error and should be ignored unless it appears more than once.

From the installation instructions:
http://customersupport.tivo.com/Laun...c-8ae7b4eb5249
Quote:
For Motorola CableCARDs, many cable providers send an activation signal that causes the DVR to issue error 161-4. This is normal and can be ignored. If you see 161-4 more than once, or if you see any other 161-x signal, it means that the card is damaged and needs to be replaced.
I also noticed in there that removing the card while it is updating its firmware might brick it. Maybe this is why so many cards are "bad" -clueless installers yanking them out when they don't instantly display some reassuring message.

Quote:
The CableCARD will take a minute or two to initialize. During this time, the CableCARD screens will display a message such as "Card not in normal operation". This does not indicate damage to the CableCARD; as soon as initialization is complete, the message will be replaced with information generated by the CableCARD and the installer will be able to proceed with activation.

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Old 10-14-2007, 07:59 PM   #3913
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Originally Posted by johnnylundy
The TiVo installation instructions say that 161-4 is NOT an error and should be ignored unless it appears more than once.
Thanks for the response. The error appeared 4 times, every time we tried to access channels after rechecking all the numbers. This was over a span of 10-15 minutes. I assume that counts as "more than once". The card was never removed during this period.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:39 PM   #3914
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limiter
Just got a S3 Tivo, and had Comcast come out (East Lansing, Michigan). He had 3 cards, 2 Motorola cards and one with a Comcast sticker on it (almost like a Comcast branded card). He did each card one at a time using the two Motorola cards, but only the 2nd (upper) card worked. The Comcast branded card was registered to someone else so they have to come back out.

The Motorola card that didn't work was giving a 161-4 error every time we tried to check available channels. Comcast assumed meant it was a bad card.

The tech was nice and didn't complain about installing cable cards.

Should I leave the working card (currently in slot 2) and let them install the new one in slot 1? I only ask because the tivo setup guide says to use slot 1 before slot 2.

As others have said, the 161-4 error doesn't mean a bad card. When I was installing my 2 M-Cards in my Series 3, the Comcast CSR on the phone knew that the error was ok to ignore, and she just kept doing on her end whatever magic was needed to get the cards initialized. She had to send hits to the cards a few time, but after a reboot of the TiVo all was right with the install and I was good to go.

Good luck when the service guy comes back. Hopefully he'll get a CSR on the phone who knows what to do to initialize the card even when 161-4 comes up.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:23 PM   #3915
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I got Error 161-4 repeatedly while they were trying to set up my two S-cards. Eventually the home office hit the cards correctly, and I've got all my channels.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:17 AM   #3916
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I finally got my Multi Card installed on Saturday! We are so very happy to dump the comcast DVR!!!

Also, After taking with the service techs even they think their customer service is crappy! Such a shame. I did learn that the afterhours comcast people are overseas CSR's. this makes sense because when I called during my work hours I got someone that was more knowledegable and she even looked at local comcast retail stores that might have a cable card. Before I called on the weekends and got some really terrible service. So maybe that will help some people.

My husband plans to fight the installation fee since he took off work one day and they never showed.

Good luck everyone!
Karen
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:45 AM   #3917
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Comcast came out again and put a new Moto card in and when he called in to activate the woman at Comcast said you can't have the same host ID for two cards (which I explained was the Tivo ID). The woman then hung up on the tech and he called back and got someone who knew how to add it correctly, so both cards are working now. The tech was very nice.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:16 PM   #3918
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With the new tivo/comcast software rollout imminent, is there (or going to be) a comcast/tivo thread for the software download to motorola boxes? thx!

p.s. lol! it took me 7 years to say something! well, to be fair, I was a UltimateTV guy for 6 of those years
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:30 PM   #3919
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riz
With the new tivo/comcast software rollout imminent, is there (or going to be) a comcast/tivo thread for the software download to motorola boxes? thx!

p.s. lol! it took me 7 years to say something! well, to be fair, I was a UltimateTV guy for 6 of those years
I'm sure once the rollout actually publicly begins somewhere it'll get a thread and shortly thereafter a new forum will be created and any existing discussions moved over to it.
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:16 PM   #3920
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Looks like M-Cards are getting more widespread in my area. Tech came this morning with 2 cards (like I requested) and the first one into my TivoHD showed up as an M-Card. 40 minutes later after he finally got through to his support to pair the card everything went smooth. Tech was familiar with Series 3 Tivos. I realized on the way to work I didn't check both tuners but I assume since one sees all the channels the other should be ok on the same M-Card. Supervisor stopped by in the middle of the wait and he replaced my ground block to a newer style while the other guy was on hold.

larry
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:07 PM   #3921
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Successful install

After reading all the other posts in this thread (well, most of them), I wanted to share my success story.

I was pretty nervous about getting my cable cards installed into my Tivo HD, but I finally made the call and got my install scheduled. I made sure to mention to the person on the phone that I wanted M-Cards and although he didn't know what those were exactly, he said he'd put that on the order.

The day of the install came (I was also getting Digital Voice added, so that meant swapping out my old cable modem with their new one) and I asked if he had S-Cards or M-Cards.

Surprisingly, the installer didn't know what an M-Card was either, but wouldn't you know, he stopped by their warehouse (Comcast in my area contracts out their installs) and picked up *4* M-Cards. I was pretty pleased to see all of those.

The installer said he's never done a Tivo setup before, just some cable-card ready TV's, so we got out the Tivo instructions and followed it... inserted the card, he called it in and had them hit the card. I did end up having to reboot my Tivo and because we hadn't finished swapping out my cable modem yet, running the guided setup had to be delayed until Internet was back online because once you start guided setup, apparently you can't exit out of it... even after restarting the Tivo it still bugs you to run the setup. And you apparently MUST have Internet or phone available during the setup so it can contact Tivo. With both my Internet *and* phone unavailable during the Digital Voice setup, we had to go finish that part, then come back and finish the setup, and 20 minutes later (ugh...) it finished.

At that point, everything was groovy... channels were all online on both tuners, great signal, no problem. I was pleasantly surprised it went so well and I only wish I'd waited to re-run the guided setup until after I'd verified the cable-card was okay. But I made sure the installer stuck around until it was done just to make sure we didn't have a bad card or anything.

By the way, he knew all about the problems of having cable modems and cable cards show up in the right order on the provider side of things and said that wouldn't be a problem, so the reports of problems with that have apparently filtered through and made it all the way down the line, no problems there.

Oh, and after getting my new cable modem, my Internet speeds are SIGNIFICANTLY higher! My old one was one I purchased myself and was 3-4 years old and only supported DOCSIS 2.0 (maybe not even that, but I think it did)... the new one should support up to DOCSIS 3.0 and who knows, maybe Comcast in my area (Pierce County, Washington state) is using it. All I know is, I was getting speeds up to 20 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up, whereas previously I could maybe get 8 M down, 384 K up.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:12 PM   #3922
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cas929
Hello, all, longtime reader, first time poster....

I live in Washington, D.C., and I was told by two different CSRs (for whatever that's worth) that I can just pick up a Cable card from their main office, which is near my home. It seems like that would be a great option, considering the poor experiences that people have had with installers. I've held off on getting a TiVo, despite hating the Motorola DVR, because I am so afraid of the horror stories here.

However, the ability to self-install doesn't seem to match the other experiences reflected on this thread. Is there any one else who lives in Washington D.C (as opposed to ithe metropolitan area) who was able to self-install?
Howdy! I've got Comcast in the District, and while they did allow me to pick up the cards at the office, nobody on the phone was able to activate them, despite multiple rounds of CSR phone tag.

Eventually I got fed up and refused to deal with anyone but the system manager. It took a truck roll and the lead technician to call their headend and speak with a lady named Marcia (apparently the only one who knows how to send the authorization signals down the line) to get it working.

Your best bet is probably just to have a technician come and install the cards, and even then it's a crapshoot.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:36 PM   #3923
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A&E HD at CCI 0x02; CableCard not paired...

Greetings, all.

It appears to be common practice of Comcast of the District of Columbia not to pair CableCards with hosts, at least in TiVo units. This hasn't been a problem up until now, as they pass all of their digitals with the CCI byte of 0x00; at least up until Friday when A&E HD went to 0x02.

This is pretty obviously a slip-up on their part, and will hopefully be fixed soon, but I was wondering if anyone has had any luck getting their cards paired with their units after the initial install? I'd rather not have to deal with this problem every time one of their headend monkeys flips the wrong switch.

I did a quick search on the thread, but there's so much information here that it's getting to be a bit much to dig through.

Thanks!

John
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:51 PM   #3924
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpbandit
.

By the way, he knew all about the problems of having cable modems and cable cards show up in the right order on the provider side of things and said that wouldn't be a problem, so the reports of problems with that have apparently filtered through and made it all the way down the line, no problems there.

Oh, and after getting my new cable modem, my Internet speeds are SIGNIFICANTLY higher! My old one was one I purchased myself and was 3-4 years old and only supported DOCSIS 2.0 (maybe not even that, but I think it did)... the new one should support up to DOCSIS 3.0 and who knows, maybe Comcast in my area (Pierce County, Washington state) is using it. All I know is, I was getting speeds up to 20 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up, whereas previously I could maybe get 8 M down, 384 K up.
You are mistaken about the new modem. There are NO DOCSIS 3.0 modems available yet. CableLab's is JUST now supposed to be starting the first DOCSIS 3.0 certification wave. The first fully certified DOCSIS 3.0 CPE devices won't be available until next year. (Trust me, I absolutely know of what I speak...)

Likely, your old modem was operating in DOCSIS 1.0 or DOCSIS 1.1 mode. The new modem they gave is likely a DOCSIS 2.0 modem that is fully supported by their systems. While DOCSIS 2.0 versus DOCSIS 1.1 can help with throughput, the fact is there is NO difference in the physical layer plant capability for the downstream throughput between the two. The max modulation for downstream is still 256QAM over a 6MHz wide channel. That translates to about 37Mbps usable capability for the Downstream.

However, on the Upstream, DOCSIS 2.0 can offer significant physical layer improvement...actually up to three times (3x) the throughput of a DOCSIS 1.0/1.1 plant. Under DOCSIS 1.0/1.1, the max Upstream throughput is about 9Mbps or so (16QAM @3.2MHz Channel Width) For DOCSIS 2.0, the operator can go to 64QAM @ 6.4MHz Channel width, with a throughput yield of somewhere about 27Mbps.

Keep in mind that all this is shared by everybody on the node. In addition, the modem caps are placed on your device via a configuration file it downloads at boot time. So, you likely got a new modem configuration file when you got the new modem.

DOCSIS 3.0 will bring channel boding (logical) on both Downstream & Upstream when it arrives. That means that (likely) the DOCSIS 3.0 modems will have multiple tuners in them. It will be great when it becomes available, and absolutely give the Operators the physical capacity to compete with FiOS. But, like I said, it won't be available until sometime next year on the CPE side. Then, the Operator will still need to upgrade their Network Infrastructure to support it (CMTS, provisioning) Because of the "Capital" intensive nature of such upgrades, it's anybody's guess how soon we'll see it become ubiquitous...

Barry
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:57 PM   #3925
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dipdewdog
Greetings, all.

It appears to be common practice of Comcast of the District of Columbia not to pair CableCards with hosts, at least in TiVo units. This hasn't been a problem up until now, as they pass all of their digitals with the CCI byte of 0x00; at least up until Friday when A&E HD went to 0x02.

This is pretty obviously a slip-up on their part, and will hopefully be fixed soon, but I was wondering if anyone has had any luck getting their cards paired with their units after the initial install? I'd rather not have to deal with this problem every time one of their headend monkeys flips the wrong switch.

I did a quick search on the thread, but there's so much information here that it's getting to be a bit much to dig through.

Thanks!

John
I (finally) got my M-Card working on Comcast DC. The "lead tech" had to come out and do it with seemingly everyone from tech support on the phone. Total install time was several hours over two days, and I still don't think they knew exactly what they did to make things work.

Anyway, I checked A&EHD, and of course had the same problem you have now. I told the tech about the CCI byte on A&EHD and he said he'd pass it to "management." This might take more calls.

This has GOT to be made more easier... Why can't there be an online interface to pair CableCARDS?? I think half of the problem with me was that the techs would mis-hear ID information as they read them over their Nextel phones and thus type in the wrong numbers.....
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:34 PM   #3926
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Originally Posted by tj722
I (finally) got my M-Card working on Comcast DC. The "lead tech" had to come out and do it with seemingly everyone from tech support on the phone. Total install time was several hours over two days, and I still don't think they knew exactly what they did to make things work.

Anyway, I checked A&EHD, and of course had the same problem you have now. I told the tech about the CCI byte on A&EHD and he said he'd pass it to "management." This might take more calls.

This has GOT to be made more easier... Why can't there be an online interface to pair CableCARDS?? I think half of the problem with me was that the techs would mis-hear ID information as they read them over their Nextel phones and thus type in the wrong numbers.....
Did Mike come out? He's such a nice guy, it's a shame they don't train their techs well enough. At least he wants to make sure the job gets done right.

Comcast would do well to have an online interface (or hell, a phone IVR at this point) to configure and pair these things.

I've thought about trying to get the DC Gov't involved, but they barely were able to get me a service credit for a botched digital voice install, I doubt they'd be able to get their heads around something technical.

I'll e-mail the system manager tonight. I just want my damn card paired with the TiVo so they can set that CCI byte to whatever their heart desires (well, as long as it's not "Copy Never") and it won't affect me.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:45 PM   #3927
tj722
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Originally Posted by dipdewdog
Did Mike come out? He's such a nice guy, it's a shame they don't train their techs well enough. At least he wants to make sure the job gets done right.

Comcast would do well to have an online interface (or hell, a phone IVR at this point) to configure and pair these things.

I've thought about trying to get the DC Gov't involved, but they barely were able to get me a service credit for a botched digital voice install, I doubt they'd be able to get their heads around something technical.

I'll e-mail the system manager tonight. I just want my damn card paired with the TiVo so they can set that CCI byte to whatever their heart desires (well, as long as it's not "Copy Never") and it won't affect me.
Yep, it was Mike. He was a nice guy, very persistent with the techs on the phone. He let me "drive" the TiVo since I was much quicker at navigating the various menus.

It is amazing that DC has a pretty advanced cable system yet only a few people seem to know what they are doing!

I don't really understand what you mean by "pairing the card with the TiVo". Isn't it paired when you are able to access your premium channels? (If the answer is in another thread, kindly point it out.) I'm worried about them doing any more fiddling with my account.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:57 PM   #3928
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Originally Posted by tj722
I don't really understand what you mean by "pairing the card with the TiVo". Isn't it paired when you are able to access your premium channels? (If the answer is in another thread, kindly point it out.) I'm worried about them doing any more fiddling with my account.
I could dig through and find it, but it's easier to steal from Crutchfield.com

Quote:
While CableCARDs do more or less the same thing as a digital set-top box, the decryption process is a bit more complicated. Once the CableCARD receives the encrypted signal from your cable provider, there are three more steps before you can see video on your TV:

* Decryption: The CableCARD receives encrypted digital programming information and decodes it.
* Re-encryption: The CableCARD re-encrypts that decoded information and passes it on to the DCR TV or DVR, along with a decryption key.
* Decryption: The DCR TV or DVR receives the re-encrypted information and uses the decryption key to decode it.

Re-encryption is one way that cable providers prevent their service from being stolen. In order for the CableCARD to pass on the decryption key to your DCR TV or DVR, it has to be activated by your cable provider. Activation is what tells the CableCARD that it's OK to pass on the decryption key and allow you to watch the channels you subscribe to. It's a two-part process:

* Pairing: Matches the CableCARD to one specific DCR TV or DVR. Pairing tells the CableCARD that it's OK to pass on the decryption key for the channels that you're paying for.
* Authorization: Tells the CableCARD which channels you're paying for as part of your programming package, i.e. which ones you're authorized to watch. It will pass on the decryption key for those channels only to the DCR TV or DVR that it's paired to.
What they don't tell you there is that the re-encryption process is actually optional and only invoked when the card is paired with the host and the CCI byte is set to something other than 0x00 (Copy Freely). If the host and the card aren't paired, the card won't pass the re-encryption key to the host, and even if you're authorized for the channel, you won't be able to view it.

Since Comcast DC usually passes the CCI byte 0x00, even with the premiums, we are able to tune them with unpaired cards. When they change the CCI byte to anything else--by accident or to enforce copy restrictions--the cards need to be paired for us to be able to decode the channels. 'Tis a pain.

Edited to add... Pairing should be quick and painless (just two more umpteen-digit values to read to the CSR), but for some reason the front-line CSRs can't change the host or data values on your account. I tried multiple times. They can see the fields, even input data into them, but when they try to save they get an access denied error. Apparently it can only be done by the people on the other end of those magical Nextels.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:05 PM   #3929
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Originally Posted by tj722
I don't really understand what you mean by "pairing the card with the TiVo". Isn't it paired when you are able to access your premium channels? (If the answer is in another thread, kindly point it out.)
The cards need to be told which channels they are authorized to decrypt, and that doesn't depend on the device they are in. But they have to be paired properly to deal with copy-protected content. Pairing includes numbers identifying the particular host device (e.g., TiVo), so paring will be broken if a card is moved to a another device (or even different slot in the same device). Some cable systems use copy protection, others don't, and what channels they apply it to varies (copy protection is SUPPOSED to be at the content owner's direction). The way it often works is that premium channels have the copy protection on them, but there is no inherent connection between "premium channel" and "copy protected". You can only see channels for which your card is authorized, AND, if copy protection is applied to that channel, the pairing is properly configured.

Last edited by CharlesH : 10-15-2007 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:12 PM   #3930
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Originally Posted by dipdewdog
I could dig through and find it, but it's easier to steal from Crutchfield.com



What they don't tell you there is that the re-encryption process is actually optional and only invoked when the card is paired with the host and the CCI byte is set to something other than 0x00 (Copy Freely). If the host and the card aren't paired, the card won't pass the re-encryption key to the host, and even if you're authorized for the channel, you won't be able to view it.

Since Comcast DC usually passes the CCI byte 0x00, even with the premiums, we are able to tune them with unpaired cards. When they change the CCI byte to anything else--by accident or to enforce copy restrictions--the cards need to be paired for us to be able to decode the channels. 'Tis a pain.

Edited to add... Pairing should be quick and painless (just two more umpteen-digit values to read to the CSR), but for some reason the front-line CSRs can't change the host or data values on your account. I tried multiple times. They can see the fields, even input data into them, but when they try to save they get an access denied error. Apparently it can only be done by the people on the other end of those magical Nextels.
Hmmm... The tech did tell the "magic Nextel" the numbers in the Host ID and the Data fields. Don't know exactly what they did with them.

That's interesting about the CCI byte... I know that with the Motorola box, the firewire out would not let me copy any shows from a portion of the channels (HBOHD was "Copy Freely" but FOXHD was "Copy Once" - according to the DVHS vid capture program on the Mac), but that might be yet an additional piece of data for restricting copying.
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