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Old 02-05-2008, 09:19 PM   #5041
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Side topic: Comcast just forced me to trade my SA Comcast DVR for a new one. The new one is made by Motorola. Does the newer Motorola Box (DCH 3416) have DRM? The one good thing about the OLD Comcast DVR is that it doesn't have DRM. I fear the new one may... Does anyone know if it deletes PPV recordings after 90 minutes? I believe it's the DRM that makes it do that so hopefully I'm phrasing the question correctly. Anyone know?
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:22 AM   #5042
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What I didn't expect was another 6.95 "monthly tivo equipment charge"
Do you have other Comcast set top boxes? If so, $6.95 is the correct charge for additional digital outlet.
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:56 AM   #5043
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Do you have other Comcast set top boxes? If so, $6.95 is the correct charge for additional digital outlet.
I do have the Motorola DVR (HD, dual tuners etc.) I'm paying 11.95/month already for that.

So, if I return the Motorola box, I'll save the 11.95/m. Will I also save this extra 6.95/m for my Tivo HD since I won't have any comcast equipment at that point?

I didn't see anything in the Comcast FAQs about a cost for a "digital outlet" on top of the cablecard?
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:49 AM   #5044
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Originally Posted by nrobertson View Post
I do have the Motorola DVR (HD, dual tuners etc.) I'm paying 11.95/month already for that.

So, if I return the Motorola box, I'll save the 11.95/m. Will I also save this extra 6.95/m for my Tivo HD since I won't have any comcast equipment at that point?

I didn't see anything in the Comcast FAQs about a cost for a "digital outlet" on top of the cablecard?
Your first outlet charge is included in your rate package, that's why you won't generally see it (though sometimes it appears on your bill where they'll show it being subtracted from your package and added back in again as a separate line item).

There's a charge for every outlet requiring any sort of digital converter equipment provided by the cable company.

The first CableCARD for any particular piece of equipment is included free with the outlet fee. An additional card for the same equipment, if needed, is around $1.50.

So once you get rid of the DVR, the only other digital converter device on your account, the DVR fee and the additional outlet fee will go away.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:09 AM   #5045
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update for fauquier county

Just an update for those of us in Northern VA. I called comcast yesterday to ask about cablecards, and they rep (who actually knew about cablecards and tivo issues) checked with his manager to confirm, and told me that they don't have the new CC's in yet, and no resolution was in sight for using HDTivo's on comcast.
However, the Series3 does work, he said.

Not good news, but at least he seemed to know what he was talking about.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:27 AM   #5046
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Just an update for those of us in Northern VA. I called comcast yesterday to ask about cablecards, and they rep (who actually knew about cablecards and tivo issues) checked with his manager to confirm, and told me that they don't have the new CC's in yet, and no resolution was in sight for using HDTivo's on comcast.
However, the Series3 does work, he said.

Not good news, but at least he seemed to know what he was talking about.
Yeah, not great news. When you say "However, the Series3 does work, he said." do you mean they have S-type singlestream cable cards (that can work in Series3) but not M-type multistream cable cards that are needed for TivoHD? I'm going to call them tomorrow to check in. Thanks.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:47 AM   #5047
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Yeah, not great news. When you say "However, the Series3 does work, he said." do you mean they have S-type singlestream cable cards (that can work in Series3) but not M-type multistream cable cards that are needed for TivoHD? I'm going to call them tomorrow to check in. Thanks.
S-Cards and M-Cards both work in THD's and S3's.

With the series 3, the M-card is seen as an S-Card. No matter what, it requires 2 cableCARDs to get 2 tuners.

With the THD, you need to get either (2) S-Cards or (1) M-Card to activate both tuners.

Based on the post by mrbigbusiness197, I'm not sure that the cableco CSR really knows what he or she is talking about.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:02 PM   #5048
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S-Cards and M-Cards both work in THD's and S3's.

With the series 3, the M-card is seen as an S-Card. No matter what, it requires 2 cableCARDs to get 2 tuners.

With the THD, you need to get either (2) S-Cards or (1) M-Card to activate both tuners.

Based on the post by mrbigbusiness197, I'm not sure that the cableco CSR really knows what he or she is talking about.
Thanks Pl1. Yes, I'm aware that S- or M-type will work in Series 3 in single stream mode as long as one card is in each slot. The point was whether that's what the CSR was saying. From the post it sounds like there are S-type available but not M-type, which will be fine for my S3 but not for TivoHD that mrbigbusiness197 has. I agree that it doesn't sound like the CSR was knowledgeable. I know when I spoke to an informed CSR a couple of weeks ago (if there is such a CSR) I was told they only have M-type cards now. We'll see what happens.

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Old 02-06-2008, 12:09 PM   #5049
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Sorry, I wasn't being clear on that. he didn't specify whether they were M or S cards, just that the Series 3 DOES work. I don't have a series 3, so I didn't really ask him about it.

When they tech originally came to install the cards into my HD Tivo (before they knew it didn't work, I guess) he had both M and S cards, and he/we tried various combinations to try and make it work.

I assume they still have either S or M cards available, just none with the firmware (or whatever) is needed to work with the HD Tivos.

As a side note, I asked him if he knew if the cards would work with a Vista-based media center, and I got the audio equivalent of a blank stare - he started explaining to me that cablecards were for watching TV, and I'd need a cable modem for my PC, etc. I just let it drop.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:21 PM   #5050
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Thanks Pl1. Yes, I'm aware that S- or M-type will work in Series 3 in single stream mode as long as one card is in each slot. The point was whether that's what the CSR was saying. From the post it sounds like there are S-type available but not M-type, which will be fine for my S3 but not for TivoHD that mrbigbusiness197 has. I agree that it doesn't sound like the CSR was knowledgeable. I know when I spoke to an informed CSR a couple of weeks ago (if there is such a CSR) I was told they only have M-type cards now. We'll see what happens.
The S-Card WILL work in your THD. You need two of them.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:08 PM   #5051
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With the confusion here on the forum among people familiar with the hardware, it baffles me how anyone who just buys a THD at Costco would ever get it working.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:22 PM   #5052
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With the confusion here on the forum among people familiar with the hardware, it baffles me how anyone who just buys a THD at Costco would ever get it working.
That's why I bought mine at Best Buy.
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:31 PM   #5053
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The S-Card WILL work in your THD. You need two of them.
Yes, fully aware thanks. I never said anything different. There seems to be confusion regarding how we refer to each unit. Since I've been using this board, I'm used to S3 or Series3 to mean the Tivo HD series 3 that I have (that needs 2 cards S or M type regardless, and that I'm still waiting to be installed), and the TivoHD, the cheaper version as the one that needs one M-type. So when you write THD, I presumed you meant the cheaper TIVO HD (M-type) unit. Thanks.
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:46 PM   #5054
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I assume they still have either S or M cards available, just none with the firmware (or whatever) is needed to work with the HD Tivos.
THAT IS PURE BS.

You should have taken the card out of his hand and installed it.

Call some of the people on THIS LIST
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:17 PM   #5055
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Yes, fully aware thanks. I never said anything different.
Really, NP, I was just making sure you didn't think that the THD "required" the M-Card based on this quote:
Quote:
From the post it sounds like there are S-type available but not M-type, which will be fine for my S3 but not for TivoHD that mrbigbusiness197 has.
And you are correct, we are on the same page; Series 3 (or S3) vs. Tivo HD (or THD).
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:15 PM   #5056
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HELP! I've been on hold waiting for Comcast to answer the phone for the last 45 minutes. I bought a new Tivo HD DVR (not the Series3) the first week of December. Comcast sent a Tech out to install a Scientific Atlantic M-Card CableCARD a few days later. The dual-tuner works, but I don't get ANY of the digital channels. I get up to channel 100 and the networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, PBS) in HD. No other channels come in. I'm told that the other channels are encrypted and the CableCARD that I have is not properly paired/validated. I've also been told that the batch of CableCARDs in Spotsylvania County Virginia don't work with the Tivo HD DVR. I've gone back and forth for the last 2 months with Comcast. I have the cell phone of a Tech, but he's stood me up on 4 separate occasions. I've called the local supervisor directly, but he never answers the phone and doesn't return any of my calls. I've called the 888 number on numerous occasions and had them "hit" my M-card. I've been told that the "good" cards are being used in the next county over, Stafford County Virginia, but they aren't releasing them to Spotsylvania except on a very small quantities basis. I've been told that 10-15 other Tivo HD DVRs have been successfully installed in my area. Anyone else having these types of issues?
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:01 PM   #5057
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Really, NP, I was just making sure you didn't think that the THD "required" the M-Card based on this quote: And you are correct, we are on the same page; Series 3 (or S3) vs. Tivo HD (or THD).
OK, no worries, I can see how what I wrote could be mistaken. I intended to say the S-type was OK for my Series3 if indeed that is all they had in stock.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:14 PM   #5058
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HELP! I've been on hold waiting for Comcast to answer the phone for the last 45 minutes. I bought a new Tivo HD DVR (not the Series3) the first week of December. Comcast sent a Tech out to install a Scientific Atlantic M-Card CableCARD a few days later. The dual-tuner works, but I don't get ANY of the digital channels. I get up to channel 100 and the networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, PBS) in HD. No other channels come in. I'm told that the other channels are encrypted and the CableCARD that I have is not properly paired/validated. I've also been told that the batch of CableCARDs in Spotsylvania County Virginia don't work with the Tivo HD DVR. I've gone back and forth for the last 2 months with Comcast. I have the cell phone of a Tech, but he's stood me up on 4 separate occasions. I've called the local supervisor directly, but he never answers the phone and doesn't return any of my calls. I've called the 888 number on numerous occasions and had them "hit" my M-card. I've been told that the "good" cards are being used in the next county over, Stafford County Virginia, but they aren't releasing them to Spotsylvania except on a very small quantities basis. I've been told that 10-15 other Tivo HD DVRs have been successfully installed in my area. Anyone else having these types of issues?
I sort of feel your pain. I have the Tivo HD. I was first given an S card by mistake (before I knew what I was talking about from reading here and brought that home and installed it myself. When I called Comcast I was on hold for 2 hours!!! Then the guy took all of the information and said it would take 24 hours for it to be authorized, which by the time I woke up the next day it was working. Well I realized I couldn't change the channel while recording anything and that I had the wrong card so back to Comcast I went. I had to return my DVR box anyway so no big deal. So they give me an M Card and home I go. I install it, get all the numbers and call Comcast. This time I sit on hold over an HOUR! The girl gets all my information and she seems to know exactly what she is doing....fine fine. I'm not happy to at this point to have spent over 3 hours on hold but whatever, I thought by the time I woke up I would have my Tivo/Cable problems solved. My mistake.

I wait all day and all I get are the regular channels but nothing over 100 or any HD so around 4 pm I call and wait on hold for 30 minutes but I couldn't wait anymore so I hung up. When I got home I called again and was oh hold for again over an HOUR! The same girl answers!! I ask her if she is the only person working in that department as it takes hours to get anyone to pick up. She looks at my information and says she isn't sure why its not validated and that she will call me tomorrow. I told her how upset I was at having to spend over 4 hours trying to get this thing set up and how absurd it is to be on hold that long. She transfers me to her supervisors voicemail as it's 9 pm at this point and he leaves at 5pm. So I leave a heated message on how ridiculous it is that people are on hold for such long periods of time and how my CC still isn't working. I vented big time. About an hour later he left me a voicemail saying they couldn't get the CC activated and that he would call me back tomorrow after he talked to his troubleshooting department. I have a feeling I will be making a trip back to Comcast to get another CC. Should I have done anything to the Tivo before installing another cable card after he first one was paired properly?

Wouldn't I have gotten an error message if the CC was broken? I bet I end up having to use two S cards and just forget the M card since the one S card worked for me. I knew it was just to easy at first. I wouldn't mind if I didn't have to sit on hold for hours and why does it take them 24 hours to authorize the card? That makes no sense to me, it seems others have had it authorized after they entered the pairing information on the cable co's end.
FRUSTRATING!
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:48 PM   #5059
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That sounds very high, I have Comcast coming on Friday to install a card in a TivoHD. When I made the appointment they said it was $15 (or maybe $16) for the install.
My install was $17. I imagine it varies by market, but if the previous poster is being quoted $40+ per unit, he should probably escalate the call to a supervisor.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:11 AM   #5060
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Sorry, I wasn't being clear on that. he didn't specify whether they were M or S cards, just that the Series 3 DOES work. I don't have a series 3, so I didn't really ask him about it.

When they tech originally came to install the cards into my HD Tivo (before they knew it didn't work, I guess) he had both M and S cards, and he/we tried various combinations to try and make it work.

I assume they still have either S or M cards available, just none with the firmware (or whatever) is needed to work with the HD Tivos.

As a side note, I asked him if he knew if the cards would work with a Vista-based media center, and I got the audio equivalent of a blank stare - he started explaining to me that cablecards were for watching TV, and I'd need a cable modem for my PC, etc. I just let it drop.
They are mistaken. It does not matter if you have the S3 or the THD. The cards will work with either unit. There is no Firmware update on the card for a different TIVO. When I ordered my Card, I did not even mention TIVO, I just said I need a cable card install and please make sure it's an M Card. That was it. When the tech showed up, all he asked was if it was a Front loading or back loading TIVO unit (Meaning does the card go in the front or the back). I said front and he said good cause all he had was 1 M Card. so a few techs do know what there are differences between cards and how they interact with the TIVO, but I doubt most CSR's know anything about TIVO.

So, the best thing, I feel, to do is just do not mention TIVO at all, just tell the CSR what you need, an M Card or 2 S cards...
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:10 AM   #5061
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I wouldn't mind if I didn't have to sit on hold for hours and why does it take them 24 hours to authorize the card? That makes no sense to me, it seems others have had it authorized after they entered the pairing information on the cable co's end.
FRUSTRATING!
Don't you think it would have been easier to have a Tech Install it?
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:35 AM   #5062
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What have been the experiences in the Boston area getting the M-Card installed. My THD is arriving today and the tech is coming tomorrow...
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:39 AM   #5063
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What have been the experiences in the Boston area getting the M-Card installed. My THD is arriving today and the tech is coming tomorrow...
I'm in Southern NH - I consider that greater Boston.

I have 6 DVRs with CableCards.

All my Comcast experiences have been PERFECT.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:46 PM   #5064
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So, the best thing, I feel, to do is just do not mention TIVO at all, just tell the CSR what you need, an M Card or 2 S cards...
If you request two s-cards and do not mention it's going in a single Tivo, you will most likely get charged an a/o fee for the second card.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:43 PM   #5065
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Success in Aurora, IL

There is hope after all! My TivoHD only took two truck rolls:

Attempt #1: Had a knowledgable tech come out two weeks ago, and tried two M-cards (after relaying numerous horror stories of other installs to me). After calling in the card information, dispatch said the cards were flagged as stolen in the system (!) and could not be activated!

Attempt #2: Had a not-as-knowledgable tech out today -- had done CableCard installs, but did not seem as comfortable with the process as the previous tech. We put the M-card in, and at first were only getting the analog channels. Dispatch sent a "hit" to the card, and a few minutes later all the encrypted channels were coming through properly. The tech was amazed and was out of there in under half an hour!

He said the dispatcher that knows how to debug cablecard problems is "Vicky" -- so if you're in the area, make sure your tech calls her on your install.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:56 PM   #5066
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Your first outlet charge is included in your rate package, that's why you won't generally see it (though sometimes it appears on your bill where they'll show it being subtracted from your package and added back in again as a separate line item).

There's a charge for every outlet requiring any sort of digital converter equipment provided by the cable company.

The first CableCARD for any particular piece of equipment is included free with the outlet fee. An additional card for the same equipment, if needed, is around $1.50.

So once you get rid of the DVR, the only other digital converter device on your account, the DVR fee and the additional outlet fee will go away.
Is the second CableCARD in the TiVo HD an "additional outlet"?

I have onlt 1 TiVo HD with 2 Single stream CableCARDs. I have three non-HD TiVos with no cable boxes. Comcast is treating each CableCARD as an outlet. I am not being charged for the first CC and Digital channels (as it is included with the Digital Package), but I am being charged for HD on the first CC. I am also being charged $1.50 for the second CC, $5.50 for digital and $6.95 for HD pn the second CC, which they consider a "second outlet" .

Is that what should be done or is that wrong?
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:55 PM   #5067
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Authorization time...

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...and why does it take them 24 hours to authorize the card? That makes no sense to me, it seems others have had it authorized after they entered the pairing information on the cable co's end.
FRUSTRATING!
Actually, the amount of time for authorization depends on the brand of cable card. I read the Cable card trouble shooting guide on tivo.com,

and in it they have a general trouble shooting section, as well as specific sub-sections for Motorola Cards and a different one for Scientific Atlanta Cards.

On Tivo.com, Tivo states that once a motorola card is activated, that it has a full "channel Map" immediately. This means that once you get a Motorola card working, you have all of your channels at once.

On the other hand, cards made by Scientific Atlanta behave differently... Once the Scientific Atlanta cards are paired and activated, the recieve many small messages that authorize one (or more?) channels at a time. Thus, on a Scientific Atlanta card, even when you are properly set up, access to the channels will slowly "trickle in" over time. The Tivo literature says to wait 20 minutes (or maybe they said 15) to have all of the channels activated.

The comcast rep who I spoke to said that it sometimes happens very quickly, and that sometimes all of the channels don't start comming in until the next day -- he seemed fairly knowledgeable -- and I'm willing to believe the "up to a few hours" argument, but I'm skeptical about the "overnight" claims --- that's just my gut feeling.

Anyway, to put all of this simply, if the cable company brings a cable card made by motorola, once they have it working, everything should work at once. Whereas, if you are given a card made by scientific atalanta, once it is set up and working, it is normal for the cannels to "trickle in" over time... the only question is how much time (tivo says 20 minutes -- my comcast rep said it can take a few hours or even over night).

For any newbies--- please don't confuse this distincition of "Motorola" and "Scientific Atlanta" with "S-Cards" and "M-Cards" --- that's a whole different topic. The "S" and "M" in "S-Cards" and "M-cards" stand for "Single" and "Multi" and have nothing to do with what company actually makes the card.

Last edited by pjbrownva : 02-07-2008 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:27 PM   #5068
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Thumbs up S-Cards vs M-Cards... some info...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbigbusiness197 View Post

When they tech originally came to install the cards into my HD Tivo (before they knew it didn't work, I guess) he had both M and S cards, and he/we tried various combinations to try and make it work.

I assume they still have either S or M cards available, just none with the firmware (or whatever) is needed to work with the HD Tivos.

It's possilbe that the cards needed a firmware update (I don't know the specifics of your system), but the cable cards can (and sometimes do) recieve firmware updates automatically from the cable company. The support section on tivo.com makes mention that sometimes the card recieves a "firmware update" when it is first inserted into the tivo, and that you must wait for this complete (without removing the card) or you could prevent the card from working -- however, as one of the earlier posts said -- I also believe that the firmware in a cable card is set up for that card (and possibly for the particulars of your system too), but that they don't have different version of the firmware to use for different Television devices. (eg- Tivo HD doesn't have / require a special version of the cablecard firmware to work with the tivo).

Regarding the s-card vs m-card info, here's what the support section on tivo.com has to say:


-------
M-Card Support

Some cable operators are deploying M-Cards™ (multi-stream CableCARDs) into the field. An M-Card is a CableCARD that is capable of running in either single-stream mode (supports one tuner) or multi-stream mode (single card can support multiple tuners). Both the Series3 HD DVR and TiVo HD DVR have M-Card support. For further information, see below.

------

Series 3 HD (My note -- here they are refferring to the expensive unit. The one that was originally about $800).

Currently, the Series3 HD DVR will support M-Cards in single-stream mode, which means that the DVR requires two (2) CableCARDs to run in dual-tuner mode. The DVR must also be running software version 8.0.1c or later. (S-Cards are supported in all software versions.) Your Series3 HD DVR may have shipped with an earlier version of the software installed. The software will be updated automatically, but not until the DVR completes Guided Setup for the first time, and then downloads and indexes the full 14 days of Guide data immediately after Guided Setup.

To ensure that your CableCARD installation runs smoothly, we recommend that you complete Guided Setup on your Series3 HD DVR before the installer arrives to install the CableCARDs. If you perform Guided Setup at least two days before your installation appointment, your DVR will update to the latest software automatically and will be ready to run either S-Cards or M-Cards.
If you perform Guided Setup on the day of the appointment, you should check your software version and, if necessary, force a software update. For more information, go to Software Version Troubleshooting.

We are exploring support of M-Cards in multi-stream mode for the Series3 HD DVR.



You can perform Guided Setup even if you don’t have cable service yet. For instructions, go to Running Guided Setup (Series3 and TiVo HD DVRs).


- - - --
Tivo HD (My Note - here they are referring to the less expensive unit... the one that currently sells for about $280).

The TiVo HD DVR supports multi-stream mode for M-Cards. This means that the TiVo HD DVR requires only one (1) M-Card to receive two digital cable channels at once.

(My note: This unit can also support S-Cards, but if you get S-Cards, you will need two (2) S-Cards to support two digital cable channels at once).




------

I hope this is helpful to anyone who has a question re: S-Cards vs M-Cards.

Last edited by pjbrownva : 02-07-2008 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:31 PM   #5069
pjbrownva
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 11
Big Grin An update from Arlington, Va -- It's working!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KraziJoe View Post
So, the best thing, I feel, to do is just do not mention TIVO at all, just tell the CSR what you need, an M Card or 2 S cards...
I got CableCards installed on Sunday, and had everything working by Monday evening... Not "perfect", but definitely not too bad. Anyway, here's my story.

I had been told that there were no cable cards available for Arlington and Alexandria, VA so I asked the rep to please check to see when they expected to have more cards available (this was about two weeks ago).

She told me that they were expecting some cards to arrive on Saturday, so I scheduled an appt for an install on Sunday (I figured I'd allow a day to make sure that the cards would be available when my installer tried to pick them up).

After reading the forum, I came to the same conclusion that Krazi Joe suggests... that I shouldn't even mention Tivo to the phone-rep, because it could just lead to confusion or mis-information. So I asked the CSR to set up an appointment for Sunday, and I told her to indicate that I need to have cable cards for two different devices installed (I have two of the TivoHD units -- that's why I said two different devices) and I asked her to add a notation to the work order that I needed a total of four cable cards, or if the installer had "multistream" cards available, that I only needed two of the multistream cards instead.

I also asked her to note that "the customer would prefer 2 multistream cards, if they are available". (Remember... I have 2 tivo HD's, so I needed cards for both units).

Anyway, come Sunday morning, the installer called (my wife answered) and told us that they had no cable cards -- bummer, I thought -- here we go...

A few hours later, a lady called from Comcast and said that they were mistaken. She said that they really *did* have cards available, and she asked if I still wanted the installer to come by-- (Any guesses as to my answer?)

When the Tech arrived, that's when I told him that the install was for a Tivo (actually two Tivos), and I asked him if he had installed cards in a Tivo before. (He said yes)... and when I asked if they were M-Cards or S-Cards, he said that they were brand new M-Cards... and that they were only getting M-Cards now.

He seemed competent (he certainly wasn't clueless) and he went to work, using his cell-phone "push-to-talk" to call in the required info to his dispatcher.

While we were waiting for his dispatcher to give us the thumbs up on the first card, I suggested that we go to the other room, and put the card into the second unit... just to get the ball rolling... and have him call in that card as well.

Anyway, on the first unit, we were able to get analog channels -- and the re-broadcast HD channels, but not any of the premium or digital channels. The rep told me that it was done, and that I would have to wait a while (possibly over night) and the other channels would come in.

I was ready (I had printed out two copies of the guide from Tivo.com titled "Troubleshooting CableCARD Activation and Channel Issues") so I pulled it out and asked him if he could help me make sure that we checked everything that was suggested in the guide.

I took the lead on this (I don't think the Tech would have... but with my gentle-but-firm insistence, he agreed to stay while I checked it out).

After checking out different things listed in the guide, it seemed like the section on "CableCARD is Missing Channels" was my problem. From looking at the diagnostic screens on the Tivo and the screen prints in the guide, I determined that my cable card was made by Scientific Atlanta.
After checking the section that applies to all cable cards (and finding nothing that helped my problem) I moved on to the section that is specific to Scientific Atlanta cablecards, and read that:

"Scientific Atlanta CableCARDs do not have the ability to display all authorized channels immediately after activation, which can make it appear that activation was NOT successful, when in fact it was. As soon as the CableCARD is activated, it begins to receive a stream of EMMs (Entitlement Management Messages). These messages authorize the CableCARD to decrypt specific sets of channels, based on the cable services that have been paid for"

Although my cablecard diagnostic and information screens were different from the screen prints in the tivo trouble shooting guide, I was still able to find a screen with a reference to the number of "EMMs" that had been recieved, and it was zero, so the tech said... see... it will come in later or maybe tomorrow.

Being the type of PITA (pain-in-the-A##) that I am, I wanted a little more confirmation. Back on the screen that spoke about "copy protection (cp)" I saw that "Auth Status" said "Waiting for CP Auth" -- and that the trouble guide told me that this means that the card had not been "paired" with Tivo, meaning that it had not been told that it is OK to display any channels that are copy protected.

Ah haa.... ! I tried to convince the rep that this "waiting for CP Auth" message was a bad sign, and that even if or when the card recieved "EMMs" to tell it that I was authorized to view certain channels, that I still would be out-of-luck because without having recieved a CP Auth, the card still wouldn't let me see anything that is copy protected.

We went around a few times on this, but at my insistance, I finally convinced him to call his dispatcher to request that he verify that the card info and my cable package info were properly entered into the comcast system and to ask that the dispatcher send or resend the authorization for Copy protection.

Verifying the setup went OK... and we were told that everything is correct, but it didn't seem like my request to authorize the card to handle copy protection was being understood. Since this request seemed to be causing confusion, I finally asked the installer to forget that part, and just ask the dispatcher to "hit the card again."

Sure enough, a few minutes later, I was able to see "CP Auth Recieved". It still took about 10 minutes before I was able to tune in any of the premium channels... and it was only one channel at that... but once I got one channel, I decided to believe the rep that the others would come in over time (it took about a half hour or more, but finally they all DID come in).

The second Tivo was a different story... it showed that it had recieved the CP authorization, but the EMMs (which were shown on a different screen) were listed as zero. I insisted that the installer stay until I could get 1 premium channel, or at the very least until we could see that the EMM count was no longer at zero... but after repeated checks... and about 15 min or so, the EMMs were still being listed at zero.

At my urging, he called in for another hit on the card... and after a few minutes the EMMs went up to a low number (about 4, I think). He was satisfied (I wasn't) but he said he had left another job to come to me, and that he need to get back to the other job (he did get several calls from this person, and I was there as he was assuring them that he WOULD come back). He said that there was nothing more he could do, and that it should be working by tomorrow, but even if it wasn't that I needed to call comcast to have a CSR fix it... that he had checked everything from his end, and that if it didn't work, it was really something that the CSR would have to fix in the system that they use -- At my request, he did agree to leave me his cell phone number, and we agreed that he would leave, but that I could call for help if I needed it... and that he would assist by calling in hits / confirming that the numbers were correct, etc if and as needed --that seemed fair to me-- plus, I wasn't sure what else he could do if he actually came back to my house in person, so I figured I would save him the trip -- I did, however call his cell phone so that he had my name and number on his caller ID, and I made him promise to answer my calls (even if he was busy)... and that in return he could leave and I would try to prevent him from having to come back to my house.

After about 2 hrs, still nothing, so I phoned and asked him to confirm that that the numbers were all correct (I verified with him, and he verified with his dispatcher, and everything was OK), and a new hit didn't fix it either... so I decided to wait "over night" as the installer had suggested.

About noon the next day (Monday), it still wasn't much better. Analog and rebroadcast HD were OK, and I had started getting ONE premium channel, but nothing else (I had also restarted the tivo a few times on both Sunday and Monday).

The EMM count was up to about 15, but I still had only one digital channel.
I called comcast, and the CSR said that he was "resending" some information to the box, and he told me that it should work in a while. I was skeptical, and figured that I'd need to call back schedule another service call, to let THEM
figure out how to fix it.

After about 40 mins... nothing! and the EMM's hadn't changed.
I restarted the unit, and left it alone for several hours.

When I came back to check it, the EMMs were at zero now, but I was getting a few more channels. Over the next several hours all of the channels came in, even though the EMMs continued to say zero. I can only guess that the EMMs had come in before I restarted the unit, and that (for some reason) it still took several hours for all of the channels to start working.

Anyway... that's my experience. It took a while, but at least I'm up and running.

Good luck to all.

(P.S. -- I kept my HD cable boxes... because I wanted to be sure that I would get to see the superbowl in HD... with or without TIVO. Now that everything works, I'll need to return the boxes and get them taken off of my bill!!).

Last edited by pjbrownva : 02-08-2008 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:11 AM   #5070
alanronkin
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 9
Red face Install is today

Thank you all for all of your help. Does anyone know the "latest version" of the software? I did a guided setup last night and I want to make sure I am up to date. I am hoping that they come with the right card.
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