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Old 02-08-2008, 10:41 AM   #5071
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Originally Posted by alanronkin View Post
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.
Latest firmware version is 9.2a. If you still have an older version, force Tivo to connect and it should pull down the latest version. You may have to do this a couple of times.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:52 AM   #5072
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Card Woes in Prince William County, VA

I've been trying to get Comcast to come out and do the card install on my THD for aproximately 6 weeks now. I'll spare everyone the entire saga and hit the high points.

For the longest time Comcast would allow me to schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, each and every one of them were canceled due to the cards being out of stock. A few weeks ago I started getting a different response from the CSR people. They ask me if the cards are for a Tivo box and which one. When I tell them it's for a Tivo HD, they tell me that the Scientific Atlanta cards they have (M-Type) are incompatible. When I ask them to clarify why they are incompatible I'm told that it's a firmware issue with the SA cards. Comcast claims that they have a ticket working with the SA Tech folks but there is no resolution in sight.

Now my question to you, kind forum goers, is if any of you have heard this before? It sounded like complete BS to me so I immediately called Tivo to see if they were aware of any issues with Scientific Atlanta cards. The kind rep at Tivo told me they were not aware of such an issue.

I've been calling Comcast about once a week now trying to get ANY type of card to no avail. It's gotten to the point where they pretty much told me, "don't call us, we'll call you". I am at my wit's end. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions they can offer me?
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:46 PM   #5073
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Big Grin Arlington, VA update

Summary - I have an appointment (Arlington VA) for a cablecard (x2 in my case for a Seires3) install tomorrow, Saturday 6-9am. The warehouse has cards NOW. I'll believe it when I see it, but hopefully the wait is over!

As many here, I've been trying to get 2 cablecards installed for my Series3 for many weeks now. I had an appointment last Monday - cancelled by tech due to no CCs. They rescheduled it for last night 6-9pm but nobody turned up. I spoke to the contractor directly during the day yesterday who had promised to help and they checked and said no CCs at warehouse but they'd try and find some, and that they hadn't picked up my 2nd appointment (They - Randall Communications, were one of several contracters comcast use in the area). So I was pretty sure nobody was coming.

Anyway, I called the Mannasas, VA Call Center directly today to see if I could get any movement there. The CSR said he thought they'd get some in so I could set up an appointment early next week. I said, "Hmmm...OK fine, but please call through to the warehouse(s) to double-check on CC availablity" He did, and came back to me and said they have CCs now...so I have an appointment tomorrow (Sat) 6-9am, and the job spec says specifically 2 CableCards, regardless of M-type or S-type for a Series3 TIVO unit (Series3 needs a card, any card in each slot 1 & 2 both running in singlestream mode). I was told they are generally Scientific Atlanta cards, which makes sense because Arlington VA comcast boxes are only SA. I've just been stressing I need two cards regardless. Hopefully I'll post "SUCCESS" tomorrow.

Last edited by ninjadvr : 02-08-2008 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 02-08-2008, 01:39 PM   #5074
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I've been calling Comcast about once a week now trying to get ANY type of card to no avail. It's gotten to the point where they pretty much told me, "don't call us, we'll call you". I am at my wit's end. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions they can offer me?
I would take no notice of the "dont' call us, we'll call you" line, and politely but firmly keep calling everyone (CSR, contractor or whoever you have a number for) because on one level, they'll try and clear your job because you are persistant and on another level, it appears to be partly based on luck of when cablecards come into stock at the warehouses, so if you call daily then if they do have them in, you can schedule an appointment ASAP and snatch up the cards.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:04 PM   #5075
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I wanted to post my positive Comcast cablecard experience in Alpharetta (subburb of Atllanta). I bought a Tivo HD last weekend and on Monday setup an appointment. I used the online "live chat" feature and the first rep said she couldn't get it entered in, but they transferred me to somebody else who got me setup. Due to the M-Card, S-Card thing, I just told them I needed 2 cards and I'd figure it out with the tech when he got here.

Tech showed up ontime, had an M-Card. Said he had done these before. Put it in, called somebody on the nextel radio and gave them all the info and I was up and running in about 20 minutes. Quick easy and simple with no problems at all Got Lost recorded in HD last night which was awesome.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:31 PM   #5076
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I just picked up a Tivo HD tonight, and called Comcast to setup an appointment. The person I talked to told me I could pickup the cablecard at one of their stores and install it myself. This seems very different than what I've read everywhere. I haven't read all 170 pages of this thread, but has anybody else heard this?
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:56 PM   #5077
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I just picked up a Tivo HD tonight, and called Comcast to setup an appointment. The person I talked to told me I could pickup the cablecard at one of their stores and install it myself. This seems very different than what I've read everywhere. I haven't read all 170 pages of this thread, but has anybody else heard this?
That option has been available in a handful of markets, but generally tends to be a misinformed claim by many CSRs who say that. Maybe you can find a direct number for one of the store locations to get a more accurate answer before traveling to one.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:00 PM   #5078
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I wanted to post my positive Comcast cablecard experience in Alpharetta (subburb of Atllanta). I bought a Tivo HD last weekend and on Monday setup an appointment. I used the online "live chat" feature and the first rep said she couldn't get it entered in, but they transferred me to somebody else who got me setup. Due to the M-Card, S-Card thing, I just told them I needed 2 cards and I'd figure it out with the tech when he got here.

Tech showed up ontime, had an M-Card. Said he had done these before. Put it in, called somebody on the nextel radio and gave them all the info and I was up and running in about 20 minutes. Quick easy and simple with no problems at all Got Lost recorded in HD last night which was awesome.
I'm in Brookline MA and had the same experience with an installer today. He knew what he was doing and installed a single MCard, made a call to give them some numbers, made sure HBO worked and left telling me to rerun setup to get all the new channels into the guide.

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Old 02-09-2008, 11:42 AM   #5079
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Good information - I curently have digital basic with three of the very small cable boxes that look like modems. Will I need to upgrade my digital service to another package to get HD?
I'm not sure - I did have to upgrade, but I was coming from just standard analog cable with no cable boxes.
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:00 PM   #5080
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Arlington, VA update

CableCards, first they have 'em, then they don't, then they have 'em again

I was assured Friday afternoon, that they finally had two cablecards for me (Series3) and would install 6-9am this morning (Sat). I moved my Series3 into my living room at 2 am after returning home...and got woke up at 7 am with a phone call from a casual sounding tech saying they had no cablecards so I get a call back from (this time a Comcast supervisor called Drake who I remember dealing with early last year on my initial comcast install). He says he'll put aside cards when they come in. He just called me and said he has two M-cards and will bring them Tuesday 6-9am personally to install them.

I was being told by them that one M-type cablecard would work (NOT THE CASE), but I seemed to have convinced them I need two. I have a case number with TIVO and a number I can call when the tech/supervisor comes if there are any problems. Basically they are just getting M-type cards in these days.

The key to tell them is that (in my case Scientific Atlanta) M-type cards have to operate in single-stream mode, one in slot 1 and one in slot 2. And, they have to be paired. As long as that is conveyed to them before they call through to the office to activate the cards (and they follow Tivo's instructions) it should work. The Tivo rep told me to make sure also that all the channels come through. That may take a little while with SA cards since as another poster said, unlike Motorola cards, the channels don't all come through at once.

Anyway, this is getting beyond ridiculous, but hopefully Tuesday will bring success. Tuesday because they have nobody left that can come over today, and the supervisor keeping hold of my cards is off Monday, so Tuesday it is.
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:28 PM   #5081
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I just picked up a Tivo HD tonight, and called Comcast to setup an appointment. The person I talked to told me I could pickup the cablecard at one of their stores and install it myself. This seems very different than what I've read everywhere. I haven't read all 170 pages of this thread, but has anybody else heard this?
I was able to pickup a cable card at the comcast office in north houston today without any issues. I walked in, requested a cable card, they asked for my account details and then handed me a card. I was not charged anything, and it was quite simple. Getting the card functional on the other hand... I'm still going through that =)
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:41 PM   #5082
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Getting the card functional on the other hand... I'm still going through that =)
That will be the real fun part - good luck
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:20 AM   #5083
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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.
While this sort of makes sense, I had the Motorola M Card and it took 24 hours, which is what my comcast office states for all CC activations. The rep said something to the effect that someone who authorizes the card has to activate the channels you have ordered individually.

And to whom ever said I should have had Comcast come and install it for me, well that would have taken a week to get someone scheduled IF they would send someone out. They really didn't give me a choice. When I had the problem with the M Card I told them I would not be calling back if it wasn't working after my last hour on hold episode. She said sending someone out wouldn't help as the tech would have to call it in just like I did. The problem was on the Comcast tech level 3 end, not my end.
So while some Comcast offices won't let anyone do a self install, that was pretty much my only option given. Odd but not surprising

After I left the venting message on the supervisor's voicemail the M Card was activated by the next day and now everything is working very well.

The only problem I had was sitting on hold for so long. I guess they just don't employ enough level 3 techs to handle all the calls.
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:00 AM   #5084
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While this sort of makes sense, I had the Motorola M Card and it took 24 hours, which is what my comcast office states for all CC activations. The rep said something to the effect that someone who authorizes the card has to activate the channels you have ordered individually.
That is not TRUE for Motorola Cards. I have 6 "M" cards
and each was installed by Comcast and 30 seconds after
the Pairing Data was entered - they were ACTIVE.

In your case since you did the install yourself - Comcast
most likely put you in the "we will do it overnight when
nothing else is going on."
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:19 PM   #5085
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That is not TRUE for Motorola Cards. I have 6 "M" cards
and each was installed by Comcast and 30 seconds after
the Pairing Data was entered - they were ACTIVE.

In your case since you did the install yourself - Comcast
most likely put you in the "we will do it overnight when
nothing else is going on."
I have my card working this morning. I called last night and the L3 Tech I talked to said all the cablecard guys had left already and that it would be activated today between 10am and 8pm. When I checked it this morning at around noon it was working fine on one side of the tuner. The other side was only handling basic cable content though. I am finding some channels in the upper range that I'm not able to tune, but I am unsure if I even get those channels anyways.

Its a type M card, and the tech I talked to last night who also had a Tivo at home said it should work fine, but he has a TivoHD and not a S3 like me. I have read on this site that the S3 requires two cards to get HD on both tuners, is that still true for the latest software revision on the S3 (9.2a)..
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:30 PM   #5086
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Okay, time to post my current experiences. I'm going to pick up my TivoHD at Costco today as my birthday present from my wife. So I called Comcast yesterday to set up the install (I'm in the SF Bay Area). I was at work (as a paramedic) so I had to cut the call with Comcast short because we got called out of the station. What I did have an opportunity to learn from the CSR (who seemed to know what she was talking about when it came to THD) was that they had M Cards available for pick-up at my local service center. She also confirmed that I would be able to view my local networks in HD even if I was just subscribed to the Digital Starter package.

When I got back to the station I figured I'd jump online and sign up for the package in hopes that it might go a little faster. I got through the whole process quickly, until, of course, I had to chat with the CSR to set up an appointment. I asked the same clarifying questions as before and this lady told me that I had to pay $7/month for the HDTV channels. I informed her that I was under the impression that this was an equipment rental fee which I wouldn't need, but she was insistent. She then told me that she needed to "check a few things" and left me hanging for the 30 minutes before she informed me that she was unable to set up Tivo installs over the internet. She also informed me that I could pick up the CableCARD for a self install, but that the service center would complete my order at that time.

I called back to Customer Service and spoke with a really helpful guy in my area who informed me that they do not allow pick ups at the service centers, that I would have local HD channels with the Digital Starter package and that he was extremely sorry that I had gotten the run around. He offered to waive the $15 installation fee. I confirmed the appointment (on the 26th) and that the technician would bring an M-Card rather than an S-card and all was well. The way I understand it, the introductory price for 6months of the digital starter will be $33.99, with the cost of the CableCARD included and no charge for HD channels. We'll see what happens that first month.

Anyway, I figure I'll set up the THD and do the Guided Setup for analog cable with HD local channels for the time being. After the CableCARD install can I just re-run Guided Setup without any difficulty to update the Guide? Thanks so much!

Patrick
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:57 PM   #5087
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I have my card working this morning. I called last night and the L3 Tech I talked to said all the cablecard guys had left already and that it would be activated today between 10am and 8pm. When I checked it this morning at around noon it was working fine on one side of the tuner. The other side was only handling basic cable content though. I am finding some channels in the upper range that I'm not able to tune, but I am unsure if I even get those channels anyways.

Its a type M card, and the tech I talked to last night who also had a Tivo at home said it should work fine, but he has a TivoHD and not a S3 like me. I have read on this site that the S3 requires two cards to get HD on both tuners, is that still true for the latest software revision on the S3 (9.2a)..
Ok, I guess the system information is kinda confusing. I really have a TivoHD, and after waiting a while longer the HD channels were working on the other tuner. Maybe somebody still needed to do something at comcast to finalize that part of the setup. So all is going well here in less than 24 hours, I can finally start going through and adding programs to record.
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:45 PM   #5088
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While I'm not a big fan of Comcast I also had a positive experience with CableCard insallation in Carmel, NY for an S3. Mine occurred back in December. The tech showed up on time (during a pretty severe snow storm no less) with 2 cards, seemed to know what he was doing and completed the installation within 45 minutes.

Not sure if this was posted elsewhere but I also got some clarification on what Comcast means by "first CableCard free". It's not the first CableCard that's free but the first device. So if you have a cable box, that counts as your free device and you get charged for both the CableCards required to operate an S3.
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:21 PM   #5089
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I called back to Customer Service and spoke with a really helpful guy in my area who informed me that they do not allow pick ups at the service centers
This "helpful guy" was wrong. The CableCard can be picked up from your local office. That started last month in the S.F. Bay Area.
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:47 PM   #5090
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Not sure if this was posted elsewhere but I also got some clarification on what Comcast means by "first CableCard free". It's not the first CableCard that's free but the first device. So if you have a cable box, that counts as your free device and you get charged for both the CableCards required to operate an S3.
Every device requiring digital decryption of the cable signal requires paying an outlet fee. This outlet fee includes the cost of the digital decoding device, such as a (non-DVR) cable receiver or a CableCARD. The first outlet fee is included in your digital programming package.
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:10 PM   #5091
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Ok, I guess the system information is kinda confusing. I really have a TivoHD, and after waiting a while longer the HD channels were working on the other tuner. Maybe somebody still needed to do something at comcast to finalize that part of the setup. So all is going well here in less than 24 hours, I can finally start going through and adding programs to record.
Maybe your cards are from Scientific Atlanta instead of Motorola.
The SA cards needs a lot longer to turn on their encryption for
each channel.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:16 PM   #5092
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This "helpful guy" was wrong. The CableCard can be picked up from your local office. That started last month in the S.F. Bay Area.
grrrrr!!!!

So do I just go down there and pick one up tomorrow? And they still have to come out and activate digital service on my line right? I have analog cable now. This might actually work out well since that way I can get things rolling sooner.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:40 PM   #5093
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Angry Motorola Cable card through comcast not HDCP compatable?

Have HD tivo, with one Multi Stream Motorola cable card from comcast. Hooked up the HDMI cable from TiVo to TV...Got an error that said TV is not compatiable with HDCP digital rights media. Then spent two house calling TiVo, Samsung, Comcast and Motorola the back to comcast who said they don't support HDMI cables. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:20 PM   #5094
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Have HD tivo, with one Multi Stream Motorola cable card from comcast. Hooked up the HDMI cable from TiVo to TV...Got an error that said TV is not compatiable with HDCP digital rights media. Then spent two house calling TiVo, Samsung, Comcast and Motorola the back to comcast who said they don't support HDMI cables. Any suggestions?
Welcome to the wonderful world of HDMI Compatibility

The only thing I can say is your cablecard knows nothing about
HDMI. I only use Component out from my TiVo to AVOID all
these wonderful issues.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:33 PM   #5095
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Have HD tivo, with one Multi Stream Motorola cable card from comcast. Hooked up the HDMI cable from TiVo to TV...Got an error that said TV is not compatiable with HDCP digital rights media. Then spent two house calling TiVo, Samsung, Comcast and Motorola the back to comcast who said they don't support HDMI cables. Any suggestions?
And HDMI error indicates the issue is between your television and the TiVo receiver. So contacting the TV manufacturer and TiVo would be how you resolve it. You might also inquire around here to see if anyone else has the same brand/model television and is successfully working with it connected to a TiVo Series 3 or TiVo HD receiver.
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:19 AM   #5096
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So do I just go down there and pick one up tomorrow? And they still have to come out and activate digital service on my line right? I have analog cable now.
Unless you have the ~$15 limited basic (which has a physical trap on the line) right now, Comcast does not have to come out at all. After picking up the CableCard and putting it into your TiVo, just call Comcast to activate the card.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:38 AM   #5097
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This "helpful guy" was wrong. The CableCard can be picked up from your local office. That started last month in the S.F. Bay Area.
Just for info. I am a long time Comcast customer and in CT, they do not allow pick up even of the Comcast Motorola box. I have had 2 separate instances of CC installation and the last one just a couple weeks ago. No pick up of CC, instead Comcast requires a technician's appointment for $19.99. I do not think they charge for installation of CC.

It seems that Comcast policy varies according to location.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:17 AM   #5098
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Thanks dswallow. I have a Samsung LCD TV 71 series with the Series 3 HD Tivo with the Motorola M Card from Comcast. Everyone keeps passing the buck and blaming the other party.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:41 AM   #5099
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Originally Posted by frozenoj View Post
Thanks dswallow. I have a Samsung LCD TV 71 series with the Series 3 HD Tivo with the Motorola M Card from Comcast. Everyone keeps passing the buck and blaming the other party.
Yeah, it takes a lot of fortitude on your part to keep them from doing that, but it's the TV or it's TiVo; it has to be one side or the other of the HDMI handshaking. Try posting here and over in AVSForum for people with your same television (and searching with Google) to see if anyone has similar troubles or even if someone else has things working. You may find they have a later version of firmware in their TV, for instance. Make it easy for people and mention your make/model of TV and need for someone with a HD TiVo all in the thread subject so it's more likely someone might find the thread in the first place, too.

The only involvement of the CableCARD, and thus of Comcast, is in the requirement to enforce the encrypted link at all. So while it's likely Comcast could remove the requirement on any given channel, it really doesn't fix the problem between your TV and the TiVo. So they're pretty much not part of your problem (except in the general sense that Comcast and the studios want/have copy protection concerns at all).
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:34 PM   #5100
lateknight
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by c3 View Post
Unless you have the ~$15 limited basic (which has a physical trap on the line) right now, Comcast does not have to come out at all. After picking up the CableCard and putting it into your TiVo, just call Comcast to activate the card.
Good to know. I think my cable plan right now is $24 or something like that. Anyway, I'm leaving the house right now to head down to the Service Center. Wish me luck!
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