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Old 07-29-2008, 09:20 PM   #5551
SGR215
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Thanks to Frank at the email listed above I got a real Comcast tech today, not a subcontractor, who actually took the time to get my cable card working properly. I'm not exactly sure what causes this error but it only took this tech a few minutes to get it solved. He also solved my low signal issues and even organized my setup a little better. (I've got six total outlets so that's a major thing in itself) Although he said he wasn't too sure what exactly his supervisor did he explained to me about how subcontractors generally don't care about doing a good job but rather doing several jobs as fast as possible. They get paid by the job, not by the hour. The only thing they care about is getting your signature so they get paid. The end result obviously being rushed, incorrectly done installs. Cable cards sometimes take time to get them to activate and obviously time is a subcontractors worst enemy.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:32 PM   #5552
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...I also had a rep who was nice enough to email me a screen shot of the error they get when they attempt to pair my cablecard. Here is a censored version of it for those wondering what the reps see:


...
THERE'S the problem! Those poor dudes are using Internet Explorer.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:41 PM   #5553
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THERE'S the problem! Those poor dudes are using Internet Explorer.
LOL... I couldn't help but think the same thing when he sent me the SS. I felt like saying "Did you try it in Firefox?"
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:19 AM   #5554
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I just got an HD-Tivo and Comcast (San Jose,CA area) set up with a Motorola M-card today. It works beautifully except a gray screen happens every 30 minutes or so on the HD channels. My signal is very strong, the installer attached a 10db attenuator and the strength is between 93-100.

My gray screen picture:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3246/...f9243a58_o.jpg

If I go to signal strength menu during the gray screen, the video appears perfectly with full strength:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3044/...830cbd24_o.jpg

Cable card channel test also shows the video perfectly:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3052/...35b91276_o.jpg

But the cable card diagnostics reports "Tuner 0: Current Tuning Status: Not tuned: Wrong card state"
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3166/...42fbe1b5_o.jpg

So if the signal strength test can display the channel video perfectly and the cable card test can display the channel, why is it gray in the tivo live tv?

Switching channels a few times fixes the cable card state and brings the video back in live tv. But of course that means most recordings will be missing half the content.

What could put the cable card in the wrong state every 1/2 hour or so? I have no idea if this is a tivo problem or comcast or a communication issue between the two. Thankfully I still have my direct tv tivo going as a backup!

Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!
-Mike
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:03 AM   #5555
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In the cable card diagnostics, what does it say below tuner 0?
For your setup with an M-Card, you should have diagnostics for two tuners, in the diagnostic screen they are called tuner 0 (which you showed) and tuner 1. If your M-Card isn't set up properly, or isn't working properly, you will get no data for one tuner (in this case tuner 0) and should get normal data for the other. That may be why you get grey screens sometimes, just because you are watching from the tuner that isn't working properly.

Of course, it may be a different problem entirely.
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Old 08-02-2008, 12:10 AM   #5556
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Indianapolis, IN area CableCard Installations

Hardware: TiVo Series 3 HD
Sofware Ver: 9.4-01-2-648

Day 1: Before Comcast tech showed up, I sat up the TiVo. It was working perfectly with analog. The tech showed up. As soon as he entered my house, he made a phone call. I over-heard it was his first time installing CableCards. When he was done with the phone, I told him the only thing he needs to do is insert CableCards. He said that the TiVo is connected to a cable that was not supplied by Comcast, so he needs to disconnect everything and change them all. I asked him not to do that, but I let him since he told me that if I would not let him, then I must reschedule for tomorrow. While he was connecting the cables, he got confused (my TV set is rather complicated). He was treating the TiVo like their digital box. TiVo has no coaxial output, thus nothing showed up on the TV. The tech got rude. He did not connect all the cables back as it was, and he just left without scheduling for another tech to come out. I called the 317-872-2225, which is on my Comcast bill and suppose to be the local comcast #. I never ever gotten any local customer service persons by calling the local # but National Call Center. Anyway, I scheduled another appointment for tomorrow.

Day 2: Different tech showed up around 11 AM with only 1 M-Card. The tech asked me if the TiVo was ready to go. I told him that the tech from yesterday disconnected everything, and I left it alone. He immediately start connecting the cables. Once he was done connecting, he insered the M-Card in the slot 1 of the TiVo. He called the office giving Host ID, DATA and CableCard S/N. The TiVo gave "Accuiring Channel" screen. The tech told me it could take up to 4 hr before I could use TiVo. While on wait, I asked him that I thought this model requires 2 CableCards to do dual tuning. He said that the card is M-Card, so I don't need another one. We waited for 2 - 3 min. Since there was nothing he could do while waiting, he asked me if it was OK for him to leave. He gave me his cell # which he used to call the main office. I waited...after an hour or so, I noticed the tech connected the cable to "Antenna" coaxial instead of "Cable" coaxial on the TiVo. I yanked the power cable off the TiVo, then reconnected the cable. I called the tech around 3 PM. He said that he will be back today to fix everything including installation of a second cable card. 5 PM, the tech had not shown up. I called the local Comcast #. The lady I spoke with assured me he'll be back today before 7 PM, which is the closing time. I waited until 7:30 PM to call the Comcast back. This lady I spoke with, she didn't know much about the CableCards, however, she listened about the validation, etc. She got the CableCard working!!!

Day 3: The same tech guy showed up around 3:30 PM. He brought the second Motorola M-Card. He asked me what's the problem. I told him one of the problem (premium channel) is solved. What I need now is the second digital tuner/CableCard working. He reported the Card S/N, DATA and Host ID of the 2nd CableCard back to the main office. He was using the Push-to-Talk of the phone feature, I heard everything what the office said. It'll be ready in 5 min. The tech did not wait for 5 min. to check channels. It appeared all were working. One tuner showing HBO and another showing Encore. Sweet, it's woking!!! The tech left. I do not know how long it took, but one of the tuner stopped working. I could not watch any channels. All of the channels were grey. The second CableCard somehow stopped working. I went into the "Conditional Access" to check what's happening. Con: Yes, Val:?, CP: Enabled, Auth: MP for the 2nd CableCard, and Con: Yes, Val:V, CP: Disabled, Auth: S for the 1st CableCard. By looking at those, these told me the Comcast Main office send wrong signal to the second CableCard: the card was sat up to use multi-stream instead of single-stream. I called TiVo before I called Comcast. We got into a 3-way calling. We swapped the CableCards because TiVo lady said that CableCard slot 2 might be broken or the CableCard #2 is bad. After pairing without new DATA, slot 2 worked without problem. This told there was nothing wrong with the TiVo. The slot 1 wasn't working and Auth: was showing MP like when this card was in the slot 2. The Comcast lady said that it is not possible to modify the signal to make the Auth: S from Auth: MP. I was so frustrated because I know Comcast can. Oh, while on this 3-way calling, we discovered that CableCard #1 had Firmware 613 and CableCard #2 had firmware 516. TiVo lady and I asked if it's possible for her to send new firmware. She said she cannot do anything about the firmware, and it is not possible to send the firmware to the CableCard. I know Comcast can, and I just hang up on both TiVo and Comcast. I called the Comcast back. I explained the situation. CableCard #2 is having a multi-signal configuration, etc. She said that she was going to perform "signal boostl" or something like that. I have a Comcast digital box as well, and it all the sudden got restarted. She told me to wait for 45 min. or so then restart the TiVo. I did. Once the TiVo restarted, I went into the CableCard setting section. Both of the CableCard now had the same firmware: 613, Con:Yes, Val:?, CP: Enabled, Auth: S. She fixed the damn Auth:MP, which was supposely impossible to do remotely. Great! I can watch everything except premium channels because I lost the validation/pairing. I called the Comcast back telling them I have no premium channels. The lady supposely sent a signal. I waited for 45 min., then restarted the TiVo. Val: was still ? meaning both of the CableCards were not pairing. I called the TiVo back. The guy told me to put the channels on the premium, then read the status of the CableCards. On both of the cards, Con:Yes, Val:?, CP: Enabled, Auth: CAD on the premium channels. For normal channels, Con: Yes, Val:?, CP: Disabled, Auth: S. We tried to do 3-way calling with the Comcast again. We waited for the Comcast for about 20 min...I somehow got disconnected from the TiVo on the phone. Never heard from the TiVo. I call the Comcast back....I still have no premium channels....

I talked with at least 10 Comcast people. I've written only some names. These people were not helpful at all.

JC in Indianapolis = kept saying to send tech back. I asked for the manager. He refused to let me talk to the manager. He refused to pair the CableCard. The only local person that I could speak with.

Lensy in Kansas City = the same as above.

David in Kansas City = the same as above.

Karen in Missouri = the same as above.

Last edited by spriggan : 08-02-2008 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:58 AM   #5557
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ouch .... I say your only recourse is to do like i did and DRIVE yourself at 8 am or when ever they open to your LOCAL office. then ask for the tech that knows about Cable card installs.
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Old 08-02-2008, 01:35 PM   #5558
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Comcast fixed the problem!

Day 4: After having a cup of coffee, I started the day with calling Tivo. Brian took my call. He said that their system is updating, so he could not obtain any customer information. I did not explain what happened in Day 2 and Day 3. I told him that I have no access to the premium channels, and DATA IDs of the CableCards changed because the cards were swapped. 3-way calling with Comcast began. Renne in Chicago took our call. We explained to her that CableCards need to be paired. I gave her new DATA ID for the CableCard 1. She admitted that she did not know much about CableCards. But, we could navigate her to pair the cards. She said that when she entered the new DATA ID, the Comcast system did not let her over-write the old DATA ID. She said that she had to e-mail someone (either her supervisor or dispatcher...can't remember), and I had to wait about 20 min. to get some kind of confirmation. She said that she'd call me back. Because of this 20 min. wait, we all hang up. I took a dog out. When I came back in the house, there was an automatic message from Comcast on my answering machine. I immediately checked the TiVo while entering 1-888-731-1371, which was specified in the message. TiVo's "Conditional Access" for the CableCard 1 showed Val:V. I thought, is this for real? Is it really working? I tuned to HBO, BAM! HBO is channel 301 in my area, and "Conditional Access" on this channel had Con: Yes, Val:V 0x0C, CP: Enabled, Auth: S, CCI: 0x02. Although I was excited, I was also dissapointed because I understand CP: Enabled means Copy Protection is on. I assumed I could not record HBO on my TiVo like Comcast's DVR (more on this later). Lisa in Indiana took my call. I explained to her that CableCard 1 now works perfectly thanks to Renne (I did not mention about the DVR of the premium channels because what matters the most is just to view the premiums). The next problem is CableCard 2. I gave her the new DATA ID for the CableCard 2. She was able to over-write the old DATA ID immediately. Within a min., BAM! CableCard 2 had the same "Conditional Access" codes as the CableCard 1 (Con: Yes, Val:V 0x0C, CP: Enabled, Auth: S, CCI: 0x02). I thanked Lisa for fixing the problem, and hanged up the phone. I wasn't expecting to digitally record Premium channels because of the CP: Enabled, but I tried. It records! (I'm guessing CCI 0x02 tells how many times I can copy???) I only tried 2 channels to record (301 and 302 which are different variants of HBO), so I need to check other premium, sports package and HD channels. While I was checking the DVR of TiVo, Renne called back (so the automatic Comcast message was not from her). I explained the situation & told her everything works. Lisa took care of the CableCard 2. She told me that dispatcher had to over-write the old DATA ID on the CableCard 1 for her. I praised her for what she had done.

After reading a lot of posts on this forum, I found my story is essentially a verification of the problems/suspicion/advice of others.

One of the finding today was from Brian. He said that what Comast send to pair the CableCards is DATA ID. It makes sense if DAC uses Host ID and Card S/N to generate a DATA ID. If this is the case, DAC hashes--nothing more.

Hopefully, my information help others who are having problems with the Comcast's CableCard installation on the S3.

Last edited by spriggan : 08-02-2008 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:59 AM   #5559
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Well, I hate for my first post on a board to be a rant, but here goes anyway...

Executive summary: Trying to get an M-card working in my new THD, and Comcast is as useless as ever...

- First visit, guy was three hours late on his three hour window, meaning I had been waiting for him for six hours. Installs cable card, gets some channels working, claims the others will kick in within 8 hours or so. I naively believe him.
- Next day, still no premium channels. I dig around in the cable card menus and find that the card is not even properly paired. My wife calls Comcast, wastes another hour on the phone, only to be told "we need to send a tech out again". A supervisor is supposed to call her back, but never does.
- Fast forward a couple days, tech shows up, saying things like "oh, a cable card, you're in for a ride", and "I don't know why they even use these things". And this one "Well, Edie is the only one on the head end who really knows how to make these things work, and she's on vacation for two weeks." He proceeds to spend three hours on the phone with them, manages to get the card paired, but still no copy protected channels are authorized. My wife calls the Tivo cable card hotline, and puts the tech on with them. This quickly degenerates into a useless pissing match about whose fault it is. After three hours, she's had enough and kicks the tech out.
- Another call to Comcast to try to speak with a manager gets another "we'll have someone call you back..."
- Although I am quite convinced the problem is solely with Comcast, Tivo's cable card hotline is, unfortunately, borderline useless as well. A second call to them was very short and ended with basically "well, we can't do anything for you". Might be true, but I thought the hotline was there to help work with the cable companies.

At this point, we're pretty much ready to cancel our cable service outright, box up the THD and take it back, and cancel the one non-lifetime Tivo account that we set up for it. Which really sucks, because we love Tivo (had them since the very first units were available like eight years ago...). But I'm having a hard time justifying paying for services when we're getting treated like this (especially given that other media options like Netflix, bittorrent and others pretty much just work).

Soooo.... If we decide to give it one last gasp, does anyone in the Potomac Falls, Virginia area have any suggestions as to who to call, what to say, or whatever to try and get this resolved?? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Follow up on my post from last week:

The TivoHD is finally working. In addition to the above, this took:

- a letter to Comcast's vice president of customer support.
- at least half a dozen phone calls with an "executive support" rep who, although basically useless herself, does appear to have had some influence in scheduling the tech who finally fixed things.
- two attempts at getting someone useful via the online chat support (no dice...)
- two more random phone calls on our part in the hopes of just getting lucky and getting someone with a clue. (no luck...)
- countless wasted hours and frustration on our part.

Last Friday brings yet another truck roll and another m-card from a tech who finally appeared to know what he was doing. According to him, a bunch of the cards they had were actually bad. Anyway, he swapped it out for a new one, and within a reasonably short time, everything was working as it's supposed to. Oddly, the conditional access screen indicates Val: ?, which should indicate the card is not paired. But the Auth: MP error is fixed, showing Auth: S now, and we get all channels on both tuners. So I'm not inclined to mess with it at the moment, even though I fully expect it means something will stop working in a day or two...

Oh, and we got a $50 credit for our trouble...
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:41 PM   #5560
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I don't believe that any of their cards are 'bad', just that they're purposely clueless about how to properly initialize them for the Tivo.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:19 AM   #5561
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I don't believe that any of their cards are 'bad', just that they're purposely clueless about how to properly initialize them for the Tivo.

+1 (make that +1000) ....

it seems like some call centers know about them and and other don't.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:29 AM   #5562
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Apologies if this has been addressed (my search came up short), but I went to sign up for new Comcast service today (internet & cable), and the agent told me my Tivo unit and cable cards are incompatible with anything less than one of the higher level digital cable packages. (I just ordered a TivoHD.) I asked about getting the "digital starter" package or the "digital double play" (internet+cable), but the (local) agent said those were "basic cable" that required a digital box. He said that one needs either the digital box or "digital cable", but only the latter works with cable cards.

My understanding is that the cable cards serve as the digital box, but are there certain services that Comcast offers that are not compatible with a cable card system? I've noticed that others on the forum have cable service through Comcast with a Tivo box and are paying something close to $30, the promotional rate for digital starter.

I sense I was being fed a line, but I figure I should double check. If the rep's info was incorrect I'll certainly call back and switch, since $66 for the bundle is a lot better than the $100+ the agent said I needed.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:38 AM   #5563
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They are either pulling a fast one on you or the rep is clueless. You don't need digital anything to use the TivoHD. In fact, you could order the bare cable without a box and without cable cards and still pick up the analog signals through Tivo and use the QAM tuner to get HD locals (but that's a little more complicated). Besides, what' to stop you from ordering their higher level service and then downgrading if they are forcing you to pay for something like that up-front. But my understanding is that they must offer (per the FCC) the same service to you with CableCards that offer using a their own digital box. The only thing you will miss out on is OnDemand content and their crappy channel guide. I don't miss OnDemand and I like the Tivo guide much better, so there was no loss for me.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:05 PM   #5564
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Whats the advised method to ordering cable for my TivoHD (not s3) via Comcast in the San Jose, California area?

Should I order online? Do I need to call sales, then ask to transfer to tech support/installs to ask for an M card?

Should I ask for an M card, or Two S's?

Should I expect to pay nothing for an M/S cards?

Should I expect this to even work? It seems like this thread has hundreds of pages of posts of people complaining that in the end, you get channels that dont work, or gray screens etc.

I want the smoothest setup possible, and for some reason I think using the order via comcast.com method won't work, i'm gunna have to place some phone calls, right?

The cable is running from the telephone pole to my house, but not connected to my house. This from a few years ago when I had analog comcast service.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:28 PM   #5565
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I don't believe that any of their cards are 'bad', just that they're purposely clueless about how to properly initialize them for the Tivo.
Yeah, I don't believe it either, but that's what he claimed...
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:06 PM   #5566
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I don't believe that any of their cards are 'bad', just that they're purposely clueless about how to properly initialize them for the Tivo.
You're implying that they're competent by saying they'd purposefully doing something like that; to purposefully do that, they'd have to actually know how to do it right.
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:30 PM   #5567
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What a difference a couple years make!

As an early adopter of an S3 I experienced the typical Comcast nightmare (in my case a 3 week one). After a recent disk failure I had to return to the saved virgin unbooted original disk. Essentially, I was installing a new TiVo. I knew I was gong to loose my cable card pairing since I had upgraded the drive before I knew you should upgrade a drive only after fully configuring it and installing cable cards.

With great trepidation I prepared to call in to Comcast fully expecting to be told that a tech has to be dispatched but thought I'd give it a try anyway. I had already prepared by writing down the cable card serial numbers. I then inserted them in the proper order one at a time allowing about 30 seconds for first one to settle in (it is a myth that they need to be activated individually before inserting the next one). I check channels and sure enough I lost all my premium channels but, oddly, not HBO. I make note of the newly generated host ID numbers and I associate them with the appropriate serial nember.

So, anyway, I call in and end up with Kamil in the San Leandro center a good 100 miles from me. Not only did he immediately know what I needed before I even finished explaining myself but he did not have to transfer me to tier 2 or a cable card specialist. He asked me only for the serial numbers and the host ID numbers. I heard some typing and in about a minute he said he had sent an activation signal to both cards. I toggled back and forth between the 2 cable card conditional access screens until both were activated. Card 2 was quicker to activate and for a moment I thought uh oh, I have a problem but card 1 activated 30 seconds later. I asked him to hang on while I quickly ran through the premium channels on both tuners from the cable card screen and all was well. Total time elapsed: ~10 minutes!

The professionalism and knowledge of the CSR was superb. I was particularly impressed that he was able to directly correct the pairing error in the system. This doesn't help those with chronic and lingering issues with Comcast but maybe it indicates that some changes are occurring behind the scenes.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:05 PM   #5568
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What does it mean if I'm getting error codes 161-38 and 161-52 on an HD Tivo with the M-Card (Comcast service)? Comcast initially told me that the card had gone bad, so I swapped it for a new one at the local comcast office. The new card is giving me the same errors.

I've called Comcast several times to have the card authorized/initialized. Now comcast is saying the tivo is defective, but when I call Tivo, they say that Comcast hasn't properly initialized the card.
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:51 PM   #5569
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Ordered via phone Double-Play (internet/tv) in San Jose, CA.

Tuesday - Placed order at 1pm
Wed - 2:45pm Install Tech shows up

Has to call dispatch because the M cards ID's wont enter into his system, this because they were never entered in at Comcast. Gets resolved in about 10 minutes.

Cards pair up, takes a few minutes. All channels come in.

Got Error 131-86 (I think it was) a few times. Went away after an hour.

No more errors. Both TivoHD's work with each their own M card.

So far so good, no problems at all other than the 131-86 thing for a bit.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:35 PM   #5570
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Something I found that worked!!!

Ok guys i went through the threads on this site and most were very helpfull and every bit of info was much appericated. When i finally found something that got my cablecards to work i wanted to share it with you guys, however your on results may vary! I have a Tivo Hd with two single stream Motorola cable cards. My Comcast service is in middle Tennessee. To make along story short after about 12hrs on the phone with Comcast and TiVo i had a system that would work on what looked like random channels both regular and subscriber channels. To give a example i could get local channels and HBO in regular and HD, but could not get ESPN and Discovery to name a couple. I arrived at this point during the first 30 minutes of the quest. Everybody who has had issues with cablecards knows how the rest of the 11 hrs went.
On to what worked for me.
I went to the 'Conditional Access' screen on the cable card and notice that on the channels that worked the AUTH line had SUBSCRIBED. The ones that didn't work had unsubscribed or not auth I can't remember which. I know some of you are saying well there is your problem, but for me this was a big step.
When i noticed this a light bulb went off that maybe my subscriber package was not set up correctly. All of the people I talked to were trying to repair the cards and hit them but no one had checked to see if the subscriber info was input correctly by comcast.
I called Comcast and told them the story and they wanted to do their usual trouble shooting stuff. I asked them to wait and just check to see if my subcriber info was correct and guess what it had been input incorrectly. The rep fixed it and everything started working almost instantly!!!
I never thought that something as simple as a typo could cause the symptoms that i had. If anybody is stuck at this point it probably wouldn't hurt to have comcast check you subscriber info to make sure it is correct. I guess the moral of this story is always check the simplest thing first!!


Thanks for everyones hard work and help!!
Go Vols!!
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:59 AM   #5571
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Right now, I hate Comcast too. I've been trying to get service since June 28... It's taken over 20 phone calls (virtually all with someone nice, but clueless and helpless) and so far 6 installation appointments (I've had to be home all day for every one). The first five installation appointments resulted in a line being run from a pole without a tap to the house and then left dead and coiled up at each end. The last installation appointment resulted in a line run across the ground from a pole with a tap to the pole with my line, a working cable modem, and a basic cable box running coax to my TV (I originally ordered a M-card for my Tivo HD and have reminded them to bring an M-card for the install repeatedly.).

I took back the cable box and now have the cable plugged directly into the Tivo HD (the installer didn't know how to do this). It looks like I have at least two more installation appointments (an aerial install for the tap and an inside guy for the cable card) before I'll finally have service with a cable card, and that's IF they can get the cable cards to work. I'm absolutely astounded that a company with such poor customer service is still in business. I've been so frustrated that I even called to cancel once, but they talked me out of it. If I had another option, I would have taken it a month ago.

There is one person from Comcast who has actually done what she said she would do and impressed me by being competent. Deborah put in an ER ticket so that I would get my cable card 1.5 months after my order instead of 2 months after the order. She was able to get an earlier install and called me back like she promised. Four or five other Comcast reps have promised call backs and have never called back.

I'll update everyone when i finally have the service I ordered. Some day, I'll have to write up a thread about just how bad this whole experience was...

Good news- the Tivo is still awesome.

Tim
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:53 AM   #5572
slowbiscuit
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You're way past the point where you should escalate this to comcastmustdie.com, and by calling your regional VP's or national exec support office (search for Comcast at consumerist.com for phone numbers). Don't bother with the local help, they don't care or are clueless about Cablecards until someone upstairs makes them care.
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:44 AM   #5573
jjp007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post
You're way past the point where you should escalate this to comcastmustdie.com, and by calling your regional VP's or national exec support office (search for Comcast at consumerist.com for phone numbers). Don't bother with the local help, they don't care or are clueless about Cablecards until someone upstairs makes them care.
I put up my comment on comcastmustdie.com

After my horrible horrible time getting the darn CC to work properly way back in Feb and March I have never received all the channels I have been paying for! I dont' watch every channel on a consistant basis but I finally started noticing channels just disappearing. Now it's mostly in the upper 300's.
I called tonight and after an hour and a half on hold ( i swear they have one person on the night shift in the CC dept and it was the one of the same guys I delt with back in Feb. There must only be a handful of people in the whole department. I spend a majority of my time on hold just getting through.
The first time I called tonight the regular help guy had no clue, said he would send a refresh signal but I know he was sending it to my cable box in the bedroom NOT the cable card. My cable card went blank for a while, error message and when i asked him to transfer me to the CC dept, he said there wasn't one!!!! I hung up on him and called back and got someone who transfered me.

The guy is very nice and he said they've got some new policies since Feb/March so he tries sending a refresh to my card and nope, it doesn't work. I just don't get how certain channels just disappear but the way the guy described it made a little bit of sense.
So he sets up a truck roll tomorrow to install a new M card. I'm worried that once they take this one out and put a new one in I will end up not having any channels and going through the process all over again!!
end rant...
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:53 PM   #5574
phillychief
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Havertown, PA
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Comcast CableCard Joy in Havertown, PA

I purchased a new TiVoHD directly from TiVo online, with a lifetime subscription. I have had a Series 2 lifetime TiVo for some time, and it would be hard to imagine going back to watching television without the TiVo service. I decided to move the Series 2 to the basement and treat myself to the HD experience.

Since I am new to CableCards, I read everything I could on this and other related threads. After reading some of the horror stories, it was with no little trepidation that I called Comcast to arrange for new CableCard service.

As suggested, I had already connected my TiVoHD up to the cable and to my broadband Internet, allowing it to download the latest software, run Guided Setup, and burn in for a week or two. I called Comcast on a Sunday evening and asked to have a CableCard installed. I was asked if this could be done on a self service basis, but they said no, it required a tech visit. I asked the CSR to note on the order that I preferred an M-Card, and she said she would so note. She did not ask what type of device I planned to use it with. I was offered a Tuesday appointment, but I chose the next Friday because that was more convenient for me.

The tech arrived a bit outside the promised window, but did call before to advise he was running late. He showed me the single M-Card he had brought with him, and I felt a bit uneasy because it was somewhat battered and obviously not new. Bracing for trouble, I wrote down the numbers on the card myself.

He seemed very familiar with installing CableCards in TiVos. I asked if he had done a lot of them; he told me there was quite a rush about a year ago, and again around Christmas, but that there had not been too many requests as of late. He asked if I wanted to insert the card into the TiVo myself, and I said "sure".

The card was recognized as an M-Card within seconds, and the pairing data screen came up. The tech and I both copied down the numbers, and he entered them in his portable service communications device. We chatted for about ten minutes while he waited for an acknowledgement of his activation request. I don't think he ever got one, but about that time I started dialing around the channel menu. Sweet success! Every channel was there, normal, digital, and premium. I checked on both tuners, and everything was fine! Uncorrected RS errors: 0.

I thanked him and he was on his way. Total time working on TiVo activation: about 20 minutes, most of it copying numbers and waiting for activation.

It's been working perfectly for about three weeks now. I wanted to see if any problems developed after startup before posting this, but none have. I cannot believe how good even the regular digital channels look compared to the analog cable I had been used to, and the HD channels are terrific.

While I have had somewhat unpleasant repair issues with Comcast in the past (clueless telephone support, missed appointments, etc.), I must admit to being genuinely surprised and very happy with their service this time. No problems scheduling, no CableCard shortages, and an easy activation from a knowledgeable tech. At least in our near-northwest Philadelphia suburb, fear not the CableCard installation appointment: Comcast has it together.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:30 AM   #5575
bobscola
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Seattle - Comcast - MCard(s) easy install! X 2

Called Comcast to get cablecards for the upstairs TivoHD, was waiting for the you need to "have us install this" when the guy said you can pick these up at the service center. I walked into the service center in Redmond WA & asked for two cable cards for a TivoHD and handed me 2 new cards. I noticed they were MCards and said I needed only 1. He said, yeah I'm giving you 2 in case one does't work. I asked how much it would be for a second outlet (downstairs TivoHD) and he said $1.54 month. So I asked him to add the second outlet and left with 2 MCards. At home, pluged in the first MCard and Tivo displayed the card info screen, called Comcast (same number provided by the Comcast guy and on screen), read them numbers of the TV screen and they activated the card. Went downstairs and repeated the process. The Comcast tech on the phone insisted on staying on with me until everything was up and running. Everything worked, first time, on both Tivos. I had waited as long as I did, 'cause of the horror stories with Tivo, cable cards, Comcast, no MCards, needing to pay for an install, etc., etc. Turned out to be easier than programming the Tivo remote for my Vizio.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:24 PM   #5576
We Tigers
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I went through the dreaded failed cablecard install today, with a pissed-off tech who kept getting into fights with his call center and telling them to take the job and shove it. Not terribly surprised they couldn't get together to get my TiVo working...

As it turns out, I called Comcast afterwards to reschedule, and the CSR told me that I can just go to the local Comcast center (I'm in Arlington, VA), pick up an M-Card, and do the install myself. I'm big on doing tech stuff myself and comments like bobscola's lead me to believe it's the right choice. Any hitches or failures I should watch out for when I try to do this tomorrow night?
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:21 AM   #5577
cluelesspa
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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it is not the process of doing the PHYSICAL install of the Cable Cards. It is the COMCAST side of the equation. The set up and pairing of the CCards in their system that is the issue. some call centers have no problems. MOST comcast call centers have no idea how to handle. and if you are in an ADELPHIA gone Comcast area. Good Luck as it is a different system for their CC activation and pairing.

looks like there are one or 2 comcast call centers that know what they are doing with CC activation and pairing. Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:56 AM   #5578
slowbiscuit
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Yes, exactly. There is no problem (other than old firmware) with the cards themselves, it's all in how Comcast provisions them. If they did their job right by setting up the cards for the Tivo correctly in all areas, anyone should be able to pick up a card and install it themselves. But as we see in this thread, YMMV.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:31 AM   #5579
drhankz
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Salem NH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by We Tigers View Post
I went through the dreaded failed cablecard install today, with a pissed-off tech who kept getting into fights with his call center and telling them to take the job and shove it. Not terribly surprised they couldn't get together to get my TiVo working...

As it turns out, I called Comcast afterwards to reschedule, and the CSR told me that I can just go to the local Comcast center (I'm in Arlington, VA), pick up an M-Card, and do the install myself. I'm big on doing tech stuff myself and comments like bobscola's lead me to believe it's the right choice. Any hitches or failures I should watch out for when I try to do this tomorrow night?
I ALSO Echo what two other posters have said.

I'm in NH - aka Boston Comcast Area - the Network
Operation Centers here get the provisioning right the
first time in a matter of minutes.

Other parts of the Country have nightmares. I believe
you are in one of those Comcast Nightmare regions.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:25 PM   #5580
cheesehead00
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Arlington, VA

180-hr TiVo HD (says Series 3 for platform) with version 9.4-01-2-652

I recently moved from Charleston, SC to Arlington, VA and having trouble with this new install.

I haven't been as lucky this time around. I took out the old S cards and re ran the guided setup with my new cable zip code and info before having the techs install the cablecards. Basic cable is working properly and can even record two programs at once.

I have had 3 techs come on three different days trying to setup the new m card but for some reason cant get the cable card to get a host id. also after inserting the m card i no longer get my basic cable. We have tried 7 different M cards and none of them are working all it says is "your cable provider has not supplied any information for this card."

Any help is greatly appreciated because I have no clue what the problem could be.

Edit: The supervisor just called and claimed that Scientific Atlantic CableCards are NOT compatible with TiVo. I informed him that I just returned 2 S cards that were scientific atlantic back to comcast in charleston, sc and those worked fine. He said he would see if they have S-cards at the warehouse but if not I would be out of luck since its not compatible in the area.

Thanks

Last edited by cheesehead00 : 08-13-2008 at 02:20 PM.
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