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Old 12-29-2008, 03:55 PM   #5971
Wiley1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazi4tv View Post
There seems to be confusion about if HD channels can be received on Limited Basic service. Only local broadcast HD channels (such as ABC, NBC, CBS, CW) are available on the limited basic package, and yes they come in just fine with a cablecard. If you want additional HD channels such as TNT, Sci-Fi, ESPN, Discovery etc, then you will need to upgrade to a higher level of service which does require that a trap on your line be removed.
I need some clarification on this subject. Currently I have a series-3 HD XL box connected to Comcast with limited service. I get channels 1-31 plus a bunch of digital channels with numbers like 85-104. This is fine with me except that the program guide doesn't correlate so I am unable to record from any digital channel except by setting up a manual recording. Reading through this forum, I got the impression that I could use a cablecard to translate these digital channels to regular numbers that would appear in the Program Guide.

But, when the Comcast service guy called to set up the appointment, he convinced me that I would actually LOSE channels because the cable card would take over the channel lineup and effectively block the ones I am not technically paying for.

Can anybody tell me the straight poop?
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:50 PM   #5972
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Trying to get my new Tivo HD set up with cablecards but Comcast ATL insist that I must use two multistream cards and of course pay an additional $1.50 for the second card.

I think Ill just have them bring the two cards (since one may not work anyway) and after the first is installed insist the installer take the second back with him. They surely cant charge me when I have only taken one cablecard from them (hopefully their system would only show the one cablecard active on my account as well).

Also, with the packages such as Digital Preferred, are you guys getting HD stations as well because of course they insist that is $7 extra too.

Thanks
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:24 PM   #5973
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley1 View Post
I need some clarification on this subject. Currently I have a series-3 HD XL box connected to Comcast with limited service. I get channels 1-31 plus a bunch of digital channels with numbers like 85-104. This is fine with me except that the program guide doesn't correlate so I am unable to record from any digital channel except by setting up a manual recording. Reading through this forum, I got the impression that I could use a cablecard to translate these digital channels to regular numbers that would appear in the Program Guide.

But, when the Comcast service guy called to set up the appointment, he convinced me that I would actually LOSE channels because the cable card would take over the channel lineup and effectively block the ones I am not technically paying for.

Can anybody tell me the straight poop?
First, click on this link from the TiVo website:

http://www.tivo.com/setupandsupport/..._Channels.html

Cablecards are a security device, which when inserted will scramble encrypted channels until your subscribed channels are authorized for viewing. When the card is properly paired and authorized, only the channels that are included in the package that you subscribe to will display. You will need to rerun guided setup. When you enter your zip code the TiVo service knows which channel lineup to download to your TiVo. In about 24 hours the Guide data should have program information for about 2 weeks in advance which will allow you to browse through your programming and set future programs to record.

As far as losing channels, it sounds like the Qam tuner is picking up channels which would display channel numbers like 85.1 etc, so I don't know in your case if the Qam tuner is picking up channels which are not part of your cable package.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:24 PM   #5974
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Originally Posted by MisterWho View Post

Also, with the packages such as Digital Preferred, are you guys getting HD stations as well because of course they insist that is $7 extra too.

Thanks
At least with our Comcast franchise there is no additional charge to receive the HD version of channels that are in the package that you subscribe to. I have Digital Preferred with 1 premium channel and get 30 HD channels plus the HBO HD channel. I think the only HD channels that I don't get are the other premium ones (Cinemax, Showtime and Starz) and NFL Network HD which is part of the Sports & Entertainment package.

Our bill only has the following entries:

Digital preferred with 1 premium (HBO) $78.95
CableCARD (dual CableCARD for non-Comcast HD PVR needing 2) $2.00
Performance High-Speed Internet $42.95

Scott
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:31 PM   #5975
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Originally Posted by MisterWho View Post
Trying to get my new Tivo HD set up with cablecards but Comcast ATL insist that I must use two multistream cards and of course pay an additional $1.50 for the second card.

I think Ill just have them bring the two cards (since one may not work anyway) and after the first is installed insist the installer take the second back with him. They surely cant charge me when I have only taken one cablecard from them (hopefully their system would only show the one cablecard active on my account as well).

Also, with the packages such as Digital Preferred, are you guys getting HD stations as well because of course they insist that is $7 extra too.

Thanks
The person you spoke to may be confused as to which TiVo unit needs 2 cards in order to decrypt both tuners. The Series 3 requires a card for each tuner, the HD DVR will work with just 1 Multi-Stream card inserted in slot 1. If an M-card is inserted in slot 1, any card inserted in slot 2 will be ignored (HD DVR only). As far as packages it depends on which HD channels you want to receive. If you do not currently subscribe to a digital package then you will receive only the local broadcast HD channels. If you want HD channels such as TNT, ESPN, Discovery etc then you do need to subscribe to the digital package that those channels are included in. Each market has different rates, package names and policies.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:32 PM   #5976
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Originally Posted by drhankz View Post
The CARD is considered the Extra Digital Outlet since without it
there is no digital channels that can be received [aka decoded]!

That is how Comcast lists the CARD Charge.
Comcast doesn't charge us for an additional digital outlet for each cableCARD. You get the first one free as part of the primary outlet and then they charge you $2.00 for the second one if required on the same primary outlet for the original TiVo Series 3. The rate card lists this second one a cableCARD (dual CableCARD for non-Comcast HD PVRs requiring two cards).

If we had a second TiVo with cableCARDs, that would require another outlet charge which is $3.00 here for a Digital Starter, Classic, or Preferred additional outlet. It's unclear whether the first cableCARD would be free on the additional outlet or whether we'd have to pay $4.00 for 2 cableCARDs. We'll find out soon as I plan on getting cableCARDs for our second TiVo.

Scott
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:42 PM   #5977
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Makes PERFECT Sense to me.

Here is the LOGIC.

They want you on their DVR instead of an independent DVR.

WHY?

Because with their DVR you can order VOD.

They makes LOTS of EXTRA money from that service which they
lose from non-Comcast DVR's. Therefore lets try to make the extra
bucks by continually jacking up the CableCard Prices until we get
them to switch.

It's the OLDEST marketing trick in the BOOK. "CONTROL THE CUSTOMER"

VOD is a FREE service included with any digital package. The Network stations provide the VOD content to cable companies which in turn provide that same VOD programming to their customers. Cable co DVR rental fees are nothing more than a fee for renting their equipment; it is not a "marketing trick" to make money off of VOD. If a customer wants to order Pay-Per-View content such as boxing or recently release DVD's, iN DEMAND Networks-not the cable company-controls that content and receives the fees for any programming ordered by the customer.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:45 PM   #5978
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I just got a Tivo HD for Xmas and I have the comcast cable guy coming out to put in my M-Card this Friday and I was wondering if it is best for me to hook up the tivo and update all the software before he gets here?

Thanks.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:53 PM   #5979
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I just got a Tivo HD for Xmas and I have the comcast cable guy coming out to put in my M-Card this Friday and I was wondering if it is best for me to hook up the tivo and update all the software before he gets here?

Thanks.
YES. The TiVo needs an internet connection in order to connect with the TiVo server, so determine ahead of time if you will use a wireless, dial-up or cable modem connection. If you already have a cable jack in the room with your TiVo and have an extra coaxial cable, connect the coax to the "Cable in" jack on the TiVo and verify if you can pick up unencrypted channels. This indicates if the TiVo is receiving a signal. You need to run the Guided Setup. By doing this before the installer arrives, it will help make the installation go smoother.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:02 PM   #5980
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Originally Posted by crazi4tv View Post
YES. The TiVo needs an internet connection in order to connect with the TiVo server, so determine ahead of time if you will use a wireless, dial-up or cable modem connection. If you already have a cable jack in the room with your TiVo and have an extra coaxial cable, connect the coax to the "Cable in" jack on the TiVo and verify if you can pick up unencrypted channels. This indicates if the TiVo is receiving a signal. You need to run the Guided Setup. By doing this before the installer arrives, it will help make the installation go smoother.
Great. Thanks. I am hard wired with an ethernet cable to my network. Just wanted to be sure I should update it myself to the newest software.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:17 PM   #5981
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Great. Thanks. I am hard wired with an ethernet cable to my network. Just wanted to be sure I should update it myself to the newest software.
Do you have any idea if the installer will give you Motorla cards or Scientific Atlantic?

On 12/7/08 I posted an easy to follow installation guide for Motorola cards, but should also work for Scientific Atlantic cards. To have a successful installation, the technician needs to follow the right installation steps, then paired properly by your cable provider and then the card needs to be sent the correct signal in order for the card to recognize which channels are authorized for viewing.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:54 PM   #5982
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Originally Posted by crazi4tv View Post
Do you have any idea if the installer will give you Motorla cards or Scientific Atlantic?

On 12/7/08 I posted an easy to follow installation guide for Motorola cards, but should also work for Scientific Atlantic cards. To have a successful installation, the technician needs to follow the right installation steps, then paired properly by your cable provider and then the card needs to be sent the correct signal in order for the card to recognize which channels are authorized for viewing.
This the one you mean?

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...83#post6898883
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:00 PM   #5983
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Originally Posted by dmbpj View Post
yep, that be the one. That guide has worked for many a successful TiVo installation.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:02 PM   #5984
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What area do you live in? some areas have reported higher successfull installations than others.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:33 PM   #5985
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Picked up an M-Card today at the service center for my HD that was previously used for OTA only. Installation went perfectly. Thank god for no more truck roll required in Chicago.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:45 PM   #5986
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Originally Posted by crazi4tv View Post
What area do you live in? some areas have reported higher successfull installations than others.
I live in Sacramento, CA
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:03 PM   #5987
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I live in Sacramento, CA
I have a feeling that you will be just fine when you get your installation.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:00 AM   #5988
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Thanks for the reply, but you did not answer any of my questions.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:11 AM   #5989
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should I get a cablecard or NOT ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazi4tv View Post
First, click on this link from the TiVo website:

http://www.tivo.com/setupandsupport/..._Channels.html

Cablecards are a security device, which when inserted will scramble encrypted channels until your subscribed channels are authorized for viewing. When the card is properly paired and authorized, only the channels that are included in the package that you subscribe to will display. You will need to rerun guided setup. When you enter your zip code the TiVo service knows which channel lineup to download to your TiVo. In about 24 hours the Guide data should have program information for about 2 weeks in advance which will allow you to browse through your programming and set future programs to record.

As far as losing channels, it sounds like the Qam tuner is picking up channels which would display channel numbers like 85.1 etc, so I don't know in your case if the Qam tuner is picking up channels which are not part of your cable package.
I can already get channels 1-32 and 10 or 12 "clear QAM" digital channels. However, the Tivo Program Guide only covers channels 1-32. I can only record from the "clear QAM" channels if I set up a manual recording.
My question:
If I order a cablecard from Comcast, will I gain any new capability.
Will I lose any of the channels that I get now?
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:32 AM   #5990
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Originally Posted by Wiley1 View Post
My question:
If I order a cablecard from Comcast, will I gain any new capability.
Will I lose any of the channels that I get now?
If the cablecards are programmed correctly by Comcast......

You should gain the capability to record from the clear QAM channels using the guide.

You should not lose any channels that are in the PACKAGE YOU SUBSCRIBE TO. If you are receiving channels (by accident or mistake) that are not part of your subscription package, they will likely be blocked by the cablecards.

If the clear QAM channels you are referring to are your HD locals, they are part of your basic cable package and you should not lose them. Your channel lineup card and/or package description usually has very fine print that says that the local digitals are included in basic. Comcast doesn't usually want to promote that fact. They want to upsell a digital lineup package and DVR, etc.

What channels are you receiving that you are worried may be lost with the cablecards?
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:38 AM   #5991
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Comcast doesn't charge us for an additional digital outlet for each cableCARD. You get the first one free as part of the primary outlet and then they charge you $2.00 for the second one if required on the same primary outlet for the original TiVo Series 3. The rate card lists this second one a cableCARD (dual CableCARD for non-Comcast HD PVRs requiring two cards).

If we had a second TiVo with cableCARDs, that would require another outlet charge which is $3.00 here for a Digital Starter, Classic, or Preferred additional outlet. It's unclear whether the first cableCARD would be free on the additional outlet or whether we'd have to pay $4.00 for 2 cableCARDs. We'll find out soon as I plan on getting cableCARDs for our second TiVo.

Scott
Each Comcast Region negotiates a Contract with their local PUC.

There is NO Consistency from one region to another.

Obviously your region is more cost effective than mine
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:04 AM   #5992
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Originally Posted by crazi4tv View Post
I have a feeling that you will be just fine when you get your installation.
you mean using your method, or they do a good job installing in my area?
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:12 AM   #5993
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Montgomery County MD

I've got Comcast in Montgomery County, MD and they just told me on the phone that I can pick up an M-Card at the Comcast location for self-install and that there's no additional charge.

We'll see if that works out.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:42 AM   #5994
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I've got Comcast in Montgomery County, MD and they just told me on the phone that I can pick up an M-Card at the Comcast location for self-install and that there's no additional charge.

We'll see if that works out.
The absence of Comcast installer fingerprints on the card assures a smooth installation. Heh.

My tale of woe continues. I've begun a blog: logikland.com/comcass

Haven't added it yet, but the latest update is that I spoke with #29 yesterday. She said there was work ordered for me for the weekend and then explained that the work was actually "on their end" when I pointed out that I played Rock Band all day on the TV that was supposed to be fixed. She said that "their end" was the reason I got no call or visit. She said I should be working now and asked if I had tried it yet. Asked how I was supposed to have tried it if no one told me anything had changed. Heh. Said I wanted to speak with the Tech Super with whom I was supposed to communicate. She said she didn't have a direct line, but that she'd send a note to call me. Asked what happens if they don't call me. She said they definitely would. Reminded her that they actually called me to *remind me* that they were going to call me in a couple of days, and then didn't call. Heh. Conversation ended.

I'm going to call the last, knowledgeable IT who was here. He left his personal cell and his Super's name. I'll call after I pointlessly and unsuccessfully test it, that is.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:53 PM   #5995
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I'm happy to add a positive data point to this discussion, after reading through the horror stories here. I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I dropped by the local Comcast office (Washtenaw Ave., Ypsilanti) and asked if I could pick up a CableCard (I figure a few have had luck that way) -- no dice, she said they didn't stock them even.

I was in luck though -- yesterday 11am they said soonest appointment was today, noon-3. I was a bit worried because I asked her to type in that a multichannel CableCard was needed, and she said "I don't even know what that means." I said please at least write that it's a dual-tuner TiVo.

All the stars must have been in alignment for me. Guy called at 11:10 to say he could be at my place in 10-15 minutes if we didn't mind -- I said fine. He was here by 11:20, and when I started to tell him I was well-versed in TiVo and could help him out, he said "ohhh, I know TiVo -- I'm a senior technician. I'm the guy they usually send out to clean up other peoples' messes."

He disconnected the cable, did some sort of line test I think, it ran ~3 or 4 minutes, reconnected, popped the CableCard in, called a phone number...

... and waited on hold a good 10 minutes, maybe a bit more (but he was interesting to talk to, so we had fun talking to him while he was waiting on hold). A few minutes of relaying numbers back and forth, I made sure he checked the premium channels (he did without prompting), and that was that.

After 9 years of having Comcast show up at the tail end of their windows or be late, or have to come back second times to fix things (and in one case, beg me to sign that an install was on time that was supposed to be free if they were late, because "it's not our fault, it's our dispatchers, and it comes out of our paychecks"), I just had the unbelievable experience of having the guy leave here before he was even supposed to get here.

Anyway, this was enough of a shock I just had to let you all know.

(other shock, literally the minute I finished up making sure I received all the channels I should, etc., the My DVR Expander I ordered showed up. I'm having a TiVo win day!)
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:22 PM   #5996
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley1 View Post
I can already get channels 1-32 and 10 or 12 "clear QAM" digital channels. However, the Tivo Program Guide only covers channels 1-32. I can only record from the "clear QAM" channels if I set up a manual recording.
My question:
If I order a cablecard from Comcast, will I gain any new capability.
Will I lose any of the channels that I get now?
With no cable cards, you are getting all of the channels Comcast does not currently encrypt on your system, regardless of whether they are officially part of your package. Since TiVo doesn't know how the clear QAM channels are mapped, there is no program data. Also, these channels may be moved around, causing you to record the wrong show and have to hunt around for the desired channel again.

With a cable card, you will get the channels that are part of your package, WITH program data. You may lose channels that are not part of your package, but you may lose them without warning anyway if Comcast decides to start encrypting them (Comcast Seattle has announced they will start doing this next year).

My advice is to review Comcast's subscription offerings and order the one that offers the channels you want to watch & are willing to pay for. Then get the cable card.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:28 PM   #5997
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Received TiVo HD XL on Wednesday.
...
Build Time: Nov 11, 2006 11:20:34
So, emailed Rick Germano, I don't escalating like this, but it did get a tech out here that was MOST EXCELLENT and knew what he was doing.

Took 3 different techs, over 5 days... final problem, bad Scientific Atlanta M-Stream cards... 4 of them to be exact. 5th one was obviously working within moments as it said: "Status: Ready" instead of "Status: Not Staged" even before he'd read off the Host/CableCARD IDs.

Now we have every one of the channels we're supposed to have, and they all look great!

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Old 12-30-2008, 06:42 PM   #5998
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Originally Posted by PaulNEPats View Post
Well... now Comcast is charging my area 6.95 per cable card. That puts it at a buck less than a comcast dvr itself. Anyone else find this ridiculous?
Here in S. Fla, Comcast is charging me $1.95 for the MultiCard in my TivoHD...
(Shrug)
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:58 PM   #5999
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Got off the phone and I got a bit of good news.

I have an appointment on the 8th to get an M card installed in my TivoHD

They're charging me $6 a month for the card. That's still $1.50 less per month than the box I already have. DVR capability is an additional $12.

I think that was the first time I actually accomplished what I set out to do when calling comcast!

Now, lets hope the installation next Thursday goes well.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:26 PM   #6000
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you mean using your method, or they do a good job installing in my area?
Both. I haven't noticed any or many installation issues posted from people in Sacramento.

The main installation issues are caused by: cards installed incorrectly, cards not paired properly and wrong signal sent to the cards. Occassionally the problem is on the billing account: incorrect service codes.

What you want to make sure of is when the technician has accessed the Pairing screen, that he calls in the Host & Data for Motorola, Host for Scientific Atlantic to his dispatcher and they pair the card correctly, THEN "initiliaze" the card. When the card has been sent the proper signal & paired, it begins to decrypt the channels that you subscribe to. That is when you go to "Test Channels" and check if all your channels come in. Some digital channels such as premiums & HD may take a couple of minutes to decrypt.

If there is a problem with some of your subscribed channels displaying a gray/black screen or the pairing screen, go to this link and click on the link for the card that is installed. This has excellent information on troubleshooting installation issues.
http://www.tivo.com/setupandsupport/...I_screens.html

Keep us posted on what happens
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