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Old 05-06-2009, 08:20 PM   #6451
pl1
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Originally Posted by funkmasterdb View Post
Still, I think it's luck of the draw and apparently from all the comments, the quality of the cards is spotty. I was half expecting a long ordeal, but it was pretty painless.
I'm not going to pretend to know how a cableCARD is made, but I think it is safe to say that there are no moving parts and that it is probably just a small circuit-board that has passed inspection. I really think it is an excuse to say the cableCARDs are bad. I think the more likely culprit is Comcast entering the wrong numbers in the wrong places.

At one time, I had two cards in one S3. They worked fine. So, I ordered two more cards for my other S3. Comcast mixed up the numbers from first card in my first S3 and assigned it to the first card in second S3. So, I ended up with one tuner on each TiVo. It was like pulling teeth with them to fix it. It had nothing to do with the cards being defective.

But, of course, if they said it was defective, and then installed a new one with a new set of numbers, the customer would come out believing that in fact the card was defective. Which is probably why we hear so many people say that.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:01 AM   #6452
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Congrats on that! It's very doubtful any of the cards are bad, but, it is very possible that the numbers were attached to another account. Still, it makes you wonder why it is SO difficult for Comcast to get it right when they require THEIR OWN technicians. I wonder if it woudn't be better if they just let us install our own cards and call it in.
Yes, but that would only solve roughly 50% of the problem.

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I'm not going to pretend to know how a cableCARD is made, but I think it is safe to say that there are no moving parts and that it is probably just a small circuit-board that has passed inspection. I really think it is an excuse to say the cableCARDs are bad. I think the more likely culprit is Comcast entering the wrong numbers in the wrong places.
Exactly. The morons at the Comcast head end are the other 50% of the problem. They screw up entering the card and/or account info as often as not. They usually require specific sequential information and guidance from the installer/owner if they are to get it right.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:32 AM   #6453
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Successful CC install in New Holland, PA

Just wanted to report a successful CC install for a Tivo HD in New Holland, PA (for my in-laws). I was expecting the worst after spending 1/2 hour on the phone with a clueless agent. The tech arrived on time. He was an experienced tech, but he claimed he had only done 4 Tivo CC installs in his 3+ years of working at Comcast. He kept badmouthing CCs (and the CC protocol) as being the root of all (potential) problems. Nevertheless, the installation (with a single M-card) went smoothly, and we were up and running in less than 15 minutes.

Another amusing experience during the same trip was stopping at a Sears in Lancaster, PA and inquiring about Tivo HDs (at the Sears sale price). The clerk rolls his eyes and says "Tivo? This is the first time I've heard that word in over two years!" Apparently, Tivo is either not a big seller in Dutch country or people simply don't buy cutting-edge AV equipment from Sears.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:47 AM   #6454
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Go New Holland!! What's the percentage of households that even have electricity in Lancaster??
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:30 PM   #6455
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I called Comcast today and told them I wanted to order Cablecards for my Tivo. Unlike the last times I tried calling, the woman knew exactly what a cablecard was, what a Tivo was, and why I was ordering them. When I told her I needed either 2 S or 1 M cards, she knew what I meant then too. Then she told me it would only be $2 a month.

I'm actually optimistic.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:26 AM   #6456
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You will be until the tech shows up, then the crapshoot begins.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:52 AM   #6457
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Well my first Tivo had a deflective hard drive so it was off to refurb land with it. The next exchange HD Tivo showed up. Did the whole song and dance to get the latest software version, inserted the cable card, and called Comcast. Ten minutes later it was working great. So I'm two for two on Cablecard installs.

My only hint, do them late at night. The night crew seems to have a good clue.
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:37 AM   #6458
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My only hint, do them late at night. The night crew seems to have a good clue.
My experiences are just the opposite, that CSRs during the day are usually more knowledgeable. Not just Comcast, but in general.
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:55 PM   #6459
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You will be until the tech shows up, then the crapshoot begins.
all you need to remember is have them tell the person on the phone the ID # of the Tivo matched with the card. It's randomly generated, so there is no way for that # to already be in the system. If they're not giving them a new #, they're doing it wrong. There's a possibility it could be a number that's already taken. You'll have to pair with the slot 2, then back with slot 1 to get a new #.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:20 AM   #6460
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There is a possibility that the cards will not be initialized properly by Comcast, which has nothing to do with pairing.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:40 AM   #6461
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My experiences are just the opposite, that CSRs during the day are usually more knowledgeable. Not just Comcast, but in general.
I hate when my experience isn't universal....

I was worried about calling late the first time I tried it, but so far two for two.

Working in IT I know, level two support is hit or miss.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:58 PM   #6462
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Angry Frustrated

So, after two visits from a "tech" (I use the term loosely) and four calls to Comcast, I still don't have any channels above channel 80 and only have a handful of HD channels, i.e. the network channels. I've had each Comcast phone rep repeat the appropriate numbers back to me and they seem to have all the numbers recorded correctly (cablecard serial number, unit address, host id and data id) but nobody has been able to resolve this issue. The one thing I did notice when the last rep was repeating the numbers back to me was that the unit address, host id and data id all had a few more leading zero's than is shown on the Pairing screen on my TiVo HD. Could this be a problem or is this just a product of how their system records the id's? She also suggested that I go to my local Comcast office and switch out the cablecard for another. Is this likely to help or is it just another way of getting me off the phone and passing me onto the next drone?

I'm at my wits end with this. I've wasted a couple of days off work, spent hours on the phone with people who have no clue what they're doing and am no closer to a solution. I really don't understand why this is so difficult. In this technological age, things like this should just work. Plug in the card, flip a switch, and voila.

/rant
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:06 AM   #6463
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So, after two visits from a "tech" (I use the term loosely) and four calls to Comcast, I still don't have any channels above channel 80 and only have a handful of HD channels, i.e. the network channels. I've had each Comcast phone rep repeat the appropriate numbers back to me and they seem to have all the numbers recorded correctly (cablecard serial number, unit address, host id and data id) but nobody has been able to resolve this issue. The one thing I did notice when the last rep was repeating the numbers back to me was that the unit address, host id and data id all had a few more leading zero's than is shown on the Pairing screen on my TiVo HD. Could this be a problem or is this just a product of how their system records the id's? She also suggested that I go to my local Comcast office and switch out the cablecard for another. Is this likely to help or is it just another way of getting me off the phone and passing me onto the next drone?

I'm at my wits end with this. I've wasted a couple of days off work, spent hours on the phone with people who have no clue what they're doing and am no closer to a solution. I really don't understand why this is so difficult. In this technological age, things like this should just work. Plug in the card, flip a switch, and voila.

/rant
Send an email explaining your situation to the Comcast Cares group. Someone competent will take over your case.

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Old 05-20-2009, 01:05 AM   #6464
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Just sent them an email. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for the tip!!
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:02 AM   #6465
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Comcast is supposed to come today to install Cablecards. What are the odds of a successful install without problems?
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:07 AM   #6466
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Odds......don't care to guess.

I went by the local comcast in Marietta, GA yesterday and found out they have to roll a truck to install them. Now I get to wait till June 3rd for them to come out.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:08 AM   #6467
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3 to 1 for eventual success. 2 to 3 for initial success.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:24 AM   #6468
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Comcast is supposed to come today to install Cablecards. What are the odds of a successful install without problems?
Based on my experience so far, I would say don't get your hopes up and prepare yourself for a frustrating couple of weeks.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:33 PM   #6469
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I believe that I am being overcharged for my cablecards. Wasn't there a special email address that I could use to have someone at Comcast look into it?
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:43 PM   #6470
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Installation is done and went perfectly, without a hitch.

The installer arrived and I asked him, "Have you ever done an install in a Tivo before?"

He said "nope."

I said, did you bring either two S cards or one S cards?

He said, "Yes, both."

I said, Ok, give me the M card.

I took the M card, put it in the Tivo, went through the Tivo installation process myself, had him call hq when we got to the point where he needed to, and then I finished the install myself.

I guess the key is that I knew what I was doing, and I got a working cablecard.

I don't know why Comcast has to truck roll on this.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:52 PM   #6471
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I guess the key is that I knew what I was doing, and I got a working cablecard.
And you had somebody on the other end of the phone who knew what they were doing. That's the key in my opinion.
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:41 PM   #6472
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I don't know why Comcast has to truck roll on this.
They don't, in some areas
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:30 PM   #6473
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So tonight all three of my CableCards cut out and switched to the analog TV Guide channel for an Amber Alert. In the middle of recording programs. Nice.

Has this happened to anyone else?
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:43 PM   #6474
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My 2 HDTivos have switched to the TV Guide Channel 8 times in the past 45 minutes, not for an Amber Alert or any other reason.

It interrupted my playback of the Idol finale (so happy with the result), 3 times. I'm on hold with our friends at Comcast right now, and would like to make it stop.

ETA: They say it's for the Amber alert, but I haven't seen any Amber Alert messages on the TV Guide Channel. Fail.

Last edited by missdona : 05-20-2009 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:56 PM   #6475
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I just got off the phone with Comcast of New Jersey. The CSR insists they have no control over this, and that it's happening with all cable systems in New Jersey, and they're sorry for the inconvenience. One of the interruptions did mention an Amber Alert. There was a crawler on CBS that the Amber Alert had been cancelled, but apparently that hasn't gotten across to whomever is doing the interruptions.

Is this the first time this has happened? I've never seen it before.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:09 PM   #6476
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Twitter stream about Comcast indicates that Comcast is the ONLY cable company that's doing this, and it's ticked off a lot of New Jersey-Pennsylvania fans of American Idol. I feel bad for them.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:31 PM   #6477
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At least now I know it's not a malfunction in the CableCards or the HD TiVos.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:26 AM   #6478
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YES, Graymalkin, our HD TiVo with Comcast cable cards was doing the same thing last night. It kept switching to the TV Guide channel for an hour or more around 10:00, both on live TV and during recorded programs. The TiVo controls stopped working completely, and it stuck on the TV Guide channel again and again.

I called TiVo about it, and they had no idea what I was talking about. We have a non-HD TiVo in another room, so I checked that one, which instead of going to the TV Guide channel was running a crawl across the screen that said "An Emergency Alert has been announced for your area. For details turn to channel 18." The weird thing about that was that we could hear a baseball game in the background while the crawl was on screen. Anyway, this is the first time we realized it was an Amber Alert. We checked online to see that the alert was cancelled around 11:00, but the issue was still going on. We called Comcast, and they were no help at all.

Onto the problem: now our HD TiVo is on the fritz. It's moving REALLY slowly. We tried restarting it, and it worked fine for a few minutes, then started moving slowly again. Did Comcast's Amber Alert interruption fry our new HD TiVo?
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:46 PM   #6479
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Uh oh. I haven't tried to watch my HD TiVos since the last EAS around 11:20 p.m. last night. I'll have to check when I get home.

You could try ejecting the CableCards for 15 seconds or so and then inserting them again, see if that helps.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:21 PM   #6480
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The thing that sucks about all these Amber Alerts is that in most cases it's really just a custody beef between estranged or divorced parents. Not even REALLY a kidnapping. The system should be reserved for non-domestic emergencies and true kidnappings. I read somewhere that up to 90% of Amber Alerts are simply domestic custody disputes. Yeah it's a bummer, but it's not like a "kidnapper" is on the loose. It's a parent who took their own child and they pose absolutely no danger to anyone else's child or the public at large. Not a good use of the system. Already people are beginning to simply "ignore" Amber Alerts because there are so many of them now and everyone knows, it's probably just two parents fighting over their own kid.
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