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Old 08-20-2011, 04:46 PM   #8101
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Originally Posted by drhankz View Post
Channel Info comes from TiVo - NOT the CableCard

CableCard is to decrypt digital channels
CableCARD is also used to map the QAM channel to a channel for which TiVo will provide guide data. TiVo doesn't provide guide data for QAM channels, even unencrypted ones.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:53 PM   #8102
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Pairing

Given that I have limited, basic cable, it's hard to tell, 100%, if my card is properly paired or not.

The diagnostic information on this site and TiVo.com would suggest not.

But I'm getting more functionality than I was getting before. For example, I get channel 245-- which is one of the secondary digital channels of the local PBS channel. I also get a bunch of music channels. I'm nearly certain that I didn't receive these before.

So that's good.

Any other way to diagnose if it's working properly? I get all the channels that I expect, plus some that I didn't used to get (e.g. 245), but I didn't think to check right before whether I was already getting them.

I think that I'm getting my channels digitally now too-- if only that I have the option on a channel for Digital Dolby tracks. Again, not sure if I had that before.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:11 PM   #8103
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What does the TiVo display on the "Conditional Access" screen?
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:01 PM   #8104
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This past Thursday, I swapped in a Premiere and took out a TivoHD. I took the Cablecard out of the HD and put it in the Premiere -- called Comcast and it was all set, except for some reason HBO wasn't working.

On Friday I went to the Comcast office and got a second cable card -- I brought back the cable box that was in my bedroom. They gave it to me no problem.

Today, I hook up the Tivo HD that was in my living room (where the Premiere is now) in my bedroom. I call Comcast to turn on the new card, and to fix the HBO on the old one.

Whatever they did, they killed both cards. Now neither one of them works and I only get the local channels.

I have to bring them both in or have a truck roll. Lame.

I'm sure it's on their end and not the cards. They were working.
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:48 AM   #8105
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Replies to cheitzig and turtleboy cc lpwcomp

cheitzig, at a certain time each day you may discover some of those additional channels replaced with a blue screen telling you to call your cable company. It's almost like they're teasers. If, as lpwcomp suggests, you go into CableCard setup, in the gobbledygook that is the Conditional Access screen you will probably see "Con = no" which means the card is not paired i.e. not activated.

turtleboy, they always blame your TiVo and it's *never* true. CSRs and tech support reps we can speak to seem to never do the pairing right. Only the support people that field techs can reach (a group called "ComOps" in my area, I think) are able to activate cards consistently, and even then they don't seem to know exactly what they're doing on either end. Always ask for a credit for any truck roll. They should not have had to come out, and you should not have to pay. I've been credited every time.

In my experience, on the Conditional Access screen you can actually see "Con=no" change to "Con=yes" while you or the field tech are on the phone activating the card. The average CSR will tell you to just wait, but that they can't stay on the phone to wait with you. From what I've seen, if that field doesn't change right away then they didn't do the pairing correctly.

It may not be completely activated at that point, but if you see "Con = yes" then the process has begun. If half the information on that screen disappears for awhile, don't worry, that is not a problem even if the Comcast people become alarmed. They just don't know enough about TiVo products. All the information on that screen will return after the activation process has run its course - which could still take quite awhile.

lpwcomp, is this your experience as well?
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Last edited by Pokemon_Dad : 08-21-2011 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Added "Always ask for a credit for any truck roll. They should not have had to come out, and you should not have to pay."
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Old 08-21-2011, 12:07 PM   #8106
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OK, this is so bad it's funny...
It occurred to me yesterday that I should share my Friday post about that clueless Comcast apology letter with @ComcastBill and the @ComcastCares team via Twitter.

Bill replied quickly with "Oh wow... Send me your account number please. This is embarrassing." He asked for the names of the vice presidents signed on the letter, and we exchanged a bit more info on what happened. Bill promised he is "sharing this with leadership and will add compensation" for my troubles.

My last reply: Thanks! Yes cards r working OK. Main thing for me is not $, it's wasting time on multiple fails. CSRs & techs always blame TiVo. Never true.

Bill is great...I wonder how long it will be before he burns out. These people are like the Little Dutch Boy with his finger in the dyke, except it seems more leaks keep popping open, the dyke is poorly built, and nobody's rushing to help.
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Last edited by Pokemon_Dad : 08-21-2011 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:05 PM   #8107
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It's funny. It was working, and they did something to kill it.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:20 PM   #8108
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I got a call from Comcast. They are going to send one of their business level technicians out tomorrow - someone who has experience with cablecards and Tivos, and not one of their clueless subcontractors.

They also gave me a 2 hour window and are coming in the evening so I don't have to sit home during the day.

Of course, the whole point is that I was supposed to be able to do this without a truck roll. I installed everything perfectly. I don't need any help installing it. I don't know what he's going to do that I couldn't - except perhaps be able to call someone who has a clue directly.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:10 AM   #8109
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I don't know what he's going to do that I couldn't - except perhaps be able to call someone who has a clue directly.
That's all he's going to do. There is no good reason why they should have to send someone out for this, but it's happened to me several times already. Comcast must be losing money on every one of these pairings gone wrong, even when the customer doesn't ask for a credit. No way does a truck roll cost Comcast only $20, $28 or whatever they charge for this in your area. And you will not have to pay, just call them to question the charge if it shows up on the bill.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:57 PM   #8110
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Comcast guy is here. I'm trying to tell him to stop futzing and testing my connection and just call in the CableCard numbers.

Wtf?

It's so clear thats the answer.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:00 PM   #8111
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He won't even look at the CableCard display on my screen.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:02 PM   #8112
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Must be a former CSR. Just following his script.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:22 PM   #8113
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Finally got him to try to call in the cards. They still couldn't turn them on (even though one of them was working before, and didn't stop working until they tried to get the other one to work).

He brought more cable cards, but of course, left them in his truck.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:34 PM   #8114
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OK, this is so bad it's funny. We moved recently, and I had a lot of trouble getting our CableCards authorized. Again. Comcast got plenty of feedback from me about this via the automated surveys and several direct conversations. Most of it helpful, I might add.

So, someone there apparently decided to make it up to me. Today I received an envelope that says "We're Sorry. A special gift from Comcast inside." Inside was a coupon and a form letter expressing apology, auto-signed by VPs of customer care and biz ops. To make it up to me, they're offering a free On Demand movie. The coupon says just "go to Channel 1 or press the On Demand button on your remote".

Um, hello? Comcast? The problem was you folks couldn't activate CableCards right. In my TiVos. A TiVo does not get Channel 1, and a TiVo remote has no On Demand button. Even my Premier XL doesn't have the On Demand service in the menus yet, if it ever will. Oh, this is rich!
Funny.

You can still use the coupon with the 'free' cable box. You do have one, don't you? It isn't HD but you could suffer through a SD movie if it is free, right? I never purchased a movie on my iPad but the On Demand movies play well there too.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:43 PM   #8115
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Swapping out the cards got it to work.

The cards weren't defective of course, but whatever they did at the head-end ruined them with effed up data.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:49 PM   #8116
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Swapping out the cards got it to work.

The cards weren't defective of course, but whatever they did at the head-end ruined them with effed up data.
New Cards forced then to SCRAP the OLD Data and this time maybe they entered it correctly
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:59 PM   #8117
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You can still use the coupon with the 'free' cable box. You do have one, don't you?
:-) Nope, no cable box here. Never had one, never want one.

If you have only a TiVo, they don't even offer a cable box to you here.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:50 PM   #8118
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I was told this is the new phone number for Cablecard pairing:
877 405 2298

also posted here
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:18 PM   #8119
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If you have only a TiVo, they don't even offer a cable box to you here.
Hmmmm.

Well, I think you are paying for that little SD cable box. I have mine connected to a Vulkano.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:23 PM   #8120
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New Cards forced then to SCRAP the OLD Data and this time maybe they entered it correctly
That's exactly what happened. 99% of the CC problems are caused by people at Comcast who can't type a number into a form.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:32 PM   #8121
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That's exactly what happened. 99% of the CC problems are caused by people at Comcast who can't type a number into a form.
The remaining 1% can type a number into a form, but don't know how to click "save".
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:07 PM   #8122
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Hmmmm.

Well, I think you are paying for that little SD cable box. I have mine connected to a Vulkano.
True, our Digital Preferred includes "Converter And Remote, If Applicable", but we only suffer SD when watching MeTV for Seventies nostalgia. On a TiVo and an HDTV.

I got Comcast to credit and stop all other charges - "Hd Technology Fee", "Additional Hd Outlet", and the first CableCard - after they appeared on the first bill at the new house here.

Just Googled that Vulkano thing, it looks cool!
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:09 PM   #8123
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The remaining 1% can type a number into a form, but don't know how to click "save".
Sad but true. I wonder if whoever answers the number Bort13 just posted will be better trained...
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:28 PM   #8124
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Sad but true. I wonder if whoever answers the number Bort13 just posted will be better trained...
They sounded like they were in Eastern Europe, but they definitely know more than the usual folks I get at the local call center. The second call to that number got a person who paired my cable card correctly.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:38 PM   #8125
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Help! black screen every few days

I have 2 Series 3 DVRs with Comcast multi-stream cablecards (SA). They were working fine for many months.

This summer, I would "lose" live TV every few days. Rebooting would clear things up until the problem recurred a few days later.

I just get a black screen on all channels.

Any advice?
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:43 PM   #8126
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Unfortunately a Typical Story

Take aways from my experience:
1) If you get a working cable card from the local store, you live a good life.
2) Truck Rolls can install a cable card, but they may not get them set up properly.
3) Only speak to these people when troubleshooting Cablecards: (877) 405-2298

Here's my story

I was resisting the move from Analog cable (I know...the dark ages, but my 2x Tivo Series 2 worked great and I was satisfied with the service). About 3 months ago, I received a mailer from Comcast informing me my service was about to be massively reduced (to just BASIC analog cable channels). Obviously unacceptable, but as a true procrastiator, I waited till they actually did what they said they were going to do.

The next week, I decided to go all-in:

[MONDAY]
1) I went to the Comcast store and signed up for a digital package and got their equipment:
* 1 Xfinity box (which uses a red cable card) and
* 2 PACE boxes (bare bones - everything but HD).
Quickly installed the Xfinity box on my 32" Tube TV so we can watch something other than basic cable. Tivos are essentially worthless now unless I wanna go through the process of using the IR control (UGGH...not an elegant solution) and I'm way to lazy to dive into this.

[SUNDAY]
2) Bought a new 55" LED TV (time for the tube to go...we are getting HD now), and
3) It was relatively easy to get everything set up. After a few hours, I was no longer a decade behind the times! Now I just had to get the technology working that I had been using for a decade: my Tivo!

[WEDNESDAY]
4) Ordered a Tivo Premiere (lifetime discounted due to my existing subscriptions).

[FRIDAY]
5) My Tivo Premiere arrives.

[SATURDAY]
6) Went to the Comcast store to get my Cablecard. I informed the CSR I needed an M-Card. CSR opens up a cabinet, looks at every cable card in there, and finally gives me a purple card. I ask him if this is an M-Card. His response inspires confidence..."This is everything they gave us"
7) Installed "M-Card" in Tivo...Not recognized. Googling of Mfg P/N on Cablecard indicates this is a Motorola S-Card (they are purple / M-Cards are red).
8) Back to the Comcast store to get the proper Cablecard. Out of about 30 cards, there is only on red card. Take the red pill.
9) Install the new "M-Card" in Tivo...Not recognized. Obviously local store can't help.
10) Time to call Comcast: (800) 266-2278 - Routed to Nashville call center. Explained the situation. They are understanding, but can't send me a Cablecard as they are not authorized to do this yet. Only 2 options:
(a) get card from Comcast store (Next...)
(b) Truck-Roll (I opt for this...scheduled for Monday)

[MONDAY]
11) Comcast misses appointment, but this is actually my fault as the number they have on file is my old home-phone that I disconneted 2 years ago. I called them, updated my account with the proper number, and rescheduled for Wednesday

[WEDNESDAY]
12) Comcast misses appointment, even though I answered the robo-call confirming. Called Nashville call center and found out the reason: Installer did not have a cable card on truck! Thanks for calling and telling me this Comcast...why did I leave work early again? Rescheduled...earliest they can come is Saturday but they may be able to expedite visit to Thursday.

[THURSDAY]
13) Local tech calls me to schedule appointment. Great...apparently I was expedited! Tech comes out and my wife meets him. He installs cable card and it appears to be working. I decided to keep the Xfinity box so I can watch On Demand stuff.
14) Get home and start watching Tivo...UH OHH! No HD channels! Call the Nashville call center
a) First call:
CSR: "I'm sorry sir, I can't help you because you have an open service call on Saturday..."
Me: "But it was expedited and they came out today, I don't need the appointment on Saturday..."
CSR: "I'm sorry sir, we can't do anything until after your service call on Saturday..."
b) Second call (with someone who isn't USELESS)
CSR actually listens to me! Looks at my card and realizes the HD channels are not authorized and does everything she can to turn them on and also gives me HBO for 3 months. Some of the non-premiere HD channels start coming in! Great...she says the rest will come in over the next 10 minutes.
15) 10 minutes later...NOPE. 1 hour later...NOPE! 2 hours later...NOPE! Don't have any more patience for Comcast tonight!

[THURSDAY]
16) Looked at the thread and called this number: (888) 780-8571. Ends up this is in Costa Rica. He runs through some things, asks for the serial number: maybe this is the Cablecard Nirvana center? NOPE...he can't do anything and sends me back to the Nashville call center.
17) Looked at the thread and called this number: (877) 405-2298. Don't know where this number routes, but they answer as the Cablecard Activation Hotline. Sounds promising. I run through the story. She asks me for the Cable card serial number, data number, and a few other things. She tries some things and it doesn't work...BUT....she says she will escalate to Tier 2 support. She goes over the details, gives me a ticket number, and says Tier 2 will call be back within the hour (and it will probably be resolved by then).
18) An hour later, Tier 2 calls me back. He asks if the problem is resolved. Nope. OK...Tier 2 tries some other things and VOILA! Everything works...instantaneously! WOO HOO!
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:06 AM   #8127
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It's ludicrous (and infuriating) that Comcast still has problems with CableCards. How many years has it been?!?!?!
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:25 PM   #8128
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Pokemon_Dad-- you are correct, I have Con:No on my Conditional Access screen. But I haven't gotten the Conditional Address screen in a while-- I have only the channels enabled that I should get, plus the digital versions of those channels (e.g. channel 811 appears to be 1080i version of NBC)

As a side note, can I remove the cable card and re-insert without re-setting up with Comcast? I believe, but I don't know how to tell without removing, that I cannot tune three digit channels without this card. So it would seem that the card is adding value; just not adding as much value as if I subscribed to more digital channels.

Is that accurate-- that by having a cablecard and limited basic gives me three digit and digital local channels? That was my goal (plus, was curious).

--> C

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Replies to cheitzig and turtleboy cc lpwcomp

cheitzig, at a certain time each day you may discover some of those additional channels replaced with a blue screen telling you to call your cable company. It's almost like they're teasers. If, as lpwcomp suggests, you go into CableCard setup, in the gobbledygook that is the Conditional Access screen you will probably see "Con = no" which means the card is not paired i.e. not activated.

turtleboy, they always blame your TiVo and it's *never* true. CSRs and tech support reps we can speak to seem to never do the pairing right. Only the support people that field techs can reach (a group called "ComOps" in my area, I think) are able to activate cards consistently, and even then they don't seem to know exactly what they're doing on either end. Always ask for a credit for any truck roll. They should not have had to come out, and you should not have to pay. I've been credited every time.

In my experience, on the Conditional Access screen you can actually see "Con=no" change to "Con=yes" while you or the field tech are on the phone activating the card. The average CSR will tell you to just wait, but that they can't stay on the phone to wait with you. From what I've seen, if that field doesn't change right away then they didn't do the pairing correctly.

It may not be completely activated at that point, but if you see "Con = yes" then the process has begun. If half the information on that screen disappears for awhile, don't worry, that is not a problem even if the Comcast people become alarmed. They just don't know enough about TiVo products. All the information on that screen will return after the activation process has run its course - which could still take quite awhile.

lpwcomp, is this your experience as well?

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Old 09-06-2011, 01:43 PM   #8129
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Is that accurate-- that by having a cablecard and limited basic gives me three digit and digital local channels? That was my goal (plus, was curious).
I think if you're getting anything that you wouldn't otherwise be seeing, it will will be blocked after ~5 PM every day. But I'm not certain of this, and the situation with each cable company and region may be a little different.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:52 AM   #8130
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My Horror Story finally ended yesterday.

For the past 4 months the TIVO HD at my in-laws had a cable card but could not get all the channels. Everyone told in this forum (Thank you) that it was an issue with the rate codes.

This weekend I got a self-intall kit for a cable card and put the new one in after the person at the Customer Service Center told me as I was picking it up that it has all the rate codes correct.

Needless to say, I redid the installation and had the same problem with the 3rd cable card. Thankfully the self install kit gave me some contact numbers that where better than the standard Toll Free CSR person.

I was able to get to an actual TECH. Amazing. He looked over everthing. Foudn that the cable card Auth Code was MP in teh Conditional Access menu. He went through and found that the rate codes where incorrect. He updated the account to the right rate codes and reping the cable card. BOOM !!! It finally worked. Teh cable card swith over to Auth Code of S and my in-laws finally got all their channels. The TECH even did a follow up call later to see if it was still working. I will say he was a good guy. Now my opinion of the CSR is not good since after 4 months they never set the rate codes right.

Well after 4 months my in-laws finally have a fully funcitoning TIVO HD with all the channels from Comcast.

Lesson Learn: ALWAYS CHECK THOSE RATE CODES. Even if they tell you they are right.
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