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Old 10-04-2012, 03:46 AM   #1
collin
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 31
CableCard bent pin, no CableCARD menus problem

Short version: Missing channels on my Tivo HD so Comcast switched my 2 S-Cards to 1 M-Card. CableCARD menus don't work and can get basic cable channels only. Figured out that the Comcast Tech bent a pin in CableCARD slot 1. After unbent, reactivated with comcast, everything (CableCARD menus + all channels) working for 5 min, then back to basic cable only and can't access CableCARD menus.

What should I try next? Would Tivo be helpful in this situation? Why would the card work for 5 minutes then stop?

Long version:
- Got Tivo HD with lifetime years ago. Comcast was out of Mcards so they gave me two S-cards. Been working since then until:

- 9/29/12: subscribed to Showtime on Comcast's site in the morning. Wasn't getting it by that evening so called in. They said it would take more time.
- Another day passes and still not getting it, I notice more channels that I used to have are missing. they schedule a truck roll.

- 10/3/12: Tech arrives, checks signal levels (good), blames cablecard being old tech, especially the S-Cards. Didn't bring any Mcards despite my specific request during scheduling to make sure the tech had one. He goes and rummages around his truck and finds one. Kinda scuffed up so who knows what the source or condition was. Puts it into Slot 1, calls activation. Can't activate because when we try to go into the CableCARD menu, it says: "Your cable provider has no supplied any information for this card." He inserts firmly and ejects and repeats many times to no avail. Tech advises me to go exchange the card at Comcast office and leaves.

- I go exchange the card and put new one in. Can access the CableCARD menu, call into activation line, give them all the numbers, they send the activation signal. Can get basic cable channels but nothing above that, like ESPN, etc. Still no Showtime. A few minutes later, I can't access the CableCARD menu anymore. Phone people say that it takes a while for the card to download info so wait an hour.

- Four hours later it isn't working, call back in, they send activation signals, still nothing. They schedule appointment for Friday for CableCard expert bringing 5 Mcards.

- I decide to eject the card and try it in Slot 2. Gives me the Error 161-1 (or something like that). Switch it back to Slot 1 and notice its very hard to insert during the last portion of travel. It had been like that each time but I wasn't paying attention.

- Shining flashlight into the slot, I could see that a pin is bent. Looking in from the front of the Tivo HD, it is the bottom right corner pin. It's been squished over so it's touching the next pin over on the bottom row. Must have been bent while the tech did multiple ejects and reinsertions in the morning.

- I disassemble Tivo and straighten the pin out as much as I can. Try slowly inserting the card and it feels smooth going in. Take it back out and the pin looks mostly straight now. Reassemble and plug it all back in.

- CableCARD menu now works. I can go through all those diagnostic and config screens now. Get onto Comcast chat and they resend the activation signal. ALL CHANNELS WORK! Even showtime! Thank them, cancel appointment, have them notate the bent pin on my account.

- 5 minutes later, Showtime goes black. CableCARD menu goes back to: "Your cable provider has no supplied any information for this card." Channels back to basic cable.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
unitron
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: semi-coastal NC
Posts: 13,154
Quote:
Originally Posted by collin View Post
Short version: Missing channels on my Tivo HD so Comcast switched my 2 S-Cards to 1 M-Card. CableCARD menus don't work and can get basic cable channels only. Figured out that the Comcast Tech bent a pin in CableCARD slot 1. After unbent, reactivated with comcast, everything (CableCARD menus + all channels) working for 5 min, then back to basic cable only and can't access CableCARD menus.

What should I try next? Would Tivo be helpful in this situation? Why would the card work for 5 minutes then stop?

Long version:
- Got Tivo HD with lifetime years ago. Comcast was out of Mcards so they gave me two S-cards. Been working since then until:

- 9/29/12: subscribed to Showtime on Comcast's site in the morning. Wasn't getting it by that evening so called in. They said it would take more time.
- Another day passes and still not getting it, I notice more channels that I used to have are missing. they schedule a truck roll.

- 10/3/12: Tech arrives, checks signal levels (good), blames cablecard being old tech, especially the S-Cards. Didn't bring any Mcards despite my specific request during scheduling to make sure the tech had one. He goes and rummages around his truck and finds one. Kinda scuffed up so who knows what the source or condition was. Puts it into Slot 1, calls activation. Can't activate because when we try to go into the CableCARD menu, it says: "Your cable provider has no supplied any information for this card." He inserts firmly and ejects and repeats many times to no avail. Tech advises me to go exchange the card at Comcast office and leaves.

- I go exchange the card and put new one in. Can access the CableCARD menu, call into activation line, give them all the numbers, they send the activation signal. Can get basic cable channels but nothing above that, like ESPN, etc. Still no Showtime. A few minutes later, I can't access the CableCARD menu anymore. Phone people say that it takes a while for the card to download info so wait an hour.

- Four hours later it isn't working, call back in, they send activation signals, still nothing. They schedule appointment for Friday for CableCard expert bringing 5 Mcards.

- I decide to eject the card and try it in Slot 2. Gives me the Error 161-1 (or something like that). Switch it back to Slot 1 and notice its very hard to insert during the last portion of travel. It had been like that each time but I wasn't paying attention.

- Shining flashlight into the slot, I could see that a pin is bent. Looking in from the front of the Tivo HD, it is the bottom right corner pin. It's been squished over so it's touching the next pin over on the bottom row. Must have been bent while the tech did multiple ejects and reinsertions in the morning.

- I disassemble Tivo and straighten the pin out as much as I can. Try slowly inserting the card and it feels smooth going in. Take it back out and the pin looks mostly straight now. Reassemble and plug it all back in.

- CableCARD menu now works. I can go through all those diagnostic and config screens now. Get onto Comcast chat and they resend the activation signal. ALL CHANNELS WORK! Even showtime! Thank them, cancel appointment, have them notate the bent pin on my account.

- 5 minutes later, Showtime goes black. CableCARD menu goes back to: "Your cable provider has no supplied any information for this card." Channels back to basic cable.
Tell them their technician broke your TiVo.

Tell them you expect them to make it right in a way that does not change your TiVo Service Number or cause you to lose any recordings.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:31 AM   #3
collin
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by unitron View Post
Tell them their technician broke your TiVo.

Tell them you expect them to make it right in a way that does not change your TiVo Service Number or cause you to lose any recordings.
is there any precedent for them replacing a Tivo? The first tech was pushing their own DVR pretty hard, saying Tivo's are old and being phased out, etc. I suspect that would be their first idea.

i think i may have found the problem. I looked closely at the cable card that wasn't working and the second hole's metal insert was damaged from the two pins trying to go into the same hole when pin 1 was bent over.

I exchanged the card again today and so far the CableCARD menus are working but i can't activate since activations line is close and chat says they can't do it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:21 PM   #4
collin
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 31
activated the card today by phone and it's been working stable so far. guess i dodged a bullet with the bent pin holding after straightening.
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