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Old 08-29-2013, 10:31 AM   #1
markwill
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XFinity On Demand - not so good

I received and installed my Roamio Plus last night. Installation was simple and straightforward and, even before I called Comcast to pair my cablecard, I was able to browse a large number of channels. I was missing some channels though and obviously couldn't get into On Demand, so I called Comcast. That's when the fun started....

In short, after they paired my cablecard (and told to wait 45 minutes, hence getting me off the phone ) I lost access to a bunch of channels, including stuff like ESPN, etc.

I do have access to On Demand content - in a way! In short, I can navigate around the content available but when I try to play something I hear audio, see 2-3 seconds of content (so, I basically have permission to see the content) but then it just freezes (no audio and a frozen picture). This happens on any content, 100% of the time.

I called XFinity again and they seem to have a standard approach = "we'll send a reset, wait 45 minutes and all should be well". They suggest the signal should give me access to the content properly (namely, it actually plays). Of course, it doesn't. I get the same every time and I can't accept that just resending a reset message is magically going to make content play properly.

This is highly frustrating. Of the various benefits of a Roamio over my old HD, accessing On Demand content was a key attraction. Comcast don't seem inclined to troubleshoot this properly.

Anyone else have this and find a solution? FWIW, I am in the Seattle area.

Thanks.

Mark
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:34 AM   #2
Big Boy Laroux
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Possibly issues with cablecard not being paired correctly. Did you call the CableCard line?

1-877-405-2298

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Old 08-29-2013, 10:41 AM   #3
markwill
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Originally Posted by Big Boy Laroux View Post
Possibly issues with cablecard not being paired correctly. Did you call the CableCard line?

1-877-405-2298

Save that number!
I did and all indications suggest it is paired correctly (diagnostics, what they see on their end, etc). What confuses me is that I would assume - perhaps incorrectly - that if I didn't have a paired cablecard I would not be able to play any content at all. This was the behavior I saw before my initial call to pair the cablecard. After that call, I could get into content, but it now freezes every time.

Mark
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:45 AM   #4
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Even with an improperly paired cablecard, you could still get channels. But other things (like premium content, some encrypted channels, etc.) may still have issues.

Do you have HBO or another premium channel? if so, are those coming through OK?

If that all checks out, may just be an issue with the XOD feature entirely. I haven't seen anyone report an issue yet, so you may have to try tivo support.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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I did and all indications suggest it is paired correctly (diagnostics, what they see on their end, etc). What confuses me is that I would assume - perhaps incorrectly - that if I didn't have a paired cablecard I would not be able to play any content at all. This was the behavior I saw before my initial call to pair the cablecard. After that call, I could get into content, but it now freezes every time.

Mark
There are two steps to a cable card. Activation and pairing. If the card is activated you would be able to view non-copyprotected channels only. Until it's paired, you wouldn't see copy protected channels. I don't have xfinity so I"m not sure how that would affect their on demand.

Go to the cable card conditional access screen. The "Auth" field should be "S" if it's activated. If it's not paired you will see a "??" in the "Val" field. If it's paired you should see a "V".

It's at least a first step in tracking down the problem.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:52 AM   #6
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Yes, I can access HBO.

I am a little worried about getting into a finger pointing situation (Tivo vs. Comcast). The following threads describe my symptoms precisely, albeit in different geographic regions and not with a Roamio.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=487580

http://forums.tivo.com/pe/action/for...ostID=11038168

By the way, everything is new for me - new Tivo, new cablecard (picked up from Comcast on Saturday), new cable modem (replaced last week), etc, etc.

Not looking good

Mark
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:56 AM   #7
gothaggis
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at least you have the ability to have On Demand.....my state is listed as being supported (Maryland), however Baltimore City is not supported. Very annoying.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:59 AM   #8
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Yes, I can access HBO.

I am a little worried about getting into a finger pointing situation (Tivo vs. Comcast). The following threads describe my symptoms precisely, albeit in different geographic regions and not with a Roamio.

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=487580

http://forums.tivo.com/pe/action/for...ostID=11038168

By the way, everything is new for me - new Tivo, new cablecard (picked up from Comcast on Saturday), new cable modem (replaced last week), etc, etc.

Not looking good



Mark
just chill ... it's just ' your turn in the barrel ' it will eventually be working fine. Camcast takes MANY times to fix a problem. You will probably have to have a technician come out to your house, for no good reason. He basically is an eyes and ears for the person at the other end of the phone - who's trying to re-pair for the 5-10 time!
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quick update...
  • I can see all channels including HBO, for example
  • I have the V indicated on the cablecard diagnostic screen
  • I called the Comcast cablecard phone number and after they reviewed my attempts yesterday they didn't even attempt to resolve the issue (this is a good thing for me - seemed like a waste of time to just do another rest and then wait 45 minutes!)
  • I have a techician coming out tomorrow morning between 8am and 10am (by the way, to be fair to Comcast that is both quick and the two hour window is appreciated)

Looking at others who have faced this issue and the ease with which I convinced them to send someone out, I'm guessing this is pretty common and costing Comcast a bit to support/fix.

Mark
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:24 PM   #10
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Sounds like a signal issue. The way it works is basically you request the VOD content and then the app tells your TiVo to tune to a specific frequency to view it. The freezing video with continued audio is what you'd typically see when tuning a channel with a poor signal.

You should try starting a VOD again, then back out immediately and go to System Information->DVR Diagnostics. Then look at the SNR and signal strength for the tuner that is playing the VOD. If the SNR is below 30 or above 60 or the signal strength is below 70 then that would be the problem.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:51 PM   #11
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Sounds like a signal issue. The way it works is basically you request the VOD content and then the app tells your TiVo to tune to a specific frequency to view it. The freezing video with continued audio is what you'd typically see when tuning a channel with a poor signal.

You should try starting a VOD again, then back out immediately and go to System Information->DVR Diagnostics. Then look at the SNR and signal strength for the tuner that is playing the VOD. If the SNR is below 30 or above 60 or the signal strength is below 70 then that would be the problem.
Thanks Dan. I am not sure if I was able to back out quickly enough (or how to tell if I did) but when I went through this all my tuners gave a reading of 100 for signal and SNR was 40 (occasionally flickering to 39).

Mark
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:57 PM   #12
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Sounds fine.

Try forcing the VOD to each tuner and see if that makes a difference. To do this start a VOD when nothing is recording, then back out, start recording something and then try again. Repeat until all 5 tuners are going. This will tell you if there is a specific tuner causing the problem.

If that doesn't work then I'd say have the CableCARD replaced. If your signal is OK and it's not a specific tuner then the only other link in the chain is the CableCARD.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:21 AM   #13
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The XFinity technician is here. Not a good start - he opened by asking for my cable box and then telling me that it's not possible to get On Demand via a Tivo. He was quite positive about this!

I showed him a press release (from April 2012!) and he's decided it might be possible after all and is researching! Sigh.

He told me a) he's never heard of this and b) their technicians have never had any training on this.

Could be a long visit.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:44 AM   #14
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And there's more....

The technician he spoke with "back at base" did something. Apparently, they had no reference to a Roamio so they set it to a Premier box. That seems weird to me. However, after this we initially received an error when we navigated to On Demand - and then after a while the entire menu disappeared. So, as it stands, there is no On Demand option on my Tivo at all now and I am dealing with someone who doesn't know anything about this.

If anyone has any real time suggestions for how Comcast should be configuring this that would be good.

Mark
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:02 PM   #15
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When I got my XL4 back in May i switched from comcast's DVR and followed the instructions for pairing the cablecard. I too had the problem of missing channels and made at least 3 phone calls where the support folks said everything was fine and to keep checking back.

I finally took matters into my own hands and did some testing. I ended up switching out the coax cable which worked fine on my comcast box to a newer cable and the channels miraculously appeared. It's worth a try especially if you have splitters. it does seem like a signal issue.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:04 PM   #16
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I'm not sure how they need to configure it on their end, but I know that after forcing a restart on both my Plus and my Mini, both of which were booted up for the first time Tuesday evening, last night (Thursday), XFinity on Demand showed up on both TiVos under the "Find TV, Movies & Video" Menu right below Hulu and Netflix. Other than having my cablecard paired, I did nothing special.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:08 PM   #17
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When I got my XL4 back in May i switched from comcast's DVR and followed the instructions for pairing the cablecard. I too had the problem of missing channels and made at least 3 phone calls where the support folks said everything was fine and to keep checking back.

I finally took matters into my own hands and did some testing. I ended up switching out the coax cable which worked fine on my comcast box to a newer cable and the channels miraculously appeared. It's worth a try especially if you have splitters. it does seem like a signal issue.
Thanks but I am certain this is not a signal issue. I can view all channels just fine, including Premium channels (HBO, etc). The picture is great and the signal strength always shows 100.

The issue described in this thread is that XFinity On Demand does not work. before the technician arrived it was starting to play and then freezing. Now he has "progressed" to where On Demand is not even showing up as on option on the Tivo any more.

Right now he's outside in his car charging his phone. Huh.

Mark
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:21 PM   #18
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What fun - the technician has spoken to three different at the support number he uses and NONE of them have heard of the Roamio. The current person is saying it's not supported. Apparently they have a list of Tivo units to choose from and the Roamio is not on the list.

The fact that the second level technical support folks haven't even HEARD of a Roamio stuns me.

This is starting to drive me crazy.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:44 PM   #19
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FWIW, the person I spoke with at Comcast's CableCARD dedicated activation line last night asked me if I had a Premiere or a Roamio ...
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:47 PM   #20
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What fun - the technician has spoken to three different at the support number he uses and NONE of them have heard of the Roamio. The current person is saying it's not supported. Apparently they have a list of Tivo units to choose from and the Roamio is not on the list.

The fact that the second level technical support folks haven't even HEARD of a Roamio stuns me.

This is starting to drive me crazy.
Telling them it's a Premiere should be fine. The two boxes are similar enough in how they work that it shouldn't matter from their perspective.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:54 PM   #21
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I am also having issues with my box and have similar signal as you, 100 and SNR 41. XOD is not showing up either. spoke with TiVo support about it and He said that signal strength was too strong. Should be around 85 and SNR 35. Comcast came out and said I had a weak signal. Not sure who is right.
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:22 PM   #22
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It started working - and no-one at Comcast had any idea why. They were more focused on blaming Tivo than getting it to work, so it was a complete surprise to them.

I told them not to touch a thing! I have On Demand, despite their protests that it was unsupported.

See here for my follow up on this forum: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...60#post9793060

Mark
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:19 PM   #23
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I do have access to On Demand content - in a way! In short, I can navigate around the content available but when I try to play something I hear audio, see 2-3 seconds of content (so, I basically have permission to see the content) but then it just freezes (no audio and a frozen picture). This happens on any content, 100% of the time.
Hi Mark,

While I see your issue was resolved (apparently, due to no help from anyone...)

I have the same XfinityOnDemand issue. I've had TiVoHD's since 2008. No issues since the initial installation (which, actually, went quite well). I ran through the process with Comcast to move the card to the new Roamio, and after about 20 minutes, I had all my channels, including premiums.

I've never had OnDemand before (the TiVoHD doesn't support it). After waiting over night, forcing a TiVo connection, and restarting, I now have the Xfinity OnDemand application on the TiVo. I can search shows, and even start a show, but it stops after about 2-3 seconds. I can come back 20 minutes later and play another 3-4 seconds. I tried this on two shows.

From what I gather, "it just started working" for you. Based on what I've read, I think I'll let it sit another couple of days before contacting Comcast...

John
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:27 PM   #24
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From what I gather, "it just started working" for you. Based on what I've read, I think I'll let it sit another couple of days before contacting Comcast..
Another day - no change.

Maybe I'll have to call again. Another note mentioned that OnDemand might require additional Comcast configuration compared to the initial pairing and activation. Any confirmation? If this isn't a Comcast issue, I'd hate to open that can of worms again.

Last edited by JohnnyO : 09-05-2013 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:45 PM   #25
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I had some initial minor issues getting my card properly paired, but once that was done, I started receiving Comcast VOD with no problems. I don't think there was any additional comcast config needed, but it's possible there was and I just didn't know they were doing it. I did have to get the cablecard specialists on the phone to get it working. FYI, I am in the comcast philly region.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:24 PM   #26
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Having the same issue described in the original post. Spent 90 minutes on the line with Comcast last night, talking to a 2nd-level rep who really sincerely believed I misunderstood how this was supposed to work, that my account included On Demand, but that I had to watch it over the web or my smartphone, and that the TiVo itself wouldn't actually play it.

This clearly contradicts both their own marketing material, the experience of everyone listed here, and basic design logic (if it's not supported, why is there an app that tries to play the video?).

So if anyone figures out the magic words I need to say to talk to the one person at Comcast who seems to know how this is supposed to work, please share them.


The other possibility is that there could be a TiVo bug here. This thread http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=508353 describes what appears to be a TiVo Roamio bug, and the fact that video just kind of halts for a long time suggests a potential commonality.

For what it's worth, On Demand seems to think the video is playing. The counter ticks along as if it's playing. When I let it go for a minute, then quit and try to resume, I get 2-3 seconds of video from a point about a minute into the show, as if it progressed normally. I even went so far as to hook up my Comcast Motorola box to a second TV in another room, looked for the On Demand listing for the same episode, and saw that the Motorola box believed I had already watched 10 minutes (about how long I left it "playing" on my Roamio the second time), so it was starting 10 minutes in.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:55 PM   #27
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I am also having issues with my box and have similar signal as you, 100 and SNR 41. XOD is not showing up either. spoke with TiVo support about it and He said that signal strength was too strong. Should be around 85 and SNR 35. Comcast came out and said I had a weak signal. Not sure who is right.
I had the same signal so I put a 4 way splitter and get to 98% and SNR to 39, still no VOD, the Comcast tech came out and with his signal box got -5db at the end of the coax, he removed the splitter and the signal per his box went up to + 2db, VOD still did not work, changed cable cards, paired it telling the person at the other end of the phone to use the TP settings and VOD came on without any problems. I went back to the 4 way splitter and VOD still worked without problems.
I have seen many people having problems with Comcast VOD and the Roamio, I don't know why but there must be some difference.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:15 PM   #28
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Almost all issues are related to Comcast's configuration, or lack there of. It is very rare to have hardware issues with the box and cablecard. Even if they got it working with a different card, chances are it was because the first one wasn't configured properly in their systems. Using the "TP" or Tivo Premier config settings seem to help. In addition, even after it's configured properly, I think sometimes that Tivo has to call home to enable VOD. Some of the other threads indicate this is needed. Keep at it. It will get fixed. Tivo is still a rare beast in the eyes of cable co's as large as Comcast.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:00 PM   #29
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Hmm. Comcast VOD is working on my Roamio but not on my Minis. Getting authentication error. Will try a reboot.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:18 PM   #30
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For what it's worth, On Demand seems to think the video is playing. The counter ticks along as if it's playing. When I let it go for a minute, then quit and try to resume, I get 2-3 seconds of video from a point about a minute into the show, as if it progressed normally.
That sounds exactly like what I am seeing.

Others in this thread have indicated calling the special Comcast Cable Card number and having them ensure it is configured using the TP (TiVo Premiere?) setting. I don't know if that comment applies to this issue, or if the was directed at folks who can't get OnDemand at all.

John
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