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Old 10-03-2013, 09:40 AM   #1
Bphagan
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Getting Correct Comcast CableCard

I have a new Roamio Pro coming next week.
I need to take everything (2x DTAs, 1 HDDVR, 1x TivoXL CableCard) back to Comcast and get a CableCard for the Roamio.

Is there a way to determine what cablecard I need to pick up and what firmware is on the Card? It's a 20 min drive each way and do not want to make multiple trips.

Would it be better to order the card over the phone?

Maybe I should get the card first to ensure everything is working before returning other equipment.

bdog
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bphagan View Post
I have a new Roamio Pro coming next week.
I need to take everything (2x DTAs, 1 HDDVR, 1x TivoXL CableCard) back to Comcast and get a CableCard for the Roamio.

Is there a way to determine what cablecard I need to pick up and what firmware is on the Card? It's a 20 min drive each way and do not want to make multiple trips.

Would it be better to order the card over the phone?

Maybe I should get the card first to ensure everything is working before returning other equipment.

bdog
Why can't you use the cablecard you already have? You shouldn't need to return it if it is a Motorola M-stream card.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:51 AM   #3
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Yea, you can use the same cable card from your older TiVo in the new Roamio. This is assuming it is a M-card (multi-stream) & not two S-cards (Single Stream). If it is indeed an M-card, you simply need to call Comcast and "pair" the cable card with your new Roamio. I have done something similar several times (from Series 3 to a Premiere) so no need to return the cable card & then get new ones.

Comcast even has a special cable card hotline especially for doing this. When you get your Roamio and are ready to put the M-card in it, give them call at 877-405-2298. You will essentially need the cable card serial number and the host ID info (retrieved from Roamio cable card info page)
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:45 AM   #4
DeltaOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bphagan View Post
Is there a way to determine what cablecard I need to pick up and what firmware is on the Card? It's a 20 min drive each way and do not want to make multiple trips.
I would advise anyone going to their local Comcast office to get a CableCard to get two or three -- so many of them are DOA. I guess they don't test returns -- they just throw them in a box and give them out to the next customer.

We set up two Roamio Pluses in our household last week -- went through 4 cablecards to get two working ones.

This Saturday I'm returning the extra (defective) cablecards and my Comcast STBs.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:59 AM   #5
kbmb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bphagan View Post
I have a new Roamio Pro coming next week.
I need to take everything (2x DTAs, 1 HDDVR, 1x TivoXL CableCard) back to Comcast and get a CableCard for the Roamio.

Is there a way to determine what cablecard I need to pick up and what firmware is on the Card? It's a 20 min drive each way and do not want to make multiple trips.

Would it be better to order the card over the phone?

Maybe I should get the card first to ensure everything is working before returning other equipment.

bdog
Yup, just check your current card. From the Troubleshooting section here:
http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2566


Quote:
Outdated firmware
CableCARDs must meet minimum firmware requirements to support the 6-tuner functionality of Roamio Plus and Pro. If your CableCARD firmware is outdated, your Roamio Plus or Pro will only have four tuners available for use. However, the DVR will continue to schedule recordings as if all six tuners were working, which will result in missing or blank recordings from the two non-functional tuners.

NOTE: If you choose to, you can manually disable tuners to avoid blank recordings. Just follow the instructions in the next section.

The following CableCARD firmware versions are capable of handling six tuners:

Motorola CableCARDs—version 2.65 or later
Cisco/Scientific Atlanta CableCARDs—OS Ver: PKEY1.5.2.2801
Motorola CableCARDs ship from Motorola with version 2.65, and should work immediately.

To check your Cisco/Scientific Atlanta CableCARD's firmware version:

From TiVo Central > Settings & Messages > Account & System Info > CableCARD Decoder > CableCARD options (for installers) > CableCARD Menu > SA CableCARD Diag Screen

Currently we have no data on compatible NDS or Conax CableCARD firmware. Nagravision CableCARDs can support four tuners only.

If you have a good connection between your DVR and the cable headend, your CableCARD should update automatically.

EDIT: BTW if you have a Motorola card, you may see firmware FW* 06.25 instead. Not sure if Tivo mixed the numbers up or not from their support doc. That is a known version that works. That's what I have on my Comcast card.

-Kevin

Last edited by kbmb : 10-03-2013 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaOne View Post
I would advise anyone going to their local Comcast office to get a CableCard to get two or three -- so many of them are DOA. I guess they don't test returns -- they just throw them in a box and give them out to the next customer.

We set up two Roamio Pluses in our household last week -- went through 4 cablecards to get two working ones.

This Saturday I'm returning the extra (defective) cablecards and my Comcast STBs.
He already has a working cablecard. If he puts it in the new box and calls the cablecard helpline at Comcast he should be up and working in short order.

FWIW I suspect that 90% of "bad" cablecards aren't bad at all. They are just programmed incorrectly at the head-end.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaOne View Post
I would advise anyone going to their local Comcast office to get a CableCard to get two or three -- so many of them are DOA. I guess they don't test returns -- they just throw them in a box and give them out to the next customer.

We set up two Roamio Pluses in our household last week -- went through 4 cablecards to get two working ones.

This Saturday I'm returning the extra (defective) cablecards and my Comcast STBs.

Really? Kind of odd as I currently have about 7 cable cards from Comcast and have NEVER had a defective one and/or needed to return any of them. 3 M-Cards and 4 S-cards and they all have been good for me. Strange that you have had so many problems.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #8
DeltaOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpage2 View Post
He already has a working cablecard. If he puts it in the new box and calls the cablecard helpline at Comcast he should be up and working in short order.

FWIW I suspect that 90% of "bad" cablecards aren't bad at all. They are just programmed incorrectly at the head-end.
Interesting.

Once programmed correctly, and working -- are they reliable? This is my first experience with a cablecard.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:14 PM   #9
DeltaOne
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Originally Posted by buscuitboy View Post
Really? Kind of odd as I currently have about 7 cable cards from Comcast and have NEVER had a defective one and/or needed to return any of them. 3 M-Cards and 4 S-cards and they all have been good for me. Strange that you have had so many problems.
I kind of expected getting a bad cable card, having done research on the Xfinity user forums.

I was interested in their new X1 platform. Spent a month reading tons and tons of complaints on the user forums. Scared me so bad I began researching TiVo.

There are many posts about getting bad cable cards on those forums.

Now, I know the only people that post on those forums are those having problems -- you almost never see a post saying "Mine works great!" And two Comcast techs assured me the X1 system was working well and was reliable. They're already testing the X2 system! But you read those forums and X1 sounds like a horrible nightmare!
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaOne View Post
I kind of expected getting a bad cable card, having done research on the Xfinity user forums.

I was interested in their new X1 platform. Spent a month reading tons and tons of complaints on the user forums. Scared me so bad I began researching TiVo.

There are many posts about getting bad cable cards on those forums.

Now, I know the only people that post on those forums are those having problems -- you almost never see a post saying "Mine works great!" And two Comcast techs assured me the X1 system was working well and was reliable. They're already testing the X2 system! But you read those forums and X1 sounds like a horrible nightmare!
I had a tech go through 2 cablecards during my initial Tivo install 8 years ago that were just flat out bad. No idea why.....but he was baffled. Thankfully he had 3 with him

-Kevin
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:44 PM   #11
markp99
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No Comcast cable card issues for me over the years. One and done each time.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DeltaOne View Post
Interesting.

Once programmed correctly, and working -- are they reliable? This is my first experience with a cablecard.
They are as reliable as any other solid state device with no moving parts. I have had half a dozen of them over the years and they have always worked.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DeltaOne View Post
Interesting.

Once programmed correctly, and working -- are they reliable? This is my first experience with a cablecard.
In my experience the "bad" cards are either still attached to another account or not entered into the system properly. I've never had a problem with a cable card when I've gotten a competent person on the phone.
Cable cards are essentially big memory card (PCcards) and their rates of failure should be fairly low, if handled properly.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaOne View Post
Interesting.

Once programmed correctly, and working -- are they reliable? This is my first experience with a cablecard.
My experience is like the others. Over the years I've gotten 5 Comcast cable cards; all have worked first time (required a bit of effort for the first few, but they got things straightened out at their end); all have continued to work, including the 2 S-cards I got over 7 years ago.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:05 PM   #15
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Comcast's tech support will almost always resort to the "bad cable card" or your TiVo is defective excuses.
Probably just to get you off the phone.

Last edited by fdisker2000 : 10-03-2013 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:05 AM   #16
Bphagan
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Many thanks.
I do have a Motorola M Card with FW* 6.25.

Using the same card sounds like the best/quickest way to proceed with good chance of success.

bdog
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:15 AM   #17
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Yes, just call the cable-card hotline # provided above, do NOT call your regular Comcast customer service telephone #.

I migrated my CC from an XL4 to a Roamio Plus and they had it all paired and working in less than 5 minutes.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by DeltaOne View Post
Interesting.

Once programmed correctly, and working -- are they reliable? This is my first experience with a cablecard.
They can die, just like any other device. A few years ago I had a (rather ancient) Cisco S-card die in my Series 3. (It was bricked during a firmware update sent out by the cable company.)

But this is very rare. Generally they should last for years.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:00 PM   #19
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They can die, just like any other device. A few years ago I had a (rather ancient) Cisco S-card die in my Series 3. (It was bricked during a firmware update sent out by the cable company.)

But this is very rare. Generally they should last for years.
I can see how a firmware update could cause problems. My Moto M-cards have been solid for 7 years.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:48 PM   #20
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Move CableCARD from Tivo HD to Roamio

So I got my new Roamio setup with a new hard drive last night, did the guided setup without the CableCARD, activated it with lifetime online.

This afternoon, I was ready to swap out one of my HD with the new Roamio. I just removed the CableCARD from the old unit, inserted into Roamio. Hooked up the cable coax.

I expected to get no HD or special channel, but everything came up immediately. I even got 6 HD tuners working without calling Comcast.

This was too good to be true, so I called Comcast (the number that comes up on the Tivo pairing page) to verify. The first CSR couldn't really help me, so she gave me a number to call; it turned out to be Tivo support number.
He understood what I was doing, but when I told him everything seems to be working fine, he said that I was done. He gave me a number to call in case of CableCARD issue.

I called the number; it turned out to be Comcast number with staff familiar with the CableCARD pairing process. I went through the SN, host ID, data ID stuff. I verified they actually sent a signal because the channels went out for about 10 secs.

Finally my question is, could I have saved myself 45 mins today if I just ignored to call Comcast?
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:21 PM   #21
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yep...had the same unexpected card swap result experience several years ago....if it ain't broke don't fix it
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