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Old 08-30-2007, 12:35 PM   #3421
Thunderclap
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Well, I just got back from the North Avenue Comcast center in Chicago. While they did have cablecards they were willing to part with they wouldn't give me one since I don't live within the city limits. (I'm in Oak Park, about four blocks from the Chicago city limits.) Bastards. Guess I'm stuck with having an installer maybe come out on Tues. Oh well.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:08 PM   #3422
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Well the official Comcast headache has begun. I called today to confirm my Tues. installation and what do I get? "Oh. I'm sorry. It looks like your installation was cancelled yesterday. You didn't get a call?"

After a lot of venting on my part the operator asked when another good time to come would be. I told her "Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Since you guys cancelled this without telling me I think the least you can do is install it sooner rather than later." She said she'd try to get someone out on Friday or Saturday for me. Doubt it but we'll see.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:12 PM   #3423
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderclap
Well the official Comcast headache has begun. I called today to confirm my Tues. installation and what do I get? "Oh. I'm sorry. It looks like your installation was cancelled yesterday. You didn't get a call?"

After a lot of venting on my part the operator asked when another good time to come would be. I told her "Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Since you guys cancelled this without telling me I think the least you can do is install it sooner rather than later." She said she'd try to get someone out on Friday or Saturday for me. Doubt it but we'll see.
Your time has already been wasted, I suggest you not wait and see if Comcast will show up at your next scheduled appointment. I recommend calling Comcast's Executive Care Offices at 800-630-2140 (others reading this - apparently this # is Chicagoland only). You will be assigned to one person to follow through with your complaints and make sure someone shows up as promised. Also make sure you tell them about the nonsense at North Ave when they refused to give you CCs even though they were a few feet away in the back room.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:54 PM   #3424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderclap
I went online to look but neither have CableCards available from what I could see. Is it possible t just buy a card like this rep said and, if so, where?
Pick up cable cards at the Comcast location on North Avenue, across from Home Depot, in Chicago.

Edit: Just saw your updated post. Can you move 4 blocks?

Last edited by wizzy : 08-30-2007 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:00 PM   #3425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhargr03
Your time has already been wasted, I suggest you not wait and see if Comcast will show up at your next scheduled appointment. I recommend calling Comcast's Executive Care Offices at 800-630-2140 (others reading this - apparently this # is Chicagoland only). You will be assigned to one person to follow through with your complaints and make sure someone shows up as promised. Also make sure you tell them about the nonsense at North Ave when they refused to give you CCs even though they were a few feet away in the back room.
Wow, I feel so bad for you folks in areas where Comcast requires a Tech to install CC's. I just go to my local office (94th in North Seattle) and tell them what I want and they give it to me. I've traded a regular cable box for an HD-DVR, and then exchanged the DVR 3 times, then traded the DVR for an M-card when I got my S3, then had to go back and get another M-card after I found out here the S3 needed 2 cable cards. They've never even mentioned having a Tech come out. Anyway, it's very sad that Comcast requires some unlucky customers to pay for a service call and then hang around the house hours waiting for them to not show up. I guess I'm pretty lucky, and I feel for you
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:04 PM   #3426
wizzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithRos
After reading through most of this thread I have to share my experiences with Comcast. I am in the suburbs north of Chicago. ...
I want to thank everyone in this thread for providing such detailed information. It is sad that in one evening of reading the threads I know more about cable cards than most installers and techs do. Wish me luck next Tuesday.
Call back tech support. Tell them you want in the 4-hour call-back queue, and need to talk to the cable card group in Tinley Park.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:33 AM   #3427
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Fairfax County

After reading this forum for a few weeks as I amassed my new system components, I thought I was prepared for technical problems, etc, with getting cable cards installed. However, it's proven to be a challenge just to get a technician to my house WITH cablecards in hand.

Some background: I have a Series2 hooked up to a DirecTV receiver. I've loved it. When I upgraded my television, I decided to get a Series3 and jump to cable in order to use it. I liked DirecTV, but I like Tivo more, so the switch seemed worth it.

Last Week: I signed up for Comcast and made an appointment for last Sunday from 12 - 3. I emphasized and rechecked several times that this appointment was for activation and 2 cablecard installs into a Tivo Series 3.

Sunday: Around 9am, a Comcast contractor calls to say they don't have any Cablecards, do I want them to come any way to install a set-top box? No thank you, I say, I'll reschedule the appointment, thanks for letting me know in advance, blah blah.

Sunday: I reschedule the appointment with Comcast for noon-3 on Wednesday, again emphasizing that I need 2 cablecards and not a set-top box. The CSR clearly understands this and seems knowledgable about what I need.

Wednesday: I come home early from work and wait.. and wait... finally at 3:45 I call Comcast and they say there's no record in the system for my appointment. It seems the previous CSR rescheduled my appointment for the previous Sunday instead of Wednesday. The CSR gives me a $40 credit and an immediate schedule into a Thursday 6-9pm slot.

Thursday: The technician (a contractor) arrives at 7:30. He has no cablecards. He tells me that the contracting companies often get squeezed on hardware, especially cablecards. They go very fast every time they get an order in. He does not know when they will get the next set of cards. Again we decline to have any installation done, they don't have what we want! He understands and leaves.

This morning I have to call AGAIN to make the fourth appointment. I can't even worry about technical problems now, I just want them to show up with the darn cards!

I may be bringing this upon myself by insisting that activation only occur when they also have the cablecards, but I'm concerned they will try to get the set-top box installed and then stall, stall, stall on the cablecards. But, honestly, at some point I will have to wave bye-bye to Tivo and stick with DirecTV in order to get HD programming and a DVR.

-Laundry in Fairfax County, VA
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:41 PM   #3428
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhargr03
Your time has already been wasted, I suggest you not wait and see if Comcast will show up at your next scheduled appointment. I recommend calling Comcast's Executive Care Offices at 800-630-2140 (others reading this - apparently this # is Chicagoland only). You will be assigned to one person to follow through with your complaints and make sure someone shows up as promised. Also make sure you tell them about the nonsense at North Ave when they refused to give you CCs even though they were a few feet away in the back room.
I called this number this morning to escalate another cable issue, and they freaked out. Asked me several times how I got the number, and pushed hard to have me go back to normal customer service and escalate that way. They did offer to continue, but preferred that I follow their standard escalation (which I had already done). I did agree to talk to someone local, and was given a direct dial number of someone I had spoken with previously, and did wind up getting to talk to someone who actually listened.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:25 PM   #3429
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A painless experience; contract installer showed up in the middle of the appointment window, had never seen an HDTivo and started explaining how I needed a digital cable box to hook up to it. I said, no, I just need those cablecards you brought.

After I wrote down the serial numbers I asked if he happened to have an M card. His eyes lit up--oh yes, he forgot he had that in the truck, and he ran and grabbed it. It took him two calls to get all my channels, but afterwards everything was fine.

We had to have a truck roll because we had an analog filter on the line (previous service was internet-only), so we never tried seeing if we could pick up the cards ourselves.

This is in south Bellevue WA (Eastgate/Lakemont area).
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:26 PM   #3430
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Flawless install in Fremont CA. Two guys came, one as supervisor. They brought 2 Mcards, 2 Scards. After knowing that only one Mcard is needed, big relief for them. They had nightmare to install two cards for other TIVO customers. This time only 10 minutes to get it done. BTW, the TIVOHD reboot itself afterMcard being inserted. Is that normal? We wasted 5 minutes to get the TIVO back online. Otherwise, it would be only 5 minutes trip for them.
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:57 PM   #3431
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I got a mystery here. I could not watch DiscoverHD, ESPNHD, ESPN2HD in one tuner. The other tuner can show those channels. After I switched back from the other tuner, the bad one can show the channels again. This has happened twice in 24 hours. I only have 1 MCard installed.

I do not know whose responsibility. Comcast or TIVO?
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:06 PM   #3432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmsyl
I got a mystery here. I could not watch DiscoverHD, ESPNHD, ESPN2HD in one tuner. The other tuner can show those channels. After I switched back from the other tuner, the bad one can show the channels again. This has happened twice in 24 hours. I only have 1 MCard installed.

I do not know whose responsibility. Comcast or TIVO?
You're probably not quite seeing what you think you're seeing. The tuner switching is at times somewhast transparent. If you tuner 1 is on channel 200 and tuner 2 is on channel 300 and while watching tuner 2 you change the channel to 200, it actually will just swap tuners on you. Now you're really watching and changing tuner 1.

Before you switch away from a tuner, change to a channel out of the way of the ones you're going to look at, then you can be a little more certain you're really controlling the tuner you think.

There's also a backdoor code to turn on an info display to see specific info about the tuner in use, though I don't recall offhand what it is.

So ultuimately I'd guess you have one CableCARD that isn't set up properly at the cable company.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:16 PM   #3433
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So i bought a TiVo HD yesterday (was waiting for a Best Buy reward zone weekend so I could get 12% off). Stopped by my local Comcast office (Nashville, TN - didn't have to wait for a truck roll) and picked up a multi-stream cablecard (Motorola M-Stream).

It's all set up this morning, but it took a while. The CableCard was communicating with Comcast, but I wasn't getting any of the encrypted channels. I called multiple times and played CSR roulette for a while (talked to about 7 CSRs total, who all just "hit" the card - some of them didn't ask for the SN, they just hit a card, some hit the wrong card - the one in my Comcast HD box upstairs).

Using the information in this thread, I asked them to initialize the card or send a cold hit. They either didn't know what i was talking about or said they did all that could be done. They said they'd have to send a technician. I was not going to allow this (as it would be Tuesday before they came out (4 days)). I kept saying, "why do i need a technician to come out here and read you things that I have access to myself?!"

I finally was able to talk to a supervisor (Janet in Nashville), who finally talked with someone who knew something about cablecards (I never spoke to this person). They re-initialized the card (instead of just "hitting" it). They called me back to let me know that was done. I didn't see any new channels, but i then reset the TiVo. After doing this, it came back up with all my channels!

So even though the CSRs swore they were doing all that was possible, the supervisor told me CSRs do not have the access to initialize a card. I wish comcast would get on the same page or train their employees better.

so for those of you out there that may have the same problem with Comcast, tell them to initialize the card, or send a "cold hit". If they don't know what you're talking about, make sure you speak with a supervisor. I got that information from this thread, and it worked for me, once i got someone who could help me.

HD looks great, and combine that with the TiVo interface, and it's amazing.

Thanks to everyone for posting on this thread. it was extremely helpful.

i now hope to not have to deal with Comcast for at least 4 months. I was that infuriated.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:27 PM   #3434
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Having mixed results in Alexandria, VA. It looks like I am almost there, but still have a problem with the encrypted channels as well.

After buying a new Tivo HD, 1-800-Comcast told me I could simply pick up a new cablecard at their office. So, I didn't schedule an appointment and instead went to the office, where of course they told me I needed to schedule an appointment.

A week later (I've been out of town) the installer showed up today with an M-Card.

Good news: the physical install and setup seemed to go OK.

Bad news: for some reason the device is only receiving basic cable channels and basic HD channels. None of the extended analog or digital channels are showing on the device. Called in and was told they had fixed it, but the channels still haven't shown up and I'm not optimistic that worked.

I guess I need to try the advice in the preceding post.

Seems like patience is the key with this thing, but man is it frustrating.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:32 PM   #3435
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After complaining multiple times to Comcast they were "able to work me in" today (Sat.). So now I'm sitting and waiting...
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:35 PM   #3436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philo
Bad news: for some reason the device is only receiving basic cable channels and basic HD channels. None of the extended analog or digital channels are showing on the device. Called in and was told they had fixed it, but the channels still haven't shown up and I'm not optimistic that worked.
Philo, this is exactly what was happening to me (see post directly above yours). I would reset your TiVo first (just in case Comcast did actually do something right). If you still don't get your channels, call and get someone to do a cold hit or initialize hit.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:26 PM   #3437
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How long should it take for Tivo to Acquire Channels after the M-card has been inserted? I'm on broadband.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:38 PM   #3438
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderclap
How long should it take for Tivo to Acquire Channels after the M-card has been inserted? I'm on broadband.
Do you mean the guide data (what shows are on when) or acquire the actual channels so that the M-card can tune to them? If the latter, it has nothing to do with your Internet connection speed. If the former, then I am not sure
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:46 PM   #3439
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Originally Posted by mhargr03
Do you mean the guide data (what shows are on when) or acquire the actual channels so that the M-card can tune to them? If the latter, it has nothing to do with your Internet connection speed. If the former, then I am not sure
Basically, we put the card in and it popped up with a screen saying Please wait... Acquiring Channel Information. This has been going on for a bit now 20-30 min.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:55 PM   #3440
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Originally Posted by Thunderclap
Basically, we put the card in and it popped up with a screen saying Please wait... Acquiring Channel Information. This has been going on for a bit now 20-30 min.
It's probably really doing a firmware upgrade. At least the times last week I got that were really a firmware upgrade (if you go to TiVo Central then come back through the menus to the CableCARD info screens, it'll show properly)... and in my Comcast area, it took around half an hour for the firmware upgrade to happen.

Here's the info from TiVo on the subject, though nothing about a firmware upgrade really being in progress, but some other possibilities.

http://customersupport.tivo.com/TiVo...s_Content.html
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:16 PM   #3441
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Well, I sent the tech off because he was an idiot. ("Hi... I've never done this before so I need to call someone to walk me through it.") He brought two cards: an M-card and an S-card. He kept telling me I needed both and refused to listen to me so I got fed up and told him I'd take care of it. This was after he called and gave Comcast the info. they needed. (He gave them the S/N, not the CableCard ID number. Is that right?) In any event nothing is happening: no channels are being downloaded or anything.

In the CableCard Diagnostic menu I have this listed:

Tuner: 0
Current Tuning Status: Not Tuned. General Tune Error.

Does this mean Comcast isn't sending a signal to the card?

The card looks brand spanking new so I don't think it's a card issue.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:33 PM   #3442
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderclap
How long should it take for Tivo to Acquire Channels after the M-card has been inserted? I'm on broadband.
Assuming:

1) Comcast has the card properly set up on your account
2) The card was provisioned properly before the installer showed up
3) The Host ID and data info has been properly entered into the Comcast DAC
4) They sent the init signal to the card

... less than 5 minutes.

Don't fall for the "some channels may take 12-24 hours line" if you have a problem.

Read this for more info:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=363797
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:37 PM   #3443
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Originally Posted by Thunderclap
Well, I sent the tech off because he was an idiot. ("Hi... I've never done this before so I need to call someone to walk me through it.") He brought two cards: an M-card and an S-card. He kept telling me I needed both and refused to listen to me so I got fed up and told him I'd take care of it. This was after he called and gave Comcast the info. they needed. (He gave them the S/N, not the CableCard ID number. Is that right?) In any event nothing is happening: no channels are being downloaded or anything.

In the CableCard Diagnostic menu I have this listed:

Tuner: 0
Current Tuning Status: Not Tuned. General Tune Error.

Does this mean Comcast isn't sending a signal to the card?

The card looks brand spanking new so I don't think it's a card issue.
Go to the test channels selection for each of the card(s) installed.

I'm willing to bet that your cards aren't paired properly.

As for Comcast asking for the serial # - that's how they identify the card in their system. For each serial number, they will need to enter the associated HOST ID and DATA VALUE as indicated by the Tivo.

If they didn't do this, no chance you will get the channels you are supposed to.

Also - it's possible there is a firmware update going on, but very unlikely with a Motorola MCard.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:40 PM   #3444
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I called a local tech support number that I was given and left a message with my contact information, serial number, card ID number, etc. and recently checked the Diagnostics menu again. Now it reads:

Tuner: 0
Current Tuner Status: Tuned Success

It still says it's "Acquiring Channel Information" but at least I'm not getting errors now. I'm hoping it will start up any minute now. Any minute...
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:43 PM   #3445
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Thunderclap, this knowledgebase article on tivo.com was helpful in showing if the cablecard was being recognized at all. If the Messages in the Network Status menu increase each time you enter it, then that's at least somewhere towards a good sign...

http://customersupport.tivo.com/Laun...1-D8CD0D5C0824
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:52 PM   #3446
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Okay. Long story short my installer was an idiot. He gave them the wrong serial number which in turn caused a huge headache talking to tech support on the phone. But everything now works except... ALL CHANNELS ABOVE 199! I assume this is due to Tivo re-downloading info. I dunno. If that doesn't fix it Comcast is getting yet another call from me. *sigh*
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:02 PM   #3447
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I thought I would add to the body of knowledge in this topic. I wouldn't have got this far without all the excellent information available in this community. Just reading some of the posts in this thread makes me feel frustrated, experiencing it must be maddening.

I live in the Puget Sound area and I picked up two M-Cards for a TivoHD this afternoon. The rep in the office knew I only needed one but gave me 2 (at no extra charge) in case one didn't work. I just have to return one of them. I also returned the Motorola box (Yay!).

CSR #1
I installed one card in the unit and called Comcast, I gave the CSR the Data and Host numbers and she said 'goodbye' while the Tivo was acquiring channels. It all looked good until I realized I couldn't get any channels above 29. This CSR was very nice, and was very interested in the Tivo, but unfortunately it seemed she just didn't know quite enough.

CSR #2
This one was less helpful and quite a few degrees less friendly. She sent two 'resets' which didn't change anything. Her ending comment was that if it didn't work I would have to schedule a tech. She didn't seem to understand the whole setup and kept insisting that I set my TV to channel 3. I aborted this call, I know when it's a lost cause.


I read all the info on the forums down to the details of the Validation and Auth codes. I figured out that my card didn't seem to be validated correctly. Realizing that a tech wasn't going to be able to do anything I couldn't do I decided to call again.

CSR #3
I won the CSR lottery this time. I was able to explain the problem in terms that made me sound I knew what I was talking about. CSR #1 didn't ask me for the serial # and seeing as I had two cards I wasn't convinced they had that part correct. After checking that we went over the Data and Host fields. It seems that CSR #1 had entered the Host field incorrectly. Correcting that got me all channels except HBO (the one premium channel that I have). HBO just kicked me back to the CableCARD setup screen. A few 'signals' later and I was up and running. This CSR stayed on the line until I was sure I had the channels I was paying for.


The moral seems to be - don't give up. I now have a new TivoHD with one M-Card working as designed. CSR #1 had a typo which just had a cascading effect. I know I am very fortunate to live in an area where Comcast is ok with 'civilians' installing their own CableCARDs. Having to pay for a tech to shove a card in a slot and read some numbers over the phone would make me mad too.
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:19 PM   #3448
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Originally Posted by English Bob
Having to pay for a tech to shove a card in a slot and read some numbers over the phone would make me mad too.
This was the most infuriating part for me - that they kept saying they had to send a tech. I've dealt with the "techs" in this area before. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that i would be able to find and do whatever they would do.

When i first moved in, they sent a guy out to set up my internet access (i could have set it up myself, but the service call this time was free). I ended up doing the entire thing myself anyway. It was if the guy had never seen a computer before.

I realize some techs are good. But the majority of them just know how to do 2 things - hook up cables and unplug/replug devices.
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:52 AM   #3449
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswallow
You're probably not quite seeing what you think you're seeing. The tuner switching is at times somewhast transparent. If you tuner 1 is on channel 200 and tuner 2 is on channel 300 and while watching tuner 2 you change the channel to 200, it actually will just swap tuners on you. Now you're really watching and changing tuner 1.

Before you switch away from a tuner, change to a channel out of the way of the ones you're going to look at, then you can be a little more certain you're really controlling the tuner you think.

There's also a backdoor code to turn on an info display to see specific info about the tuner in use, though I don't recall offhand what it is.

So ultuimately I'd guess you have one CableCARD that isn't set up properly at the cable company.
I only have one MCard installed. And I understand your point. I have figured out an exact way to duplicate this issue. This only happens to the tuner 0 (although I have only one Mcard, I guess it maps to the 2nd descrypt channel on the card)
1. Tuner 0 and 1 tune to a clear channel (ABCHD and NBCHD)
2. Change channel on Tuner 0 to an encrypted YD channel. The channel is black. Go to CableCard Conditinal Access menu, it was shown as "Auth:?"=UNKNOWN. It is not "Auth:NS"=not authorized. The weird thing is not all encrypted HD channels have problem. I got ESPNHD, ESPNHD2, TNT, UHD black out.
3. Changed channel on Tuner 1 to an encrypted HD channel mentioned above, but not same channel as tuner 0. Got video.
4. Go back to tuner 0. Channel up then down->back to previous unviewable channel. Now video is shown.

In short, if Tuner 1 is on encrypted HD channel, Tuner 0 has no problem to tune to any encrypted channel. Otherwise, it is just trying my luck.

Comcast will send out tech. next week.

Last edited by lmsyl : 09-02-2007 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:05 PM   #3450
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I have Comcast service in the Bay Area (N. Calif). I recently returned my Comcast DVR and switched to the new HD Tivo. Comcast came out and installed the dual cablecard.

I got my new bill and I am being charged 11.95 per month for "DVR Service with HDTV" in addition to the cablecard fee of $1.91/mos. I thought I'd only be paying the $7/mos HDTV fee so I called to ask about it. The agent who answered claimed that the I was still required to pay the DVR fee even though I OWN the Tivo.

This sounds bogus to me. Anyone else paying the $11.95 instead of the $7?
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