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Old 01-17-2009, 06:50 PM   #6181
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Originally Posted by b_scott View Post
anyone in Chicago with TivoHD? Got the new three channels (Nick, Spike, Lifetime) - but after 3 days I still don't have guide data for any of them.
I hope we get Spike HD here soon...
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:57 AM   #6182
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I just got a new hdtv and the tivo hd series 3. I called comcast and they told me I need an hd box to watch hdtv and that the cablecards alone with the tivo will not get me hdtv but it says in the manual tivo does not support cable boxes.
Can someone please help me, tell me what I need with my new hdtv and tivohd to be able to watch/record hdtv. I have the digital starter package with comcast right now and live in Vermont.
Thanks.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:02 PM   #6183
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I just got a new hdtv and the tivo hd series 3. I called comcast and they told me I need an hd box to watch hdtv and that the cablecards alone with the tivo will not get me hdtv but it says in the manual tivo does not support cable boxes.
Can someone please help me, tell me what I need with my new hdtv and tivohd to be able to watch/record hdtv. I have the digital starter package with comcast right now and live in Vermont.
Thanks.
Basically you need to teach yourself to ignore most Comcast CSRs. They seem more often than not to be clueless about anything you ask them.

All you need to do is get two Type S or Type M CableCARDs for your TiVo Series 3 or one type M CableCARD for your TiVo HD or TiVo HD XL. Just call and order the CableCARDs. Don't try to ask them a question. Don't get involved in discussions about what brand this or that you have. Just order the CableCARDs.

You don't need a cable company tuner of any sort unless you want access to OnDemand and PPV programming.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:46 PM   #6184
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I talked to the guys at corporate (from an earlier reply, the executive office-- thanks for the info). We have talked about 6 times, he was helpful but clueless how cablecards worked. He kept saying "passive, one-way" digital service was $2 but two-way (with on-demand etc.) was more. He called me today and apologized, as of November, all of New England will be charged $7/month for extra cablecards. New policy. He said they were taking this new policy nationwide.

Bottom line-- cablecards now cost the SAME as digital boxes!!

Heads up!
I'm in the metro Atlanta area and my hardcopy channel and rate guide shows the price for the first cable card as $0 and $1.50 for the second one with HD services being $6.95. I'm being told I have to pay for the HD service at $6.95 since I won't be able to get HD simply via the cards.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:37 PM   #6185
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Hello. I have read a good 80 pages or so of this thread and have not seen this problem so please forgive if it has been answered.

I drove into Chicago to help a friend set up his TiVo. When I arrived, the Comcast Tech was getting ready to leave, he said he already called in the card, and he is not allowed to touch customer equipment, so he just handed me the card. We tried to stall him but no luck. It took some time for me to pull network cables in his house and set up his router, plus hook up the TiVo. Eventually the Tech left before I was ready for him.
All went well with the TiVo setup at first, but I never got any channels, just the acquiring screen and the spinning beach ball. I began to research and noticed it said
Card1:
Unit Address: ###-#####-#####-###
Encryption: DES
Con:Yes EBCP:Yes

It never had the second paragraph of data that said Auth and such. There was only the first block of data on the screen. The card shows as a Motorola M card. After a 30 minute call to Comcast Cable support, I was told cable cards are under the jurisdiction of the Internet Department. They told me to call back. I argued for a few minutes and plead my case. Asking for a hit, asking them to verify the billing codes, asking for a supervisor, asking for an initialize. They would absolutely do nothing for me but schedule a Tech to come out. I called again, 30 minutes on hold for the Internet Support Desk and was told they do not support cable cards and that a Tech needs to come out and call in the problem. I was out of my mind at this point. I jumped onto online chat and plead my case again and was told there is no record of the cable card in the system at his address, only the original digital box. Again, all they wanted to do was send a Tech. I again ran an online chat session and eventually was told the serial number for the cable card was in the system, but they have no access to anything related to cable cards. They again tried to schedule a Tech. I eventually gave up after 4 hours of banging my head. They are sending a Tech in a few days.
So, why do I not have the second block of data where it should show the state of Auth?
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:39 AM   #6186
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So, why do I not have the second block of data where it should show the state of Auth?
The second block of data is shown only when TiVo is tuned to an encrypted channel that requires authorization. The "spinning beach ball" means the card has not received the channel map.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:28 PM   #6187
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anyone in Chicago with TivoHD? Got the new three channels (Nick, Spike, Lifetime) - but after 3 days I still don't have guide data for any of them.
it's been a week almost and still no guide data. I can't record anything on these channels. should we call Tivo? what can be done?
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:22 PM   #6188
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They must've learned a few tricks, then. I walked into the N Seattle office, asked for a cablecard, didn't even get a blink of an eye. Signed the receipt, went home, plugged the card in the Tivo, called the phone nmuber, and within about 5 minutes had all my channels. Scary easy.
Hmm. Maybe I'll try this once the digital switchover has shaken out. For some reason, and I don't know why, I think there may be a few hiccups along the way.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:18 PM   #6189
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Hmm. Maybe I'll try this once the digital switchover has shaken out. For some reason, and I don't know why, I think there may be a few hiccups along the way.
The cutoff of analog broadcast channels has nothing to do with CableCARDs. And frankly the cable companies barely know how to deal with CableCARDs after all this time anyway, so I doubt it's gonna help them to wait a few more months. The sooner you get them, the sooner you can get them working.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:42 AM   #6190
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Thumbs up

I had a positive cableCARD install yesterday (Delaware County, PA). The Comcast Tech arrived early of his 9am-11am window with one brand new M-Card. He may have had more in his truck but he looked at the TiVo HD and immediately knew I only needed one. He was very pleased that my TiVo had been updated and told me that most of the time the TiVo equipment is still in the box when he has to install cards. He put the M-Card in the correct slot and started typing the info into his keypad. We waited about 15 minutes while the channel information updated. At one point he told me that his dispatcher had to change something on the system because they thought he was picking up a cable box from me. After the short wait the channel lineup popped up and everything was there - HD's, premiums, etc. The Tech took off and I ran guided setup again. I recorded a program on both tuners last night as a test and everything appears to be in working order.

I am very happy that I got an experienced Tech that has obviously done CC installs before. With some of the horror stories that I have read, I was prepared for the worst. I have to give credit to Comcast and the Tech for making this painless.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:45 PM   #6191
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it's been a week almost and still no guide data. I can't record anything on these channels. should we call Tivo? what can be done?
anyone?
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:08 AM   #6192
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I had a positive cableCARD install yesterday (Delaware County, PA). The Comcast Tech arrived early of his 9am-11am window with one brand new M-Card. He may have had more in his truck but he looked at the TiVo HD and immediately knew I only needed one. He was very pleased that my TiVo had been updated and told me that most of the time the TiVo equipment is still in the box when he has to install cards. He put the M-Card in the correct slot and started typing the info into his keypad. We waited about 15 minutes while the channel information updated. At one point he told me that his dispatcher had to change something on the system because they thought he was picking up a cable box from me. After the short wait the channel lineup popped up and everything was there - HD's, premiums, etc. The Tech took off and I ran guided setup again. I recorded a program on both tuners last night as a test and everything appears to be in working order.

I am very happy that I got an experienced Tech that has obviously done CC installs before. With some of the horror stories that I have read, I was prepared for the worst. I have to give credit to Comcast and the Tech for making this painless.

Well, it turns out my successful CC install was not so successful after all. When I got home from work yesterday, I noticed I was missing a whole tier of cable channels like CSN, ESPN, TBS, and TNT in both standard and high def. I'm still getting my one premium, HBO, as well as my network HD channels and some other cable channels like MLB TV. All of the channels that are missing now worked fine all day Monday after the CC was installed.

So I called Comcast last night and of course no one had any idea what is going on. The first Rep I talked to looked at my info and said everything looked fine. At one point she must have been trying to send a hit to the card because she said, "I'm sending it but it keeps coming back". Then she transferred me to someone who supposedly knew more about cableCARDS. This lady had me go channel by channel to let her know which ones were missing. After that, she told me a tech would need to come out. I told her that I really can't afford to take another day off of work and that the problem was probably on their end and that sending a Tech was unneccessary. I was transferred again to lady that had me take the card out and then re-insert it. Still nothing, so she then told me to restart the TiVo box which didn't work either. At that point I was put on hold, waited about 30 minutes, and then either got disconnected or hung up on.

From my own research, I believe that the channels I'm missing are not authorized on the card. When I check the Conditional Access screen on one of the channels, it shows "Auth:NS" which I would imagine means 'Not Subscribed'.

Anyway, I sent an e-mail to the ComcastCares e-mail addy so hopefully they will be able to help me out. But if anyone has had this problem or knows exactly what is wrong and knows what to say to a Comcast Rep to solve this, the help would be appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:12 AM   #6193
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Anyway, I sent an e-mail to the ComcastCares e-mail addy so hopefully they will be able to help me out. But if anyone has had this problem or knows exactly what is wrong and knows what to say to a Comcast Rep to solve this, the help would be appreciated.
That email is the way to get it fixed.

I've not come across any magic words to tell regular CSRs what to do, though some have managed when problems have occurred (practically always after any sort of account change). Scheduling a truck roll seems to be their answer to everything. All that really does is foist the problem on someone else -- who at least comes equipped with a phone number to contact someone more likely to have a clue.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:28 AM   #6194
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I will be setting up my new Tivo HD tonight. I went to the local Comcast office here in Jacksonville, FL (Southpoint office), and turned in one of my cable boxes and they gave me 2 S-Cards, no questions asked.

In and out in 5 minutes. A surprisingly easy and pleasant experience! We'll see how it goes later when I'm trying to activate them myself.
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:27 PM   #6195
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anyone have any luck getting a cable card on the bare minimum ($10 / month) plan?

I called comcast and they said i had to get the "digital starter" package which is like $40 and has a bunch of channels i don't care about. I just want to get guide data for the local - unencrypted channels but they said the system physically wouldn't let them order the install w/o that plan. (I'm in Portland, OR)
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:26 PM   #6196
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I'm in the metro Atlanta area and my hardcopy channel and rate guide shows the price for the first cable card as $0 and $1.50 for the second one with HD services being $6.95. I'm being told I have to pay for the HD service at $6.95 since I won't be able to get HD simply via the cards.
I just got this same thing today. I got a second TivoHD for the bedroom and when I called to get the second M card I was told it would be $1.50 + $6.95.

I went ahead and did it but it really torks me because Comcast here in FC has these signs ALL OVER THE CITY on benches "I love free HD"... Well it certainly doesn't feel free.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:36 PM   #6197
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He was promptly told by "dispatch" that the known software issue from Dec '08 (which allows Comcast to send and receive signals to the card) is still not resolved. No cards can be paired due to this. This problem apparently spans San Fran to Monterey in CA. It is not the card, it is not Tivo, it is the lack of organization within Comcast to get their software up to speed.
Isn't Comcast in violation of the FCC requirement to support and field CableCards, then?
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:46 PM   #6198
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Does anyone know what really causes pixelation?

I've reviewed this thread, and it seems pixilation has been a persistent problem with Tivo. I setup my TivoHD about a month ago, and about two weeks ago I started to get very bad pixilation. Here is what happened to me:

I have a TivoHD with two cablecards and service from Comcast.

1) I called Tivo and they said my signal was too strong and I should try putting splitters to weaken the signal. That didn't work.

2) I called Tivo again, and they ran me through plugging the unit directly into the wall, rebooting the unit and reseating the CCs. That didn't work. (BTW, these first fwo solutions make absolutely no sense to me, but I was willing to try anything. Does this make sense to anybody?)

3) The third Tivo technician seemed to know at least a little bit about CCs, and looked at my setup info. Seems one of the fields had a 0 in it that meant the card had lost its channel programming. He said to call Comcast and have them "hit" the card.

4) I called Comcast and to his credit the tech knew about hitting a CC. He tried to send several signals down the line. Nothing worked. He admitted he was just shooting in the dark and really didn't know what the correct signal was. He was just trying everything.

5) After about 10 minutes, I lost all of my digital and HD channels. Near as I can tell, the "hit" that the Comcast guy sent must have finally updated my CCs, and the result was losing all of my programming.

6) I called Comcast back, and the tech and the supervisor didn't know anything about CCs and denied that Comcast could do anything over the phone. He wanted to schedule a Comcast tech to come out to the house in a couple of days.

7) I called Tivo back and asked the Tech if he could get on a 3-way with Comcast. The Tivo tech did, but no one could resolve the issue. I have a Comcast tech scheduled to come out next week.

During this process, several things became evident:

1) Pixilation is not that uncommon a problem
2) No one quite knows how to fix it
3) CableCards are unreliable at best
4) There are very few techs that know how to read the CC info in the CableCard menu.

A few questions:

1) During installation, I went through two sets of CCs. Can I expect new CCs to solve this issue, or will I probably have this problem after the Comcast tech gets my Tivo working?

2) Is there anywhere I can go to find out for myself what the proper CableCard settings should be? For example, there was the code "CAD" in the "Auth:" field on the Network Settings screen. Nobody knew what this meant, but everyone agreed it was probably bad.

A comment:

My pixilation problem is not just a minor irritation. The programs are almost unwatchable. It goes from just a few pixels being messed up, to whole lines and then entire moving sequences that appear as if a ghost is moving across the screen disassembling and reassembling as it is moving. The Tivo also freezes and the audio gets out of sync and garbled.

It also seems as if there is an inherent conflict of interest between Comcast and Tivo. After the Comcast tech couldn't fix the issue, I was solicited to buy the Comcast DVR, and the tech said a lot of Comcast customers had ditched the Tivo for their DVR. Hmmm.........

If after changing the CableCards (for the third time, I might add) the problem persists and no one can fix it, I guess the Tivo will become a very expensive boat anchor, tied down by my Comcast coax cable, and Direct TV will be getting a new subscriber.

All I want to do is watch my HD programs in HD on my new Sony TV. Is that too much to ask?

Last edited by scotty22 : 01-21-2009 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:00 PM   #6199
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Does anyone know what really causes pixilation?

Sorry, somehow posted twice.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:14 PM   #6200
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@ Chris1088c

"Well, it turns out my successful CC install was not so successful after all. When I got home from work yesterday, I noticed I was missing a whole tier of cable channels like CSN, ESPN, TBS, and TNT in both standard and high def. I'm still getting my one premium, HBO, as well as my network HD channels and some other cable channels like MLB TV. All of the channels that are missing now worked fine all day Monday after the CC was installed."

I had exactly the same thing happen to me. I was able to fix it myself by going through the "Guided Setup" again where you specify your cable provider.

As near as I can tell, when they "hit" your CC, it programs your card, but the Tivo doesn't know the stations are there until you go through your guided setup again. This appears to be where Tivo queries your cards and determines which channels to make visible to you.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:10 PM   #6201
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I will be setting up my new Tivo HD tonight. I went to the local Comcast office here in Jacksonville, FL (Southpoint office), and turned in one of my cable boxes and they gave me 2 S-Cards, no questions asked.

In and out in 5 minutes. A surprisingly easy and pleasant experience! We'll see how it goes later when I'm trying to activate them myself.
So this ended up being wishful thinking.

Of course, things went wrong from the get go. When I turned in my non-DVR, the rep in the local office made a mistake about my equipment which had to be corrected. That took 40 minutes.

Then, after an hour, we couldn't get the CCs working. Apparently, at least here in Jacksonville, the CSRs are unable to activate CCs themselves and have to get a "lead" or a "supervisor" to do it. So, the CSR was able to get a "lead" on instant messenger to try to activate my cards. At first, she got the Serial # wrong. Then the Host ID was wrong. Then the card wouldn't activate under the correct serial number. It was all downhill from there.

After another hour and a half on the phone with the lead guy from the "Cablecard Team", we couldn't get either of my cards to work. I would either have an Unknown 02 or Unknown 07 error under Host Validation on the Conditional Access screen. The "channel test" would never work, just a Grey screen with "no channels available".

So tomorrow I get to take these 2 cards back, get 2 new ones and start all over again. Just to be safe, I'm doing a restore on the Tivo so it's back to factory settings.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:06 PM   #6202
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Well, it turns out my successful CC install was not so successful after all. When I got home from work yesterday, I noticed I was missing a whole tier of cable channels like CSN, ESPN, TBS, and TNT in both standard and high def. I'm still getting my one premium, HBO, as well as my network HD channels and some other cable channels like MLB TV. All of the channels that are missing now worked fine all day Monday after the CC was installed.

So I called Comcast last night and of course no one had any idea what is going on. The first Rep I talked to looked at my info and said everything looked fine. At one point she must have been trying to send a hit to the card because she said, "I'm sending it but it keeps coming back". Then she transferred me to someone who supposedly knew more about cableCARDS. This lady had me go channel by channel to let her know which ones were missing. After that, she told me a tech would need to come out. I told her that I really can't afford to take another day off of work and that the problem was probably on their end and that sending a Tech was unneccessary. I was transferred again to lady that had me take the card out and then re-insert it. Still nothing, so she then told me to restart the TiVo box which didn't work either. At that point I was put on hold, waited about 30 minutes, and then either got disconnected or hung up on.

From my own research, I believe that the channels I'm missing are not authorized on the card. When I check the Conditional Access screen on one of the channels, it shows "Auth:NS" which I would imagine means 'Not Subscribed'.

Anyway, I sent an e-mail to the ComcastCares e-mail addy so hopefully they will be able to help me out. But if anyone has had this problem or knows exactly what is wrong and knows what to say to a Comcast Rep to solve this, the help would be appreciated.
You are correct, "Auth:NS" does mean that whatever channel you are currently tuned to is not recognized by the Cablecard as a channel that you should receive. This can be caused by: 1-incorrect service codes on your account 2-the card needs these signals sent to it: "Cablecard Validation", "initialize", and a"hit". If the card does not receive the proper activation signal to decrypt the channels you subscribe to, (in other words, the card needs a signal telling it which channels are authorized for viewing) It is possible to receive HBO, but other encrypted channels can be gray/black. Here is a link to help you:

http://www.tivo.com/setupandsupport/...I_screens.html
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:57 PM   #6203
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So this ended up being wishful thinking.

Of course, things went wrong from the get go. When I turned in my non-DVR, the rep in the local office made a mistake about my equipment which had to be corrected. That took 40 minutes.

Then, after an hour, we couldn't get the CCs working. Apparently, at least here in Jacksonville, the CSRs are unable to activate CCs themselves and have to get a "lead" or a "supervisor" to do it. So, the CSR was able to get a "lead" on instant messenger to try to activate my cards. At first, she got the Serial # wrong. Then the Host ID was wrong. Then the card wouldn't activate under the correct serial number. It was all downhill from there.

After another hour and a half on the phone with the lead guy from the "Cablecard Team", we couldn't get either of my cards to work. I would either have an Unknown 02 or Unknown 07 error under Host Validation on the Conditional Access screen. The "channel test" would never work, just a Grey screen with "no channels available".

So tomorrow I get to take these 2 cards back, get 2 new ones and start all over again. Just to be safe, I'm doing a restore on the Tivo so it's back to factory settings.

A follow-up to my last post. Believe it or not, I actually got it working tonight. Right after i posted, I decided to give it another try. Luckily, the supervisor I spoke with earlier gave me his number and I called him back after doing a factory reset on the Tivo.

He was up for another try, and this time I received the 161-4 code for both cards. At first, I had no channels. I probably didn't wait long enough. So instead, I went ahead and did a full program guide download, followed by a forced software update on the Tivo. After all that completed and installed, I'm now up and running and currently watching Conan in HD.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:10 AM   #6204
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Just to update my situation...

As I stated earlier, I contacted the Comcast Cares e-mail address with my situation. Within a few hours I received an e-mail back from someone at Comcast's City Desk who told me that he would have one of his contacts from my area look into the problem. Shortly after that I received another e-mail from an executive in my area who fixed the problem immediately and apologized for it not being fixed sooner. As suspected, it was a problem with something being coded wrong on the billing end.

As dswallow said earlier, that e-mail is the way to get CC problems fixed. It appears they know exactly who to contact to get CC issues resolved. I urge anyone out there having problems to contact Comcast Cares and save yourself the headache of dealing with uneducated CSR's.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:22 AM   #6205
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I just got this same thing today. I got a second TivoHD for the bedroom and when I called to get the second M card I was told it would be $1.50 + $6.95.

I went ahead and did it but it really torks me because Comcast here in FC has these signs ALL OVER THE CITY on benches "I love free HD"... Well it certainly doesn't feel free.
I just told them I didnt want HD service at this time just the channels available in the Digital Tier I was subscribing to. Lo and behold, once the cablecard was installed and properly working, all the HD channels I expected are coming in loud and clear No $6.95 "HD Service" charge.

Now, that being said, you do have to pay another outlet fee for a second television on another outlet that is something like $5-$6 I think. Although, that should include the first cablecard on that outlet free again as well so not $1.50 + $6.95 I should think.

Of course, I'm in ATL and all markets do differ, so...
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:30 AM   #6206
bnbhoha
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Originally Posted by starmanj View Post
Beware folks. Comcast and I have been wrangling for 3 months over their NEW cablecard rate fees. I was told they were going to charge me $2/month for the 2nd, 3rd, etc. cablecard. So I bought 3 TIVO-HD's. My bill is $14/month more ($7 per cablecard)-- the same as a basic digital cable box! That on top of Tivo fees. After 20 calls to different people, most of them saying I really had 3 cable boxes (which I don't), a guy from billing called and said their NEW rate structure for cablecards are $7/month regardless if I am using 2-way service (on demand, guides, etc.) or not, regardless if it's a full cable box or not.

This kills the economics of buying TIVO boxes-- you buy a TIVO, they charge $12/month, Comcast charges you $7/month-- it costs much more than renting a Comcast DVR now.

I hate Comcast. I'm stuck with a TIVO contract now that locks me into Comcast.


Agree, I just called and they said it would be $5.99/montly for cable card and $8.99/monthly for HD Service. Total is $15/month. To rent a comcast HD box it's $16/month and includes the HD service. Buying a Tivo wouldn't make sense.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:58 PM   #6207
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Originally Posted by bnbhoha View Post
Agree, I just called and they said it would be $5.99/montly for cable card and $8.99/monthly for HD Service. Total is $15/month. To rent a comcast HD box it's $16/month and includes the HD service. Buying a Tivo wouldn't make sense.
Well it wouldn't make sense if the only thing you take into consideration is the price. TiVo is worth more than a Cable company DVR. It sucks Comcast raised the prices, but it sure isn't going to force me into using their POS DVR. If I have to pay a little more for TIVo then so be it. I pay a little more to drive a Lexus too. It doesn't make sense, since I can get a KIA cheaper, but hey, "I'm worth it".
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:14 PM   #6208
jlb
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Not really a CC post, but related.

Due to some leaks in our family room from ice dams and all, we wanted to have Comcast out to wire a second jack up to our bedroom. This would allow us to move the TV and TiVo up while we deal with water/ice/etc.

I called comcast Sunday night. Obtained a quote of $24.95 to do the work. Scheduled an appointment for Monday 9-11.

All went swimmingly (no pun intended) well. Guy arrived about 9:20. Very nice and cordial. Did good clean, quick work, and put up quite well with the snow and ice we had to remove to get him access to where he needed to make a split.

We did talk about CC installs. He expressed concern that folks in the "home office" have their heads up their a$$es and don't know what they are doing to provision cards. Oh well.

So, if anyone is looking for a good tech referal in the Newburyport, MA area, ask for Chris (didn't remember to get his last name or tech number, but PM me if interested and I can find out).
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:25 AM   #6209
jrgutknecht
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I hope I don't jinx myself

I wanted to post what has been a successful installation, however I hope I don't jinx myself in the process. It seems like a few others have posted positive experiences only to have to come back later and post of problems. But in the interest of not just posting about bad experiences, here goes:

This is Comcast Chicago, northern suburbs out of McHenry.

After the cable company DVR mysteriously deleted all of my "series recording" for just one network, I had finally had enough. So the next day I went out to Best Buy and bought a TivoHD. Hooked it up, activated and it updated it's software. Although it was only receiving basic analog cable, it was working fine. Scheduled Cable Card install for as soon as possible, turned out to be one week later.

Cable card installation was scheduled for 1 to 4pm. Call came in at 2:15 from automated system (shown as "telemarketer" on caller ID??) telling me the installer would be out between 2:15 and 3:15. As soon as I hung up, the doorbell rang.

I was surprised to see two techs at the door. I got the impression that one of them was new and possibly just tagging along to get some experience.

When I made the appointment I asked for 2 S cards or 1 M card. They arrived with 2 M cards. They installed one of them in slot 1 and then called their office.

20 minutes later (seriously, 20 minutes!!) someone finally answered. The installer said "I need to activate a cable card" and I could hear the rep on the other end "Oh, my supervisor has to do that" Then the wonderful Comcast hold music again. This time it was only 10 minutes to wait for the supervisor. The installer read off the numbers and hung up. They checked a couple channels, including one HD channel and one encrypted channel and then left.

Total install time, 1 minute, total waiting time 30 minutes.

I re-ran the guided setup and Tivo proceeded to download and update it's data. A couple hours later I added all of my season passes and it's been fine since.

Although I was replacing the cable company DVR, I decided to keep it until I was certain the cable card was working. So far (knock on wood) they have been working fine all weekend.

One observation I made was that the picture quality looked MUCH better than the cable DVR. I thought at first it was just my Tivo colored glasses that made me think the picture was better, so I tuned the cable DVR (Motorola 3412) and Tivo to the same channel and paused them both at approximately the same image. Flipping back and forth between inputs on the TV (using component input for both) between Tivo and cable DVR, it was plainly obvious the picture on the Tivo was brighter, the colors were bolder, and the entire image was much sharper.

So far, no cable card issues at all. Welcome back Tivo!
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:42 PM   #6210
danm628
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Another success

I have had a Series 3 for a couple of years but had never put cable cards in it. Everything I wanted to receive was on the analog channels. (And I was traveling a lot for work, so I wasn't watching TV as much.) But Comcast is moving to digital in my area, only basic cable will still be analog. I called Comcast and scheduled a Saturday morning install.

The installer arrived about 15 minutes after the scheduled time. He was a little confused by the Series 3, he had only dealt with TiVo HD units before. So I had to explain to him the Series 3 requirement of two cable cards instead of a single M-Card. He had assumed he had an M-Card to install and a spare in case it was bad; instead he had two cards for installation.

It took under 30 minutes to get both cards installed and paired. Once he left I re-ran guided setup to pick up the additional channels and then went out to lunch while it updated the database. By the time I returned it was done, I had guide data for the additional channels.

One oddity, one show on an analog channel showed up coming new episodes but none were being scheduled. I deleted the season pass and added a new one for the show which scheduled the shows. I'm not sure if this was caused by the repeated guided setup or something else.

Overall Comcast was a reasonably pleasant experience. The customer service reps knew about TiVo, though not about Series 3 vs TiVo HD differences. The installer had done a few TiVos before, again he had never seen a Series 3 before though. After reading many of the horror stories here, I feel very lucky.

- Dan
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