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Old 02-03-2007, 02:55 PM   #2101
rcr2
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Thinking about it, and reading the threads again, I'm just fed up.

I've filed a complain with the FCC (fcc [dot ] gov/cgb/complaints_general.htm) and sent Comcast a letter asking for resolution.

I might just call Verizon and find out when FIOS will be in my town. They're supposively laying cable somewhere nearby.
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:07 PM   #2102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcr2
Thinking about it, and reading the threads again, I'm just fed up.
I've filed a complain with the FCC (fcc [dot ] gov/cgb/complaints_general.htm) and sent Comcast a letter asking for resolution.I might just call Verizon and find out when FIOS will be in my town. They're supposively laying cable somewhere nearby.
I'm not trying to deter you, and if you do this, you might just get what you want. But also realize, that with the two deadlines TiVo has offered for lifetime xfrs, it is possible a lot of cable companies have been overwhelmed with requests for cableCARDS that were almost dead. Mostly only TV's were using them and TV manufacturers have pretty much stopped due to lack of demand. It is possible that they are having trouble with supply. Although, the larger cable co's should easily be able to get them from other regions, you'd think.

But think about it. Wouldn't it make sense for cable co.'s to make it as easy as possible for us to get cableCARDS? They are going in darn expensive equipment that just about guarantees we are going nowhere fast. Definitely not to satellite. Maybe if there is a local competitor, but I have none where I live. The only incentive for them is to push their own DVR. But if you already bought a TiVo, then there is NO GOOD REASON not to help you lock in to their system.
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:55 AM   #2103
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there is NO GOOD REASON not to help you lock in to their system.
But, there is also no good reason for them not to provide good customer service, or to require a tech to install just about any service, or any other number of stupid and arcane policies.

But, when you operate as a monopoly, you acquire certain behaviors which are distinctly not customer-friendly. I've worked for companies that were monopolies (or de facto monopolies) in various industries and they all seem to exhibit the same behaviors. Even when they are in regulated industries, companies tend to flout the law and do things that would hurt themselves if there were true options for choice.

I doubt that so many TiVo 3's are being purchased that it has completely tapped the CableCard supplies. Perhaps a local allocation, but these are large companies with the resources to get the supplies they need. Though they also are typically highly uncoordinated.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:52 AM   #2104
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Well, the cable guy finally showed up yesterday (four hours late for a 9AM-12PM appointment, i.e. during the beginning of our party)... He ended up determining that the second CableCARD wasn't set up for "digital plus", which meant it got the HD locals and apparently a handful of other random channels, but nothing else.

It was pretty hectic while he was there, so I haven't had a chance to go through every channel in detail yet, but things are looking good.

Drew
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Old 02-05-2007, 10:46 PM   #2105
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Comcast Installation Instructions

Ok folks without going through the entire hostory, I just finished a weeks worth of heartache with concast teying to get my dual cablecards woskinbg in my series 3. I did manage to swipe a comcast email with the EXACT procedure that works for the setup of the cablecards... so when your comcast guy shows up, print this out AND GIVE THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE INSTALLER - tell him to humor you and try this first. Has worked every time so far in my neck of the woods.

My cablecards also had the problem of not being programmed with the right channels, but the problem isnt the card, its the cards arent instaled / set up right and therefore dont accept the shot over the cable.

THIS IS VERBATIM FROM COMCAST. I'm posting this on blogs everywhere in hopes that nobody has to go what I went through with comcast, and hopefully this thread starts getting shorter... :-) GOOD LUCK!

"First thing that has to be done is to go into the tivo menu and delete all information. This process takes one hour. If we could have the call centers buy in and pre-call we might be able to have some customers do this before we arrive.

Second, in Set up, put on Cable Only, not on Cable Cards.

Third, unplug the tivo for three minutes.

Fourth, put in cable card 1 and do the par. and host and data. Then put in cable card 2 and do the par. and host and data.

Like magic they work. Hope that helps everyone. The only reason I can think of is that some jobs work right away is that the driver on the tivo is blank."
[EOM]

I assume the first step means to go into Setup on the tivo ,and do a 'Clear and Delete Everything' from the restart / reset menu. Your installer may be a contractor anyway and not privy to all of comcasts info, assuming this email even made it beyond my coffee table. Comcast will be in a heap of hurt when their customers start telling them how to install a cable card. Good luck to all...

Mike
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Old 02-06-2007, 01:06 AM   #2106
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Second, in Set up, put on Cable Only, not on Cable Cards.
I don't think you can even set up in the CableCards mode without having a CableCard in the first place.

Quote:
Third, unplug the tivo for three minutes.
Why? Doesn't make any sense.

Quote:
Fourth, put in cable card 1 and do the par. and host and data. Then put in cable card 2 and do the par. and host and data.
That's already the standard procedure on the TiVo instruction sheet.
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Old 02-06-2007, 01:54 AM   #2107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mre35
My cablecards also had the problem of not being programmed with the right channels, but the problem isnt the card, its the cards arent instaled / set up right and therefore dont accept the shot over the cable.

THIS IS VERBATIM FROM COMCAST. I'm posting this on blogs everywhere in hopes that nobody has to go what I went through with comcast, and hopefully this thread starts getting shorter... :-) GOOD LUCK!

"First thing that has to be done is to go into the tivo menu and delete all information. This process takes one hour. If we could have the call centers buy in and pre-call we might be able to have some customers do this before we arrive.

Second, in Set up, put on Cable Only, not on Cable Cards.

Third, unplug the tivo for three minutes.

Fourth, put in cable card 1 and do the par. and host and data. Then put in cable card 2 and do the par. and host and data.

Like magic they work. Hope that helps everyone. The only reason I can think of is that some jobs work right away is that the driver on the tivo is blank."
[EOM]

I assume the first step means to go into Setup on the tivo ,and do a 'Clear and Delete Everything' from the restart / reset menu. Your installer may be a contractor anyway and not privy to all of comcasts info, assuming this email even made it beyond my coffee table. Comcast will be in a heap of hurt when their customers start telling them how to install a cable card. Good luck to all...
I categorize this as "it worked for me, so this is the way to do it" where it has absolutely no technical merit.

I would never ask my installer to wait around for a "Clear and Delete Everything." I wouldn't even have my installer wait around for Guided Setup.

I had my two S3's installed after running through Guided Setup without the cards. While the installer followed the Tivo directions, even that isn't technically necessary - it's just easier to get one card working properly, and then move onto the other. Everything the installer needs to get both cards working is available once they insert the cards (Cablecard menus and Test Channels). Once the cards were activated, and test channels showed all the appropriate channels working, and my installer took off, did I run Guided Setup to get the right cablecard lineup.

The bigger thing comcast needs to learn is how to configure things in the headend - and these instructions don't help that at all.
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Old 02-06-2007, 10:15 AM   #2108
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I have had my s3 for a few weeks now. I now notice that cablecard 1 has lost the premium channels. Do I reseat card to try and correct that? or is a call to comcast?

really hope I do not have to call..it took 2 days and 4 comcast employees to get me working the first time...

Keith
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:30 PM   #2109
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got home and ended up twice on the phone trying to get the digital channels on card 1 to work...but no go...they hit the box and hit it again..I would guess that means time to go to comcast store and get replacement card...
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:47 PM   #2110
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Ask them if you have the proper digital packages on both cards. They need to authorize both separately.
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Old 02-06-2007, 09:37 PM   #2111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithaxis
got home and ended up twice on the phone trying to get the digital channels on card 1 to work...but no go...they hit the box and hit it again..I would guess that means time to go to comcast store and get replacement card...

Forgive me, it has been quite a while since this and so I can't remember all of the details but here is my (mini-)story:

After a week I lost my premiums on card one as well. I called up and at first they wanted to send someone out. I said NO! I asked if they could escalate my call to this unit they have that can handle cable cards and S3 TiVos (I had spoken to them once before). They did and a gentleman who I had spoken to once before asked me to look on the set-up screens and read some of the other numbers off to him. I forget exactly what he asked for but he said that the TiVo and their computers had gotten out of sync and he needed those numbers to get them working together again. Once he punched in those numbers the thing worked like a charm and has worked ever since.

Long story, short. . . I don't think you need new cards. You just need someone who knows how to make their computers talk to your TiVo.
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:11 AM   #2112
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My update

So, Comcast finally decided to send out a comcast employee (a supervisor) that specializes in cable cards.

First attempt (last friday) was a failure after trying about 6 cards.

Came back last night, and for the first time ever we were 100% successful in getting ONE card to work. The second slot is currently filled with a card that can not get any of the encrypted channels. We tried 6 cards total (all of the 2006 dated SA cards are just a complete no-go). They tried to "hit" it multiple times, but it just wouldn't do anything else.

He's coming back again with more cards to try to find one that works as well as the one in the first slot...sigh...

I'm dreading the fact that once this all works, I'll need a second s3 tivo for the downstairs...

-Kevin
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:55 AM   #2113
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A couple of Comcast contractors came by to install my 2 CC's yesterday. Partial success to report.

Slot1 worked right out of the gate. Good news so far...

Slot2 did not. The contractor was on my cordless phone w/ speakerphone (couldn't get Nextel reception at my house), so I got to listen in on quite a bit of the conversation he had with the call center.

I live in a former Adelphia town, equipped with SA gear, so we use SA CC's. The problem with the Slot2 card was that when the cards were inventoried and entered into the Comcast database, it was done incorrectly. Entering them in as "CableCARD" implies that they are Motorola CC's, and should be interoperated with thusly. Entering them in as "SA CableCARD" specifies that they are SA CC's (duh!). The card in Slot2 was improperly entered (simply "CableCARD" -- Moto flavored), and therefore wouldn't work with my town's head-end (SA flavored).

The contractor tried to find someone at the call center who had the authority to make the slight change in the database, but to no avail. So, I'm either going to have to call 800-COMCAST and get escalated to someone who can help me, or schedule yet another appointment to install another CC.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:08 AM   #2114
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PaulS,

Just out of curiosity, when slot2 didn't work, what was it doing wrong? Was it not getting EMMs? Was it not getting CP Auth? Just curious to see if it might apply to me since I'm in a region that was recently transitioned from Adelpha to Comcast.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:12 AM   #2115
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CP Auth was good. Everything looked fine on our end, except that we couldn't tune any channels at all.

I haven't had time at home to call Comcast and request hits to see if I get any EMMs. Maybe tonight (after Lost, of course!).
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:59 AM   #2116
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I'm not in that area (I'm in S. Jersey), and my 2nd card said "CP Auth" was good, it had 61 "progs", but no EMMS.

I assume CP Auth is "Cable Provider", but the rest of the abbreviations mean nothing to me.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:14 AM   #2117
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KevinG said:

Quote:
(I'm in S. Jersey),
When did you last talk to Comcast to get new cards?

I'm being told there are no cards anywhere in the NJ/NY/Philly area (I'm in Central Jersey).

Any chance of giving me the number/name of who you're talking to? I'm ready to send my Series 3 back unopened.
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:14 PM   #2118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcr2
KevinG said:
When did you last talk to Comcast to get new cards?

I'm being told there are no cards anywhere in the NJ/NY/Philly area (I'm in Central Jersey).

Any chance of giving me the number/name of who you're talking to? I'm ready to send my Series 3 back unopened.
Well, there are certainly different areas. For example, where I am, there's no such thing as Motorola Cable Cards...they ONLY use SA cards (and they seem to be plentiful, they bring handfuls at a time, although most are bad!). So, I wouldn't place much value on the fact that I can get them in S. Jersey, but they are telling you that they are nowhere to be found... They might only use Motorola, for example. Or, maybe they also only use SA but know that all of the 2006 cards appear to be bad?

I was close to sending mine back as well, but since I have fantastic OTA reception, it served it's main purpose even without the cards.

Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:43 PM   #2119
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What do you use for OTA reception?

Also, without a descrambler/set top box, I wouldn't get any of the digital channels (much less the HD ones).
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:54 PM   #2120
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Another successful install (WA)

I'm in the Seattle suburbs. Picked up two cards at Comcast's payment center - no questions asked.

Called to activate them - frontline CSR transferred me to a rep in the repair dept, who was very pleasant & helpful.

Card 1 kicked on with no problems - saw the 161-4 error, but we both knew that wasn't a problem.

Card 2 was a little more problematic - she had to send about 3 or 4 hits for that one, and I ejected and re-inserted it at one point. But it eventually came on as well.

Overall, a pretty smooth experience. I agree with other Seattle-area posters - we seem to have it pretty good with Comcast out here compared to other areas.

(Now, if I could just get the 8.1 update so that I can go wireless with WPA...)
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:08 PM   #2121
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For what it's worth the person I've been talking to at Comcast is saying the same thing about the CableCARD availability in this region (Central NJ). He's currently contacting someone in a central warehouse to determine exactly when more will arrive and what's going on with them. He mentioned that in the most recently received batches thay've had a lot of problems and apparently some 300 of them even had been stolen. So who knows what's happening.

This person was referred to me after I faxed a lengthy list of problems to Comcast's corporate offices in Philadelphia. As I find out more details, I'll post them here.
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:15 PM   #2122
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Successful in Stockton, CA area

My install was successful on the Thursday before the Super Bowl. Two CSR's showed up with three Motorola cable cards. Neither had ever seen a Series 3 Tivo. I handed the install instructions to one of them, and we proceeded.

The first cable card worked very quickly after the CSR made the phone call. All HD channels were available, including the scrambled ones.

The second cable card was more of a problem. Initially, only the HD locals were viewable. The CSR made a couple of phone calls, and after a couple of 161-4 errors both cards were working.

Both cards have been flawless for one week as of today.

I was told on the phone when I made the appointment that the first card would be free, and the second would cost $1.50 per month.
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:30 PM   #2123
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Just to add some positive balance to the this thread, here's my installation report from yesterday in the San Francisco bay area. After reading this thread I was completely paranoid that this would turn into a 3 hour exercise in futility if we sneezed at the wrong time during the install. First, much to my dismay, the installer didn't read the instructions, as he said he'd done a few Tivo HD installations before, and promptly jammed both cablecards into the slots at once. Not a good start, I thought. Well, we waited a couple of minutes until the first cablecard message came on the screen and he called the dispatcher with the displayed data and requested an hit on cablecard1. Then the second card window appeared, same drill. We couldn't get any stations but then saw the 161-4 "error" appear and slowly the channels started appearing on the first card. The second card also started working pretty quickly after that, including HBO. So, total time, about 20 minutes. So I guess the lesson learned here is that it CAN work, even if you do it "wrong". It's probably a matter of making sure you know which card is in which slot and hitting them in order, hence the specific instructions that Tivo provides.
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:35 PM   #2124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcr2
What do you use for OTA reception?

Also, without a descrambler/set top box, I wouldn't get any of the digital channels (much less the HD ones).
I just have one of those Zenith Silver Sensor(?) things in my attic. I'm only 20 miles from the antenna farm in PA though. We also have DirecTV on 2 DirecTivos in the meantime...so we weren't missing anything while trying to get the Series 3 working.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:30 PM   #2125
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Originally Posted by dswallow
He mentioned that in the most recently received batches thay've had a lot of problems and apparently some 300 of them even had been stolen.
What's one going to do with a stolen CableCard? Until they are paired up with the head-end, they don't do much good.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:34 PM   #2126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesH
What's one going to do with a stolen CableCard? Until they are paired up with the head-end, they don't do much good.
1) Encase them in Lexan and sell them as paperweights.

2) Drill a hole in them and put a chain through it and sell them as jewelry.

3) Weld or glue them together and call it art.

...and so on...
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:10 PM   #2127
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Anyone in the NoVa area been successful lately?

I'm *this* close to starting the arduous process again to get this thing fully operational.

Right now I'm getting basic & local HiDef on both cards.
Extended/digital on one card and no HBO/HBOHD/DiscHD/INHD etc on either card.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:34 PM   #2128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulS
CP Auth was good. Everything looked fine on our end, except that we couldn't tune any channels at all.

I haven't had time at home to call Comcast and request hits to see if I get any EMMs. Maybe tonight (after Lost, of course!).
Update :

Called the 800-COMCAST number tonight, and got a knowledgable and helpful CSR. No, really I did!

Of course we had to power-cycle the TiVo (no card yanks, though). She did some fiddling of my account also, and hit my cards. Net result was that Card1 remained fully functional (as before), and Card2 became somewhat functional (only broadcast HD channels tuned, no analogs or other digitals tuned). She said she'd have to set up an escalation call, which should happen within a day or so.

She did say that she could see the "SA CableCARD" and "CableCARD" clearly on her display, but she wasn't able to correct that. Hopefully the escalation will take care of that.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:50 PM   #2129
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Originally Posted by Roderigo
I categorize this as "it worked for me, so this is the way to do it" where it has absolutely no technical merit.

I would never ask my installer to wait around for a "Clear and Delete Everything." I wouldn't even have my installer wait around for Guided Setup.

The bigger thing comcast needs to learn is how to configure things in the headend - and these instructions don't help that at all.
No technical merit? did you try it? yea, I'm posting it because it works, absolutely. What comcast needs to figure out is that while they're raising their rates, they dont have a clue what they're doing 90% of the time, and they're severely understaffed in the SF Bay Area. And GUESS WHAT? They helped MY installers, so yea, it has technical merit, with all due respect, and 4 more successful installs on another board from the same post.

If you dont want to ask your cable installer to wait around for a reset, fine, then wait 3 days to try to get someone back. Maybe youre sitting around playing video games all day, my time is worth something. Dont ask a cable installer to read the tivo instructions either, they look it over and do what they want anyway. In any case, if it doesnt help you, fine. keep it to yourself. its working for everyone else with similar issues in my area.
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:30 AM   #2130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mre35
No technical merit? did you try it? yea, I'm posting it because it works, absolutely. What comcast needs to figure out is that while they're raising their rates, they dont have a clue what they're doing 90% of the time, and they're severely understaffed in the SF Bay Area. And GUESS WHAT? They helped MY installers, so yea, it has technical merit, with all due respect, and 4 more successful installs on another board from the same post.

If you dont want to ask your cable installer to wait around for a reset, fine, then wait 3 days to try to get someone back. Maybe youre sitting around playing video games all day, my time is worth something. Dont ask a cable installer to read the tivo instructions either, they look it over and do what they want anyway. In any case, if it doesnt help you, fine. keep it to yourself. its working for everyone else with similar issues in my area.
I understand why you're getting defensive, but your post is about like saying "my installer hopped on his left foot counterclockwise in a 10' diameter circle starting 3' NNE from my Series 3 for 11 minutes and my CableCARDs worked, so that's what your installer has to do to make them work, too." I know you're just trying to be helpful, but what you relate simply doesn't have anything to do with the operation or authorization of the CableCARDs. It's certainly good to know all the different things that have worked for people in order to, perhaps, try to identify where things might go wrong. But just because things went OK following those steps doesn't mean any of them were necessary, either.
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