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Old 02-08-2007, 12:45 AM   #2131
mre35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswallow
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 think folks are missing the part about this is what COMCAST is sending to their installers, like I said, I'm posting verbatim from a comcast email. So rather than bash me for posting it, maybe it would be more constructive to send a copy to comcast and ask them if this is the training they're giving their techs? I did. And it took a friggin week for something this mundane to work.

Anyway I hear what you're saying, but its another case of dont shoot the messenger. I'm just another 'victim.'

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Old 02-08-2007, 05:14 AM   #2132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mre35
this is what COMCAST is sending to their installers
Then Comcast is simply wasting a lot of time and resources with bad instructions.

Unless the S3 is somehow totally messed up to begin with, there is absolutely no reason to go through Clear and Delete Everything and rerun the Guided Setup. No reason to shut off the S3 for 3 minutes.

My installer came and put in both cards at the same time. Called in the serial numbers, and both cards worked fine. Why? Because the person at the headend set up my account properly and sent out the correct sequences of signals. My installer was here for only about 10 minutes.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:01 AM   #2133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC0TLANDF0REVER
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.
I did finally succeed with mine, though it seems like we might have different problems. Mine ultimately was quite simple technically, in that my Cablecards were never properly initialized *at all*, never getting beyond "Waiting for CP Auth." It was "simply" a matter of having non-clueless people on both the installation end and in the office at the same time. Up until the very end, all the CSRs I talked to seemed to think the *only* conceivable answer was "The cards must be defective."

But my guess is that your problem is slightly different, as I never had *any* channel other than the unencrypted analog 1-100 and unencrypted local channels 200-220 until I finally got the clueful tech who asked me for Host ID and (Other) ID numbers for both cards, and entered them into the system.

My hunch after reading all these messages is that your problem might be more on the billing and "what channels am I authorized to receive" side, so my experience might or might not be encouraging.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:09 AM   #2134
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I see Comcast around here is adding the National Geographic HD channel at the end of the month. Will my current cable cards start receiving that channel automatically or will they have to send a signal to tell them to decrypt the channel?
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:20 AM   #2135
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What should I see in the lineup?

I ran guided setup more than once now. I've looked through the alternate lineups (there were only 2) And I'm still confused.

My lineup only includes the analog basic channels. I've done a channel scan and found over 300 total channels. (about 2/3 digital.) I havn'e gone through them yet to see which I can get because I'm not sure it's worth the time if the tivo doesn't have them listed in the lineup - There won't be any guide data.

I don't have any CableCARDs installed yet. I'm trying to figure what I can and cannot get without them.

What does it take to get Tivo to show me a lineup with the digital channels? On my S2 I had to pick between 'extended basic cable', and 'digital basic cable'. On the S3 I can't find anywhere to do this.

Should I tell it I have CableCARDs even though I don't? Is that the missing thing?
In guided setup so far I've always told it I don't have them, is that why it's only showing me analog lineups?

-Kyle
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:24 AM   #2136
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You won't get guide data for your digital cable channels without CableCARDs. You can look through the channels the channel scan found, and even create manual recordings on them, but that's as far as it goes.

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Old 02-08-2007, 08:30 AM   #2137
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Well, after 5 total visits, I'm finally up and running.

Comcast employee came last night to replace the card in slot 2, within 15 minutes the new card was running just as well as the card in slot 1. Fingers crossed that they STAY working.
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:52 AM   #2138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azitnay
You won't get guide data for your digital cable channels without CableCARDs. You can look through the channels the channel scan found, and even create manual recordings on them, but that's as far as it goes.

Drew
I was under the impression that if your cable company did things the 'right way' then the Tivo would be able to find the digital channels in it's lineup whether you had CableCARDs or not.

I know there are problems where the local Cable Plant doesn't send the correct info down the wire. It may still be that I'm on one of those networks. I'm just trying to figure out that for sure.

Is there anyone out there with out cable cards that has unencrypted channels working (not just tunable, but recordable?)

If so were they in your lineup?

Did you have to answer 'yes' to the cablecard question even though you don't have them?

-Kyle
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:23 AM   #2139
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Just an incidental chuckle, but I thought James Lileks perfectly described what it's like to deal with Comcast today (though it was, in his case, DirecTV):

Quote:
In all fairness, they listened carefully to my diagnoses and didn’t waste my time with suggestions like “is the TV turned on, and not facing into the wall?” But it took three calls to get bumped up to a DVR technician, and once I had reached that rarified level it was like landing in America after a year in a country where no one spoke English.

http://www.lileks.com/bleats/archive...07/020807.html
And it's not usually a question of English fluency, literally speaking, but just general comprehension of the problem....
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:43 AM   #2140
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CableCARD with Basic Cable

I just got Comcast's BASIC CABLE SERVICE (as in, analog channels 2-32).... it took me a while, but I found the unencrypted digital broadcasts of all my local stations (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC).

My question is this: if I get CableCARD(s) from Comcast, will I get programming information for these digital channels despite the fact that I only have the basic cable service? It would be really nice if my HD shows recorded themselves instead of scheduling them manually......
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:11 AM   #2141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fergusean
I just got Comcast's BASIC CABLE SERVICE (as in, analog channels 2-32).... it took me a while, but I found the unencrypted digital broadcasts of all my local stations (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC).

My question is this: if I get CableCARD(s) from Comcast, will I get programming information for these digital channels despite the fact that I only have the basic cable service? It would be really nice if my HD shows recorded themselves instead of scheduling them manually......
I have Limited Basic + Digital Classic and get guide data for all HD channels (except premiums). CableCards are the way to go.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:13 AM   #2142
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Yeah, but how about without Digital Classic? I guess my point is: does the programming information provided by the CableCARD depend on what cable subscription you have? I know that standard HD is included with all digital packages, but I don't have a digital package... I have Comcast's $14.95/month most basic package.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:43 AM   #2143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt
I see Comcast around here is adding the National Geographic HD channel at the end of the month. Will my current cable cards start receiving that channel automatically or will they have to send a signal to tell them to decrypt the channel?
In the past, Comcast's new channels on my S3 showed up automatically.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:57 AM   #2144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjmcdonald
I was under the impression that if your cable company did things the 'right way' then the Tivo would be able to find the digital channels in it's lineup whether you had CableCARDs or not.
No digital lineup and no digital guide data at all without CableCards.
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:00 PM   #2145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fergusean
Yeah, but how about without Digital Classic? I guess my point is: does the programming information provided by the CableCARD depend on what cable subscription you have? I know that standard HD is included with all digital packages, but I don't have a digital package... I have Comcast's $14.95/month most basic package.
With a CableCard installed, you will have a digital lineup which gives you the guide data for ALL channels, including the ones you cannot receive.
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:55 PM   #2146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fergusean
Yeah, but how about without Digital Classic? I guess my point is: does the programming information provided by the CableCARD depend on what cable subscription you have? I know that standard HD is included with all digital packages, but I don't have a digital package... I have Comcast's $14.95/month most basic package.
You should not need to subscribe to any digital package to get broadcast networks in HD with CableCard. Those channels should be unencrypted as you have discovered without CableCards. Also you need to talk to Comcast to make sure, for your location, they will allow CableCards without a digital package.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:02 PM   #2147
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After two weeks of waiting for an appointment to get cable cards due to unavailability issues in my area, I finally had my appointment today. After going through at least a 1/2 dozen bad cards, the Comcast rep. was able to get 2 cards programmed and working with my lineup including movie channels. There were issues while he was doing it that resulted in not getting any channel above 27 on at least one of the cards. My installer told me it was his first Tivo install. So we tested both cable cards and they were both working before he left. After he left I was channel surfing around the 300's and all of a sudden on cable card 2 I got an authorization error on a Tivo grey screen. The card wouldn't pick up any channels after that. I switched to Cable card#1 and this one had reverted back to the lower channels like he was having troubles before he got them to work. I got back in touch with him and told him of my plight and he said he would try to have the cards reflashed from the head end. Hopefully, by the time I get back home from work all will be welll. The system looked great for about 5 minutes which is encouraging. Also worth noting is while he was trying to set them up in the system, my Tivo rebooted on him twice without warning. In the two weeks I've been using it in analog mode it has never reset by itself. They definitely need to make this easier to do. If this wasn't a hobby of mine I'm not sure I could keep putting up with this aggravation of not being able to get cards and not having them work when they're installed. I'm glad I have some level of expectations from reading this forum and I'm comforted to know other people have gone through extensive aggravations before getting their unit to work correctly. I had no idea what a project this was going to become. By the way, when my installer called the head end office to have these cards hit, after telling the person on the phone what he was about to do, he said"why is that the reaction of everybody I've ever talked to when I mention cable cards." I guess it's a running joke at the company. I suspect the reason they tell everybody they are out of stock is because of all the lost man hours in the field for their install reps. Good luck everybody who is in a similar predicament & good luck Tivo. Tivo has a great product that appears to be ahead of the technology curve of the cable operators in the field to get them to function properly. Unless that is by Comcast's design and unspoken mission.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:11 PM   #2148
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Just so people know - there are Comcast techs who know how to do this stuff in some areas. My install took a half hour and I've been up and running for months without any major problems. I've had 2 random reboots in ~4 months, only 1 of which affected me (cut 5 minutes off of one recording). Other than that, it's worked flawlessly. I'm Comcast - Boston area - Motorola cable cards. I get the platinum service (i.e. pretty much every channel they offer), and I've never had any channel that I'm subscribed to go out on me.

Best of luck to all y'all down in Jersey. It sounds like Comcast hell down there for Tivo S3 owners.
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:05 AM   #2149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker
You should not need to subscribe to any digital package to get broadcast networks in HD with CableCard. Those channels should be unencrypted as you have discovered without CableCards.
Reasonable people disagree about whether providing HD locals in-the-clear is required or not. What we do know, though, is that Comcast 'round here provides HD locals in-the-clear, but encrypts ADS locals.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:04 AM   #2150
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Success at last!

January 9 (Visit 1) : My usual Adelphia installer shows up, doesn't have any CableCARDs. Explains some sort of software update, and says they won't be in stock for another couple of weeks.

January 30 (Phone call 1) : Call up 800-COMCAST to reschedule an install. CSR can't schedule an appointment, indicating that there aren't any in stock.

February 1 (Office visit) : Walk into the local Adelphia/Comcast office. Lady at counter says they have 'em in stock, scheduled an appointment.

February 5 (Visit 2) : Two contractors (one Comcast, one former Adelphia) show up with 2 CC's. Pop 'em both in and make a call to HQ. First one works fine immediately. Second one doesn't work at all. Apparently, the second card was inventoried incorrectly. Entering in "CableCARD" into the database implies that it's a Motorola card. Entering "SA CableCARD" infers that it's an SA card. Our head-end uses SA gear. First card was entered correctly, second one was not, so that explains the no-worky situation. No one currently at the Advanced Tech center is authorized to correct the problem, so we're finished for the day. BONUS : REMOVAL OF THE 8300 POS! YAHOO!

Feburary 7 (Phone call 2) : Call 800-COMCAST and get a very helpful CSR. She corrects a billing problem, notes the "SA CableCARD problem", and hits the 2nd CC a couple of times. 2nd tuner now gets ABC-HD, NBC-HD, CBS-HD, Fox-HD, PBS-HD, and nothing else. Nothing else works, so she sets up an escalation call with Tier 2.

Feburary 8 (Phone call 3) : Tier2 calls me and corrects the "SA CableCARD" inventory problem. Made sure all data from CC is entered properly into their computers. Repeated hits don't have any effect. Still only receive broadcast HD channels. We end up deciding to have an installer come later on the in day.

February 8 (Visit 3) : Installer was supposed to be here between 4-7, ended up showing around 7:20. Had four CC's with him, and said that his supervisor had to drive down to Lawrence, MA (from Nashua, NH) to get them. They're pretty scarce, apparently. Plugged the first one in, made the call, waited a few minutes, and it just worked. Nice and easy, just like the first one.

I have to say, for as much interaction I had with Comcast about setting up these CableCARDs, from CSRs to installers to Tier2 support, every one of them was very nice, professional, and was clearly trying their best to make this work. No clowns or dumb-asses, which was nice. Thumbs up, Comcast.
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Old 02-09-2007, 09:26 AM   #2151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kido
try this. ask the CSR if you can rent a HD set top box to receive local HD channels on your current basic cable package. tell them you are not interested in DVRs or any extras like PPV or VOD. if they say you can, ask them for a quote for just the locals and then for any extra HD channels you may be interested in, like ESPNHD, DiscoveryHD, HBOHD, etc.. then ask them if you have a HDTV that supports cablecards, could you rent one of those instead of the STB and what would that cost. verify that the quotes for the STB remain the same for a cablecard. if they confirm the above, then ask about getting 2 cablecards for your S3.
FYI, this didn't work for me in Denver metro.. they told me I could get an HD STB for $6.95/mo, but cablecards don't work without digital cable.

Technically I guess he's right, there shouldn't be any reason to have a cablecard in a normal situation to receive unencrypted HD...
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:49 AM   #2152
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Ok. I think I finally might be getting somewhere. I was just on a 45min conference call with Comcast/Baltimore and Scientific Atlanta tech support in Georgia. They were trying loads of stuff, and asked me to check my stuff every 15 minutes or so. It sounds like they're having a hell of a time updating the pod file on the CableCARD and POD server (also sounds like this Comcast is somewhat unique in that there are seperate CableCARD and POD servers -- sounds like most places have both on one machine). Things are getting a little complicated, so SA's going to get their top tech involved. It sounds like he was at lunch, so I should be getting another conference call in the next hour or so.

Good thing I work from home. But that just means I'll have to make up some of my work in the evening.
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:47 PM   #2153
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Oh joyous day!

It looks like Comcast Baltimore has finally solved their issues with getting the SA CableCARDs authorized. If you're in the area, I suggest you call up and have your cards removed and readded to your account. I think that is all a CSR would need to do. I was dealing with a NOC engineer, so he was able to issue command lines to unbind and rebind the cards to the HostID. If you talk to a CSR, I think they would have to remove and readd the cards to your account (just speculating).

Looks like my 5.5 week ordeal has finally come to an end!!! I guess the next step is to make sure the CP Auth persists. I know some people have trouble where they lose authorization every couple of weeks. I hope this is my last post to this thread.

YAY!
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Old 02-09-2007, 02:29 PM   #2154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam1115
Technically I guess he's right, there shouldn't be any reason to have a cablecard in a normal situation to receive unencrypted HD...
QAM mapping is the main reason. The cable companies do not publish the physical RF channels, and they're free to change them at anytime, so CableCard is essentially the only way to tune to those channels consistently.
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Old 02-09-2007, 02:34 PM   #2155
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Installer left a short time ago. He brought 4 cards, one of which was DOA.

He said Comcast is having computer issues today (Chicago suburbs) and while he called to activate both cards he said it would take some time for them to 'take'.

I was fine with that, but now when I look at Card 1's 'pairing' information via the menu, the info is all zeroed out...except for the unit address, which is zeros with '129' at the end.

Card 2's information is populated normally...and while he was here, I could swear Card 1 was the same. Not sure what's going on. These are both Motorola cards, v04.21.

(I can check the status on Card 1 and that info is populated)

Anybody have any similar experience?
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:33 AM   #2156
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When I got home on Thursday night I gave my friendly Comcast CS department a call and explained I wasn't getting any channels on my two CC's above channel 23. He had the cards "rehit" a couple times and I pulled the plug a couple of times on the power and slowly but surely I was able to increase the channel line up a few at a time until finally I was getting all the channels I was supposed to. So now I had both cards working with all the channels I was supposed to but intermittently I now get authorization errors on my cards which I must correct by pulling the power on my unit and having the unit reset. It appears after resetting my box by unplugging it, the channels are restored to it's authorized state. I've had to do this periodically since Thursday night when I was able to get it resolved with my channel lineup. Anybody else experiencing this type of problem with their Comcast CC's? I'm hoping that one of these times that the channels just stay authorized the way they are supposed to. I wonder if this is the new process that I am just going to have to live with or if one or both of my cc's need replacing. Any suggestions from the crew? I'll keep you posted if this persists.
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:54 AM   #2157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran Horn
Installer left a short time ago. He brought 4 cards, one of which was DOA.

He said Comcast is having computer issues today (Chicago suburbs) and while he called to activate both cards he said it would take some time for them to 'take'.

I was fine with that, but now when I look at Card 1's 'pairing' information via the menu, the info is all zeroed out...except for the unit address, which is zeros with '129' at the end.

Card 2's information is populated normally...and while he was here, I could swear Card 1 was the same. Not sure what's going on. These are both Motorola cards, v04.21.

(I can check the status on Card 1 and that info is populated)

Anybody have any similar experience?
Card 1 is Bad. I had the same issue with my cards when they were installed. I also am in the chicago area. Didn't have the computer issue, just a dead card.
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:57 AM   #2158
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So, today was my install day. Supposively the Comcast tech guy didn't know to upgrade the firmware on the cards before he got to my house. They tried to upgrade them through the Tivo but after 40 minutes it still said "updating firmware" and then we would get the blue screen of updating channels which never ended.

When we go to the cablecard screen to find the information to call in the cards, it says "Cable Card is not in normal operation".

Any ideas? the tech guys just went back to their office to upgrade the cards themselves and will be coming back w/in the hour.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:11 PM   #2159
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Lost channels on CableCard

I just had my 2 cablecards installed yesterday and have been loving the service. About an hour ago, I lost the video connection to one card, then the other. I now can only get certain channels with no rhyme or reason. I can get HBO, but not HBOHD, I can get ESPNHD, but not regular ESPN. I called and Baltimore Comcast doesn't troublshoot over the phone. They have to send a tech out. Any ideas/suggestions?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:46 PM   #2160
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Call Comcast. I had this problem when I got my Series 3 about 1 week after it was released. They have not properly authorized your cards at Comcast (at the head end). Their computers detect this, and disable all of the channels that require a cable box/cablecard to receive. They DO NOT need to send someone back out to your house. You just need to get a knowledgeable CSR on the phone and they can get everything take care of. Insist on speaking to their manager, etc. if they can't help you.
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