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Old 06-19-2007, 08:07 AM   #2791
rpm29
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Cablecard install in MD

A long time user of DirectTivo, I jumped to cable for HD. Tried the SA8300 (junk), but the Tivo rebate finally lured me. Lured me to Cablecard hell.

They are trying to charge me $4.95 per Cablecard. I cannot get anyone on the phone who even acknowledge the existence on the S3, let alone will acknowledge their pricing complete conflicts with their website.

Does anyone have phone numbers or contacts beyond the standard CSRs?

It seems the only way to get this problem corrected is class-action. It seems Comcast charges whatever they can get, and only those who spend lots of time and do lots of complaining actually get the pricing they claim on their website and to the FCC.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:17 AM   #2792
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I'm not that familiar with cablecards or how they work. I'm looking for some information becuase I am interested in getting this Tivo in the near feature however I might have some limitations on actualy being able to get it to work with cable cards so that's why I'm asking here.

I am currently living on campus at southern new hampshire university and recently bought a hdtv. Over the air all I can get for HD is ABC. I have looked into getting a set top box only to find out I can't. The school has no program available where you can apply for one and when contacting comcast directly their contract with the university states that students are not allowed to obtain any equipment or services from the cable company.

So with that said and done, would this rule out the possibility of getting a cablecard? Or is it possible you could just stop by the comcast office and pick one up and maybe pay a onetime fee.

If this is not possible, would it be possible to pick it up from my home which is 2 hours away in mass, but under the same comcast network. And if I did that would it work up here or does it have to be activated with a particular location and package?

And lastly, can this box get unencrypted HD channels with out the need of a cable card. My laptop has a Fusion 5 HDTV USB Gold tunner and I can receive all the locals, abc, cbs, nbc, fox, pbs and cw in high definition. Would the Tivo Box do the same?


Thanks=)
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:37 AM   #2793
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One-time fees are a losing proposition for service providers, and so don't expect to see that offered for CableCards. Regardless, it sounds like your landlord (the school) is the obstruction here. Your best approach to addressing your needs is to get the school to change its policies.
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:48 AM   #2794
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
One-time fees are a losing proposition for service providers, and so don't expect to see that offered for CableCards. Regardless, it sounds like your landlord (the school) is the obstruction here. Your best approach to addressing your needs is to get the school to change its policies.
I have talked to the people directly in charge of the contract here at my school only to find out there is no chance they are changing it. The university is relativity small with only 2,000 or so students who live on campus here. The school simply does not want to deal with keeping track with who has cable boxes and who doesn't and who they need to charge for them, so for now it's going to remain the same.

As for my other questions, if I got a cable card back home and brought it up here would it work and would the tivo box receive unencrypted hd and sd channels without the need of a cablecard?


Thanks for the quick reply
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:16 AM   #2795
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I had a tech come and do an install of the cable cards for me on Saturday. The cards were recognized without a problem. He called comcast to hit the cards and they were backlogged so he left with them unactivated. After a couple of hours the tivo started working but wasn't receiving all of the channels. I looked at the card info per Tivo's tech support site (I might add their solutions were spot on) and isolated the issues between the cards and after a couple of calls to comcast they were up and running. A bit of a pain but everything works!

Last edited by maynerd : 06-19-2007 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:03 AM   #2796
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoREvanescence

As for my other questions, if I got a cable card back home and brought it up here would it work and would the tivo box receive unencrypted hd and sd channels without the need of a cablecard?
I believe the whole point of the CableCard is to get the digital signals, period - HD or not.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:19 AM   #2797
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
I have talked to the people directly in charge of the contract here at my school only to find out there is no chance they are changing it.
The bums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
As for my other questions, if I got a cable card back home and brought it up here would it work
Almost surely not. The CableCard is useful only within the head-end node it was configured for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
would the tivo box receive unencrypted hd and sd channels without the need of a cablecard?
Given that you're within what is essentially a private network, there is no way to know without trying.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:22 AM   #2798
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Originally Posted by ScottW_CO
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
As for my other questions, if I got a cable card back home and brought it up here would it work and would the tivo box receive unencrypted hd and sd channels without the need of a cablecard?
I believe the whole point of the CableCard is to get the digital signals, period - HD or not.
No. The whole point of the CableCard is to facilitate decryption of encrypted digital channels. CableCard is unnecessary to support reception of unencrypted signals.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:51 AM   #2799
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Originally Posted by bicker
The bums!

Almost surely not. The CableCard is useful only within the head-end node it was configured for.

Given that you're within what is essentially a private network, there is no way to know without trying.
I know for a fact it wont work (yet). I used to work for the A/V department on campus. The cable network is a private network. It's the basic cable with a bunch of added stuff, such as 6 school access channels, and all 6 hbo's (the have a rack of cable boxes that put those through on the system) Right now the limitation to digital and HD is the fact they have a filter on the front end of the cable system which is suppost to block higher frequency singnals so they can put the school access channels and hbo's on channels 72 through 85. This filter also blocks all digital signals. However the university is looking to upgrade the system so they can hook up select locatiosn to hdtv, (the student center, the pub and lounges in some dorms) They have a new filter coming in which is supposed to be installed at the end of this month which will allow all the digital signals through while still letting them add their own channels to the system.

I actually did the first round of testing for hdtv for them with my fusionhdtv 5 gold usb tuner on my laptop, we found that digital signal was only available in front of the filter.

So, when this new filter is installed, and all digital signals are allowed through the school system which can be picked up with qam/quam256 devices like my fusionhdtv 5 box or comcast cable boxes I would assume that the tivo should be able to pick up the same signal from what you are saying. Which is good news.

But knowing this school, and comcast in this area i doubt comcast will be installing the new filter by the end of the month, they always take their time, but it will be coming this summer before all students return in the fall (i'm staying on campus over summer) since the school has already approved the funding and ordered the filter

It still sucks I can't get a set top box, but I much rather have the Tivo anyways. Comcast boxes in Mass / New Hampsire are missing the hdmi ports and only have component, sd and coaxle not to mention tivo would be something I could always have after school and would be a great dvr. Plus I like the fact that it can take both antenna and cable in.


Well, I just have to wait till that new filter is installed and I should be able to get the unencrypted channels (better test with my fusionhdtv first though) and then maybe try getting a cable card if I can find a way that is all possible.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:52 AM   #2800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
No. The whole point of the CableCard is to facilitate decryption of encrypted digital channels. CableCard is unnecessary to support reception of unencrypted signals.
Well, today will be my first dealings with CC, so it's good to know these things. :P

So since I've done the guided setup with my new S3, short of the CC install - and I'm not seeing any digital channels in the channel guide - I'm assuming that Comcast (at least in my area, Denver suburbs) has no unencrypted digital channels? Or did I simply do something (or not do something) in guided setup that I shouldn't have (or should have)?

This whole thing will be moot by this afternoon (I hope) as my CC install is scheduled for about 3 hours from now.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:57 AM   #2801
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
No. The whole point of the CableCard is to facilitate decryption of encrypted digital channels. CableCard is unnecessary to support reception of unencrypted signals.
It's also useful to get the channel mapping info for non-encrypted (and of course encrypted) channels.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:18 PM   #2802
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Originally Posted by dswallow
It's also useful to get the channel mapping info for non-encrypted (and of course encrypted) channels.
Can it still view the unencrypted without the mapping infor, for example nbc hd is d1563 at my home on my fusionhdtv box where as on a cable box is 822. Would you be able to tune in for example d1563 without mapping and get the channel?
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:51 PM   #2803
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Greetings

I am having continued trouble receiving YES ch 212 on all 6 cablecards: 2 are in a Tivo S3: rest in Sharp LCD's

all of the other channels, including encrypted, work OK: and a S/A cablebox picks up 212

some cablecards give me 212 audio but no video: on the Tivo no audio/no video

Comcast has been to the house and checked signal levels: they seem to agree it is a head end problem but don't know how to fix it

This has happened before and fixed before: i.e. the same thing happened a few months ago: I called and a week later all cards got 212 restored: the fix lasted for about 2 months. Now the same problem and they have no clue

any ideas?
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:02 PM   #2804
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
Can it still view the unencrypted without the mapping infor, for example nbc hd is d1563 at my home on my fusionhdtv box where as on a cable box is 822. Would you be able to tune in for example d1563 without mapping and get the channel?
You can still tune to it and view it, and you can set up manual recordings, but without the mapping info, the TiVo receiver doesn't know anything about what channel it is and you can't use the normal season pass/recording capabilities.
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:07 PM   #2805
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Originally Posted by Mark Rubin
Greetings

I am having continued trouble receiving YES ch 212 on all 6 cablecards: 2 are in a Tivo S3: rest in Sharp LCD's

all of the other channels, including encrypted, work OK: and a S/A cablebox picks up 212

some cablecards give me 212 audio but no video: on the Tivo no audio/no video

Comcast has been to the house and checked signal levels: they seem to agree it is a head end problem but don't know how to fix it

This has happened before and fixed before: i.e. the same thing happened a few months ago: I called and a week later all cards got 212 restored: the fix lasted for about 2 months. Now the same problem and they have no clue

any ideas?
I'd say an incompatible encryption method is getting used on the channels... something the Scientific Atlanta receivers can deal with but CableCARD devices can't.

I'll PM you the name and phone number of a person at Comcast who likely can help. I notice the same thing here, so I suppose I could call, but it's YES, so I really don't care. Better it be someone who cares who calls, plus it'll give you a contact for future use when this happens.
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:47 PM   #2806
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Question Luck with getting A/O charge removed?

Just wondering what amount of luck people have had with getting the A/O charge removed? I'm in Colorado and had a total of 4 CCs installed in my 2 S3s. While I have not yet received a bill for this, it was my understanding from the CSR that I would be charged for 3 CCs and 3 A/Os (the 1st CC and outlet are "free"). I expect to have to pay at least 1 additional A/O since I have the 2nd tivo, but I shouldn't have to pay it for the second A/O for the associated second CC in each unit as I understand it from the various posts in this thread.

Did people go the route mentioned in this posting to get their A/O fees removed or was that comcast contact just for that particular region?
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...&&#post5056271

TIA
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:49 PM   #2807
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoREvanescence
Comcast boxes in Mass / New Hampsire are missing the hdmi ports and only have component, sd and coax
I have a Comcast box, in Massachusetts, and it has an HDMI port.
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:50 PM   #2808
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It's also useful to get the channel mapping info for non-encrypted (and of course encrypted) channels.
Yup, though more and more I understand that Comcast is pushing PSIP through. It doesn't help with the TiVo, but otherwise it would.
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:02 PM   #2809
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I have a Comcast box, in Massachusetts, and it has an HDMI port.

Maybe so, but in western mass the plain old hdtv boxes don't, you need to get into comcasts dual dvr ones before you see the hdmi. Unless it has changed in the last 6 months says my parents last got a new cablebox.

But either way, I still perfer the tvbox to a comcast box
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:38 PM   #2810
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Well - Comcast did screw up my bill.

With Motorolla DVR, I had:
Digital Plus HBO: 23.99
HD DVR: 9.95

After two cablecards I have:
Digital Plus HBO: 23.99
HDTV: $5
HDTV: $5
Digital A/O: $5

For a net increase of $5 ....
After an hour-long conversation with sales - they tell me that since each card can do HD, each one is subject to $5 fee, but they'll remove the Digital A/O charge. Are they right? They're not charging me for the cards themselves, nor did they charge me for installation, but I did not expect $5 per card for HDTV.

Anyway - waiting for supervisor to call me back ....
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:16 PM   #2811
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Smile CableCard setup woes, and resulting solution

Here's the latest saga regarding CableCards, at least in the Seattle area. I've no idea how typical this is, but it seems like there are lots of stories of configuration issues with the CableCards in the Series 3 TiVos, for whatever reason.

My Series 3 arrived on Monday. I drove up to the Comcast store on 94th and Aurora, and picked up two Motorola CableCards, with no questions asked. They told me that the charge would be $1.79 per month for the first card, but that the second card was free.

Back home to install. Started at 8 pm, following directions carefully (and having scanned just about all of the TivoCommunity Comcast-related thread), with all going seamlessly until the CableCard part. I called to have them activate the first card. Then the TiVo stuck on the "Acquiring Channel Data" blue screen, timing out after 10 minutes. I called back and had them try again. I tried the other card as well. Finally called it a night around 11:30 pm, with a still-inoperative TiVo.

Next morning I started in again, checking all the cables, etc. Same results, so I arranged for a Comcast visit that afternoon. Guy arrived at 3, very helpful and knowledgeable, but with no other cards in his truck, since he hadn't had advance warning of this trip. He struggled for 2 hours, making multiple calls to knowledgeable colleagues, but with no results. Both of us were skeptical that BOTH cards were somehow bad. We finally agreed that we'd arrange another visit (Thursday was the earliest available), and that the guy would bring lots of cards to try. Meanwhile, he said I could also go get more cards at the office if I wanted, and try them myself. He recommended I try to get more than two (at least four). So I drove up and was able to get four, without even any comment by the Comcast person at the counter.

Back home again to install. This time, calling Comcast to activate the first card, it worked immediately, much to my amazement, including getting (for the first time) the expected 161-4 error that's been mentioned here and in the troubleshooting guides as what you should see when they send the signal to the card. Second card was a little more difficult, but took no more than 10 minutes and a couple of tries before it worked as well.

I asked the guy (David was his name) if he was just "smarter than all those other guys" or whether he was doing something that they didn't. And then he told me an interesting thing: in the middle of helping me, after we'd already had some success with the first card, he happened to pull up their internal document at Comcast about configuring the Series 3 cards, and it said that they should first send a "hit" signal to the card, and then an "init" signal. That struck him as backwards. And, in fact, he had done it the other way around: first the "init" and then the "hit".

So maybe it was the different cards, but he and I both thought that it's equally likely that their internal document is incorrect. There's an eyebrow-raiser, to say the least. I told him that we had a friend going through the same problems with his new Series 3, and he suggested that the friend tell Comcast to try the "init" signal first.

I do want to add that in the course of this long-winded and frustrating struggle, I was consistently impressed (and frankly, pleasantly surprised) with the professionalism, knowledge, and customer orientation of the many Comcast people I dealt with.

Last edited by PKtm : 06-20-2007 at 03:08 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:51 PM   #2812
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Just had my CC install a couple of hours ago. Went off without a hitch - the tech who came by had done some Tivo S3 CC installs before. Only issue I had was with audio, and it turns out a small adjustment in the Tivo's Dolby Digital audio settings cleared that up nicely.

One thing this guy mentioned, though, that may pertain to other folks. Apparently Comcast (at least, in my area - Denver 'burbs) has two different types of cards around - the Motorola -branded ones, and Comcast-branded ones (i.e. label basically just has the red "C" Comcast logo). My tech told me that the Comcast-branded cards don't work worth a damn in Tivos - that he sticks with the Motorola-branded cards.
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:43 PM   #2813
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secondclaw
For a net increase of $5 ....
After an hour-long conversation with sales - they tell me that since each card can do HD, each one is subject to $5 fee, but they'll remove the Digital A/O charge. Are they right? They're not charging me for the cards themselves, nor did they charge me for installation, but I did not expect $5 per card for HDTV.

Anyway - waiting for supervisor to call me back ....
Tell them to give you the SD CableCARD because you don't have an HDTV and don't want to pay for something you can't use.

Hint: there is no such card
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:44 PM   #2814
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Originally Posted by ScottW_CO
One thing this guy mentioned, though, that may pertain to other folks. Apparently Comcast (at least, in my area - Denver 'burbs) has two different types of cards around - the Motorola -branded ones, and Comcast-branded ones (i.e. label basically just has the red "C" Comcast logo). My tech told me that the Comcast-branded cards don't work worth a damn in Tivos - that he sticks with the Motorola-branded cards.
I wonder if the Comcast-branded cards are M-cards?
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:13 PM   #2815
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I wonder if the Comcast-branded cards are M-cards?
No clue. I did handle the Motorola card briefly - I recall the word "Cipher" in the model name. Cipher-something. The label had a greenish color scheme to the design.

As far as who actually makes the Comcast-branded cards, my tech didn't mention a source. Just said that those cards suck. :P
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:23 PM   #2816
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in the process of mine, or rather in between my two installs today. Guy came over and plugged them in, and was on the phone with "advanced technical support" for a while. We got the proper error messages on both, and both are receiving signals/ packets from the cable company, but I can't get anything above 100 (except, for some reason Food Network HD)

Every channel I go to (above 100) gives me the cablecard black-on-gray screen. Looks like they're not paired/ activated properly, from what I gather on this and tivo's site.

talking to tech support, they are saying the cards are "non-responsive", and are sending someone over between 4-7 today (it's 4:30 now).

Guess I couldn't get lucky and have a painless install like the rest of you seem to be having lately

Edit: yeah, looks like the cablecards aren't paired properly, and I can't access copy-protected channels. ugh. hopefully this is an easy fix that the new tech can just do over the phone.
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Old 06-20-2007, 04:55 PM   #2817
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My issue with one cable card working, and one not has been fixed.

In a nutshell. When I first ordered comcast cable, they assumed I wanted a tuner box. A STB arrived at my door along with a cable modem.

I returned the STB to my local comcast place and they took it off the bill. That was the problem.

Ok, so here's why. Each piece of equipment you have is assigned an "outlet". A cable box takes an "outlet", so does each cable card, and STB.

The STB i returned was on Outlet 1, cable modem, outlet 2, cablecard 1, outlet3, cablecard2, outlet 4.

Ah, but I was only authorized for three outlets (1 modem, and 2 cablecards) so digital only worked for the first three outlets, and not outlet 4.

Solution was easy once you knew the problem. Move everything up one outlet in their computer entry system. Cable modem went to outlet 1, cc1 to 2, cc2 to 3, 3 outlets authorized, voila, everything now works.

Of course that meant that the engineer had to re-read all the host and id numbers to central to put in the computer, but it did rectify the problem immediately.

Bottom line, make sure you don't have any "empty" outlets on your account, if can cause issues.

Scott
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:34 PM   #2818
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Still having a problem missing 'non-premium' digital channels (but not HD tier channels) in SW FL.
SA CC CP screen on good channel shows
Auth Status:CP Auto Received
...
ECM count: increments
Decryption status:OK

On bad channel...same thing, but ECM count does not increment.
Also may or may not show Decryption status:OK or No ECMs detected

This kinda indicates to me that the card is not authorized by the head end to decrypt the channel(s), but to Comcast it indicates they need to send a tech out.

Also I was told in an email from Comcast customer care that "All our specialists are trained on cable cards..." after three of them told me there was nothing they could do at their end.

So to re-iterate...I get my HD tier (local and ESPN, TNT, MOJO) and my premiums (HBO, Starz, etc. both SD and HD) and Encore E/W, but no non-premium digital channels (including the 'multiplex' Encore channels).

Seems that any digital channel with a CxCI of 0x00 I do NOT get, but those with 0x02 i DO get ....

NOTE: This problem was only on one of four cards this past weekend, but has spread to all four cards as of Tuesday. 3 of the 4 cards were working perfectly Til Tuesday (which would make a good name for a rock band).

Any help?
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:11 PM   #2819
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Update. I waited around until about 7:15 or so, before I got a call from Comcast saying that my tech wouldn't make it tonight as they were out of cablecards. I told her that I think this can be solved over the phone, and she gave me an 888 number which turned out to be a standard comcast support number. I was lucky enough to get a phone tech who, while never doing a TiVo install, was helpful enough to let me (heh) follow the "successful cablecard install" guide from another thread. We stepped through all the parts, verified the numbers for host/ etc, and he sent out the Init, refresh, hit messages (or at least the refresh). I didn't get any error messages to appear, but the conditional access screens showed all things were good to go (the second one took a little longer to go from "unknown" to SUBSCRIBED for some reason).

now I'm rerunning the guided setup, and I should be good to go. thanks all for some great research and reference material.
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:23 PM   #2820
Gregor
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 43,469
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzlake
I've read through the posts and haven't seen this answered. I have a Series 3 with 2 cable cards and am adding channels. Does Comcast need to put in new cards or can they remotely authorize the new channels? Also, if you'd like we can take a poll as to likely charge...

Thanks in advance

2 X HDR 112 (massively upgraded)
1 X RS-TX20
1 X S3
No need to add new cards. I changed packages to get Showtime and Starz in addition to HBO and they sent a signal hit down and automagically the new channels showed up.
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