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Old 11-28-2008, 09:31 PM   #301
asya999
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RCN w/cableCard install in Manhattan tonight

Set my mom up with a new TiVo HD XL after her move earlier this week and her new building had a choice of RCN or TWC. Since the building gets bulk billing rate for basic package with 100 or so channels from RCN, I decided to sign her up with them for "basic" cable and internet.

Ordered the install, told them she had a TiVo and that she'd need a CableCard and to make sure to note to bring an M-Card. Got an appointment from 2-5 today.

The installer showed up at 5:30 with two M-cards. When I told him the TiVo only needed one M-card *or* two S-cards he seemed defensive ("How many installs have *you* done?" - I wanted to say "None but I know more about it than you do, since I just read all the install instructions" but held off). After a few hours (okay just two) of struggling to get the right cable to the right part of the apartment, the card hook-up turned out to be a snap.

The guy (quite friendly at this point) asked to borrow my phone since his battery was dead (previous install ran over and he used up his whole battery) so I gave him my cell (mom has Vonage so no phone till he got the internet turned on!). He called the home office and had RCN turn the internet on, and then read off the serial number of the CableCard. I had the TiVo on the setup screen for the card and in a few minutes it started getting all the channels it was supposed to.

I heard him tell them that I didn't want the second card installed and it sounded like they also didn't understand one M-card instead of two S-cards but it seemed like they told him to go with what I wanted.

Everything is working well now, through the cablecard gave a few 161-38 errors, it seems like that's something that's common for the Motorola M-cards during the first few hours/day while it's downloading all the info and while I was configuring preferences for my mom. Hopefully, like with other folks the error will clear up.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:18 PM   #302
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Angry Help! Tivo HD installed with 2 Multi-Stream CCs, not validated, not working!

I had an RCN tech come by my place (Southern Manhattan) on Saturday to install me on a new Tivo HD. I'm a TWC refugee and this is my first cable card experience. I told him that he should probably be using only one MCC, but he went ahead and installed 2. I can't access most of my HD and many of my digital channels. In the diagnostics menu, neither of my CCs were validated. I called the RCN 800 number and their techs said everything was fine on their end and that I contact Tivo. I'm scheduled to have another RCN tech to come by and reinstall on Saturday.

What should I insist that he do, so that he doesn't screw up this install as well?

Thanks
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:25 PM   #303
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Quote:
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I had an RCN tech come by my place (Southern Manhattan) on Saturday to install me on a new Tivo HD. I'm a TWC refugee and this is my first cable card experience. I told him that he should probably be using only one MCC, but he went ahead and installed 2. I can't access most of my HD and many of my digital channels. In the diagnostics menu, neither of my CCs were validated. I called the RCN 800 number and their techs said everything was fine on their end and that I contact Tivo. I'm scheduled to have another RCN tech to come by and reinstall on Saturday.

What should I insist that he do, so that he doesn't screw up this install as well?

Thanks
the TiVo HD DVR will ignore any card installed in slot 2 if the card in slot 1 is a Multi-Stream card. There can be several issues: the Host was paired to the wrong card, or the proper signal to activate the channels was not sent to the card. Do you know if the cards are Motorola or Scientific Atlantic?
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:42 PM   #304
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There can be several issues: the Host was paired to the wrong card, or the proper signal to activate the channels was not sent to the card. Do you know if the cards are Motorola or Scientific Atlantic?
In many markets (NYC and Boston among them), RCN doesn't pair cards.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:29 PM   #305
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They are Moto cards.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:20 PM   #306
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They are Moto cards.
Per poster rlcarr, if RCN does not pair cards, then the issue may be that the cards were not sent the correct activation signal. Was there a mention of obtaining the Host & Data from the pairing screen? On the Conditional Access screen, look for Val. do you see V or ? nest to it? If you see Auth what is next to it? On the Diagnostics screen look for Channel list received, there should be YES next to it.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:35 PM   #307
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On the conditional access screen, there is a ? next to Val: (Val:? 0x00). Auth: MP. On the diagnostics screen: Channel List Received: Yes.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:49 PM   #308
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On the conditional access screen, there is a ? next to Val: (Val:? 0x00). Auth: MP. On the diagnostics screen: Channel List Received: Yes.
Auth:MP means that a message that is supposed to be in the activation
stream coming from the headend is missing. Val:? means that card is not paired. In cable systems that do pair cards, this issue would cause the card to automatically scramble encrypted channels. If RCN does not pair cards, I'm not sure how this would be handled. Channel List Received: Yes indicates that the channel map has been aquired by the card. Your issue could be that your cable provider has not sent the proper activation signal. If RCN sends the "Initialize" signal to equipment, they need to send it to the card.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:10 AM   #309
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Val:? means that card is not paired. In cable systems that do pair cards, this issue would cause the card to automatically scramble encrypted channels.
Not quite true. Pairing is only required if the CCI byte for a channel you want to watch/record is non-zero (aka it's copy protected). If all of RCNs channels have a CCI of 0, then they don't need to pair the cards.

Even though my system "requires" pairing, I never bothered to get one of my card paired, as I don't subscribe to any channels that are copy protected. I did make sure to uncheck the copy protected channels that I don't receive, so I don't accidentally tune to them, or have the box try to start a suggestion on them.

However, the danger of not having paired cards is that your cable company can decide to add copy protection to any channel at any time. So, while everything may be working one day, it could suddenly stop working, and require action from the cable company. If RCN is regularly not pairing cards, they would be foolish to arbitrarily turn on copy protection without making some attempt to proactively contact customers and pair their cards first.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:46 PM   #310
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Maybe part of my problem is that I do subscribe to nearly all of the premium channels available, none of which are coming in. They do however show up when you go to Settings, Cable Card, Test Channels (but only on CC2, but not CC1).

Regardless, when trying to view these channels on live TV none of them (with maybe one or two exceptions) tune in.
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:51 PM   #311
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Washington DC Metro Area. If you have a dual tuner HD TIVO and RCN Please advise how was the installation and any advice for us that are about to move to a TiVO HD dual tuner. I just can't imagine that RCN are going to get this right the first time.
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:52 PM   #312
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Washington DC Metro Area. If you have a dual tuner HD TIVO and RCN Please advise how was the installation and any advice for us that are about to move to a TiVO HD dual tuner. I just can't imagine that RCN are going to get this right the first time.
My install went fine a few months ago. The biggest problem was that I didn't receive several channels and a few others were pixelated. As it turned out, after many,many calls to CS, I was not supposed to receive those channels on my package (RCN's channel guide was deceptive) and the pixelated channels were resulting from some RCN mess up in their digital crush process.
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:18 PM   #313
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Thinking about switching from Comcast (which just dropped my promo and made my monthly cost $120) to RCN in CHICAGO. Have a TivoHD in one room, so I'll need a cable card. Any Chicagoans have problems with this? Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:06 PM   #314
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My install went fine a few months ago. The biggest problem was that I didn't receive several channels and a few others were pixelated. As it turned out, after many,many calls to CS, I was not supposed to receive those channels on my package (RCN's channel guide was deceptive) and the pixelated channels were resulting from some RCN mess up in their digital crush process.
Many thanks. I'm still pissed off that my TIVO dual tuner analog only give me one channel now becuase of the all digital crush. I had so many poblems after the crush with the kids tvs that simply need a digital box that I still can't believe they won't screw this up. Will see...
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:01 PM   #315
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However, the danger of not having paired cards is that your cable company can decide to add copy protection to any channel at any time. So, while everything may be working one day, it could suddenly stop working, and require action from the cable company.
Yeah. That's exactly my worry. Which is why when mine were installed and were not paired, I asked friends in my area and then on this board to see if anyone else was paired. None of my local friends were, and some people here saying they were from Chicago and NYC also reported not being paired. So I'm assuming the lack of pairing is an RCN thing, not a incompetent installer thing.

Quote:
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If RCN is regularly not pairing cards, they would be foolish to arbitrarily turn on copy protection without making some attempt to proactively contact customers and pair their cards first.
They'd be foolish, but this is RCN we're talking about. I can totally see them deciding to turn on copy protection and forgetting all about its effect on CableCARDs. They couldn't even get my install right. The installer had to call the mothership and have someone re-do the provisioning because it was all screwed up.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:40 AM   #316
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Digital crush crushes "successful" install

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Everything is working well now...
So I got a call from my mom that her TiVo is giving a searching for signal error message. After a few false starts at diagnosing the problem remotely she finally got through to RCN who told her that they did the digital conversion and she now needs a cable converter box.

What???

I think she may have told them she has a TiVo, so I told her to call them back and tell them she has a CableCard from them so she doesn't need a cable box and they should make sure it's properly paired (right? would not having paired it cause a problem now that didn't manifest before?) .

I'll be there in a couple of days, but meanwhile can someone help me understand if there are circumstances in which she would need a converter box now? I thought CableCard *was* the equivalent of converter boxes? And if the card is enough, what magic words should she/I tell RCN drones to get them to fix this? They can fix this remotely, and not have to send anyone out, right?

P.S. apparently someone is going to be there tomorrow morning 9am-11am - her internet seems to not be working as well, so the analog conversion timing may be a coincidence

Last edited by asya999 : 12-22-2008 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:21 AM   #317
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Question-I purchase the TIVO dual tuner HD and I purchase an HD TV. Then I call RCN to come around and install the CableCards. Do I go through TIVO guided setup BEFORE RCN comes or only AFTER they have installed the cards? If after, will RCN wait to see if it all works? Also, will the TIVO dual tuner HD work on my new HD tv while it's connected to my existing Digital box so I can use it before RCN rolls around?
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:28 AM   #318
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You can do guided setup before RCN visits -- and I suggest you do it to set up your cable channels, broadband setup, Tivo service activation, zip code, etc. Just skip over the CableCard part (I think there's an option to skip it during GS). You'll have to repeat GS after the CC install, but it shouldn't take nearly as long as the first time. You can even skip the Tivo Service activation as it will work for a week or so until you need to activate it.

Here's how I set up my parents Tivo HD last month:
1- Guided setup - skip activation and CC setup
2- Install and activate cable cards
3- Repeat Guided Setup and activate tivo service

I'm pretty sure you won't be able to use the Tivo HD with the digital converter box.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:46 AM   #319
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You can do guided setup before RCN visits -- and I suggest you do it to set up your cable channels, broadband setup, Tivo service activation, zip code, etc. Just skip over the CableCard part (I think there's an option to skip it during GS). You'll have to repeat GS after the CC install, but it shouldn't take nearly as long as the first time. You can even skip the Tivo Service activation as it will work for a week or so until you need to activate it.

Here's how I set up my parents Tivo HD last month:
1- Guided setup - skip activation and CC setup
2- Install and activate cable cards
3- Repeat Guided Setup and activate tivo service

I'm pretty sure you won't be able to use the Tivo HD with the digital converter box.
Great advice Hank, Many thanks. I grew up in Boston! best city in universe. Now stuck in DC, land of liars.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:47 PM   #320
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Update on RCN Manhattan analog-to-digital switch

My mom got RCN w/cableCard last month and all was fine till they switched to digital from analog last week. I posted yesterday:
Quote:
Originally Posted by asya999 View Post
apparently someone is going to be there tomorrow morning 9am-11am - her internet seems to not be working as well, so the analog conversion timing may be a coincidence
It turned out the internet was working fine, the cable modem and router just needed to be rebooted after the analog crush. I sent my mom an email telling her what to tell the guy -- that they probably "DID NOT PROPERLY PAIR THE CABLECARD" (caps and all )

The RCN guy came right at 9am today and this is verbatim what transpired according to my mom's email:

Hi!
The RCN guy came at 9 and immediately said that Tivo is not good for digital service. I responded with the words you wrote me, and they happen to be magic. I did not have a chance to check all the channels, but the ones I checked work great - I've never seen such a beautiful picture!


So there you have it, after insisting on the phone that she needs a converter box, and the tech trying to tell her TiVo is no good for digital service, the magic words seem to be "You idiot, you don't know what you're talking about so why don't you call someone who does" better said out loud as "Is it possible you didn't properly pair my CableCard in your system?"

to RCN techs, but for my mom now having service again, thanks to this forum and others like it...
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:34 PM   #321
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RCN Chicago Problems

Hello all! I have RCN in Chicago, and just had a really frustrating experience with them and my Tivo. I called a week ago to get an appointment (I work all week, so they will only come by on Saturdays for me), waited my 3 hours, and nobody showed up. They called me 15 min. after the end of my appointment time and told me they didn't come by because they had run out of cable cards. I ended up talking to a technician supervisor, who said they'd have more cards on Monday and could make me an appointment for then. I told him I work until 6, so only if they could make sure I'm the last run on their 5-8pm shift would that work. He said no, and that he'd set me up for next saturday. I asked if he could reserve the cards this time so I actually get them, and he told me that they have to give out the cards in order of appointments. Which lead to him telling me that if they ran out again, I'd have to reschedule *again* for a future saturday, and there's no guarantee that I'll ever actually get cards. He also told me that I can't take my box to a local RCN post, drop it off and trade it for cards, because they don't handle the cards like the boxes and dvr's. He also told me I couldn't buy my own cards, so my only option is to wait around and hope that they stop running out each week.

Has anyone else had a really bad problem like this? I usually have no qualms with RCN, but this is ridiculous.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:43 PM   #322
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Problems in DC Area Since the Digital Crush?

Has anyone with an M Card in greater DC area had problems receiving HD Channels 604 (NBC), 605 (Fox), and 609 (CBS) since the digital crush. All was well before the crush, but since that time my service on these channels has been sporadic with either (1) unwatchable pixelation or (2) no picture at all. Other RCN users on my street have had the same problems with their non-tivo RCN HD box (so I know the problem is at the line and the RCN line techs have confirmed the problem is with the line), however, sometimes my neighbors can receive a pixelated picture on a RCN HD Box and I can receive no picture cable signal (e.g., no picture) at all on my Tivo HD (why? HD Tivo more sensitive?). I have been working with RCN for two months to try to resolve this, but despite their good faith efforts... they have no clue. I am very close to switching to another provider.

Two questions:

1. Do you have the same or similar problem (and if so, have you found a cure)?

2. I am considering a switch to either comcast or FIOS - I assume FIOS is preferable, correct?

Much thanks to the community!

-Marc
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:58 AM   #323
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Just to close the loop on my previous message, RCN line techs replaced a "node" on my street's line and our service was restored on HD Channels 604, 605, and 609.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:44 PM   #324
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Also Having RCN Installer Not Showing Up Probs

I am having the same exact issue with RCN in Chicago. I scheduled an appt to get an M-series card installed in my Tivo on Sat and during the last 15 minutes of the scheduled window the technician called to say that he would not be coming as he had no cablecards. He also informed me that scheduling another appointment might cause the same thing to happen again, as the people who schedule the appts (who might be overseas) do not know how many cards are available at any time.

I share your frustration that:
- RCN as a company is unable to track their merchandise supply and/or plan accordingly for future demand (um, the Superbowl anyone?)

-RCN techs (or the company itself) are not proactive about contacting the customer when cards are unavailable for install. Waiting until after the window has passed is unacceptable.

-RCN is charging me $49.95 to install the card. If I didn't show up for the appt, I would be charged the $49 anyway. When they don't show up, should the next appt be on them $$?

I have another appointment schedule for this afternoon...because I am a glutton for punishment.

I'm not sure why RCN won't let us stop by the Bradley Location and trade our cable box for a card; from the messages on this board it seems that the customers are exceedingly more knowledgeable about the install and troubleshooting process.

Did you ever receive your card? Wish me luck!
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:59 PM   #325
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I just posted something in the main area that should probably go here.

I'm also waiting for a cable card in Chicago and kinda p/oed that there is no one to talk to locally other than going there.

So I'm going there tomorrow AM and going to raise some hell.

It's totally cool if you want to go all digital. I hate analog channels to begin with, but you HAVE to have cable cards in-stock and ready-to-go if you are going to do this.

I'd switch to comcast but they have half the HD content and....um...I hate comcast!

Anyone happen to know what is up with this lack of Cable Cards?

Last edited by MassNerder : 01-30-2009 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Specified city
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:46 PM   #326
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I really think it is poor planning on the part of RCN. In their strategic planning for 2009-2010, you'd think they would be able to anticipate the surge of cable cards that would be happening because of the switchover, promotions they might be running, the biggest sporting event of the year, etc.

Sometimes I just like to think I would do a better job than everyone else, so I might be totally off base.

Incidentally, they did come and install that cable card and it works fine. When I handed the installer the TIVO paper that said "HAND THIS TO YOUR CABLE INSTALLER," he LAUGHED IN my face and walked away.

Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:37 AM   #327
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tivo, cablecard, extra innings

I can't seem to find much info about cablecard use on RCN's site, but in fine print it says that you can't get sports packages with cablecard. Does this mean no MLB Extra Innings for TIVO users? If so, that is a deal breaker for me.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:50 AM   #328
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Are you sure it says that you can't get the extra sports channels?

It is true that you can't do the Video on Demand because the card is one way and you need two-way communication for VOD.

But, the sports channels have a bunch of channels allocated for them so I don't think you need two-way communication.

(By the way, when I had the card installed the technician said that the card had the capability for two-way communication but that RCN had not implemented it yet.)
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:46 PM   #329
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Extra Innings and RCN

Well, I was told by the rep today that I can NOT get MLB EI through the TIVO. This may be a deal breaker for me and I really want to go with the TIVO solution rather than the RCN HDDVR. Anyone have experience with this with RCN in the Boston area?
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:10 AM   #330
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I wouldn't lose hope yet. Who knows whether the rep knows what he/she is talking about or even if he/she understood what you were asking.

I'll try one of those channels today and see what I get.
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