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Old 02-13-2008, 09:06 PM   #841
dolphin
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Charter packages; what to upgrade to?

I'm about to upgrade for HD, and not sure what I need.

Currently, I have standard Basic+Exp, no STB, into a Series 2.

In order to get HD from Charter, is all I need is their "Digital Cable" package, or is there something else (plus TiVo HD and mcard, of course).

I tried using "chat", but they seem to not be the sharpest sticks in the pile.

Thanks.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:36 AM   #842
JetPilot84
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Success! The guy who installed my card was knowledgeable enough about the subject to competently install my cablecard. I had to explain to him that I only needed one of the m-cards that he brought and he even thanked me for teaching him about it. Smooth sailing after a little bump in the road.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:33 PM   #843
rainwater
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In order to get HD from Charter, is all I need is their "Digital Cable" package, or is there something else (plus TiVo HD and mcard, of course).
Actually, all you need to do is order the cablecards and if you want the standard HD channels also order the "Hi-Def View" package. The Hi-Def View package gives you ESPN, TNT, etc. Without it, you would just get the local HD channels (ABC, FOX, etc). If you don't get the digital tier, you will basically get channels 2-99 and the 15-20 HD channels. If you want the digital tier, you can also order it as well but it isn't a requirement. In fact, if you don't want it, make sure you do not request it or mention it. There is no requirement to get the digital package with cablecards. There is also a "Hi-Def Premium" tier that gives you HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax in HD.

You can always add/remove the digital and other tiers after you get the cablecards installed. This can be done over the phone so the main issue is to get the cablecards installed correctly.
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:08 PM   #844
ethicalpaul
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Success

Tally:

1 tech visit
2 missed tech visits (actually 1/2 my fault). They wouldn't have helped anyway
14 calls to Charter. No CSR actually knew what they were doing. I begged to be connected to "dispatch" who are the people who do the actual setting up of the cable card info in their system, but no go.

On the third time that I read all the cablecard numbers over the phone to various CSRs, something finally kicked in and all channels are coming through (I have digital with all premium channels).

For a few days, I just got a handful of channels spread all over. (like 5, 7, 23, 42 for instance)

The card is $1.50 on my bill even though CSR #1 said it would be $2.

Even crappy TV is fun to watch in HD

There is no skill you can have as a customer in this relationship that helps. You are totally at the mercy of CSRs who know not enough to do the cablecard job correctly. Only with luck can you achieve success. And I wish you that.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:24 PM   #845
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I was making a couple of changes to my channel guide list in Tivo and noticed a bunch of new channels showing among the master list! 8 new HD channels were listed, including Animal Planet HD, Discovery HD, TLC HD, Weather HD, WE HD, FUSE HD, AMC HD and IFC HD. None of these are available yet. Neither are 2 additional SD channels I found: TV One and American Life -- but I can't imagine why these would show unless they're on the way!!
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:39 AM   #846
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I was making a couple of changes to my channel guide list in Tivo and noticed a bunch of new channels showing among the master list! 8 new HD channels were listed, including Animal Planet HD, Discovery HD, TLC HD, Weather HD, WE HD, FUSE HD, AMC HD and IFC HD. None of these are available yet. Neither are 2 additional SD channels I found: TV One and American Life -- but I can't imagine why these would show unless they're on the way!!

I saw the same thing last week. Someone said this is what happened in St. Louis when they added new channels. Hopefully they will be available soon. I was kind of bummed not to see SCIFIHD in the mix though.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:15 PM   #847
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Newbie needs some advice please...

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Originally Posted by rainwater View Post
Actually, all you need to do is order the cablecards and if you want the standard HD channels also order the "Hi-Def View" package. The Hi-Def View package gives you ESPN, TNT, etc. Without it, you would just get the local HD channels (ABC, FOX, etc). If you don't get the digital tier, you will basically get channels 2-99 and the 15-20 HD channels. If you want the digital tier, you can also order it as well but it isn't a requirement. In fact, if you don't want it, make sure you do not request it or mention it. There is no requirement to get the digital package with cablecards. There is also a "Hi-Def Premium" tier that gives you HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax in HD.

You can always add/remove the digital and other tiers after you get the cablecards installed. This can be done over the phone so the main issue is to get the cablecards installed correctly.
OK guys -- Help a newbie out here. I've read the previous few pages of this thread but it's way too long to read everything. I'm hoping someone can summarize a bit for me. Rainwater -- you seem to be very familiar with the Charter plans, so please advise. Here's my situation:

I live in Pasadena, CA and Charter cable is my only option. I recently bought an HDTV and Tivo Series 3 (TCD648250B) - THX fancy version. My current cable plan is Basic Expanded with no cable box. The cable line goes straight into my current Series 2 Tivo. I am happy with basic expanded and don't really want the other junk that comes with digital cable (e.g. music channels, PPV, etc) -- I just want to add the non-premium HD channels.

So, if I understand correctly, I need to call up Charter and order the Hi-Def view package and a multi-stream card (M-Card), yes? And the one M-card will allow me to use the dual tuner feature of the Series 3 Tivo, yes? I think this will cost me $8 per month for Hi-Def package and $2 per month for the cable card, for $10 total on top of basic expanded I'm currently paying.

Lastly, if I go to www.charter.com it looks like there are only the HD Channels listed below in my area. This seems like a rather paltry list compared to DirectTV, no? Put another way, since my HDTV picks up many of the "lifeline" channels over the air -- it seems like I'm paying $10 a month for about 10 extra HD channels (e.g. Animal Planet, ESPN, etc.). Are there more channels coming and are those going to cost more money?


766 Animal Planet HD Hi-Def View
767 Discovery HD Hi-Def View
770 HDNet Movies Hi-Def View
771 HDNet Hi-Def View
772 ESPN2 HD Hi-Def View
773 ESPN HD Hi-Def View
774 Fox Sports Net West - HD Hi-Def Lifeline
775 HD Theater Hi-Def View
777 HBO HDTV-West Hi-Def Premium
778 Showtime HDTV-West Hi-Def Premium
779 Cinemax HDTV-West Hi-Def Premium
781 KTTV-DT - FOX Hi-Def Lifeline
782 KCBS-DT - CBS Hi-Def Lifeline
784 KNBC-DT - NBC Hi-Def Lifeline
785 KTLA-DT - CW Hi-Def Lifeline
786 KCET-DT - PBS Hi-Def Lifeline
787 KABC-DT - ABC Hi-Def Lifeline
789 KCAL-DT - IND Hi-Def Lifeline
790 Starz HDTV-West Hi-Def Premium
792 TNT - HD Hi-Def View
793 Universal HD Hi-Def View
795 A&E HD Hi-Def View
799 MHD Hi-Def View

Thanks in advance for all the help and insight!

-Smitty
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:27 PM   #848
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OK guys -- Help a newbie out here. I've read the previous few pages of this thread but it's way too long to read everything. I'm hoping someone can summarize a bit for me. Rainwater -- you seem to be very familiar with the Charter plans, so please advise. Here's my situation:

I live in Pasadena, CA and Charter cable is my only option. I recently bought an HDTV and Tivo Series 3 (TCD648250B) - THX fancy version. My current cable plan is Basic Expanded with no cable box. The cable line goes straight into my current Series 2 Tivo. I am happy with basic expanded and don't really want the other junk that comes with digital cable (e.g. music channels, PPV, etc) -- I just want to add the non-premium HD channels.

So, if I understand correctly, I need to call up Charter and order the Hi-Def view package and a multi-stream card (M-Card), yes? And the one M-card will allow me to use the dual tuner feature of the Series 3 Tivo, yes? I think this will cost me $8 per month for Hi-Def package and $2 per month for the cable card, for $10 total on top of basic expanded I'm currently paying.

Lastly, if I go to www.charter.com it looks like there are only the HD Channels listed below in my area. This seems like a rather paltry list compared to DirectTV, no? Put another way, since my HDTV picks up many of the "lifeline" channels over the air -- it seems like I'm paying $10 a month for about 10 extra HD channels (e.g. Animal Planet, ESPN, etc.). Are there more channels coming and are those going to cost more money?


766 Animal Planet HD Hi-Def View
767 Discovery HD Hi-Def View
770 HDNet Movies Hi-Def View
771 HDNet Hi-Def View
772 ESPN2 HD Hi-Def View
773 ESPN HD Hi-Def View
774 Fox Sports Net West - HD Hi-Def Lifeline
775 HD Theater Hi-Def View
777 HBO HDTV-West Hi-Def Premium
778 Showtime HDTV-West Hi-Def Premium
779 Cinemax HDTV-West Hi-Def Premium
781 KTTV-DT - FOX Hi-Def Lifeline
782 KCBS-DT - CBS Hi-Def Lifeline
784 KNBC-DT - NBC Hi-Def Lifeline
785 KTLA-DT - CW Hi-Def Lifeline
786 KCET-DT - PBS Hi-Def Lifeline
787 KABC-DT - ABC Hi-Def Lifeline
789 KCAL-DT - IND Hi-Def Lifeline
790 Starz HDTV-West Hi-Def Premium
792 TNT - HD Hi-Def View
793 Universal HD Hi-Def View
795 A&E HD Hi-Def View
799 MHD Hi-Def View

Thanks in advance for all the help and insight!

-Smitty
Smitty,
I can help yopu a bit with theis as I also live in Pasadena. Yes, that is the entire HD lineup, like you said, quite a bit less than D*.

I have a Series 3 that I hooked up about 9 months ago. I don't have the M-card that you mention but I do have 2 cable cards that both see the Charter signal. I also have OTA recording set up.

The only comment that I have is that my service with respect to being able to consistently see the HD channels in my guide is spotty. This is especially true when new channels are added. For example, when ESPN2-HD was added many weeks ago, both it and ESPN-HD showed up as ESPN-HD. They showed the same shows in the guide too, though the signal on channel 772 was ESPN2-HD. Made it hard to schedule stuff cause you couldn't see it in the guide. I got tired of calling Charter cause they would refer me to Tivo, etc, etc. etc.

After about 3 weeks the guide finally figured it out. The bottom line is that this isn't a 100% reliable solution if that is what you are looking for.

R
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:00 PM   #849
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So, if I understand correctly, I need to call up Charter and order the Hi-Def view package and a multi-stream card (M-Card), yes?
The Series 3 doesn't support M-Cards in multistream mode. So you will have to have 2 CableCards installed. M-cards will work, but in single tuner mode. So, either way, you will need 2 of whatever type of cards the installer brings.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:02 PM   #850
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After about 3 weeks the guide finally figured it out. The bottom line is that this isn't a 100% reliable solution if that is what you are looking for.
Other than a guide issue with a new channel what hasn't been reliable? Guide issues with new channels are not uncommon and they affect more than just TiVos. If the only issue you have had is guide data, then, I would say it has been pretty reliable.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:18 AM   #851
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Other than a guide issue with a new channel what hasn't been reliable? Guide issues with new channels are not uncommon and they affect more than just TiVos. If the only issue you have had is guide data, then, I would say it has been pretty reliable.
Rain,
I was in a hurry yesterday so I didn't go into as much detail as I could have. The problem was more than simply the guide data not being correct for ESPN-HD and ESPN2-HD. Here are the two biggest problems.

When I added the sports package, primarily to get TVG on channel 401, the Tivo didn't show those channels in the guide. Finally I realized that I needed to check them in the list of channels that I receive. No problem, went in there and checked all 6 or 7 channels. This is where the problem starts. The next morning, the channels are no longer shown as being checked. So I go back in and check them off again. If the Tivo reboots, which it was doing maybe every few days for awhile there, the new sports package channels would again either be unchecked, or sometimes even completely disappear from the list. This led to calls to Charter, etc.

The second problem that I had was that for the longest time I couldn't get both cable cards to work. I would go into setup and into the cable card tuner test. CC1 would usually see the channels I was supposed to be getting, while CC2 would often be missing all of the added channels. Missing the sports package channels as well as the HD package channels. I called Charter many times to have them re-activate the CC's. Note that this problem also happened most often following reboots of the Tivo.

Having said all that, you might say that my Tivo is simply bad or I need a new set of CC's. I added an external SATA drive to my Series 3 back when it was discovered that you could do this. Airflow ig good and the units are running quite cool so overheating is not the problem.

I finally came to the conclusion that there is definitely some kind of handshaking problem between the Tivo, the CC's and the cable company following a reboot. This isn't too hard too imagine given the complexity of the situation. By this I mean: 1) Customer calling CableCo and adding / deleting channels, which ultimately must be electronically communicated to the Tivo from the head end, 2) Normal channel additions / deletions that the CableCo does on it's own, like recently adding several HD channels to the HD package, 3) The Tivo rebooting, and then requiring some kind of automatic reauthorization from the front end for both of the cable cards to work properly.

You would hope that the CC specification would have foreseen all of these possibilities and had a protocol for handling all cases. Apparently that is not the case. Also, when the Series 3 came out it was one of the first units to have 2 CC tuners. The CableCo needs to have software on their end to handle cases where a single device has more than 1 CC tuner. When I would call Charter it would take me 10 minutes to convey the concept to them that I had a single box that had 2 CC in it!

I eventually got tired of calling them up and sitting on hold 20-30 minutes each time before telling the person I needed to talk to level 2 tech support. It came down to whether I wanted to be constantly checking that I receive all the channels that I'm supposed to receive, on both CC tuners, every time that I turn the TV on, or simply wait for things to work themselves out. I will say that since about December of 2007 things have been more stable, the ESPN-HD ESPN2-HD guide labeling problem notwithstanding.

We are dealing with basically very powerful computers (The Tivo) running a real time operating system processing high rate video streams over a network with additional devices (CC's) in the mix deciding what channels I should be able to receive. It's really a wonder it works as well as it does. My job involves debugging HW/SW problems in a similar environment, so I feel for those customers who do not have a technical background. It must seem like magic to them.

R
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:27 PM   #852
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Bumbling fool gets it right

I bought a new TivoHD despite all of the horror stories about making the cablecards work.
Bubba, an actual "Charter employee" showed up to install my cablecards. He was so helpful, the first thing he did with the installation instructions is throw them aside, "I done one of these before". Of course the first thing he does is put both cards in and start clicking on the remote like he's texting someone.
Despite his incompetence he was able to recite the numbers that Tivo put on the screen to two different people on the phone. Person A idiot, person B knew what a cable card was.
I think the cable card technology is easy, the problem is with the morons that are a brick shy of a load.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:06 PM   #853
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I am a Charter customer here in So Cal. I also bought the Tivo HD unit from woot. I am new to Tivo and don't have any expertise about this.

So I called up Charter to ask about cable cards and the rep was fairly knowledgeable. She asked if the Tivo unit has dual support and I said "Yes". She told me that I would need 2 cable cards and my digital receiver is no longer needed. The Charter wire would run into the Tivo unit and the tech would come set up the 2 cable cards. I'll probably move the digital receiver on our 2nd TV. The cable card installation runs about $33 and she said I can't do it myself so I have an appt next week. I hope this works out and I look forward to the benefits of Tivo.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:36 AM   #854
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I am a Charter customer here in So Cal. I also bought the Tivo HD unit from woot. I am new to Tivo and don't have any expertise about this.

So I called up Charter to ask about cable cards and the rep was fairly knowledgeable. She asked if the Tivo unit has dual support and I said "Yes". She told me that I would need 2 cable cards and my digital receiver is no longer needed. The Charter wire would run into the Tivo unit and the tech would come set up the 2 cable cards. I'll probably move the digital receiver on our 2nd TV. The cable card installation runs about $33 and she said I can't do it myself so I have an appt next week. I hope this works out and I look forward to the benefits of Tivo.
With the Tivo HD you do have the choice to have one M-Card or two S-Cards installed. With Charter it really isnt a big deal to have two S-Cards since they only charge $2 per card. If you still watch PPV or VOD you will need to retain a Charter Receiver. All you need to do is split the cable and have one go into the Tivo and the other into the Charter Receiver. Then just run the outputs into different inputs on your TV. Or as you mentioned you can just move it to another TV. Just be patient, it might take a trip or two (or three) but they will eventually get it working.
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:31 PM   #855
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No HD View Channels

Well, at least everyone I talked to at Charter had heard of CableCards. I had three tech visits, the first of which didn't even know how to seat the cards in the Tivo, and the last of which was the head tech here in Fort Worth. This last guy was the most knowledgeable.

My problem was that I could get the Lifeline channels which are the broadcast channels minus my ABC affiliate because they charge the cable companies to broadcast their HD signal (Thanks Belo). So I have to have an antenna anyway. But I couldn't get the "View" channels. The local guys, including the supervisor/expert kept telling me that the cards were fine and so it must be an account issue. But the Charter tech support guys said that it was a CableCard issue. The cards were addressable. We went through about five cards all told.

After spending an hour on the phone with a support guy and two supervisors last night, I'm pulling the cards and am settling for OTA HD. Fortunately, I have over 90% signal strength on all channels.

Can anyone here suggest what they might be overlooking? Were the cards supposed to be programmed before they left the office?

Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:52 AM   #856
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Can anyone here suggest what they might be overlooking? Were the cards supposed to be programmed before they left the office?
I'm in FW too and Charter has been horrible here. They are still trying to figure out how to work with account settings with CCs here so you may want to call and have them give your account a good close look. Dispatch flipped several account settings on and off randomly trying to get mine to work. I have never gotten any channels on my card though so your way ahead of me.

Here's my story if anyone else has any tips: I called to have a card installed in my TiVoHD last wk. The first tech, a contractor, didn't know wtf he was doing. After I walked him through the process of which numbers to write down before he called it in, he pulled the "you're all set up and you'll get your channels in 30min or so." He wouldn't listen to me and left anyways.

After I got off of work that night I tried some troubleshooting myself (re-inserting the cc, rebooting, etc) and then call dispatch myself. Tech #1 had used my home phone after his cell phone died and 'redial' is a beautiful thing. Dispatch wasn't happy that I had their number but after I told them the situation they worked hard to help as much as they could. This is where they flipped things around, added removed premium channels, dvrs, hd etc. It seemed to me like they were kind of swinging so maybe they can hit a sweet spot for you. My card is useless so nothing they tried helped.

Two days later all the second tech told me was that the first guy was a moron, the CC I got was useless and that he didn't have any others with him even though a bad CC was the purpose of the service call. Charter is sending me a third tech on Tuesday.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:31 AM   #857
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I had my CableCard installation yesterday. I have Charter in Athens, AL, part of the Decatur, AL system. Installation seemed to go smoothly enough, though the (contractor) tech they sent out didn't know anything about CableCards. He brought a Scientific Atlanta M-card, which was a good sign. He called in and set up the pairing information without incident. I got the channel map and good signal, but no HD View tier. I let the tech off the hook, figuring I would get it sorted out with customer service.

Anyway, I called in to Customer Service; they showed that I was only subscribed to Basic and Expanded Basic, but no HD View, so we added that. The CSR hit the card a couple of times, but no joy. Poking around the menus, I found that the CA (Conditional Availability) status was "Not Staged" and on the CP (Copy Protection) screen, the status was "Waiting for CP auth". After a couple of calls with the lady at Charter, who was patient and tried to be helpful, I figured that I'd call TiVo. She did ask the installer to return to help get it sorted out.

Called the main support number and got someone who passed me up to "Tier 2". The rep there basically read me the info that I later found on the "Troubleshooting CableCard activation and channel issues" page, and had no idea what to tell Charter to move this along.

Since I got cut off from the helpful Charter rep, I called back and got someone who basically threw up her hands and scheduled a trouble call for tomorrow (Wednesday). I tried calling again and got a lady who knew what I was talking about, but needed to transfer me to another department. The guy who finally answered transfered me again, but the number went to a disconnected Palm, Inc support department message.

So, I called again and spoke to "Jeremy". who didn't know anything about CableCards, either, but was able to verify that the serial number and MAC address matched in their database. He went offline to speak to a supervisor, then asked if I had removed the card from the slot. I told him that I had as part of the troubleshooting process earlier in the day. He responded that removing the card would require a truck roll. I told him that was ridiculous and he went offline again to talk to "dispatch". The response he got from them indicated that the CA status of "Not Staged" meant that the card wasn't set up correctly at the warehouse, and that the only fix was for a truck roll to bring out a properly initialized card. This is where I stand now.

I did find another thread that indicated that TWC's system could send a bunch (more than 32) EMMs to beat the card into submission, and that would fix the "Not Staged" status. I suppose I could call Charter this morning and see if they can get someone to try that.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:38 AM   #858
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You might want to call this morning and ask that along with a new M-Card that the tech bring two S-Cards as well. I have no idea why but we tried two different M-Cards in my Tivo HD and we never could get them working right. We finally tried using two S-Cards and everything worked. It's only $2 more per month but having it work right is well worth that. Good luck!
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:47 AM   #859
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I called Charter again this morning and asked them to try sending a bunch of EMMs. They claim to have done so, but still no joy. I guess I'll just have to wait until tomorrow when they bring a new M-card. I asked them to make sure that the new card gets initialized at the warehouse.

I think I'll pass on the two S-card solution, because the M-card is supposed to work and maybe they'll learn something so that the next install goes more smoothly.
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:40 PM   #860
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Success! This time the contractor was the 'regional quality control manager' for the contracting co. Whatever he was, he actually knew what he was doing. He brought more than one cable card (one SA m-type and one SA s-type). The mcard worked perfectly the first time and the channels showed up instantly in the channel test. He even waited while TiVo went through the guided setup again and made sure that I got every channel. No account juggling, no trouble.

I would say 'thank you charter' but 'finally' comes to mind. My digital signal strength still drops dramatically whenever it rains. Good luck to everyone else, I've got some TiVo to watch! -D
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:22 AM   #861
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My digital signal strength still drops dramatically whenever it rains.
Sounds like there is a leak somewhere in the lines outside of your house. If the signal drops to where you get pixelation I would have Charter come back out and run some tests on the outside lines. If it's happening now it's not ever going to get any better in the future unless they can find the problem and fix it.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:33 AM   #862
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He went offline to speak to a supervisor, then asked if I had removed the card from the slot. I told him that I had as part of the troubleshooting process earlier in the day. He responded that removing the card would require a truck roll. I told him that was ridiculous and he went offline again to talk to "dispatch".

It is partially true what he said. You should never remove a CableCard while the TiVo is running. Otherwise, it will have to be re-paired to the box by the cable company (mainly if the link the cablecard to the host for which my charter doesn't thankfully). However, if they would have re-initialized the card, it should of fixed the issue.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:58 AM   #863
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Sounds like there is a leak somewhere in the lines outside of your house. If the signal drops to where you get pixelation I would have Charter come back out and run some tests on the outside lines. If it's happening now it's not ever going to get any better in the future unless they can find the problem and fix it.
Thanks Brettatk but I've already had techs sent out at least 4 times since January. When it actually happens to be raining when they arrive I'm told,

"Yeah, the problem is on the line and not your connection. I'll have to get a line tech out."

A week later I receive a message that says my problem is fixed. Then it rains a couple wks later and I call it in again and the tech arrives when it's sunny and 75f when I'm not having a problem and obviously can't take any worth while readings. They got tired of me calling and they've discounted my account for the next 6 mo. The last rep I talked to at the local office said that my entire neighborhood is having similar problems. Meh, it only really hurts the digital channels and I get the OTA hd channels now thnx to Tivo anyways. I can wait patiently while it rains and call again in July.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:17 PM   #864
GlenH100
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Charter came back out today. This time it was a real Charter tech. He had everything up and running in about ten minutes. I don't know exactly what he did differently from the first time, since he sent the pairing information to dispatch via text message. He did mention that "Not Staged" was normal for a CableCARD that was freshly installed; otherwise it would be paired to the device in the warehouse. Before attempting installation, he swapped out my splitter and cables and (at my request) installed a new F connector on the cable coming out of the wall. I don't think any of this made a difference, because I had "Locked" status on the DAVIC channel and I was receiving channel map.

Then he spent another half hour or more bringing my drop "up to code". He replaced the two 2-way splitters in the entrance box with a new style three way splitter. He installed drop hangers on the drop cable, dressed the cables on the exterior wall, and sealed the points where the cables passed through the concrete block foundation. I was impressed with his sense of craft and attention to detail.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:51 PM   #865
rainwater
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Charter came back out today. This time it was a real Charter tech. He had everything up and running in about ten minutes. I don't know exactly what he did differently from the first time, since he sent the pairing information to dispatch via text message.
Most likely, he actually knew what he was doing and more importantly, he sent the pairing information to a person who knows how to enter it. In my experience, the biggest hurdle is relaying the CableCard information to a person who knows how to enter it. If the person setting up the account doesn't know the difference between a cable box and a cablecard (which is common at Charter), then it is going to be a long struggle.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:34 PM   #866
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I am a Charter customer here in So Cal. I also bought the Tivo HD unit from woot. I am new to Tivo and don't have any expertise about this.

So I called up Charter to ask about cable cards and the rep was fairly knowledgeable. She asked if the Tivo unit has dual support and I said "Yes". She told me that I would need 2 cable cards and my digital receiver is no longer needed. The Charter wire would run into the Tivo unit and the tech would come set up the 2 cable cards. I'll probably move the digital receiver on our 2nd TV. The cable card installation runs about $33 and she said I can't do it myself so I have an appt next week. I hope this works out and I look forward to the benefits of Tivo.
I had my installation on Monday. My appt was supposed to be 3-5pm. The guy calls me at noon and asks if he can come over. I wasn't quite ready because I was still looking for a long phone line to connect the Tivo to my phone jack. Charter in So Cal uses contractors and this guy was an idiot. He brought one M-card and said he would need to come back since I don't have a phone line connected.

I told him to just connect the cablecard and get it activated. He didn't want to do it and said it would be a waste of time. I basically just told him to just install the "freaking" card. So he puts in the card and calls the office to get the card activated. Bingo! I am getting all my channels in the test screen and my HD channels!!! I thank the idiot and he was surprised that it could be m-card could be activated. So I kick him out and I run to store to get a phone line to finish the rest of the activation and setup.

Things have been running pretty smooth and I am able to record 2 shows at the same time. Tivo has been great for my 1st week.

My next project is to get the wireless broadband working and ditch the phone line. I also need to upgrade my 20hr HD and get an external eSata drive.
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:05 PM   #867
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Most likely, he actually knew what he was doing and more importantly, he sent the pairing information to a person who knows how to enter it. In my experience, the biggest hurdle is relaying the CableCard information to a person who knows how to enter it. If the person setting up the account doesn't know the difference between a cable box and a cablecard (which is common at Charter), then it is going to be a long struggle.
Well, he certainly knew what he was doing. In addition, yesterday afternoon my cable internet dropped out and I looked outside to see a lineman in a bucket truck at my pole. He was replacing the two 2-way splitters on the pole with a current model 4-way splitter. The tech who fixed my installation called it in for a fix. They just started offering telephone service on our system and appear to be fixing minor configuration issues as they find them.
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:45 AM   #868
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I had a further problem with my installation; I have been losing analog channels after a couple of days. A reboot fixes it for a while. TiVo's CableCARD support line said that it's a bad card, so I called Charter to schedule a replacement.

Of course, the new one didn't work and the tech (same as last time) spent a couple hours working with dispatch to get it sorted out. He called his supervisor, who referred him to the IT department. It was determined that the CableCARD wasn't properly set up when it was brought into inventory. There is a ".tar" file associated with each CableCARD, which must be loaded into the head-end. I don't know exactly what is in the file, but it probably matches the serial number to the card's MAC address, and contains the card's public key for encrypted communication between the head-end and the card. Anyway, this file wasn't loaded into the system, so nothing would work. The guy in the IT department had to request it from SA and load it into the system. I could see that had occurred because after several hours, the card showed 94 EMMs processed, as well as a change from "Not Staged" to "Ready" status on the CA screen.

However, the card wasn't paired, so I had to call Customer Service to get this done. The first CSR was clueless and just sent a regular hit to no effect. I asked the second one to send a "host validation" hit, but that didn't do anything until he sent a regular hit as well. Now I have all my channels back. At this point, I'm just waiting to see if my analog channels get turned off again.

I think that analog channel loss may be another head-end configuration error, but will wait and see. I'm learning more than any customer should need to know about cable system internals. Maybe I should apply for a support position with either TiVo or one of the cable operators. :-)
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:40 PM   #869
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I was just told by a customer service rep that cablecards are not available in my area. Is that possible?
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:18 AM   #870
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I was just told by a customer service rep that cablecards are not available in my area. Is that possible?
It depends on what cable company you have. If it's one of the big ones (Charter, Comcast, TW, etc) then no it's not possible, they have to supply you with a cablecard. That is unless they are out of stock and are waiting for more to come in. But there are some areas which do not have many subscribers that were issued a waiver and are not required to offer them. If you give us your location or your Cable provider then perhaps we could find out.
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