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Old 11-27-2006, 06:21 PM   #1
Gerhard
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Help! Tivo3 stopped decoding!!

Ok,

So I've had a Tivo 3 for about 1 1/2 months... (Within days of when they were released...)

Anyway, after a BUNCH of annoyance with Comcast, I was able to get the cable cards to work and all was good.

About 1 hour ago I was watching a show and all of a sudden my Tivo would no longer decode premium content, and both cards suddenly are no longer "Enabled by CP." [Enabled by CP: NO]

I called and had the cable company hit the cards numberous times... and the 1st card will enable, but the second card just will not.

However, card 1 will not decode premium content even though it's supposed to be enabled, and the cable company claims I'm authorized for all of the premium cannels I'm supposed to get...

...Has Tivo changed anything? If not, does anyone have any thoughts??

Gerhard
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Old 11-27-2006, 06:57 PM   #2
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The same thing just happened to me tonight. When I got home tonight all my channels were dead on both cable cards. I reset the TIVO and still nothing. Then I had Comcast hit both cards. The non-premium channels came in but nothing else. Then I pulled both cards and tried to go through the set up procedure again with another Comcast rep. No luck. Same thing. Only the non-premium channels. I finally got to a so-called second tier tech and spent 30 minutes arguing politely with her that there was no problem with the cards it's just that there was some sort of misconfiguration problem on their end that resulted in my the cable cards being unable to decode the premium channels. I just hung up after she kept repeating herself that the only thing they could do would be to schedule a visit.

I'm in Montgomery county MD. Where are you? Something must have got screwed up with Comcast.

My set up had been working for several weeks.
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:13 PM   #3
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I'm in Germantown.... so I'm in Montgomery, County. I've got an appointment for Wed from 5PM to 8PM.

They absolutely did something to the cards, but they are now reporting:

EnabledbyCP: YES

...but I can not get any of the premium channels... and now when I call Comcast I'm getting a busy signal... so there must be more Tivo3's and Cable Card devices than I suspected...

Damn... those bastards at ComCast are screwing us up again... I'm telling, Verizon is about to become my cable company just to make a statement....
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhard
I'm in Germantown.... so I'm in Montgomery, County. I've got an appointment for Wed from 5PM to 8PM.

They absolutely did something to the cards, but they are now reporting:

EnabledbyCP: YES

...but I can not get any of the premium channels... and now when I call Comcast I'm getting a busy signal... so there must be more Tivo3's and Cable Card devices than I suspected...

Damn... those bastards at ComCast are screwing us up again... I'm telling, Verizon is about to become my cable company just to make a statement....
I just got off the phone with CC after a 15 minute wait. This was the fourth call--sometimes you get lucky and speak to a rep who is willing to go beyond the standard protocol of sceduling a tech visit. Not this time. The guy was very polite but he said that there was no trouble report in the system that there was a general problem. I went though the entire set up again with him, hitting one card until it was recognized, then inserting and hitting the second card. All the channels come in on both cards except the premiums. Interestingly he told me that my second cable card was not even in the system so I had to give him the SN again. He re-entered it, swore that it was coded correctly to be able to receive the premium channels but no luck.

We scheduled a tech visit for tomorrow between 2 and 5 (crap! I'll have to get away from work!!!). After hanging up, my TIVO rebooted itself.

Something is really screwed up. I wonder if they did some sort of software upgrade on their side that screwed up the cable card codes.

I had really crappy experiences with Verizon back in the day when I had DSL internet from them. I would never want to go back. I'll just see how this develops in the next day or so.
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Old 11-27-2006, 08:15 PM   #5
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Well, your experience and thoughts are mirroring mine...

There is definately a difference with how the Tivo3 is handling encrypted digital channels since I originally configured it.

Now, when I attempt to go to the Cable Card channel TEST screen, the 2nd cable card, even though it's reporting ENABLEDBYCP: YES... it jumps to a Cable Card screen that shows the information about Cable Card #2.

My Tivo3 never did this previously... if it couldn't decode a channel, it used to just show a gray screen. Now the Tivo shows this Cable Card infromation screen (as opposed to the screen that pops up when the Tivo3 has a cable card inserted...).

My two current thoughts are:

1) Tivo updated the OS and it's caused a change in behavior.

2) Comcast screwed up the billing and decided to do something with the second cable card (start charging, or delete it from the system, etc...), and now they are not authorized to recieve premium channels.

At the moment, I'm pretty sure its a CrapCast, ahem, I mean ComCast issue. It happened about around 5:30PM EST while I was watching a recorded Tivo program... and the unit jumped to the cable card screen in the middle of my recorded show.

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Old 11-27-2006, 08:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhard
Well, your experience and thoughts are mirroring mine...

There is definately a difference with how the Tivo3 is handling encrypted digital channels since I originally configured it.

Now, when I attempt to go to the Cable Card channel TEST screen, the 2nd cable card, even though it's reporting ENABLEDBYCP: YES... it jumps to a Cable Card screen that shows the information about Cable Card #2.

My Tivo3 never did this previously... if it couldn't decode a channel, it used to just show a gray screen. Now the Tivo shows this Cable Card infromation screen (as opposed to the screen that pops up when the Tivo3 has a cable card inserted...).

My two current thoughts are:

1) Tivo updated the OS and it's caused a change in behavior.

2) Comcast screwed up the billing and decided to do something with the second cable card (start charging, or delete it from the system, etc...), and now they are not authorized to recieve premium channels.

At the moment, I'm pretty sure its a CrapCast, ahem, I mean ComCast issue. It happened about around 5:30PM EST while I was watching a recorded Tivo program... and the unit jumped to the cable card screen in the middle of my recorded show.

Gerhard
I'm getting the same behavior. If I go to a premium channel TIVO kicks me back into the information screen with a message that says the cable company needs to be contacted to activate the card. This is the so-called mmi screen that comes up when you first set up the cable card.

TIVO hasn't updated their system. Everyone is waiting for the November upgrade but when it happens we will get a message informing us of that. And you can check the system information. I'm sure you will see that the version hasn't changed. Finally everyone on this forum would be talking about the upgrade. It has to be something that Comcast did.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:31 PM   #7
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Whoa - my (Loudoun) Adelphia is served by the same head-end/dispatch and setup office, so hopefully mine doesn't go down too!

I was jut on the phone with them a while ago about the double-billing of 2 CCs as Two outlets issue.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:35 PM   #8
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I just called Tivo to ask about and incremental updates, and there are none.

So the problem MUST be with the head-end in Mongomery County... I suspect CrapCast did something to the cards.

One of my first thoughts is to remove a service and see if that resets the cards authorization to get channels. Since obviously calling them and asking them if the account is enabled for the channels to work.

Oddly, my cable box works just fine... so the government contractor side of my brain in wonder if CrapCast is doing this on purpose in order to make Cable Card subscribers likfe difficult...
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhard
I just called Tivo to ask about and incremental updates, and there are none.

So the problem MUST be with the head-end in Mongomery County... I suspect CrapCast did something to the cards.

One of my first thoughts is to remove a service and see if that resets the cards authorization to get channels. Since obviously calling them and asking them if the account is enabled for the channels to work.

Oddly, my cable box works just fine... so the government contractor side of my brain in wonder if CrapCast is doing this on purpose in order to make Cable Card subscribers likfe difficult...
Well it is pretty clear that Comcast does not have a particularly strong incentive to make cable cards work smoothly. Think of how much money they lose when someone switches one of their boxes for a TIVO. I kind of doubt, however, that they actively tried to sabotage the TIVOs. I think it is more like a kind of general organizational incompetence that led to a problem with the cable cards and managment then puts the fix low on the to do list. I think some of the individual reps are trying to do a good job but they are not given sufficient information/training (mostly they just read off a screen through a list of options)and I'm sure that they have some sort of criterion by which they are judged that rewards them for solving problems quickly and taking more calls per day. So they tend to want to push off on someone else anything that can't solve in a few minutes.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:01 PM   #10
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Just got home and checked to see what was on HBO.... nothing... I too am experiencing a decoder problem. Since October I have had not problems and installation was a snap with Comcast.

While I sat on HboHD, my Tivo rebooted by no premium content when it came back up.

I am in Rockville.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Just got home and checked to see what was on HBO.... nothing... I too am experiencing a decoder problem. Since October I have had not problems and installation was a snap with Comcast.

I am in Rockville.
Well I'm sorry to hear you are having problems but at least it is more evidence that Comcast Montgomery Co screwed something up and the problem has nothing to do with our individual set ups.

I've got a tech visit for tomorrow but I just know it is going to be a waste. They have to fix whatever they did to their system. It has nothing to do with the cable cards or the TIVO. I bet the guy comes out tomorrow and has no idea what is going on. My only hope is that enough people will have complained by then about losing their premium channels off the cable cards and someone at Comcast will figure out that it is a problem on their end.
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:46 AM   #12
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Me Too

Same thing is happening to me...I'm in Bethesda.

To repeat the info I posted to another thread here:

Tonight around 5-6PM, my Tivo S3's CableCards stopped receiving premium channels. I'm in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Comcast Digital Cable is my provider.

Did a cross check: every digital HD and SD channel was there, except HBO and Starz...my premiums. They were missing, both in HD and SD.

Both premium lineups were gone from both CableCards, when I did the channel test.

Continued the cross check: they were also gone from both of my Sony DHG-HDD250's....and just like the S3. everything else was fine.

So it wasn't my Tivo. Something happened at Comcast. Called customer service...she told me there had been lots of CableCard complaint calls tonight...same symptoms.

Something failed at Comcast's transmission center. Something that allows CableCards to read premium channels went down.

I don't think its our Tivos. I think Comcast is having a big problem.
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD_Dude
Same thing is happening to me...I'm in Bethesda.

To repeat the info I posted to another thread here:

Tonight around 5-6PM, my Tivo S3's CableCards stopped receiving premium channels. I'm in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Comcast Digital Cable is my provider.

Did a cross check: every digital HD and SD channel was there, except HBO and Starz...my premiums. They were missing, both in HD and SD.

Both premium lineups were gone from both CableCards, when I did the channel test.

Continued the cross check: they were also gone from both of my Sony DHG-HDD250's....and just like the S3. everything else was fine.

So it wasn't my Tivo. Something happened at Comcast. Called customer service...she told me there had been lots of CableCard complaint calls tonight...same symptoms.

Something failed at Comcast's transmission center. Something that allows CableCards to read premium channels went down.

I don't think its our Tivos. I think Comcast is having a big problem.
I'm glad to hear that it has finally got through to the Comcast reps that there is a general problem. I just checked this morning and they have not resolved the problem. All the premo channels are gone. I'm debating if it is worth keeping the tech visit today.
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Old 11-28-2006, 05:47 AM   #14
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This is kind of a joke. I don't know why I bother but I called Comcast just now and got a rep who said that there is no information in their system that indicates there is a generalized problem with cable cards and premium channels in Mo Co. She repreated the mantra that their policy is to send out a tech. How could they not have some sort of system to recognize that there are a lot of problem calls about the same issue in an area and then distribute that to their representatives? I wonder if, as an organization, they have even recognized that they have a problem.

So I have to go through the motions and waste time with this guy today so that they will elevate the problem like they should have done as soon as all these calls were registered in their system.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:44 PM   #15
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Comcast Fixed It

It's fixed.

Comcast called this morning. I talked to an excellent service rep, who took copious notes about my problem, and the fact that many, many of my friends in Montgomery County (referring to you all) were having the exact same issue. She actually understood that it wasn't my gear...it was on their end.

Now, as of 2:30 PM, without any visit from the Comcast tech...it's fixed.

All my DVR's, spanning four CableCards, are working perfectly, getting all channels.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:51 PM   #16
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It's fixed.

Comcast called this morning. I talked to an excellent service rep, who took copious notes about my problem, and the fact that many, many of my friends in Montgomery County (referring to you all) were having the exact same issue. She actually understood that it wasn't my gear...it was on their end.

Now, as of 2:30 PM, without any visit from the Comcast tech...it's fixed.

All my DVR's, spanning four CableCards, are working perfectly, getting all channels.
Well that is good news but I came home today to wait for a tech visit and just checked mine to see if some miracle had happened but, no, still no premo channels. I just talked to CC and got the same response as ever; they haven't heard of any problem; the only thing they can do is send a hit to the cards; the only other solution is a tech visit.

Can you provide me with any more information about what they did? Would greatly appreciate it.
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Old 11-28-2006, 01:55 PM   #17
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Well, Comcast...nice fake-out!

It lasted about 20 minutes....

Gone again.

Maybe that indicates they're working on it.....

Maybe they're just messin' with my head!

Wow.
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD_Dude
It lasted about 20 minutes....

Gone again.

Maybe that indicates they're working on it.....

Maybe they're just messin' with my head!

Wow.
Oh so they didn't fix it while you were on the phone. Well maybe if all of us keep trying we will succeed as a group. I'm waiting for someone from CC MO CO to call me back. I still haven't succeeded in getting anyone to admit that it is a problem in their system.
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:04 PM   #19
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Options

Hey Jack and everyone else in Montgomery County...

Sorry about the false alarm...Comcast can be devilish, as we all know.

Last night as we were all being shut out of the premium channels, I watched OTA HD through the Tivo S3 all evening...

The picture was incredible, the Dolby Digital 5.1 was sparkling, and all this using a small UHF antenna.

Makes me want to close down my Comcast account.

But there's more: the recent CableCard crash here couldn't come at a worse time for Comcast...because tonight? The county is expected to vote in...FIOS!

WTOP Article
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD_Dude
Hey Jack and everyone else in Montgomery County...

Sorry about the false alarm...Comcast can be devilish, as we all know.

Last night as we were all being shut out of the premium channels, I watched OTA HD through the Tivo S3 all evening...

The picture was incredible, the Dolby Digital 5.1 was sparkling, and all this using a small UHF antenna.

Makes me want to close down my Comcast account.

But there's more: the recent CableCard crash here couldn't come at a worse time for Comcast...because tonight? The county is expected to vote in...FIOS!

WTOP Article

Yeah I noticed a few months ago that Verizon was laying the fiber optic cable in my neighborhood. Still, I had such a horrible experience with verizon back in the old days when I had DSL from them that it makes me sick just to think about going back to them. They kept billing me for 6 months after I had not only cancelled their DSL but no longer even had a Verizon telephone line. Then they tried to force me to pay even once I provided them with the paperwork to prove that I had no Verizon phone line during the period in question!
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:29 PM   #21
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This is kind of a joke. I don't know why I bother but I called Comcast just now and got a rep who said that there is no information in their system that indicates there is a generalized problem with cable cards and premium channels in Mo Co. She repreated the mantra that their policy is to send out a tech. How could they not have some sort of system to recognize that there are a lot of problem calls about the same issue in an area and then distribute that to their representatives? I wonder if, as an organization, they have even recognized that they have a problem.

So I have to go through the motions and waste time with this guy today so that they will elevate the problem like they should have done as soon as all these calls were registered in their system.
This is a general problem for Comcast first-line reps - they don't have the ability to do anything OTHER than schedule a truck roll. Doesn't matter if it's a cable TV or broadband issue that impacts the neighborhood (or beyond) - truck roll. I even got that response when Comcast had a problem with one of their DNS servers.

In theory, if they get enough calls from a single area in a certain amount of time (usually an hour), a dispatch request is supposed to be sent to level 2, though I've not seen it work that way.

Fortunately, I have numbers for a senior tech and a branch manager, both of whom pretty much know if I call them and tell them they have a problem on the node that services my neighborhood, they know it's not just a problem at my house.

And the guys that actually do the troubleshooting are just as frustrated with the system as we are and can't believe that Comcast spends so much on truck rolls.
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
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This is a general problem for Comcast first-line reps - they don't have the ability to do anything OTHER than schedule a truck roll. Doesn't matter if it's a cable TV or broadband issue that impacts the neighborhood (or beyond) - truck roll. I even got that response when Comcast had a problem with one of their DNS servers.

In theory, if they get enough calls from a single area in a certain amount of time (usually an hour), a dispatch request is supposed to be sent to level 2, though I've not seen it work that way.

Fortunately, I have numbers for a senior tech and a branch manager, both of whom pretty much know if I call them and tell them they have a problem on the node that services my neighborhood, they know it's not just a problem at my house.

And the guys that actually do the troubleshooting are just as frustrated with the system as we are and can't believe that Comcast spends so much on truck rolls.
Well please call your guys and tell them MO CO has a problem!
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:46 PM   #23
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I just got off the phone with CrapCast, and, you've guessed it, they HAVE to send a truck with 2 new cable cards. (Even though these two indicate that they are authorized...)

It appears that a signal was sent that deauthorized that cards to accept premium content (decrypt premium content).

Honestly, I have a hard time buying this, as I originally had only HBO and then added everything else... and the cards were updated to allow StarZ, Cinimax, Showtime, etc....

To good news is that Verizon is now allowed to operate in Montgomery County... and I have FIOS installed! Soooo.... I think there is a good chance that I'm going to vote with my feet at some point. I already canned the Comcast cable modem as they DO NOT adhere to their own terms of service, and two of the techs indicated that Comcast's management routinely lie about service issues to customers...

It's going to be nice to have competition, the only problem is that we probably need more than two options....

Anyway, I'll post more tomorrow when the tech arrives... bastards...
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:45 AM   #24
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Well I'm befuddled. The tech arrived an hour later than the window, did a few signal checks inside then went to the outside box and did something there that brought back the picture on the premo channels. Since he was late I couldn't interrogate him much about what he did because I had guests arriving. He said something about switching the cable to another connection on the outside box.

The problem now is that, viewing for an hour or so late last night, some channels showed pixellation. I had this problem two weeks ago and a tech guy put an attenuator (I think) on the outside box which had solved the problem for a week until two nights ago when I lost the premo channels.

I think it is still clear that something happened to the Comcast signal that did something to all our cable cards but why a local adjustment remedied the problem I do not understand.

I'll have to watch some more tonight but it seems I am going to have to do another tech visit to fix the damn pixellation problem. It would be nice if they could explain just what the techs have done on each visit out to the box but that seems to be beyond the people you talk to on the phone. They claim to have no record of what was done, only that the visit took place. I don't even know if the techs themselves have a detailed record of what was done by the previous tech. It's a really a miserable set up.

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Old 11-29-2006, 06:48 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
This is a general problem for Comcast first-line reps - they don't have the ability to do anything OTHER than schedule a truck roll. Doesn't matter if it's a cable TV or broadband issue that impacts the neighborhood (or beyond) - truck roll. I even got that response when Comcast had a problem with one of their DNS servers.

In theory, if they get enough calls from a single area in a certain amount of time (usually an hour), a dispatch request is supposed to be sent to level 2, though I've not seen it work that way.

Fortunately, I have numbers for a senior tech and a branch manager, both of whom pretty much know if I call them and tell them they have a problem on the node that services my neighborhood, they know it's not just a problem at my house.

And the guys that actually do the troubleshooting are just as frustrated with the system as we are and can't believe that Comcast spends so much on truck rolls.
Yeah that seems right. I've heard that the CC phone answerers in DC sometimes work from home because people have heard children crying in the backgroud. It seems like CC is trying to minimize costs with these people.
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:17 AM   #26
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My premiums are back again. HBO, Starz, in HD and SD.

But since the last time was a false alarm, forgive me if I'm not too enthusiastic.

(yawn)

Meanwhile...FINALLY! YAY!

I've had FIOS telephone and high-speed for 18 months....ROCK SOLID! I hope TV is as good, 'cuz I'd like to be their first hook-up!
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:19 AM   #27
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My premiums are back again. HBO, Starz, in HD and SD.

But since the last time was a false alarm, forgive me if I'm not too enthusiastic.

(yawn)

Meanwhile...FINALLY! YAY!
This was without a tech visit?
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:58 AM   #28
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Yes

Hi again..

Yes, all the premiums are still back on, HD and SD, w/o a service visit.

No truck roll, no tech, no 'hits' from the tech center (that I'm aware of anyway).

They just appeared.

Which confirms my theory that it was never a Tivo problem...just some switch or software glitch or something at Comcast's tech center.

All is well in Bethesda. How about at your locations?
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:03 AM   #29
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Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD_Dude
Hi again..

Yes, all the premiums are still back on, HD and SD, w/o a service visit.

No truck roll, no tech, no 'hits' from the tech center (that I'm aware of anyway).

They just appeared.

Which confirms my theory that it was never a Tivo problem...just some switch or software glitch or something at Comcast's tech center.

All is well in Bethesda. How about at your locations?
As I said, my channels came back in last evening at about 6:15. It seemed to be as a result of what the tech guy did on my outside box. I don't know what to think at this point. I'm in Chevy Chase.

Could it be that what the tech guy did yesterday at my outside box did not have any effect and only took place concurrently with whatever happen on the CC system that reactivated your premo channels? Or could it be that he called something in and they made a general correction in the system and that resulted in your premo channels coming back in?

Any idea when your premo channels became available?
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:21 AM   #30
HD_Dude
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
As I said, my channels came back in last evening at about 6:15. It seemed to be as a result of what the tech guy did on my outside box. I don't know what to think at this point. I'm in Chevy Chase.

Could it be that what the tech guy did yesterday at my outside box did not have any effect and only took place concurrently with whatever happen on the CC system that reactivated your premo channels? Or could it be that he called something in and they made a general correction in the system and that resulted in your premo channels coming back in?

Any idea when your premo channels became available?
I checked at 10:30 last night...nothing. But as of 7:30 AM they were back.

I would think a 'general correction in the system' as you put it, would be right on the money. Especially since no one visited my place.
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