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Old 02-01-2007, 09:58 PM   #1
jtholle
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Cable Card installs in Albuquerque

Hello,

I have an S3 in Albuquerque and currently I'm just running it analog and using the OTA HD.

I was hoping to hear from anyone in Albuquerque who had comcast come out and install the cable cards. I would be interested in both good and bad experiences.

I'm thinking about ordering cable cards soon. From what I can tell, they are going to charge about $14 a month for both cards plus some for installation. Was anyone able to talk comcast into letting you install the cable cards yourself?

Thanks for the info
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:37 AM   #2
jerrich
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Location: Abq NM
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Nope they wouldn't let me either. I opted for no cable cards; just use their SA8300 dvr for the digital channels. My Tivo 3 has a major problem with losing Comcast analog channels. I hope the 8.1 software someday will fix it.
JR
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Old 02-02-2007, 12:07 PM   #3
JamieP
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I have an S3 with two Comcast cable cards in Santa Fe. I took a few trips before they got the cards provisioned right for conditional access, but it's been working fine since that got taken care of.

They wouldn't let me do a self install. Neither would they let me deal directly with the folks that do the headend provisioning.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:14 PM   #4
ktuley
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Nope!

Not only did they not "let" me install em, they kept telling me they weren't supported etc.

I ended up buying an antenna to get the digital signals over air. another money and I will be saving money over the extra for the cards, digital etc...
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:10 PM   #5
beartrash
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I just had a Comcast dispatch up here in the far northeast ABQ, because both my cablecards lost all their digital channels this weekend.

Both cards are authorized, but nada. Up until this problem, the cablecards had been working pretty well for the last several months, esp. since the 8.1 upgrade which resolved a bit of glitchy-ness associated with the mpeg2 streams.

So, my experience is that the market is new, the 2 techs I've had out here claim that they have not been able to have one totally successful install, i.e. all channels received on both cablecards. I had mostly all the channels, with the exception of MTVHD, which was okay, but that was then, this is now.

Although, I was finally able to get tech support to send a hit to the cablecards, which they refused to do before.
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Old 03-16-2007, 04:07 PM   #6
JamieP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beartrash
I just had a Comcast dispatch up here in the far northeast ABQ, because both my cablecards lost all their digital channels this weekend.

Both cards are authorized, but nada.

...
I lost a subset of my HD channels in the last week in Santa Fe (DHD,INHD,UHD, etc). A Comcast support person told me they changed the software on the headend side recently, and they've had a lot of problems since. They're still working on getting me my channels back.
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:53 PM   #7
beartrash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieP
I lost a subset of my HD channels in the last week in Santa Fe (DHD,INHD,UHD, etc). A Comcast support person told me they changed the software on the headend side recently, and they've had a lot of problems since. They're still working on getting me my channels back.
Cool, that jives with what my tech told me. He mentioned they've been having troubles since they recently moved the local market to CSG, the billing, provisioning and customer support system as part of their on-going attempt to standardize stuff nationwide.

I've got another dispatch on coming up on the 22nd and I'm getting a discount for not having any digital channels for a couple of weeks now.

Although, this respite from "Digital Silver" has made me realize how much I don't really miss the digital channels, with a few exceptions.

If Comcast can't resolve my issues, I'll probably just cancel the digital tier service and just go with basic analog service and my OTA HD channels.
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:35 PM   #8
JamieP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beartrash
Cool, that jives with what my tech told me. He mentioned they've been having troubles since they recently moved the local market to CSG, the billing, provisioning and customer support system as part of their on-going attempt to standardize stuff nationwide.

I've got another dispatch on coming up on the 22nd and I'm getting a discount for not having any digital channels for a couple of weeks now.

Although, this respite from "Digital Silver" has made me realize how much I don't really miss the digital channels, with a few exceptions.

If Comcast can't resolve my issues, I'll probably just cancel the digital tier service and just go with basic analog service and my OTA HD channels.
They still haven't resolved it for me. I'm getting all the digital SD channels, the HD OTC rebroadcasts, and the HD premiums (HBO, etc) just fine. It's just the non premium, non free HD channels (DHD, UHD, INHD, etc) that are the problem. Unfortunately, thst's where a lot of my season passes are.
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:21 PM   #9
jtholle
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Well, about a month ago I found out that the first person I had talked to on the phone was wrong and that the additional cable card was only $1.50 a month instead of $6.95. This made it reasonable to try out the cable cards on the S3.

When I called to set up an appointment, I asked to have someone sent that had done an S3 install before. They told me that they had installed lots of cable cards in tivo S3s and that it shouldn't be a problem

Last Friday I had an appointment from 8-10. I finally heard from the guy about 9:45. He called to say that ( as you guys have mentioned) that none of the cable card installs had ever worked and that they were having a hard time this week because of the change over to the new system. I still wanted him to come over and attempt the install. I just told him to bring more than two cable cards because bad cable cards seemed to be the main problem with the installs that I had read about here. He said he had to sign the cards out himself and it was like pulling teeth just to get the two he got.

When the got here about 10:30, I realized he was a contractor. He really wasn't sure what to do it seemed. I showed him the instructions I had from TIVO and also several print outs from the forum that talked more about the steps.

He pulled out two cable cards from a plastic baggy he had in his coat pocket. They were Scientific Atlanta PowerKEY (blue) PKM600. The dates on them were 08/23/2006 and 06/13/2006.

He called comcast to tell them the numbers on the card. I told him I was pretty sure we put one of the cards in first and then it brought up a screen and we had to read a couple of numbers back to the main office. While we were waiting to talk to someone. We put the first card in the bottom slot and then waited. I told him we didn't need to touch anything for at least 5 minutes to see if the MMI screen would pop up. That didn't happen so I went into the diagnostic menu and saw that it was updating firmware. He finally got connected and read off the two serial numbers on the cards to the guy on the phone who assigned them to my account and did the first hit. He said it might take 20 mins to authorize. So we waited about 30 mins and it actually said the firmware was still updating.

After about an hour, the counter on the diagnostic page went to about 3600 secs and then it stopped updating the firmware. This seemed good, but then about a minute later, it started trying to download the firmware again.

So, we never got to the MMI screen to read back to the headend


Anyway, Since I had read that you can put both cards in at the same time to install them, we went ahead and put the second card (maybe the first card was bad) in and it basically started doing the same thing. ( trying to download new firmware)

I told the tech he could leave since I had heard that this process could take overnight. He thought that was a good idea. I told him to call me later though to see if it had worked or if I needed him to call anything else in.

Basically for the next 8 hours it continued trying to download the firmware. Stopping every hour like it was done and then starting up again. About 9pm. I called TIVO just to ask if they new what was going on or had seen these repeated attempt to download the firmware. They were friendly, but had not hear of this before. they suggested I call comcast..which I did. They hit the cards a few times, but nothing happened. They suggested I reboot the tivo and then call back if that didn't work so they could send a tech out again.

I left the cards in overnight and checked in the morning. It was still going through the loop. I checked my connections again.. Basically having the tivo connected directly to the wall and that the connections were tight. I'm also going to try at another cable outlet in the house. But I'm pretty sure I have a strong signal.

I read some posts here about the 'FIRMWARE UPGRADE SCREEN OF DEATH' or something like that. Basically some people had the same problem. I couldn't find any thing different to try other than new cards.

At this point, I think it may have something to do with the new headend software or something on their end since it affected you guys the last couple of weeks.

It would be nice if I could get them to do a cold init on the cards, which hopefully would reset the cards to default. I had read here that the SA cards aren't very robust if they have already been placed in another device and maybe had the firmware start to download.

I took the cards out so I wouldn't miss my shows this week(basically just back to analog cable and the OTA HD), but I'm probably going to try to schedule another appointment in the near future and also put the cards in myself again later this week to see if I can get past this. Maybe when your authorized cable cards work again I will have some luck.

When they come back next time, I'm going to see if they can bring some NEW cards. hopefully this information helps someone.

Thanks for all the input and suggestions.

Jeromy
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:55 PM   #10
beartrash
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtholle
When the got here about 10:30, I realized he was a contractor.
I'm really surprised to hear that. Maybe they're getting hammered enough with all the cablecards they're breaking to have to resort to outsourcing the cablecard installs as they do with most installs?

My next dispatch is on the 03/22. I'll post how that goes. Hopefully the billing and provisioning system issues will be resolved by then.
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:46 AM   #11
jtholle
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The tech said he was from the Dallas area and that they brought him in to help with add the VOIP or some other new service that Comcast is adding that they have had in Dallas for a while. This was his first CC install attempt I believe. He said they were renting a place over on San Antonio and that his boss was trying to hire people as fast as he could.

Maybe that is why it was so hard for him to get and bring extra cable cards. I will be interested to see how your service call goes.
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:34 PM   #12
beartrash
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Dang you Comcast and your ineptitude

So, here is the promised Comcast cablecard dispatch update.

I received a phone call earlier today from the tech that was supposed to come to my home today.

He stated that he had attended a meeting yesterday, during which they discussed the current broken-ness of cablecards in the New Mexico market. They don't know when they'll be able to properly provision cablecards again.

He told me because of this on-going issue, there would be no benefit to today's dispatch.

I'm supposed to be get a call from his supervisor later today, we'll see.

[later...]

So, after not getting a phone call from any supervisor, I called up Comcast again to ask when the provisioning system issues would be resolved.

The tech on the phone sent another hit to my cablecards and service was restored. This phone tech did indicate they were still having issues with provisioning though, so wish me luck :smile:

Although one word of advice, do not powercycle any device with cablecards, because I bet that you'll lose all digital channels once the Tivo has rebooted.

Last edited by beartrash : 03-22-2007 at 07:55 PM.
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