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Old 09-09-2013, 04:56 PM   #1
actionj
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Roamio Comcast survival guide

I have been on comcast and have been using tivos with cablecards for around 7 years now and I have had all sorts of problems but eventually get them solved. Here are my thoughts.

1) cablecards are a nightmare. Before you install the Roamio, show up to a comcast service center and pickup like 3 of them. Yes 3 of them. Just return the other 2 you don't end up using later.

2) If using wired ethernet for the Roamio, DO NOT put in your wireless settings even to test. I had horrible issues when I added both wireless and ethernet settings where even when I wanted to use ethernet, and it showed connected as ethernet, it was still connecting to wireless and causing MRV and streaming issues.

3) Setup your tivo subscription for the Roamio before turning it on. I guess transferring a plan from another tivo can be a hassle so when possible, just create a new plan for the roamio and if it's replacing a box, just cancel that old box's plan after the new roamio is setup and going.

4) before installing cable cards, connect to internet and run guided setup and have the major update roll out. Tivos take a day or two to get fully 100% operational. When I mean 100% I am talking about every last feature. Annoying but you deal with it.

5) Call this number and pray you get a good tech - 1-877-405-2298. Don't ever send a tech to your house. Don't spend hours on the phone. A successful cablecard install takes 5 minutes tops. Try activating the first card and wait for them to send a signal. It should work pretty quickly even though they might tell you it takes 30 minutes. If it doesn't work, don't try and troubleshoot it but move on to the 2nd cablecard. And then the 3rd. If all 3 don't work then the easiest thing and what has worked for me is take a working cablecard from a tivo I am replacing and have them reactivate that card. If all 3 new cards won't activate and they can't re-activate a card from a working tivo, the tech you are working with is an idiot and you will just have to request a new tech.

6) if you get some channels but not all of them or no premium channels, the card needs to be re-activated or the tech did not pair it correctly. You can tell them to delete the card out of the system and re-add it as a new one.

7) for the first 48 hours don't freak out if your other tivos don't show up in the Now Playing list or if there are bugs. Force a bunch of service calls, reboot it a few times, make sure the updates are all rolled out and then after 48 hours call Tivo or check these forums if you are still having issues with anything.

I'm sure a lot of people will say these steps are overkill and they get their tivos up and going 100% in an hour or two, but they are not the norm. When I am realistic and plan for 48 hours of a setup and work in period then I usually end up really happy with my Tivo. I love college football and I had 6 HD games recording at once on Saturday while my wife was streaming to ipad. The Roamio is a great device once it is all finally setup.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:16 PM   #2
donnoh
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Hmmmm. I know this is not pertinent to your thread title, but I took the M card out of my Premiere and put it in a Roamio and it worked fine. Just as I did when I took it out of my HD and put it in the Premiere. You can't blame Tivo for crappy cable card service.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:18 PM   #3
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Oh I forgot, I have Charter cable in east Tennessee.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:19 PM   #4
actionj
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just doing a straight swap has worked for me for everything but the premium channels. I've never been able to just swap a cablecard and have all channels work. Have had to reactivate it to get all channels working. But swapping cable cards gets you on the right track faster than a new cable card.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:59 PM   #5
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Comcast installs in CO have all gone well for me. about 5 of them over the years. All up and running within minutes of talking to a tech. The majority of the issues I hear of involve issues with entering the right host id. Sooo many mistakes typing it in.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:08 PM   #6
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Quite frankly, I'm not sure how you can say the easy installs "are not the norm." If they were we'd see a whole a whole lot more complaints. I'm pretty sure most Comcast installs these days are smoother than they were even a couple of years ago. I'm sure you're not totally abnormal. But I think Comcast finally has their act together.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:31 PM   #7
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When I went to my local Comcast branch they knew exactly what I needed and the call with the CableCard hotline took maybe five minutes.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:33 PM   #8
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Addendum

Just a few points to add...

5) While it's ok to pray and have faith let's try to help the techs out a bit and assume they are not trying to sabotage the install. After reading out the IDs to the tech, have them read them back out to you and ensure they match. This cannot be overstated. Do not skip it or take it for granted. It's easy for them to mistake a number or key. Also, if you listen closely, that center is often very busy. I can frequently hear other agents in the background talking. That type of work environment probably makes it easy for them to mistake what was said.

6) Try all tuners and premium channels before they get off the line. It does not take 30 minutes for them to come in. If done correctly, the channels will be available almost immediately. There's no need to be shy, simply ask the tech to hold on while you verify channels and tuners.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:50 PM   #9
jfh3
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Not only are your steps overkill, number 1, 4, and 6 are flat out wrong or misleading.

We have dozens of CableCARD threads, including an FAQ. Even the TiVo support pages are good now.

We don't need another thread on CableCARD installation.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devx View Post
Just a few points to add...

5) While it's ok to pray and have faith let's try to help the techs out a bit and assume they are not trying to sabotage the install. After reading out the IDs to the tech, have them read them back out to you and ensure they match. This cannot be overstated. Do not skip it or take it for granted. It's easy for them to mistake a number or key. Also, if you listen closely, that center is often very busy. I can frequently hear other agents in the background talking. That type of work environment probably makes it easy for them to mistake what was said.

6) Try all tuners and premium channels before they get off the line. It does not take 30 minutes for them to come in. If done correctly, the channels will be available almost immediately. There's no need to be shy, simply ask the tech to hold on while you verify channels and tuners.
Good advice.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MScottC View Post
I'm pretty sure most Comcast installs these days are smoother than they were even a couple of years ago. I'm sure you're not totally abnormal. But I think Comcast finally has their act together.
When I got my Premiere, a local Comcast rep and his supervisor assured me over and over that M-Cards only support 2 tuners.

Suffice to say they were mistaken.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:06 PM   #12
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is there any menu that shows you that you have a signal PRIOR to pairing? Or you just have to hope all is well? I moved to a new place and tested the drop by using my modem to lock... i dont know why i dont trust it

I've had nothing but problems with Comcast and generally its not a cable card issue, just a tech issue.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DJQuad View Post
When I got my Premiere, a local Comcast rep and his supervisor assured me over and over that M-Cards only support 2 tuners.

Suffice to say they were mistaken.
There isn't a large company in the world that doesn't have its share of bad apples. But from my own personal experiences and everything I've read here and otherwise, Comcast for the most part, has very much improved the cablecard experience.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by flyerwire View Post
is there any menu that shows you that you have a signal PRIOR to pairing? Or you just have to hope all is well? I moved to a new place and tested the drop by using my modem to lock... i dont know why i dont trust it

I've had nothing but problems with Comcast and generally its not a cable card issue, just a tech issue.
Even without pairing, you should be able to view all but your premium digital channels.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:30 PM   #15
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I don't agree about needing to pick up 3 cable cards, not to mention that if you do such a thing you have to go to the hassle of returning the unused cards later and making sure they aren't on your bill.

I've installed many Comcast cable cards in TiVos and I've never had a "bad" one. If it's "bad" the most likely thing is messed up programming on Comcast's end.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:42 PM   #16
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Smile Easy Comcast CableCard Install

Maybe I'm just lucky but just got my first TiVo (Roamio Plus). Did the pre-setup then went to Comcast Memphis and got a Scientific Atlanta M Cable card. Stuck it in the unit, it was recognized and within few minutes I had the basic channels. A 5 to 10 minute phone call to Comcast, the tech sent a signal and I had my entire Digital Preferred Package once I gave him the numbers off the card. One more send and my HBO's showed up. Total time from bringing the card home to everything working. Maybe 20 minutes. I'm thankful!
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:22 PM   #17
flyerwire
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Originally Posted by MScottC View Post
Even without pairing, you should be able to view all but your premium digital channels.

Is that so? I get nothing at all. On card #3. My modern works in the same drop so it's not that...
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by actionj View Post
I have been on comcast and have been using tivos with cablecards for around 7 years now and I have had all sorts of problems but eventually get them solved. Here are my thoughts.

1) cablecards are a nightmare. Before you install the Roamio, show up to a comcast service center and pickup like 3 of them. Yes 3 of them. Just return the other 2 you don't end up using later.
Cablecards USED to be a nightmare on Comcast a few years ago, but ever since the new FCC self-install card rules went into place over a year ago I've had no issue with 3 separate cards using the national hotline number. And one of those went into a Silicondust HDHR Prime PC tuner.

Billing for cards, however, was and remains a complete FUBAR.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:10 AM   #19
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Today I picked up a cable card for my Roamio Plus, and have decided that there are only two things in the universe fully worthy of my hatred: Satan himself and Comcast, which must have been invented by him.

After 6 hours (yes, six hours) on the telephone with people who a. Don't know anything, b. barely speak understandable English, and c. Seem hell-bent on transferring me to someone who also can't help me (and frequently transfers me back to the very department that previously transferred me) the last person revealed that lo and behold, they have a TiVo support department that deals exlusively with TiVo issues. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO KNOW FIVE HOURS AGO. Of course, that department can't help me right now, because they are all at home watching tv, now that comcast has stolen an entire day that I took off from work to deal with this.

Moronic evil imbecilic sons of bastages.

I'm going to bed. I need my rest for tomorrow, when I'll no doubt encounter the SECOND circle of hell.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:23 AM   #20
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Let me guess, you either didn't call the cablecard hotline number they gave you or they typed something in wrong.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:09 AM   #21
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Checking in here before killing 5 hours may have helped as well. The forum can offer real tivo advice as well as therapy.
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