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Old 01-18-2014, 06:13 PM   #1
wecnews
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Comcast Cuts Cable Cards?

So…

I like so many of you have the error message on some of my channels.

"this channel is not authorized please contact your cable provider"

Well they have been trying to fix it for months…

new cable cards, boosted signals, etc.

comcast has really dropped the ball here.

Anyway tivo said I needed a motorola cable card vs cisco that I have. They also suggested an attenuator. Well, after a three week wait, a comcast tech shows up supposedly to install all this stuff and has none of it. Says they don't carry cable cards at all.

I call tech support back and they tell me comcast doesn't supply or support cable cards any longer, they've been removed from my market. Sorry!

Um what???

I just bought a roamio pro and 4 mini's

Anyone else hear of this?!?!?
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:52 PM   #2
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They're full of sh*t! They are required by law to support them. You should be able to go down to the local office and pick one up.

Although you can't choose the brand. The brand of the card typically matches the brand of the equipment at the head end. But either brand will work. It's a standard.
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:53 PM   #3
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That's a lot of nonsense. Call the Comcast CableCard hotline 1-877-405-2298.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:39 PM   #4
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Yeah, that's crap - they are required to supply them: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/cablecard-know-your-rights

What Dan203 said about it being a standard is true - although of course there is still the possibility of buggy hardware, which has been an issue. This article does specifically mention Cisco cards on Comcast (although this doesn't sound like your issue?): http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2013-08/...-capabilities/
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:53 PM   #5
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FWIW, TiVo isn't necessarily the authority on what kind (Moto v. Cisco) of cards you need. What kind of cable box did you have before you got your TiVo? That will dictate what kind of CableCard you need.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:32 PM   #6
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I'm not kidding.

To answer your questions…

Dan, I have a cisco…. it doesn't work. The Error message

"this channel is not authorized please contact your cable provider" is literally on every single cable channel. I can only watch local channels nothing else.

Comcast send techs out who know nothing about tivo. I've had 4 in the past 3 months.

Tivo did some troubleshooting and said this is a known issue with some comcast cisco/sci atlanta cable cards and the roamio. they said for the least issues ask for motorola. If they can't give me that I must have firmware version 1.5.3 for cisco. the 1.5.2 I currently have doesn't work, and won't work. I must have 1.5.3.

and comcast says they have no motorola and no 1.5.3 in my market, and while they're offering service on the cable cards in circulation they're not offering anymore. They're are none available of 1.5.3 or motorola anything in my area.


Bananaman, I've spoken to the cable card hotline ladies many many times. I think they all know me by name! lol Refresh signals after refresh signals, tech after tech. NOTHING FIXES IT.

Todd, I think they will support this version i have, but won't give me a new version since this version won't work with roamio. But I will try again.

Joseph, I've been a tivo customer since 2004. I had no box before. When I moved to this city, I unpacked 5 Tivo HD's had multi stream cards in all of them. Cisco/Sci Atlanta. They worked fine. I upgraded to a premiere 4 and 2 mini's and had no issues. I upgraded to a roamio and the issues began and have gotten increasingly worse.

I haven't had a cable box since HDTV wasn't invented :-)
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:12 PM   #7
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Bananaman, I've spoken to the cable card hotline ladies many many times. I think they all know me by name! lol Refresh signals after refresh signals, tech after tech. NOTHING FIXES IT.
A refresh signal would not matter since the card is not paired correctly based on what you are describing. The firmware version shouldn't make a difference since there have been very little reports of cablecards not pairing because of old firmware.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:33 PM   #8
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A refresh signal would not matter since the card is not paired correctly based on what you are describing. The firmware version shouldn't make a difference since there have been very little reports of cablecards not pairing because of old firmware.
it shows paired.

comcast shows no error messages at all on their end

and pairing is "complete"

but still no channels.
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:48 PM   #9
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From what you've described, it definitely sounds like some kind of weird pairing problem. If you've tried pairing multiple CableCards to this Roamio unit and all have had the exact same problem, I'd actually be inclined to think maybe the problem is the Roamio unit itself. Maybe you just got a lemon. If I were you, I'd push TiVo hard to let you exchange this Roamio unit for another one.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:26 AM   #10
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They are violating multiple FCC regulations (see the link I sent earlier) and I would report them. There are explicit laws against installers showing up without cablecards and against providing inaccurate information. Of course, that is not likely to bring an expedient resolution to your problem so I'd probably start by calling Comcast and telling them you're going to report them and see if that lights a fire under their butts.

I don't remember the details but I do remember having a miserable time with Comcast pairing many years ago. I think they eventually sent a tech with new cards which finally fixed the problem, with some fishy sounding explanation.

A defective Tivo is also a possibility, you could try to have them send you another one.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:30 AM   #11
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I've hinted at it.

they say it's a known issue and it's a firmware problem.

but I don't know.

So I'm left trying to deal with this….
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:40 AM   #12
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I've hinted at it.

they say it's a known issue and it's a firmware problem.

but I don't know.

So I'm left trying to deal with this….
On the cable card menu just check the letter after the work Val, it should be a V if it is a ? the card is not paired. maybe this is just for the Moto cards that I have, but may be worth a try.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:11 AM   #13
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Are those premium channels (such as HBO)? Non-premium channels don't even require pairing.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:21 AM   #14
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only channels I get are local channels cbs, nbc, abc, pbs, and ind.

nothing else comes through no animal planet, hgtv, disney, hbo, nothing
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:22 AM   #15
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can you tell i only have internet?

all i do is read and surf the net
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:28 AM   #16
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only channels I get are local channels cbs, nbc, abc, pbs, and ind.
If those channels are not encrypted in your market, then that means you cannot get any encrypted channels.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:31 AM   #17
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Are those premium channels (such as HBO)? Non-premium channels don't even require pairing.
Are you sure about that? I don't have Comcast, but when I installed my CableCard on Time Warner, the only channels I was getting before I called them to pair it with my Roamio were the local broadcast channels, community access channels, and C-SPAN.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:34 AM   #18
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Are you sure about that?
Yes, that's how it works with Comcast, at least in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:37 AM   #19
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I agree with the comments above that you are going to probably have to get mean and nasty with Comcast on this with some threats of filing formal complaints about them to the appropriate regulatory authorities. It is completely unacceptable and illegal that they are not supplying proper CableCards with up-to-date firmware.

But I'm also not 100% convinced with TiVo's explanation that this is simply a CableCard firmware issue. Everything you describe sounds like it is some kind of pairing issue, and old firmware is unlikely to be the cause of that.

There have to be literally thousands of Comcast customers successfully using their Roamios with Comcast CableCards. Of course TiVo wants to blame Comcast for the problem (and it very well may be Comcast's fault), but it just seems a little suspicious to me that thousands of other Roamio units have been successfully paired with Comcast CableCards over the last 6 months but yours can't be. This is what makes me think maybe you could have a Roamio with some kind of strange CableCard pairing defect.

Last edited by tarheelblue32 : 01-19-2014 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:07 AM   #20
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They're confusing the issue. The firmware does not effect basic pairing. It can effect the Roamio's ability to use all 6 tuners, but if you can't tune channels on the first 4 then something is screwed up with the pairing.

As for the comment above about how only HBO, etc... requiring pairing, that varies by market. While most cable companies only enable the copy protection bit on premium channels a LOT of them encrypt all but the locals. They're not allowed to encrypt the local channels, which is why you cans see those, but they can encrypt the rest. Unencrypted channels (aka clear QAM) are going away in almost all major markets.

As I said above they are required to allow you to do a self install. So what I would do is go down to the local office and trade your current CableCARD for a new one. When you get home pop it into your TiVo and a special pairing screen will pop up. Take a picture of it just in case it clears before you get someone on the phone. Now call the special CableCARD hotline and give them the info on the screen. Make sure they read it back to you and verify. I had a problem once and it turned out the lady on the phone had transversed a couple of numbers.

If they can't get that new one working insist that TiVo send you a new Roamio. When you get the new one try pairing the same card. If it still doesn't work then ask to speak to a supervisor at Comcast and tell them if they can't get it working you're canceling your service and getting DirecTV and DSL instead.

Unfortunately these things can be a real PITA sometimes. It's hard to find someone that actually knows what they are doing with CableCARDs and techs tend to blow them off with an "They never trained me on TiVo" attitude.
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:16 AM   #21
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They're not allowed to encrypt the local channels
They are allowed. Started about 3 months ago in my area, and earlier in other areas.
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:43 AM   #22
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They are allowed. Started about 3 months ago in my area, and earlier in other areas.
Just one more example of how the FCC has failed to protect the public.
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:47 AM   #23
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They are allowed. Started about 3 months ago in my area, and earlier in other areas.
Yes, they received a waiver by claiming that it was the only way to prevent theft of service. The fact that you will now need a piece of their equipment (DTA, full box or CableCARD) at every TV to get anything is an unfortunate side effect.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:59 AM   #24
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Apparently my market is OUT OF CABLE CARDS. lol

Went to comcast and tried to get a new one, they said they don't have any at all. Call 1800-xfinity.

do that, and they tell you they don't support cable cards in my market.

crazy huh?

I said well I returned 5 last week, can i have those back?

No. they say.

I think you're right, I'm going to ask tivo to give me a new roamio.

They've been much more helpful than comcast. perhaps I just got a bad box, and since I'm getting no where with comcast, I think this is my best bet.

sigh.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:03 AM   #25
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one more…

since you guys think the firmware isn't the issue what about this attenuator business.

tivo said a need a 6db attenuator.

comcast tech said he didn't know what that was…..
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:12 AM   #26
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The firmware issues some are referring to causes some to not be able to use all six tuners in their Roamios. Which seem to be primarily on Cisco systems. This may be a problem for you later on, but right now this is not your issue.

Pairing only affects copy protected channels. Comcast only copy protects premium channels (Encore, HBO, Showtime ect.). This is how we know pairing isn't the immediate issue, because you're missing many more channels.

The attenuator suggested is actually a -6db attenuator. Some Roamio owners have had problems with a signal that is too hot. If this is your issue the attenuator may fix your problem. I would be wary of any tech that didn't know what an attenuator is. Comcast techs are really hit and miss. Some of these guys really know their stuff and others not so much. Sorry you got a bad one.

I'm no expert but, in my opinion you have one of a few possible issues.

1.A too hot signal which an attenuator may fix
2.CableCard not activated properly
3.Defective CableCard
4.Defective TiVo Roamio

If the CableCard you're using now was pulled from one of your previous working TiVos, then it in all likelihood is activated properly.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:44 AM   #27
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You might try reaching out to @comcastcares on twitter.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:58 AM   #28
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You might try reaching out to @comcastcares on twitter.

I agree. I've had luck with this route, as have two of my friends. It'll get you to a person who actually has some skills and authority to cut through red-tape.

You can also reach the same team via email: comcastcares_support@comcast.com

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Old 01-19-2014, 11:21 AM   #29
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Did you only have internet before? Are you sure there is not a trap on your line? That could also explain the problems. They would need to come out and remove it.

Last edited by rainwater : 01-19-2014 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:39 AM   #30
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Yes, that's how it works with Comcast, at least in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Yup, that's how it works in the Boston/New England market as well. I picked up my cablecard from the office the day after Christmas and still haven't gotten around to pairing it because the only thing we can't get is our HBO and our Xfinity On Demand.

I don't actually watch anything current on HBO (still working my way through back seasons of things on HBOGO) and haven't needed On Demand since now we have 6 tuners and no conflicts.
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