A question about CableCARD pairing ...

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by gweempose, May 1, 2010.

  1. May 1, 2010 #1 of 48
    gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I am going to be switching from a dual-drive setup in my S3 to a single-drive setup. When doing so, I plan on replacing both my internal and external drives with a single 1TB drive that contains a fresh image. It is my understanding that once I do this, both CableCARDS will need to be re-paired. Is this correct? Assuming it is, can Comcast re-pair the cards over the phone, or will they force me to wait until they send someone out to my house?
     
  2. May 1, 2010 #2 of 48
    MichaelK

    MichaelK Active Member

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    it depends.

    plenty of variables.

    I seem to recall only non-moto cards need to get re-paired after drive upgrades. Check the underground forums to confirm that.

    If you do need to re-pair then it's a crapshoot how it will go down.

    Chances of finding someone on comcast's end of the phone that understands that you could even generate a new pairing number doesn't sound like a given from the general gist of things. So they might insist on a truck roll so a clueless tech can call the same clueless people at the head end for you. At which point they will just give up and install fresh cards and then use that pairing info.

    But who knows maybe you hit the jackpot and find someone on the phone the first go round.

    But certainly to start - hit the underground and search to confirm I'm right that moto cards are ok (or find out if I'm wrong and all or none need to get redone)
     
  3. May 1, 2010 #3 of 48
    caddyroger

    caddyroger New Member

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    It will depend on the area some will let you call in the pairing, some will not. My area I can call in the pairing. Last year I upgraded my s3 to 1TB and lost the pairing. I had to call in the pairing numbers. I have the Motorola cards.
     
  4. May 1, 2010 #4 of 48
    gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Interesting. I too have Motorola cards. I probably should have mentioned this in my original post. Out of curiosity, do they allow you to do self-installs where you live? In my area, they always insist on a truck roll when installing new cards.
     
  5. May 2, 2010 #5 of 48
    spocko

    spocko Member

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    If you don't have any premium channels, then your cablecards may not need to be paired. For example, I have a Motorola M-Card that is paired to my Tivo HD. I have tried removing it and plugging it into another Tivo, or into a cablecard-ready TV, and it worked just fine in both. I'm on Comcast, I don't know if this is system dependent.
     
  6. May 2, 2010 #6 of 48
    caddyroger

    caddyroger New Member

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    Here in the Seattle and Tacoma area we can install the cable cards but as I stated earlier not areas all will allow you to do self installs.
     
  7. May 2, 2010 #7 of 48
    caddyroger

    caddyroger New Member

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    I have Comcast. I tried to put one of my cards into a cable card ready tv and it did not work.
     
  8. May 2, 2010 #8 of 48
    Grumock

    Grumock New Member

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    my only question would be: Did you leave it in that device for more then a month? I think when they update everything on a monthly basis it might kick that device out of Authorization. I could be totally mistaken though, I live in an area where they use SA equipment.
     
  9. May 2, 2010 #9 of 48
    gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I went ahead and installed the new drive. As we suspected, my premium channels no longer work. I called Comcast and spoke with a support rep for a while this evening. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but he didn't really have much of a clue. He tried to send some hits to the cards with no success. He then put me on hold while he went to speak with a supervisor. When he came back, he told me that the supervisor informed him that there were only three people in the office that knew how to take care of this type of situation, and unfortunately, none of them were in. Ironically, the supervisor himself didn't even know what to do. Someone is supposed to give me a call back tomorrow evening, and they were nice enough to give me an $18 credit for the inconvenience.
     
  10. spocko

    spocko Member

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    Yes, I have a card that I moved from a paired Tivo to a non-paired Tivo about 5 months ago, and it is still working fine for non-premium channels. I think that since cablecard only has one-way comm, the cable provider can not detect if the card has been moved to a different device.

    I don't subscribe to any premium channels, but my understanding is that those channels do require the card to be paired to the host device.

    Again my experience here is with a Motorola M-Card on Comcast. In my area they require a truck roll for any kind of cablecard installation or change, and they charge an hour of labor for the privilege. That's why I never bothered to pair the card to the new Tivo.
     
  11. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

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    I wouldn't be surprised if they say they have to send out a technician to re-pair your cablecards. It's pretty ridiculous considering that when they get there all they will do is call someone and read the numbers off the screen. Hopefully they will let you do it without needing a Tech, but most of the time that is not the case. Glad to hear they gave you an $18 credit, because if they do have to send someone out they will charge you atleast that much for a service call. Good luck.
     
  12. gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    That's funny, because that's exactly what I said to the guy on the phone last night. After not having any luck re-pairing the cards, he told me that they would probably have to send someone out to my house. I responded by pointing out that they would simply be reading the same numbers over the phone. That's when he put me on hold and talked to a supervisor.
     
  13. Allanon

    Allanon Active Member

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    I just replaced my TiVo HD internal drive with a 1TB drive and had to have the cablecards re-paired. I called my cable company which is Suddenlink and told them I just replaced the drive in my TiVo HD and I'm not getting premium channels. I also said that I can give her the cablecard IDs plus the host and data addresses. The tech on the phone said let me try to re-pair the cards. She asked for the IDs of the cablecards since I have three TiVo HDs all with cards. Then she asked for host addresses and quickly was able to get both cablecards paired.
     
  14. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Information about pairing Motorola Cablecards:

    Each Cablecard tuner or slot is assigned a unique Host ID which does not change. The first 3 numbers indicate the manufacturer of the Host device. TiVo (99% of the time) begins with 035. When a Cablecard is inserted into the slot, it sends a series of messages to the cable companys' Headend, which then verifies whether or not that the Host ID is valid. The Host & Data will not appear on the pairing screen until this step has been completed. The Data ID is generated between the Host ID and the Cablecard, so if a new cablecard is inserted into that slot the Host will remain the same, but the data will change.

    Once the Host & Data IDs are displayed on the pairing screen, someone at the Cable company must "pair" the Host & Data to the card, and then send a series of activation signals which are Cablecard Validation, Initialize, Hit (in that order) to the card. Once the pairing is done on the customers account, the Host & Data will not change unless someone manually changes it. If a customer removes the card and inserts it into another slot with a different Host ID, the pairing information on the cable account must be updated as well, otherwise encrypted and especially copy protected channels may not display. The Headend periodically sends messages to all their equipment which can reset Cablecards, so in other words, if you remove the Cablecard and put it into another device or slot, it may decrypt channels at first, but then one day they are gone. It is extremely important that the Host & Data on the TiVo pairing screen match exactly to what is on your cable account.

    FYI~ Never, ever remove a Cablecard from a Motorola or SA set top box. The manufacturer pairs the cards to the DVR or STB before they are shipped to the cable companies. Those cards are paired to work only with the STB they are inserted into. Even the cable companies do not remove them.
     
  15. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    It is pretty ridiculous that customers are told that they need to schedule an appointment for a technician for something that can be done over the phone in a few minutes. At Comcast, the reason for that is because the phone reps are not trained on Cablecards or TiVo's, and they are allowed to talk on the phone with a customer an average of only 5 minutes, or else they receive a message reminding them they need to get the customer off the phone. the fastest way for a rep to get the customer off the phone is to schedule a service call.
    Sad, but true.
     
  16. donnoh

    donnoh Member

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    You certainly sound like you know what you're talking about. I recently upgraded my Tivo HD with a new hard drive and new image and was totally prepaired to call Charter to get my cablecard to work again and it was a non issue. All of my channels came in including the premiems without me having to do anything.
     
  17. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    You are one of the lucky ones. I don't know which type of card you have, but Motorola and SA cards are paired differently. Also, from what I have read, depending on who you cable provider is they may have different procedures on pairing their cards. However, if your provider requires the Host & Data on their system to match what appears on your TiVo pairing screen, the card may eventually encrypt those channels if it receives an update from the Headend and you will see a black/grey screen telling you to contact your cable provider.

    Since you mentioned it, yes I do have a lot of experience with Motorola cablecards. I worked in the dispatch department for a cable company for 5 years and was "the cablecard specialist" in my market. Many of the field technicians called me to assist them on their TiVo installations & service calls. I wrote three cablecard guides-one just for TiVo, but the company felt that training call center reps on cablecards was not a priority.
     
  18. gweempose

    gweempose Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Comcast has proven yet again just how pathetic they are when it comes to CableCARDS. For starters, they blew me off last night and never called me. I then spent at least an hour on the phone today talking to all sorts of people trying to get the situation resolved. Every person I talked to wanted to set up a service call, but I was determined to solve the issue over the phone. I kept getting bounced around from department to department, until I eventually ended up talking to someone in the escalated resolution department.

    At this point, I thought I was finally in touch with someone who had the capability to help me. Sadly, this was not the case. Like all of the people before him, he insisted that they had to send someone out to my house. I tried to point out that the person they sent would simply be reading the host and data information off my TV, but I don't think he even knew what I was talking about. In the end, my diligence accomplished absolutely nothing. They're sending someone out to my house tomorrow evening to re-pair the cards. Obviously, I'm not surprised by how things went down, but the whole situation is very frustrating, nonetheless.
     
  19. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    gweempose, I feel your pain. I am not at all surprised that you were told you would need a service technician for something that should have been resolved over the phone. Maybe 1% of the phone reps know anything about cablecards and none of them have access to pair cablecards (floor support, supervisors and dispatchers do). As soon as you mention "pairing" or "host & data", you have already lost them. Since the reps are allowed to spend an average of 5 minutes per call, they will tell you that a technician needs to pair the cards (since they have no idea what to do, it is the quickest way to get you off the phone). Also, reps in the escalation department do not know any more about cablecards than anyone else.

    If you have Motorola cards, the best way to get them paired over the phone is this:
    access the cablecard pairing screen, write down the Host ID, the Data ID and the Unit Address (this matches the unit address of the cablecard entered on your account & is very useful if you have more than one card). When you call, tell the rep that you need to verify that they have the correct equipment listed on your account. Then, ask the rep to look at the Host & Data that is attached to the card on their computer screen, and have them read those numbers to you. More than likely they will not match with what is on your pairing screen if you have a new tuner. If they do not match, tell the rep that they have the wrong information inputted in their system & they will need to be corrected. In order to update the Host & Data, a supervisor or what they call "floor support" will need to update that information. Once you have been told the information has been updated, ask them to read back to you what the new numbers on your account is. If it is correct, they will need to send these signals: "Cablecard Validation", "Initialize", "Hit" in that order. If their signals are not backed up, within 5 minutes all your channels should download.
     
  20. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

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    gweempose I know exactly how you feel. I'm so disgusted with my latest run around with Charter I'll be cancelling my service and going strictly OTA until U-verse is offered in my area.
     

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