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Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by pgoelz, Dec 14, 2016.
How did you resolve your issues in the end?
Persistence. On the fourth card, it just worked. But it took an entire day..... the first card didn't work after a whole evening or trying and waiting and trying so the next morning I took it back and got three more (the most they would give me). The first two also did not pair (technically they would show they were paired on the pairing screen but the authorization code never changed from a "?" and the Bolt never showed any channels). The third one worked. I think on the second try. This was on a line that was one 2-way splitter away from the incoming feed. The Bolt (after pairing) and the Roamio both show signal strengths in the low 90s with S/N of 37dB on that tap.
I might have a different issue, I have 99% of the channels and mine shows as paired - Next to;
Val: V 0x06
In the past I've gotten a "returned" CableCARD. It looked brand new, but apparently someone had tried pairing and failed and then it takes extra work to get the card working. I'm sure if I was persistant enough it could be made to work (and I've done that in the past with the cable installer by my side as they insisted on truck roll back then). The competing solutions were to navigate bureaucracy to find the guy who could make it work, or always try and get new CableCARDs fresh out of box that have never been returned. Some store guys know which ones are brand new and others don't. Now I just insist on getting fresh cards and doing the pairing myself so nothing gets broken the first time.
Which part didn't work? Verifying my account took several tries (using the same info every time, so it wasn't a problem with the info on my end), but after it got my account verified, the rest worked very smoothly. I had a brand new card that didn't require extra config and extra hits they send to the card so can't comment on whether the system can do that.
Verifying the account worked fine, it takes you to the next part where you confirm you card details etc. You hit submit to pair and.... it spins... it comes back with an error and to try again. Tried many times, no success.
You might be on to something here. When I received the card from the store, it was in a regular plastic "sandwich type bag" with a piece of cardboard. Nothing else. Potentially used.
This is off topic, but calling Comcrap for help is one hell of an experience. I've been bounced around from department to department, hung up on and kept on hold for hours. Soon Comcrap I will be cancelling you forever...
Are you calling the Comcast CableCARD dedicated phone number? There should be no reason to go to any other department to get a CableCARD paired unless there's an account issue.
Comcast CableCARD Hotline: 1-877-405-2298
I didn't have any issues with my most recent experience last October when we got the Roamio Pro and my brother's experience was also good not long after.
"have you disassociated the card from any other device it might have been used in"
I believe this is the cause of most of the reported failures of cable cards and not just with Comcast as is demonstrated when attempting to move a known working cable card to a new device. I suspect that few know the proper procedure to "unpair" these cards with a account/device and then successfully repair the card with the new device.
I also believe that most of the cards which are returned as bad are immediately put back on the shelf to be reissued but until they get "unpaired" or find a competent employee they continue to be recycled.
And if all the above wasn't enough....
Since we replaced our Roamio with the Bolt (plus a new cable card, for a total of two... one in the Bolt and one in the Roamio) I decided to revert the Roamio back to OTA and return the cable card to Comcast. Which I did this morning.
Came home to "this channel is not authorized" on all channels. WTF!!!!!!!! And this only a day after spending two hours on the phone with Comcast over a billing SNAFU that they NEVER figured out. So I called them again and got a regular CSR after specifying I needed to pair a cable card. She offered to transfer me but said they had a >30 minute wait. She said she could see if she could pair the card (which WAS showing as not active) on her system. And suddenly the channels came back. Crisis averted
I have seen issues like this, they have a bug in their system, I once returned an unused cable mode. Got home all was ok. 10 mins later no internet or cable tv. The CSR on normal line was no help, rang cable card activation number and they fixed both cable card and modem. Bottom line only call cable card hotline, they have never failed me. Failing that the Comcast customer care twitter is very responsive too.
Oh one other suggestion, make sure to retighten all your coax connections on all splitters, wall and devices regularly as they can loosen over time, and put terminators on unused outlets that are connected or on unused ports on a splitter.
This is an old thread but I encountered the same problem on Comcast and was able to get it working.
First the Bolt was stuck at 72%. At some point I did a clear and delete everything and after repeating guided setup it was stuck at 89%
I was absolutely sure the pairing information, HostID and Data were correctly entered through having the rep read back the information to me and matching with TiVo screens, so that wasn't the issue.
You can bypass all the checks for the splitter or the signal from the wall being an issue by going to
Settings & Messages->Remote, CableCARD, & Devices->CableCARD Decoder->CableCARD Options (For Installer)->DVR Diagnostics
Then scroll down a couple of pages using Channel Down and look for OOB SNR
Mine was at 38dB which is a decent signal. There was no reason to pursue the angle that there was an issue with the coax cable, splitter, or signal coming into the house. If you have the OOB signal locked with decent SNR, then your card is able to get configuration info from Comcast.
I then went to
CableCARD Options (For Installer)->CableCARD Menu->Conditional Access
Which (I believe) essentially means it hasn't received EMM (Entitlement Management Message). I decided to remove the CableCARD while TiVo was still on and plug it back in. Went back and looked at the Conditional Access menu and now it said
Great, so the CableCARD was able to get something from the system to that says it was validated, so the communication to the back-end was working to some extent.
I went to LiveTV and it was still stuck at 89% acquiring channels. So if I received conditional access info from the back-end what does this stuck at 89% actually mean?
Went back to the Conditional Access menu and scrolled down to
Channel List Received:
Both said something that indicated they weren't completed.
So my CableCARD is paired correctly and it received conditional access info from the back-end. What it is really stuck on is retrieving the VCT (virtual channel table) that maps the channels #s to the physical frequencies.
I remember a long time ago I encountered an issue with a CableCARD not downloading the VCT so I called Comcast CableCARD activation hotline
and explained the situation, then asked if they could check if the CableCARD was coded for the correct head-end. He said they did have another tool he could go to and check that. He came back and verified my area and confirmed it was set to the correct area. Then after doing that, he also sent a ccv and net hit. Within 3 minutes, my unit was unstuck from 89% and channels were tuning.
So how did my unit get stuck at 72%/89%? I remember when I first got the card it was actually at a lower percentage and increasing the percentage periodically. I left it in the Bolt unpaired for almost a week because I was trying to use the online CableCARD activation page, but it kept telling me it couldn't access my account. Eventually I got tired and called the 877 # and paired it manually, but by that time, it was already stuck at 72% (prior to pairing). I believe there is some process at the back-end or there is some bug in the card if it is left in an unpaired but installed state long enough (or the previous person that had your card and returned it did that) it will get into this state.
I believe if the problem was in the back-end, when the Comcast rep used the other tool to check whether my CableCARD was coded to the correct head-end, that reset that state.
I believe if the problem was on the CableCARD, then the ccv and net hit they sent fixed the problem. They had done a hit before and it didn't make a difference, so I think the act of using the other tool to check the head-end (and possibly hitting commit which made the system think there was a head-end change, even though it was the same head-end), then sending the ccv and net hit did the trick to get the system out of its funk.
Anyway, if you encounter the stuck at 72% or 89% "Acquiring channels" issue, know that it can be repaired without swapping cards, without going through a bunch of signal tests on your coax, without exchanging your Bolt, and without repeating guided setup (and also without doing clear and delete everything)
The problem is on the Comcast side. For some reason the CableCARD guys have this procedure where they have you remove the CableCARD, repeat guided setup, then insert the CableCARD and this is supposed to fix the problem. I went through the whole procedure and it made no difference. I rebooted the unit and waited 2 hours and it made no difference, still stuck at 89%.
Only after I had them check the head-end using the other tool, then send the new hits did the problem resolve itself.
Hope this ends up helping someone.
As an aside, on the TiVo Bolt running the latest software, doing a Clear and Delete Everything does not result in new Data for the CableCARD pairing. For some reason, I had the impression Clear and Delete Everything would require me to re-pair because the Data would be changed. That isn't the case on Bolt with latest software. I don't know if it ever was the case, but I recall in the S3 OLED days I was under the impression pairing was lost on a Clear and Delete Everything.
I just installed a new TiVo Bolt + yesterday to replace my original TiVo S3 which dated from about 2007 and was the first Cablecard-required DVR in my house. Before starting installation, I exchanged the 2 S-cards from the Series 3 for an M-card at my local Comcast store. After doing the Guided Setup and doing an initial Cablecars activation, no channels appeared and channel activation was stuck at 89%. I called Comcast again for help and ran through their activation troubleshooting protocol. It turned out that there was a glitch in my billing coding. I'm guessing this was related to the removed S-cards using a code that couldn't be used for the new card. The agent made some changes in codes that I needed which I needed to agree to (as far as I can see, no change in my costs). After the changes they sent a new hit and all was resolved.