Cablecard hell

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by MisterW, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. Oct 7, 2016 #1 of 24
    MisterW

    MisterW New Member

    7
    0
    Oct 7, 2016

    Advertisements

    I just got a Bolt after my 10-year-old Series 3 died.
    Moved the M-Card to the new Bolt and reactivated many times, both automated and with a Verizon rep. But no channels come through, giving a V53 error.
    Finally Verizon sent a new cablecard. I installed it and tried the automated activation and then working with a rep. Still no success.
    Finally they sent a technician to the house. He tried many activations and finally got another card from his truck. Still no success.
    I finally called Tivo while the technician was still here. The Tivo rep said that the card is not being activated properly, that sometimes it takes going through 6 or 7 cards to find one that works. After a while, the Tivo tech mentioned that the SNR needs to be between 29 and 35-- mine was at 37. The Verizon tech attached an 8-way splitter, got the SNR down to 35, but still no success. The Verizon tech resented being told he needs to degrade the signal to work with the Tivo box. Finally the Verizon tech said he has no more cards in his truck, and in his opinion, there's nothing further to try. The Tivo rep said I need to try more cards until I get a good one.

    So, is the Bolt too "finicky" to work with the Fios network? Should I push for a stack of cards or try to get the Bolt exchanged?

    Details: Everything reads properly EXCEPT in the Conditional Access screen, there are only 4 lines of data, ending with CON and VAL. It's missing the next paragraph which starts with AUTH.
     
  2. Oct 7, 2016 #2 of 24
    jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    5,095
    322
    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    Escalate escalate escalate. No need for a tech to come out, they just need to get someone who can set it up in their back office.
     
  3. Oct 7, 2016 #3 of 24
    gthassell

    gthassell Active Member

    328
    49
    Apr 22, 2003
    Willowbrook, IL
    And file (or threaten to file) a complaint with the FCC for Verizon not being willing to accommodate you with what they are legally required to.
     
  4. Oct 7, 2016 #4 of 24
    thyname

    thyname Well-Known Member

    1,237
    145
    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    My Bolt+ has SNRs of 38-39 with no issues.

    Try a Verizon STB and see if it works. There is a chance you have a bad Bolt, which can be returned.

    As others said, Verizon is required to provide you with a functional CableCard
     
  5. Oct 7, 2016 #5 of 24
    Fant

    Fant Member

    138
    19
    Aug 31, 2016

    Advertisements

    His problem is he doesn't know if the cable card is the problem or the bolt so he doesn't know who to push.
     
  6. Oct 8, 2016 #6 of 24
    MisterW

    MisterW New Member

    7
    0
    Oct 7, 2016
    Therein lies the rub. I just got off the phone with Verizon again, and they're sending me yet another cablecard, though they're very skeptical at the thought of 3 bad cards. He tried both validating and activating the current card to no avail. I think tomorrow I'm going to call TiVo and threaten to return the Bolt unless they replace it.
     
  7. Oct 8, 2016 #7 of 24
    thyname

    thyname Well-Known Member

    1,237
    145
    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    What does the CableCard diagnostic screen say on TiVo?

    With Verizon, you may have better luck through Verizon Direct over at DSLREPORTS:

    https://www.dslreports.com/forum/vzdirect

    They can diagnose via chat.

    Yes, CableCards can be very finicky. That's the reason TiVo welcome email advises us to get FIVE CableCards just in case.

    It is going to be very hard to get TiVo to replace the box. I had a similar problem with the original Bolt . After many calls with TiVo and Verizon , Verizon truck roll that costed me over $100, finally agreed to swap my Bolt. The new one that came worked great right from the start. The final thing that made them agree to swap the Bolt is the fact that Verizon STB worked great, and I had gone through the recommended five CableCards.

    These issues are hard to diagnose. I hate the fact that there are two parties involved (MSO and TiVo), and they both blame each other. I don't blame people who don't want to deal with these issues, and just leave Tivo . Either that, or you have to be persistent (like I am)
     
  8. Oct 8, 2016 #8 of 24
    fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

    2,602
    560
    Feb 19, 2015
    If I were you, I would consider getting another Bolt from somewhere that had a "friendly" return policy and try that in place of the one that you have. Verizon can be a problem sometimes, but usually you can get at least some channels 2-50 even with an improperly paired card.
    The trouble is that Tivo is not going to accept that you have a bad Bolt, unless you do your own trouble shooting.....and they may still give you a problem but you have a must better argument.
     
  9. Oct 9, 2016 #9 of 24
    randy1649

    randy1649 Member

    75
    0
    Apr 18, 2011
    99.999 % of all cable cards are just fine.
    They do not blow out or fail or breakdown as so many assume.
    When they say it takes several cable cards to get a good one, thats all bunk.
    Cable card success has everything to do with first having been correctly "de-authorized" from the previous owner and or unit. Then, correctly "authorized" with the new owner and or unit.
    Cable companies do not like cable cards. Period.
    They don't like supplying them, they don't like using them, and they don't like not selling their own DVR equipment.
    Cable companies hope that potential Tivo owners will either give up, or give up.
    A new little trick they are using against Tivo owners, to claim they are out of cards or that cards are on backorder. And they will hand you that line over and over for weeks into months.
    If you need a cable card, be prepared for a real hassle and a long long wait.
     
  10. thyname

    thyname Well-Known Member

    1,237
    145
    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    There is clearly an incentive for cable companies to avoid CableCards and make it harder for customers to use third party STBs, such as TiVo instead of their own devices.

    However, we should not underestimate the ignorance of the typical CSR. CableCards with third party systems represent about 1.5% of the total STBs (don't quote me on that number - just something I remember reading). Thus, many CSRs have no idea about how to help with CableCards, and will screw up, regardless of their "good intentions " or lack thereof. Call it "human error"
     
  11. Fant

    Fant Member

    138
    19
    Aug 31, 2016
    I was surprised I just ordered a new cable card ... walked into a fios store and picked it up ... the store reps seem more knowledgeable about these things ... came home installed it on my bolt ... used the online self activation ... and everything worked the first time. Guess I just got lucky?
     
  12. thyname

    thyname Well-Known Member

    1,237
    145
    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    Yep. Online activation with Verizon FIOS is perfect. That is if you are lucky to have an activation code when getting a CableCard. Anytime you get a Verizon tech to do it, chances are it would be a screw up.
     
  13. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    5,275
    19
    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...


    Yes, ^^^THIS^^^
     
  14. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    5,095
    322
    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicagoland
    Do this. Its fast and easy and gets their attention.
     
  15. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    23,665
    1,306
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    No you didn't. That is the norm with FiOS. And is the easiest and quickest way to get a working cable card with FiOS.

    This is what I've had to do in the past, after human error borks a cable card. It's easier and quicker to get a new one installed and working than to troubleshoot an existing cable card issue caused by a FiOS rep.

    Of course if you don't have a local FiOS store then you are screwed. I learned my lesson not to get the cable card in the mail. Twice I was supposed to be sent a cable card and they sent me FiOS Routers instead. So now if I have any issue I just pick up a new cable card locally, at the FiOS store, and return the old cards to them.

    It's also why I typically avoid making changes to things. Since it's the FIOS reps that have typically screwed any cable cards I've had.
     
  16. thyname

    thyname Well-Known Member

    1,237
    145
    Dec 26, 2010
    N. Virginia
    Agreed!

    Below is what I had put together as part of the FAQs I submitted to Verizon forums over at DSL Reports:

    Who do I contact at Verizon to activate and pair the CableCard?

    • If you received the CableCard in the mail from Verizon, the preferred method is to complete the entire activation process online. In this case, the CableCard will come with an activation code included with the CableCard package. You will then visit the following website to activate:

    http://www.verizon.com/fiostv/selfinstall/

    • If you don’t have an activation code, the best number to call is 888-897-7499.

    • Better yet (in cases where no activation code is available to complete the process online), you can request Verizon Direct team at DSL Reports to help you:

    https://www.dslreports.com/forum/vzdirect

    They will send you a chat link that you can use to complete the installation with their team.
     
  17. MisterW

    MisterW New Member

    7
    0
    Oct 7, 2016
    Hi all, thanks again for your responses. In this case, it does seem to have been a faulty TiVo box. They finally agreed to swap it out, I hooked it up and initialized it and it got a picture right away. The only snag is that one of the tuners seems to be bad, but I'll start another thread for that 😕
     
  18. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    23,665
    1,306
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    If one of the tuners is bad then the box is worthless. I wonder what the odds of getting two bad TiVos is? That sucks.
     
  19. rpiotro

    rpiotro Member

    82
    16
    Oct 20, 2005
    Greenfield, WI
    The odds are pretty good if the replacement they supply is a refurb. Don't get me started on that please.

    The odds are really long if your replacement is a new one.
     
  20. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

    5,275
    19
    May 14, 2007
    Paradise...

    Please give more details. What makes you think one tuner is bad? I've seen numerous times in the diagnostics menu where it shows "active cablecard tuners: 3 (0,2,3)" or similar on a four tuner unit, but it's not a bad tuner, just some other reason why it displays that way. In my case I've seen it when we've had that V52/3 errors and when I have simultaneous ota and cable tv and one tuner is using the antenna.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements