Comcast change to cable cards may create Tivo issues when pairing with newer cards

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by garys, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. garys

    garys New Member

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    Feb 1, 2002
    I had a ton of trouble getting two new Motorola M-Cards (cablecards) from Comcast to work with my two new Tivo Elites. I spent hours (at least 8) on the phone with more than a dozen different Comcast techs. Comcast sent three different techs to my house. All along I kept telling them that this was a simple database issue, and they had entered the cards into their database wrong.

    The third tech to visit my house told me that Comcast had recently starting handing out new cards that needed a different configuration than the old cards required. He said that he hadn't seen a Tivo he wasn't able to get running in years -- until a month ago. Then he ran into half a dozen in a week. After spending a dozen hours on the phone (for the previous customers), he finally got an explanation.

    Apparently, these newer cable cards (maybe a new firmware version? who knows) need to be set up in the Comcast headend database as "JD9060". According to this tech, when Comcast hands out these cards, they are normally entered in the database as "JD9062", which is the code for working in a Comcast box. When entered as "JD9062" they will not work with a Tivo -- they give errors, such as the one I was getting where the card would return "Auth: MP". He made a quick call, told them to change the card type to "JD9060", send an init hit, and I had all of my channels in about a minute.

    He also mentioned something about the "address mode", which should show one "S", not "SS". I'm not sure that this was part of what he had them change at the head end, but another piece of data for people having trouble with cable cards.

    I don't know if Comcast is actually handing out different cards, and if they are, whether all offices are doing it or just some offices in California. But the tech who told me about it seemed pretty confident that it was a change to the cards that was causing the trouble, since the old cards would work even if they were misconfigured in the database as "JD9062" and the new ones fail with the same misconfiguration.

    So there you have it. The cable card process was so painful, though, that regardless of the cause I doubt I'll buy any new equipment requiring cable cards for quite a while.
     
  2. onejim

    onejim New Member

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    Oct 26, 2011
    Glad I saw your comment. Waiting for my Tivo Elite to arrive (Thu, hopefully) and was wondering about doing the install myself. Have had experience with a host of VCR's, DVR's and all over the years, but this is my first time for Tivo (and the Cablecard). Did have a thought about needing to hookup the encoder box from Comcast, but will probably find out when I attempt the install. Going to save your comment about the M-Card, in case I run into a problem.... Tks....
     
  3. whompus60

    whompus60 Member

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    Oct 3, 2011
    Dothan, AL.
    Good info to have. My son has been thinking about tivo and he is with comcast.
     
  4. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Note that this isn't the first thing to look for if there is a problem. Most backends will already have something like this fixed (tied into the inventory system).

    You are far more likely to run into someone who doesn't know how to properly authorize your CableCARD if you have premium/protected channels. Check the CableCARD FAQ and the threads on individual providers.
     
  5. spaceleeb

    spaceleeb New Member

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    May 29, 2010

    Wow - this sounds so much like the issues I'm experiencing. First bought an Elite from Amazon and now a second one from TiVo and both showing the same problem... Works just fine in all aspects (setup, startup, network connection, service updates, guide info, etc.) EXCEPT for the critical one of tuning any channels!

    I insert a Cable Card and the TiVo Elite recognizes it... displays all the proper information, BUT there is no cable network activity detected - it just sits there going between Wait to Tune, Wait to Sync, Idle... No network messages are detected, etc.

    If I take that same unpaired Cable Card and drop it in my Premiere XL I am hooking up after a move, bingo, the Premiere XL sees it immediately as well - but then the cable network activity behaves as expected with messages incrementing, etc.

    Was this the behavior you saw?

    TiVo Support's solution was try more Cable Cards, but after 5 Cable Cards, I feel they need to put more skin in the game with getting a Senior Engineer on the phone to diagnose it and/or to liaise with Comcast and I. Simply telling me to go try another set of Cable Cards is useless. If there is an issue with how Comcast set these Motorola M-Cards in their system, chances are they will have set-up the next set the same way!

    Thanks!
     
  6. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    4,504
    521
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    This is nothing new with Comcast, the problem (provisioning cards for their two-way boxes instead of one-way Tivos) has been around since the beginning. Usually results in Auth: MP on the conditional access, so none of the encrypted channels work.

    Then the usual problem is finding someone who can fix it, but they do have a cablecard activation line now (with escalation) which would be much better than calling 1-800-COMCAST. Search for the thread here to get the number.
     
  7. rkrenicki

    rkrenicki New Member

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    Oct 26, 2005
    The problem has nothing to do with 1-way or 2-way addressability. Addressability mode is not dependent on the "Model type" value in the billing system, but on the addressability value in the inventory screen.

    JD9060 and JD9062 are CSG designations for the different types of cable cards. The newest type, "MCPOD3" are battery-less versions of the Motorola M-Card are likely being entered as the JD9062, which may not necessarily be built correctly in the SPATH for your particular Headend value.

    JD9060 is the model type for MCPOD1 and MCPOD2 types, but they are all interchangeable since the DAC itself does not care what revision of card it is, as long as it is being told it is an M-Card and not an S-Card.

    So, either the SPATH needs to be corrected for the new type, or they just need to be entered as the old type. Either one will fix the issue.
     

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