Comcast Houston Switching to SA CableCards

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by matt@thehickmans, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. JWard

    JWard New Member

    May 24, 2000


    So I called the 8080 number and fought with the lady's supervisor who wanted to send a tech out. I insisted that they transfer me to a tech now. Eventually they relented.
    The tech was able to "finish initializing my card" (didn't need the MAC id) and now I'm getting everything (as far as I can tell). She told me I'd have much better luck just the main comcast number and pressing whatever for technical support.
  2. anonymous22

    anonymous22 New Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Count me in as another one who has had problems... I feel like I am repeating what a lot of others have said...

    Have a Tivo Series 3 - got the dreaded letter to replace my Motorolla Cable Cards back in January - I kept putting it off knowing it would be a painful experience. When I first got my Tivo it took 2 or 3 trips to the Customer Service Center and countless phone calls to get them paired and activated.

    Sure enough, that has been the case this time. I picked up 2 SA cards on Friday, March 13th (my own dumb fault for picking Friday the 13th to start dealing with Comcast...) Anyway, dropped off the Motorolla cards, picked up new ones, came home, put them in the Tivo, each one did a 5-10 minute Firmware update, got the black screen with Cable Card ID and Host ID, called up Comcast, gave them the info, heard it would be 24 hours.... so I waited.... Saturday came, still wasn't getting service so I called Customer support, they said it would be 24 business hours. So I waited.... Monday came, still no service, so I called and they said wait some more. I did... Wednesday came, still no service, so I call and they go thru the same process - they ask for the Host ID and that is it. I ask them if they need Serial # of card or Cable Card ID, they say no - I demand that they confirm them. Sure enough the first person had transposed Host ID's between the two cards. Told to wait antother 24 hours, so I wait... Thursday comes, still no service so I call. They say they need to send a Truck, I tell them that is not necessary that it worked fine for over a year until I swap the cards. I agree to have technician come and request he bring two cards with him.

    Saturday comes, technician shows up - of course without Cable Cards, "We don't carry them on the truck". He is here for all of 10 minutes, checks signal says it is fine says that cards just needed to be paired. He calls on my behalf, same result. He says, "go get two new cards, hang on to these just in case".

    That brings us to yesterday, I pick up two new cards... go thru the process - firmware update, pairing, etc, call Comcast and they say "The system won't accept these cards, those Host ID's are already in the system" ... I explain that the Host ID is the same because they are going into the Same Tivo and I am just trying to get any two cards to work. They tell me to bring all 4 cards in, pick up 2 new ones and start over.

    So, Today I pick up 2 new cards... first thing I do is call Tivo support. Ask them to assist me in dealing with Comcast. They agree to do a 3-way call to walk Comcast thru the process. Tivo Support tells me that we are going to activate 1 card at a time. I put the first card in - firmware update, pairing information, and we call up Comcast.... Get a message "Due to high number of calls we are not accepting new calls at this time" ARGH!

    Tivo Support is calling me tomorrow and we are going to try 3-way calling them again... Comcast is awful to deal with, they are unhelpful and incompetent. I wish there was an alternative choice in the Houston market. I am going on 11 days without service and cannot get a manager or supervisor to step in.

    enough rambling... I'll post an update if I ever make any progress... I have no helpful advice since nothing I have tried has worked. I have called 1-800-COMCAST, 713-462-900, and 713-341-8080 - I cannot get a Comcast rep that is of any help. Only positive experience has been my interactions with TIVO customer support.

    Interesting observation... EVERY TIME I talk to a Comcast rep they try to tell me that I don't need two cards, that their cards are multistream and I only need 1... I have to explain, no this is for a Tivo Series 3, it requires two cards, it treats multistream as single stream...
  3. apassy

    apassy New Member

    Mar 26, 2009
    After having read this thread several times and waited until I started getting letters about my old moto cable card, I took the plunge and swapped out my card for an SA one.

    Background: I've got a TIVO HD, previously working fine with one Moto m-stream cc. My activation with that one, about a year ago, was a fairly standard story - get 4 cards, swap and activate until one comes through. Fast forward to last week. They won't give me more cards until I bring in my moto card, so I bring it in and they'll only give me one card.

    I install it, wait for the firmware update on the card to complete, and call for activation. (713 - 341 - 8080). After a couple of hours, I get some channels, HD and not, but I'm missing alot, even below 100 (get Comedy Central, missing SciFi with the Battlestar Galactica finale coming!!!). I call back, they "reactivate", tell me to wait a full 24 hours.

    I wait the full time, then call back. First tech says something about some TV's firmware being incompatible with the SA cards, then I patiently explain what I already told him: It's in a TIVO not a TV. And yes, the TIVO has the latest SW. He has me reboot the TIVO. No Joy. Well, at that point, "it's a signal problem" so he has to roll a truck. Next Appointment: Saturday or the following tuesday. I'm out of town on Sat, so tuesday it is. They offer credit for 24hrs, and I immediately ask for a week of credit, which they give me.

    Tuesday rolls around and Tweedledee and Tweedledum show up. First it's all about "all" of the splitters I have, even though at the end of the lines, there's still plenty of signal ( I have service to 4 tv's/tivos & a cable modem). Then it's a problem with the drop, which they replace. Still no joy. Then it's a problem with the 3 way splitter that I've only got connected to two things. At this point, I was frustrated, and since I'm an amateur radio operator, I understand signals and lines and what can go wrong, so I throw some jargon at him: "So should I terminate that open drop with a 75-ohm terminator? Do you think the signal reflection off of the infinite impedance on that open line is causing the problem?"

    At that point he just mumbled something and left with his partner.

    At that point, I just took the cc out, went back to the central office, asked to exchange it, and asked for two more for my "new tvs" Came back, install activate, wait 1 hour, no joy. Call back for reactivation, they try to tell me that my TV's older firmware is the problem, or that it should work let's roll a truck. No thanks. Swap for #2, call, activate HOORAY!!!! it's back.

    So bottom line from my tale of woe:
    1. Get a bunch of cards.
    2. Install card, wait for firmware update to complete. when you get the Host ID screen with the 713 462-9000 number, you're good.
    3. Call the 713 341-8080 number. They'll send the activation while you wait. It does take about an hour to hit once they send it.
    4. Repeat 2-3 as necessary until you hit paydirt.

    Tivo has an excellent troubleshooting guide that will help you identify where the problem is (signal, connectivity, activation, authorization), but I can't post the link. Just google: tivo HD scientific Atlanta Cable card MMI and it's the first link.

    Unless you've never had cable in your house before, don't believe a thing the cable folks tell you. They are Idiots.
  4. Apr 5, 2009 #204 of 239

    jjp007 New Member

    Feb 3, 2008
    I think I'm going to wait until I start losing channels before I dare to try to get a new cable card. I'm still burnt by that last attempt. HOURS on the phone with comcast aka the devil. Sigh if i could only try a different company but I am stuck with them. :(
  5. Apr 5, 2009 #205 of 239

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    Jan 17, 2002


    If i get the letter i"m going to tell Comcast to roll a truck. I'll be dipped if I'm going to run around and wait 24 hours or more to have service restored. They can just roll to earn my $100 a month. If they threaten my service, I'll be happy to tell them I'll cancel.

    As it was, the tech took 5 hours to get me going in the first place. In spite of me telling 3 people 6 times over 3 days they only gave him one card and he was sure the one wouldn't work. :mad:
  6. Apr 5, 2009 #206 of 239

    jjp007 New Member

    Feb 3, 2008

    They told me they couldn't bring the cards with them for a truck roll. That I had to go pick it up. Whatever. So far I still have the channels I need.
  7. Apr 5, 2009 #207 of 239

    Langree The Gimp

    Apr 29, 2004
    I may try and play the disabled card :) Getting to them for me, just to pick up a card would not be easy logistically.
  8. Apr 8, 2009 #208 of 239

    gkiersted New Member

    Aug 15, 2007
    A little over a week ago I also succumbed to the pressure and swapped my motorola cards out for the Scientific Atlanta models in one of my two Tivo S3s.

    After a (long!) phone call to Comcast to activate the cards, I'm having a problem and hope someone here can help. I seem to be getting all the channels I should except for "premium" channels like HBO.

    Looking at the cablecard diagnostic screens, I see "CA Status: Ready", which sounds good, but on the copy protection screen, it says "Auth Status: Waiting for CP Auth" which sounds bad.

    That is bad, right? What should the CP Auth Status be?

    If CP Auth means what I think it means, it seems like it would explain why I would not be getting premium channels like HBO. I bet they're copy protected. I think "Waiting for CP Auth" is telling me my card has not been "authorized" to decrypt encrypted (EDIT - should have said "allow viewing of copy protected") channels.

    Is that right?

    The helpful guy at Comcast seemed to try pretty hard, but after quite some time on the phone claimed they had sent all the proper signals and since it wasn't working they'd have to send out a truck. He says since they sent all the right signals, the problem must be that my Tivo is not receiving them, so there must be a signal problem.

    I think my Tivo must be getting good signals since all the non protected channels are coming in great, and the cards have responded to some signal because they show "Ready" on the CA screen (they didn't before the phone call).

    My theory is that they missed sending some important signal, but I was unable to convince him of that. Is there some specific language to use to make sure they send the right signal?

    I know some here suggest swapping cards until you find one that works. Is that really necessary? Or is it a matter of getting the right signals (hits) sent?

    Any advice on what to do next? The truck roll is tomorrow. What should I ask them to do? Is the theory plausible that there is a problem that is causing the activation signal to not reach my Tivo?

    EDIT - additional information:

    I followed cablecard troubleshooting steps at the tivo web site.

    Following these steps leads me to believe that the card is "activated" but not "paired". Step 6 sounds like it could be my issue:

    Step 6: Checking CableCARD pairing (binding)

    "Pairing"or "binding" means the CableCARD and the host ID of the CableCARD slot are associated with each other in the cable provider’s billing system.

    What can go wrong:

    If the CableCARD is activated, but not paired, you can still view encrypted digital channels. When you tune to a copy protected channel, however, a gray-and-black screen with pairing information pops up, prompting you to call your cable provider.


    The Tivo site says that resolution must come from the cable provider, but can be a result of the proper signal not being sent to pair the one-way CableCard, or the proper information not being entered into the billing system (pretty sure that's not it as i had all the numbers read back, but...), or the CableCard was never scanned into the system at the cable provider (not sure what this is or how to check for it - any ideas?).
  9. Apr 9, 2009 #209 of 239
    Das Achteck

    Das Achteck Member

    Mar 8, 2005
    TiVo has moved things around in the support area so I can't give you a URL to what you need, you will have to search for it. They have pictures and explanations of what you should see in the CC screens.

    For example you can quickly determine whether your card is paired or whether you are "entitled" to HBO etc.

    After you wade through all the relevant screens you should have a pretty good idea of what the problem is. Getting it fixed is another matter but with this information you will be in a better position to deal with Comcast.
  10. Apr 9, 2009 #210 of 239

    gkiersted New Member

    Aug 15, 2007

    That is an excellent resource. After running through those steps I am more convinced that I have a good understanding of the problem. Now I can focus on getting a good resolution!

    For those who may wish to find that resource, I believe that a web search on the phrase: "Troubleshooting CableCARD activation and channel issues" should get you the appropriate page at tivo's web site.
  11. bigray327

    bigray327 New Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    So does all this mean that more HD channels are coming to Houston soon?

    Nevermind, just answered my own question. :)

  12. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
    Excellent news. It looks like the HD channels I get on DirecTV but not Comcast, are now going to be on Comcast.

    Are these still regular cable? No hint of SDV coming?
  13. spaceboytom

    spaceboytom Tivo Since 2001

    Jan 8, 2006
    Houston, TX
    If I recall, "Waiting for CP Auth" means thet still need to do something on the Comcast end.

    I swapped my card a few weeks ago and it took about 3 days before I had everything back.

    1. Plugged in new card and let it do the firmware update.
    2. Called the number on the cablecard screen to activate. They said OK, wait 24 hours to see channels. Status "Waiting for CP Auth".
    3. After 24 hours, called back and new person told me original person had done nothing. Again, they said OK, wait 24 hours to see channels. Still status "Waiting for CP Auth". I believe all they did was submit a ticket to tech support to activate.
    4. After another 24 hours, called the 8080 and I was up and running with all channels within minutes. Status immediately changed to something else... can't remember exactly what.
    5. So far the new card has been rock solid in my Tivo HD!

    The moral of the story, go straight to the 8080 number and it shouldn't take 24 hours for changes to take effect if you are talking the the right person!

    Looking forward to the new HD channels!

  14. jcthorne

    jcthorne Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Any idea what packages those channels are included in?

    Will any be available in clear QAM or will all be encrypted requireing the cable cards/boxes?
  15. Langree

    Langree The Gimp

    Apr 29, 2004
    I lost a shitload of channels today whole lot of "channel not available".

    Guess I need to try and get this done.
  16. rxntx2g3

    rxntx2g3 New Member

    Apr 17, 2009
    I am also missing quite a few channels. for about 10 days....Comcast has refreshed cable card card on tivo hd ,rolled atruck twice.and all is good for a few hours,except for channel 39,then again channels 411,424,428,430,432,481 go no signal. My other TV has a card card inserted directly and have had no issues.
  17. Mr Flippant

    Mr Flippant Regular User

    Jan 2, 2009
    New HD channels were mapped today... problem is the content has not been moved yet. Looks like a week of blank recordings and difficult navigation. At least there wil be a payoff in the end.

  18. Lajonesin

    Lajonesin New Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Got my new SA cad today, put it in, called the 8080 number and got all my channels. The rep said it doesn't take 24 hours anymore, it happens instantly. My only problem seems to be that some of the local channels aren't showing up on my Tivo guide. It says 'To be announced', which sucks. I have to manually record all my shows. Anyone know if this is a Comcast or Tivo problem?
    BTW, the little slip of paper they give you with the 8080 number says the service center is only open from 8-5 but I called at 6 and got in right away. :)
  19. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    Jan 6, 2003
    It's a TiVo problem, and the cause is the reverse of the post immediately above yours. The new channels have been mapped but are not active yet, old channels have been disabled in the guide but are actually still active. :thumbsdown:
  20. Langree

    Langree The Gimp

    Apr 29, 2004

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