Denver Comcast CableCard Issue

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by onyxraven, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. onyxraven

    onyxraven New Member

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Heres my story so far.

    Ok I've got a new (to me, Woot referb deal) HD Tivo (software upgraded to 9.2a).

    I'm in the Denver area.

    On Friday, Comcast came out to install the CableCard in my box - they brought an M-card. The installer called in the numbers to the dispatcher, but due to some confusion, the card never authorized. The installer tried a second card to the same effect. After a couple hours he finally gave up, but set up a call for the next day to do some more troubleshooting.

    Saturday, Comcast calls me back, and says they got their end straightened out for the card currently in my box, and I noted from the CableCard config screens that it indeed get authorization (but maybe not complete?). The issue is it never downloaded the channel data (it had a VCTID, but no VCT packets, and the diagnostic screens said no channel data downloaded). The tivo would sit and time out on the blue-with-beachball 'acquiring channel info' screen. Comcast scheduled another installer to come out with more M-Cards and a couple single stream to doublecheck.

    Sunday (today) - installer comes out and pretty much gives up before he walks in the door. Says these cards don't work anyway. I was still hopeful because the tech on Saturday said the cablecard 'expert' for the area would be in to help out. Turns out he wasnt. Installer procedes to put in one single stream card - call in the numbers, but did not wait for auth on the card. He promptly gave up, put a new M card in my box (without activating it on the head end) and gave me a 'temporary' moto dvr to 'tide me over', and set up a note for the 'expert' to call me Monday.

    The installer (and overhearing him talk to his supervisor) said there is some nationwide issue in working with CableCards right now. I don't know if this is really true.

    So theres my story. I'm getting pretty frustrated. Should I call up myself and attempt to get this M-Card working that I have here now? What would have caused the issue I saw before where the card seemed to get all the authorizations, but not the channel data?

    If there are any tips or any other data you think I can remember or get off the card let me know.

    Help! :)
     
  2. Das Achteck

    Das Achteck Member

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    Mar 8, 2005
    My Comcast is self install. Over two weeks I tried at least a half dozen MCards, had two conference calls with TiVo+Comcast, talked to countless people on various levels (including 45 minutes with someone who claimed to handle all the CC activations) and never could get away from that acquiring channels beachball.

    What finally worked was an SCard, and then a second one. No one has ever figured out what the issue was/is.

    Try to get an installer to put an SCard in slot 1 (on the right), call in the pairing info and stick around to see if it works.
     
  3. rmchale

    rmchale New Member

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    Feb 12, 2005
    I also have a w00t tivo. I have the same problem. Any resolutions?


     
  4. onyxraven

    onyxraven New Member

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Not yet. I was busy this week with work - but I'm calling them today to set something up for tomorrow.

    What I'm going to do is try to activate the M-Card I have currently, see if there is any luck. I'm going to also go ahead and get scheduled another tech to come out and bring two single-stream cards (or see if I can convince them to let me just pick them up) and actually wait for them to come up.

    If those don't work, I think I'll have to see if TiVo will replace the box, or I'll have to resell it to a market that doesn't suck. It frustrates me to no end to go down that road - and I'll probably end up switching to satellite because of it.
     
  5. tweetybirdy

    tweetybirdy New Member

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Don't give up we have two S-cards that work great! They even work with premium stations like HBO. Initially the cable guy had a problem reading the activation code over the phone to the office, but they figured it out. The installer said that M-cards don't work since we are too far from the office and it would conflict with our internet connection.
     
  6. onyxraven

    onyxraven New Member

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Here's the latest here.

    Friday afternoon I had another tech come out and set up two s-cards. He was pretty helpful as far as that went, but we still got nowhere. The cards got Connected and EnabledByCP, but no Auth line. I called back later in the night and they tried a couple more times to no avail.

    The tech called me back in the morning, and said there are several others in my area with issues, and they're working on the issue. This evening, I got a call from a supervisor at the local dispatch, and they said there is something going on in the area, and they're working with Addressability and TiVo to work out the issue. They're keeping me up to date, so I'll try to keep up to date here too.

    Latest is that this evening an admin was supposed to get an email (though he's off duty) to log in and update something on the headend. He has yet to respond, so they'll get in touch with me in the morning. This is more progress than I've had so far, so I'm still hopeful. The folks I'm dealing with are quite nice and helpful.
     
  7. Apr 1, 2008 #7 of 24
    onyxraven

    onyxraven New Member

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Ok, its been a couple weeks, and I haven't posted any updates because there has not been a lot of progress.

    I had to contact the dispatch tech I had been talking to. He noted that Comcast in the local area had escalated the issue to TiVo and their Addressability depts. They were going to continue to try a couple things, and they asked if I'd consent to Comcast sending TiVo my account info so they could log into my box (they can do this, over NAT?) and debug.

    More time went by, still in the same state. I continue to receive OOB packets, but still have Unknown auth on both S cards.

    Another email prompted a response saying that Comcast was now in touch with CableLabs, and this is a nationwide issue. Seeing posts on the forums here, I doubt that, but whatever.

    More time. Yesterday I emailed and they responded saying they went and bought a TiVo HD, and absolutely reproduced the issue in their office. The latest is that they're going to try to go get another set of cards from another market which is able to get activated and work in the tivo, then bring it to our market and see if they work in the TiVo here. It sounds pretty janky, but if they can get it working, all the better I guess.

    This is taking a while, and I'm definitely losing any faith I had left.

    Really... a nationwide issue? That just seems obsurd to me. Also, why are they going straight to CableLabs (even if they are HQ'd in colorado) and not to Motorola, who presumably supplies both ends of their equipment?
     
  8. Apr 2, 2008 #8 of 24
    dr_mal

    dr_mal It's CWS time

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    Mar 21, 2001
    Abingdon, VA
    Nationwide? I had an uneventful CableCard install (2 S Cards in my Series 3 and 1 M Card in my TiVo HD) in Brighton just last week.

    My coworker, who bought the same plasma TV and TiVo HD as me, is having nothing but problems. He's in the Lakewood/Golden area. They told him that it's an issue in Lakewood and Castle Rock.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2008 #9 of 24
    parsec

    parsec New Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Hey everyone, I'm dr_mal's coworker. For a description of my experience, check out this thread on avs forum.

    Since I posted that they came out again yesterday, and still no luck. They told me that another woman in my apartment complex is having a problem activating a card in her Samsung TV with 2005 firmware, but someone else in the area with the same TV and 2006 firmware had no problems at all. They also said that this appears to just be happening in my area (Lakewood), and other parts of town are just fine.

    On top of all that, they also told me that they are now in contact with TiVo directly, and that they have a TiVo HD in the shop that they can reproduce the problem with. It seems like they're getting their heads around what's going on, because they kept going back to the network settings for the card to check the last two values on the screen (I forget the names). The first value for me was 32 (which is appears to be an indicator of this problem), and the second (something received) was 0 (also an indicator that something is wrong).

    What was most interesting is that it sounded like they had found a solution that can fix the issue, but they thought it wasn't an acceptable one. They said that they were able to get their TiVo up and running by doing a full reset, which would erase everything from the TiVo and restore it to the factory settings. I told them that would be fine by me if it meant that I could get service, but for some reason they didn't want to try it on mine.
     
  10. onyxraven

    onyxraven New Member

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    Mar 16, 2008
    (I could have been more specific in my description where I am - its the Lakewood/golden area as well)

    Awesome info. The above is exactly what was happening with me on my M card VCTID 32, VCT Rcvd 0 (It thinks it knows where the Virtual Channel Table is, but never gets it) - the s cards are behaving a bit differently, but if its just a full reset I dont care - its a new box without anything on it anyway.

    It must be the same group of folks. I'll see if my email contact there has anything new. I will happily offer to be a guineapig for them.
     
  11. parsec

    parsec New Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    onyxraven, have you gotten any updates from your email contact?
     
  12. onyxraven

    onyxraven New Member

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    Mar 16, 2008
  13. parsec

    parsec New Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    Read your post and decided to try twittering too. I guess I found the right guy, because it worked. He asked me to send him an email with the details of our problem.
     
  14. onyxraven

    onyxraven New Member

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Success!

    Comcast called me last night and had me verify the card IDs I had in the TiVo. He sent messages to the cards, they picked up the channel listings, and finally, I got past the blue-with-beachball screen to the test channels screen.

    I had the 'grey-screen-of-no-video death' problem (as soon as I switched over to the TiVo which hadnt been touched, really, in a week), so he instructed me to power down the TiVo and pop out the cards. I powered the TiVo back up, waited for it to recieve analog channels again, then one at a time popped the cards back in. The first card picked up immediately and got all the video. The second card took a bit longer to the the channel listing, but eventually caught up.

    I'm getting all my digital, premium and HD channels.

    The Comcast tech said this was somewhat of a temporary fix. They 'jumpstarted' the cards (I assume it has something to do with the VCTID being out of sync on the Head end, because he asked about it - the single stream cards don't show that information), and he said he has done the procedure with a few other customers with the same success. He said when they get their real fix complete in the next week or two, they'll send out an an M-Card to replace the two S-cards and pick up my Moto DVR.

    All in all - happy! I swear the picture is better through the TiVo even on non-hd channels, and I have yet to experience any slowdowns.
     
  15. parsec

    parsec New Member

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    Mar 5, 2007
    I've had success as well! They called me up Friday, and checked the same things. I've been enjoying TNT HD, DHT, UHD all weekend (the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy was on yesterday in HD).

    From talking with the tech, it sounds like the cards will continue to have a hard time communicating. He said that the card would get a channel map, and then rely on the cached map to decode the channels. I hardly know anything about cable cards, but they way he said it made it seem like this was not normal. It also sounded like they were going to try a few things over the weekend in their attempt to find a permanent solution. He said he would call me tomorrow to make sure everything was still working.

    So here's what I've been wondering over the weekend. I heard a rumor that new HD channels are coming to Denver. I wonder, especially since we're relying on cached channel maps (meaning we wouldn't get any updates), if this issue would delay the rollout of those channels.
     
  16. ptran11

    ptran11 New Member

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    Apr 22, 2007
    I had a similar problem getting my cards to work in Denver. It turned out that I had one bad card and one slot of the tivo cable card was defective. I got the 2 replaced and boom its working.

    As far as the new channels in Denver, Comcast told me that it would be active 4/29/08, which is today as I write this post. The channels haven't come up yet for me.
     
  17. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    Does anyone in Denver know how to go about getting two S-Cards swapped out for an M card?

    I'm paying an HD surcharge and 2nd outlet fee on my 2nd card, if I can get it eliminated it would save me about $10 a month in bogus charges.
     
  18. Rev. Noch

    Rev. Noch New Member

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    Dec 29, 2003
    I also live in the Denver metro area. I currently have a couple S2 TiVo's and a S3 TiVo. The S2 TiVo's are running off of dish network tuners and the S3 is OTA. I'm thinking about bailing on Dish when my 18 month commitment is over, so that I can use the S3 for more than OTA. What do you all think? What does Comcast charge for CC's etc.? Have these CC issues mostly been cleared up?
     
  19. ptran11

    ptran11 New Member

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    Apr 22, 2007
    What tivo S3 do you have? If you have the original S3 then you need either 2 S or M cards. Its kind of strange but the S3 can accept a M-card but not use its dual tuner capabilities. Tivo has left the door open to do an upgrade to fully utilize the M-card but I don't think that will happen. From what I've read and my experiences, go with 2 S cards on the S3 as they are easier to work with.

    If you have the Tivo HD you can use 2 S-cards or 1 M-card.
     
  20. ptran11

    ptran11 New Member

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    Apr 22, 2007
    I think it maybe worth it. Check out the comcast HD lineup and see if it fits your needs. Comcast charges me $1.50 for the extra CC. The first one is free. The CC issues are still there and it doesn't sound like its getting any better. If you can get 2 s-cards. The M-cards are relatively new so and it seems like it takes for ever to get the issues worked out. The S3 tivo was made before the M-card was standardized and maybe that doesn't help the situation.

    I got my 2 M-cards working but it took almost a month. They ran out of s-cards
     

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