HELP! Cable Card Problems with TIVO HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by mharbold, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Oct 2, 2007 #1 of 10

    mharbold Member

    Apr 6, 2002


    This has been a nightmare. We got our HD Tivo hooked up 1 1/2 weeks ago. We had the Comcast tech come out to put in the 2 cable cards. He got the first one working immediately, but couldn't get any video on the second card. Spent two hours at the house and then he promised me that it would take a few hours and when I got home from dinner, the video would be there. Well, still had no video. So, after being on hold for 1 1/2 hours total after getting disconnected 3 times, I finally was told to take out the second cable card and at least I would be able to watch live TV until they could bring me out a new second cable card.

    The next day, a different tech comes and he can't figure it out...can't get the 2nd cable card to work. Tried 3 and none would work. Another 2 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, we lose all video again. I'm out of town and my husband is having a fit. Get back in town and they make a third appt to come out the next day. This guy is supposed to be an expert on Tivo. He brought four cards with him, and they still couldn't get the second one paired. He was there for 3 hours...from 7 pm - 10 pm on a Saturday night. He promised a supervisor would come out the next day.

    Next day, supervisor doesn't show, but supposedly this guy is an expert on Tivo. Later find out that he's only done two Tivo's. He was supposed to come out with 10 cards. Only brought 6, and none of them worked. He was told by Comcast to try taking the one out of Cable Card 1, finding another one that worked in slot one, and then putting the good one in slot 2 to determine if it was a TIVO problem or not. Well, he took the good one out of slot one, couldn't find another one that worked in slot one (I find out they were all used) and puts the good one back in slot one, and it doesn't work now. Now, once again, we have no video!! I have lost all patience and I've spent another 3 hours with this tech. So, the next morning, they PROMISE a supervisor is coming out. She calls me in the morning and says that she is sending her TIVO expert and he's bringing an M card. He shows up (has only done one TIVO in the past) with only two M cards, and the first one doesn't work. Puts in the second one, and it also doesn't work. He goes outside and I'm fiddling with the different screens and I get video. But no premium channels. He promises (Yeh, right) that I will have my premium channels within 24 hours. I was just happy to have video. I had become very familiar with the different menus and had found that if I went to a channel and couldn't get it to come up, if I went back to the decoder menu, went to diagnose, and then Test Channels, it would usually work and I'd be able to get the channel on live TV. Well, the following morning, I still couldn't get premium channels and I went back to Test them, and all of a sudden I lost everything in Live TV. I called Comcast and gave them a piece of my mind, but they claimed it was an accessibility issue (whatever that means) and that they would send out an engineer on October 8th. I flipped out. I demanded to speak to someone in dispatch, because you don't need to be an expert to give them the host ID, and the data numbers. There is absolutely nothing an "expert" can do in my house that I can't do....they need an "expert" at the home office to pair these cards correctly. He REFUSED to let me speak to dispatch, claiming that only techs can talk to them. I told him I was canceling my service and hung up. Later, found out that when I pulled the plug on the TIVO and restarted it, I got my video back. And even stranger, found out that during the time that my TIVO had no video, several shows recorded and they were there and viewable when my video came back. When I had lost video, I couldn't even watch anything on my Now Playing List and the TIVO central screen had a gray background....not the pretty colors that are normally there. I was messing with HBO channels and lost video again, but when I unplugged the TIVO and ran guided setup, got them back.

    After this long winded story...sorry...I'm wondering if this is a TIVO or a Comcast issue. I'm wondering how I could have the ability to see shows on my Now Playing List that were recorded when I didn't have any video. I'm still having a premium show issue that I know is a Comcast issue, but I want to figure out why I'm having these other issues. For instance, we can go to a channel, we have a gray screen, and then have to go into the cable card menu and lock it in before we can go back and watch it. And why do we sometimes lose all video, and can later get it back by restarting TIVO? HELP!!
  2. Oct 9, 2007 #2 of 10

    dsanborn New Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    I have a similar problem - although my cable guy has not come to install the cable cards yet. I bought the box yesterday (Sunday, Oct 8th 2007) and what I am finding is that my video goes out after a period (from 30 min's to two hours).

    When the video is out the menus show up fine but the Watch Live TV is blank. Its as if the cable is no longer plugged in (but of course it is).

    When I restart the system (either by unplugging the power cord or selecting restart from the menu) the video comes back. But it only lasts for a period of time before it goes out again.

    After talking to three or four Tivo support reps (some who did not have a clue) Tivo support said it was a software issue and that I needed to force it to contact the Tivo service so it can download a software upgrade. Looking at the System Info screen I am on version 8.1 and they said I need to get to 8.2 to solve this problem. They said I may need to have it connect to the service several times before it updates.

    So I did this many many many times and it did not update. I still have the problem. Then Tivo support said they are having some problem with the update process - the system is downloading the new version but not installing it. They said that others are having the same problem, that they are working on a solution but have none at this time.

    I am going through initial setup again hoping this will do something. However, based on your description that you were able to record a show even when you had no video I will try recording to do the same. So far I have not bothered to setup any recordings thinking that I would end up just recording a blank screen.
  3. dsanborn

    dsanborn New Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    I tried some more things to see if I could get something out of this box (HD Tivo) and nothing works. I went through initial setup again; changed the video output settings (Aspect Ratio and output format) and tried connecting to Tivo service a few more times - nothing works.

    I am returning it tomorrow morning.

    The video (the TV content) goes out consistently about 30 min's to 2 hours after resetting it. It will not record when in this state. I can record when the video is working and I can watch it when the video is not working - so its a tuner problem. But its basically worthless now & Tivo support, ackowledges the problem but has no fix - and cant say when a fix will be coming.
  4. davemcs

    davemcs New Member

    Nov 18, 2003

    when you lose video, do you get a grey screen but he Tivo channel banners still appear you the channel (and maybe program) info?
  5. dsanborn

    dsanborn New Member

    Oct 9, 2007


    Yes. The television content is grey (or black if I change the letter box color). The banners are there telling me what channel I am on and what show is "playing". When I go back to Tivo Central all the menus are there also.

    If I change tuners the other tuner is also blank - showing grey behind the banner.

    One thing I noticed is that the time interval between a reset and when it goes out is getting longer. At first it was only a few min's. Now that I have reset it about 25 times it is lasting about 2 hours.

    When I went through Initial Setup Again is went back to a few minutes. A few resets and it was up to lasting for 30 min's. Wierd.

    I returned the box this afternoon. I'm not sure if it was the box or the software. Maybe I should buy another box and see if that one works.

    I have had a Tivo for years - this is my 3rd - the first I bought several years ago. Then for the last couple, three years we have had two Tivos (one upstairs and the other downstairs). The oldest one blew a hard drive so I went for the new HD box. They were allways so easy to setup?

    My wife keeps asking me when am I going to fix the new Tivo. Soon dear. Soon.
  6. Endorphine

    Endorphine New Member

    Jul 9, 2002
    Bremerton, WA
    Just to let you guys know, you are not alone. I just bought my Tivo HD last week, and even returned it and got a second one, thinking it might be a hardware issue.

    We also tried two different M-series Motorola CC's, and no luck. If I reboot the Tivo it gets most of the channels back. After around 30 mins or so it starts randomly loosing channels.

    One strange thing also is that channel 104 will vanish and show up on channel 130 with video, but no sound. My cable company broadcasts 104 and 130 right next to each other in the clear, and show up as 104 and 104-1 on my Toshiba TV.

    I'm thinking that we are all experiencing a major software bug with the Tivo, and it is loosing it's ability too lock the tuner to the correct frequency.

    Very frustrating too buy a new Tivo HD and it doesn't even work. If my cable company can't get it working next week I'm just going to return it and wait until they get these major bugs fixed.
  7. robm15

    robm15 New Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Same here. I picked up cables cards last night, got them paired, and I kept losing channels and/or video within hours. This is bad. I've had my TivoHD for 2 weeks, and I'm seriously considering returning it to Circuit City where I purchased it until after Tivo works out the bugs. I know if it is software they will eventually fix it, but if it is hardware, I don't want to be stuck with a defective unit. And so far Tivo is silent on the issue so I can only fail on the safe side and return it. :( Which is a shame, I really wanted to like my new TivoHD the same way I liked my S3.
  8. davemcs

    davemcs New Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    the grey screen typically signifies a CC issue.

    Check the conditional access screens for each of the Cable Cards:
    To see if a card is properly paired for a Motorola SCard you will see "SUBSCRIBED" in the authorization field on the Conditional Access screen from the CableCARD Menu for the card in question.

    For an SA card
    You will see "CP Auth Received" and "Powerkey Status: Ready"
    (If they are not authorized, you get "CP Auth NOT Received" and "Powerkey Status: Waiting").

    OR your cable provider has not tied the cards to your account

    Check the CC FAQ here:

    for good info on troubleshooting CC issues.

    unfortunately the toughest part of fixing CC issues is finding aomeon on Comcast's side who knows what they are doing!
  9. dsanborn

    dsanborn New Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    As I said above I retuned the HD Tivo box early last week. This Sat I bought another one - this time the $800 version. Its working now. The system has been running for nearly 48 hours and I have not lost the tunner content.

    Note: If you read my comments above you will see that I had not even put the Cable Cards in yet - I was having the problem with basic cable. My plan was to have the CC put in a few days later. But when I could not get the basic cable to stay for more than 30 min (or so) I canceled the visit from Cox to install CC. And returned the box.

    Now with a new box that its working I will schedule Cox again for the CC's.

    BTW: This new box came with software version 8.0... and overnight updated istelf to 8.3...

    While the old box came with and was stuck on version 8.1...
  10. hartwig

    hartwig New Member

    Sep 12, 2007

    I am in silverdale and am with Wave probobly as you are, i have tried 2 single stream cards and 2 M cards and nothing works, the cable people blame it on tivo and the tivo people blame it on the cable company. I am having the 104 showing up on 130 but with no sound, this is new to the M card i have now. The single stream cards seem to work better than the M card so far, as i lose channels much quicker and the HD ones a lot of the time don't come up at all. It just sucks.

    I have a friend with the Tivo series three and 2 single stream cards and his have worked fine since day one, all this is leading me to believe that it must be a series 3 only problem, also the menus and everything is much slower on my TivoHD than his.

    If you find any way to fix it send me a private message as i am about to get a cable box again and just sell this damn tivo box.

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