Love/Hate relationship!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by aslamma, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. Jul 9, 2008 #1 of 31
    aslamma

    aslamma New Member

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    Jul 2, 2008

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    So I love my Tivo...when it works. This whole cablecard nonsense is driving my crazy. The point of the Tivo was to improve my experience, but it has just caused countless hours of frustration due to cablecard mess.

    Thought it was all ready to go, but now one of the tuners cannot get a signal. TWC has no idea why and they will need to pay another visit. Looking like the old DVR, as crappy as it was, is overall less of a pain! Not Tivo's fault though really...the cable company just has us bent over.

    If I only I could get satellite again..sigh.

    Oh yeah, I am sure I am not the first to witness this...but the cablecard comes in a clear plastic case. The installer tried to shove the card, with case, into the Tivo slot. I knew in that first 10 seconds that the chances of success were low.
     
  2. Jul 9, 2008 #2 of 31
    Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    I have had not one issue with my Series 3, even though Charter Cable didn't know how to set up the cable cards. But after I showed them it worked fine and Charter was happy enough to charge me for doing most of the work.


    Your issues are cable card and cable company issues, not Tivo. When you think about it why would a Cable company want you use Tivo and pay less to them? Exactly...they wouldn't. So do the setup research yourself and show them how to do it.
     
  3. Jul 9, 2008 #3 of 31
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    That was a sign you should have kicked the installer out since they had no idea what they were doing.
    Anyone who doesn't know to take the card out of the case shouldn't be anywhere near any A/V devices.
     
  4. Jul 9, 2008 #4 of 31
    dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

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    Unfortunately, you can do all the research you want but they (being your cable company) still have to authorize and provision the cards. If they don't know what they are doing, you're SOL.
     
  5. Jul 9, 2008 #5 of 31
    msdonnelly

    msdonnelly Member

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    Fuquay-Varin...

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    Boy, is that right. I've spent months trying to find someone who even knows what "authorizing" the cable card means and I still haven't been successful!
     
  6. Jul 9, 2008 #6 of 31
    aslamma

    aslamma New Member

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    Jul 2, 2008
    I agree, it is not Tivo's fault and I stated that initially. BUT the problem is that if you can't get it working right then it does not matter. If the weak link is the cable co. then that is the reality. Well...I am going to call Tivo and see if they are any help.
     
  7. Jul 9, 2008 #7 of 31
    AdmiralTivo

    AdmiralTivo You talkin' to me?

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    If one of your tuners has a signal, I'd guess that it was a hardware problem (bad cablecard?) and not a setup problem..your installer, as clueless as he was, got at least one of the cards authorized and provisioned.

    I've seen lots of posts where cablecards are DOA right out of the installer's truck. In addition to pursuing this through TiVo, I'd push for the cable company to replace the cablecard associated with the non-working tuner.
     
  8. Jul 9, 2008 #8 of 31
    jkalnin

    jkalnin Baad Spellor

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    My comcast guy came to install the card, and he put the M card into the wrong slot. In clear letters on the front it says, M CARD HERE. However, the guy's boss told him it goes in the other slot so that's where he put it. Of course it worked great and he left, only for me to have to call him back once I realized only one turner worked.

    These installers could care less, and they are throughly untrained in working on Tivos.
     
  9. Jul 9, 2008 #9 of 31
    TiVo Steve

    TiVo Steve New Member

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    Seattle WA.
    How many S3/HD units using cablecards are there nationwide? You can't expect every cable company to know how to install the CCs if there are only a few thousand of these TiVo units across the entire country! :confused:
     
  10. AdmiralTivo

    AdmiralTivo You talkin' to me?

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    Feb 25, 2005

    Well, it's not just TiVos using cablecards, but still, the cable company is required by law to provide CCs to customers that request them. Don't you think that if they provide them, they should be familiar with how to install them, even if it's only for a few hundred customers?

    So if you go to a restaurant and you order a specialty item off their menu that doesn't get ordered much, are you forgiving of the chef if he ruins your order? After all, not many people order that item, how can you expect him to get it right?
     
  11. aslamma

    aslamma New Member

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    Jul 2, 2008
    So as dumb as this sounds, I think my problem is that I have a single, single stream card. I REPEATEDLY asked the cable co. if it was a multi-stream card and they said yes, but of course I was skeptical. After talking to someone who seemed half way intelligent at the cable co., he confirmed that I have a single stream card. You can usually tell by their voice if they are clueless...someone sound like they just got up.

    What is really throwing me off is that I swear I paused both tuners upon initial installation. I flipped back and forth and saw two paused channels when pressing the "live tv" button. It worked fine until the cable went out totally. When it came back up, only one tuner was active. Maybe I am still misinterpretting the dual tuner behavior as the Tivo is new to me, but it is confusing. In fact, there are a handful of DIGITAL signals that can get on the second tuner. But perhaps those are unencrypted ones. I don't know.
     
  12. AdmiralTivo

    AdmiralTivo You talkin' to me?

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    Feb 25, 2005
    You can verify what card you have by popping it out and looking at it...it says what it is right on the card.

    of course, you should unplug your TiVo before doing so, but it's not hard.
     
  13. aslamma

    aslamma New Member

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    Jul 2, 2008
    Hmmm....nothing is on the card other than "M-card", which the technician said means multi-stream (was not buying that based upon the fact he tried to insert with the case still on it). I really did look before he put it in and last night I took it out...but maybe I missed it.

    I talked to customer service and gave them the serial number and they said they could not really tell based on that either because "sometimes it is and sometimes its not". Basically its just a bunch of idiots (including myself) screwing around.
     
  14. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    Atlanta, GA
    Just as importantly, you can confirm that you have a working M-card that is recognized by the Tivo as such by looking at the cable card screen when the card is inserted.

    Upon initial insertion, the cable card screen on the Tivo HD will report an "S-card". A moment later it will report "M-card". This is of course assuming that you have inserted a correctly functioning M-card into slot 1.

    And all of this is assuming you have a Tivo HD. To the original Series 3 model, all cards are S-cards. Even an M-card will only function in single stream mode, and 2 cards will be needed, regardless whether M or S.
     
  15. lastdeadcat

    lastdeadcat 22 years in Alaska

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    My cable company announced back in March they were going all digital on August 15. In November of last year I had purchased a TiVoHD. It was working fine without CableCARDS for the analog channels that I was getting from my basic subscription. Last month the cable company started running annoucements on the channels that weren't local stations about the switch to all digital. Then these channels started dying off. I think this was a tactic to get customers' attention to the change.

    I decided that it was probably time to get CableCARDs for my TiVoHD when finally all the local stations showed up on cable in digital form. I went down and ordered the cards and a cable box from my remaining ST Series 2 TiVo. They scheduled the install for two days later.

    With much fear and trembling, I waited for their call and arrivial. When the installer got here he had 3, yes 3, CableCARDs and a DCT 2500 cable box. He did not know if they were S-cards or M-cards when I asked. I said we'll find out when we install them.

    This installer was a contractor, not an in-house employee. He inserted the first card and got some kind of error message. He tried calling the number he was given to provision the card for help and got their voicemail--that person was on vacation. He called his dispatcher who was upset that a contractor had been assigned to install CableCARDs and not an in-house person. With the dispatcher's help he was finally able to get someone at company headquarters 360 miles away who could help. Getting this phone communication setup took almost an hour.

    As far as the error message, I suggested that we remove and re-insert the card. That worked and we got the data that we needed to provision the card. It was instantly apparent that this was a S-card.

    The first card paired and we went to do the second. It paired quickly and we checked the channels. They were there. The head end hit both cards again and all was well.

    This installer had never installed a CableCARD before and I had to guide him through it. After we got to the right person at the head end, everthing went well. He took the third card back with him unopened.

    After the cards were installed we connected the cable box to my S2. I had asked for a box with S-video output, but didn't mention a serial connection. This box had S-video out and a serial port! I connected to them and ran guided setup and they both worked to my amazment.

    Overall, this was a good install, only hitch was the delay in trying to find the right person at the head end to provision the cards.
     
  16. AdmiralTivo

    AdmiralTivo You talkin' to me?

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    Feb 25, 2005
    The bolded part is the key. I just assumed the OP had a TivoHD, but if they have a Series 3 then an M-Card will just look like an S-Card and behave as such. That's probably the root of your problem right there.
     
  17. dig_duggler

    dig_duggler Member

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    Birmingham, AL
    This is key. It doesn't matter how knowledgeable you are, how good your tech is. If they head end doesn't know what they are doing it isn't going to work. And if they don't, you can complain and try again. But that's your only recourse and over time (and time off work), after repeatedly hitting a wall of incompetence you can get frustrated with the whole experience.
     
  18. aslamma

    aslamma New Member

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    Jul 2, 2008
    I have a TivoHD so it should not be a problem.

    Upon the initial install, I do remember it recognizing slot 1 and I believe it said "(Multistream)" by it. So I was not sure if this meant it was just multistream compatible (i.e. slot 1) or if it meant the card was recognized as multi-stream. I think a call to Tivo will help settle it.
     
  19. AdmiralTivo

    AdmiralTivo You talkin' to me?

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    Feb 25, 2005
    It can't hurt to call TiVo. But I wouldn't rule out a defective card either.
     
  20. dwit

    dwit Active Member

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    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA

    No doubt about it. If you saw the word "(Multi-Stream)", you have the M-Card.

    If the Tivo is not working correctly and getting all the channels on both tuners, the cable comoany just needs to make the necessary adjustments on their end to get it going.
     

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