New TiVo Bolt VOX and Xfinity CableCard pairing issue

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by unixadm, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. unixadm

    unixadm Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Georgia, USA

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    Bought a new TiVo Bolt VOX from Best Buy and picked up a CableCard from Xfinity store for my Dad. He currently has basic digital cable with a mini digital decoder box. I did get an Xfinity X1 last Friday and it worked perfectly at his place (pre-activated at Xfinity store) but he didn't like the interface. I returned that to the Xfinity store Monday, got the CableCard then went to BestBuy for the TiVo.

    I have spent many hours trying to get it to pair. Had TiVo activated and all set up but there is an issue getting CableCard from Xfinity store paired with the TiVo Bolt VOX. I have tried two different cable cards (Both Cisco MultiStream that they provided and each got firmware updates when I first connected them) and Xfinity CableCard phone support could not get either to work. They suggested it might be a bad TiVo.

    I returned the Tivo last night to BestBuy and got a replacement, contacted TiVo and had them transfer the subscription. After that, I had Xfinity pair the 2nd card they gave me to the new TiVo host ID and still no luck. I see the CableCard serial number on my Xfinity account, but on the TiVo it still says "channel not authorized" on every channel and the CableCard Menu shows "In Order to start service for this device, please call 1-800-COMCAST"

    I am going to go down to Xfinity store AGAIN tomorrow and get another CableCard......

    Any Suggestions? Should it be this difficult...is there something they are missing?

    Should I request a specific type of Cable Card other than Cisco? Any known issues to getting this working? (FYI, manufacture date on first Tivo was 13-Sept-17 and on second one was 14-Sept-17, so very recent builds)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  2. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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  3. unixadm

    unixadm Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, for the link! I will go back to my Dads, hook it back up to his TV and try to pair myself......FYI, when I go through that link, I DO see the CableCard serial #/MAC address of that card on my account, and the "Currently paired to Host Id:" with my newest TiVo host ID. Looks correct, they said they sent the signal multiple times, but so far, no luck.

    Since I have to go to my Dad's to do this each time (he is in assisted living apartment), I am going to go to Xfinity and pick up a couple more CableCards first.... then I can go back to my Dad's, connect the TiVo back up and go through that link to re-send that pairing of what I have set up now. If it doesn't work, I can at least try swapping out cablecards and doing new pairings on my own to see if any of that works.

    Just seems like there is something that is causing this not to pair on the TiVo side even though Xfinity has put the pairing info on my account.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  4. Wire_Paladin

    Wire_Paladin New Member

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    Old Dominion
    I just installed a Comcast/xfinity cable card (Powerkey model pkm908) with a Tivo Bolt Vox this morning without any issues & it's working on both basic & premium channels.

    The only issue I'm having is learning the new user interface since it doesn't appear to allow going back to the classic & there doesn't appear to be a user's manual for the new interface. Trial & error sucks as well as a blank user preference page until you actually do something such as select favorites. The interface appears more beta than final release.
     
  5. Phil T

    Phil T Well-Known Member

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    I bought a new Tivo Vox at Best Buy on November 1st and picked up a Cable Card at Comcast on the way home. It works fine. The only issue I had was getting the On Demand app to work which took a call to Comcast Cable Card department. I think my card was a Motorola but not positive.
     
  6. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    If you have the same cable service at your house, it's quite likely that you can complete the pairing/setup at your house and then take it to your Dad's.

    Just because you're seeing the card on your account doesn't mean that it's been Activated properly by Comcast. What error are you seeing on screen? Is it a V58 (Not Authorized) error?

    -KP
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  7. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    If a brand new card won't pair with the online tool, there is a good chance it is a problem with the way they have your dad's account coded on their end.
     
    kpeters59 likes this.
  8. mpf541

    mpf541 Member

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    Your best bet is to call xfinity. You want to call the cablecard line though, not normal support I just had to deal with them as the cards worked for all but on demand. Call 877 405-2298. They can reconfigure your card and have you working during the call.
     
  9. unixadm

    unixadm Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Georgia, USA
    Yes, V58 on the screen

    This is what the Cable Card menu shows
    [​IMG]

    I've tried the activation online and get this error:

    [​IMG]




    Yeah, I have had them on the phone for a total of 2 1/2 hours between the two cable cards. The first 48 minute call was NOT the cable card area and the girl kept putting me on hold and checking with someone else. The next 3 calls were directly to the Cable Card area
     
  10. unixadm

    unixadm Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Georgia, USA
    I wonder if there is some blocking of the activation signal going on since my Dad is in assisted living apartment and it’s a commercial account where he pays them for his cable, not comcast.


    I used to have Comcast at my house but canceled last year. I connected to my cable and see in system info that it gets a signal strength. I tried activating from
    my house with no luck...didn’t expect it to though...when I connected an already activated X1, I got guide but no channels..probably a block from outside the house

    Will go get new cable card and try again
     
  11. pgoelz

    pgoelz Active Member

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    My first Comcast cable card self pairing experience (on our Roamio) was quick and painless... stick the card in, call Comcast and BAM, all set. Unfortunately, when we switched to the Bolt a couple years ago, it was a two day nightmare. After the first attempt failed, the cable card people at Comcast advised me to go back to the store and "get as many cards as they will give you". So the next day I returned card #1 and got three more. Of all those, only the last one worked and it worked on the first try.

    All this was on the phone to the Comcast cable card department. I never could get the online pairing screen to work...... kept getting the error that you showed above this post.

    In the process, I learned that when the Comcast CSR gets confirmation that they "sent a signal", that does NOT mean the system actually sent it to you..... just that it confirmed that it is queued.

    There are further snakes in the grass that might affect initial pairing.... Comcast has to know that you are using a Tivo and they have to code your account correctly. If they do not, on demand will not work and you might not get some channels. This is because Comcast can talk to the cable card in a Tivo but the cable card cannot respond the normal way over the cable. Because of this, Comcast does not get any pairing confirmation from it. The talk back channel (for on demand) is via the internet. Since this is different from a regular Comcast box, the account has to be set up correctly or on demand (and possibly other functions) will not work. And once you get that right, it is not necessarily over..... in the intervening year or so, Comcast has spontaneously reset our account back to thinking we have a Comcast box three times.

    Assuming you eventually get things working, look closely at your bill in a month or so and make sure they are not charging you for any cable cards. Since you do not have a Comcast box, the first card is supposed to be free and they should have removed all the other ones you returned. In my experience, they are terrible at removing equipment that you have returned (like extra cable cards). Twice we even discovered additional equipment on our bill that we did not have.

    All the above, plus the goofy way they handle charges and credits, got so bad that I demanded...... and received..... a substantial monthly credit to offset all the headaches we went through with them.

    Good luck!

    Paul
     
    kpeters59 likes this.
  12. unixadm

    unixadm Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you so much for your input....sounds like exactly the nightmare I'm going through. In my case, since it isn't in my house, and my Dad has a single cable connection in his assisted living apartment, I have to drive to his place, connect up the TiVo and spend hours trying to get it paired/activated, then when that fails, disconnect the TiVo and reconnect his Xfinity mini digital box to get him able to watch TV again. Each time I go there, I have to start over, disconnecting what is working to reconnect the TiVo and try something new to get it working. The number of hours I have put in during the past week just to try to get a TiVo set up with Xfinity has been ridiculous.

    One question....Were all 3 cards they gave you the same brand/model? If not, which one were you able to get working (Cisco, Motorola, other)?

    I will go back down to Xfinity and have them give me a handful of CableCards and just go through one at a time and attempt to get one of them paired/activated. I will have them check my account as well and verify that it is set up for TiVo.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  13. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Can you bring the TiVo to the xFinity office and get it activated there?

    There are different levels of CableCARD techs at xFinity. I think the initial level is in the Arizona office. The higher level is at the Colorado office. You can ask to be escalated.

    Out of curiosity, does your TiVo say anything about scanning for channels? This could mean the CableCARD is coded for the wrong head-end.
     
  14. buildersboy66

    buildersboy66 Active Member

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    Some Comcast areas are card specific. Some only work with moto, some only work with SA/Cisco cards. Make sure this is not your issue. I am in a SA/Cisco only area, the moto cards will not work here in zip 34431.
     
  15. pgoelz

    pgoelz Active Member

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    They were all the same and I believe they were Motorola.

    I don't know how you can answer this, but are you SURE using a Tivo with a cable card in the assisted living facility is even possible? I don't know what frequencies the cable card uses to listen to the head end but if those frequencies are not being passed on to your dad's cable outlet, it would not be possible to pair the cable card. Just a guess.

    Paul
     
  16. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    The pic you posted earlier is the pairing info/screen.

    Could you also post pics of your Conditional Access and CableCARD Status screens, obfuscate the card #s if you need to.
     
  17. alexb

    alexb Active Member

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    I am in 98033 cards are always Motorola any have activated perfectly on whatever equipment I have first time every time (over 10 years I have done over 100 activations). I have never got the web activation to work for a cable card (I believe the site is deprecated)

    A few things to note, always ask them to confirm they removed any existing or old cable card associations (sometime the don’t deactivate the cards if others have used them). Always explicitly ask if they have sent the hit signal. Connect the TiVo to a wall outlet without using splitters. If you have other splitters or outlets with nothing connected make sure each is capped with a terminator. Lastly only use approved Comcast splitters, seriously, I had an RCA one that caused havoc. Oh and make sure all the splitters have the right frequency range on them.

    Lastly only call the Comcast cable card activation line, do not call the regular Comcast number. The folks on the dedicated line know their stuff.
     
  18. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    It may not work for all markets, but it isn't deprecated. I just swapped a CableCARD a few minutes ago.

    It was broken for maybe 6mo, then they fixed it. When it was broken, the reps were saying it was going away, but they were just making stuff up, because eventually when all the people that did the lifetime transfer deals started complaining, they fixed the online activation.
     
    alexb likes this.
  19. unixadm

    unixadm Super Moderator Staff Member

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    FINALLY got it working!

    Ended up getting service back in my house temporarily then using that connection and another new cable card to pair from my house.

    The tech on the phone said that they run into pairing issues at apartments and places like my Dad's many times and need to pair from another outlet in another part of the building. Apparently, depending on the way a complex runs their splits to apartments, some may get a good enough signal to watch the digital cable but not good enough that see the pairing.

    Interesting thing is that he very Card I tried previously had gotten a firmware update as soon as I plugged in, then when looking at CableCard CA screen on the TiVo from my Dads, every card said “not staged”

    This time, new card did not need a firmware upgrade and was showing “Ready”, which the tech said should be the status prior to being paired.

    Thanks for all the help!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
    leswar likes this.
  20. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    I would be concerned that this will break on him in the future if the CableCARD is not able to receive it's regular hit to stay activated in his apartment (I believe they still do this right?).

    Scott
     

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