Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by amjustice, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. dumaresq

    dumaresq New Member

    Aug 24, 2005


    I live in Monmouth county NJ. On Friday the 11th of Jan. the Comcast cable installer arrived (I'd had D* for the last year or so). I had two brand new TivoHDs setup and ready for him. He was at my house for a total of 6 hours, most of that time he spent running new cables. Once he finished running cables he started trying to get the cablecards working. He brought 5 single stream cards (I needed 4). He tried all 5 of them 1 wouldn't registered, three needed "upgrading" and 1 worked. He left with the other three saying "upgrading" but before he left he popped them all out so from what I have read that means they are now broken. He managed to come back the next day with 4 more cards all of them did the upgrading thing as well so he left again.

    I called them on Monday the 14th to get them to come back with more cards. They were supposed to come that Wednesday but they canceled the appointment saying they had no cards. They canceled another appointment on 25th (still no cards). I have another appointment on the 1st I hope they have cards!

    He left me the three "upgrading" cards which I have left in for 24 hours just to see if they would eventually upgrade, but they haven't. I have no hope they will come this Friday with cards anyone have any suggestions on what I should do?

  2. sparkyr

    sparkyr New Member

    Jan 22, 2008
    HoCo, MD
    Good point about the one-way communication. Since I posted, I spent 45 minutes on the line with Comcast. I read all hostid and cablecard info from my screen to them. They re-authorized good card in slot 1 and attempted again with the 2nd card in slot 2 with same results ("Invalid error" that they don't understand.) If they fat-fingered, it would be the 3rd time it's happened with different sets of people doing the work. Their response of course is to claim it's another bad card. Scheduled tech for Tuesday AM. Same old story...

    But then, the CSR started talking about removing the $4.05 2nd outlet fee for the last week since I've been having problems. "Huh?" I said! There's a $1.50 fee for the 2nd card but no "2nd outlet fee". She then said it's the only way they could enter both cards; make them two separate outlets. But then she started questioning whether that could cause problems with the authorization or whether it was the right way to do it. She was going to call me back...3 hours ago and counting.

    So, her questioning of how the account is setup and the belief that the head-end guys shouldn't get any feedback that it's a bad card since it's a one-way communication, now make me wonder whether it's some screwy "feature" of Comcast's billing/authorization software and how my account was created.

    I know the cards are one way WRT on-demand and PPV (kind of "higher-order" functions) in a Tivo, but are you sure Comcast doesn't even get status information back from these cards?

    Time to call them back and ask for someone knowledgeable about setting up an account for Tivo Series 3's with two cable cards on the same outlet. Sounds far-fetched but I'm getting close to punting on digital cable and reverting back to OTA HD broadcasts and lame analog cable. HD basic cable is beautiful but a hobbled Tivo with just one fully functional tuner is less useful to me than lame analog cable and a fully functional Tivo. There's no guarantee that the one good tuner/cablecard will be used for premium channel recordings.

    Also, regarding signal strength, the lead tech here on Friday measured it and said the signal strength is great.

    thanks for listening and the input.
  3. QZ1

    QZ1 New Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    S.E. PA
    If that is what the bill showed, it is most likely a misprint where they reversed the second and third line items.

    CC (second CC in same device) is $1.50.
    Digital Preferred is $14.95.
    Digital Starter (Standard w/ a Box) for $33, sounds like a promo.
  4. ninjadvr

    ninjadvr New Member

    Aug 18, 2005
    Being told 6 Feb by the Comcast CSR does not constitute a full update since they change their tune each time giving different re-stock dates, etc. The update I was referring to was along the lines of what you just wrote, i.e. if they turn up with CableCards to your appointment, then obviously CableCards exist in Arlington, VA, which would prompt me to push them to give me an appointment instead of waiting another week or two. There was a reason I posted the question :up:
  5. rvsj

    rvsj Member

    Dec 20, 2007


    There is no hardware in a TiVo capable of transmitting anything back to the head end. That is why they are now developing a "dongle" that will connect to the USB port to transmit back so TiVos will work with SDV (Switched Digital Video).
  6. janry

    janry New Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    I wonder if you could take your TiVo to the cable office and have them do whatever they need to do with the CC's at their office. That way, no truck roll and inconvenience of waiting on therm.
  7. osterber

    osterber Active Member

    Feb 13, 2001
    Watertown, MA
    Another installation report:

    Watertown, MA. I already have one Tivo S3 with two cablecards in it. Purchased a new Tivo HD. Scheduled a visit with Comcast, and asked them to note that I could use a M-stream card. It was a 2-week wait to get an appointment. Argh.

    Appointment scheduled for 9-11am this morning. Comcast automated call came on Saturday to remind me. This morning at 9:20am, technician calls to say he's on his way. Arrives at 9:28am.

    He's got an m-stream card, and appears to know his way around the Tivo. (Navigating menus he knows exactly what he's looking for, etc.) Pops in the card, and it is detected as m-stream.

    About 9:35am or so, he makes his call to the back-office. First person appears to take the inventory information (i.e., m-stream cable card serial #xxxx assigned to my account). He then gets transferred to the advanced technical support people to do the pairing.

    He sat on hold for 25 minutes, and never talked to anyone. He called back the other number, to confirm that the ATS people were open, was transferred in again, and sat on hold for 10 more minutes before giving up.

    I had to get to work... he wanted to get to his next call. We agreed that he would continue to try to call them during the day, and I'd check tonight to see if things were working. I have his cell phone number to check-in.

    The technician was great. Knew what he was doing. It's just the back-office people appear to be completely backlogged, and the technicians can't get through to them! It is unbelievable that there is not some online interface even for the technicians to punch in the pairing number data and skip the human being process.

  8. pjbrownva

    pjbrownva New Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    Arlington, VA
  9. b0rg

    b0rg New Member

    Jan 30, 2003
    New Jersey
    Just trying to understand.. The S3 requires 2 cards (either S or M), right? It cannot use a single M-Card for dual tuning?

    Anyone know if it would work for an S-Card and an M-Card?

  10. Langree

    Langree The Gimp

    Apr 29, 2004
    Yes and Yes, it will only use the M as a single stream.
  11. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Theoretically, should be no difference. To the S3, a cable card is a cable card. Should not matter whether S, M, or any combination of the two.
  12. hoyatables

    hoyatables New Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Success in Arlington!

    Tech came with one multi-stream cable card. Tech actually failed to get it activated, but a follow-up call to Comcast and a relatively short 15-minute wait later, channels are active and Tivo is working in HD.

    Tech suggested that there were still problems getting cable cards in the warehouse but somehow I was successful in getting one.
  13. hoyatables

    hoyatables New Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    My multi-stream card seems to have no trouble recording two streams in HD
  14. KraziJoe

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

    Nov 30, 2007
    He is talking about an S3 not the TivoHD.
  15. KraziJoe

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

    Nov 30, 2007
    Would you mind PM'ing me your Techs name and your name so I can get ready for an asschewing in case they try to screw me over again on Friday?

  16. edskee

    edskee New Member

    Apr 14, 2002
    Heres an odd one I havent seen yet.

    I just got my cablecards installed in my S3 yesterday, and the only channels I am receiving are my locals (what I could get from an antenna) and my locals in HD as well. I receive a few scattered other random channels like CSPAN-2 and some religious channel in the 40's.

    I called comcast they insist all the signals have been sent correctly. No errors or issues on the install.

    Anyone see this before and have any idea what to do here?
  17. Voltron

    Voltron New Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I have the new Motorola box that supports CableCard. What will CableCard allow me to do?
  18. Gregor

    Gregor Wear Your Mask! TCF Club

    Feb 18, 2002
    What do the conditional access screens say for the cards?
  19. edskee

    edskee New Member

    Apr 14, 2002
    I saw some mention of conditional access screens... I dont have an option that is called Conditional Access.

    I have:
    SA CableCARD CP Screen
    SA CableCARD Diag Screen
    SA CableCARD/Host ID Screen

    None say conditional access, what screen should I be looking at?
  20. illthreat

    illthreat New Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    Well.. The tech came out to install my CableCard(s) today.

    He enters the room, asks what the job is, and I mention the Tivo HD , CableCards, etc.. - No clue. Doesn't even have the work order showing the request for the CableCards.

    2 more techs show up to help him finish the job. None of them having a clue where the CC were at.. The excuse was the tech that came to the house was given the job by another tech earlier in the day.. I tell them perhaps the other tech has the CC... their reply- "Don't know".

    I ask the 3 techs standing in my living room what they expect me to do from here... Response: "Don't Know".

    So, I call 800-comcast with all 3 of them still in the room. Get a CSR on the phone, explain the situation- and he gets one of the techs standing in my living room on the line. Blah blah blah.. CSR tells the tech to re-schedule it internally so it won't take another 10 days to do through the national CSR line...

    I am to call the supervisor tomorrow to re-schedule the CC install. . That is of course if they even have them to begin with.. Or even understands what it is.

    Freakin' comcast........................... maybe TRAIN your techs to understand the technology and actually GIVE them the equipment needed for the job.

    They actually told me they don't have M-Cards.. HOWEVER..their freakin HD converter box uses ONLY M-Cards... Riiiiiight.

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