Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Brainiac 5

    Brainiac 5 New Member

    Aug 24, 2003


    As espo mentioned, every single S3 owner in Howard County, MD seems to have this problem. I don't know if every CableCARD device does it, or just the S3, since Comcast has refused my every request to try my CableCARDs (or any CableCARDs) on a different device.

    I understand about your returning the TiVo (although I myself am stubborn and actually bought another S3 without having resolved this problem). I wish TiVo could take a more active role in helping resolve these problems, even if they think the problem is with the cable company. I've called them, but they basically just said the problem was with Comcast and I should talk to them.

    It doesn't matter whose fault the problem is - if it can't be resolved, most people won't have any choice but to keep Comcast and drop TiVo. If TiVo could tell us what's wrong in cases like this where at least a whole county is affected, we'd have a better chance at getting Comcast to fix it.
  2. kimmy482

    kimmy482 New Member

    Jan 15, 2007
    I am about to have a hissy fit with Comcast over my CableCards.

    I believe I have a pairing problem, because card #1 works fine -- picks up all the premium channels -- but card #2 says it's "connected" and "subscribed", but gives me the ol' EnabledByCP: no, CA Enable: not possible, Host Validation: Unknown 00. It tunes everything but premium channels.

    A search of these forums and the internet yielded the solution of calling Comcast with my Data # to make sure it matches their records. But when I call Comcast customer service, they either have no idea what I'm talking about OR say they don't need that information, just the card serial number. I finally had one person talk to the head end via IM, but the response was "everything is fine on our end." They didn't even ask for the Data #. Sigh.

    So do I just keep calling back 'til I get someone who knows what they're doing? Or should I have the card replaced yet again and hope the next installer has a clue? (The last one certainly didn't.) Any advice would be appreciated.
  3. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    To paraphrase Lily Tomlin:

    We don't care. We don't have to. We're the cable company.

    A while ago when I dropped cable entirely (over $1000/yr) they didn't bat an eye. Didn't ask even one question. Didn't care in the slightest. And why should they?

    Why should any low-level Comcast employee care in the slightest whether or not you're satisfied or if you're a customer at all?

    And as for top management, Comcast had $6.11 Billion in Operating Cash Flow in the last 12 months. Take my word for it, that's a good number. By the usual Wall Street metrics, Comcast is doing very very well. So why should top management care in the slightest whether or not you're a customer?
  4. dconner

    dconner Member

    Mar 13, 2004
    Well, Attempt #3 tonight.
    Scenario: CableCards working, but only get the Analog channels and the unencrypted digital channels (basically, local stations only.)

    I actually got a really good tech tonight... who unfortunately was unable to help me. According to Comcast, everything looks good on their end, like my cards are all set the right way. I'm still not sure the cards were ever "initialized" by Comcast, but the policy of the home office is apparently, if the records show it, it must be true. (I guess - I'm a little confused on this myself, as to whether my cards are "bad" or were just never initialized properly by Comcast in the first place.)

    But the next step, according to Comcast, is to assume the cards are bad (my technician, who actually knew what he was doing and was very cool, verified that they have no way of testing the CableCards themselves before installing them) and install different ones.

    Anybody want to guess whether Comcast gave my friendly technician two CableCards to install in this foreseeable circumstance?

    So... it's time for Attempt #4. After I figure out when I can be available myself for that visit, I'll call Comcast to set that up. My tech encouraged me to give them hell. :)
  5. jeffsinsfo

    jeffsinsfo Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    San Francisco


    I have to disagree. There are many Comcast customers with working Series 3, so it's clear that they are NOT "simply incompatible." I posted my saga over several posts above. It was a painstaking task to get Comcast to finally get a competent tech and "head end" employee to set up the cable cards properly, but once they did my Series 3 worked just as designed. I'm enjoying the vastly superior picture quality (how did I put up with my Series 2 on an HDTV for the past two years?).

    I think the real problem is lack of training of cable company employees, particularly the ones who authorize and hit the cards. Even if the tech out at your house does everything properly, if the person in the office doesn't set things up correctly in their computer you're still hosed.

    A TiVo customer service rep was quick to suggest returning my Series 3, too. I think that TiVo needs to train its customer service reps to better trouble shoot some of these issues. I'm certainly no expert in this area, but it doesn't make sense to me to assume that a cable card slot is bad if the Series 3 recognizes the card but simply doesn't authorize properly. Instead of colluding with the cable companies to slack off on their responsibilities to provide working cable cards to customers who request them, TiVo should be helping to educate its customers and cable companies.

  6. jeffsinsfo

    jeffsinsfo Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    San Francisco
    Just how complicated can Comcast's computer system be? Or do they deliberately look for people with below average intelligence to work there? Some doofus removed the cable modem from my account after my first (failed) cable card installation appointment, though they apparently left my account as if I still had the two cable cards that the installer could not get to work. Some of the mistakes Comcast makes in attempting to provide cable cards are simply unreasonable.

  7. ac3dd

    ac3dd New Member

    Mar 2, 2002
    They won't care unless they're going to get fired or reprimanded over it. Calls are recorded and are listened to by supervisors (although not ALL calls will be listened to). My strategy is to make the employee look bad if a supervisor ever listens to the call.

    "I will drop Comcast if you don't straighten this out. This call is being recorded. Do YOU want to be responsible for losing a customer? If you don't know how to handle this please let me talk to somebody who does."
  8. kosherbacon

    kosherbacon New Member

    Sep 12, 2005
    So I am having a weird issue...

    After two installer visits and half a dozen phone calls, I am now getting all of my analog stations and all of my HD stations (TNT, ESPN, HBO, etc.) EXCEPT the local affiliates (no NBC, ABC, CBS, but I am getting Fox, UPN). Strange.

    TiVo says that the signal strength on the local HD affiliates channels is 0, so I suspect that the problem is not with a cable card decoding or initialization, but that for whatever reason those signals are void in my house. Comcast has reported no service outages in my area (NW Philadelphia) and my neighbor and I have the same package as I do and gets these staions just fine, so this seems to me to be a problem of mine alone.

    Any suggestions for getting this resolved when the Comcast tech comes back tomorrow? The major networks in HD are the

    It is a shame that I have to come here to even ask this, isn't it?
  9. ewilts

    ewilts Who, me?

    Feb 26, 2002
    Mounds View, MN
    I ran into this and it drove me nuts for a while trying to figure it out. It turned out that I a channel block on my line for channels 75-80 so that I could use an AVCast system to broadcast my TiVo's signal back out to other TVs in the house. And guess where the root channels were for the local stations... Boy did I feel like an idiot when I finally found that. Remove the channel block and there were the stations in glorious HD. I haven't found a replacement for the AVCast yet though.

    See if your technician can test the signal on those stations right where the cable enters the house before it connects to anything else or splits. If you don't have signal there, it's the cable company's fault - it means they have a filter somewhere on their network.

  10. kosherbacon

    kosherbacon New Member

    Sep 12, 2005

    Thanks for the input. I don't know what AVCast is or how to even enact a channel block, so I assume that that is not the issue. I am sure that they have a filter on their network. Let's hope that they can figure it out.
  11. Mike Farrington

    Mike Farrington Lost Member

    Nov 16, 2000
    Replying to myself here. Turns out I didn't have an appointment yesterday, even though the CSR said I did. It was early, and I think she was confused as to what today's date was. Once my installer never showed up, I called a CSR who said that my appoint was for tomorrow, not today. At first I thought the technician must have stealthily rescheduled, but the more I thought about it I realized that the morning CSR must have been mistaken. I live out in the boonies, and from previous experience I remembered that techs only come out this way on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    So I tried again with this CSR to get my old STB added back to my account, but it just wouldn't work. The computer system wouldn't accept the box number I was giving her. It was giving her an error like it was already attached to someone else's account, but it wasn't popping up the other account info like it is supposed to. My box number is lost in nowhereland, and they'd rather do a truck roll with a different box rather than hunt down the root issue.

    Anyway, so last night I called yet again for some hits. I basically just keep calling back hoping I'd luck into someone who knows what they are doing. Last night it seems that I did find someone who knew what was up. She immediately noticed that it was a S3, and immediately figured it must be a "coding issue" with the backend equipment at my local office (who recently were transitioned from Adelphia to Comcast). The "coding issue" is different from the "rate codes" that other CSRs were looking into. Basically, she believed that the local equipment hasn't been programmed to handle the S3. She was on the phone diligently hunting it down, but eventually had to let me go. She's on the case though and gave me her extension and name. She said she would be handing it off and it should be handled within 48-hours. Finally someone who agreed that truck roll after truck roll wasn't the solution to this problem. I think she works in a regional office. If she solves my problem, I'll check to see if they cover D.C. and VA. If so, I'll post her name and extension here for those in the area.

    Wish me luck.

  12. JPShinn

    JPShinn New Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    So, I took delivery of my RMA'd device and set up with no problem. Comcast re-hit the cards and all is well . . .

  13. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Look in the diagnostics and see what frequency the missing channels are carried on.

    I just had a problem with channels going missing, but only when its cold. When I could tell the tech that all the problem channels were carried on frequencies 93-117 MHz (channels 95-99) he got pretty convinced it was their problem and immediatly did the right thing which was measuing the siganl strength coming in to the house.
  14. srw69

    srw69 New Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    I live in the Chicago area (Schaumburg) and am in the middle of deciding to stick with the Comcast P.O.S. DVR or bite the bullet and purchase a Tivo S3.

    Having read all 1900 posts I am a little concerned with the abilities of comcast to get it working. The only days I have available to schedule for service calls are on Saturdays and Sundays. If the tech's can't get it right the first try, it will be a week before they can try again.

    My question.... Has anyone in my area had any experience with the S3 and Comcast? Success or Disappointments.
  15. cluemeister

    cluemeister New Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    It's been 23 days since I called comcast for cable cards. On December 29th, I was assured it wouldn't take two more weeks to get the cards.

    It's now the 18th, and I have yet to receive a call from Comcast except the orginal call to cancel the appointment.

    NH region. Anybody else have any experience in this area?
  16. Gene Plantz

    Gene Plantz tivo BOLT OTA

    Dec 31, 1999

    I'm in Hoffman Estates. Installed about 3 months ago. Got it done on first visit... took about 2 hours but it was completed.
  17. Mike Farrington

    Mike Farrington Lost Member

    Nov 16, 2000
    I don't have the energy to get into my story right now. In the end, after my 4th truck roll, I'm stilling getting "Waiting for CP Authorization". My wife is pissed because they keep knocking our other digital STB off the account when they're futzing with the CableCARDs. She's getting pretty vocal about dropping Comcast entirely. If this goes on, I'm seriously going to consider dropping out service down to basic cable. I'd go full OTA if it weren't for Comedy Central and SciFi. The rest I can live without if need be (until The Wire starts back up).
  18. lkinley

    lkinley Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Poulsbo, WA
    I picked up my cable cards at the local office (Bremerton) last week in anticipation of activating my S3. It's been sitting around since Christmas, but I had to wait for some electrical work to be done in my house before I could set it up. The local office is great; there are very friendly and helpful staff there.

    I called Comcast this afternoon to activate the CC's and got a person who had never done them before. I stuck with it and it payed off. She put me on hold 5 times during the 25 minute call but in the end, everything worked the first try.

    I don't have a digital package, I'm using the CC's mainly for the local HD's. Come F1 season, I'll get the $5.99 Sports Entertainment package to get Speed TV (still no digital package required.) Bottom line, my bill will be $1.50 higher for the second cable card as the first is free. I'm happy!

  19. Mike Farrington

    Mike Farrington Lost Member

    Nov 16, 2000
    Without any digitals or premium content, it might be hard to tell if your CableCARDs are working 100%. You might be disappointed when it comes times to watch your sports.

    I've been getting analogs and HD locals just fine for weeks, my big problem is getting authenticated for digitals and premiums.
  20. rictus

    rictus New Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Is anyone seeing guide data for UHD or MHD? I filled out the "incorrect guide data" form on the TiVo website a few weeks ago, but it's still showing "Regular Programming" for me. This is with Comcast in Oakland, CA.

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