Official RCN CableCard Thread!

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

  1. asya999

    asya999 New Member

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    Apr 30, 2008

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    Set my mom up with a new TiVo HD XL after her move earlier this week and her new building had a choice of RCN or TWC. Since the building gets bulk billing rate for basic package with 100 or so channels from RCN, I decided to sign her up with them for "basic" cable and internet.

    Ordered the install, told them she had a TiVo and that she'd need a CableCard and to make sure to note to bring an M-Card. Got an appointment from 2-5 today.

    The installer showed up at 5:30 with two M-cards. When I told him the TiVo only needed one M-card *or* two S-cards he seemed defensive ("How many installs have *you* done?" - I wanted to say "None but I know more about it than you do, since I just read all the install instructions" but held off). After a few hours (okay just two) of struggling to get the right cable to the right part of the apartment, the card hook-up turned out to be a snap.

    The guy (quite friendly at this point) asked to borrow my phone since his battery was dead (previous install ran over and he used up his whole battery) so I gave him my cell (mom has Vonage so no phone till he got the internet turned on!). He called the home office and had RCN turn the internet on, and then read off the serial number of the CableCard. I had the TiVo on the setup screen for the card and in a few minutes it started getting all the channels it was supposed to.

    I heard him tell them that I didn't want the second card installed and it sounded like they also didn't understand one M-card instead of two S-cards but it seemed like they told him to go with what I wanted.

    Everything is working well now, through the cablecard gave a few 161-38 errors, it seems like that's something that's common for the Motorola M-cards during the first few hours/day while it's downloading all the info and while I was configuring preferences for my mom. Hopefully, like with other folks the error will clear up.
     
  2. Dec 9, 2008 #302 of 396
    sdavie3

    sdavie3 sdavie3

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    Nov 10, 2008
    Manhattan
    I had an RCN tech come by my place (Southern Manhattan) on Saturday to install me on a new Tivo HD. I'm a TWC refugee and this is my first cable card experience. I told him that he should probably be using only one MCC, but he went ahead and installed 2. I can't access most of my HD and many of my digital channels. In the diagnostics menu, neither of my CCs were validated. I called the RCN 800 number and their techs said everything was fine on their end and that I contact Tivo. I'm scheduled to have another RCN tech to come by and reinstall on Saturday.

    What should I insist that he do, so that he doesn't screw up this install as well?

    Thanks
     
  3. Dec 9, 2008 #303 of 396
    crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    the TiVo HD DVR will ignore any card installed in slot 2 if the card in slot 1 is a Multi-Stream card. There can be several issues: the Host was paired to the wrong card, or the proper signal to activate the channels was not sent to the card. Do you know if the cards are Motorola or Scientific Atlantic?
     
  4. Dec 9, 2008 #304 of 396
    rlcarr

    rlcarr Member

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    Jan 18, 2003
    Arlington, MA
    In many markets (NYC and Boston among them), RCN doesn't pair cards.
     
  5. Dec 9, 2008 #305 of 396
    sdavie3

    sdavie3 sdavie3

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    Nov 10, 2008
    Manhattan

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    They are Moto cards.
     
  6. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Per poster rlcarr, if RCN does not pair cards, then the issue may be that the cards were not sent the correct activation signal. Was there a mention of obtaining the Host & Data from the pairing screen? On the Conditional Access screen, look for Val. do you see V or ? nest to it? If you see Auth what is next to it? On the Diagnostics screen look for Channel list received, there should be YES next to it.
     
  7. sdavie3

    sdavie3 sdavie3

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    Nov 10, 2008
    Manhattan
    On the conditional access screen, there is a ? next to Val: (Val:? 0x00). Auth: MP. On the diagnostics screen: Channel List Received: Yes.
     
  8. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Auth:MP means that a message that is supposed to be in the activation
    stream coming from the headend is missing. Val:? means that card is not paired. In cable systems that do pair cards, this issue would cause the card to automatically scramble encrypted channels. If RCN does not pair cards, I'm not sure how this would be handled. Channel List Received: Yes indicates that the channel map has been aquired by the card. Your issue could be that your cable provider has not sent the proper activation signal. If RCN sends the "Initialize" signal to equipment, they need to send it to the card.
     
  9. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

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    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    Not quite true. Pairing is only required if the CCI byte for a channel you want to watch/record is non-zero (aka it's copy protected). If all of RCNs channels have a CCI of 0, then they don't need to pair the cards.

    Even though my system "requires" pairing, I never bothered to get one of my card paired, as I don't subscribe to any channels that are copy protected. I did make sure to uncheck the copy protected channels that I don't receive, so I don't accidentally tune to them, or have the box try to start a suggestion on them.

    However, the danger of not having paired cards is that your cable company can decide to add copy protection to any channel at any time. So, while everything may be working one day, it could suddenly stop working, and require action from the cable company. If RCN is regularly not pairing cards, they would be foolish to arbitrarily turn on copy protection without making some attempt to proactively contact customers and pair their cards first.
     
  10. sdavie3

    sdavie3 sdavie3

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    Nov 10, 2008
    Manhattan
    Maybe part of my problem is that I do subscribe to nearly all of the premium channels available, none of which are coming in. They do however show up when you go to Settings, Cable Card, Test Channels (but only on CC2, but not CC1).

    Regardless, when trying to view these channels on live TV none of them (with maybe one or two exceptions) tune in.
     
  11. hannah3

    hannah3 New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Washington DC Metro Area. If you have a dual tuner HD TIVO and RCN Please advise how was the installation and any advice for us that are about to move to a TiVO HD dual tuner. I just can't imagine that RCN are going to get this right the first time.
     
  12. DrewTivo

    DrewTivo Member

    695
    21
    Mar 29, 2005
    My install went fine a few months ago. The biggest problem was that I didn't receive several channels and a few others were pixelated. As it turned out, after many,many calls to CS, I was not supposed to receive those channels on my package (RCN's channel guide was deceptive) and the pixelated channels were resulting from some RCN mess up in their digital crush process.
     
  13. b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

    1,757
    39
    Nov 27, 2006
    chicago, il
    Thinking about switching from Comcast (which just dropped my promo and made my monthly cost $120) to RCN in CHICAGO. Have a TivoHD in one room, so I'll need a cable card. Any Chicagoans have problems with this? Thanks!
     
  14. hannah3

    hannah3 New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Many thanks. I'm still pissed off that my TIVO dual tuner analog only give me one channel now becuase of the all digital crush. I had so many poblems after the crush with the kids tvs that simply need a digital box that I still can't believe they won't screw this up. Will see...
     
  15. rlcarr

    rlcarr Member

    448
    1
    Jan 18, 2003
    Arlington, MA
    Yeah. That's exactly my worry. Which is why when mine were installed and were not paired, I asked friends in my area and then on this board to see if anyone else was paired. None of my local friends were, and some people here saying they were from Chicago and NYC also reported not being paired. So I'm assuming the lack of pairing is an RCN thing, not a incompetent installer thing.

    They'd be foolish, but this is RCN we're talking about. I can totally see them deciding to turn on copy protection and forgetting all about its effect on CableCARDs. They couldn't even get my install right. The installer had to call the mothership and have someone re-do the provisioning because it was all screwed up.
     
  16. asya999

    asya999 New Member

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    Apr 30, 2008
    So I got a call from my mom that her TiVo is giving a searching for signal error message. After a few false starts at diagnosing the problem remotely she finally got through to RCN who told her that they did the digital conversion and she now needs a cable converter box.

    What???

    I think she may have told them she has a TiVo, so I told her to call them back and tell them she has a CableCard from them so she doesn't need a cable box and they should make sure it's properly paired (right? would not having paired it cause a problem now that didn't manifest before?) .

    I'll be there in a couple of days, but meanwhile can someone help me understand if there are circumstances in which she would need a converter box now? I thought CableCard *was* the equivalent of converter boxes? And if the card is enough, what magic words should she/I tell RCN drones to get them to fix this? They can fix this remotely, and not have to send anyone out, right?

    P.S. apparently someone is going to be there tomorrow morning 9am-11am - her internet seems to not be working as well, so the analog conversion timing may be a coincidence
     
  17. hannah3

    hannah3 New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Question-I purchase the TIVO dual tuner HD and I purchase an HD TV. Then I call RCN to come around and install the CableCards. Do I go through TIVO guided setup BEFORE RCN comes or only AFTER they have installed the cards? If after, will RCN wait to see if it all works? Also, will the TIVO dual tuner HD work on my new HD tv while it's connected to my existing Digital box so I can use it before RCN rolls around?
     
  18. Hank

    Hank AC•FTW TCF Club

    25,464
    2,245
    May 31, 2000
    Boston, MA
    You can do guided setup before RCN visits -- and I suggest you do it to set up your cable channels, broadband setup, Tivo service activation, zip code, etc. Just skip over the CableCard part (I think there's an option to skip it during GS). You'll have to repeat GS after the CC install, but it shouldn't take nearly as long as the first time. You can even skip the Tivo Service activation as it will work for a week or so until you need to activate it.

    Here's how I set up my parents Tivo HD last month:
    1- Guided setup - skip activation and CC setup
    2- Install and activate cable cards
    3- Repeat Guided Setup and activate tivo service

    I'm pretty sure you won't be able to use the Tivo HD with the digital converter box.
     
  19. hannah3

    hannah3 New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Great advice Hank, Many thanks. I grew up in Boston! best city in universe. Now stuck in DC, land of liars.
     
  20. asya999

    asya999 New Member

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    Apr 30, 2008
    My mom got RCN w/cableCard last month and all was fine till they switched to digital from analog last week. I posted yesterday:
    It turned out the internet was working fine, the cable modem and router just needed to be rebooted after the analog crush. I sent my mom an email telling her what to tell the guy -- that they probably "DID NOT PROPERLY PAIR THE CABLECARD" (caps and all :) )

    The RCN guy came right at 9am today and this is verbatim what transpired according to my mom's email:

    Hi!
    The RCN guy came at 9 and immediately said that Tivo is not good for digital service. I responded with the words you wrote me, and they happen to be magic. I did not have a chance to check all the channels, but the ones I checked work great - I've never seen such a beautiful picture!


    So there you have it, after insisting on the phone that she needs a converter box, and the tech trying to tell her TiVo is no good for digital service, the magic words seem to be "You idiot, you don't know what you're talking about so why don't you call someone who does" better said out loud as "Is it possible you didn't properly pair my CableCard in your system?" :(

    :thumbsdown: to RCN techs, but :up: for my mom now having service again, thanks to this forum and others like it...
     

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