out of town recording on only 1 cablecard

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by buncombe, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. Aug 7, 2007 #1 of 13

    buncombe New Member

    Sep 13, 2005
    Hello all,

    I have been a longtime Tivo fan and reader of these forums, so I turn to you all now to help me out in my plight!

    Last night, one of my Cablecards (slot 2) stopped showing any premium HD channels (besides ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS). So no HBO HD or Showtime HD or :( Discovery Channel HD. Just a big gray screen on those channels. From reading the Tivo support articles, I established that it was only the 2nd cablecard slot, not the first (the first shows all channels just fine when I select the Test Channels option).

    I was on the phone with TWC Southern Manhattan trying to get them to send hits to the cards as per the Tivo suggestions -- they first said they couldn't do that, then I got another tech guy, who sent the hit and nothing happened.... Long story short, after talking to 5 different phone support personnel, I ended up with 3 hits to each card, and nothing happening -- still missing the channels on slot 2.

    They wanted me to set up a time for a tech guy to come over, but they don't have a free spot until Friday -- and I'm going on vacation Thursday until August 20. Plus, they cannot or will not set up an appointment for a tech visit on, say, the 21st -- they say it is too far into the future to do such a thing.

    My question is: Since the first cablecard is still working, is there any way I can get my Tivo Series 3 to force recording only by use of that card? I would have thought that just recording one show at a time (thereby not using the dual tuners) would work fine, but I tried that last night and it seems the cablecard in slot 2 just makes my Tivo record a blank gray screen.

    Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I cannot believe Tivo owners have not managed a class-action lawsuit against TWC, given that we seem to all have experienced bad/rude/ignorant service or misinformation. I myself wish I had an alternative to the TWC conglomerate... But I seem to be stuck with it, at least for now.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Aug 7, 2007 #2 of 13

    Tallguy001 Member

    Sep 5, 2003
    Milwaukee, WI
    You should be able to do this by taking out the card in slot 2 and re-running guided set-up with only 1 card installed. This will, in effect, make your Tivo a single-tuner. Then you can deal with the second cable card when you come back.
  3. Aug 7, 2007 #3 of 13

    buncombe New Member

    Sep 13, 2005
    Thanks, Tallguy001! That sounds like a temporary solution.

    Does what I've described sound like the 2nd cablecard is effectively "broken"? Or could there be another reason for its weird behavior? It seems so strange that I can get most of the other channels (including a few HD channels) if the card is kaput.

    Thanks again for the help. I think I am actually losing hair over this TWC stuff!
  4. Aug 7, 2007 #4 of 13

    hearncl Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    A couple of days ago, cablecard 2 in my S3 stopped being able to tune any of the encrypted digital channels--I just get the gray screen on any digital channels except the network HD channels. Cablecard 1 is OK. Since I had recordings scheduled on a couple of the encrypted channels, before the scheduled recording time I tuned the "good" S3 tuner to that channel and the "bad" tuner to one of the network channels. The S3 recorded the scheduled programs using the good cablecard. Very inconvenient, but seems to work until I can get a replacement cablecard 2. (Of course, this won't work if you are out of town.)
  5. Aug 7, 2007 #5 of 13

    moyekj Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    I'm also getting by right now with 1 good cablecard. CC#2 is broken (error 161-1) and Cox refuses to let me pickup a replacement CC myself so have to wait until earliest appointment on Thursday. Before I leave the S3 with bad CC alone I make sure the tuner associated with bad CC (tuner 0 in my case) is the foreground tuner since Tivo will use the background tuner first (in case you are watching live tv on foreground tuner). That ensures that as long as there is only 1 recording at a time the good CC will be used for recordings.

    Also by having a bad CC I was able to confirm for sure that unencrypted channels bypass the CC completely since those still tune in fine on tuner 0 (associated with broken CC#2).
  6. Aug 7, 2007 #6 of 13

    buncombe New Member

    Sep 13, 2005
    Thanks for everyone's tips. Since I changed all my future recordings for non-HD channels (therefore none of the ones that are missing from the 2nd card), I might just leave in the card while I am gone and hope that the problem doesn't somehow get worse -- I am too frazzled to deal with all this now!

    I did a number of searches and read through several threads, but was unable to find a clear consensus on who is really at fault here - the Tivo itself (near-blasphemy in my household!) or the cablecards (usual suspects). Tonight I will try calling both Tivo and TWC and seeing if anything can be done -- I might have to have a martini before making those calls, though, so I don't explode from frustration...

    Thanks all! Please, any more ideas? They could only help.
  7. Aug 7, 2007 #7 of 13

    jeremyz BillingInfoReceived

    Apr 11, 2006
    I'm having a problem with TWCNYC and card #2, myself. For me, it's *all* encrypted programming that isn't being received on that card, and it's pretty clear that it's simply due to a loss of authorization for that card on the TWC account management system. Somehow, they lost that card in their system, and any "mirroring" of card 1 authorization to card 2 just spontaneously disappeared.

    Knowing this hasn't stopped us from going through 6 weeks of uselessness, 5 truck rolls and more than 30 calls, of course.

    The problem still hasn't been resolved, BTW.
  8. Aug 7, 2007 #8 of 13

    buncombe New Member

    Sep 13, 2005
    Huh. So I came home from work and both cablecards are working fine. Huh?

    I'm almost disappointed. Now I don't know when it will crop up again - somehow I am positive it will. Well. Fingers crossed.

    Jeremyz, I'm sorry to hear about your problem. Please let us know when it gets resolved, and what the heck went wrong! Good luck getting TWC to do anything useful.
  9. Aug 7, 2007 #9 of 13

    DocNo Member

    Oct 10, 2001
    Bristow, VA
    I happened to be bouncing around in live TV one afternoon, and landed on some grey screens. Narrowed it down to card 2. Tried popping it out and back in, and no dice. So right before I tried calling Comcast, I rebooted the Tivo.

    And the card came back! No problems for a week now.

    So have you tried a reboot?
  10. hearncl

    hearncl Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Update: In my case, rebooting the TiVo did not restore the functioning of cablecard 2. I called Comcast, expecting to get someone who could send a "hit" to the card. Instead, the CSR said that they no longer allowed self-install of cards (as they had in my location when I installed the cards late last year). I scheduled a service call, the tech came and phoned for a "hit", and the card worked again. (He said that cablecards losing authentication was fairly common.) A real waste of Comcast's resources when a simple phone call by me would have done the job. I'm hoping that the original CSR was simply clueless about cablecards, rather than local Comcast actually having changed their policy about self-installs.
  11. markwri

    markwri New Member

    Sep 17, 2005
    I just received my New Tivo HD box, and I have experienced both problems :thumbsdown: described in this thread.

    • Day 1 - I too had to wait a week for the cable appt. The installer was knowledgeable and had one one other install (Series 3). But what we found was that the unit had a bad slot 2 Error 161-2. After only 10 seconds on the phone with TIVO customer support, they told me I needed a new unit. Which was shipped next day delivery. The installer was kind enough to leave both cablecards.

      Surprised that TIVO shipped a bad product! :thumbsdown:

    • Day 2 - As soon as the the new unit arrived I rushed to set up and install. The first cablecard (slot 1 from the previous day) worked great. All channels Digital, Local HD, premium (HBO), and HD package( Discovery) worked fine. I was feeling great. The I installed the second card, which we knew was working because we tried both cards the previous day. When TIVO finally booted, no Premium or HD package channels. On the phone with my Cable provider, WOW and the previous' days installer, was not successful. I got yelled at by the phone rep for touching the cable cards. :D

    • Day - 3 New cable installer arrived at 8:00 pm, and stayed until 10:00 (pm) wife :mad: pissed (No high school musical recording). I was not home. I tried the unit immediately when I arrived at midnight, and still no premium or HD package channels (gray screen).
    So far in this ordeal:
    :up: installers

    :thumbsdown: Tivo for shipping bad unit

    :thumbsdown: WOW (Wide Open West) Customer Service reps and appt availability.

    I plan to call the installer from Day 3, who offered to return today (Saturday). If the issue is resolved, I will post the solution.

  12. markwri

    markwri New Member

    Sep 17, 2005
    Day 4 - Monday (Installer did not return call on Saturday)

    New installer (#3) spent 2.5 hours at the house. Again I was not home, the installer couldn't solve the problem so he re-wired the coaxial. He replaced all the splitters and he ran a new wire from the pole to the house. Again did not work, personally I would not have tried that, the signal strength (as indicated by TIVO unit was great). So not the best use of time. The installer left :( without the second slot showing non local HD and premium channels.

    Issue Solved: :up:
    Later that evening, I decided to try myself. Here's what I did:

    • a) Removed the working card from Slot 1.
    • b) Moved the non working card in slot 2 into slot 1.
    • c) Rebooted TIVO. (still did not work.) :mad: .
    • d) Called the cable company asked them to re-zap the card make sure you confirm the host #s.
    • e) Rebooted TIVO the card started to work. (all HD and premium channels).
    • f) Inserted the original card in slot 1 into slot 2.
    • g) Rebooted TIVO.
    • h) Both cards now work fine.

    :rolleyes: It's my opinion that the problem is with the TIVO box. Specifically, when two cards are inserted, the unit prevents (perhaps timesout) the entire programming signal from the cable company to reach the card in slot 2. It's getting truncated. Once I put the card in slot 1 (and it was the only card) it worked just fine.

    Hope this helps. Good luck! Now to fix the pixelation and sound drops! :D

  13. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    There's no problem with the Tivo box. What fixed your problem was Day 4 step (d) above. :)

    (P.S. There is no "programming signal" that goes to the card)

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