Tivo CS says S3 having issues w/ Scientific Atlanta CableCARDs

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by b0rg, May 4, 2007.

  1. b0rg

    b0rg New Member

    Jan 30, 2003
    New Jersey


    :( I am kind of stuck with an $800 paper weight.

    My S3 finally arrived on Wed. I had an appointment scheduled with Comcast (NJ) for Thursday morning. Since I've been reading this site I felt prepared.

    Day 1 (Thurs):

    Comcast tech shows up 2 hours early(no joke). Right away he is complaining that doing CableCARD installs is the wrost thing in the world. He has never seen a TiVo S3 before. I am feeling less than confident. He brought extra CableCARDs because he says they hardly ever work. Awesome.

    After 3 hours of trying everything three of four times, and me calling TiVo CS twice he gives up. Can't get TiVo to get any channel information. Doesn't look like the card is Authorizing.

    He thinks all 4 cards are no good. Reschedules me for Friday, the following day.

    Day 2 (Fri):

    A new comcast tech arrives 20 mins early. He only has 2 CableCARDs. Go through the same steps. Same result. The tech calls a few people that are more familiar with these cards. They have us reboot the tivo, try the cards in different orders, sending multiple hits to the cards. Nothing. The dispatcher says the hits are going through, but no channels are comming through. One of the CableCARD screens still says "Waiting or CS Auth." (or something close to that).

    I get on the phone with TiVo tech support again. After about 30 minutes of going back and forth the woman tells me that she has just found out that TiVo S3 is experiencing problems with Scientific Atlanta CableCARDs. They are not Authorizing, and that it's NOT the cable company's fault. They need to pass my case information to their CableCARD Investigator.

    (TiVo: It would have been really nice if I got this information when I ordered. Maybe when I called TiVo CS on day 1. Instead I spent nearly 5 hrs with Comcast Techs and probably close to 1.5 hrs w/ TiVo CS.)

    She says that she doesn't know how long until they can get back to me. Maybe 3 days, maybe a lot longer. TiVo CS person said that they are aware of the issue and they're trying to get it fixed.

    Uh - if you are thinking about purchasing an S3 and you know your cable company only has SA cards - you might want to wait until this is fixed.

    Oh yeah - I have 26 days until I can no longer return the unit. So she advised me to hang on to it for 25 days to see if it's fixed by then. :/ I figured that TiVo would want to try to help me out a little since this seems to be partly their issue, instead of telling me I have 26 days to return it.

    Sad. Stuck with the dumb Comcast DVR that randomly decides that I no longer want to watch a program and stops recording.

    Any advice? Any else having issues with SA cards on a new install?


  2. Leo_N

    Leo_N Lucky 200 member

    Nov 12, 2003
    Wisconsin, USA
    I'm pretty sure there are tons of people here with SA cards, you might want to go into the Comcast specific cablecard thread and see if there are other people in your area who have been successful. One thing to have the techs try with the cards is to make sure they are doing an initialization and not a regular hit on the cards, I seem to remember a tech somewhere on the boards saying there is a difference between the two types of cablecard hits.
  3. NoVASeries3

    NoVASeries3 New Member

    May 3, 2007
    I can tell you for a fact it's not true that the Series3 is incompatible with SA cards. Cox in Northern Virginia uses SA PowerKey cards. I had mine installed this week. It literally took less than 30 minutes from the time the tech knocked on my door until the time I closed the door behind him. And about 5 of those minutes were he and I chatting about Cox internet service, me thanking him, shaking hands, blah blah blah...

    Despite my apprehension, the install was utterly painless. Each card took maybe 10 minutes to be installed, called in, authorized, and receiving.

    If it helps at all, he called in three pieces of information for each card: a long string of letters that was printed on the card itself (actually only the last three letters were called in; I assume the rest are common to all Cox cards); the Card ID shown on the Series3 information screen; and, the Host ID, also shown on the Series3 information screen. About 5 seconds after making the call, the Series3 screen would change to "Card Authorized," and I could start testing channels.

    (Edited for grammar/spelling.)
  4. lcann44

    lcann44 New Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    You're not stuck, just unlucky. You are talking to people who don't know what they are doing.

    I have SA cards, they have worked fine since the install. I just got lucky and actually had someone who walked in with the install sheet the HE got over the internet.

    Make sure they follow instructions exactly like it says. Insist upon it. Ask for a supervisor if necessary.
  5. Romera

    Romera Member

    May 29, 2000
    Twin Cities, MN


    Not that's its entirely necessary, but the people you are speaking too don't know what they are talking about. You can count me in as another data point. I have S3 with SA cable cards and have no issues.

    It seems to me that more often than not you need some one in the cable company who not only knows what they are doing, but who also knows who they need to contact to ensure that everything gets in the system correctly. Seems likely that a guy who hates cable cards install is not likely a guy who knows what he is doing.

  6. dbenrosen

    dbenrosen New Member

    Sep 20, 2003
    New Jersey
    Although there have been issues with SA CableCARDs and the S3, they have not been related to the installation (for the most part). The most common problem, and most often but not always with Cablevision as the cable provider, is the cards going into a Authorization failure state, which requires a reboot/restart of the TiVo. That is probably what the TiVo CSR was referring to when she was talking about problems with the SA cards, though that certainly is not what she said based on your description.
  7. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

    Jan 3, 2003
    St. Pete, FL
    Two SA CableCARDs here, Brighthouse in Tampa Bay ... no problems since they were installed last October. Total install took 15 minutes.
  8. b0rg

    b0rg New Member

    Jan 30, 2003
    New Jersey
    Thanks fr the replies. I am aware that many people are using SA cards. One of my buddies a few towns away have the S3 w/ Comcast and it works.

    However, it was TiVo CS which told me that they had a known issue with SA cards, and that a CableCARD Investigator would be forwarded my info.

    I honestly don't know if I should wait for someone from TiVo to contact me, or call Comcast and schedule a third appointment.

    One thing I did notice was the printed date on the cards was very recent. 3/07 I believe, which I'd assume is the manufactured date. Is it possible that these cards are too new?
  9. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    Sep 21, 2005

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