TiVo Series 3 / Comcast / Cablecards - cannot receive most HD channels with these cablecards

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Cattlesquat, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Cattlesquat

    Cattlesquat New Member

    Sep 15, 2017


    I have a Tivo Series 3 (the older model that can't take use a single multistream card). Until recently I lived in Baltimore County, and the pair of cablecards I had there (I think they were older motorolas) gave me no problems and received all my channels including premium HBO HD channels.

    Now, however, I have moved into the City of Baltimore, and when I moved Comcast told me I had to turn in my old cablecards and get new ones (along with new cable boxes etc) because the County and City were different geographical units and the old cablecards wouldn't work there.

    Having received the new cablecards, I went through the pairing process for both of them. I now receive *most* channels on the Tivo 3 properly: all non-HD channels plus the *local* HD channels (e.g. CBS, etc). I do also receive the premium HBO and Showtime channels in NON-HD. However I do not receive any of the HD versions of HBO and Showtime, nor for non-local HD channels such as ESPN.

    Other facts:
    (1) New cards are, I believe, Motorola M-cards.
    (2) Both cards behave exactly the same - can view non-HD and locally-HD channels, but not for example HBOHD through either card.
    (3) I receive ALL the channels fine, including e.g. HBOHD etc, using the cable box
    (4) Have done several phone calls with the cablecard comcast number and one additional tech visit.
    (5) Multiple "hits" / resets to the cards have not helped.
    (6) Signal strength shows fine at 99 to 100.
    (7) SNR shows 35-36 which I was told is "in spec".
    (8) The tech who came out said all of the signal strengths that he tested were fine
    (9) The tech said my account was properly "provisioned" for HD

    Again, all of these channels used to work when I lived in the county.

    Has anyone experienced this particular flavor of cablecard hell? Do I need to try to get them to send a different type of cable card? Re-provision? Move back to the county? (j/k) Something else I'm missing?

  2. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    My money is on item (9) or "authorization", in case that means anything different than "provisioning". Countless instances of this have been reported on this forum. They are typically clueless about setting up accounts for TiVo's. Keep pestering them -- ask to be elevated to a higher tier -- ask for the CableCARD experts, etc. Since you have actually had service calls you should be entitled to credit for the period that you don't get all you're paying for.
  3. davidscarter

    davidscarter Active Member

    Sep 28, 2015
    Yeah, this is all the signs of the Cablecard not being paired properly. Try calling the Comcast Cablecard line and just ask them to pair the Cablecard (don't explain anything else, just ask them to pair it!) Once they do so, the fix should be near-instantaneous.

    (Also, they'll ask you to read a bunch of letters/numbers from the cablecard config screens; beware of things like 'O' and '0' which can look the same!)
  4. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    My bet's on mpeg4 channels, the original S3 didn't get the update to get these working right?

    Reason I say that is because with an unpaired card I could get most of the HD cable channels, all of them except for the premiums and preferred tier I think.
  5. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA


    I would agree that this is almost surely the issue with the original S3 OLED and the symptoms described. Comcast seemed to have really started moving on rolling out the MPEG4 updates after seemingly pausing for quite some time (our small town in VA got it back in June).
    It would have only been a matter of time before you would had the same issue in your old location. TiVo had some great offers back in 2015 for longtime TiVo users and earlier this year for upgrading to a Bolt. We moved from 2 S3 OLED to a Roamio Pro in 2015 because of Comcast's upcoming move to MPEG4 and the fact that our S3 wouldn't work with it. Try calling TiVo sales and let them know that Comcast has moved to MPEG4 in your area and that your S3 OLED doesn't work with it and see what upgrade offers they might have for you.

  6. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    I agree with @HerronScott and @slowbiscuit -- most likely problem is mpeg4 channels. I didn't think of that because my cable system doesn't have mpeg4 and I've never had a TiVo (e.g., S3 OLED) that couildn't receive mpeg4.

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