Why does a cablecard not work on only a few channels?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by tivogurl, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Nov 1, 2009 #1 of 17
    tivogurl

    tivogurl New Member

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    I have Digital Preferred with Comcast, and my TiVoHD won't display 3 channels associated with that tier of service: ESPN Classic, MPlex, and Flix. I get the gray "please contact Comcast" screen when I tune to these channels, just like you'd get if these were premium channels. All the other channels work just fine. The CSR says the CC is fully authorized. What could be wrong, and what should the CSR look at? I tried calling customer service but of course the CSR claims nothing is wrong and everything is working perfectly.
     
  2. Nov 1, 2009 #2 of 17
    bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Nov 9, 2003
    Florida
    Three is an interesting number... it leads me to think that, if these three channels happen to be on the same QAM channel (perhaps packaged that way at the HITS), that that mean that you've got a signal problem regarding that one channel. You probably would need to have your signal checked by a tech.
     
  3. Nov 1, 2009 #3 of 17
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    9,149
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    From wiki digital cable:

     
  4. Nov 1, 2009 #4 of 17
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,671
    90
    Nov 9, 2003
    Florida
    Yeah, sorry for using the abbreviation without providing the definition.
     
  5. Nov 1, 2009 #5 of 17
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    It could be signal but I suspect it's more likely to be pairing.

    In many markets Comcast has just (within the past 4 months) started copy protecting a few specific channels, including MPlex and Flix (I don't know about ESPN Classic). Those channels can no longer be copied from one TiVo to another. A side effect caused by the way this is implemented means that if your cable card is authorized but not correctly "paired" it won't receive the channels at all.

    Pairing is accomplished by having a set of 2-4 numbers from your TiVo/cablecard pair correctly stored in Comcast's database. You can look through your TiVo cablecard diagnostic screens and find one that gives you something like (among others):
    1. 10 or so digit Host-ID (identifies this TiVo)
    2. 10-12 digit Serial Number (identifies this cablecard)
    3. 10 or so digit Data field (identifies this dynamic pairing of TiVo and cable card - this is the one that changes if a cablecard gets moved someplace else and back again).

    If you're lucky, you can get the Comcast rep to check those numbers in their database and change them over the phone (once you've found them). In my area, they won't do that, and I had to have a tech come out just to read those 3 numbers to someone else over the phone. That restored my Flix, Encore, and Mplex channels.
     
  6. Nov 1, 2009 #6 of 17
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    You won't get ESPN Classic because it was moved to the sports tier. For the other channels, I recently had the exact same problem and the issue is that your Tivo's Data ID does not match what's in Comcast's system. They recently implemented copy protection on the channels you mentioned (and the Encores, which you didn't) and you'll have to escalate to someone that can fix it for you. Don't let them roll a tech if you can help it, but it might be the only way to get in touch with someone that can correct the Data ID in their system.
     
  7. Nov 1, 2009 #7 of 17
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Dayton OH
    Just one of the many ways the cable card/tuning adapter system can screw up and waste your time.

    Sure hope the upcoming DirecTivo is a viable product!
     
  8. Nov 1, 2009 #8 of 17
    tivogurl

    tivogurl New Member

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    That isn't reflected in the official channel lineup. How annoying!
    I'll try to get the CSR to fix that. Thanks everybody!
     
  9. Nov 1, 2009 #9 of 17
    tivogurl

    tivogurl New Member

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    Is the correct TiVo screen supposed to be the "Cablecard/Host ID" screen? That gives Cablecard ID and Host ID (and CC type, One Way), but not the Data field.
     
  10. tivogurl

    tivogurl New Member

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    I just called TiVo, and rather interestingly she said that the Scientific Atlanta card I have doesn't have a "Data ID", only the Motorola cards do, that's why my diagnostics screen doesn't show it. I'm more confused by the minute.
     
  11. tivogurl

    tivogurl New Member

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    It turns out Comcast didn't have my Host ID. Argh! Looking back, I don't recall the CSR asking me for it (just the Cablecard ID). I completely spaced on catching that. Thankfully, it has been corrected and the copy protection authorizations should go out soon. Thanks again for everything!
     
  12. Das Achteck

    Das Achteck Member

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    Don't worry about a specific field. What is important is whether the card is paired. If not you will not receive a channel that is copy protected even if you are entitled (a SA term). Those two movie channels are now 0x02, apparently throughout Comcast, even in regions that are TiVo friendly when it comes to the CCI byte. Now that they have the needed info you should be paired shortly.

    In my region we had to swap Moto cards for SA; I find the SA to be less troublesome.
     
  13. tivogurl

    tivogurl New Member

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    Comcast claims the card is paired but it still doesn't work. The CSR said he re-paired the card but that still didn't fix things. Interestingly, he didn't want the Cablecard ID, he only wanted the alphabetic serial number printed on the card. I find that odd, I thought you needed both Cablecard ID+Host ID to do the pairing. Looks like I'll have to replace the card to check whether the card is at fault, though I don't know how a bad card could have only the copy-protection stuff fail and not tuning in general.
     
  14. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    You're right, but they can get the cablecard id from the serial number - they have it stored in their inventory control database. Depending on the practices of the individual franchise, they may ask for either the serial number or the cablecard number (mine also uses serial number).

    Note that this is another source of error for Comcast. People have found in the past that their cablecard id was typed incorrectly when it was originally entered into the inventory database. Your front-line rep may or may not be able to change records in the inventory database. It sounds like this could be your problem. Whether it's easier for you to check this out and get it fixed or to just get a replacement cablecard is up to you.
     
  15. Videodrome

    Videodrome tivo - please wait..

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    Jun 20, 2008
    I wish Tivo and Comcast would get together to do an app on Tivo. Where all this could be done on tivo itself. So if the pairing is wrong, the app calls in relays the proper info, and fixes the problem. Self install should be the norm, not the exception.
     
  16. Das Achteck

    Das Achteck Member

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    Mar 8, 2005
    You can determine whether the card is paired using info here and here.
     
  17. tivogurl

    tivogurl New Member

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    Dec 15, 2004
    It turns out that the CSR was mistaken to believe that pairing occurs instantly. The card paired sometime during the night and now works fine. Thanks for all the help.
     

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