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So I ordered my Tivo HD on the 24th, but it hasn't arrived yet. That's fine.. the problem is, the cable installer is bringing me two CableCards on Monday. If my Tivo doesn't arrive in time, can the guy leave me the two cable cards to plug into the Tivo myself, or is there actually some mystical cable mojo the installer has to do to get them working??
 

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Can you do it, yes, should be not problem. Entire process involves plugging the cards into the slots, then reading numbers off the screen to a CSR. Most cable companies will not allow you to do it however. Main reason given to me was that they were concerned that if they were not installed properly people would just keep exchanging them claiming the card was bad and they had a limited supply.
 

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Chimpware said:
Main reason given to me was that they were concerned that if they were not installed properly people would just keep exchanging them claiming the card was bad and they had a limited supply.
In a cynical mood, one could say that they were just trying to make the process as awkward as possible, so people would give up and rent the cable company's set top box instead.
 

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CharlesH said:
In a cynical mood, one could say that they were just trying to make the process as awkward as possible, so people would give up and rent the cable company's set top box instead.
In my case TWC had more trouble getting their own DVR to work than they did getting the cable cards in my S3 to work.
 

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It depends on the operator, but most don't let you install them youself. I have Insight Communications, and they have to install them. I kept asking to pick it up and they kept saying no. the funny thing is, the tech that came out was clueless, brought a dead card (1 of 2) and had to keep calling/nexteling people for help. He was like wait, thats a tivo, we don't support those. Told him they dont have a choice and he was like I dont know if its gonna work. I told him if they support cable cards, it will work fine and what do you know..its works!
 

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CharlesH said:
In a cynical mood, one could say that they were just trying to make the process as awkward as possible, so people would give up and rent the cable company's set top box instead.
In a more cyincal mood, maybe the cable companies are getting tired of wasting their Techs time on systems that were not adequately tested before coming to market. I had a Tech. at my house for 5 hours the other day installing the cable cards, checking the lines, etc. I then spent 4 hours on the phone with various people at Cablevision to try to repair the pixelation issue on Card Slot 2, and low and behold Tivo puts out a software update and all fixed. All this for $47, doubt they even broke even on that with gas prices what they are now.

I am not a huge cable company fan, nor do I think they are always right, but Tivo does cause them headaches that they probably feel they don't need. They are probably just trying to reduce the amount of problems to a manageable level for a mass marketed beta product they are forced to support.
 

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The cable companies would save a LOT more money allowing self installs, so that doesn't hold water. Since it 'just works' for most users, they should default to self-installs. Only if there is a problem with the self-install, or the user requests an installer (some people are just timid), then they should schedule an installer. It would save them huge amounts of time and money not to be booking installers for stupid jobs like reading numbers into a phone and sticking a card in a slot.

I have no sympathy at all for cable companies on this. There is no good reason to use installers for CableCARD 99% of the time, and they should only use installers when there is a problem and the self-install doesn't work. It is just plain stupid to waste the resources.

I need to write up my story of getting CableCARDs for my TiVo HD - and the *FOUR* appointments that Charter completely blew off. No call, no show, no explanation. The only upside is I made them give me the $20 per appointment penalty, so they really lost money on me. In the end I had to drive to my local office and get someone there to call dispatch and send someone to my house *now*. And when the installer showed up *I* did the install because he'd only ever done a CableCARD install once before, and I knew way more about them than he did.

It was a big hassle for me, and a money loser for Charter - and if they'd do self-installs none of it would've happened.
 

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megazone said:
It would save them huge amounts of time and money not to be booking installers for stupid jobs like reading numbers into a phone and sticking a card in a slot.
If the whole idea of pairing the cable card with the device was to prevent you from moving the card to non-CableLabs certified equipment, then it follows that each install must be done by a someone they trust to verify the user's equipment.

Of course, I've never dug into the documentation enough to find the official rationale for the pairing business.
 

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The pairing business is to keep a card from being used in another box or TV.

A non certified cablecard device will have no pairing key, unless it uses a "counterfeit" key.
 

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Chimpware said:
In a more cyincal mood, maybe the cable companies are getting tired of wasting their Techs time on systems that were not adequately tested before coming to market.
If they had spent more time implementing cable card then dragging their feet, this probably wouldn't be as much of an issue.

It's not like this was a surprise to anyone....

I am not a huge cable company fan, nor do I think they are always right, but Tivo does cause them headaches that they probably feel they don't need.
Care to elaborate? Cable card is really pretty simple - if you have a good enough signal from the cable co., type the numbers in correctly and the cards pair.

They are probably just trying to reduce the amount of problems to a manageable level for a mass marketed beta product they are forced to support.
What a load of crap. Once they got my account fixed and sent a tech that knew what he was doing, and he was able to connect with someone at the head end that knew what they were doing, my cable cards came up in less than five minutes and have worked fine since. Those were all Comcast problems, not Tivo.

Now, there does appear to be an issue with slot 2 on the Tivo HD - but that doesn't explain the month of crap I had to go through to get my S3 fully operational.
 

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To me, the big problem seems to be the training of the people at the headend dispatch. If they were trained on how to authorize and pair the cards, and how to handle the billing problems things would go much smoother.

There are only a handful of people in the dispatch area that would need to be trained, not the larger group of techs in the field. The techs could learn on the job, if they had better support at dispatch, who could provide guidance.
 

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DocNo said:
If they had spent more time implementing cable card then dragging their feet, this probably wouldn't be as much of an issue.

It's not like this was a surprise to anyone....

Care to elaborate? Cable card is really pretty simple - if you have a good enough signal from the cable co., type the numbers in correctly and the cards pair.

What a load of crap. Once they got my account fixed and sent a tech that knew what he was doing, and he was able to connect with someone at the head end that knew what they were doing, my cable cards came up in less than five minutes and have worked fine since. Those were all Comcast problems, not Tivo.

Now, there does appear to be an issue with slot 2 on the Tivo HD - but that doesn't explain the month of crap I had to go through to get my S3 fully operational.
Can't speak to your experience, but I can say that I wasted 5 hours of onsite tech time plus numerous hours of phone support with Cablevision all becuase of a software issue that Tivo pushed a fix for afterwards with no indication it was coming in the hour or so I spent on the phone with their tech support team. I think this is an excellent example of a buggy product wasting cable companies time and effort.

Obviously all the problems are not Tivo related, my main points here are that eveyone seems to blast the cable companies, but when it turns out to be Tivos fault, the view is "Oh well, hey they fixed it right?" and "Hey Tivo is great look how fast they pushed out the patch" and "If you have not been around in a while Tivo has been a Beta prodsuct for a while now...".

In my experience Tivo is adding to the problem of getting these devices working with poor development and testing and inept customer service when you call. In my area the cable companies repsonse has been better and they have put much more effort into getting this all to work than Tivo has (please see my other posts on the problems I have had). Tivo has not sent anyone to my home, has not offered any reasonable troubleshooting advice and in general, with the exception of fixing a software error to fix slot 2 issues, has done next to nothing to remedy this situation for me. The cable company on the other hand has spent 5 hours at my house and many hours on the phone with me troubleshooting the system and offering reasonable troubleshooting advice (with one exception when the CSR insisted on getting my television model No. even when I explained multiple times that the cards were not in the TV there were in a Tivo).
 

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Chimpware said:
Can't speak to your experience, but I can say that I wasted 5 hours of onsite tech time plus numerous hours of phone support with Cablevision all becuase of a software issue that Tivo pushed a fix for afterwards with no indication it was coming in the hour or so I spent on the phone with their tech support team. I think this is an excellent example of a buggy product wasting cable companies time and effort.

Obviously all the problems are not Tivo related, my main points here are that eveyone seems to blast the cable companies, but when it turns out to be Tivos fault, the view is "Oh well, hey they fixed it right?" and "Hey Tivo is great look how fast they pushed out the patch" and "If you have not been around in a while Tivo has been a Beta prodsuct for a while now...".

In my experience Tivo is adding to the problem of getting these devices working with poor development and testing and inept customer service when you call. In my area the cable companies repsonse has been better and they have put much more effort into getting this all to work than Tivo has (please see my other posts on the problems I have had). Tivo has not sent anyone to my home, has not offered any reasonable troubleshooting advice and in general, with the exception of fixing a software error to fix slot 2 issues, has done next to nothing to remedy this situation for me. The cable company on the other hand has spent 5 hours at my house and many hours on the phone with me troubleshooting the system and offering reasonable troubleshooting advice (with one exception when the CSR insisted on getting my television model No. even when I explained multiple times that the cards were not in the TV there were in a Tivo).
And you're surprised that a rev A 1.0 product that you bought within days of release has some bugs for what reason? Is this your first purchase of any sort of electronic device, or what? Heck, it's even conventional wisdom to not buy the first model year of a friggin' CAR after a major redesign because of all of the problems. Please stop spamming every thread remotely related to the THD with your whining and complaining, as it's getting old. At least keep it to one of the two threads you started (against the posting guidelines, BTW) devoted to the topic at hand and stop pulling the discussion in all of these other threads off topic. The reason that you see so much of the cable company is that they have to be in your house to do their job - what makes you think that Tivo is working any less hard on fixing the problem? Just because the Tivo employee isn't sitting in your kitchen writing the code, you can't say that they're not working as hard as the cable company to fix the problems that they have.</rant>

<on topic>The reasons that the cable companies give for forcing a truck roll are complete and utter BS (other than to get more money out of us). When I first upgraded to HD and got a cable company HD DVR (this was before the S3 came out), when I called to upgrade and asked if I could just come by and pick a box up, the CSR told me "No" and that a "trained professional" had to come out because it was a "difficult install" and you have to run "5 wires from the cable box to the TV". (In her defense, this probably is a feat beyond the mental capacity of at least 1/3 of the CSRs that I talk to at Comcast). Cable Card isn't any harder. It would be far cheaper to allow self installs and then only roll a truck on the ones that don't go right or that the customer doesn't want to do themselves. But, if you make it easy to get a cable card, more people will do it and part of the revenue stream (VOD/PPV) will dry up. The cable companies did such a great job of this that Cable Card in consumer devices (with the exception of Tivo) is basically dead, with many, many TV's that have had cable cards in old models having them removed in newer models.
 

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jrm01 said:
To me, the big problem seems to be the training of the people at the headend dispatch. If they were trained on how to authorize and pair the cards, and how to handle the billing problems things would go much smoother.

There are only a handful of people in the dispatch area that would need to be trained, not the larger group of techs in the field. The techs could learn on the job, if they had better support at dispatch, who could provide guidance.
Its not restricted to cablecards. In Feb TV digital tuners stopped working for many, but not all , clear QAM tuners in the Myrtle Beach TWC system (and possibly state wide, since the TWC-SC system is run out of Columbia). They swore that they had made no changes either locally or in Columbia. I had to have the TV store report the same problem with their sets and the salemen's personal sets before they would believe me. They eventually borrowed a clear QAM TV and took it to the head end in Columbia (2.5 hours away) to verify the problem. It wasn't corrected for two months.

A similar occurence was reported on the TWC system in Greensboro, NC.

On the issue of self installs, part of the problem is often signal strength which usually requires a tech to correct and can be hadr to diagnose over the phone. remember that your cable coax may have been installed many moons ago and may not have been of the highest quality when new.
 

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Chimpware said:
Can't speak to your experience, but I can say that I wasted 5 hours of onsite tech time plus numerous hours of phone support with Cablevision all becuase of a software issue that Tivo pushed a fix for afterwards with no indication it was coming in the hour or so I spent on the phone with their tech support team. I think this is an excellent example of a buggy product wasting cable companies time and effort.
A new box that was fixed within a week of deployment? I don't find that unreasonable at all. You have a wacked out set of unreasonable expectations that many people have tried to point out to you in other threads.

Maybe you'll finally get it after this attempt too? One can only hope...

Obviously all the problems are not Tivo related
Very few are Tivo related. The Slot 2 on the Tivo HD is the first concrete evidence of a pure Tivo problem - and they fixed it in less than a week. The series 3 has been out from September of last year and other cable card products such as TV's have been out for longer than that.

Now tell me who is inept and wasting time again? :rolleyes:
 

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DocNo said:
A new box that was fixed within a week of deployment? I don't find that unreasonable at all. You have a wacked out set of unreasonable expectations that many people have tried to point out to you in other threads.

Maybe you'll finally get it after this attempt too? One can only hope...

Very few are Tivo related. The Slot 2 on the Tivo HD is the first concrete evidence of a pure Tivo problem - and they fixed it in less than a week. The series 3 has been out from September of last year and other cable card products such as TV's have been out for longer than that.

Now tell me who is inept and wasting time again? :rolleyes:
Uh the point was that Tivo knew they had this issue, knew they were pushing out a fix and yet they chose to waste my time, and the cable companies time telling us it was a cable card issue, when they knew it was not.

And BTW the boxes are not fixed yet, many including me are still having issues related to pixelation.
 

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DocNo said:
The Slot 2 on the Tivo HD is the first concrete evidence of a pure Tivo problem - and they fixed it in less than a week.
1. It isn't just slot 2. It seems to happen more on slot 2, but it happens on slot 1 too - I just posted macroblocking photos in TiVo Lovers from my TiVo HD - and those were tuned using the first card. (I used the SPSIRS backdoor to check.) 2. It isn't 'fixed' yet - see #1.
 
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