05-24-2009 03:16 PM - edited 05-24-2009 03:26 PM
Can anyone comment as to why it is so difficult to get a cable-card? And why the overall order system/tech support/online order tracking is so sparse with information?
Don't expect anything to arrive on Tuesday.
Verizon will not ship CableCards under any circumstances. Any order for CableCards without an installation appointment is (a) is automatically cancelled, or (b) automatically scheduled with an appointment by the computer system at the earliest available date and time. That's why you received the automated message.
Verizon service representatives are told this, but they don't retain it. Why? Their system does not give any warning when a CableCard order is placed -- as far as the rep can tell, they are able to place an order to ship the CableCard. The CableCard uses the same order process as the STBs and DVRs, but it is the only device that requires an installation appointment. CableCard orders will show order confirmation numbers, possibly even tracking numbers, but they will never be shipped. If a rep doesn't remember what they were told about CableCards during their training, they may not understand why this happened.
There is no difficulty getting a CableCard so long as you schedule an installation appointment. If you try pickup a CableCard, or schedule one for delivery, nothing will ever happen. No matter what a representative would like to do, no matter what they think they can do, the Verizon system will never fullfill shipment or pickup orders for CableCards. There is nothing a representative or their supervisor can do to change this, so don't blame them for it. You must have an appointment.
There is some good news. It looks like Verizon recently eliminated the $79 installation charge for CableCards.
05-24-2009 04:41 PM
To KenAF and Bob Robertson,
Thanks to both of you for a quick reply on a holiday weekend (ribs on the grill for me!)
Bob, yes I understand tech support quite well having managed a department for several years and providing 2nd and 3rd level support for the tougher situations. I had reviewed the FAQ available from verizon, and did a cursory search here first before posting by questions (perhaps more of a rant).
Yes, Cable Cards are obscure; perhaps partly because Verizon would rather customers use their provided hardware. Bob, you are right on that it is difficult for a support person to know and retain everything taught in trainging sessions. I would suppose though, that for even the most infrequent questions, there would be an FAQ available to them to advise the callers more accurately. Well, live and learn.
KenAF, thanks too for the more detailed reply. I'll report back on my Moxi experiences. Perhaps the installers are trying to learn more, too. I would have thought there might already be lots of experiences with TiVo Series 3 and TiVo HD boxes.
What I learned from Digeo when I asked about the channel mapping was that a cable card would take care of things for me. Without a cable card, one scans for the available channels, and after a few minutes, you are presented with a long list of frequenies with no programming info. Without the cable card, you go channel-by-channel to view what is visible, then you match it to the appropriate guide listing. A long and time-consuming process. Wore me out for the less than 30 clear-QAM channels I had. With the hundreds of channels with my full-boat subscription, I could not even begin to imagine trying to map all of them maually!
My older EyeTV for the Mac requires manual mapping for clear-QAM, as does the SiliconDust HD Homerun. And it is really fun when Comcast and Verizon decide to shift the channel allocations around, like Comcast has been doing recently in my area.
05-26-2009 06:15 PM
I can report success today with my CableCard installation into my Digeo Moxi DVR.
The top tech from the local Verizon area showed up around noon today after calling ahead to be sure I was home. His first question was whether this was a TiVo install. I informed him that this was a Moxi install. He had never heard of this box, but was up for the challenge. My tech did the first TiVo install in the area and has quite a few under his belt. We had quite a good discussion about CableCards and security.
I had everything ready for him - a 2nd tap, power, clear work area, etc. I had also setup the Moxi for Clear QAM previously, so my account was set up, and the box was working.
He swapped out my splitter and cables with verizon parts, annd then used his signal tester to make sure the signal feeds were within spec - they were.
Next he inserted the Cable Card (no printed instructions), and he proceeded to get the info off the Moxi screens to start the activation - lots of numbers and codes to be sure. Using my computer, he checked out the Verizon router, and his signal unit also ran some network tests. He tried using his actgivation wizard to get things going, but I confounded him since I had changed the default IP address range as well as locked down the router with my own username and password. He had to do the rest manually, and wait for the activation to complete.
All in all, it took about an hour to do everything, and it is clearly a manual process. Didn't need to do anything on the Moxi box except to gather 3 sets of numbers from the Cable Card after it was inserted.
Could this have been a self install?
I had no way to verify the cable signal levels, or run any of the Verizon diagnostics. A prudent step to be sure all was OK with the wiring and networking.
Perhaps calling in to a tech center to pass along the vaious numbers and codes could have worked, too, but would be just as time consuming.
Too bad the process is not more straightforward.
More on the Moxi at a later time.
08-05-2009 04:21 PM
08-05-2009 05:42 PM
Can anyone tell if M-card is compatible with ATI Digital Cable Tuner? if one M-card would allow me to use media center as dual tuner?
The ATI OCUR (CableCard) tuner only incorporates one tuner on the card. It wouldn't matter whether it supported M-CARDs, because there's only one tuner on the card, not two.
To answer your question, however, the ATI OCUR cards do not support multistream. They work with M-CARDs, but they are recognized and treated as single-stream cards.
If you were to buy two ATI OCUR (CableCard) tuner cards to get dual-tuner capability, you would need a separate CableCard for each.