FIOS and cable cards
I signed up for FIOS a couple weeks ago after having had Time Warner. I have set up my own media center using Windows Media Center and a Ceton Infinitv that worked great with TW. It has now been 2 weeks and I still don't have a working setup with my cable card on CBT, and am convinced that no one working there knows how they work.
So it started when they first came to do my install. The guy shows up and he doesn't have a cable card. He says he was out (I was later told that they do not keep them on their trucks at all) and when he went to the main office, they told him they were out as well. So he installed everything and set me up with a standard HD box so I could at least watch something. I immediately called support about getting a cable card. The person I talked to told me she couldn't find me in the system, probably because my setup was so new, so she would call me back the next afternoon to confirm about the cable card. Of course, the next day I didn't get a call, so I called them back. I talked to someone who said that I would have to schedule an appointment to have someone come out and install the card. When I inquired about self install (as I had done with TW) I was told that wasn't possible and someone would have to come out and install it. Of course an appointment wasn't available until a week later.
So the guy comes to "install" my cable card. He knows nothing about them, but that shouldn't be an issue, since all it is is plugging it in and then calling in the information. I can tell the people at the central office don't have much cable card experience as well, since they are discussing whether they need to enter the cablecard id, the host id, or the MAC address. He talks to quite a few different people, but it keeps giving the error that it hasn't received the validation signal. Eventually he gives up and leaves, since he can't get a hold of the people he needs to and tells me he has left messages and someone should contact me to troubleshoot.
Of course, no call back the next day so I call tech support. The guy I talk to doesn't even try to troubleshoot the issue. He didn't even ask me for the information to verify they had the IDs right. He comes back after putting me on hold for 5 minutes and insists that they have to schedule a tech to come out. I tell him that unless he is going to replace the cable card (which isn't a bad idea), there is absolutely nothing for him to do on this end, but he just keeps insisting that he needs to send a tech, and of course no one can come out for 5 days. He was probably the least helpful tech support person I have ever talked to. The poor tech comes and of course there is nothing for him to do except call the main office and have them trouble shoot. At one point, someone from the office talks to me and tries to tell me that the issue is that they switched their signal from MPEG2 to MPEG 4. When I tell him the error is clearly the validation signal and it isn't even getting to the point to receive the signal to decode it, he tries to tell me that sometime it gives "weird errors". After about 2 hours the head end finals tells him it is the cable card. He doesn't have one (since they don't keep them on the truck), so he is going to grab one and come back first thing in the morning. He comes back with 2 cards the next day. The first card also doesn't work but the second card finally does get the validation signal (after waiting for it to update the firmware). So once it gets the validation signal, it now doesn't have the CP Auth (which the old card that didn't get the validation did get). So I can receive all the regular channels, but I can't get the music channels or HBO (for some reason, ShowTime does come through though). The tech gave me his number so I could call him when I got home from work if it still wasn't working, since again, he couldn't get a hold of the people he needed in the main office. I came home to the same thing, gave him a call and he called the office. Throughout the night my card rebooted 4 or 5 times, showing they were trying something, but it still doesn't have the CP Auth, so I cam going to try again tomorrow.
It has been 2 weeks since it has been installed and it doesn't doesn't fully work right. No one at CBT support will talk to me, it all has to go through a tech which does nothing but waste their time (especially since I know more cable cards than they do). Their cable card support is the worst I have ever seen. Of the people I talked to, most didn't even know you could use a cable card with Windows Media Center (multiple people actually told me they had never even heard of that). They are about 1 day away from me just cancelling and going back to Time Warner. As bad as TW was, they could at least get a cable card to work, which CBT can't do at all.
My advice, if you are going to do anything with a cable card, stay as far away from CBT FIOS as you can.