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Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Reviews:
·voip.ms

Cablecard Issue - Activation Problems

I recently purchased a Silicondust tuner (the 3-tuner one with the cablecard slot) and I picked up my cablecard from the local Fios store. Came home, followed all instructions, called the VZ # and activated the card. Within 20 minutes, I was watching all of my subscribed channels (except HBO for some reason) on my laptop. Perfect. I figured I'd troubleshoot the HBO issue at a later time as that's not important.

I unplugged the unit for a week until this weekend, because I was finding a permanent home for the SD unit in my house. Turned everything back on, and the SD unit said my cablecard wasn't active. I called the VZ # to reactive, and it failed to reactivate the card. The SD status page still shows not an active card. Doing a channel search from the SD software, it only pulls in about 20 channels, ABC,CBS,NBC---none of the channels I'm "subscribed" to, like TBS, SNY, TNT, Showtime, etc. This had all worked previously the the week before.

Any ideas how to force an activation on the cable card? I tried the reactivation process several times last night over a few hours, and left everything on overnight, but the outcome remains the same.

Is this something I should speak with someone at VZ at, go back to the store for a replacement card, or go to the Direct forum here? Anyone have any idea what the problem might be?
--
He used to say that soul shine, is better than sunshine, better than moonshine, damn sure better than rain.

I take direction from one person under protest.


Onedollar

join:2001-08-27
Pomona, CA
kudos:6
Try Tech support chat. I usually get them to activate properly with no issues.


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Ok thanks, I'll try that. I found it odd that the card was working fine, but somehow "lost" it's activation. Oh well, I'll try tech chat support.

real_goose

join:2001-04-13
Apollo Beach, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to Jeffrey
said by Jeffrey:

Doing a channel search from the SD software, it only pulls in about 20 channels, ABC,CBS,NBC---none of the channels I'm "subscribed" to, like TBS, SNY, TNT, Showtime, etc.

An unactivated CableCard will map clear QAM stations. (Even a non-Verizon card such as you might buy on Ebay.)


Onedollar

join:2001-08-27
Pomona, CA
kudos:6
reply to Jeffrey
Forgot to note, anytime the card is pulled from device, reactivation is required. Not sure if turning it off for extended period qualifies it for this same condition. Regardless, i have re-activated via chat with no issues. Phone support activation usually was unsuccessful


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Reviews:
·voip.ms
said by Onedollar:

Forgot to note, anytime the card is pulled from device, reactivation is required. Not sure if turning it off for extended period qualifies it for this same condition. Regardless, i have re-activated via chat with no issues. Phone support activation usually was unsuccessful

Ahh, Ok thank you. I did remove it from the device I believe, as part of the troubleshooting yesterday before giving up and having a beer. I'll try the chat tech support tonight. Thank you all for the information.
--
He used to say that soul shine, is better than sunshine, better than moonshine, damn sure better than rain.

I take direction from one person under protest.


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to real_goose
said by real_goose:

said by Jeffrey:

Doing a channel search from the SD software, it only pulls in about 20 channels, ABC,CBS,NBC---none of the channels I'm "subscribed" to, like TBS, SNY, TNT, Showtime, etc.

An unactivated CableCard will map clear QAM stations. (Even a non-Verizon card such as you might buy on Ebay.)

Ahh didn't know that. I thought no channels came in as clear QAM, so when I went from 0 channels to like 20 channels this AM I was thoroughly confused - at least more than usual.
--
He used to say that soul shine, is better than sunshine, better than moonshine, damn sure better than rain.

I take direction from one person under protest.


wmcbrine
213 251 145 96

join:2002-12-30
Laurel, MD
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to Jeffrey
I'm not sure if this will help you, but, given the inability to tune HBO, I can tell you that the card was never properly "paired" with the "host" device back when you first activated it. HBO and Cinemax have the do-not-copy flag set, and for some reason unclear to me, this means that the card has to be paired. Other channels can be tuned with a card that's only "activated", but not paired -- those are the channels that are encrypted, but not flagged. If you have a card active on your account, you can move it from one device to another, and still get all the non-flagged channels. But you'd lose HBO if you moved the card to a different device (or, as in this case, never paired it to begin with).

So basically you have three tiers of channels:

Clear QAM (unencrypted) -- can be mapped by even an "inactive" card
Encrypted -- card must be activated, can be unpaired
Encrypted and flagged -- card must be activated and paired

--
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Silly question: Is pairing something that is done between the card and the device, or is that something done between VZ and the card?


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11
All three. VZ has to authorize the pairing of the card to the device using the Host ID/CableCARD ID/Data ID (or a subset of those for Cisco cards), then the card and device exchange information to create encryption keys that are stored in the device's memory. Those keys are valid as long as the CableCARD stays plugged into the same device.

Those keys are then used on flagged (copy once/none) programs to restrict access.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Oh ok. This is something that can be done through tech support, or do I have to head back for a new card? (Sorry, I'm new with the cable card stuff.)


Thinkdiff
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-07
Bronx, NY
kudos:11
It should be done via chat or a phone call. However, if your card isn't even getting the base package, all of the activation information has been lost - that's not supposed to happen. Could be the sign of a bad card or database glitch.

I'd try the tech support route first and hope you get somebody capable, but be prepared to try another card if they can't get it working.
--
University of Southern California - Fight On!


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Reviews:
·voip.ms
said by Thinkdiff:

It should be done via chat or a phone call. However, if your card isn't even getting the base package, all of the activation information has been lost - that's not supposed to happen. Could be the sign of a bad card or database glitch.

I'd try the tech support route first and hope you get somebody capable, but be prepared to try another card if they can't get it working.

Thanks for the info. Working with them now on chat. For some reason my card was disabled, and they don't have any idea why. No idea if that can be rectified without physically getting a new card, but I'm waiting for her to chat back now.
--
He used to say that soul shine, is better than sunshine, better than moonshine, damn sure better than rain.

I take direction from one person under protest.

Shady Bimmer
Premium
join:2001-12-03
Northport, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Jeffrey
Proper activation with CableCards on FiOS can be a challenge. Previously VZ did not pass copy protection details so pairing (device/card) was not required. Simple authorization of the card was sufficient. Once HBO (which also owns Cinemax) forced VZ to honor/pass copy protection restrictions paring became required (at least to receive those channels). This is where the problems may arise.

it took me several weeks working with escalating levels of support first by phone and later via the Verizon Direct Forum to obtain success. A little patience was needed, but I was able to get my card properly "activated" (paired).

You may want to review the SiliconDust forums, in particular Prime/CableCARD - Activation & General Support. There are multiple FiOS related threads with tips.

mgamer20o0

join:2003-12-01
Norwalk, CA
i just went though this the other week was thinking of writing up a little guide. the key i found was using the chat tech support.

this was the key part for me with the chat.

In my case the "ICAD" Validate did NOT work. So the tech went into CPE Manager ( which is a more complicated system) and performed a Finalize Re-validate and we re-entered all data again ( CableCard ID, Host ID & Data ID ). ONLY AFTER the Finalize Re-validate in Verizon's CPE Manager software did my problem get resolved. And the resolution was pretty much instant.

it took 2 times before i got it working correctly. the 1st guy just sent a new card even though i told him that wasnt the problem. i just closed the chat and started again and it worked.


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to Shady Bimmer
said by Shady Bimmer:

Proper activation with CableCards on FiOS can be a challenge. Once HBO (which also owns Cinemax) forced VZ to honor/pass copy protection restrictions paring became required (at least to receive those channels). This is where the problems may arise.

Thanks for the tips. I checked out SD's forum from your link, and noticed the Fios activation topics. Apparently it's not so much an activation, but a validation. Apparently there is some confusion on what "activation" actually means to VZ vs. Silicondust. It's frustrating to me (as a user) when it's potentially just a matter of semantics, which seems to be at least part of the problem.

said by mgamer20o0:

In my case the "ICAD" Validate did NOT work. So the tech went into CPE Manager ( which is a more complicated system) and performed a Finalize Re-validate and we re-entered all data again ( CableCard ID, Host ID & Data ID ). ONLY AFTER the Finalize Re-validate in Verizon's CPE Manager software did my problem get resolved. And the resolution was pretty much instant.

Thanks for this info. I will mention it in VZ Direct, which is the next troubleshooting level I'll be working with.

Last night's chat ended unsuccessfully. I will say the agent was great, patient, and did all she could do, including escalating it to engineering during our chat. I would say the chat took about 45-60 minutes, and we worked through getting the card enabled, then activated. Still didn't work--I still only get the clear channels. She tried, but I have to escalate this in the Direct Forum.

Thanks for both of the replies.
--
He used to say that soul shine, is better than sunshine, better than moonshine, damn sure better than rain.

I take direction from one person under protest.


Jeffrey
Connoisseur of leisurely things
Premium
join:2002-12-24
Long Island
kudos:3
reply to Shady Bimmer
Just as an FYI, a post I made to the Verizon Direct forum today at 12:15 was seen and the issue resolved by 4PM. Card working as it should now. Thanks for the tips and help everyone.

JOHNBON00007

join:2013-07-25
I having the same issue, i can see only basic channel with fios, but not premium channels like tnt, espn, sci fi,. they keep sending me a new card but the issue still is there. Do you have to re scan after that??? did u see more channels in cable folder???