SONY wega and cablecard won't play nice....Comcast - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-30-2012, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I have Comcast here in South Jersey. We recently got a new TV and want to still use the old Sony wega (HD) Model kdf-55xs955 that is cable card ready in a different room. We bought it in Dec 2004 but that was not the last year they made them. We always had a box because we wanted the guide and on demand and I think they used to charge for cable cards. Now the TV will be used much less often and we will not pay for a box for it. I read about the cable cards and that should work great.

I picked up a card at the office. It is an "M" which is supposed to be backward compatible, my TV is single stream card. The card gets me some basic channels, but not all of them. Basically the "free" channels, the networks, HSN etc. Doesn't get TBS, Comedy, espn or any of the HBO etc. It does get the HD versions of the channels it does get.

I get 2 errors, first it says "invalid cable card please contact provider" and I also get "copy protection error". but the card then allows me to get some channels. It searches for channels and "finds" over 500, but less than 25 probably display, the rest say 'no signal' even though the TV "knows" its espn on channel 24 it will say no signal...and not display.

The TV will not display the Host ID, Data ID or cablecard ID. It says "information not available."

It seems this TV really wants a single stream card. Sony was of no help other than trying to reset stuff. Their guys thinks it's the card. COMCAST says they don't have S cards and don't have an obligation to provide me with a compatible card. They tell me my TV is just too outdated and I have to get a new TV that it will work on (which they don't make anymore!) or rent a box. All they have to do is provide the signal and it is too bad if their card won't work in my TV. I don't get why the M card won't work. I have also read online posts from 2011 where other people have, in 2011, gotten S cards from their providers (Cox for one). Why can't COmcast find me a card that works?

Any tips on what we can try? The guy was out today with 2 additional M cards, both of which did the exact same thing as the first M card. He didn't seem to know much about them except that sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.

I told the Comcast guy that I thought the FCC said they had to make the cable card get me all the channels. He disagreed and says they just have to provide the signal for all my channels. He may be right, but if he is wrong then where do I go from here? I did file a complaint to the FCC from a link I found on this forum, to ask them what I am entitled to.

Also....if the cable card is only going to get me some channels, at least the major networks will get HD. The downside is that the person who will watch this TV would like MTV, espn etc. Can I use the cable card in the set to get HD channels (limited as they are) and ALSO use the stupid dta from Comcast to get more channels (in SD)?

I appreciate any help. It would be awesome to actually receive the channels I am paying for on this set.
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-30-2012, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I did an ebay check and I can buy an S card. If that is what is holding my TV up would I be able to use it with Comcast (assuming they program it or whatever---can they?)
Does anybody know if it is the "Old" technology that is causing my TV to not get all the channels? The COmcast guy mentioned all this stuff about frequencies and stronger signals and my TV just can't handle it.....
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post #3 of 16 Old 11-30-2012, 08:04 PM
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You have no way to connect a TA to your TV for SDV. So if you get a cable card to work for your TV you will only get the most popular channels, you have no way to turn on SDV. SDV isn't necessarily for standard definition.

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post #4 of 16 Old 11-30-2012, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I know very little about this stuff. What is a TA? Is SDV standard def video? I don't have a complete list of channels that do come in, but it seems to be the ones that probably broadcast "over the air". That is the basic basic channels. Some of them do come in HD as well, on the same channel # as they do on my HD box (803, 806 etc for HD version) Not necessarily the most popular. I'd love to make it work but also
I'm trying to find out what Comcast is obligated to do regarding the FCC regulations and cablecard devices
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 01:03 AM
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I actually have the 60" version of the same TV. As far as I remember, an M-cards will work on it (a few years ago I seem to have accidentally nuked the host certificate on the TV by tinkering around, but now you have me wondering - I'll stick a card in my TV tomorrow). M-Cards are supposed to be backwards compatible with S-cards, but I have heard rumors that sometimes they are not. Which system does your area use?

Comcast does not use SDV, so you don't need a TA, don't worry about that. Regarding buying your own card, if it's a Cisco/SA system, you definitely can't. If it's a Motorola card, it's technically possible, but you'll never successfully get them to activate it.

They do need to provide a single-steam card upon request - see 76.1205(b)(2).

Honestly this sounds like either a bad card, or a mis-provisioned card. Try swapping the card out and re-pair, then report back.

Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 03:35 AM
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Since I have 4 CableCARD devices with Comcast in Wynnedale, IN (metro Indianapolis) and they ALL work as advertised, try this.

Have someone (Comcast, or otherwise) verify that the signal strength is good where the set (http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model-home.pl?mdl=KDF55XS955&template_id=1&region_id=1&tab=howto#/howtoTab) is located.

If the signal is good, then one of two things, either the CableCARD pairing is being done incorrectly OR the CableCARD slot is not functioning properly.

My devices have had S cards at one time, but they have all been replaced with M cards.

The oldest TV is a Sony KD-34XBR960 from July 2004, the next is another KD-34XBR960 from April 2006, then a Toshiba 27HLV95 from 2006 (firmware had to upgraded in November 2009, and last but not least a Sony DVR (DHG-HDD250) that I just acquired this September.

All four receive all the channels that I pay for. In central Indiana, Comcast has all of their HD channels in the 1000's from 1004 up to 1853.

Don't pay for HBO, so I cannot comment on that.

The CableCARDs from Comcast have to be paired to the device to work properly and cannot be moved to a different device.

Good luck with your KDF-55XS955, sure hope you get it to work like it should.
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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It can't pair because no host ID shows up. Hopefully Eric will be able to let me know if his works.

This set has never had a cable card in it. There was dust around the slot that I sort of blew out before I put it in. Could it just be dirty? I have a feeling it is not provisioned right. Might it not be set up to be used in a TV since TIVO is a more typical use? Too bad nobody at Comcast has an answer....
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 11:04 AM
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Cinders: are you on a Motorola or SA/Cisco system? Running to Costco now, but I'll fire up the TV when I get back and try a few CableCARDs in it. Unfortunately, I no longer have any S-cards around, but I can at least see what I get for an M-card.

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post #9 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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The card was SA and my cable box is Cisco, so i guess that is the system. I didn't realize there were dif systems.
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 02:08 PM
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OK, so I just grabbed some random CableCARDs from my box of stuff:
Motorola M-Card with unknown FW:
Card comes online, can view MMI pages, but pairing info page won't load

SA M-Card with 2701 FW
Card comes online, can view MMI pages, but pairing info page won't load

SA M-Card with 3101 FW
Card comes online, can view MMI pages, but pairing info page won't load

I know at one point in the past I had a CableCARD paired in this TV, and I'm 99.9% certain it was an M-Card. At some point in the past, I came to the conclusion that I had tripped the anti-tampering mechanisms of the TV and it had nuked it's host certificate, and that's why I got this symptom, but I forgot why I thought that. It had something to do with me repairing an unrelated issue though. Has your TV ever been repaired? I'm pretty sure your TV is doing the same thing as mine.

I'm a bit curious now, so I may try and see if I can get an S-card from TWC and try it. I'm honestly not going to try too hard (everything is switched here, so it's not useful other than as a curiosity).

The good news for you is Comcast marks most things copy freely, so here's what you should be able to do:
1. Obtain an M-Card from your operator
2. Get the card activated, but not paired (you can use the PKB # printed on the card

That should let you view copy freely things, though I can't say I've tested it on this TV. Alternatively, keep pushing for an S-card and try that, but my gut tells me it's the TV at fault.

Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation
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post #11 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I had the infamous optical block repair.....

The card was activated with the serial number....that may be the number you are referring to? It is on my receipt pkgtdgwxc. I will look at the card as soon as I get a chance again. Thanks for your help.
I wonder if anything can be done if it was the repair that messed it up....maybe Sony could be held responsible.....in some small way. That part should not have failed. Mine started before 4 years was up but I didn't know about the secret recall/class action until March following the Dec deadline. They paid for about half the repair. That will stink if that repair also costs me $10+ per month for a cable box.

I will write a list of the channels that work tomorrow. I haven't had to patience to channel through them all to see.

Appreciate your help!
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post #12 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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COuld this be the problem.....It is an old post that i found here..http://forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-and-Equipment/CableCARD-Ceton-InfiniTV-4-tuner-Win7-Media-Center-does-not/td-p/914313/page/2

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Re: CableCARD (Ceton InfiniTV 4 tuner, Win7 Media Center) - does not receive auth. co
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09-05-2012 09:06 PM

To get it to work right the first time, the cable cards MUST be added to your account as the 1st cable box. Then they can add the other set top boxes to your account. The set top boxes have a cable card in them too. The 3 days and truck roll it took me to get it working, and I was the one to figure it out, this is the best solution. An update from the head end only works for their cable boxes, not cable card tuners like ATI and Ceton. These cards have been out since 1995 and originally were used for HDTV's that had the card slot in them, Like SONY RPTV LCD and Mitsubishi's DLP sets. The cable line up only takes a few minutes in Media Center and ir provided by TV-Guide, not Comcast via Microsoft.
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post #13 of 16 Old 12-02-2012, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinders View Post

I had the infamous optical block repair.....
The card was activated with the serial number....that may be the number you are referring to? It is on my receipt pkgtdgwxc. I will look at the card as soon as I get a chance again. Thanks for your help.
I wonder if anything can be done if it was the repair that messed it up....maybe Sony could be held responsible.....in some small way. That part should not have failed. Mine started before 4 years was up but I didn't know about the secret recall/class action until March following the Dec deadline. They paid for about half the repair. That will stink if that repair also costs me $10+ per month for a cable box.
I will write a list of the channels that work tomorrow. I haven't had to patience to channel through them all to see.
Appreciate your help!

Mine also had the optical block repair...3 times (prior owner repaired it twice, I bought it broken for $100 and did the repair right when I got it). Best I can tell, at one point I powered it up with some of the cable unplugged, and I think that's what the set didn't like, and when it nuked the host cert.
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Originally Posted by cinders View Post

COuld this be the problem.....It is an old post that i found here..http://forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-and-Equipment/CableCARD-Ceton-InfiniTV-4-tuner-Win7-Media-Center-does-not/td-p/914313/page/2
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Re: CableCARD (Ceton InfiniTV 4 tuner, Win7 Media Center) - does not receive auth. co
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09-05-2012 09:06 PM
To get it to work right the first time, the cable cards MUST be added to your account as the 1st cable box. Then they can add the other set top boxes to your account. The set top boxes have a cable card in them too. The 3 days and truck roll it took me to get it working, and I was the one to figure it out, this is the best solution. An update from the head end only works for their cable boxes, not cable card tuners like ATI and Ceton. These cards have been out since 1995 and originally were used for HDTV's that had the card slot in them, Like SONY RPTV LCD and Mitsubishi's DLP sets. The cable line up only takes a few minutes in Media Center and ir provided by TV-Guide, not Comcast via Microsoft.

No, yours is failing before that point. I would recommend pushing Comcast for an S-card and try that. I don't have any laying around - if I can find one cheap on eBay, I might buy one out of curiosity.

Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation
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post #14 of 16 Old 12-02-2012, 05:40 AM
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While it isn't quite the same I work for Verizon and have had issues with M cards in Sony TVs. Switch to food we will get you an S card.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-01-2013, 05:37 PM
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I have a Sony KD-36XS955 36" 4:3 FD Trinitron WEGA HDTV and Comcast cable service.
Could not activate the CableCARD (I tried 3 different M-type cards before finally arriving at the solution).

I solved my problem by finally (after months and more than a dozen phone calls to Comcast) with getting an installer to come out and, after some research on his part, to locate an S-type CableCARD, in a neighboring county. They did not have any S-type cards in my county, and the installer had never seen this problem before (though he was considered the 'expert' on TIVO CableCARD installation).

The particular Sony TV menu item of interest is:
>CableCARD >CableCARD Pairing

In my case, it said "No information available"

What it should say is data including two items needed by Comcast:
>Host:
OR HostID OR Host ID
>Data:
OR DataID or Data ID

See also:
http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-video/176786.html
http://forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-and-Equipment/Multi-stream-Single-stream-cable-card/td-p/1156411
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-01-2013, 06:29 PM
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The Comcast supplied Motorola type 'M' CableCARD is NOT compatible with my Sony WEGA TV, despite the M card specification which states that M cards are backward compatible with S type cards.

I tried three different Motorola M type CableCARDs, provided by Comcast.
For what it is worth, the specs on one of the three cards that failed was this
SN: MA0929ZJ0600 (SERIAL NUMBER)
UA: 000-00197-03677-162
MAC: 0023EE6AD6C7

Though I made more than a dozen calls to Comcast support over this, and they shipped me another (redundant) DCT set top box and other equipment, which only wasted my time connecting and activating, finally, after continuing to fail in activating the CableCARD, Comcast phone support recommended I have a local installer come out: to the tune of around $40 charge!

I told the phone support person that I thought installation of equipment was free, especially since the FCC requires that Comcast provide CableCARD support and since I have tried, repeatedly to do the installation myself.

To no avail, after checking with her supervisor, this support person told me: sorry, but no - you have to pay.
To which offer, I declined.

Next, went back (once again) to my local Comcast office and this time got a different clerk, and recounted my problems, yet again, and THIS TIME, I was offered a FREE installation of the CableCARD. Yippee!

I was told that the installer would call me a few hours before the appointment time, to confirm, but all I got was a robo-call, not even from Comcast, but from "Toll Free Call" on my caller ID display, which I normally do not answer. In this case, since I knew to expect a call, I did answer, and confirmed my appointment.

I had hoped to alert the installer - as I had already alerted Comcast phone support, and the local Comcast office, several times - to please come prepared with an S type CableCARD, since the M type cards do not seem to be compatible with my TV.

No such luck, since the Comcast robots do not accept such comments.

Finally, my local installer, James (Tech #2508) arrived, and was a very intelligent and capable person. With the help of his supervisor (Evan Wilkes), James managed to locate an S type CableCARD, in a neighboring county (my county had none). He installed it the next day and my problem was solved. Finally.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS:

1) Do not believe those who tell you that M type (multi-stream) cards are backward compatible with S type cards.

That may be what the paper specification says, but hardware, and reality, is the only truth we really know.

Only type 'S' (single stream) Motorola CableCARD will work in my Sony KD-36XS955 36" 4:3 FD Trinitron WEGA HDTV

2) Don't give up on CableCARD installation - it is well worth it because:

a) Your TV tuner is vastly superior to the Comcast set top box which: feeds you unwanted ads; can't go 'back' more than one single step in navigation; makes managing favorite channels very difficult
b) Comcast spies on your TV viewing habits; S cards don't have that 'cool' interactive capability of sending your habits to the NSA

3) You can probably purchase an older S type CableCARD on ebay and get it activated, if Comcast does not have any S type cards available in your area. I am just guessing on this, but in my case, I would have gladly paid the price for a card and risked the possibility of Comcast not being able or willing to activate it.

SEE ALSO:
https://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/purchasing-a-cablecard/

>Note: If you subscribe to a video service level above Limited Basic and you have additional televisions connected to Comcast video service there will be an additional monthly service charge for your additional television outlets regardless of whether you lease equipment from Comcast or provide your own retail devices. If, however, you own a retail device, including a CableCARD device (e.g., TiVO or CableCARD equipped television) with an activated CableCARD installed and are subscribing to a Comcast video service that includes equipment as a part of the service, Comcast will issue you a monthly Customer Owned Equipment credit. Customer Owned Equipment Policy.
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