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post #1081 of 1315 Old 08-16-2007, 12:29 PM
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jmallory, are those motorola cards?...let me know if swapping out cards fixes the premium problem.
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post #1082 of 1315 Old 08-16-2007, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theelite View Post

jmallory, are those motorola cards?...let me know if swapping out cards fixes the premium problem.

It was a provisioning problem. They had the programming on one of the cards completely screwed up. The tech that was here said they fixed the programming, did a "hard hit" on the card (this may be the INIT command that Microsoft refers to in the Cablecard FAQ,) and then did a "soft hit" (probably the actual HIT command) and that cleared the problem.

BTW, these are Motorola CC's.

-- Jim

-- Jim
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post #1083 of 1315 Old 08-16-2007, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by wunch View Post


Software was another story. After booting up and going through the preliminary Vista setup, my first logon produced an error message (cannot find desktop and cannot connect to user profile manager service) and only showed the classic non-Aero interface. Nothing was working, not even opening up Explorer or Control Panel. Customer service recommended that I re-install Vista, which I did, and everything was fine after that. I'm still not sure if I re-installed all of the drivers correctly (the custom VM drivers disk was a nice touch, but wasn't documented very well); I still have one unknown device in the device manager. I didn't install the Intel audio driver because the Vista one seemed to be working well (using optical out to my receiver), and I didn't install the Intel IR driver because IRTrans seemed to be working fine, too.

That is completely messed up. I signed off on the OS image that is blasted onto those systems and I have no idea how that could have happened - I have never heard of that before.

As to the bang in device manager - $5 says it's the intel management engine and you can download the drivers for the DP35DP on www.intel.com - and I'd get the latest chipset drivers, intel matrix storage manager, and the latest audio drivers add ADAT support - worth the download.

Again, I have NEVER heard of the software issue you experienced...but very sorry you did!


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post #1084 of 1315 Old 08-16-2007, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BTDT View Post

I guess for those of us with skills receiving a computer that doesn't work OOTB isn't such a big issue, but it does make me wonder why we would want to pay someone to put together something that we then have to configure ourselves. I had thought one of the benefits of a pre-built HTPC was that everything would be set up to work, including making sure there were no driver conflicts, etc. Hmm.

That's what we do - this is something I have never heard of before.


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post #1085 of 1315 Old 08-16-2007, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jmallory View Post

That is the only problem with the Windows Media Center solution, it is just not quite there in terms of ease of installation. The system needs to be much more appliance like. Just plug 'n play. The OP's problem just sounds like another case of VM's QA issues...to pay that much and have to do an OS install manually (no image disk) is a little ridiculous. Does anyone with another OEMs Cablecard Vista Media Center; did your OEM include a restore disk or do you have the raw Windows installation and driver disks?

Still fighting Cable card issues over here as well...one card will not receive the movie channels (HBO, Showtime, Stars, Flix, IFC, etc.). Other card is fine. Comcast coming out today to swap the bad card...fingers crossed.


-- Jim

Our direct status with Microsoft disallows us from creating seperate media disks with OS files on it. That means we cannot provide you with a Vista install disk and a recovery disk. Alienware has been sued for this. We could lose our direct status with MS if we breached this term.

We are going to be deploying a new software suite in a few weeks that allows customers to create their own backup disks without having to buy Vista Ultimate. This is a perfectly legal solution that will allow us to be in compliance with Microsoft. Again, no custom restore disk is a direct result of our OEM status with MS - the same status that allows us to sell digital cable tuners to begin with.


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post #1086 of 1315 Old 08-16-2007, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jmallory View Post

I think between the big-box store contract and the popularity of their media centers, they have bit off a lot more than they can chew and the quality and customer service is suffering. Unless you need a HTPC style case (like I did), I certainly can't justify the premium price I paid. I am not saying you won't have problems with HP or Dell, but at least you aren't paying a premium and still have the problems.

We're selling a lot of these systems. What I have always noticed is that people are always motivated to post when they are upset or having issues, yet when everything goes well they'd rather be using the product. It's a phenomenon that you can see anyware...

But please know that I am always behind the scenes making sure that we're doing our best. I've helped a lot of you guys in here and I'll continue to do what I can if there are issues. The fact that I still have my job should be an indication that we're doing a lot right.


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post #1087 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

Our direct status with Microsoft disallows us from creating seperate media disks with OS files on it. That means we cannot provide you with a Vista install disk and a recovery disk. Alienware has been sued for this. We could lose our direct status with MS if we breached this term.

We are going to be deploying a new software suite in a few weeks that allows customers to create their own backup disks without having to buy Vista Ultimate. This is a perfectly legal solution that will allow us to be in compliance with Microsoft. Again, no custom restore disk is a direct result of our OEM status with MS - the same status that allows us to sell digital cable tuners to begin with.

Will existing users have access to this new suite? Thanks.

-- Jim
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post #1088 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

We're selling a lot of these systems. What I have always noticed is that people are always motivated to post when they are upset or having issues, yet when everything goes well they'd rather be using the product. It's a phenomenon that you can see anyware...

But please know that I am always behind the scenes making sure that we're doing our best. I've helped a lot of you guys in here and I'll continue to do what I can if there are issues. The fact that I still have my job should be an indication that we're doing a lot right.

Chris, I really appreciate the help you give us individually and as a group...I apologize if I am making it sound otherwise. But some of us have gone through some pretty hellish experiences. I waited close to (if not over) 12 weeks from initial order to receiving a system that worked. I realize some of it like the availability of the DCTs is out of VM's hands (the problem with only one vendor making these things) but the most aggregavating thing is the lack of communication back to us and I have seen cases (based on Email exchanges) where VM is not communicating well internally. I might be able to understand Dell or HP doing this BUT VM is supposed to be a "premium" builder and given the premium paid for these machines I expect better. Being primarily an Apple user (and I realize they aren't perfect either) and have experienced Apple support in the past...VM is just not there yet. And it is a shame because I REALLY WANT someone to be there. As a hobbyist, sometimes I have to buy Windows machines and I would be happy to pay "Apple" prices to get the "Apple" experience on the Windows platform. My number one thing VM should take away from this is. Fix the communication. Let us know why the build date is slipping proactively...don't make us call in.

-- Jim

-- Jim
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post #1089 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 04:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmallory View Post

Chris, I really appreciate the help you give us individually and as a group...I apologize if I am making it sound otherwise. But some of us have gone through some pretty hellish experiences. I waited close to (if not over) 12 weeks from initial order to receiving a system that worked. I realize some of it like the availability of the DCTs is out of VM's hands (the problem with only one vendor making these things) but the most aggregavating thing is the lack of communication back to us and I have seen cases (based on Email exchanges) where VM is not communicating well internally. I might be able to understand Dell or HP doing this BUT VM is supposed to be a "premium" builder and given the premium paid for these machines I expect better. Being primarily an Apple user (and I realize they aren't perfect either) and have experienced Apple support in the past...VM is just not there yet. And it is a shame because I REALLY WANT someone to be there. As a hobbyist, sometimes I have to buy Windows machines and I would be happy to pay "Apple" prices to get the "Apple" experience on the Windows platform. My number one thing VM should take away from this is. Fix the communication. Let us know why the build date is slipping proactively...don't make us call in.

-- Jim

I agree with you 100%. I make people aware of this thread as a litmus test on how we handle adversity.


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post #1090 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jmallory View Post

Will existing users have access to this new suite? Thanks.

I am not sure how it would work, but follow up with me next month - in the mean time if you have Vista Ultimate you can create your own image, or if you wanted to buy Nero BackItUp, that is a solution we have considered as well and have tested it out.


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post #1091 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

I am not sure how it would work, but follow up with me next month - in the mean time if you have Vista Ultimate you can create your own image, or if you wanted to buy Nero BackItUp, that is a solution we have considered as well and have tested it out.

Will do...also is the "no supplied image disk" something they changed with Vista? The last Windows machine I bought was a Dell Laptop for my in-laws (and don't ask about that machine) and that I believe came with an install disk to put all the shovelware back on (along with the OS, maybe that is why Microsoft forbids it now). I would also point out to Microsoft that Apple also provides a image disk with its systems (luckily shovelware is at a minimum there as well) machines and it is a good thing for an inexperienced end user to have when OS installs need to be done. For example, my sister-in-law just got a new HP with Vista and I just assumed it came with an image disk...I would really hate to try walking her through an OS install. (And yes, I am the one they call when they need help.)

In terms of upgrading to Ultimate or third-party...I am planning on getting a Windows Home Server (possibly in the Spring) and I understand it can do the same thing with both XP and Vista with the advantage of the image being stored on the server...I was just looking for something to hold me over.

-- Jim

-- Jim
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post #1092 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 06:25 AM
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Chris,

Thanks for all of the replies and your support. I was a bit concerned when you seemed to disappear for a week, but then again it is vacation season :-)

VelocityMicro is now at the top of my short list for a VistaMC solution, as it seems to be the only one that allows customization to my liking and has the AV component form factor.

Last evening my wife was complaining that there is no way to store the last couple of episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance" which she would like to keep on the DVR we have (FiOS), but there just isn't the space for any kind of longer-term storage. This gave me an opening to mention that a HTPC would allow us to burn something like that onto a DVD.... Hopefully the impending FiOS DVR update with a reported 30% in recording space will push her over the edge.

Again, it appears like you guys are very dedicated to this product and I understand that problems will occur -- and that people are much more likely to post on forums like this with problems than with "golly it's wonderful" comments. Thanks again!
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post #1093 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTDT View Post

Chris,

Thanks for all of the replies and your support. I was a bit concerned when you seemed to disappear for a week, but then again it is vacation season :-)

VelocityMicro is now at the top of my short list for a VistaMC solution, as it seems to be the only one that allows customization to my liking and has the AV component form factor.

Last evening my wife was complaining that there is no way to store the last couple of episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance" which she would like to keep on the DVR we have (FiOS), but there just isn't the space for any kind of longer-term storage. This gave me an opening to mention that a HTPC would allow us to burn something like that onto a DVD.... Hopefully the impending FiOS DVR update with a reported 30% in recording space will push her over the edge.

Again, it appears like you guys are very dedicated to this product and I understand that problems will occur -- and that people are much more likely to post on forums like this with problems than with "golly it's wonderful" comments. Thanks again!

AFAIK, anything sent through the Cablecard is protected. I am not sure you are going to be able to burn it to DVD per se (I haven't tried but that is my undertanding). Although, with enough storage you can store shows for a very long time. My old HTPC with 450GB of space dedicated to TV could store a couple months worth of programming (SD only). The VM machine has 1.75TB (nearly 4x as much) available for TV recording so we should be able to store a lot more even with a good bit of HiDef programming in the mix.

-- Jim

-- Jim
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post #1094 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTDT View Post

Chris,

Thanks for all of the replies and your support. I was a bit concerned when you seemed to disappear for a week, but then again it is vacation season :-)

VelocityMicro is now at the top of my short list for a VistaMC solution, as it seems to be the only one that allows customization to my liking and has the AV component form factor.

Last evening my wife was complaining that there is no way to store the last couple of episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance" which she would like to keep on the DVR we have (FiOS), but there just isn't the space for any kind of longer-term storage. This gave me an opening to mention that a HTPC would allow us to burn something like that onto a DVD.... Hopefully the impending FiOS DVR update with a reported 30% in recording space will push her over the edge.

Again, it appears like you guys are very dedicated to this product and I understand that problems will occur -- and that people are much more likely to post on forums like this with problems than with "golly it's wonderful" comments. Thanks again!

Glad to be here - warts and all, it's better to give as much honesty and visibility to our clients and prospective clients then to take a head in the sand stance. I can take the pressure, I know we're doing the right things and fixing what goes wrong. Sorry to drop off the radar for a while - work and home life sometimes keep me off the forums but I'll always come back.

And while sometimes you are able to burn playable DVDs with CableCARD depending on the locale - most of the time you cannot and particularly so when it's premium content. However, you can back up the recordings as a data disk and move them off the HDD for archiving purposes.


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post #1095 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 12:17 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. My intent was to record OTA network HD content that can be backed up to DVD. That continues to make up a large percentage of what we record, and nearly all of what my wife might want to back up.
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post #1096 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 05:13 PM
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Hello guys. I am very sorry to inform you I've resigned my position at Velocity Micro. If you have any open issues that you were dealing with me on, I highly suggest you contact Brent Stanton to have them addressed.

I will also pop in from time to time to see how I can help.

Thank you very much for all of your support.


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post #1097 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 07:05 PM
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all I can say is what the hell? you will be sorely missed. I sure hope your contact with us in this forum has nothing to do with your resignation, because you were the sole reason I think a lot of us decided or were going to go with VM. Good luck in the future with whatever yo do.
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post #1098 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 07:13 PM
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Not a good sign for Velocity. Admittedly, I have moved from being an enthusiastic customer to being rather dissatisfied, but Chris has always been very professional and helpful. I wish him well in any future endeavors. Chris you are a class act and your contributions will be sorely missed.
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post #1099 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 08:29 PM
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Had nothing to do with you guys, media centers, OCUR, or the like. It was a personal decision and one that was right all the way around. Thanks for your support, and I'll be around.


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post #1100 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theelite View Post

have fun with the cablecards Eugen..I'm still trying to get em working perfectly.

Well,

I just wanted to report a positive experience here as well which, at least from what you can read in these forums, is very rare. So, Cablevision came today to install two cablecards in my VM machine. I was prepared, took all the advices and all precautions to increase the success rate of this process. I had my print-outs and a whole mental process figured out. The technician who came had no idea what a MCE machine was, he didn' t even hear about TIVO. He let me do the installation but he was the one who called to do the provisioning. He was in a hurry and didn't want to stay till the end of the setup process (after pairing I was setting up the program guide and that takes about 5-6 minutes). He told me everything should be fine because the person in the call center told him there was no problem with the activation of the cards.

3 minutes after he left I tuned an HD channel and after 20 seconds I received a message telling me that my decoder was not able to playback premium content. After 20 minutes of googling I found about a guy who reinstalled the OS to go around that. He got into trouble by installing latest (at the time) ATI drivers. Myself I installed PowerDVD so that I could watch HD DVDs and suspected this had to do with my new problems. I know that only MS MPEG2 decoder is the one that plays back protected content but at the time I did the activation of the cablecards the PowerDVD decoder was the one set up as default. I was prepared to reinstall the OS when I checked to see if ATI posted new drivers and, they did. The latest Catalyst version is 7.8 and after I installed it, boom, all channels working, even all the premiums (HBOHD, SHOWHD, TMCHD, STARZHD). I have over 40 HD channels and am very pleased with the whole setup.
I must say this was the easiest, less problematic cablecard installation I have heard about. Now that everything is working I am really happy with the whole setup. My next step is to attach my DVD changer (XL1B) but this shouldn't cause any problems really.
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post #1101 of 1315 Old 08-17-2007, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

Had nothing to do with you guys, media centers, OCUR, or the like. It was a personal decision and one that was right all the way around. Thanks for your support, and I'll be around.

I also want to thank you very much for all your support and wish you well in your new endeavors. I believe I speak for everyone here when I say you are a man with a passion and it is a pitty VM lost a person like you. But hey, I am sure you thought about this, you should start your own media center boutique. I will recommed you to everyone I know. Seriously, if you didn't think about it...
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post #1102 of 1315 Old 08-18-2007, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Eugen Paval View Post

I also want to thank you very much for all your support and wish you well in your new endeavors. I believe I speak for everyone here when I say you are a man with a passion and it is a pitty VM lost a person like you. But hey, I am sure you thought about this, you should start your own media center boutique. I will recommed you to everyone I know. Seriously, if you didn't think about it...

Ditto.

As I have blogged, your presence on this forum was the main reason why I bought my CableCard Media Center PC from VM-- and an additional gaming rig from them.

DWAnderson


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post #1103 of 1315 Old 08-18-2007, 03:03 PM
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Thank you guys so much, it really makes me feel good to hear all of this...

If anyone wishes to speak with me, I find myself with a bit more free time these days. My contact info is chris AT morleydigital DOT com or you can buzz me @ 832-236-0834. I'll be blogging about my adventures @ www.morleydigital.com

BTW, what do you guys think of Omaura? www.omaura.com


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post #1104 of 1315 Old 08-18-2007, 05:45 PM
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Wow, this was a very sudden, end of the week resignation. Just Friday morning you even advised someone to check back with you in a month about about the updated software suite from VM, so it doesn't seem like this was planned.

Is everything still business as usual at Velocity Micro? Stable enough to have faith they'll be around for the near future?

Sorry to see you go Chris, your very informative responses will be missed.
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post #1105 of 1315 Old 08-18-2007, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by VideoJames View Post

Wow, this was a very sudden, end of the week resignation. Just Friday morning you even advised someone to check back with you in a month about about the updated software suite from VM, so it doesn't seem like this was planned.

Is everything still business as usual at Velocity Micro? Stable enough to have faith they'll be around for the near future?

Sorry to see you go Chris, your very informative responses will be missed.

I hope you guys can understand that I do not wish to go into details. This was something I was planning on, just not sure of the timing.

As to VM - they're a fine company and they'll do just fine without me, I may even buy a Grand Theater from them since I had to turn mine in...


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post #1106 of 1315 Old 08-20-2007, 04:45 AM
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Hey guys - if anyone is interested in buying my grand theater - let me know - or - if you know of anyone - mac user here and i just can't get into VISTA - its in perfect condition. so PM me if your interested. i live in nyc so if anyone is in the area your more than welcome to come over and test it out.
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post #1107 of 1315 Old 08-20-2007, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisMorley View Post

Thank you guys so much, it really makes me feel good to hear all of this...

If anyone wishes to speak with me, I find myself with a bit more free time these days. My contact info is chris AT morleydigital DOT com or you can buzz me @ 832-236-0834. I'll be blogging about my adventures @ www.morleydigital.com

BTW, what do you guys think of Omaura? www.omaura.com

So, you decided to strike out on your own...interesting...
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post #1108 of 1315 Old 08-20-2007, 06:40 AM
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I hate to say it, but the news of Chris moving on has stalled my VM order. I was already a little concerned with quality problems reported here (and elsewhere on the web), especially in terms of motherboard failures. Components I can deal with, but the motherboard would be a...mother. I really wish that cablecard tuners were available in general so I could just head over to Frys and build my own box.
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post #1109 of 1315 Old 08-20-2007, 07:58 AM
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It was a provisioning problem. They had the programming on one of the cards completely screwed up. The tech that was here said they fixed the programming, did a "hard hit" on the card (this may be the INIT command that Microsoft refers to in the Cablecard FAQ,) and then did a "soft hit" (probably the actual HIT command) and that cleared the problem.

BTW, these are Motorola CC's.

-- Jim

The problem reappeared again...I am having Comcast replace the "suspect" cable card on Wednesday morning...will give an update.

-- Jim
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post #1110 of 1315 Old 08-20-2007, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BTDT View Post

I hate to say it, but the news of Chris moving on has stalled my VM order. I was already a little concerned with quality problems reported here (and elsewhere on the web), especially in terms of motherboard failures. Components I can deal with, but the motherboard would be a...mother. I really wish that cablecard tuners were available in general so I could just head over to Frys and build my own box.


Well mine is scheduled to ship this friday so we will see what happens. I'm not as patient as some of the people here and will call my credit card company and dispute the charges if it gets longer than 2 weeks.
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