I posted this over at TiVoCommunity, but I figured I would put it here, too...
Two techs show up, one older, one younger, and early signs mixed. They brought extra CableCards, but very defensive about installing them into the TiVo. I make my pitch and they come around. They read the Installation Instructions and are willing to authorize them one at a time.
They call in the first card after the Host ID comes up, and initially they get the Card Serial# wrong. After some back-and-forth on the phone, the card seemingly comes up. During the down time, the younger tech takes a look at the cable run coming into the living room, and asks to take a look at where it comes in.
Once we do the channel test, only the HD Locals show up - nothing in 300 range, nor any of the HBO's. The younger tech points out that the cable coming out of the wall is only RG-59. When I installed an antenna in the attic, I used RG-6, but never saw the need to redo that cable run, as it goes behind a plaster wall, and at the time was only handling Analog. The younger tech mentions that they have had seen a lot of problems with long runs of RG-59 with Digital, and suggests rewiring. He said that signal loss could definitely be the problem. I am doubtful, but we move on to the second card. Probably a mistake, but both of the installers seem very rushed.
The next two cards fail, but the last card seemingly gets everything except HBO. They feel again that it is the RG-59. With the cards seemingly activated, the younger installer actually leaves because he was just helping the older guy out.
As it is somewhat accessible through the basement, I told the remaining tech that I could do rewire the RG-59 myself. He goes to his truck and gets me about 60 feet of quad-shielded RG-6, with connectors, saying that I can call him once I get it installed, and if need be, they will set up another appointment. As it's getting to be late in the day, he gives me his card before leaving and tells me to call him directly.
I was able to pull the cable in under an hour. Upon connecting, the second card that was only missing HBO seems to get everything. Apparently, the RG-6 made a difference. The first card still will only tune the unscrambled locals. I call customer service, hoping to talk to someone who can check the status on the cards, and authenticate if necessary. The CSR and I go back and forth, supposedly put on hold for a Tier 3 support, but after probably 15 minutes, the CSR says that Tier 3 only handles phone or internet, and there is no one else to talk to, and that I have to set up another appointment. I told her that I want to talk to the people that the techs call to activate, but she said that they call the regular CSR's, even though she has never taken one of those calls. I realize this is a lost cause and tell her I will call back to reschedule, after I call my installer directly.
I got a hold of my installer, and he said there is a separate number they call, but that they are off for the day. He told me to call him Thursday and he should have what he needs from the work-ticket to get it over done over the phone.
A very frustrating experience. If I can't get things set this afternoon over the phone, I am going to ask if I can bring in the defective card to Naperville, get a replacement or two, and call it in myself. I think the biggest problem was setting up the appointment for 2:00 - 4:00, as they seemed rushed the entire time.
I will post an update after this afternoon