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CableCARD - Is the Trouble Worth It?

 

New member
Username: Matrix1221

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-05
OK - I have a brand new 42" LG DU-42PY10X Built-in Tuner thats accepts the CableCARD and i have had 4 techs and still counting from Adelphia that have no clue what the card is and how it works. The last tech came and installed the card(Scientifc Atlantic PowerKEY) and after much prompting from some techie at corp he got it up and running. I saw my premium channels, HD channels all great...or so I thought. Overnightthe TV GUIDE listing previews feature that comes with my TV no longer works with cableCard and signal started to come and go. Changing chanels is a lottery, it skips from Chanel 16 to 467 nothing in between and sometimes we get a signal sometimes we don't. The techs though it was a damaged card but after 4 I am not sure. The minute I pull the card out the TV goes back to normal. The card even "locks up" my TV. I literally have to power down the TV in order to get the remote working or even the power button to go on and off. I have a new tech coming next week, however anyone have any other suggestions - should I be looking at a differernt cableCARD? I'd really hate to use a box but will go to one if necessary.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 169
Registered: Mar-05
Dominique, you need to contact LG about this issue and see if your TV needs a firmware update, I've seen that problem before and the fix was getting the update.
 

New member
Username: Matrix1221

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jun-05
Thanks CG,

Turns out there is a firmware update for this tv & cablecard. Tach is coming out this week - will keep u posted.
Thanks!
 

a_day_without_me
Unregistered guest
Cablecard is currently a "one way" system... you receive channels, but cannot send signals back such as the guide channel and ordering pay per view. The cable companies currently haven't set up a "two way" system yet.

read at:
http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/specsformats/CableCARDprimer.php

QUOTE---------------------
For now, CableCARD is one-way only, meaning that some services can only be provided through a cable company-provided set-top box:

Pay-Per-View
Interactive Program Guides (most manufacturers compensate by providing their own)
On-Demand with iControl (TWC) or Similar Services
Season Sports Packages (like the NBA League Pass)
Interactive and Enhanced TV Services (like games, interactive news, etc.)
While a two-way CableCARD is currently being developed there is a huge gap between what can be provided by the cable companies and what the CableCARD technology will support. In addition, it is likely that one-way (i.e. all current) CableCARD devices (televisions, custom set-top boxes) will not be able to handle two-way CableCARDs and will need to be redesigned. Does this mean you should wait to purchase these products? Not in my opinion. Since there is no date assigned or even an agreement in place (other than good faith negotiations) it would be silly to let such a tremendous technology go to waste. You can enjoy the best quality offered today and still utilize an inexpensive cable company-provided set-top unit should you require interactive, two-way services.

My guess is that two-way CableCARDs are at least two years away. If we support CableCARD technology now, then we'll only hasten the point at which consumer choice rules and two-way devices are placed into the market.
-------------------
 

Silver Member
Username: Kdog044

Post Number: 159
Registered: Feb-05
a_day_without_me,

That article isn't entirely accurate. You can still purchase Pay-Per-View and Sports Packages without a STB but you have to do it the old fashioned way (i.e. telephone call to the cable provider).
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 239
Registered: Mar-05
Kdog, that isn't true for every provider...not saying you're wrong, just not everybody does that anymore. Most systems require a STB to view PPV, keyword being "most". I do remember back in the late 80's customer's that wanted PPV would have to call at least 4 hours in advance so a tech could run a STB out to the house and hook it up...which in the long run went away because it wasn't user friendly.
 

New member
Username: Matrix1221

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jun-05
ok all would you beleive after my last posting of June 5, to this date I am still awaiting a tech to upgrade my firmware - it seems as if there are no capable technicians in my area to upgrade my LG firmware so i can get the cablecard to work - does anyone have any idea if this is something i can do?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 240
Registered: Mar-05
Contact LG directly and voice your complaint. Demand to speak with a supervisor and settle for nothing less then a date within a week of speaking with them. Another option would be answered by you: Did you purchase the TV with a credit card? You always have the option to take this issue up with them, they have lemon laws to protect you.
 

tall1
Unregistered guest
I have a 42" Sony and have been considering a
cable card. Is it worth it or do these models
experience too many problems with C.C?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 242
Registered: Mar-05
tall1,
The only known problem with Sony would be a 161-6 error code which would require you to have the Q-box replaced in your TV, then a call back to your cable company to report the new host pairing information. In all the Sony's I've dealt with they are usually one of the easier to deal with from installation. The bigger question is how patient are you? With the current versions you have no access to PPV or MOD, and in some cases IPG, somewhere down the road a two-way version will be available (could be up to 2 years or longer) So before you invest ask yourself do you really need it now?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Avernus

Post Number: 34
Registered: Jul-05
"I have a 42" Sony and have been considering a
cable card. Is it worth it or do these models
experience too many problems with C.C?"

I have the Sony Wega 42" LCD and love cablecard...even without the menu and on demand features..

I'd recommend getting it even if you get a HD box for 6.99, just to get the PIP...since CC is free usually..
 

tall1
Unregistered guest
I'm not concerned about the PPV or on-screen menus. I'm just looking for better pic quality and getting rid of the box & extra remote. Comcast is scheduled to install CC 8/20. I'll let you know if everything works out. Fingers are crossed
 

New member
Username: Bobbyk2002

New Orleans, LA USA

Post Number: 3
Registered: Nov-05
Reading all these posts about people getting CableCards installed for as low as $10 amazes me. We're stuck with Cox Cable here in the New Orleans area. Yes, life goes on in the unflooded suburbs. Cox's customer service has always been bad. A technical support guy from out of state I called when I had internet issues told me they get more complaints about Cox New Orleans than any other area. Anyway, I purchased a 40" Bravia HDTV with the cable card slot. Cox charged me a $55 fee to come out, stick it in, and call the office and read off some numbers to them. That's the installation I paid $55 for?! I could have done that. When I first called to order it, the Customer service rep had no idea what a cable card was. I can't believe they don't train their reps on services they offer. I too was disappointed with the fact that I can't record scrambled channels like HBO using the Cable Card. I weighed the pros and cons of getting the card or going with an STB. I decided despite the $55 "installation" charge, they rent the card for only $1.99/month vs. going down to the Cox office to pick up an STB and a $4.95/month rental charge. In about a year the STB will cost you $60. Renting the Cable Card will cost you $24. So in one year, I'll save $36 over the STB with the card. The $55 "installation" charge will pay for itself in a few more months after that. Oh, I had ordered HBO, the technician said sorry, it wasn't on his work order. You'll have to call the office. I said, well can't you just call? He said, nope, you have to. I called the office. Yes sir, it is on his work order, we'll have someone call you to install it. I said, can't you just activate it? Oh no, I can't do that, someone will have to set up an appointment. I call the next day hoping to get somebody different. She had my nine or whatever HBO channels activated in less than a minute over the phone. They are way overpriced for the lack of service they provide. And the number of HD channel offerings are sparse. But oh they look so good on that Bravia. I hope they start adding more and more HD channels.

I'm going to write Sony and ask if there is anyway they can modify their highly rated Bravia to put some outputs for recording programs. Maybe even retrofit my new set. I doubt that will happen. We'll see though.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 524
Registered: Mar-05
Puzzled,

Nice post. Glad I don't work for Cox :-)
It never ceases to amaze me about the common theme in the CC threads, nobody knows anything about these things and lack of customer service skills from certain companies or techs. There is nothing that can't be done by any tech in your house, even if they can't physically do the work, they should at least make the calls to the proper people to ensure your problem is in good hands before they leave. As for the installation charge, $55 does seem a little steep, I guess they're doing the normal charging you for the truck trip + the technicians time. Where I work at, if there is any problems during the installation we waive the installation fee in order to keep the customer happy. That's called good customer service, it's all I know, so I always wonder how other companies survive without recognizing if you waive the install fee, you lose the initial profit for the visit, but you keep a customer happy, who is paying a monthly bill over the long term it makes more money. But hey..... live and learn right? lol

l8r
 

Unregistered guest
Cablcards can be a pain in the but to install, when you get there you never know if the TV is going to operate with the card or not. I've spent 30 min on a card and 8 hrs on a card. What people don't realize is you are throwing an unknown into the equation. A cable box is standard, we know what to expect when we install one of these, i.e. what should happen when everything is done. A TV is different, you have different manufacturers with diffent menus, and different firmware versions on the same tv model even. This is the owners equipment, it is the owners responsibility to understand their TV. We do what we can, but reading the manual to the owner and explaining it is time consuming. Don't get me wrong I do everything I can to help the customer, but the customer needs to help themselves also. Its hjust like a sub complaining of HD channels not filling the whole screen all the time. It can be broadcast in HD but the format is 4:3, or it is 16:9 but the clarity is not there. They thought that The Godfather should be in HD, well the broadcast is in HD and it is 16:9, but do you think that HD cameras were around when it was filmed? There are several different scenarios when it comes to HD programming. People need to educate themselves if they are going to enjoy their equipment to its fullest extent. Oh well I'd better stop for now. Ill ramble more later
 

New member
Username: Bobbyk2002

New Orleans, LA USA

Post Number: 4
Registered: Nov-05
Re: Cableguy's Reply to my Post about Cable Cards. I had to call Cox Communications New Orleans about a different matter. Why was I charged for internet service when I had just talked with a supervisor about moving in with relatives from my flooded home to a home where they had a home network setup and only required one internet account. I pay the owner 1/2 their internet bill. They will get back to me within two weeks. As far as the $55 cable card installation fee. I finally got them to give me $20 off for giving me conflicting information about when a technician would arrive. We had one for the cable card install (a fee involved), and an internet technician for a technical problem. (They got the MAC ID numbers wrong and couldn't recognize our new modem.) Even the technician had to repeat and correct the office twice. He looked at me and said, "those idiots". So, at least I got my CableCard install for $35. Now they need to credit/close my old internet account for services I did not have. They must be hurting after Katrina, as we all are, and are reluctant to extend any kind of courtesy discounts or credits to keep customer goodwill.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 537
Registered: Mar-05
systemtech,

Yes they can be a pain in the keister, but I disagree about the equation factor. If you really want to step above the rest of your fellow cable techs, you will make it your business to understand all the different quirks, with respective manufacturers. Your job is to install the CC into the customers TV, knowing that some manufacturers require a two-way splitter (JVC and SHARP), knowing what version of software updates are available for the applicable types of TV that require software updates will save you time in the long run. Rather then guessing, arm yourself with knowledge. These things are not going away, and it will only make you a better representative of your company, and respect from customers when they recognize you know about what makes these things tick. I've learned as I've gone along with this things, constant changes and recognizing when the problem is coding, signal related, a bad CC, or a need for corrective action from the manufacturer to resolve problems.
I agree whole heartedly that consumers should know more about the products they purchase, and the different types of formats and broadcast issues, but the same rule applies to cable techs as the consumer. Know thy product, and know it well.
regards,
 

New member
Username: Bobbyk2002

New Orleans, LA USA

Post Number: 5
Registered: Nov-05
I have the CableCard. When you change channels, the Sony Bravia has the channel info, but the program name is never displayed. Is this a quirk you have to live with using the CableCard?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 557
Registered: Mar-05
It is with Sony, and it also depends on which channels you are referring to. I have a regular Sony that will display some but not all.
 

Tim from Parma OH
Unregistered guest
I just ordered a Sony Bravia 32" LCD TV - KDLV32XBR1 with a built-in tuner and am looking to upgrade to HD programming using a cablecard. I was told by my cable company (Cox) that they don't have self-installation. And they charge $29.95 for installation. Does that sound 'right' ?? They say it's a very delicate installation. ALSO, is there anything else I need to consider while getting this option. P.S., a sales guy from Circuit City suggested that I get a real good surge protector for the TV ? Any advice would be appreciated !!
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 607
Registered: Mar-05
Tim~ welcome to the boards. As for you questions:
I'm not sure which systems allow self installation, so I'll leave that up to somebody else. Most systems don't allow it because there are too many factors to allow it. If something in the process is not done exactly to specifications, there will be problems. Heck, just read some of the other threads on CC problems in the HD Reception section of this forum. Does $29.95 sound right? Only if they get it working right the first time. If they don't they should waive the installation fee, because you'll have to wait around another day for a tech to come back and try to figure out why it's not working. Time=Money on both sides of the business. Any surge protector is better then none, especially when it comes to HD equipment. This is one area that you should not pinch pennies on, find one that is rated for lightening strikes, and not the $11 special at Kmart that is just a standard surge protector. There is difference between surge and lightening. A surge is when the power company has a spike in power. As for the CC itself, as long as you understand the current versions of TV's only allow 1-way communication (which means no IPG, MOD, or PPV) you'll enjoy better PQ, less remotes and more features your TV was designed to do. Good luck with it, and please let us know how the installation goes. P.S. Make sure they go over your wiring with a fine toothed comb!
 

Unregistered guest
Like Tim from OH, I am planning on getting the Sony 32" KDLV32XRB1. I've been reading about the pro/con of CC's and HDTV, etc. Here is my question-Currently I have a Comcast Digital Gold Package STB (which I am billed about $120 a month) hooked up to my ten year old Magnavox CRT. So I get all the analog as well as premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Encore) etc. I also got the NHL Center Ice Package and will likely get the MLB Package in April. Unlike alot of people posting here, I actually like the On Demand options/Menu that I am able to utilize-access to HBO programs/movies at my leisure, music videos, etc. When I get the new Sony, if I simply plug the connection from my current digital cable configuration into the television (like it is currently in my old Magnavox), will this pull in any HDTV channels and if so how will I know? Or do I have to program the channels through the TV (as it recommends in the Owner Manual that I downloaded)? Also, if i hook up an OTA antenna to the UHF/VHF input and program that through the TV, I assume that I may pull in local OTA HDTV signals if my antenna and location are good (Canton, MA by the way). Sorry if this is rambling but I have alot of questions and looking for some insight.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 617
Registered: Mar-05
Mike~ If you connect the cable directly to your TV on the "Cable Input" and do an auto-scan, it will define how many analog and viewable digital channels are available. Any clear to air HD or digital channels will appear with a decimal point in the number (24.6 for example). You will not be able to view MOD/PPV or more importantly your special channels MLB and NHL and the IPG. You would need a STB to continue having access to those channels.
"if i hook up an OTA antenna to the UHF/VHF input and program that through the TV, I assume that I may pull in local OTA HDTV signals if my antenna and location are good" Yes, as long as you remember that HD OTA is direct line of sight, meaning you must be pointing the antenna at the source. If you go to antennaweb.org you can type in your address/city/state/zip code and it will tell you what channels are broadcasting in your area, and most importantly which direction (based on a compass 0 degrees being north).
The best case scenario for you would be to keep your current digital STB to get access to the channels you can't with the CC, and get the CC for all the channels it can give you. The PQ of the CC is better then most of the STB's available in the market. The options are there for you, you decide what works best for you. Keep us posted please. Thanks~
 

Unregistered guest
Thank you very much for the info cableguy. Since I wrote that post, I've done a little more digging/research. Again, I don't really mind paying the $120 per month that I already do-I know most people posting here have a crusade against Comcast and cable providers in general and would prefer to go the CC route as it is much cheaper and there is little if any involvement with a cable company. Call me a sucker, but I have no real beef with Comcast and seeing all the issues that CC's present, my thought is to buy the Sony KDL-V32XBR1 and just contact Comcast to replace my current digital STB with an HD STB. I believe this would increase my current bill by about another $10-15 per month. However, with this (and correct me if I am wrong), I will have access to all the available HD channels that my Comcast provider offers (depending upon the tier of service I have-along with all the IN DEMAND/PPV, Sport Packages and on screen menu options that I aready have). And doing it this way would give me most if not all the OTA channels that I would have pulled in if I just hooked up a separate antenna or fed the cable directly to the HDTV from the wall outlet for the clear to air HD channels. I'm just trying to determine what brand/type of HD STB my Comcast provider offers. It seems some are better than others so if I have a choice, I'd like to pick the best-Any thoughts? Also, if I end up doing this, should I expect that when I do watch non-digital channels (2-99) that the PQ might be worse than what I currently see on my non-HD CRT?-With this set up I am thinking of, is there anything I can do/purchase to improve the PQ of the analog channels? Also, should I expect that the PQ of the digital/non HD channels (such as VH1 Classic or Sundance Channel) to also look worse than what I currently see on my CRT? It seems that should be expected based on some other posts I've read. I am just really hesitant to go the CC route right now based on the multitude of issues that have cropped up. Looking forward to any further input.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 623
Registered: Mar-05
I can't verify what services Comcast offers with their services, I don't work for them. There are some people posting in here now that I believe do, Cable Tool and CableGirlTech, they might be able to shed some light on what you can and can't get with Comcast. Unless there is a problem with your signals, I would expect some improvement of your analog channels without the STB, of course you can check this before you get a CC, just connect the cable directly to your TV and see how they look directly plugged in. Digital channels shouldn't look any worse, compression and all, then they already do. If you're seeing any break up, it would be wise to have it investigated before you get the CC. If it's not working correctly now, it won't later either. The CC isn't a miracle device, but it does simplify use of remotes, and normally improves the PQ of analog channels. It's best to at least try it out, see if it floats your boat and if it doesn't you're no worse for wear. You might like it, you might not...but you'll never know if you don't try.
 

Unregistered guest
Cableguy-thanks again for the input. Let me ask you this way: If I was one your customers, i.e. you went out to an appointment I/the customer scheduled with TWC (I believe that is who you work for) to set up said customer of yours who ordered installation of an HD STB to an integrated HDTV (no CC, no OTA)-and they ask you about PQ of the analog channels and PQ of the non-HD digital channels once you've completed the install as requested, how do you personally answer (again I a realize there are nuances between cable companies but in general, what would you say) for this specific type of set up requested? I have to assume that you have done installs for this exact type of request. Thanks again.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 624
Registered: Mar-05
First and foremost I always discuss operational issues before I begin any work. This way I don't have to go through all the trouble of doing the installation and education of how to use it after it's installed, only to have a customer say "I wasn't told that, take it out and give me what I had before you did this". I usually explain to a customer who has a regular digital STB that the HD STB's have a problem with making the analog channels look grainier then what they are used to seeing with a digital STB. I also point out that analog channels are not/were not intended to viewed on a HD TV on the HDMI or component video inputs. Then explain why their HD TV has RF/Composite Video/S-Video/Component/DVI or HDMI inputs. You have to remember that even though I am a "cable guy", I don't leave any questions when I'm done in a customers home. If it takes me an hour just to explain things, then so be it. I make it my business to understand the intricate details about PQ in relationship to size of screen/viewing distance from the screen/different signal types and why the different inputs can and should be used to maximise viewing enjoyment. I would discuss motion artifacts, go to digital channels and point out video discrepancies that do not exist in analog channels. I go to analog channels and point out analog discrepancies. I also go to HD inputs and show them how different analog and digital channels look when viewed on said HD inputs. To me, there is nothing more powerful then a fully educated customer...the more they know what to expect when viewing different types of formats on different types of inputs, the less likely they are to call back later complaining about the issues that technology contribute to that we have no control over. Things like scan lines, motion artifacts, lip synch issues, and how what they chose as their TV, it's location, lighting and proximity all can affect their perception of channels.
That being said I always treat each individual with unique lessons that apply to their situations. In your case I would show you the difference between analog signals directly to your TV, I would show you how they look through the STB, and I would also show you how they look when viewed on your HD inputs. My way may not be the easiest, but I take pride in making sure when I have left your house there are no questions about how you operate your equipment with what I have installed. I leave detailed instructions on what inputs provide which channels or equipment (dvd,vcr,game units etc...)
" how do you personally answer for this specific type of set up requested?" There is no specific format I use other then evaluating what you have to work with, asking you what you would like to be able to accomplish with yours and my equipment, then coming up with a solution that gives you all the options you are trying to have. I have customers tell me that I should quit working for cable and start my own home theater set up company because I do what I do very well. I have corrected local companies that do home theater installations, on how they are doing things wrong with respect to our cables and equipment. I have contacts at each local home theater or specialty TV stores who call me on a regular basis and coordinate equipment installations, or ask me if I can come out and look at a problem they are having in a home they've installed equipment in. The sad part is they charge customers about $80 and up per hour, and I come out free... Sorry to ramble but I hope I answered your question. There is no uniform way I do things because each home I go to, all the different types of systems and configurations, and the person who is on the receiving end of my lesson all are unique...so is what I do.

Your actual set up: Upgrade to HD STB, verify signal levels and if there is enough signal strength to split your signal, I would hook up both composite and component video/audio jumpers from your STB to your TV. One side of the RF split would go to the HD-STB, the other directly to your TV. This accomplishes two things: #1 you have the ability to use your PIP function that your TV has with split screen feature. #2 it would allow you the option that if you so choose to watch analog channels on their native input (RF coaxial) you could, if you so choose. I would leave you instructions (Sony TV) TV on Video1, STB on analog or digital channels. TV on Video5(component input)for viewing HD channels only, STB on HD channels. TV on antenna input for viewing analog without the STB or when using PIP in conjunction with Video1 and your STB to be able to view analog/analog or analog/digital channels, or TV on video5 with antenna for PIP HD channels/analog channels.
Does that work for you?
 

Unregistered guest
Cableguy-that's so much for that info. I can only hope the Comcast rep that ends up doing my install will offer as much insight. As I said earlier, I've pretty much made up my mind to get the Sony KDL-V32XBR1. I printed the PDF of the owner manual from the Sony webpage so I can acclimate myself to the set before I buy it. I agree with you that I think I will split the incoming signal between the HD STB (that line going into the TV's cable input) and a line direct from the outlet (going into the TV's UHF/VHF input. That way I can switch between incoming signals to view the TV either through the HD STB and the cable (which I would use when viewing analog channels). One thing that confused me in reading the owner manual of this particular Sony model is that they go through the various connection to the TV set up options (CC, digital cable box, satellite, no cable box, antenna, etc.) and then they also show set up "if you are using a VCR". Currently I do have a VCR set up. I have the incoming cable going into the STP's input, the output going into the VCR input and the output from the VCR going into the TV. However, the Sony manual has a set up saying if you use a digital STB, you need a "bidirectional splitter" and the manual says to feed the incoming cable to the input of the splitter and then have one line from the splitter going out to the cable input of the TV and the other line going into the iput of the STB with output from the STB into the input of the VCR (so in this set up, there is no cable from the VCR output). I don't understand why I cannot just configure the same way I do right now with my non HD STB and CRT TV? Can you give any insight into Sony's recommended set up? It seems they make it more complicated than it needs to be. Thanks again for all your help
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 637
Registered: Mar-05
Manuals? I don't need no steen-king manuals!
A couple of options exist.

#1: Take the Composite output from your STB and run it to the VCR Composite input. Composite Output from VCR to any of the available Composite inputs on your TV. This option would give the ability to record any non-HD channel from the STB to your VCR (you could even record the HD stuff, but it may put bars at the top and bottom of the picture as it's a SD not HD output. This also may not be true depending on your STB, if it's an SA8300HD DVR or Pioneer or SA Standard HD STB true as well) This also allows you to keep both your Cable RF input free'd up for your PIP and direct viewing, and also leaves your antenna RF input free'd up for OTA reception. Split RF to STB and Cable RF input as described above, Component or HDMI to TV for the HD channels and there ya go. This option does require the VCR to be on the Line input your connected the STB Composite cables to, and the VCR must be on when viewing analog or digital channels.
Option #2: (I don't like this one)Split the RF signal 2 ways again, take one leg directly to the STB, the other take directly to the VCR RF input, then RF output directly to the TV cable RF input. This option allows you to record any analog channel without affecting any channels you are watching via your STB. Composite wires from STB to TV composite inputs and same with component or HDMI from STB to TV component or HDMI inputs. What I don't like about this set up is that you can not record any digital channels.

Anyway, I could come up with about 4 or 5 different ways to connect your VCR, STB and Cable to do different functions. The 2 above are most common, but I do more advanced connections if the situation dictates. Good luck with it, I'm here if you need help
 

MikeG99
Unregistered guest
Thanks cableguy! When you say "composite output" do you mean the actual coaxial cable that carries the cable signal or something else?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 638
Registered: Mar-05
composite is the yellow/white/red video cables. RF output=coaxial cable, component=red/green/blue+left and right audio
 

Unregistered guest
Thanks again-Another thing the TV manual recommends is to program the channels from the TV set up menu and use the TV remote to change channels as opposed to setting the TV to channel 3 or 4 and using the STB remote-I can see doing that for the RF output to the TV's UHF/VHF antenna input but for the STB RF output going into the TV cable input, wouldn't I just want to put TV on channel 3 or 4 and use the STB remote to change channels, access the On Demand stuff? I guess what I am asking is, what is the benefit/drawback from doing what the manual says vs. setting TV channel for the cable input RF to 3/4 and using the STB remote?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 647
Registered: Mar-05
mike~ if you connect your STB to your TV using the composite cables, there is no need to run an RF coaxial cable to the tuner, hence you would not need to have the TV on channel 3. Keep your RF inputs on your TV for the straight cable feed (PIP function) and the UHF/VHF antenna for connecting an antenna for OTA HD channels (with antenna)
 

Unregistered guest
Thanks! Can I do that with my current non-HD digital STB? It is going to take a week or two for the Comcast tech to come out with the new HD STB once I make the appointment and I plan on purchasing the TV this weekend. My current Motorola non HD STB has minimal inputs/outputs on the back (not sure the model # but I just went on the Motorola website and my current STB is on par with the DCT 1800 series-essentially just the RF cable input/ouput and component audio input/ouput jacks (which I use component cables connected to my receiver) and a yellow video jack. Please advise.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 659
Registered: Mar-05
Mike~ the only difference between a non-HD STB and an actual HD STB is the lack of component wires on the non-HD version. Use the same connection steps as above on the non-HD version, when you upgrade to an HD STB, simply add the component wires from the STB to the TV
 

Unregistered guest
Thanks Cableguy-I just bought the TV (KDL-V32XBR1). I will be setting it up over the weekend with the current digital STB and will be contacting Comcast to get someone to come out and set up the HD STB hopefully within the next two weeks. I'm sure I will have some questions as I go forward and I appreciate your insight.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 666
Registered: Mar-05
Good luck and keep us posted
 

THX
Unregistered guest
i just bought a 61 inch hdtv lcd proj.,but my cable(cox cable)looks bad its almost like you can see the pixels ive had 8 techs out and after switching out my box 4 times(motorolla 160 gig hdtv dvr)there is still no relief ive changed all my cable coaxal coming into and around my house ive been told it is because they over compress the sd channels but even hd isnt what it should be im at the point where i think all i can do is go to dishnet i was in contact with a supervisor at cox but when i started telling him what ive heard he hasnt called me back for 6 days?? im confused can anyone help?
 

DISHISBETTER
Unregistered guest
thx what your saying is accurate cable is sadly falling behind the times they claim to be digital but they are NOT everyone in your loop is sharing your signal unless they change all there oly coaxial in your city (in the upper millions)wich they wont they dont have the bandwith to keep up,if you have cable internet you will notice slowing down in peak times,all cable,dtv,dish have expericened this but dish has countered by going to mpeg4 wich is a 14 u will be lucky to get 9 with cable,do your self a favor dump cable untill they get into the 21 century
 

THX
Unregistered guest
yes dishisbetter ive heard of the mpeg4 compression that is 14 meg is that already started?? what is dish nets phone number cable is a joke
 

THX
Unregistered guest
yes dishisbetter ive heard of the mpeg4 compression that is 14 meg is that already started?? what is dish nets phone number cable is a joke
 

SYSTEMTEK
Unregistered guest
Cableguy, I understand what you are saying when it comes to customer service being job 1 and learning more about your job, and I agree. I am self trained for the most part, I am very knowledgeable all the way from the sat dishes, through the headend, all the way to the back of a tv. I work in a government owned cable system that competes with a major MSO, that has been doing phone for almost 4 years, not VOIP, more of a hybrid between POTS and VOIP. Needless to say I've seen a lot and done alot. The reason I bring this all up is that the TV is not my product, the CC is. If it were my gasoline I sold but a buyers car broke down I would not attempt to fix the car. I have done a lot of troubleshooting and figured out the problem, needed new firmware for example, but things like that are what put a bad taste in my mouth about the CC. I can figure anything out, its what I do and how I got to where I'm at. And maybe the fact that we don't charge to install CC added to that taste because of the wasted time troubleshooting. TV manufacturers need to be held responsible for their product and educating them on its usage and abilities. And what about the sellers of these TV's that only put a HD signal on the TV's when they are being displayed, then the customer gets it home and sees that horrible picture from the analog tv's , especially LCD's (in my opinion the worst of them all) we cant be held responsible that all ch's aren't broadcast to us in Digital format. And we cant broadcast everything in digital because not everybody wants a STB on every outlet of their house. I cant wait till the day that Broadcast ch's are in digital format, I will breath an epic sigh of relief. I dont mean for all this to sound so negative, technology is just getting so far ahead and most customers dont feel the need educate themselves. They just want it to work....
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 674
Registered: Mar-05
SYSTEMTEK~ Everything you stated makes sense to me, as I've been there done that myself. I hope we can agree to disagree on certain aspects of the topic?

If it were my gasoline I sold but a buyers car broke down I would not attempt to fix the car. what if it was your gasoline that caused the car to break down?

TV manufacturers need to be held responsible for their product and educating them on its usage and abilities. Absolutely correct, and the same applies to MSO's and their employees that install or troubleshoot these products. The CC, the signals, and the codes are the MSO's responsibilities, and most of the people that hit these forums are saying the tech showed up and had no idea what to do. That is the responsibility of the MSO to provide training and establish proceedures for intallation and troubleshooting of all equipment, and just because the TV belongs to somebody else, it's our job to get the two working together.

And what about the sellers of these TV's that only put a HD signal on the TV's when they are being displayed, then the customer gets it home and sees that horrible picture from the analog tv's This is a marketing ploy, it's up to the customer to ask the right questions, do a little research and homework before making the purchase. You get to test drive a car before you buy it don't you? Although I agree 100% the store display never addresses the SD pictures, they should also have an SD picture source connected so the customer can see the differences. Bottom line the consumer is the one that should be checking all the features before purchasing.


I dont mean for all this to sound so negative, technology is just getting so far ahead and most customers dont feel the need educate themselves. They just want it to work.... technology is always going forward. Both customers need to educate themselves and so do people that support, install, or troubleshoot these products. It's too easy to place blame on others, but one can't place blame if they are not without fault. Like everything else, over time this too will pass into the lore of gray haired cable guys sitting around in a retirement home, remembering the good old days lol. Time will tell.
regards,
 

New member
Username: Tscbyr

Murfreesboro, TN United States

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-06
Hello Comcast did a channel realignment March 7th in our area. I have 2 digital boxes one DVR HD box and a plasma with a cable card. Okay here is where it gets interesting all of the TV's with boxes everything changed okay.

The Plasma with the cable card did not adjust to the changes after multiple calls to Comcrap they sent signals to refresh and a service guy out twice still not fixed. Any suggestions? I get the feeling Comcast has no idea what to do and and to add to it they want to try and put in a new card but they do not have any available right now.
My TV is a Phillips 42" Plasma I do not have the Model number right now since I am sending this from work I am just looking for some general advice on what to do. I also need to add the fact that everything worked fine before the channel realignment.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 727
Registered: Mar-05
Jim~ welcome to the room, and your question brings up a good point. It is my understanding in dealing with channel mapping issue that the manufacturers are usually very interested when this occurs. The channel mapping to a cc is virtually no different then to a STB, both of your digital STB's took the new plan, and the cc did not. Try this when you get home...
Menu--->Install---->"Factory Channel Reset", I believe this is the procedure available for your Philips TV, but if you're not sure or this option isn't available in your TV menu, contact Philips and have them walk you through the procedure to reset your channel map. What this is supposed to do is clear your channel map memory and then allow it to relearn the channel map. Any new channel mapping should be detected and problem solved. If it doesn't I'd defer back to your cable provider to see why it is not recognizing the new channel map. It would be best to talk with a tech supervisor that can contact their master control to see if they need to rebroadcast the channel map to cc's. Keep us posted
 

New member
Username: Tscbyr

Murfreesboro, TN United States

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-06
Cableguy thank you for the advice I did try the channel mapping last night and even called Phillips to make sure I was doing everything right and it still seems to go back to the cable card. I will be contacting Comcast again to get them to come out and replace the card. (Its a crap shoot as to when they have cards) Is there anything else that you may recommend before I convert back to a box because I am getting worn down and tired of screwing with the cabel card issues and the folks at Comcast.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 728
Registered: Mar-05
Jim~ you might want to contact Philips about this issue as well, it never hurts to have their opinion as to why it is not receiving the updated channel map. I haven't seen any of this type of problem in my system, and we have updated channels maps...so keep me in your loop, I'd like to know what the final outcome is. I'm sure you could always swap the cc out, as this will generate a fresh channel map for the TV regardless of what is causing your problem.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Johnd7

Post Number: 28
Registered: Feb-06
Question for CableGuy...I have a Sony SXBR 50 in LCoS. I do not have the card yet because after Cox kept telling me they would not install both an HD DVR and a CC on the same set I just ordered the self install HD DVR. I have an old Tivo and Cox HD DVR and just trying to decide if I still want a CC and where it will fit in my setup.
My question is what input does the CableCard apply to? If you are using the CC I am assuming you would not be able to record anything from the CC since the CC is in the TV. Is that correct?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 732
Registered: Mar-05
D~ First off there is no reason you can't have both connected to the same TV. It's been done many times where I work, but I don't work for Cox.
"My question is what input does the CableCard apply to?"
On your Sony TV, there is a Cable RF input and a UHF/VHF RF input, the Cable RF input is the designated "connect here" input when using a CC. Which would leave your composite/S-video/component/HDMI inputs and your OTA antenna free to connect other devices (game units/DVD/VHS/STB)

"If you are using the CC I am assuming you would not be able to record anything from the CC since the CC is in the TV. Is that correct?"
There is no way to record anything from your TV as there is no video outputs, only audio. Of course this was an oversight by somebody neglecting the needs of the user, but Sony and Tivo have both created a PVR (SONY)and Tivo is currently looking at a dual CC device that would allow the user to record any channel while watching another (jury is still out on that one). So alas, you would need a STB in order to record anything.
 

New member
Username: Jmoline

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-05
I just had an LG Plasma delivered, hooked it up and found digital, HD, and all the old analog channels. Comcast came in and installed a cablecard and I picked up more channels and they remapped the channels from the QAM tuner. But all my analog channels disapeared and I need them for PIP ... the TV has only one digital tuner. I called Comcast to remap the channels and expose the analog broadcast to me but their service techs were completely clueless. Is it possible to do what I'm requesting? Any way I can affect the channel mapping myself? Any software I can buy to change the premapped/blocked channel decisions?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 780
Registered: Mar-05
Jim~ The cable provider provides the channel map so that the card can duplicate the channel list exactly as a STB would. There is nothing Comcast can do to alter the channel map in this instance. Since your TV only has 1 digital tuner, which is needed for the CC, do you have another tuner for UHF/VHF seperate from the digital tuner? If so, you should be able to connect another coaxial cable to that input. If you don't have another RF input to use, you should be able to split the wire off to a VCR which is cable ready and then connect the VCR with composite wires so you can use PIP. Let me know what type of connections you have available, and if you have a VCR that you can use and I'm sure we can get it working. It might take some work to make it work, but I have faith.
Oh, and there is no software that you can buy that will change the channel map :-)
 

New member
Username: Jmoline

Post Number: 2
Registered: Feb-05
I can get the pip working with other units in the house, adding splitters to further weaken the analog signal. But PIP becomes a PITA when you have to use two remotes, hence the decision to go with cablecard. The second coax input on the TV is for antenna usage, is not "cable ready" so doesn't pick up channels higher than 13. Comcast must HAVE the capability to program the cablecards differently for different channel lineups in different regions, I'd believe more that they WON'T as opposed to CAN'T. Even the cablecard they installed doesn't match the published channel map, (it delivers an analog copy of the local PBS station on an undocumented channel ... perhaps for upating the integrated TV Guide schedule??). Besides, all I really want is the unblocking of the analog channels so they can be found with a channel scan. I thought since I'm forced to pay for them I should be able to see them. If I can't get the analog channels exposed, I'll have to examine the consequences of removing the cablecard, doing my own channel map for the integrated TV Guide(the TV has a QAM tuner), and installing a set top box for the encrypted high def and digital channels. Their shouldn't be an additional charge for replacing the cablecard with a set top box because I didn't get a discount for using the cablecard. What downsides can I exepect?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 782
Registered: Mar-05
Jim~ It's not a Comcast issue when you get down to it (not that I work for Comcast) The issue is the CC gets it's information from the provider as to where to map the channels to. Your TV on the other hand, forces the user to be stuck using the CC defined list because they only viable input is being used for the CC, and not providing another source feed for standard cable feed. Now, because the manufacturer developed the TV to take up the one active RF input in order to operate the CC, they should have recognized that the PIP feature would be directly affected by using a CC. If you look in your owners manual under PIP features for LG TV's in clearly states what sources can be used while attempting to use PIP or POP functions:
" Main Picture Source DTV: Available Sub Picture Sources Analog, Video, and Front Video. Main Picture Source Analog: Available Sub Picture Sources DTV, Analog, Video, and Front Video."
Now Analog can be construed as both OTA or via CATV, as can DTV. Since the TV dictates that the CC must be connected via the "RF CABLE" input, which only leaves the "RF Antenna" input and associating Composite/S-Video/Component/HDMI inputs as secondary sources. Why is it Comcast's problem that your TV manufacturer didn't allow a secondary "RF Cable Tuner"(commonly referred to as a dual tuner television) in this case? Sure it's nice to have an OTA Antenna connection, but what's the functionality of taking up a perfectly good RF input and locking it down to only pulling in VHF/UHF signals??? I know it's hasn't been that far gone, when the USER was allowed to determine what input types (CATV, VHF/UHF) to assign to RF inputs. Now, that being said, if somebody that was being paid to develope this product to be user friendly and not force you to use an external device (like a vcr) in order to get full functionality of your PIP/POP feature, wouldn't you be asking the people that built the TV instead of asking a Cable Company to change the way they broadcast their entire line-up just because your PIP/POP doesn't work right with the CC installed?? Sorry if this comes across as harsh or bashing, but I fail to see why Comcast or any other cable provider for that matter should be the guilty party here. The cable providers didn't force the CC technology, the consumers did. They wanted to get away from having to use STB's and lose functions of their TV. So the industry asked, the FCC approved, the SCTE came up with the standards, and low and behold (parting the red sea like moses)you have a CC TV.
The analog channels are not blocked, if you were to remove the CC from your TV you'd find all of them right where they've always been. It's not the CATV signal, it's the way the TV was developed to interact with the CC. The TV denies you the ability to view them as you would normally when the CC is installed because that's the way it was meant to work. A little bit of pre-build thinking before they made the TV, somebody should have said "hey wait a minute, if we have a CC installed, we can't use PIP/POP without using an external source, why don't we allow the secondary RF input to choose OTA or CATV instead of locking the consumer out??", but I guess that would make too much sense. I digress
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 783
Registered: Mar-05
"What downsides can I exepect?"

You would lose PQ, you'd still have to use 2 remote controls to operate PIP/POP. I believe you will be paying more for the HD-STB, then you would just the CC (you'd have to call Comcasticland and ask their friendly customer services people the rate difference), and overall you'd be taking a step backwards. You paid additional money for the CC feature and you're resorting back to the normal "give me a STB" mentality. Again, not trying to be harsh here, but why not get on the phone and talk with the nice people at LG and ask them why you can't use your PIP/POP without losing the features you bought this TV for? How much money did you spend on this thing and why did you buy it? Are you getting what you paid for, or did you get more then your bargained for? The one thing I try to stress over and over again to people in here is to hold the companies accountable. This goes mostly to cable companies because I work for one, and I know how we do business, but it also includes the people who make the products you buy. You pay a couple thousand dollars for a product, I think it's not asking too much that it does what it says it should. You have the power and ability to do something about it, but it's always easier to ditch and run, rather then face the wall and knock it down. It can be knocked down, you just gotta hit it head on.
regards~
 

New member
Username: Dk_jana

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-06
Cableguy:

I have a Sony KDL-V32XBR1. I split my cable and have one lead going to the TV cable input and the other into a SA 8300HD STB. When the TV initially mapped the cable channels it found several digital channels that do not appear in the TWC programming through the STB.

I am having TWC install a CC. When the CC is installed, will I retain the digital channels that the TV intially mapped, or will the programming be the same as what I get from the STB. I am a little nervous about having the CC installed because my picture is good and my programming is good. I don't want to lose the digital channels that are not available through the STB because they include the network HD, which are otherwise not available in our area.

Thoughts? TIA
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 785
Registered: Mar-05
When you have the CC installed it will map the channels exactly as they are on your STB. My question is if you already have the 8300 HD-DVR, why would you want to get a CC? From the sounds of what you're describing you're getting something more without the CC then you would if you do, and that would lead me to say stick with what you currently have. If you do install the CC, odds are you might lose the channels you're getting over and above your STB, but you will not lose the PQ.
Does that help?
 

New member
Username: Dk_jana

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-06
Yes, that helps a lot. I wanted the CC so that I could use one remote for most of my viewing, but still have the programming guide, on demand and DVR capabilities when I wanted them. But I am not willing to give up the additional channels so I will cancel the CC installation.

Thanks, Cableguy. You offer a great service to this forum.
 

New member
Username: Jmoline

Post Number: 3
Registered: Feb-05
I'll try to find a source for LG technical support. But the real issue is Comcast's channel map; they can expose or block the analog channels. I pay Comcast for the analog channels, they have no reason for them to block them. Their tech said he would place a work order for my request .... Should be interesting to see if he lied through his teeth or actually carries through.
 

New member
Username: Jmoline

Post Number: 4
Registered: Feb-05
Cableguy, I just reread your post to me. What should I ask LG to do regarding the way Comcast has mapped the channels? Would it be possible for them to upgrade/change the firmware to disallow Comcast's blocking of the analog channels?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 788
Registered: Mar-05
jim antoun~ you're welcome

Jim Moline~ I'd be interested to see what the "comcastic" tech can do for you as well. As for what comcast can or can't do, I can't say because I don't work for them. What I offer is how business is run where I work and I know what you're asking can't be done...well at least can't be done here. What you can ask LG is if they offer a solution to you wanting to use your PIP/POP feature in your TV, but can't do so when you are using the CC feature without having to use an external device to tune analog channels. Regardless of who the cable provider is, the issue isn't in what the cable provider is doing, it is 100% on how the TV was designed to accept cable signals, how many RF inputs it has, and what happens to those RF inputs when a CC is being used. From my years in the business, all cable ready devices (TV's, or VCR's) always gave the owner the option to choose between antenna(VHF/UHF) or Analog CATV. This was done to fit the needs of both types of signal forms. Antenna signals exist in the VHF/UHF realm, while CATV doesn't grab UHF frequencies. Since LG has chosen to dedicate 1 tuner to VHF/UHF frequencies and not allowing you the option to convert that input to CATV therein lies the problem. Does that make a little more sense as to what hurdle needs to be overcome?
 

New member
Username: Jmoline

Post Number: 5
Registered: Feb-05
I've begun the process of opening the issue with LG. But out of curiosity, are you telling me that your cable company has no input about how channels are mapped? Or that the decisions have been made, processes developed, and getting a change like I'm discussing just isn't going to happen. Since they have mapped one analog channel they could certainly map additional ones( I spent 30 years with a rather large networking company and understand sometimes things CAN be be done but WON'T be done). The LG decsion to support CATV on only one of their coax inputs was a surprise, but then the very best soulution is for any cable company to avoid immplementations which require users to install additional splitters and cabling.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 789
Registered: Mar-05
The cable company dictates what the channel map will be, but ultimately the TV gets the information in what's called a defined channel map. If the TV does not get this dcm, it will not work properly with the CC. Since this was designed to work this way by the engineers that devoleped the technology, it's not really the cable company or your TV's fault. The issue isn't abou the channel map, it's about the availability of multiple RF input sources and what frequencies they offer...this is a direct responsibility of the TV manufacturer.
"Or that the decisions have been made, processes developed, and getting a change like I'm discussing just isn't going to happen." I think I've mentioned that, maybe not specifically, but I have said it if you re-read the postings. In your closing statement you say "but then the very best soulution is for any cable company to avoid immplementations which require users to install additional splitters and cabling." JVC and Sharp require a 2-way splitter in order for the TV to work with the CC. How is it the fault of the cable company that the manufacturer designs the TV to work that way? Basics= cable provider puts out channels. Integrated HD tuner TV's can tune analog, digital, and HD channels. If the TV can't perform to your wishes, it's not the cable company who is to blame. The design flaw is in your TV as I've said at least 3 times. Understanding the issue, looking at the alternatives, and doing a little research is what I do. No ill will here Jim, but the problem lies in your TV, and as I said before, the cable company is not going to change the way they do things for one brand of TV. Sorry I don't have a better answer, but I don't make them.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Eyeintel

Post Number: 18
Registered: Apr-06
So, I'ved read a few of the post from cable, jimC, JImM to thx... Ok, I have Samsung 42Dlp with C.C. slot and 42 Sony VegA. Is purchasing CC really worth the time and patience to figure out if my TV's require more materialized items for my tv to get the channel mapping right..? So, I can enjoy the few hours that I might spend in front of screen to watch HD viewing..?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 792
Registered: Mar-05
JOE~ That's a question that can only be answered by you. They do work, and they work well when everything is as it should be. Cable signals need to be on the mark, coding for the account needs to be correct, proper provisioning of the CC. Then there is the issue of your TV (as you can see from previous postings across this forum). Samsungs usually are problem free, not saying they don't have problems, but for the most part they are pretty quiet. Sony has an issue with the CC interface, which is an issue Sony is well aware of and all they have to do is replace the bad interface and problems disappear. The channel mapping issue isn't an issue with any brand of TV. What JimM. is referring to is his ability to watch split screen with the CC installed. Channel mapping is standard with any cable system, and the CC/TV are designed to look for the specific channel map for your provider. There are very rare instances of a CC TV not getting a defined channel map, which usually indicates a problem with signal levels or a specific make of TV (neither of yours is that brand). Try it, see if you like it, if it's more trouble then it's worth go back to what you're currently doing. It shouldn't be this big of a headache lol.
best of luck!
 

New member
Username: Jmurphy

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jun-06
Greetings. I have a Philips Tv with a CableCARD and my cable company is asking for the Host ID, Data ID, etc. I'm not sure how to access these. They say to find the CableCARD Applications setting in my Menu, but it isn't there. I see it in my manual, as well, but my Tv does not have it. Any suggestions how to access this information?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 793
Registered: Mar-05
Joshua~ In your menu for your Philips, you should see a section that defined as "cablecard apps", if you can't find it and the CC is installed on your TV, I would recommend you contact Philips and see if they can walk you through where to find it. It would help if you supplied a model number in here, so either call them, or post the number here and I'll look it up. It might be quicker for you to call them because I don't check in here but every so often, your choice.
If the card is not installed, that might explain why you can't find it. You have to make sure the cable wire is connected to the proper input (see owners manual) insert the card as shown and after about 5 - 10 minutes it should show you the Host and CC ID numbers by itself.
 

New member
Username: Jmurphy

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jun-06
Hey Cableguy - the model number is 42PF7320A_36. I've been using the card fine for a while now, so I know it is inserted correctly. However, when I followed the instructions in the manual, I do not see CableCARD Apps in my menu - it is is the menu in the manual, however. I'm a bit confused. Philips said that they couldn't offer me any support without me paying $15...a bit ridiculous. Is there some way to reset the menu, perhaps?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 794
Registered: Mar-05
Joshua~ Try removing the CC from the TV, turn off the TV and unplug the power. When you plug the power back in, turn the TV on and do an autoscan without the CC. Once it's done scanning put the card back in and see if it recognizes the card is inserted. If it does, let it do it's set up and then check to see if the CC is in the Apps menu. If it doesn't detect the card, or still doesn't show up in the menu you're going to need Philips help to resolve the matter.
 

New member
Username: Kansas_guy

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-06
Cableguy,
I have a Philips 37PF7320A. After inserting the cablecard, the digital tier channels showed up on the channel list but the programming was not coming through. Called the cable tech who came out and after resetting with the office, the channels were coming through. However, shortly after he left, they stopped again. He came back and switched it out for cable box. He coming back in a couple weeks to see if he can figure it out. Any ideas what the problem is?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 799
Registered: Mar-05
Kansas Guy~ it could be any number of problems, one thing I would recommend is to contact Philips and see if your software version is current, and also to report the problem to them to see if they can guide you through any screens to help determine what is not working properly. Since you didn't indicate what type of card you are using I have to offer basic info. Fill in some blanks for me and I'll see if I can assist.
 

New member
Username: Kansas_guy

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-06
cableguy~ I do have the latest firmware - just upgraded last week. Cablecard is from Scientific-Atlanta. If I remember correctly, it was PowerKEY Model PKM600. Unfortuneately, the cable tech took the card with him and disabled the cablecard until he comes back so I can't play around with it. The tech didn't seem to know much about cablecards.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 801
Registered: Mar-05
Ok, with the SA card the two most important items are the CP auth status and the EMM count with a new card. If you get neither, there is something wrong with the way they are provisioning your card. That information can be found under the cable card menu in the SA CP info screen. Keep me posted when put the card back in.
 

New member
Username: Kansas_guy

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jul-06
cableguy~ The tech came back out and installed the cablecard. All of the channels come in. My wife said that when he installed it, the EMM count was 6. It has been 0 everytime I checked. The only problem I am seeing is that when one particular digital tier channel is on, there is some pixelating. After that channel is on for a short time, all of the digital tier channels go out and I have to turn the tv off and back on to get them back. I have not had it happen on any other channel.

Scientifice Atlanta CableCARD
CP Information
--------------
Auth Status: CP Auth Received
Prog Number: 11
CCI Byte: 0x00
ECM count: 60
EMM count: 0
Decryption status: OK
PowerKey status: Ready
EID: 0xd
MKS period: 60 seconds
KSE count: 0

The program number and ECM count sometimes changes when I go back in. I have seen the following:

Prog number: 6
ECM count: 3

Prog number: 5
ECM count: 3

Prog number: 3
ECM count: 2

Prog number: 9
ECM count: 2

The tech did not have any solutions.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 806
Registered: Mar-05
The fact that only 1 channel is pixilating would indicate there is something wrong with the SNR or CNR for that frequency. Odds are there are other channels that share the same frequencym, and maybe you don't watch them, but you should be able to find other channels that share the same problems. Have them check the signal with a QAM analyzer to ensure the BER and MER are within specification.
As for the Program number and ECM count, when you change the channels the program number will change to reflect the change, and the ECM count resets. Stay on one of those channels for about an hour and then look at the ECM count before changing the channel. This is normal operation for ECM's and nothing indicates otherwise.
 

New member
Username: Kansas_guy

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jul-06
cableguy~

I contacted Philips. They said to make sure the FDC is between -5 and +5 db and the SNR < -30 db. You said the BER and MER need checked, also. Do you know what the normal specs are for those? Is there anything else that I should have the cable guys check when they are here on Tuesday?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 833
Registered: Mar-05
Ideally the BER and MER should show no errors as normal specs I believe they shouldn't be any worse then 10-7 (10 to the negative 7). Have them check your FDC levels at the TV, any problems in the QAM would be indicated by digital break-up so what I previously posted is what they should be checking.
 

New member
Username: Bobw11

Post Number: 1
Registered: Sep-06
So I have another LG CC story. I bought a LG 32LX1D LCD with a HD tuner, a lot of neat bells and whistles and the dreaded CC. I've had Comcast install five Motorola CC's on two separate visits and no luck. I get all the cable (CATV) channels in the correct order and the digital and HD channels come across as CADTV channels starting at channel 79-1, 79-2, etc. No rhyme, no reason. LG says it doesn't have a firmware update for this model so they had a tech install a new digital board. Guess what? The TV still acts as if there is no cable card installed.
Comcast thinks it has to do with a Quam setting in the TV, but heaven forbid I know what a Quam is or how to fix it. Can anyone suggest a fix? The cablecard appears to be sending a message if your eys are quick to read it that says, "Waiting for cablecard reply". Anyone have any thoughts that might sort all this out? Thanks
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 845
Registered: Mar-05
Bob~ I doubt the QAM has anything to do with the card not reading. I would tend to believe you either have a problem with your FDC or there is a problem with the card interface. The FDC gives the card something to lock onto to gather regional data and time which without can not work. The QAM gives the channels and channel information. Since the TV is "waiting for the card to reply" it would seem to me the two devices are not talking with each other. Usually that indicates a faulty interface or a bad card, and since they have already tried mutliple cards, I would look more into the interface. If the LG tech who installed the new board can confirm if the interface is part of the exchange that would help, but I don't know what else to say without positive knowledge of what they actually replaced. Keep on LG about this, and see if they can coordinate with Comcast to be at your house with at the same time so they can work through this.
 

New member
Username: Bobw11

Post Number: 2
Registered: Sep-06
Cableguy Thanks for your thoughts. LG replaced the digital board that holds the "cable card" slot, and did nothing else. I was able to get LG to tell me how to access the TV's diagnostics and found out that under the CC heading it says the CC is inserted but "not ready". When you access the CC you can run a routine where it can "hunt for the network", but times itself out. It's really strange. I have Comcast coming on Tuesday with a few new CC's and I'll try to have LG there at the same time. Please let me know if anything here strikes a chord. Thanks
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 847
Registered: Mar-05
Not sure if the LG diagnostics has a screen that shows the FDC data, but if it does I'd be curious to know if it locked onto the FDC?
 

New member
Username: Bobw11

Post Number: 3
Registered: Sep-06
The FDC Status says "Carrier:not locked", FDC Center freq is between 75.25 and 104.20 MHz and the FDC_Snr is 0 db. Does this help?,
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 849
Registered: Mar-05
if the card is in the TV and the FDC is unlocked, therein lies your problem. Either the tuner is not locking in or your FDC levels are out of range. One way or the other it needs to lock in order to gather the data it needs to get the card working.
 

New member
Username: Bobw11

Post Number: 4
Registered: Sep-06
So am I to assume that the CC from Comcast is not the problem, rather something with the TV? And as an aside, everytime you remove the CC from the TV, is it necessary to contact Comcast to reset the CC?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 850
Registered: Mar-05
Bob, what I can tell you is there is no reason you should have to call Comcast everytime you eject the card from your TV. As long as you are not placing the card in another CC device the card will work. This may be different from where I work in your case but I know it does work here without needing to call. As for if the CC is the problem itself, I would rather believe you have a problem with the FDC then having so many bad cards. They work, yours doesn't, there's a reason and I'd wager it's in the cable signal or your TV tuner.
 

New member
Username: Bobw11

Post Number: 5
Registered: Sep-06
Cableguy. Thanks for all your insight. I have a commitment from Comcast & LG to be at my home at the same time so hopefully that will be good. I looked at the diagnostics screen again and the FDC reading now shows that the FDC alternates between locked and unlocked status as the frequency changes. Would that support your theory that the signal is the issue? And would it help if I told you that in the last week Comcast came here because the digital STB on another TV on the same branch had a "communications error" when accessing their "on demand" product. Am I reaching to think perhaps we have a signal problem?
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 851
Registered: Mar-05
Time will tell. Hammer away at the tech to verify the FDC, ideally the range for the FDC should be as close to zero as possible, but it does have a operating limit of +15 to -15, and I don't like to see it any lower then -5.
 

New member
Username: Nkcaump

Kansas City, MO

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jul-06
A happy ending?

Well, I posted about a month ago about problems with my 1 month old LG LCD TV (see above) and it's completely fixed. Fairway TV in Overland Park, KS was great in working with LG. Apparently technicians from KOREA flew in because there were several units not working in this area. He had one in his shop and they came out for mine.

The problem I was having is that the TV would power off overnight, causing all the fancy gadgets in the TV not to work (no DVR, no TV Guide Updates, Losing recorded programs).

Well, on my TV, (Time Warner Cable, Scientific Atlanta Card) they replaced the system board and the power supply. On the other guy's they replaced just the power supply. Both were fixed.

There is apparently a code update and possibly a system board update for that TV which should correct a lot of the cable card issues. This was also confirmed by Customer Support at LG (who called me the next day to make sure the TV was working properly.)

I wish there was something to complain about. I really do. I'm still a little frustrated that the cable card situation has been so screwey, but I can't fault a company who flew engineers from Korea, drove to my house, and fixed my TV. I'm pretty happy with it.

So, it's been about 3 weeks (three monday night footballs, to be exact) and still going strong.

Just wanted to let you know!!

Thanks for the support in this forum.
 

Silver Member
Username: Cableguy

Deep in the ... U.S.

Post Number: 853
Registered: Mar-05
Chris~ thanks for updating your situation with exacting detail, hopefully somebody else with an LG will know what needs to be done in order to fix their problems.
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