CableCard Installs Getting Better?

By  |  Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 9:49 am

Over the years, I’ve experienced more CableCARD installs than most. As I frequently rotate devices and have lived something of a gypsy lifestyle since unloading our home (along with our projector) and given bi-coastal employment. The vast majority of installs have been problematic. When the Comcast or Cox Communication techs bother to show. I even had to get in touch with my (previous) local franchising authority (Montgomery County, MD) at one point. Which is both good and bad… Fortunately, I know how to get things taken care of. On the other hand, why did getting a timely CableCARD install require filing a report? Plus, in most situations, I still firmly believe a CableCARD install shouldn’t require a truck roll — even if pairing is required. Let me pick up the card at their office and give me a number to call to read off my STB numbers for pairing. Saving the savvy some time (while preserving my PTO).

However, having moved to Cox’s switched digital video (SDV) ecosystem, a truck roll ($30/tv) is probably still required. As their Cisco/SA tuning adapters have been extremely flakey. Last summer, my first tech was a no show and the second installer arrived several hours later to get two TiVo units going. It took him, Cox’s ninja CableCARD tech, over 2 hours of continual tuning adapter and TiVo reboots along with multiple calls back to the office to get everything going properly. (Followed by months of my own regular device reboots to reclaim those switched stations, which randomly vanished and magically reappeared a few days later.) So my expectations were pretty low yesterday, when reactivating a loaner Moxi HD DVR for testing the Moxi Mate DVR extender’s new live TV streaming functionality (which overcomes TiVo’s biggest limitation in our household).

The Cox installer had never seen a Moxi HD DVR before, and had many Moxi versus TiVo questions for me, but showed no fear in getting it running. I appreciated his methodical approach — pairing and verifying the CableCARD before tackling the SDV tuning adapter. Amazingly, he was in and out in 35 minutes. With ZERO Moxi and ZERO tuning adapter reboots. (Plus, he wore booties over his shoes and wouldn’t take a tip.) So, either Moxi is better at CableCARD technology than TiVo or those tuning adapters have received some sort of firmware update. Maybe both. Regardless, this gives me (tru2way) hope and kudos to Cox for a flawless install.

For the complete blow by blow of how the install process played out, here’s a capture of my Twitter feed:

  • Should I live tweet today’s CableCARD install? Always a fun time! ;)Appointment is between 8am – 10am. We’ll see..
  • @VinceA @joelsef I told Cox I need a multistream CableCARD and SDV tuning adapter. But we’ll see what the tech actually arrives with…
  • 15 minutes until 10AM and still no Cox installer. Phone rep doesn’t know where he is. Fun times with the cableco. Like usual.
  • @pmhesse @cypherstream No move, no new device. Activating a Moxi HD DVR loaner to test live TV to a soon-to-arrive Moxi Mate extender.
  • Amazing, Cox technician called at exactly 10AM as I was on the phone to cancel install. Wagers on time to complete? I’ll go with 55 mins.
  • Ha, cable guy thought TiVos were rare until he just encountered his first Moxi. He hopes it has updated firmware. Me too. ;)
  • Installer wonders the benefit of a Moxi over TiVo. No monthly fee, DLNA, and #1… streaming extenders. UI is too busy/cluttered, tho.
  • @gblinckmann @Br8den This guy seems to know what he’s doing. Less than 10 minutes in, CableCARD is installed & he’s calling in for pairing.
  • CableCARD good to go. Now for the SDV tuning adapter… How many reboots and minutes will it require to ultimately tune CNN HD?
  • @ckelly This is the same Moxi sent to me for review months and months ago. So it’s two tuner. One Mate is on the way, to arrive tomorrow.
  • @mattbuchanan Windows 7 Media Center is nice. But wish MS had more extenders/partners beyond Xbox 360. FiOS doesn’t use/need SDV – bonus!
  • Wow, fastest CableCARD+SDV adapter install in recorded history. 35 minutes start to finish. Cox tech says this Moxi best install for him too.
  • @CoxTech1 @pjrodriguez A flawless install, thanks for your support guys.

(This post republished from Zatz Not Funny.)


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    1 Comments For This Post

    1. Ryan Patterson Says:

      You seriously tried to tip the cable tech?

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