Optimum CableCard setup process

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
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greasylake
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:39 am

Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by greasylake » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:46 am

Hi all,

I have been a loyal HD HomeRun Prime user for a long time using WMC on Win7. Now, I'm exploring switching my cable service from Verizon Fios to Optimum by Altice on Long Island NY. The price difference is too great for me not to check out my options. I set up my Fios CableCard with no issues about 5 years ago. I understand Fios has always been the most friendly with HD HomeRun compatibility, which was a main reason for me to choose Fios in the first place. When I did the setup back then, I remember post(s) with detail CableCard pairing processes for all cable companies. I can't seem to find those messages anymore. Any link to those posts would be great.

So my big question is...

Can Optimum CableCard be set up without multiple days of agony?

I have found several posting elsewhere that indicated major problems with no one at Optimum capable of helping. While I want to switch and save money, I also don't want to pull all my hair out trying to pair the CableCard and get my system up and running with Optimum. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks very much in advance.

signcarver
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Re: Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by signcarver » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:02 am

greasylake wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:46 am
So my big question is...

Can Optimum CableCard be set up without multiple days of agony?
Can it be done - yes

But most likely it may be a huge problem depending on your market and technician. You also may not (currently) be able to record as much unless on wmc and using extenders.

greasylake
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:39 am

Re: Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by greasylake » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:18 am

signcarver wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:02 am
greasylake wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:46 am
So my big question is...

Can Optimum CableCard be set up without multiple days of agony?
Can it be done - yes

But most likely it may be a huge problem depending on your market and technician. You also may not (currently) be able to record as much unless on wmc and using extenders.
I don't mind spending time figuring things out on my end. Worse case is if I can't figure things out, people on this forum can always help. However pairing nightmares tend to be out of users' control when cable company's technicians aren't familiar with the process, which will be most frustrating with no options on the user's end. This is the sense I get from what I've read about Optimum. While it's frustrating, I assume CableCard just isn't popular enough for cable companies to care.

Thanks for the quick feedback!

softwaresalesrep
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Re: Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by softwaresalesrep » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:16 am

Setting it up is no problem you can do that in an hour or so, reliability is what is really going to frustrate you. If you use premium channels and sports channels get ready to pull your hair out, or if you like me what is left! Constant Freezes, Audio only messages, black screens etc., If I didn't hate Verizon so much I might switch to them after reading your comment. I too have been a long time and loyal user of HD Home run, and I think it does what it is supposed to but I do not think Optimum Altice gives a crap about supporting cable card users properly if you can get a qualified tech when you call. I use HD HomeRun on Windows 10, Xbox, Android Nvidia Shield, Samsung Tablet and iPhone and recently hooked it up on a firestick, all work but not in the same way. I have also played with Plex and Embry. Sorry for the rant, bottom line is Altice/Cablevision is not the best source for consistent reliability, but on Long Island you have two cable choices (Altice not even as good as when Dolan ran the company) and mega-monolith Verizon, when will the free market or the crooked politicians break up this duopoly. If YouTube TV had all my desired content, Altice/Cable would be a bad memory.

greasylake
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:39 am

Re: Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by greasylake » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:19 pm

softwaresalesrep wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:16 am
Setting it up is no problem you can do that in an hour or so, reliability is what is really going to frustrate you. If you use premium channels and sports channels get ready to pull your hair out, or if you like me what is left! Constant Freezes, Audio only messages, black screens etc., If I didn't hate Verizon so much I might switch to them after reading your comment. I too have been a long time and loyal user of HD Home run, and I think it does what it is supposed to but I do not think the Optimum Altice gives a crap about supporting cable card users properly if you can get a qualified tech when you call. I use HD HomeRun on Windows 10, Xbox, Android and recently hooked it up on a firestick, all work but not in the same way. Sorry for the rant, bottom line is Altice/Cablevision is not the best source for consistent reliability, but on Long Island you have two cable choices (Altice not even as good as when Dolan ran the company) and mega-monolith Verizon, when will the free market or the crooked politicians break up this duopoly.
Damn, I was hoping you had said the reverse... I would be willing to take a chance and try to do the switch and put up with a major hurdle during the setup process. However I had expected to be home free afterwards (everything will work.) Getting constant freezes and other stability problems will be a deal breaker. I totally agree with your rant. Two companies (maybe three if you count the dying DirecTV) just aren't enough for true competition. Although I have to say with Fios, things have been very stable over the years; so giving credit where credit is due.

Here's my rant: I just don't understand why cable companies don't even attempt to retain customers. I don't expect Fios to match other introductory offers for current customer base - of course I'm willing to pay more to stay put. I do expect however, they would try to give me a chance to pay a reasonable premium to stay. My current triple play setup with no cable boxes (just a CableCard) cost $125 per month. Can get the same setup at Optimum for about $80 taxes included. I would stay if they offered some discount (maybe around $100.) Obviously companies can do this because most people don't want to switch companies. It's unfortunate. I would switch instantly if I didn't use HDHR Prime and the CableCard!

softwaresalesrep
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Re: Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by softwaresalesrep » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:59 pm

I might add I have a gigabit network, lots of storage, fat core i7 machines and I still have to re-scan my channels and reset my 2 Prime boxes at least once every couple of weeks, (some channels always come in, several others it's hit or miss) not to mention the call at least every 6 months to Cablevison to get them to re-bind the cards when things get really crappy. I used to use Windows Media Center on Windows 7 those were the good old days, but since Microsoft abandoned support for MWC and I needed to upgrade my machines, I had to leave it behind. I am a cable shaver not a cutter because cable is hanging on by a thread with some content I still want like MSG, and Redzone and a couple of others, HBO dropped boxing so I don't even need that anymore and as for on-demand movies I have Amazon Prime. So as I see it cable's days are surely numbered but I guess they want to soak me until I can't take it anymore, while throwing salt in my wound with the new customer offers. It's just plain criminal. I pay >250 a month for triple play with 3 boxes, one is a combo DVR because I had to keep an older box because the new ones are not capable of picture-in-picture, plus cloud DVR, they even charge me for something to rewind live TV, the modem rental stops next week, and my son moved out so one box is going back and I will be down to two in my quest for 0.

greasylake
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:39 am

Re: Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by greasylake » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:11 pm

softwaresalesrep wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:59 pm
I might add I have a gigabit network, lots of storage, fat core i7 machines and I still have to re-scan my channels and reset my 2 Prime boxes at least once every couple of weeks, (some channels always come in, several others it's hit or miss) not to mention the call at least every 6 months to Cablevison to get them to re-bind the cards when things get really crappy. I used to use Windows Media Center on Windows 7 those were the good old days, but since Microsoft abandoned support for MWC and I needed to upgrade my machines, I had to leave it behind. I am a cable shaver not a cutter because cable is hanging on by a thread with some content I still want like MSG, and Redzone and a couple of others, HBO dropped boxing so I don't even need that anymore and as for on-demand movies I have Amazon Prime. So as I see it cable's days are surely numbered but I guess they want to soak me until I can't take it anymore, while throwing salt in my wound with the new customer offers. It's just plain criminal. I pay >250 a month for triple play with 3 boxes, one is a combo DVR because I had to keep an older box because the new ones are not capable of picture-in-picture, plus cloud DVR, they even charge me for something to rewind live TV, the modem rental stops next week, and my son moved out so one box is going back and I will be down to two in my quest for 0.
Nice! I have a similar setup with fast video cards to prevent any potential playback stutter. With our setups, any freezes or playback issues would likely be the cable provider's fault. I still use Win7 and WMC combo despite MS will stop Windows update support in a few months. I don't have any sensitive information on the WMC machines, so the only thing I'll need to do differently is to really secure my main computer knowing the vulnerable WMC machines are on the same network. I would move to a different platform if it can record and playback DRM channels with the same ease as WMC. The ancient WMC is still the best option for me when I consider all factors.

I also would like to shave or cut cable completely, but my dependence for live sports programming keeps me from cutting that damn cord. Other than sports, pretty much everything else can be obtained through some kind of streaming service.

You pretty much convinced me not to move over to Optimum. I definitely can't live with having to get Cablevison to re-bind my CableCard every 6 months. Thanks for all your help!

bigfan99
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Re: Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by bigfan99 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:28 am

I have been a happy Optimum CableCard / HDHomeRun Prime user for many years. I do not recall any significant setup issues. I have an "NDS M-Card" (NDS s/w version: 3.92.17 Oct 07 2014)

There were some issues originally with the DRM not consistently working that required me to setup a Windows Scheduled Task to reset the HDHomeRun daily, but I disabled this some 4 years ago and things are working fine.

greasylake
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Re: Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by greasylake » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:54 am

bigfan99 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:28 am
I have been a happy Optimum CableCard / HDHomeRun Prime user for many years. I do not recall any significant setup issues. I have an "NDS M-Card" (NDS s/w version: 3.92.17 Oct 07 2014)

There were some issues originally with the DRM not consistently working that required me to setup a Windows Scheduled Task to reset the HDHomeRun daily, but I disabled this some 4 years ago and things are working fine.
This is the first encouraging post I've read about Optimum CableCard with HD HomeRun Prime. Are you in NY? So I assume you no longer need to adjust anything related to Optimum CableCard then? The great thing about Fios is I never had to adjust anything related to CableCard or its service after initial setup. So if that's possible with Optimum, it would be worth a try.

I might consider moving if Optimum provides a trial period where I can cancel service and contract agreement if things don't work. Thanks for your response.

bigfan99
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:41 am

Re: Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by bigfan99 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:48 am

I am in NJ on the Morris system. Like I said, no notable problems with the initial setup (but it was some 8 years ago!) and there have been no adjustments needed (it just works). The intermittent DRM issue disappeared sometime in 2014 (probably when Cablevision updated the software on the CableCard.)

You might want to ping the folks on the Optimum forum HERE. https://www.dslreports.com/forum/ool

greasylake
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:39 am

Re: Optimum CableCard setup process

Post by greasylake » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:19 am

bigfan99 wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:48 am
I am in NJ on the Morris system. Like I said, no notable problems with the initial setup (but it was some 8 years ago!) and there have been no adjustments needed (it just works). The intermittent DRM issue disappeared sometime in 2014 (probably when Cablevision updated the software on the CableCard.)

You might want to ping the folks on the Optimum forum HERE. https://www.dslreports.com/forum/ool
Sounds encouraging. Thanks for the link. More information is always better!

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