Ceton (PCIe) warm reboot = "bad CableCard" error

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Cabal

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Ceton (PCIe) warm reboot = "bad CableCard" error

#1

Post by Cabal » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:32 pm

Has anyone seen this before? I've used this card successfully with both TWC and Suddenlink (I'm on Suddenlink now). At some point in time, not sure if it correlates to the latest firmware, I started getting the following behavior:

A cold power-on yields a perfectly functioning CableCard and tuner. However, a warm reboot yields an error about a malfunctioning CableCard in the diagnostic utility, and obviously a non-functional tuner. This is on Win7 x64, clean install, with good temperatures on the Ceton tuner.

This is relatively new behavior, and I believe warm reboots worked perfectly in the past on both TWC and Suddenlink *at some point*. Motherboard is a Gigabyte G41M-ES2H, latest BIOS, defaults reset.

I've tried talking to Ceton Support, and all they can say is "Error 161-11 means your CableCard is bad, you need to replace it." Well, that's great, but this is the third CableCard I've tried now, all new and activated perfectly, all of which yield this same behavior with this Ceton card. Any ideas?
Last edited by Cabal on Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Scallica

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#2

Post by Scallica » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:15 pm

Wow, that's definitely an unusual issue. Do you have another system to install the Ceton tuner into as a test?
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Cabal

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#3

Post by Cabal » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:37 pm

Sadly, no. Nothing that meets the CableCard/HDCP requirements, anyway.

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#4

Post by Scallica » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:53 pm

Try removing the CableCard, doing a warm reboot, then re-inserting the CableCard. Check if the error re-appears. Then, do another warm reboot.
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#5

Post by Cabal » Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:19 am

Scallica wrote:Try removing the CableCard, doing a warm reboot, then re-inserting the CableCard. Check if the error re-appears. Then, do another warm reboot.
Thanks for the suggestion!

*****
Try removing the CableCard - check
doing a warm reboot - check
re-inserting the CableCard - check, immediately validated, all encrypted channels work
Check if the error re-appears - no errors after inserting card with HTPC up
Then, do another warm reboot - success, it survives through a warm reboot, all channels work!
-----
reboot again for good measure - failure! It says the cablecard is "bad."
-----
fully power down, wait a few seconds, power back up - success, as expected
*****

Weird that it worked the first time, but no successive reboots. Thanks for trying, though.

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#6

Post by Scallica » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:13 am

Have you tried moving the Ceton tuner into another PCIe slot?
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#7

Post by Cabal » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:37 am

Scallica wrote:Have you tried moving the Ceton tuner into another PCIe slot?
Unfortunately no such option, only a single PCIe on this board (but a nice micro ATX board otherwise, never a hiccup with HDMI video or audio).

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/produc ... x?pid=3468

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#8

Post by Scallica » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:52 pm

Cabal wrote: reboot again for good measure - failure! It says the cablecard is "bad."
When you receive this error, does it work if you remove and re-insert the CableCard?
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#9

Post by Cabal » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:28 pm

Scallica wrote:
Cabal wrote: reboot again for good measure - failure! It says the cablecard is "bad."
When you receive this error, does it work if you remove and re-insert the CableCard?
I haven't tried that yet, will try this weekend. Thanks.

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#10

Post by Cabal » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:42 pm

Thanks for the help, folks. I ended up RMAing with Ceton. Hopefully it turns out to be a card problem and not a bad motherboard (or custom HTPC power supply?).

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#11

Post by Cabal » Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:59 pm

Follow-up: the new card works and does not have the rebooting problem.

However, I think Suddenlink is having other problems that are masking the real problem for now. Three different times now I have called up to activate the new tuner with a known-good card, and every time they tell me they see it activating correctly on their end, and I'm able to tune all the encrypted HD channels I expect, but I always get the "needs CCV message." No number of additional hits fixes this.

Worse, both the new tuner and the old tuner do this now when I swap it back in, and when it's in this state, rebooting works fine on the old card. This happened once in the past, and a week or two later, I lost activation and had to activate it again "for real." Maybe this has to do with old values being stored in their system, I don't know. Regardless, I'll hold onto the new card and use that for the time being, it's mostly working, it reboots correctly, and I get all my channels (for now).

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#12

Post by erkotz » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:22 pm

Cabal wrote:Follow-up: the new card works and does not have the rebooting problem.

However, I think Suddenlink is having other problems that are masking the real problem for now. Three different times now I have called up to activate the new tuner with a known-good card, and every time they tell me they see it activating correctly on their end, and I'm able to tune all the encrypted HD channels I expect, but I always get the "needs CCV message." No number of additional hits fixes this.

Worse, both the new tuner and the old tuner do this now when I swap it back in, and when it's in this state, rebooting works fine on the old card. This happened once in the past, and a week or two later, I lost activation and had to activate it again "for real." Maybe this has to do with old values being stored in their system, I don't know. Regardless, I'll hold onto the new card and use that for the time being, it's mostly working, it reboots correctly, and I get all my channels (for now).
Unfortunately, it sounds like the Suddenlink rep you're talking with isn't as familiar with CableCARD as we would like. When installed in the InfiniTV (or a TiVo, or most any other CableCARD device that isn't their own STB) the CableCARD is a one-way device. There is no return path from the device back to the headend. and there is no way they can "see it activating". At most, their systems could tell them that they sent an activation signal, but if they did not perform all steps/typed a number wrong, it could still fail.

My guess is the rep either has a number entered wrong, or isn't following all the steps to activate a CableCARD. You may want to try talking with another rep.
Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation

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#13

Post by Cabal » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:54 pm

erkotz wrote:Unfortunately, it sounds like the Suddenlink rep you're talking with isn't as familiar with CableCARD as we would like. When installed in the InfiniTV (or a TiVo, or most any other CableCARD device that isn't their own STB) the CableCARD is a one-way device. There is no return path from the device back to the headend. and there is no way they can "see it activating". At most, their systems could tell them that they sent an activation signal, but if they did not perform all steps/typed a number wrong, it could still fail.

My guess is the rep either has a number entered wrong, or isn't following all the steps to activate a CableCARD. You may want to try talking with another rep.
Yes and no. I'm sure the reps (all 3 of them over the course of two days) were reading whatever their screen told them, and that "activated" really just meant they successfully sent the pairing and additional hits. That being said, I'm sure whatever the issue with validation is, it goes deeper than the reps have access to, as both tuner cards and a known-good cablecard exhibit this behavior now, one set of which I *know* has paired fully in the past.

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#14

Post by erkotz » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:30 pm

I don't remember offhand if Suddenlink uses Motorola or Cisco CableCARDs - if it's Motorola, double-check the DATA # with what the rep has. Certain commands will cause the card to generate a new DATA #.
Beyond that, I'd recommend opening a support ticket with Ceton.
Quality Assurance Manager, Ceton Corporation

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