Tim Bornholdt

Activating my Xfinity Cisco RNG 100 Cable Box

As someone with enough tech savvy to run an iOS development company, you'd think installing an Xfinity cable box wouldn't be an issue for me, right?

Well, after 2 days of pain, frustration and brainstorming, I finally was able to activate my own cable box without needing to pay the extra $60 to have someone come out to my house to show me how to plug in a coaxial cable.

And, in an effort to save you, the intrepid Googler, some time and energy, I figured I could provide a quick tip for getting your box to work as well.

Here's the problem I was facing: I plugged the box in, hooked in the cables and powered it up. What would happen is the following sequence:

  • The data light would hold solid for a few seconds
  • The remote light would hold solid for a few secounds
  • The power light would hold solid for a few seconds
  • The power light would then blink off and on, roughly 14 times
  • The power light would then shut off, with apparently no action being taken by the box

Because the physical coaxial cable that runs into our living room is simply awful[1. The cable goes out the window from the basement and through the window in our living room. Yes, the windows are both shut. Yes, the cable looks like a flattened pancake. No, I don't understand why our landlord doesn't just drill a hole through the ceiling and run the cable through that.], I tried plugging the box directly into the line that connects to our cable drop. This resulted in a similar sequence of events.

Frustrated, I started smashing buttons on the remote control provided by Xfinity. I ended up getting into the diagnostic/settings menu, which showed that I wasn't getting any connection to the cable company.

Before giving up and dropping TV from Xfinity, I decided to see what would happen if I utilized the ethernet port provided on the back.

And what do you know? It worked!

So, if you're having problems receiving a signal to your Cisco RNG 100, try running an ethernet cable between your box and your router. After 2 minutes of waiting, the box showed the "Not Authorized" message and I was on my way.

Now, I can finally enjoy standard definition cable on my 46" Sony XBR6[2. Yeah, I should probably upgrade my box to HD. But since I'm probably not going to be watching much cable, and my girlfriend doesn't care, I think I'd be happer with the $10/m]. Horray!

Update (12/18/12): I've noticed that if you disconnect the power to this box and plug it back in, it takes a very long time to boot. It makes no sense to me why Cisco couldn't implement some sort of "loading" screen during boot, but regardless: if your box appears unresponsive, you really should give it a good 10 minutes before freaking out and punching a hole in your drywall.