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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by amjustice, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. cargen

    cargen New Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    Re: Comcast in Nashville TN

    The Good News: Picked up 2 cablecards yesterday and lucked into an easy, no issues self install.

    The Bad News: Just reviewed my bill via phone. They are charging me $6.95 for EACH of the cablecards in my Tivo Series3. I tried to challenge them with "I thought the first one was free and the second one $1.50 per month" because they are both in the same Tivo device.

    No dice. I was told that I if I wanted to receive only hi-def channels and no digital channels, then both cards would be FREE, but if I wanted to receive my other 150+/- digital channels, then cost is $6.95 x 2 = $13.90 per month.

    I asked for an explanation in writing or direction to a page on their Comcast website, but they couldn't/wouldn't. I waited 10 minutes, called in again and received the exact same explanation from the next rep.

    Reading through this thread, I glean that Comcast pricing is all over the map with no national uniformity whatsoever. Does anybody know an appeal route for me to try?

    I sure wish this forum had a tool to enable thread searches like avsforum.
  2. hiker

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    Try the suggestion in an earlier post in this thread here.
  3. Mike Farrington

    Mike Farrington Active Member

    Nov 16, 2000
    Day 14: I now fear my calls to Comcast are being avoided and ignored. Nobody is calling me back as promised.
  4. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    Or course it has a Search this Thread search function (it is the same vBulletin software) . Note that it is a Javascript application so you have to have that turned on in your browser. Even so, the search feature is not very robust. Better to just do a search via Google like this, for example:
    "Comcast sucks" site:www.tivocommunity.com
  5. Espo

    Espo New Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    I think Motorola & SA are the only cards being used by Comcast. If 1 was Motorola, then you can assume the other 1 is too (maybe with a different graphic on the front). This is a good thing. Keep us updated & let us know if you have any problems with them.
  6. aliweb1

    aliweb1 New Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    Well, on the other side of alligator alley from you in coastal Collier Co. they are charging me nothing for HD basic, $5 for HD Plus and $1.95 for each cable card. No mention of the first being free. :)

  7. aliweb1

    aliweb1 New Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    Down here in south west Florida, I had no trouble with set up with "the old Time-Warner" since although they are now Comcast, they have still not gotten around to roll out the Comcast lineup in Naples. They sent the self-described "tech that does S3s" and he knew what he was doing. Both cards he brought (Motorola purple) worked, although he had a bit of trouble with the office having to hit them several times.

    However, and this was a surprise, he could not get my old S2, now in the bedroom, to work with their new set top boxes. He said they were not compatible with the new Scientific Atlanta boxes they are required to use now. Therefore I wound up with no digital channels & HBO in the bedroom. Even though the TV there is not HD & the channels would have been analog, it would have been nice to have them. Only plus is I will save the extra $6.95 a month for the box. Anyone out there encountered this problem with Scientific Atlanta boxes? Just curious.
  8. Mike Farrington

    Mike Farrington Active Member

    Nov 16, 2000
    Did you get the model number of the box? If so, call TiVo and ask them to add support for this box. It is a simple matter for TiVo to add new infrared blaster codes to their database.
  9. BoyScout

    BoyScout New Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Both cards are Motorola, but different versions. One is on 4.0 and the other 4.1. Both are enabled and subscribed, but as far as I can tell, they are not downloading. Should they both have been upgraded to the same version of firmware?

  10. srw69

    srw69 New Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    I just thought that with all the Comcast horror stories, that I would post a success story.

    The appointment was for 4-6pm. The Comcast tech (not a contractor) showed up at 4:15pm. On the way in, I asked him if ever installed a cablecard in a tivo. His response was "I hate Tivo's". I thought great, here we go. I went on his rant about how I'm going to lose on-demand and p.p.v. I politely told him that I understand but still want to proceed.

    On to the install. He followed the Tivo instructions to a T. First card went in and after writing down all the information and calling the office was up and running in about 10 minutes. Card 2 was not quite as easy. The tech installed it in slot 2 and the Tivo recognized it but the office could not authorize it. On to card#3. Went just a flawless as card#1. Tested all the channels, HD and everything was working perfectly. All said it took about 30 minutes.

    After the install, the tech actually wanted to see a demo of the Tivo and it performed flawlessly.

    :up: :up: :up:
  11. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member TCF Club

    Aug 29, 2002
    I didn't have that problem. My town's system doesn't have enough bandwidth to support OnDemand :) (supposed to be upgraded to 1GHz this year).
  12. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Anyone have any billing problems. I just got my second bill. My first bill was 1.5 months and they charged me around $120 including internet. My second bill was for only one month and they tried to charge me $180. And this is after I paid my last bill and then set up the monthly recurring payment and they took that money again. After half an hour on the phone it's supposedly straightened out. My monthly bill is supposed to be around $92 but I'll have to wait another month to see if everything is correct. And billing was one of the main reasons I left Comcast 14 months ago. I guess those things never change. I just hope I don't have to go through this every month. Who knows what's going to happen when they get the digital phone service in my area in a couple of months. I'm afraid of what will happen when I get that.
  13. beckerbein

    beckerbein New Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Also had a primarily trouble-free install. The appt was 11-1, the tech showed up about an hour early (after calling first to confirm that was OK). First cable card was a bit troublesome, but was resolved in under 10 minutes. Second one was problem free. He verified both tuners could view HD content & subscription channels but didnt wait for the Tivo to dnload the new channel listings & rebuild the index (apparently Verizon techs wait the few hours for that to occur). The whole process took less than a half hour, he actually finished prior to the start of the official appt.

    Havent gotten my first bill yet, but Im sure its going to have at least one error and one nasty surprise that I'll have to live with....such is the nature of Comcast's horrifically poor customer service.
  14. swampass2

    swampass2 New Member

    Oct 16, 2004
    Comcast contractor came today to install the CableCards. I asked him if he had done it before, and he said "only once". I said that people have been talking about the difficulties of getting the cards installed and he said it was a bit of a pain the first time that he had done it, and that it took him an hour.

    Anyway, the first thing he asked me was if I had Tivo's instructions for installing the cards. I was happily surprised that a) he knew about the instructions and b) he cared about following them to a T. He did complain that you couldn't just pop both cards in at the same time, but he acknowledged that it was the only way to get it going properly. Took him 15 minutes to get the first card working.

    Second card was more of a problem. The first one he tried didn't work, so he had to call back in to unregister the first one and register a different one. This was the most troublesome part of the whole thing because the guy he talked to on the phone insisted that it wasn't his department and transferred him to another department who promptly told him to call the first guy back. I thought it was funny that a Comcast contractor would actually get an ignorant runaround from other Comcast employees. In all, it took about 25 minutes for the second card. He did a quick run through a few channels and then asked me if he could have my copy of the Tivo install instructions. I made a copy for him and he left. Real friendly guy.

    After he left, I went straight to the HD channels and noticed that I wasn't getting most of them. I should have insisted that we run through every channel, but I wussed out. I called Comcast and they were super nice about it. They tried to get a tech back out today, but then called back to say that it would have to be tomorrow. Turned out it was my fault anyway. I was running my cable through 4 splitters and two surge suppressors before it got to the Tivo. Had to switch the order of the splitters (higher bandwidth ones first) and take the redundant surge suppressor out of the chain to solve the problem. Wasn't a Comcast issue or a Tivo issue or a CableCard issue. So I canceled tomorrow's appointment.
  15. BoyScout

    BoyScout New Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    When I ordered the service, I was quoted $133.94 which included cable, internet and phone all equipment, everything. I asked three times if that was the absolute total, and received an emphatic yes it was.

    I added a DVR and another outlet after the installation. That should have totalled $150.60 per month. I got my cable bill yesterday and it was $187.84. Seems the original order taker did not include taxes, surcharges, connectivity fee, modem fee (for internet), and they were charging me for a second DVR that was substituted for the HD receiver they didn't have (I have 4 outlets and 3 TiVos).

    I told her that was a HUGE difference between what I was quoted and what I received. She credited me the difference between what I was quoted and what I was billed for one month and said that I will have to decide whether to keep it within 30 days, and the monthly would be around $180 (a small credit for the substituted DVR).

    This is supposed to be a great deal over what I had which was Dish for about $92/month, Earthlink at $42, and Qwest for $51. I had been paying $185 all told. Comcast will go up by another $50 at the end of one year so I will be paying $230 for all three services (if the rates don't go up in July (fat chance)).

    Yes, I am getting service for my S3 and faster Internet and an additional premium channel that I didn't have with Dish, but I've got to decide if it is worth the extra $45/month. I believe I can cancel the 2nd premium channel and save $14.

    I guess an extra $30 a month isn't TOO hard to swallow, but I was expecting so much more for about the same cost, even after the year deal.
  16. Scooter80

    Scooter80 New Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    I got my cards installed today. Chicago area Comcast. Specifically the McHenry Franchise.

    Each card: Purchase/Install fee $23.99 each.
    Subscription fee is free for the first card and $1.50 for the second per month.
    Truck was already coming for HD upgrade and a HDDVR in another room, and they charged $17.99 for the "change of service fee". Basically, I guess that would be what others have called the "truck" fee.

    Not bad, and will be well worth it. My Antenna is pretty spotty all the way in the far-north burbs, so I would record HD off the antenna and simultaneously record the cable feed for the same show at the same time. Pain in the hoohaa to program and uses too much disk space. Now I can rely solely on the more reliable cable HD feed.
  17. myosh_tino

    myosh_tino New Member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Cupertino, CA
    Got my CableCards installed on Jan 24th. Tech arrived around 9:00am and was done by 9:45am. When testing the cable cards he had me tune the cards to our local Fox affiliate (KTVU-Ch2) and their corresponding HD channels and everything seemed to be OK. :)

    After the tech left, I did some further testing and found out that I couldn't receive any of the digital channels (channels above 100) except for local HD :( . What I found out from the Comcast CSR was I was on a grandfathered digital cable package which I ordered from AT&T Broadband. The problem was these ATTBI packages aren't understood by the CableCards and the only solution was to transition into one of Comcast's current packages. I did get a pleasant surprise when the CSR told me my cable bill would be going down from $78 to around $72 a month :D

    Installation was $15.99, first CableCard is free, second CableCard is $1.50/mo. Tech was also able to take back my old General Instruments digital cable STB saving me a trip to my local office. BTW, if I were to keep my cable box, then the rental for that is $6/mo. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area near San Jose.
  18. Octagon

    Octagon New Member

    Sep 24, 2003
    Just got my Tivo Series Three. Comcast came out and brought two blue SA cards (Model PKM600).
    CARD1 DATESTAMP: 05/20/2006
    CARD2 DATESTAMP: 08/11/2006

    The installer was nice and read throught the guided setup instructions. He installed CARD1 in the bottom slot and called the office. They seemed unsure of what to do but attempted to send it a signal. None of the digital feeds came through but I was getting some of the analog feeds. At this point the guy at the main office forced the tech to put in the other card even though the first card was not working. (Me and the installer both told the tech we needed to do card1 first but he insisted we put in the other card. Soooo the installer put in the second card and we got the 'installing firmware upgrade please wait' screen).

    After about an HOUR of this message, the tech on the phone said we would have to call him back when it was done updating firmware. The firmware update just looped though and restarted again after the first HOUR. The tech left and told me to see what happens and call him on his cell with the status.

    After 3 more hours of the firmware install looping, I removed the 2nd card. I rebooted back to the first card and called the local office. After talking to three different people I still only have analog feeds.

    Status screen:

    Decryption Status: No ECM's detected

    I checked my channels but still no go on anything other than analog stations. I asked the tech if she had me listed as having HD, DIGITAL, and PAY feeds and she said they did. I ran a software reset and reran guided setup.

    Still no digital/hd/pay feeds. :(

    Meanwhile, I called the original tech back on his cell and gave him an update. He will be coming back out on Tuesday with new cards. I will continue to deal with the office later tonight though, just in case.

    So to sum things up, day one with comcast was a total failure. But I am going to keep trying, any suggestions would be appreciated.
  19. ThreeSoFar

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

    May 24, 2002
    Keep trying is my only suggestion, and you were already there.

    Frankly, I'm on the fence with who sucks here more, Comcast or TiVo.

    But once it works, it's pretty sweet.

    Except when your low signal strength makes you lose your HD shows (or chunks of them, anyway).
  20. Octagon

    Octagon New Member

    Sep 24, 2003
    Because I am a glutton for punishment and tired of being on the phone for the last 8 hours with comcast. I decided to try some other things with my new tivo.

    The first thing I tried is putting the 2nd (probably bad) card back in slot 2 for another fun and exciting try at the 'firmware update'.

    [ SIDE NOTE ]

    Why in the world does it take 40-120 minutes to do a firmware update on a CC when I can stream HIDEF on demand stuff through the same pipe. I cant imagine the firmware file is very large... sigh....


    Now, I don't have any glorious delusions about the firmware update actually working this time, but I needed time to buy some extra beer before talking to the comcast drones at the main office later tonight.

    I just rechecked my CP screen for card one, and the settings seem to have magically improved, now:

    Auth Status: CP Auth Received
    Decryption status: OK
    Powerkey status: Ready

    * Still no HD/DIGITAL/PAY channels but at least the CP screen has improved

    Anyhow, even though my signal strength numbers are healthy, I am going to try to bypass the 'belkin pure av' and the splitter on the main cable next to see if that helps in any way. I am also going to connect component cables in case there is some issue with the HDMI output.

    I will send more information if anything changes. As always, any suggestions are appreciated.

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