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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. mooneydriver

    mooneydriver New Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    My S3 arrived yesterday, and I called Comcast to request CableCards. The call center lady figured out it was for a TiVo, so no explanation was necessary. Then I asked whether I can do a self-install. She says "yeah, sure, you can go ahead and pick up the cards from your local Comcast office." I say, "are you sure?" She says, "yeah, definitely. No need for an appointment."

    So, I am skeptical, but I drive over to the local Comcast office in Mountain View anyway. After all, I probably know more about the installation process than the Comcast tech does (thanks to this thread), and I'd save time and money and make the S3 fully-functional right away. Alas, as you might guess, the lady at the Comcast office says that I was misinformed and that they do not carry CableCards for self install. I was disappointed, obviously, but not at all surprised. She says that they should not have given me false information, takes notes, and waives the truck roll charge. She also quotes me a total cost of $1.50 for the two cards (even though I will be holding on the the 6412 DVR for a few more weeks, and I'm likely to be slapped with a second outlet charge for that time period).

    Anyway, the appointment is for next Friday, and the saga will continue ... In the meantime, I hope the S3 will upgrade itself to 8.1!

    EDIT: Update -- I just turned the TiVo on and found that it already upgraded itself to 8.1! Cool ...
  2. SystemJinx

    SystemJinx (o_0)

    Aug 13, 2005
    Comcast services really vary from state to state. Here in Washington, I was able to pick up the cable cards for self installation and I had my S3 Tivo up and running within a couple of hours. It would have been sooner, but the office is about 90 minutes from my house. :)
  3. pl1

    pl1 New Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    When I kept my box, they charged me two A/O fees, one for each cableCARD. They called the STB my first outlet (included for free), then my second and third outlets were the two cableCARDS. When I returned my HD box, I got back $10/mo and $2.75/mo A/O fee. (As we all know, this is region specific, but that was how they charged me, and no budging from multiple CSR's.)
  4. synch22

    synch22 New Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    3+ Hours later success on a self install....Whoa Nelly.

    Jeez, the first time around the cards were accessing info blue screen the whole time, after the first comcast lady assured me they were initialized and I would be fine. So i waited and waited, worried about the Tivo "do not remove cable cards".

    Well time went by and then i took them out and the blue screen went away. I called back comcast one more time followed docjohnboy's directions. Guy was very nice and took his time. Inserted first card, gave him info. Waited, blue screen came up for 3 minutes, then tested, success. Card 2 took a few tried and I removed the card and we went from step 1 again. Card 2 showed (no channels available several times). I backed out went to live tv....went to cable card settings and tested channels on both and suddenly card 2 worked.

    Thanks to this forum, and the picture is stunning. Now the cable card in my LCD is not receiving all the channels, darn Sharp Aquos. Tivo is getting all that I know of right now just fine.
  5. wooglin

    wooglin New Member

    Feb 15, 2007
    I just had Comcast come to install my Cable Cards for my Series 3. I am in Pittsburgh and the technician had no problems. The only issue was that the tech he called in to had no idea how to activate them and entered the wrong numbers. After switching to another tech, all went smoothly. The first 2 cards worked fine and I can view all pay channels.

    I was told when ordering the cards that I would have no installation fee, but need to pay $3.99/per card per month. I am going to try to argue this one with them.

    Good luck everyone, hope your installation goes as smoothly as mine did.
  6. cd1940

    cd1940 New Member

    May 22, 2003
    San Francisco. I called the 877 number on my bill and asked to upgrade from Standard Definition (just coax) to 2 tuner cards and HD. The first card was free and the second card is $1.50 per month. There was no charge for HD. The rep said HD was now included in the card and that it used to cost $5.00 per month. So now I pay about $3.00 less per month - 53.00 (Digital Silver) versus 56.00 (basic extended SD).

    Note when the tech came to the house to install the cards one of the cards was not initialized so he had to go back to the office and get a new one.
  7. bbock727

    bbock727 New Member

    Feb 28, 2004

    Damn, thats a great price quote. Any idea who you spoke to? I would assume you kept that information unless they ended up charging you something different?

    I believe he misquoted you tho, since you didnt have HD before and now you do, so that would be 5$ per month. The HD that he is saying is now included in the card would probably be the extra 5$ per card that some of us are being charged.

    Hopefully you have his name and number. Id appreciate it b/c I have the $5 per card quote, on top of my standard $5 HD
  8. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    Sep 8, 2000
    In the San Francisco Bay Area, the "$5 HD fee" is for the HD set top box rental only. There is no such thing as "HD service fee".
  9. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    When I was fighting these exessive charges (see post 1578 on page 53), I called Comcast's national office in Philly long distance (you can get the local number by calling 411) and spoke to a customer service rep who agreed I was getting a raw deal. But then that rep later called me back to say the charges were all correct after all. Frankly, I was surprised that the national office responded at all to consumer calls.

    If there is anyone going to be "set straight," it is the other Comcast subs around the country charging less. The Comcast corporate strategy for quashing S3s could not be more clear. It's only a matter of time before Comcast standardizes on the higher rates being charged in Miami and other places.
  10. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    You are indeed fortunate to be living in an area where Comcast is not gouging its customers. You would have a completely different take if you were being billed Miami rates. See my post 1578 on page 53 to get an idea what's in store when Comcast standardizes its rates around the country. It's only a matter of time.
  11. MikeCG

    MikeCG New Member

    Jun 23, 2000
    When I call Comcast (Chicago area) I get agents who don't know what they are talking about and all they will do is send a truck. When you say the Guy "took his time," what did he do, or what did you (or what can I) ask him to do?
  12. pl1

    pl1 New Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Supply and demand, my friend, supply and demand. If they price themselves too high, there will be a backlash. Many people will be able to dump cable altogether as OTA broadcasts for local channels are excellent for a lot of people. Plus, there is the phone company's arrival into the bundle world. So, if Comcast does what you suggest, they will shoot themselves in the foot.
  13. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    We can only hope, but I doubt it. All I have to do is mothball my S3s, go back to Comcast's own DVRs, and the exorbitant charges disappear. They remind me of that every time I speak with them, and I in turn remind them that their equipment is junk by comparison to my S3s. Comcast's strategy to price cable cards and S3s out of business does not affect its much larger customer base that is happy renting its DVRs instead. I don't see this strategy as hurting their business at all - in fact, making S3s non-competitive with their DVRs will help their bottom line by steering people to use their equipment and preventing S3s from becoming more popular.

    OTA provides a minimal number of stations, and S3s do not work with satellite. Therefore, both options are unsatisfactory. For me, the only options are to pay whatever Comcast wants to charge for cable cards, or else ditch my S3s. I can afford the extra cost, so I pay it anyway for the privilege of using S3s. If they double their rates for cable cards - and what's to stop them? - they may at some point make me give up my S3s. But in that case, I'm going to satellite. I will never give in to their demands upon me to use their DVR equipment.

    In the meantime, they are making good money off me. They know I'll switch to better technology when it becomes available years from now, and that I'll stick with them if it's not. From Comcast's standpoint, the price gouging may therefore be right on target, and harmless to their feet.
  14. Sevenfeet

    Sevenfeet Gentle Giant

    Jun 24, 2000

    Miami unfortunately is not the only city charging obscene prices for cablecards. Nashville has the exact same $6.95 per card charge. I am furious and I'm not alone. This has been a brisk topic of discussion on the AVSForum's Nashville Comcast thread. I'm in the process now of raising hell about this locally, but I have to wonder if it's a local policy or a part of a long term strategy. The FCC has mandated that cable companies must introduce cable boxes that use cable cards (multistream) by this summer, so the excuse that its a technologyt that few use and costs more to them will be moot.
  15. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    And in Miami, you can add $5.00 per cable card for HD service, for a total of $11.95 per card. Can Nashville top that? I'm paying $11.95 for each of 5 of my cable cards, except for one which I don't have to pay the $6.95 as it's "free" with my digital service. They say this is the proper charge for the "services" I am receiving, but their rental fee for their own DVR that also provides dual-tuner HD capability, for less than the charge for 2 cable cards, despite the obvious expense of supporting the box, exposes that claim for what it is.

    The FCC's rulemaking has been very slow, but starting in July, settop boxes must be manufactured to use cable cards. I doubt Comcast will be required to ditch their old equipment, and expect them to drag out the effects of the new rule for as long as possible, and to use the intervening time to continue to fight the rule and come up with new strategies to defeat its purpose.

    This is the fight for the breakup of AT&T all over again, and for the same reasons. Customers will get gouged so long as monopolies are able to corner the technology and charge for the equipment to access it as they see fit. The difference in the price for phone equipment and service since the 70s is astonishing, and it would not have happened if AT&T remained in control of it all.

    We've had people on this forum try to defend Comcast's policies, but I suspect they were all Comcast employees or shareholders. I think Comcast's policies are transparently anti-consumer and pro-monopoly, and so long as that is allowed by the FCC, you cannot expect them to act in any other way.
  16. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn New Member

    Feb 12, 2002
    Do you have cards? What's your issue? I can pass along my Chicago-area customer contact who knows exactly what to do.
  17. hiker

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

    Nov 29, 2001
    That's outrageous. Have you tried contacting corporate to get your charges reduced. Details here.
  18. pl1

    pl1 New Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    I do believe they lost a request to extend that deadline, so the FCC may be holding them to it. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070111-8599.html
    The FCC Media Bureau yesterday put the kibosh on 
    's request to ditch the "integration ban" that 
    goes into effect on July 1, 2007. The FCC decision 
    means that the ban will go forward as scheduled 
    and cable operators will no longer be able to distribute 
    set-top boxes with an integrated security component.  
    <snip> require cable operators to offer a separate 
    security module that could be plugged into a set-top 
    box or television from any manufacturer and properly 
    descramble channels. The CableCARD was born.
    I hope you are not including me in that broad stroke. Far from the truth with me. Not only are Comcast's pricing and policies all over the place, their CSR's give you different answers than their website and the actual billing. I was told that the ONLY extra charge would be $1.50/mo per cableCARD and $4.49/mo xtra for the HD box (when there was really no charge for the cards), but they added TWO A/O fees of $2.75. (Pricing is now $5.01/mo. per card including the A/O fee.) When I called, they argued and argued with me that that's the way it is since I was keeping the HD STB.

    Since all of their prices were going up anyway, I just returned the STB and saved $13/mo. And I'm not buying cableCARDS for my second S3 (at $5.01/mo. per card), just using analog and OTA.

    But it is totally frustrating that they are so clueless. What I do now is look at the annual pricing insert and figure out the pricing on my own. The reason I believe we are seeing these different market prices may have to do with the takeovers of other cablecos. I know mine has changed hands about 3-4 times in the last 10 years. And it is possible that a lot of pricing is Grandfathered.
  19. bicker

    bicker Gruff

    Nov 9, 2003
    Or at least it makes you feel better to think of them in that way. In reality, many of us have absolutely not association with Comcast whatsoever except as a customer with reasonable expectations.

    I think Comcast's policies are utterly appropriate given the market and the laws.
  20. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Yes. See my post 1578, page 53, here, and my post 2271, this page, here.

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