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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Hope is on the horizon. I think once the cableco has to provide cableCARDs for their own equipment and let everyone BYOB (Bring Your Own Box?) in July, there might be some sort of fix or correction.
     
  2. robyn55

    robyn55 New Member

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    Mar 3, 2007
    This is an update on my Comcast cablecard problem with the Encore stations in Jacksonville. Yesterday was the day Comcast changed its channel lineup for dozens of stations. My Encore stations still didn't work.

    After numerous phone calls - I was finally put in contact with "Will" or "Mr. Will" - who is the cablecard expert. He said my cablecards needed what I interpreted as a firmware update. He took the cablecard information from my TV screen - punched a bunch of stuff into a computer on his end - and all the Encore stations came back.

    I guess this probably could have been done a couple of months ago had I been connected with someone who knew what he or she was doing - but at least I now have everything working with the new channel lineup. Except for my TVGOS - I guess it hasn't gotten around to dealing with all the channel changes (I did most of them manually - but there are some new stations that TVGOS doesn't seem to know about yet). Robyn
     
  3. TerpBE

    TerpBE Go Terps!

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    Jan 23, 2003
    Philly 'burbs
    UPDATE: I just got a call back from Comcast corporate, and they said that the VP of finance is having a conference call tomorrow to figure out about the additional outlet charge issue. They're supposed to get back to me afterwards.

    Hopefully this is an indication that they will get things straightened out in the near future.
     
  4. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
    I think there is one issue of how consistent Comcast is in applying the outlet fee. I agree with you that Comcast's interpretation is that each device is treated as an outlet (and in some erronious cases each CC is treated as an outlet)

    The second issue is whether they should be charging you the outlet fee at all because it is a backdoor way of charging you for bringing your own equipment.

    If they do want to charge a fee it should be broken out as a digital service "mirror" fee. The current outlet fee is internally broken down into equipment fee and "mirror" fee.

    IMO CableCARD users shouldn't pay the same A/O fee as STB users because they are bringing their own equipment.

    Again, IMO, the digital outlet fee should only be charged if you have digital service like classic or plus. If you don't have this level of service there should be no mirror fee, because there is no such concept for analog, and that is basically what you are getting with an S3 on an account with no digital package (HD locals being the new age equivalent of analog)
     
  5. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

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    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Exactly. CableCos lost rental business 15 years ago when TVs became "cable ready," thus depriving CableCos of lucrative revenue from rental of additional cable boxes for each TV in the house. They want to make sure that does not happen again.

    Thus, they charge for additional cable cards as if they were cable boxes. Why? Because they can.

    Another issue: why should each cable card be saddled with a $5 fee for HD service? Again, the $5 is the additional cost for an HD box over a regular analog box. Why should a cable card bear the additional outlet charge plus the HD charge, as if it were an HD set top box? For those of you not receiving such fees, I said a while ago, just wait. I think Miami pioneered both lucrative rip-offs: additional outlet charges for each CC plus additional HD charges for each CC. It appears the practice is spreading.
     
  6. MTS

    MTS New Member

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    Mar 12, 2004
    Jacksonville...
    Alright I'm trying to learn a few things here but there's a lot to take in. Anyways here's my questions.

    I'm thinking of getting rid of my Comcast HD DVR 3416 box and get a cable card here in Jacksonville, Florida. I'll be using the cable card with my Pioneer Elite 1140 plasma. I was thinking of getting the latest Tivo series 3 which I suppose is the best out there and that would take care of my HD recording that I'll loose with the return of the comcast HD DVR box.

    I'm a little confused because I've been reading that people are getting 2 cable cards? Why are you doing that? Do you have multiple tv's that have cable card slots?

    Also, I believe there is a cable card slot in the Tivo Series 3. Would it bee better to use the Tivo's cable card slot or my tv's slot? Which is going to give me the best picture quality?

    Does Tivo have HD movies I can download and watch as part of their service?

    If anyone can inform me of anything I might be missing because I'm a newb at this Tivo and even the cable card stuff, please help me out.

    What are some connections I'll need to have near the TV to get the Tivo service? Will I need a land line telephone or, cat 5 cable from my broadband service?

    Am I going to loose any HD or standard channels that I already have now switching to a cable card?
     
  7. CosmoGeek

    CosmoGeek New Member

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    Feb 26, 2007
    Antarctica
    I successfully got the extra outlet fee removed from my bill after my initial S3 install. However, every time I have called to deal with an issue, which unfortunately has been about every two months, the extra outlet fee gets added back in. I just recently got it removed again last week. Each time they have to be convinced that I am not supposed to be charged. What a PITA.

    History of calls/visits since getting my S3:

    1. Initial cable card install
    2. 10 days, a dozen phone calls, and 3 truck rolls to get my cable cards working
    3. remove outlet charge
    4. Truck roll to fix missing channels
    5. remove outlet charge
    6. Truck roll to investigate more missing channels
    7. Missing channels are due to Grandfathered Digital Silver package but now they messed up other channels
    8. remove outlet charge
    9. Fixed issues by converting me to standard Digital Silver without asking me
    10. Have to escalate to get my grandfathered package back
    11. Accept promotional offer to convert to current Digital Silver package just to avoid future issues
    12. remove outlet charge

    FYI, the grandfathered Digital Silver package includes STARZ and is a few dollars/mo cheaper.
     
  8. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

    1,269
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    Jan 6, 2007
    If you want to watch encrypted channels (digital classic and above, HBO, etc.) using your TV, it will need a CableCARD.

    TiVo S3 cannot share that CableCARD. It needs it's own. It needs one for each tuner so it can record 2 channels at once. That is why you hear about 2 CableCARDs. It can also take 1 multi-stream CableCARD, but these don't appear to be deployed (or widely deployed) yet.
     
  9. jayssss

    jayssss New Member

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    Apr 9, 2007
    So, I got a call back from the manager, (he called my home phone and left a message, not my cell phone like I requested) and he said I was correct that I was being mis-billed. My understanding is that I will now be charged a "Digital Service A/O" for the first cable card, and $1.50 for the second cable card. Not quite the answer I was hoping to hear, but when it comes right down to it, I guess it's a reasonable charge. I just wish I didn't have to have cable cards at all. I'm not getting any channels such as HBO or the like, just getting Digital Basic, and it's costing me almost $80/month. Ouch!

     
  10. bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    San...
    I've been battling with Comcast over each of my first two bills with them. First, they charged me installation for the additional cable box they are supposed to provide cablecard customers for free (according to their own FAQ page). I confirmed when I ordered service that installation would be free. They agreed to credit the charges, and did.

    Next month, they billed me for the A/O and "HD Service". I once again called them and let them know that according to their own site, as well as the confirmation I got when I ordered service, the additional box should be 0 cost. They put me on hold, and eventually confirmed that I should not be billed for A/O, but should be getting the "HD Service" charge since I am getting HD channels on my Tivo. I tried explaining that the HD fee was part of the additional box A/O, but they claimed since I was getting HD on my Tivo, I had to pay it.


    This was not what I agreed to when I ordered service, and I am upset that apparently I needed to tape record that conversation since their paid representatives are not held to the same binding contractual agreements that I am.

    So I'm paying $5/mo more for service than they told me I would need to, and that I agreed to. I guess that's better than most folks, and that I should be happy.



    Note that since they 'fixed' the A/O issue, both my cablecards as well as the STB have not had authorization problems. Judging from how other folks on this thread are doing, I fear that the CSR simply applied a one-time credit to my bill, and I'll be going through the same rigamarole next month too.
     
  11. TerpBE

    TerpBE Go Terps!

    682
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    Jan 23, 2003
    Philly 'burbs
    I finally found someone at Comcast who agreed that S3 customers should NOT be billed for a second outlet if they have a single Tivo with two CableCARDS. She finally straightened things out, removed the additional outlet fee, and got all channels working on both tuners.

    I asked her if I could pass on any advice to the other people having this problem, and she said that I could pass on her information to other people having the same problem.

    If you are going to contact, her:

    1. Be nice. She was very nice and helpful, so return the courtesy.

    2. If you have a problem other than the "additional outlet" charge, don't call her about it. She's willing to help us on this issue, so don't burden her with other Comcast problems. If you have others, call the "executive assistant" number listed (on the Comcast cablecard thread).

    3. Only call if you are being billed for an additional outlet charge when you only have one box, or 2+ additional outlet charges if you have two boxes, etc. If you have "N" boxes, you should be billed for "N-1" additional outlets.

    Her name is Cheryl Williams and her number is 215-638-6582. Again, be nice, and try not to overload her.
     
  12. August West

    August West New Member

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Is there any definitive info on if/when Comcast (or anyone for that matter) will be offering the Cablecard 2.0? I've serached a number of forums and a number of people are posting that 2.0 cards will be available "in a few months". The thing is, these posts have been going on for about a year, so this "a few months" away thing has been going on for a long time. I've also searched the internet but didn't find anything defnitive.

    I've recently bought an S3 and am thinking about calling to get 2 Cablecard 1.0s installed but if the 2.0s are around the corner I'll just wait so I can keep the on demand capability.

    As an aside, any word on if the 2.0s will fit in a 1.0 slot? If not that's a bummer for the S3.
     
  13. AaRdVarK3

    AaRdVarK3 New Member

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    Aug 12, 2003
    The only thing you will gain with CableCard 2.0 on a series3 is multi-stream. None of the interactive features will work.
     
  14. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

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    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    And, you don't even get that... If you put a multi-stream card into a single stream host (the S3), you'll just get a single stream out of it.
     
  15. August West

    August West New Member

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    Apr 6, 2007
    I found this excerpt from Wikipedia in another post on this subject (see below). If I read this right multistream cards could be available soon (although if the S3 does not support this they will appear only as single stream, so no benefit) whereas true 2.0 cards with interactive features are not going to be available in the near term. The implication is also that even if they were the S3 could not use the interactive features so there's not any real benefit using a (future) 2.0 card in an S3. Is my understanding of this correct or did I miss something? If so that's a bit depressing. The one thing I am not clear on is whether or not the S3 is one of the "older cablecard devices that do not support multiple streams" mentioned below. From Roderigo's post it appears this is the case? It's hard to think of something I just bought as an "older" device.

    "SCards" or "single stream" cards support watching a single channel at a time. All currently available cards are SCards and were specified in the CableCARD 1.0 set of specifications.
    "MCards", also known as "MS-CableCARD" or "multiple stream" cards refer to a CableCARD which supports devices that need to access up to six channels simultaneously. MCards were specified in 2003 but have been frequently delayed. They are slated for availability prior to July 2007 when the integration ban takes effect.
    MCards are sometimes referred to as CableCARD 2.0 cards, although they do not themselves provide interactivity nor any of the other CableCARD 2.0 features. MCards are backward compatible with current Cablecard devices. To older cablecard devices that do not support multiple streams, the card appears to be a single stream card. CE companies have long wanted MCards for their CableCARD 1.0 host devices in order to compete with Cable company devices that use multiple tuners. This is important for products such as Sony & Tivo CableCARD DVRs, Televisions with Picture-in-picture and CableCARD equipped Personal computers running Microsoft Vista which need to be able to record one show while the user is watching another. Without MCards, these products must rely on two SCards, and installation and support is more error prone. Simple availability of MCards is insufficient if MCards are not supported on Cable company servers by a specified date. No such date exists, and so CE companies are uncertain when they will be able to sell products that rely on MCards."
     
  16. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
    Read the S3 FAQ for info on M-Stream CableCARD support.
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=315791
    and TiVoPony's post:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=4402702&&#post4402702

    It was originally said that S3 supported M-Card. After further clarification, the implication is that it might potentially support M-Card using multiple streams from the single card in the future, but there is no certification process for M-Cards in unidirectional devices like S3, thus they will only be supported as single stream cards.

    It is my understanding that the M-Card *is* the 2.0 CableCARD. What the CableCARD 2.0 standards adds is more requirements on the host device to support certain 2-way interactive functions, but the physical that will be used is the M-Card. The cards themselves (including 1.0 S-Cards) are inherently 2-way devices. It is the host device that has been designed as unidirectional or 2-way.

    So I think there is a posibility your S3 could use an M-Card as a single multi-stream card in the future, but there is probably zero possibility your S3 will go from unidirectional to 2-way without a hardware rev.
     
  17. August West

    August West New Member

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Thanks. I read the FAQ but apparently too quickly as I missed this. Oops. Thanks
     
  18. astronomer

    astronomer New Member

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    Mar 28, 2007
    Charlottesvi...
    I got my Comcast bill, about 2 weeks after installation of 2 cable cards. They charged $9.95 for installation and the monthly fee for the second cable card is $1.50--so they got it right.
     
  19. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
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    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    I just got my first bill from Comcast after replacing their HD Moto Cable Box with two cablecards for my new TIVO Series 3.

    They charged me $16.99 for the service call and $4.25 per month for each of the two cablecards. When I called to complain about the monthly fee, they agreed that since the Classic Digital Package that I had included a cable box at no charge, and I had swapped this out they would not charge me for the one cablecard. Then when I explained that both cablecards were in one device, they agreed to not charge me for the second card either. I was hoping to eliminat one of the charges, but was surprised to get both waived.

    Subsequent to that I upgraded to Comcast Trple-Play Premier Bundle (phone-internet-tv) which provides me with virtually every channel that they carry (exept foreign language channels). This package also includes their DVR. They agreed to keep the price the same if I declined the DVR and kept the two cable cards. Total package price now is $159.99 per month with no Video A/O fees. This is less than I was paying for the separate charges for the 3 services before, and I get many additional channels (HBO, SHO, TMC, etc).

    They seem to be a little more willing to negotiate now days.
     
  20. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
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    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    As I posted earlier, I have the Comcast Digital Premier package, which means I should get virtually everything that Comcast has, except the foreign language channels. I just got it last week and everything is fine, except I do not get 226 (INHD). I have called and they have checked and pinged and updated and whatever, but still no luck. I have a tech guy coming tomorrow, but am afraid he'll just screw up what I already have. I am using two cablecards in a TIVO box, and the problem is there for both tuners. Anyone ever heard of something like this?
     

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