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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Jun 1, 2007 #2721 of 9367
    drcos

    drcos HD where available

    253
    0
    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    Two hours for the Comcast tech to get the cards working. The cards appeared to be 'hit' but we got nothing but the clear channels. Another tech told the gentleman in my house to give the tech at the head end the MAC addresses for the cards(??). Then they did something at the head end (they said they were not sure what), and suddenly I have all my channels. My S3 is recording "The Rock" in HD off of Cinemax right now :D

    Only problem, Comcast just moved our HD channels from the 2xx to 4xx, so my guide data shows 'regular programming' for the local HD channels (didn't seem to be a problem with the 'cable' HD channels). Hopefully this is cleared up in a day or so.

    With what they were charging me for the SA DVRs, and since I can get two (2) rebates per household, we may change the other SA DVR to an S3 :up: :up:

    Almost forgot, got the 500GB SATA drive, external enclosure, and eSATA cable sitting here, will have to do the kickstart 63 later :cool:
     
  2. Jun 1, 2007 #2722 of 9367
    inaka

    inaka Well-Known Member

    13,168
    41
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oakland, CA
    Ok, my tech just left installing the cable cards on my new S3 and it was a piece of cake. Took about 15 minutes total and we were done. I'm in Antioch, CA.

    QUESTION: Do you sill need to pay for the HD package from Comcast in order to view HD content and HD locals?

    The reason I ask is that I returned the Comcast HD DVR, and they are no longer charging me for HD, even though I get all the channels. The only new charge is now $1.70/mo for the second cable card per month.

    I even went down to the local Comcast office, because I was told over the phone that the cost for HD only was $8/mo and that the HD plan with their HD DVR is $12/mo. After thinking about it, I went down to the office to get the HD DVR back since I thought I would be paying $8/mo anyway for HD and I could then use OnDemand, etc., but when the Comcast guy at the office reviewed my bill, they said I'm no longer paying for HD at all. No $8/mo charge, and no $12/mo charge since I returned the HD DVR...but I'm still getting all HD channels, locals, ESPN HD, etc.

    Is this just an oversight by them, or included with the cable card fee?
     
  3. Jun 2, 2007 #2723 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    No, there is really no "HD package". There is an extra charge for renting a HD set top box instead of the standard SD set top box. HD locals are part of limited basic. If you have digital classic, you get all of the non-premium HD channels as well.
     
  4. Jun 2, 2007 #2724 of 9367
    drcos

    drcos HD where available

    253
    0
    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    I would have to agree. When my CCs were not yet working, the only digital channels coming in were the 'free' channels: the HD locals and the HD backchannels (weatherscan). These channels always showed up on the SA8xxxx diagnostics screens as 'Free-to-air' channels.
     
  5. Jun 2, 2007 #2725 of 9367
    ThePennyDropped

    ThePennyDropped Now I get it.

    3,705
    44
    Jul 5, 2006
    Northeast US
    This is probably a stupid question, but I'm going to ask you all to indulge me:

    Right now, we've got DirecTV and a DirecTivo, which we're using to watch in SD on our newish HDTV. I'd like to bite the bullet and switch to Comcast and get an S3 so we can watch and record HD.

    If I buy the S3, how much of the setup will I be able to do before the Comcast install? We receive signals from several OTA HD channels in our area, but they are pretty unreliable and poor quality (watchable for only a few minutes before we give up on them), since I don't want to invest in an HD antenna given that we plan to eventually receive our HD from cable or FIOS if it ever makes it out our way.

    I'm assuming I should not wait until the Comcast tech is here to hook up the S3 and do a guided setup.

    In other words, which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Should I set up the S3 first as much as I can, or should I get the Comcast install done and then call them back another day to get them to bring the cablecards, etc.?

    Thanks for any advice,
    Debbie
     
  6. Jun 2, 2007 #2726 of 9367
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    50,973
    31
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    You can run through the guided setup before Comcast arrives, it really doesn't matter. The process of installing and testing the CableCARDs happens more in a diagnostic mode and how you've configured your S3 doesn't affect the process of pairing and testing channels. Once the CableCARDs are installed, you'll just rerun guided setup, which you can do after the Comcast tech leaves.
     
  7. Jun 2, 2007 #2727 of 9367
    Motor_Head

    Motor_Head New Member

    4
    0
    May 27, 2007
    I live in Auburn Hills, MI and have South Oakland County Comcast out of Royal Oak. I just had my 2 cable cards installed, and everything worked fine. The installers had never done an S3 before, but we followed through the instructions and it all worked. Here are my notes:
    1. Install the first card.
    2. Wait for the card info screen.
    3. Call dispatch, give them card info.
    4. Insert second card.
    5. Wait for card info screen.
    6. Give dispatch info on second card.
    7. Dispatch activates both cards.
    8. Test channels...voila

    The only odd thing was that the installer's boss told them "make sure the TV is off when you first insert these"...so I had to explain that their boss must've thought the cards were going into 2 tvs. They were cool, and did as I said.
     
  8. Jun 2, 2007 #2728 of 9367
    ThePennyDropped

    ThePennyDropped Now I get it.

    3,705
    44
    Jul 5, 2006
    Northeast US
    Thank you, Doug and Motor_Head, for the advice!

    --Debbie
     
  9. Jun 3, 2007 #2729 of 9367
    TwoCybers

    TwoCybers New Member

    25
    0
    Sep 6, 2006
    Atlanta
    Comcast Tech came out May 7th and "activated" -- they were running late and it appeared all was OK -- wrong. Nothing was activated. Then I called phone support and finally everything worked fine. The Pairing message said Valid or some message -- anyway the "Contact your Cable Provider" message no longer appeared.

    On May 12, TIVO support finally decided I had a bum unit and sent me a replacement Series 3. I moved the Cable Cards - they worked in the sense I could see all my channels, but under the Pairing window, these cards were not activated. I called Comcast as per instructions, and Comcast asked can I see channels. Well yes -- so they said fine it works. I pointed out the Pairing message said they were not activated. Comcast said they don't control messages from Tivo - Call Tivo. Tivo said Call Comcast -- they have not properly activated the cards.

    On May 29, one card quit working. I call on the phone and Comcast did something. The card started working -- it has different Host IDs, etc. But still under Pairing there was the message the saying Contact Your Cable Company for Activation.

    Yesterday a Cable Card quit again. The phone people said they can't do anything on their end, and a tech is coming out Tuesday.

    Is it mandatory or critical that the activation process be such that the Pairing message says the activation has been accomplished? (one Tivo phone tech said yes you must, another said if it works OK -- Comcast takes the position if it works, why are you calling us)

    Thanks and have a nice day.
     
  10. Jun 3, 2007 #2730 of 9367
    sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

    1,269
    0
    Jan 6, 2007
    There are 3 types of channels:
    1) unencrypted
    2) encrypted (CCI=0x00)
    3) encrypted+CPMS (CCI=non-zero)

    When the cards are activated you can view #1 & #2 irrespective of the pairing.

    To view #3 the pairing needs to be properly done (Host Validation = Valid)

    If your area has no channels in category #3 then you don't need to worry about the pairing right now, but may need to in the future if they ever turn on CPMS.

    Comcast has usually only been turning on CPMS for channels like HBO, SHO, etc. but they are not always consistent and sometimes HBO doesn't have CPMS but SHO does.
     
  11. Jun 3, 2007 #2731 of 9367
    TwoCybers

    TwoCybers New Member

    25
    0
    Sep 6, 2006
    Atlanta
    OK - I don't have any premium channels such as HBO, ShowTime, etc. I have Digital Plus only -- As I read it then, the "Valid" vs. Contact Cable Provider message in the Pairing area is of no import to getting channels --

    But is there any import with regard to keeping or not keeping the cable card "activated" to I can get the normal digital channels?

    Next Question - Should a cable card be as stable in terms of activation as a Set Top Box? The card perform a similar function, but they may be a very different technology.

    Gordon
    Atlanta
     
  12. Jun 3, 2007 #2732 of 9367
    sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

    1,269
    0
    Jan 6, 2007
    Yes, the CableCARDs need to remain Connected/EnabledByCP. I think you may have Scientific Atlanta cards as your terminology is slightly different than the Motorola screens.

    If they aren't then you will most likely lose the encrypted channels (#2 above).

    These things should be as stable as STBs. Mine certainly are. I think your cable system has some problem with their back-end management and there is some batch or intermittent process that runs and messes up the #s in the database.
     
  13. Jun 3, 2007 #2733 of 9367
    TwoCybers

    TwoCybers New Member

    25
    0
    Sep 6, 2006
    Atlanta
    The cards in Atlanta that I have are Motarola cards - at least I do remember seening Motarola someplace in the Tivo settings.

    Thanks for you help

    Gordon
     
  14. Jun 3, 2007 #2734 of 9367
    dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    549
    0
    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    So, my two new S3's are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday and I have a Comcast appointment to install the 4 cablecards on Wednesday.

    I currently subscribe to the high-speed internet service, but only the $15.59 basic cable TV service which is supposed to only give me the local analog and local HD channels. However, since I have the HSI service, I have always been able to get the complete analog set of channels 2-99 on my TVs and S2 TiVos. On my current Comcast DVR however (which will be returned once I get the cable cards installed) I only get what I am supposed to get (per Comcast).

    When they set up my S3's with the cable cards, should I expect to also have those "extra" channels between 2-99 that I am not supposed to get to be blacked out (just like my Comcast HD DVR box) or is the S3 TiVo by any chance smart enough to allow them through even though cable cards are in there? I fear that I will be forced yet another expense of having to upgrade to Digital Classic cable thus tacking on another $50 to my monthly charges.
     
  15. Jun 4, 2007 #2735 of 9367
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    If they're analog and only analog, you'll likely still get them. But if they're being digitally simulcast, you'll most likely not be able to get them since the CableCARD will enforce your programming tier on digital channels.
     
  16. Jun 4, 2007 #2736 of 9367
    Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,738
    14
    Feb 18, 2002
    I found when I got cable cards, all the analog channels were simulcast in digital. YMMV.
     
  17. Jun 4, 2007 #2737 of 9367
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,155
    19
    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    I'll be glad when they do that here. We still have the analog channels only.
     
  18. Jun 5, 2007 #2738 of 9367
    ScottW_CO

    ScottW_CO New Member

    34
    0
    Jun 5, 2007
    Boulder, CO area -

    Ordered me up an S3 from Amazon the other day (Amazon discount + Father's Day rebate = 50% off! Schweet).

    I currently have Comcast cable service, with their HD DVR box. Talking to the customer service chick, she's telling me I have to *keep* a set-top box hooked up to keep my service running. I explained the two cards I requested were going into a TiVo, and that I planned on returning the set-top box.

    This is the first I've heard of this. Is this complete misinformation/BS or is there something to this?
     
  19. Jun 5, 2007 #2739 of 9367
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    50,973
    31
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    Yes.
     
  20. Jun 5, 2007 #2740 of 9367
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    The Comcast tech I spoke to today indicated that they "program the CableCards for your head-end only after the service order is put in". First I've heard of that.
     

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