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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. jefsta

    jefsta New Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Atlanta - I've had my series3 since January. I've just been using it with analog cable until I purchase a HDTV. Over the last few weeks comcast has been trying to get everyone to move to digital. So I agreed. They required I have a tech install the cable cards. He has no clue. He is an independent contractor for Comcast . We follow the TiVo directions. He calls Comcast and they say they have activated the cards but they still don't work. His management says the TiVo is not his problem and Comcast says the cards are active and that I need to program the channels on my TV! Comcast does not have a clue!!! So he leaves me with the Cablecards that don't work...

    Here is what happens. TiVo sees the cards, no problem. I keep getting an error acquiring channels. The message says "The DVR is unable to acquire channel information from the CableCard.....' The first time it looked like it was acquiring the channels. it counted up to 385 channels loaded and then stopped. Since then, nothing. I have reset the box, done the guided setup, but it will not acquire the channels

    Any suggestions?
  2. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    Feb 18, 2002
    Has the tech checked the signal strength? If you have too many splits in the cable the cards won't get the info they need. Also, if you are using an old 900 mhz splitter, this blocks the digital signals, upgrade to a 1 ghz splitter. Lowes sells them at a reasonable cost.

    Edited to fix typo. Thanks Aaronwt!
  3. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    SInce when does COmcast digital go up to 2Ghz.? We only have an 875Mhz cable plant here that is brand new. Nothing here goes over 875Mhz. I use 1Ghz splitters on everything as does Comcast in my area.
  4. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    Feb 18, 2002
    Whoops :eek:

    Thanks for catching that typo, I fixed it.
  5. jefsta

    jefsta New Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    How long have the 1Ghz splitters been out? This could be the problem. The splitter that is there is probably 3 years old. I'll check this tonight.
  6. andyf0722

    andyf0722 New Member

    May 14, 2007
    Anyone know a way to get in touch with Comcast provisioning center?

    I got a replacement S3 Tivo for one that was having problems. Now I need my cablecards paired again. It should just be a matter of Comcast updating 2 numbers (Host and Data) for each of my cablecards. Everything else is the same since the cablecards were originally installed.

    Customer service says they can't reach the provisioning center only the tech can do that, which would require a visit to my house and I am sure at least $15. Seems a waste of my time, the techs time, gas, and $15 dollars so the tech can come to my house, make a phone call, and give them the same info.

    Anyone else had luck in this situation and care to share the secret?
  7. jkelle

    jkelle New Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    Ok - cannot get any of my VOD or premium or high channels with new S3 and 2 x Scientific Atlanta CC's. I have tried 4 times with Comcast to troubleshoot over the phone but now am going to burn a half a day of work on Friday (ok, so that's not too bad i guess....) to meet a tech at my place. But I'm damned if i can see what the problem is.

    I go into the cablecard options and choose the CP Information option: both cards show authorized with the system and Comcast can see both cards. The host id's and card numbers are correct. Any suggestions what else in the diagnostics / CP info screen I might look at? (since the rest of the info in that CP screen means nothing to me...)?


    Frustrated in Arlington, VA :confused:
  8. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    Feb 18, 2002
    VOD doesn't work on Series3.

    If you search for "CableCard" in the Tivo help screens, there's a debugging page that should help.
  9. LCD1080

    LCD1080 New Member

    Dec 13, 2006
    Comcast's contractor tried to install the cable cards yesterday but I think we made a critical mistake. We didn't wait for the MMI screen to come up before he hit Card #1. Instead we pressed the "Configure Cable Card 1" box and hit the card immediately. Would you all agree that the premature hit was the problem? Today I re-inserted the card and waited for the MMI screen to appear. After about 2 minutes the MMI screen came up. I acquired all of the channels but the encrypted channels aren't working. A Comcast tech is coming over tomorrow so I think that Card 1 is ready to be hit again. Also would you recommend that I tell him ask the head office to send an initialization and a refresh signal before they send the hit signal? I read in another thread that this helped on at least one card installation.
  10. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    Well, I've had a pisser of a time with my Comcast cable card install today.

    First, the install was to be from 8a-10a this morning. I took the morning off from work. I thought it was odd that I hadn't received a confirmation call by 8:30a so I called the 800 number to hear the automated voice tell me that my install was scheduled for between 3p-5p! I was pissed, called, and went to work.

    Left work around 3p. They showed up then so the two tech's had a 1/2 hour head start on it before I showed up (my wife was home, but know nothing about how this stuff works).

    Box A they said was set up fine and Box B they were calling in to get set up when I arrived. They said some of the channels could take 30+ minutes to register and show up and I could see that some of the digital channels already had. They left and shortly thereafter everything was perfect on Box B. I then ran the guided setups on both boxes (as the TiVo screen instructed me to do as well as the online cable card guide at tivo.com).

    Box B continued to work great (and as of this writing still is) with both cards. However, Box A now only is receiving channels 2-23 and 187-192 (the six local HD channels) on both tuners. This tells me that the two cards in Box A somehow got changed (or were never actually set up right in the first place) to the Basic service. I repeated guided setup, no help. I took the cards out which allowed the TiVo to get 2-99, but when putting them back in, still just 2-23 and 187-192.

    So I call Comcast at around 6:15p. They try to send a hit or whatever and the guy tells me it may take a while and he would call back in a half hour. Did I ever receive a call back? No.

    I call Comcast again around 8:20p. I explain the same thing to the lady on the other end, she tries to send a hit, and tells me I will get a call back in an hour and if not fixed, they'll send someone back to my house tomorrow. Again, no call back.

    I call Comcast a 3rd time at 10:00p. I get a nice lady that was unfortunately no help and I gave a lot of crap to when she tells me that they have a ticket open for me in the system that it will get resolved by Friday. Unacceptable. I ask for a supervisor or someone that knows anything about cable cards and she tells me that nobody is available at this time. She also says that nobody is allowed to call after 9p so why the first lady said I'll get a call back around 9:30p puzzles me. I am now expecting a call tomorrow from them.

    This is just suck a pisser. I know it's a different technonogy, but if DirecTV can get this set up in 5 minutes with their cards, why the hell can't the cable company? I think I know more about this stuff than the "professionals" on the phone. Bunch of morons!
  11. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    DirecTV is setting it up with their own boxes. The S3 isn't a box from Comcast. The key is getting a knowledgeable tech that knows the correct person to contact at the headend. In my area that person at the headend is the only person that can enter the proper info to get the cable cards working. A CSR sending a hit wouldn't fix anything in my area.
    At least is is worth it once everything is up an working. The SA boxes Comcast uses here are a joke. They don't come close to working as well as the S3.
  12. That Don Guy

    That Don Guy Now with more GB

    Mar 13, 2003
    Benicia, CA
    This is slightly OT as it doesn't quite apply to the S3, but does anybody with Comcast have a TV that takes a single CableCARD, and if you do, what do you pay per month for it (besides what you pay for the two cards I presume you have in your S3)?

    When I called to schedule an appointment to install two cards into my new S3, I was told that "they come in pairs," which seems strange if you happen to have a TV that has one CableCARD slot for its digital tuner.

    -- Don
  13. mbobak

    mbobak New Member

    May 23, 2004
    Belleville, MI
    WAAYY back when this thread was very young, I posted this:

    Which has a link to ComCast's policy on CableCards and charges.
    First card for each outlet is free (included in outlet fee), if you need a second one, they will charge "a regulated fee of up to $1.91 for the second CableCARD".

    See the link for full details.

  14. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    Well, with my Comcast install yesterday, they charged me $18 for the installer to come out and then a flat fee of $16 per each of the 4 cards that went into the two S3's for a total of $82 (only one of which is working properly). They told me that I would not get hit with any monthly fees for any of the cards though. I'm betting I'll get double dipped and get charged on my next bill though and will have to call.
  15. Pimpbot40

    Pimpbot40 New Member

    May 29, 2007
    Received my Series3 today and called Comcast in PG County Maryland to make an appt. to get my cable cards installed. The CSR told me that each outlet can only have one card assigned to it basically telling me that I can't have both cards installed in the Tivo. My assumption was that this is not the case so I advised him to tell the tech to bring two cards and I would work it out with him. Is this actually true? Has anyone else been told this by a Comcast CSR?
  16. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain View, CA
    It would be pretty silly if true, but I wouldn't put it past Comcast to do it.

    I've only heard of one person bumping up against a real limit, it was 7 cards, so his 4th machine could only have 1.
  17. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    Comcast really pisses me off. Sure enough I see extra charges on my recent activity so I call Comcast to understand why. In a nutshell, here are the 3 stories I have been told by CSRs from different calls pre and post installation.

    I have two S3's, each of course requiring 2 cable cards.

    I live in Cary, IL (NW of Chicago) so if other have the same or different pricing, please chime in.

    Scenario #1:
    * $17.99 install fee
    * $15.99 card fee (per card)
    * No monthly fee on either card
    EXPECTATION: $81.95 install fee with no monthly fees.

    Scenario #2:
    * $17.99 install fee
    * $0.00 card installation fee (per card)
    * $0.00/mo fee for 1st card, $1.50/mo fee for additional cards.
    EXPECTATION: $17.99 install fee with $4.50 monthly fees.

    Scenario #3:
    * $17.99 install fee
    * $15.99 "outlet activation fee"
    * $0.00/mo fee for 1st card per outlet, $1.50/mo fee for additional cards per outlet, $5.99 outlet fee for 2nd outlet.
    EXPECTATION: $33.98 install fee with $8.99 monthly fees.

    My recent activity showed a sum of scenario #1 plus the monthly of scenario #3. The rep credited 3 x 15.99, but said that scenario #3 is the way it will go forward. Something about having a 2nd box requires a 2nd outlet.

    What the hell? I just traded in two of their DVRs at $11.99 a piece and I was never charged for a 2nd outlet. Are they screwing me here (more than normal)? I just don't think I should have to be paying $5.99 more for that extra outlet.
  18. azitnay

    azitnay New Member

    Jan 20, 2003
    Washington, DC USA
    It sounds like you were just getting lucky before... A second Series3 typically means an additional outlet fee.

  19. keenanSR

    keenanSR Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    Scenario #3 is the one it should be, at least that's how it would be here in the SF bay area.
  20. drcos

    drcos HD where available

    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    Okay, now the second S3 goes in, with another dual CC install on a Friday from Comcast. Shouldn't be a problem as now someone at the headend knows what to do :rolleyes:

    Different tech, problems, problems with first CC. He wants to rewire the house, I show him the signal strength is excellent, he replaces something outside anyway and my signal strength gets more excellent (excellenter?)...

    First CC won't install, getting an 'error occurred during authorization. Please contact your retailer.' So he tries another card. They shut off my cable modem :confused: and one of the CCs in the other S3 :eek:

    Finally after two hours, he gets another agent at the headend who fixes everything in like ten minutes. Modem working, both CCs in first S3, now both CCs in second S3, all in ten minutes. "What did you do?" "We took the CC S/N (from the label), the pairing info, and the MAC address and entered it into the system."

    Not quite painless, but neither very painful. For not knowing what they're doing, or "how much of a PITA Cable Cards are" (their techs), we seem to be working out rather well at this time here in SW FL.

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