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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. oldnacl

    oldnacl New Member

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    Mar 23, 2007
    Yes, silly but very self serving, as the return on what's probably a <$100 investment net in the rental cable box brings a fantastic return over the life of the unit with (in the case of the SAs, anyway) minimal maintenance. Anyway, they gave me the old SA8300HD when I picked it up at the local office on 7/14. Of course, by increasing the monthly charge for two cable cards from $5.50 to $17.90, they made up for lost revenue on the STB rental.... So they win both ways.
     
  2. ALK3011

    ALK3011 New Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    I got my HD Tivo yesterday. I called Comcast (in CHICAGO) to get my cable cards. they are coming tomorrow. They told me that they would cost $26.99 each and i would own them. I told the person on the phone that I had read on their own web site that the first card was free. She put me on hold for 15 minutes. When she returned, I was getting card one for free and card two for $1.51 a month. Not too bad. I am glad I did the research on the Comcast site. Let's just hope now that the installer knows what he is doing.
     
  3. kiomon

    kiomon New Member

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    Oct 17, 2004
    hey I just picked up my cable cards from the comcast on north ave in chicago. They gave me two and it cost me NOTHING! They didnt give me any instructions, but I will figure it out. I had made an appointment but they said it would be next week and that I couldnt put the cards in myself. I was bummed, but decided to stop by anyway. Woohoo i get to play tonight. They gave me the multistream cards, so I actually have an extra. We'll see if I like this TivoHD, I may pick up another if it works great.

    Just wanted to share, because from what I was able to search it didnt look like most people were able to pick them up.
     
  4. gyeah99

    gyeah99 New Member

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    Jul 25, 2007

    Hey let us how it works out. I'm in the NW chicago burbs..went to schaumburg comcast today and the lady said no can do for getting my cable cards (even though the lady on the 800 number said to just go there and pick them up !)..grrhh..i have an appointmen for next week, but seems a bit of a waste when i can just slide them in and call some # to activate. I may just head down to north avenue tomorrow...
     
  5. boyettdw

    boyettdw Frequent Browser

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Alabama
    I just picket up a TiVo HD from Circuit City yesterday. I was able to pick up 2 CableCards from my local Comcast office. However, I have spent several hours on the phone with their tech support this evening trying somewhat unsuccessfully to get them working correctly.

    The cards obviously weren't initialized properly the first time. It took several calls, but I was finally connected with someone higher than the low level tech support. He was able to send an init hit to my cards and I am now able to see all the HD content and most digital channels, before I could only see the unencrypted channels.

    My problem now is that I am only receiving about 15% of my analog channels and about 90% of my digital ones. There doesn't seem to be any pattern as to what channels I can tune and what I can't. When I check the CA screen for the channels I am not receiving, it is NOT reading "Subscribed" like it should. This one had my level 2 tech stumped. He didn't know what else he could do other than to roll a truck, which can't be here for 5 days or so.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  6. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Do you know the Motorola version? This may be the only way to get an Mcard without a huge hassle.
     
  7. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    As others have mentioned, some folks don't post their successes.

    I've had two S3s. The first was a complete travesty; the second worked. There is no question in my mind that the technology isn't very robust. However, given the odds (and my 50/50 is no indicator of the reality, which is closer to 90/10 or 95/5 or even better), it is worth the risk, if you've got the money to spend and aren't worried about the limitations.

    Indeed. I'm sure your cable company offers its own HD DVR, for which you're almost surely not going to have a problem (either because it is a grandfathered STB with integrated security, or because it is a CableCard STB which with CableCards installed at the factory). While not as whiz-bang neato as the S3, they're still better than SD!

    I'm not sure a month or two will result in a quantum shift. Give it a year, maybe, and every installer will have more experience than they have now.

    Also keep this in mind: With my first S3, I had three installers over the course of two weeks, all three had some CableCard installation experience, and the second and third BOTH were the CableCard experts in our area. They couldn't get it to work. With my second S3, the year after, the installer had NO CableCard experience. That install went off with no problems. Experience didn't seem to make any difference.
     
  8. drcos

    drcos HD where available

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    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    - If you have a SA headend, see my post here where I enlighten you, the little people :) about my travails with the CP info screen.
    - If the channels you are receiving are showing a CCI byte 0x02 and the ones you don't get are 0x00 or 0x01, your cards are not properly programmed from the headend. Here in SWFL there is a 'digital preferred' tier which is separately 'segragated' in the billing/subscription system, and if your cards are not programmed correctly, you will receive most of your premium channels and few of your 'expanded digital' channels (i.e. HBO, Cinemax, yes, Encore plex, no).
    This problem has been related to billing in my experience, as the system is needlessly complicated on their end as well, so often when you P&M to them, you are preaching to the choir.
    - TO SUM UP...this sounds like a billing/account problem where they have (probably unintentionally) missed or mis-programmed some digit or code in your account, and I suspect your cards are not bad, they're just programmed that way :)
    - Hopefully you will get to someone who knows what to do to fix the problem.
     
  9. Dan Murphy

    Dan Murphy New Member

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    Aug 7, 2004
    Thank you both for clarifying.


    It sure is amazing all the different stories and answers we hear from Comcast reps. CSR's, seems in any service business, are ill trained in thier product offerings and procedures.
     
  10. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    You can glean a lot of it from the footnotes accompanying the price list for your market, as well as from how the charges in the price list are grouped under categories. It eventually even can make sense when you look at how a typical statement is broken down, especially when they do weird things like show credits for things you don't use to back them out of "package pricing" so they can then charge for what is applicable. I know a great deal of it is due to how the franchise agreements require they bill various items, but you'd think there just has to be a simpler way to implement it.
     
  11. sfhub

    sfhub Active Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
  12. DocNo

    DocNo Member

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    Oct 10, 2001
    Bristow, VA
    Success!

    After getting stiffed for my appointment yesterday (grrrr :mad: ) I got a tech today who actually knew what he was doing!

    in a positive first step, he actually checked the signal strength - and there were some issues with splitters... got those resolved and we replaced the one cable card that wasn't working. Called in, and verified all the numbers - lo and behold, the host ID was off by one number - no wonder the first cable card never worked successfully. Entered in all the right numbers and what do you know - they worked!

    So, once I got a tech that knew what he was doing, and was able to correctly read numbers to the guys on the other end of the line, it works!

    HD is simply stunning - well worth the three weeks of hassle. It's too bad companies like Comcast don't train their people better so it ends up having to be this difficult.
     
  13. Turtleboy

    Turtleboy Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Mar 24, 2001
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Anyone from Fort Lauderdale reading this thread?

    Do I require I visit, or can I pick up the cards and do it myself these days?
     
  14. drcos

    drcos HD where available

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    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    The SWFL CableCard billing saga continues...
    Spoke with a helpful rep this evening at the behest of the supervisor who had been emailed by the rep at the local office. We had settled on what the bill should be, and he spent some time trying to make it so. Finally it was determined that there is a bogus 'additional digital equipment' charge (of $7.95 ea) that has to be on the account, tied to the two additional cards or they will not work. He also said that it was a system thing, that they could not do anything about at their level, it would have to be done by IT and district.
    He says they will be working on correcting the system to eliminate the need for the charge, and once it is fixed, they will correct retro-actively the bills of those affected. He also did give me his name and extension and said he would call and keep me informed as the situation is resolved. After all the stories I had been hearing over the last couple months, this sounds less like bs than the other "explanations" I have been given.

    So I'm thinking I'll give it a couple weeks before contacting corporate. What do we think about that?
     
  15. Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

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    Sep 29, 2002
    I had Comcast until a few months ago.

    The primary reason I switched to Verizon was what they charge significantly less.

    I've got the same number of cable cards and boxes, and the FIOS internet... But I'm paying about $40.00 per month less.

    In addition, while the billing department at Verizon is just as goofy as Comcast, the installation and setup of the equipment went very smoothly by comparison.

    I'm not saying they sent a rocket scientist to install things, but at least the central office techs were firmly aware of CC's and proper setup.

    [Comcast's corporate policy is to not advertise Cable Cables, or to train their personel, in hopes they'll go away. Many management figures are out right hostle toward cable cards...]
     
  16. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    I think that's just something you decided to say just out of anger. It's hyperbole, at best, but even calling it that is generous.
     
  17. boyettdw

    boyettdw Frequent Browser

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Alabama
    Thanks for the info. I was assuming that it was a billing problem, but couldn't convince any of the CSRs of that. Hopefully my truck roll on Wednesday will get it solved, but I am not very optimistic.
     
  18. DocNo

    DocNo Member

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    Oct 10, 2001
    Bristow, VA
    I dunno. In my "experience" with Comcast over the last month, it's pretty obvious they are not thrilled with Cable Card, don't want to support it, and are making a minimal effort (if even) to train their staff in how to configure the billing codes, provision it at the head end, and provide their installers with training so they know how to do basic troubleshooting. It took four trips by four different techs before I even got one that started the whole process by examining the signal strength of my cable :p Digital cable uses higher frequencies that are more susceptible to noise and distance than analog, and wouldn't you know it - some of my problems were related to signal strength.

    So I have no problem with Gerhard's statement - it matches my experience -- and the often candid discussions I had with the final, competent tech, that was just as frustrated as I was with how needlessly difficult that the cable companies are making cable card. To me, it wasn't hyperbole in the least.
     
  19. fishboy

    fishboy New Member

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    Aug 19, 2002
    Atlanta
    Okay, so I just placed my order for 2 Tivo HD 32hour units from Weaknees. Yea, I know, the upgrades were a bit expensive, but I figured since I was getting 2 units for the price of a single S3 unit, I could add in the extra. And plus, I wouldn't have to worry too much about screwing something up on my brand new Tivos.

    I also just called Comcast to schedule the install. Earlier today when I was on the fence about whether to order the Tivo units, the agent told me that I was required to have the installers come to my house to "install" the four cable cards. The guy I just spoke with at 404-Comcast (I'm in the Atlanta area, Canton actually) told me that I could just stop by my local cable office and pick them up. I told him that since I'd gotten conflicting information that I'd rather go ahead and schedule the appointment and then if I go by the office and they give them to me, I'll call and cancel my appointment. So, I guess we'll see.

    Also, the first lady told me there was an "upgrade fee" of $18.25 to "upgrade" to the CableCards. This was a single, one-time fee that included the cards installed and the installer coming to my house. The guy told me that if I picked up the cards from the office that I could avoid the "installation fee" of $18.25. So, I guess we'll see about that too.

    Anyway, I'll let you guys know how it goes with my install and setup. I am giddy and can't wait. The 2 crappy SA8300HD DVRs I have now are nearly out of my hair and I can't wait to see them leaving my house! :)
     
  20. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    It's going to be interesting since as of July all new equipment the cable companies purchase must use the same CableCARDs that all third-party manufacturers need to use, so cable companies will only be facing more CableCARDs in the future, and sooner or later will need to streamline the whole authorization process.
     

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