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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. DocNo

    DocNo Member

    Oct 10, 2001
    Bristow, VA
    Ah, but as my tech friend pointed out, the cable cards in the boxes are mated to the boxes ahead of time.

    That is, they are configured "in the shop" - heck, just like in a corporate environment where I can order 500 PC's from Dell with the exact software image on the hard drive I want, I'll bet the boxes come pre-configured from Moto or SA with the cable card fully configured.

    I'll bet it won't affect the cable co's processes one bit. Devices like Tivo will still be the "odd man out" :p
  2. rmerikle

    rmerikle New Member

    Aug 4, 2004
    Many Moons ago I had a Series 1 Tivo. I then went to Comcast for HDTV and have hated that decision every since. I am now looking at the TivoHD and I am hoping for some feedback to make sure I understand everything.

    I will be going with the M cable card or two regular cable cards from comcast along with Limited Cable. According to the Comcast website I get the below channels with Limited Cable. Is there anything I am missing? It almost seems to good to be true.

    I live close to downtown Seattle and have access to over the air HD channels if that will work as well. It is my understanding the Tivo and integrate both programming guides into one. Do you think I will need to do this or will I get all that I need from Comcast?

    I am currently paying for Limited $14; Expanded $35; Digital Classic $12; DVR Service $12. I am hoping to knock out the Expanded, Digital Classic and DVR fees which would more then pay for the TivoHD over time and best of all I would have Tivo back in my home. I really only watch the mainstream programming and need HDTV for mostly mainstream network shows along with sports.

    Will this all work as I describe above. I have found lots of information on Cable Cards and understand the fees associated with that, but I am having a hard time understanding what I need to pay for Comcast programming.

    Sorry if my question has already been answered, but I did some searches and there are 100+ pages of posts to go through. I did not see anything that naswered some of my questions.

    Comcast Web site channel listing

    # Channel Name Interests Features
    2 Northwest Cable News News & Info
    3 ION
    4 KOMO (ABC)
    5 KING (NBC)
    6 KONG
    7 KIRO (CBS)
    8 Discovery Channel Children & Family
    9 KCTS (PBS)
    11 KSTW (CW)
    12 KBTC (PBS)
    13 KCPQ (FOX)
    14 KBCB
    15 KHCV
    16 QVC Lifestyle
    17 HSN/Leased Access Lifestyle
    18 KWDK
    19 Hallmark Channel Movies
    20 KTBW
    21 Government Access News & Info
    22 King County Civic TV
    23 TVW News & Info
    24 C-SPAN News & Info
    25 C-SPAN2 News & Info
    26 Educational Access Lifestyle
    27 UWTV News & Info
    28 Educational Access Lifestyle
    29 KUNS (Univision)
    75 KCTS (PBS) Plus
    76 UW2 TV News & Info
    77 Public Access News & Info
    78 The Weather Channel News & Info
    99 CBUT Multicultural
    104 KOMO (ABC) in Hi-Def* High-Definition TV
    105 KING (NBC) in Hi-Def* High-Definition TV
    106 KONG in Hi-Def* High-Definition TV
    107 KIRO (CBS) in Hi-Def* High-Definition TV
    108 KCTS (PBS) in Hi-Def* High-Definition TV
    109 KCTS (PBS) Digital
    110 KMYQ (MYNETWORKTV) in Hi-Def*
    111 KSTW (CW) in Hi-Def* High-Definition TV
    112 KCTS (PBS) Create
    113 KCPQ (FOX) in Hi-Def* High-Definition TV
    115 KING-5 Weather Plus News & Info
    116 TheTube

    * High Definition is an additional $5 per month in addition to Comcast Cable.
  3. DocNo

    DocNo Member

    Oct 10, 2001
    Bristow, VA
    It varies from local to local, but so far to activate the cable cards it seems the majority of locations require at least the basic tier of digital cable, and there is no charge for HD.
  4. Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

    Sep 29, 2002
    No, actually, I was on the phone with a Comcast call center manager who was out right hostile about cable cards. He was from the Silver Spring office, because 24 hour coverage in the Montgomery County, MD area is provided there.

    The man actually TOLD ME THAT.

    He went on to say that Comcast and other cable companies are "forced" to take cable cards, and that since no one uses them, they don't make it a point of training their CS reps or technicians how to work with them.

    That means that everything is word of mouth from one tech to another at the point in time that they finally encounter a cable card installation.

    I'm not joking... the man was, pretty much, vicious as he was saying this to me. He was ranting about how I wasn't going to get the Comcast guide, or any on demand stuff, that cable cards were bad for end users and Comcast,etc... and was super angry when I told him I absolutely didn't want any of the features he mentioned, and that my entire reason for going with Tivo was to eliminate all the stuff on the screen along with being able to bypass commercials…

    Furthermore, the guy REFUSED to reinitialize the Cable Cards in my Series 3. (Comcast, as happened 4 times during the period I had them with the Series 3, had done something to their network that had caused the cards to need to be reauthorized.) He told me to call back during normal business hours. I suspect, but I’m not positive, that the guy just didn’t want to deal with the Cable Cards.

    The man was so angry that it pretty much didn’t make any sense to me. Aside from telling the previous non-management tech that if he "didn’t know what he was doing with the Cable Cards to get a manager on the line", I was relatively pleasant about the whole annoying situation.

    So don't sit there and question my integrity when you’ve got no idea what the situation is.

    In the event you work for Comcast, maybe someone should be training the staff and techs so that all of the problems in this thread never happened. The fact that trucks are rolled to install cable cards with techs that have no idea who to install them, or what information they need for the head node to activate them is more than annoying. ...and it appears that it's on purpose.

    Based on what the guy a Comcast said to me, Comcast is attempting to provide poor, at best, support for cable cards in an attempt to make end users go away.

    It appears that the thought process is "If we make it difficult enough, people will not use them."

  5. marjl21

    marjl21 New Member

    May 11, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    Actually, when I was having my cable cards installed on Friday, the CSR that I spoke with told me that all the CSR's in my local office (Memphis) had just been trained on authorizing cable cards last week. However, that still doesn't mean that they know what they are doing. After 2 hours, the tech (who had only done 1 CC install before) and myself finally figured out that the CSR had entered the numbers wrong for both cards. She couldn't figure out how to delete the cards, so we spoke with a manager who said he was leaving for the day. He gave me his direct # and told me to call him this weekend, as he was working both days, and he would get me set up since he had lots of CC experience. Well after at least 4 calls and a voicemail each day, I was never able to get in contact with him. Looks like I'm going to be calling in today trying to find someone that can help. Oh the joys of Comcrap.....
  6. ALK3011

    ALK3011 New Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Need some advice BEFORE I call again.
    I had a cable card nightmare. ...... after waiting all day on Saturday, the installer came at the end of the day to install the cards, but he did not bring them (it was not on his order). I called comcast and made a stink and actually got them to agree not only to a sunday call, but also that since I waited all day, that I would be the first appointment.

    The installer showed up with single stream cards and 2 multi-stream cards. (just in case - LOL)
    Well....he was nice and all but clearly the people on the phone who activate them, so not know what they are doing. THe don't ask for any of the numbers that come up on the screen and cannot get them activated. We re-boot, we re-do the guided set up. OVER AND OVER. After FOUR HOURS I was fairly fed up. It was a nice day outside and I had now lost two days.

    I told the installer to leave all the cards -- and he did! I have a multi-stream card in and actually it is working on both tuners - I get my digital channels, I get my HD channels, but I am not getting my premium channels - any of my HBO or HD HBO channels.

    I am almost afraid to mess with it, but dont know what to do. Here are my questions - i need the serial number of the card (and am afraid to take it out to get it), and has anyone had success in asking the right questions or getting the right technician on the phone to help them get the card activated???? I am in Chicago. And I would love to get this solved today.

  7. Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

    Sep 29, 2002
    Yepper... at least they are now doing some form of training.

    I do get the impression that things with Comcast as HIGHLY decentralized. It seems like every region does it's own thing, like they gobbled up a bunch of smaller companies and still haven't brought it all under the corpoate mothership.
  8. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    You can pull it out anytime. Just put it back in the same slot it came from, and don't put it in the other slot or put a different card in the original slot even once.

    If you are really paranoid, you can do this with the receiver power turned off which absolutely assures nothing in the receiver recognizes you temporarily removed the card to look at it. :)
  9. Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

    Sep 29, 2002
    Ok, the first thing is that you should problem just keep using the card that's in there.

    The next thing is to go to the card setup screens and write down all of the number that are on those pages. You need the card s/n, you need the UID, and maybe something else.

    Then, you call up Comcast and ask them to have the card authorized for premium channels.

    What probably happened, especially if you are getting digital channels above 100, is that they didn't setup you account billing information properly. As such, you are not authorized to get premium content.

    If you only get the non-digital channels, then it's like the card is not authorized at all...

    It sounds like you are close to getting everything working.

    Make sure you have the card's serial number when you call... because that's how Comcast determines how to send initalization parameters to the CC.

    If you don't have it, restart the Tivo and pull the power... then pull out the card and write down the info on the back of it.
  10. Chris Beveridge

    Chris Beveridge New Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    Finally got my TivoHD box yesterday and got it setup, made the call to comcast and the rep had no clue about what to do. Suggested just going to the local office to get the cards and going from there since he couldn't even figure out the difference between single and multi.

    So I went in this morning, dropped off my box and asked for the cards to be setup. They can't hand out hardware there apparently but they could set an install date. Fine, fine. Then I'm told that the cards only work with TVs and not Tivo's.


    I figure she just means that they don't work with on demand programming which is fine, but it made me do a double take. "Our cablecards don't work with tivo, just TVs" was the emphatic statement. They also apparently don't carry multistream cards so I'll end up with two cards at about $2.75 each... :(
  11. Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

    Sep 29, 2002
    That's nonsense. As usual, the Comcast person hasn't been trained...

    So, what you do, is you call and you lie.

    "I need service setup for my TV that take two Cable Cards."

    Don't mention the Tivo at all.

    I've done this a few times, and it works like a champ.

    Also, reiterate that you need TWO cable cards, and make sure they note it on the work order.

    Generally, Comcast will not let you pickup cable cards. Some areas yes, most no.

  12. CCourtney

    CCourtney Member

    Mar 28, 2006
    El Dorado...
    Yes and No. If you're on their new pricing structure there's no charge. I'm still on the old pricing structure and I get charged $1.75 each.

  13. Chris Beveridge

    Chris Beveridge New Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    I figured they were just being unclear on the subject in some way. If I hadn't been at least a bit aware of what's involved with cablecards I can imagine someone else getting quite upset with either comcast and/or tivo over the thing.
  14. AGBulls

    AGBulls New Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Like many, I changed to the Comcast HD DVR and have been disappointed. Being clogged with ads and totally unintuitive, I'm ready to go back to Tivo with the new $299 unit.

    If I do take the jump, I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to get a multi-stream card from Comcast Chicago (woohoo!). However, this whole talk about this upcoming new channel technology has me worried. How likely is it that my Tivo HD could become obsolete in a year's time with the SD channels not being available?

    I'm willing to sacrifice On-demand, since it really seems there is no way around that. But if the Tivo doesn't work in a year (or even two) I don't think my wife will ever let me hear the end of it. I'm selling some stuff on ebay just to buy this new one as is. Anyone with a real clue on this upcoming channel technology? I'm not super familiar with it, and really just don't want to get screwed. :)
  15. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    Just a reminder to everyone to never do the guided setup as part of the cable card install with a cable company tech there. It is a total waste of time, especially if you are having cable card activation problems. Channels can be checked from within the cable card setup screen. Once the cable cards are working and verified then you can do the tedious guided setup at your leasure.
  16. c_tripps_2k

    c_tripps_2k Member

    Sep 12, 2005

    I have had to deal with "Comcrap" in Memphis numerous times. It is so bad here that I actually had to visit the corporate office a couple of times to get anything done. The workers here are not trained properly and they have extremely bad attitudes. It's is virtually imposible to even get through to anyone that can get anything done. It took me 2 weeks to get info on cable cards and to actually get them installed and working properly.
  17. jimtedjeske

    jimtedjeske New Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    I live in Peters Twp and am on my third visit from Comcast. One card functions great. Card #2 receives only basic channels and also recieves HD channnels but no digital channels and no premium channels. During setup of the card on nchanging to a new channel you can sometimes get a flash of the channel before it gets blocked. I am calling for visit #4 today.
  18. wizzy

    wizzy S1, (2) S2, TivoHD

    Nov 11, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    I picked up my M card this morning in Chicago. They gave me a generic 800# to call to activate, which took me to normal tech support. They tried to activate, but I'm not getting HBO or most other digital channels (although clear-QAM channels are showing up mapped to their correct location, so something did work). I'm supposed to get a call back from their cable card group within 4 hours..I'm sure it's a switch that didn't get flipped, but at least (hopefully) I won't have to wait til later this week for a tech to come out.
  19. marjl21

    marjl21 New Member

    May 11, 2007
    Memphis, TN

    Success! I finally found someone that knew how to properly activate cable cards and we got them to work on the first try! After three weeks, hopefully I am finally done having to deal with them. I just got my recent bill... I was charged 24.95 for cable transfer and 19.95 for internet transfer, but then there was a $70 credit on my bill! I got mad at one of the CSR's about how they had screwed up my initial installation (no cable cards, although on the work order) and demanded that the transfer fees be waved. She declined to wave them, although it looks like someone did and then some.
  20. ALK3011

    ALK3011 New Member

    Jan 27, 2007

    I am getting digital but not HBO - i am now waiting for that same call. I refused to have a technition come since I am capable of reading the numbers off the screen to the tech. This is maddening. I complained and did receive a credit of the $17.98 installation charge and a $20 credit to boot. But still no call and still not HBO.

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