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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. cwbear

    cwbear New Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Tivo HD with an M-Card were installed Saturday. It was the first M-Card the two guys had done. It took a total of 20 min, and seemed to be a complete success... Then I noticed that 727 UHD is not working on either tuner after they had left. This is the only channel that does not work. I mostly get a grey screen and sometimes a "this channel is not availible".

    I called Comcast and they did the Init, Hit, Refresh thing, to no avail.
  2. Langree

    Langree The Gimp

    Apr 29, 2004
    It took my person 4 different attempts to get HDNet up for me, not sure what finally set it right.
  3. Canoehead

    Canoehead 1 of The Curs'd 200

    Sep 12, 2006
  4. robtech

    robtech Tivohead

    Sep 13, 2005
    Antioch, IL.
    They had me down for the $1.50 and I only had the one M-card and they took the fee off :)
  5. TerpBE

    TerpBE Go Terps!

    Jan 23, 2003
    Philly 'burbs
    I thought I should bump this for the people who are getting an additional outlet fee:
    Here's how much you SHOULD be billed:
    N = number of "boxes" you have (cable box or Tivo)
    C = number of Cablecards you have (usually 2 per Tivo)

    What you should be paying is:

    (N - 1) * additional outlet charge
    (C - 1) * dual-cablecard charge

    (additional outlet charge is about $8, dual-cablecard charge is about $1.50)

    So if you have one dual-cablecard Tivo and no cable box, you should pay $1.50. If you have a cable box AND a dual-cablecard Tivo, you should pay about $9.50.

    If you're paying more than this and can't get it straightened out with the regular Comcast CSRs, call the contact in my quoted post above.
  6. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    I don't think that's right. Each outlet charge includes one cable card. So, if you have four outlets with one cable card each, you pay three outlet charges and zero cable card charges.

    The fees are :
    N = number of cablecard outlets you have
    B = number of cable boxes you have
    C = number of cablecards you have
    ((N+B-1) * outlet-charge) + (int(C/N) -1) * dual-cablecard charge)
  7. robtech

    robtech Tivohead

    Sep 13, 2005
    Antioch, IL.
    True dat...just called and I am being charged $1.50 since they installed one M-Card in my Tivo HD. There is much confusion when you call but they figure it out eventually :)
    Tivo HD rocks
  8. robtech

    robtech Tivohead

    Sep 13, 2005
    Antioch, IL.
    Here's what the site says...so wouldn't one muticard be free??
    How much will I be charged to use a CableCARD?

    There is no charge for the first CableCARD that you use as it is already included in the primary outlet fee. If you have a multi-card device on the same outlet (i.e. TiVo Series 3 or two Digital Cable Tuners connected to the same personal computer), you will be charged an additional regulated fee of up to $1.91 for the second CableCARD.

    If additional CableCARDs are needed for other devices that are installed on additional outlets, you will not be charged for the first CableCARD installed on this outlet as the cost is included in the additional outlet fee. In addition to the cost of the digital cable service, you will not be charged a regulated fee of up to $1.91 for the second CableCARD on the additional outlet.

    **Note: The same pricing schedule will be applicable to additional outlets with multi-CableCARD devices, e.g. no charge for first CableCARD on the third outlet and an additional regulated fee of up to $1.91 for the second CableCARD in addition to the digital service charge.
  9. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    Wouldn't it be
    ((N+B-1) * outlet-charge) + (C - N) * dual-cablecard charge)
  10. drcos

    drcos HD where available

    Jul 20, 2001
    Venice FL
    Well, here is additional info from Cheryl after I asked a few (polite) questions...
    HDTV fee
    1. The $6.95 monthly "HDTV" fee is an EQUIPMENT fee,
    2. We agreed there is no such thing as an "HD" cable card, so thus
    they should not charge the "HDTV" fee for cable cards.

    They are aware at corporate of the problems with 'required' additional charges in many of their systems in order to get the 'second' cards on each outlet to work. They are working with each system as the issues come up to resolve it, and it was due to problems between the authorization system and the billing system (imagine how many lines of code there, friends). She said that the supervisors are authorized to put credits on your account to offset the 'bogus' charges while the kinks are worked out of the system.
  11. aindik

    aindik Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2002
    Yeah, that would be better. :)
  12. silypuddy

    silypuddy New Member

    Jun 4, 2007

    Shouldn't we at least integrate it from 0 to 1? At least I can put my calculus to use for something :)
  13. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    That would explain that. A friend with an HD has the dual TiVo charge ($1.79), an additional outlet free ($6.99) and an equipment credit (-$6.99).

    When I had the extra box my S3 would stop working if they removed the A/O fee.
  14. blmelton

    blmelton New Member

    Apr 16, 2005
    My stupid comcast box drags when I am watching record HD programming. Is that a function of some kind of processor speed? ANybody else having that issue? Also, if I fork out the cash for tivo series 3, is there any indication that this will be resolved?

  15. clemon79

    clemon79 New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Alright, so here's the rest of my story:

    Tech arrives at my place at 9:45a on Tuesday morning. (Fifteen minutes ahead of the low end of schedule. Sweet.) Has never seen a Tivo HD before, but was fine when I told him it was just a new flavor of S3. Good guy, has done S3 installs before, gets to work. Takes him about an hour and a half and several phone calls to get a second CableCard working in my box, after concluding that the first one he tried wasn't gonna do it and moving on to another one. (He wisely brought three.) To his credit, when he leaves, he leaves behind his business card, points to his direct cell number, and tells me to feel free to call if I have any trouble with the cards down the road. Nice.

    So the nutshell: SIX CableCards to find two that worked. I am convinced that four of those cards were not bad, but that Comcast's infrastructure is insufficient to work with the cards the way it should.

    So in doing these phone calls I hear them talking about reconfiguring my account, and "Kyle" tells me that something was set wrong on their side. Which means that four seperate people have now looked at this account and not configured things properly. So he leaves, and I rerun through Guided Setup and I'm off and rolling, and it occurs to me that maybe the stuff they did caused that additional outlet charge to show up on my account again. I decide to wait an hour or so to let the hubbub over my account die down, and call back and go over my billing with a CSR so I know exactly what I'm being charged.

    And of course, the extra-outlet fee is back. I tell him, no, you're not supposed to charge me that, and here is why. Puts me on hold, comes back, and starts with some rigamarole about "physical" outlets vs. "virtual" ones. Not having it. Puts me on hold again. Comes back, tries it again. I ask for a supervisor. He tells me he'll have one call me back, I say, no, find one NOW. "They're in a meeting." "I'll wait." Having a cordless phone with built-in speakerphone is a good thing.

    I wait a while. Finally a supervisor gets on the line. Get his name, confirm proper spelling, he starts feeding me the rigmarole. I point him to the FAQ on their site that explains that I get a box for free so I can On Demand. He tells me he needs to look into this and can he call me back within 20 minutes? I informed him that I didn't trust him to do so, so he gave me his direct line. Fine, I needed to fix some lunch anyhow.

    He calls back and sticks to his guns, and also points out on the FAQ in question that there is an asterisk on the end of that particular question, and that that's why they can charge me. I tell him that since the page is truncated and whatever footnote that is isn't showing up, how can he know that? He doesn't have an answer, but he's not budging.

    So I figure we're at letter-writing time, and I tell him this. He makes the mistake of asking if there is ANYTHING he can do to make this situation right, which is a really stupid thing to say since the obvious answer is "Yes. Take this incorrect charge off like I'm asking you to." He realizes his error and still tells me he can't. (I should have told him to take off the charge for the truck roll for Kyle coming out.) "Fine," I say. "That FAQ page is truncated. I want you to find me that entire document and email it to me, so I can read that footnote myself and see if it means what you claim it means. Further, I'll be calling you every day until you do so." He promises that he'll try, and we hang up.

    That was a two-hour phone call, all told.

    Hour later, he calls me back, and tells me that he wasn't able to get the document for me, but was able to fix my account so that the cable box is the primary outlet and therefore I'm not being charged for the additional outlet. Which was all I wanted in the first damn place.

    Final nutshell: I have a working TivoHD with two CableCards, and the billing on my account is allegedly what I told them it should be. We'll see what happens when the bill comes. But MY GAWD what a COMPLETELY unnecessary headache it was to make that all happen. I might write that letter anyhow just so they know what a sour taste Comcast left in my mouth.
  16. clemon79

    clemon79 New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    It's a function of the Comcast DVR hardware blowing dog. Since the S3 uses entirely different (and dedicated) hardware, yeah, that should resolve the issue.
  17. clemon79

    clemon79 New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Oh, one more thing. When I called Tivo to get my no-longer-in-the-mix S2 turned off, I got an AOL-esque hard-sell to keep it going. After all of the great experiences I've read about here with Tivo support, that surprised me a little. It got to the point where I had to interrupt her next sales pitch with a firm "NO. TURN IT OFF." to get her to do it.

    (They also don't prorate, which means I'm out the seven bucks they just charged me for said box. (Yes, I could have hooked it up somewhere else and used it for the month. I didn't want to, mainly because I didn't want to have to worry about remembering to call to cancel it.) Not thrilled about that, but I'm sure it's buried somewhere in their TOS.)
  18. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    I had the same experience. It's a pretty typical approach used by companies trying to retain customers. Nothing surprising.
  19. sammydee

    sammydee New Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Just thought I'd post a very positive story.

    San Jose California. Called Comcast, told them I needed CableCards. They asked if they were for TiVo; I said YES. Told them I had two TiVos. They said no problem; quoted the proper price; and scheduled a truck roll.

    Very polite Comcast employee shows up in the middle of the service window. Has done Tivos before; had not yet seen the HD. He tweaked my splitters for a while, then did the CableCards. He had brought M-Cards, but had S-Cards as a backup. (Lucky that I had HDs instead of S3s). He warned me that when he called in to pair the cards it might take a while, as he might have to "fish" for someone at the office that knew what they were doing.

    But it didn't. Pop in the M-card; get the numbers; call the office; wait 3 minutes; done - working. Repeat on the other unit.

    The only scary time in the install was that, on both TiVos, the screen suddenly went black during the pairing process, requiring pressing the TiVo button and navigating back down into the CC menus. This didn't inspire confidence, but it was fine. We never got any 161 errors or anything.

    The installer was very impressed with the HD, especially the CC slots being on the FRONT of the unit. He asked info about price and where I bought it, and said he'd start recommending it to people (which he never did with the S3).

    He said someone from TiVo had been to visit the local Comcast folks several weeks BEFORE the TiVo HD announcement to tell them about it, which had impressed him too.

    SO, I have nothing but praise for the Cablecard experience with Comcast in San Jose.

    The HD units, on the other hand, are both exhibiting the macroblock problem. It happens even on the Tivo menus, so it has to be a problem in the Tivo, not a Comcast issue. I'm looking forward to the service update, which hopefully will fix this.

    All in all, a pretty good day. We'll see what the bill looks like. :)

  20. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member TCF Club

    Aug 29, 2002
    Wonder if that is good for his job security :p
    Not that the TiVo folks had to travel that far. TiVo HQ is in Alviso, which is part of the city of San Jose.

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