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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Julio Blassie

    Julio Blassie Registered User

    2
    0
    Aug 13, 2007
    Puget Sound
    Place: Seattle
    Box: TiVo HD
    Card: Motorola M
    Install: Self

    I realize some of this is redundant but if it saves one person some time and frustration then it’s worth my time posting and anyone who might benefit reading about my experiences.

    Bought a new HD TV and was missing TiVo – big time.

    Bought TiVo HD online from Circuit City using a link which gave me 10% off (ends 8/31). The 10% discount, even with sales tax, made the price about the same as it would have been from out of state vendors at the time. Decided to buy local in case I got involved with a return. Picked up the box and swung by my local Comcast store.

    Went to the Comcast store on North 94th Street just east of Aurora. Asked for two cards and was surprised when I was given two “M” cards. I like to live dangerously so I took only one card. Staff at the store very cooperative. No hassles. Walked out with a card and a receipt showing 0.00 charges.

    Setup was a breeze. Called Comcast to pair card and it was done while I was talking to service rep.

    All channels came through. HOWEVER pixilation was horrible. Looked like an explosion at a checkerboard factory. Thanks to all the helpful posts in this thread I suspected the problem related to the version 8.1.7a software. Went to bed and let TiVo rest until next day. Hoped version “b” would come through.

    Next day still a mass of pixels. Still version “a.” Left town overnight and hoped software update would come through.

    Got home, pixel mess was gone! Checked and software had been updated to 8.1.7b2!!

    However I’d lost most of my cable channels. Just local broadcast (standard and HD) and a few cable channels. Suspected might be a parity problem. Called Comcast and asked service rep to pair card again. She did while I waited. That did the trick!

    Checked my Comcast account online. I was being billed for two cards. Called and billing rep said “That’s because you have a TiVo and you’re using three cards. One for your TV and two for TiVo.” Explained none for TV and one for TiVo. She said “But TiVo boxes require two.” Explained M card situation – which she didn’t understand. She put me on hold while she contacted her “support director.” She quickly came back and told me the card fees were removed and wouldn’t show up on my monthly bill.

    So far so good. Pixilation is gone. Got one small flash – no different from my S2 boxes.

    Summary:

    Anticipate pixilation problem with ver. a software.

    Anticipate pixilation correction with ver. b2.

    Expect software update about 48 hours after activating TiVo.

    Double check cable card paring if all channels don’t light up.

    Triple or quadruple check your Comcast account for mystery card charges.
     
  2. dbaps

    dbaps Member

    31
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    Jul 25, 2007
    Not sure if this is possible but would appreciate the OP or someone to put the current status always at the beginning of the thread, keeping it updated and current. It would be much appreciated. We are over 100 pages and it just takes too long to sift through the whole thread.
     
  3. dbaps

    dbaps Member

    31
    0
    Jul 25, 2007
    Got a call from the local Comcast office. They were hoping that they would be done testing the M card before my Monday install. Alas that is not the case. I'm getting two S cards on Monday and they will do a swap when they have the M card working. No extra fee for the second S card which is nice. The thing that blew me away was he said that, after their testing, VOD would not be compatible with the M card. This is directly opposite of what is sited on the Cablelabs site. This is the guy who is in charge of the whole rollout for the Maryland area so I don't doubt what he is saying I'm just very surprised. Anyone her something different from a trusted source? :(
     
  4. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    50,975
    31
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    It's never been said that the M card has anything to do with VOD or PPV functionality.

    That two-way communication capability is part of the host device interface that the CableCARD plugs in to. Even the S-card could support two-way communication with a two-way host device. The problem is that there's no standard defining how to present and to request the VOD and PPV options. Even with a two-way host device, VOD or PPV couldn't be provided by a third party... well, except that a third party could potentially support each individual cable system that provided details of how to interact with their head-end servers. And that's just not really practical.
     
  5. sammydee

    sammydee New Member

    51
    0
    Sep 24, 2006
    B2 seems to have completely resolved the macroblock issues I had in HD playback and on the TiVo menus. Saw them every 10-15 seconds yesterday; didn't see any in 2+ hours tonight. Super!
     
  6. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo New Member

    55
    0
    Feb 10, 1999
    Seattle, WA
    Same here. B2 update has dramatically improved things on my unit with 2 comcast/motorola cable cards. No macroblocking in several hours of viewing. Great to see TiVo getting the problem improved.

    N.B. this latest fix won't of course repair material recorded prior to the update.
     
  7. cbrenner

    cbrenner New Member

    1
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    Feb 6, 2002
    Hats off to those pioneers who have patiently worked through all these issues with Comcast. For me, though, the thought of expending all that energy and the stress of dealing with clueless people is too much to contemplate. My question: When, if ever, will it be safe to just order the service and expect accurate pricing and a trouble-free installation? Or will I be better off to wait for the Comcast Tivo software for my existing Motorola DVRs? I am in the Boston area.
     
  8. orourkj

    orourkj New Member

    13
    0
    Nov 16, 2004
    Comcast tech was here this morning to install 2 cablecards into our new HD Tivo. It worked fine when he was here, but he left a few cables loose and so the Tivo power cord came out after he left. I plugged it back in, but now we don't get most channels. It seems pretty random which ones we get - we get some HD, some standard. I've reset the box, gone through guided setup a few times and no change. I have noticed that Tivo has connected to the internet several times - not sure why.

    Any ideas? Any help is appreciated!

    Jesse in NH
     
  9. MokeUSA

    MokeUSA XBL: MokeUSA

    138
    0
    Aug 17, 2007
    McGuire AFB, NJ
    I finally decided to dump the Comcast DVR and go back to Tivo with their introduction of the HD. Stopped by the local Comcast office and picked up 2 cablecards. I asked if they had M-cards but she said they didn't. Got home, updated the HD with the newest software and called Comcast to activate the cards. Spent about 25 minutes activating both cards and everything works flawlessly including my HBO channels. No macroblocking at all in the ~8 hours I've been checking for it. Both Motorola cards and on the b2 software.

    The rep I was talking to was aware of both the original series 3 and the new HD. She hadn't talked with anyone with the HD yet but was aware that it could take the M-cards. She said she had a printed checklist on how to activate the cards specific to the Tivo. Sounds like Comcast is getting the word out to their people. Now I just have to wait for the bill but am hopeful it will be as smooth as my install.
     
  10. oldnacl

    oldnacl New Member

    168
    0
    Mar 23, 2007
    I'm about ready to leap into the fray again - put a TiVo HD in my Amazon shopping cart (but haven't pulled the pin yet) and phoned the Comcast 800 number for a price. Got a CSR and said I'd like to add a TiVo HD to my service and I'd like to use the "M" card. How much will the monthly charge be?
    Waited to silence a few minutes and then heard "If you'd like to make a call..."
    Not a good start.

    Well, I called again, got a pleasant sounding person who seemed completely unaware of what a TiVo or a cable card was, much less an M series, but, in a somewhat confused manner, she gave me a price of $12.45/month. This was to add the unit to my already existing account which has digital service with a SA8300HD STB. There was also a $17.90 install fee and it required a truck roll. (I will return the STB but I didn't want to confuse the price quote any more than necessary)
    I have no idea how the charge breaks down or if she figured adding a cable card, adding 2 cable cards or adding an "M" card to my existing service. Anyway, it's less than what I was being charged for my Series 3 with 2 CCs ($17.90/month plus a $25 truck roll charge - and it was the ONLY outlet at the time - I returned it a month ago and took the 8300). Maybe a trip to the local office on Monday is in order, although having a toenail ripped out is less painful. I hold out hope that all the activity since the TiVo HD introduction a few weeks ago might have generated some experience at the local level.
     
  11. Julio Blassie

    Julio Blassie Registered User

    2
    0
    Aug 13, 2007
    Puget Sound
    Sounds similar to problem I had. Have you called Comcast and asked them to activate your cards again? That worked for me.

    Good luck.
     
  12. silypuddy

    silypuddy New Member

    56
    0
    Jun 4, 2007
    Minneapolis
    Well, I got my tivo HD over the weekend and have setup an install for this Thursday.

    They quoted me a price of around $28 for the install, $15 for the first card and $13 for the second. The monthly fee for the second card will be $1.50 which is what I expected. The first one is included in the outlet.

    I asked for an M card, but the lady on the phone said they only had "one" kind of card. I also asked for the installer to bring out multiple cards, but she said they could only bring out however many the customer wanted. I then politely told her that I was trying to save the installer and my time by preventing multiple visits, and she said she would note the request to bring out multiple cards on the request.

    Anyone in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Comcast area have any M-cards or just S-cards?

    Also, is there any last minute advice I should know about?

    Thanks
     
  13. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    This being Sunday I would be remiss by not reminding you that prayer never hurts.
     
  14. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    50,975
    31
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    Much as no one can prove prayer helps, no one can prove prayer doesn't hurt. And you must remember that this is Comcast we're talking about... a company many have compared doing business with to dancing with the devil. :)
     
  15. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    Amen brother!
     
  16. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    4,469
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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Pricing seems WAY off ... if the TivoHD is going to be your primary box, the first cable cards (MCard or SCard) rental is included in the digital programming package.
    If you need a second SCard, then it's $1.50 per month. (Make sure they have the "Tivo Series 3 package" on your account).
     
  17. DVDerek

    DVDerek <WittySaying />

    6,450
    0
    Sep 30, 2002
    Boston, MA
    What's the Mac equivalent of "Run As"? I'd like to view the system.log file in console, but my regular user does not have rights.
     
  18. kido

    kido New Member

    135
    0
    Aug 17, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    you might try sudo in Terminal.app

    user% sudo tail -100 /var/log/system.log

    if that works you can try

    user% sudo /Applications/Utilities/Console.app/Contents/MacOS/Console
     
  19. orourkj

    orourkj New Member

    13
    0
    Nov 16, 2004
    In the past 2 days I have had 3 visits from Comcast techs. Everything seemed OK after the first visit. But then the Tivo's power cord came out, and since I plugged it back in it has not worked right. I have done at least a dozen restarts, a dozen times through the "guided" setup, a few online chats with Comcast who send signals to the cards, and the 2 tech visits. But never does everything work. Every time we do something we get a new set of channels that don't come in. In addition to random channels that don't come in, sometimes I can't record one program while watching another.

    This is maddening - they left the last visit saying their engineers would look into it. With multiple visits from Comcast behind me I'm starting to think this HD Tivo isn't going to last long with us.....

    Any ideas from anyone?
     
  20. orourkj

    orourkj New Member

    13
    0
    Nov 16, 2004
    I know I'm replying to my own message - I called Tivo and they walked me through some screens - according to them one of the cable cards was not authorized. Why did I have 3 visits from Comcast and several online chats with Comcast support and they never asked, checked or thought about this? They scheduled another visist for 4 days form now when they could have a new card available. Be careful of this!?!?!?!?!
     

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