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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Sep 22, 2006 #321 of 9367

    Flop Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    My install went smooth... In and out in 20 minutes (10 minutes were spent showing off TiVo features to Comcast installers).

    I was nervous when they arrived with only 2 cards after reading all the horror stories on the forums.

    They had provisioned the cards this morning before leaving the office to make their runs, so that did save some time.

    The cards used were SA brand.

    Anyways, they were a little confused by the TiVo since they hadn't seen one yet. One guy got on the phone with the local office to read out numbers. Guy number 2 inserted card 1. After a minute or so the info screen appeared. #1 read out the info to the local office. A couple minutes later the TiVo prompted to test channels. Worked like a charm.

    Repeat for 2nd card.

    They asked a lot of questions about why I use a TiVo instead of their box. I showed them how easy it is to setup Season Passes and Wishlists. They were blown away by the wishlist feature. #1 couldn't stop being amazed that he could do a wishlist for the Redskins and never miss a televised game... inclusing classic reruns (why you'd watch an old game is beyond me, but he was thrilled...)

    Also, while the specs aren't stellar on the S3, the drive is double the capacity of the SA boxes they use here. #2 was wowed by the (future) ability to plug in an external drive to increase capacity even more.

    Now if only the S3 could do PiP...
  2. Sep 22, 2006 #322 of 9367

    Bodshal Penguin-tastic!

    Jan 4, 2005
    Coo. Seems odd, but if that's what it says, then that's what it says.

    It does lead to the ponderance that the posters issue where the cable co said they can't cope with two things on one outlet is related. Some boxes use a single host id, and some headend/backend systems can't deal with that (would be lame if so, if it's supposed to be supported).

  3. Sep 22, 2006 #323 of 9367

    Wembley5 New Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    Daly City, CA
    For me Comcast replaced it with NFLHD/Special Events and/or TNTHD.
  4. Sep 22, 2006 #324 of 9367

    Wembley5 New Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    Daly City, CA
    Where are you?

    I'm in Daly City, CA (just south of SF).

    For me, the truck roll was like $17, and that's all. No monthly fees, no install cost per-card.
  5. Sep 22, 2006 #325 of 9367

    geekmedic TiVo Fanatic TCF Club

    Apr 4, 2003
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Then one of us has a unique system because my S3 has two host ID's.
  6. Sep 22, 2006 #326 of 9367

    maharg18 Active Member

    Dec 3, 2002
    Chattanooga, TN
    Well, the saga continues. 2 techs came to the house today while my wife was there (I couldn't get off from work), they were unable to get my existing cards working. They brought two more cards, same thing with them.

    They spent most of their time trying to find the cablecard slot in my TV (there isn't one), and messing around with my Samsung OTA tuner (not sure what their reasoning was there).

    Regardless, they left after 1.5 hours having gotten no further than I did on my own. They said they would contact the local cablecard "god" and see what he has to say.

    Later on I talked to my wife, and I asked her if she could tell if they called a local person or a national line to get the cards activated, she tells me that they never ONCE called anyone. These guys didn't even realize that you must call to activate the cards.

    All I can say is that my patience is running VERY thin here, I'm about ready to just take my Tivo down to the cable office and make them hook it up and send the damn signals to it right there. How hard can it be to activate a freaking card???
  7. Sep 22, 2006 #327 of 9367

    canyon New Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    I am in Portland Oregon. Since before the S3 all cablecard devices only had one cablecard Comcast has their billing system setup here that for every cablecard(I am keeping their box as well for howard stern and ppv) there is a $6.95 outlet charge, two cards, two outlet charges.
    After getting thru to a local comcast supervisor and explaining why it should be only one outlet charge his response was thats the way is is in our system sorry. So called comcast corp 215 665 1700 (without this forum I would not of had comcast's corp # as the local superviser said he didnt have it) and within 5 min had a rep on the phone who agreed it should only be one outlet charge and gave me a case #. I also suggested that it would take care of alot of headaches to address this problem nationally which she also agreed.
  8. Sep 22, 2006 #328 of 9367

    williamlroy New Member

    Sep 16, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    Went down to the local comcast office (San Jose) to drop off my moto 3412 DVR. She reduced my bill $9.95 for the dvr and $6.95 for additional outlet.

    Looking at my acct I noticed I had 2 more additional outlet charges for the 2 CCs. I said "Aren't the cable cards supposed to be free" (knowing damn well that I have been told numerous times that 1st is free and second is $.6.95) She said "yest they are, those are for the additional outlets" and I said "I dont have any additional outlets" and " So what are those charges for". She could not explain the reason, so she removed them.

    So I am in the clear on any charges at all for the CCs. At least until someone wises up and puts back the addt outlet charge...
  9. Sep 22, 2006 #329 of 9367

    JoBeth66 Temp

    Feb 15, 2002
    Comcast guys here now. (3 of them)

    One cat hiding under the bed. One hiding in #1 son's room.

    One laying in the entertainment center on the shelf where they pulled the Comcast DVR box out. :)

    CableCARD is being set up for the TV now, after that's in, they're going to do the TiVo box.
  10. Sep 22, 2006 #330 of 9367
    BTV Engineer

    BTV Engineer New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Hi everybody! Longtime lurker here, although I did have an account I never posted. I've created a new account and this is my first post. With the Series 3 I've decided to come out of the woodwork, so to speak.

    I went down to my local Comcast office to take care of a few account things and figured it would also be a good time to get the Cablecard install appointment. My Series 3 will arrive this coming Monday, Sept 25th. The CSR told me their HD-DVR was better and held more hours, that I'd lose On-Demand, and that I couldn't get HD without their STB. I said the Series 3 could get HD but I needed the Cablecards installed. She said they just had a meeting and were told they didn't support the new TiVo. I had her call her supervisor and she only confirmed that their cards didn't support the Series 3.

    I went home quite angry. I called the service number on my bill and talked to another CSR. She didn't say the card didn't support the TiVo, only that she didn't know how to handle 2 cards in one box. I was transfered to the service department and after a few explanations regarding Cablelabs and "some friends" that already had them installed, she put me on hold for a few minutes.

    When she came back she said that the 1st card was free, the 2nd card was $6.95 and the install was $14.95. I have an appointment for Tuesday, the 26th, the day after the Series 3 arrives. Hopefully there won't be any trouble with the delivery. I also hope my boss won't mind, I'll have to leave at noon as my appointment is 1 to 5 PM.

    The extra charge for the card isn't a big deal, I presently have one Comcast STB for digital cable with one TiVo, the other TiVo only gets analog cable. It's worth the extra to get digital and HD on both tuners on the Series 3.
  11. Sep 22, 2006 #331 of 9367

    NaVSP New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    After reading about some problems people had with comcast coming with only one cable card I decided to call and verify that the service appointment I had did note that I needed 2 cards.

    A comcast CSR picked up and verified that I was scheduled to have 2 cards, and asked why I needed 2.

    I explained that I purchased the new TiVO series 3 and it utilizes 2 cards. She surprised me by saying "Do you have a few minutes? I'd like to learn more"

    Being at work I naturally said sure. We spent about 5 minutes on the phone talking about what features the new tivo had, why it was better than the comcast hd dvr, what features I would give up and what I would gain. I mentioned that some of the trouble people have had setting up the s3 and she was very receptive and took notes (even read them back to me!). She said she'd share the info with her coworkers, and mentioned something about a tivo + comcast deal and speculated that they might a series 3.

    So not all comcast csrs are all bad!
  12. Sep 22, 2006 #332 of 9367

    ah30k Active Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    I posted earlier that my host_id was the same on both cableCARD slots. I must have been on halucenigens, because now the I verify it they are different. I could have sworn that when the tech was here installing them he and the headend tech said the host_id for the second card was the same as the first.

    I stand respectfully corrected.
  13. Sep 22, 2006 #333 of 9367

    JoBeth66 Temp

    Feb 15, 2002
    Ok, the CableCARD in the TV is still not showing all the channels, but I'm getting locals. Nothing over 99.

    Looks like I might have a bad card for the one they put in the TV, that's the only one that doesn't seem to be working.

    Re-running guided setup now.
  14. Sep 22, 2006 #334 of 9367

    JoBeth66 Temp

    Feb 15, 2002
    TiVo is up & running on both tuners without a hitch. it's BEAUTEOUS!

    Card for the TV is bad. These poor guys, I feel sorry for them. They came all prepared for the Tivo to be an issue and it went through with no problems whatsoever, but the TV is bad.

    They're trying to find me another card for the TV. :)
  15. Sep 22, 2006 #335 of 9367

    chadfr1 New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    To all,

    Thank you all for posting your experience on this page. I found it very helpful, and when I began the process of obtaining another cable card for my S3 I was prepared.

    Called the 800 number and was told the additional cable card was going to be $6.95 per month and another $5 for HD programming, plus $15.95 for installation. I told them I already subscribed to the HD content (and was paying for it) and both cards were going into the same device, the CSR was not budging.

    I then went to the Comcast chat page and proceeded to get the following quote of $15.95 for installation and no additional fees for the 2nd card. She intitially quoted me an installation fee and a $6.95 usage fee, but then revised it. Having read the posts on this website, I was ready for them and I saved a copy of the transcript for all of you to review and hopefully use to your advantage. Please note I never said what type of device the 2nd card was going into, and I tried to keep things as general as possible. Good luck to all of you!

    Transcript below:

    Olivia > Thank you for contacting Comcast. My name is Olivia and I will be happy to assist you with your cable tv question today.
    Chad > Hello, I would like to request an installation of a second cable card in my PVR. Can you help me setup an appointment and also let me know what the additional billing, if any, will be?
    Olivia > Sure, just a moment, let me access your account Chad.
    Olivia > There is a $15.99 installation charge and the cable card itself is free, however there is a $6.95 monthly service access charge applied for the 2nd cable card.
    Chad > Can I setup an appointment to have that installed with you?
    Olivia > Yes. Let me get the service order set up for you. One moment please.
    Olivia > For your protection, I will need to verify one (1) of the following: The last 4 digits of the primary account holderÂ’s SSN, the full 16-digit account number, or the exact amount of the most recent payment made to the account.
    Chad > Sure. *************
    Olivia > Thank you, one moment please.
    Olivia > Thank you for waiting. I am sorry, I quoted you wrong above. There is no $6.95 charge applied for the 2nd cable card. I do apologize. The installation is still the same though.
    Chad > Thank you for the clarification.
    Olivia > The first date that I have open for the installation is 9/24 between 2-6pm. Will this date and time work?
    Chad > As long as you keep deducting fees, we are going to get along just fine!
    Chad > That is this Saturday? That will be fine.
    Olivia > It is a Sunday.
    Chad > That will be fine
    Olivia > What is a good contact number for the tech to reach you at just in case?
    Chad > My cell phone number is *************
    Olivia > OK, you are set for the installation on 9/24 between 2-6pm. Please make sure that someone 18+ and English speaking is present. If possible make sure that there is at least 3-5ft behind the tv to give the tech enough room to move.
    Chad > Thank you very much. Is there a confirmation number I can reference just in case?
    Olivia > Job #*************
    Chad > Thank you very much for your help.
    Olivia > You're welcome.
    Olivia > Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
    Chad > That will be all. Have a good weekend.

    What have we learned? be persistant, document everything, and don't them get away with it!

    Good luck!
  16. Sep 22, 2006 #336 of 9367

    JoBeth66 Temp

    Feb 15, 2002
    Just got a call from the original Comcast supervisor - the one who told me last week that I couldn't have the cards - he wanted to tell me that they've stopped installing them in TiVos in the South Jersey market, because of the 30 installs, none has gone right.

    Except MINE went right, and so did at least 2 others in South Jersey that I personally know of. So I'm not sure if I should believe him or not.
  17. Sep 22, 2006 #337 of 9367

    Bodshal Penguin-tastic!

    Jan 4, 2005
    Yeah, mine went fine, and the installer spoke of a colleague who had done one the day before. The worst that happened was it needed a 2nd initialisation. He said most TV's need that too, anyway.


    Still, glad to hear you got yours done in the end!

  18. Sep 22, 2006 #338 of 9367

    jward256 New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Had my cablecards installed today. I spent the last couple days studying this forum so I'd be ready. Good thing!

    The installer (contractor, not a Comcast employee) arrives with the two cards, Motorola branded. So far so good. Plugs them in, Tivo shows firmware 4.21. Good again.

    Nothing more happening. After about 15 minutes I suggest that he call in to activate the cards. Calls his dispatcher to send a hit. Now at least the channel test shows locals, although no premiums. After re-inserting cards and another phone call we aren't making any progress. From reading this forum I know the cards are working fine but haven't been initialized. All he can do is keep calling his dispatcher to send another hit. After an hour of this I suggest that he go on to his next install and that I'm sure I can get this working via Comcast. He can't call Comcast, only his dispatcher.

    After he leaves I called Comcast. CSR tells me that someone will call back in a couple hours and see if I need a truck roll. Thanked her and called back. Asked to speak to someone who knew cablecard and was transferred to a tech. I expain that I have a device that uses two cards and I would like to try to init one at a time. No problem. It took a few minutes for her to send the first signal, but I shortly have a 161-4 error, followed by success! I installed the second card, she sent the next init, and success again! I asked if the installer hitting both cards at once was the problem and she said that no, he just wasn't sending the same information that she was.

    10 minutes later I get a call back from my first Comcast call. I told him that everything was good and he asked if both TV's were working. I told him that it was a two card device and he asked if I had a Tivo. This was his 5th Tivo call. Sounds like he was collecting info and trying to get everyone on the same page. The good news is that folks at Comcast seem to be working on making this better.

    It appears that contractors may not have access to everything needed to make this work correctly. I did get the feeling that Comcast is working on it. Note that everyone I dealt with was doing their best to help. Be polite, and be patient. They are people doing their jobs. I doubt that they get training on every single cablecard device that comes out. Each likely has it's quirks. Talking to the installer it doesn't sound like things go any better with TV's. He has had very few cablecard installs, and some of the installers avoid them.

    One question my wife asked is what would happen if the typical consumer tried to get this installed? That $800 price tag may be a good thing for limiting the S3 to people who want to do some research before plunking down that much cash. At least until the install bugs are worked out.
  19. Sep 22, 2006 #339 of 9367

    DocSavag New Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    I think that the whole process has to get a lot easier for the average Tivo buyer to be able to get the S3 working properly. Part of that will undoubtedly come with time as the Cable techs and service reps get more experience installing the cards. Most of the people we've talked to at the cable company were friendly and trying to be helpful they just don't have any training on how to trouble shoot these device setups.
  20. Sep 22, 2006 #340 of 9367

    Ereth Unemployed Bum

    Jun 16, 2000
    Now THAT was easy.

    I got home tonight and my Series 3 was here. I called the VIP line to transfer my lifetime and was told that I had got Tech Support and they'd transfer me, and then a recording told me that hold time was a minimum 35 minutes. So I hung up.

    I hooked it up and ran Guided Setup. It worked fine so I called TiVo again, figuring I'd sit on hold while I fiddled with the channel lineups and stuff and got right through rep who was terrific and transferred my Lifetime right away.

    Then I called Comcast and got a wonderful woman who said my Cablecards "should've been activated when I picked them up". Nonetheless she sent them a hit, without asking me any questions (the details on the screen were not necessary) and after about 2 minutes, I had CableTV.

    In fact, I had channels I wasn't expecting to get!

    Everybody was pleasant, and it worked first try.

    So then I watched all of Shanans videos and was most amused to see "Bob Pony's music on the "Pictures and More" screenshot. We want to listen to your music, Pony!

    All in all, it went perfect, with the exception that I forgot to pick up a splitter for my OTA antenna so I don't actually receive those channels until I make a quick trip to Lowes tomorrow!

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