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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Thunderclap

    Thunderclap Member

    273
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    Nov 28, 2005
    Chicago area
    I apologize if this has been asked before. I will be getting the new TivoHD later this week and Comcast is coming out next week to do the CableCard install. Is it better to have one M-Card installed or two S-Cards? Or two M-Cards for that matter? What's the ideal configuration? Also, do I need to specifically request M-Cards or do they just generally bring them out. Thanks!
     
  2. jordanz

    jordanz A is A

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    Jun 21, 2004
    Monterey, CA
    If you put in an M card Tivo will ignore the second slot. However, the M card did not work for me. It only worked with 2 S cards.
     
  3. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    51,230
    120
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    The multi-stream card is preferred since there's no additional cost for a second CableCARD. It's not always easy to convince a CSR there are two types of cards, and they're not always available yet in every market. Except for the potential additional cost, there's no functional difference.
     
  4. stream

    stream New Member

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    Jul 25, 2007
    San...
    Get the M-CARD. Tell Comcast you want them to send a Comcast employee (not contractor) who is experienced in installing cablecards in TiVos, and tell them you want a multi stream M-CARD.
     
  5. Jon65

    Jon65 New Member

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    Aug 25, 2005
    Anybody got any suggestions on this problem? I had my second cablecard install this evening from C*. First guy didn't know anything, didn't care, showed up with one single channel card, and worst of all told me the card was already authorized so he didn't have to call. I saw channels showing up during the "test channel" part, so thought all was well and let him depart. Later I realized that my HD channels weren't there (Discovery HD, etc.). A call to customer support got me a second truck roll.

    Tonight was Round 2.

    OK, this one went a little better, but still not right. Guy shows up on time. Good start. Admits he knows nothing about cablecards. OK, honest is good. Allows me to teach/help him through the whole thing. Now I'm won over! And a good thing too, because after an hour, we ended up with some of the HD channels working on card 1, but not card 2, and others working on card 2, but not card 1. He tried everything I could think of, and pushed the guys on the other end to verify they were doing what they needed to do, even putting his phone on speaker so I could hear. I've got most of my channels, but not all, and it is an interesting problem. I let him go, but also gave him the TiVo instruction sheet for future installs, along with the cablecard FAQ from this forum. He sincerely thanked me for both. He is going to have his supervisor call me to set up another visit, and said I could request him, which I will. No sense in starting over again, and besides, this guy is now Comcast's expert in cablecards. He said he would stop by the equipment place and grab a bunch of cards. I told him to look for M-cards, and that the person there may not know what they were. So, we are now in round 3.

    Anybody have any thoughts on why my HD channels would behave this way? Is this a cablecard issue or a Tivo issue? I'm still in my 30 day window to return for another box.

    Side note: I do see small amounts of pixelization occassionally (SA cards), but it really doesn't seem to bother me at all.

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  6. fishboy

    fishboy New Member

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    Aug 19, 2002
    Atlanta
    I had similar issues with same setup. With my Comcast guy still here, we decided to pop out the cards, reboot the Tivo (from the menu) and then reinsert and configure the cards. I did this exact same thing with two TivoHD's and it seemed to work for both. I know it sounds strange, but it worked. It may have been coincidence, but it worked both times. If you do this, you will need to "hit" the cards again from the Comcast office. I did it once after the Comcast guy left and it would not show my digital channels again until the nice lady on the comcast customer service end "hit" the cards for me. Good luck.
     
  7. secondclaw

    secondclaw Member

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    Oct 3, 2004
    Florida
    About NFL Network:

    NFL Network moved to a separate Sports Tier at Comcast, at $5 per months - which was discounted to $1.99 per month for first 12 months as introductory rate - which I promptly called Comcast and cancelled: http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6441200.html

    Of course I think they were supposed to automatically add the tier to everyone ... maybe they didn't for you?
     
  8. Jon65

    Jon65 New Member

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    Aug 25, 2005
    Thanks for the suggestion. When the C* guy comes back, this will be my first step. Can I put both cards back in together after the reboot, or do I need to have them hit one at a time, like the initial install instructions say?
     
  9. WeBoat

    WeBoat Member

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    Nov 6, 2002
    SWFL
    Jon, you didn't say where you are located, but I'm in SW FL and here is what I had/have happining.

    Three truck rolls and about 30 calls and emails later: I've got MOST of my channels. I don't have a small Tier of HD channels which include both ESPN's, Mojo, AEHD, and something else I can't remember.

    After 5 weeks, yes 5 weeks of troubleshooting, a supervisor is now telling me it's a problem at the head end and that it MIGHT be fixd by this weekend.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Jon65

    Jon65 New Member

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    Aug 25, 2005
    Thanks for the info. I'm rebooting now after removing the cablecards. I have to go to work now and will try to get them to initialize the cards while I'm not home. Not sure how that will go. I'm just outside of Baltimore, MD. One of my cards has almost all the digital channels coming in, to include ESPN's, Mojo, etc. The other isn't receiving almost all the digitals from 100 up.

    After I get this solved, I will tackle the channel 1-99 analog problem mentioned in another thread. But that's for another month! I'll just be happy to get this working enough to cancel my DirecTV feed.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Thunderclap

    Thunderclap Member

    273
    5
    Nov 28, 2005
    Chicago area
    I just got back from the local Comcast here in Oak Park (suburb of Chicago) in hopes I could just pick a card up. No luck. But she did say that a technician could install one (I knew this already but was trying to avoid the installation fee and waiting until Tues. to see if the techie even shows up) or I could pick one up at Best Buy or Circuit City.

    Huh?

    I went online to look but neither have CableCards available from what I could see. Is it possible t just buy a card like this rep said and, if so, where?
     
  12. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

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    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    OK. We now have a new addition to the list of "The dumbest things ever said by a cablecompany CSR". Probably should start a coffeehouse thread of these.

    No, you can't buy one there.
     
  13. Thunderclap

    Thunderclap Member

    273
    5
    Nov 28, 2005
    Chicago area
    I didn't think so (didn't seem logical) but hoped. (Granted... if that was an option I doubt there would be as long a list concerning CableCards here, now would there?) :)
     
  14. timezone

    timezone New Member

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    Feb 15, 2004
    Boston
    Comcast told me there is a $17.95 install charge for the cable cards (forgot to ask if it is per card or per trip) and $2.75 per month charge for the second cable card.

    1. The comcast website says the second card costs is $1.91 a month, did this fee go up recently? What do other MA customers pay for the second card?

    2. Comcaat told me they do not have Multi-stream cards, only single stream cards. Can anyone else confirm that is true or not true? Thanks
     
  15. jordanz

    jordanz A is A

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    Jun 21, 2004
    Monterey, CA
    They showed up with M cards on the first attempt but those didn't work. Only S cards have worked for me.
     
  16. stream

    stream New Member

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    Jul 25, 2007
    San...
    I paid Comcast $15.99 for CC install (trip charge). I requested M-CARD, and that's what they installed. CC type availability could vary by geography.
     
  17. mhargr03

    mhargr03 New Member

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    Aug 29, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I strongly suggest you take a ride over to the North Ave location. They freely give out CableCards there, if they have them in stock. I picked up 2 shiny new M-cards a few weeks ago.

    And though someone else already answered, no you cannot buy these at Circuit City or Best Buy. That is pretty stupid, indeed, but I was also told in one of my preliminary phone calls (Woodridge, IL call center) that CableCards wouldn't be available for 1-2 years from now.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out. If you do call and schedule an appointment, request that the CSR note your work order that you are requesting M-cards. Also be prepared for them to cancel your appointment without telling you about it.
     
  18. KeithRos

    KeithRos New Member

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    Aug 23, 2007
    After reading through most of this thread I have to share my experiences with Comcast. I am in the suburbs north of Chicago. I have two regular Tivo’s that I love and decided to take the plunge and get the TivoHD and upgrade to digital cable. I called Comcast and set up the appointment for this past Monday and bought my TivoHD. I set it up easily on the analog cable and waited for Monday.

    I was scheduled between 8 and 10. They showed up just after 11. And they sent a contractor. And they screwed up my order and didn’t even have the cable cards or box on it. The contractor thought he was coming just to upgrade the phone to digital voice. Thankfully he had a couple cards and a box in the truck. He set up the phone, then the standard cable box and then we tackled the Tivo.

    He had never worked on a Tivo or used one. I knew I was in for trouble. He put the first card in and I tried to direct him through the install without making him feel dumb. The Tivo recognized the channel numbers and names so then he tells me that he has to leave to get to his next appointment. He had been at my house for 2 hours already, a good portion of it on the phone with dispatch. He left me the second card to install myself.

    I put the second card in and got an error from Tivo #161-1. No matter what I did the error persisted. So I finished the guided setup with just the one card and got another surprise. I could get all the channels above 100, but the channels below were hit and miss. I could get 2, 3, and 4, but not 5 through 11. I could get 16 & 17, but not 18-20, etc, etc.

    So I called Comcast and told them what was happening and they agreed to send another truck out. I was told they would call within an hour with the appointment time. About 3-1/2 hours later I got the call that said they would be there between 5:55 and 6:55. Shortly after 6 another tech arrives – a Comcast tech. He asks what is wrong and as soon as I mention the Tivo, he groans and says “I hate Tivo’s”. We are off to a bad start. I show him what the card is doing and he tells me he has one card left on his truck. So he goes and gets it and puts it in. So far so good. Talks with dispatch and they set it up. I told him about the channel issue and he said let’s set it up and see. Well, both cards act the same with some lower channels missing. He checks all the connections and check signal strength at the Tivo, at the jack in the house, outside the house at the splitter, in the signal box on the side of the house and the utility box. All show good signal strength. He didn’t tell me what the value was, but said it was good. He finally had to say he was out of ideas and didn’t know what else to do. He offered to talk to his supervisor and set up a time when he could come back and fiddle some more – on his own time! He also gave me his personal cell number. Now that’s customer service. He told me his supervisor would call me on Tuesday to set it up. I spent the evening reading all the posts in this thread to become more educated in cable cards.

    Didn’t get a call Tuesday, or today. So I decided to play around a little myself and unplugged the Tivo and pulled the cards. To my surprise, the card in slot 1 is and S-Card and the card in slot 2 is and M-card. So I think to myself I can call Comcast and have them move the M-Card to the slot one and then disable the other card. Well, easier said than done. I explained in great detail what had happened and how we could fix it. It didn’t seem like she understood a word I was saying. The person on the tech desk said they are not authorized to remove anything from the account. A tech has to come to the house. I told her it was ridiculous to make me take another day off of work to wait for a tech to read numbers over the phone to dispatch. The tech wouldn’t budge. I asked for her supervisor. After about 20 minutes, I got the supervisor and he seemed to understand better what I wanted to do. He put me on hold and after about 10 minutes came back and said he wasn’t authorized to switch the cards. So I repeated the point about me having to take a day off and he said the guys on the truck have a higher authorization to do those things. What a crock!! He offered to have someone come on Thursday, but I can’t take off anymore this week. So, I set it up for Tuesday morning. In the meantime, I have left a message for the helpful tech. So that’s where I sit.

    I want to thank everyone in this thread for providing such detailed information. It is sad that in one evening of reading the threads I know more about cable cards than most installers and techs do. Wish me luck next Tuesday.
     
  19. Jon65

    Jon65 New Member

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    Aug 25, 2005
    Playing CSR Roulette and...I WIN!!! :)

    Referring to my previously mentioned problem of getting some channels but not others on each cablecard, I gave C* a call tonight. I got lucky and got the guy who prided himself on knowing cablecards. Within 10 minutes he had all my channels coming in on both cards. I asked what he did and was told that the authorization codes had been entered incorrectly. I think he said something about them being entered for a normal box and not for cablecards. Whatever he did, it worked and I'm up and running.

    I decided this would be the best time to ask about channels 1-99 being analog and not digital. He didn't know the answer to that one, but said that these channels would be going totally digital in several months. I'm going to keep what's working for now and not take a chance on messing things up.

    Next step: Install my 750GB WD drive!

    Jon
     
  20. moneytrain8

    moneytrain8 New Member

    19
    0
    Feb 8, 2005
    White Marsh, MD
    Well, C* sent a technician back out to get my CC working. The worst part of this whole affair is that I kept calling Comcast to see if they could just remove the CC codes/settings and re-do it like it were a new CC. None of them would do it, and kept insisting that a tech had to come out.

    So what did the tech do? He popped the SAME card back in (I popped it out so I could get more than C*'s twelve unencrypted channels), called his dispatch and gave her the codes. She called back 5 minutes later and told him it was good, and it was. Everything worked fine.

    The big difference, I think? The original installer (and his dispatcher) were subcontractors. The second tech call was with a "real" Comcast-employed installer/dispatcher. He said that most subs, while they may be nice, just don't know how to work these things and mess these things up all the time.

    So, a word of advice might be in insist that you get a C* installer, and not one of their subcontractors. I used to work in a Comcast sub's warehouse, dishing out cable boxes and supplies (cable, connectors, etc). And as most of you know and I saw firsthand, they don't exact go find the nation's best and brightest to install cable. I'm surprised some of them could tie their own shoes. Of course, there were always a few bright ones in the bunch... Those were the ones who knew how to make one of the old brown cable boxes into a box that got everything. Too bad those days are gone! haha... Not that I ever had one, of course.

    Anyway, now I have all my channels (Ah, HD!). It's just amazing how quickly some of these phone CSRs just say "send a tech," especially with these cable cards, which 99.9% of the work is C* getting the codes in there correctly at HQ, not the installer sliding the card in the port correctly.
     

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