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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Oct 8, 2007 #3861 of 9367

    smartleydunn New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Following up on my saga in Chicago, FINALLY sorted!!!

    Phineas (Advanced Support in Chicago) called me at 12:30 p.m., we spent about 3 hours total on the phone working to get the M-Card paired but, it was still hanging on the Acquiring Channels screen. After a couple of resets and a couple of restarts, ultimately we got it to the point where the card was paired, and then one final restart and the channels started to come in.

    We both took a break from around 4-6, he called me back at 6:30 to check in and at that point i was getting everything except premium channels, he said he knew how to fix that and within minutes he had them all turned on for me, and also promo'd me Showtime and Movie Channel for a year for my troubles and also confirmed the one month's credit (about $175) and knocking down my Internet to the $29.99 promo rate for 6 months which saves me about another $200.

    So, finally!!!

    He told me while we were on the phone that I had "lit up Comcast", because he was getting emails from multiple people specifically about my case checking in to see if my issues had been resolved. As of now, I am a happy camper.

    I am going to revisit this nightmare one last time in writing a long letter to Comcast corporate outlining everything and praising Phineas for his excellent customer service, and of course I'm sure he'll probably be reprimanded for spending so long on the phone with me.

    N.P. TNTHD
  2. Oct 9, 2007 #3862 of 9367

    murryamorris Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Monday 10/8 finally got my second Tivo up and running with service call. My older unit is the S3 (since 12/06). New unit is Tivo HD. Basically had 4 calls after I picked up a couple of S cards. All but one of the 4 calls the CSR was clueless.

    I had a bad feeling when the tech came today since he told me flat out he had only done one Tivo and didn't know a lot about CC's. I asked if he brought extra CC's and he said he had 2. I asked if they were M cards and he said he wasn't sure. He called dispatch to check (my Tivo was in the middle of the fall update reboot). I heard the woman on the phone say she wasn't sure (how can they not know?) I looked at the cards and they both said M-card on them.

    At least the guy was nice and knew a good dispatcher to call so he made another call and we pulled the 2 S cards that never worked. Put one M card in, his dispatch hit the card and in 10 seconds we had both tuners showing stations. I was already happy.

    We could only get basic stations though so he called another dispatcher (same woman as the first call). She hit it again but with the wrong signal and hosed it. He called the other guy again after that, who hit it with the correct lineup signal and...all channels working.

    We talked a while about how the people on the other end make the difference in the card installs. He said it basically comes down to how they send the signals. If they do it wrong, it screws up the cards and they have to reset everything and start over (which they don't seem to always do).

    The good thing is, I now have one M CC in the HD unit and he took away the 2 cards so the charge is less per month. If I could do that for my S3, I'd save a bit more.

    I'm pretty happy now even though it took a lot of time to get it going. Anyone having troubles, just keep on them and try for the M card if you can, it's just one less card they have to pair.
  3. Oct 9, 2007 #3863 of 9367

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    Well, you don't have to be specific as to how long it took him. But do praise him in your letter. We need more of those Comcast employees willing to go the extra mile to get things done. Thanks for the happy ending to your story.
  4. Oct 9, 2007 #3864 of 9367

    MoranJ2000 New Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    My experience with Comcast (in Naples, FL) has been nothing short of a travesty. First off, they insist on a service call for CableCard installs (at $9.99 per card), and then send techs who are clueless about CableCards if not openly scornful of them.

    The phone reps aren't much better. The vast majority of the ones I've dealt with, and I've dealt with well over a dozen in the past year, know little about how to properly activate and/or set up CCs for billing. I've had many CSRs insist that their CCs are only compatible with teevees, not TiVos.

    By far the worst experience has been with billing. Either out of malice or ignorance my local Comcast office has always insisted on charging me as if each card was a separate and distinct TV set. That means $13.90 for digital and another $13.90 for HD on a single TiVo box. That's been going on since October 20606 when I got my Series 3. M-Cards? They don't know anything about them.

    When I added an THD in August and they began to quadruple charge me, I finally had had enough. I complained to a escalating level of supervisors until I finally found one that was knowledgeable and competent, someone that understood the issue and was willing to try and fix it. Even so, the billing changes she made to my account were often spit out of the system days later, resulting in continued billing errors and/or loss of certain channels (which of course resulted in more calls).

    After three billing cycles I *think* it had finally all been worked out where I am not paying for duplicate services but only a nominal extra fee ($1.50 supposedly) for each additional CC. I won't know for sure until I see my next printed invoice in about two weeks.

    All I can say to anyone that is having issues with Comcast is that the only way to get satisfaction is to be on them like a fly on you-know-what, for days, weeks, months, if necessary. Threaten to switch to satellite if necessary (I did-- in my case back to DTV) and make it a point to tell them there's no way in hell you're ever going to sign up for their digital phone service either, which they're pushing big time these days.

    Honestly, Comcast should be on their knees thanking TiVo, because it's the only reason I (and I expect many others) remain a Comcast customer. That said, after what Comcast put me through, if FiOS came to town tomorrow I would switch in less time than it took me to type this post.

    I almost forgot-- I even managed to get a retroactive credit back to October 06 for being double billed on my original S3. I spent hours on the phone with countless people to get it, but I finally did.

    Again, moral of the story-- never get off Comcast's back.
  5. Oct 9, 2007 #3865 of 9367

    tmesser Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Naperville, IL
    Executive Care called me back last Wednesday. They scheduled a tech for today (Tuesday) between 8am and noon. They probably could have had one here sooner if I hadn't made plans to be out of town Thursday and Friday, and Saturday was not really an option because the woman with whom I spoke wanted to follow up with me at a time her office was open.

    Two techs showed up at 11:15 this morning. Inserted CableCARD into slot 2 (slot 1 already had a card from previous appointments), no 161-1 error or anything, tech calls dispatch to activate. Unfortunately, my TiVo had reverted to single-tuner mode because I'd been operating with only one CableCARD, so I couldn't really verify anything until after I repeated Guided Setup... which I didn't want the techs to hang around for. Sure enough, after I repeated Guided Setup, I was not receiving any of my premium channels on the second tuner. Host validation status was "Unknown 03."

    Called the toll-free number, asked to speak to a CableCARD specialist. "There aren't any CableCARD specialists in this office, they're all in Tinley Park, but I will submit your information to them and they will call you back." Precisely the response I was hoping for. 90 minutes later, I got a call from Tinley Park, and it turned out the data field had been entered incorrectly. Validation came through, and now I get all my premiums.

    Waiting for that Executive Care followup call, but I may have to call them. We still need to discuss billing, because I've been dinged for two installation fees ($15.99 and $23.99) and two "change service additional outlet" fees ($17.89 each), and I'll be damned if I pay for any of that.
  6. Oct 9, 2007 #3866 of 9367

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    You don't need to run guided setup to verify that; you use the CableCARD "Test Channels" menu item and run through the channels you're supposed to receive for each CableCARD.
  7. raid123

    raid123 New Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    After reading all these messages, I was a little nervous about getting a CableCard from Comcast. When I called 800-COMCAST, the representative said I could just walk into my local Redmond, WA office and pick up the cards. However, she had no idea what an M-Card was and insisted I needed two cards for two streams.

    So I walked into the Redmond office, and they were on top of things. They asked me if it was for Tivo, and when I asked for the M-Card, they knew exactly what it was. Within 10 minutes I walked out with my Comcast CableCard and headed home. I followed the CableCard setup guide that came with my Tivo, called up 800-COMCAST customer support for the pairing, and within 5 minutes of talking with the representative, I was completely set up.

    Just wanted to say that while there may be many horror stories for CableCard setup, it couldn't have gone smoother for me. I was set up within the timespan of an hour. Kudos to Comcast!
  8. tmesser

    tmesser Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Naperville, IL
    Oops. I had parsed it as "Test Channels = Channel Scan = not necessary." Guess I didn't read the installation sheet closely enough... noted for the future. Thanks!
  9. oldnacl

    oldnacl New Member

    Mar 23, 2007
    I just received my second months bill from Comcast since I had the CCs installed in my TiVoHD. The first bill still included the monthly charge for the SA 8300 HD that I'd been using but I phoned and they said I was going to be billed $4.00 for the 2 CCs and that was it (in adddition to my premium digital service which was already on the bill and hasn't changed)
    I mailed the money and this month got a bill that indicated they didn't get paid for the last month service (they did and I have the canceled check to prove it) and a CREDIT for $20. I have no idea what that is, unless it's for the unused portion of monthly advance charge for the 8300.
    I called again and they confirmed that they did get the last months check and I actually had a credit balance. So, the bottom line is, unless something blows up this month, that I'm getting the CCs for $2 each/month and no additional charges. The Tivo is my only "outlet" although I have a basic digital STB that I requested for on demand programming. When I picked it up, I questioned whether the STB would be charged as an "additional outlet" because I wanted it only for on demand programming and the rep assured me it was no charge. It looks like she was correct.
    I'm just hoping this lasts for more than a few months!
  10. cjchaps

    cjchaps New Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    So I called Comcast yesterday and asked about how much the mcard is. The CSR said it would be $5.95 for the multi-card since it's like two cards. I didn't feel like arguing at the time so I ended the call.

    Today I am planning to drop in to one of the comcast local offices and see if I can pick up an m-card myself. When I pick it up I am going to ask about billing. I remember seeing something about a special billing code to tell them to use for the Tivo but I have been looking for it the past hour and haven't been able to find it. Do you still need to tell comcast to use a special code so they don't charge you more for mcards? If so what is the code?

    Thanks in advance!

    EDIT: I think I found it - you tell them T3DDVRCARDS for the m-card right?
  11. Scarri

    Scarri New Member

    Jul 29, 2003
    Finnaly got my 2 S-cards installed today by Comcast in howard county, MD

    This was the 3rd attempt

    1st try the guy had my order wrong and didn't have any cable cards.

    2nd try the guy had no idea what he was doing and after trying 6 different cards claimed they were all bad and left.

    today I got a guy who was willing to work with me to get it working and I just had to hold his hand through the whole thing. Biggest problem was him waiting on hold to get the techs to activate the cards. It was a good thing I read over the cable card troubleshooting guide they had at tivo.com. If i hadn't this guy probably would have left me too but since I could show him that I was receiving messages and that the CC status was still "waiting for CP auth" he stuck it out and got the people at the main office to fix it
  12. johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Sounds like the typical Comcast Experience!!!
  13. davemcs

    davemcs New Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Two S-Cards installed by Comcast (SE MASS) yesterday. Contractor was told he had M-Cards..but was given two by the "powers that be" and they loaded as S Cards...

    He had never done a Tivo install ( despite my request for a tech who had done Tivos before) so I was leery. I stood by as he wrote down all the info and read along on the screen as he read the info twice..once to pair it to my account then again to activate the cards. S Card 1 went in no problem THD recognized it as an SCard and it was authorized with "subscribed" in the conditional access screen
    Card 2 is still only recognized as "card inserted" not as an SCard. It took a few minutes to get all the channels running on this card. It went from unknown to not subscribed to subscribed in 5 mins. As that was happeneng I had only the channel banner..but no video/audio just the grey screen...once it was "suscribed" all was well.
    Knock on wood I got a reasonable contractor and someone @ the head end who knew her stuff (Jenna I think)...

    So far so good..channel changing is a bit slow..but I LOVE being able to save HD programming...now all I want is eSATA enabled so THD's can be expanded (without haXoring)
  14. old64mb

    old64mb New Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    My story: Installer called early (8:30) for a 2-6 window to confirm. Asked him for Motorola M-Cards (and absolutely no SAs!), he wasn't sure if he had em at the warehouse but he would try - in return I let him come very early (10:30). Of course, said he preferred their boxes since they were "easier to diagnose".

    Nice enough guy, not a contractor but a real Comcast employee, brought 5 new Motorola M-Cards just in case 1 didn't work. Knew in general terms what he was doing (correct slot, one at a time), although I was the one responsible for getting to the right page on the menu so he could call in the numbers and since he didn't know the difference between an S3 and HD I suspect he was telling the truth when he said I knew more about it than he did. (He was also waxing eloquent about their new 100 something hour box until I told him I had 144 HD hours, at which point he said, "wow, that's actually pretty cool.") Had a hit delivered, first S3 worked right away on both tuners, second didn't. He left, I completed guided setup, first S3 worked fine, soft and then hard rebooted second S3, all is well (although I've gotten the pairing screen randomly a couple of times now on the second, which worries me a bit.) $1.79x2 for the "Dual Cblcard" package means I'm paying $1.79 less than I should, which is fine with me. No install fee either.

    Only issue is that they are not authorizing ESPN/TNTHD/et al other digital basic cables on the HD tier yet; I'm going to call and try to get that resolved without paying $7. Anyone know if UHD is included in that set?
  15. tmesser

    tmesser Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Naperville, IL
    Executive Care gave me a credit for the $75.76 in installation fees and service change charges that had been triggered by the multiple truck rolls. That was easy. But does anyone know about a "digital access fee"? Am I being charged for an additional outlet?

    I have one CableCARD in my TV (which is staying there, in case I want to watch something live while both tuners on my THD are recording), and two in the TiVo. Technically they're on the same physical outlet using a splitter, but Comcast doesn't seem to use the same definition of "outlet" as the rest of the world. Here's what my new billing looks like:

    Digital Preferred w/HBO - $79.47
    T3DDVRCARDS - $1.50 (estimated, as Recent Activity currently shows a charge of $1.79 for 9/26 to 10/31)
    Digital access fee - $5.95 (estimated, as Recent Activity currently shows a prorated charge of $4.44 for 10/9 to 10/31)

    My understanding is that one outlet is included with a digital package, and that there should be no separate equipment rental charge for any additional outlets. Do I need to call Executive Care again to get this "digital access fee" removed?

    EDIT: After some more thinking, it's occurred to me that this might be the correct billing (in which case I would be amazed that they got it right on the first try). In my market and probably most others, the first CableCARD is free on any outlet, and any additional ones are $1.50. The TiVo has two, so there's my "one free." The other outlet includes a CableCARD. Even though I don't really want to pay $5.95 for another outlet, this may be correct.
  16. tmesser

    tmesser Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Naperville, IL
    Yes, UHD is supposed to be included with that if it's available in your market.
  17. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    With Comcast, every piece of equipment that needs CableCARD(s) is presumed to be an "outlet" unless you can convince them otherwise.
  18. aaronc100

    aaronc100 New Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    Success (Comcast) and Failure (Millennium) in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

    Well, I got hooked up for Comcast on Monday, and they showed up with a MStream Cable Card for my HD TiVo. After install, and after the guy left of course (he claimed it was working when he saw one station pop-up), I wound up with a limited amount of stations (1-2?, 200-22?, and 339-34? (SHO)).

    Well, after calling Comcast customer service, and having them hit the card numerous times, they sent out another technician... I was very skeptical that swapping out the Cable Card would fix the problem, but after the swap and a few sacrificial offers, the TiVo gods have arrived at my place.

    So, after two visits (Monday and today [Wednesday]), I have all of my cable line-up, plus HBO and SHO.

    It would be prudent to mention that the reason I switched to Comcast, is that Millennium Digital Media could not figure out how to get a cable card to even partially work...nor did they have any MStream cards. The lady at the service counter told me when I turned in my equipment, that the reason they don't push the cable cards is that they NEVER are able to get them to work...sounds like something that should be an FCC violation. So, if you have Millennium, and want an HD TiVo, be prepared to switch to Comcast or Verizon.
  19. davemcs

    davemcs New Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    I had the tech remove the HD set top box which made my cablecards my only outlets..not additionals..that detail got me a lower rate per month
  20. cjchaps

    cjchaps New Member

    Oct 8, 2007
    If you are trying to pick up a cable card yourself at the Comcast Lisle, IL office I wouldn't bother. I stopped by there yesterday and they "don't have the cards and don't give them out". I asked if they gave out boxes and they said "Yes". She then asked to setup an appointment so I said "OK, but I want to make sure you tell them it's an Mcard", and of course they were like "there are different kinds of cards out there??". :(

    I got out of there and am going to try and schedule an install over the phone with someone who hopefully heard of mcards.

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