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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

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    Feb 2, 2005
    You'd think they'd send out a memo or something. TiVo's installer instructions are a single page. Actually you don't even need that because the TiVo itself walks you through the process.

    Of course, the "highly trained installers" just barge right up to the unit, cram two cards in it, don't know how to get to the screens that matter, declare all six cards they brought with them to be "bad", and take off. Then back at the lunch room they regale each other with stories of how much they "hate those (@*#) CableCARDs."
     
  2. jgerry

    jgerry save vinyl

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    Aug 29, 2001
    Atlanta,...
    Atlanta, GA

    Update: I guess the 5th time really is a charm! After the last tech managed to install an M card in my TivoHD but couldn't get it authorized.

    Two techs showed up today. I showed them the "Conditional Access" screen where it said AUTH: MP and told them it should say AUTH: S. They felt that the setup was fine, called their office, had the headend hit the card again with an authorization. Boom! Worked fine. Everything seems to be working fine now.

    I re-did my guided setup to remove the OTA channels. No point in keeping them really, as I'm getting some pixelization due to low signal strength anyway. Slight weirdness: All my season passes, which were attached to the OTA channels, are still there. The channels for those Season Passes are still listed as OTA channels (they show up as 11-1, 2-1, etc) and not as cable HD channels (803, 805 etc). But when I check the To Do list, the scheduled recordings all still show up, but they're showing the proper cable HD channel. So it looks like I won't have to wipe them all out and start over. Bravo, Tivo! Nice job on that bit.
     
  3. lukin11

    lukin11 New Member

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    Sep 19, 2007
    Comcast came out today with 2 SCards. Successful install after a a little nervousness when the first rep on the phone had never done a Tivo before, put the tech on hold, then hung up on him! Next rep knew what he was doing, and after reading the host id's and card #s ... we were good to go! SD, HD & HBO all working!

    Just a heads up... when testing channels, don't change channels too quickly if you have a TivoHD, there is a (see TivoHD FAQ, i can't link yet!) known/reported bug where the tivo will just reboot. Not fun since it takes so long to come back (it also scared the crap out of me!).

    The tech that came to the house had never done a Tivo before and seemed to be very interested in why I didn't like the Comcast DVR. I gave him plenty of reasons then he proceeded to point out that I can no longer get On Demand (which I knew). Then, in front of my wife, he tells me that the CableCards are "flaky and don't always work". Way to go dude... scare the wife.

    Is this a tactic they are taught at Comcast school? Of course my wife as all worried... ugh. Is there any truth to this? Now that they are set up & both working, we should be good to go right? I've read the stories about problems getting going, but haven't read anything where someone has had a problem post-install.

    Both cards are SA single stream.

    I was told that there were no MultiStream cards available yet in my area, which I think is BS... but oh well.
     
  4. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    No, that seems to be the norm in Scientific Atlanta markets. It's not that there are no multistream cards in existence -- in fact, they're used in the SA8300HDC DVR -- but for whatever reason as standalone cards, they've just not really become available for some reason.
     
  5. lukin11

    lukin11 New Member

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    Sep 19, 2007
    Ah yes... I did ask the tech (acting like I didn't know what I was talking about) why we couldn't just use the multistream card from the SA box I was returning (pointing out to him that it said "MCard" on it) .... you'll enjoy his response:

    :D :D
     
  6. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    That really pisses me off, because what that methodology did was to uneven the supposedly even playing field. What's happening is that when the new SA8300HDC's arrive, they're being inventoried and assigned a multistream card that's essentially "locked" with the receiver, and all the info is being pre-entered in their database so that they continue to authorize boxes solely by their serial number instead of requiring the same info we TiVo CableCARD users provide -- Host ID, CableCARD ID, serial number and (in Motorola markets) the Data value.

    Whereas if they'd done this "the right way" the CSRs/Dispatch CSRs would go through exactly the same collection of info for all receivers with CableCARDs... and presumably third party equipment like the TiVo receivers would soon enough be as easy to install and authorize as they should;ve been from day 1.

    I find it to be a very disingenuous way for the cable companies to utilize CableCARD devices.
     
  7. johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

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    Feb 2, 2005
    I'm shocked. :)
    Forgetting your recorded shows should be reason enough, but the crappy interface, no To-Do List, and freezing remote can be thrown into the mix. Oh, and the 5th line of the Guide that is an ad that you have to click through....
    To which I say that I have no demand for On Demand.
    This from a bozo who just admitted that he had never installed CableCARDs before. I hope you pointed that out to him.

    It could just possibly be that his ignorance and refusal to read one page of installation instructions is the source of his "opinion" that the cards are "flaky and don't always work."

    I wonder if it ever occurred to Comcast to pre-authorize the cards for your account before they send them out.

    They have a helluva nerve insulting you for your choice of product after charging you $20 for some clueless tech to come out. Any time they send a tech who says he has "never done this before", the truck roll should be free. After all, the customer is doing Comcast's training for them.
     
  8. Flashbrook

    Flashbrook New Member

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    Oct 3, 2007

    Just got my bill, and I am being charged $7 per month per tuner card/CableCard. :eek: Also I get hit with the $7 per month HD charge. So for My HD TiVo I am paying $6 and some change to TiVo (Multi box Discount) plus $21 to ComCast on top of my cable package.......SO WORTH IT!!! :D

    I don't care I love my Tivo and will not go back to their DVR.
     
  9. silypuddy

    silypuddy New Member

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    Jun 4, 2007
    Minneapolis
    That doesn't sound right.

    The first card should be free (part of the outlet) and the second card should be around $1.50. As for the HD charge, they aren't charging me for HD channels in the Twin Cities. Maybe if I asked for HDNet they would start charging.... I dunno.. and I am afraid to ask...
     
  10. johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

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    Feb 2, 2005
    That's too much. No need to call - just go to the Comcast site and use the Chat feature. I had to do that to get the "A/O" (additional outlet) removed - I bet that is what they did to you too. Look on your statement at Comcast under Recent Activity. If you see "a/o", that is incorrect and the rep on the Chat will remove it.
     
  11. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    I've been trying to get the billing straightened out on my Cable Cards since I got the Tivo HD at launch and haven't had any success.

    1) First CC free, second CC $1.50 per month.

    2) $7 "HD Programming" charge for my HD channels on the Tivo

    3) CC refuses to get me an M-card, says that there are no M-cards available in my market.

    They are also charging me $7 for my only Comcast branded cable box (non DVR) which again they say is an "HD Programming" charge.

    I've called numerous times, written letters, etc, and they have refused to budge on the HD Programming bologna.
     
  12. bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    San...
    While it rankles the 1 percent of us who use Tivo devices, it is probably quite pleasant for the other 99% of their customer base who appreciates the fact that their new cable box works with a minimum of fuss.

    Honestly, if you were the cable co, would you work to optimize activation of the devices the overwhelming majority of your customers use, or the devices so rare, many of your installers still haven't touched?

    While I agree that cable companies are evil and sleazy, this one really is just a common sense decision, not a conspiracy.
     
  13. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Long...
    The point is that it's 3 numbers. Surely they could streamline their systems and train their CSRs to handle it. But by creating two different systems, they're creating the problem.
     
  14. bizzy

    bizzy New Member

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    Jan 20, 2004
    San...
    I agree with that.

    However, to Comcast's credit, the last time I had an auth problem, about a week ago, I called in to support; told them what the problem was ("One of my cablecards has lost its auth"), and the csr immediately asked for the host and data numbers. Within a minute she had sent a refresh hit, and sent an additional init and refresh when I asked her to.

    They are improving! A year ago they didn't know what a cablecard was :)
     
  15. Neenahboy

    Neenahboy Statistical outlier TCF Club

    16,496
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    Apr 7, 2004
    Arlington, VA
    The latest bill became available online today, and as I suspected, it's a fiasco.

    The tech installed two S-cards in the THD. I have the Digital Preferred package at $66.98, I'm getting charged $1.50 for the additional CableCARD (which is fine), but I have a Digital Access fee of $5.99 which I assume is included in my digital tier package and thus an incorrect charge, right?
     
  16. cas929

    cas929 New Member

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    Oct 12, 2007
    Washington D.C.
    Hello, all, longtime reader, first time poster....

    I live in Washington, D.C., and I was told by two different CSRs (for whatever that's worth) that I can just pick up a Cable card from their main office, which is near my home. It seems like that would be a great option, considering the poor experiences that people have had with installers. I've held off on getting a TiVo, despite hating the Motorola DVR, because I am so afraid of the horror stories here.

    However, the ability to self-install doesn't seem to match the other experiences reflected on this thread. Is there any one else who lives in Washington D.C (as opposed to ithe metropolitan area) who was able to self-install?
     
  17. monroe

    monroe New Member

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    Mar 16, 2005
    So I just ordered my new TIVOHD and wanted to make sure I had EVERYTHING ready for it when it gets here. Everything on Comcast's website and FAQ's state that professional installation is required. So I called Comcast about the Cable cards. I'm told I can just go right into my local office an pick them up, and that they would be about $1.91 a month for both cards.

    I go into my local office, and take a number and sit down. I spend about 15 minutes marveling at how much it felt like I was at my local DMV. When my number comes up, I put on my MOST friendly face and greet my CSR!

    I enquire if I am able to get cable cards here at the office. She say's yes, how many? I saw I only need one if they have any M-Cards available? She checks, but no. I ask if another time would be better? Maybe another office? Again, no we're not sure when we'll be getting those in stock. OK, then I guess I need 2 then for my Tivo. I ask how much is that, is it $1.91 per month? She looks surprised and answers "No, they're free."

    She does her thing, scans the barcodes of the 2 cable cards, and types something into her computer. She then checks my ID, and then hands me 2 cable cards along with an equipment receipt that says right on it $0, $0 monthly.

    SWEET!

    So now I'm back home with my free cable cards, and will wait for my Tivo to be delivered.

    I'm just a little confused because EVERYTHING on Comcasts website stated PROFESSIONAL INSTALL REQUIRED. The website also says the 1st card is free, but there is a charge for additional cards on the same outlet. My phone call to a regional Comcast Rep then contradicts this by telling my I can pick up the cards and install them myself, but yes, I will receive a monthly charge for both cards. Then finally at the Comcast center in person, I'm given the cards and told they're both FREE. Heads kind of spinning so I'm not sure what to expect to see when I get my first bill!

    Chris
     
  18. johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

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    Feb 2, 2005
    I'm wondering if her scanning the cards, entered the cards' serial and data numbers into their system, so that when you call it will be on the CSR's screen right in front of them linked to your account.

    Nah, that would make too much sense.
     
  19. johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

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    Feb 2, 2005
    None of my items are labeled exactly as "digital access fee", but most likely it's an additional outlet fee - that's what I got added by mistake and had to use the online chat to get removed. In my case the online CSR just immediately removed it, so they must get hundreds of calls/chats about these charges every day. She didn't even question it.
     
  20. Neenahboy

    Neenahboy Statistical outlier TCF Club

    16,496
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    Apr 7, 2004
    Arlington, VA
    Excellent. I've put a call in to the Executive Care rep I deal with, so we'll see what she says. There are tons of other problems with the bill (related to her giving me service credits to compensate for the saga), so that should be a fun conversation. :(
     

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