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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Sep 23, 2006 #401 of 9367

    Gerhard New Member

    Sep 29, 2002

    I've been having this issue with one of the CableCARDS giving me the message:


    I tried about 6 times to have the central office reauthorize the 2nd CableCARD in the Tivo 3.

    A technician came to the house today, and, very respectfully, listened to want I told him. He then tried having the card reauthorized, but nothing happened. I did, however, get one of the errors with I assume was the "good" error.

    Still, the second card showed "MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY."

    The tech decided that we should try switching the CableCARDs around. I informed him that it had to be done ONE AT A TIME. We put the unworking CC #2 into CC slot 1 and he had the central office authorize the card.

    Suddenly that card that had not been working for 6 days indicated AUTH: SUBSCRIBED!

    At this point he asked me to put the CableCARD that was originally card #1 into slot #2. So I did...

    ...and after about a minute the original CC#1 that was NOW IN SLOT #2 turned out to have the message AUTH: SUBSCRIBED as well.

    The tech was adament that either card would work in either slot. That he frequently troubleshoots TV problems by moving a CableCARD from one TV to another in the same house, and then having the CC reauthorized or "hit."

    It appears that he was correct... because everything is now working!

  2. Sep 23, 2006 #402 of 9367

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    They could even allow you to order it on your free cable box, and then view it on your TiVo. That takes zero extra infrastructure. They just have to send out the right authorisation to let the TiVo see it. I did wonder if I was browsing on demand on channel 1 on the cable box, i'd be able to see the demanded programs on channel 1 on the TiVo. I couldn't.
  3. Sep 23, 2006 #403 of 9367

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002

    Correct. I've ordered some PPV on one box and been able to see it on all boxes in the house.

    I'll have to order something on one of the boxes I'm keeping then try tuning the Tivo to that channel. They may set the recording flag to "never" though.
  4. Sep 23, 2006 #404 of 9367

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    Sep 21, 2005
    Smooth install here in Anne Arundel County, MD. Installer was one time, said it was his second Tivo and had several other jobs for 2 cards today, so it looked like he was going to be doing a lot of these.

    Dropped both cards in, got the numbers, he called them in and within 2 minutes got the 161-4 on both cards. He hung around when while I redid guided setup, everything worked perfectly. We talked Tivo just about the whole time, the installer didn't know about all the extra features that the Tivo offered, said he'd have to look into getting one himself.

    I can't believe it, but :up: Comcast!!!

    Looking at the paperwork he left, it cost me 8 bucks - we'll see how the monthly works itself out.

    Edit: FWIW, both were the pastel label Moto-branded cards
  5. Sep 23, 2006 #405 of 9367

    uksausage New Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    I am in Northern Virginia and I think I have seen posted earlier there is a MAJOR porblem with Comcast here.

    No one is specifying the make of their cablecards whish are working - please can you let us know if any are Scientifc Atlanta cards.

    After a contractor technician came out with a SA DVR expecting to pick up 2 cable cards he then called in to get an installed around promto (this was Friday lunch time and one was scheduled for 4pm) with 2 cards.

    I got a call from installer prior to going to call before mine - great service I thought and infact the call before was for identical Tivo series3 2 cable card installs.
    Then got a call 40 minutes later - the cards they have are incomatible with Tivo they WILL NOT WORK.
    There is new software from SA that is meant to fix the porblems but they havent goty the software in NaVA

    Is this an issue that can be escalated does anyone know?

    Given I live 4 miles from the FCC building it woudl be ironic if NaVA were breaking some rules somehow.

    I have no idea when I will get the cards now and am "suffering" from the lack of digital channels and HD but enjoying the better output and dual tuner anyway.
  6. Sep 23, 2006 #406 of 9367

    tube013 New Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Wilmington, DE


    I think I have the exact same problem up here in Wilmington, DE. Let us know how you make out with the tech.

    My cards give the same messages you note above, also both are moto. 04.05 firmware version. Sometimes when I flip to channels I should get, I get the cablecard pairing screen pop up. No matter what I'm still missing about 2/3rds of my total content, and I missed having ESPN in HD on a college football saturday!!!!! I think I know the real meaning of "Comcastic" and it isn't good.
  7. Sep 23, 2006 #407 of 9367

    Gerhard New Member

    Sep 29, 2002
    Did you call Tivo and verify that the SA CableLABS certifed CableCARDs are not compatible with Tivo Series 3 units?

    ...because if those cards ARE real CableCARDs, then there is no reason that they should not work... and it would also mean that SA could loose their certifcation.

    So.... I'd consider calling SA and finding out if they really do have compatibility issues or if someone is giving you the run around.
  8. Sep 23, 2006 #408 of 9367

    IraF Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    I admit I only read part of this thread ... but I didn't see anyone mentioning the prices I was just quoted by a Comcast CSR regarding service in San Francisco.

    Currently, in addition to my Series One TiVo, I have the Comcast Motorola dual DVR, which, for $9.95, includes dual HD service. There is another $9.95 charge for digital classic which includes the cost of one "converter/remote."

    I was told the first cable card would replace the converter/remote in the digital cable package, thus you could say it is free - but it's actually not - the digital classic package includes the price of a converter and a remote, and you wouldn't have either anymore - so if the price stays the same, you are paying the same price for the cable card as you were for your now non-existent converter/remote. If the digital classic package cost less with cable card, THEN cable card could be said to be free.

    Ignoring that, he says if I wanted HD on the cable card, I'd have to add $5.

    And, a second cable card would cost $6.95 more.

    And HD on the second cable card would cost another $5 more!

    So my Comcast monthly costs for dual HD would go from $9.95 with dual DVR, to $16.95 with 2 cable cards!

    That is completely absurd! Isn't it?

    He swore this was true - but maybe he was thinking "two outlets", not "one TiVo."

    Of course this is ignoring the costs of the TiVo hardware or subscription (I would convert my lifetime Series One subscription to a Series 3 lifetime, as I think that is possible for $200).

    Are these Comcast fees possible? Was this CSR just totally wrong? I didn't spot anyone else mentioning these fees in this thread - on the contrary, far more people were saying cable card was free, and no one was saying adding HD to a cable card would cost $5 or $10 extra.

    I'm thinking maybe these fees are possible - they know if they give you cable card, they will get no On Demand revenue from you.
  9. Sep 23, 2006 #409 of 9367

    Gerhard New Member

    Sep 29, 2002
    Comcast in Montgomery County, MD is not charging me for EITHER of the two CableCards.

    However, there are other fees that they are no making clear prior to turning on the cable:

    There is 6.00 HD fee, the Digital 5 package for $120.00, and then some other fee.

    However, these fees were there before I switches to CableCards. As such, I'm still paying about $20.00 less to Comcast than I was... including the $6.95 fee to Tivo for the additional box.

  10. Sep 23, 2006 #410 of 9367

    wdave New Member

    Jul 16, 2000
    Stevenson, MD
    I'll try to keep this short, because my experience definitely wasn't:

    Called on 12th, earliest appt was for today 1pm-5pm.
    Told them, "Make sure it's an in-house tech, and to bring a few CCs"
    They say, "No problem"
    I'm around all afternoon.
    At 5pm I call asking "Where are you?"
    They say, "Running late today, will be there by 7pm"
    At 7pm they call, "We just looked at your order. We're just contractors. Don't have CCs"
    I call Comcast directly.
    They say "Sorry, sir, our mistake, I'll escalate this to my supervisor right away."
    I say "I still want someone to come out this evening."
    They say "Yes, that may be possible, we'll work on it through dispatch".
    I call back at 8pm, "Where are you?"
    They say, "He (supervisor) is still trying to make it happen. He promises to call you back"
    Evening has ended ... no call back.
  11. Sep 23, 2006 #411 of 9367

    IraF Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    After reading more, called Comcast again regarding San Francisco. Last time, was told 6.95 for 2nd card, plus $10 to get HD on each. Now, I was told this:

    - both cable cards are free
    - HD is no extra charge
    - just go to the Comcast store and get 2 cable cards, no truck roll involved.

    So from $16.95/month in fees for dual HD cable card, I'm down to $0, saving $9.95 vs. dual DVR service. My TiVo service will cost something like 5.55 per month over 3 years ($200 lifetime conversion cost, spread over 3 years). This is Not Bad At All!

    I only hope when I actually go get the cable cards, that the prices haven't shot up again :).
  12. Sep 24, 2006 #412 of 9367

    canyon New Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Has anyone noticed in the past week Comcast have changed this on their website from ---There is no additional charge for cablecards--- to--- There is no additional charge for CableCARD service
    big difference
  13. Sep 24, 2006 #413 of 9367

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    He was correct, but not for the reason he thought. Either card will work in either slot, BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE PROPERLY INIT'ed AFTER THE SWAP.

    Each card has a host id that is paired with an entry in the head end system. Once paired, if you swap cards, neither will work.
  14. Sep 24, 2006 #414 of 9367

    RentMusic New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Just to be fair to the poor guy, Weaknees charges $1299 for a 600 HR SD / 60 Hour HD Series 3 (500GB) and $1599.00 for a 925 HR SD / 100 HR HD (750GB) Series3.

    Maybe he wasn't wrong.
  15. Sep 24, 2006 #415 of 9367

    crazyxgerman New Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    After the successful cable card install today I called Comcast customer service to find out about pricing.

    First lady told me $60 for the package, $5 for HD, and $6.95 per month per cable card. I told her that's not going to happen. She transferred me to somebody else.

    Talked to a very nice gentleman and explained the 1 TV 1 outlet 1 TiVo w/dual tuner 0 digital converter boxes concept to him. He agreed that the pricing should be different and assured me my charge will be

    $60 for package, first cable card included, $6.95 for second cable card, basic HD channels (702-709, 719-725) included, no extra charge.

    My total bill goes up by $6.95 which is reasonable. However, I just saw this FAQ - https://www.comcast.com/Customers/FAQ/FaqDetails.ashx?Id=2651 - and will call them on that tomorrow and see what they have to say.
  16. Sep 24, 2006 #416 of 9367

    dwiller New Member

    Sep 28, 2001
    Boston, MA, USA
    This has got to have been one of the more frustrating experiences in recent memory. I've been so excited for the Series 3, since it was announced....when was that January 2005? And all along dreading, just dreading any involvement from the cable company....

    So the Series 3 comes out...I run out to Best Buy and get one last Friday. Seemed to be the only one in the area. Call Comcast to try to schedule....my work schedule isn't the most convenient to schedule this kind of stuff, so I have to wait until today (Saturday) which was about 8 days after I bought the new Series 3.

    Installer shows up right on time...perhaps a minute early for my 11am-1pm appt. He recognizes the Series 3. Immediatelyi starts writing down the S/N off the cable cards. He puts one in.....the gray screen pops up. He writes the information down. He even waits for me to finish typing the stuff into my computer (the host id and data id). He shows me all the cable cards in his little metal tray. I ask if he's been installing a lot of them, he says yes, and I ask 'in TiVos?' He says yes. I was surprised since they had just come out less than 2 weeks ago. He said many ordered online....I figured it was promising that he'd done TiVos before.

    Anyway, He sticks the 2nd card in, same thing. I'm thinking 'this is going pretty well so far....it's only been 10 minutes and both cards are in!' He calls his dispatch (I think he was a contractor) and gives the 2 numbers for the CableCards and tells him I'm returning a DVR.

    This is when the problems start....he gets transferred to the Comcast number. He's on hold for at least 20 minutes. Then I can hear through his phone, that it starts ringing....great! Well, it rings, and rings, and rings and rings.....no answer. He was transferred into some abyss. While he was on hold, he tuned in 804, 805, 807 my local channels in HD. I saw HD golf on NBC. I was pleased that everything was working so well. So when nobody picked up, he eventually hung up and said that he'd call the stuff in, and then call me back if there were any problems. Said that it'd take about 30 minutes or so to get all the information downloaded.

    So I start playing around when he leaves and see that I'm not getting any HD channels other than the local ones. I'm not getting any of the HBOs. No ESPNHD, no INHD. I eventually call Comcast and ask that they hit the cards, since my installer never got through. He does. I see no error messages, nothing. I had to leave for work.

    When I get home, I check my channels, still not working so I power TiVo off. Take the cards out. Restart TiVo, insert 1 card back in. Call Comcast. Ask her to reinitialize the card I gave her the S/N for. Nothing. Both of my cards are Motorola, one is v. 4.21, the other is 4.05. Still not working, so she suggests setting up a service call, since she was out of ideas. I agree, figuring I might as well set up the call, and then can cancel if things start to work. Of course I work 11-7, so pretty much no appointments during the week work for me. I have to take next Friday 9-11am, which is a full 2 weeks since I bought the TiVo.

    I then plug TiVo directly into the wall, bypassing all splitters. Nothing changes on the status of the cards. Not sure if this would require them to rehit me or not.

    I noticed that each card has a different Conditional Access screen. The card in slot 1 (v. 4.21) says:
    Connected:yes, EnabledByCP: no
    CA enable: not possible
    Host Validation: Unknown

    The card in slot 2 (v. 4.05) says:
    State: Subscribed (just as I was typing this)...I got excited, went to test channels, didn't work, and now the message is back to saying
    State: CA Disabled
    Host Validation: Unknown
    This screen does not mention Encryption , Auth, etc. Not sure why the 2 screens look different.

    I plug TiVo back into the splitter, and try the online help. That person hits the cards for me. Then tells me I am not subscribed for HD service, and that it was cancelled. i'm happy for a second, because I figure if he turns that back on, I'll be all set. Turns out he tells me I need to call the local office.

    So I call Comcast again, and I ask the woman to check my account. She says nothing was removed, and that I should be receiving HD. She says she has sent signals to my cards and sees I have an appt. for Friday. She says a technician will need to come out.

    This is so frustrating. I just want to watch TV. I've been looking forward to this for so long. I don't want Comcast here touching my stuff. I wish I could just exchange the CCs myself. Not sure if they are bad, or if it is the TiVo or if someone is screwing up at Comcast. It's 4:33am. I'm exhausted. Can't make any more calls today. At least Comcast has 24 hour support, not that it's done me much good. If I can't get this stuff to work, I'm going to need to return TiVo and go back to that God awful Comcast DVR. Noooooooo!!!!

  17. Sep 24, 2006 #417 of 9367

    geekmedic TiVo Fanatic TCF Club

    Apr 4, 2003
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Does anyone know what the benefit is to the firmware upgrade (4.2.1)?
  18. Sep 24, 2006 #418 of 9367

    BarryPCC New Member

    Nov 3, 2002
    I'm a S2 Tivo subscriber and want to get S3 by New Year's Eve so I can transfer my lifetime service. I currently subscribe to MLB Extra Innings package (Channels 771-780). When I inquired about CableCards to a Comcast CSR, she said, "Well, if you gave up your set top box and got Cable Cards, you would not be able to order the baseball package."

    I know that all of Comcast's CSR's here in Richmond are temporary employees who rarely know what they are providing service for so, I'm asking here on this thread, is what she said true? I really want to get the S3 and have dual tuning capability, but I don't want to lose my baseball package next season.

    Thanks so much for any assistance.
  19. Sep 24, 2006 #419 of 9367

    hybucket Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    Does anyone know if Comcast has any...er, "incentive" deals for dropping satellite and going with them? I'm thinking of dumping D* for the TiVO Series 3, but I'm on a 2-year committment with D*, and am curious if Comcast would make it worth my while. I'm sure it depends on which CSR you speak to, but if there's a precedent for this sort of thing....
    With D*, if you threaten to leave them, they'll give you just about anything with their "customer retention" department.
  20. Sep 24, 2006 #420 of 9367

    mchief Morey

    Sep 10, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Sounds like you are in Arlington. I'm in Alexandria with Comcast and an SA cablecard in my HDTV which works fine. Try talking to someone else or a supervisor. There are no software issues with the SA card.

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