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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. bmgoodman

    bmgoodman Member

    Dec 20, 2000
    What's the fun of being a monopoly if you can't treat the customers like @#$* and still collect their money? :D
  2. bizzy

    bizzy New Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    you mis-spelled 'extort'
  3. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    Sep 11, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    the Mcard has an "M" on it :)
    (you only need one if you have a TiVo HD - put it into slot 1)
  4. dr_lha

    dr_lha New Member

    May 13, 2005
    Central PA
    Update: Comcast not only called me back, but they also got my Digital Cable channels working! I guess I should be happy this process only took 12 days. Surprisingly the issue was at the "head-end", i.e. in the Comcast computer system and not the TiVo or CableCard. The key seemed to be the fact that one of my engineers got so angry during the visit that the guy on the phone didn't seem to have a clue that he spent 5 mins outside yelling at his supervisor, so they must have decided it was time to sort out my issue. Good for me, but it really highlights how clueless "normal" Comcast support people that this guy just didn't have a clue how to set up the cablecard, and yet he was the "go to guy" for the technicians to call to set these things up.

    Well its over for now, and I have my channels. I'm very happy, until they start deciding SDV is a great idea of course. ;)

    PS: FYI I am being charged no additional outlet fees and $2.00 for a "second" cable card (I have 1 M-Card), so by going from a Digital Cable box to TiVo HD, I'm paying $2 more a month, but I get a bunch of HD channels as part of the "Digitial Basic" tier including ESPNS, Discovery, UHD, TNT and a couple of others.
  5. JakiChan

    JakiChan New Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    So now with an SDV solution on the horizon I was wondering - I've seen some folks referencing saving money when switching to TiVo with Comcast but I was looking at my bill and it looks like I pay $11.95/mo for the Comcast DVR. If I prepay a year of TiVo service I might save a dollar a month. Am I missing something?

    (Personally, the cost of the tivo service is one thing that holds me back. I mean if Comcast can afford to rent hardware to me for $12 then I'm not sure why the tivo service costs $13...)
  6. troche

    troche New Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    First, as a newbie, the post below was rejected because webaddresses aren’t allowed in newbie posts… and my post seems to be rejected cos there is a searchbot looking for the letter c then the letter o then the letter m. So my post about C0mcast cable will have to refer to C0mcast this way. This saga took place in September, when I wrote this, maybe when I post this tonight it’ll finally pass the filter.


    I got a new HD TiVo last week, and I was reading all these C0mcast posts, and I of course had this sense of impending dread. It seems like such a roll of the dice when starting out on one’s own CableCard saga – your C0mcast experience will either be a breeze or sadly pathetic. I picked up the phone. My saga began. Which would it be??

    Drum roll…

    Awww, too bad. Yours will be sadly pathetic.

    Here, as briefly as I can, is what happened. Called 1-800-C0MCAST, around 930AM, got a CSR right away, in Atlanta no less, where I am. Simply said I wanted a CableCard installation appointment, after confirming there was no pick up option. Very friendly guy. Went on to explain that I wanted two cards for a one outlet billing set up. Only then did I explain this was for a TiVo. CSR said he’d never handled a TiVo installation. I told him I had done a lot of research – also mentioned I am a video editor with an engineering degree – so when I said the first card should be free, the second one $1.50 etc, he was like “one outlet? sure boss, whatever you want.” Mentioned to pls put request for 2 cards and 2 backups as sometimes they fail.

    He was v keen on being helpful, we chatted, he said his brother just got a TiVo and that he, the CSR wished he knew more. I suggested he go to this very forum and read the posts re:C0mcast.

    Was v surprised to hear there was an appointment open the very next afternoon (!)

    Well so far so good. Next day, the tech calls, says hello, he’s 20 minutes away, wants to let me know that “C0mcast don’t have no TiVo cards.”


    “C0mcast don’t have no TiVo cards.”

    Uh oh, bad sign. No, I say, I need regular cable cards that will be installed in my TiVo as if installing in a regular HDTV.

    “I understand all that,” he says, “but C0mcast don’t supply no TiVo cards, you have to get them from TiVo.”

    Have you ever installed cards in a TiVo I ask?


    Well then bring over regular CableCards and we’ll sort it out.

    Guy arrives an hour and a half later. He is looking at the cards puzzlingly.... and admits he’s actually never installed any CableCards at all, EVER. Hoo boy, I think, ain’t C0mcast just an embarrassment? So I said hey pal, have a seat, I have the instructions, let me try this myself. But he wanted to put it in the slot. OK, fine.

    I learned later he brought 2 multistream cards. When you install card 1 into slot one TiVo says Single Stream card inserted. A few sec’s later the TiVo screen updates to Multi, I missed that, and it threw me. Since he held the cards I didn’t see the card said M-Card – I began the process as if they were single stream.

    No matter, cos things were about to go downhill. I did the setup instructions and I then told him it was OK call in to activate, He gets on his cellphone.

    He does that, um, “urban” cell thing where he talks to the cell a foot away with the cell speaker on. I hear him reach some lazy confused person at C0mcast who says there was no one there to send the signal; they were all out on a smoke break. ALL of them he asks?? “Ain't no one over there” says the Voice, “you need to just calm down and call back.”

    My tech takes offense: “I’m a professional, I don’t need this!” he barks.

    We wait 10 mins, he calls again, I can hear new op saying yes I’ll send a signal.

    “Well where was you all earlier!!??” my tech demands. Terse answer: I been here all the time. "Well X said you were all out smoking." Terser answer: That is a lie. She is a liar. Tech: "well why didn’t you answer 10 mins ago if you were there?" She says now you are lying. "No YOU are lying." No you!


    This augment escalates while I sit there, went on and on while I sat there, amazed. I said to myself if I’d video’d this and put it on YouTube, it’d rank #8 by Friday.

    They move on, and the office dweeb finally sends signal. After a time, cablecard responds, but it does not unlock my digital tier (premium) channels, just the analog group. I install the 2nd card, now Tivo auto-prompts to say that is a multi stream card, you don’t need that, eject it. But after ejecting the 2nd card, TiVo takes all my channels to black and I am getting NOTHING.

    Maybe it is a cable strength issue I say. OK, the tech says, I’ll get my tester from my truck. Ummmmm, wait, he says, no, I don’t have my tester. I don’t have my truck. I just have my car. I’ve been having a busy day.

    Back to square one. So I have him call the office again to send a signal again, and he takes out his cell with its little loud speaker and dials in. I feel like I am walking up the stairs to Linda Blair, here we go again.

    More arguing. Now it is revealed the whole system is down, my account can’t be logged into, and even if we wanted a signal sent, the “DEPET” signaling system is down too. He hangs up, and heads to the door. “Well there’s nothing I can do, and I gotta go, sign here,” said TECHNICIAN 8678.

    So tech 8768 leaves – I sure got my 20 dollars worth out of that service call don’t you think? When he came I got 77 channels, now I got zero. No Truck. No tools, no gear. C0mcast T-shirt, though, that’s something. Did I mention he’s tech 8768?

    He leaves the unused card on the table. The next day I call the 800 number and tell them my saga and how the DEPET was down they… OK OK fine sorry said this rushed CSR -- I’ll send the signal. 30 mins later, no change. All channels still black.

    All along TiVo has kept asking to re-run the guided setup, but as this list has said it is usually not necessary if you ran it pre-card-install, I have not. But now I do, and it WAS a waste of time… it takes 30 mins, and there is no change, I am still at square 1. I learn that all that guided setup does is ask for your zip, and your cable systems name, and then it downloads the whole schedule for all channels up to 999. So this process would not need to be redone just cos your card changed what you can and cannot get, not what your cable co has overall.

    So I eject card 1, and load the unused card. I call the 800 number for a signal. Now it is the evening and it takes 20 mins to get yet another CSR. I call back an hour later to say THAT signal did nothing. FIFTH (SIXTH?) CSR says signal has now been sent to both cards, and both cards have both sent back data indicating they are OK.

    My word, could it actually be a TiVo issue?

    I eject card 2, replace it with card 1, and unplug the Tivo, wait 10 sec, plug it in. During the usual long reboot, I look up the TiVo HD help line and prepare to call. Suddenly a sound from the HDTV – sitcom audio! All channels are there! The OTA HD’s the cool free HD’s C0mcast has never bothered to tell anyone about, and my digital basic tier – BBC etc. What a nice surprise.

    Two days later I returned the extra card to the Tivo office in Chamblee. I began to relate this long story and the guy just cut me off and asked if I wanted the service call charge refunded. End of story.. .

    Atlanta out.
  7. mvp119

    mvp119 New Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    I currently have limited basic cable from Comcast (Ocean County NJ) for $15/month. I can get the local HDTV channels on my tivo HD but without Guide data. Does anyone know if it is possible to get cable cards and stay on the limited basic cable? or do I need to pay for digital cable and a lot of channels that I don't need?

    I wouldn't mind paying an extra $10/month to get my HD channels mapped correctly, but an extra $45 for digital cable is not worth it to me. I tried getting HD OTA but could not receive a signal from any of the networks.


  8. rlawson4

    rlawson4 New Member

    Nov 27, 2007
    After reading all of these responses, I have to say that Comcast has met my expectations in that they have completely dropped the ball. They have failed to show up for 3 appointments. They did appear at one appointment with 2 broken S-Cards. So, 10 days out, I have no cable cards. They insist that I must have one of their "installers" come to my house. They will not allow me to pick cards at my local office. They also have told me that they are out of cards, however, they keep making appointments only to fail to appear due to not having the cards. It all appears to be a vain attempt to not allow me to choose my own set-top box and return to their awful DVR.
  9. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    I've seen at least half a dozen people here who've reported being able to get cablecards with limited basic on Comcast, so it's possible. I don't think I've seen anybody in NJ, though - it's been several in California, Houston, and perhaps Chicago. It depends on what you can convince your local franchise to do for you, and some franchises are insistent on going to a digital package. But it's worth trying.

    Note some people have been able to add digital cable, get cablecards, and drop digital cable (keeping the cable cards). That's a more expensive gamble.
  10. david4788

    david4788 New Member

    May 19, 2007
    Please update your profiles to at least your general location. It will allow others to help if they live in your area. Thanks
  11. PSXBatou

    PSXBatou New Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    Sacramento, CA
    I really don't get why they will not let you just pick up the cable cards. I tried the local Roseville office (closer to my work) and they will not give out cards, instead they have to "roll" a truck to install them. Basically they said the wanted to be sure it was installed correctly and to be honest that is why I would rather do it myself since the majority of the installers I have met have very little to no experience with technology.

    I'm sure its a money thing, they want that $13.99 for the install fee.. I would be willing to pay the fee just to be able to get the cards from a local office and not have to deal with someone coming to my home and either 1. bringing the wrong equipment 2. not bringing enough cards 3. Not knowing anything about what was going on.

    Most my service calls out here end up requiring a 2nd or a 3rd visit, I have an appointment next Friday to get my cable cards but I will be calling to confirm the appointment and be sure that its noted that I need 2 cable cards and that its for a TiVo install.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that it goes well, but I don't have high expectations. Sorry for the rant, I would just like to be able to get the cards myself instead of having someone come to my home to do something that I am more than capable of doing by myself...
  12. Neenahboy

    Neenahboy Statistical outlier TCF Club

    Apr 7, 2004
    Arlington, VA
    I just tried calling to add the Sports Entertainment package for NFL Network and was told by two separate reps that it couldn't be done because of my CableCARDS. I assume they're BSing me (again)?
  13. Graymalkin

    Graymalkin Grumpy Poster

    Mar 20, 2001
    If the Sports Entertainment package requires the same sort of interactivity as OnDemand or PPV, then you won't be able to get that with the CableCARDs. You'll need a Comcast box for that.
  14. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    It doesn't. It is a $4.99 sports package tier that includes NHL networks and a few other stations.
  15. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    I get the sports package with CableCards. It does sound like BS.
  16. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    If the package is delivered by SDV or some other 2 way protocol then yes, you're screwed with cable cards.
  17. Neenahboy

    Neenahboy Statistical outlier TCF Club

    Apr 7, 2004
    Arlington, VA
    Have they gone SDV in Chicago yet? Haven't heard anything, and a quick Google doesn't indicate anything.
  18. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    No idea, but it's one of the only valid excuses for why they can't bond that channel to your cable cards.
  19. Neenahboy

    Neenahboy Statistical outlier TCF Club

    Apr 7, 2004
    Arlington, VA
    Well, the point is now moot. :)

    The third round in my CSR roulette proved successful.
  20. jlee301

    jlee301 New Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    I have Tivo Series3 unit with the latest software.

    I have the Comcast installer coming to my house tomorrow and would like to know whether or not the installer can use one MCARD in order to get both tuners active or will I still need two cards.

    I've read that the TivoHD units can handle using just one MCARD to make both tuners work, but is the Series3 still not ready for this?

    I am asking because I want to make sure the installer brings enough cards with him to get the job done smoothly.

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