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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. nedeveritt

    nedeveritt New Member

    Nov 19, 2006
    Bel Air, MD
    I stopped by the Comcast office this afternoon to return the remote the technician forgot to take with their DVR.

    I also added the Sports Package for 1.99 per month for 6 months. When I got home, none of the channels were coming in, so I rebooted the TiVo. All appeared well after that, until I discovered CC #2 was not getting the channels. Trying to get it resolved with Comcast right now. Nothing is ever easy with these folks!

  2. nedeveritt

    nedeveritt New Member

    Nov 19, 2006
    Bel Air, MD
    It's fixed. I'm now getting the Sports Package on both cableCARDs. Comcast had to hit the second card. I suspect the person at the center this afternoon only activated the first card when enabling the service.

    Of course, it wasn't until after I hung up with them that I realized the NFL Network that I was watching (275 in Harford County, MD) was not in HD. Another call to Comcast. I was told the HD feed was on channel 246, which according to TiVo is HDGOW (whatever that is) with no programming information available. 246 isn't even listed on the Comcast channel lineup posted on their website. How typical.

  3. dr_lha

    dr_lha New Member

    May 13, 2005
    Central PA
    Currently the Series3 cannot use a single M-Card for dual tuners. You need either 2 S-Cards or 2 M-Cards. Tivo HDs (which have different chips in them!) can use a single M-Card. From what I've heard this is mainly a hardware issue, and its possible that Series 3 Tivos will never support the single M-Card configuration Tivo HDs do.
  4. 4SN1

    4SN1 New Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    Houma, LA
    I have a Tivo HD with 2 cable cards.
    Comcast is charging me $6.95 on each card to get the HD tier. the first card is free but the second card is $1.50. When I ordered the service the woman said she had to charge me HD for both cards. When I spoke to someone else they said Comcast should not be charging me twice. I decided to get the service check my bill and take it up with the local Comcast office. Well, the local office wouldn't budge either. I argued that I'm only viewing HD on one TV. How can they charge me twice ? She said that she could take the HD off one of the cards but she was not sure which one to take it off.
    Question: Can I take HD off one of the cards and recieve the HD on the other card? How do I specify a card when recording or watching live TV? Do I really need to pay for the HD tier to get these channels on my HD Tivo?

    Comcast in my area of Louisiana does not offer the M-Card. Can I purchase a M-card. It may be cheaper to buy an M-card than pay $84 a year for the extra HD charge.

    Thanks for your input
  5. bmgoodman

    bmgoodman Member

    Dec 20, 2000
    It won't save you much, but Comcast told me there's a $10/mo HD package that would apply to both cards. When I got my cards a few weeks ago, they originally added $12/mo/card for the "digital tier". I then found out that they could have instead given me the "digital package" for $15/mo and that it would give me digital on both cards.

    (I passed on both and stayed with expanded basic service. Most of my channels are now digital stations remapped to the analog channel numbers. Plus I get a half-dozen HD channels for $55/mo.)

    If you get different channels on your two CableCards, I don't think Tivo can handle it. I had a problem with one CC not getting a bunch of channels for a while and I found no way to tell Tivo about the disparity. The "Channels you receive" screen didn't seem to allow independent choices between the two tuners.

    Somebody jump in and correct me if I'm wrong on anything here.
  6. jcwedit

    jcwedit New Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    I just moved from NJ to Atlanta with 2 TivoHDs. I called Comcast to get my cable cards installed. Here is a reiview of each of my 6 sheaduled truck rolls:
    1. Tech arrives on time with no cable cards. Why did he come at all?
    2. Tech arrives with 2 SCards, niether work, seems to never have seen a Tivo before.
    3. Tech arrives with 4 Scards, 1 works!!! The rest have "NG" written in marker on them, "hmm i wonder what that means?" says the tech.
    4. Tech arrives "So whats wrong with your cable" he says, "you are here to install cable cards" i say, "oh it doesnt say that on the paper work, i don't have cable cards". On the reciept it clearly has 3 lines for cable card. He is a liar or can't read.
    5. Tech arrives with 2 Scards neither work.
    6. Appointment set for tomorow, so i call this morning to be told that Atlanta has "no cards anywhere and we don't know when we are getting them".

    I am not sure what to do at this point and i am totaly open to suggestions. Thier customer service people are rude and could care less. The best part is i just got my first bill from them for $130. I was stunned when i opened it. I love my Tivos but i dont think i can bring myself to give Comcast a dime at this point and im starting to think Direct TV may be the way to go. Don't you just Love monopolies.
  7. 4SN1

    4SN1 New Member

    Nov 8, 2007
    Houma, LA
    How did you get the half dozen HD channels without paying for HD seperately? Is this just luck? I pay for the digital premium service with HBO but they still charge me $6.95 X2 cablecards. Should I try to take off the HD service and see what happens?
  8. mshkim

    mshkim New Member

    Nov 30, 2007
    For those of you with THD (though this may work in Series 3 devices as well) and have had issues with receiving only network analog channels (i.e. 2-22 in Comcast) and network HD channels, but not digital or other HD channels (i.e. ESPN, TNT, Discovery etc.), and who have an M-card, here's the quick fix:

    1. With your TV and THD both on and tuned to an analog channel (i.e. NBC), remove your M-card from the cablecard slot.
    2. You'll see the TiVo screen pop up indicating that your CC has been removed.
    3. Wait a few seconds and then put your CC back in Slot 1 and wait for the THD to detect it saying it's an M-card in Slot 1.
    4. Physically unplug your TiVo from the back of the unit (or from the AC outlet, whichever is more convenient for you).
    5. Wait about 20-30 seconds and then plug your TiVo back in.
    6. After the THD goes through the several minute process of powering up and the CC is redetected (it will first show that it's an S-card in slot 1, but then will go to M-card and will reacquire channels - nothing needs to be done on Comcast's end, however), go to Live TV and all of your channels (digital and HD) should be there.

    This process worked for someone else who had the exact problem that I did. Again, I can only verify that this process works in cases like mine where you initially only got analog and network HD channels (all other channels revealed a black screen).
  9. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    I would not recommend unplugging your cableCARDs with the power on since it "can" change the DATA ID field. If that field changes, you will lose the pairing with Comcast. It is perfectly safe to remove the cards with the power off as long as they go back in the same slot. I know some have suggested that removing the cards while powered up is no different from removing them powered off, but I asked a lead technician from comcast about this and he said not to do it. He said he has personally seen the DATA ID field change.
  10. mshkim

    mshkim New Member

    Nov 30, 2007
    This is an excellent point, and perhaps I was lucky that my DATA ID field didn't change. Amazingly enough, when I was on the phone with the Comcast CSR (one who actually sounded like she knew something about setting up TiVo's with CC's) before figuring out how to remedy the problem on my own with the help of this forum, she specifically instructed me to remove the CC with the THD powered ON. That being said, my first attempt after discovering that the CSR's suggestions didn't work either, involved turning the THD off, taking out the CC and reinserting it. Needless to say, that didn't work.
  11. rlawson4

    rlawson4 New Member

    Nov 27, 2007
    I have 2 S-Cards in my Tivo HD. On tuner one, I am not receiving several channels. I went through each one and made a list. Tuner 2 received them all. I don't know what to do. Thanks in Advance.
  12. Gregor

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002
    What does the conditional access screen for each card say?
  13. Jayma

    Jayma New Member

    May 18, 2007
    Just passing along my experience with Seattle Comcast and a Series 3 box. I've been up and trouble free with my Series 3 since last July. I picked up the cable cards at the North Seattle office and handled getting them initialized over the phone with a Comcast CSR. I was looking over my bill today and noticed an extra 5.10 digital outlet charge on top of the $1.79 I expected for the second cable card. I called a CSR today and they quickly stopped the charge and credited me for the mistaken charges back to July. Relatively painless. :up:

    Best, Jay
  14. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    The comcast rep is blowing smoke up your... It's perfectly safe to remove/reinsert the cards while the unit's powered up (of course, make sure you don't swap the cards around when you're doing this). There are only two ways the card generates a new data value:

    1)The card card doesn't recognize the host as the last one it was installed in, or the host doesn't recognize the card as the last one that was installed in it. I.e. when you insert a card for the first time, the card remembers some info about the host, and the host remembers some info about the card. If either value changes, then the pairing is broken, and the card generates a new data value.

    A corollary to this is a Clear and Delete Everything. This causes the S3 to "forget" about what card was installed, thus breaking the pairing.

    2) The headend explicitly sends a message to the card, telling it to generate a new data value (on the headend, this is a "revalidation" hit, because after this hit is received, you'll have to validate the card again). I had this happen to me when I was trying to get my cards paired. They kept sending this hit, thus immediately obsoleting the data I had just given them a minute ago.

    If you think about it from the card's point of view, the host power cycling is *exactly* the same as the card being removed and reinserted while the host is powered up. The card is powered up and running in steady state, then the card is not powered, then the card is re-powered, and goes through it's initialization.
  15. Dec 1, 2007 #4355 of 9367

    wokNroll New Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    I'm in Santa Clara, CA, and I just had my CableCard installed in my TivoHD today. To my surprise, the installation was a breeze! The tech was very knowledgeable and had obviously done a ton of these installations before. He was actually training a new hire and was explaining all the quirks of the Tivo install (how the Tivo HD needs one m-card, and S3 needs two s-cards, how it will inaccurately report an S-Card is inserted at first before showing M-Card, how an error message is actually a good thing and indicates the hit was successful). The appointment lasted about 20 minutes and I am now enjoying guide data and season passes to my shows in HD!

    I'm currently paying $16/month for limited basic and the cablecard is supposedly free. I'm now tempted to add the HD package for $7 more per month to add ESPNHD, TNTHD, Discovery HD, etc... but was wondering if this even possible? Do I need a digital package before getting this?

    BTW, I did have some trouble getting Comcast to actually give me a cablecard in the first place. Read here for the gory details. Basically the key was never mentioning "Tivo" when dealing with the Comcast CSRs.
  16. Dec 1, 2007 #4356 of 9367
    Luke M

    Luke M Member

    Nov 5, 2002
    I believe the $7 is for the HD cable box rental (which you don't need), not the cost of the channels.
  17. Dec 1, 2007 #4357 of 9367

    schimers New Member

    Sep 1, 2002
    I have called Comcast at least 5x and appeared at the local billing office and they can't seem to get it straight. Comcast's website states "there is no charge for the first CableCARD that you use...if additional CableCARDS are needed for other devices installed on additional outlets, you will not be charged for the first cableCARD installed on this outlet." Periodically, they also send me a tri-fold insert with their channel lineup and prices. There, they state that the first cableCARD "per device" will be free.
    In reality they charge me $1.50 for the card on the 2nd TIVO and (depending on the month) $5.95 for a digital a/o (which I don't have and which has a listed rate of $6.95/month).
    As an attorney, my first thought was to sue them. Then I remembered to check the customer agreement - which requires arbitration. This dramtically increases the cost of litigation - effectively giving Comcast "the right to steal".

    Attorney Bo - Detroit
  18. Dec 1, 2007 #4358 of 9367

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    You haven't really given all the info needed to determine if what you describe is correct or not.

    For a moment, let's ignore the difference between the first outlet and additional outlets.

    Comcast charges a fee for each outlet requiring authorization. That additional outlet fee is usually about $6-$7.

    With each additional outlet, you get either a digital receiver or a CableCARD. If you want a DVR, there's an additional fee for the DVR, typically another $4-$7.

    If you have a CableCARD for that outlet and require a second CableCARD for the same outlet, there's an additional fee of about $1.50 for it.

    Now back to the first outlet... it's actually included in each digital programming package, so there's no separate line item for an additional outlet fee for your first outlet.

    So if you have only two TiVo's and no other receivers or DVRs from Comcast and require 2 CableCARDs for each, your bill would include:

    Digital Programming Package Fee
    Additional CableCARD for first TiVo
    Additional Outlet fee for second TiVo
    Additional CableCARD for second TiVo

    If you only have a single CableCARD in one or both of your TiVo's, typically the M card that supports two streams simultaneously, then there wouldn't be the Additional CableCARD fee for those receivers, but there'd still be an Additional Outlet fee for the second TiVo.
  19. Dec 1, 2007 #4359 of 9367

    pasqua New Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    I just bought two Tivo HD's and had Comcast service activated. I requested that the installer bring M-Cards rather than S-Cards. The installer was friendly and competent. He said that he hadn't done a ton of CableCard installs but he had the process down. The installation went off without a hitch and so far everything is working. What a relief. Once I've received a bill I'll know whether there are any anomalies there.

    I switched from DirecTV (still connected for the moment). In my brief experience to date I find that there is more variability in the quality of HD content than I experienced with DTV. Some HD content looks great, other content seems to be of noticeably lower (but still good) quality. I'm enjoying having a more modern release of the TiVo software than was available on my HR10-250's.
  20. Dec 2, 2007 #4360 of 9367

    Graymalkin Grumpy Poster

    Mar 20, 2001
    I finally got a "clean" Comcast bill -- one without any service call charges.

    As far as I can tell, they're charging me a $5 HD fee for each of the three CableCARDs (2 single-stream and 1 multi-stream) and a $7.95 additional outlet fee per card for two of the cards. At the same time, they're crediting back $16.80 for not using digital converters or Comcast remotes. That breaks down to $4.20 per outlet -- that fee is specifically listed -- for FOUR outlets, which confuses me.

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