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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Dec 4, 2007 #4381 of 9367

    Qwertinsky New Member

    Oct 24, 2006
    That's strange, because my TV can receive the analog basic channels but when I hooked up my HD Tivo and scanned the channels before I installed the cablecard it only showed the HD channels that are sent in clear QAM, no analog cable channels.
  2. Dec 4, 2007 #4382 of 9367

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    I had a TiVoHD for awhile and used it without a CableCARD for a couple months. So all my viewing was analog cable and OTA digital. I never did a scan; just relied on the guide data.
  3. Dec 4, 2007 #4383 of 9367

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    Very strange indeed.

    When I had an HD TiVo it certainly did show the analog channels before I got cable cards (and so did both of my S3s). Cable cards don't guarantee you digital channels anyway, its perfectly possible the cable card will tell the box to receive the analog, not the digital channels. That's how it was when I first got cable cards. It was somewhat of a struggle to get the digital versions turned on.

    Not forgetting they also have an OTA NTSC tuner, which I have to delete all the channels in the channel list for.
  4. Dec 5, 2007 #4384 of 9367

    fatespawn New Member

    Oct 14, 2007
    Chicagoish, IL
    Well, I thought I'd throw my $.02 in with regard to my CC install today. I called Comcast last week and told them I was interested in a cable card with their Triple Play package with HD.

    Funny. It sounded much easier on the phone with the sales rep than the reality of the installation today.

    Bottom line, is that my phone works, my modem works, but my cable card is inop.

    It started out poorly with my pre-emptive call to customer service to add a note about brining "multiple M-cards."

    The tech called this morning to see if he could move up the appointment from 2-4 to 11am, he didn't even know what M-cards were. Bad start.

    I even said, "you know, multi-stream cards?" He said Comcast only did single stream cards. Oh, boy.

    So, when he showed up, he had 2 M-cards with him. He asked me what the difference was. Oh, boy.

    His work order sheet was literally BLANK. All he knew was "triple play install."

    He had no idea I didn't have a cable outlet in my office (where the modem goes) and had to run about 300' of cable. (I get to have someone bury it in the spring... yippee)
    He had no idea I needed cable cards
    He had no idea I didn't actually have my own modem.

    These are pretty serious deficiencies. Basically, his phone rang in his truck and was told to asap it to my house.

    He had done ONE other CC install about 3 years ago. Sure.

    But, it wasn't just the CC's that were taking so long. It was the entire process. The modem and phone were equally as trying.

    So, here I sit, with his cell phone number. He left after 4 hours of failure. The Tivo is currently "searching for channels." like it has been for the past 3 hours. I was told it would take up to 2 hours to wait for a "hit" from Comcast. I wonder how long this process will take.

  5. Dec 5, 2007 #4385 of 9367

    pl1 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    I think you should power off and power on your TiVo for starters.
  6. Dec 5, 2007 #4386 of 9367

    barbarino New Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Capnrobalo - I just had a 24 minute conversation with a Comcast customer support rep here in Atlanta. He said Comcast does not have MCARDs at their "Service Centers" or "Warehouses" (which means you cannot pick it up). However the technician that visits your house should have those cards. Also, the customer rep I spoke to says Comcast offers "CableCARDS" and "TivoCARDS". Don't know the difference technically - but I guess the TivoCard is just a M-CARD that is preconfigured not to screw up your Tivo HD. As a result, Comcast charges $1.50 a month to utilize the "TivoCARD". There is no charge however, for the CableCARDs. The customer rep cannot provide any other detail than that.

    Anyone here ever heard of Comcast's "TivoCARD"?

    I was initially thinking about trying out the CableCARDs and turning down the option of "TivoCARDs" to avoid the monthly fee. But after reading these posts, I'd rather not deal with the hassle of a botched installation.

    I would suggest to everyone to be very detailed about the Request for Service. Tell the customer rep which specific model that you have (Tivo Series 3, Tivo HD) and make sure this is entered on the ticket for the support technician BEFORE they come out to your house. Tell the customer rep to document that your Tivo HD supports M-Card, and that the tech should try to bring one out (so you dont get charged extra for two S-Cards). Try to get as much info as you can about this supposed "TivoCARD" that's being offered for Tivo HD. (The old CableCARDs are probably just fine for Series 3).

    As for additional charges, the customer rep says I have to upgrade my digital basic cable package to include HD channels at an additional cost of $6.95/mo. BUT, I'm going to try this installation WITHOUT the upgrade to service and see what happens first. Right now I can hear the HD channels, but I can't see them. I'm hoping my new Tivo HD will be able to decode the signal.

    My install date is Dec 12th so we'll see how it goes.
  7. Dec 5, 2007 #4387 of 9367

    fatespawn New Member

    Oct 14, 2007
    Chicagoish, IL
    Well, I did that a number of times. Finally fixed itself - I assume when the mothership finally "hit" the card. Now everything works fine... except the package and billing they misquoted me last week... more fun ahead.

    Oh, and one last tidbit.

    Be as specific as possible. It still didn't help me - my tech didn't even know what an M-card was.... but as long as you are as DESCRIPTIVE as possible to the customer service people, you have a leg to stand on - since all calls are recorded.
  8. Dec 5, 2007 #4388 of 9367

    aniltj New Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Would anyone happen to know if Comcast in the Howard County, MD area currently carries M-Cards? Recently got a TivoHD and they are coming out to install but the CSR informs me that they carry only S-Cards.
  9. Dec 5, 2007 #4389 of 9367

    Devx New Member

    Jun 1, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Ok, after a long hiatus from the site, I've finally decided to give the Tivo HD a try after getting a new HD TV and seeing just how bad it looks w/ my S2 ST. A deal I couldn't pass up and almost chanced upon, the CC.com 239.99 + $40 off deal for $199.99 before tax. I picked up the THD during lunch, no issues there.

    Called Comcast tonight and asked about the cablecards for my new Tivo. He was a CSR working in Atlanta go figure and told me I could go to the local office to pick my cards up (which I learned is really just one card, an M-card now)... when I asked him about the one near me (Cobb) he even knew which one I was talking about and named landmarks and everything. But...after reading the latest posts from Brad, troche, and barbarino I'm not so sure he was as knowledgeable as he sounded. I'm calling again just to be safe. When CC service works, it works great, but anytime there's trouble and you need help from their "support" team it's like playing the lottery. You have to keep trying until you "win." Definitely not for the faint of heart.

    Reading more on the issue, I'm going to get the THD connected, activated and setup. Seems the best course of action is to schedule the truck roll and take a chance by going to the office too. I must subconsciously be masochistic to keep subjecting myself to this. More to report later I'm sure.
  10. Dec 5, 2007 #4390 of 9367

    mae member

    Dec 10, 2001
    They definitely had them (one in my THD). When I called in September, the CSR said that was all they had. You may want to play "CSR roulette" and and call until you get either a first or second line rep who knows something. You might also ask for someone in White Marsh since some of the calls go to centers around the country and in Canada. The ones in White Marsh can at least ask someone local if they don't know. Another tactic that has been reported to work is say you want to go to FIOS and ask for a "retention rep" who is more inclined to try and please you.

    There are a few posts on getting them working including mine, and some who have been less successful and switched to FIOS. You can just search this thread for "Howard County".

    Good luck!:)
  11. Dec 6, 2007 #4391 of 9367

    beerkensp New Member

    Dec 29, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Congratulations on making it to page 147!

    It is amazing that a company this bad with this many pages of complaints can still exist.

    I am too in cable card hell. Most of my days are spend on the phone with comcast representatives and waiting at home for engineers that never show.

    At the moment I have no phone, only one of the 2 cable cards work and my internet only returns one out of 10 pings to any web address (including comcast home page).

    Yesterday I was on the phone for 4 hours.

    I also asked for the engineer to bring some extra cable cards this time so that if they turn out to be broken again he does not have to come back another day. Even before I finished this sentence she said that my request had been noted on the work order. So either she is the worlds fastest typist or she was lying.

    In most jobs you would get fired for lying. At comcast it seems to be encouraged.


  12. Dec 6, 2007 #4392 of 9367

    Newbs24 New Member

    Aug 29, 2007
    Has anybody ordered a PPV with cable cards and NO cable box? I want to get the Mayweather/Hatton fight but since there is no buying guide on the screen, I really don't know how to do it. People have said just to call Comcast but I still don't know if they can send a PPV buy through cable cards. If any of you have personally done or tried it, please let me know. Thanks alot.
  13. Dec 6, 2007 #4393 of 9367

    bmgoodman Member

    Dec 20, 2000
    It isn't amazing. It's a monopoly. Seriously, if there were 3 sets of coaxial cable coming into each home from 3 different cable companies, and all you had to do was pick the one you liked best, AND, assuming you were free to switch among the 3 at any time, do you really think Comcast would be as horrible as it is? They'd be better or they'd be bankrupt. I frankly wouldn't care which.

    The strangest part to me is how pleased I am with Comcast as an Internet provider! They're the best ISP I've ever had! It's their TV service and billing that frustrates me.

    FWIW, I got my first post-cablecard Comcast bill yesterday, and it was actually correct (so far as I had been promised). My bill did NOT change at all by adding the 2 CableCards. They did include a notification of the new 2008 prices, though, and pretty much everything is going up WAY above the rate of inflation. It's good to be the monopolist!!
  14. Dec 6, 2007 #4394 of 9367

    pl1 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    I get NHL Center Ice. Just call. It should show up in your TiVo Channel Guide Data. http://www.indemand.com/listProducts.jsp?monthOffset=0&sectionId=2&page_sectionId=2
    Boxing: Mayweather vs. Hatton
    Premieres Sat, Dec 8
    Dec 8 8:30PM 401 Boxing: Mayweather vs. Hatton (Live countdown: 0:30)
  15. Dec 6, 2007 #4395 of 9367

    beerkensp New Member

    Dec 29, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    First Truck roll: After 4 hours one working cable card. Internet unusable slow. Phone Works.
    Second Truck roll: Phone stops working. Engineer never turns up.
    Third Truck Roll: Engineers calls to say Comcast has run out of cable cards. He is not trained to fix internet problems.
    Fourth Truck Roll: Internet better. I get up to 1Mb/sec out of the 6 Mb/sec I pay for. Still no second cable card or telephone.
    Fifth Truck Roll: Engineer never turns up
    Sixth Truck Roll; Place holder
    Seventh Truck Roll: Place holder
    Eight Truck Roll: Place holder
  16. Dec 6, 2007 #4396 of 9367

    kwas911 New Member

    Dec 6, 2007
    Try the local Comcast shops. You can pick up a M-Card and install yourself. Only problem is that no one seems to have any!!!

    I am in ATL and having similar problems. I requested a M-Card. The technician brought one, but immediately left, telling me it was assigned to someone else???? The next day another technician brought 2 S-Cards. After an hour on the phone with Comcast, he was only able to get 1 working. Now more than a week later, I still get "there are no cablecards in the warehouse". I even drove to 2 different stores (chamblee and decatur) with no luck.
  17. Dec 6, 2007 #4397 of 9367

    chrisjcp New Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Just got a new Series 3, picked up 2 CableCARDS from the local Comcast office, plugged them in and called for activation....came up almost instantly. Picture and channel line-up was fine including HD channels.

    The audio, however, sucks chunks. Pops and crackles on SD channels almost all the time. On the HD channels it's a continuous squawk drowning out everything.

    An hour or 2 on phone with a Tivo tech and he says it's the cards. If you remove the cards and reboot the Tivo without them in at all the audio is fine.

    Went back to Comcast and got two more cards and same problem. So that's 4 cards all with exactly the same prob?????? Anyone else encountered this prob and know of a cure.

    One other weird factor was that after installing the second pair of cards the audio seemed to be fine. After a few hours I noticed I could only get channels 1-99 and called Comcast back...they resent the activation signal and I could soon get all the channels above 99 again but the audio was back to it's "snap, crackle and pop" routine.

    I didn't realise it took a few hours for all channels to register which is why I called Comcast when I could only get 1-99. When they resent the reactivation signal I got all channels almost instantly....could this "reactivation" be screwing the audio somehow.

    Tivo to TV is connected by HDMI.
  18. Dec 6, 2007 #4398 of 9367

    MikeySF New Member

    Dec 4, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Well to add a good story amongst all the bad I have to say that it wasn't so bad getting my CC's installed. I too though had a bad start when the tech, who was a subcontractor, had never heard of a "M" card or ever installed CC's in a TIVO before. Even though I as well tried to be premtive and infroming them when I scheduled the call with all the information they needed, didn't help. The tech was wise enough though to call his supervisor and have him join him at my house. They only had 4 standard cards amongst them which didn't bode well. Low and behold though they got the first two they tried working in about an hour. The supervisor did credit the Comcast tech on the phone with this miracle though and stated he would call him every time he needed this done in the future. I do have two cards but the only charge on my bill is $1.79 for the both of them total. Guess I was lucky.
  19. Dec 6, 2007 #4399 of 9367

    thinkswithfist New Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    Last month, I upgraded from 2 lifetime Sony series1s to two new TivoHDs using Tivo's lifetime transfer offer (~$253 each from Amazon). I live outside Philadelphia (comcast home territory).

    Once the Tivos arrived, I called Comcast about getting the two multi-stream cablecards. The sales lady said digitial premier was $10 a month (for one year), the sports package was $1.99 a month (instead of $5 normal), free HBO and Cinemax for 60days, and there would be an install charge of $15.xx. (Note: I got a sales call from Comcast a week later offering FREE digital premier and HBO for a year). I asked if there were any other monthly charges - sales rep said no. Scheduled installation in just a day or two. Great.

    A few days later, two Comcast guys came to install the cablecards. I asked - they had never installed into a Tivo before. To keep the story short, the first guys gave the dispatcher wrong numbers, which the second installer discovered the next day. As another poster recently said, be sure the installers double check the number strings. Service now running smoothly. Great.

    Just today got my first post-install bill. For some reason, a new cable-modem rental fee was introduced, which was wrong (I own my modem). I also see an unexpected $8.90 per month additional outlet fee and an extra $1.50 per month fee for the second cablecard. I called to complain about these wrong / unexpected fees. She took off the modem rental fees, of course. The lady was nice but insisted that the $8.90 per month plus $1.50 was standard. I said that's nice, but the sales lady did not mention anything about these extra charges. After some back and forth, she went through my account, signed me up for promotional codes, etc. to get the effective rate of my bill back down. In the end, I think I will be okay.

    On a related note, she said Comcast will stop providing analog signals in 2009 (i.e. every tv will need a cablebox or cablecard). I knew broadcasters were switching to digital due to FCC mandate. However, I hadn't heard that Comcast was going to drop analog service. I have analog cables hooked into TVs in the basement, in the kitchen, in the guest bedroom, and a tuner card in my computer. I don't want to have to pay additional outlet fees for each of these extra devices! Anyone know if it's true that Comcast will drop analog cable soon?

    Hope the details help someone understand the lay of the land. Cheers.
    I wonder how much Verizon FIOS TV will cost? (they're installing it now in my neighborhood).

  20. Dec 6, 2007 #4400 of 9367

    BurnBaby New Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    I am also in the suburban Phila Comcast market. I had similar charges applied to my bill. I spoke with a wonderful billing rep who straightened out the whole billing nightmare. If it turns out you have further problems, PM me and I will give you her name.

    I would also like to know an answer to this question as I have another tv that still has analog. May also look into Verizon at that point and pray that Verizon's cable service is better than their awful internet service.

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