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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Allez

    Allez Padawan Learner

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    Dec 8, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    First I would have them bring as many cards as they can - seems like a lot of them are duds. For a working card they should be able to read the data and host ID; if they can't read them that card is not working and you need to try another. The first guy who came out for me brought 4 cards - only one worked.
     
  2. codymc

    codymc New Member

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    Apr 29, 2002
    atlanta
    We could get the host and data numbers for the card -- they said they just couldn't "see" it on the other end (at least that's what I was getting from the tech -- they wouldn't actually let me talk to them.)

    AND I've asked multiple times that they bring more than one card -- the current note on my account asks them to bring at least 5. But the previous one said to bring at least 3 -- but they keep "not having any at the warehouse"

    To me this is Comcast saying -- yes we have to give you cable cards by law, but we don't have to do it well.

    they're coming again tomorrow (yes this is exactly how i wanted to spend my time off this week -- but I guess i'm lucky to have had it) any advice on how to proceed? I currently have one working s-card in slot one.
     
  3. Allez

    Allez Padawan Learner

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    Dec 8, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    In addition to the host and data numbers they should be also giving a third number - I think my tech called in the serial number (although I think the first person who came had given the card ID from it says Cable Card (tm) on the screen). I'm not sure why they wouldn't be able to 'see' the card if all of the numbers have been entered correctly (but then again, what do I know. . .). If this occurs I would have them double check all of the numbers. Anyway, when I scheduled my second appt I commented that my first tech had no clue; the rep then offered to schedule me with a manager/supervisor. It made a world of difference - the supervisor who came had done numerous TiVo installs and was very familiar the my TiVoHD.
     
  4. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    51,184
    96
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    They'll never "see" the card from their end. The TiVo can't send anything upstream, so there's no way they can see anything ever about the card operating. All they can ever see is whatever information they've stored about the card on their end.
     
  5. Looper

    Looper New Member

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    Jan 10, 2003
    I have a Comcast appointment tomorrow, they're hopefully going to get my two new TiVo HD units up and running with two M-cards. I've run guided setup on both boxes, is there anything else I should do to prepare? It seems like there are a whole host of common problems (bad cards, headend misconfiguration, etc.), and most installers don't know what they're doing. Is there anything I should be aware of to "suggest" to the installer if/when they run into a problem? I read through the sticky CableCard Installation FAQ, but just curious if there was any other info that I should be aware of....

    Thanks in advance.
     
  6. aniltj

    aniltj New Member

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    Dec 5, 2007
    Ellicott...
    I was just informed by Comcast in Howard County, MD that multi-stream cards are being recalled due to "a firmware issue with Tivo and some TVs" that has a black screen showing up.

    Is anyone else getting this message?

    I am going through the usual (and ANNOYING) Comcast installation headaches (No one shows up for the first appointment, 2nd one incomplete as the Installer does is incapable of completing the install, third one appointment installer does not have enough cards so cannot complete the install!)
     
  7. smadden

    smadden New Member

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    Dec 13, 2007
    Hey Everyone,

    First off, thanks for all of the freely given information here. It really helped me put my system together at home. My goal was to get the cheapest HD possible from Comcast in San Francisco. One of thing things I found difficult was piecing together an entire story about acquiring HD and hooking it up to my TiVo. The topics in these forums are very current so it can be tough to jump around and get the beginning of the story (what to do) and the end (what's the most current thing). Through lots of research, I finally was able to figure out what I needed to do, but it did take awhile.

    Because of all the help I received, I wanted to give a little back so I wrote up my entire experience at my personal site: http://pixelnomad.com/archives/2007/12/7/cheap_local_hdtv_in_san/

    I hope somebody, somewhere finds this helpful. Thanks again for all of your help. Unfortunately for me, I'm also tracking the black screen of death issues, as I've already seen it once.
     
  8. codymc

    codymc New Member

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    Apr 29, 2002
    atlanta
    My appointment was for 11-2. The tech showed up at 4pm. I'd asked that the tech bring several cable cards. He brought a single m-card. He also ran guided set up in the middle costing us some time (i didn't notice till it was too late -- though I'd told him once before not to do that).

    He reworked the wiring outside my house -- nada. He called in more times than I care to count.

    Someone on the other end finally figured out that they had me in the system on the wrong "head end" -- so the card wasn't getting the signal sent to it. they changed that and about 20 minutes later it was working.

    FUNTIMES.
     
  9. rburriel

    rburriel New Member

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    Dec 13, 2007
    I don't want to buck the trend, but my Comcast experience was relatively harmless. My TV arrived on Monday (Samsung LNT-4665). My Tivo HD arrived on Tuesday. Comcast was here on Wednesday (I called on Monday once I knew when my Tivo HD was arriving - had to turn down a Tuesday appointment since I wouldn't have the Tivo HD until the afternoon). I was given a window of 10a.m. to noon. Technician arrived around 11a.m. Thanks to this forum, I knew to tell the CSR on the phone that I wanted a multi-card (or m-card) if it were available and that this should be mentioned in my request, even if the CSR had no idea what an m-card was.

    When the technician arrived on Wednesday, he said that Comcast didn't "do" m-cards, although he seemed to know what they were. He wanted to know if I wanted one or two cards, and I explained to him that I wanted two for my Tivo HD if no m-card was available. I wasn't sure if I had told the CSR on the phone that I wanted two cards, but I did tell him I had a Tivo HD, and I also asked if I would be charged the rate ($1.85/month, I think) per card or total. He put me on hold for a minute and then came back and said it was total, not per card (that remains to be seen). No mention of having to purchase a HD package or anything else. CSR also said that there would be a $15 charge for sending someone out (I couldn't just pick up the cards and install them myself).

    Technician said that he'd done a few cablecard installations, and in fact had done another Tivo HD earlier in the day. He seemed comfortable with the installation. It's mostly a matter of inserting the card, phoning in some details, restarting, waiting, and doing it again for the second card. Technician mentioned that his installation earlier in the day took longer than mine but now he had the hang of it. Earlier customer didn't know (or couldn't find) that his Tivo had a "Restart" menu option, so he had to unplug the Tivo to reboot it.

    I have the most basic digital package from Comcast which means that when I tuned to the HD channels, I could hear the channel but not see them. Once the cablecards were installed, I had picture on all the HD channels that matched my regular SD channels (so I get A&E HD, TNT HD, HGTV HD, etc., plus networks). Technician mentioned that customer with earlier installation also got those channels, but had a message across the screen saying he was not subscribed (don't know what's up with that).

    I asked technician if he ever did a PC. He said he had done one and had some trouble, which he blamed on the PC and a software update. Had to leave and come back the following day and once the computer was brought back to an earlier restore point, installation worked fine.

    I'm sure a reasonably knowledgeable person could go through the installation themselves although the cablecard information screen can be overwhelming for some (lots of numbers on those pages) and installation requires a call to Comcast, which is why they won't let us do it ourselves.

    I living in central-western Oregon, about 2 hours south of Portland, and if Stephen comes to install your cablecard, you'll be fine. Total time: 45 minutes.

    Raul
     
  10. Allez

    Allez Padawan Learner

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    Dec 8, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    I just had my M card installed yesterday - I hadn't heard anything about a recall (and I guess my installer hadn't either). As far as your installation problem, I'd recommend you ask Comcast for a manager to come out; that's what they did when I called the main Comcast number 1-888-793-9800 and complained about the first guy being less than helpful. Actually, the manager/supervisor who came out is based in Howard Co (he came out to Owings Mills for my install). His name is Don - definitely recommend him.
     
  11. RareSanity

    RareSanity New Member

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    May 20, 2006
    Quick question...how do you know if you have an 'M' card? I picked up a CC from the Comcast office today, but it doesn't have an 'S' or 'M' on it. Just a red Comcast sticker on the front. It is a Motorola Card how do I know if it is an 'M'?
     
  12. codymc

    codymc New Member

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    Apr 29, 2002
    atlanta
    The s-card I had had a red label on it that said comcast. The m-card had a white label with pinkish lettering and said M or multi-stream on it. When you pop it in the tivo hd it will tell you what kind it is. The M-card may take a second (mine said singlestream for about a minute and then changed to multi)
     
  13. RareSanity

    RareSanity New Member

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    May 20, 2006
    Thanks for the info...

    So is it at all feasible that a card with a red sticker could be a multistream or should I just go back to the office and try and swap it for a "white label"?
     
  14. kgrubb

    kgrubb New Member

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    Dec 13, 2007
    Baltimore...
    Quick question here, does anyone in Baltimore County, MD actually have a working instance of the HD Tivo with an M-Card?

    Mine still isn't working after a week, and now my other regular HD cable box doesn't show any channels (it says "Please wait, this channel will be available shortly), and they also dropped my sports package (NFL Network, etc). This is becoming absurd...
     
  15. RareSanity

    RareSanity New Member

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    May 20, 2006
    To answer my own question...no. This is not feasible. Well at least I was able to walk into a Comcast service center here in Atlanta and pick up two 'S' cards. The representative there said that I could swap the two S's for a M when they got them in.

    He did also say that most of the requests they get are for the M cards (lots of TiVos?) and that is what they order from the warehouse, but either the warehouse can't get them, or they are only being given to technicians for installs, or they are being sent somewhere besides the Atlanta service centers.

    Anyway, if you are in the Atlanta area and looking for CableCards, the Chamblee service center currently has two S cards in stock as of me leaving at 1:00pm today (12/13).
     
  16. aniltj

    aniltj New Member

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    Dec 5, 2007
    Ellicott...
    Thanks! I will do just that!
     
  17. Allez

    Allez Padawan Learner

    42
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    Dec 8, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    I'm in Owings Mills, and had my TivoHD with M-card successfully installed 2 days ago (second visit). I've detailed some of what occurred above. I would call the main Comcast number and ask for a manager to come out on your next truck roll. What channels is your Tivo able to show?
     
  18. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

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    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    I am a TIVO customer, and have had no problems with my original TIVO since I purchased it over 6 years ago. I was extremely pleased with Tivo. However, when I upgraded to HDTV, I decided to take advantage of the Comcast DVR so I could record in HD, and my daughter ended up with the Tivo box in her room. At the time TIVO did not offer an HD DVR.
    I longed for an HDTV Tivo for years, and finally decided to treat myself to an early Christmas present this year by buying a Series 3 HDTV Tivo. Before purchasing, I contacted Comcast to find out if they provided cable cards for TIVO DVR's. I was told yes, and they would be free of charge. I was informed that Comcast would bring them to my home, and charge a fee of $16.95. Fine. I decided to proceed with the purchase of my new Tivo Series 3. They were sold out online, so I went to my local Best Buy to make my purchase.
    I promptly called and made an appointment for Comcast to deliver my cable cards. During that call I was informed that the visit would run 24.95, as it is an HDTV DVR. Fine. No problem. Just hook me up! I had an appointment. scheduled for today between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. I arrived home prior to the scheduled time and checked my messages. I had a message left by Comcast saying they needed to cancel my appointment. The caller informed me that there were compatibility issues with the Tivo boxes and their cable cards so they could not keep out appointment. I called Comcast to discuss this issue. I expressed my anger/amazement over this issue due to my past phone calls to Comcast, as well as research I had done which indicated that other individuals in NJ had purchased the new Series 3 and successfully obtained the cable cards from Comcast. I was told that I could "reschedule" my appointment by the rep. which baffled me due to the "compatibility" issues and so called "defectiveness" of the Tivo boxes that they had stated previously. I informed the rep. that I ALREADY had a scheduled appt. for TODAY that they canceled, and that I expected them to honor their promise. I was put on hold. Then the rep. came back on and said she was trying to reach someone to come out today, but she was on hold and would call me back. I waited about 40 min. No call. I called back and spoke with another person. I was informed that the records indicated I had canceled my appointment. I clarified that this was not the fact. The rep. came back on after consulting with the Mighty Wizard of Comcast, I suppose. She told me that Comcast would not come to install the cable cards in my Tivo box, as it was from a "third party." I informed her that I was well aware that the FCC had mandated that these be provided to me. I got NOWHERE. I asked for a number to the corporate office, and of course she "didn't have that information available." How convenient. I had already spoken with someone from Tivo who was more than happy to have a conference call with a Comcast tech. and myself, but since I was obviously getting no where I didn't bother with that. The person from Comcast did state that I could go to a local Comcast office and pick up the cable cards directly. FINE! I drove to the nearest office and waited in line. When I got to the front, I was informed that NO, I could not pick up cable cards from them. I decided that I would not name the brand of DVR. I simply stated that I had purchased a DVR, and needed two cable cards. The person helping me set up a NEW appointment for Monday between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. SOOOOOO..............
    I am extremely frustrated. I finally realize my dream on getting my new Tivo and meet great resistance from Comcast. I actually planned on keeping my Comcast DVR for use in my home, in addition to the Tivo, but would prefer to cancel every service I have with Comcast at this point (cable and internet). However, they are the ONLY cable provider available to me in my town. I live in Southern New Jersey, and wondered if anyone out there from New Jersey has had a similar problem. I have read past threads from people in Central New Jersey that indicated they received their cable cards with far less problem, or no problem. I am now waiting to see how this appointment will proceed on Monday. Perhaps I will get another cancellation phone call from Comcast???? Anyone??? HELP!!!!!!!!!! I will let you know what happens on Monday.
    RNSAMRN
     
  19. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

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    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    In addition to the above, could someone please tell me if I will need 2 S-Cards or 2 M-Cards installed in my Series 3 HDTV Tivo. I am new to the forums, and have been reading so many posts, that I have lost track. Thanks in advance for your patience and help.
    RNSAMRN
     
  20. codymc

    codymc New Member

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    Apr 29, 2002
    atlanta
    Do you have the series three? or the HDtivo ($299 vs. much more)? The original S3 can't use (at least not yet) the m-cards so if that's what you have you need two s-cards -- if you have the more recently released hdtivo -- you only need an m-card -- if they can get it working.

    As far as what you can do on monday -- keep that number for the Tivo conference call handy -- if things don't go smoothly -- I'd the comcast office conference them in for help.
     

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