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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. jlb

    jlb NCC-1701-D

    8,158
    11
    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA
    I just called Comcast via the main 800 number to confirm information as I prep for an install in Newburyport, MA in the next two weeks.....

    A couple of interesting points:

    - They echoed the $14.95 fee for installation, first card free, but $2.75 for the second card. I mentioned the $1.91 on the website, but got nowhere. Honestly, $2.75 is a good deal, but it's the point of it. I wonder if the difference between $2.75 and $1.91 is other taxes and what not.

    - When I asked if I could request that the install be done by a tech who has done CC installs before (I meant for them to just mark up the record with the request) they assumed I wanted to request a particular tech. What she said was that if I know someone who had a good install, I should call them and ask them for the name and/or Technician #. They could then assign my install to that tech.

    Should we start a sub-thread where we can post Tech #s from good install experiences?

    - I also tried to get a phone number to call to activate the card(s) if the local office is willing to give me the card(s) directly. The name of the "department" is Dispatch/Provisioning. They would not give me that number, but did say that if the local office is willing to help out and provide cards, that I should call the main number (800-COMCAST), select Technical Support, and then ask to be transferred to the Dispatch/Provisioning group for CC activation.



    Soooooooo, anyone in/near Newburyport that had a good experience and would like to pass on their Tech's name/Tech #?
     
  2. fadden0

    fadden0 New Member

    16
    0
    Dec 6, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    My TiVo HD with Motorola MA07* M-series CableCARD has been running fine for about a week and a half (not counting the occasional gray-screen issues, but that's on TiVo).

    Last night my wifewas watching previously-recorded material when a 161-52 error popped up. We have no idea what this means; no information on the Internet, except for about 3 posts where it came up during a troubled install.

    I fiddled with the device a few hours later. One of the tuners was sitting on channel 3 (analog local NBC station) with a blank screen. The other tuner was fine After a couple of channel changes it recovered. No problems with channel 3 or any of the other stations. So all is well, but I'm a little worried about what this means.

    Did the tuner get "stuck" somehow? Maybe the CableCARD saw the "stickiness" and complained with a 161-52? Or maybe a CableCARD problem confused the tuner and made it reset to channel 3 with no video?
     
  3. Lensman

    Lensman Member

    156
    0
    Dec 22, 2001
    Hoboken, NJ...
    RNSAMRN,

    OMG this is terrible! How can Comcast say or do this! The two cards they tried out here were Motorola cards and one of them did work. So there is not a universal incompatibility between Motorola cards and Tivos with 9.x...

    The first thing I'd do is call Tivo customer service and find out what they want you to do. They definitely want your business and will bend over backwards to figure out what the problem really is. If you search around the board, you'll even find examples of three-way conference calls between Tivo, you, and the cable company.

    Has your unit been upgraded to the latest 9.2.x software? One thing I didn't know was that it's actually preferable to have the unit plugged in using "basic analog cable" mode and to connect and get the software upgrades first.

    As a last resort, you can see if everyone would be kosher with you returning the S3, getting a new model TivoHD (the $250-$299 version) and transferring the lifetime onto that box. I'm sure Tivo will do whatever it takes to get you up and running.

    My personal take on my difficulties is that Comcast is either incompetent as usual (this is my first instinct since they seem to have an equally hard time getting their DVR to work in my house), or that they are trying to protect their franchise and want a greater share of your dollars than Tivo - they want the additional revenue from the boxes and want the advertising dollars from the ads they show on their (inferior) box. As such, I've decided that they are willing to engage in evil business practices and have decided to try to foil them by being as stubborn as possible to get what I want no matter how much of their time it takes.

    I can understand if you can't sacrifice your time/sleeplessness and your TV-watching for the weeks this fight will take, but I'd applaud your joining the fight!
     
  4. Lensman

    Lensman Member

    156
    0
    Dec 22, 2001
    Hoboken, NJ...
    So of course, nothing is easy with Comcast. Since no one showed up today, I decided to call to check up on what happened.

    The agent tells me that there's no appointment for today, that my appointment was yesterday. :mad:

    So I ask why the agent last night said I had a follow-up appointment "tomorrow between 11am and 2pm"? She says: "You didn't have an appointment today, your appointment was yesterday". I say: "So are you calling me a liar?" She says: "No, but you never had an appointment for today. I can schedule a new appointment for you. The earliest we have is a week from Wednesday." I say: "Fine, set that up for me. But why would the other agent have told me I had a follow-up appointment when I didn't have one?" She says: "You're set up for an appointment between 2pm and 5pm on the 26th." I say: "Thank you." She says: "You're welcome, goodbye"

    So I call back and get another agent who apologizes and says that the agent last night must have just gotten confused and read the screen wrong. Ahhh, I have some acknowledgment! Anyway, the result is that they're going to call me if there's a cancellation and if an earlier appointment comes up. I figure this will never happen and I'll be stuck with the appointment that's right up against my flight to New York, but what can I do? I'm interested to see what they say when I say that the next appointment I can make is sometime next November.
     
  5. torrential

    torrential New Member

    7
    0
    Feb 24, 2007
    The Comcast tech was here for four hours. He'd never touched a Tivo before and no one in his seemingly vast support network had, either. Everything is working tho I had to reboot a couple of times to get rid of video freeze and blank grey screens.

    Comcast is at fault here for deploying their techs without training or backup.

    The good parts: Getting an appointment was easy (called Thursday, they had slots available Friday), the tech arrived on time and during the visit he found a weak or erratic signal due to a bad wall socket which I've now bypassed.
     
  6. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Active Member

    7,884
    18
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    It really amazes me that they can't just say "There was a mistake or a miscommunication. Sorry, let's see what we can do for you" rather than just insist that you are wrong. All we usually want is an acknowledgement.

    Anyway, I take the plunge on Friday. Bought my HD Tivo over a week ago. Let it settle in. Called Comcast yesterday and the all went very well. The CSR thought the Tivo was "cool" and would like to have one himself. He verified with his super that he did the order right as it was his first cable card order and reminded me that I won't get PPV or VOD with the Tivo. When I told him I knew that, he said "Just as long as you don't freak out when you don't have it" with a smile in his voice. I told him I can use Amazon Unbox instead.

    Now let's see how it goes Friday.
     
  7. jlb

    jlb NCC-1701-D

    8,158
    11
    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA
    You raise a good point that is worth repeating. Folks should get their TiVoHD and run it through guided setup without the cable cards and run it that way for a while. Sure, you'll only be able to associate guide data with the analog channels, but I think it is worth it to give the box a week's workout just to make sure things work in general (and to get updates, etc....).

    I'll be purchasing my Vizio VX-37L and my TiVoHD next week between the holidays, but I'll hold off on the CCs for at least a week or two (depending on scheduling)........Looking forward to the Superbowl in HD along the clear QAM pipe on my lifeline cable package.
     
  8. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Active Member

    7,884
    18
    Jan 4, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    That is what Tivo recommends. Not only make sure the box is good (because once you get the cable cards in there it gets more complicated to return it, I would think) but to get the latest software. There is plenty to play with in the meantime. I got a week's worth of enjoyment out of setting up unbox and my tivo desktop and all that. And I can record OTA just fine, as I will be using this box as primarily primetime network stuff, that was all good.
     
  9. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

    27
    0
    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    Well, I figured calling Tivo first was what I should do. I called and the tech was very nice. He did a three way phone call to Comcast with me. He said that he has heard of NO problems with the Motorola cards, and that people he knows are using them in their Tivo's without problem. Guess I need to move to California. Anyhow, we call Comcast together. Explain to the girl on the phone that I had an appointment scheduled yesterday that their SUBCONTRACTOR canceled, and that he refuses to come out due to an alleged compatibility problem. I tell her that I have Tom from Tivo on the phone with us, and that he states he has not heard of any problems with the Motorola cards. She doesn't really seem to care that Tom is on with us, but says it sounds like I need to speak to a supervisor. She puts us on hold, and then comes back on herself. I never get to speak to a supervisor, but she says she can reschedule for Saturday between 12 and 2 p.m. Fine. Told her to please request someone from COMCAST rather than some subcontractor that doesn't know what he is doing, and to make sure they are bringing two cable cards. She says she doesn't know if a Comcast tech will come, but she put that in the request.
    So it is interesting to read that others have Motorola cable cards that start with serial number MA and that they are working. As to the software issue, all I know is that I have had the Tivo Series 3 HD unit plugged in and connected via wireless since I got it. Perhaps about a week or so. Tivo said they had sent some sort of upgrade, but I am not sure what that is. I really have hardly been using the box. I still have the cable plugged into my Comcast DVR, since I can't get any HD channels or any of the premium channels on the Tivo without the cable cards. I will play around with it today and see if I can tell what upgrade they have done. I am wondering if the people who have the working Motorola cards have the Series 3 HD or the Series 2? Wonder if this makes a difference, although Tivo swears that there is no problem with the Series 3. I am still trying to fight this out. Figure the least I can do is have Comcast repeatedly have to work on the issue, and maybe one of these times someone will come through. By the way, has anyone filed an official complaint regarding this issue via the FCC? Just curious.
    I am not confident in the least that someone is going to actually show up on Saturday. If they do, I plan on calling Tivo to have them walk the technician through it step by step to see if this helps. I sure hope they don't send the same dude that came last time. Although he was very nice, he didn't have a clue.
    Lensman - I see you have a Motorola card with serial number NG... That is the one they said has been working here, but that they are unable to get. Interesting. Also funny how the rep for you didn't see the scheduled appointment, and the next rep magically did. This is just typical of the experiences I have had with Comcast. Unbelievable customer service. And NOT in the good way.
    RNSAMRN
    Southern New Jersey
    Tivo Hell
     
  10. jlb

    jlb NCC-1701-D

    8,158
    11
    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA
    ITts good to see that the folks at TiVo have been willing to get on the phone with you. Hopefully, you will get everything straightened out quickly.

    I just hope my install is smooth. The WAF on difficult CC installs may be very low.
     
  11. DrakeBliss

    DrakeBliss New Member

    4
    0
    Sep 13, 2006
    Cape Coral...
    I live in Cape Coral FL. We were converted from Time Warner about 6 months ago. What a mess that was. I just ordered a TIVO HD to be delivered tomoorow. I have talked to Comcast before ordering and got the scoop on the Cable Cards. The fees quoted are shown below.

    Digital Preferred $10.63
    HD Service $6.95
    Cable M-Card $Free

    Installation Fee: $9.95

    It ends up that it will save me $10.00 per month after I switch over to the TiVo HD. Well anyway, I get confirmation that my TiVo will be here soon, so I call Comcast to schedule a time to install the M-Card. I was then told that they had no Cable Cards and I was to be put on a waiting list. She had no idea how long the wait would be. Has anyone else been on a waiting list and how long was your wait. From reading through the forum, it looks like Comcast does not want to support Cable Cards and Tivo. :)
     
  12. cwise

    cwise Should of Never Left

    7
    0
    Dec 19, 2007
    KnoxVegas, TN
    I would go to Comcast and ask for a M-Card. I called the Comcast call center in Knoxville, TN. The rep I spoke with told me I would have to have 2 cards and they would have to be installed at $29 a piece. Very hateful and rude. Also that there was a waiting list.

    I called my friend who works in the Knoxville, TN call center and he stated that was pure bull. Just come down there and tell them I want a M-Card and if any problems ask for a supervisor. Well the rep I spoke with a the counter didn't know what a cable card was. I explained what my friend told me and within 15 minutes I had a M-Card.

    So as you said Comcast does not want to support this. I would not believe anything they told you on phone and go to the your actual Comcast center. Still not had a chance to install it yet.
     
  13. Brad Bishop

    Brad Bishop Member

    285
    0
    Sep 11, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    That's one of the weird things about this (My sister just experienced it- I haven't yet, though): Some of the CSRs act like because you're not using the Comcast box that it's a personal insult.

    What do they care? I'm buying a service from you. My guess would be that most people who have TiVo, while not doing the PPV/VOD stuff, would likely be buying one of the upper packages -anyway- so it's just money in the bank for them.

    Anyway, instead of them welcoming a customer, it's like they're pissed off that you showed up at their party.
     
  14. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
    0
    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    I can't totally agree with that. Although I have had my share of problems with Comcast here in the NE, I will say, that they have been trying to be supportive in getting me the service I order. I think what you are experiencing is more a lack of knowledge WRT cableCARDs. I knew from the start I was better off not even asking about whether or not I needed M-Cards or S-Cards since in my case, it did not matter. (Since I have the S3.) If I DID have to ask specifically for the M-card, I would expect to have to explain the difference since I can understand how the CSRs might not understand the difference or EVEN what a cableCARD is.
     
  15. ehanson

    ehanson New Member

    15
    0
    Sep 25, 2003
    Wheaton, IL
    Had a Comcast tech out here to install an MCard in a TiVo HD for about 3 hours yesterday to no avail. They sent another tech today who not only seemed to know what he was doing but also had a partner on the other end of the phone who knew what she was doing and they got everything up and running in about 15 minutes. Just thought I'd share his info in case anyone in the Western Chicago suburbs was having trouble getting a knowledgable tech. Ask for Tyler; his ID was 3861 and he was working with Vicky in dispatch. Good luck!
     
  16. cwise

    cwise Should of Never Left

    7
    0
    Dec 19, 2007
    KnoxVegas, TN
    Well I finally installed my MCard. Steps I did:

    - Setup TIVO completely without install the card
    - Forced TIVO to update a second time (it was only at 8 something)
    - Reboot TIVO and now at 9.2a
    - Install Card and called Comcast to activate it.
    - Was stuck in the update channel screen for almost an hour.
    - After reading I had Comcast reactivate it again.

    Now I get the following channels:
    - In the 400 range these are my Comcast HD channels I get as of now. I get all my local HD channels, ESPN HD, and Discovery HD.
    - I get some crazy foreign channel in the 200 range.
    - Comcast local weather forecast
    - Channel 99 which is Leased Access
    - Channel 3 Ion
    - Channel 6 QVC

    Also let me point out I do not get my local channels in SD on the lower channels. I am pretty confused. One thing that has stood out to me is under the 'conditional access screen' I get AUTH:MP. I can not find out what that means but that does not seem right.

    Edit: Status update.

    Called Comcast again (I wanted them to check Host ID per help thread). I was told that they do not provide service for TIVO and I should not of been given the card. Requested Supervisor Rep refuses. I tell them what it tells me on the Comcast website bout them supporting TVIO. I was told that was for the Comcast TiVo boxes coming out in March in my area. They will not do anything for me and they tell it is TIVO's fault. I requested his name and Supervisor. Conversation becomes heated and the guy hangs up on me.

    Call back spoke with another rep and now he tells me that I am not allowed to installed an MCard on a TIVO that they have to send a rep out. I tell them to go ahead (just in case) and they schedule a guy for Sunday at $32.50.

    I have a friend who works at Comcast during the day and I am going to call him tomorrow. He told me and him his supervisor had a talk about this a week ago and this goes against everything he told me. After I talk to him (and hopefully get it fixed before a tech comes out) I am going to file a complaint. I read it was bad but you don't know how bad it is until you go through it.
     
  17. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

    27
    0
    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    CWISE,
    It is just utterly amazing the treatment that the CSR's have been throwing our way. I had one refuse to give me the log number for the phone call to refer to later...."oh, you won't need that." What kind of crap is that? If I ask for the number, you should give it without me having to become nasty. Another said she would put the Supervisor on the line, but then just came back on herself. Several are just out and out rude. Can't wait until Saturday to see what new story Comcast concocts. I will continue to call to schedule appointments until I get some working cable cards. I also plan on sending a letter out to the Corporate office to the Pres. or V.P. just as soon as I find out who it is. If anyone has this information, kindly send it to me. I live in New Jersey - don't know if there is a regional person I should direct it to, or what.
    RNSAMRN
     
  18. sandun

    sandun New Member

    4
    0
    Dec 13, 2007
    Hi All,

    I went to the local (Branford) Comcast office to ask for a cable card to do a self installation. They said that customers are not allowed to do self install, instead I will have to schedule a technician to come over and install. The cost is approx $17 (can't remember if it was 16.95 or 17.95). The counter CSR asked how many cards I need for Tivo. I said 1 "mcard" or two "scards" - she (CSR) said OK, and will also make a note to the Tech to bring extra cards.

    I have basic-extended cable + TivoHD.

    On the scheduled day, the Comcast Tech called me to ask how many cards I need. I said I have a dual tuner TivoHD - takes one MCard or 2 SCards.

    The Tech showed up on time - with 2 others (trainees on CC installation - preparing for the post xmas rush of installations). The Tech knew what he was doing. A single MCard was installed under 5 mins. Then, they had to wait for 10-15 mins or so on the phone with Comcast while waiting to get the card activated.

    (He did tell the trainees not to use the Comcast Tivo option on their phone when they called Comcast i.e. "Press 2 for Tivo" as this is meant for their upcoming Tivo boxes. Instead he told them to use the option for "TV cable card activation...").

    Overall, the process took less than 30 mins - most of it, on the phone waiting to activate the mcard.

    The Tech did mention his previous install took 3 hours - mainly because that Tivo owner had not gone the the first-time setup guide and was a dial-up user. So, the Tech had to do this... pick the nearest Tivo dialup phone number... get program data...etc.

    So far I am receiving the HD channels - I expected to receive only the local broadcast HD channels since I have only basic-extended cable, but also receive CNN-HD, NationalGeo, ESPN HD and a few others. Not sure how long this will last though.

    Later in the evening, I got a e-message from Tivo asking me to run the set-up guide again since I have changed the current configuration (i.e. put in a cc). I did this (quick, on broadband) and now I receive the program guide for the channels listed in the CC.

    keywords: Branford, New Haven, North Haven, East Haven, Connecticut
     
  19. fadden0

    fadden0 New Member

    16
    0
    Dec 6, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    The above discussion reminded me of something: the instructions for the TiVo Series 3 say it doesn't matter whether or not you complete guided setup before the installer arrives. The instructions for the TiVo HD recommend you complete it 48 hours ahead of time so the box will get updated to the latest software upgrade.

    I don't think this is a difference in the boxes; I think TiVo realized that it's better to try the CableCARD install with the latest software in place.

    Anyone setting up a TiVo with a CableCARD should complete guided setup and force an upgrade before the installer arrives. (Case in point: there was a note somewhere to the effect that M-cards didn't work with one of the models until you had v8.1 of the software, and I think they still ship with 8.0. Not sure.)
     
  20. cwise

    cwise Should of Never Left

    7
    0
    Dec 19, 2007
    KnoxVegas, TN
    Now I did the guided setup twice before I tried installing the CableCard. I finally got the software to upgrade to 9.2a.

    After checking another thread I am pretty sure my problems comes down to AUTH:MP under 'conditional access screen'. It is suppose to say 'subscribed'. Everything else looks right. I am going call TIVO after work and see if they can help me and point me exactly to what I need to tell the cable company. If that does not work I guess I will wait for the guy to come out Sunday.

    Now I am thinking about giving it a week and if I can not get it to work I am going to take it back. That said the channels I did get to come in looked great. The HD was just awesome (it looked better than my Cable Box) and it so nice to see that TIVO software again. I do not want to go back to a Cable Box but I do not want to be dealing with this a month down the road. I need to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
     

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