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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Washizu

    Washizu New Member

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    Oct 26, 2004
    Audubon, NJ
    Here's a follow up to my earlier posts.

    Comcast came out again tonight. This time they sent a Lead Tech from Comcast. He pulled my cable cards out and (surprise!) the card that wasn't working had "No Good" written on the label but someone had cross it out with a black marker. Doh! He replaced it with another single stream cable card and it seems to be working now. I still have "Waiting for CP Auth" on the new card but I get all my channels on it except HBO, which they are giving me free for six months because of all the failed CC installations. HBO works on card #2.

    Also, the first thing he tried was installing a multistream card from Scientific Atlantic. These cards DO NOT WORK in TiVo HDs but they may work in Series 3 TiVos. If you have Comcast in an area that uses SA cards, especially South Jersey in Camden County, make sure they bring 2 or more single stream cards.

    Overall, it's working 95% of the way so I'm pretty happy.
     
  2. RNSAMRN

    RNSAMRN New Member

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    Dec 14, 2007
    Southern...
    I had trouble with the second card. The second had a serial number starting in NG from Motorola. I had restarted the box, and did Guided setup and install for the second was fine on the second try. First card was Motorola starting in serial number MA.
    RNSAMRN
    Atlantic County, NJ
     
  3. robert coats

    robert coats New Member

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    Dec 28, 2003
    Could not resist the HD TiVo/Lifetime offer, so bought the wife one for Xmas. Called Comcast (North Fulton/Atlanta) and was delighted when the rep told me the next appointment for a CableCARD install would be on December 24th "from 2-5."

    Fast-forward three weeks, and I get a call at 1:00 pm. "Mr. Coats? Yeah, this is the Comcast installer? We're out of those Card Cable things. We'll call you back when we have 'em in stock." <click>

    :mad:

    Over the past few months, my middle son has taught me a lot. He's very keen on recycling, and a number of garbage bags full of old plastic bottle have piled up in the garage. I decided to make an effort and took them to the recycling center. Afterward, I was sitting a a stoplight and recognized I was a scant block or two away from the Comcast office. I drove over and parked. There were a number of white Comcast vans in the parking lot. As I walked up to the front door, an obvious office-worker/manager type was walking out. We made eye contact and he said, "May I help you sir?"
    "Yeah, I was looking for the customer service counter?"
    "Oh, that office has moved over to Highway 9, near McDonald's."
    "Okay, I know where that is. I need to find out about my CableCARD."
    "CableCARD?"
    "Yeah, I had an appointment to get two installed..."
    "..in your HD TiVo?"
    "...um, why yes. (clearly, I'd found an informed person here) The installer canceled my appointment and told me they were out for a while."
    "No we're not. We don't have a lot of multi-stream cards, but plenty of singles."
    :)
    "Come inside with me and we'll see what we can do. This is a dispatch service office now, but I think I can help you real quick."
    :):):)
    Within seconds, he had my account up and then offered up this:
    "How about tomorrow from 2 to 5?"
    "Sold!"

    The Next Day...

    Installer guy shows up, has a stack of CableCARDS. Checks signal from the coax, and inserts a card...okay, here it goes....
    "Errror 161"
    He tries another...it works, and so does card #3 in slot 2. Soon we're looking at the data screens for the cards, dutifully reporting all kinds of alphanumeric stuff. Installer Guy pulls out the thickest PDA/Cell I'd ever seen, and gets another person on the phone. They chat a bit in binary code. The air becomes thick with tension, and then, "You need to run Guided Set-up again."

    About 20 minutes later, and there is goodness to behold. The TiVo is working, the CableCARDS are working, and the installer, I can only guess, is happy he probably beat the flat rate for this job. :D

    Kudos to the Comcast team...they did me right today.
     
  4. Devx

    Devx New Member

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    Jun 1, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Wow, that is definitely not the norm for Comcast. Can you help a fellow "Atlantian" out? :) I've already gotten a cancelled/no cards available, no call/no show, and I have an appointment scheduled for tomorrow from 2-5 but my expectations are very low. I bought my THD early this month and I still have no cablecards after 3+ weeks of trying.

    Do you happen to still have the work order that the installer got you to sign? I'd like his tech # to request him specifically if another appointment is needed. It seems that getting an informed installer makes all the difference. I'm not sure if he could even do this area, I'm in southeast cobb but south enough that I have an Atlanta address and zip. I suppose it depends on how far north you are (highway 9 isn't that far from me), it's worth a shot though.
     
  5. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam New Member

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    Dec 20, 2007
    I Have been having the same problem with the sorry we are out of cards!! How are you out of cards i just don't understand this. I am going into my 6th visit. On the 4th i got 2 m cards i only put one in and nothing. on the 5th visit we got the cards to work but only for the digital channels all the copy right channels do not work. We provided the information 5 times and sent like 6 hits to the cards and still none of them work. I had the installer try the other card and still no copy righted channels. So now they are sending another person out here to bring me some more cards. I called Tivo customer care and they told me that the cards could be bad. I don't understand how that maybe the case as well when the cards are decoding all the other channels. Frankly i think it has all to do with Comcast but I don't know how to get a hold of someone that is actually smart and informed enough to fix it. Can anyone help out here?
     
  6. Devx

    Devx New Member

    274
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    Jun 1, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Find someone in your area that had a successful install. Use this thread to help you. They need to get you the tech # from the work order of the tech that came out. Then you need to specifically request that tech come out when you schedule your appointment with the CSR. Otherwise you can continue to take a gamble with your appointments. My 3rd appointment is tomorrow and I'm already tired of playing this game with Comcast.
     
  7. yvovandoorn

    yvovandoorn New Member

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    Dec 26, 2006
    Too bad you guys don't live in areas were self installs are allowed. I got a Motorola mcard for my Tivo HD and I only had maybe 10 minutes tops of my time talking to Comcast.
     
  8. tenacious-c

    tenacious-c New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Quick report:

    I got the HD Tivo over Christmas, on Christmas day about 10PM, I went online, and requested a comcast appointment-they scheduled me for 5-7PM on 12/27!

    Tech arrived an hour early, called to ask if he could start. He arrived with about 4 MCards, and plugged the first in-Tivo recognized it as a MultiStream card, and he went through the setup. He incorrectly assumed as it came up as being a "one-way card" that I needed 2 of them. So, he put in another MCard in slot 2. The Tivo again recognized the situation, and stated that the second MCard would be ignored-I pointed this out to him, but he proceeded anyway. Took about 30 minutes, he called in the numbers, and everything works perfectly. I did get that "good" error code once, but that was it. Other than that, everything works perfectly.

    I have the tech's phone number in case anyone in Boston (I live in the Fenway) needs it, but it seems that MA at least has the Tivo/cable card thing down

    Take care,

    Sid
     
  9. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    If you don't want to pay for that second card in the form of an A/O (Additional Outlet)for $2.75/mo, you had better return it to Comcast. If they do not charge you, then no big deal. But, be warned, that the charge is most likely going to happen since it was issued to you.
     
  10. robert coats

    robert coats New Member

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    Dec 28, 2003
    The guy who came to the house is Tech # 5127, and I think his first name was Milan(?) but not sure of the spelling. He said he'd only done a few S3 CableCARD installs, and the biggest problem was bad cards, and he always tries to bring extras. Good thing!
     
  11. Barnabus

    Barnabus New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Our Comcast horror has just begun despite being as prepared as could be. We scheduled 2 weeks out to have a tech with at least 3-4 M cards arrive today. Verified 3 times appointment was good. Didn't get the TV till late yesterday and even expidited shipping in order to not lose our comcast appointment today, though a tech with cards showed up 2 days ago. He assured us he'd be back today. Just received a call that their are no M or S cards in all of Maryland and that they don't expect to recieve any for several weeks. I'm pretty sure that is not true and have been calling up and down the chain but they're sticking to this apparent lie. I'd gladly pick up a card and install myself but can't even get this. Anybody else in Maryland been able to get any M or S cards in the past couple days??? Anybody got any ideas on who to call to get this resolved? I can't imagine going 2-3 more weeks without especially after spending an additional $300 to expedite the TV's arrival for an appointment that was cancelled at the last minute. Thanks
     
  12. Dan Murphy

    Dan Murphy New Member

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    Aug 7, 2004
    Yesterday I had a Comcast 'tech' come to house (after waiting 2 weeks for appointment) to do cable cards in an additional Series 3. I told CS it was a Tivo unit, needed two cards. I followed up with a confirming call 3 days after making the appt, it was written correctly. As an aside, CS said somebody had to be home who was 18 or older and spoke English. 'Tech' (independent contractor) shows up (no phone call saying he was on the way, as he is supposed to do), spoke some foreign language (actually English with a impossible to understand accent). I ask him if he knows how to do a Tivo unit, he says, 'No, but let see it'. He looks at the box, I ask him if he has two cable cards. He says he has no cable cards. He leaves. I rescheduled for January 7th. :confused:
     
  13. Marshella

    Marshella New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Ok, we've been long time (as in decades long except for a few years we tried Dish service) Comcast Baltimore County subscribers - including the internet back when it was the "@home" service years ago. We've also had Tivo service for at least the last 5 or so years I'd estimate. Have owned now I think 4 different Tivo boxes and a couple Comcast provided DVRs as well (which PALE in comparison to the Tivos). About two years ago we bought our huge 46" HD Plasma TV.

    SO - this is what has taken place for us just in the past month -

    1) dear husband requests a HD Tivo as a holiday gift so that we can replace the stupid Hidef comcast supplied DVR box (which we've had problems with for the longest time and had to have replaced a few times in the two years or so that we've had it resulting in numerous lost recorded programs though no fault of our own).

    2) I order a series3 HD tivo box Nov. 27th, online from Amazon, and then call Comcast because I feared that: a)they would be too busy right after the holidays to get a quick install appointment for the needed cablecards, and b) possibly a shortage of the cablecards due to the holiday demand being underestimated by Comcast - this last point of which appears to have occured.

    3) When I call comcast (Nov. 27th) ,I get all the pricing details and order the change in service, VERIFIED that they DID IN FACT have the Cablecards and could/would install them at the latest possible install date closest to, yet just before, Xmas that they could pre-schedule - happened to be Friday the 21st. I opted to have them move my old DVR to another TV when they install the cablecards for the Tivo.

    4) We didn't use the DVR after that until the following week - Monday the
    3rd - my HUSBAND calls comcast. He is informed that we have a "standing work order" for the 21s - which of course he was not aware of yet because it was SUPPOSED to be a HOLIDAY SURPRISE! - I had to spill the beans and then talked to Comcast - had us reset, unplug etc, do a bunch of stuff, they "resent the signal", etc - ended up saying the box must have "died" and we scheduled a service appointment to replace it.

    5) Saturday the 8th - Comcast technician arrived on time. He called comcast, couldn't get the DVR box working - despite doing everything we'd tried previosly. Replaed the DVR box w/a new one. Lo and behold, that didnt work, either. COME TO FIND OUT - that Comcast (when initiating the change over to the new anticipated line-up with the Tivo) aparently CUT OFF the service to our DVR! EVEN THOUGH they said the "signal/service was on the line/our account and working". (so here we were w/o HD reception or the DVR functions for a week, through no fault of our own).

    6) Well we happened to have some work done on our utility pole in our front yard - they are moving the wires to set the pole back a few feet from the road in order to put in road improvemnts. The electric part was moved about 6 months ago, but just on Thursday the 20th aound 11 am - just as I'm leaving the house - a subcontractor shows up and starts working on the poles - movin the telephone and cable utils over to the new pole. BIG surprise when I get back home- ZIP NADA ZERO signal on my cable or my cable internet. I'm starting to freak out here because of the next days' scheduled install! So I call comcast (and Miss Utility, others trying to get the name of the LAME subcontractor who screwed up my service again), and Comcast says "oh, so sorry, we can't get out until next week after the holidays" I said it WON'T DO -and the customer service (regular cable) put me through to the "Internet service dept" in hopes they could help me sooner. SO, with their help after explaining the situation yet again - they said they would send out THEIR OWN comcast repair person employee (a "pole climber" I had inquired and they assured me yes) Friday just between 2 and 4 pm. WELL as it happens - the Tivo Comcast Subcontractor was scheduled (since Nov. 27th) to show up between 4 and 6 pm. OK, I thought this *may* work out if we have them show up first one earlier and second one later - so that we have service restored and then can set-up and update the Tivo box (wirelessly connected to our then cut-off internet service). As a precaution, that evening (Thurs.) we hooked up the Tivo and performed all the set-ups and updates that we could do).

    7) Friday the 21st - BAD traffic due to the holidays and usual rush hour crap - and the 1st technician isn't able to show up until 4:15 PM. HMMM... climbs the ladder, replaces the broken and bent up connector and - voila- service is restored. He then leaves with our holiday tip and after telling us that he could have also put our cablecards in for us on the same trip - not understanding why we had to have two service calls back to back. We said that's OK, we still need to set up the Tivo anyway first and that could take awhile. 15 minutes later, at 4:30 pm - just as the 1st tech is leaving, second tech (from subcontractor) comes out and announces that he doesn't have any CABLECARDS- SAY WHAT? - we call and complain to comcast whilst he sits here on our sofa - OF course I had to ask him why didn't they call me ahead of time to let me know they didn't have the equipment to perform the job they were scheduled to do? - and he had no answer for me except to say he was also here to remove our old cable converter box (the one being replaced by their DVR in the upstairs TV). SO as I'm on the phone the comcast person on the line announces that she's just learned now that their "warehouses" have NO cablecards! WTF?! I had presumed that when I placed my call for service that at the bare minimum- as they'd told me they had them - two cards were being put aside for my service call -but NO - they went to someone else!! Ok, so not only did my cards go somewhere else but now they can't even tell me when they'll be in stock, but I can make another appointment for next week "in case they come in". Next appointment available? Friday the 28th (today) 2-4 pm.

    8)TODAY - well they did one better than last week - Amtec (the subcontractor) actuall DID call me about 9 am to inform me they still did not have cablecards. :-( I called Comcast back - oh, lo and behold, they now have a "waiting list" they can ADD my name to and that they'll call me when the cards are available - but not before next week, of course. Now I'm left wondering - am I now at the BOTTOM of this list - even though I've technically been waiting since NOVEMBER - and WHEN will they get the dang cards in?

    FRUSTRATED (oh, and did I mention having all this "fun" whilst being 8 months pregnant and dealing with the usual holiday stress to begin with?)!!!!!
     
  14. Barnabus

    Barnabus New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Wow! I thought Comcast was bad here in Crofton from the Millersville comcast office. They too just informed us that there is a waiting list and we're now at the bottom. That's exactly why we scheduled 2.5 weeks ago to ensure there would be cable cards available after the holiday rush. My wife has been calling everywhere in MD and gets the same answer - no cable cards. She just spoke to Baltimore county and said exactly what you just did. So much for being required by law to have CCs available.
     
  15. tmesser

    tmesser New Member

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    Apr 12, 2003
    Naperville, IL
    I'm in Naperville, not far from you. Here's how it works for me:

    - First card on an outlet/device is free
    - Second card in the same device is $1.50
    - Additional cards in other devices will get you an "additional digital outlet" fee of $5.99

    I have two S-Cards in a TiVo HD, and one S-Card in my Sony TV. I have the "T3DDVRCARDS" line item on my bill with a charge of $1.50, and an additional digital outlet fee of $5.99 for the S-Card in my Sony TV. It doesn't matter that these devices are on the same physical outlet; Comcast sees each piece of digital equipment as an "outlet" unless you can successfully convince them otherwise. (I tried to tell them this several times and failed. I give Comcast enough money every month as it is, so I'm about to return the card in my TV and save that $5.99/month.)

    If you put two S-Cards in a TiVo, you will only get charged $1.50; the first card (first outlet) is "free" (included in your digital service). If you have any other digital boxes or other TVs with CableCARDs, you will get charged $5.99 for each of those, as they will be considered "additional outlets."
     
  16. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    What we find (in my area) is that the A/O of $2.75 is also tied to the programming received for an additional tuner. For example, if you get two tuners, and the first outlet is included, the second outlet gives you the second tuner for premium services. If you ask the CSR to remove the $2.75 A/O, they will do that, and then you have no premium programming on the second tuner. So some have said, anyway. I never actually tested this and don't plan on it.
     
  17. dathing

    dathing New Member

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    Sep 19, 2007
    I contacted Comcast to check on ordering cablecards for a new Tivo HD. I'm in the Carroll County franchise area of Maryland. They told me that they didn't have any. Nor did they have any idea of when they might get some. I asked if it typically takes days, weeks, months or years before availability. He had no idea. Try again later in the year. They would not accept my order until they have cablecards in stock, so I can't even get on a waiting list.

    Aren't they REQUIRED to provide cablecards?
     
  18. BobB

    BobB Devout Tivonian

    707
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    Aug 26, 2002
    Brookline, MA
    In my case (I have a TiVO HD with M card and also an HD cable box for the sake of getting On Demand programming), I complained about getting an A/O charge since they're both on the same TV. The CSR agreed to take the $2.75 charge off my bill, and two minutes later the M card went completely dead, no programs at all!

    When I called tech support to complain, the tech rep (apparently better informed than CS) explained that it has nothing to do with how you're using the devices or what they're connected to, they simply charge extra for every device the provide you (box or card) after the first. How much they charge appears to vary by region.
     
  19. mschirm

    mschirm New Member

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    Jan 18, 2002
    I followed your instructions and it finally worked. Thanks so much for the advice !!!!
     
  20. Marshella

    Marshella New Member

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    Dec 28, 2007
    Well, I actually heard back from "Andre" a Supervisor at the call center. (YEAH! Finally some decent show of customer service) I'd spoke to him earlier today and he said he'd get back to me after seeing what he could do for me. I just got off the phone. He said that he tried to call the warehouse supervisors to get more information from them, but was unable to reach either of them but he did send them an email. He thinks they may not be available right now due to the holiday. So he promised to "set me up" as soon as he gets word from them (after the holidays) about the situation with the cablecards on order. I hope he keeps his word and does contact me again sometime later in the next week.

    Marshella in Baltimore County, MD
     

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