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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. pnwn21

    pnwn21 New Member

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    Jan 21, 2008
    What is the difference between S cards and M cards?
     
  2. bizzy

    bizzy New Member

    707
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    Jan 20, 2004
    San...
    I bet there's an answer in the CABLECARD FAQ but I am too lazy to go look.
     
  3. pjbrownva

    pjbrownva New Member

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    Jan 18, 2008
    Arlington, VA
    Congrats Mr. Logical. You've waited long enough that you definitely deserve one.

    I called over the weekend to get an appt for a cable card (I'm also in Arlington, VA), and after the Rep called the warehouse, she said that they are out of cable cards. After more questioning, she said (as someone else also posted) that the warehouse for Arlington, VA gets equipment shipments every Tuesday, but those shipments might (or might not) include cable cards.

    So for other Arlington people out there, Tuesdays are the magic days. If you're trying to get a cable card, keep that in mind.

    Krazi Joe (and others in Arlington, and elsewhere) good luck. I'll post updates on my situation as it unfolds.

    -Phil
     
  4. pjbrownva

    pjbrownva New Member

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    Jan 18, 2008
    Arlington, VA
    Both are cable cards.

    A so-called "S card" supports one tuner and tunes in one channel at a time... this is the same experience that most of us are familiar with from using "regular" TVs, cable boxes, VCRs, etc.

    An "M-card" can support more than one tuner at the same time.

    So if you get a Tivo HD (the one for about $300), it has two tuners. In order to properly use it, you need to have 2 S-Cards installed (one for each tuner) OR just one M-Card (the m-card can support both tuners).

    If you have (or buy) the more expensive Tivo Series3 unit (the THX certified one that also supports HD, but has a list price of about $800), then you need two S-Cards, because that unit won't support the additional features of an M-Card. (although someone posted on this forum that if the cable company only has M Cards available, that you can put TWO of them in the that unit and it will work -- but you will need TWO of cards for that particular model regardless of whether they are S-Cards or M-Cards).

    I hope that helps. For more info, maybe it's in the FAQ (I haven't checked, but I will).

    -Phil :up:
     
  5. erab

    erab New Member

    3
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    Dec 19, 2007
    Finally, an update on my situation from post 4685:

    I had my third tech visit the other day (fourth, if you count the guy that read the dispatch report and then never showed up as a "visit"). I asked my usual questions as they walked into my house ("Have you ever done CableCard installs?", "Have you ever been successfull?", etc, etc). Like every other tech that has visited (but been unsuccessful), I got positive answers to all my questions.

    I explained to them my current situation, which was that my first cablecard worked perfectly but the second cablecard wasn't showing a proper EMMs count and was only offering me analog channels. They then asked me if I was using a Multistream or Singlestream card. After being shocked that they even knew the difference, I told the two of them that both cards were Single Stream. Curiosity got the better of me and I asked them what they brought with them. The one tech pulled out a card, looked it over, and said "I guess this is single-stream" and then went to pull out the second card he was given... It was in a brand new pink wrapper and didn't look like the other blue SA cablecards I had been dealing with -- It was an M-card!

    I told them we should give that a shot first and we proceeded to pop out both S-cards from my TivoHD. They put in the M-card, read off the numbers, and then we sat around waiting for the "hit".... but the card never "authorized". I asked them to call again and verify that the numbers were keyed in correctly. While on the phone, I overheard the tech ask the person on the other end "Which card did you remove from the account, whiskey-whiskey-hotel or the other one?".. At this point, I jumped in and told him to remove both cards from the account since I would only be needing one M-card if it worked. He told them to do just that and then, like magic, the "hit" came through and the card was authorized. Everything now works great!

    Every tech that visited and every CSR that I spoke to over the phone informed me that M-cards weren't available in my area. If you're told the same, ignore them and ask them to put "Multistream preferred" on every work order. Hopefully you'll get lucky and have a tech that knows what that means and takes the time to ask for an M-card at the warehouse.
     
  6. pnwn21

    pnwn21 New Member

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    Jan 21, 2008
    Thanks. Can I just keep the HD cable box and use it with the HD Tivo (not series 3) or do I HAVE to use a cable card?
     
  7. Jon65

    Jon65 New Member

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    Aug 25, 2005
    Here's my sad story. Add it to the pile. I'm looking for suggestions as to what my next move should be.

    I've had my tivo-hd and comcast with two s-cards working since October. However, when I tried to get the billing adjusted for the second outlet fee, it ended with the CSR removing the second outlet, and my second cablecard along with it. So, adding back the outlet restored the card. All was well.

    Then, Comcast added new HD channels: FoodHD and TBSHD. Now, cable card 1 receives them all, but cable card 2 does not receive the new channels. That was a couple months ago, and I've been living with it mainly because I didn't have time to deal with the situation.

    Comcast recently added SciFi HD and a couple others. So, I called today to try to get this resolved. First CSR was clueless, but tried. Problem was she deauthorized both my cablecards!!!! Now I have basic channels but nothing else. Then I get disconnected. Call back yields a more clueless, but more helpful CSR that eventually takes my card and host ID numbers to pass along. She was supposed to call me back, but did not. Third time I lose the CSR roulette and get the angry woman who doesn't even want to talk to me, hates cable cards, and want to send the technician out, on my tab. I decline and she spits out that she is noting I declined on my account. OK.

    So, here I am. At this point I'm thinking the only way I can get the card info to the folks that need it is to relent and let the tech come out and read the numbers.

    What's my best move at this point?

    I'm located in Carroll County, MD

    Thanks for helping, and for listening. :)

    Jon
     
  8. TroyGoode

    TroyGoode New Member

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Arlington, VA
    Okay, good news for the Arlington people! I know today is supposed to be the day they get the cards in, but I actually had a Comcast technician show up on Saturday with an M card. Thankfully it worked fine and he was out the door 30 minutes later.

    Just in case anyone else continues to have an issue with not getting the cards, here is the trick: We called Comcast's Executive Office # after finding it earlier in this thread (215-665-1700) on Friday afternoon. After weeks of being jerked around and still not being promised cable cards, the executive office was able to have my TiVoHD up and running in less than 24 hours.

    I've learned my lesson. Any problems I have with Comcast from now on are going straight to the top. :)
     
  9. johnnylundy

    johnnylundy New Member

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    Feb 2, 2005
    Yep. The Comcast Customer Service is 100% useless, as are their installers/techs.

    They should fire the whole bunch and save us some money.

    The only time that I actually got a problem or issue remedied correctly was after contacting the regional VP or one of the area managers.

    The management seems to be completely unaware of how incompetent their techs are.
     
  10. BobB

    BobB Devout Tivonian

    707
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    Aug 26, 2002
    Brookline, MA
    You need to swap it out for a cablecard, the HD TiVO has no way to tell the cable box to change channels so it can select programs to record. But that should save you money in the long run, since there is a higher charge for a cablebox than for an M card, especially if it's the only Comcast-provided tuning device in your house.
     
  11. oldradio99

    oldradio99 New Member

    99
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    Nov 22, 2005
    I am not as eloquent as most here but my hatred of Comcast is equal to none.

    I have been a Comcast customer for as long as they have owned AT&T Cable in my area (before AT&T got into TV). My only reason was we did not like a satellite dish on our house and I needed the high speed internet connectivity. I cannot obtain reliable DSL as I am 12,000 feet from the CO.

    My current tale of woe. I decided to upgrade my entertainment system and purchased a TIVO HD box. Was told by Comcast I could pick up the cable card at the local sales office. Went there and found out they moved. But of the course the telephone rep had given me the old address.

    Went to the new address and was told cable cards must be installed by a technician. The only good thing was that they waived the install fee.

    First technician came and cards were activated in a relatively short period of time (under 1 hour) but he left before all channels were synced. Called the number he gave me for his supervisor 3 hours later and two more technicians came to the house. Seems the signal at the PED (sp?) (the post on my back yard) had a weak signal. These technicians were not authorized to work on the signal before the pole so was told would take 2-3 days.

    Three days later, still no HD channels so called again. New technician came out. Says signal at post now good but problem with my wiring. He did replace some splitters but he did want to sell me an amplifier for $75. These are the same ones that Best Buy has for $30. Nice mark up Comcast.

    So after 3 trips, I finally had a decent signal and thought all was well.

    Then I received my bill. I am being charged $1.50 for the cable card. Two hours of phone calls and chat room discussions with Comcast has yielded that they do not charge for the first cable card but they consider an M card two cards and therefore charge the $1.50 for an extra card. Plus Chicago area only installs M Cards.

    Now $1.50 is not much and they are not charging me for a cable box which I still have but take that $1.50 times 1 million Chicagoland customers.

    The most frustrating part of all of this is that their customer service reps do not know diddly squat. Talk to 4 and get 4 answers. I also swear their chat rooms are managed overseas as all those reps can do is quote prescripted text form a book of answers. And now every conversation they ask “How do you feel today?”. Told them I was pissed and crappy and it made no difference. I do not think they even read what you type.

    So bottom line is

    1. Service is crappy
    2. Customer Service is crappy
    3. They do everything they can to screw the consumer
    4. And they really do not care.


    In conclusion, comcastmustdie
     
  12. KraziJoe

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

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    Nov 30, 2007
    Maine
    That is my next step. I called today and got an install for tomorrow afternoon. Lets hope it will happen!
     
  13. hoyatables

    hoyatables New Member

    4
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    Jan 21, 2008
    I just called the Executive number as well. The rep couldn't have been more understanding. With any luck I'll get some resolution. Thanks for sharing that number!
     
  14. grandroyal

    grandroyal New Member

    1
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    Jan 22, 2008
    Well, this forum is my last shot at getting my tivo to work with comcast out of pittsburgh PA. Sorry if i leave out any information, ill do my best to provide the details.

    Problem: "Pixalation" or "Tiling" as comcast called it. Happens on both cards, however on CC #2 it happens so bad that the stations are unwatchable, especially my HD and higher channels. In addition that prevents me from being able to record and watch at the same time - it records with CC #1 (i think) and uses CC #2 to allow me to watch while recording hence the problem.

    Goal: To have CC1 and CC2 working with little to no tiling while being able to view/record HD television.

    Backround: I got the tivo and unpacked it to learn that i needed these cable cards. Quick call to comcast and 3 days later a tech arrived and installed the cards quickly and left. Well, being pretty green towards the tivo i assumed he knew what he was doing and when he left the job would be done (yes, i know some of you are laughing out loud).

    Well, that didnt work, the problem listed below has been around for 2 weeks now.

    Comcast made a return 3 days after that with a tech who didnt know what he was doing either so he called another tech "who had a better backround" with cable cards and he came. They fussed around with the tivo menus and checked the signal (100%). Made sure the host numbers were present/correct. Called comcast home and activated them. Still the same problem. So after 2 techs spent 3 hours on my tivo they left scratching their heads. Told me to get a hold of tivo and then call them back.

    Well the truth is.. Its not the tivo.. Its either they set them up incorrectly or the cable cards are faulty.

    Now my questions:

    1: If the signals are to strong could that cause "tiling" and if so how can this be fixed.
    2: Is there a site/area i can look for instructions for a complete installation guide for cable cards from start to finish?
    3: How do i know if my cable cards are multi stream or single stream, and which slots to which ones go? If i have a multistream do i need still need the aditional single stream? Or is it standered to use two single streams.
    4: Could an MCard be a possible solution? Are they available in the comcast pittsburgh area?
    5: Am i fighting a battle that cant be won?

    Off topic/Off thread: Does the tivo wireless adapter able to connect to a WPA enabled wireless security?

    Thanks for your help guys, ill be in this thread avidly to add additional information.
     
  15. Jon65

    Jon65 New Member

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    Aug 25, 2005
    Update: Truck roll is scheduled for Saturday. Do I need to treat this as an initial install for the tivo, i.e. pulling each cable card and authorizing separately? Or can the tech just call in the numbers and get them entered?

    Thanks!

    Jon
     
  16. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,749
    15
    Feb 18, 2002
    The tech should just be able to call in the numbers. However, when my cards lost their channels, they replaced the cards.
     
  17. ninjadvr

    ninjadvr New Member

    43
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    Aug 18, 2005
    Possible answers:
    1. If, and it's a big if since I've not known comcast to have particularly strong signals - in my building the problem is opposite and I occasionally get tiling/pix. A suggestion of one of the websites is "Signal Strength Attenuator Pads Mix Bag" from smarthome dot com slash 7800 dot html (if the website doesn't post): http://www.smarthome.com/7800.html

    From the text:
    - Eliminate auto buzzing on some channels
    - Fixes the problem of having too much signal strength

    Install in-line with coax cable and reduce signal strength by rated amount. Try different combinations until you get the best picture quality. Use to balance signal strength from different sources.

    2. Suggest doing a little research first before posting, but it is on the tivo website support section: go to tivo dot come, setup & support, then "HD and CableCard" - pick the one that matches you, i.e. series3 installation, or TivoHD installation, etc. I don't think you indicate which box you have.

    3. I don't know how to tell the difference between S-type (singlestream) and M-type (multistream) apart from asking the techs. What I understand from previous posts is if you have a series3, as long as you have two of either (x2 "S" or x2 "M" CableCards), it will work. If you have the cheaper TivoHD, one M-type calblecard will work.

    4. See 3. above. No idea about Pittsburgh, but S-type are older, so depends if they are starting to use only M-type cablecards.

    5. Optimism....keep at 'em, hard to fathom, but eventually comcast will give in.

    Good luck! Anyone else wiser that can correct any answers, feel free!

    Tivo wirelss adapter: I can't see why it wouldn't work with WPA, but I'll let you know in a few days when I test it myself.
     
  18. mchief

    mchief Morey

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    Sep 10, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I have been using the Tivo Wireless Adapter with WPA for more than a year without a problem.
     
  19. BanditWS6

    BanditWS6 New Member

    80
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    Jun 10, 2007
    Naples, FL
    Using WPA on my TiVo wireless adapter also, no problems here either.
     
  20. KraziJoe

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

    69
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    Nov 30, 2007
    Maine
    No Tech, No Call.
    I call and wait for a reply...
    They called back 30 minutes later and state that they are out of Cards and the tech forgot to call me.
    I go up one side and down the other of the Manager. What good does it do? None what so ever.
    They say Feb1 they will have the new cards. I have an appt for Feb 1. I am still going to call the executive number tomorrow because this is ridiculous.

    I've been with Comcast since they came to the region about 10 years ago and spend $200 a month for all of their "Services" and they can't get me a freaking Cable Card?
    Now I am all PO'd and the cats and wife are staying away from me...ARGH!!!
     

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