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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. oly

    oly New Member

    23
    0
    Apr 21, 2003
    Oregon
    I live in the Portland, OR area. At the end of December we decided to bite the bullet and upgrade our entertainment systems. As part of this upgrade we purchased two home theater series 3 HD Tivos. Once I had made the purchase I contacted Comcast to determine which package we were interested in purchasing and what our monthly service fee would be. In our area, until March 31st, Comcast is offering a $39 a month Digital Preferred Special including HBO (after the first three months the cost jumps to $65.84 a month plus $15.99 a month for HBO). The CSR told me I could not receive this special since I was currently paying more for our expanded basic cable. After getting no where with her and being told my expenses would increase to over $100 a month I finally ended the call and then went ahead and booked the cable card install on the internet (at the special price). Booking via the internet brings you to a Live Chat session at the end. I very specifically informed the CSR that I would need four cable cards for two different machines. He told me that was noted in my work order and then abruptly ended my live chat session before I had had all of my questions. Two weeks later I contacted Comcast by phone only to discover that they had me down for an install, but not for cable cards. After spending about an hour on the phone with this CSR I was informed that my order was all set to go for today (January 23rd) and it would actually cost me less than what I expected. She was actually very helpful and I felt fairly positive that the installer would show up with at least four cards.

    However, having read through the 160+ pages of complaints I was not looking forward to this visit. Even though our HD TVs will not arrive until next week, I had plugged in our new Tivos, had run guided set-up and everything has been working for about two weeks. When the installer arrived today, on-time, I asked her if she would like to use the instructions I had printed off from the Tivo website. She said she would really appreciate that since this was only her second cable card install with a Tivo. I read the instructions to her and we went through step by step. We did run into a little glitch with the first card - we found out she had to call in the serial number first (before installing the card). It did take several minutes for the Host / Data screen to appear, but then everything went smoothly. She was told to call back once the host / data screen came up but then the "office tech" remained on the phone with her through the installation of all four cards. Both the installer and office tech thought that I only needed two cards, but I insisted that I needed all four (even though they are M-cards). We discussed the fact that sometimes the cards do not work so she had actually brought along two spare cards.

    I have re-run guided set-up and currently everything looks great on both systems. I still have the cable split directly to the TV too so I can receive the expanded basic channels on the TV, providing me with a third tuner for the lower channels (until we go all digital at the end of the year).

    I am being charged $1.79 per month for the second cable card in each unit. I am also being charged $6.99 for an additional outlet fee. These costs were expected and well explained to me by the CSR I talked with earlier this month.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything will continue to work well and my bill will be correct. However at this point I feel very pleased with my installation experience.
     
  2. dawgdaes

    dawgdaes New Member

    4
    0
    Mar 5, 2004
    They tried to pull that crap on me in the detroit area. Had the appointment for a week. 30 minutes before the guys leaves me a message on my cell that he does not have any cards. I called him back and told him to go to another office and get some. Luckily his boss was aware and intervened and found some.


     
  3. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
    0
    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Why did you insist on 2 M-cards in each Tivo HD unit? Only one each is necessary.
     
  4. KraziJoe

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

    69
    0
    Nov 30, 2007
    Maine
    Supposedly I talked to the techs boss and he confirmed there are none.
    It really sucks that people a few towns over can get them and yet I cannot in my zone...I really wish I could get FIOS or D*
     
  5. wizzy

    wizzy S1, (2) S2, TivoHD

    78
    0
    Nov 11, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    It's probably a case of YMMV, but I'm in Chicago, have a M-card, and am not paying anything for it.
     
  6. ninjadvr

    ninjadvr New Member

    43
    0
    Aug 18, 2005
    I believe he said he has two series 3 boxes, therefore, two cards per unit is necessary. It's only the Tivo HD (cheaper unit) that can work with one M card.
     
  7. dwit

    dwit Active Member

    1,660
    0
    May 4, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    You're right. Thanks.
     
  8. kizer_soce

    kizer_soce New Member

    1
    0
    Jun 25, 2004
    Colorado
    First off, thanks for all who have shared their stories and advice on this forum. It's been a great help and I sympathize with those who had trouble.
    After years of successful service from my hacked DirecTivo, a tree is growing in the way of my dish. So, I decided to finally go back to cable but there was no way I was using their DVR...Hello Series 3.

    I was skeptical after reading all the horror stories, but I called Comcast to add cable to my package (already an internet customer) and the CSR was actually nice and seemed to know what she was talking about. She looked up what specials they were currently running and I went with the Digital Preferred for $48/mo for 6 mo. I also told her that it would be a Tivo Series 3 install and would need 2 cable cards. She said no problem it would be an extra $1.50/mo. I made sure with her that I was getting 2 cable cards and she referred to it as the "Tivo pack" and it came with 2 cable cards. I scheduled the appointment for a few days later. After I got off the phone I was thinking to myself "it can't be that easy".

    The morning of the appointment arrived and the Tech was right on time. I asked him if he'd ever done a Tivo install before and he said no. I was then kind of worried. First he went out and checked my line and removed the filter and verified that my service was set up for my new cable service. I handed him the instructions but he jumped the gun a little and unplugged the Tivo to install the cards. He then read a little more and realized that the Tivo needed to be on. We then had to wait for the Tivo to boot up. After that he inserted the first S-card and the diagnostic screen came up. I was really surprised and happy when he used his 2-way direct connect phone and contacted the Service Tech directly, no waiting on hold! He communicated instantly reading the numbers. The Service Tech hit the first card and in a couple minutes the test channels came in. We then went on to the second S-card and nothing happened. It looked to be a bad card. He then pulled out an M-card and we repeated the steps and this one worked as well. Even though it was the Tech's first Tivo install, he seemed to be competent and even resisted the urge to try both cards at the same time. The whole appointment took about an hour.

    Wow, that was pretty painless. I now have a working Series 3 with 1 S-card and 1 M-card. Man I love Tivo and in HD nonetheless. :D
     
  9. Newbie

    Newbie New Member

    82
    0
    Jan 19, 2002
    I'm in the seattle area with comcast basic cable.
    I discovered channel 110 KYMQDT has disappeared. A blue caption says looking for signal.

    However, using a SD comcast cable box I can hear channel 110. On tivo3 I also get channel 109 and 111, and also channel 10 (KYMQ SD).

    I rebooted tivo3 but no help. I called comcast and they sent two signals one each to my cablecard. I received the signals, but didn't fix the problem.

    So they scheduled a tech to visit me. I'm wonder if anyone has seen this and knows the solution. I'm not 100% confident with their tech support.
     
  10. funseeker22

    funseeker22 New Member

    11
    0
    Aug 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Just an update - the 2nd tech DID come last Saturday, as promised, and successfully installed two M-cards into my two TivoHD's. The kicker this time - he was a contractor too! The first contractor jamoke who claimed he 'couldn't do the Tivo install' was really screwed up. So it's like playing the slots - you never know how you'll make out.

    I did get a follow-up call from the Comcast manager who arranged the rescheduled appointment (and provided me the inconvenience billing credits), after the tech was gone to make sure all went OK. So, she was good (yet it's still sad that it took a manager in order to get the job done).

    The M-card installs did take awhile (40mins or so), because the tech was on-hold for a longtime w/HQ, waiting to do the pairings.

    Now that Comcast is out of the picture, it's on to other dealings. Generally, so far so good. BUT we have been victims of the 'Grey/Black Screen of Death' numerous times. Hate to say it, but as bad as the Comcast DVR was, it didn't duplicate this horrendous behavior.....
     
  11. oldradio99

    oldradio99 New Member

    99
    0
    Nov 22, 2005
    Each channel is on a different POD and I suspect 110 POD is bad

    There are other channels on that POD that you may not subscribe to so you dont know

    Ask the tech to check signal strength of the channels on that POD
     
  12. RS4

    RS4 New Member

    999
    0
    Sep 2, 2001
    Indianapolis...
    I had quite a similar experience in Indy - used Comcast for internet only, being a long-time DirecTV customer. I got upset with DirecTV because of not supporting Tivo any longer and because there is a 2-yr commitment just to try out their box.

    I called Comcast on Tuesday to find out what the packages were and with the help of the CSR, found one. I made an appointment for Wed pm. Tues evening, Comcast called to confirm the appt. Wed pm, they called back to re-confirm and let me know the trucks were rolling. Two guys showed up, fixed some cabling, installed the M card in the Tivo HD and were gone within the hour. It was the first time for a Tivo install for both of them, but once they verified the cabling was working properly, installing the Mcard went very quickly.

    I was totally impressed with the Comcast service and with how good the video looks compared to my DTivos. Years ago, I had bad results with Comcast, but it seems things have changed here. With a lot of help from other members of this forum, I got my DD5.1 working with my receiver and I now have gotten a second Tivo HD and am looking forward to trying MRV. I'm just amazed at how much better I like the Tivo HD compared to the DTivos.
     
  13. illthreat

    illthreat New Member

    8
    0
    Jan 25, 2008
    I recently discovered the clear QAM channels on my Mitsu DLP. Most excellent!

    After this discovery, I decided to upgraded to the Tivo HD.

    I have Comcast coming out on Monday for the CC install. In the meantime, I figured I'd try and pull in the clear QAM channels I received when coax is directly on the TV, on the Tivo.

    I ran a channel scan- nada.. Tried reseting, etc.. I end up with a few QAM mapped to channel 0?? But, still not all of the clear QAM channels I had when I simply had the coax directly to the TV.

    Tried to manually enter the QAM channel on the Tivo HD, ie: 33-1 Doesn't work.
    Put a coax directly to the TV and manually enter 33-1- works perfect..

    Any ideas?
    QAM tuners not the same? (Tivo HD XXX_XX format vs. the TV XXX_XXXX format??)
    Signal strength not strong enough for Tivo HD but okay enough for the QAM tuner in the TV?


    Thanks !!!! Sorry if this is off-topic! I'm sure it will all work fine when I get the CC installed.. Just wondering why I cannot pull in the same stations with the TivoHD as I can when directly working with the TV.
     
  14. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,646
    1
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Lot's of people seem to be encountering this all of a sudden. Here's a post of mine from a couple of days ago. In short, the TiVo tunes well with good PSIP data, but doesn't handle bad data as well as some TVs.
     
  15. illthreat

    illthreat New Member

    8
    0
    Jan 25, 2008
    Very interesting- thank you! :)
     
  16. ninjadvr

    ninjadvr New Member

    43
    0
    Aug 18, 2005
    How did all my fellow Arlington VA tivo folks get on with getting CableCards installed?

    I just called again (Friday afternoon) and was told that the local warehouse is still out but the new date is February 6th (Wednesday):rolleyes:. She wouldn't make an appointment and said I could call back on the 31st to schedule an installation. She said they only have M-cards, but understood when I said I had a series3 and needed two. She also said that they do have experienced technicians for Arlington since they've had many requests since the holidays. I did try calling that comcast corporate number just now but it went to an anonymous voicemail so no luck with that yet. It sounds like we have a bit of a fight on our hands to get these cards.
     
  17. KraziJoe

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

    69
    0
    Nov 30, 2007
    Maine
    http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=5906055#post5906055
     
  18. ninjadvr

    ninjadvr New Member

    43
    0
    Aug 18, 2005
  19. KraziJoe

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

    69
    0
    Nov 30, 2007
    Maine
    You asked and I linked to my answer. If you JUST called then you have the latest information so there is nothing to update there.
    I still have an appt for the 1st and until they cancel I will just think they will bring them, and if they don't then they will have to deal with a very irate customer. I might even ask the Old Manassas Lady to go to the local office for me.
     
  20. xtracrispy

    xtracrispy New Member

    6
    1
    Jan 25, 2008
    I've been lurking in the thread for a while and felt it was time to contribute my story. I am also in Arlington. I called this past Tuesday (Jan 22) and was told they were out of cards until Feb 2. I have an appointment for Feb 2, so we will see. I won't be pleased if it doesn't go well. I live on the 2nd floor in a sea of high-rises so I have a hard time catching a signal with an antenna. I don't want to miss the Supe...err...Big Game in HD.

    If I may digress for a moment. I only called this past Tuesday because I had an install scheduled for Wednesday Jan 16. Of course, my window passed and I heard nothing. I called support, talked to someone who insisted that someone called me to tell me they had no CableCards and to call back to make another appointment. Decidedly unsatisfied with that conversation, I called back and had the luck of speaking to someone who knew what he was talking about. He explained how the mishap occurred (someone in the national office was not informed that there were no CableCards in Arlington), gave me a credit, and asked me to call back next week for an appointment.

    So I called back this past Tuesday (Jan 22)...three times. And I received three different answers. The first person was clearly clueless (I doubt she knows what a CableCard is) and just told me to "call back next week." Unsatisfied, I called right back and spoke to someone who set me up for an appointment the next morning. I was a bit suspicious of the ease of the call and called back a third time. This time, I was told that someone put a flag on my service appointment because they were out of CableCards until Feb 2. I'm not sure why I believed this person. When I asked her if they would bring 2 S-Cards or an M-Card, she told me that I needed 2 cards because "they didn't have digital ones yet." Aren't they all digital? I didn't push it. We will see.

    </rant>
     

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