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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. hifidigital

    hifidigital New Member

    Jun 2, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    The install didn't go well. The installer brought an M card, I put it in, the TiVo recognized it and everything was looking up. Then, testing the channels, only a very few showed up. Mostly the local digital stations, and one or two of the normal digital tier stations, and none of the old analog channels. The guy had the dispatcher call Comcast but was put on hold. He had to leave (another appt....and I was pissed), so I have a non-functioning CC install.

    I complained and their tier two person said that it was most likely a bad card. She did verify the serial number of the card, as well as my account information. We have setup another appointment to have a tech come out, but I am going over to the local office and demand another card, which I will call in and activate (read a few numbers).

    Why Comcast thinks plugging in a card and reading off a few numbers is worth $20 is beyond me.

    Does anyone have a good list of Baltimore Comcast unencrypted channels since I think those are the only ones I'm getting? If thats the case, the card seems to be working, so does anyone think its still the card?
  2. civicracer24

    civicracer24 New Member

    Oct 22, 2004
    I just got my TiVo HD yesterday and I called Comcrap to see how I needed to go about getting an MCard for it... Melinda said to go to my local Comcrap office and pick one up... I verified with her that it would just be a self-install and she said yes. She also said that she checked that location to make sure they had the cards, and they did.

    I go down to the office, waste an hour of my time, only to find out that indeed it is a service call and a tech needs to do it... I told them about my convo with Melinda and they said there was nothing they could do other than schedule an appt at a rate of $19.95... I told the lady at the desk to go to hell (politely but got my point accross).

    Got home and called the CableCard support area... explained to Stormie there what I had experienced and that it was completely unacceptable... she agreed 100% and scheduled an install for me at no charge. I asked why Comcrap deems it necessary to send out a tech to put a card in my TiVo and to activate the card... any monkey can do that... and I think we all are beyond capable... she said that it was the simple fact that not all Cable Cards work like they should and that the techs have more on the truck in case one doesn't work.

    I so wish Verizon had Fios in my area... people where I work have it and they absolutely LOVE IT... no problems with cablecard self installs... just amazing... why doesnt comcast figure out that they get bunk hardware and demand change in their suppliers?!?!?
  3. cleverdevil

    cleverdevil New Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
  4. penguin s2k

    penguin s2k New Member

    Mar 14, 2008
    I had my service turned on today. the installers didnt bring the cablecards with them, so i had to go down to the office and exchange my box for the cards. it was simple...10 minutes in and out. i got home and called the activation line and everything works!!!

    this was at the baytown, tx office. if you are having trouble getting them, it may be worth the drive out here to get them. good luck
  5. kwbdc

    kwbdc New Member

    Mar 9, 2008
    I stopped by the North Seattle Comcast office today to pick up a "M" card. The lady looked up my account asked me if it was for a Tivo and handed over the card after scanning it in the system. Now I'll cross my fingers hoping the install goes well after I get the Tivo HD on Monday. Overall a pretty painless trip to the Comcast office! :)
  6. wilsocr

    wilsocr New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    I had a painless trip to Comcast here in Spokane as well. Went in last month, picked up two cards (not knowing I only needed one) and installed it myself while on the phone with technical support. Was up and running within minutes. Returned the second card the following week. I waffled quite a while about getting TivoHD but I'm kicking myself for not getting it sooner!
  7. jfcguy

    jfcguy New Member

    Aug 5, 2002
    New Jersey
    Newbie report here… :)

    After about 7 ½ years with Direct TV and a SAT 60 TIVO and a HR10-250, I’ve decided to upgrade to TIVO HD with Comcast. I've held off as much as possible with the 250 - since I'm in the east coast, my HD channels still operate but the TIVO crashes every 5 or 6 days. I've spent about 4 months studying on your site and making sure I have my plan in place. To be honest, if I hadn’t read all your stories and comments, I’m sure my experience would’ve been terrible. Now – that’s not saying it went as planned – of course…

    Called the local Jersey City Comcast number on Saturday March 6th, placed the order for the upgrade since I do have Comcast for my internet – had a young lady take my order very nicely although she knew NOTHING about what a cablecard was. I decided to be patient and explain and was very vocal on my request for 1 NEW Multi stream card. They were scheduled to come out on the 10th between Noon and 3pm - polite thank yous and that was that.

    I was originally to get a Series 3, but after looking at the features and the space, I decided to go with the TIVO HD instead. Went to Best Buy Sunday and picked it up along with the DVR Expander. Came home and set everything up – HDMI cables, the line that Comcast had already in the house (with QAM service, etc. etc.). Called Comcast that night and confirmed the appointment and that the Cablecard request was on the order.

    Started the TIVO up the next morning and had it update itself online until it got the 9.2a software which took less than an hour. Relaxed and waited until the afternoon.

    2 pm – no technician… I called Comcast – “oh – he’s on his way”
    3:15 pm — “you’re next on the list”
    3:45 pm — The dispatcher calls me to tell me he’s running 45 minutes late – I said – I know – he was due here before 3pm.

    By 4:20pm, I was fuming and spoke to someone to get a dispatcher with details to call me back or reconsider how they’d like to take my online service out instead of installing TV service. The dispatcher apologized and said that the last job was a difficult one – and I would definitely have someone out today. At 5:01pm, my technician arrived. I opened the door and welcomed him in – he apologized and before taking him upstairs to my apartment, I asked what kind of cablecards he brought. The guy said – "Cablecards? I don’t have any of those." That’s as far as he got. I turned around and said –Excuse me, you mean to tell me, I’ve been waiting for 5 hours for a technician that doesn’t even have the proper equipment that was explicitly mentioned on the order? The guy looked at me like I was speaking tongues and said I didn’t know this was a Cablecard – I literally screamed and said – Cablecard isn’t written there anywhere? THEN – while I’m hollering at him, he noticed the Cablecard details on the “NOTES” of the order - at the bottom. This is when he called his dispatcher on his speakerphone.:mad:

    His dispatcher could hear me fuming upstairs and the installer was like – I’m 2 hours late and I don’t have a thing for this guy – we need to fix this... I stood at the top of the stairs while the installer was put on hold for a few – and I apologized to the installer but I went onto explain – you set us up with all these expectations of great service, then you don’t deliver on the install and people feel disappointed from the get-go!

    The dispatcher got on the speakerphone, and apologized on me – then promised someone would be at my house sometime tonight – and I said – I want your name – which he gave me, and said if I didn’t have this taken care of by tonight, tomorrow I’d be canceling. The installer left, and I sat back down fuming with a drink.

    Amazingly, 1 hour and 10 minutes later, 2 installers came to my house – one with a Brand New Motorola Cablecard, and the other with cables for my bedroom tv (which doesn’t need anything but a wall jack). The installer CableCard guy came in – apologized, put the card in, knew exactly what to do, press, what channels to test and who to call and before I knew it – there were my HD and Premium channels, and after a restart, the Tivo did it's thing and it looks bleeping awesome.

    DVR expander took 2 restarts to get going (don't know why) but it's as smooth as silk. Finally, I'm not paying a red penny for my Cablecard and I got a good deal from Comcast - $110/month for Internet, HBO, Showtime and Starz all in HD considering with Direct TV I was paying $114 alone with HBO and Showtime.

    :up:WOO HOO!!!:up:
  8. cmc0

    cmc0 New Member

    Dec 30, 2004
    Anyone know how to solve the problem where I got the technician yesterday to install my cablecard, but unfortunately, I get every channel except HBO. I even called customer service again to send a signal hit to the card, but HBO is no go. Anyone had a problem like mine and how to get my cablecard programmed to decrypt HBO as well
  9. thuber

    thuber New Member

    Jan 22, 2005
    I got my refurb TiVoHD from Woot.com last Thursday and stopped by the local Comcast office to see if I could do a self-install (cause you can't just call and ask... no published phone number). The woman behind the counter (with the pierced lips) looked at me as if I wanted to perform a self-appendectomy and told me I needed a service call.

    So I got home and called to schedule a service call, only to be told by the customer service rep that I had to get a card from my local office and do a self-install. I mentioned that I had already tried that and after further discussion I was transferred to a different rep who scheduled the appointment.

    The cable guy (my son wanted to know if his name was Larry) came on Friday afternoon (15 minutes after the END of the appointment window) and spent 1 1/2 hours... most of it sitting waiting for EMMs to be sent. He indicated he hated TiVo cablecard installs, being forced to sit in front of my TV while he waited for the central office to figure out what to do.

    Eventually everything came through and the M-card was up and running. So far so good.

    I have encountered the unexpected re-boot issue when I change HDTV channels too quickly. But it is SO much better than the Comcast DVR that I'm willing to overlook the problem. Hopefully they'll get it fixed soon.

  10. peternelson

    peternelson New Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    (I also posted this message in the Woot refurb thread)

    I also bought the TiVoHD from Woot. It arrived last Wednesday with all pieces. I made an appointment with Comcast (Ann Arbor, MI) on Friday to install the CableCard. Before the cable installer came I ran it through Guided Setup with just analog cable. My TiVoHD has a manufacturing date in Nov 2007 and came with v8 software. I forced a network connection a few times until I saw that it downloaded the latest v9 software. After restarting the TiVo, everything worked great (although this is only with "basic" cable).

    The cable installer came on Friday afternoon with a couple MCards and stayed for nearly 4 hours trying to get one of them to work! Unfortunately by the time he got to my house (around 4:30-5:00pm) the "dispatch office" at Comcast was really busy (probably understaffed on a Friday night) and everytime he called he was put on hold for 30-45 minutes, just trying to get the card activated. The card was never activated properly - we even went through the whole process again with another MCard (which took another hour at least, since Comcast phone support was so slow). Comcast would send a signal to activate the card, and we could see signs of activation/communication (it had "OOB" communication) but the TiVo would get stuck on the "Acquiring Channel List" screen everytime it tried to tune in a channel. I finally let the guy leave around 9pm when we realized we had to call again. I stayed on hold with Comcast and had them send another signal to the MCard which still didn't work.

    On Saturday morning I called TiVo directly and had a REALLY helpful phonecall with TiVo customer support. She walked me through some debugging (similar information can be found on TiVo's website) and found that my CableCard wasn't properly activated/paired. She took down all of my information (including cable card #'s, etc) and even made the phone call to Comcast to help me set up a new appointment. Comcast tried to send another signal to my CableCard, but that still didn't work. Eventually I got connected to the local installation supervisor at Comcast (Randy) who was really, really helpful, and within a half-hour of taking down my CableCard info over the phone, he was able to activate my MCard and get my TiVoHD working!

    Everything works now - the TiVoHD is fantastic!
  11. jandrepont

    jandrepont New Member

    Apr 1, 2002
    Alexandria, VA
    Glad to hear some of these great success stories lately. I'm still waiting for Comcast to stock more CableCards. I was told that they've been out of them for months with no ETA on new stock. Sounds like BS to me.

    So my new Woot TiVoHD just sits here and collects dust particles. Anyone else having/had issues with Comcast here in Alexandria, VA regarding obtaining CableCards? "Out of stock" doesn't sound right to me.
  12. McGuireV10

    McGuireV10 New Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    Here in Jax, FL they told me M-cards weren't available... but when I showed up at the office today and asked for two CableCards, all they had in stock were M-cards, which was fine by me. I paid $1.50 to rent the M-card and that's it. They removed the rental charge for the horrible DCH3416 that I was returning.

    I had to call somebody and read off the numbers from the CableCard Pair screen, and within about 30 minutes the channels started working. Now I'm just waiting to see if the guide data updates correctly (I had previously set up the non-HD channels before I had the card).
  13. spinkick

    spinkick New Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    So I called comcast saturday night when I got a new tivo hd for my birthday. The lady told me to go get the cable cards at my local branch and that I could install.

    i walk into the place, and the line is HUGE (picture a secretary of state office, where everyone isnt happy being there, and most folks at the *bullet proof windows* are arguing about their bills, how much everything costs, and the poor service they are having.

    So I sigh, and get in line. I brought along my old comcast dvr and after 30 minutes of waiting, I get to a man who happily takes the dvr and asks if there is anything else they could help with today. I tell the guy that id like two cable cards and he acts like hes seen a ghost. Oh,no no, we dont have those here, we have to send a technician out for that. I asked them if there where any other brances that had cable cards so I could do it myself, and he said "no", without even thinking about it, I noticed.

    So I have a tech scheduled to come out on Friday, and its up to a roll of the dice if I get a good one or not. Its really frustrating, being a technical person, having to rely on these underpaid, undereducated techs, to get our stuff done. Not to mention, I dont prefer strangers in my home, eyeing my things. lol.

    Here's to hoping things turn out okay this friday. Since its good friday, I am willing to bet the office is going to be understaffed and we will have a tech guest for the day.

    Take care all
  14. b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

    Nov 27, 2006
    chicago, il

    self-installing an M-card into a TivoHD (long story)

    I have Comcast. it's been Aquiring Channel Information (blue screen, white/black wheel) for 10-15 minutes so far. this is normal, right?


    yeah no dice. after two hours on/off the phone it is not getting the signal, it's just bouncing back. apparently this is a problem with some M-Cards. he's elevating it to their tech guys and going to call me back tomorrow night i guess.


    i was really looking forward to HD tonight.
  15. joyriderama

    joyriderama New Member

    Oct 17, 2006
    I finally had my Cablecards installed today. I was a little apprehensive when the kid(*I'm 32) came in without any noticeable equipment, so I almost thought he was just random guy showing up at my apartment door. But, he absolutely knew what he was doing, and I could tell he had done it before. It took him all of 30 minutes to get everything set up, but my account isn't that detailed. HD, with sports tier; that's it. No HBO, no Showtime, nothing like that.

    He left pretty quickly, and I ended up having problems with my internet connection. I couldn't run the guided set-up, and I realized what was happening when my laptop wouldn't connect to any sites. So, I called Comcast(twice), and the 2nd time I was transferred to a very helpful guy that restructured my account so that my internet connection worked again. Thus, I was able to run the guided set-up, and everything went as planned.

    If I must say, the picture from the TivoHD is better than the SA 8300HDDVR. I'm not even sure it's close. TivoHD is pretty. Without this forum, I never would have known to question my Comcast account when the problem came up. So, thanks, the whole lot of you!
  16. kwbdc

    kwbdc New Member

    Mar 9, 2008
    Well, got my TivoHD and 46" panasonic plasma in today. Called Comcast to activate the cablecard and it took 4 minutes total. I've got a bunch of HD channels but it seems like a few of the SD channels still aren't in yet. Does it take some time for all of them to show up?
  17. danjw1

    danjw1 New Member

    Sep 13, 2005
    Comcast just gave me a bunch of new channels and my Tivo doesn't have guide data and even wrong data on the some of the channels. I can't get it to record HBO-HD because Comcast moved the channel. I get the channel, but Tivo doesn't see that I am supposed to have it so it won't let me record anything on that channel other than to record the next 30 minutes. Is this something I need to talk to Tivo about or Comcast?


  18. thuber

    thuber New Member

    Jan 22, 2005
    Don't neglect to repeat the guided setup so that it knows about the HD channels.
  19. thuber

    thuber New Member

    Jan 22, 2005
    It's a Tivo thing. The Tivo program guide should update to reflect changes in your cable company's lineup. Comcast here in CT recently added Animal Planet and SciFi to the HD lineup. The Tivo guide recognizes the channels are there but doesn't have any program guide data yet.

    Note that you can manually set up a recording by channel and time without the program guide. Not a great solution but it works in a pinch.

  20. b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

    Nov 27, 2006
    chicago, il

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