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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. a68oliver

    a68oliver New Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    With all the bad news Comcast seems to generate, I thought I should post something positive. When things go wrong, people complain. When things go right, you never hear about it.

    Comcast announced in a recent mailing that new channels would be added to my lineup on May 1. Before going to bed on 4/30 (well actually early on 5/1) I checked my channel lineup to see if anything had changed. It had not. On 5/1 I checked and found the cablecards had received the new channel map and all the promised channels were there.

    However, Tivo had not yet found guide info. Later in the day, after the daily call around 2 pm, all the new guide info was there.

    I was fearing that there would be a snafu. But it all worked perfectly.
  2. Bettamojo5

    Bettamojo5 Rolling Along

    Apr 12, 2004
    Just had my third visit from Comcast over the course of two weeks. In all I had 5 different people show up to work on this and called Comcast 4 times about it. But finally both cable cards are configured and working! It was a matter of the installer calling the right person and getting the second card configured correctly. Here's hoping for the best in the future.
  3. GadgetGeek

    GadgetGeek Tivo/Galleon Rocks!

    Sep 15, 2003
    I live in the Denver area, and just installed two TiVo HDs. Comcast came out and installed the M Cablecards, lots of issues getting their technical desk to configure the cards correctly, but finally it got done, and everything works great.

    My problem is that the Comcast jerks are charging me $3.00 for the cablecards, 6.95 for the digital package and then another 7.00 a month for a HDTV Converter which of course I don't have. I called and complained and they told me (after talking to a supervisor) that I have to pay for a HDTV Converter even if I don't have one.

    What a rip! Anyone else in the Denver/Littleton area having the same issue?
  4. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    None of us have seen that before.

    Comcast on the East Coast does not charge for a
    HDTV Converter. They do charge for CableCards.

    The CableCard is your HDTV Converter.
  5. topjazz

    topjazz New Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    The good news is, I don't pay Comcast for cable cards.

    The bad news is, I don't pay for cable cards, because Comcast told me they don't have any!!!!:eek:

    I've owned a Series3 from the beginning, and thought I'd replace a Series2 with an HD unit. Called Comcast to arrange a truck roll for card installation. Day before the appointment they call to say the tech isn't coming because they don't have any cable cards.

    Set an appointment for a week later, and same thing happens. Hours before the appointment, get a call saying they don't have cable cards.

    How is it that one of the largest cable companies in the country (the world?) can't come up with 2 cable cards in a week?

    I'm amazed!
  6. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Let me guess you are in the VA area.
  7. lachacg

    lachacg Go Giants!

    Jan 11, 2003
    Uh, I beg to differ. Comcast NJ Union does the exact same thing. I pay an extra $6.95 for a fictional "HDTV Converter". When they take it off the bill, I lose all my digital channels. I've given up as FIOS is being activated in my town a few blocks away, so I'll be switching soon.
  8. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    I think that only proves Comcast - on a Locality Basis
    does different things.
  9. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    I have attached the section of my Comcast BILL
    that shows the $5 charge for each CableCard.

    Attached Files:

  10. topjazz

    topjazz New Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    Yep! Northern VA to be exact. How did you know?
  11. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    I have read so many HORROR stories here on this
    board about VA customers never getting CableCards.

    It is the result of your local cable management.

    Other Comcast Customers in other parts of the country
    my find some tech's who are clueless - but there are
    no CableCard shortages.
  12. topjazz

    topjazz New Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    Sorry I missed that. It's so stupid, but I guess that surprises no one. Comcast blows.:(
  13. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    Oct 17, 2003
    A poster on the tivo helpforum reported that they got the following flyer in the mail from Comcast:

    How's that for friendly support. FCC should be interested in this, as well as the BBB, state AG and Local Franchise Authority.
  14. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Somewhere in this forum is a LIST of Comcast Supervisor
    Contact info numbers. You can try using it and making WAVES ;)

  15. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    They charge me zero here in Woodbridge for two cable cards. When I had six with them last year they also charged me zero. Whether they are supposed to or not I don't know, but it's certainly better than the $24 I pay for 8 cable cards from FiOS.
  16. Majik45

    Majik45 New Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    I've got the Comcast guys coming to my house here in Central IL on Saturday as I just got HD Tivo. They had to upgrade me to the digital starter package to allow for the Cable Cards on the phone last night (it took forever for him to figure out how to do it) which was like and extra $2 a month on my bill but supposedly I will get more HD channels. My first card will be free and my 2nd will be $1.99 a month. Install is supposed to be $17 for the truck to roll over. I asked for 1 M card, but I'm guessing I'll get 2 regular cards. Anyone else here have Comcast in Central Illinois for the install yet? We are in an area that had Insight communications but was recently bought out and transitioned to Comcast, so I'm not sure how things will go.
  17. equinoxx

    equinoxx New Member

    Jan 12, 2003
    Comcast, suburban Boston here. Bought my THD last Friday, and since I was already out, and it was just five minutes away, I stopped by my local office to schedule my cc install. There were two people in line ahead of me; but it beat waiting on hold in a phone queue. Inside of ten minutes, I had an appointment set for Tuesday, and a quote of $13.95 for the truck roll.

    Tuesday, a contractor comes and installs a Motorola POD2000, swearing it's an M-card, despite the TiVo reporting that an S-card is in the slot. I tell him that if it's going to operate as an S-card, I'll need two; he says the work order only calls for one card, and leaves. I've got my digital and HD channels, but only one tuner. So... pick up the phone, call Comcast. The CSR I reach says she'll issue a come-back to dispatch. A little later, Comcast calls me back, and I talk to another CSR who apologetically explains that a multi-stream card was not specified on the work order, and the installers only pick up what they need for each day's slate from the warehouse. She schedules a new truck roll for the following day (yesterday).

    Wednesday, a different contractor shows up, and the first thing he says is, "you need a multi-stream card installed?" I show him to the THD, he pulls the POD2000, pops in a new card which, after a second or two, the TiVo reports as an M-card and calls in the new data. The THD reports the card paired properly, but still only shows a single tuner. The contractor waits while I re-do guided setup. We converse a bit while waiting for setup to complete, and he says that dispatch seems to call him a lot to install TiVo software on Comcast DVRs, or to straighten out CableCARD problems. Nice to know they sent the go-to guy... but I can't help wishing they'd sent him a day earlier. :D Setup completes, both tuners are rocking the digital goodness and the contractor is off to finish his day's work (a re-connect, a disconnect, moving a modem and two phone service installs). All told, he was here for about an hour and a half, but 90% of that time was literally spent waiting, either in the hold queue for a rep at the headend to provision the card, or for guided setup to complete.

    Took two trips, but all-in-all, I'm gonna count myself ahead of the game.
  18. arlington

    arlington Arlington

    May 8, 2008
    My M-Card from Comcast in Arlington, Virginia, is entirely free. No one-time charge. No monthly charge. There was not even an installation charge, because I got it as part of an upgrade to digital service. :)

    Getting the card was the difficult part. :mad: There is a severe shortage of CableCards and no system for waitlisting customers. Comcast customers who have waited one day for a CableCard are given the same priority for CableCards as customers who have waited six months.

    Comcast personnel will tell you that you should "wait" to schedule an appointment until CableCards are stock. But given that CableCards stay in stock for only a day or two and given that appointments for installation must be scheduled several days in advance, customers who wait to schedule appointments when CableCards are in stock find that CableCards are out of stock by the time of their appointment.

    Even worse, if a customer is able to schedule an appointment on a day when a CableCard happens to be in stock, the technician is unlikely to be able to install the card. The first time a technician tried to install a CableCard at my home, Comcast “warehouse” personnel told me that the card could not be connected to the system because it was “defective.” The technician assured me that the card was probably not defective, but that this is what “warehouse” personnel routinely say when they don’t know how to configure the system to accept a CableCard. Their CableCard training has been completely inadequate.

    The only reason I have a CableCard today is that, the second time a technician tried to install a CableCard at my home, I refused to accept a Comcast “warehouse” personnel’s claim that the card was “defective.” Indeed, I threw somewhat of a tantrum. This led the technician to move up the chain and call a Comcast “head-in” technician who was finally able to configure the system to accept the card.
  19. topjazz

    topjazz New Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    Sorry to hear that. I had been frustrated to the point I was considering finally dumping Comcast and moving to Verizon. Maybe I just need to calm down (or expect to pay more).
  20. rick123

    rick123 New Member

    Dec 8, 2004
    Comcast Cable card install in Southern NH - Part 2

    Appointment was today. Window from 8-11am. Tech showed up at 9:20am.

    Came to door with a Comcast DVR. Thought that was the job... Had no cablecards with him.

    Was actually a very nice guy (I find out later that he is a contractor, not a Comcast employee), went to office and was back at about 10am. Had 2 single stream cards (Scientific Atlanta brand). Had told me before he left that Comcast has discontinued supplying or installing Multi stream cards (must be because they can get the extra $1.50 out of you for the second SS).

    I had the HD tivo up and running for the week prior to the appointment, so it was set up and had all the software updates. I turned on the tv and brought up the tivo menu. The tech opened up the tivo CC door and popped both cards in at once. I told him what the instructions said (1 at a time) and he told me he had recently been briefed it no longer mattered. He copied the info off one of the tivo CC setup screens and then phoned in the info (CC serial #'s, CC tm #'s, and Host ID #'s) to a Comcast tech rep who activated the cards.

    That was it. He flipped thru the channels, I saw some HD stuff as he flipped thru, and when there was no actual picture on a channel the channel number was listed so I figured the cards were working because the tivo would not tune in those channels prior to having the cards installed.

    I thanked him and off he went.

    I ran thru guided setup again as the instructions said and all went well.

    After guided setup I figured I'd enjoy some HD tv. That's when I found that there was a problem. As I investigated using the tivo CC menu to test channels I found that CC 2 was working normally. CC 1 was only receiving the basic network HD channels and a few other random digital channels.

    (I guess I was lucky that it was CC 1 that had the problem, if CC 2 was the problem I would not have found out because tivo uses CC 1 for live tv and all would have appeared normal until tivo needed to tune a channel with cc 2).

    So back on the phone. I get thru to a tech person who tries to reactivate cc 1. No luck. Not knowing how long this will take, I ask if I can swap the cards around so I can at least have live tv working. She says ok.

    That doesn't work, you can't hot swap the cards, neither worked in the other slot...

    We left them in the new slots, she called the original tech who was still in the area, and told me he would be returning. He called me about 10 minutes later and I explained what was going on, he said he would call back. He did a few minutes later, said he would be back around 3pm with a new card.

    While I waited, I swapped the cards back, and they eventually both reactivated to the original (cc 2 working, cc1 not) state.

    When the tech got back to my house around 3:15 he looked thru some other screens and saw that CC 1 was not getting emm's (something like that). He called in to the Comcast tech, who tried some stuff to reactivate CC 1 that didn't work.

    While on hold, he told me that Comcast did not provide any real training to him as a contractor and he was learning as he went along, but he had already found that it really mattered who he got when he called Comcast for activation or help, as some of the Comcast reps were much more competent than others.

    He eventually moved up the food chain to a different tech rep at Comcast. This one seemed to understand what the issue was, had us go to the tivo CC screen that showed the status of the emm's. Some magic was worked at Comcast, the CC 1 started to get emm's, and presto-chango CC 1 was now working.

    That's it, all worked normally after that. My order form says I will be charged $5 for the first card and $1.50 for the second.

    Now for the internal HD upgrade, which from what I have read is going to be much easier than those I have performed using mfs tools.

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