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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Majik45

    Majik45 New Member

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    Apr 28, 2008
    Thought I would reply with my experience with Comcast in the Peoria, IL area on Saturday. The tech rep showed up in the early part of his 1-5pm window. He brought 2 M cards with him for the tivo which I was glad to see they actually had M cards here. He said he hadn't done a whole lot of cable card installs on Tivos, only about 3 in the last year around here. He said the cable card technology was getting better, but that they were still having lots of problems with installing cable cards in actual TV's. Usually this was because the TV's needed firmware upgrades to get the cable cards to work. Of course comcast doesn't know about this, and neither do the users which cause lots of frustrations.

    Anyway, the guy put in the M card, and I went ahead and ran through the tivo menus according to the instructions as he thought I would know more about where I needed to go in the menus. He copied down the codes he needed that were picked up by the tivo, and went outside to call in the numbers to a tech. Once he came back in, we ran through the guided set-up again, and it was working fine picking up all kinds of HD channels and everything I needed. I was even getting some HD stations that he didn't think I should be getting which was a bonus for me (he could care less if I was getting more than I was supposed to). Total time was probably about 45 minutes, but most of that was spent with him on the phone or downloading the new guide information. No problems really to speak of other than my analog stations being a little choppy at first, but a quick reboot of the tivo fixed that. The best part is that I only technically have 1 cable card now, so Comcast shouldn't be able to charge me for that since the first one is free.

    I'm thinking that slowly but surely cable card installations are becoming more common and the technology is catching up to avoid some of the earlier problems.
     
  2. garath

    garath New Member

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Pluses and Minuses for my install in Ansonia, CT on Saturday.

    Minus is the rep that took my order had little clue what she was doing with Cablecards. She insisted that Comcast did not carry M-stream cards at all. She even 'checked with her supervisor'. So I relented and asked for 2 S-steam cards. I also asked that she make a note for the tech to bring spares as I have read about the high failure rate. She proceeded to tell me that wouldn't be possible as each card is paired to a system and spares wouldn't be feasible. I didn't want to argue so I let it go.

    Additional minus was getting a call from the installer Saturday morning near the end of the window saying he would be there shortly only to get a call right back saying "oh, I didn't realize this was a cablecard install. I'm just a subcontracter, we aren't allowed to do CC installs. I called Comcast and they'll send out a guy but not sure when".

    An hour later the real Comcast tech called asking what I needed. I told him 2 S-stream cards or a single M-stream card. I noted that the girl on the phone said they didn't carry M-stream cards but he said "Oh, yeah we do." When he showed up he had 3 M-stream cards. It took trying all 3 before we finally got positive CP Auth, EMMs processed and subsequently HD digital channels showing up.

    Seems to be working great now though! Overall thumbs up. They seem to be getting better - at least from the tech side of things. Customer service and sales really need re-education on cable cards though. Ordering it was a frustrating process and none of the people I spoke to in that dept demonstrated a clear understanding of the product.
     
  3. DCipher

    DCipher New Member

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    Oct 22, 2003
    Boston Area (Andover) Comcast:

    Adding TivoHD - non-primary outlet fee of $5/month, 1st cablecard free, and they say they have M-Cards so that should be it. 2nd cablecard would be $1.50/month.

    Keeping existing HD cable box is $6/month.

    How do folks get comcast to waive the $5 additional outlet monthly fee? Seems like such a bogus charge.

    Truck roll is $13.95 (they don't stock them in any of the offices around me).

    thx
     
  4. ajny

    ajny New Member

    5
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    Apr 24, 2008
    Central NJ

    Not sure I understand- Tivo uses both CCs for live TV/recordings. To switch between CCs, just press the Live TV buttone a second time and it toggles between the two CCs. I have a M-type card, and each press of the Live TV button toggles to the other tuner/stream. I have not tested it with two S-type cards, but I believe it should work. I did not know abt this feature, believe it or not, my comcast installer told me about this feature. (and no, he was not able to get the the cablecard working....a subsequent visit by another installer got the M-card working. FWIW, I am in central NJ).
     
  5. FPDoc

    FPDoc New Member

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    Apr 12, 2008
    Decatur, IL
    I am in Central Illinois; Decatur, Illinois. We also had Insight Communications which is now Comcast "Craptastic". I am in week #7 of trying to get my new TiVo HD up and running. Initially of course Comcast blamed TiVo and vice versa. At this point I have my third TiVo unit via exchange and have the same problems placing this solely in Comcast's Court. The recurring issue is that after a few hours I will lose all nondigital programming on both cards. They had advised me Multi-cards are not available in this area. My HD channels will always work. If I restart the TiVo, all channels work beautifully on both tuners but not for more than about two hours. Sometimes less than 10 minutes and I will lose all the non-HD channels. We have gone through an amazing amount of troubleshooting and had made absolutely no improvements.

    I have been watching these forums and could not find anyone with the same problem. No one at TiVo or Comcast had heard of this problem. However, I finally feel like we may be getting somewhere. Finally on 05/09/2008 I received an email from one of the local Comcast support people indicating that Comcast has discovered a connectivity problem to a server at Insight that is creating issues with cable cards. Apparently this only effects new cable cards going into accounts and cable cards being changed on existing accounts in all Central Illinois sites. At this point they are "working on a fix" but an ETA is unknown at this point.

    I hope this helps others avoid wasting their time trying a bunch of fixes that will not work. Regardless of the final outcome here, I can't wait until Verizon FIOS comes to this area.
     
  6. BeanMeScot

    BeanMeScot Sci-Fi Junkie

    31,213
    71
    Apr 17, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Just called to get my Tivo HD cablecards installed. She said it would be $17.95 for the install and $1.xx per month for the card. I told her it could take an M card. We will see what the guy shows up with.

    I have had the Tivo going in a different room to make sure it worked since it is a refurb. Do I need to set it up and move it into the living room before they arrive? I haven't set up my account with Tivo yet (I have owned a Tivo for many years but it was a DirecTivo so I don't have an acct). Do I need to set up the account after we get the cablecards working? Or should I go ahead and get that set up?
     
  7. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,750
    15
    Feb 18, 2002
    I would go ahead and set everything up, run Guided Setup. Force a couple of connections so it upgrades to the latest software version.
     
  8. jimbo1mcm

    jimbo1mcm New Member

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    Jan 8, 2006
    Why would we want to force upgrades to 9.3 when there are so many problems?My plan is going like this: My unit came with 8.1.... and I did the guided setup, and pulled the phone line. I have guide data to May 29. The Comcast guy is coming Monday to install two cable cards. If he gets it running properly, I will wait awhile to go to 9.3. In the meantime, I will probably try and make an image of the drive with 8.1 on it.
     
  9. bigpatky

    bigpatky Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    i've got a tivo hd with an m-card. i haven't had any problems since i bought it 3 months ago. all of a sudden this morning, abc hd, nbc hd, pbs hd, and fox hd are not getting a signal. every other hd and regular channels are coming in fine. i restarted my tivo, talked to comcast support and they couldn't do anything. they are sending someone out on wednesday morning to take a look at it. i hate waiting on a tech.

    i also asked them which hd channels they leave unencrypted because my tv has a atsc qam tuner. i needed to watch a game on nbc in hd and he told me my tv needed to have another cable card installed otherwise i wouldn't be able to get any hd stations. i asked if it was even the channels i could get ota with an antenna and he confirmed i wouldn't be able to get any hd stations at all without a cable card or an antenna.

    well, i plugged the cable into the tv and ran a channel scan and i get all of the ota hd stations through the cable without a box or cable card. it didn't look that great, though. too compressed. but much better than the sd stations. it seemed to me that the comcast rep on the phone was just ignorant. not like the tech that came out to set up my internet that told me even if i bought my own wireless router, it wouldn't work unless i called up comcast so they could charge me monthly for the privilege of using the internet wirelessly. that was just deceitful. he told me 3-4 other lies when he came out.

    anyone have any suggestions to get those hd stations working so i don't have to wait for the tech guy to come out on wednesday? tivo hd with one m-card installed. all stations come in fine except for 4 hd stations. other hd stations come in fine too. please help.
     
  10. davidatfsu

    davidatfsu New Member

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    Sep 10, 2005
    I've had a number of S2 TiVos for years. Never bothered to upgrade to TiVoHD, since I never had an HDTV... until now. Comcast will be out to set up my cable here in Atlanta, GA in a couple weeks. Wanted some hardcore TiVo fan feedback.

    Keeping in mind that I absolutely love TiVo and would hate to lose that interface, is it really worth buying a TiVoHD, paying more to TiVo per month (keeping the S2 in the bedroom), paying to install the CableCARDs, etc. rather than just getting the HD DVR from Comcast? Has anyone had Comcast HD DVR experience and switched back to TiVo?

    Forgive me if this is not the correct thread to ask this... Just point me in the right direction. :)
     
  11. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    50,975
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    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    I have (2) Series 3 units, (1) TiVo HD and (1) Comcast DVR (SA8300HD). I keep the Comcast DVR for access to OnDemand. All I can say is if I had to actually use a Comcast DVR as my primary receiver, I'd probably give up TV. It really feels like going back to the dark ages, like when one had to program VCR's and ensure tapes were rewound and the record tab hadn't been broken off.
     
  12. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    19,188
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    Jan 31, 2002
    Northern...
    Why don't you try the Comcast HD DVR and see how long it takes you to dump it and go back to TiVo.
    If you had never used a TiVo you probably would like the Comcast HD DVR because you would have no idea what you are missing. But after using a TiVo, you would realize how crappy the other DVR solutions are.
     
  13. BeanMeScot

    BeanMeScot Sci-Fi Junkie

    31,213
    71
    Apr 17, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    :up: The Comcast DVR isn't bad until you compare it to Tivo. The worst part about the DVR is the trouble it has with conflicts and it has no 28 day rule. I love to watch series on Discovery and the Comcast DVR will record the same show over and over and over and over. And it will sometimes delete stuff to do that. Stuff that I haven't had time to watch yet. I will be glad to have my Tivo HD hooked up on Wed.
     
  14. Majik45

    Majik45 New Member

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    Apr 28, 2008
    I have an HD Tivo, my parents have the Comcast DVR. I can't stand the interface and working with the Comcast DVR because I have Tivo. My parents love the Comcast DVR and think it's great because they didn't have anything like it before they got it. I guess it depends on your perspective.
     
  15. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,750
    15
    Feb 18, 2002
    Yep, it's exactly a perspective problem. If you've never seen/used a DVR, the cable company ones are pretty good, as compared to say, a VCR.

    Once you've seen TiVo, the cable company dvrs suddenly become craptacular. A year with the original HD dvr from Comcast got me twitching to the point where I bought the S3 on launch day, and adding lifetime cost me another $300, IIRC. I consider it $1100 well spent.
     
  16. jimbo1mcm

    jimbo1mcm New Member

    27
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    Jan 8, 2006
    Called and scheduled an install of 2 cable cards in my series 3 Tivo. I specifically told the scheduler that I wanted someone who had done it before and to absolutely call me before he/she came. Got the call today. The installer thought that he was putting a card in a tv. He had never done a Tivo. I told him not to come and find someone who knew what they were doing and re-schedule me. They said they found someone and I am scheduled for tomorrow. They just don't get it!!!!! I will post the results of tomorrow's visit. I have low expectations and I am sure they will be met.
     
  17. jacindc

    jacindc New Member

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    May 19, 2008
    Capitol...
    We've been using the Comcast HD DVR (Motorola 3416) for a while now, alongside DirecTivo boxes, so I've got a lot of experience with both. But a Series 3 HD Tivo is on its way. and we're cancelling DirecTV. As someone said above, the biggest (and really to me, only) really annoying downfall of the Motorola box is the inability to not record something it's already recorded in the last 30 days. If it had that, I probably would have stuck with the Comcast DVR despite being one the earliest and most vociferous adopters of Tivo. (My original 14-hour Phillips Tivo is still chugging along!)

    That's comparing the Comcast DVR to a DirecTivo, of course. The networking/to-go options of a Series 3 Tivo really make it no contest, I imagine. But I can see why some people, if they've never had an actual Tivo, would be quite happy with the Comcast/Moto boxes. They're not godawful.
     
  18. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    1,063
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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    Installing the Cable Cards is trivial. You could do it yourself. The TiVo instructions have all the details deeded. What is critical is the person the installer gets connected with when calling in that matters. Fortunately, you only had a day delay. It would not have been worth waiting any longer. Just keep the remote in your hands and you should be OK. ;)
     
  19. DigitalAnarchist

    DigitalAnarchist New Member

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    Jan 21, 2004
    Had Comcast just install 2 M-cards (Motorola) in my 2 THDs last week. Installer was very good, they installed fine and just work. I expected the worst and got the best.

    Location: Northern CA / Bay Area
     
  20. jimbo1mcm

    jimbo1mcm New Member

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    Jan 8, 2006
    Connecticut. My appointment was scheduled for 11-2 yesterday. No call. No show. I called Comcast and they apologized and offered me a $20 credit. I took it. They said someone would call me in 30 minutes. No call. I called Comcast again. Got another $20 credit. They said that definitely someone would call me. No call. I rescheduled for tomorrow. A monopoly is a wonderful way to run a business. There is no pressure to perform.
     

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