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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Mchero

    Mchero Almost old member

    Dec 20, 2001
    Concord, NH.
    Not all Comcast offices will let you walk out the door with two cablecards. I had to schedule a tech to come out & install my two cable cards. I dumped my Comcast Tivo DVR for a Tivo HD & love it! About ready to upgrade my S2 to a HD Tivo as well!
  2. lexsar

    lexsar Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Hi John, see my tale of woe regarding Comcast in Howard County, MD. See Post #5560, 5677, 5698, 5701 & 5702.

    I've had my TivoHD (refurb too, BTW) for almost a month now and still no joy. I've activated it and I'm able to receive limited channels, including the local HD channels. I also have MRV because it's activated so I can transfer shows from my other Tivo's but I am really looking forward to one day having a fully functioning TivoHD. If this low level of customer service continues, I will be switching to FIOS when my commitment for TriplePlay is done.

    Good advise in the above post "...DO NOT LET THEM LEAVE UNTIL YOU HAVE YOUR CHANNELS."
  3. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Nov 21, 2002
    Very...tempting... ;)
  4. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    All of this is true, especially the last part - you cannot let the tech leave until the card(s) are properly authorized. Anything else is a waste of time. Check every channel on both tuners to make sure. Yes, this is time-consuming, but you can never be sure it's working correctly until you do.

    Of course, if you get a clueless tech (entirely possible), you might have to escalate to the area supervisor by going through corporate. To do that, post a message on comcastmustdie.com and call the Comcast corporate numbers found in a search for Comcast at consumerist.com (the main exec number in Philly is 215-640-8960). You will then get a call from a specialist who can encourage your local folks to do their job and get you Cablecards that are setup correctly.
  5. janry

    janry New Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Step (A) went fine. No questions asked. Just got the card, signed a receipt and went home.

    Step (B) seemed to go well but didn't have all the channels. The guy from Comcast seemed to know what he was doing and said all I had to do was restart the recorder and repeat guided setup and I'd be done. After doing that, I was only getting a few basic channels. So I called back and got someone else who also sounded confident, kept hitting buttons and finally put me on hold and after a few minutes, the line went dead. I decided to watch a football game and try again later. I called for the 3rd time and got a woman who didn't sound so confident. I told her I'd already called twice and didn't appreciate getting hung up on the 2nd time so I asked her if she knew what to do. She said she'd never done a TiVo so I asked her to get someone else. I heard her ask someone "Do you want to switch callers". She came back on and said the only person she knew of who could do it only worked M-F. I said "No good. Just get your supervisor". She said hold and I'll check the Helpdesk. I held awhile, and she came back and said they sent a signal and she sent a signal and they'd have to roll a truck. I said "No". And I said "Since you tried again, I'll check the channels". Bingo. I have all my channels.

    Wouldn't you know it. The only person who'd admit they didn't know what they were doing, did the right thing. They called the HelpDesk.
  6. Metasheep

    Metasheep New Member

    Feb 10, 2002
    Santa Clara, CA
    I took the plunge yesterday and upgraded to digital cable. I went to the local service office and asked for the upgrade. I was expecting them to schedule a tech to come by, but they just brought up my account, scanned a couple M-cards and told me to just plug them in and call them to pair the cards.

    So I got home, plugged in the cards into my S3 and called the number. The tech asked a couple questions and said everything would take 5-10 minutes. The message about acquiring channel information was still on screen 30 minutes later, but I had to leave, so I left it.

    4 hours later, it was still displaying the message. A couple more calls got the cards paired, but I wasn't receiving all the channels. A couple more calls and finally a tech actually checked what package I was subscribed to (I had asked before, but I don't think they really checked) to find out I was still on the digital starter package instead of the digital classic package. Once that was cleared up, everything worked fine. The new channels appeared in less than a minute.
  7. jaj2276

    jaj2276 Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Two Tivo HDs working with Cablevision cablecards (two single stream cards per Tivo). Moved to Charleston and the story with Comcast begins:

    -- Initial install fails. Tech was knowledgeable with Tivo cc installs but brought only 3 or 4 multi-stream cards. They all failed.

    -- Tech comes back next day with many single-stream cards. He finds two that can pair in the downstairs Tivo. The upstairs Tivo is out of luck.

    -- Tech comes back the next weekend with his supervisor. His supervisor brings along his work laptop and they basically find two cards that can pair in the upstairs Tivo (the supervisor said that he had to add the cards in a very specific manner to get them to work).

    -- A couple of weeks later, I called Comcast to add the digital sports package. The downstairs Tivo got the channels, the upstairs did not. They sent another signal and somehow they lost the cablecards for the upstairs Tivo. They said they needed another truck roll because my cards could stop functioning since they were no longer on my account.

    -- Tech (a different one) came out and had no luck in getting me two cablecards that could work on the upstairs Tivo. The original cards could be paired but still wouldn't receive the newly added Digital Sports channels. He then went outside and checked the signal and said that the signal was too weak which is why the cards couldn't be paired. He scheduled maintenance to come out the next day and adjust my signals and said everything would then work.

    -- Maintenance came out and adjusted signals out at the box. This made matters worse as the upstairs Tivo stopped receiving many of the higher channels (most of the HD). I could tune to NFLHD (this was the channel I added) but after 3 seconds, the picture would freeze and I would lose the signal.

    -- Another tech was scheduled. This was the original tech and I explained what all had happened since his visit(s). He confirmed that the signal was good out at the street. He then came in and put an amp in between the wall and the upstairs Tivo. And he replace the two single-streams with multi-stream card and everything works.

    So the moral of the story:

    -- Try putting an amp in between the wall and your Tivo if everything else seems to fail. The downstairs Tivo didn't need it because it was closer (read less splitters) to the entry point than the upstairs.

    -- The tech said that after the debacle that was my first cable card install, they had the Sci Atl rep come into their office to address why their cablecards were not working (the M-streams). After the rep witnessed how they were failing, it was discovered that Comcast had revision 3 of the firmware and Sci Atl was at something like revision 8. He said since that has happened (they got the new firmwares), they've done many successful (and smooth) M-stream cable cards.
  8. janry

    janry New Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    I was really worried about being able to install my cablecard with as many splits as I have. As the cable enters my house, it is split 4 times. In my den where I installed the cablecard, it is split another 4 times. No problem with that in the install at all (knock on wood). No amps either.
  9. IJustLikeTivo

    IJustLikeTivo New Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Last time my series 3 died, I sent it back and when it returned I just put the cards back in the new one and all worked great.

    Flash forward a year and the series 3 died again. I am leaving in two days for week long vacation so I went out and bought a new TiVoHD which I had planned to do anyway.

    I figured since the cards worked once before in a new machine they would this time. Alas, they do not. They come up with all the right info but the channels don't come in at all.

    Any chance I can get comcast to just resend the signal? I don't have time for them to roll a truck before I leave.

    Any thoughts or ideas?
  10. jeffk

    jeffk New Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    boca raton, FL
    How much are people paying? I'm tired of arguing with Comcast but I feel I am getting ripped off.

    cable fee
    additional cable card fee
    hdtv fee

    The ones in caps i dont think i should be charged, but i've argued with comcast several times to no avail, this is in south florida.

    Anyone else have this problem?


  11. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Comcast in the ATL charges $5.99 A/O fee for a Tivo if you only have one Cablecard (and have a primary box on another TV). Each Tivo would be another $5.99 a month, assuming one M-card in each.
  12. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Which just proves, yet again, that the problem with Cablecards is now almost solely due to the cableCo's incompetence and unwillingness to deal with them.
  13. WUMS95

    WUMS95 New Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    I almost never post on any forums I lurk- but this website has been helpful to me, so I thought I'd give back.

    Maybe a good experience is less helpful than one with difficulties- but here's my story.

    While a longtime TiVo user (since 2001), around 2006 I got a HD Big-Screen TV, and was disappointed that TiVo couldn't record HD. I then got a Comcast / Motorola DVR and I hated the user-interface, but I would watch sports and some movies in HD on the painful-to-use DVR; and most everything else on the TiVo in SD. <which was fine, b/c few programs were in HD until very recently>

    When the S3/HD TiVo's came out, I was eager to switch back to TiVo for HD; but the price was too high- esp. when the Comcast DVR is so inexpensive (plus, given the disk size of the HD units; I'd still need to use the regular TiVo as well to have a decent amount of programming). But now that the current version HD's are so cheap (although the new high-memory 150-HD-hour S3's sound nice, though), I decided to get a ~20-HD-hour HD to replace the Motorola DVR.

    However, I was very concerned about the Cablecard compatibility, and I intended to use the 30-day-refund (although I was hoping not to need to), if I couldn't get HD to work on the new TiVo. So, I set up the TiVo and called Comcast to install the Cablecard(s).

    Notes re Comcast installation:

    (1) It's cheaper to keep my HD box, even if it's not plugged in and being used (either keep the HD DVR or switch it out or to "downgrade" to a non-recording HD Cable box- neither of which I would need to use if my HD TiVo with CC's work.) Note: I didn't want to use the HD TiVo with the Cable box; if TiVo has CC technology, that's how I wanted it. Still, by keeping a HD cable box, even unused, SAVES ME $50/month based on my cable package bundle vs. if I returned the box!!?!

    (2) The cable guy needs to come and install the cable cards. I can't pick it up and call it in myself.

    (3) I was told on the phone that (a) the Comcast techs <at least here in the Boston suburbs> are "very familiar" with CC installation on TiVo's; and (b) If I want dual tuner capability, I'd need 2 S-cards (as they supposedly don't have M-cards here).

    (4) If I kept my HD box, I'd be charged for the CC(s). Which is about $5/mo for the first one and $2/mo for the second. However, the first one would be free if I didn't already have a HD box; but as I mentioned earlier, returning the box would make me need to "unbundle" my cable package and cost me $50/month more!

    (5) So, the cable guy came and I saw that he brought only one CC. Oh no!; but then I thought, "let's install that one, get the TiVo working in HD, and I'll worry about dual-turner later". But then I decide to check what kind of card it was-> Aha! it's an M-card!!!

    (6) Long story short, the one M-card is installed, called in, verified to be up-and-working in all my HD cannels (including premium channels, e.g. HBO); and all was taken care of in less than 15 minutes. How's that?!

    So, I was fearing the worst, after reading some of your experiences. And I suppose that I got very lucky. In any case, all seems to be well. I have a working M-card, the dual-tuners work, and I am happy with my HD TV viewing. (Except that I now got to see every pixel of the Patriots getting humiliated by the hapless Dolphin's... <go ahead, jealous sports fans outside of Boston, enjoy the fact that a Boston team is doing poorly for a change. But the RedSox playoffs are around the corner...>
  14. GoEagles

    GoEagles New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    This exact thing happened to me here in Philadelphia. I called and said I wanted a "M-Card or multi-stream" CableCard. The CSR said, I never heard of a M-Card, we don't have those. We have to use two S-Cards." After putting me on hold, he claimed he could not order the cards for me and would have to call me back about this. I called back about an hour later and got someone on the phone who actually could help.

    Two questions, does anyone know how much I will be charged from now on? Will the M-Card produce extra charges because I can record two shows at one time? Plus, I said I wanted to keep my HD Box for On Demand, the rep that the installer would probably take it, is this true? Actually he could in a way though, but if I can keep the box for free, I will. Anyone with experience with this in Philly?
  15. lexsar

    lexsar Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    And the saga continues...

    I had arranged with Comcast yet another service call for today, Saturday, to resolve my non-working cablecard issues; in a 4-6pm window. No sign of Comcast by 5pm so I called and was on hold for about 10 minutes but was assured that the tech was still on his way and was still scheduled for the 4-6pm window. I kept my home phone open and used my cell phone for any calls. No calls from the Comcast tech. 6pm comes and goes, no tech. 6:35pm I call Comcast and after being on hold for over 20 minutes, I get a live person. Now is when my story sours even more.

    I was informed by the CSR that the tech had marked the ticket as closed. Remember, I've kept my phonelline open and have received no calls or messages from any Comcast employee or (God forbid) Contractor. I was shocked. They said the tech tried to call and couldn't confirm the appointment and marked the ticket as closed. I was livid. 3+ weeks without a working TivoHD due to cablecard issues and now this. I checked my Comcast Digital Voice account online to verify that I had no voicemail mesage and no missed calls and sure enough, as expected, no missed calls, no voicemails from Comcast. I asked to speak with a supervisor and was told I could not. They would "put in a ticket" and a supervisor would call me back within 24 hours (I've tried this route before and have not received a call back for days). I asked if she was in a call center and if she had a supervisor. She said yes to both, but they do not take live calls. Are you kidding?!?!?

    I insisted and got nowhere. I went around and around but got nowhere. I finally ended up leaving a message that will more than likely not get returned.

    After being a Comcast customer for over 15 years (probably closer to 20) I am astonished with this treatment and lack of response.

    I don't know what to do now or what my recourse is. I just want them to get my cablecards working for now and I WILL be calling Verizon to get FIOS at the first opportunity. As far as I am concerned, this is grounds to cancel my year left on my two year Tripleplay obligation with no penality due to breach of contract on their part. Any suggestions as to how to proceed and how to get this resolved? Thanks.
  16. Gregor

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002
    I would start calling and writing their corporate offices. I recently switched FIOS from Comcast and couldn't be happier. I got a much better financial deal from Verizon, more HD channels, better picture quality and faster internet service to boot.
  17. DVDerek

    DVDerek &amp;lt;WittySaying /&amp;gt;

    Sep 30, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Well, with all the negative experiences in this thread, I only thought it fair to post my positive experience.

    I had an appointment scheduled for 9-11AM this morning. Unfortunately, the technician did not show to 11:15. He was apologetic though, saying another installer had called in sick. I believe his name was Kirk. He seemed like a nice guy and I figured he'd be good to work with.

    He brought with him 2 cards that were clearly labled "M" cards. We popped one in and after a short delay, the TiVo screen popped up and said it was an M card. he took it out to write the number down, and then popped it back in. Now it says "S" card. WTF? I posited that it might just take a few seconds to detect as an M card. I went back to the menu, then back into the Cable Card menu and sure enough - M card.

    We got the activation screen up and he called it in. He read off the various numbers and - no joke - 30 seconds later I had all my channels. It took an additional minute to get the second tuner up and running. The installer kept telling him how he (the guy on the phone) was really making his job easy.

    The tech told me that he usually has to sit there and think up things to talk about with the customer for 15 minutes. He said they had lots of problems installing into the "earlier tivos" but that they do go okay now... usually. He did fess up to thinking this might be a crappy job when he got out of his truck, though.

    Total appointment time was just about 10 minutes. It should be noted that i do not have any premium channels. Just digital starter. I haven't checked to see if they "mistakenly" gave me HBO or anything yet. I'm not holding my breath ;)
  18. boykster

    boykster New Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    I too have a positive story to tell. I'm a Tivo noob, just bought an Tivo HD from a friend of mine in NC - I'm in seattle. I got the Tivo on monday, stopped by the comcast office on thursday to pick up an M-card - walked in, asked for an M-card for my tivo and was in and out in less than 10minutes.

    I put the card in the Tivo, called comcast, was connected in less than 2 minutes, read off a few numbers from the paring screen, and minutes later I was up and running - all channels working no problemo!

  19. lexsar

    lexsar Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    This is what I ended up doing. I borrowed an idea I read somewhere else on these Tivocommunity boards, used some creativity and determined the email addresses of the CEO, CFO, COO, several VP's and board members. I emailed the CEO, Brian Roberts, and cc'd the rest describing what has transpired and asked for a resolution and some communication as to what will be done.

    I received a call from a Technical Support Supervisor on Monday. I still don't have a working CableCard but I've been assured that it will be resolved.

    I'll keep you posted on how it goes...
  20. tstp

    tstp New Member

    Mar 11, 2004
    hi all,
    I was thinking of getting a tivo hd for my comcast service here in Englewood,Fl.
    I called comcast and they told me they had to send a tech out to put in the two cable cards (39.99 service call)
    She told me they would take out my explorer hd 8300 dvr and put in just a regular HD box.
    Is this correct? Why do i need a comcast tuner? Aren't the cable card(s) the tuner?

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