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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Oct 4, 2008 #5741 of 9367
    sinanju

    sinanju Member

    654
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    I had to spend time on the phone with them -- reading the exact line item as it should appear on the bill helped them find it in the system. A few months ago, that particular package fell off many subscribers bills and was replaced by higher charges. I had to go through the whole thing again, but they did fix it. I've attached an copy of the TV portion of my bill.

    Verizon is coming by to hook up FiOS on Thursday. I can finally tell Comcast to go to hell.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Oct 4, 2008 #5742 of 9367
    jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
    0
    Jan 20, 2004
    OK, you can look at the same section from my bill as a comparison. I only have a single HD cable box and the Tivo HD. I've called Comcast at least 20 times trying to get the additional converter charge for my Tivo removed and they have never done it. I've written letters and talked to supervisors. I have been told by everyone that they will not remove it, and if they did do it my cable cards would stop functioning.

    This extra $6.95 per month bologna charge is one of the reasons I have delayed in adding a 2nd Tivo to the home.

    I think that my "preferred package" has something to do with this charge but I'm not sure. The only "premiums" I get are STARS, which isn't even available in HD.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Oct 4, 2008 #5743 of 9367
    sinanju

    sinanju Member

    654
    1
    Jan 3, 2005
    Ah... well... perhaps the difference is that I have no cable box. You, in fact, have an additional outlet.
     
  4. Oct 5, 2008 #5744 of 9367
    secondclaw

    secondclaw Member

    345
    0
    Oct 3, 2004
    Florida
    In case anyone's interested in yet another variation on Comcast cablecard billing ... I live in South Florida / South-East Broward county. Since I live in a condo, extended basic lineup is currently covered by building's maintenance agreement, so I don't pay for it directly. All dealing I have with Comcast are for cablecards. On my bill, I get two cards - both are completely free. I do however pay two $6.95 HDTV fees (so my bill is $13.90 + fees/taxes). I used to also be charged add'l outlet fee but that was for some reason dropped many months ago (still don't know why). Its too bad S3 does not support m-cards in multi-stream mode - could have saved 7 bucks a month.
     
  5. Oct 5, 2008 #5745 of 9367
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    That is indeed the diff. I am also charged $5.95 for my Tivo HD since it is an additional outlet in my house (I already had a box).

    Not sure it's right since it's not their box, but they won't change it.
     
  6. Oct 8, 2008 #5746 of 9367
    VerbalK

    VerbalK New Member

    1
    0
    Oct 8, 2008
    I'm in Baltimore City. Has anyone heard this story. I called to get a cable card. I would have been fine with a single s-card if it would have been free. My install was 17.95, no ability for local pickup (reasonable, especially since they can do it in 2 days). The rub is that are charging me 6.95 per month. I asked that I though the first was free, with a 1.90 for the second, but was told I would have to end my digital cable promotional rate to get a free card. Can they hold revocation of a promo rate to get around their legal requirements of supplying me with a free card?
     
  7. Oct 8, 2008 #5747 of 9367
    lexsar

    lexsar Member

    117
    0
    Dec 15, 2003
    Maryland
    Is this an additional "digital outlet"? In other words, do you have another TV with a cable box attached? If so and this cablecard is going on an additional TV, TivoHD, or some other device, it would be considered an additional "digital outlet" and you would be charged $6.95 for that additional outlet which would include one cablecard in that $6.95 additional outlet fee.

    If this is your only Comcast cable connection, my understanding is that the first cablecard should be free and an additional one, if needed, would be $2.
     
  8. Oct 9, 2008 #5748 of 9367
    acvthree

    acvthree Active Member

    2,472
    0
    Jan 17, 2004
    Carrollton,...
    A friend of mine from Tallahassee Florida is asking about Comcast in his area.

    Do you know if they have the M-cards there yet or not?

    Do you know if they are using SDV?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Al
     
  9. Saminwestmass

    Saminwestmass New Member

    1
    0
    Oct 1, 2008
    Like many folks here, I ran into some confusion getting my DVR set up. My biggest challenge was getting the tech to come out (service managers kept changing the appointment without informing me and I ended up wasting 4 hours for 2 separate appointments.) On the third attempt, a tech came out who was excellent. He had an M-Card (despite the people in the office claiming they could only install S-cards!), installed it, and hung around till the box was up and running. My observation: the Comcast non-techs are very confused about the media cards, but they are learning. Also, the tech claimed that Comcast will be licensing the Tivo interface for their DVRs staring in 2010. So no need to by a Tivo box in the future? I don't know if that mean 100% functionality, but I found it very interesting. Lastly, I do miss the on-demand fiunctionality I had with my Comcast DVR, but I don't miss the lousy interface.
     
  10. mindchaotica

    mindchaotica TiVo User

    53
    0
    Oct 8, 2008
    Salt Lake City
    on comcast.com I was able to find this

    http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq/FaqDetails.ashx?ID=4156&fss=CableCards

    http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq/FaqDetails.ashx?ID=2651&fss=Cost%20of CableCards

    it states that the first card is free, and that each addtional card is subject to a small fee, which I have also read was in the $2.05range. So you might be getting over charged for the CableCard.

    I hope this helps.
     
  11. Megosteve

    Megosteve New Member

    2
    0
    May 27, 2008
    I'm having some problems with my Comcast CableCard, and I'm hoping someone here can fill me in on some of the technical details that just didn't sound right the last time I called them.

    The CableCard in my Tivo HD was working just fine from the first time it was installed in June through around October 1. I don't know exactly because I really don't watch television all that much. I went to watch a baseball game last Wednesday and discovered that some of the HD channels I was supposed to be getting were no longer working. What's weird is that some were coming in just fine, like ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, but some in the middle range weren't coming in at all. On my cable system, ESPN is on 202, and the regular local channels start at 231. I could get from around 202-209, but everything from there to 231 wasn't working.

    The only change I made to my service was dropping HBO, which I did on September 28. I think the problems are on their end and related to that, but who knows?

    I called Comcast and they couldn't figure out what was going on, so they scheduled an appointment for a tech to come out. I ended up calling a second time in frustration just to see if maybe a different support rep could fix it, and he just sounded kind of confused. He didn't see an outlet on my bill (because I don't have a cable box with the CableCard), and I had to explain why there wasn't one. It was just off... I half expect to see that he added a converter box to my next bill the way he was talking.

    The cable guy finally got here today. He was digging around in the basement playing with the splitter (which was replaced within the past year) and some wiring outside, but I still didn't get any of those mid-range HD channels. After all that, he decided it must be the CableCard, so he installed a new one. (I had to tell him where it goes.) This time I couldn't get anything beyond the limited basic channels and the HD locals. I also should be getting digital channels in my package, and none of them came through and they worked just fine before. He spent some time on the phone with their techs and decided to try a second one, and the same result happened, but this time the tech on the other end of his phone told him it might take a half hour or so for the channels to come through. I made the mistake of letting him pack up and leave... before he left he told me there was nothing else that he could do on this end and that if it didn't work now the problem had to be on Comcast's end.

    An hour or so later, I still had no digitals or no HD beyond the locals, so I called back and got a really wacky support rep. This one asked me how many televisions I had, and told me their theory that, because I had three televisions, maybe the signal wasn't finding its way to the correct outlet and that it was being sent to the wrong outlet. This makes absolutely no sense... I'm not a cable expert or anything, but doesn't the cable just come into my house as one signal? The signal is dumb and goes everywhere I have a coax installed, right? I played along for about a half hour while they tried setting up different outlets on their end and adding channels to those, all for naught. So they rescheduled me for yet another appointment tomorrow.

    I am pretty laid back about this kind of thing, but it's getting a little ridiculous that I'm missing all of these baseball playoff games because Comcast can't seem to make a CableCard pair up properly. It doesn't seem like it should be rocket science.

    Updated to add: The second tech they sent Sunday out seemed to have a little bit more on the ball than the first guy. He figured there was either a defective card or someone who didn't enter the right codes on the other end. He also told me that the people that knew CableCards really well typically did not work Sunday nights, but that he'd do his best to get someone who knew what they were doing. When he called in to authorize the card, he specifically asked for someone experienced with CableCards, and apparently got someone decent, because I was up and running in just a few minutes.

    Just in time to watch the Red Sox lose tonight! Maybe I should have left the cable broken... :)
     
  12. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    It's quiet here so let me post a good story about the TiVo RMA service and about Comcast. Last week the hard drive failed in my TiVo S3, so I had to exchange the S3 for a new box from TiVo RMA service.

    I called the Customer Support line last Friday night about 10:30 p.m. EST. The hold time was about 30 minutes at that time of night, but thanks to the use of the speaker phone I could set the phone down and browse-away on the computer while waiting (even got a date on singlesnet while waiting). I was transferred to the Louisville center (where I was told they handled RMAs). The kid that I spoke to there (he said he was 22) was very efficient and pleasant and handled everything in 15 minutes (some of which was spent with me convincing him he should take some night classes towards his college degree).

    The replacement unit arrived Tuesday. As you probably know, they only send the box itself, no manuals, remotes or cables (not even power cord). Instructions say to keep the old stuff and just return the old TiVo box in the same shipping carton (which was very strong and well padded.

    Setting it up and running guided setup was a breeze, taking less than an hour (including the connection for Guided Setup). I forced several connections to get latest software (came with 8.0). Everything was fine except for MRV which wouldn't display others TiVos. I was sure that it would show up eventually, so I just used it that way for the night.

    Wednesday MRV was operational and I transferred 7-8 programs that I had stored on my THD while my S3 was not operating. Transfers seemed extremely slow, about 3.5 hours per one-hour HD program. I'll play with that later.

    Thursday was Comcast day. I decided to insert both cablecards (Motorola s-cards) and run Guided Setup saying I had the Premium Channels. I wanted to do this ahead of time before I called Comcast. All channels came in on both tuners, except the Premiums (as I would expect). I had inserted the old cards back into the same slots and they still had the channel mapping info on them.

    Then I went to the cablecard CP and CA screens and copied down all the information. Host-id, Data-id, Unit-address and card serial numbers (which I had copied from the cards before inserting them). Then called Comcast. Of course, they said they would have to send out a truck to do the pairing and authorization. That is standard policy in Pittsburgh. I very politely told them that I had all of the info that was needed on this end and just needed to talk with someone who could handle their end. I finally ended up with a supervisor who told me that the technician was needed on site to make sure everything was being done right. Again, being as polite as I could be, I told her that I knew more about these cards and the TiVo than any of her field techs, and that thru six previous experiences I had field trained six of them in how to do it.

    She kind of sighed and said OK let's try it. I gave her the information for both cards, and also warned her to complete the pairing and authorization for card one before she tried card 2. She did it, and within 10 minutes we were all done, with all channels working perfectly.

    In the previous week I had seen more commercials in seven days than I had in seven years. Glad that's over with.
     
  13. RDaneel

    RDaneel New Member

    16
    0
    Jul 17, 2003
    Does anyone have any definitive position on the Comcast upcharges for CableCARD service? I just got my 4 cards installed into 2 HD TiVos, and my first bill arrived. In addition to the $4.50 per month for the CableCARDS (one outlet as part of the package and three at $1.50/mo), I have an "Incremental Charge for HDTV Converter" of $6 per CableCARD. The CSR claims that this is the fee for sending a HDTV signal to my CableCARDs, and that it has to be paid even if I don't have converter boxes. Is this bogus? It seems like this violates the pricing policy for CableCARDs. Having to pay an incremental charge (on top of the $73 I already pay for Digital Preferred cable package) for each card is total BS. Any advice?
     
  14. michman

    michman New Member

    85
    0
    Jan 26, 2008
    You guys are scaring me!

    I have Comcast coming tomorrow to install cable cards for my 2 TiVo HD's. Is there anything that you guys have come across that would make sure that things go right for my install? I hope I'm not one of these people who have to have the cable company come back 2 and 3 times to get it right.


    On a side note; I was quoted one card is free, the other 3 are each $1.99 per month. They also said there is no extra charge for HD channels, the price is included in the "Digital Preffered" package. There is an extra charge of $7.00/month for an HD box though, say if you wanted one for HD VOD.
     
  15. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    2,619
    0
    Oct 17, 2003
    Pittsburgh
    First, determine if you have a Motorola headend or SA headend for your area (call and ask if you need to). Then study the screens from this link for the cards that you'll get (m-card or s-card).

    http://www.tivo.com/setupandsupport...troubleshoot_using_CableCARD_MMI_screens.html

    Check these screens thruout the process. Don't fall for the scam that "things will start to work in an hour, etc). The cards should all be working before he leaves.

    If it looks like the cards aren't paired properly, have the headend person read to you the numbers that she has put in for Card Serial Number, Host-id and Data-id. Check what she says with your notes. Many times it's just a transposition of a digit or two).

    Make sure he follows the directions that came with the TiVo.
     
  16. michman

    michman New Member

    85
    0
    Jan 26, 2008
    Well, I might as well add to the saga...

    Cable guy was supposed to come between 5pm and 8pm tonight to install cable cards for my 2 TiVo HD's and drop off one box (so I can get VOD if I want). Guess who shows up at 8am this morning?

    Luckily my wife was home sick from work so he was able to come in. I wasn't home however to keep an eye on him like I had planned. He apparently installed 2 M-cards in both TiVo's (don't know why), and didn't leave a standard box. My wife said he left while the TV said, "acquiring channel information" and then about 30 minutes later it said, "failed acquiring channel information."

    I'm pretty sure he didn't run guided setup again because I ran it originally for just OTA channels. Hopefully when I get home I will run guided setup and everything will be cool. Lets put it this way, I fully expect it not to solve the problem. Looks like I will have another date with the cable guy.

    Let me know what you guys think.
     
  17. RDaneel

    RDaneel New Member

    16
    0
    Jul 17, 2003
    Well, some possibly good news. I called Comcast and spoke to a CSR who explained that the $6 per CableCARD is what Comcast charges for sending a HD stream to me. What a load of BS. I was fairly stern with her, explaining that this is directly contrary to what I was told when I called to sign up for CableCARDs, but of course I got nowhere. I requested an escalation, and ended up speaking to a helpful woman in the Florida call center. She also tried to stick to the "CableCARDs are $1.50, HDTV service is $6 per card on top of your programming package" line, and I was again pretty stern (because I'm pissed!). I explained that I bought TiVos at my expense after being told by the salesperson that the CableCARDs were only a couple bucks a month, and my cable bill would go down. I was put on hold a long time, but the news was good when she came back. She explained that "some sources" (I'm guessing her managers or documentation on the system) say that removing the $24 charge from my bill would disable my HD channels, while "other sources" say the opposite. She offered to remove the charge and have me see what happened, and I thanked her profusely and agreed. So far, so good. I still have my HD channels, and I even got a phone message from the actual CSR manager to check and see if it worked. FWIW, she also mentioned that she might be able to give me some sort of free HD promotion for a year to offset the cost if the deletion of the charges didn't work.

    Frustrating, but a surprisingly good result. In theory, I will now have the "right" bill, and pay for only my programming package, internet, and $4.50/mo in CableCARD rental.
     
  18. michman

    michman New Member

    85
    0
    Jan 26, 2008
    Well, I was right, things are pretty much jacked up because my wife was present for the install instead of me. I guess I can blame Comcast for coming 9 hours early for my apointment!

    Here is the issue and my question. Most of my channels come in, but there is no way they are digital (is there?). The signal looks like crap! No HD channels either. Please don't tell me that after leaving DirecTV that the digital quality of cable is that much worse, some channels are fuzzy. That isn't possible!?!?!?

    Does anyone have any idea why I'm not getting the channels I should?
     
  19. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    431
    0
    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...
    Even with cablecards installed, you will probably receive a mix of analog and digital channels. Sometimes you will get new channel numbers (usually above 100) that still map to the same lower nuimbered analog channels. My Comcast system has a mix of analog and digital channels all numbered above 100.

    What digital package have you subscribed to? Have you rerun guided setup yet? Have you rebooted?

    There is also a diagnostic screen that will give you lots of helpful information to help troubleshoot these problems. You can also measure the signal strength of your digital channels. There is a document posted at Tivo.com that helps you troubleshoot cablecard problems.

    My digital channels do look better than my analog channels. I am surprised you are not receiving the unencrypted QAM local channels. Even without cablecards you should be able to get those (although without guide info) if you run a channel scan. The scan option is disabled if you have properly functioning cablecards.
     
  20. michman

    michman New Member

    85
    0
    Jan 26, 2008
    Ya, Comcast said my digital channels start above 100, they just don't look right to me. I know the difference between anaolg and digital and there is no way it's digital. I think you many be on to something that they are mapping to the analog version of the channel.

    I thought bad reception on digital channels looks similar to bad HD reception...flakey picture, monentary pauses while acquiring signal etc. These are just fuzzy or snowy.

    I am subscribed to "Digital Preffered" and I have rerun guided setup and have rebooted as well.

    Signal strength on most channels are between 93 and 100 so I don't think that is an issue.

    I'm new to cable as of yesterday and don't know what a QAM channel is. I see a lot of postings with them referenced, but don't fully understand it yet. What should I be looking for?


    On a side note, how much are you being charged for cableCARDS? I was originally quoted $66 for internet and digital prefered with HD included which included one cableCARD free, the other 3 are each $1.99 per month.

    Now when I call back they are saying that each cableCARD is $1.99 + like $7 each for HD service. I think it's a bunch of BS.:mad:
     

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