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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    431
    0
    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...

    You can easily tell if you are receiving a channel by analog or digital. Simply press the record button on the remote. If you are presented with a quality selction (basic-best) then that is an analog channel. If you see no quality selection, then that is digital. This same info can also be found in the diagnostic screens, but using the record button is the easiest.

    There are three standards defined for transmitting video in the US. NTSC is for analog off-the-air (OTA) and on cable. ATSC is for digital transmissions OTA. QAM is for digital transmissions over the cable. Most new televisions support all three.

    Rates vary by area. However, my Comcast ratecard from May 1, 2008 shows:

    Digital Starter is $1.99 more than Standard Cable ($51.74 for Liimited + Expanded Service). The first cablecard is included in that price. The second cablecard in my S3 Tivo is an additional $1.99

    Digital Classic is $14.99 more than Standard Cable.

    Digital Preferred is $15.95 more than Standard Cable. This is the package I subscribe to.

    Sports Entertainment Package is $4.00.

    Then we get to the additional digital outlet charges which seem somewhat confusing. I am not subscribing to any digital service on my 2nd Tivo so I can't vouch for exactly how these would be billed. But, an Additional Outlet for Digital Starter is $1.99. However, Digital Additional Outlet Service is $7.95. The first cablecard on the additional outlet is included with the charge for the digital outlet. So, I am assuming that if I only wanted to add Digital Starter to my 2nd Tivo, it would cost me $1.99. However, if I wanted Digital Preferred on it, I think it would cost me $7.95.

    There is no separate charge for HD channels. I get about 25 HD channels with my package.

    However, there is something called HDPak which costs $6.99 and would get me HDNet and HDNet Movies.

    To further complicate things, I have a one year special which I thought gets me Digital Preferred for $10. However, I also seem to be getting the HDPak with it.

    If you are getting 3 additional cablecards for $1.99 each, then they aren't charging you for additional digital outlets. If they now want to charge you $7 for HD service, perhaps they are charging you for additional digital outlets. If you have two Tivos and no cable boxes, then you might need to pay one additional digital outlet fee. However, they should not charge you additional digital outlet fees for each cablecard. See the Comcast Cablecard FAQ at http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq/FaqDetails.ashx?ID=2651&fss=cablecard

    Regarding internet.... I am paying $30/m for a one year special. I got the rate when I complained about them changing the rate without notice after Comcast bought out Insight in my area. Insight offered a $10 discount for bundling cable and internet together. Comcast apparently doesn't.

    BTW, you should only need 2 M-cards, one in each Tivo HD. This would save you additional cablecard charges and/or the bogus additional/HD charges they are trying to hit you with. I am still not convinced your cablecards are working properly. Did you ever receive any HD channels?

    I suggest you march in to a local Comcast office and pick up a copy of their current rate sheet and channel package list. This would help you with ammunition to fight bogus charges.
     
  2. michman

    michman New Member

    85
    0
    Jan 26, 2008
    oliver,

    You have been a big help. Turns out that I was right about the "digital" channels not coming through in digital. I was able to verify that by looking at the DVR diagnostics.

    I also spoke with a sales supervisor today who clarified my bill. Here is what he came up with.

    They had me down for 4 cableCARDs because the installer put 2 M-cards in each TiVo. I knew there was no need for the extra 2, but I wasn't here when the guy installed them and why wouldn't he...it's more money for the cable company. (I secretly think it was done intentionally because he knew my wife, who was home at the time of the install, wouldn't know the difference).

    Anyway, it's $33 for internet, $33 for cable (basic), $7.99 for "digital Preffered", and $1.99 for each cableCARD beyond the first one. Puts me right about $74. I think they have it right now.

    It just takes a couple days to fully understand the cable company's games. I think I have it straight now. Thanks for all the info, it has been a huge help.

    Now if I could only get them to fix my cableCARDs I would be a happy camper.
     
  3. salsashark81

    salsashark81 New Member

    1
    0
    Oct 20, 2008
    Snellville, GA
    I just moved from Lawrenceville to Snellville in hopes of getting away from Charter and switch to Comcast. Comcast came and istalled everything fairly quickly except for the cable cards. It took 3 more techs to come out in the course of one week to get them installed properly.

    It has been about a month since then and now none of my HBO channels are coming in. Instead all it does is show the cable card pairing screen with the host id, data and unit address. All my other channels are coming in fine. I have tried a system restart and repeated guided setup again, and still nothing. I saw in a previous post that someone seemed to have the same issue I am and they pulled out their cards and put them back in but Im kind of afraid to attempt it. As of right now a tech is scheduled to come in on sunday. Anyone else have any other suggestions?
     
  4. Snipe33

    Snipe33 New Member

    2
    0
    Oct 20, 2008
    Illinois
    We've lost our Comcast channels on our M-card too (same screens as you describe). What I did was call Comcast customer service and they did something with our subscription and restored the channels. A tech coming out probably won't do anything....they'll just call the same person in front of the computer screen that you'd end up calling.

    Just make sure you check your other channels before hanging up. They some times fix your primary problem and create another problem by deleting other unrelated channels from your lineup!

     
  5. optomos

    optomos New Member

    5
    0
    Mar 21, 2008
    Same issue here.

    I have Comcast in Conyers GA and have not had HBO since last Thursday. They have come out twice, replaced both M cards for my Tivo upstairs and downstairs, re authorized the cards many times and still nothing. They temporarily sent all premium channels just to see if they would come through and no issues with them, just HBO.

    I had two techs out today again and they left without fixing the issue. They said the problem was above their head and that accounting had to resolve the issue.

    Every tech except for one that has come out for any M card/Tivo issues has admitted they and others who authorize them know very little about cable cards and Tivo. They did say that they are training their new hires on it.
     
  6. michman

    michman New Member

    85
    0
    Jan 26, 2008
    Comcast finally got everything up and running, I'm a little confused about the "digital" channels though. When I tune to a digital channel and look at diagnostics it says the channel is "QAM256" which I'm pretty sure is digital from my limited experience with QAM channels. Is that right?

    Problem is that compaired to my old DirecTV digital picture, these look like crap! How can they call that digital? They look exactly the same as the analog version of the channel. Is this normal? The installer put in a amplifier which did help, but digital should be digital, the picture should not degrade with a low signal, it should just not show.

    Any insight?
     
  7. nexus1001

    nexus1001 New Member

    1
    0
    Oct 21, 2008
    Hey everybody,
    I just got off the phone with Comcast and they told me that I would not be able to get any HD chanels with my Tivo and the cablecards. They said I MUST use their supplied DVR?! Have any of you got HD with Tivo? I am ready to purchase one of their packs if that's the price to pay.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  8. WebG

    WebG New Member

    48
    0
    Jan 30, 2005
    I haven't had HBO on one cablecard since Saturday. My 2nd cablecard receives HBO channels with no problem. Showtime comes in fine on both.

    The Comcast tech who came out said that he is seeing this specific issue a lot in recent times, and that it is not a cablecard or TiVo issue, but a configuration problem on their head end.
     
  9. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
    0
    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    What they told you is SO AGAINST the Law - that person
    needs to be FIRED for CAUSE.
     
  10. emily_jd

    emily_jd New Member

    4
    0
    Oct 20, 2008
    GA
    I made a post yesterday about what appears to be the same issue (no HBO since last week). They're insisting on sending out a tech tomorrow, but I have no confidence that they'll fix the problem. Has anyone attempted to verify the billing hierarchy (Tivo listed as the first outlet, etc.) to see if that fixes the problem? The last CSR I talked to copped a little bit of an attitude with me for calling back in the hope that the third time hitting the card would be a charm.
     
  11. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    431
    0
    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...
    Absolutely! Many of us are watching HD from Comcast on our Tivos. Imagine the uproar if we weren't.
     
  12. troyz

    troyz New Member

    91
    0
    Feb 12, 2004
    After reading all the issues with comcast I hoped that my cable card install would go ok.

    Installer shows up at 4:30 and parks the van. My phone rings and it is the comcast guy asking me if I already have a cable card. I say no you were supposed to bring it. I asked him if there were notes on the order and he read them to "Customer would like a M-series cable card if possible".

    Then he says that he doesn't normally have them on his van. I can understand this but you would think that in preperation for the day they would have a list of items they need to finish the scheduled jobs. Next you would think that when leaving the previous job they would find out what the next job is and whether they are prepared for it. Why bother driving to the house to say oh I don't have a cable card.

    I told him that I wasn't happy that I had to take off of work for no reason. He replied that he would come back later that day with a cable card. I didn't have much hope that he would actually come back.

    He did come back at 7:30 and came in and said he was waiting for another tech to deliver the cards. He then claimed that I would have to keep my cable dvr as the cable card pings needs it to ping off of it.

    I was like uh no that is the point of cable card. I asked him if he installed them previously and he said that he had. I told him that he should ask the tech bringing the cards if the cable box was needed with a cable card. I knew the answer but wanted one of his own to tell him. When the other tech dropped off the cable card he told him that I didn't need a cable box but I wouldn't get ondemand (which I knew and will miss).

    Other then almost installing the 1 M card in slot 2 (as he was putting it in I said wait that is slot 2!) the install went smoothly. I gave him the directions (TiVo) and he called in and thankfully got someone that knew what they were doing. I made sure to test regular channels, hd channels and movie channels and all was good. So far so good!

    Can't wait to see my first bill!
     
  13. Tivaxion

    Tivaxion New Member

    7
    0
    Dec 11, 2006
    Ok, I'll admit I haven't read every post in this thread, but have read pieces.

    I live in western Massachusetts, north of Springfield.

    All I have right now is one tube TV in the basement with a SD comcast (motorola) box hooked to a Tivo Series 2.

    But I'm ready to go HD.

    What I want to do is this:

    -- Leave the setup in the basement exactly as it is for now.

    -- For the bedroom upstairs, get a nice new LCD, and hook it to a Tivo HD DVR with two comcast cableCARDS in it.

    I've barely started the process and am already steaming mad at comcast. I called to ask what this new setup will cost and how to go about it. The CSR said I do not need to pay to upgrade to HD "service" but that I just need an HD receiver to start enjoying HD. Ok, that surprised me, but ok.

    To get two cableCARDS, she said I would have to pay $5 per month each. When I said isn't the first one free? She said "oh yeah, yes." Then later in the call when I stated again that I did not want to change anything in the basement, she said, "oh, well the SD box in the basement counts as your first "free" device, so you will have to pay $5 per month for EACH cableCARD in the new bedroom setup. She said install would be $32 ($16 for each card), plus possibly a small fee to activate the upstairs jack.

    Does this pass the smell test?

    Is the FAQ that everyone keeps referring to here meaningless?
    (http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq/FaqDetails.ashx?ID=2651&fss=cablecard).

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  14. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

    1,951
    0
    Jan 20, 2004
    For starters you don't need two cable cards, you only need one M card. The cost of your 1st Cable Card is $0 regardless of what other devices you have or are renting from Comcast. You might be charged an additional outlet fee though based on your programming, etc.

    Assuming for some reason that you had to rent two cable cards you should be charged $0 for the first one and $1.50 for the 2nd one, and again, you might be charged an extra outlet fee, etc, depending on your programming package.

    There's no reason to be scared or angry, just call back until you get a CSR that knows what they are talking about.

    Another thing you can do is find a user who is on the same Comcast system you are on and find out what is listed on their bill for an item code for the Cable Card rental. Then just call up and say "I want package xxyyzz for my new Tivo box".

    Comcast is staffed with morons, so this is just the way it goes.
     
  15. jlb

    jlb NCC-1701-D

    8,142
    8
    Dec 13, 2001
    Newburyport, MA

    Yep. I pay just $10/month for lifeline basic (locals) and as part of that offering, they have to feed the local HDs for free (by law).
     
  16. bboncorr

    bboncorr New Member

    9
    0
    Oct 21, 2008
    I also had issues with losing channels. i lost HBO, Cinemax, and starz plus a couple other HD channels. it ended up being the Tivo's fault. apparently it took the channels off my list of available channels. try tuning directly to that channel and see if you get a picture. then try changing the channel back and forth and see if it skips over the channels. if that heppens then you guys must enter the channels manually into the available channel section like i did.

    since checking my HBO, ect... boxes my tivo has not lost those channels again.
     
  17. optomos

    optomos New Member

    5
    0
    Mar 21, 2008
    They finally fixed the issue yesterday so it was accounting (head end) that was causing the problem. It worked upstairs first, but downstairs it didn't untill I called and asked them to hit that specific M card and then it worked on both. What a nightmare.

    One cable card is free and any others are $1.50 each per month. I still have the old Digital box setup in the kitchen and they don't charge me extra for it, but I have had it since Comcast purchased the cable portion from ATT.
     
  18. WebG

    WebG New Member

    48
    0
    Jan 30, 2005
    YEAH! Big thanks to whoever posted the link to AVSForum with the "Comcast Cablecard Support Center" phone number. 10 minute hold time notwithstanding, they had my HBO restored within minutes once I got the rep on the phone. They verified that the numbers they had in the system for my cablecards were incorrect, and entered in the correct ones from the TiVo screen. They also said that they expect the same thing with HBO to happen at the end of November... but now that my info is correct in their system, I shouldn't be affected. :up:

    1.866.761.0211
    Operational hours are Monday-Friday 9:00am-8:00pm EST., and Saturday 11:30AM-8:00PM EST.
     
  19. Ladd Morse

    Ladd Morse Member

    791
    0
    Feb 21, 2002
    Please post that number again, please.
     
  20. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    306
    0
    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    It looks like the NUMBER is in his post :D
     

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