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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. seanmcsean

    seanmcsean Comcast H8r

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    Dec 17, 2008
    NL CTY CT
    Yeah, I'm waiting on the wireless adapter to show up before I rip apart my entertainment center. I don't have a home phone line, so that piece is crucial!

    Amazon Prime will be delivering that to me tomorrow :) I love amazon prime!
     
  2. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    Ditto to that one [​IMG]
     
  3. NowPlaying

    NowPlaying Member

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    Mar 7, 2002
    Menlo Park,...
    I have the same thing going on. I get Speed Channel in SD on channel 408 but the HD channel 731 is black. I hope it gets sorted out before race season starts.
     
  4. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    2,783
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    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
     
  5. caliwxdude

    caliwxdude New Member

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    Dec 28, 2008
    Hi guys, just got a new ("pre-loved") TiVo HD for Christmas from the parents and finally got it home tonight to get a CableCARD in it. I had already completed the guided setup and stuff at my parents' house in SoCal, so I thought all I had to do was slam the CableCARD in it, call to have Comcast pair it and I'd be good to go. I had my roommate pick up an M-Card from the San Jose Comcast office that's right down the street from our place (they handed it over to her no questions asked, which I thought was a little weird, but I got my card so it's all good).

    Anyway, I got home, plugged it in and it installed the Fall 2008 software update. After that finished, I slid in the CableCARD and embarked on Call #1 to Comcast. Read the Host and Data info to the CSR, she hits the card, TiVo starts downloading the channel map and she tells me I'm good to go. I get off the phone with her before I've tested all of my channels, which was my first mistake of the night. Lo and behold, I'm only getting the limited basic and broadcast HD channels--none of the other channels that I previously got with my Comcast HD box.

    I wait a few minutes, then call Comcast again. CSR #2 confirm the CableCARD info, and send a few hits to the box. No dice. He schedules a tech visit, first appointment when Comcast and I are mutually available isn't until Wednesday. No way I'm sitting here with a TiVo HD that's practically useless to me until Wednesday.

    So I gave up for a while, and then decided to follow the process for viewing an encrypted channel's Conditional Access screen. It was showing "Auth: MP," which according to the TiVo's support guide is another CableCARD error. Dug around this site a bit, and apparently the first CSR never sent an initialization hit to the CableCARD. Time to pick up the phone and dial 1-800-COMCAST again.

    This time, I think I've gotten a decent CSR since he seems to have dealt with CableCARDs and TiVos before. I told him that I think I need an initialization hit, and he sends that command after again verifying the CableCARD serial number (first time we verified that one) and the Host/Data info. After he sent the initialization hit, BAM. All the channels came in. Then he started to tell me he's helped a lot of customers with TiVos, and how he thinks the TiVo software is "far superior" than the Comcast boxes. No duh...but at least some people within Comcast are competent enough to realize their product is mostly crap.

    Bottom line: look for that "Auth: MP" message on the Conditional Access screen for an encrypted channel. If it's there, call Comcast and ask for that initialization hit. It works.
     
  6. PaulNEPats

    PaulNEPats New Member

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    Aug 10, 2007
    Well... now Comcast is charging my area 6.95 per cable card. That puts it at a buck less than a comcast dvr itself. Anyone else find this ridiculous?
     
  7. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    Makes PERFECT :thumbsdown: Sense to me.

    Here is the LOGIC.

    They want you on their DVR instead of an independent DVR.

    WHY?

    Because with their DVR you can order VOD.

    They makes LOTS of EXTRA money from that service which they
    lose from non-Comcast DVR's. Therefore lets try to make the extra
    bucks by continually jacking up the CableCard Prices until we get
    them to switch.

    It's the OLDEST marketing trick in the BOOK. "CONTROL THE CUSTOMER"
     
  8. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    2,783
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    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    That does sound outrageous. Does your rate card have a listing for CableCARD (dual CableCARD for non-Comcast HD PVRs requiring two cards) if you have a Series 3? And does this mean that you aren't getting the first one free with the primary outlet (our rate card show CableCARD - primary outlet rental charge as No Charge)?

    Scott
     
  9. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
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    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    That sounds like the extra digital outlet charge, not the card charge itself.
     
  10. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    The CARD is considered the Extra Digital Outlet since without it
    there is no digital channels that can be received [aka decoded]!

    That is how Comcast lists the CARD Charge.
     
  11. Wiley1

    Wiley1 New Member

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    Dec 14, 2008
    I need some clarification on this subject. Currently I have a series-3 HD XL box connected to Comcast with limited service. I get channels 1-31 plus a bunch of digital channels with numbers like 85-104. This is fine with me except that the program guide doesn't correlate so I am unable to record from any digital channel except by setting up a manual recording. Reading through this forum, I got the impression that I could use a cablecard to translate these digital channels to regular numbers that would appear in the Program Guide.

    But, when the Comcast service guy called to set up the appointment, he convinced me that I would actually LOSE channels because the cable card would take over the channel lineup and effectively block the ones I am not technically paying for.

    Can anybody tell me the straight poop?
     
  12. MisterWho

    MisterWho New Member

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    Oct 7, 2007
    Trying to get my new Tivo HD set up with cablecards but Comcast ATL insist that I must use two multistream cards and of course pay an additional $1.50 for the second card.

    I think Ill just have them bring the two cards (since one may not work anyway) and after the first is installed insist the installer take the second back with him. They surely cant charge me when I have only taken one cablecard from them (hopefully their system would only show the one cablecard active on my account as well).

    Also, with the packages such as Digital Preferred, are you guys getting HD stations as well because of course they insist that is $7 extra too.

    Thanks
     
  13. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    First, click on this link from the TiVo website:

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

    Cablecards are a security device, which when inserted will scramble encrypted channels until your subscribed channels are authorized for viewing. When the card is properly paired and authorized, only the channels that are included in the package that you subscribe to will display. You will need to rerun guided setup. When you enter your zip code the TiVo service knows which channel lineup to download to your TiVo. In about 24 hours the Guide data should have program information for about 2 weeks in advance which will allow you to browse through your programming and set future programs to record.

    As far as losing channels, it sounds like the Qam tuner is picking up channels which would display channel numbers like 85.1 etc, so I don't know in your case if the Qam tuner is picking up channels which are not part of your cable package.
     
  14. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    2,783
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    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    At least with our Comcast franchise there is no additional charge to receive the HD version of channels that are in the package that you subscribe to. I have Digital Preferred with 1 premium channel and get 30 HD channels plus the HBO HD channel. I think the only HD channels that I don't get are the other premium ones (Cinemax, Showtime and Starz) and NFL Network HD which is part of the Sports & Entertainment package.

    Our bill only has the following entries:

    Digital preferred with 1 premium (HBO) $78.95
    CableCARD (dual CableCARD for non-Comcast HD PVR needing 2) $2.00
    Performance High-Speed Internet $42.95

    Scott
     
  15. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    The person you spoke to may be confused as to which TiVo unit needs 2 cards in order to decrypt both tuners. The Series 3 requires a card for each tuner, the HD DVR will work with just 1 Multi-Stream card inserted in slot 1. If an M-card is inserted in slot 1, any card inserted in slot 2 will be ignored (HD DVR only). As far as packages it depends on which HD channels you want to receive. If you do not currently subscribe to a digital package then you will receive only the local broadcast HD channels. If you want HD channels such as TNT, ESPN, Discovery etc then you do need to subscribe to the digital package that those channels are included in. Each market has different rates, package names and policies.
     
  16. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    2,783
    27
    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    Comcast doesn't charge us for an additional digital outlet for each cableCARD. You get the first one free as part of the primary outlet and then they charge you $2.00 for the second one if required on the same primary outlet for the original TiVo Series 3. The rate card lists this second one a cableCARD (dual CableCARD for non-Comcast HD PVRs requiring two cards).

    If we had a second TiVo with cableCARDs, that would require another outlet charge which is $3.00 here for a Digital Starter, Classic, or Preferred additional outlet. It's unclear whether the first cableCARD would be free on the additional outlet or whether we'd have to pay $4.00 for 2 cableCARDs. We'll find out soon as I plan on getting cableCARDs for our second TiVo.

    Scott
     
  17. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008

    VOD is a FREE service included with any digital package. The Network stations provide the VOD content to cable companies which in turn provide that same VOD programming to their customers. Cable co DVR rental fees are nothing more than a fee for renting their equipment; it is not a "marketing trick" to make money off of VOD. If a customer wants to order Pay-Per-View content such as boxing or recently release DVD's, iN DEMAND Networks-not the cable company-controls that content and receives the fees for any programming ordered by the customer.
     
  18. dmbpj

    dmbpj New Member

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    Dec 29, 2008
    I just got a Tivo HD for Xmas and I have the comcast cable guy coming out to put in my M-Card this Friday and I was wondering if it is best for me to hook up the tivo and update all the software before he gets here?

    Thanks.
     
  19. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
    YES. The TiVo needs an internet connection in order to connect with the TiVo server, so determine ahead of time if you will use a wireless, dial-up or cable modem connection. If you already have a cable jack in the room with your TiVo and have an extra coaxial cable, connect the coax to the "Cable in" jack on the TiVo and verify if you can pick up unencrypted channels. This indicates if the TiVo is receiving a signal. You need to run the Guided Setup. By doing this before the installer arrives, it will help make the installation go smoother.
     
  20. dmbpj

    dmbpj New Member

    69
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    Dec 29, 2008
    Great. Thanks. I am hard wired with an ethernet cable to my network. Just wanted to be sure I should update it myself to the newest software.
     

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