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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Sep 28, 2006 #581 of 9367
    wackymann

    wackymann Member

    385
    0
    Sep 22, 2006
    Boston Area
    So I received my Tivo S3 last night from UPS. My Comcast appointment is next Tuesday. I have hooked up ethernet, component, and audio cables (my Samsung DLP does not have HDMI). The box is supposedly pre-authorized since I bought it directly from Tivo. Is there anything else I should do before Tuesday? I would like to be as prepared as possible come Tuesday morning, but I'm not really interested in playing around with the box just for the sake of playing.

    I'm not really interested in setting the box up to record OTA or non-digital cable since I'm never going to use it that way. So at this point I am just twiddling my thumbs in great anticipation!
     
  2. Sep 28, 2006 #582 of 9367
    Scrith

    Scrith New Member

    13
    0
    Apr 6, 2003
    Redwood...
    The Comcast installer just left. Installation went very smoothly for four cable cards into two Series 3 TiVos here in Redwood City, CA. The whole service visit took about 45 minutes (and the first 15 minutes or so were just calling in to disable the two boxes I was returning to them, read the instructions, and make contact with the service person on the radio). Each card took about 5-6 minutes. All channels seem to be working on both cards in both TiVos, including the pay HD channels.

    My one complaint is that the Test Channel screen only seems to let you advance one channel at a time, which means it takes quite a few clicks to go through the digital channels (100-399), the pay digital channels (500-599), and then the HD channels (700-799).
     
  3. Sep 28, 2006 #583 of 9367
    mdscott

    mdscott Active Member

    1,601
    0
    Jun 26, 2002
    Hermosa...
    You can enter channel numbers directly using the keypad as well.

    Michael
     
  4. Sep 28, 2006 #584 of 9367
    hiker

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    1,352
    0
    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    Does anyone know how to get the digital SD channels to work on the S3? They work ok on my DCT-6200 cable box. I thought digital SD was working after cablecard 1 checkout but I'm getting analog SD now after card 2.

    Yesterday got the cablecards installed. It was a lot less painful than I thought after reading so many horror stories. Apparently, Comcast in the S.F. Bay Area has more experience with cablecards. Even though my S3 was the first my installer had seen the only problems he had was getting through to the headend and my neigborhood network encountered a brief system wide outage. Two Motorola cabalecards, one a version 4.05 (red) and the other a 4.21 (blue).
     
  5. Sep 28, 2006 #585 of 9367
    g808

    g808 New Member

    86
    0
    Sep 14, 2006
    I was having the MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY problem. I had 4 truck rolls (twice they never showed) and several support calls/chats. I finally got someone on a chat to understand and she sent the proper signal to the cards. They now are "subscribed".

    Unforetunately, I'm not all the way there. One card does not receive analog channels 39 - 53 (42 comes in fine). They work on card 2. I have no splitters between the cable outlet and the TiVo. Damn, so close!

    FWIW to others the CSR on the chat said the following about the signal she was sending, "This process will take a while and it will remove any information you may have stored". You could tell this to CSRs you speak with, and maybe they will understand this. Other CSRs I spoke with didn't understand the "initialize" keyword.
     
  6. Sep 28, 2006 #586 of 9367
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    Comcast has to tell your cable card to use the digital, not the analog. Comcast tech support denies this is at all possibe though. The way to do it is to go to your local office and ask for a DCT-700 box. That's a digital only, and when your account is marked with that, the channels switch over to digtial. You can probably not even get the box, just ask them to mark your account with the box, but that might confuse them. I got the box and took it back 2 days later after I'd got tired of VOD.

    I'm surprised you're not getting digital if your other box is, I thought they enabled all the boxes (and cards) the same.
     
  7. Sep 28, 2006 #587 of 9367
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,402
    44
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    Hmm... since I have a 3412 (but getting rid of it) can I assume that my account is so-marked? Since I'm getting rid of it, can I assume that that notation will stay on my account?
     
  8. Sep 28, 2006 #588 of 9367
    as6o

    as6o New Member

    21
    0
    Jan 18, 2002
    I am a new Comcast customer (current DirecTV/DirectTivo customer) so on Monday the installer (subcontractor) came to drop a new line (current line is being used for Comcast Business internet), install a Moto 6412, and install two cable cards in the S3. It took a while but went very well.

    First, he wanted to see if he really had to drop a new line. An installer had actually been at my house the Tues. before but because I didn't have my S3 yet he couldn't perform the install (he actually offered to do everything but the S3 but I figured I'd wait until they could do it all at once figuring as long as I was a new install they'd be quick to respond.) The first installer said I needed a separate line because my internet and my cable television would be on two separate accounts (and I'll get a better quality signal anyways.) So, I told this new installer what the other installer said and he wanted to call and check with his supervisor. The supervisor said to do whatever the customer wants. A good first impression!

    When he saw that the work order mentioned something about a tivo and 2 cable cards he brought a third card just in case. He seemed to have experience with cablecards but hadn't done a Tivo yet.

    Dropping the new line from the tap took a little while but since I have structured wiring and the closet isn't far from where the line comes into the house he didn't have to do much wiring inside (although he did attach new connectors to some of the cables going to and from my patch panel.)

    He got the 6412 set up and then called the tech service rep to do the cable cards. After being on hold for 10 minutes the service rep came on and after being told what was going to be tried immediately doubted if it would work (she actually said that it wouldn't work.) Since the installer was going to try and do everything I asked for they both went ahead with the installation (the installer kept asking the service rep what the steps were and the service rep kept saying she had no idea.) Anyways, he glanced at the Tivo supplied instruction, slammed the two cards in, fiddled with the menus (with my help), ignored the errors, found the numbers he needed (host and data) and told them to the service rep (had to repeat them a few times.) After a few minutes everything was working.

    I got the impression from the service rep that this was different and therefore a little annoying but she did what she usually does to activate cable cards and it worked as expected (there wasn't a lot of "let me try this", "didn't work", "ok, let me try this")

    We have been happily watching Comcast on the S3 ever since (even the analog channels look good) and will probably disconnect our DirecTiVos this weekend. For what it's worth the installer thought the S3 physically looked cool (he liked the enamel finish.)

    BTW, the 6412 sucks. The interface and remote are god awful (embarrassingly bad IMHO, TV-service-menu-bad.) I got it as a stop-gap (can't afford two S3s) expecting I'd be able to try the TiVo version of the software when Comcast releases it.

    -Aaron
     
  9. Sep 28, 2006 #589 of 9367
    shady

    shady Previously European

    4,303
    4
    May 31, 2002
    Morgan...
    Maybe a silly question, but have you turned it on? (you mentioned "supposedly pre-authorized" which is why I ask). If not, then you should do that, and connect to the TiVo service to automatically get the updated software. It won't hurt to pull in the analog channels as well, then at least it proves you have a cable connection.
     
  10. Sep 28, 2006 #590 of 9367
    wackymann

    wackymann Member

    385
    0
    Sep 22, 2006
    Boston Area
    Actually no, I have not turned it on yet, but I did plan on doing that this evening. I didn't open the package until late last night, so all I did was wire things up and go to bed. I also plan on rerouting some of the coax in my house this weekend to make sure my signal levels are solid.

    Thank you for the recommendation - I was unaware of the software update issue. I'll make sure that all happens before the cable guy arrives. It will be a good test of my new ethernet drop too (although I already tested that with my laptop, so it should be good to go).
     
  11. Sep 28, 2006 #591 of 9367
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    If that's one of the digital only boxes its should be. I'm still getting digital after giving back the 700. It seems to stick and this is what others have reported. Comcast's long term plan is to go all digital, so they shouldn't want to switch you back.
     
  12. Sep 28, 2006 #592 of 9367
    hiker

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    1,352
    0
    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    I thought the cablecards would use all the digital channels and not the analog at all because my account is authorized for ADS. Last week, before I got the cablecards, I went to my local Comcast office and asked to have my cable box set up for all digital. I did not need to get an all-digital box, the lady sent a code and when I got home the box was using all digital. Maybe I'll call and ask to have the cards re-hit to see if that will work.
     
  13. Sep 28, 2006 #593 of 9367
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    Are you sure its analog not digital? How are you telling? The easiest way I find is to ask for a recording on the channel. If it offers recording quality options its analog.
     
  14. Sep 28, 2006 #594 of 9367
    kluskey

    kluskey New Member

    2
    0
    Sep 28, 2006
    First time contactor put in cards he had no clue. They were not activated and despite numerous calls to Comcast and attempts to activate, I never got them to work. When I tried to tell them about the Host and Data IDs the CSRs did not have any idea what I was talking about and said there was no place for them to enter that info.

    Second time a real Comcast installer came out. We tried to activate the first cards again but with no success. He plugged in a new card that he brought, gave the serial number to the office and it worked great. No need to provide any other info other than the serial number. Same thing with the other card. He said he liked the cards with the red Comcast label on them rather than the first cards I had, Motorola cards with a blue label.
     
  15. Sep 28, 2006 #595 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    I thought the blue ones have more recent firmware and less problems.
     
  16. Sep 28, 2006 #596 of 9367
    bxwatso

    bxwatso New Member

    5
    0
    Sep 28, 2006
    Comcast in Denver is charging me an extra $11.95 per month ($5 extra for an extra HDTV location and $6.95 extra for the rental of a second CableCard) versus the cost of using their proprietary 2 tuner DVR. Here is the letter I wrote the FCC today (same letter to Denver City regulators):

    Dear Sirs:

    I am writing to inquire as to the appropriateness of my Cable TV provider (Comcast, Denver, CO, (303) 930-2000) charging me extra to use Cable Cards vs. their technology. I have contacted Comcast three times and they alternately do not understand my issue, refuse to address it, disconnect my service, or actually raise my monthly fee as a response to my concerns.

    In my home, I have one TV, hence only a single viewing location. I have a Tivo Series 3 DVR (Cablelabs approved as TCD648250A), which allows for the recording of 2 programs at once. In order to record 2 programs at once, the device requires 2 Cable Cards. As a result of this configuration, Comcast is billing me for 2 instances of HDTV service ($10) plus the rental of an extra Cable Card ($6.95), for a total fee of $16.95 per month to enjoy HDTV and a dual tuner DVR or my choosing.

    On the other hand, Comcast offers its own DVR that can record 2 programs at once. Using their device, the HDTV fee is only $5 per month to record 2 shows at once with no Cable Card rental (a total fee of $5 per month for the equivalent service). I submit that Comcast is pricing the Cable Card two tuner solution at a discriminatory price compared to their proprietary DVR. While I have not thoroughly studied the FCC rules regarding Cable Cards, I think that the intent of the law and rules is to allow consumers to choose their own CPE. Comcast is penalizing me for making such a choice.

    I think that Comcast has confused a dual tuner Cable Card solution with two separate viewing locations. Furthermore, I think that ComcastÂ’s pricing of $6.95 per month to rent a Cable Card is a discriminatory price well in excess of the economic cost to procure, deliver, and maintain such equipment. Despite my conversations with Comcast, they are resolute that I should pay an extra $11.95 per month for having chosen to use my own equipment compared to using their proprietary equipment. I respectfully request that the FCC review the appropriateness of Comcast's pricing policies.
     
  17. Sep 28, 2006 #597 of 9367
    hiker

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    1,352
    0
    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    Yes, that's how I know it's analog.
     
  18. Sep 28, 2006 #598 of 9367
    edbern

    edbern New Member

    13
    0
    Sep 13, 2006
    This is exactly my experience. After two service calls and multiple cards...

    When we finally got two cards that worked, all it took was a phone call to Comcast dispatcher with the serial numbers from the back of the physical cards.

    We didn't give them anything else -- no host data, no IDs, just the serial numbers, and everything worked 5 mins later. But it took two visits and four cards to get two that worked.
     
  19. Sep 28, 2006 #599 of 9367
    shady

    shady Previously European

    4,303
    4
    May 31, 2002
    Morgan...
    You should get an award for the best first post :)

    Nice letter. Let us know if you get a reply
     
  20. Sep 28, 2006 #600 of 9367
    keenanSR

    keenanSR Member TCF Club

    960
    6
    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    Indeed. Outstanding letter!
     

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