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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Do you have any idea if the installer will give you Motorla cards or Scientific Atlantic?

    On 12/7/08 I posted an easy to follow installation guide for Motorola cards, but should also work for Scientific Atlantic cards. To have a successful installation, the technician needs to follow the right installation steps, then paired properly by your cable provider and then the card needs to be sent the correct signal in order for the card to recognize which channels are authorized for viewing.
  2. dmbpj

    dmbpj New Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    This the one you mean?

  3. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    Oct 31, 2008
  4. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    What area do you live in? some areas have reported higher successfull installations than others.
  5. cherry ghost

    cherry ghost Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2005
    Picked up an M-Card today at the service center for my HD that was previously used for OTA only. Installation went perfectly. Thank god for no more truck roll required in Chicago.
  6. dmbpj

    dmbpj New Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    I live in Sacramento, CA
  7. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    I have a feeling that you will be just fine when you get your installation.
  8. Wiley1

    Wiley1 New Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    Thanks for the reply, but you did not answer any of my questions.
  9. Wiley1

    Wiley1 New Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    I can already get channels 1-32 and 10 or 12 "clear QAM" digital channels. However, the Tivo Program Guide only covers channels 1-32. I can only record from the "clear QAM" channels if I set up a manual recording.
    My question:
    If I order a cablecard from Comcast, will I gain any new capability.
    Will I lose any of the channels that I get now?
  10. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    If the cablecards are programmed correctly by Comcast......

    You should gain the capability to record from the clear QAM channels using the guide.

    You should not lose any channels that are in the PACKAGE YOU SUBSCRIBE TO. If you are receiving channels (by accident or mistake) that are not part of your subscription package, they will likely be blocked by the cablecards.

    If the clear QAM channels you are referring to are your HD locals, they are part of your basic cable package and you should not lose them. Your channel lineup card and/or package description usually has very fine print that says that the local digitals are included in basic. Comcast doesn't usually want to promote that fact. They want to upsell a digital lineup package and DVR, etc.

    What channels are you receiving that you are worried may be lost with the cablecards?
  11. drhankz

    drhankz Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    Each Comcast Region negotiates a Contract with their local PUC.

    There is NO Consistency from one region to another.

    Obviously your region is more cost effective than mine :thumbsdown:
  12. dmbpj

    dmbpj New Member

    Dec 29, 2008
    you mean using your method, or they do a good job installing in my area?
  13. pmm1221

    pmm1221 New Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I've got Comcast in Montgomery County, MD and they just told me on the phone that I can pick up an M-Card at the Comcast location for self-install and that there's no additional charge.

    We'll see if that works out.
  14. Logik2000

    Logik2000 New Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    The absence of Comcast installer fingerprints on the card assures a smooth installation. Heh.

    My tale of woe continues. I've begun a blog: logikland.com/comcass

    Haven't added it yet, but the latest update is that I spoke with #29 yesterday. She said there was work ordered for me for the weekend and then explained that the work was actually "on their end" when I pointed out that I played Rock Band all day on the TV that was supposed to be fixed. She said that "their end" was the reason I got no call or visit. She said I should be working now and asked if I had tried it yet. Asked how I was supposed to have tried it if no one told me anything had changed. Heh. Said I wanted to speak with the Tech Super with whom I was supposed to communicate. She said she didn't have a direct line, but that she'd send a note to call me. Asked what happens if they don't call me. She said they definitely would. Reminded her that they actually called me to *remind me* that they were going to call me in a couple of days, and then didn't call. Heh. Conversation ended.

    I'm going to call the last, knowledgeable IT who was here. He left his personal cell and his Super's name. I'll call after I pointlessly and unsuccessfully test it, that is.
  15. rkcarter

    rkcarter Rick- Vorlon wannabe

    Apr 8, 2002
    Ann Arbor,...
    I'm happy to add a positive data point to this discussion, after reading through the horror stories here. I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I dropped by the local Comcast office (Washtenaw Ave., Ypsilanti) and asked if I could pick up a CableCard (I figure a few have had luck that way) -- no dice, she said they didn't stock them even.

    I was in luck though -- yesterday 11am they said soonest appointment was today, noon-3. I was a bit worried because I asked her to type in that a multichannel CableCard was needed, and she said "I don't even know what that means." I said please at least write that it's a dual-tuner TiVo.

    All the stars must have been in alignment for me. Guy called at 11:10 to say he could be at my place in 10-15 minutes if we didn't mind -- I said fine. He was here by 11:20, and when I started to tell him I was well-versed in TiVo and could help him out, he said "ohhh, I know TiVo -- I'm a senior technician. I'm the guy they usually send out to clean up other peoples' messes."

    He disconnected the cable, did some sort of line test I think, it ran ~3 or 4 minutes, reconnected, popped the CableCard in, called a phone number...

    ... and waited on hold a good 10 minutes, maybe a bit more (but he was interesting to talk to, so we had fun talking to him while he was waiting on hold). A few minutes of relaying numbers back and forth, I made sure he checked the premium channels (he did without prompting), and that was that.

    After 9 years of having Comcast show up at the tail end of their windows or be late, or have to come back second times to fix things (and in one case, beg me to sign that an install was on time that was supposed to be free if they were late, because "it's not our fault, it's our dispatchers, and it comes out of our paychecks"), I just had the unbelievable experience of having the guy leave here before he was even supposed to get here.

    Anyway, this was enough of a shock I just had to let you all know.

    (other shock, literally the minute I finished up making sure I received all the channels I should, etc., the My DVR Expander I ordered showed up. I'm having a TiVo win day!)
  16. Dancar

    Dancar Member

    Oct 8, 2001
    With no cable cards, you are getting all of the channels Comcast does not currently encrypt on your system, regardless of whether they are officially part of your package. Since TiVo doesn't know how the clear QAM channels are mapped, there is no program data. Also, these channels may be moved around, causing you to record the wrong show and have to hunt around for the desired channel again.

    With a cable card, you will get the channels that are part of your package, WITH program data. You may lose channels that are not part of your package, but you may lose them without warning anyway if Comcast decides to start encrypting them (Comcast Seattle has announced they will start doing this next year).

    My advice is to review Comcast's subscription offerings and order the one that offers the channels you want to watch & are willing to pay for. Then get the cable card.
  17. Lazvon

    Lazvon New Member

    Dec 23, 2008
    So, emailed Rick Germano, I don't escalating like this, but it did get a tech out here that was MOST EXCELLENT and knew what he was doing.

    Took 3 different techs, over 5 days... final problem, bad Scientific Atlanta M-Stream cards... 4 of them to be exact. 5th one was obviously working within moments as it said: "Status: Ready" instead of "Status: Not Staged" even before he'd read off the Host/CableCARD IDs.

    Now we have every one of the channels we're supposed to have, and they all look great!
  18. diceman719

    diceman719 New Member

    May 19, 2006
    Here in S. Fla, Comcast is charging me $1.95 for the MultiCard in my TivoHD...
  19. seanmcsean

    seanmcsean Comcast H8r

    Dec 17, 2008
    Got off the phone and I got a bit of good news.

    I have an appointment on the 8th to get an M card installed in my TivoHD :D

    They're charging me $6 a month for the card. That's still $1.50 less per month than the box I already have. DVR capability is an additional $12.

    I think that was the first time I actually accomplished what I set out to do when calling comcast!

    Now, lets hope the installation next Thursday goes well.
  20. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Both. I haven't noticed any or many installation issues posted from people in Sacramento.

    The main installation issues are caused by: cards installed incorrectly, cards not paired properly and wrong signal sent to the cards. Occassionally the problem is on the billing account: incorrect service codes.

    What you want to make sure of is when the technician has accessed the Pairing screen, that he calls in the Host & Data for Motorola, Host for Scientific Atlantic to his dispatcher and they pair the card correctly, THEN "initiliaze" the card. When the card has been sent the proper signal & paired, it begins to decrypt the channels that you subscribe to. That is when you go to "Test Channels" and check if all your channels come in. Some digital channels such as premiums & HD may take a couple of minutes to decrypt.

    If there is a problem with some of your subscribed channels displaying a gray/black screen or the pairing screen, go to this link and click on the link for the card that is installed. This has excellent information on troubleshooting installation issues.

    Keep us posted on what happens

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