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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. starmanj

    starmanj New Member

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    Aug 18, 2007
    Beware folks. Comcast and I have been wrangling for 3 months over their NEW cablecard rate fees. I was told they were going to charge me $2/month for the 2nd, 3rd, etc. cablecard. So I bought 3 TIVO-HD's. My bill is $14/month more ($7 per cablecard)-- the same as a basic digital cable box! That on top of Tivo fees. After 20 calls to different people, most of them saying I really had 3 cable boxes (which I don't), a guy from billing called and said their NEW rate structure for cablecards are $7/month regardless if I am using 2-way service (on demand, guides, etc.) or not, regardless if it's a full cable box or not.

    This kills the economics of buying TIVO boxes-- you buy a TIVO, they charge $12/month, Comcast charges you $7/month-- it costs much more than renting a Comcast DVR now.

    I hate Comcast. I'm stuck with a TIVO contract now that locks me into Comcast.
     
  2. starmanj

    starmanj New Member

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    Aug 18, 2007
    PS-- is it legal and is my town to blame for letting Comcast increase cablecard rates 500% from $2 to $7/month?
     
  3. chris1088c

    chris1088c New Member

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    Jan 5, 2009

    I doubt it will help you with your problem but I would atleast file a complaint to the FCC. I don't know if any parameters were set with price regarding the FCC requiring Cable companies to provide cards, however, the whole purpose was to allow cosumers to own their own equipment and to allow companies like Tivo to be competitive.

    I don't see how Comcast charging almost as much for the cards as they do for their box is fair at all.
     
  4. jeffw_00

    jeffw_00 Member

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    Sep 19, 2000
    I just finished up an article on this (watch electronichouse.com for it soon). What a lot of people don't get is this: Back in the old days, Cable company used to charge $10/mo for your box. then FCC said they can't charge a markup on equipment, so they charged $2 for box and $8 'service fee'. This is what you're tripping up on.

    For your FIRST service, you should be charged all the programming costs, and small rentals for the cable-cards.

    For your SECOND service - if you get a cable box, they'll charge you a few bucks for the box, and a $5 (or so) "service fee".

    For your SECOND service - if you get cable cards, they charge you $7-8 for the first cable card - but that INCLUDES the "service fee" that would have been broken out if you did a box.

    Now - if you were doing cable boxes, there wouldn't be a ~$5 fee for the 3rd box, etc (the $5 'whole house service" should cover all additional boxes") but since it's rolled into the cablecard fee, you are getting screwed a bit, and should complain. My understanding is that so few people take more than 2 outlets that they don't worry much about multi- pricing (in fact, COMCAST charges more per box for it's own TiVo box for the 2nd and subsequent boxes), if you explain it this way to a supervisor you might get a adjustment on the 3rd box.... Alternately, if CC wants to charge premium for 3rd and subsequent box, not much you can do

    One thing my article concludes is that the monthy carrying charges for a Cable company DVR are priced to be able the same as the cost of cablecards + tivo service. You think this is a coincidence? 8-}

    /j
     
  5. jeffw_00

    jeffw_00 Member

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    Sep 19, 2000
    oh and if it helps, at least here in MA (where i'm a local cable committee chair) cable companies can pretty much charge what they want for anything. FCC long decided that in most places - multiple cable cos + satellite cos = competition and so if you don't like what you're being charged you can vote with your feet.

    Problem is - as long as (like I suggested) overall costs (cable box vs cable card + Tivo) come out about the same, you don't have much of a complaint
    /j
     
  6. starmanj

    starmanj New Member

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    Aug 18, 2007
    Right. I'm in MA too. Monthly costs are about the same, except I paid $400 for my high-end TivoHD, so when you amortize that, plus $19/month, Tivo costs MUCH more than Comcast DVR boxes. The math is against Tivo.

    The sad thing is nobody within Comcast knew why I was being charged this-- it had to escalate over 3 months to someone in Finance who researched it. Everyone else said it was because they showed me with 3 Moto boxes (which I don't have) then they said it was because I was using "host services" meaning guide and on-demand (which Tivo boxes don't use and aren't enabled). Comcast is a customer service monstrosity...
     
  7. chris1088c

    chris1088c New Member

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    Jan 5, 2009

    What does your actual bill show you as being charged for? If it's showing anything other than cable card charges, it might be a mistake by the billing department. Even Comcast's official site says the charge for cable cards is "minimal".
     
  8. jeffw_00

    jeffw_00 Member

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    Sep 19, 2000
    Yup - the pricing at COMCAST has gotten way too complicated, and too few people there understand it. But now that I think of it - I'm not sure CC is cheaper on monthly costs....

    For the first box, I -think- TiVo is a bit cheaper
    COMCAST: $15 DVRsvc + $2 box = $17
    TiVo: $13svc + $1.50 Ccard (1st one free) = $14.50

    for the second box -
    COMCAST: $15 DVR + $5 svc + $2 box = $22
    TiVo: $5 svc + $3.50 Ccards + $10 TiVoSvc = $18.5

    for the third box
    COMCAST: $15 DVR + $2 box = $17
    Tivo: $18.5 as before

    So perhaps Tivo is a bit cheaper on the monthly?
    .j
     
  9. starmanj

    starmanj New Member

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    Aug 18, 2007
    I talked to the guys at corporate (from an earlier reply, the executive office-- thanks for the info). We have talked about 6 times, he was helpful but clueless how cablecards worked. He kept saying "passive, one-way" digital service was $2 but two-way (with on-demand etc.) was more. He called me today and apologized, as of November, all of New England will be charged $7/month for extra cablecards. New policy. He said they were taking this new policy nationwide.

    Bottom line-- cablecards now cost the SAME as digital boxes!!

    Heads up!
     
  10. jeffw_00

    jeffw_00 Member

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    Sep 19, 2000
    seems consistent with my post. I think there's a case that the 3rd and addl outlet using cablecards should be $5 less to match the box costs, but..
    /j
     
  11. TiVo Steve

    TiVo Steve New Member

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    Nov 8, 2005
    Seattle WA.
    In times past, I would get a new channel or 2 before TiVo would provide the channel listings.

    Over the past week, I have gotten 3 messages about lineup changes. All in all, 14 new channels! Problem is, Comcast does NOT have them available yet! :thumbsdown:
     
  12. jpagan

    jpagan New Member

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    Nov 24, 2007
    I got my HD TiVo back in september. I went to pickup my CableCARD from Comcast in Houston. I called the number they gave me with the card to have it paired. The person I spoke to said it would pair automatically and just wait 24 hours. Long long story... Finally a tech shows up who knows whats going on and he calls the right people and BAM! I get all my channels. The End.

    No wait... Now Comcast sent me a letter saying they are upgrading their systems so I need a new CableCARD. So I go get this new card and the exact same story is happening again. I just got off the phone with TiVo support. I called the 866-986-8486 number in the FAQ. I gave TiVo support all the numbers for the CableCard and the phone number for Comcast. They called Comcast directly. After like 10 minutes TiVo support comes back and he says he managed to speak to somebody who seems to know what is happening. They sent the signals to the card and I have to wait until tomorrow. I keep my fingers crossed this will work. My understanding is this is not supposed to take Hours but rather minutes to work.

    Questions:
    Anybody in the Houston area who needed to replace their CC? Anybody in the Houston area have the phone number for a Comcast tech with a bad eye? He is tall skinny, Salt Pepper hair. This is the tech that fixed my card last time. I wish I could get in touch with him because he had the right connections.
     
  13. jpagan

    jpagan New Member

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    Nov 24, 2007
    Yeah, I got the same letter from Comcast. I replaced the card with the new one they gave me and now a bunch of channels are missing. See my previous post for some more details. Is your friend having the same problem?
     
  14. seahills

    seahills New Member

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    Jan 11, 2008
    There are some people in the area (parts of Seattle, Kent, Puyallup) reporting they have the new Comcast channels, but not the Tivo guide for those new channels. Looks like you have the opposite! There are 29 new HD channels. We received a flier about them in December - said they were starting December 19, but when I called, I was told not until July. Not many of the channels are too interesting to me however - I mean, QVC in HD?
     
  15. seahills

    seahills New Member

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    Jan 11, 2008
    They must've learned a few tricks, then. I walked into the N Seattle office, asked for a cablecard, didn't even get a blink of an eye. Signed the receipt, went home, plugged the card in the Tivo, called the phone nmuber, and within about 5 minutes had all my channels. Scary easy.
     
  16. SnakeEyes

    SnakeEyes Active Member

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    Dec 26, 2000
    Not yet, she just got the card today. She's calling me tonight to help her out.
     
  17. jpagan

    jpagan New Member

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    Nov 24, 2007
    If you want to get an idea of how difficult this is going to be there is a thread about Comcast Houston switching to SA Cards. BTW, my channels are not back. Even tho the TiVo tech talked to their tech. And they said it would be done this AM.


    Good Luck.
     
  18. b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

    1,541
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    Nov 27, 2006
    chicago, il
    anyone in Chicago with TivoHD? Got the new three channels (Nick, Spike, Lifetime) - but after 3 days I still don't have guide data for any of them.
     
  19. cherry ghost

    cherry ghost Active Member

    5,281
    6
    Sep 13, 2005
    Chicago
    Same here
     
  20. b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

    1,541
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    Nov 27, 2006
    chicago, il
    hi Cherry :) thanks for the info.
     

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