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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. snarkoplepsy

    snarkoplepsy New Member

    Sep 29, 2006
    We just got our Cable cards installed yesterday (California East Bay Area).

    The installer tech said this was only his 3rd Tivo S3 installed. He left w/o checking that both cards were fully functional.

    Result: Cable card #1 works fine, Cable card #2 only a limited # of channels, (2 thru 33), plus the HD mirrors of the basic cable channels.

    It's definitely the cards and not the Tivo box itself, b/c when we reverse the order of the cards, the card in slot #1 only gets limited channels, and the card in slot #2 then gets all the channels.

    Called Comcast, they tried sending a reset signal to both cards -- no joy.

    So a Comcast rep is supposed to make another housecall on Saturday. :-(

    At least one cable card works.
  2. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    Sep 21, 2005
    That's awesome, thanks for the heads up - I'll keep that in mind when I get my next bill and see how things shake out. :)
  3. hiker

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

    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    I had a TiVo S3 installed with 2 cablecards and noticed these charges when I viewed recent activity online:
    $18.99 install requiring trip
    $6.95 add'l outlet 1
    $6.95 add'l outlet 2
    $5.00 add'l HDTV service

    I went to Novato office and after much discussion with the ladies there, one of them showed me an internal memo regarding Comcast policy on the S3 with 2 cablecards. First cablecard is free, 2nd is $1.50/mo. She would not give me a copy of the memo. Not bad, IMO, but I shall reserve final opinion until I get next bill in the mail. Also the trip charge should be $15.99 (Upgrade of optional services requiring separate trip), not $18.99 (Additional outlet connection requiring separate trip). My account is being adjusted to remove those additional charges totaling $18.90/mo. + $3 and adding in the $1.50/mo.

    Also you are entitled to a free cable box if you have digital package and it is connected to the same TV as the S3. I think that is for an SD box, as I have an HD box (DCT-6200) which they are charging additional $5/mo for "HD Equipment Fee".

    So far, the S3 is a great box. I am having one channel lineup problem that maybe someone can help me with. I have 2 channels with the ESPN2 HD id, 724 and 725. The actual ESPN2 HD programming is viewed on 724 but the guide has "Regular Schedule" repeated. Chan 725 has a INHD logo showing when viewed but guide shows what is showing on ESPN2 HD. It looks to be a TiVo guide data problem since the 6200's guide has the show descriptions correct. Anyone else have this?
  4. uw69

    uw69 Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    Comcast showed this afternoon (on time) and the installer was really unsure about the TIVO install, but he was willing to listen and within 30 min we had both cards installed and running. Said it was the first install in Tivo for his office.

    He knew a bit about cable cards but would have been pretty lost running the Tivo without help.

    Anyway hopefully all goes well with recordings tonight!
  5. jdesmet

    jdesmet New Member

    Sep 29, 2006
    Special deal for TIVO 3 Series users:
    First Card FREE
    Second CARD 1.50/Mo
    (installation fees will apply)

    However, the customer representatives might not all be trained for this, and also their systems do not allow yet to authorize the above deal, although most of customer reps are made aware of this already.

    If you want to expedite the installation of your Cablecards, tell them to use the old charge, and then later to revert charges once their systems are setup right.
    Better to verify your next bill and call back if need to.

    Hope this helps
  6. doctord

    doctord New Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    Does anyone else notice the trend that the people doing the self installs (pick up cards at Comcast office) seem to be having more success than the people having the tech install? Amazing waste of money on Comcast's part IMHO.
  7. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    I decided to play CSR roulette again this afternoon.

    My billing problems are the charge for the "extra outlet" and that they charged me for the install, after they said it'd be free. (They said it'd be free before I mentioned cablecards, but never mentioned anything about any fees at any time.) I'd tried before, but the extra outlet got very confused as I had an extra box as well at the time, but the rep just refused to take off the last install charge. (They have 3 different charges for the install, most of which are bogus.)

    I started off with the statement that I wanted to give them a chance to put things right before I contacted the franchising authority. The extra outlet, she admited was badly named, but was for the 2nd cable card, and did I want to talk to a supervisor. So I asked about the install charges and she promptly removed them. Then it was a question of did I want to talk to the supervisor about the 2nd card charge, I decided not to at that point.

    I decided not to, because I was not sure if it was being reasonable to press this point. After they've admitted the charge is misnamed, its a charge for the card. The first card is included in the digital package, they say that much, so I am getting extra equipment from them, so is it reasonable to complain. Particularly as I hear they're reducing the 2nd card charge to $1.50 (from the $6.95). If they did that, I'd be satisfied on this point.
  8. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    The installers in the self install case are probably, on average, a lot more competent than the other installers. We are a bit "focussed" on these issues and have been obsessing about them for weeks and months. You average company installer doesn't even know what a TiVo is.
  9. cschamp

    cschamp New Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Finally, something close to 2 weeks after receiving the S3, and after 3 Comcast appointments and innumerable calls to Comcast, my 2 CableCards are working fine now. A Comcast supervisor finished the installation today, and although he was optimistic about it and said that he has installed cards for 3 S3 TiVos before mine, he was still on the phone to the office for over an hour before it all started working.

    I won't go into the gory details here. The story is very much like that of many other people who have already posted. Here are a couple of interesting tid-bits from this supervisor's comments though:

    1. He didn't think that the 2 cablecards that the installer brought 2 days ago were bad. He said it's very unlikely, in his experience, that both would be bad. More likely, he said, is that neither the tech nor the dispatch operator (?) knew what they were doing.

    2. When he first called back to the office, he politely talked to the operator but then told her he would check something here and call back. When he hung up, he told me that he wanted to get a different dispatch operator. This supervisor had a list of certain people back at the office whom he could trust to do the job right.

    3. He said that CableCard problems are common in many TV sets, but he thinks the TiVo is good hardware and that if there are problems, it is unlikely due to the interaction of the TiVo with the CableCards.

    Good luck to everyone else who has yet to get the cards installed. I was almost ready to go back to DirecTV, but now that it's all connected with Comcast, I'm glad I didn't go back. The picture and audio quality seems better on the S3 than with my DirecTiVo HD on some of the channels that I've checked. But maybe that's just me.
  10. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    Feb 18, 2002
    It's probably not you. DTV does recompress some stuff to save bandwidth, at the cost of picture quality.
  11. ThreeSoFar

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

    May 24, 2002
    Comcast guy's here now for their second crack at this.

    First thing he says is their "cablecard" guy is not in on weekends. wtf?

    He's been on hold 10 minutes twice, they severed the call both times after the wait.

    I told him I'm not letting him go until he gets this done or I talk to someone that says they can't do it today.
  12. bwherry

    bwherry New Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    Just a followup to my comcast install. Comcast just called me to take a quick survey on how I was enjoying my new digital cable. When asked if the installer showed me how to use "the box". I replied he didn't install one. This caused some confusion and the woman actually got somewhat upset because "you can't have digital cable without our box". it went downhill pretty rapidly. I hope the installer doesn't get dinged because he did a great job.
  13. asahi

    asahi New Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Hi All

    Michael from San Francisco here. I'm been lurking but this is my first post.

    I bought my Series 3 from Circuit City earlier this week and had my install this morning. I've heard horror stories so I was very concerned. I'm pleased to say that I had an very clean install and all went very well. The tech who came over was very pleasant and said this was his 3rd install on a series 3 and mine was the first of 2 today.
    Anyway, I did a ton of homework before he came over. I found a website which I found to be useful so I was ready for him.

    The tech put the first card in the lower slot and within a few minutes we got the 164-1 error which we both knew was good. The second card however did not go quite as well. He put the card in and nothing.....having read through these forums, I was very, very worried!!! However, the tech was calm and called back to the CSR for them to hit the card again. The tech did and nothing....just out of curiosity, the tech asked the CSR what account were the hitting. Low and behold, the tech was sending the signal to the wrong house!!! He was sending it to the next appointment's system and not mine. Once he did, within 30 seconds we got the 164-1 error and all was well. The tech finished up and was in and out within 25 minutes.

    I've never had Tivo before so I'm still getting used to the guide but like it so far. I will say that I was concerend about the Picture quality. What I learned from my plasma, was if I selected anything else but native, the PQ was not good. It had a milky look to it. Once I put on the native output, NICE. Great picture, great sound and I've got a new toy to play with for a while.

    Anyway, I wanted to say thank you to all who have posted because you certainly did help my install. I paid $0 for first card, $6.95 for second and $5 for HD. I'm recording Elvis Costello in HD on PBS now while watching ND in HD on NBC.

    Best of luck to all on your installs. It can be done!
  14. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    Sep 8, 2000
    The second card should be free or <$2/month. You shouldn't pay the $5 because that is for HD box rental, not HD service.
  15. asahi

    asahi New Member

    Sep 30, 2006
    Thanks for the tip! I'm going to call Comcast today to get this corrected.
  16. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Just so no one is confused -

    161-1 is not a "good" errror code - 161-4 is, but only if your CableCARDs are manufactured by Motorola and only during the original initalization.
  17. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Do you still have the installer held hostage? :)
  18. TBoyd

    TBoyd Less Cable, More Net

    Apr 9, 2000
    Both problems solved:

    The technician that came today found a filter on the line from when I was a Broadband Internet only customer. After removing it I now have the Expanded Basic channels I was missing. One down…

    After showing the installer the program_missing_rekey menu line on cablecard 2 he asked if ‘customer support’ had offered to “initialize” the card remotely. I told him I’d asked them several times to do this, while on the phone with Comcast customer support, and even talked to a supervisor, and they’d refused saying that they were not authorized to initialize cards and that if they did it might zap the card (I’d offered to pay for the card if this happened). – The tech today just shook his head.

    The tech was ready to replace the card but suggested that we try to initialize the installed card first. He dialed a number, made the request and in 10 seconds the card was re-setting. We even got the “good” error message which I’d not gotten before. The “rekey” message disappeared and within a few minutes the menu display was similar to the older firmware card I have in the other slot. AMAZING!!! --- Two down, we win the pennant!

    I learned something else while the tech was here. You CAN request an in-house technician instead of a contractor. He noted on my original work order where he could tell the first guy was a contractor! BAAAHHHH!!

    Additional: When talking to customer support on the phone a week a go, I’d even asked to be given a regional technical number to escalate the issue and they claimed that there was no higher technical staff (doesn’t pass the snort-milk-nose test)

    My S3 with Comcast is FANTASTIC now!
  19. baked

    baked One of the Lucky 200

    Aug 11, 2002

    After waiting as one of the 'lucky 200' for my S3 (WHICH I LOVE BTW) - I then got to patiently wait for Comcast to get out here today for the install of my 2 cable cards.

    The guy showed up at the end of the install window (which is fine) BUT he didn't have any cable cards with him.

    The dispatcher sent him out on a 'trouble' call. Not an 'install' call. Even though I had insisted that the person I spoke to make a note on the order that I needed the guy to bring 2 cable cards for an install.

    The tech was really nice about it though and sounded like he could be 'one of us' as he knew all about the TiVo. Unfortunately, no cable cards means no install.

    So now I have to wait until next Sunday for them to come back with a couple of cable cards.

    The saga continues.
  20. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    That's a new problem I hadn't seen posted about before... Troubleshooting lesson here, plug the cable directly into a TV, and see what happens.

    This sounds like they did a "cold initialize" which reverts the card's firmware back to it's manufactured state. Don't know why that would have been necesary

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