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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. beobuff

    beobuff New Member

    Feb 6, 2009
    That's why you need the cable card if you are going to use the cable HD channels. The first one, at least here in eastern MA, is free (i.e., no montly fee) from Comcast, but they will charge you $17.50 for the truck roll to install it.
  2. echamberlain

    echamberlain New Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    I've been fighting with my Motorola M-card cablecard and my new TiVo HD for two days.

    Comcast referred me to TiVo tech support and they suggested upgrading to the TiVo software to 11b, I did that and still the cablecard won't work.

    I've managed to get the Comcast CSR to read back my Host ID and Data values and they match what the TiVo is reporting, but my TiVo still will not pickup the channel line-up or pair properly (Val: is ? 0x00).

    TiVo does see the OOB messages increment. But the VCTID stays at 0 and TiVo never gets the channel lineup.

    I can see the analog channels when the cablecard is removed and I have power cycled the TiVo both with and without the cablecard.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
  3. pl1

    pl1 New Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Yes. You should schedule a 3-way with Comcast and TiVo.



    CableCARD hotline: Special help with your CableCARD issues

    Monday - Sunday
    6:00 AM - 9:00 PM Pacific
  4. pdhenry

    pdhenry Actual TiVo Owner

    Feb 27, 2005
    When I had Comcast/TiVo problems, I believe it was a billing problem rather than a pairong problem. The CCs and the TiVo were installed properly but the account was not properly authorizing the channels. The (2nd) Comcast tech made a call to someone in "connectivity" and my problem was solved immediately.
  5. echamberlain

    echamberlain New Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    I got it working. After a call back to the TiVo CableCard hotline, we determined that the problem was with the CableCard.

    The Conditional Access menu would only display four lines of text, ending with Val:? 0x00.

    I went to the local Comcast office and they swapped cards, no questions asked.

    Put in the new card, this card was definitely doing more than the last card, VTC updates, and the card downloaded something.

    I called the Comcast number that TiVo showed on the screen (same number I called before) and gave them the new Host ID and Data. They paired the new card and The channel lineup updated and I had HD picture before the call ended.
  6. archtv

    archtv TiVo n00b

    Apr 15, 2009
    Katy, TX
    First post here and have been looking around to catch up. FWIW, at least here in Katy, TX, one can simply drop by the local Comcast branch to pick up their Multi-Stream CableCARD. There was no charge for the card. I plugged it into the TiVo, called their tech support to enable it and waited a few minutes. It works perfectly.


    Edit: Guess I gotta rethink the "It works perfectly" part. HD channel 298 (Versus) shows only a grey screen all of a sudden. Still have the Comcast HD DVR and it plays 298 just fine - using the same signal from the same cable outlet, so it's something to do with the TiVo or the Comcast cableCARD. A call to Comcast resulted in the usual recommendations and signal sent, to no avail. Comcast is coming next Friday to do some other work (we're switching from DSL/phone to cable) and this has been added to that ticket, so we'll see. Could be some other subscribed channels greyed out, too, but I haven't gone through all of 'em. I will say that all of our other TiVo favorite channels (about 30 total) do still work, but I need my Versus back! :(
  7. TXPamIAm

    TXPamIAm Guest

    Apr 19, 2009
    Houston Comcast subscriber here...I've been going through the threads here. Thanks for sharing all these tidbits. It is a wealth of info.

    I wanted to share my specific issue and get some feedback or see if we're on the right track (doing all we can do) - please let me know if this is not the appropriate thread.

    We just swapped our (2) Motorola cards (SS) to a Scientific Atlanta (MS). After 29 hrs, we have what looks like a completely random set of channels - both present and missing, in all channel groups: baisc, digital and HD (see the missing list, below).

    We believe the first card we tried (yesterday) never accepted the firmware upgrade, so we initially blamed that for the random channels. Comcast handed us two cards when we exchanged them yesterday (luckily?), and we didn't know they were MS until we got home. The 4th tech also began suspecting the first card was bad, so we took advanage of the second SA MS card, and we began intalling it. The tech verified the replacement MS card info, and sent signals to the card while I was on the phone....but unfortunately nothing changed. The tech said to my dismay "now we wait 24 hrs for everything to update". She also offered that even if you do everything right, this happens.
    It's been a couple of hours, and I look at the CA status now, and it says "Waiting for CP Auth".

    There's alot of info I could share here, so if this isn't enough I will be happy to provide more...but I am just frankly unsure due to all the different answers at Comcast, that things are "ok". So thought I'd run it up the blogpole and ask for feedback. This totally differs from first CableCard install 6 mos ago (same Tivo HD box, and Comcast services) experience with Motorola cards, when groups of channels were missing (not random through the whole spectrum).

    Here's the channels we GET:
    304-326 D
    296 HD
    294 HD

    Here's the channels we are NOT getting.

    Things we've tried (at various times, either with Comcast reps or on our own):
    -replaced first cablecard (first installed yesterday, replaced today)
    -restarting Tivo (before and after all card installs)
    -going through Tivo channel set up
    -pulling and reattached cable coax on Tivo box
    -restarting cable modem
    -ensuring we had latest/greatest Tivo firmware

    Some background:
    -no changes to cable service in last 2 yrs (digtial with HD)
    -had current Tivo box since Nov 2008; worked great until cards changed yesterday
    -current Tivo box functions great (recording 2 channels at once, quality of video, audio, etc all seem just right)
    -most of our favorite channels in the list, are in the "not getting" list...
  8. darksurtur

    darksurtur New Member

    Jan 2, 2008
    Just had a Cablecard/Internet install in Arlington, Va. It all ended up working, but I would definitely not call it painless, mostly because of office end problems.

    Basically, after the Cable card install, the tech called the office, they activated the card, and channels came in. Only, the only channels that came in were OTA simulcasts. When I piped up to say Digital Starter includes far more than that, the office told me that Digital Starter contains the same lineup as Basic (not even Expanded) Cable. We had to call customer service, wait on hold and get no help. We ended up calling the office end again, who this time said, the proper channels won't come in until you close out the order. That worked, but what kind of backward reasoning is that? Oh, and in the process of sorting this out, the Internet was activated, then deactivated and finally activated again.

    The tech was great! He said, "Customer service first. I'm not gonna leave until you get what you ordered," and he meant it. Ended up staying about two hours all total for what should have been 20 minutes at most. Unfortunately, he also said, "We all hate Cablecard installs. We don't understand the technology." I guess that is fair ... the cable company has no incentive to spend money on proper training or to make the process any simpler, I guess.
  9. Kyven

    Kyven New Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Palm Beach Gardens, FL
    I just argued with Comcast again over the digital outlet fees and HD fees and I've given up. I shouldn't have to pay $20+ just for cable cards. I got an antenna. It gets nice HD reception and I'm returning the cable cards. I lose premium channels, but I'm not giving Comcast anymore money.
  10. pl1

    pl1 New Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Don't you just love how the cablecos have figured out a way around the requirement to charge a nominal fee for CableCARDs by going after other services like HD fees and Additional Outlets? Mind you, I have to assume these same charges would occur with Set Top Box customers. I'm sure these fees are to offset the loss of those fees by cableCARD customers. So far, Comcast has not started charging anything for one cableCARD where I live. They include one cableCARD as a part of Digital Starter.
  11. Kyven

    Kyven New Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Palm Beach Gardens, FL
    Don't worry, they will get around to ripping you off too. When they started here, the costs were nominal. Now, they are just ridiculous. Check this out:

    They bill me for two S Cards as follows.

    1 Cable Card Free
    1 Cable Card $2

    Digital Service for first card $5.50
    Additional Digital for second card $6.50
    HDTV Service for two cards $13.90

    In other words, the two cards cost me about $28 a month! The best part is that if I "rent" their box I save almost $20. Got to love comcast.
  12. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    North Potomac, MD
    Depending on how much you want to pursue this, you should be able to get that money back. Comcast national headquarters seems to be very sensitive to the charge that they are discriminating against 3rd party cablecard equipment (a big FCC no-no). If you can document the local policy and your attempts to deal locally with the problem, then write the national headquarters in Philadelphia and you should get action.
  13. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    I agree. Folks, don't just sit and take it at the local level. The reps at 800-COMCAST are not going to fix this, no matter how high you try to go there. Escalate to exec support at Comcast corporate and let the top-down approach get some action.
    No one should have to pay more than the standard digital A/O fee for each Tivo after the first (assuming one M-card per Tivo, I know the extra S-card charge varies per region). The first Tivo (and CC) should be included in the monthly service fee, same as if you had a Comcast box.
  14. sdy

    sdy New Member

    Jun 26, 2005
    Just went through this with Comcast in Redmond WA ..
    My scenario, 1 series-3 (2 single stream cards), 1 hd (1 m-card), their basic settop (for on demand)

    Their claim:
    1st s-card free, digital device outlet charge $5.10
    2nd s-card $1.79

    1st m-card + outlet fee $5.10

    part of this is because they claim that the "primary outlet" is consumed by
    the basic digital box so I can access on-demand for services I've already paid for

    At one point they tried to even tell me that the "free s-card" only applied if
    I didn't have the basic digital box.

    And don't get me started .. in 2006 when I first got the series-3 they told me that
    the cable-cards were free and there was no outlet fee for the tivo .. of course they
    changed that in 2007 when I bought the 2nd HD and needed an m-card.

    Really seems like they're scamming the system.
  15. sdy

    sdy New Member

    Jun 26, 2005
    Oh, and I don't know how to access the exec support lines .. so instead I sent emails to the commissioners of the FCC
    at www dot fcc dot gov/contacts.html
    and also sent emails through the system at www dot whitehouse dot gov ... it may not work, but I feel better. Just keep it clean and to the point, maybe with enough complaints
    someone will look into it .. especially with all the other DTV issues

    (sorry not enough posts to allow me to use real URLs)
  16. rdlm

    rdlm New Member

    Apr 6, 2003
    Are the "random channels" that you are getting actually showing up on the right channel number? It sounds similar to what happened to me, but in my case, the channel numbers didn't map to the correct channels. After getting escalated to a more knowledable support tier, they discovered that my area has two "head ends" (their terminology; not sure of the specifics) available, both listed as serving the same exact area. They changed me from one to the other, sent a msg to the CC, and everything started working correctly.
  17. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    You're getting charged exactly what you should be charged - each Tivo after your included digital box is an extra digital outlet and you'll get charged for that, just as if you rented a couple of standard boxes from them. I get charged the same way.

    Do I like it? No. But everyone with boxes pays these charges, so I don't see why having a Tivo would be different. My post was mostly in regards to the 'HD service fee' crap that they try to stick on Tivos - that fee is only supposed to be charged if you rent one of their HD boxes, and HD channels are supposed to be included in the service fee for each tier now. But you're not getting hit with that, so I don't see your beef.
  18. jtmiller

    jtmiller New Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Baltimore, MD
    As a followup, Comcast came out last Friday and the tech had two M-cards. Installation took an hour since the headend wasn't sending authorization for anything at first. The tech got someone at the headend and sent a note enumerating exactly which channels were missing, pretty much anything above 200.

    He stuck with it until there was only one missing, gave me his cell phone number and told me to call if the last one didn't show up within an hour. It popped in about 20 minutes after he left.

    So far everything has been working fine.

    My online webpage for "recent activity" hasn't yet been updated which is pretty weird. I would have thought they would have already nicked me for the truck roll.

    My next bill should be May 7. Should be interesting to see what's on it.

  19. dverespey

    dverespey New Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Bit the bullet and bought a HD Tivo due to the digital upgrade in the SF Bay Area (Just didn't want to bother with the IR blasters and a box)

    Stopped by the local Comcast office to pick up the M Card on the way home yesterday. Hooked the new Tivo up, did the guided setup, forced it to call home again about an hour later to get the latest software updates.

    Once that was done I took a deep breath and prepared for the dreaded cable card insert. Followed the written and on screen directions and called the Comcast number. Gave the tech the required configuration numbers and waited. Fifteen minutes later, it worked. Holy cow, no problems.

    Stayed up later than I should have playing with my new toy and coping over my old season passes.

    Thanks to the early adopters, my setup went like a breeze.
  20. Maniac1140

    Maniac1140 New Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Has anyone in the Memphis area had a good install? I have an HD Tivo and have already been through like 6 cable cards (3 truck rolls with a 4th one scheduled for this weekend). Some of the premium channels are not coming in (encrypeted ones) and the SA card screen as "Waiting for CP Auth"

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