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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. beobuff

    beobuff Member

    Feb 6, 2009
    I would recommend that you have a good stiff drink before the tech arrives. You might also consider offering him/her one as well. It might well make the tech more amenable to calling Comcast in-house tech support instead of trying to bull through the procedure on his/her own...
  2. jrgutknecht

    jrgutknecht New Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    So I'm convinced Comcast doesn't really care. The only thing the Comcast corporate people did for me was set up two different service calls for today to install new cable cards. Since I wasn't sure what time I would be home, they set up two calls, which I guess shows they have the power to make certain things happen, but the just couldn't wrap their minds around the problem and that it WASN'T my cable card that was the problem it was their system.

    So when I get home, there's a message on the answering machine at 3:41pm from a cable card specialist in the same office as the previous person who was able to fix the problem. He stated he was following up on the ticket that was open from the night before and he had fixed the problem and was sending a signal to my card. He said he'd call back later to follow up(did not by the way) and hung up.

    I checked the Tivo and sure enough at 3:42 the picture on a program that was being recorded on one of the affected channels came in. All channels now appear to be working again.

    Here's what bothers me - I still don't know what this guy did, I don't know why what the previous rep did stopped working after a week, and nobody at Comcast seems to know either.

    I'm tempted to let the tech come out today and install a new cable card, but that would probably just make it worse.

    I'd REALLY like this guy to call me back so I can ask him "What did you do, why did it previously stop working and how can we make sure it doesn't happen again"

    So far, other than calling me to set up service appointments, the Comcast Cares e-mail has been a bust. I've gotten no explanation OR apology from anyone at Comcast for causing this problem in the first place, or reassurances it won't happen again or that they even know WHY it happened.

    Also being in Chicago north suburbs, I hope Jill's installation goes better than mine has :eek:

  3. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    I hope you address this to the Comcast Cares people; obviously they cared enough to first fix your problem, now they'll probably be able to answer the rest of your query if you give them the opportunity.
  4. Sandylp

    Sandylp Sandylp

    May 15, 2005
    I've posted previously about my cablecard installation experience, but after reading other posts about over-billing, I thought I'd better check my bill. I had one M card installed in my Tivo HD, which I had heard that it was supposed to be free. Comcast charged me $6.99 for the "basic box" which I did not have, and $8.14 for an additional outlet. I called, and they said they would credit me. So, I guess it pays to give them a call and point out erroneous charges, but I wonder why they were added to the bill in the first place.
  5. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    What type of service do you have? It's supposed to be free for the first card, and around $2 for additional ones, but they were tryin g to charge me $8/card (with basic cable).
  6. Simms14

    Simms14 New Member

    Jun 15, 2009
    I found the installer and both customer service didn't know much about cable cards. I think it was because 99% of their calls and installs are cable boxes issues I had to make a few calls to comcast but here is what I had to do

    1) Ask Customer Service to transfer me to the Head End, this is where I got someone who knew about the cable cards.

    2) Give them your Cable Card ID, Host ID, Data ID and S/N of the Cable Card.

    3) Tell them you need a Initialzation Hit

    Once I spoke to the right person, Problem solved.:up:
  7. mikkol

    mikkol New Member

    Jun 15, 2009
    I'm contemplating switching from Comcast Digital Cable/DVR package to Tivo (the $499 father day package) but I wonder will I save any $$ here in North Seattle area? What options would I need to have and how much do they charge for them?
    As of today, I pay about $105 for my digital cable + DVR from Comcast ($16.99 for Comcast Digital, $55.75 for Basic Cable, $15.95 for DVR plus $15.48 for misc taxes/fees).

    How much is your cable bill?
  8. Jack D

    Jack D New Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    DC Metro Area
    I'm in Montgomery County, MD. I went through hell to get the two cable cards installed on my S3 way back when they first hit the market.

    Now several years later I just got a TIVO HD. Set up the appointment with CC to install an M-Series card. At the same time they were supposed to install a DOCSIS3 modem so that I could get higher speed Internet.

    Guy shows up (one of the contractors--not an employee of CC). No modem (He thought since I already have Internet service there is no need for the modem that is on the order). He's never installed a cable card and actually tells me he has no interest in learning since he doesn't make as much money doing card installations as he does other sorts of service calls. I have to walk him through the entire thing.

    The process goes very smoothly and quickly (since I know what I'm doing) except that the premium channels are not coming through. He wants to leave saying that it takes about 30 minutes for them to come on line. I politely insist that this is not true. Several phone calls and a long time later he finally gets a CC dispatcher who knows how to adjust my account so that the channels come through.

    Pretty awful. I was hoping that after three years of doing this with people who have TIVOs that CC would get better at it. I suppose compared to last time which took several visits from CC it is somewhat better but still.....

    Since this is the cable card thread I won't even go into the part about the DOCSIS3 modem but it's an even sadder story.
  9. bgmncwj

    bgmncwj New Member

    Mar 25, 2004
    SE Wisconsin
    I have to say after being told I could do a self install, and driving a half hour to my local comcast office only to be told they have to professionally install cablecards I was impressed come Thursday. Comcast tech showed up and saw odd signal levels, so he replaced the main line into the house then installed and activated my cablecard with no problems. All in all the install took about 2 hrs but the actual cablecard activation only took 10-15 minutes. All of my channels work great including my premiums. After the experience I had with Mediacom I expected the worst and was pleasantly surprised. Nicely played Comcast.
  10. jon96cobra

    jon96cobra Member

    May 24, 2006
    Northern VA
    Possibly moving into Montgomery County, MD and wondering how they Deal with Cable card install do they let the user install them or do they send a truck? I currently have Cox and they only allow a truck role for install of cards.

    Also Does Comcast offer the M cable Cards?
  11. stujac

    stujac Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Montgomery County, where???? In PA? If so, there are different cable co's servicing the area; in my area, Willow Grove Comcast they will not give you the cards; requires a truck roll.
  12. Jack D

    Jack D New Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    DC Metro Area
    I assume Montgomery Co., MD. Yes you have schedule a service visit. Yes they do have M-series cards.
  13. MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

    Jun 20, 2009
    Well, every time I call I get a different answer. My 3 TiVo HD's are going to be here Thursday. I want them to run a few days and then get M-Cards. I called Comcast and was told the first was free and the other 2 would cost me a Monthly charge. Then they said a tech would come out to install the cards.

    When I checked again the rep said the cards would be $6.99/Month...the same as a HD STB. When I told her that by law they could only charge no more than $2.05 she informed me she was a top ten employee in her group and has been there 2 years so knew how it worked. However she said I could drive down to the office and pick up my cards any time.

    My last call said that only the first S-Card was free, but my 3 M-Cards would be $1.79 each/month and that I had to have a tech come.

    I can not believe that every time you call them you get a different answer and each person insists they are the one who knows how it is supposed to work!
  14. CraigK

    CraigK (unspecified)

    Jun 9, 2006
    North of...
    I'm in the Seattle area and pay $1.79 for my first card (w/Digital Preferred including one digital set-top box). I have the set-top box off a splitter so I can use On-Demand. If I didn't have the set-top box I believe the first card would be no charge.

    When I got the second TiVo HD, Comcast tried to charge me for a second outlet ($5.10) and cablecard ($1.79). Their literature says "Digital Additional Outlet Service includes 1 Digital Set-Top Receiver and Remote, or CableCARD." I called and Comcast fixed that on my bill.

    I picked up both of my M-Cards at Comcast and did the installs myself. It's a good idea to have the TiVo HDs up and running for a few days to get guide and software updates all taken care of before you do the cablecards. When you do the guided setup there is an option for installing cablecards later. If you pick up the cablecards in person you should be able to confirm what the charge will be then.

    I had no real problems getting my TiVo HDs up and running like some of the folks in this thread. The Comcast people I've dealt with have been both helpful and knowledgeable. It seems to really be a regional difference when some of the folks in this thread post their horror stories. Probably has to do with the type of equipment that Comcast is using and the knowledge of the their employees.

    Seattle (and Portland, hopefully) seems to be one of the better Comcast locations at least in my experience.

    Good Luck!
  15. MitchV

    MitchV New Member

    May 26, 2009
    It makes no sense.

    I live in Virginia (just south of Richmond), and it is cheaper for me to have a cablecard and Tivo than any of their HDMI equipment.

    I recently had a cable card installed and I told the technician that I would use my old Comcast DVR as a reciver for another television in order to pick up the digital channels - DVR service had already been discontinued.

    I had been charged about $16 a month for the box and service. My next bill comes and now I am being charged a little over $20 a month for the same box without the service!

    Furthermore, I recently swapped out a digital receiver for a newer model with an HDMI output... and my monthly equipment fee increased from $6.95 to just under $15 a month!

    I call Comcast, the rep can offer no explanation... but she does confirm that for a $20 installation fee I can have a technician come out, install a multi-stream card (I get a free one for each outlet), and suffer no monthly equipment charge.

    I'd rather pay TiVo than Comcast... it also effectively kills any chance Comcast has that I will ever use their VOD. They can keep their own equipment.
  16. MPSAN

    MPSAN Active Member

    Jun 20, 2009
    Thank you both. Well, I was told that the 1 free card was 1 tuner. So, with our TiVo HD being two tuners I could get 2 s-cards with 1 free, or 1 M-Card with the first half being free! It makes no sense. I was told that I could not go down and just get my cards.

    I believe that when I get my TiVo's Thursday, I will do the setup and tell it I will install the cards later and then let them run for a few days!

    I still have no idea what is going to happen here!
  17. pdhenry

    pdhenry Now 10% off

    Feb 27, 2005
    Maybe some of that delta is becuse you had digital service on one outlet before (the DVR) and now you have digital service on two outlets (the DVR on one, the TiVo on the other). That costs extra on Comcast.
  18. jon96cobra

    jon96cobra Member

    May 24, 2006
    Northern VA
    Thanks. Yeah in MD. I have Cox now and they didn't carry the M-series cards at the time I got it and I didn't want to have another service call just to swap it out they also have a cisco tuner box so Tivo users can get all the HD stations you get with there DVR.
  19. BobHD

    BobHD New Member

    Jun 21, 2009
    I recently began considering a TIVO HD DVR after I found out how much it was going to cost to add another crappy Comcast Motorola DVR to our second HDTV ($15.95 + $6.99= $22.94) per month. That ticked me off to the point where I want to replace my current Comcast DVR just to reduce my spend with them. I found out the TIVO can be connected to our home network and we can pick up the recorded shows for the second TV. My son works for Best Buy and can get a really good deal on both the TIVO HD unit and the monthly service. The monthly cable card rent is cheap enough but then I read that the cable companies don't always map all their new HD channels to the cable card. Can anyone out there confirm or advise on this matter?
  20. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    What you're referring to is deployment of Switched Digital Video -- CableCARDs can tune it but only with additional hardware to interface with the head-end in order to coordinate the process since there's no static channel assignment -- it exists only when at least one customer connected to the local headend wants to watch it.

    Switched Digital Video isn't limited to HD but can apply to any digital channel.

    Comcast appears to have decided not to deploy Switched Digital Video system-wide and instead is clearing out analog channels to recover the bandwidth to use for digital channels, including HD. But even in those markets where Comcast has been testing Switched Digital Video, they have adapters to connect to TiVo's that permit the TiVo receiver to control Switched Digital Video channels.

    One thing you should be aware of is that some channels mark programs to prevent them from being copied from one DVR to another. So there's a chance not every program you record on one unit would be transferrable to the other. Otherwise the only thing you do lose is access to PPV and OnDemand programming, unless you keep a Comcast receiver around for access to that stuff.

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