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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. flaminiom

    flaminiom New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    I'm in Lansing, MI. I called the main 800-comcast line and that's who I got. We'll see I guess who comes out and what they can do tomorrow. I at least have something to show them in the Condition Access menu and case numbers at Comcast and Tivo.
  2. Smackfu

    Smackfu New Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    I've been dealing with a tech quite a bit on some line noise issues that are only affecting my internet/phone. And boy do they hate Cablecard installs! In particular, he was complaining about the step where it upgrades after you plug it in. Apparently that has a really high failure rate, and takes 15-20 minutes even when it works, and doesn't really fail when it doesn't -- it just never finishes. So they can easily waste 30-40 minutes on a card that ends up not working. And who knows, maybe the card is actually good but the problem is on the Comcast network end, but they don't want to waste another 30 minutes, so they mark it as defective and try another.
  3. NewbieNeedsHelp

    NewbieNeedsHelp New Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    Need Help. Totally messed up and wife is pissed!

    So, we live in a large apartment complex (MDU) where our cable bill is paid by our association dues. We have a HDTV and get channels 1-99 plus some HD over the air channels that show up with weird numbers like 10-1 (for NBC-HD).

    Just over a month ago we got a HD-Tivo plus a 3 year service membership.

    We were told then that we could get a comcast cablecard to allow us to receive additional HD channels (for a $2/month fee plus installation) and that would also make the over-the-air HD channels a "normal" number so our tivo could recognize them and we could record them automatically.

    However, the comcast tech today told us we were misinformation. There is no "MDU cablecard". He said our options were to get a comcast high def receiver (for about $12/month) but that would make our tivo completely useless, or a comcast HD-DVR for $32/month. That would be okay, if we didn't just spend $550 on the HD-Tivo and 3 year service plan!

    So, the wife is pissed and doesn't want to spend an extra $32/month so I'm in the doghouse. We have a great setup, but I want to be able to watch sports and record in HD.

    Any ideas?

  4. cjv2

    cjv2 New Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Eh, on the one hand, there is no such thing as an "MDU CableCard" or a "Comcast Cablecard."

    On the other hand, there *are* just CableCards. M-type (multistream), and S-type (single-stream). For your TivoHD, you need either one M-type, or two S-types.

    I find with Comcast that if you use big words or techie words, especially inaccurate ones or ones that are out of context, they will tell you things like "no, the earth is flat, except for those who pay us more money, so that our devices can make it round on a per-outlet basis, so that I have served you better even though you don't know it yet." This sounds like what may have happened to you.

    I would call them back, tell them that you have a Tivo, and you need CableCards. If you are daring, you can try to have an M-type vs. S-type talk with them, but you may explode the brain of the person on the other side.

    Good luck. :)
  5. Dragon509

    Dragon509 New Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    I just got my cablecard from Comcast today, they let me pick it up rather than requiring a truck roll which surprised me. However I almost immediately ran into problems.

    I've already completed guided setup without the cablecard, and the tivo has gotten the latest software updates. But when I insert the cablecard it goes to the cablecard screen, after a moment it updates to show it's an M-card, and then...nothing. I never get a screen showing the info I need to give to comcast. After waiting for a while I went to the cablecard pairing screen and it has a message saying "Information not available".

    Does it sound like I got a bad card? Was something not done right at the comcast office when they issued me the card? Did I miss something?

    The card is a Motorola.

    *edit* Update: Spoke with both Tivo and Comcast, Tivo confirmed that the card was receiving signals from the headend, but were unable to do much else and advised I contact Comcast and see if they could do some sort of initialization and channel push with just the serial number. Called Comcast and the guy I talked to seemed fairly knowledgeable about setting these up for Tivo's, but with no pairing info there wasn't too much he could do. He did attempt to use the SN to push something to the card, then had me reboot the tivo, but no change. He recommended I try getting another cablecard, which was sort of the conclusion I'd been coming to anyhow.
  6. Kevin R

    Kevin R New Member

    Jan 15, 2009
    Haven't run the Tivo with comcast, but I suspect it's like knology in that you will get the QAMs, but they won't provide the data, so thye can push their service.
    You can combine the two though and use and OTA antenna for locals in HD, and keep the cable for the discovery and such. Tivo will then provide programing data for the HD locals and the regular cable.
    Just go into set up then and turn off the redundant local channels from cable.

    Kevin R
  7. flaminiom

    flaminiom New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    The second comcast tech came today. We looked into the HD channels I should be getting per the channel line up and said I needed to get a specal HD package, although there isn't any listed on their site. He called someone and said I needed Triple Play package to get the HD or something. They also said the only way to get HD channels I needed a cable box. They wouldn't do anything about the channels I couldn't get.

    This is all ******** and told him to take the card back. Now I have to fight with them over the install charge.

  8. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TC Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    When you get to this sort of situation, the best thing to do is to stop trying to deal with the local people and go through Comcast corporate who will find a local person for you who actually has a clue, and that also will most likely generate some pressure on the other local people to actually learn what products they sell.

    I know it's annoying to have to train the people working for companies you want to buy product from, but hey, it could be worse!

    Get in touch with the Comcast Cares group and explain what happened:

  9. flaminiom

    flaminiom New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Thx. I sent an email and got a quick reply that stating they will look into it and get back to me.

    I'm mostly annoyed that I can't even get started on the problem. They don't know their own channel packages.
  10. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008

    I AGREE with Doug 100%

    What Territory are you IN - This is the Craziest Comcast Story I have
    heard on this THREAD. Saying you have to buy triple play to get HD is
    actually AGAINST the LAW.

  11. cjv2

    cjv2 New Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    No, they don't. Let me tell you a story.

    In my area, if you visit the Comcast website and look up the Digital Starter and Digital Preferred channel lineups, they are identical. Line for line.

    So I tried to find out why I wasn't getting FX HD (on either my Tivo *or* my Comcast HD DVR), which is listed in both packages (I have Preferred, the higher tier of the two). Let me tell you how this unfolded.

    Before you read this, I didn't talk to them about the Tivo, either. Just the Comcast box. I know better than to talk Tivo to them.

    - Email to Comcast, noting the identical channel lineups on the website, was replied to with a statement that I might not have the right package, and I should contact someone to get upgraded.

    - Live chat with Comcast resulted in being told that I needed to downgrade - you heard it, downgrade - from Digital Preferred to Digital Starter to get FX HD.

    - Phone call to Comcast resulted in: (1) "oh your device must need resetting, power it down, I will hit the box, blah blah blah." (2) "oh the reset didn't work, you must have an equipment problem, I will schedule someone to come out and find out what is wrong with your equipment. (3) Guy arrives. Looks at channels. Says "we haven't upgraded this area to Comcast World Of More yet, I can tell by the channels you're getting."

    Tech guy resolution: 5 minutes. Time to get to tech guy who actually knew something: 2 hours+.

    But wait, there's more.

    See, I wanted to know what the lineup differences were between Digital Starter and Digital Preferred. Because Comcast annoyed me with all the run around, and if all I care about is what's on Starter, I'm downgrading pronto.

    - Here's a snippet of the online chat session.

    Sense a communication problem here?

    To his credit, the Comcast guy finally got me my answer (which, by the way, is apparently not on a customer-accessible page). Along the way, he noted that he was "having a difficult time looking for the channel line up of Digital Preferred." Sounded familiar.

    Resolution time: about 1 hour.

    Uh, wait. He didn't actually give me any details on the HD channels, now that I look at the list.

    Revised resolution time: Not resolved.

    All that said, your original comment? They don't know their own channel lineups? No. They do not.
  12. bicker

    bicker Gruff

    Nov 9, 2003
    Well, it actually isn't against the law, however, I think we can rest assured that this is a misunderstanding and that they're not categorically requiring Triple Play in order to be able to get HD.
  13. flaminiom

    flaminiom New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    So, was FX-HD on Preferred?

    On my channel lineup they left behind dated 11/09, FXHD, for example, is listed under Digital Starter HD. Next to that there's a * footnote that says Digital Starter is required to receive Digital Starter HD.

    The way I read it, is if I have Preferred, I should be getting Starter HD and Classic HD. If I get the top Premium, I should get the Premium HD. Maybe too all the sports and family tiers I'm not getting.

    I'm calling Saturday to find out for my own sanity.
  14. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    The poster said they said it was REQUIRED - that is Against the Law.
  15. bicker

    bicker Gruff

    Nov 9, 2003
    It actually isn't against the law. You're simply mistaken. You can continue to insist that it is illegal, but unless you can cite the law which makes it illegal, you're blowing smoke. I wish you luck in your search, but please understand that I've warned you that there is no such law, so your search will be fruitless.

    In addition, however, I think we can rest assured that this is a misunderstanding and that they're not categorically requiring Triple Play in order to be able to get HD.
  16. cjv2

    cjv2 New Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Well, I just re-edited my post; the guy actually didn't give me detail on the HD channels. Sucks. However, I *think* -- can't prove -- that if you get the SD version of a channel, and an HD version exists in the lineup, you're going to get the HD version too. And I believe FX SD is on both tiers.

    Here's what he said the differences were. The following channels are in Preferred but not Starter in my area.

    106 Fox Business Network
    107 Current TV
    108 Fox Reality
    109 CBS College Sports
    118 NFL Network
    121 ESPNews
    123 MLB Network
    125 CSPAN 3
    130 BBC America
    131 Discovery Health
    132 Science Channel
    134 G4
    135 Nick Jr.
    136 NASA
    138 National Geographic
    139 Encore Wam
    140 Independent Film Channel
    142 Encore
    143 Encore Drama
    144 Encore Love
    145 Encore Mystery
    146 Encore Westerns
    147 Encore Action
    148 ShopNBC
    149 Jewelry Television by ACN
    155 MOVIEplex
    162 MTV2
    163 MTV Hits
    164 VH1 Classic
    165 VH1 Soul
    166 CMT Pure Country
    167 MTV Jams
    176 ReelzChannel TV
    182 The Africa Channel
    183 INDIEplex
    184 RETROplex
    195 Soap Net
    198 Oxygen
    199 WE
    206 CNN International
    207 Bloomberg
    210 Outdoor Channel
    212 Weatherscan
    218 History International
    219 The Biography Channel
    220 The Military Channel
    221 Investigation Discovery
    253 Planet Green
    254 DIY
    255 Fine Living
    256 Fit TV
    261 The Word Network
    262 Halogen
    264 EWTN
    265 Family Net
    266 Disney XD
    267 Teen Nick
    268 Nick2
    269 Nicktoons
    270 Boomerang
    271 PBS Kids Sprout
    275 Centric
    276 BET Hip Hop
    277 BET Gospel
    279 Ovation
    280 Sundance
    288 Logo
    289 NFL Network
    298 ESPN U

    Crap... I just realized as a result of this post that my Tivo isn't getting the Encore channels but the Comcast HD DVR is. Lovely...
  17. flaminiom

    flaminiom New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    The guy had them on speaker phone. The conversation was do you get HD channels with this package? At first she said, yeah you should get -pause- no wait you need Triple Play for that.

    Who knows what these two were talking about, but I think it's clear that I don't need Internet and phone to get HDTV. The whole visit was a cluster****.
  18. drhankz

    drhankz New Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    I AGREE 100% - that somewhere there is a misunderstanding. Someone
    made a mistake in saying what was implied. I'm sure almost anyone at
    Comcast would retract the implied statement in a second if it was made
    by someone at Comcast.

    Divesture and unbundling services has been in place since 1984. Yes any
    service provider can offer bundles to make their services more attractive
    and Consumers have the freedom to make their choice. What was implied
    was that the consumer had to buy two NON-RELATED services, Telephony
    and Internet Service to GET HD TV channels.

    AGAIN - I agree with you - there is a misunderstanding somewhere. But
    if there was NO misunderstanding - then that kind of bundling is illegal.
    That is worse than BAIT and SWITCH - and are you going to say that is
    NOT ILLEGAL also.
  19. bicker

    bicker Gruff

    Nov 9, 2003
    Yup, that's what I said.

    No, it isn't. There is no such law. You're mistaken.
  20. cjv2

    cjv2 New Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Well, I have been on the phone with Comcast on and off for three hours now, hung up on once, and bounced across four different people. They scheduled an appointment for me three days from now without bothering to tell me about it, which figures, and they don't want to talk to me about the problem.

    What I *did* find out is that CableCard #2 is set up in their system for "basic" rather than the digital starter/preferred tier (unlike CableCard #1), and they are apparently going to fix this by sending someone to the house.

    The last person I spoke with gave me the I-don't-know-what-a-manager is dance after telling me first that the setup of the cards is identical, and then telling me that she doesn't have access to the system that would tell her whether the setup of the cards is identical. Ha ha ha... more to come.

    EDIT: No path to resolution until at least morning. But I got a manager involved who seems to have a clue.

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