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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Apr 7, 2010 #7361 of 9367
    Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    For those keeping score at home, this situation was resolved later that afternoon by a tech. Turns out my Host ID was on someone else's account, and only a certain office could resolve that, and it appears only the techs have the number to that office.

    Anyways, my knowledgeable rep that scheduled the same-day truck roll told me the service call would be free since it was due to a problem on their end. My bill showed up today, $27.99 heavier. A call to Comcast fixed this, but I have a few gripes:
    1) It took 2 minutes and 54 second to get placed into the queue. The rest was all kinds of BS: I got greeted by Ben Stien and Shaq (I never understood why they do that) which was a great waste of 5 seconds, and heard a 30 second promo on the Masters being offered in 3D (apparently your TV must use an HDMI cable to view it in 3D) among other crap.
    2) The billing rep reversed the charge as a "one-time courtesy". I'm annoyed that I got charged in the first place, and pissed that they reversed it as a courtesy. To me, I understand this as each customer gets one "get out of jail free card" as a way of making you happy enough to not cancel your account. I was told the call would be free, so I'm pissed that I "used up" this freebie, and the fact that they had to sugar coat it as such. Rather than look at the details of the call, she just gave me this one time credit. The moral is my equipment better not go bad, because I understand they charge you even if their equipment fails.
     
  2. Apr 7, 2010 #7362 of 9367
    b_scott

    b_scott TiVo Fan

    1,535
    0
    Nov 27, 2006
    chicago, il
    don't let them ever charge you for something that is their fault. I always ask if I'll be charged for a truck roll when it's something I want to fix over the phone, and they say not as long as it's on their end - which it is.
     
  3. Apr 7, 2010 #7363 of 9367
    Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    He told me when he made the appointment it would be no charge, someone dropped the ball along the way.
     
  4. Apr 8, 2010 #7364 of 9367
    cjv2

    cjv2 New Member

    290
    0
    Dec 15, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    That "one time exception for our own f***up" business is the kind of thing I would have taken to the we_can_help email address. Even if all I got was an apology out of the deal, it would make me happier.
     
  5. Apr 8, 2010 #7365 of 9367
    skyline987

    skyline987 New Member

    12
    0
    Dec 17, 2006
    So after the agony of trying to get cablecards and a tech the knew how to install them (yes it may seem easy but apparently it takes an expert) I got my bill today. $16 charge for the service call, $20 credit for them being late (so really you only get $4 back) and a $35 courtesy credit for some unknown reason which is nice of them. Thats the end of the good news and the rest of my bill seems kinda odd to me.

    In my home I have the 2 tivo boxes each with 2 cable cards and one plain digital converter. My bill however reads as follows:

    "Digital Classic Additional Outet (Includes 1 Digital Converter @$3.20 and one remote at @.25ea.)(Does not include HDTV Equipment Fee)
    3 @$9.25 each. = $27.75 4/15 - 5/14"


    I only have one Comcast Owned box which should be included with my digital preferred plus package so why am i being charged for 3?

    "HDTV Equipment Fee
    4 @ $6.00each = $24.00 4/15 - 5/14"


    This one just baffles me i dont have any of their equipment specifically for hdtv. Theres no such thing as a HDTV cable card vs. a non hdtv cable card. I'm being charged for 4 so im assuming its the cable cards.

    "Cable Card Additional Outlet
    2 @ 1.50 each = $3.00 4/15 - 5/14"


    this charge was expected

    "Cablecard Digital Equipment Credit (digital converter @$3.20 and remote control @.25)
    2 @ -$3.45 = -$6.90 4/15 - 5/14"

    I assume this is because 2 of my boxes in the first statement arent theirs but im still being overcharged for the one thats included in my plan.

    Time to write another letter to we_Can_help?
     
  6. Apr 8, 2010 #7366 of 9367
    jrswartz

    jrswartz New Member

    14
    0
    Nov 7, 2003
    I have called numerous times to Comcast to ask how much it would be to add one Mulit-stream cable card to my existing service. I currently have one Digital Cable box and two DTAs (the free ones).

    I have received three different answers.
    1. $1.50 per month plus a one time installation charge.
    2. $6.95 per month plus a one time installation charge.
    3. We have no M-Cards. It would be $8.45 per single stream card.

    I get similar conflicting answers when I ask what it would cost to replace my existing Digital cable box.

    *** I have written a note to we_can_help to see if they can give a definitive answer. ***
     
  7. Apr 8, 2010 #7367 of 9367
    Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    Quick reply to skyline987 and jrswartz:
    One CableCARD is included in the outlet fee for each outlet. Some people get charged twice for an M-Card, if you remind them that it's only one card, they'll usually delete the extra charge. If you have 2 cards and tell them they're both in the same device on one outlet, sometimes they'll take off the second charge.

    skyline987, they should NOT be charging you for HD equipment. That charge is for a little square box that decrypts channels and has HDMI (and other) outputs. A CableCARD is not HD equipment, and they shouldn't be charging you

    jrswartz, theoretically your charges for equipment would go away if you're able to get M-Cards. I picked up my card at an office, and the rep was a ***** so I didn't bother asking her for an M-Card. Turned out the card was "bad" so when the tech came out to replace it, he gave me an M-Card. Out of the 4 he had in his truck, only one was an M.

    Both, if they try to charge you more than you should be paying, reference this page, but note the disclaimer.
     
  8. Apr 9, 2010 #7368 of 9367
    tazzmission

    tazzmission Member

    562
    2
    Oct 15, 2002
    North...
    Comcast came with two M-Cards. The tech was clueless as to what needed done. The first M-Card was still registered to another user for some reason. So he then tried card number two. That one took but not for about 30 minutes. The person that he called at the head-end did not know what to do. I had to tell them both that they needed the host ID and cable card ID's paired. I got TiVo support on the line and they helped a little. They both gave up and were about to setup another appointment when all of a sudden the card started working. So maybe it takes a while for the card to activate when they enter it in the system.

    Anyway, I'm all setup on the new XL thanks to Tom at We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com

    Tom even called me minutes after the tech left to make sure I was all set.
     
  9. Apr 9, 2010 #7369 of 9367
    cjv2

    cjv2 New Member

    290
    0
    Dec 15, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    That disclaimer answers one of my questions - first confirm I've seen that there is regional pricing at work. That HDTV Technology Fee hasn't hit my area yet but it has been announced on billing statements in at least 2 geographies that have been discussed in the forum.
     
  10. Apr 9, 2010 #7370 of 9367
    jrswartz

    jrswartz New Member

    14
    0
    Nov 7, 2003
    I received a call back from Comcast today. The call back was very timely and the individual was very helpful.

    To add an M-card to my existing services would add the cost of an 'additional outlet' charge of $6.95 per month. That charge includes the first cable card including an M-card. If I replaced my existing digital cable box then there would be no additional charge since either a cable box or cable card is included in the base service.

    He also offered to have me call him if I get a Premiere and he would make sure a knowledgeable installer would be assigned.
     
  11. Apr 9, 2010 #7371 of 9367
    skyline987

    skyline987 New Member

    12
    0
    Dec 17, 2006
    I got an e-mail back from Vinisha from Comcast yesterday about an hour after sending the email saying they would look into it and contact me. Today I received a phone call from Marie who had helped me with my original problem. She said to her the bill definitely doesn't seem right and she would research it and let me know whats going on.
     
  12. timstack8969

    timstack8969 Member

    461
    0
    May 14, 2004
    First time using Cable Card with comcast digital cable. When I don't subscribe to a channel say "NBA League Pass" it used to have a screen that say's "Not Auhorized" call 1-800-comcast. With the cable card it say's "searching for signal on bottom. Is this normal for channels I don't subscribe to?
     
  13. cjv2

    cjv2 New Member

    290
    0
    Dec 15, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    That can be normal. I haven't figured out all the ins and outs, but some of the channels I don't subscribe to get the "searching for signal" bit, while others make a CableCard status screen pop up.

    However, I have *never* had a message saying call 1-800-COMCAST appear on a channel that wasn't part of my package. On my Comcast DVR, maybe, but not on my Tivo.
     
  14. AndyAxel

    AndyAxel New Member

    10
    0
    Dec 12, 2005
    My Comcast/Tivo saga (skip to the bold if you find the detail too much):

    I have had a Tivo S3 for about three years - up until a lightning strike took out the HDMI port on it (and the same surge took out the HDMI switch on my receiver, and on my plasma TV ... ). I was one of the first people in my market to attempt the dual S-Card installation and it was a real headache. Swapped out about five cards before we could get them both to come up properly. The first one I got went in without a problem so we knew it wasn't the cable or the Tivo. That took a couple of truck rolls to resolve.

    When the S3 took a hit, I went to Best Buy and found an HD XL which I got for a little of nothing since it was the display unit. I installed it with the old S-Cards and for whatever reason, I was able to see all of my subscribed content with the exception of HBO without re-pairing. The HD XL had a problem with intermittent reboots, so I went ahead and returned it late last week and used the refund to buy the Premiere.

    Immediately, I notice that it takes M-Card and not S-Card. Call Tivo - "Hey, is there any way to use an S-Card until I get the M-Card turned up?" Tivo Tech: "SURE!" (But wrong. Call Tivo back to confirm what the previous tech had said after running through guided setup and failing; I was then told that what the previous guy said was BS. Good training, Tivo.)

    So. Call Comcast, make sure that they have M-Cards, go out the next day and grab one. Bring it home, put it in the Premiere. Call Comcast, read out the digits, Comcast tech tells me it will take 1 - 24 hours to get this working. They issue a ticket. I call back 8 hours later to check on progress. Comcast says, "Oops, that order didn't go in." They issue a new ticket and try to activate the card with me still on the line. Card won't activate. They say to call Tivo. I call Tivo. Run through all the configuration info, read out some screens, they say to call Comcast back and tell them that the problem is on their end. I call Comcast back and get another tech who works diligently to try to get the card to activate. While I'm working with her, I start seeing QAM messages, so I figure we're making progress, but something on her end won't let her save the changes she made. We schedule a visit for early Monday.

    Comcast guy gets here Monday. Run through the whole song and dance again with setting up the Tivo. Tech checks signal levels, everything looks fine, can't get card to activate still. Call Tivo - Tivo says "try another card." Comcast guy checks his truck - he's got four S-Cards but no M-Cards. He goes to get one from another tech nearby. Try next card an hour later. Nothing. Call Tivo again. Tivo again insists that it's the card. We get another card from another tech, another hour wasted. Meantime, the "box drivers" on the headend fail, so they can't send fresh hits out to the card.

    All this time, we're not seeing an OOB lock, which I was told early on (during 2nd call to Tivo) is the key to the whole thing.

    Comcast tech finally gets a hold of the guy who builds the database at the headend, they're discussing this while I'm talking to Tivo tech support again. I tell the Tivo guy the whole saga, and he says, "well, it took 8 cards for me to get my cable working." I say, "Yeah, well, riddle me this: Do you think it was actually 8 bad cards, or do you think it was the fact that you talked to 8 different people, and the 8th one finally had an effing clue?" He says the latter, but concedes that he doesn't know what's going on here.

    Comcast tech (who has now been on this call for upwards of 7 hours, counting trips to procure more M-Cards) finally zeroes in on the OOB lock. "What frequency is that supposed to come in on?" Looking at the DVR diagnostic screens, we see a few that it keeps cycling through. Comcast database guy says, "Try 75025." Tech attaches his meter to the cable, sees -3db at 75025. Gets out an amp and dials it down so that the meter reads 0db. Attaches amp to my cable, immediately acquires signal lock. A minute later, we start receiving the channel map. Card activated.

    So. Very long story much shorter:

    1) I had S-Cards working fine in an older Tivo without incident for years.

    2) New M-Card should have also worked, but didn't, and never would have because the signal was strong enough for an S3 tuner but not strong enough for the Premiere tuner. We could have kept on swapping M-Cards until doomsday, which was the only advice Tivo was giving.

    3) Tivo left me and the Comcast tech to figure all of that out. My guess is that they don't know that their older units were much more forgiving of signal attenuation.


    If we had time, I would have asked to see if any of the other cards we'd tried would have worked. My guess is that every one of them was just fine.

    Wonder how many other people are struggling with Premiere installs when they shouldn't have to.
     
  15. NashvilleKit

    NashvilleKit New Member

    5
    0
    Jul 5, 2005
    I have a Series3 HD TiVo with 2 S-CableCards that's been working fine for several months until my recent cable upgrade.

    I upgraded service with Comcast here in Nashville TN from Digital Starter plus HD (working fine) to Digital Service plus HD and it's all gone screwball now. Several times a day, one of those black-&-gray CableCard status screens pops up and the recorded show I'm watching freezes. The CLEAR button sends the status screen away and after a short pause the video starts up again right where it left off.

    Now that's really annoying but the real problem is that about every 2 or 3 days, TiVo crashes jumping to the Powering Up screen. Now I've had re-booting issues in the past but this is different because it doesn't re-boot; it sits on Powering Up apparently forever. The fix is to unplug the TiVo, wait 30 seconds or so and then plug it back in.

    If we're out of the house we lose all scheduled recordings and downloads until we return and do this procedure. Maddening!

    Looking forward to an upcoming vacation, who the heck do I call? Comcast can be hopeless most times, TiVo's no help at all and Weaknees (where I bought the unit) not much better. I've tried everything on the TiVo site to no avail.
     
  16. jrmsp

    jrmsp New Member

    53
    0
    May 20, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    So, question -- My HDTivo appears to be dead (stuck in the reboot loop, can't get into kickstart, ready to scream)...tomorrow will try divorcing the MyDVR expander and see what happens. At any rate, my old machine has one M card set up by Comcast; if I need to run out and buy a new Premier tomorrow, will I need to have Comcast come out again, or can I just transfer the cc from one to the other? (I have a feeling it's not all that simple)....
     
  17. NashvilleKit

    NashvilleKit New Member

    5
    0
    Jul 5, 2005
    You are right, it's not that simple, but you SHOULD be able to do it over the phone with Comcast.

    Having said that, the last time my Series 3 got stuck in a continual reboot cycle, I put the whole unit (unplugged) on a work table, took the cover off, unplugged the Hard Disk drive cables, replugged them in, put the cover back on, reconnected everything, plugged it in and it worked. I know that sounds crazy but that was months ago and it never failed again until the recent goofy stuff it's doing (see above).
     
  18. Videodrome

    Videodrome tivo - please wait..

    912
    0
    Jun 20, 2008
    Comcast just wants to frustrate people over M-card. The whole process should done from the tivo, without having to call or have a visit. The box has a internet connection, so comcast could get the info off the box, without having some bozo having to call from a cell phone, and wait to tell them numbers. Its just so the need for cable gateways. If the user cant do it themselves, then its a failed technology...
     
  19. bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    TiVo does not have any of the capability that you're talking about.
     
  20. cjv2

    cjv2 New Member

    290
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    Dec 15, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    There is buzz in the AVS Forum that Comcast has started encrypting possibly everything but the basic channels in the Atlanta, GA area. Can anyone here confirm/deny?
     

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