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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

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    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    The Comcast email address has been an incredible resource for many many people. Now you need to move to a Frontier area and then find someone who can fix Frontier's CableCARD issues. :)

    I think your story was quite enlightening. Thanks for sharing.
     
  2. Puppy76

    Puppy76 Active Member

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    Oct 6, 2004
    I still think that nonsense is by design. They SHOULD offer to let you pick them up or mail them to you, and then they SHOULD let you activate them online or over the phone, and it SHOULD work flawlessly the first time.

    Since none of those are typically the case, I'm inclined to think they just want this as painful as possible. What they don't seem to get is at least for some of us, we'll just leave...
     
  3. breecat

    breecat New Member

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Wow, this is kind of a scary thread for someone who's planning to install a Tivo HD, downgrade my Comcast to digital basic (my free HBO/DVR period is ending) and get 2 cards installed.

    I'm in Chicago, and I called them the other evening just to price check. The girl said it's just $1.50 a month for 2 cards, which is nice. She said I can have someone come out to install them and pick up their DVR. She didn't say anything about the service charge for the install, but I forgot ask too. My cheap HBO/DVR plan doesn't end until next month, so I figure I'll wait to do the whole thing then.

    I think she said I could also just go in and get the cards and drop off the box myself.

    I'd like to do that and avoid a service charge (and taking time off to meet the cable guy), but after reading some of this thread, I'm wondering how hard it is to install these cards?

    Is there a place on-line or on this board that has a simple step-by-step list of the process? I think if I saw something like that I'd be able to get a better idea if it's above my skill level of doing-an-installation-without-exploding-your-brain-or-tearing-your-hair-out.

    TIA!
     
  4. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn New Member

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    Feb 12, 2002
    Wood Dale, IL
    It's quite simple to install the cards yourself. I believe the Tivo GUI walks you through the process. The problem happens when you have to call Comcast to get your cards paired to your Tivo and 'woken up'. It's catch as catch can (or at least it was last time I did it) when it comes to findings someone who actually knows anything about cable cards and/or Tivo. You'll have to give them some numbers and they'll push the signal to wake up the cards.

    Take this with a grain of salt though...they may've gotten better. I haven't done it in a few years.
     
  5. CraigK

    CraigK (unspecified)

    1,255
    7
    Jun 9, 2006
    North of...
    The first post in the CableCARD installation FAQ thread has good information and a link at the bottom of the post to the TiVo Cablecard support page.

    You mainly hear the horror stories in this thread, but lots of us have done self-installs with Comcast that went pretty smoothly. Good luck!
     
  6. tavella

    tavella New Member

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Does anyone have experience with Comcast in San Jose? I'm having some wierd results with my Series 3. When I initially set it up with the M-card and got it activated, I wasn't getting any of the non-digital channels (above 34), and only a quarter to a half of the others. Everything else would be "searching for signal". Since I was getting cable free from housemates, and some of my most watched channels were getting through, I shrugged and took what I could get.

    Then I started noticing odd things, such as certain channels which gave me "searching for signal" when I went to live TV were recording shows reliably. Travel Channel and Animal Planet, for example. I once experimented by starting to watch a show that was recording on one of these hidden channels, and skipping forward to live. Screen suddenly goes gray. I shrug and go back to watching other things, and eventually find that the recording ends up with a several minute gap.

    Then I discovered that some of the searching signal channels were reappearing, some occasionally, some reliably. I began to wonder if it was an issue of the long cable run to my machine, so I got an RCA booster/splitter. That seemed to help a bit, and now I can see nearly all the non-digital and about 70-80 percent of the others (apart from the scrambled ones, obviously.)

    Annoyingly, though, Discover and WGN (on non-digital) and Comedy Central (on digital) are not among them, and I do kind of miss my Mythbusters and Jon Stewart. So I'm wondering if anyone else has experience. Are Discovery and CC just incredibly weak signals through Comcast? If I get a higher end booster is it likely to help? Or is something else going on?

    And can anyone explain the mystery of channels that Tivo cannot see on live TV, but records cleanly?
     
  7. breecat

    breecat New Member

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Thanks CHorn and Craig, I will look into this further.
     
  8. jasonrene

    jasonrene New Member

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    Jul 15, 2010
    Yeah, it seemed very clear to me that if Comcast pairs it properly to begin with, you'll be fine and it should be painless and easy. If they don't, be prepared for an adventure. To be honest, you have little preventative control over it. It will either be easy or it will require lots of phone calls and effort. As for self-installs, there's probably not much you can do to force it to be one way or the other.
     
  9. crazi4tv

    crazi4tv New Member

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    Oct 31, 2008
  10. MJGunn

    MJGunn New Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Can anyone give me a hand before I call Comcast to complain about my bill?

    Got my cable card installed on 6/23. Before I set up the appointment I confirmed that I would have an installation charge of $20, and no monthly fee for my first cable card in the house, which this was/is. We have the HD plus bundle in the house with 1 HDTV, and 2 analog tvs. I got my bill today, and on it there's a slew of new charges. a $7.95/month HDTV Service charge and 2 "Digitial Additional Outlet" @ $6.95 each, and a cable card charge of $1.50. I've read in here some people saying that Comcast considers M-Stream cards 2 cards so they'll charge you a fee for the "second", so I was kind of expecting that, but what about these other fees? It adds up to $23.25 in new charges. Are they right or should I be complaining to have them removed?
     
  11. Bort13

    Bort13 TiVo Junkie

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    May 28, 2002
    Chicago, IL USA
    Compose and send email to We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com. Find a nice, tight way of asking them if they could maybe go over the charges with you and explain the service you're getting, for your money. If they're going to bill you $20, the corporate guys will make sure you get something.
     
  12. DustMonkey

    DustMonkey New Member

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    Jul 27, 2010
    I bought a Tivo Premier and Comcast in Chicago can't get the CableCard to work. I have even swapped out the Tivo at Best Buy. What they say is that when they enter the Host ID into their system it says "model number incomplete"..that may be a bit of a paraphrase. Comcast tried to blame it on Tivo as if I had not registered the new Tivo with them but that was not the issue. The problem appears to be that when they enter the HOST ID their system kicks out an error.

    Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?
     
  13. MJGunn

    MJGunn New Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Well I'm just trying to find out which charges are right and which are wrong (if any) before I call them. Am I supposed to have 2 digital outlet fees?
     
  14. Bort13

    Bort13 TiVo Junkie

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    May 28, 2002
    Chicago, IL USA
    /\ /\I sympathize but I can't help you /\ /\ also whassup May 2002 Tivo buying buddy

    Edit: the next post is better than this one.
    Some advice:
    You need to get the phone script to spit out a tech visit. You, also, should email saying you're having authentication and pairing problems. When I did that, I got a very nice officious email chain from the corporate office, followed by a call from a woman who fixed my problem.

    If you want to take matters into your own hands, you can also visit the Comcast office right near North & Elston and swap out the cable card yourself. The advantage of having the tech there is that it's on him to go through his stack of cards until one works properly. I got a new one when I went there because they'd run out of the broken ones presumably and I had to wait for ten minutes for a guy to bring a new one from the warehouse. Ching!
     
  15. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

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    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...
    I also recently added an M-card to my Tivo HD. This is the 2nd Tivo on my account with Comcast. I had billing problems for a couple of months. The phone reps were unable to correct the billing. I finally had to print out this page: http://customer.comcast.com/Pages/FAQViewer.aspx?seoid=charge-to-use-CableCARD&fss=cablecard and take it into my local office to get it corrected.

    If this is the only digital outlet on your account, you should not be paying for additional digital outlets and you should not be paying a cablecard fee. I am paying one additional digital outlet fee because this is my 2nd Tivo and thus, a 2nd digital outlet, but I don't pay for the cablecard since it is included with the outlet. I also am not paying an HDTV service charge. I thought that charge was for using their HD DVR, not your own.

    Good luck. This can be a long drawn out process to get it fixed.
     
  16. MJGunn

    MJGunn New Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Well, in my house we have 4 tvs. 2 HDTVs, 2 regular. The first HDTV is hooked up with an hd box, and the second has the tivo on it. One of the regular TVs is running with a cable box, and the second is running without. So that means I should have to be paying 1 digital outlet fee for my tivo, not 2?
     
  17. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

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    Jul 15, 2000
    Crawfordsvil...
    I am not an expert on Comcast billing, but...

    Your primary digital outlet is probably your HDTV with their HD box. This might be subject to their HD Service fee. This fee is relatively new and it could be a coincidence that it just now showed up on your bill. I still don't understand exactly what it covers.

    Your additional digital outlet is your Tivo and you should not be paying a cablecard fee for it since the first card on an outlet is incuded in the outlet price.

    You didn't mention whether the regular TV is using an analog or digital cable box. If it is receiving digital service, then you would pay another additional digital outlet fee. However, if it is analog, then there would only be a charge for the box. It is also possible that this is a digital tuning adapter (DTA). Because of their conversion of nearly all their channels from analog to digital, I believe they are including 3 on an account for free. So this one is hard to call.

    The 4th regular TV with no box should be no charge.

    Good luck. As I said in my earlier post, I had to print out their own rate card and their FAQ about cablecards and take them to the local office to get the billing corrected. Phone support was unresponsive.
     
  18. colforbin13

    colforbin13 New Member

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    Jan 30, 2005
    Chicagoland
    I've got some more Comcast billing questions. I got my Cablecard installed in my Premiere a little over a month ago, and surprisingly had a rather smooth install. The tech installed the Cablecard, and removed the Motorola HD cable box, which I assumed meant the $7.95/mo fee for the HD box would be gone, and at most I'd have to pay $1.50 for the card.

    When I called over today, they said the $7.95 is for the HD channel lineup, not for the equipment, even though the fee is called "HDTV Equipment Lease". I know I could fight with them over it, but my question is this - is there any way for them to separate the HD channels from the rest of my lineup, or will I receive those channels with the Cablecard no matter what?

    I thought I had read that you don't really need to pay extra for HD channels with a CC, but wanted to verify before I told them to go ahead and get rid of it. Also, from reading this thread, it looks like I shouldn't even be charged the $1.50 for my CC since it's the first outlet on the account.
     
  19. CraigK

    CraigK (unspecified)

    1,255
    7
    Jun 9, 2006
    North of...
    If you've read through any of the Comcast threads here on the forum you've probably figured out that that billing for TiVos/CableCARDs is all over the map.

    Comcast is in the process of implementing their new "HD Technology Fee" which is a fee on the account if you receive HD programming. You may be caught in the middle of that change. It's still up in the air how this will affect TiVos and CableCARDs. I won't know until next month's bill (which also includes price increases on most of their services) if I'll get charged for it.

    If you no longer have any Comcast equipment (cable box or DVR) you should not be charged for the CableCARD because it should be included with your digital package. Good luck getting them fix it. I've called several times over the last year trying to get the ($1.50) CableCARD charges removed (one charged on the primary outlet and one charged on the Additional Digital Outlet) but even though the CSR will agree with me regarding what the Comcast FAQ says, they seem unwilling or unable to fix the billing. They did credit my bill a couple of times, but the charges are still always there. Honestly it's like they're just trying to wear me down by having me wade through the phone queue and explain it over and over and over again figuring I'll give up eventually.
     
  20. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,507
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    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Yep, it all depends on how they do the billing which seems to vary by area. I recently added a Tivo HD from the $100 Blockbuster deal and to my surprise they didn't charge an extra outlet fee, just another $1.50 for an additional Cablecard. So now with two HDs (and no Comcast STBs) I'm only paying $1.50 a month CC rental for both. And so far, no new stupid 'HD Tech fee' probably because I don't have one of their boxes.
     

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