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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. BrandDC

    BrandDC New Member

    7
    0
    Sep 18, 2008
    So I called 800-COMCAST 24 hours ago to get my own Motorola M-Card paired. The first CSR had me hold for 10 minutes while he asked his supervisor how to help me. I was told that he had to schedule a tech to visit my house, bring me a cablecard and install it. I re-explained that I already installed my own cablecard and that I was ready to read off the required information for them to enter into their systems. Back on hold, then I was told that an "advanced support tech" would be calling me within 15-30 minutes.

    90 minutes later and no call. I called 800-COMCAST again and spoke to another CSR who placed me on hold for 5 minutes. He told me that a tech had to do the install at my house. I explained the card was already in my Tivo HD and that I was ready to relay the info for their systems for pairing. He then insisted that Comcast only allows cablecards from their own inventory. That I can't use my own Motorola cablecard. He also claimed that there was no advanced support group and that the other CSR BS'd me.

    I emailed We_Can_Help (at) cable.comcast.com - the following is the correspondence

    from ME
    to We_Can_Help (at) cable.comcast.com
    date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 4:34 PM
    subject need to pair my cablecard to your systems.

    Is there a phone number to Comcast advanced tech support to facilitate
    cablecard pairing? I bought a Motorola M-Card (multistream) and I just
    need to read off the information to get it properly paired/validated.
    Your customer support reps think I need to schedule a technician to
    come to my house for an install which is ludicrous. I already have my
    card in slot one of my Tivo and have the information for pairing on my
    screen.

    from Chugani, Vinisha
    to ME
    date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:31 PM
    subject RE: need to pair my cablecard to your systems.
    mailed-by cable.comcast.com

    We require a technician out to do this. Let me see what I can do. have
    you ever had a Cable Card installed with your service? What is your
    account info and a good contact number?

    Regards,

    Vinisha

    from ME
    to "Chugani, Vinisha"
    date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:35 PM
    subject Re: need to pair my cablecard to your systems.

    Hi Vinisha. I already have my cable card installed into the slot. Your
    technician would simply read the same info from my screen as I would
    do. There is NO reason for a tech to be physically present.

    This is a brand new Tivo HD DVR with a new Motorola M-card.

    My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx

    -ME

    *No response so I emailed again*

    from ME
    to "Chugani, Vinisha"
    date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:50 PM
    subject Re: need to pair my cablecard to your systems.

    Vinisha - can you help me with this? I've already blown a few hours
    with your customer support number who is incapable of helping. I'm a
    bit frustrated.

    *No response so I re-emailed the que*

    from ME
    to We_Can_Help (at) cable.comcast.com
    date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 6:03 PM
    subject Urgently need to pair a cablecard. Have necessary info

    Is there a phone number to Comcast tech support to facilitate
    cablecard pairing? I bought a Motorola M-Card (multistream) and I just
    need to read off the information to get it properly paired/validated.
    Your customer support reps (800-Comcast) insist that I need to
    schedule a technician to physically come to my house for an install
    which is inaccurate. I already have my card in slot 1 of my new Tivo
    HD and have the information for pairing on my screen.

    I have already wasted a few hours with Comcast's customer
    service...one rep actually insisted that the cable card must be
    Comcast property for this to work.

    My phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx

    *2 hours and 15 minutes later I got this response -

    from Teow, Steve
    to ME
    "[CHQ -- We Can Help]" <We_Can_Help (at) cable.comcast.com>
    date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 8:16 PM
    subject Re: Urgently need to pair a cablecard. Have necessary info
    mailed-by cable.comcast.com


    We will get this taken care for you as soon as possible.

    Thanks


    Steve Teow
    Digital Media Outreach
    Comcast Corporate Office

    Sent from my Blackberry

    I never heard back from anyone.

    I emailed him and copied the que this morning -

    from ME
    to "Teow, Steve"
    cc We_Can_Help (at) cable.comcast.com
    date Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 10:43 AM
    subject Re: Urgently need to pair a cablecard. Have necessary info


    Steve - Nearly 24 hours after I first called 800-COMCAST, I'm still in
    the same position of trying to speak with someone at Comcast to get my
    cablecard paired to your systems.

    I'm disappointed that Comcast tech support is unresponsive and that
    your customer service reps provide conflicting information. How soon
    can I speak with a competent person at Comcast to properly use the
    service I pay for?

    -ME


    Nearly an hour later and no one has responded.
     
  2. HazelW

    HazelW Member

    284
    0
    Dec 6, 2007
    No. Va
    I did not know you could buy your own cable card. I thought the cable company was the only one who could supply it.
     
  3. Stone1555

    Stone1555 ./1337

    67
    0
    Dec 19, 2008
    I believe that is correct. If u purchased a card via ebay or another outlet usually that is stolen equipment as the cable operator has to inventory and request a special file to make the device work in their system. So they probably wont be able to pair it. There isnt a cust owned CableCard
     
  4. BrandDC

    BrandDC New Member

    7
    0
    Sep 18, 2008
    There are posts within this thread from people that have bought their own cards, connected with the right people at Comcast, and properly paired their card/Tivo HD. The seemingly insurmountable hurdle is speaking to the right people at Comcast to relay the info for pairing. So far I haven't been successful after speaking to, or corresponding with, five Comcast employees.

    I'm thinking about bailing to Verizon since I already have Fios internet. I left Comcast highspeed internet because of frequent outages.
     
  5. Stone1555

    Stone1555 ./1337

    67
    0
    Dec 19, 2008
    Im just going from what i know. They have to request auth files for the cards from moto or sa etc. And if the device isnt in their billing, its hard for them to do that. Good luck, there are ways to rig it to work but....
     
  6. BrandDC

    BrandDC New Member

    7
    0
    Sep 18, 2008
    There is no "rigging" necessary. It's a simple PC Card much like a modem or network device but with different functionality. You pop it into slot 1 of your Tivo HD, a screen pops up, you read off the data to Comcast to enter the data into their system for pairing.

    Search the thread and you'll find that others have done it. "Rigging" to me indicates a shady way of bypassing procedure.
     
  7. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

    1,555
    0
    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    Well, technically speaking, it's relatively easy to "buy" a CableCARD from Comcast. All you have to do is cancel service and not return the card they previously gave you. Then they will charge you $40 and then you own a card. You paid for it, you should be free to do what you want with it, e.g. sell it on FleaBay.

    But I can understand why Comcast wouldn't want to support CableCARDs when they're not sure of the provenance of those cards. If I were running Comcast I certainly wouldn't be willing to support those.
     
  8. morac

    morac Cat God

    8,946
    22
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    I just got a M-CARD installed in a new Premiere. The install went pretty bad since I got a contractor and when he called Comcast no one ever answered the phone (he was on hold for 30 minutes). He called his office and managed to finally get to talk to someone about 10 minutes later. That person took down the card's SN and pairing numbers and entered them into the system.

    The card activated a short time later, but it never appeared to pair correctly. Any CCI=0x02 channel shows the following on the conditional access screen as TiVo's web site.

    Con: Yes
    Val: ? 0x00
    Auth: CAD

    I'm emailing ComcastCares, but does anyone know what Val: ? and Auth: CAD means?

    Edit:

    Apparently they never paired the card correctly. I called Comcast and they saw there was no pairing numbers in the system, but the person had no idea how to add the numbers in. Hopefully the ComcastCares email team can do it.
     
  9. Aug 1, 2010 #7469 of 9367
    SullyND

    SullyND L:45-21 TCF Club

    8,628
    11
    Dec 30, 2004
    Chicago Burbs
    Friday I got Comcast Triple Play installed. To my surprise the installer brought M Cards for my TiVoHD XL (I was expecting them to not have anything). First one totally dead, second one "Authorization Failure (1200)". The installer gave up, said to bring it to the local comcast and they'd swap. I knew that wasn't going to happen, but he wasn't going to go get another card anyway (He was a rent-an-installer). So I hopped online and chatted with the Comcast rep who promised me they would exchange at the local comcast office. Headed over to the office, and they looked at me like I was speaking russian. Scheduled an installer to come out today. This time I got a Comcast installer. As he walks in he says "If I can't get this to work you're going to have to reschedule so someone can bring CableCards - the Warehouse is closed on weekends". I said, you mean you don't have cards? You may as well leave. He looked at it for all of two minutes and now I'm scheduled for Tuesday (Yay! Another day off work for my TiVo!) to try and get it installed. I wish they'd let me do a self install.
     
  10. Aug 1, 2010 #7470 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

    8,946
    22
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    In response to my email I got a call from Comcast today asking if I was still having a problem. I was. So the person said they'd have dispatch contact. About 30 minutes later I got a call from dispatch asking me if I could get the premium channels. I checked and I could. I later got a call from the original person who called me to confirm things were working. Once again ComcastCares comes through.

    I also learned some interesting info:

    1. You don't want to have an install done on Saturday because the dispatch office is extremely busy and won't answer the phone.

    2. While contractor offices can register cableCards, they can't pair them. The contractors said the pairing data to Comcast's dispatch and it's up to them to do the pairing. That's what happened in my case. The pairing info had been sent to Comcast, but never entered.


    I can't believe that 3 years after my 1st CC install things haven't changed at all. This install was actually worse than my first one and solely because the contractor had no way to enter the CC pairing data into Comcast's system. Comcast really needs to add a way for customers to update their pairing data online, like can be done for Cable modems.
     
  11. Aug 2, 2010 #7471 of 9367
    BrandDC

    BrandDC New Member

    7
    0
    Sep 18, 2008
    a woman named BJ from one of Comcast's Northern VA offices called me (Friday) to try to help. I explained the situation, provided her the summary that I posted here and she promised to follow up. She called back and said that the cablecards used for Comcast services must come from their inventory as Comcast "encrypts or configures them" before the cards are dispatched to the field.

    This conflicts with what a few others have said in this thread re: using their own Motorola M-Cards successfully. I'm searching for the posts to contact the users for assistance.

    Meanwhile, I'm still dead in the water. Such an unnecessary distraction and waste of time.
     
  12. Aug 2, 2010 #7472 of 9367
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

    1,555
    0
    Jun 20, 2002
    Tualatin,...
    It's hardly an unnecessary distraction. Here's a simple question: Do you think Comcast's own DVRs have these problems?

    Comcast's actions are evil, but only at the top management level. Once the basic policy is in place, the simple incompetence of the underlings moves the policy forward to its desired outcome.

    It's basic economics. Comcast's shareholders will reward it more for showing revenue of $20/mo from their own DVR than for showing revenue of $3/mo from a CableCARD. And that's irregardless of the fact that, if properly managed, a CableCARD would pay for itself in about a year and after that it would be almost pure profit! The ROI on a properly managed CableCARD deployment would be astonishingly better than the ROI for crappy Motorola DVRs. But the DVR revenue numbers are much higher in absolute terms. Cable companies have historically been valued much more on revenue than on profit.
     
  13. Aug 3, 2010 #7473 of 9367
    BrandDC

    BrandDC New Member

    7
    0
    Sep 18, 2008
    Should it be necessary that I have to burn a few days to get my Tivo HD and cablecard working with the Comcast lineup that I'm paying for? NO. Therefore it IS an unnecessary distraction.

    Comcast customer service indicated that I was eligible for a free (no monthly fee) digital set-top box or a cablecard. I bought my own cablecard to avoid the hassle of scheduling, and waiting for, a tech to "install" the cablecard at my residence. My local Comcast office does not stock cablecards despite what Customer Service indicated. Owning a cablecard hardly impacts Comcast's profitability.

    Customer service and ease of use should be high on Comcast's priority list to drive loyalty in an increasingly competitive market.

    There should be an easier way (self service pairing within a web portal) to get our Tivo HD DVRs working with Comcast. Nearly 7500 posts in this thread agree.
     
  14. Aug 3, 2010 #7474 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

    8,946
    22
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    You can't legally "buy" your own cableCard since that's the hardware that does the decryption. It would be like buying your own sim card for a cell phone Anyone who sold it do you likely acquired the card illegally.

    Comcast definitely won't let you use your own cableCard. Technically it could work, but they won't add it to their inventory system so it won't actually decrypt anything.
     
  15. Aug 3, 2010 #7475 of 9367
    BrandDC

    BrandDC New Member

    7
    0
    Sep 18, 2008
    This guy disagrees. He bought his own multistream cards and self-installed. There are other similar documented experiences...
    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1011950/?start=100 his screen name is "Technologist".
     
  16. Aug 3, 2010 #7476 of 9367
    morac

    morac Cat God

    8,946
    22
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    I'll retract a bit of what I said. It appears that some cable companies will sell you the cableCARDs (similar to how some cable companies sold the older non-cableCard compatble cable boxes). That should be legal. Buying cableCARDs off of e-bay seems iffy to me.

    Even if it is legal, if your cable company doesn't let you use your own cards, which the vast majority do not, then it won't help if you buy them.
     
  17. Aug 3, 2010 #7477 of 9367
    colforbin13

    colforbin13 New Member

    60
    0
    Jan 30, 2005
    Chicagoland
    I guess my biggest question then is whether or not Comcast can actually "turn off" HD channels for a CableCard device? I'm tempted to just call and tell them I don't want HD to get rid of the $7.95 HD Equipment fee, and see what happens with my HD channels.
     
  18. Aug 3, 2010 #7478 of 9367
    valkyriesound

    valkyriesound New Member

    8
    0
    Jul 21, 2008
    Does anyone here know if Comcast blocks multiroom viewing in the San jose area? I want a 2nd tivo but I really want mutli-room access.

    Thanks!
     
  19. Aug 3, 2010 #7479 of 9367
    SullyND

    SullyND L:45-21 TCF Club

    8,628
    11
    Dec 30, 2004
    Chicago Burbs
    Third try was the charm. Today's installer was awesome, first one to not ask why I wanted a TiVo (By the way he knew his way around the interface he's either done a lot of CC installs, or has one himself). When he called to get it paired the rep unpaired my Cablebox instead, but after about an hour (probably 20 mins of waiting on hold) the installer was able to work some magic and get it working. It is SOOOO good to have a full blown TiVo again.
     
  20. Aug 5, 2010 #7480 of 9367
    alexchiz

    alexchiz New Member

    13
    0
    Apr 12, 2007
    I've had Tivo for 7 years, and have had at least 3 different tivo boxes (SD, Series 3, and now premier). All of them have had issues with Comcast cable cards.
    I just purchased my Premier this week and scheduled out Comcast to come and install the cablecard. The first installer came out and after 2 hours, managed to get a card to work, although not completely. It works in that it allows the dual tuner to work, and I have basic cable and 3 HD (broadcast channels). My account was set up for digital cable with full HD as well as the HBO channels. So the tech is told this and tells me to call the comcast support center for them to add the channels and then leaves. I call the support center and they seem "shocked" that we aren't getting all our channels and resend the pairing signal to update the service type on the card. It did not work, so they scheduled another tech to come out the next day, he comes out, calls his dispatcher...installs another M-card, doesnt' work any better, puts the previous M-card in, with the same results. He gives up and tells me to keep trying to call the Comcast support.

    So I call the support number again...get someone on the phone, and she tells me that it must be my new Tivo that is bad, so I get a Tivo rep on the phone and do a 3 way call. The Tivo rep gets on the phone and asks for some of the numbers on my Tivo screen, then proceeds to just repeat them to the Comcast rep. They re-send the signal...with no better results. Then they tell me that I will now have to wait until another tech comes out 5 days later so that he/she can try to fix the issue. Now I have basic cable and have to wait another 5 days to go through all this again. I would have hoped that the Tivo rep would have been more inclined to help me in this matter since its the Tivo service I"m trying to keep. If I don't get it working soon I'll probably have to finally quit Tivo. It's just too much hassle.
     

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