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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Big Boy Laroux

    Big Boy Laroux New Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    And of all the reps in all the world, you should trust Comcast reps the LEAST.

    you need to escalate, escalate, escalate. Supervisor, help desk, comcastcares, whatever. Anything but the front line reps.
  2. klopek

    klopek New Member

    Aug 20, 2010
    Wow... At the end of a 3 day saga, I finally have full functionality of my M Card with my Premiere. The trick was FINALLY speaking with an engineer at the "head-end" who was instantly able to initialize the card and everything worked perfectly. It LITERALLY took him 30 seconds on the phone.

    So in summary: Conversation with engineer at the head-end to successfully and easily activate M card: 30 seconds. Time to navigate the INCREDIBLY incompetent, often rude, frequently lying CSRs: 3 days.

    Three points:

    1) ComcastCares tried to help (Via Twitter and e-mail), but they weren't able to activate some of my premium channels, and they got the channel map wrong. The key was talking to a local help desk staffer who knows about cable cards. That is the gold standard. The problem is, it's probably easier to get in touch with Obama directly than to directly talk to the help desk people. They are guarded by a fleet of horrible CSRs.

    2) There is NOOOO reason someone needs to come to your house. REFUSE a truck roll. As I said to them over and over, "I am very physically capable of inserting a cablecard into a cablecard slot. And that is the ONLY action that takes place at the house. No one needs to come to my house to make sure I plugged in my cable card right". Completely ridiculous. The default for the 9 CSRs I got was to schedule a call (a week away, I might add). do NOT accept this. They other thing they kept telling me to do was go get more cards and "keep trying cards until one works". None will work if you keep doing the same incorrect thing to activate them. I never got a new card, just (finally) a competent person to talk to.

    3) The key is to demand a supervisor... and not just any supervisor, but one that knows someone that knows about cable cards. IF you happen to be in Nashville, Faye or Janet both have contacts who can instantly fix the problem.

    Wow. I guess maybe this built character. In any case, it seemed like from my S3 that once you finally get the cards to work, they tend to stay working... I hope that remains the case.
  3. illthreat

    illthreat New Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    I agree with you. I don't know why I trusted them.
  4. bareyb

    bareyb Under Maintenance TCF Club

    Dec 1, 2000
    Ugh. I had my challenges with Comcast too. I can say (reiterate) that once the cards were working, I haven't had a single problem with them in over 3 years. There have been other problems, but the cards once paired seem to be okay.
  5. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    I added digital service to my bedroom Tivo last March. I already was receiving digital service on my living room Tivo. Installation of the cablecard went relatively smoothly.

    The problem ever since March has been the billing.

    After speaking to a phone CSR, we were able to agree on the correct billing and she issued credits and assured me that the next bill would be correct. It has been a while and I don't remember the specifics, but next month's bill was still incorrect.

    After numerous calls that didn't fix the problem, I finally decided to drive 15 miles to my local office with copies of their rate sheets and the online FAQ about cablecard charges in my hand. After considerable discussion (and a long line of pissed off customers behind me), we again agreed on the proper charges and what the next bill should look like. The next month, the bill was correct.

    I thought everything was ok and then the following month, changes were posted to my account on a date when I didn't speak to anyone. The bill was again incorrect. Another call to a CSR apparently fixed things again.

    However, the next bill showed the proper credits on the date we spoke and then 3 days later the charges were added back on.

    After another trip to the local office, I think I finally understand what is going on. The CSRs are making the changes which match the rate sheets. However, the audit system in the billing computer kicks it out as a problem. Then a human in a nearby office looks it over and blindly adjusts the account again so that it is incorrect. The sad thing is that there is no notation on the bill that the changes were made as a result of an audit and not at my request.

    Apparently, the computer system doesn't really understand the concept of two cablecards in the same device. It wants to charge me for an additional digital outlet and extra cablecards. The last CSR was going to try to leave notes all over the place so the human auditors would not blindly follow the computer's suggestions next month.

    We shall see.
  6. bicker

    bicker Gruff

    Nov 9, 2003
    Are there any service providers left, other than Comcast, that do something special for "two CableCARDs in the same device"?
  7. morac

    morac Cat God

    Mar 14, 2003
    I have Comcast and for me they simply charge $1.50 per card except for the first one which is free. I'm not charged an outlet fee. So it must be a regional thing.

    I'm actually getting a $8.40 credit for using the cards in my S3 instead of a cable box.
  8. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    When I first ordered the cablecard for my 2nd Tivo, the CSR quoted me only $1.99 for the card instead of an additional outlet fee. This was contrary to their FAQ and rate sheet.

    However, when the bill arrived, and subsequent phone calls to Comcast revealed the first CSR was in error. I am now charged an additional outlet fee with no charge for the cablecard.

    That is when the billing is correct :)
  9. Emtea

    Emtea Student

    Nov 3, 2005
    Kennesaw, GA
    So I picked up a TiVo HD at my local Blockbuster and called Comcast the same day. Everything was pretty much on par with what I saw in this thread. Except one thing. The customer service rep asked me if I wanted to self install. I got all excited and said absolutely but then after a few key strokes she said that "it's not available in my area" :( . Which didn't make much sense to me but then again, Comcast has never made sense to me. They are going to charge me $12.95 for everything, install is $9.95 and I'm guessing the card is $3.00.

    Luckily the install date is Thursday so I can get my HD fix with Netflix until then.

    I got the little install sheet to give to the cable guy that came with the TiVo. Is there anything else I should do to make the process go as smooth as possible? The TiVo is set up and I have my account hooked up to it and everything is running as it should.

    Edit: I'm in the Atlanta/Kennesaw area.
  10. DVDerek

    DVDerek <WittySaying />

    Sep 30, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Hi Folks, I'm cable provider shopping again and I thought you guys might be decent sources of information on this particular question... possibly more accurate than Comcast CS, anyway.

    My wife and I are ready to drop cable television all together, but it appears to get the cheapest cable internet price via comcast, I'll have to add "Basic Cable" (just the locals) to my package. I'll then get Cable Internet and Basic Cable for a total of $39/month + taxes/fees.

    Will the Basic TV lineup also carry local HD's? Will it require a cable card rental for my TiVo?

    This is the Boston area market, if that matters.
  11. alexsquared

    alexsquared New Member

    Feb 18, 2009
    I'm doing the exact same thing. I'm in Portland Oregon. For me, the local HD channels do come through in the clear, but the Tivo will require a CC to obtain these. According to comcast, you get one free device (CC or cable box) with your subscription, but this is only if you have at least a digital tier package. The Limited Basic is an analog package and as such has a fee associated with the cable card. I was not aware of this. Thankfully, I had saved a chat transcription I had had with a comcast representative, where I fully disclosed my intent, what package type I had, etc. and he guaranteed me in that conversation that I would not be billed for the CC. I had to submit this paperwork to Comcast, but it got me the free CC (no monthly fee). The only thing I had to do was pay a one time $15.99 install fee. So now I get locals in HD with the limited basic package. I did the same thing when I had the Sony DHG-HD250 DVR, but that box did not require a cable card for the non-encrypted channels like the Tivo does.
  12. Puppy76

    Puppy76 New Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Yeah, Comcast was going to charge me something like $16/month for cable cards on top of the $16/month for basic cable...and of course you have to have them "installed", for which I think they should pay *ME*

    I just dumped them and went to free ATSC + Netflix.
  13. MoranJ2000

    MoranJ2000 New Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    I have Comcast in Naples, FL and I get local HDs on a set without cable box or CableCard.
  14. EvilMidniteBombr

    EvilMidniteBombr what bomz at midnite

    May 25, 2006
    The cable company should carry your local stations in HD in the clear. Which means you will not need a cable card to watch them. However, you will get no guide data at all. This means that you will not be able to set up season passes or wishlists. You can schedule manual recordings by time but you won't even be able to tell what you've recorded. You MAY have channel names but that will be pretty much all.
  15. kilcher

    kilcher New Member

    Mar 6, 2002
    They came Tuesday to install mine. The guy spent 3 hours trying to get it to work and then rescheduled for a week later. The thought of waiting another week because they couldn't get it to work kind of irked me. He had tried 2 cable cards and was going to come back with more. He really had no idea what else to try.

    I was getting my regular channels and HD channels but not my digital channels and HBO. The TiVo message kept saying I didn't have access to those channels and needed to call my cable company.

    Even though we had rebooted the TiVo several times while he was there after he left I re-ran guided setup from the beginning and then everything worked.
  16. Grumock

    Grumock New Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    sounds like the Tivo was not getting CP authorization in the CP info screen if you are using SA equipment. If it's Motorola cards then on the "Conditional Access Screen" you should see a line that has Con/EBCP/Val on it & they should read: Con Yes/ EBCP Yes/ Val V 0x0& a number. Toward the lower part of that same screen you will see where it says "AUTH" & it should have an S next to it if the card is properly authorized. If it says something other then S it could be that it maybe has the wrong headend code applied to it & normally a DAC operator will have to be contacted to see if there is anything they can do to change it.
  17. kilcher

    kilcher New Member

    Mar 6, 2002
    I actually found that in the TiVo help docs and showed it to the guy while he was there. I don't remember exactly what the settings were but they were not what they were supposed to be.
  18. nrobertson

    nrobertson New Member

    Dec 14, 2003
    THANK YOU to everyone in this thread for giving me the info/research necessary to help comcast finish my cablecard install.

    I have 3 Moto M-stream cable cards, one is 2yrs old - works perfectly, one is 1 yr old and became unpaired after comcast digital conversion, last one is only days old.

    Truck roll this past Friday left me with a 3rd unparied cable card and the vendor tech couldn't help at all with my 2nd unparied cable card. Multiple calls to comcast later Friday only ended up with a truck roll for Monday. I also emailed the We_Can_Help.... address and got an immediate response on Friday with assurance by Monday things would be fixed.

    I was able to prove to the comcast employee that showed up that the pairing was invalid for cards 2 & 3. Neither he, nor the person at dispatch (headend) was aware of the Val:V vs. Val:? for pairing. They moved up all my cablecards to the top of my account and they fixed the data line for cablecards 2 & 3 which were apparently incorrect even though the vendor tech called them in on Friday. The tech today was surprised that the call center claimed they could only confirm the HostID number and not the Data number. I did ask but they wouldn't even try to confirm more than HostID.

    Comcast corporate did call Monday morning before and after the comcast employee came out. I do have to give them props for following up at least.

    Anyway, THANKS A MILLION for all the help in this forum! Also thanks to Tivo's Motorola M-stream cable card help pages!
  19. getgray

    getgray New Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    Hi guys. I've skimmed through some of the 252 pages here, but didn't find the asnwers:

    I have a Series 3. I have had my CC's for a long time but never installed them, geting my HD off antenna and SD off basic cable. They are finally forcing digital here in my area (Nashville) so in order to get the kids channels, I have to install the cable cards.

    1) I have cards that say Motorola CableCard Media Cipher. They do not say M or S. Which are mine?

    2) I started to follow along the Tivo how-to on activating the cards. It has you do one card, then the next. I made it as far as getting card #1's gray screen, and got Comcast on the phone. The nice girl was unable to activate the card. We double checked the card ID and host numbers, to no avail. She wanted me to insert card #2 so she could pass along the host ID to upstream tech support, but I explained the Tivo instructions say not to insert card 2 until 1 is done. Can I insert card 2 before card 1 is activated?

    3) Does anyone have a summary of tips to help Comcast do the right thing when activating these? Someone somewhere in the depths of this thread someone said something about doing a maintenance hit then refresh. But I couldn't relocate it. Then I saw the talk about "Val:V vs. Val:? for pairing" which I hadn't seen before.

    Any pointers appreciated.

  20. Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco New Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    1) Is it red? Pretty sure that's an M card. I forget how, but one of the CableCard menus tells you if it can decode 1 or more channels.

    2) No, and see #3

    3) Keep calling back until you get a rep that knows how to do it. The activation is pretty instantaneous--if it doesn't work within 30 seconds something's wrong. Some will say 24 hours and that's BS.

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