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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Oct 4, 2006 #741 of 9367

    ah30k Active Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    You should have seen how tongue-tied my rep got trying to justify charging me all of these fees. It was quite fun to poke holes in all of his arguments. Finally he just said, 'well thats the way it is'.
  2. Oct 4, 2006 #742 of 9367

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    What were you originally told?
  3. Oct 4, 2006 #743 of 9367

    mickeymammoth New Member

    May 9, 2002
    Boulder, CO
    I was orginally told that there would be no HD fee (or cable card fee). This was when I signed up at the local office. I even asked about the HD fee, and she said no charge.

    I think the "HDTV Converter" line item was originally meant to apply to people who needed to upgrade to an HD converter box vs. an SD one. Since all cable cards handle HD, I think they're a little bummed that it's harder to charge the ridiculous $5 fee for us. Note: When I ordered the cable cards, she could pick "HD cable cards" or non-HD cable cards. I assume the cards are the same, but they want to know in the system if they can get away with charging you more if you use HD. I assume. I wonder what they would do if I asked for the non-HD cable cards! Anyway, since they removed the charge, I don't have to deal with that yet.
  4. Oct 4, 2006 #744 of 9367

    wackymann Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    Boston Area
    I was told $2.75 per month per card. I'll find out in 2 weeks when my next bill comes out.
  5. Oct 4, 2006 #745 of 9367

    JennyP New Member

    Jul 11, 2006
    I just wanted to say thanks to whoever posted the link to this article- http://techdigs.net/content/view/46/42/#ccconfig

    The comcast tech had came out and told my partner it will take 4hours for the CCs to start working after he installed them. He then left. So I arrive home and say "4hours!!! good lord thats a good lie as it means that tech won't be sent back out to fix his problem." So obviously no Digital channels came through only basic cable channels.

    I did a search of this site found the above link and used that to call comcast and have them hit the cards as I looked at the CC status menu hoping it to go to SUBSCRIBED but it wouldn't. I then used the line "just do the Cable Card Validation or Cold initiate the Card" the rep stated we're not supposed to do that as it could harm the card from working... Yeah thats a good answer. "Um the cards aren't working now, whats the harm in trying?"

    So he initializes the card and then states "well lets reboot everything and see what happens" Yeah ok, I'll get right on that... I sit quietly for a minute going in and out of the Status menu and it finally comes back up showing subscribed. I tell the rep "do the exact same thing you did to the first card." Well it worked fine after doing what he wasn't supposed to do... So once again thanks to whoever posted that link. I searched to give credit where its due, but couldn't find the poster for the link I used.

    I Love Hockey in HD
  6. Oct 5, 2006 #746 of 9367

    sjca35 New Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    Ok, so I haven't seen anyone say this, but I've had 3 comcast guys out (6 cablecards in total) and still no S3 HD joy.

    Anyways, the last tech (the only one with any Tivo S3 install experiance) said that he had better luck after the tivo was subscribed. I can't imagine that would make a difference, but I suppose there's always the chance for a bug. Anyways, figured I'd check here to see if anyone has tried getting an unsubscribed S3 working. Up until now I've held off moving my lifetime off my S2 until I got the S3 working.

    Anyways on Sunday, the "supervisor" is supposed to come out and take a look. Maybe he'll have better luck. Don't think I'll be holding my breath.
  7. Oct 5, 2006 #747 of 9367

    sjcbulldog New Member

    Jul 13, 2004
    Ok, anyone else find it hard to believe that Motorola or Scientific Atlanta designed a card that will "burn out" if it gets hit with some kind of initialization request over the cable to the card? Maybe there is some kind of flash memory that contains information that someone binds the card to the system it is on and a "cold init" erase this flash memory forcing a re-initialization that gets burned into the flash memory again. If tihs is the case, even the worst case modern flash has endurance in 10,000+ cycles. I find it hard to believe that a "cold init" can burn out the card, but obviously is has been propogated as a story with the ranks of the CSRs that deal with cable cards, because this is not the first person that has heard this.

    Just my $0.02 worth.
  8. Oct 5, 2006 #748 of 9367

    sonicboom New Member

    Sep 2, 2006
    My CC installation was successfully completed without a tivo subscription (no problems). I subscribed about three days after the CC install.
  9. Oct 5, 2006 #749 of 9367

    rodneyw1 Member

    Nov 12, 2001
    Santa Rosa,...
    Comcast tech arrived this am to set up my second TiVo. (Have two now) Tech had never seen TiVo. He inserted cards, called in, they zapped the cards. We checked all channels, lower, digital, HD, HBO, all and they all worked on both cards. He was here less than ten minutes. SO...I have two TiVos with no cablecard installation problems. It was a breeze. I'm one of the lucky ones.
  10. Oct 5, 2006 #750 of 9367

    rodneyw1 Member

    Nov 12, 2001
    Santa Rosa,...
    I can't confirm what I am being charged yet but the 19.90 doesn't seem right. I also have never been told there would be a digital charge for a second outlet. They told me the 6.95 for the first card on my second TiVo but they didn't call it a digital charge, just a additional outlet charge. Maybe were saying the same thing. I don't know. Once I get my bill I'll know and post the charges.
  11. Oct 5, 2006 #751 of 9367

    bwherry New Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    A quick followup with my first bill in hand.

    So I got my first bill today. No CC fees. No second outlet fee. flat 39.99 / month plus taxes. Comcast delivered what they promised.

  12. Oct 5, 2006 #752 of 9367

    thotfulspot New Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    I just made an appointment to have the install done on Monday in Chicago. I was told I have to purchase the cards outright at $23.99 each and there will be no monthly fee.

  13. Oct 5, 2006 #753 of 9367
    Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    That's a bargain. Comcast here charges $90 for unreturned cards.
  14. Oct 5, 2006 #754 of 9367
    Brainiac 5

    Brainiac 5 New Member

    Aug 24, 2003
    I finally (after a two week wait) got my CableCARDs "installed" today, but am having problems similar to others I've read about here. I get the basic channels, but nothing beyond that (I think I don't get anything that's encrypted).

    Of course the installer left after giving me the familiar "it takes hours for the channels to come in." (Has that actually happened to anyone? I'd be interested to hear.) Since people have been discussing what the information on the cards' status screens means, I thought I'd see if anyone had any ideas what I should tell Comcast to do based on what mine say.

    The cards are from Scientific Atlanta. The "CP Screen" for both cards is identical, and shows:

    Scientific Atlanta CableCARD
    CP Information
    Auth Status:CP Auth Received
    Prog Number:31
    CCI byte: 0x00
    ECM count:0
    EMM count:0
    Decryption Status:No ECMs detected
    Powerkey status:Ready
    EID :0xffffffff
    MKS period :100 seconds
    KSE count :0
    Sometimes the "Decryption Status:" changes to "OK."

    "CP Auth Received" sounds good to me, but I'm not sure what the other things mean (well, "Powerkey status:Ready" doesn't sound bad either). Can anyone determine anything based on this?

  15. Oct 5, 2006 #755 of 9367

    BillShannon New Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    Los Altos, CA
    If you get some channels but not all, the problem is almost certainly a mistake in how they've
    configured the cards at the head end. Good news is they should be able to fix that for you
    without another visit.
  16. Oct 5, 2006 #756 of 9367

    boblip11 New Member

    Oct 6, 2005
    Those values are almost exactly the same as mine. The only difference is my ECM count can vary throughout the day....currently it is 2253. I agree with the poster above that this appears to be a good card with bad information at the headend as to what channels you are allowed to recieve.

    Good Luck
  17. Oct 6, 2006 #757 of 9367

    FlippedBit New Member

    Dec 25, 2001
    For what it is worth, here is my experience.

    I live in Mountain View CA.

    I ordered my S3 last Thursday (1 week ago today) from Circuit City with a 10% discount. The S3 arrived the next day! I paid for 3-5 day shipping which was only a couple bucks cheaper than the cheapest shipping mothod.

    I called Comcast to schedule the install. They said there was a slot open for Wednesday morning (6 days out) and that it would cost $15.99 for the install and $6.95/mo for the second card. I hung up and called again. The second rep said there was a slot open for Tuesday morning (5 days out) and that it would cost $15.99 for the install and $1.50/mo for the second card. I said lets do it!

    On Tuesday a contractor shows up at around 12:00 for the 8:00 - 12:00 window. He puts in one card and then goes to "Test Channels". All we get is a pin wheel on a screen that says Acquireing Channel Information. So it doesn't get to the Test Channel screen. I ask if the card is activated. He says that it was activated before he came out. He doesn't call in to get it activated again because his phone is not getting a strong enough signal to work. So he installs the second card and the same thing. He says it can take up to four hours to get past this screen so I should wait. He leaves and says that he will have the activation signals sent to the cards again when he gets someplace where his phone will work.

    After waiting an hour with no improvement, I call the number he left. The dispatcher who answers appeared to hang up as soon as I start to talk. Since I couldn't understand what they were saying (heavy accent and very distorted oversaturated signal coming from their phone) I called the Comcast 800 number. After 10 minutes of trying to reason with somebody who appeared to not be capable of rational thought, I finally convince them to transfer me to somebody that can help me with the cablecards. This next person says something about my account not being set up correctly. I assume they changed something about my account but I don't know what it was or if it was important. Then he sent out the activation signals again. I am now getting to the "No Channels Detected" screen on both cards so we are past the pinwheel screen. After a few minutes, CableCard 1 begins working for all channels but CableCard 2 just says "No Channels Detected". We can't get the second card to work so he says another tech will be back by 8:00 PM.

    At 8:00 PM I call back and point out that I have been stuck in the house for 12 hours waiting for the tech and ask why he isn't here. I'm told my install is tagged as complete so nobody was going to come out. I say it isn't complete and lets get somebody out ASAP. He schedules anothe 8-12 appointment for the next morning. At 7:30 AM I call to confirm and they say that my install is tagged as complete so nobody was going to come out. Angrily I say it isn't complete, I think I might have a bad cable card, and I need another cablecard. They say that sombody will be there by 12. At 12 I call and they say my install is tagged as complete so nobody was going to come out. More angrily, I repeat that I need sombody to come out with another cablecard. They say somebody will be out by 8:00 PM. The same tech shows up around 7:00 PM but he didn't bring a cablecard. I bounce off of the walls and then ask why not. He said by the time he was told to come back to my house, he had already rolled so he didn't have a card for me. He swaps the cards in the slots, and verifies that the problem follows the card, so we are now both convinced it is a bad card. He said he would come back at the end of his next day (which was today).

    At 10:30 this morning the tech calls and says he'll be over in 20 minutes. He swaps the bad card for a new one, calls in to activate it, 5 minutes later I have all channels on both cards.

    I called TiVo and transferred my lifetime.

    Comcast demonstrated how incompetent they are when it comes to installing cablecards. Their incompetence is costing them a lot of money in time spent per install and costing them customer respect.

    I have started recording season passes. Hopefully I won't have any other issues with my S3. Good luck all and thanks for all of your posts.
  18. Oct 6, 2006 #758 of 9367

    sammydee New Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    While not quite related to Cablecards, I wanted to give my Comcast experience - San Jose.

    I have two D*Tivos, but don't (yet) have an S3. Before taking the S3 plunge (times 2!?), I wanted to see how Comcast signal quality compares to DirecTV. I had recently switched from AT&T DSL to Comcast cable modem, but didn't have cable TV.

    SO, I ordered cable TV service with a Comcast DVR....figure I can do head-to-head comparisons of cable vs. sat for a month or two, confirm for myself that I can't take the Comcast DVR - and only then shell out the big bucks for the S3. And if I decide to stay with DirecTV, then I'm only out a couple of months' cable bill.

    Comcast came today and installed the cable TV and the Comcast DVR. Appointment took 15 minutes, he was right on time, and everything worked when he left. The DVR software is indeed a pile o crap. I've identified 3-4 bugs in just 4 hours of playing with it, and the human factors are basically nonexistent. Total crap compared to a TiVo.

    But the main info for me - and that I wanted to note here - was about picture quality.

    The HD pics on Comcast are, as you might imagine, quite lovely. Since I don't have HD service with DirecTV I can't compare them.

    However I'm happy (and somewhat astonished) to report that the SD picture quality from Comcast is MUCH BETTER than DirecTV on every channel I can try. I've done A/B comparisons of freeze frames of the same show on the same channel from cable and sat, and in every case the cable picture is far superior. Tested with local channels (where I expected sat to lose) and national channels like Comedy Central and CNN...and cable won every single test. The extreme macroblocking and overcompression of the sat signals is extremely evident.

    SO - for those like me considering the jump from D*Tivo to S3 - the cable world maybe isn't as bad as you remember. I'm frankly astonished at how bad DirecTV looks in an A/B comparison.

  19. Oct 6, 2006 #759 of 9367

    kybluedevil New Member

    Oct 14, 2004

    I switched to comcast in April of this year, after 11 years with D*tv, including HD using an H10250. I have had the same experience as you with PQ. The improvement in PQ with comcast over D*tv, both HD and SD, has been amazing. I have been fortunate to have not had any bad service call experiences (haven't needed any since initial hookup in April). So, as you say, comcast is not all bad.

  20. Oct 6, 2006 #760 of 9367

    wbswbs New Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Downingtown, PA 19335

    Arg. I'm all set up and everything is working fine. I get my first bill and it's 17.80 more than I was told it would be. Here's the set up.

    TV in bedroom with standard digital cable box.
    TV in basement with standard digital cable box.
    TV in living room with (a) standard digital cable box on one input and (b) Tivo Series 3 with 2 cable cards on a different in put.

    When I ordered the cable service, I was told that I get one cable box free, pay $8.90 for the one in the bedroom and another $8.90 for the one in the basement, and that the cable cards were free (no additional $8.90 charges).

    Bill comes and it turns out they're charging me for four of the five "devices" even though three of them (one box, two cablecards) are on a single tv. So, that's 8.90 x 4 instead of 8.90 x 2.

    Is this normal? Is anyone else pay a MONTHLY service cards for the service to the cable cards???


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