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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. morac

    morac Cat God

    Mar 14, 2003
    The following showed up on my November bill:

    Despite what it says about still charging $1.50 for the second card, I'm no longer being charged for any of the three cards I have (2 in S3, 1 in Premiere).
  2. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Member

    Feb 12, 2002
    Wood Dale, IL
    I live in fear of this happening.

    I haven't been following your trials...have you tried involving someone from Tivo?
  3. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin New Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    But they really are trying, they're just not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Don't attribute to malice what can easily be explained by stupidity.

    From their point of view they're absolutely correct. Their boxes really are better, because the rest of their company has made sure of that.

    The problem isn't really with the low-level people. Most of them are sincerely trying to be helpful. The problem is that the cable company execs have structured their companies (and also CableLabs) to make this stuff difficult to do. They are doing that for reasons of strategic advantage. They don't want 3rd party boxes connecting to their system.
  4. Torgo

    Torgo Member

    Dec 31, 2001
    Wow. I'm still not sure why the stars aligned today, but I'll take it.

    Had a comcast install today, to add service to my Premiere (which I've used for OTA only for the last couple of months).

    I had run the guided setup this weekend, and reread some of the comcast/cablecard threads, so I was as ready as i could get.

    Installer showed up, said he had two m-stream cards, yeah, he'd done TiVo before. As we're talking it was obvious he did know what he was doing, and he stated that 'it really depends on who you get on the phone on the other end'

    He gave the person on the phone all the numbers, we waited a minute or so when the premiere changed screens saying it was downloading channel info (or something like that). A minute later, tried a number of channels including the hbo etc, and everything was there. Done, all good, no problems.

    So, in less than an hour, tv, cable card, phone and Internet from comcast without a single problem

    I'm still in shock, i've experienced the he'll and incompetence that comcast usually is...

    just wanted to share, there *is* hope out there!

    (and then as bonus TiVo announces the ipad app...good day)
  5. footwedge

    footwedge New Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Are they charging you for an additional outlet per card? This is the problem I have but all calls have not been helpful. I have a Tivo S3 with 2 cards and get charged for an additional HD and digital feed plus a $1.50 for the second card. This adds $15 to my monthly bill. I've asked for a multi-stream card and their response was, you guessed it, we don't have those. This along with Tivo not approving me for the $99 LS even though I initially prepaid for 3 years has me looking into u-verse.
  6. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    No! There is no additional outlet charge for a card. If you have an additional outlet (and pay for it) then you get a card included in that price. If you have only 1 Tivo and no Comcast converter boxes, then you should not be paying for an additional outlet. If you require a 2nd card for a Tivo S3, then you pay only $1.50 for it.

    Do you have an original S3 or an HD? If you have an original S3, you will need 2 cards regardless of type. If you have an HD, then 1 M-card will work if you can get it.

    I had little luck getting billing corrected by phone. I had better luck getting things corrected by walking into the local office with their FAQ and rate sheet in hand. However, that also was not completely successful. I finally achieved satisfaction by contacting we_can_help@cable.comcast.com.

    Have you visited an office? Have you contacted we_can_help?

    I hear you regarding the discounted LS with Tivo. LS was not available when I purchased my S3 so I bought the 3 year pre-paid plan. Then I attempted to add LS at a discount when the 3 years was up. It was a no-go. Bummer.
  7. footwedge

    footwedge New Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    I have the HD which will take a M card or 2 singles and this is the only dvr I have in the house. I'm told they don't have / can't get the m card. So, I'm being charged the HD and digital feeds plus the $1.50 just because of the second card. Evidently their definition of an additional outlet must equate to the number of cards and not the number of boxes. I do not know. This has been going on for at least two years with me calling numerous times but to no avail. I've been to the office twice but I did not talk to anyone beyond the window and no, I have not tried we_can_help.

    How can Tivo pic and choose who gets the $99 offer? I'm sure it's about $ and evidently there must have been a lot of sales in December of 07.

  8. JJJB

    JJJB Member

    Nov 8, 2003
    Well here we are Nov.24,Comcast called me this morning and the kid got here bright and early and the first question I asked him when he walked in was "can you pair a cable card?" he said he could.He looked at my TiVo and said "wow,I haven't seen one of those in a long time"(now I got nervous) anyway.....he pushed the card in and out a couple of times called in to a "special tech number"I'm sure because he got right to someone. And he asked "how good are you at cable cards etc...." the guy must have been the CORRECT guy because he rattled off the numbers pushed the card in and out again and low and behold HBO pops right up!.So I said to him,you mean 5 calls to tech support couldn't direct me to do THAT? He said "you didn't talk to tech support you talked to customer service" I told him the last time "TECH SUPPORT" called me and the guy still couldn't do it over the phone but you did it in 5 minutes.

    This is what we're talking about here.... a 3 month long run around and talking to at least 5 or 6 people and still having to have a guy make a house call for something that should've and COULD'VE been fixed 2 months ago over the phone. There was nothing wrong with cable card OR my TiVo but there's definitely a problem with the way Comcast handles tech issues.Unbelievable !!!:rolleyes:
  9. cuyahoga

    cuyahoga New Member

    Nov 15, 2002
    Ok, now both TiVo units are not working. The one that stopped working TWO MONTHS ago and now my second TiVo HD is no longer paired.

    I sent back my new Series 4 since the Comcast guy said that he has had the most problems with the Series 4. Something about being on the wrong frequency. I have a refurbed Series 3 on the way.

    They left me with the latest Motorola DVR to hold me over. The UI is certainly fast, but the design leaves a lot to be desired.

    This is getting old.
  10. cuyahoga

    cuyahoga New Member

    Nov 15, 2002
    Ok, now both TiVo units are not working. The one that stopped working TWO MONTHS ago and now my second TiVo HD is no longer paired.

    I sent back my new Series 4 since the Comcast guy said that he has had the most problems with the Series 4. Something about being on the wrong frequency. I have a refurbed Series 3 on the way.

    They left me with the latest Motorola DVR to hold me over. The UI is certainly fast, but the design leaves a lot to be desired.

    This is getting old.
  11. Jello1996

    Jello1996 New Member

    Nov 26, 2010
    New TiVo customer here but I've been lurking this forum for a while. Just wanted to sign up so I could share my experience. I just got my card installed today, flawlessly on first attempt, but getting somebody out here was a different story:

    1) Finding out what to do: I got my TiVo last week and set it up. On Saturday I chatted with Comcast to see what I need to do in order to get set up on the TiVo and get rid of my existing DVR. I was told by the first rep that I need to bring my DVR and my TiVo into the service center and they could swap out the cable card. Now I knew from reading this thread that this was not the case, but I said ok. I went online again to chat with another rep, who gave me the same instructions.

    2) Road trip to the service center: Again, knowing full well that this was not going to work, I boxed up my TiVo anyways, boxed up my DVR, and went to the Comcast service center 2 days later when they opened back up after the weekend, only for them to of course look at me like I was crazy, and to tell me I'd need a truck roll for $25. I said no and came back home, chatted with another rep who finally said that I would need a truck roll but it would be at no charge due to the inconvenience caused by the previous reps. I agreed, and I was scheduled for a 12 hour window the next day so that I could get it before the holiday.

    3) Scheduled installation 1: Of course I sit at home for 12 hours only for nobody to show up. I chatted with another rep the minute my window was over and explained that I wanted installation the day after Thanksgiving, at no charge, and with an additional credit for them missing the appointment, and a window of no more than 4 hours this time. She agreed and I was set.

    4) Sheduled installation 2: They arrived today one hour into their window. It was a tech that had set me up before. He's a supervisor or trainer cause he always has a trainee with him. He definitely knew what he was doing and breezed through it quickly, just looking at the instruction sheet really to jot down the numbers should I need them in the future. Within a couple of minutes, all my channels were there.

    Cliffs notes:
    Getting somebody out here to install the card: Very difficult
    Actual installation: Easy peasy

    Edit: 4 hours later, about 20 HD channels have gone missing. :|
    Edit: 2 hours later, they've returned. Should I expect this drop in, drop out often? Why would that have happened?
  12. hillstrubl

    hillstrubl New Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    I had a similar situation,
    For the first day or so programming came and went, but then was fine after that.
  13. Dec 1, 2010 #7633 of 9367

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

    Jul 24, 2003
    15 mins...
    I have two TiVos. The year old HD unit is in my apartment. The three year old Series 2 is in my gf's apartment. Let's say I upgrade to a Premiere and give my gf the HD unit. Can I just pull the cable card from the HD unit, plug it into the Premiere and everything will automatically work? If the cable card is "locked" to the HD unit and I have to get a new card for the Premiere, will my gf be able to just plug the HD unit in and everything will automatically work? We both have Comcast but with different franchises.
  14. Dec 1, 2010 #7634 of 9367

    HazelW Member

    Dec 6, 2007
    No. Va
    It won't work. If you are lucky, Comcast will let you read the numbers over the phone and pair the card to the Tivo. But most likely they will require a truck-roll.
  15. Dec 1, 2010 #7635 of 9367

    brshoemak New Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    Had a Series2 and just recently replaced it with a Premiere. This was my experience:

    1) Went to a local Comcast Service Center to request an M-Card for a self-install. I pretty much knew they wouldn't do it, but it was worth a shot and I was also able to directly schedule an appointment with a live person where I could make sure they knew the appointment was for a CableCard install and triple-checked that they knew I needed an M-card. Appointment schedule the Friday after Thanksgiving between 10am-1pm (can't believe they had to work that day, but oh well)

    2) Already had the Tivo fully updated and moved so the tech had easy access to the CableCard slot. Tech showed up around 11am, I got the Tivo to the CableCard setup, tech took the M-Card, inserted it, called the headend office, got it paired. The tech tested it and everything was good. Total time, about 15 minutes.

    I can't believe that the experience can be such a nightmare for some people - apparently there is a WIDE range in the quality of service. It also probably doesn't hurt that I live in a college town - I would assume there are more Tivo/CableCard installs than in some other areas.
  16. Dec 1, 2010 #7636 of 9367

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of an Unown UI

    Jan 19, 2008
    My first two TiVo CableCard installs were easy: I called Comcast and self-installed while the phone reps followed very simple scripts that guided me and them through the process.

    Somehow this has changed, but truck rolls should not be necessary for CableCard installation. It's hard to believe they are managing it this badly. In fact it's easy to imagine a vast evil conspiracy when something goes so wrong, but probably it's just poor implementation. Most CableCard truck rolls reported here seem to take so long that there's no way Comcast is even covering costs with the $27 fee (which I got credited back to me and then some, by the way, after my third install - see my previous posts in this thread).

    If the FCC really does require Comcast to support CableCard self-installs (and really will enforce the requirement) that will be great, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Related thread: FCC CableCard Rule Changes
  17. Dec 2, 2010 #7637 of 9367

    cuyahoga New Member

    Nov 15, 2002
    After many, many attempts I finally made some progress with Comcast last night.

    First of all, the Tech that came was the nicest so far, and didn't editorialize my preference for TiVo hardware over their own hardware.

    Second, the dispatcher/person on the other end of the phone new exactly how to handle the cable card pairing.

    Everything seemed fine, and it was late so as soon as we confirmed picture on both tuners of the original Series3 box, the tech left.

    I only realized later that there were new problems.

    While I get more channels, I still don't get some. And these channels are in the same digital tier. But I dint get the pairing screen when I attempt to tune, I get the floating black box and the 'check input / signal strength' message.

    I also noticed some channels pixelate and have audio dropouts.

    Since cable cards just authorize, this has to be either a bad TiVo tuner or a Comcast signal strength problem, right?

    The TiVo box is a 'new' refurbed Series 3 (direct from TiVo) that replaces my original Series 3 that I thought had a bad cable card slot when Comcast couldn't get the TiVo to pair with their cable cards. This may have not been accurate, but who knows?

    The second TiVo HD in the house that was also paired last night does not experience this problem.

    What does everyone think is the best next step. Having been fighting this battle since October, I'm a bit tired of it and could use some advice on next steps.

    Thanks, all!
  18. Dec 2, 2010 #7638 of 9367

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of an Unown UI

    Jan 19, 2008
    Pixelation (they call it "tiling" now because the digital picture breaks up into "tiles") and drop-outs are signs of a poor connection or a problem in the refurbished TiVo, not pairing issues. First thing to do is check all connections to the TiVo experiencing problems. Next thing to do is shut both TiVos down from their menus, disconnect them and switch places temporarily, so that the TiVo with problems is connected where the other TiVo is now. That will give you a better idea if it's a wiring problem in only one part of your house.

    Digital TV is much less forgiving than the old analog service when it comes to wiring. A wiring problem could be anything from too much distance between the entrance and that TiVo's location (requiring an amplifier inline), to just one kink in a coax cable inside or outside your wall jack. In my case it was a tap on a pole three houses away that had water in it and caused problems when the weather approached freezing. I spent a year convincing Comcast my wiring wasn't the problem. The signal strength coming into the house was fine, except when it wasn't.

    "Lucky for you" your problem may be localized to only one part of your house, and not out there somewhere. Good luck, I hope that's all it is and not a problem with the refurbished TiVo itself. Let us know what happens.
  19. Dec 2, 2010 #7639 of 9367

    darksurtur New Member

    Jan 2, 2008
    Sorry if this has been asked, but I searched and got no results.

    I have an HD but got a new Premiere (both lifetimed). I only need one box, so I want to switch to using the Premiere and sell off the HD.

    Can I just pull the Cablecard from the HD and put it in the Premiere, then call in and pretend to be having trouble and ask them to reauthorize the card? I realize that Comcast might pair by device, but I don't want to have to deal with a truck roll and install.
  20. Dec 2, 2010 #7640 of 9367

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of an Unown UI

    Jan 19, 2008
    You don't have to pretend about anything, just call and ask them to pair the card. Make sure you insist on giving them all the numbers from the CableCard setup screen before they try sending a signal to the card. A truck roll should not be necessary, but if the general experience of the folks on this forum is any guide the telephone rep will not do the pairing right and then will insist on a truck roll. After that you should demand a refund for the unnecessary truck roll. I can offer no guarantee you'll get a refund, but you will deserve one. Please let us know what happens.

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