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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Oct 6, 2006 #761 of 9367
    hiker

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    1,352
    0
    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    Go down to your local office and argue your case. That's what I did when I discovered, by looking online at recent billing activity, that they were charging me $6.95/mo for each of the 2 cablecards. At local office, the lady there found a new internal memo stating that for the S3, the first cablecard is free and the charge for the second is $1.50/mo. They adjusted my billing as I can see from another check of recent activity but I haven't got a statement in the mail this month yet. YMMV in your locality.
     
  2. Oct 6, 2006 #762 of 9367
    wbswbs

    wbswbs New Member

    9
    0
    Sep 26, 2006
    Thanks for the quick response. Are you talking about a "rental" charge for the cards or a charge for the monthly cable service that supports the cards? Right now they giving me both cards for FREE (i.e., no monthly charge for the physical cards) but ARE charging me for the cable service to each card (i.e., the signal itself, which they are treating as additional outlets). Thanks
     
  3. Oct 6, 2006 #763 of 9367
    hiker

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    1,352
    0
    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    The terminology they use is "additional digital outlet". I believe they do this because the FCC prohibits them from charging directly for the cablecards. So my charges showed up as 2 additional outlets, $6.95/mo each. But you should not have an additional outlet charge for your primary TV. And if your primary TV has the S3, the first cablecard should be free and second cablecard should have a small charge. I don't know about additional outlets in other rooms because I don't have any. Take a copy of the cablecard FAQ here with you to the office.
     
  4. Oct 6, 2006 #764 of 9367
    wackymann

    wackymann New Member

    384
    0
    Sep 22, 2006
    Boston Area
    In my area, they have separate charges for the boxes, the remotes, and something called "digital access". This digital access is what they charge for each unit to allow it to view your digital subscription content. Sooo... this $2.75 is what I get charged for each cable card (which in turn allows it to see all of my digital channels). It is $2.75 for each. Digital subscriptions include the first box/remote/digital access fees, so I'm pretty sure the first $2.75 would be waived if I had no other cable boxes on my account.

    FYI: remotes cost me $.25/month, and digital boxes cost $4.50/month (in addition to the $2.75). So, each extra box I get from them costs me $7.50/month. Their DVR service is an extra $9.95/month. I'm not sure if that is for each box or not. I've never rented more than one DVR from them.
     
  5. Oct 6, 2006 #765 of 9367
    rodneyw1

    rodneyw1 Member

    36
    0
    Nov 12, 2001
    Santa Rosa,...
    I have two series3's for a total of 4 digitalcards. This is my latest "recent activity" from Comcast in the SF Bay Area. I don't understand any of it. I'm off to my local comcast this am. Not only are the outlet charges not what they told me, but the install charges are wrong too.

    10-05-06 10-05-06 TIVO DIGITAL ACCESS 10/05 TO 11/07 $ -1.65
    10-05-06 10-05-06 TIVO DIGITAL ACCESS 10/05 TO 11/07 $ -1.65
    10-05-06 10-05-06 TIVO DIGITAL ACCESS 10/05 TO 11/07 $ 1.65
    10-05-06 10-05-06 DIGITAL ADDL OUTLET 10/05 TO 11/07 $ 7.64
    10-04-06 10-04-06 TIVO DIGITAL ACCESS 10/04 TO 11/07 $ 1.69
    10-04-06 10-04-06 INSTALL ADD'L OUTLET $ 18.99
    10-04-06 10-04-06 INSTALL - ADD'L SERVICES $ 15.99
    10-04-06 10-04-06 DIGITAL ADDL OUTLET 10/04 TO 11/07 $ 7.86
    10-03-06 10-03-06 TIVO DIGITAL ACCESS 09/27 TO 11/07 $ 2.08
    10-03-06 10-03-06 DIGITAL ADDL OUTLET 09/27 TO 11/07 $ -9.62
    09-27-06 09-27-06 DIGITAL ADDL OUTLET 09/27 TO 11/07 $ 9.62
     
  6. Oct 6, 2006 #766 of 9367
    cgould

    cgould Member

    200
    0
    Dec 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    I got my Tivo S3 CableCard install on 9/27 finally, and turned in my 6412 this week...
    I got the final bill just now, it's pretty confusing/disappointing.
    Can anyone else confirm similar for this area?

    1. The cable cards ARE free, as they said. The truck roll cost $15.99, as they said.
    (This is for SF Bay Area/peninsula franchise)
    BUT:

    They insist on still charging $6.95 "addnl digital outlet" fee for the 2nd card, even though it's in the same device, and I have Digital Classic (that covers only the first card.) This seems pervasive on online reports so far, something about the billing/service order system being incapable of considering 2 cards in one device (and if you tell them to remove the charge, sometimes it disables the 2nd card.)
    Will try to fight this but unknown if can get it fixed soon. :(

    They also charged $13.99 "reconnect addnl digital outlet" install fee, I guess for the 2nd card, or maybe because I still had the 6412? I'll be fighting this... :confused:

    Wierder but: there is also a $1.50 "Tivo Digital Access" monthly fee. I have no idea WTF this is. Maybe they are confused and this is the coming charge to have Tivo software on the 6412? Or they're trying to stick it to S3 customers?
    I'll try to fight this/get clarity on what it is, but... :mad:

    so far this means w/ $6.95 AO fee and 1.50 tivo fee, it's $8.45/mo to have the S3, which compares poorly to 9.95 6412 DVR fee :mad:
    (but at least I have twice the storage, better picture, and no remote lag / hang crap.)
     
  7. Oct 6, 2006 #767 of 9367
    hiker

    hiker S.o.N.Y.D.a.C.

    1,352
    0
    Nov 29, 2001
    SF Bay Area...
    Go to your local office and ask to see the memo they should have regarding the $1.50/mo charge for 2 S3 cablecards on primary TV. They should not charge $6.95 unless you have additional TVs with digital access. If they don't have the memo, have them call the Novato office.
     
  8. Oct 6, 2006 #768 of 9367
    RoyalCrap

    RoyalCrap New Member

    6
    0
    Oct 3, 2006
    I have a fourth Comcast installation appointment scheduled for today, but the technician has not arrived yet. Comcast in Santa Clara, CA, is totally incompetent and TiVo needs to do something about it. TiVo needs to provide the Bay Area Comcast installers and Comcast operators/dispatchers with concrete steps for enabling the TiVo Series 3 CableCards on their service. I really don't want to return my box, but Comcast and TiVo are leaving me no choice. I have a feeling this affects all TiVo users in the South Bay Area, just minutes from TiVo headquarters. This is totally ridiculous and I think TiVo is in big trouble.

    Summary: I have had my TiVo box for 2 weeks. I have made over 10 calls to Comcast customer support and have even spoken to a supervisor. I have had three Comcast installers in my home, each spending three hours trying to get the CableCards to work. After being on hold at TiVo for a total of over two hours, I have an open case number with a TiVo customer support supervisor (in which TiVo maintains the problem is all Comcast's problem). I have called the Comcast executive office (which put me on hold for 30 minutes and then simply forwarded my call to the Santa Clara office). I have filed an FCC complaint. There is nothing more I can do.

    Comcast customer support spewed the following garbage:

    * TiVo released its box 6 months early without telling Comcast and thus Comcast is not prepared to support it.

    * Comcast does not have CableCards that are compatible with a TiVo series 3 device.

    * Installations are hit or miss. (That is, there is a chance it will work, but apparently I am not one of the lucky ones.)

    Comcast technicians spewed the following garbage:

    * There is a problem with my TiVo. (However, according to the TiVo customer support supervisor, there is nothing wrong with my box.)

    * There is a problem with my TV. (This is impossible because my TV is just a dumb HDTV monitor without a tuner or speakers!)
     
  9. Oct 6, 2006 #769 of 9367
    rodneyw1

    rodneyw1 Member

    36
    0
    Nov 12, 2001
    Santa Rosa,...
    Just returned from local comcast office. Showed her they were still charging additional outlet fee on both of my series3's. She still says that is not right, and repeated: 1st card free 2nd 1.50 3rd 6.95 4th 1.50. She would look into it and see why that was not being reflected correctly on my bill.

    Also, she said the TiVo digital access was the only way they could enter it in the system to initialize the cards, but that was just for installation and would remove them as I was already paying digital access in my cable package. I told her I had read from others than when some charges were removed they lost their digital access and I wanted to make sure that would not happen. She assured me it would not.

    Also she would remove the 18.99 additional outlet installation charge. On my second TiVo they charged me the 18.99 plus standard 15.99.

    I live in the SF Bay Area (east bay). Benicia, small town (30,000) . Local comcast says I am the only customer in Benicia so far with TiVo Series3 and they have a learning curve. I told her Comcast has a learning curve all across America!!
     
  10. Oct 6, 2006 #770 of 9367
    FlippedBit

    FlippedBit New Member

    176
    0
    Dec 25, 2001
    Mountain...

    I spoke too soon. I am actually not getting all of the channels on the second card. I am getting the analog and the HD channels but I am not getting the standard digital channels! I have the dreaded "MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY" auth state on my second card. From what I have read, this means the card was not initialized correctly on the head end. So another tech visit on Sunday.

    TiVo, Comcast, get your collective stuff together! This is rediculous! TiVo puts up a cryptic message like MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY and they don't document what it means and nobody I've talked to at Comcast knows what it means. Don't buy an S3 until the installers increase their success probability. I'm looking forward to my fourth tech visit in less than a week and have had two 4 hour time slots where the tech never showed up. I feel confined to house arrest waiting for Comcast day after day.
     
  11. Oct 6, 2006 #771 of 9367
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    That's not my understanding. Each "additional outlet" bears an additional outlet charge. So your first cable box or CableCard is free, and then there is an extra charge for each additional. The only arguable element, as far as I know, is whether the two CableCards necessary for S3 count as one additional outlet (which makes most sense to me) or two additional outlets (which perhaps makes more sense to Comcast).
     
  12. Oct 6, 2006 #772 of 9367
    Bodshal

    Bodshal Penguin-tastic!

    158
    0
    Jan 4, 2005
    Cedar...
    It's not TiVo's fault - the information on those screens comes directly from the card. This is why it says "on behalf of your cable provider" at the top of the screen.

    Chris.
     
  13. Oct 6, 2006 #773 of 9367
    RoyalCrap

    RoyalCrap New Member

    6
    0
    Oct 3, 2006
    The fact that it comes directly from the card does not help Comcast. None of the technicians, dispatchers, or customer support people have any idea what this information means. Do the technicians see this information when installing CableCards on a normal TV? My guess is they do not.
     
  14. Oct 6, 2006 #774 of 9367
    Bodshal

    Bodshal Penguin-tastic!

    158
    0
    Jan 4, 2005
    Cedar...
    Since the card is programmed for Comcast specifically, whose fault is it if their software doesn't help them? Sounds like lack of training - by Comcast of Comcast employees/contractors - and, FWIW, my Comcast installer knew what he was looking at on these screens - or, at least, he recognised specific parts of it, probably based on experience. One screen in particular he said "on a TV I did yesterday, it said this..." while we were waiting for the auth to come through. He said it's the same screens, it only varies by the firmware on the card.

    Someone, somewhere, probably decided that these things are too technical for ordinary people and "shouldn't matter" if people would only do what they're supposed to since it'll "just work" anyway. (where people = anyone, Comcast employees included)

    Chris.
     
  15. Oct 6, 2006 #775 of 9367
    keenanSR

    keenanSR Member TCF Club

    910
    2
    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    Just about all that info shows up on my Mits display when a CC is inserted, or can be found through a menu.

    Comcast needs to educate their techs.
     
  16. Oct 6, 2006 #776 of 9367
    boblip11

    boblip11 New Member

    36
    0
    Oct 6, 2005
    Clinton,...
    You guess wrong...My Sharp Aquos LCD show exactly the same screens (letter for letter) when you look at the status of the Cablecard.

    While I agree with your sentiment....this problem is owned by Comcast and the cable card manufacturer. Clearly the techs do not have enough training to read the screen...and they need some dedicated people that they can call who can check the provisioning at the headend.

    I do wonder whether Tivo could write some sort of diagnostic that would spell out in english for the user and the tech exactly what is stopping the display of a channel....but the owner of this is the cable provider
     
  17. Oct 6, 2006 #777 of 9367
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    Lucky you, Comcast digital crap makes D* look great to me.

    Also doing freeze frame comparisons in not a valid way of doing this. I find the most objectionable part of the Comcast signal is the way it breaks up on scene changes and mostion. It breaks up into pixel noise, not macroblocks which is really weird. If you do freeze frame the receiver has a chance to catch up several frames and skip over the motion noise.
     
  18. Oct 6, 2006 #778 of 9367
    RoyalCrap

    RoyalCrap New Member

    6
    0
    Oct 3, 2006
    My problem was finally solved! For those of you in the South Bay Area having trouble with your Tivo Series 3 CableCard installation, you should specifically request technician #1201 (Jim). He was very patient and even came by for the second time again today to help the actual technician who was scheduled to do my installation. Without Jim's help, I don't think I ever would've gotten up and running. I was stuck in a never-ending service loop with a new service technician every time trying to figure out the problem from scratch.

    Anyway, Jim realized that the two previous cards he had brought over were not keyed into Comcast's system properly and thus never would've worked. He brought five of the new green (Motorola firmware version 4.21) cards to my house for the installation today. He started from scratch using the latest CableCard installation instructions that I had printed out from the TiVo web site. He did not use the instructions for installers that come in the box because those are not quite as clear.

    I should mention last night I totally reset the TiVo box, choosing "the clear and reset everything" option, just in case there was some kind of data corruption on the TiVo box itself. I also downloaded the guide for the basic channels I can receive without the decryption.

    The Comcast technician who was actually assigned to my case might have made a critical observation that made all of the difference. He noted that in addition to sending an "initialization" and a "hit" signal to the cards that the dispatcher should also send a "refresh" to the cards. All three signals might be required to get the box to work. I think order should be "initialization" -> "refresh" -> "hit".

    Anyway, Jim followed the instructions exactly as documented.

    Important point: After you insert a CableCard, the CableCard Decoders screen immediately shows the card has been inserted. However, it takes the TiVo about 3-5 minutes to actually read the card, at which point the gray box pops up with the "cable provider" information, including the unitaddress, hostid, and data fields. Work with your technician to make sure that Comcast does not send the initialization, refresh, and hit signals until this gray box pops up! Otherwise, the TiVo box will not process the signals. The only time the gray box does not pop up is if the TiVo has already read the card previously; for example, if it was inserted on a prior occasion and then removed.

    If the dispatcher sends all three signals properly, the 161-4 error message pops up on the screen. This indicates that the TiVo box cannot communicate with the CableCard temporarily because it is being reset.

    Next, when you test channels, you should see a black screen with the channel numbers. It takes a few minutes for the black screen to be replaced with the actual channels themselves.

    After you've tested the channels, including premium channels and HD channels (you can enter the channel numbers directly using the number keys), you can repeat the whole process for the second CableCard.

    Note: Do NOT run guided setup or scan for channels while your technician is there. This process wastes 30 minutes of time and will get you nowhere. If the CableCards are working, you will be able to use the Test Channels option on the CableCard decoder screens to view all of the channels. If the channels do not show up here, they are not coming through.

    I hope this helps others who are having problems.
     
  19. Oct 6, 2006 #779 of 9367
    richburr

    richburr New Member

    7
    0
    Sep 21, 2006
    I think it's fine. If you want to browse what's on and you don't want to go to live tv, go to Find Programs and browse by time.


    Rich
     
  20. Oct 6, 2006 #780 of 9367
    richburr

    richburr New Member

    7
    0
    Sep 21, 2006
    I live in Portland OR and I believe this is the case in my area. Initially some of the host/data info was misentered, and my cards did not work until that was corrected.


    Rich
     

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