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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 remaining 1% can type a number into a form, but don't know how to click "save". :)
  2. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of an Unown UI

    Jan 19, 2008
    True, our Digital Preferred includes "Converter And Remote, If Applicable", but we only suffer SD when watching MeTV for Seventies nostalgia. On a TiVo and an HDTV.

    I got Comcast to credit and stop all other charges - "Hd Technology Fee", "Additional Hd Outlet", and the first CableCard - after they appeared on the first bill at the new house here.

    Just Googled that Vulkano thing, it looks cool!
  3. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of an Unown UI

    Jan 19, 2008
    Sad but true. I wonder if whoever answers the number Bort13 just posted will be better trained...
  4. Bort13

    Bort13 TiVo Junkie

    May 28, 2002
    Chicago, IL USA
    They sounded like they were in Eastern Europe, but they definitely know more than the usual folks I get at the local call center. The second call to that number got a person who paired my cable card correctly.
  5. bbauman99

    bbauman99 New Member

    Nov 7, 2009
    I have 2 Series 3 DVRs with Comcast multi-stream cablecards (SA). They were working fine for many months.

    This summer, I would "lose" live TV every few days. Rebooting would clear things up until the problem recurred a few days later.

    I just get a black screen on all channels.

    Any advice?
  6. bduncan1975

    bduncan1975 New Member

    Aug 26, 2011
    Take aways from my experience:
    1) If you get a working cable card from the local store, you live a good life.
    2) Truck Rolls can install a cable card, but they may not get them set up properly.
    3) Only speak to these people when troubleshooting Cablecards: (877) 405-2298

    Here's my story

    I was resisting the move from Analog cable (I know...the dark ages, but my 2x Tivo Series 2 worked great and I was satisfied with the service). About 3 months ago, I received a mailer from Comcast informing me my service was about to be massively reduced (to just BASIC analog cable channels). Obviously unacceptable, but as a true procrastiator, I waited till they actually did what they said they were going to do.

    The next week, I decided to go all-in:

    1) I went to the Comcast store and signed up for a digital package and got their equipment:
    * 1 Xfinity box (which uses a red cable card) and
    * 2 PACE boxes (bare bones - everything but HD).
    Quickly installed the Xfinity box on my 32" Tube TV so we can watch something other than basic cable. Tivos are essentially worthless now unless I wanna go through the process of using the IR control (UGGH...not an elegant solution) and I'm way to lazy to dive into this.

    2) Bought a new 55" LED TV (time for the tube to go...we are getting HD now), and
    3) It was relatively easy to get everything set up. After a few hours, I was no longer a decade behind the times! Now I just had to get the technology working that I had been using for a decade: my Tivo!

    4) Ordered a Tivo Premiere (lifetime discounted due to my existing subscriptions).

    5) My Tivo Premiere arrives.

    6) Went to the Comcast store to get my Cablecard. I informed the CSR I needed an M-Card. CSR opens up a cabinet, looks at every cable card in there, and finally gives me a purple card. I ask him if this is an M-Card. His response inspires confidence..."This is everything they gave us"
    7) Installed "M-Card" in Tivo...Not recognized. Googling of Mfg P/N on Cablecard indicates this is a Motorola S-Card (they are purple / M-Cards are red).
    8) Back to the Comcast store to get the proper Cablecard. Out of about 30 cards, there is only on red card. Take the red pill.
    9) Install the new "M-Card" in Tivo...Not recognized. Obviously local store can't help.
    10) Time to call Comcast: (800) 266-2278 - Routed to Nashville call center. Explained the situation. They are understanding, but can't send me a Cablecard as they are not authorized to do this yet. Only 2 options:
    (a) get card from Comcast store (Next...)
    (b) Truck-Roll (I opt for this...scheduled for Monday)

    11) Comcast misses appointment, but this is actually my fault as the number they have on file is my old home-phone that I disconneted 2 years ago. I called them, updated my account with the proper number, and rescheduled for Wednesday

    12) Comcast misses appointment, even though I answered the robo-call confirming. Called Nashville call center and found out the reason: Installer did not have a cable card on truck! Thanks for calling and telling me this Comcast...why did I leave work early again? Rescheduled...earliest they can come is Saturday but they may be able to expedite visit to Thursday.

    13) Local tech calls me to schedule appointment. Great...apparently I was expedited! Tech comes out and my wife meets him. He installs cable card and it appears to be working. I decided to keep the Xfinity box so I can watch On Demand stuff.
    14) Get home and start watching Tivo...UH OHH! No HD channels! Call the Nashville call center
    a) First call:
    CSR: "I'm sorry sir, I can't help you because you have an open service call on Saturday..."
    Me: "But it was expedited and they came out today, I don't need the appointment on Saturday..."
    CSR: "I'm sorry sir, we can't do anything until after your service call on Saturday..."
    b) Second call (with someone who isn't USELESS)
    CSR actually listens to me! Looks at my card and realizes the HD channels are not authorized and does everything she can to turn them on and also gives me HBO for 3 months. Some of the non-premiere HD channels start coming in! Great...she says the rest will come in over the next 10 minutes.
    15) 10 minutes later...NOPE. 1 hour later...NOPE! 2 hours later...NOPE! Don't have any more patience for Comcast tonight!

    16) Looked at the thread and called this number: (888) 780-8571. Ends up this is in Costa Rica. He runs through some things, asks for the serial number: maybe this is the Cablecard Nirvana center? NOPE...he can't do anything and sends me back to the Nashville call center.
    17) Looked at the thread and called this number: (877) 405-2298. Don't know where this number routes, but they answer as the Cablecard Activation Hotline. Sounds promising. I run through the story. She asks me for the Cable card serial number, data number, and a few other things. She tries some things and it doesn't work...BUT....she says she will escalate to Tier 2 support. She goes over the details, gives me a ticket number, and says Tier 2 will call be back within the hour (and it will probably be resolved by then).
    18) An hour later, Tier 2 calls me back. He asks if the problem is resolved. Nope. OK...Tier 2 tries some other things and VOILA! Everything works...instantaneously! WOO HOO!
  7. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Member

    Feb 12, 2002
    Wood Dale, IL
    It's ludicrous (and infuriating) that Comcast still has problems with CableCards. How many years has it been?!?!?!
  8. Sep 4, 2011 #8128 of 9367

    cheitzig Tivo user since 2003 (or so)!

    Sep 20, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    Pokemon_Dad-- you are correct, I have Con:No on my Conditional Access screen. But I haven't gotten the Conditional Address screen in a while-- I have only the channels enabled that I should get, plus the digital versions of those channels (e.g. channel 811 appears to be 1080i version of NBC)

    As a side note, can I remove the cable card and re-insert without re-setting up with Comcast? I believe, but I don't know how to tell without removing, that I cannot tune three digit channels without this card. So it would seem that the card is adding value; just not adding as much value as if I subscribed to more digital channels.

    Is that accurate-- that by having a cablecard and limited basic gives me three digit and digital local channels? That was my goal (plus, was curious).

    --> C

  9. Sep 6, 2011 #8129 of 9367

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of an Unown UI

    Jan 19, 2008
    I think if you're getting anything that you wouldn't otherwise be seeing, it will will be blocked after ~5 PM every day. But I'm not certain of this, and the situation with each cable company and region may be a little different.
  10. ghuido

    ghuido New Member

    May 8, 2007
    My Horror Story finally ended yesterday.

    For the past 4 months the TIVO HD at my in-laws had a cable card but could not get all the channels. Everyone told in this forum (Thank you) that it was an issue with the rate codes.

    This weekend I got a self-intall kit for a cable card and put the new one in after the person at the Customer Service Center told me as I was picking it up that it has all the rate codes correct.

    Needless to say, I redid the installation and had the same problem with the 3rd cable card. Thankfully the self install kit gave me some contact numbers that where better than the standard Toll Free CSR person.

    I was able to get to an actual TECH. Amazing. He looked over everthing. Foudn that the cable card Auth Code was MP in teh Conditional Access menu. He went through and found that the rate codes where incorrect. He updated the account to the right rate codes and reping the cable card. BOOM !!! It finally worked. Teh cable card swith over to Auth Code of S and my in-laws finally got all their channels. The TECH even did a follow up call later to see if it was still working. I will say he was a good guy. Now my opinion of the CSR is not good since after 4 months they never set the rate codes right.

    Well after 4 months my in-laws finally have a fully funcitoning TIVO HD with all the channels from Comcast.

    Lesson Learn: ALWAYS CHECK THOSE RATE CODES. Even if they tell you they are right.
  11. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    Hope they gave you credit for the 4 months of partial service. It was Comcast's error.
  12. ghuido

    ghuido New Member

    May 8, 2007
    I'm telling my in-laws to call to get a service credit. They so deserve it.
  13. clearmoon247

    clearmoon247 New Member

    Sep 13, 2011
    im in need of gettings a cable card for my tivo hd through comcast
  14. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    Have you called them?
  15. ghuido

    ghuido New Member

    May 8, 2007
    . Here are the steps I follow

    Step 1 - Ensure your Comcast Account is set up right by calling Customer Service (God my least favorite step)

    Call them an ensure your account has the right package for getting the channels you want. If you don't pay for HD channels you won't be getting them even if you use a cable card. This also leads them to put the right rate codes on your account.

    Step 2 - Send email to comcast requesting Self-Install Kit

    Best starting point is to send an email to We_Can_Hel​p@cable.co​mcast.com

    You will need to provide the home phone number for the account. Request that you want to pick up a Self-Install Kit for a Cablecard from your local service center. You can find where your local service center is for comcast by going to - http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/shop/retail/StoreLocator.html

    If they don't have self-installs available in your area (Which they should), request a truck roll.

    The key point is to request a Type M Cable Card (The Cable Card will say on it that it is M), and ensure that they put in the right Rate codes on your account so that the Cablecard is authorized correctly. They will put the rate codes on the cablecard when you go to pick it up.

    Step 3 - Install the cable card on the TIVO and call comcast to Initialize

    This is not a problem and there is a lot of documentation online on TIVO website on how to do this. The Comcast Self-install kit also has the Phone number you would call to initialize the card.

    One thing, when talking to them and they set up the card it is not an INSTANT process that you will get all your channels sometimes it takes a little bit of time. ASK the person on the phone for the number you should call if there is an issue afterwards. It was a god send to me. I would put it but I don't have it with me right now ... think it started with 1-855 (If someone has it please post it).

    Step 4 - Watch TV

    Assuming it all worked, you should just sit back now and watch TV.

    The most common problem is that you have bad Rate Codes associated to your account or Cable Card and you are not getting the channels you are paying for. You can usually tell if you go to Cable Card -> Conditional Access and see about 10 lines down something that says "AUTH: MP". If succesfull it should say "AUTH: S" for Succesful Authorization.

    Hope this helps
    Overall it can be an easy process but sometimes can be a royal pain. I've done it three times. The first two where a breeze and the last one was not.
  16. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    I disagree. At least in my market there is no extra charge for HD channels. If you have a cablecard and subscribe to a package, any HD versions of those channels in the package are also available.

    However, there is a charge for Comcast provided HD equipment, such as a converter box or DVR. You don't need their converter unless you wish to receive Pay per View or Video on Demand.

    Also, at least in my market, once the card has the channel map (this may take a few seconds) and they send the HIT to the card, it MAY be instantaneous. I once had a problem with one card losing its authorization and the CSR sent the hit and BAM, the channel came in instantly. YMMV

    Another very common problem is they key in the wrong pairing data into the computer. Ensure they read back the numbers to you so you can confirm they match.
  17. morac

    morac Cat God

    Mar 14, 2003
    Another somewhat common issue is they back out of the pairing screen instead of saving, so they don't save the pairing info.
  18. ghuido

    ghuido New Member

    May 8, 2007
    Yeah, i did not spell that out right. More like make sure you have a package that gets you the channels you want. For me it is digital preferred. Which gets me the HD channels I want to see.

    once had a friend that did all the steps and only had Basic on his Service Plan. he kept asking me why he could not get the channels through his cable card. Once I figured it out, .. well .. frustrating.

    Also, make sure your plan has certain services on it. The only problem is some people have this and some don't. Services/Billing are a little wacky across the states.

    - Digital Preferred A/O
    - HD Technology Fee
  19. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    No HD tech fee here in the ATL if you don't use their boxes, and it is a complete crock that they charge this for Cablecard-only users in some areas.
  20. ghuido

    ghuido New Member

    May 8, 2007
    I'll have to check a little more. I used to have a box before I switched over to TIVO HD's. Maybe I never connected the two.

    Anybody else have the The $9.25 HD Technology Fee if they don't havea comcast provided Cable box in their house.

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