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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Oct 4, 2011 #8161 of 9367
    akc

    akc New Member

    83
    0
    Mar 13, 2003
    Just an experience from Comcast in MD (Baltimore City) -

    We got two new Tivo Premieres and I went to the local office to pick up the M-Cards to install them myself. It's so easy to do - not scheduling an installer. Well, sounded great at least.

    Let me say in summary that the Tivos are up within 48 hours of me taking them out of the box so I'm pleased but I wish I had asked a few more questions first. We have a Premiere XL in the house already with a functioning Mcard that was put in by an installer in early '11 - no problem there.

    So, at the local office, I ask for the cards, the woman raises her eyebrows and disappears. Comes back with two Motorola Cipher cards in their little plastic packages. She writes down the serial numbers on a piece of paper, and hands them to me. I sign some comcast sheet and leave with nothing but the two cards. I ask if there is anything more (install kit, paper, anything?), nope. Seems easy enough though and I'm pretty psyched. Actually getting through the office here in Baltimore City in less than an hour is a huge victory!

    That night, I go to set them up and get through everything with no problem. (I had done Guided Set up for each already). Go to activate the card and the trouble starts.

    First, there are new call center hours for activating a card - they are 8 AM to 1 AM EST. Bummer. Understandable, but still a bummer.

    So, trying again in the AM. The first card couldn't be activated by the techs on dedicated activation line - they had to pass me up to the level 2 TSRs (in New Jersey, they said) who was able to pair the card and the Tivo. All seemed good but I still couldn't receive the HD channels that were digital "extended" or my premium channels. We agreed that they might come in "later" and I'd call back.

    Set up the 2nd Tivo and M-Card. That one was able to be activated locally but had the same issue. I could see the HD versions of the basic channels but not anything beyond that. So, now I knew this wasn't a card issue, it was a signal issue.

    LONG STORY short - after a few more calls, several hours of trying to troubleshoot this, countless times of "sending signal to the card again," I end up going up the customer service chain at the end of the 2nd day where they finally realize that the cards were never authorized/activated on the Comcast side. So normally they would be authorized by Comcast, given to me, then activated when in my Tivo and my cable package would be applied. These were just dumb cards that had no ability to connect to Comcast. I could see the channels b/c they were just a cable pass through, not actually being sent via signal to the M-card. The tech apologized and said they should have realized earlier that the data fields in the cards were blank in areas where it normally had Comcast information - should have tipped them off. (Yes, I said gritting my teeth, it should have tipped you off HOURS ago!)

    *FORTUNATELY* I had a previously-scheduled Comcast service visit today (1 day after all the Mcard attempts) for phone issues b/c we have Triple Play. I was able to have them bring two new M-cards.

    I swapped out the cards ("Austin," the tech watched and said he hadn't seen the "new" Tivos so he was glad that I knew what I was doing), called the number and activated them and all were working fine within 5 minutes.

    Quite an anti-climactic end to the tale but a good outcome! SO glad I spent my Sunday trying to figure out what was going on with the other cards!

    Anyway, I'm not sure what I could have done to avoid the situation because I would have assumed they'd give me M-cards that would be ready to go. I should have perhaps known because when I asked if there was any installation instructions or even a piece of paper, the CSR at the Comcast Office said, "Honey, I don't know. I hope you know how to use these things because I sure don't!"

    Guess I'm just passing it on - can provide more details to anyone who's interested. I wish I had my Sunday back but now we're happily zipping along. Had the cards been good to go from the beginning, it would have been an absolutely painless process.

    :)
     
  2. Oct 5, 2011 #8162 of 9367
    StrynBean

    StrynBean Well-Known Member

    5,254
    31
    Aug 5, 2004
    DMV
    akc, I am having the same problems with an M-Card put in my S3. I get every channel except for the permium ones (HBO, etc)

    I called 3 times last night and all I got was "I sent a signal, wait 30 min" and still nothing.

    So, when I call or go by Comcast (I have to get a second card because I didn't realize I needed 2 for the S3) what would you suggest I tell them?

    I can't believe they still can't get their s#%& together on these cards!
     
  3. Oct 5, 2011 #8163 of 9367
    Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

    5,049
    40
    Feb 22, 2009
    Texas
    One of the codes is not right in their database. They can send a million signals and replace the card but until they correct it, you won't get the premium channels. At least that is my experience.
     
  4. Oct 5, 2011 #8164 of 9367
    akc

    akc New Member

    83
    0
    Mar 13, 2003
    Yes, @Beryl is right. In my situation, there were no "host" codes which are pre-activated on their side in order to designate it as a card on the Comcast network - it's different than the "host ID" which you can see on our end.

    I wouldn't go to the office. Call and demand a free truck roll ASAP. Tell them to be sure they bring a new card.

    And, if you can, have the technician go through their "inside" folks to add the card to your account and apply the rate codes, then activate the card.

    It took 3 min per TiVo when this happened, as opposed to my five hours of troubleshooting with phone customer service, arguing that it wasn't a faulty card but had to be a code in their database. Especially when I had the same thing happen on both cards!

    I don't think the office folks know much about the M cards - but I wasn't paying for an install truck roll ($18 here). I was inconvenienced for sure but I got the truck roll for their tech in 24 hours with no charge AND they gave me a $25 credit for my inconvenience!

    Good luck!
     
  5. Oct 5, 2011 #8165 of 9367
    Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

    5,049
    40
    Feb 22, 2009
    Texas
    Yeah. The 'host' code was different than what they designate in their DB. I think they actually needed the 'data' code. So irritating because I can't figure out why it is not a procedure that can be documented and easily implemented.
     
  6. Oct 6, 2011 #8166 of 9367
    danjw1

    danjw1 New Member

    293
    0
    Sep 13, 2005
    1. File a complaint with the FCC: http://www.fcc.gov/complaints

    2. Go to: http://www.comcast.com/customers/feedback/default.cspx and tell them about the problem you are having. Mention that you filed a complaint. Others have said tweeting them works too, so you may want to try that.

    3. Wait for a call back, e-mail.


    The most likely problem is that they didn't properly enter the "Data" field. Did you use the dedicated Comcast CableCard Activation number: 877-405-2298?
     
  7. hoosincharlotte

    hoosincharlotte New Member

    10
    0
    Oct 11, 2011
    What a thread! Haven't been able to browse all the postings, but was wondering if someone would be so kind as to let me know if my Comcast is trying to screw me over. The digital migration is about to occur and our Series 2 dual tuner is about to become obsolete. RIP. Obviously can't live without the TIVO and the season passes (without which we'd never watch TV). So, looks like I'm forced to upgrade to a Premiere with a M-stream cableCARD.

    We have one HD cable box for on demand already in one room, looking to replace the current TIVO in the other room. We have a HD cable box there, but I'm thinking replace that box and the Series 2 with a Premiere and cableCARD, and save some of that $8/month charge for the HD box. I call comcast and they tell me a HD M-Stream cableCARD would be $8/month. Is that what others have experience in terms of price? I thought they had to provide them or something like that for a reduced price, i.e. $1.50.month from the website. Am I missing something?
     
  8. Atomic Taco

    Atomic Taco Member

    118
    0
    Jan 27, 2005
    Seattle
    http://customer.comcast.com/Pages/FAQViewer.aspx?Guid=5993d5c8-c8a4-44f7-96f4-def06cced0db
     
  9. danjw1

    danjw1 New Member

    293
    0
    Sep 13, 2005
    If you get rid of the HD box from Comcast, you will also get a credit to your account that varies by location. You can find out what you should expect here. The $8 fee is for an additional outlet fee. That would only be assessed if you have a second device. The Premiere doesn't currently support on demand, though Comcast and Tivo are working on making that happen.
     
  10. hoosincharlotte

    hoosincharlotte New Member

    10
    0
    Oct 11, 2011
    danjw1 - thank you, that makes sense. I called them back and they confirmed what you posted. They did say the M-stream cableCARD was not available to get from the local customer care center and only a technician had them available, but it would cost $29.95 to have them install it. Doesn't that violate the FCC guidelines? (www fcc gov/guides/cablecard-know-your-rights - can't post links) I want to make sure I am reading that right before I call them out on the fee.
     
  11. danjw1

    danjw1 New Member

    293
    0
    Sep 13, 2005
    What they told you should not be true. They are required to supply you with a CableCard install kit. This should include the CableCard, coax cable and an instruction sheet. This has been true since early August, since Comcast had allowed self installs of their boxes. If it isn't way out of the way, you can go to an office and ask, if they don't have them, then Comcast needs to be able to send you a kit. Others have posted they have been able to get the kit from their local offices. You might want to take your Comcast box with you so you can turn it in at the same time. These days the only cards they should have are the M-Cards. I would wait to deprecate your current Tivo, until you have the new one up and working. The Techs, even on the special number bellow are often under trained. :-(

    If they want to just give you the CableCard and not a kit, you should be fine, since I am sure you have the cable already. They have a special number for CableCard Activation it is: 877-405-2298. That number would be on the instructions.

    And once everything is done, file a complaint with the FCC about how they gave you wrong information.
     
  12. cyphonix

    cyphonix New Member

    1
    0
    Jun 9, 2006
    Southern NH
    I recently picked up a (Cisco) M-card to install into my Premiere Elite. I'm having the same problem with Comcast as described on this thread (no channels beyond "basic" local channels). If I need the data number (not the host number), does anyone know which screen I would find that on (or if that would definitively be my problem)?

    Thanks much.
    - Matt
     
  13. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,075
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Unless they altered it for the Elite, from TiVo Central:

    Settings & Messages->Settings->Remote, CableCARD, & Devices
    ->CableCARD Decoder->CableCARD options (for installers)
    ->CableCARD Menu->CableCARD(tm) Pairing
     
  14. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    5,777
    0
    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    Apparantly Comcast killed my card. I called their pairing hotline to have the card re-paired after replacing the HDD. The screen showed Acquiring Channel Information. I was told it was the firmware update on the card and should take 45 minutes.

    An hour and a half later I got an error that the info could not be gathered. Then the screen went gray and I lost all of my digital channels (no analog left).
     
  15. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    5,777
    0
    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    So Comcast calls me yesterday and leaves a message saying they messed something up on their end and it looks like the card is properly paired now. Not sure how that's possible since I took the card out of the Tivo 4 days ago. :confused::rolleyes:
     
  16. morac

    morac Cat God

    8,933
    19
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    My guess is that they entered the wrong numbers, figured that out and corrected it. There's no way for Comcast to know if pairing worked (or even if you have the card installed) since the box doesn't talk to Comcast.
     
  17. Soapm

    Soapm Active Member

    1,564
    0
    May 9, 2007
    So close,...
    Thinking an additional drop is needed from the pole to provide HD isn't a training issue. I'm a supervisor in customer and know there are just some people not cut out for a technical job and this person is clearly one of them. You can train them until they retire but if they aren't technically minded then all the teaching will be in vain.

    Somethings in service shouldn't have to be taught, common sense has to kick in at some point or perhaps the person would do better supersizing...
     
  18. Soapm

    Soapm Active Member

    1,564
    0
    May 9, 2007
    So close,...
    Bingo!!! After sending the signal doesn't work the first couple of times it proves the definition of insanity to keep sending it expecting different results. With mine I finally got a guy who deleted the card from the system then built it back in from scratch and everything worked fine.

    They should make this a standard step, just delete the card and add it back again this time making sure all the numbers are correct. How hard is that???
     
  19. wackymann

    wackymann New Member

    384
    0
    Sep 22, 2006
    Boston Area
    I had to call back like 5 times before I found a guy that knew what he was doing. His name was David, and he calmly walked through all of the proper steps, asked me for the pairing codes, and it was all working in less than 5 minutes. The other people were obviously confused and rushing to get me off the phone by just telling me that they would "send a signal" and to call back in 45 minutes if it wasn't working. Translation: "I don't know what's going on, so call back later and hopefully you'll get somebody who does."
     
  20. morac

    morac Cat God

    8,933
    19
    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    I think some phone techs simply don't want to deal with pairing cards.

    I needed to get a card paired recently so I called the cableCARD activation hotline. The person on the other end seemed nice enough, but when I told him I needed a card paired he put me on hold briefly and then told me his manager said he can't pair cards and to forward me to a special card pairing number. That number was disconnected.

    Take two, I called the main support number and spoke to a woman. I asked to get a card paired and she told me she could not do so (I know that's false but whatever) and told me I needed to be forwarded to the cableCARD activation hotline (the number I had tried originally). Once forwarded, the person I spoke to got everything paired within a few minutes.

    Why some phone reps refuse to pair cards is beyond me. Maybe they're just lazy. I really wish there was a way of reporting those reps to Comcast.
     

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