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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Oct 1, 2012 #8601 of 9367
    billbillw

    billbillw Member

    161
    0
    Aug 15, 2005
    Atlanta
    After reading the last few posts, I just wanted to mention that I never had to request the customer owned credit. It showed up automatically for each and every one of my 3 devices. Like I said, I'm just not going to complain.

    Also, for those who were asking, I'm out in west cobb (30127), but I picked up my cable cards from the Dallas (Paulding) office.
     
  2. Oct 3, 2012 #8602 of 9367
    Gene Plantz

    Gene Plantz tivo Premier XL

    149
    0
    Dec 31, 1999
    Hoffman...
    Just an FYI:
    I called the Comcast Cablecard number today to PAIR my card with a Tivo. Other than the wait/hold to talk to a person (10 mins), it was completely painless and took 5 minutes. The person knew the process and it worked the first time. A vast improvement over past experiences (going back many years).
     
  3. Oct 3, 2012 #8603 of 9367
    Corran Horn

    Corran Horn New Member

    144
    0
    Feb 12, 2002
    Wood Dale, IL
    I've had the same experience recently. Far different than the last time I had to do it ~6 years ago.
     
  4. Oct 4, 2012 #8604 of 9367
    buscuitboy

    buscuitboy New Member

    736
    0
    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    I have had fairly good success recently with pairing Comcast cable cards to my TiVos (Premiere and S3). However, due to the cable card charges Comcast pulls, I'm possibly looking at some alternatives. Specifically the cable card compatible products by Ceton and SiliconDust.

    Since these are probably not as popular products as TiVos (and I'm thinking could potentially confuse a customer service rep), I'm wondering how hard or easy it would be to pair a Comcast cable M-card in either one of these company's products. Has anybody had a good or bad experience with trying to pair a cable card in a Ceton/SiliconDust product?
     
  5. Oct 4, 2012 #8605 of 9367
    HazelW

    HazelW Member

    284
    0
    Dec 6, 2007
    No. Va
    Won't you pay the same for a cable card from Comcast whether or not it is in a TiVo or another product?
     
  6. Oct 4, 2012 #8606 of 9367
    buscuitboy

    buscuitboy New Member

    736
    0
    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    the main reason I am considering the Ceton or SiliconDust products is cause they offer 3 or 4 tuner devices that run off ONE M-card. I can then use Xbox360s as "media extenders" to watch live TV for each additional TV that will basically use just that ONE M-card. Comcast provides the first M-card for free so I could have a whole home DVR solution this way at no additional charge.

    Right now, a whole home DVR solution with TiVo means buying additional TiVos and being charged for additional cable cards by Comcast. Not taking into consideration the hardware cost, a comparable 3-4 TV setup with TiVos would mean 2-3 additional cable cards at $10/month each.

    So, basically a whole home DVR solution with TiVo would mean an additional $20-30/month in cable card fees. With Ceton/SiliconDust, no extra costs for 3 or 4 TVs since they all are running off that one and only M-card.

    I realize TiVo is suppose to be coming out with the TiVo "mini" in the near future that might solve this problem, but nobody is sure what the cost of that will be (fixed, monthly, etc.) so I'm just looking at some cable card based alternatives right now. Xbox360 with Ceton/SiliconDust products seem to be the best options right now. Will see.
     
  7. Oct 4, 2012 #8607 of 9367
    Vegas

    Vegas New Member

    13
    0
    Dec 21, 2003
    Chicago burbs
    I used the Comcast Cablecard number to activate with the Centon tuner card about 9 months ago, very painless, took about 5 minutes.
    I never told them what kind of device the card was in and they never asked.

    BTW, I'm a big Tivo fan, but WMC has been an excellent replacement.
     
  8. Oct 4, 2012 #8608 of 9367
    buscuitboy

    buscuitboy New Member

    736
    0
    Aug 8, 2005
    Atlanta area
    Yea, the WMC and Ceton/SiliconDust products might be a worthy contender. I'm learning that having Xbox360 media extenders would provide many additional features over a traditional Comcast digital box including the following:

    - a gaming machine
    - an internet streaming box (netflix, Amazon, etc.)
    - a home network streaming box
    - a music streaming box
    - HBO GO streaming device

    Plus, I would gain back access to Xfinity OnDemand material with an Xbox360. All this and it would run off ONE M-card from Comcast. Works for me.

    The only main issue I am finding so far is that this type of setup will only start recording something from where I am at in the middle of a live program even if it has 10mins of buffer before it. Tivo will back record if needed and available.

    I was told this might be due to TiVo having a patent on this feature so they couldn't put it in the WMC console. Also, channel changing with a WMC setup is apparently not as fast as my TiVos. Oh well. Can't win them all
     
  9. Oct 6, 2012 #8609 of 9367
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,501
    18
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Had no issues activating a card on an SD HDHomerun Prime last year, using Comcast's CC activation line. You should be fine.

    If you're using this as your sole TV setup, I would dedicate a PC to the cause with enough memory and CPU (8GB and any modern multi-core CPU) to handle 3-4 extenders at once. Don't use the PC for other stuff, set it to sleep/wake for recordings and viewing, and you may want to disable Windows updates when you get it working well.

    You will probably notice that WMC does not have guide data that is as up to date as Tivo, which means the wrong stuff gets recorded occasionally and/or dupe recordings get done whereas Tivo won't do this. Not a big deal usually, and the guide data is free so not much to complain about.
     
  10. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    50,973
    31
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    Color me shocked, surprised and pleased.

    I bought a Premiere XL4 that arrived Monday so yesterday I called Comcast to see if I could pick of CableCARDs for self-install on it and the other Premiere I've had afor a few years that I never bothered to install a CableCARD into. The agent checked my area and found the location nearest me didn't have any but the next closest one (about 14 miles away) did. He had them hold 2 for me.

    I drover there and, lo and behold, 2 M-cards were waiting for me. The agent at the service center added them to my account.

    That evening I went home, and since it was close to prime time decided to just install the CableCARDs in the units, but connect them off in another room so I wouldn't interfere with my existing machines during prime recording time. That was a good choice simply because of how long it took to go through all the downloads, reboots, initialization and configuration for the XL4 since it hadn't been connected before. I know this is basically a one-time thing, but TiVo needs to realize this is the very first experience a new user will have with the box and it's just ridiculous how long it takes and how many times you have to go through the first 2 or 4 setup screens every time it reboots after downloading something.

    This morning I called Comcast's CableCARD pairing number that was on the self-install guide. The agent who answered took the card serial number, CableCARD ID and Host ID from each unit and configured them. While I was on the phone with her the XL4 received it's authorization, and about 20 seconds after hanging up the other Premiere was authorized as well. Total time on the phone with Comcast -- less than 5 minutes.

    This is how the experience should have been 5 years ago.
     
  11. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,501
    18
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Yep the auth works great now, but let's see how you feel once they get added to the bill...
     
  12. cheneyp

    cheneyp New Member

    5
    0
    Sep 25, 2006
    CT
    I got an XL4 last week and ordered an M-Card from Comcast the same day. Picked it up the next day and that night called and did the activation thing with Comcast. Pretty simple, except...it didn't work. Apparently the Comcast reps simply send out a script to authorize the card through the head end but if they don't get the head end right it won't activate. Finally needed a truck roll yesterday with the tech speaking directly to the head end folks to straighten it out. Hoping they correct this going forward as I was liking the self-install option.
     
  13. Gene Plantz

    Gene Plantz tivo Premier XL

    149
    0
    Dec 31, 1999
    Hoffman...
    I, also, got a new XL4 last week. Took the M-card out of my previous Tivo. Called the 800-number and got it paired in 5 minutes. Everything is working.

    I have had Tivos since 1999. This is BY FAR the easiest unit to set up especially with copying the season passes from the previous unit. This was always a major hurdle to the purchase decision in the past as well as dealing with Comcast. Now, all of that is ancient history.
     
  14. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    50,973
    31
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    Other than a one-time $1.99 service change fee, no change in services billed:

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Gene Plantz

    Gene Plantz tivo Premier XL

    149
    0
    Dec 31, 1999
    Hoffman...
    CableCard fee: I had two Tivos and 4 CableCards. Comcast changed the fees from next-to-nothing to $8.95/EACH/MONTH. Now I have one Tivo and one CableCard. Have not seen a new bill yet but hope it is a lot smaller now that the CableCards were returned.
     
  16. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,501
    18
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    This is ridiculous and is exactly why the FCC should get involved. There's no excuse for charging nothing for 6 cards to one customer and charging full outlet fees for extra cards for others. The intent of the new rules last year was that a standard rental fee be charged per card, and every other cable system except Comcast does exactly that.
     
  17. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Member

    461
    4
    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    I agree with you, but in his case I can understand why he might be excused from the exorbitant CC (viz. "Digital Service") fees we got socked with. Just look at how much Comcast is getting from this one customer per month: $175(!), which is on a promotion that ends next month and will then presumably jump up to something over $200. That's a lot of cabbage!

    I'm still outraged at having to swallow a $10 charge for my second CC, but then I'm on a bulk services contract through my HOA and my total personal bill (for Digital Starter TV + 2 M-cards) jumped from a monthly credit of $3+ to a charge of $6+. My dissatisfaction is tempered by the realization that, in the final analysis, I'm only paying an average of under $4 p.m. (including taxes and fees) for each CC after the "Customer-Owned Equipment" credit.

    Also, after many complaints and long telephone conversations and e-mails, Comcast did grant me some compensation in the form of comp'ing my "Digital Service" fee for one year and giving me free HBO, SHO, and STARZ for six months, so that for now I have a net monthly credit of $5+ accruing in addition to the premium channels. That was a nice gesture, but it also shows me that they are fully aware of the unfairness of their CC fee structure.
     
  18. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

    17,224
    83
    Feb 27, 2005
    PA
    Not to mention discounting for every TiVo when they haven't added any additional outlet fees. If Doug keeps going maybe he can get it down to free. :)
     
  19. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    50,973
    31
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    I should be getting a letter from them this month regarding contacting them about the expiring promotion, where they'll move me to whatever the current 1-year promotion price is... possibly unchanged, possibly a few dollars more. But that's generally been the way it works.

    Comcast has really turned around customer service in the last few years; finally getting CableCARD authorizations/self-service installs functional and usable, being very proactive about service -- even offering one or two-hour windows for service calls. Last month I got a letter about my voice/internet modem being limiting to the potential speeds I subscribe to and a couple days ago received a replacement that I installed (again, using all self-service directions for activating), and everything went very smoothly. And it was thorough, even including a test call to ensure the phone worked. All without my even asking for it (except of course just responding to the letter that a self-service kit was fine vs. someone coming out).

    Now I'm getting 50mbps+ downloads and 10Mbps uploads (supposedly uploads could be up to 15mpbs but haven't tested that high yet).
     
  20. HazelW

    HazelW Member

    284
    0
    Dec 6, 2007
    No. Va
    Same here with the new modem. I too am happy with their service. But my promotion just expired and my bill jumped up $30 a month. No call or letter. After 3 phone calls I got to a very nice person in the "loyalty department." Went through a bunch of options but ended up getting another year for the promotion for $5 more a month. I'm happy, but I wish there was a way to get just the services I want and not just a big bundle with a bunch of stuff I don't care about.
     

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