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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Gene Plantz

    Gene Plantz tivo Premier XL

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    Dec 31, 1999
    Hoffman...
    if that cablecard is usable, it takes a few minutes (about 5) for the Tivo to remap channel numbers. most channels will work now. the premium channels such as HBO require the pairing. call up the Tivo cablecard screen, call Comcast CC activation and read some numbers from the screen. once you talk to someone, it takes 5 minutes tops.
     
  2. morac

    morac Cat God

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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    I'm pretty sure you aren't allowed to move a cableCard from a Comcast DVR to a TiVo DVR because Comcast pairs them to the DVR at the warehouse.

    Also like you said, they seal the card inside the Comcast DVR with a faceplate.
     
  3. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    You'll need to return the Comcast DVR and get a cablecard instead, then call the Comcast activation number that they give you after you insert the card and run through Tivo's guided setup. You cannot use the card in the Comcast DVR, and returning it for a card may give you a nice bill decrease anyway.
     
  4. nuraman00

    nuraman00 New Member

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    Dec 28, 2012

    Thanks. I called Comcast again and they confirmed what you said.

    They said I should go to the Comcast store, return the DVR, get a new cable card, and insert that into the Tivo.

    So do I have to tell them I want a M stream card, so it will let me use the 4-tuner capability?
     
  5. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    They're supposed to provide a m-card unless you specifically request an s-card but it wouldn't hurt to ask for the m-card. If it is like mine, it will be in a clear plastic container so you should be able to verify that it is an m-card before you leave the counter.
     
  6. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
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    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    All they have is M-cards now, that was part of the FCC mandate last year. No worries there, but as he said it will say M-card to confirm that.
     
  7. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    50,975
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    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    You also can pick up the CableCARD before turning in your Comcast DVR.
     
  8. Jan 6, 2013 #8668 of 9367
    sbourgeo

    sbourgeo Hepcat Daddio

    7,443
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    Nov 10, 2000
    New England
    My Dad ended up going to the local Comcast office and picked up an m card himself. I called Comcast last night at 7 PM to get the thing paired and everything was working in about 10 minutes. Considering the number of problems I've read about Comcast screwing up, I'm pretty fortunate that both of my cable card experiences with them have been quite positive. :up: (hopefully I'm not jinxing myself here).
     
  9. Jan 6, 2013 #8669 of 9367
    nuraman00

    nuraman00 New Member

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    Dec 28, 2012

    Ok, I set up my Tivo yesterday.

    * Went to the Comcast store to return my DVR. They said the wait was 45 minutes. It took 1 hr 40 minutes.

    * During the guided Setup, I called the number the Comcast store rep gave me on the receipt, to activate my cable card. After they said they had activated it, it still wasn't working. It was still unable to get the channel info.

    Still on the phone, they were trying to help when I got disconnected.

    I called again. This time, they had me download updates from Tivo, have my Tivo restarted, and have those updates installed. Yet after all of this, I still was unable to get the channel info. One part of the setup process said it could take 45-60 minutes, so they said to call back if I was still unable to get the channel info.

    Shortly after I hung up, it finished, so it had only taken a few minutes. But I still wasn't able to get the channel info.

    I called again. Then they realized that they had given me the wrong number to call to activate my cable card. They said there's a special group that handles cable card activation. So I called the number they told me this time.

    After calling the right number, I was able to get it activated and finish the guided setup.

    All of the setup at home took almost 3 hours.
     
  10. magicspell

    magicspell Member

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    Jan 10, 2013
    OK, I just spent the last several hours reading the last 15 - 20 pages from this topic. I'm trying to decide how to choose my best option with Tivo/Comcast.

    Background: Current Comcast customer that is unhappy with how much monthly cable is running. Looking at my total Comcast bills over the past 1.5 years my rate has doubled without ANY change in service. I'm currently being charged the following:
    1 HD DVR at $16.95 / mo
    Digital Preferred at $86.49 / mo
    2 DTA boxes at $0 / mo
    Xfinity Internet (CHSI 2-3) plus Blast at $58.95 / mo
    Total with taxes and fees is > $170 / mo !!! I can't believe it's costing me over $2,000 per year just to watch TV (well, and have internet).

    The Xfinity TV service provides HD to ONE TV in the house while two other TVs receive the DTA conversion (crappy). My other TV is currently not connected to Comcast and only gets online content (Hulu, Netflix, etc).

    I considered Tivo a few years back but was not enticed by the fiascos I had read regarding CableCards. I was hoping times have changed. I'm trying to compare a couple of scenarios to see what my options would be.

    Scenario 1. Return Comcast's HD DVR and replace it with a Tivo Premiere. No other change to service. From what I can tell this would net a $16.95 / mo savings from Comcast but remove On Demand (until that feature is rolled out in my area). However, I would replace the $16.95 / mo charge to Comcast with a $15 / mo sub to Tivo.
    Net savings $1.95 / mo with only a loss of On Demand plus the upfront cost of the Tivo unit.

    Scenario 2. Return Comcast's HD DVR and replace it with a Tivo Premiere and add HD STB (no DVR) to additional TV. From what I can tell, this would reduce my Comcast bill by only $8.20 / mo (additional digital outlet in my area is quoted at $8.75 / mo). Add $15 / mo sub to Tivo.
    Net increase of $6.8 / mo but now have HD on additional TV and no loss of On Demand (on one TV).

    Does this sound about right? Any other options I could consider? I just don't know how Comcast can keep increasing their rates for the same service...
     
  11. unitron

    unitron Active Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    From how many different cable TV companies do you have to choose at your address?

    If the answer is the same as it is here, i.e, only 1, there's your answer.
     
  12. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    Feb 27, 2005
    PA
    The cheapest option for me was to drop to limited basic plus Hulu+/Netflix/Amazon streaming. Like you I found that Digital Preferred + HBO wasn't worth the $75 or $85 or whatever I was paying above limited basic. I still get all the TV I need.

    The cost of internet goes up if you don't have TV in your package. It ends up costing about the same whether or not you have limited basic with your Internet.
     
  13. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,506
    19
    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    Call them and select the option to cancel or downgrade service, then get the retention rep to put on you the preferred double play package (all channels + Blast internet). Should be good for a year and costs $80/mo., I've been on it for over 2 years now because I can press the right buttons. No need to get a Tivo if all you want to do is reduce the cost of service. Your new bill with DVR should be around $100/mo, or maybe less if they throw the DVR in for free as part of the pkg.

    If you replace their DVR with a Tivo - Cablecard installs are generally painless now, it will cost a little less, and you'll be a lot happier if you can live without OnDemand.
     
  14. morac

    morac Cat God

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    Mar 14, 2003
    NJ
    I'll mention that Comcast is starting to charge for DTAs now. I returned mine, for which Comcast charged me a $2 "service change fee".
     
  15. nuraman00

    nuraman00 New Member

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    Dec 28, 2012
    Back in November, I too noticed my bill was $170-$185 (I forgot which).

    I had only one HD DVR (but also phone and internet, and was on Digital Preferred).

    I called the retention rep, and got on a 2 year contract with Comcast. First year will be $140 after taxes, next year will be $155 I think.

    Then, last week, I got a Tivo Premiere, and chose the lifetime subscription ($500), as I think it will pay off in 4 years.

    However, unlike you, magicspell, I was only paying $10 for the HD DVR from Comcast. So it would take me 50 months before I realize the savings from having the Tivo vs. Comcast's DVR.
     
  16. ElJimador

    ElJimador New Member

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    Jan 8, 2013
    That paragraph makes me nervous. I live in the same service area as rob_gendreau (the poster who got that email from Comcast) and tomorrow I'm going into their local office to return their STB and get an M-Card to start up service on my new Tivo Premiere I just bought yesterday. All along I'd been assuming that I'll be saving $16.95/mo off my current Comcast bill (what I'm currently paying for HD/DVR service) but the more I've read this week not just here but on other forums gives me a queasy feeling that they are just going to try to replace that HD/DVR Service fee with an HD service fee instead and I'm going to wind up saving a lot less than that.

    FYI, I've got the Digital Starter package which on my bill says that the $68.49 for that includes "Standard Cable" and "Digital Converter and Remote, if applicable", and then the $16.95 says it's for "HD/DVR Service (Includes Hd Technology Fee)". So which one of these lines does the box actually fall under? I had assumed the latter and that returning the box simply removes that line item. But if they can say that the HD part of the bill refers to a service and not equipment... oh heck, I don't know what to think. It's ridiculous. What's the service? I have Standard Cable. If I didn't have an HDTV tuner it would still be all the same channels coming through including the HD ones only I just wouldn't be able to watch them because I didn't have the necessary equipment, right? If it's not an actual service that costs them anything extra to turn on and offer to me and if they are not providing me with any HD equipment either, then what exactly is it for?

    I know, I know. I should wait to see how it goes before I get worked up about it. Maybe I'll be pleasantly suprised. Like a lot of people though, I've had too many run ins with Comcast not to have a bad feeling how this is going to work out. I guess I'll just put on my happy hat and hope for the best for now and then I'll post back to report how it goes. Wish me luck.
     
  17. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Well, since you're not currently paying that fee, adding it would be tantamount to charging you a fee for using your own equipment. Doesn't mean they won't try and they might even get away with it since the FCC doesn't seem to be interested in enforcing the relevant regulations. In addition, you should begin receiving a monthly "User Owned Equipment" credit.

    Comcast has no consistent policy, even within a locale, much less in different locales.
     
  18. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

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    Apr 20, 2009
    I agree with you to a great extent, but I also believe I see signs that Comcast is *trying* to move toward consistent policies across the company: witness a few recent posts about subscribers in some areas that weren't paying additional outlet fees are now seeing them show up on their bills. But since we're discussing Comcast here - the home of the ill-informed CSR - it's likely it will be a *long* time before any system-wide standardization is achieved.
     
  19. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    Feb 27, 2005
    PA
    Lots of differing positions in this thread but I think with your own TiVo you pay the $68.95 fee for basic cable, less a couple of dollars discount for having your own converter/remote in place of Comcast's STB and no HD fee. IMO the HD fee is an incremental fee to differentiate between renting an SD STB and renting an HD STB/DVR.

    All this assuming that your TiVo is connected to the only TV in your account with no other receiving equipment.
     
  20. ElJimador

    ElJimador New Member

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    Jan 8, 2013
    Thanks for the reply. Playing a little CSR roulette I just called Comcast again to talk to one of their billing reps and for the 2nd time they assured me that the $16.95 HD/DVR service fee would be removed from my bill and not replaced with any HD service fee or any other new service charge, only this time they told me it will be $1.10/mo for the cable card (the previous rep had told me it would be $1.50). Anyway, that part I don't mind fighting later. To me the bigger thing is making sure there won't be some $8 or 9 HD service fee added that completely alters the math of switching over to Tivo, and now that I have 2 of their reps on record that their won't be I'm a little more reassured on the topic.

    FYI for anyone interested, the most encouraging thing about the call was that the rep I was talking to was clearly reading off some internal memo Comcast must have issued out to their reps when she told me there'd be no HD service fee. At the start she didn't seem to know what a Tivo even was but when I explained it to her and then drilled down on the HD service fee question in particular she put me on hold for a few seconds and must have found some written guidance pertaining to "Tivo DVR customers" specifically that told her there'd be no HD fee. She didn't seem to be just winging it to wrap up the call and went from confused to confident in what she was telling me once she came back on the line, as if she'd just located the answer that was directly on point to my question.
     

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