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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    John's...
    While there is no way to know for sure, I would think that it is highly likely that the answer is yes. After all, they want you to be able to buy those PPV programs. And you need some kind of box to access any encrypted channels, which in more and more locales (like the ATL) included local channels.
     
  2. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

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    Feb 22, 2009
    Texas

    A little confused and want to have a clear understanding before going to the Comcast store as I doubt their reps will have a clue.

    I now understand the $2.50 credit for each piece of my equipment on Comcast. I also get that each "market" can charge any cablecard rental fee - from $0 to $10. I'm guessing that HD outlets cost more than SD outlets. I don't know if outlet costs vary from market to market.

    1. If I want just one HD outlet using my own equipment -- what fees should expect I pay?

    2. How much for each additional HD outlet with TiVo?
     
  3. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    Since you own your own equipment there should be no additional fee for an "HD outlet". I think Comcast charges an HD fee for an HD-capable STB (slash DVR) but they shouldn't charge that for a TiVo. Doesn't mean they won't try...

    This is all open to interpretation but for the first outlet you should just pay Comcast's fee for the programming tier in question. If you replace their STB with a TiVo you should get a couple of dollars discount from the tariff rate (Customer-owned equipment).

    There shouldn't be a CableCard rental fee for the first outlet, because the CableCard in question is assumed to be inside the STB that's included in the rate. Your discount is because you're not renting the rest of the box.

    If you add more outlets, this is where it gets interesting, since everone seems to get a different deal. Some people are charged an additional outlet fee of ~$10, along with a small Customer-owned equipment discount (I think this is the intended structure, since it makes sense if you think like a CableCo). Others pay no additional outlet fee, but get another Customer-owned equipment discount (!) (So it works out cheaper to have two outlets than one).

    I'm a double-discount customer; perhaps it was because for each of the installs the tech installed a CableCard in a TiVo in my family room. Now that the norm is supposed to be self-install this loophole may have closed.
     
  4. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

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    Is there an outlet fee AND a cablecard fee minus the $2.50 credit? So confusing.
     
  5. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    No, because again the CableCard is assumed to be inside the "additional" STB. The first CC is free for the additional outlet just as the additional (SD) STB would be provided in exchange for the Additional Outlet fee.
     
  6. telemark

    telemark New Member

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    Nov 12, 2013
    I have a new store in my area and they are very insistent that the 2nd Cable Card is going to be $10 more. (presumably minus -$2.50)

    If I go to an older store they are not as strict on this issue.

    I bring this up as I see it as employee training that has yet to happen.

    Now there's different names for paying $10 extra.
    HD upgrade fee
    Additional [HD] outlet fee
    Equipment fee (for the cable card?)

    Previously alot of the disagreement is whether the 2nd outlet is HD or SD. Since it's a Cable Card, they basically have no way of saying otherwise because it depends on which equipment it's going into. But that is the reason they give me though. Since it's a cable card you can then pick up all the channels in your package so you need to pay more for it compared to a DTA.

    The name of the fee has a lot to do with what a 2nd or 3rd Tivo should cost. An HD programming fee is account level. Outlet and Equipment fees are per device.

    These are hard to find, but I highly suggest finding the rate sheet for your local market. They send them out with a bill when there is a change. About once every 18 months.

    Long story short, I normally get offered this deal:
    1st Tivo, free with package, -$2.50 customer owned equipment.
    2nd Tivo, +$10 additional outlet fee, -$2.50 customer owned equipment, Net: +$7.50
    3rd Tivo, unknown, -$2.50 customer owned equipment = ??
     
  7. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    That's what I believe it should be, unless you have a single device that requires more than one CableCard. Otherwise what you have is a second outlet and Comcast charges a fee for additional outlets that is more than the fee for an additional CableCard in the primary outlet.

    The fee for the second and third outlets, similarly equipped, should be the same.
     
  8. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

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    Ok. So I should expect to pay NOTHING more for my first HD outlet with a Roamio Plus but get a $2.50 credit. Subsequent HD outlets with TiVos should be no more than $7.45 per month -- $9.95 minus the $2.50. right?
     
  9. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    All I can tell you is how it works here, with me and from everything I have read on the TCF and elsewhere is fairly typical. I have the same package as you, Digital Starter. I have 4 TiVos ( a series 2, a series 3 (THD), a series 4 (2-tuner Premiere) and a Series 5 (4-tuner Roamio)).

    Code:
     $67.95/mo Package price.  This includes a box, which I am using to feed the Series 2.
    +$29.85/mo (3x $9.95/mo "Digital Service Fee", 
                     aka "Additional Digital Outlet")
                     Each one also includes a box that I do not have
    + $0.00/mo  for 3 CableCARDs
    - $7.50/mo (3x $2.50/mo "Customer Owned Equipment" credit since
                    I am using my TiVos in lieu of their boxes.
    + $6.13/mo Taxes, Surcharges & Fees (The danegeld)
    -------
     $96.43/mo Total
    Officially, they only charge for a CableCARD if it is the second card in the same device. The only people who were/are legitimately charged this were owners of the original Series 3 which did not support the use of an m-card in multi-stream mode so needed 2 cards.

    They do not distinguish between SD & HD outlets. If have any of their HD boxes, there is a $10/mo charge added to the account. This is not per outlet/box. Since the box of theirs that I have is SD, I don't incur this fee.

    I note that others have posted their experience so you should take it all in and post what you think your maximum will be.

    You should also go here to see what your "rights" are supposed to be and here to see what Comcast's "official" position is. I happen to think that Comcast is in violation of a few FCC regulations governing CableCARDs, but the FCC isn't interested in enforcing them. They're too busy fining networks for "wardrobe malfunctions" and the like.
     
  10. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    That is correct, except that they do not distinguish between HD and SD on a per outlet basis. Charging an additional for HD even tf you don't have any of their equipment would be yet another blatant violation of the applicable FCC regulations.

    There's also some current regulations regarding whet equipment they must provide gratis for year or two in the locales where they have started encrypting local broadcast channels, but it probably on applies if you have digital basic.
     
  11. telemark

    telemark New Member

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    Nov 12, 2013
    I generally agree with everything everyone recently said, and summarize there's some variance based on what the agent you're letting make the changes thinks is the right way.

    And there's a few different billing codes that are $10-ish.

    I did think in theory there was a SD additional outlet fee that's $2.50 instead of $10, but they'll likely tell you that's only for additional DTA's. (I don't feel this conforms with the FCC promises). Things change over time in any case.

    One last caveat is, whatever the agent tells you, well, a different computer prints up the bills. So there is no certainty as to what they say will happen, will actually show up that way on the bill. But at least at that point you know what to say to tell them to fix the billing.

    PS. Here's why I feel the 2nd card is suppose to be free. To get the Encryption Order Comcast promised free equipment.

    According to their FAQ, a CableCard is one of the options instead of a DTA:
    http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/cable-tv/limited-basic-encryption/

    Households were offered 1 STB and 2 DTA's for free. Opting for CableCards on all three instead would be 3 CableCards for Free, and 3 Customer Owned Equipment credits.
     
  12. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    Only if you want to receive just the channels the DTA receives (e.g., note that the FAQ title mentions limited basic).
     
  13. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

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    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    From the faq:

    "Limited Basic customers who currently do not have equipment on their account are eligible for up to two (2) DTAs, at no charge for two (2) years (five years if you also receive Medicaid) if they request DTAs during the equipment offer period at or around the time of encryption."

    "Customers who subscribe to a higher level of service and receive Limited Basic service on a secondary TV without Comcast supplied equipment are eligible for one device at no charge for one year."


    Neither applies hers.
     
  14. telemark

    telemark New Member

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    Nov 12, 2013
    Ok, I see your points, but by that logic and language a 2nd TV via CableCard should be free when restricted to the Limited Basic line up.

    And I don't believe that's an actual option.

    It would be a good option for some households to add extra tuners.
     
  15. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Active Member

    8,081
    2
    May 6, 2002
    John's...
    Yes,the key phrases being "existing customers" and "add tuners"
     
  16. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

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    Exactly right.

    Comcast makes lots of commitments which go unfulfilled but the one thing you can count on is their bill. I got my first one for the 4/30 install on 5/8. Hopefully, I'll have full service by the time it is due.
     
  17. wmgoat

    wmgoat New Member

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    Feb 25, 2006
    My Comcast OnDemand (channel 1) never has worked. It wasnt a big deal since I rarely watch it on my cable card Tivo. But this weekend, I stopped a movie I started on another set, and was supposed to be able to pick it up again on another set. When I dialed in the OnDemand channel on the cablecard box, it gave me an error (Problem with the signal on this channel. Trying again V53)

    So I called the cable card team at Comcast. Usually very efficient and effective, but this time I got an answer Im not happy about.

    It seems that OnDemand doesnt work with cable cards, at least in the Chicago Metro area. The representative, verified it with their Billing department. So Im asking you other Tivo people if you have the same problems.

    If you have a cable card and Comcast, can you get OnDemand? If you can, what do you suggest that I do to make it work? Also, pls let me know if you are in another state (other than IL), since the issue may be localized by state.

    Many thanks.
     
  18. pdhenry

    pdhenry Safety Pin

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    It's becoming available everywhere but not all at once.
     
  19. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member

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    I got OnDemand in the Denver market. I'll know soon if it works in the Houston one.

    OnDemand is one of the reasons I paid for their "stupid box" before I got a Roku. I won't pay for it now because most content is available via Hulu-free via PlayOn or SS-Plex (torrent stuff and I don't think it is stealing when accessing content I've already paid to see).
     
  20. morac

    morac Cat God

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    It's also not accessible by tuning to channel 1, even in areas where it is available. It's through a separate menu, like Netflix is.
     

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