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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. ThreeSoFar

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

    May 24, 2002
    Damn, that IS impressive. Nice job Comcast Atlanta.

    3 weeks definately helped you.

    I love seeing people good at their work. A rare sight these days. I love it even better when they call out the incompetent lazy f*ks in front of me. Makes me want to hug 'em or give 'em a $20 just on principle.

    Hey, can you call him and see if he knows anyone like him in Baltimore? Half-serious here as it may work and I have another S3 coming.
  2. cgatens

    cgatens New Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Just called Comcast in NJ to get my 2 Cards and they said they are all out. There was a recall on them and they may have them back in a month or so.
  3. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    Feb 17, 2003
    If this is about rates, apparently they are not a local franchise authority thing (so I've been told, and have read). That's an FCC issue.
  4. debbie6754

    debbie6754 New Member

    Nov 1, 2002
    New Jersey
    OK, so what are we all paying Comcast? I think it varies wildly. I do not currently have a cable box on the TV where my Tivo is, but I have digital cable. They told me the cost is $7.95 per cablecard. :eek:
  5. Georgia Guy

    Georgia Guy Early Adapter

    Feb 21, 2003
    My installer yesterday, who seemed quite knowlegable, told me that the cards are free, but they are going to charge me $5.95 each for the 2 outlets. I told him it was just one box with 2 cards, and he said he understood how I felt, but that Comcast was counting each card as an outlet. He said I could try and argue with the Comcast bureaucracy, but "good luck". The customer service people told me a few weeks ago that the cards were $6.95 a month each.
    When I return the dvr6412 it will knock $9.95 off the monthly bill.

    Right now, I subscribe to the digital "silver" package with HBO only. That costs $104 per month, but includes the 6412 and another digital box (5100....which I'm going to keep, that I have for my S2 to control). After the cards get onto the bill, and I return the 6412, I'm guessing my bill will probably about $105.95
  6. worachj

    worachj Active Member

    Oct 13, 2006
    Eagan, MN
    We all seem to be paying different amounts depending on location. Here in the Twin Cities area I get one free cable card that’s include with my TV package(Enhanced Cable $48.98) and get charged $4.95 for the second card. I was charged $15.49 for the truck roll and another $13.49 to install the second cable card. I had no installation problems, two Motorola cards (ver 4.21) worked right away and installation was completed in 30 min.
  7. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    With the new corporate position on CableCARDs (see your printed bill starting in October), cards should be $1.50/month, in line with the FCC guidelines (even though they've been telling that the CableCARDs are free).

    Many Comcast billing systems aren't set to handle this yet, which is why most get the "digital outlet" charge (designed for those that are actually renting a digital coverter from the cable company).

    If you are paying more than $3/month for 2 cards (or $1.50 if you have a digital package and no other company supplied equipment), call and complain and get a credit on your bill until they get the billing systems to catch up with the policy.
  8. Phyzx

    Phyzx New Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    Tallahassee, FL
    I'm on my Second Install. Comcast left 2 cable cards and both are not really working. Card 2 on Test Channels shows "No Channels available", Card 1 only shows the analogue channels and a FEW digital channels and the local HD stations (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS). ESPN HD has no Sound. No HBO, etc. Now the funny part if I remove the second (non-working?) card BOTH tuners still work for the HD and other channels. Things get stranger when I remove the slightly working card and put in the other card that shows "No Channels" on test, both tuners still work as I can record 2 HD streams. When both cards are removed I get nothing. I am more convinced that this is a problem on the Comcast end. Both Cards show the same information on the paring screen, which says nothing is active. Comcast has claimed that both cards have been HIT. Is there something I can tell them to try, as I don’t think my account is setup correctly and they are reaching the “TiVo just don’t work with Cablecards”
  9. gdun55

    gdun55 New Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    I now have my S3 working fine. While the problem I had was not talked about much in the forum, the following info may help others.

    First of all, Comcast has been responsive and knowledgable here in Annapolis, MD. The issue with set-up seems to be the ability of the person at the other end of the phone when they do the Cable Card pairing. My tech asked for a specific person who he knew has done these before. That person's skill is critical to make the pairing work. Not all people know how to do it.

    Also listen as he reads the numbers over the phone and check what he says. I wrong number and it won't work.

    My first S3 would freeze during HDef playback or recording. Tivo had not heard of the problem and sent me a replacement. The same thing happen with the 2nd unit. When the tech returned he found the signal strength to the box was OK, but not great. He replace the coax outside my house and picked up a better signal, all is well now. So-so signal can cause HDef freezing.
  10. winpitt

    winpitt New Member

    Oct 17, 2006
    Is anyone on this thread a former Adelphia and now Comcast customer with an S3? Trying to find out if I'd likely experience a DRM issue with InHD and the S3. The thread that mentions it is at


    Having limited success at the moment with CC in my Toshiba DLP. Assuming I get that worked out, am planning to try the S3.
  11. djnewlin

    djnewlin New Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    Chicago suburb
    I am having trouble with my S3 CC install - it works for all channels on both tuners/CCs, except for the premium (movie) channels.

    I have had Comcast "overflow" tech support "hit" the cards (I give them the "NGxxxxx" serial number found on the outside of the card), which resets the card. But it never gets the Premium/Movie channels. Each time I try e.g., HBO, I get the TiVo CC Pairing screen. Last night, I finally got a call from a local Comcast tech who only works on CC issues. I even got the S3 xxx-4 Error that everyone looks for, indicating the CC and S3 received a full hit. But always with the same result...

    Has anyone had this problem, of no Premium/Movie channels on their CC?

    I have also noticed that when you pull the CC out and re-insert it, it changes the "Data" number as seen on the CC Pairing Screen. This has got to be the goofiest protocol I have ever seen! The S3 pairing screen shows 4 different numbers: CC #, Host #, Data # and Unit #. WTF? DirecTV seems to do just fine with their system using only 2 numbers: S/N of box and S/N of card. And neither of them change each time you pull out the card!

    The price of being an early adopter :cool:

    Comcast is coming back out tomorrow with 2 new CCs. I have also added a high quality cable amplifier to my setup, right at the point where Comcast enters my home. The S3 in question is a pretty long run from the main entry point. My other S3 box works great in the Family Room, with v4.21 Motorola CCs, but it is a much shorter cable run. My latest theory is perhaps the premium/movie channels authorization is more sensitive to signal strength. I'm probably grasping at straws here, but I'm not doing any worse than Comcast at figuring out the problem!

    I'll post an update tomorrow - wish me luck :confused:


  12. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Sounds like a programming authorization problem, not a CC problem.
  13. ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    1) self installation depends on your region with it most likely you will need a truck-roll. I am not familiar with the policy in your region.

    2) the S3 can be set up with a phone connection until your internet is ready.
  14. cgould

    cgould Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    Overall this concept is correct, but details may vary.. and yes, they did switch it this month, I actually got billed at first with BOTH schemes :) so do call cust svc and ask to get it fixed. You can ask them to check with the "Tivo memo".

    In the SF Bay Area at least, the cablecard pricing is "free" for the first, but $1.50 for the second (a way to bill something for Tivo dual-card single device, rather than a 2nd-device card), and around $15 for installation. (Note, they may try to charge another $13.99 or so for 2nd digital installation, thinking you were installing 2 TVs, you can ask to have that taken off.)

    They may still charge $6.95 for addnl digital outlet, IF you also have an existing digital STB (I believe they would charge this even for TV cablecard in addition to a STB.) But they should only charge it ONCE per Tivo, NOT per card.
    Digital service tiers/packages include one digital outlet, so you shouldn't pay $6.95 if the Tivo+2 cards is the only digital outlet you have.
    You should also not have to pay any $5 HD fee (that is for the more expensive HD STB, vs the SD STB.)

    Again, regional/local prices may vary, but this is the Bay Area new pricing standard this month and seems fairly widespread.
  15. Bodshal

    Bodshal Penguin-tastic!

    Jan 4, 2005
    Dunno, but doubt it - I'm in SJ and Comcast down here doesn't seem to allow self installs of cable cards.

    Yes, you should be able to setup the CC's, but you won't be able to complete guided setup of course.

    Having said that, if you have an ordinary phone line around, you can use that - local call. Takes longer, but works.

  16. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    This means the card hasn't been validated by the headend. The card will show the MMI whenever you try to tune to a copy protected channel when the card's not bound to the host. Check the Condition Access screen from the CableCARD menu. It has a line that says if the cards have been bound (host validation, if I recall correctly).

    This is specific to the Motorola cards. They change the data number anytime the host/card binding has been broken. Are you putting the cards back into the same slot you took them out of? If not, you're contributing to the problem you're having. While some cable companies allow this - your cable copmany setup does not. There's also an option where the cable company can break this binding from the headend - so it's possible one of their "hits" caused the cards to break their binding. Any time you break the binding, you need to call up the cable company and give them the new data number, so they can validate the pairing again. Just sending a hit will never help if they don't have the host id, cablecard id, and data correct in the system.

    New cablecards may help allow them to get it set up propely, but it doesn't sound like your cards are malfunctioning.
  17. Tsar Chasm

    Tsar Chasm New Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    I had my Cablecard install yesterday. My Comcast installer was an HD TiVo virgin. Install went like clockwork, no issues.
  18. djnewlin

    djnewlin New Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    Chicago suburb
    Roderigo - thank you for your reply! I am looking at the Conditional Access screen right now. It says "Host Validation: Unknown 00" When I checked my other Series3 box that works correctly, it says "Host Validation: Valid 00" You are on to something!

    The Comcast tech just left, after swapping out the CCs for the 3rd time. This represents the 5th and 6th CC, and again the same results: all channels except for Premium/Movie channels! Do you know the precise action I need to ask Comcast to take? Something like: "Host Validation Hit for Premium Service" or some other phrase? If I knew exactly what to ask for (and by whom) I think I could get this resolved...

    Again, thank you for your reply!


    I have been very careful to put the CCs back in the original slot, and only when the Comcast tech asks me to, because of how it changes the Data # Good point!


  19. wbswbs

    wbswbs New Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    You have to put this thread in perspective. Everyone on here, myself included, are way more into their TIVOs than normal people. For everyone person that posts a horror story, I suspect there are a dozen installs that go just fine. I have an S3 and my install when just about as good as possible. Took an extra day for the cards to re-initialize or whatever, but after that, everything is working just fine. The S3 rocks. Besides, the cable companies now have a bunch of installs under their belts, so things should be getting easier.
  20. gr0m1t

    gr0m1t New Member

    Apr 7, 2003
    on friday i went to the redmond cable store and picked up 2 cards on my way home from work. installed both cards, then called 1.800.comcast. the csr admitted to only having done a setup for an S3 only a couple times. but it went incredibly well. she was definitely working off of some sort of instruction sheet. i got the 161-4 error on the second card but not on the first one. but thanks to this forum, i knew to just ignore it (and she actually knew to ignore it, as well).

    all in all, including being on hold for about 15 minutes, i was up and running with both cards (including premium channels) in about 30 minutes.

    i just wish everyone could have had the same experience that many of us here in seattle have had. i was quite pleasantly surprised.

    (i hope i didn't jinx anything!)

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