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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Nov 2, 2006 #1041 of 9367
    wbswbs

    wbswbs New Member

    9
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    Sep 26, 2006
    To me, the card charge isn't even the key issue. The key issue is the multiple "outlet" charges even though there is a single box providing images to the television! I have one TV connected to which is a single digital cable box (for PPV) and an S3 with two cable cards. That's three "outlets" (yes, one is "free" with my programming package) for which I pay two "add'l outlet" charges. Totally bogus.
     
  2. Nov 2, 2006 #1042 of 9367
    djnewlin

    djnewlin New Member

    46
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    Apr 4, 2004
    Chicago suburb
    Debbie,

    You may not have to wait until Monday... I have been able to call Comcast tech support myself, and read the numbers over the phone. They send the hit out while you are on the phone. It is worth a try...

    Good luck!

    Regards,

    Doug

    =========================

     
  3. Nov 2, 2006 #1043 of 9367
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

    2,222
    8
    Jan 8, 2006
    Was the phone number a local number or an 800 number? I would suspect the techs would have called the local headend. If true, the number would only be good for your local area.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2006 #1044 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    In your case, you have two digital outlets -- one cable box and one TiVo. In my area, the TiVo would have cost me $6.95 additional outlet + $1.50 second CableCard.
     
  5. Nov 2, 2006 #1045 of 9367
    djnewlin

    djnewlin New Member

    46
    0
    Apr 4, 2004
    Chicago suburb
    I called the number on my Comcast bill, and walked through the phone prompts to Tech Support, and told them I wanted them to send a hit to my CableCards. They asked for the numbers, sent the hit, and I was good to go...

    Of course, ymmv :cool:

    ===========================

     
  6. Nov 2, 2006 #1046 of 9367
    winpitt

    winpitt New Member

    276
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    Oct 17, 2006
    Doug,

    Yes - it has a tuner for non-encrypted digital channels.
     
  7. Nov 2, 2006 #1047 of 9367
    debbie6754

    debbie6754 Member

    35
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    Nov 1, 2002
    New Jersey
    You are correct. I called Comcast and asked them to activate the card. They checked and their system is still down. They told me to call back tomorrow and they would be more than happy to activate the card. Too bad the tech left only one card here. Won't he be surprised when he comes back on Monday if I get this to work.
     
  8. Nov 2, 2006 #1048 of 9367
    djnewlin

    djnewlin New Member

    46
    0
    Apr 4, 2004
    Chicago suburb
    Debbie,

    That is great to hear!

    I guess the good news here is that you can guarantee that the CCs are installed correctly and according to the TiVo instructions, since you will be setting up the first card tomorrow. I have heard of some cable installers slamming both cards in the TiVo at once, and having trouble with the CC activation.

    Good luck!

    Doug

    =====================

     
  9. Nov 2, 2006 #1049 of 9367
    djnewlin

    djnewlin New Member

    46
    0
    Apr 4, 2004
    Chicago suburb
    How long does your Tosh take to tune across digital QAM channels that are in the clear, without your CC? That should give you a good idea of who the real slow poke is...

    Regards,

    Doug

    =================

     
  10. Nov 2, 2006 #1050 of 9367
    winpitt

    winpitt New Member

    276
    0
    Oct 17, 2006
    Geez. Can't believe I was that dumb. Sometimes you get so focused on the specifics you lose common sense. I'll check. thanks.
     
  11. Nov 3, 2006 #1051 of 9367
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,419
    47
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    Thanks. The reality is that some folks want to believe what they want to believe, and part of that requires those folks to deny reasonable statements made by others that run contrary to what those folks want to believe.

    Yes, and indeed I labeled it "my suspicion" because it is my suspicion. Hopefully folks who don't understand what the word means will look it up in the dictionary before embarassing themselves further! :D
     
  12. Nov 3, 2006 #1052 of 9367
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,419
    47
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    Without a doubt. There are a lot of people who simply cannot accept that the S3 is a flawed device. I think people should just stop being so proprietary about what they want to be true. The S3 introduction is clearly substantially worse than the S2 introduction. There is an issue there -- no matter how much people try to shut their eyes, put their fingers in their ears, etc. By the same token, the vast majority of folks have great success with the S3. You could get lucky (assuming you would appreciate buying an $800 product that you need to be lucky with).
     
  13. Nov 3, 2006 #1053 of 9367
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,652
    2
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    Success in Montgomery County, Maryland :) . All-in-all, it went reasonably smoothly, but it would have been much more difficult without the information here.

    Ordering installation: I called the local service number, figuring they would be more knowledgeable than a regional service, but no luck. I got a quite competent rep who knew her stuff, except that she insisted that Comcast does not install cablecards into anything except TVs. She asked around and she called tech support but everybody supported her position. She asked me if I could give her a phone number of somebody with a successful installation (I had said there had been a dozen or so in the county, from info here), but I couldn't get one in time. Without any more supporting evidence from my side, she refused to schedule an installation.

    I called the regional number (1-800-COMCAST) and got a less competent rep, but one that had no problems with scheduling an installation and noting that 2 cablecards were needed. I told her it was for a TiVo but I'm not sure she caught it, though she did schedule the upgrade to digital without requiring a settop box. $20.95 for the installation and as far as I can tell, the cablecards are free.

    Installation: The truck arrived at 3:45 (for a 11-2 appointment slot) the next day. The tech had no idea of what he was supposed to be doing, but had the requested 2 cablecards. He had heard of TiVo, but hadn't heard of a cablecard TiVo. He had some experience with cablecards on TVs. He carefully read the Tivo installation instructions, said that sounded reasonable (though he wanted to do both cards at once and I persuaded him it was better to be safe than sorry).

    No problems with cablecard 1, though he was a bit impatient waiting for the MMI screen to pop up (took 3-4 minutes). He called things in (he needed all 4 numbers - the SN and the 3 numbers on the MMI screen). The 161-4 error popped up after a couple of minutes and soon after things worked.

    We then did cablecard 2. We did not get the 161-4 error, and sure enough we did not get any channels on it. He didn't know how to debug it, so I went through the cablecard screens. Cablecard 2 had the dreaded "MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY" authorization status. I told him that doing a "hard reset" had fixed this error for others (post #344 in this thread). He said that they did that as a matter of course, but I noticed when he called it in that he specifically asked for a hard reset on the line. After several minutes we got the 161-4 error, and a couple of minutes later, the channels were there!

    About 45 minutes for the entire visit, of which 15 minutes were taken waiting on hold for the 3 phone calls he needed. I have no doubt it would have been much, much longer except for the information here. Thanks all!
     
  14. Nov 3, 2006 #1054 of 9367
    Dougieha

    Dougieha New Member

    32
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    Jul 15, 2005

    Yeah, I saw that too...I can't say I'm too unhappy...but, I guess the question is: what prevents them from continuing to raise the rate?

    Anyhow...I'm going to enjoy what I've got now, and not worry about the future. :)
     
  15. Nov 3, 2006 #1055 of 9367
    doraemon

    doraemon New Member

    41
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    Sep 18, 2006
    I have an appointment for today from 12 noon to 4 PM (I won't be home, but my roommate will be) to get the Cablecards installed. To set up the appointment, I opted for the online chat with Comcast. Makes it easier for me to have a record of what was said.

    The rep didn't bat an eye when I asked for two Cablecards for my Tivo Series 3. She just set up the appointment, explained the charges ($1.50 per card, $15.99 install, one card free with digital service), and that was that. Took all of maybe ten minutes?

    Here's hoping it all works out. I'm in San Jose, FWIW. Been itching to watch the Sharks in HD.
     
  16. Nov 3, 2006 #1056 of 9367
    rupesh97

    rupesh97 New Member

    13
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    Nov 3, 2006
    Hi, I have an S1 and am ready to buy S3. I currently have basic cable (~ 15 analog channels). I have never felt a need to upgrade to more channels since I always have something useful to watch (thanks to Tivo of course).

    I just called Comcast and they claim that I need to upgrade to a package which gives me 100 channels (90 of them I will never need) in order to get Cable Cards. Is this a consistent requirement? Has anyone succeeded in getting HDTV with Cable Cards from Comcast, yet keeping the bill under $20-25?

    Oh BTW, my TV is able to pick up two crystal clear HDTV channels off of $14 analog cable. Not sure why.


    Thanks!
     
  17. Nov 3, 2006 #1057 of 9367
    Maeglin

    Maeglin New Member

    366
    0
    Sep 27, 2006
    Norcross, GA
    What you're missing is that CableCARDs are purely for encrypted digital cable channels. For basic cable, that doesn't even come into play so that would explain their requiring an upgrade to provide the cards.

    That's because they're sent unencrypted over the wire. My guess is they're HD versions of local channels you get with the basic package.
     
  18. Nov 3, 2006 #1058 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    That may depend on your local Comcast. In the San Francisco Bay Area, I have $15 limited basic + $1.50 for the second CableCard. Nothing else. I did try the $10 digital classic for a few weeks, but I cancelled it. Made me watch too much TV.
     
  19. Nov 3, 2006 #1059 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    CableCard also maps physical channels to more user-friendly logical channels. It's required for TiVo to get program guide.
     
  20. Nov 3, 2006 #1060 of 9367
    mportuesi

    mportuesi As seen on TV

    1,891
    0
    Nov 10, 2002
    San...
    I have analog extended basic service. Comcast didn't require me to change my service in any way; they simply scheduled an appointment to install the CableCARDS.

    That said, I will probably upgrade my service to the Digital Basic tier once the CableCARDs are installed and working properly. There's some digital cable channels I'm interested in getting. But Comcast isn't twisting my arm to do it.

    The cable operators are required by the FCC to carry digital signals for local TV channels (including HD) "in the clear", meaning non-encrypted.

    Other Cable-only HD channels (Discovery HD, TNT HD, ESPN HD, HBO HD, etc) are encrypted, and you'll need a CableCARD to access them. As I understand it, if you can access the network in its SD version with your current service plan, Comcast will offer you the HD version no additional charge. So if you get HBO SD, Comcast will give you HBO HD as well.

    Here's a link to an interview with the CEO of Comcast, wherein he says Comcast has no intention of charging extra for HD access:

    http://www.tvpredictions.com/nextburke091306.htm
     

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