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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    1,063
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    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    Jeff, the main problem is that the contracting company Comcast uses is incompetent and only get paid $4 to insert and call in each cable card so will not stick around to debug any problems. My main recommendation is to not let a Comcast installation contractor in your house. You can request a Comcast hourly employee technician (you will have to wait longer though). If the the tech pulls up in an unmarked vehicle you are in trouble!
     
  2. Gregor

    Gregor Active Member

    46,750
    15
    Feb 18, 2002
    Every problem I've had over the years has been solved by a Comcast employee. The rent-a-techs have been pretty much useless.
     
  3. LHorel

    LHorel New Member

    6
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    Dec 29, 2003
    just to add my comcast two cents. got my first bill after the installation etc. watch out. what they quote and what they bill may not be the same. The customer service rep at comcast was pretty confused, friendly, but confused. It took a while, but a supervisor finally adjusted the bill - they charged me $6.95 for each cable card v. $6.95 for the first and $1.50 for the second. Just wanted to tell you so you can make sure to check your comcast bill - btw, our installation went well. Now we are only dealing with the "partial recording" stuff....another thread.
     
  4. bsaunder

    bsaunder New Member

    8
    0
    Dec 14, 2004
    I ended up with a good bit of store credit and a discount card, so I picked up an S3 this week.

    So far so good for me:

    I called up Saturday to find out pricing for CCs and got a Comcast employee that knew Tivos well and was easy wot work with.
    Picked up my S3 on Monday and called Comcast to schedule the CC install - got a helpful lady that knew nothing about Tivos, but I thought had understood I needed two CCs as I explained it to her several times.

    The tech showed up this morning with only one CC knowing he probably needed two, but figured he'd double check as the work order said only 1 and thats all he could get his hands on this morning. He came back later around noon with 3 cards, one spare, just in case. He admitted he didn't know anything about Tivos, much less an S3 - but he knew who to call at the office. He read over the sheet provided by Tivo, installed the first CC and called the office. I had to step out of the room for ~5min due to my 3mo old waking up, and when I came back both CCs were installed and working well. The tech then checked that both cards would received all my channels (only spot checks, but the person in the office had given him specific ones to check that were problematic supposedly). After he left, I redid the guided setup and then surfed through all my channels on both tuners and they both worked on all channels.

    For billing - I'll have to keep my eyes out for the first one. I got two different quotes - one saying zero charge first card and $1.75 for the second and another saying ~$9 for both..

    Keeping my fingers crossed now that all stays well.

    FWIW - my local comcast office is the Arvada, Colorado one.
     
  5. Bostonlawman2003

    Bostonlawman2003 New Member

    10
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    Sep 22, 2005
    Abington, Mass

    Yeah, I went to the Rockland office. My install had to be rescheduled for tomorrow (11/18) as I was stuck at work yesterday. I'll let you know what happens.
     
  6. treacherous

    treacherous New Member

    23
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    Oct 2, 2005
    Washington...

    I'll chime back in next month but there was a $0.00 dollar increase on my 11/12 statement.
     
  7. tasi

    tasi TiVoing since 2000

    20
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    May 10, 2002
    SF/Bay Area...
    Just wanted to add to the positive stories in this thread.

    Got my S3 last week, called Comcast to schedule an appointment, got one for tuesday, but since I don't work Fridays asked for Friday.

    Told the person on the phone I needed two cable cards and requested a comcast technician.

    After reading the forums more, I went online and chatted with a Comcast person, and told them to put in the notes of my appointment that the cards were for a TiVo series 3, found out that there was no mention of a request for a comcast technician, so he put that request in as well.

    The day of the install (Today), I rebooted the TiVo before the technician arrived. He was scheduled for 8-10am, arrived at about 8:45am.

    I asked him if he'd done this before, he said yes, but during the install it was obvious that he'd never touched a TiVo. I asked him to follow the instructions and activate one card at a time.

    He decided not to follow the instructions, and put both cards in before calling to "initialize" them.

    Didn't matter, once the person on the phone sent the initialization for each card, everything was working perfectly.

    Took about 10 minutes, and he was gone, and everything is working fine (Thank God!).

    My location is Fremont, California.

    T.
     
  8. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    4,506
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    Feb 17, 2003
    Somewhere...
    Hope you don't get charged, but I did. Took three months, but they added charges for what they told me was a free cablecard. And then back pro-rated it. So I returned it and refused to pay the charges. They did credit me. But as I said, it took three months from the install for the charges to show up on the bill.
     
  9. jpdst22

    jpdst22 ;-)

    63
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    Jul 1, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ok, I'm trying very hard to avoid another visit by Comcast and I've tried searching the forums but since I couldn't find any similar problems I thought I'd post my problem.

    The first time Comcast came out, they screwed up and only brought one cable card. So he just installed that one which went fine with no problems and I could receive all of my digital channels as well as HBO.

    Then a week or so later (today) I had another appointment for them to bring out my second cable card (they wouldn't let me pick it up, don't get me started on that one). Now the card is installed and it gets all the digital channels but it won't receive any of the HBO channels. They've tried resetting the card numerous times and finally we gave up.

    Has anyone had this happen before where one card would get HBO and the other won't? They said they think it's a bad card and want to send out yet another tech visit, but I don't feel like waiting around for another 4 hour window. It sounds to me like a configuration problem on their end, but Iamb not sure. Iamb wondering if I should just wait and try to get another CS rep that knows what they're doing or if it really is the card and I'll have to set up another appointment.

    any advice would be appreciated..
     
  10. jakelambert

    jakelambert New Member

    47
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    Feb 17, 2003
    Well, this has been a marathon of phone calls, but I think I'm making some progress. I just bought the last S3 in all of Chicagoland Best Buys ($799-12% coupon = $787 out the door, plus Reward Zone points) and came home to set up the cable card install.

    I originally called 1-800-COMCAST. The first guy said he didn't know anything about cable cards, but he asked his supervisor and was told I needed to go to my local office and pick them up for a self install. I knew this wasn't likely because of all the posts I've read on here.

    I hung up and called back to speak with someone else. The second guy knew a little more, said the install would be $15.99 but that I had to call the local office to schedule the appointment. He gave me the number.

    I called the local number and the woman questioned why I needed two cards for a TV. I finally told her it was for a dual tuner DVR, and she said she didn't think they could do that. I told her to check with her supervisor, and she came back and said apparently they did. Yay! I won that one!

    She set up the appointment and said they would charge a $23.99 install fee for each card, plus $5.99/month for the second card. I was tired of her by this point, so I said OK and left it at that.

    I called back and this time went to billing. After speaking with a very nice guy who had a ton of questions about TiVo (he guessed what I was doing), he said I should be charged $23.99 install for the first card, $15.99 for the second, and then $5.99/month for the second card. I made all the arguments I've seen in the post here, but I finally gave up. At least the price was going down.

    Called back again and somehow got routed to Oregon. Got another nice guy who attempted to explain the charges, but conceded that he needed to route me to Chicago. I did have a little fun, though. He tried to tell me how great their DVR was and how I shouldn't have bought a TiVo. I asked "does your DVR allow me to play digital music from any computer through my surround system?" No. "And does your DVR allow me to schedule programs remotely?" No. "Is your DVR THX certified?" No. "And are you aware that your DVR's will be running TiVo software at some point in the future?" I've heard that. Let me connect you to Chicago. I nearly laughed out loud.

    Finally connected to Chicago, I spoke with yet another nice lady. She said since it was a single outlet, there is no monthly fee for either card. There will be a $15.99 installation fee for each card.

    So, I've gone from $48 and $5.99/month to $30 and no monthly fee. Maybe I'll try to get one of those installation fees waived. Or maybe I'll just save my energy to fight with them when they screw up the first bill. It's inevitable.

    My advice to everyone here is perseverance. If you don't like the answer you get, keep calling until you get one you like. Sooner or later someone will either be smart enough, or stupid enough, to give you the answer you're looking for.
     
  11. worachj

    worachj Active Member

    1,144
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    Oct 13, 2006
    Eagan, MN
    Don't think you've won the pricing battle yet, wait until you see your first bill.
     
  12. BarryPCC

    BarryPCC New Member

    11
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    Nov 3, 2002
    Hi,

    My S3 arrived Thursday but I was so exhausted when I got home from work I waited and set it up with just my basic cable on Friday nite. That went great.

    Saturday morning around 9:30 a Comcast tech arrived. His introduction, "Hi, are you Barry? I'm here to install 2 Cable Cards...I hate Cable Cards but let's go..."

    Installed the first card and nothing happened, I cleared the screen to exit and re-entered the Cable Card Screen and then I saw the needed info. Tech called to activate the card. After being on hold for 30 minutes, the tech at the office hit the card. I was able to get only my digital channels, no HDTV. They hit the card again and then BOOM the HD version of ESPN came blaring thru.

    Repeated the process for Card #2 and, like the first, had to hit the card twice to see the HD channels. But, after about 75 minutes (most of that spent waiting on the phone for someone at Comcast to pick up), I was fully installed: 2 CCs, full HD and 5.1 sound on the channels that offered it.

    All the hype is true. HD really is a huge difference, especially sports and nature shoes. (Spent 30 minutes watching Discovery HD just because the picture was breathtaking).

    My only minor concern will come this Spring when I order the MLB Extra Innings Pay Per View package. The tech who did the install said that once the MLB package was available, they should be able to send the signal to both cards and I'll get the games fine. "But call as soon as you see it advertised because cable cards can be picky and it might take some time to correct the problem. The sooner you try to order, the sooner it'll get fixed if there's a problem."

    I don't think my Comcast yet offers an HD version of PBS or of the new CW channel. All other local channels are available in HD.

    The dual tuner functionality is going to stop a lot of arguing in the house. Now, we can tape both "Cold Case" and "Family Guy" on Sunday nites. This function alone makes the new TiVo worth it.

    I am pleased and surprised that things went so smoothly. Tech said since the visit wasn't for a downgrade in service, they should waive the roll out fee, so the visit was basically free. Might be a $5.95 charge per month on my bill for the HD service but, the tech said "You won't have the set-top box fee which was $5, so it basically replaces that fee on your bill."

    We'll see when the bill comes, but for now, everything works and I couldn't be happier.

    Thanks specifically to Ed for his prep instructions, and everyone else who responded to my questions. All the advice was appreciated,
     
  13. Roderigo

    Roderigo New Member

    531
    0
    Mar 11, 2002
    Brookdale, CA
    I just got a call from Comcast. Seems they now need all the Cablecard pairing information. Guess my system is going to start using copy protection now.
     
  14. jakelambert

    jakelambert New Member

    47
    0
    Feb 17, 2003

    You must have missed this part of my post:

    "So, I've gone from $48 and $5.99/month to $30 and no monthly fee. Maybe I'll try to get one of those installation fees waived. Or maybe I'll just save my energy to fight with them when they screw up the first bill. It's inevitable."
     
  15. doraemon

    doraemon New Member

    41
    0
    Sep 18, 2006
    I rec'd my first statement since going from extended basic to Digital Classic cable the other day. I was charged for the second card ($1.50), HD ($5) twice, and an additional digital outlet ($6.95), even though I don't have any of their boxes (and never have). I was also charged a pro-rated rate for the above for the partial month of service.

    A quick chat via web with their Customer Service credited all the charges, but I plan to keep a close eye on my bill for the next few months just to make sure. I'm thankful it's easy to save the chat logs for future reference, something I can't do if I talk to someone on the telephone.

    Now I just need to see what happens when I plug in the CableCards once my RMA S3 arrives. *crosses fingers and toes*
     
  16. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    4,506
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    Feb 17, 2003
    Somewhere...
    doraemon,

    While you may get the credit, I was told that three times, and never did. So I canceled the cablecard and I just said screw it to Comcast. I can get the locals in HD on that TV and that's all I really cared for. Hope you do get the credit, but their charges do seem to vary area by area.
     
  17. doraemon

    doraemon New Member

    41
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    Sep 18, 2006
    I hope I get the credit, too. I have the chat logs saved, though, in case I have to offer "proof" of what I was told. Most frustrating how stuff varies so much from location to location.
     
  18. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    4,506
    0
    Feb 17, 2003
    Somewhere...
    We think a lot the same. I too had my chat logs and sent them to both the Comcast billing office and my local franchise authority. In the end they did me no good. I do hope you'll have better luck, than I.
     
  19. doraemon

    doraemon New Member

    41
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    Sep 18, 2006
    Oy, that doesn't sound good. Did you email the logs to the billing office or send it via snail mail?

    jakelambert, chat is available here.
     
  20. sixseven

    sixseven New Member

    98
    0
    Jan 6, 2005
    Hi Everyone,

    I think I've finally got the wife in agreement that it's time to upgrade to HD. We're looking at buying the Samsung LN-S4095D. The TV will probably happen sometime in February 2007. In the meantime, we're gonna do the VIP deal to have a lifetime'ed S3. We live in Denver.

    We prefer Tivo because it allows us to watch less TV. Currently, we subscribe to basic cable. And I mean the true 'basic' as in $14/month, which is mainly just local channels.

    So if we go HD, will I be required to change my monthly subscription package? I realize there is a $5/month HD fee. I'm ok with that. What I'd like to prevent is being required to upgrade to a ~$50/month digital package to support cable cards.

    Also, I don't really understand how local HD broadcasts work. Does the HDTV's built in tuner just tune them in? Do I need an antenna? If I just want local channels, will I even need basic cable anymore? Could I sever my ties to Comcast?

    I'm sorry if this has been covered before. I tried searching, but I couldn't see any posts that seemed to answer my questions on going HD with a basic package.

    Thanks!!!!

    -67
     

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