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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Kenji

    Kenji New Member

    108
    0
    Jun 28, 2003
    Oakland,...
    Two days ago, Comcast upgraded my analog cable service to digital and installed the cablecards into my S3. The Comcast rep with whom I spoke at their 800 number was fairly knowledgeable, and the tech who installed my cablecards had a total 4 of them in his truck in case there were any problems with either of the two he installed. The only installation "glitch" was that it took about 5 minutes after each card was activated before it started to receive any channels, which made it look initially like there was some sort of card installation/activation problem. In all, my experience with Comcast was pretty positive.
     
  2. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    4,469
    0
    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    I like your process, but that's kind of hard for existing customers to pull off. :)
     
  3. alaw168

    alaw168 New Member

    8
    0
    Feb 17, 2005
    Upgraded to a TiVo S3 last month, and as expected, Comcast screwed up my first bill. After talking to a supervisor, this is what she explained to me:

    $15.99 one time installation charge
    $1.50 for both CABLEcards but it also uses up the STB quota that comes with your digital package
    $6.95 for each addn'l STB / CABLEcards.
    $5.00 HD for the TiVo (counted as one outlet).
    $5.00 HD per outlet thereafter.

    Pricing is for San Francisco Bay Area.

    She also told me that there used to be a special group within the call centers dedicated to handling CABLEcard issues, but recently they have opened up CABLEcard related calls to all CS reps so the rep you talk to may not be the most knowledgeable. My suggestion is to ask to speak to a supervisor if the rep doesn't seem too sure about the details.

    And make sure you mention you've have a S3 box or else you will be slapped with $6.95 for the 2nd CABLEcard and an addn'l $5 if you want HD (since they will recognize 2 cards as 2 outlets).
     
  4. patg25

    patg25 New Member

    91
    0
    Nov 24, 2004
    Connecticut
    I see the charge for the cable cards. But why do you have pay a charge for the Tivo and one for HD? So you are paying $18.45 / month plus a payment to Tivo??? What if someone has 3 HD cable card ready TVs in their house? They would need to pay $6.95 / cablecard + $5.00 for HD on each TV? That seems outrageous.
     
  5. keenanSR

    keenanSR Member TCF Club

    915
    2
    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    Pricing is for San Francisco Bay Area.

    Not all of the bay area, those extra $5 charges are not on my bill and there not on c3's bill either. If you have a Comcast STB in addition to the CC's then the $6.95 makes sense as you would have an additional digital outlet(Comcast charges $6.95 for every outlet beyond the the first), plus the $5 "HD per outlet" as it's really an STB rental charge. The TiVo HD charge is something I've never seen before.
     
  6. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    4,469
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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    It's outrageous, because it's wrong. It's be explained numerous times, in this very thread. :)
     
  7. comand

    comand New Member

    1
    0
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oakland, CA
    First, I must say that I'm surprised at the wide variety of costs that Comcast across the country charges for cable cards! I had expected to see a very similar price structure everywhere -- I guess that's what happens in a consolidation.

    My S3 was delivered the week before last. When I got the notice from DHL that the package was to be delivered, I called Comcast, and asked about cable cards. The rep on the phone said I could drop in to the local office (Oakland, CA), and pick up the cards any time during business hours.

    That evening, I went past DHL to pick up the TiVo, and stopped at the Comcast office for the cable cards. The office rep informed me that they don't keep cable cards on hand at the office -- they're at the warehouse (in retrospect, I wish I had read this thread before I went). After venting a bit of frustration at yet another mismatch between 1-800 support and branch office information, the office rep offered to pick up cable cards at the warehouse the next morning, and hold them for me.

    The next day, I stopped by the office on my lunch hour, and talked to the same rep. He had my cable cards ready to go (what a guy). I returned my POS Motorola DVR, and made a point of asking what the charges would be for the cable cards. The rep said that there was no charge -- the cards were free. He even included a very brief guide to activating the cards.

    That evening, I called customer support to activate the cards. The tech was familiar with cable cards, but had no idea about TiVo S3 -- to be expected, I suppose. After a bit of guessing my way through the cable card menus, and reading some of the directions on the activation guide I was given to the tech, I got a successful test signal on both cards -- I verified HBO, Local HD, and local non-HD channels. Success! :up: :up: :up:

    Over the next couple of days, however, I noticed that TiVo would randomly create zero-length recordings on HBOHD. I checked the status screens for both cable cards, and found that cable card 2 was not authorized for protected content. Tuning to HBOHD on that card brought up a black screen -- that explained the random zero-length recordings. I called Comcast to figure out what the issue was.

    Again, I found a mismatch between the information that is given out from 1-800 support versus that given out by the branch office. It turns out that in my area, the first card is free, but the second card is $1.50/mo. After venting some more at the 1-800 support guy (someone's gotta pay), we had reception on HBOHD for both cards.

    Now, a week after this all happened, I couldn't be happier with my decision to buy a TiVo S3, even at the high cost. Anything to ditch the Motorola.
     
  8. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
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    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    Wow! You're the first one I have seen being able to pick up CableCards in this area.
     
  9. keenanSR

    keenanSR Member TCF Club

    915
    2
    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    First one I've heard of as well.
     
  10. MegW

    MegW New Member

    16
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    Nov 20, 2002
    Nashua, NH
    Hi JohnT!

    I live in Nashua and I have ordered the Series 3 (should arrive Friday), so I stopped by the local Comcast office here in Nashua yesterday to see if I could pick up the cable cards and install them myself. I was told no, they had to be installed by their techs. And that they would cost $2.75 each per month. In addition, there will be a one-time ~13.00 installation charge (she wasn't sure of the exact amount) which is for both cards.

    I told the "representative" that I thought they weren't supposed to charge for the cable cards, she said that they charged 2.75 per card if you were keeping other equipment, which I am (I intend to keep a digital cable box that's hooked to my TV in another room). The whole thing sounds a little fishy to me. I wonder what will actually show up on my bill. I guess I'll find out when I actually call to schedule the service (later in the week).

    Meg
     
  11. Dennis Wilkinson

    Dennis Wilkinson New Member

    2,064
    0
    Sep 24, 2001
    East...
    Comcast installer just left (this was the least late they've been for an appointment), and I appear to have two functional CableCARDs. It was a contractor, and there was a bit of a hold-up until he realized that the first person he called (at dispatch) had taken down the numbers but not actually paired or done anything else to the cards. Once the cards were authorized, I had an issue where several channels weren't coming in, something he wasn't able to resolve before he left.

    I managed to resolve the problem, but it's not surprising that he didn't figure it out (although one of their techs might have.) When I looked at the signal level on the TiVo, I got zeros for those channels, where everything else is 97 or better. Using the Comcast DVR box (which I haven't returned yet since there's still stuff I haven't watched on it) I was able to determine that all of the channels I wasn't getting were being broadcast on the same QAM channel frequency (on the Moto boxes, you tune to the channel, power off, hit "select" immediately, then look at the "Current Channel Status".) I referred to my handy-dandy frequency-to-CATV/OTA channel PDF, and saw that that same frequency was very close to my local OTA channel 28, whose transmitter is just a few miles from my house. I had an old amplified antenna attached to the antenna in, even though I'm not using it, just to play with when I first got the box. That channel had the signal level for the OTA channel pinned at 100 -- bingo, interference. Disconnected the antenna, and sure enough, there are my missing channels. I'll probably terminate the connector later, based on other's observations here.

    Looks like I'm being billed $15.95 for the truck roll, and $0+$2.95 for the CableCARDs themselves, but I've never once been billed correctly by Comcast after a service change, so I'll be watching next month's bill closely.
     
  12. jfh3

    jfh3 New Member

    4,469
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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    It's sad when this is a good thing.

    But at least you ended up with everything working.
     
  13. wublet

    wublet total newb

    34
    0
    Nov 30, 2006
    oakland ca
    (First post, hope I'm not screwing anything up)

    Comcast Called - Going to CableCARD 2.0

    I just got a voicemail from someone named Thomas at a Comcast 866- number saying that Comcast in Oakland CA is going to CableCARD 2.0, and I need to call him and read him some info off my TV screen from my installed CableCARDs.

    Call me paranoid if you will, but I have a very bad feeling about this. Can anyone with CableCARD 2.0 knowledge tell me: Is my S3 about to be obsoleted?

    I know Comcast just hates that S3 rolled out just before their new (lame) DVR STB, and frankly wouldn't put it past them to pull a slimy tech trick to shake the S3's off their lines so thay can make sure everybody is using an STB.
     
  14. cptodd

    cptodd Just Me!

    3,332
    0
    Jun 30, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I am NO expert but as far as I understand the S3 is not 2.0 compliant. Can anyone else confirm this for me?
     
  15. Maeglin

    Maeglin New Member

    366
    0
    Sep 27, 2006
    Norcross, GA
    Sounds like they're just upgrading things on the head end to support pairing of cards to host devices. Let me guess... they just called in the serial numbers when you first had them installed, right?
     
  16. wublet

    wublet total newb

    34
    0
    Nov 30, 2006
    oakland ca
    Exactly right. We're screwed, aren't we? ;-)
     
  17. btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    There's been lots of chatter about this, it'd be nice if Comcast had warned people about this in advance. Your TiVo isn't being obsoleted, they're just turning on a feature at there end which restricts the cards to only working in one box. So they need to know which box its in currently.

    I've never heard Cable card 2.0 mentioned in conjunction with this before.
     
  18. Maeglin

    Maeglin New Member

    366
    0
    Sep 27, 2006
    Norcross, GA
    Exactly... losing the ability to swap cards around at will... it'll be hell :rolleyes: :D
     
  19. Dec 1, 2006 #1359 of 9367
    rrg

    rrg New Member

    78
    0
    Apr 22, 2004
    NJ
    I previously reported success (after two service calls) with a Comcast installation of two cablecards in my S3. Getting it to work required a tech who knew someone to call at the head end who knew what he was doing.

    I wish I knew how to reach the guy again, because I've lost reception on a half-dozen HD channels (all of which come in fine on the Comcast-supplied STBs) and the CSRs have been absolutely no help at all in getting it resolved. They're instructed to try one thing only (I don't know what that is), and if that doesn't work, to schedule an on-site service call, which is a waste of everyone's time (especially mine) since we know these cablecards are fine.

    My fear is that they'll just screw it up so that NOTHING works (instead of just these few channels).
     
  20. Dec 1, 2006 #1360 of 9367
    Gerhard

    Gerhard New Member

    231
    0
    Sep 29, 2002
    Comcast did something recently here in Maryland that caused all of the premium channels to stop working with the cable cards. I suspect they are playing a game of some sort.
     

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