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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Dec 7, 2006 #1421 of 9367
    Gene Plantz

    Gene Plantz tivo Premier XL

    149
    0
    Dec 31, 1999
    Hoffman...
    I'm in Hoffman Estates, so I assume we both are serviced out of the same office (Rolling Meadows).

    About 1 month ago, I called to get the ball rolling. Based upon comments here, I decided to call the 1-800-comcast number instead of the "local" number supplied on my bill. I said I want to order cardcables and assumed I would be transferred to "a specialist". I was not but the guy did not seem to have any problems when I mentioned Tivo Series 3 and two cablecards. He scheduled an appointment and we were done. I did not talk to him about costs.... I figured it is what it is.....

    On the appointed day, the tech arrives. He says he has done one Series 3 before. I tell him I have been reading other user comments and it seems the instructions need to be followed exactly for success. He is a mellow guy and does not object.

    He was issued only two cablecards... he says the company does not allow them to check out extras to carry with them.

    I had previously set up the S3 for basic stuff and made sure it worked, got live TV, etc.

    He inserted the first CC and it would not work. Error message that made it obvious it would not work. He removed it and tried the second one. This one worked and he called it in and got that one working. He called the office and had someone grab another CC and drive over here. That second one worked and I was all set.

    The install time was 1.5 hours but it was almost all wait time.... him on hold when calling his office and the delivery of the replacement card.

    I got my bill after the install (about 3 weeks) and it shows a credit for two returned set-top-boxes but NO charges for an install OR cablecards. It appears this was all free for me. I have the platinum package which is all premium content and Internet.

    If I were to do anything different, I would try to get the initial order to indicate bringing an extra CC just in case as the install failure rate seems to be very high.
     
  2. Dec 7, 2006 #1422 of 9367
    FlippedBit

    FlippedBit New Member

    176
    0
    Dec 25, 2001
    Mountain...
    Well I'm in Mountain View CA and they just called me too and said the same thing. They said that CableCARD 2.0 was necessary to allow PPV and OnDemand. I said that I was under the impression bi directional communications would not work. He laughed and said that he had several other customers say the same thing but that it would work. Well I think he didn't understand that I was talking about CC2.0 not working in an S3. Anyway, I gave him the information he wanted. All they wanted was all the numbers off of the pairing screens. He also said that I'd be notified before the upgrade took place. Sounds like they still don't know what they are doing. Nobody is going to plug a CC2.0 into my S3.
     
  3. Dec 8, 2006 #1423 of 9367
    retired_guy

    retired_guy New Member

    473
    0
    Aug 27, 2004
    Saratoga,...
    Two of us in Saratoga have had the same call, gave the information and were told that this was being done to go to Release 2 which is necesary for features such as PPV and OnDemand. Sort of frightening, since the present cards have been working well. When the original cards were put in, the Comcast installler didn't call any information in other than the id of the cards, which makes me think that they had not locked the cards to my TiVo. I suspect that part of this call was to get the data necessary to properly lock the cards.
     
  4. Dec 8, 2006 #1424 of 9367
    thebigbezona

    thebigbezona New Member

    25
    0
    Apr 21, 2006
    Windsor, CT
    I'm in CT (Hartford area). Just got my S3 today, and called 1-800-COMCAST to set up a cable card install.

    I was told that I can just pick them up at the service center, and they are free.

    After reading through some of this thread, that seems, well, wrong.

    There happens to be a service center right next door to somewhere I will be anyway on Monday, so it won't be out of the way to try it, but I am expecting some blank stares once I get there.

    At least I can return a couple of old cable boxes while I am there...LOL

    So, who wants to put odds on this actually working out like the customer service rep said?
     
  5. Dec 9, 2006 #1425 of 9367
    shiffrin

    shiffrin Member

    216
    0
    Aug 23, 2000
    Lancaster, PA
    Lancaster, PA

    I just got my Series 3 but haven't had Comcast come out yet to install the cablecards.

    I did get a notice in the mail yesterday that cable rates are going up Jan.1 and they included a new schedule of their rates. It says "CableCARD (dual CableCards for non-Comcast HD PVRs requiring 2 cards)" and the price shown in $1.50.
     
  6. Dec 9, 2006 #1426 of 9367
    Adam1115

    Adam1115 20,000!!! TCF Club

    27,646
    30
    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    I thought the cards were backwards compatible..?
     
  7. Dec 9, 2006 #1427 of 9367
    thebigbezona

    thebigbezona New Member

    25
    0
    Apr 21, 2006
    Windsor, CT
    Just stopped by the service center. As I expected, they told me a tech needed to install the cards, so we'll see how that goes next week.

     
  8. Dec 9, 2006 #1428 of 9367
    geodon005

    geodon005 Member

    84
    0
    Mar 10, 2004
    Mt....
    Here is (what is starting out as, anyway) a more positive story: I received notice last night that my TiVo would arrive on the 11th. I called Comcast to schedule the install (no self-installs in the Chicago area) and got a very nice woman who told me the following things:

    - they (the CSRs) had just received information about the TiVo Series 3, so she was familiar with it; this seemed to be the case, as she understood that 2 cards would go into the machine, using only one outlet.

    - the first CC was free, and the 2nd one was $1.50 (prorated for the first month at a whopping $.38!)

    - there would not be a $5.00 HD charge

    - returning my Moto box would take $9.99 off my bill

    She also said that the earliest install would be the 11th (the day the unit will arrive) and that they were available every day this next week, including the weekend). I scheduled it for Tuesday, the 12th, and asked for an in-house tech instead of a contractor, which she said she was noting on the order.

    At no time did I get a runaround, a slam of TiVos in general, or any warnings about losing On Demand or PPV. She was very professional and courteous.

    If the tech who shows up for the install is this good, I am hoping for an easy time on the 12th. (I am not even all that worried about the possibility of a bad CC; I live about 2 miles from my local Comcast office.)
     
  9. Dec 9, 2006 #1429 of 9367
    ewilts

    ewilts Who, me?

    1,005
    0
    Feb 26, 2002
    Mounds View, MN
    The install cost me $15.49 for a truck roll and an hour or so of a tech's time. If that's all they're charging you, then I don't think it's anything to complain about.

    It sounds like you already have digital cable - that's why there is no 5.00 HD charge. The HD charge is included in all digital packages (that's why I paid $10/month for digital classic - basically an extra $5 to get an extra half-dozen HD stations).

    I sure couldn't complain about the time to roll the truck either - mine was on a Sunday morning (I bought it Friday and they offered a Saturday install but I was already tied up).

    That's about the way it went for me. They wanted to charge me $4.95 for the "additional digital outlet" but I phoned this morning and had that removed from my bill. I told them I had a TiVo and only required a single outlet with 2 CableCards and they did not counter with the $1.50/month "TiVo charge" (which I would have briefly fought because the Comcast web site says that CableCards are free).

    Enjoy the new TiVo!

    .../Ed
     
  10. Dec 9, 2006 #1430 of 9367
    bicker

    bicker bUU

    10,382
    43
    Nov 9, 2003
    Georgia
    However, the services provided by the cable company may rely solely on the later version. There was an earlier discussion about this, and if I recall correctly, there is nothing in the law that says that the cable company cannot simply require consumer electronics connected to their service to support the latest version of the standard. Indeed, this has been discussed many times already: They could put everything onto SDV, which will only work with CC2.0 anyway, and then the S3 will be useless in that context. And it would be completely in accordance with the law as far as anyone knows.
     
  11. Dec 9, 2006 #1431 of 9367
    cptodd

    cptodd Just Me!

    3,332
    0
    Jun 30, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Well ain't that a biatch!
     
  12. Dec 9, 2006 #1432 of 9367
    MiamiMan

    MiamiMan New Member

    44
    0
    Dec 9, 2006
    You mean the CableCard slots are designed for a particular version of CableCard? If CC2 doesn't work with Tivo3 then doesn't this also apply to all those TV sets with CableCard slots in them?
     
  13. Dec 9, 2006 #1433 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    Not exactly. $5 is for renting the Comcast HD set top box. There shouldn't be any "HD service fee".
     
  14. Dec 9, 2006 #1434 of 9367
    MiamiMan

    MiamiMan New Member

    44
    0
    Dec 9, 2006
    I suspect the charge differs depending which part of the country you are in. In the Miami/Hialeah area, my Comcast bill lists an HDTV charge of $5.00. It doesn't mention a cable box charge at all. This makes sense because I do get extra HD channels that I wouldn't get otherwise.

    When I called Comcast to install CableCards into my Tivo3, they said there was no charge for the cards or the install (I'll believe it when I get my next bill).

    Even if I turn in my cable box, the charge should be no different.

    I'm expecting that they will allow me to keep the cable box. That way, I can still use the OnDemand features, plus I can use it and the Tivo for my HDTV's PIP. Wonderful!
     
  15. Dec 9, 2006 #1435 of 9367
    jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    1,063
    0
    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    The "HD Service Fee" only applies if you have an HD set top box as C3 says. It is actually a device rental fee. If you have a digital package the potential to receive HD is inherent. You do not have to pay extra for HD reception. You just need a way to decode. If you use the S3 then there is no additional charge beyond the $1.50 for the second card. Any differences in charges regionally are mistakes. Now, if someone keeps an existing HD STB then the charge would apply.
     
  16. Dec 9, 2006 #1436 of 9367
    MiamiMan

    MiamiMan New Member

    44
    0
    Dec 9, 2006
    I have to pay for the encrypted HD channels, but not the clear HD channels. If the $5.00 charge was for my box, then why doesn't it say so in the bill? Moreover, my bill statements before I got the HD capable Motorola box did not have any charge for the cable box at all.

    I suspect some of the confusion comes from the poorly trained Comcast operators who tell the customers the charge is for the box (because, after all, you do need a cable box upgrade to receive the HD channels.)
     
  17. Dec 9, 2006 #1437 of 9367
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,646
    1
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    In our area, the $5 charge is very clearly an equipment charge. When Comcast breaks down all the prices in their price guide, it appears under the "Equipment Rental (monthly)" category.
     
  18. Dec 9, 2006 #1438 of 9367
    c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    3,067
    0
    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    Right now, I pay $15 for limited basic and $1.50 for two CableCards. No other fees. If I want the encrypted HD channels (ESPN-HD, TNT-HD, Discovery HD, etc.) for the S3, I just add $10 for digital classic. No $5 HD fee.

    If I want to get another SD set top box from Comcast, I have to pay around $7 for the additional outlet. If I want a HD set top box, that would be $7 + $5. Either way, what I get on the S3 is not affected.

    If I subscribe to HBO and/or Showtime, then the corresponding HD channels automatically comes with it. No separate HD fee. That's how it works in my area.
     
  19. Dec 9, 2006 #1439 of 9367
    MiamiMan

    MiamiMan New Member

    44
    0
    Dec 9, 2006
    About three years ago, Comcast in my area did charge for box rental and it appeared on my bill as a rental fee, but it doesn't now.

    Yes, some Comcast customers do have to pay a rental fee. As has been reported, others have to pay rental for CableCards and for the truck roll. Whether these differing fees around the U.S. are a mistake or not does not change the fact that customers are paying for these "mistakes." In my area, Comcast says I don't have a CableCard charge or an installation fee, but I do have an HDTV charge of $5.00.
     
  20. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    1,063
    0
    Nov 21, 2002
    Carmel...
    MiamiMan, you said you have an additional HD set top box, though. If you got rid of that you would get rid of the "HD Service Fee" even if you kept the S3.
     

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