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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. riekl

    riekl New Member

    Jan 29, 2001
    You've been lied to .. 29db is MUCH to low for QAM256. 32-33db is the commonly accepted MINIMUM strength for QAM256 for any channel or internet use.
  2. tasi

    tasi TiVoing since 2000

    May 10, 2002
    I had a thought that may help some of you.

    I recently purchased a Signal Booster because my comcast DVR wasn't working well with the HD channels (upstairs in my house), but my TiVo S3 was working great (downstairs).

    So I did some research, went on amazon and bought a signal booster (Cable Vision C-0314):

    This thing is GREAT! it's a powered signal amplifier, and 4 way splitter. I installed it right where the main cable feed comes in.

    It not only helped fix my comcast DVR problems, it also helped improve the picture on my TiVo and I haven't seen pixalization since the install on either DVRs.
    It's also bi-directional, so it can help improve the outgoing signal for your cable modem, which doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a faster cable modem connection, but definitely a more reliable connection.

    About fifty dollars on sale, and worth every penny.

    I have a feeling that a lot of activation issues can be resolved using this type of device.

    I hope this helps some? Please post and let us all know.
  3. cjett

    cjett New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    Philadelphia Comcast quoted me $16.55 for the roll charge, but, "due to HD", my cable cards would be $5.00 per month, per card = $10. I went ahead and scheduled, but shouldn't it be less than that?

  4. broken TiVo

    broken TiVo New Member

    May 11, 2004
    I am set up to have cable installed at my new home in Orange Park Fl. Comcast says each cable card is $6.50.

    I have read many of you state that you get the first card for free, and 1.50 or so for the second card.

    Is there something I can do to get a cheaper rate? I subscribed to the plat plus, 4 HDTVs, 1 S3 Tivo, 1 of there HD DVR's (until I get a 2nd S3). Plus 8mps Internet. Heck you would think that could toss in a couple of cable cards.

  5. dbong1021

    dbong1021 New Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    I'm in San Francisco, CA .. and just wanted to share my wonderful Comcast cablecard install story from this past weekend! Hopefully this will help reassure some people who are about to make the S3 jump but have worries from all the cablecard horror stories ... like I was.

    Rewind one week:

    I call Comcast to ask about prices for Tivo Cablecard install. I was told one time $14.95 install fee, NO additional outlet fee and first CC free, 2nd is $1.50 a month. The rep from the call center also told me that I could go into the local Comcast store and pick them up myself to save the install fee.

    Last Friday:

    I run to the Comcast store on Potrero St and ask for two CC's. The rep politely tells me that they aren't available for pickup. I tell him that the call center told me it was. He apologizes and tells me that he'll credit the install fee for my troubles. OK!!! So I go home, somewhat disappointed, but with a $14.95 credit.

    Saturday morning:

    Get a call at 10am from the Comcast tech. He asks if its ok he stops by early ( I had a 2pm appointment ). I agree and he shows up 15 minutes later.

    He has another tech with him and says he's on training. Nice guys. I can try to find the tech's name later if anyone is interested.

    They get down to business right away and pull out the cablecards. I tell them that they're supposed to follow Tivo's directions but they both say that they've done many of these and their method works better. They seem very knowledgeable and unafraid of S3 Tivo ( like I've heard some techs are ), so I let them do their thing.

    They insert CC1 and go to write down the card's info. S3 takes the CC and they go back install CC2. Write the info down for that card and then walkie talkie into homebase to have the CC's info entered into my account. This only takes no more than 5 minutes. The system takes the CC's info and they go and test the channels.

    CC1 is up first for testing. It recognizes all of my channels that I get, station ID and all. Picture looks great so they do the same for CC2. CC2 isn't quite ready yet as it shows some but not all channels. Tech isn't worried and tells me that as long as it gets some, the others will come in eventually. I nod and we wait a bit longer, about another 5 minutes. The channels do come on for CC2 and he looks at me and tells me .. see! I told you it was easy! I'm all smiles at this point so I play along.

    The tech now radios into homebase again to have the signal sent to my house. A minute later the 161-4 error appears on the Tivo for CC1. He assures me that this is a good thing and I agree as I've read about it here on the forum. Quit out of the error and a few minutes later again, 161-4 on CC2.

    We go and test channels for CC1 and they're almost all there. Same for CC2. I guess the CC's had to relearn my channel package. But it does, and voila! I'm off and running!

    All in all, about a 30 minute process. Amazingly easy!! So either Comcast and their techs are getting much much better or I just got lucky. I'm going to ahead and say that they are getting better as everyone seemed knowledgable from start to finish, call center rep included.

    Picture on the S3 is very sexy now! Maybe its placebo effect from me being so happy but I think my picture is looking better now with HDMI vs. component out from comcast cablebox.

    The Tivo did slow down slightly after doing the CC install. I was previously just using OTA antenna and it was super fast. But the slowdown is very minor and I'm still very satisfied with the S3. Now I'm running CC's and my OTA signal for the few OTA HD channels that Comcast doesn't carry yet.

    So for all you bystanders who are thinking about doing the S3 jump .. do it!!! Installs are going much much smoother now and the ability to dual tune/record HD shows is just so amazing. You'll forget about that price tag in no time.
  6. kbtivo

    kbtivo New Member

    Apr 5, 2006
    Just finish calling Comcast - had to work with them to get the 1st card free.

    They insisted the 2nd CC is $1.50 plus a 2nd outlet charge of $6.99 = $8.50 per month.

    I see others have called Comcast billing and been able to get the 2nd outlet charge dropped. Think I will try to do the same.

    Can't wait for multistream cards - wonder what Comcast will say then.
  7. radavi98

    radavi98 New Member

    Feb 17, 2006
    Does anyone have screen shots or just text on what we should see in the cable card setup screens? I am on day two and finally have 2 cablecards, but can not see the premium channels. No ip information under ip service but what should we see in the cablecard menu setting for these parameters??
    Cablecard(tm) Pairing
    Network Setup
    Cablecard(tm) Status
    Conditional Access
    IP Service

    I know what I see, I am interested in someones that is fully functional
  8. jonman21

    jonman21 New Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    dbong1021 -

    I'm also in San Francisco and am about to embark on the Comcast CC adventure that is installing them into my new S3 Tivo.

    Could you please find out the names of those Techs that came over to your house (if that's possible)?

    Also, which Comcast phone # did you call to begin the whole process -- was it the 1-800-COMCAST number or some local 415 number?

    Thanks for your help!
  9. dbong1021

    dbong1021 New Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Sure, I'm at work but will PM you the info once I get home.

    I called the 1800COMCAST # to start the whole process.
  10. bicker

    bicker Gruff

    Nov 9, 2003
    Thanks for the info about QAM256 signal strength. I'm going to see if my signal amplifier is adjustable, and try adjusting it UP.
  11. dbong1021

    dbong1021 New Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    jonman, I sent you a PM. Hopefully it helps.

    If you can't find his name, I can try calling myself and asking who it was by name rather than technician #. I'm at work though but let me know either way
  12. diggerphelups

    diggerphelups New Member

    May 8, 2006
    Just ordered mine. tech has to come out to install, but according to the sales person no install charge and no fee for the cable cards. Hopefully that holds true when i get the bill...He said no cable companies in NJ should be charging for this. Not sure if that is law in NJ or something or what made him say that...anyway, definately call your LOCAL office. I first inquired with 1800comcast and they of course were going to charge a fee.

    I still have my set-top for on demand, so I'm not sure if this is required for no fee, but regardless I'm pleasantly suprised at no fee or install or cards.

    Of course there is still always the install to be done...

    Great thread.
  13. lorlof

    lorlof New Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    I had my install yesterday with comcast. It went surprisingly well. The tech brought 3 cablecards with him. Good thing since 1 was bad. Other than that it was relatively simple, even though he admitted to me it was his first cablecard install. Took 40 minutes. Had to pay an install fee, but no fees for the cablecards.
  14. kbtivo

    kbtivo New Member

    Apr 5, 2006
    New S3 received on Monday - updated SW on Monday 8.01c - Comcast Digital Plus & HD packages

    Comcast Tech showed up today. Appears the sales/ordering group needs a bit of help/work. The work order said nothing about Cablecards and mentioned adding several outlets.

    Tech went back to shop to pick up cablecards and returned about 1 hour later. I had to step away for a while but returned to checkout how the install was going.

    Tech had connected the cable feed to the antenna input and disconnected my OTA antenna. Straightened this out. The tech had delays getting the folks back at Comcast to program the system/cards correctly - took 2 rounds of calls to get things sorted out. The 1st round did not get the Digital Plus channels, etc. He commented that some of their folks do it right and others seem to need more training.

    Was up and running after ~ 2 hours. I asked the tech which mfgrs' cards he was installing. Turns out they are Motorola - he said he won't even try the SA cards anymore - too many problems.

    I'm up and running and very happy.
  15. bandit1170

    bandit1170 New Member

    Oct 16, 2003
    I have premium channels, not sure what other encrypted channels would be and I have neither of the "good signs" for the CableCards, this is what I see on both cards.

    Connected: yes, EnabledByCP: no
    Auth: unknown
    CA enable: unknown (or "not possible" after a signal hit)

    And I'm getting HBOHD on both tuners, so I'm not sure what needs to be done, if anything. I have a tech coming on Saturday nonetheless. Is the below all I'm looking for?

    Connected: yes, EnabledByCP: yes
    CA enable: possible

    One tech I talked to on the phone said that the pairing of the cards would be complete and successful one the Host ID at the bottom of the Conditional Access screen said something other than Unknown 00.

    Can somebody that has a "successful" install tell us what they are seeing on the the CableCard setup screens so when the tech comes I can make sure that's what I'm getting before they leave?

    Thanks for the help.

  16. Tankman

    Tankman New Member

    Dec 1, 2003
    I received my S3 the other day and had a day off to start trying to figure out install. I called Comcast and when I tried to tell them I needed a second card installed for my TiVo cable box, the guy tells me that I need to contact TiVo. So I tried the online chat and they told me to go to a local office to pick up a card. I go there and find that they don't have any cards and just take payments and returned equipment.

    Finally I decide to call back and not mention TiVo at all. I tell them I need someone to come out and install a cable card in a third party cable box and all was clear. No charge for the card and $13.99 for the trip to install. No mention of extra monthly fees at all. Sounds good so far.
  17. njplasticman

    njplasticman New Member

    Dec 9, 2006
    With much trepidation, had the install this afternoon. Two Comcast vans showed up. One guy had experience with Tivo installation; the other tried installing one but said it was unsuccessful. They only brought 2 cable cards- both Motorola.

    The experienced guy didn't need the printed instructions and knew his way around the Tivo; it appeared that the other guys was "in training" for Tivo installation (it appears they are working on this which is a plus).

    Initially had problems with not getting channel 2 and the 100s channels. In speaking with the Comcast guy on the cell phone, apparently they had this issue with an install this AM. Spent a few minutes on it and... wha-la! Everything was working with both cards after 30 minutes.

    The "experienced" guy said that the problems are sometimes the Tivo, sometimes the CC, but it really helps to get a person on the other line who knows what they are doing. It just so happened that the guy on the other line was the same guy who helped out this AM (I think his name was "steve") and he knew what to do on the other end.

    Now expecting my HDTV tomorrow and i'm all set!!!!!
  18. murryamorris

    murryamorris New Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    I can't help with successful but the Auth: unknown and CA Enable/EnabledByCP like you listed is what my failed one did today. I did the install myself and was about 2 hours working with Comcast tech by phone. He was very nice but had only done 3 CC installs (one was a 6 card activation at a Microsoft testers home and the other 2 were S3's). We tried everything but the signals never got the 2 cards to pair in either slot. We did just happen to lose our local cable/internet just after this so it's possible the signals were blocked locally.

    I know the install steps well at least but instead of getting 2 new cards and trying the phone install, I'm having them come out and let them spend the time.

    I also checked the IP and upstream/downstream which were all 0 so we knew they weren't set and of course no channels ever came through.

    Both cards are Motorola so I was surprised that both cards might be bad. The Tivo worked well without them and saw the cards when installed so hoping it's not the unit. At least I got it at Costco so can return easy and get a new unit.

    It would be nice to have info on the different CC information screens if anyone knows what it means. It may not be that helpful but would be interesting.
  19. murryamorris

    murryamorris New Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Well, I found out that with Comcast support there are very good and very bad techs. I decided to try at 2AM (maybe not the best idea) to get my 2 cards working. It turns out when I called Thursday, their DB went down and they got it back up and on Comcast side, my cards were listed as paired and working but they didn't. I didn't know at the time but right at the end of the call, our cable went out again (wind storm damage from the Seattle storm last week).

    It seems the signals they sent said they went through but never made it to my CC's. So we had a dual issue.

    As far as the 2nd rep this AM, she was a total idiot. First she told me I didn't need to call Comcast that the "TV" would configure the cards and it would then work. I said, no, I spent hours on the phone just yesterday with a tech who was getting them in the system and hitting them with signals to get them working. Hey, but she's worked there 8 years and never heard of a cablecard having to be setup by Comcast! Finally she looked in the DB and said, "oh, it lists they are working so they must be". Uh, no again. I explained the cable went out and they signals they sent cleared on their side but never reached my Tivo. Finally she figured out how to resend a signal and bam, they start working. I did get an error code when the S3 received the signal but all channels now come in fine.

    I can finally cancel my tech install. I guess it's just a matter of getting someone who actually knows cablecards (and Tivo knowledge seems to help a lot).

    Keep trying, you'll eventually get someone who knows how to do this. If you're local to Seattle, they are still having major problems with their lines so this might be part of the problem here.

    The HD and even SD stations look great on the S3 compared to my S2 hooked up to the same TV. I think it's time to convert the lifetime over.

    BTW, none of my status screens on the CC slots changed at all. Maybe this will change after they've been working for a while.
  20. CharlesH

    CharlesH Member

    Aug 29, 2002
    I have Comcast in the south San Francisco Bay area, and two Comcast service representatives have insisted that the $5/mo "High Definition TV" charge is a programming charge to get the HD channels, not a rental fee for the HD set-top box (that I don't have). Am I getting fed a line? Others in this thread have insisted that they just pay the $1.50/mo second-Cablecard fee on top of whatever programming lineup they have chosen, and they get the HD channels just fine on their Series3.

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