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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. HomieG

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    Feb 17, 2003
    It's usually the city in which you live. In any event, it's also on the bill from Comcast (of course in tiny print).
  2. Mikala

    Mikala New Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    Novato, CA (SF Bay Area).

    Just posting my experience...I called Comcast on 12/26 and told them I needed two cC's. She understood it was for Tivo. Scheduled visit for 12/28.

    Tech showed up. I asked if he worked for Comcast and if he's done these card installs before..."yes" and "yes". He said he's been working for Comcast for about three months but mostly does phone, internet, cable setups. Said they trained him on those things but not on cC's. Said he only does about one cC install a week and wishes he could do more for more practice. Anyway, he was a very patient, easy-going Brazilian guy (I called Comcast to tell them how great he was). He was supposed to come between 3-5pm but showed up at 11am and said, "I wanted to get the card install out of the way".

    He said we needed to unplug Tivo from the power source before installing cC #1. I hadn't read this but decided to go along with him. We unplugged Tivo, he put the card in. He called to activate it. No channels. He called and asked them to "hit" the card. He waited about 5 minutes, channels still not working on card #1. We got the 161-4 error twice for card #1 and after about 5-7 minutes the channels started showing up. Then got two 161-4 errors for card #2 (about 2-3 minutes apart), then a few minutes later channels showed up.

    We thanked him and he left. Overall, fairly smooth compared to what I've read. But taking the "so-far-so-good" stance as I know people have experienced problems after what seemed like a successful setup.

    Keeping my fingers crossed and my season passes on my other Tivos.
  3. Richard Krehbiel

    Richard Krehbiel New Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Got a Series 3 for Christmas (thanks dear!). The Comcast office wouldn't just hand me the cable cards, so the tech came to my house yesterday. He only had one card. Sheesh - okay, I'll get the other one later, I'll just see one work. I pretty much did the install myself with the tech looking on (but not very well, as it turned out...)

    Sometime after the tech left, I noticed I wasn't picking up DiscoveryHD. I don't subscribe to the premium channels, we've been all analog up until now, so I didn't really know what to look for.

    Today I asked my wife to call Comcast (while I was at work) and ask about the second cable card, and while she was talking to them she mentioned DiscoveryHD. The customer service rep said to reboot the box or remove and reinsert the cable card. When I got home I rebooted, and then noticed a message pop up saying "In order to start service for this device, please contact customer service at Ph # 703-730-2225", and it had cable card ID and device ID numbers. Hmm.

    "I'm a moron, I didn't finish configuration, and I didn't even notice until now" thinks I. So I call the number given, and get someone who says:

    "Our cable cards aren't compatible with the Tivo series 3. Do you know Comcast has it's own DVR?"

    Well, that caught me off guard. I said a few disparaging things about the Comcast DVR ("but lots of people like it" - "only people who haven't had a Tivo"). I noted that none of the other 3 or 4 Comcast folk I had talked to mentioned this (and I had always been specific that this was for a Tivo Series 3). And then I said goodbye and hung up.

    Grrr. I did a Google search, and found this very thread which contains a report of a Comcast Manassas success.

    I called back a few minutes later to talk with someone else. I didn't mention Tivo until he asked me, and he didn't say they were incompatible. We tried a few things (always the same result), and then he scheduled a tech to come for a visit on Sunday.

    When the tech comes, I want to be armed and literate. What should I do to be ready to answer the "it doesn't work with Tivo" claims? Thanks.
  4. doraemon

    doraemon New Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    The TiVo Series 3 is a Cablelabs certified device. Thus, it *will* work with CableCards. Also, Comcast must support CableCards because they are required to by federal law.

    Think that about sums it up. :)
  5. JTYoung1

    JTYoung1 Member

    Aug 13, 2006
    If you have billing issues I recommend calling and requesting a current Products & Services Price List. I received one with my last bill because the rates are going up on 2/1. Armed with this I was able to get some charges relating to the cable cards removed off my bill that until now I was having a difficult time getting resolved. I also got a credit for the last few months where they were overcharging me.
    I am paying just the base rate for my package now and not paying for the 2nd cable card in the TiVo, but they both still work. I told them that I was supposed to be paying for a 2nd cable card according to their price list but the rep in Sales that I was talking to and her supervisor both said that I wasn't supposed to be paying for the 2nd card.
  6. Mikala

    Mikala New Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    just a friendly reminder to post where you live if it's not under your avatar. i'm very interested in info from SF bay area and the north bay but so often things are VERY different in different places....thanks!
  7. JPShinn

    JPShinn New Member

    Aug 24, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    Ok, lame question: I'm about to return my Motorla box to Comcast (praise the angels) but I can't remember what came with it other than a remote and power cord. Was there an HDMI cable? Component? Audio cables? Any help would be great.

  8. Mikala

    Mikala New Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    it's been a while since i picked up a box but i know they gave us component cables the first time we got a HD box...oh, they gave us an optical audio cable too. i think it can vary a lot. if you don't remember, take back what you have and see if they ask for anything else.
  9. lavenderhaze

    lavenderhaze New Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Warren, MI
    I have read lots of threads out here about the different pricing everyone is experiencing. One thing to remember, your LOCAL community leaders establish the pricing agreements for your cable service, not Comcast. That is why there seems to be 1000's of Comcast Cable Co. (or any other cable co.for that matter).

    The city I live in determines the charge for each extra cable box and what constitutes an 'outlet'.

    That is why the FCC is considering opening the cable market to regulation at the state level instead of local, so instead of 1000's we'd have 50 or fewer if the cable companies can convice the FCC that they should have markets like what the Baby Bells had.
  10. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Where do you live? It seems to make a big difference in billing practices.
  11. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    That's not what I understand the process to be at all. I don't think Comcast is under any government's thumb, not even the feds it seems, as their policies are fearlessly defiant of the intent Section 629 of the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act. While the local government may approve the rates in some locales, surely Comcast sets them and then asks for that approval in those instances. (Is it ever denied?) In my battles with Comcast in Florida and HQ in Philadelphia, I've found them defending their own pricing policy, never using the excuse that the government made them do it. The pricing is so predatory to Tivo customers and so favorable to Comcast, at least in South Florida, that the idea the government is responsible for anything other than turning a blind eye to what Comcast is doing seems very unlikely to me.
  12. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    What you mean is that their policies are defiant of what you wish the intent of Section 629 is. By law, and in reality, the FCC officials and the courts have the exclusive rights to determine the intent of the act, and through their actions and inactions seem to disagree with you.
  13. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Did you unplug the power and insert the card and restart the TiVo or did they hit the card with the power off to the TiVo? If the power was on when did they send the signal to hit the card? Was it after the S3 went through the several minute boot up process oir during the bottup process?
    I'm trying to figure what else I can do on my own without having to wait another week for the tech to come out and most likely wasting my time becasue they send a tech that won't know what to do, which is what normally happens around here.
  14. cluemeister

    cluemeister New Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Got the S3 for XMAS. Called 800-Comcast the day after, and was told "we can arrange a service call to install the cablecards, but you're better off picking them up at your local office." I confirm the local office address with the comcast rep, and head over. It's on the VT/NH border.

    Walk into local office, and they say "we don't have those here." After further discussion, they say they will order them, and schedule an appointment. They call later in the day to confirm appointment for Friday AM. Not bad, three days after I stop by the office, I say to myself. I confirm it's for 2 cablecards.

    Friday AM comes, the phone rings at the time the rep is supposed to arrive. "We don't have cards here, it's going to take up to two weeks to get them in. We'll reschedule. Call 800-comcast with any questions"

    I call the 800-comcast number, and they have no record of the appt. being cancelled. I ask for the local office number, and I'm told the local office does not have a number. So I have no way to contact the tech who cancelled the appointment.

    I'd like to say I'm surprised.
  15. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Here's what the Act says. It's clear enough that you don't need to be a lawyer to understand its consumer-friendly intent:


    '(a) Commercial Consumer Availability of Equipment Used To Access Services Provided by Multichannel Video Programming Distributors: The Commission shall, in consultation with appropriate industry standard-setting organizations, adopt regulations to assure the commercial availability, to consumers of multichannel video programming and other services offered over multichannel video programming systems, of converter boxes, interactive communications equipment, and other equipment used by consumers to access multichannel video programming and other services offered over multichannel video programming systems, from manufacturers, retailers, and other vendors not affiliated with any multichannel video programming distributor.

    See: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c104:1:./temp/~c104sLsPw9:e228095:

    Fortunately for us consumers, it's premature to report that the FCC and the courts have concluded Comcast is compliant with the Act. If you work for a cable provider like Comcast, you know there is a fierce battle currently ongoing at the FCC level over implementation of Section 629 between cable providers, content providers, and Tivo, and it is not over by any means. Very recent court decisions have upheld FCC interim rules that are harmful to Comcast's efforts to monopolize, control and price the delivering content to homes. The FCC's rulemaking efforts, as required by the Act, are taking a long time because of the ferocity of the combatants.

    You are correct, though, that it remains to be seen what the ultimate outcome will be. Right now, the status-quo favors Comcast and cable providers, because they are able to assess punitive charges against customers like us for choosing other equipment options like Tivo, thus diverting customers and revenue from Tivo to itself. Most of us here in the Tivo Community I'm sure are hoping the FCC can fight through the delaying tactics and get its final rules out implementing Section 629 and limiting the power of cable companies, in time to help companies like Tivo survive.
  16. chrishicks

    chrishicks Tivo Junkie

    Dec 30, 2003
    so I have just tried Comcast twice with the same result - we have our own DVR and we do not support Tivo so our cards won't work with it. I tried asking the lady on the 2nd call if I could just get 2 cards to try it anyway and was shot down. I was informed that a tech must come and install these into tvs only.

    I'm about to try for call #3 now. this is frustrating.

    EDIT: call #3 same old story. immediately the question from the CSR is - "what tv do you have?". I tell them its for a Tivo not a tv. then I get a "oh, our cards do not work with the Tivos. we have our own DVR so we do not support our competition. our cards will not work in the Tivos no matter what". I push on that issue a bit and tell her thats strange as I have been reading here(on this forum) all the people who are using it with their service and she simply tells me "sounds like they're all lying since it will 100% not work with the Tivo period.". at that point I just said thanks and hung up the phone.
  17. Mikala

    Mikala New Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    He called in both cards before we started, giving them three digit numbers off the cards (motorola cards). Then, power off (unplugged), inserted card #1, powered on (plugged it back in), waited a few minutes [while S3 went through several minute boot up process]...waited a few minutes more and then "hit card" #1...waited a minute [he actually then put card #2 in before we had confirmation that card #1 was working], error messages came in on card #1 spaced a few minutes apart, then it worked...he "hit" card #2...i'm pretty sure that's how it went.

    are you taking out and re-inserting your cards and calling in for them to "hit" the cards? i'm a newbie myself, btw...just curious.
  18. Mikala

    Mikala New Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    do you plan to call Tivo and ask them to help?
  19. rocull

    rocull New Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Here's my story of S3 and Comcast.

    I got my S3 a few days before Christmas and scheduled an appointment with Comcast techs, because I was told on the phone that I would not be able to get the cablecards at the local office. Two techs came the day after Chrismas (2 hours after the time they alotted for me, so I am getting a credit for the installation fee as well as $20 bucks for them being late). It took them about an hour to find the right person in Comcast who could activate the cablecards, but finally they were able to do it.

    However, after they left, I realized that none of the premium channels were showing up, so I called Comcast who said that they could not do anything until the next morning. The following morning I called and after about an hour on the phone, being disconnected and all, I was able to actually speak to someone at Comcast who had done TiVo installations before, so she was able to turn on all the programming for me over the phone within 10 minutes.

    On a scale of 1-10, I give Comcast a 2, because they should have set everything up when the 2 techs came, and because of all the bouncing around that I had to go through before I was transferred to someone who knew something.
  20. QZ1

    QZ1 New Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    S.E. PA
    If it weren't so frustating that would be hilarious, 'they don't support their competition', well, it isn't up to them.

    If you want to try again, mention that the FCC mandates that they must support 'All CableCard Devices', and Tivo S3 is 'CableLabs Certified'. And, if they don't comply you will file a complaint with the FCC.

    But really, if they won't listen, you should try calling Tivo next, like the other person said.

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