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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. dschargel

    dschargel New Member

    Nov 21, 2006
    My CableCard experience in Portland, OR...

    Appointment was set for 2-4pm range this afternoon. Tech showed at 12 noon saying that he wanted to give the installation extra time because of what he "heard about these installations." When I asked him if he (or anyone he knew) did one he said that with 60 install techs in Portland region, only 2 had and they both passed on doing mine! I asked him how many cards he brought and he showed me 2 and said "I hope this does it!" I did not have a good feeling about it.

    He immediately found outside problems and corrected some (termination to house) cabling so as to boost my signal. Interestingly, after all is done, my ping and download speeds have improved. NICE!

    Card One went smoothly and, after (1) waiting for MMI screen, (2) tech phoning in the host/data info, and (3) seeing Connected:yes, EnabledByCP:yes, and Auth:SUBSCRIBED in Conditional Access screen, all was good. Card Two went just as smooth - these 3 major steps took 6 minutes to complete.

    After he was done, we were both incredulous that it was finished. I checked HD channels and premium channels on both tuners and there were smiles all around! In the end, he was out of here before his 2 p.m. appointment time!

    It doesn't have to be all bad; I guess I'm one of the lucky ones.

    My tip: patience. When the card goes in, just wait for the MMI screen (took 2 minutes on first card and 1 minute with second card. Don't click around, just be patient. When they call in with the host/data info, just wait for the updates to happen. Don't panic when nothing shows up when testing channels, just be patient. Wait it out.

    My final pricing (without the bill in-hand): First card free, second card $1.50 monthly, $15.99 installation. No $5.00 HD fee. Thanks to all the postings here, I was prepared for what should happen, what error messages would show, and what to watch out for. Thanks all.

  2. John Cavanaugh

    John Cavanaugh New Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    I'm in Hillsboro Oregon and have my cable card appointment scheduled for 10-12 tomorrow morning.

    I've called to confirm and made sure they know it's a Tivo Series 3 and that I want two cable cards.

    Hoping for the best. :)
  3. Gregor

    Gregor save the princess save the world

    Feb 18, 2002
    I would skip the comments about FCC mandate. It got me nowhere and just put them on the defensive.

    If you can, visit your local cable office and discuss the installation with them personally. I got a lot further with a 20 minute conversation in their office than in a couple hours over the phone.

    You can take this document along, which may help.


    You can also call Tivo and they can call on your behalf. When I asked Tivo to do this, they wanted the local phone number for Comcast, which is unlisted here, that was my cue to go visit the local Comcast office.
  4. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    Meanwhile, your 30-day money-back guarantee return period is ticking away.
  5. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    Famous last words. I doubt there has ever been a regulation for which different parties read their own positive slant into the written word. It's still just a matter of you wishing it is in the consumer's favor, when in reality, it almost surely isn't, especially given today's environment, and the trending for the future.

    What's interesting is that you've really not even said explicitly what you feel Comcast is violating in the Section. You might want to clearly explain that, just for completeness. It's all fine and good to wave the regulation around and claim a grievance, but without explicitly saying, "They are doing XXX, and the law says not-XXX," then you're not doing much more than just your standard breast-beating.
  6. lleibeck

    lleibeck lleibeck

    Dec 28, 2006
    I live in Jacksonville Florida, Comcast told me the cards would not work in TIVO and why would they offer that feature when they offer a DVR.

    Called TIVO support who provided me enough info to tell Comcast how to make it work. Took four calls and one service call to make it work.

    No charge for cards.
  7. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    I quoted the Act in a prior post so that others could read it for themselves and form their own opinions, rather than relying on your legal opinion or mine as to whether Comcast is in compliance. I have also explicitly explained in detail what in my opinion are the predatory pricing practices of Comcast apparently designed to put Tivo out of business and deny S3 users an alternative to Comcast's STBs. I refer you to my earlier posts and those of many others in this thread, as well as those of Justin Thyme in the "Cable Cards going away?" thread, which addresses some of these issues on a more technical basis.

    Personal attacks on posters to this forum are always uncalled for, and do not strengthen your arguments in support of Comcast on these issues.
  8. broken TiVo

    broken TiVo New Member

    May 11, 2004

    Hmm, quite the disparity in pricing. I am moving to Orange Park and have my install set up for the 11th of Jan. My cards will be 6.50 a piece. Once I actually arrive I hope to talk them in to a more realistic price.

  9. djnewlin

    djnewlin New Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    Chicago suburb
    I just got my December 28th, 2006 bill in my email today. Curious to see if they finally got the CableCard billing correct, I immediately logged in to see my .pdf of this month's bill.

    It was wrong again - they had charged me $5.99 for my 2nd - 6th CC (I have three S3 boxes), for a grand total of $29.95 for January 5th - February 4th. I called, and after waiting on hold with one CSR was transferred to another (more helpful) CSR. She understood that I had three S3 TiVo DVRs, each with 2 CCs. She put me on hold for a few minutes while she investigated...

    While on hold, I looked at page 4 of the 12/28/2006 bill and noticed the following wording under EQUIPMENT, for the CableCARD fees:
    "CableCARD (First card in device).................. $0.00"
    "CableCARD (Additional card in same device)... $1.50"

    Also, under DIGITAL SERVICES (per month):
    "Digital Additional Outlet Service......................$5.99"

    So here is what the CSR came back with:

    First TiVo box/outlet is free
    First CC in first TiVo is free
    Second CC in first TiVo is $1.50.
    Total for first TiVo S3 = $1.50

    Second TiVo S3 box/outlet is $5.99
    First CC in second S3 is free
    Second CC in second S3 is $1.50
    Total for second TiVo S3 = $7.49

    Third TiVo S3 is same as second S3 = $7.49

    Grand TOTAL = $16.48

    This is better than the $29.95 I was being charged, but not the $7.50 I thought I was going to be charged for 6 CCs, with the first CC free (i.e., 5 x $1.50).



  10. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    What sentence in the regulation prohibits the type of pricing, specifically? It seems to me that you just don't like the fact that their pricing costs more than you want consumers to pay. The regulation itself doesn't prohibit what they're doing.

    I agree completely. Let's hope we can work together to ensure that no one degrades this discussion with personal attacks. :up:
  11. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

    Sep 8, 2000
    $16.48 is correct. Your additional outlet fee is $1 lower than my area.
  12. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    To be honest, it looks reasonable to me. The cable companies are going to "get" a lot of people with their "digital additional output" charges over the next few years. It's something they tried to do for analog many years back, but eventually had to give up when it became easy to evade. But now they can just keep track of decryption devices. Locally, it's $9.95 per additional output, and I've still got 4 TVs on analog service. I dread the day when they drop analog!
  13. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    My complaint is not how much Comcast charges, it is that Comcast charges me more for 2 DVR service using S3s than if I rented 2 Comcast DVRs.

    Again, rather than relying upon your legal opinion or mine as to what the Act requires and whether Comcast is violating it, I refer you and other readers to the language of the Act I quoted previously, and to the facts as reported by me and others on this forum as to Comcast's pricing practices. Your opinion favoring Comcast, and mine in contrast which is opposed to Comcast's anti-S3 and predatory pricing practices, are clear. I think you are clearly wrong, perhaps because you work for Comcast for all I know, but I am but one voice, as are you. Allow other readers to form their own opinions as to whether your interpretation of the law and Comcast's practices makes any sense.
  14. QZ1

    QZ1 New Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    S.E. PA
    I recently got the Comcast 2007 prices/services list, it takes effect on the January bill and for changes made starting Jan. 1.

    What I want to do is buy an S3 and a new secondary TV.
    I know the minimal CC fees.

    *I need to know the Mirroring / A/O Fees, so I chose what services are worth mirroring, and then decide if the S3 and TV are worth it for the secondary room.

    *Please look at your 2007 Prices/Services List, (not your last bill), and see if these items exist anymore.

    Whole House Premium Access
    Digital Classic/Plus A/O
    CC/DVR/STB installation
    HD Box
    (just for my info.)

    *If so, how much are they?
    *And, please note your system.

    They aren't on my list, but I think one or more of these items still exist.
    I realize the local prices could be slightly different.
  15. JTYoung1

    JTYoung1 Member

    Aug 13, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL

    Sorry, I thought I had put that information in my profile. It's fixed now.
  16. jcapple

    jcapple New Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Oakland, CA

    Installation: FREE
    CableCARD1: no charge
    CableCARD2: $1.50

    Monthly fee: $1.50.

    Caveat - credit to our monthly bill $104 (our silver digital total), because the tech was . . . wait for it . . . eight hours late.

    I have never, ever had them even make within 3 hours of their designated window. I plan ahead to ask for specific credits.

    The person I got the original quote from was great - she didn't try to sell me on their stuff at all once she knew why I needed the cablecards.

    The fifth time I called about the "lateness" I got someone (another "she" just as an fyi) who actually took it seriously, got me the credit, went after scheduling supervisors and called me back with status twice.

    The cards took two tries. First very smooth and fast. Second, didn't work, replaced it, could get some channels, but not others, reinitialized - good as gold.
  17. Jan 1, 2007 #1637 of 9367
    John Cavanaugh

    John Cavanaugh New Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    Hillsboro, OR (outside Portland)

    Installation: $16.99
    CableCARD1: no charge
    CableCARD2: $1.50/month


    After 3 hours with a Comcast tech and his supervisor, 7 different cable cards and ~45 minutes on the phone with Tivo customer support the end result is that I have a replacement Tivo being sent from Kentucky (3-5 days UPS) and a direct phone number of a Comcast supervisor to call when the new Tivo gets here so we can try again.


    First, has anyone else had problems with audio (cracks and pops) on their Series 3? I seemed to start having the problems when we started using the cablecards. We tried different cable/component configurations (Tivo HDMI into TV, Tivo RCA into receiver) and still continued to have the problems. Tivo customer support couldn't tell me definitively if there could be a connection between cable cards and audio problems. Because of this issue and all of the cable card problems, Tivo is shipping me a new Tivo to try.

    Second, does anyone have a guide that would tell me what all of the fields in the Conditional Access screen in the cable card menu mean and what are the fields that have to be populated correctly for things to work?

    My first card had:

    Connected: Yes EnabledByCP: Yes
    CA Enable: Possible

    and it worked most of the time (but not all) so I think those are the correct settings.

    On all of the second cards we tried, we usually got something like:

    Connected: Yes EnabledByCP: No
    CA Enable: Not Possible

    and when I went to Test Channels, we would alternate between getting no channels and some channels.

    One of the problems I was having was that none of the Comcast people knew what these all meant. According to them, if the MMI screen came up correctly and I got channel 127, things were fine. I had to explain to them that I wanted to go through all of my channels (regular cable, expanded cable, premium, HD local and HD premium) and things needed to look good on the Conditional Access screen before I pronounced things good to go.

    I'm hoping that there was something wrong with the Tivo that doomed me from the beginning and that the new Tivo will set things right.

    I managed to get a few minutes of a bowl game and NGC-HD and it was impressive. :)
  18. Jan 2, 2007 #1638 of 9367

    bill22704 New Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    I live in Edmonds WA (just N of Seattle); just called Comcast's 1-800 number to schedule installation of their CableCARDs. I was told (1) that the CableCARD costs $12.95 per month; (2) that a second CableCARD would cost an additional $12.95 per month; and (3) that the Cable CARD gives access to not just digital programming but also HD programs -- i.e. the monthly CableCARD fee includes digital access plus HD programming. I tried to explain that I have a TiVo DVR that has 2 built-in tuners, and that this feature allows me to record two different channels simultaneously -- but that this feature works only when I have 2 CableCARDS. The guy on the other end insisted that I would NOT need a second CableCARD in order to enable features downstream of the cable signal. In frustration, I gave up and told him that I would call him back later, because his information differs so much from my own understanding. I guess I'll follow the advice of some other posters to deal only with our local Comcast office. Sheesh. This shouldn't be so difficult. I wonder how much communication TiVo has actually had with Comcast and other cable providers about their dual-tuner DVR.
  19. Jan 2, 2007 #1639 of 9367
    Mike Farrington

    Mike Farrington Active Member

    Nov 16, 2000
    Comcast - Carrol County Maryland

    Installation: $39 (asked about self-installation; was told it wasn't available)
    Card Rental: $1.75/each/month

    Was originally quoted $4.75 per card, but once I told her to look for "2 CableCards for non-Comcast DVRs", she found the right billing code.

    Was offered an installation date two days away, but that was too soon for me. My S3 hasn't even arrived yet. So I pushed them back a week.

    Overall, a very positive experience on the phone, even if she did disappear often (presumably to ask around). She never once requested the model number of the device into which the cable cards were to be inserted. I offered the model number, but she said they don't need it. I took the earliest window (10am-noon) on the day of installation -- just in case they have problems.

    In the end, she said my monthly bill was going up $5 and some change. Not sure what else was causing it, perhaps the addition of some HD fee or an outlet fee. I wanted to keep this call nice and simple and didn't mention that I'd be returning equipment.

    Lets hope the install goes as smoothly as phone call. I doubt it will though, as I've been having signal strength issues recently with my cable.

  20. Jan 2, 2007 #1640 of 9367

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    I wish Comcast only charged me $1.75 per card here in Prince William County. They are charging me $4.95 and everyone I've talked to tells me that price.

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