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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Jan 2, 2007 #1641 of 9367

    SC0TLANDF0REVER I Love my TiVo!

    Dec 9, 2001
    Raleigh, NC
    Would you mind giving an itemized billing rundown?
    My S3 arrives on Thursday.
    I'm in NoVa as well and curious to know the details.
  2. Jan 2, 2007 #1642 of 9367

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    I just got my first bill and it's alittle confusing since there are multiple partial months listed.
    But they do list the digital package at $29.95 which is the deal I got for 12 months that includes Showtime and HBO channels. They have a $19.80 charge for Digital Service which is supposed to be for the four cable cards I have. If I can get the cable cards for less that would be great. I'llbe adding two more trhis weekend and hopefully they will get the CC working properly and decypting the encrypted channels.
  3. Jan 2, 2007 #1643 of 9367

    MPeter New Member

    Jun 4, 2002
    Haverhill, MA
    In Haverhill, Massachusetts ('burb of Boston):

    First CableCard - Free
    Each additional - $2.50/ea per month

    For the 2 cards install was quoted at $30.05 (no self installation available yet).

    I was able to get the installation fee waived as I decided to upgrade my Comcast package during the same tech visit.

    Now just crossing my fingers that the tech will know how to get the cards working in the Series 3!
  4. Jan 2, 2007 #1644 of 9367

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Comcast views Tivo as their competition. Cable cards make it possible for Tivo to compete. If you were a Comcast corporate officer, how much money and effort would you put into training your employees to install cable cards into S3s so as to minimize the problems of persons who chose to buy Tivo S3s rather than renting Comast DVRs? If you were a Comcast employee knowing that Tivo is taking money out of your company's revenues and reducing its profits, how much would you care to do the job of installing cable cards right? If you were a Comcast tech support person, how much would you really care to know about programming the cards correctly, and doing it right the first time? If you were a Comcast employee making posts to this thread, what would you say about which company was responsible for this mess - Comcast or Tivo?

    Most of these questions answer themselves. It's a wonder that any of us have been able to overcome the obstacles Comcast throws our way. And that's before you get Comcast's punitive bill for cable boxes you don't have or need. If you persist, though, you are rewarded with a vastly superior DVR product. Generally, the products of any monopoly are lousy, and Comcast is no exception.

    This coming July the FCC is going to make Comcast start using cable cards in its own boxes. That should greatly improve the situation, as Comcast will then be competing with any company that can provide a box that uses cable cards. Comcast is fighting the FCC to put that deadline off, or eliminate it, for very obvious reasons. Let's all hope the FCC sticks to its guns.
  5. Jan 3, 2007 #1645 of 9367

    hdtvoice New Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    A contractor for Comcast (south jersey) came to my house yesterday to do the cablecard install.

    I already had one cablecard installed in my tv, so he brought 2 more.

    He Was Clueless... But he said he never did a cablecard install.

    Anyways, we did cablecard port 1 first and all the channels came in after 10 minutes.

    CableCard 2 seemed to work as well, but last night i noticed some of the channels still werent showing up (espnhd, showtime hd), but some hd channels were.

    I guess I should call comcast and tell them to re-zap the second cablecard?
  6. Jan 3, 2007 #1646 of 9367

    Adam1115 20,000!!! TCF Club

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    No they DON'T view TiVo as a competitor... TiVo and Comcast are PARTNERS, with TiVo actively developing TiVo software for Comcast DVR's!!

    You could argue, maybe, that they view the Series3 as competitive, but they'd have to be morons to not realize that while they might be missing out on some revenue from PPV's, they are certainly benefiting far beyond that from all the people leaving Satellite and switching to cable to use their brand new TiVo....

    I think the problems with cablecards are far less strategic. I think Comcast employees just aren't very bright...

    I mean try discussing cable internet problems or the fact that they shouldn't charge you a service call to replace a cable modem that you are renting from them that is DOA...
  7. Jan 3, 2007 #1647 of 9367

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Your emphasis makes it seem as though you are very sure you are right, but I don't think you've had the opportunity to read the filings of Tivo and the Cable Companies before the FCC. Currently, they are battling over the FCC's July 07 deadline for Comcast (and other cablecos) to start using cable cards in its own boxes. Both Tivo and the CableCompanies, and the FCC itself, recognize them as competitors. Tivo and the Cable Companies are battling furiously, with Comcast among other cablecos trying to delay or eliminate that deadline requirement, and Tivo fighting for it. Partners don't act like that. But don't take my word for it. Read their own written statements.

    When that battle is done, and the winner declared, both Tivo and Comast will have a financial interest in working together, with the loser salvaging something from the winner. You can call them partners then. But now, they are in mortal combat. Tivo will survive and thrive if it prevails, and Comcast's revenues will go down. If Tivo loses, Comcast's revenue is secure, and may well cause Tivo to go out of business.

    A similar scenario occurred with telephones and the AT&T monopoly a generation ago. Inferior phones and high charges were the result of AT&T's monopoly, until competitors were allowed to sell telephones and compete with the telcos for in-house equipment (at much higher quality and features, and much lower price). AT&T fought it, naturally, but the consumer won. Hopefully, the same scenario will play out with the cableco industry.
  8. Jan 3, 2007 #1648 of 9367

    ewilts Who, me?

    Feb 26, 2002
    Mounds View, MN
    Two things: first, get them to verify that you really have both CableCards properly added to your account. second, have them send a "hit" to the cards. You're probably getting the unencrypted HD channels (the locals and possibly PBS) but not the encrypted ones, which ESPN HD and Showtime HD usually are.

    I had a similar problem and after they cleaned up their end, everything was (and still is) fine.

  9. Jan 3, 2007 #1649 of 9367

    arlingtonian New Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    I had Comcast come out to install 2 CC's into a Series 3 right before the New Year (and all the good Bowl games.) The installers came about halfway through their 2 hour window and were knowledgable about the S3, but issued a disclaimer right away that the Cable Card process is hit or miss.

    I watched them insert and gather info from the cards ( 5 minutes)

    They then called the head-end for activation (they were on hold for about 25-30 minutes)

    I went out to smoke a cigarette, and upon return was greeted with a fully functioning S3 and all the High Def glory I dreamed of.

    Done in about 40-45 minutes.

    Later I reconfigured my entertainment system and the Cable Cards didn't work as before. From this forum, I figured they needed to be re-hit. This was late at night, and I called Comcast to do it. Long story short, they CSR's/Techs did not rehit the cards, and scheduled me for a service visit right away.

    The new techs were capable, not as smooth as the first, but had me rolling in 30 minutes, after spending 20 minutes on hold.

    Everything now is Great! No issues whatsoever.

    If the cards are good, and the head-end cooperates, this is as simple and as quick as can be. While little comfort to those who have had problems, know that the S3 with Cable Cards can work beautifully, and go a long way to easing clutter.
  10. Jan 3, 2007 #1650 of 9367

    Speeden71 New Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    Tucker, GA...
    Help. I am in cablecard hell!!!! I scheduled an HD upgrade(Comcast HD settop-no DVR plus 2 cablecards for my Series 3 Tivo for Dec 27. One hour before arrival I get a call. "Uh, we don't have any cablecards right now, do you still want us to bring the HD settop?" I asked why did they schedule the appointment if they didn't have any cable cards? "Well, they[whoever they is?] didn't know we were out. We had a big run because of Christmas." So I told them to bring the settop box and reschedule the cablecard delivery and not charge me for 2 visits. Reschedule was today, Jan 3. Installer could not get through to get the cards authorized. Decided to leave. Said he "would keep trying" while on the rest of his calls. Yeah right. I had to go to work. Cards are still not authorized. I guess I will have to fight the battle when I get home from work. This is Atlanta Comcast. They are awful.
  11. Jan 3, 2007 #1651 of 9367

    Adam1115 20,000!!! TCF Club

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver ish
    So maybe they disagree on that particular point. Maybe Comcast would prefer TiVo not to making the Series3. They don't have to be best pals, but they ARE partners whether you think so or not. Comcast is paying TiVo to develop software. Do you hire your bitter competitor to write code for your product in business? Does that make sense?
  12. Jan 3, 2007 #1652 of 9367

    oysterhead New Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    Oakland, CA

    Comcast guy came yesterday...on time...brought 4 cards just in case...he read through the Tivo instructions even though he had done one before...installed the cards with no problem. All channels come in great. No issues!

    Niiiiiiiiiiiiice, I'm part of the S3 crowd now!
  13. Jan 3, 2007 #1653 of 9367

    DeathRider New Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    Boston Area RCN
    Why not, if they have a superior product?

    If the cablecos win, then they can still put theTiVo software in their DVRs and possbly kill future sales of TiVos by offering the "same" service/quality through them. Or they can just "stop" development and pay TiVo for services rendered...

    If they lose, then they are further along towards competitiveness than if they sat on the sidelines. They would have a far better competitive product than before.

    We want the cable cos to lose, so even if a customer gets a DVR from the cable co, iVo is still getting revenue. And with better competition, might be better TiVo pricing (and TiVo wouldn't have to dump so much money into the legal fees).

    Didn't Microsoft purchase a portion of Apple afew years back? Does that make sense?
  14. Jan 3, 2007 #1654 of 9367

    btwyx Substantive Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    They did. MicroSoft's Apple software business is very profitable for them. They're competitors in the OS market, but that competition saved them fom anti-trust lawsuits. MicroSoft has sound business reasons for wanting Apple as a competitor.
  15. Jan 3, 2007 #1655 of 9367

    SC0TLANDF0REVER I Love my TiVo!

    Dec 9, 2001
    Raleigh, NC
    So I just got off the phone w/ Comcast to schedule the truck roll for the CCs.

    Apparently, they are merging with Adelphia in the NoVa area where I reside and the CCC was an Adelphia rep - but he could 'take care of Comcast customers'.
    So after the 15 minute hold, the painful experience of having him trying to find my account, and him digging around for the 'upgrade' to CCs, he says that they are not avail in my area.

    He suggested I go to my local office. Since I need to pay the bill, I'll do just that, and see what happens. Funny, another Reston resident had no issues...

    My luck I guess. Or am I missing the 'secret squirrel password' to get what I need? Any Local NoVa Comcast cutomers have similar difficulty? Can anyone suggest the next step(s)?

    Ok, I'm gonna start reading this 56 page thread from start to finish... BBL.
  16. Jan 4, 2007 #1656 of 9367

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    The word "partners" can mean entirely different things to different people, I suppose. Dictionary.com defines partner to be "a contributor of capital in a business or a joint venture, usually sharing its risks and profits." So that's a pretty strong word to describe the business relationship between Tivo and Comcast, at least as the word is generally understood. Again, as in your last message, your emphasis indicates you are quite certain of the depth of Tivo and Comcast's relationship, despite the war they are fighting at the FCC. The US bought titanium from the USSR during the Cold War, but that did not make them partners if you ask most people. You are entitled to your own definition, of course.

    Do you have any documentary evidence to show Tivo and Comcast are sharing profits? Or that at least rebuts the documents available at the FCC that say they are enemies? My guess is that you do not. As far as the future of the industry and customer choice, in my opinion the proposed interface licensing plan is small potatoes compared to the economic impact of the watershed battle now pending at the FCC.
  17. Jan 4, 2007 #1657 of 9367

    bguzik Barry R. Guzik

    Jan 6, 2002
    McMurray, PA
    It is documented and well known that TiVo and Comcast are jointly developing a TiVo based interface for Comcast's Motorola and Scientific Atlanta Set-Top boxes. This is scheduled for release sometime in Q1 2007 in certain markets.

    So, I would venture to say that would make them partners. However, CableCards are a different thing altogether. All of the MSOs have made no bones about the fact that they absolutely hate CC and would not deploy them unless forced to do so by the FCC.

    Be that as it may, my new TiVo Series 3 is working just fine now in SW PA former Adelphia (now Comcast) market. There was however much "pain" in the installation.

    Everyone here should keep in mind that "Provisioning" and "Billing" are two completely different "computer" systems. The actual "Provisioning" computer systems are ONLY allowed to be accessed by MSO System administrative personnel. All other employees must go through the "Billing System" interface. This is were most of the problems lie. If the correct codes are not entered in the "Billing System", that system can never correctly inform the actual Provisioning Servers of what you're authorized to receive. In addition, if there is a "disconnect" between the Billing platform and the Provisioning Servers, it doesn't matter HOW correct your entries look in the "Billing" screens. Until the actual Provisioning Servers have the correct information, you will be unauthorized.

    (And this my friends was exactly MY issue for installation....but no one at Comcast/Adelphia had a clue about this. After several days of "pain", I was finally able to speak to someone who followed my instructions and was able to get the CCs working....unfortunately, I already KNOW my bill is going to be incorrect....which is most likely going to screw up my CCs authorization once they correct...we'll see...)

    If I could make one suggestion here for everyone about CC install (Which I'm sure has been mentioned already)....DO NOT, REPEAT DO NOT, let them put all the CCs on your account at once! DO ONE CC at a time, make sure it works, and then move on to add the next card to your account.

  18. Jan 4, 2007 #1658 of 9367

    PaulS Member

    Sep 16, 2002
    Southern NH
    Hmmm... I'm also in an Adelphia->Comcast town in southern NH. Just yesterday, I called 1-800-COMCAST to set up the install for my CC's. It went a little something like this :

    CSR : "What can I do for you today?"
    me : "I'd like to add a couple of CableCards to my account."
    CSR : "OK. You know that will increase your bill by $3.75/month? There will also be a one-time charge of $16 because we need to come to your home to install them cards."
    me : "Yup."
    CSR : "Do you want to also schedule the return of your DVR?"
    me : "Not yet. Wanna make sure my new DVR works before returning the old one."
    CSR: "OK. We'll be there on Tuesday".
    me : "OK"

    So, I never mentioned TiVo, nor did she. However, she probably knew it, since she asked me if I wanted to return my SA 8300 POS.
  19. Jan 4, 2007 #1659 of 9367

    danitaz New Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    We were supposed to get our cable installed last Friday (we've been on Dish Network), but due to the storms in Denver they rescheduled for yesterday. While I didn't have things working properly by the time the tech left last night, I did have a tech get everything working for me over the phone this a.m. Last night all we were getting was unscrambled channels through the cards, and the operator at the office said that we were like 250 in the queue for hits, and the cable guy had to leave. He said that if things weren't working by morning to phone the office and someone there would either help me over the phone or set up a service call if it wouldn't work! Within about 15 minutes over the phone we got both cable cards working, and I'm set to go.

    I would say that Comcast was very accommodating here in the Denver area. While the cable installer misread the order and didn't have the proper cards with him when he arrived (15 minutes early I might add) , the CO is about 10 miles from here, and he ran back and got them. Then he said that our signal was really bad and needed a house amp, but that he didn't have one on the truck and would setup another call for someone to come back. However, we weren't getting any signal to the cable cards so he called the CO and someone brought out the necessary equipment for the amplification. He knew to only set up one card at a time, but I think he got overanxious because he was running very late by then, and put the second card in after he saw that we could get the local HD channels, and didn't wait for the premium channels because the guy at the office said it might take 3 hours to clear the hit backlog! He was here about 3-1/2 hours, and had to leave, and I'm the patient type, so I didn't fuss too much about that. This morning I popped the second card out, a new tech and I got the first card working over the phone, I put the second card back in and boom, it was all perfect :) Reading about things like this on these boards helped tremendously in that, and knowing what to do from this side made the fix quite painless.

    Maybe I was naive in being so confident that things would get worked out early this a.m., but hey, they did! So, I'm happy :) - Now all I have to do is phone Dish Network and cancel our service with them!

  20. Jan 4, 2007 #1660 of 9367

    nlowhor New Member

    Jul 11, 2003
    Germantown, MD
    I'm trying to justify the purchase of a S3 by a decrease in my monthly cable bill. I'm currently using a Comcast DVR(6412, iGuide) in Montgomery Co., MD. I also have internet with Comcast.

    I checked with them about cablecards and was told that the first would be free and the second $1.50. However, I didn't manage to get any good information on cheaper packages that I could get after ditching their DVR.

    If I just want basically the standard cable channels, HD channels(including ESPN, TNT, etc), the sports pack, and internet, what should I expect to be charged? Also, what package should I ask about?(Extended Basic, Digital Classic?)

    I'm heading over to the Comcast office later to find out more. Just need some info going in.


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