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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Sep 18, 2006 #161 of 9367
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

    2,211
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    Jan 8, 2006
    This may be dependant on whether you local area is a Motorola or a Scientific Atlanta site.

    For Moto areas, they have to enter pairing information into the Access Controller in the headend. This pairs the CableCARD to the host. They do this to prevent you from taking you CableCARD over to your buddies house for the big game.

    We you in an SA area?
     
  2. Sep 18, 2006 #162 of 9367
    sharding

    sharding New Member

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    Feb 11, 2001
    Seattle/East...
    I don't know what equipment they have in the headend, but our cable boxes are Motorola, and the cable cards I have are Motorola.

    Also, even if they do have to enter something at the headend, they'd have to do the same thing for a Cable Card TV, right? That's my point -- not so much that they don't need any information, but that what they need is no different than it would be for a Cable Card TV.
     
  3. Sep 18, 2006 #163 of 9367
    ah30k

    ah30k Active Member

    2,211
    0
    Jan 8, 2006
    You're right, they do have to do the same thing for a TV. The pairing is needed.

    Maybe your headend has older headend gear that was prior to them requiring pairing.

    CableCARD ID = AAA-BBB-CCC-DDD-c

    Host ID = EEE-FFF-GGG-HHH-c

    Data Field
    • This is a unique randomly generated value created during the CableCARD/Host pairing process. This value is a private security data authenticator utilized by the Motorola Conditional Access System in performance of the functions specified in the CableCARD Copy Protection System specification.

    Unit Address = III-JJJJJ-KKKKK-LLL
    • This is a unique 16 digit decimal value representing the unit address of the CableCARD with the LLL representing the checksum.
     
  4. Sep 18, 2006 #164 of 9367
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    2,013
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    Jul 31, 2003
    Northern...
    It also depends on the head end system software ... billing system software, etc.

    Motorola DAC 2.70 to 2.80.9 didn't require the host pairing information to be entered. Motorola DAC 2.97 and beyond does.

    Similarly, there's some differences in the different SciAtl system releases ...

    Edit: oops ... smeeked
     
  5. Sep 18, 2006 #165 of 9367
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    2,013
    0
    Jul 31, 2003
    Northern...
    Just for fun ... here's a little factoid.

    If you didn't have to provide Comcast with the host pairing information ... if / when they do upgrade their head end system software to something more recent you'll probably have to call up and give it to them (that will be a fun upgrade).
     
  6. Sep 18, 2006 #166 of 9367
    sharding

    sharding New Member

    250
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    Feb 11, 2001
    Seattle/East...
    Yes. I can't wait :p
     
  7. Sep 18, 2006 #167 of 9367
    Jazhuis

    Jazhuis New Member

    107
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    Aug 30, 2006
    Sigh. This is why Comcast != good for my health. My local Comcast (NE Florida) seems to be very good about tacking on extra charges after the fact, without disclosing them ahead of time. Even after you argue them into backing down, they tend to "forget" to credit them, and/or make you pay said charges up front "and then they'll be credited on your next bill."

    I eagerly await everyone's billing reports within the next month.
     
  8. Sep 18, 2006 #168 of 9367
    jetforme

    jetforme New Member

    18
    0
    Sep 18, 2006
    San Carlos, CA
    San Carlos, CA: I thought I was going to be able to get my TS3 last weekend, so I called Comcast to pick up a couple of cards. They told me that the local office did not have them, and that a tech was required to install them. I tried to let them know that this was hardly necessary, but they said that's the way it is.

    On a more positive note, they did indicate that the installation charge was small (less than $25) for both cards, and that there was no monthly rental fee. That was very nice. It occurred to me that renting a card at $5.95/ea/mo was more expensive than renting the crummy moto PVR, so I was pleased to hear that there was no charge.

    Now, here's the thing: the guy is scheduled to come out on Friday to "install" the two cards, but I still can't get a TS3. I have a slot in my TV, so that will accommodate one card, but hopefully he'll just leave the second card there.
     
  9. Sep 18, 2006 #169 of 9367
    Larry in TN

    Larry in TN New Member

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    Jun 20, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    Well, the TiVo doesn't tell the cable system anything. The TiVo is not a two-way device. The required information is displayed on a couple of screens which come up automatically when the cableCARD is inserted or can be accessed from the setup menus. You, or the installer, will read numbers from those screens to the cable company for them to enter into their system.
     
  10. Sep 18, 2006 #170 of 9367
    Larry in TN

    Larry in TN New Member

    244
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    Jun 20, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    My understanding is that it will work either way.
     
  11. Sep 18, 2006 #171 of 9367
    Omnius

    Omnius New Member

    23
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    May 30, 2006
    I'm now pushed off to Oct 5th. Its unbelievable how inept Comcast is, at least in my area.

    Here is some advice from my experience over the past week:

    1. Don't try to do too much at once. If you want to turn in your current DVR and get cable cards for the TiVo, skip the part about turning in your current DVR and stick with the cable card part. Once you get the cable cards, ask the installer if he can take the DVR back with him. If not, either call for a separate appointment to pickup the DVR, or drop the DVR off yourself at a payment center.

    2. Make them make a note on the work order that it requires an "in house" tech rather than a contractor. At least in my area, contractors are not allowed to install cable cards. They can not directly specify on the work order which type of tech to send out, it is up to the "dispatcher" in your area to send out the right person. Evidently the person in my area is an idiot because I got a contractor with no cable cards two days in a row.

    3. Do your best to get an answer right away about anything you need. If they tell you they will call you back, they won't. I had three different people promise to call me back "within the hour" and not a single one ever called me back.

    4. If you don't get a good answer, hang up and call back. Different people will give you different answers for just about anything.

    5. If they screw up your appointment like they did mine, call them back up and give them hell about it. It involved a lot of stress and time talking to different people, but I was eventually able to get credits totaling $225.34 for two botched installation appointments.

    6. Get the name and ID # of each person you talk to. Keep a detailed record of the time and date that you talk to each person, and exactly what they promised you. This could prove helpfull later when they inevitably screw you over and you are on the phone yet again talking to different person. Once you start spitting out names and IDs of everybody you've talked to, and how you want to speak to their manager because you are getting the run-around, they'll know your serious and they don't need to just "get rid of you", because you'll call back and continue to make their life miserable.
     
  12. Sep 18, 2006 #172 of 9367
    uw69

    uw69 Member

    403
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    Jan 25, 2001
    Washington
    Just reading through some of this thread it's amazing what the different answers folks are getting from Comcast.

    I also live in the Puyallup Washington area and when I called Comcast it's 1 free cable card, $6.95 per month for the 2nd and $16.95 one time install fee.

    Beacuse I was going to transfer a life time subscription I was really hoping to get away from monthly fees....apparently not so.
     
  13. Sep 18, 2006 #173 of 9367
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    That $6.95/mo isn't the cost of the CableCard, it's the cost of another TV outlet. Make clear to Comcast that both cards go into the same TV, and that your new TV needs two CableCards to work, and you can avoid that fee.

    Multistream cards will be available in late October or early November -- when that happens, you will only need one card for your Series3. Multistream CableCards do the work of two regular CableCards.
     
  14. Sep 18, 2006 #174 of 9367
    sharding

    sharding New Member

    250
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    Feb 11, 2001
    Seattle/East...
    If we're not charged for the rental of either card, and we're not being charged an outlet fee, will there be any benefit to swapping out for a multistream card? I'd rather not change anything now that it's working, unless there's a good reason (in other words, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it").
     
  15. Sep 18, 2006 #175 of 9367
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
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    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    I think I've posted this in this thread before. To find the FAQ search for "cable card" (complete with quotes). Its located at: http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq/FaqDetails.ashx?ID=2540

    The relevant FAQ is near the end:

    Q: I thought that by purchasing a digital-cable-ready TV set that I would receive the same services I currently get with my Digital Cable box. If I can’t get the same services with a CableCARD, why am I being charged the same price?

    A: Your digital cable-ready TV can receive all of the Digital Cable services you currently enjoy which are included in your monthly subscription fee; however certain features will require a Digital Cable box. Comcast is happy to provide you with a Digital Cable box at no additional charge for your primary cable outlet.*
     
  16. Sep 18, 2006 #176 of 9367
    btwyx

    btwyx Substantive Member

    11,331
    0
    Jan 16, 2003
    Mountain...
    That's about what I was going to say. I'll carry on with the 2 cards unless I see an advantage to swapping them.
     
  17. Sep 18, 2006 #177 of 9367
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    7,902
    0
    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    If you aren't being charged for two standard CableCards, then there is no reason to replace them with a Multistream CableCard.
     
  18. Sep 18, 2006 #178 of 9367
    keenanSR

    keenanSR Member TCF Club

    915
    2
    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    Thanks, I have the sneaky suspicion I'm going to need all the data I can get when it comes to dumping the 6412 and Expanded Basic, and Digital Classic. It should be interesting.
     
  19. Sep 18, 2006 #179 of 9367
    mahk

    mahk New Member

    17
    0
    Mar 1, 2005
    In the spirit of posting good stories along with the bad -- I have to say I just had a great experience with the Comcast CSR.

    After reading this thread for 4 days straight, I called 800-COMCAST and was prepared to do battle. I asked to be connected with the department that deals with CableCards, and the CSR asked if I already had one or if I needed some. I said that I needed two, and she asked if I had ordered "one of those new Tivos" -- I said yes, and she said "no problem."

    No spiel about VOD or any of that -- she just put me on hold, got back on the line and said that she was having some trouble finding the codes because it's new to them, put me on hold again, then got back on the line and said everything was all set and we made an appointment for Saturday.

    At the end of the call, she reminded me to hang on to the receipt when I turned in the old box to make sure I get the correct credit on my bill. She even closed the call with "congratulations on that new Tivo."

    I'm thinking that maybe the CSRs received some training recently?

    We'll see what happens Saturday with the install, but I have to say that the phone experience was way better than I planned.

    Anyway, just throwing good karma out there -- I know most people tend to post when things go wrong, but wanted to pass along at least one positive story.

    Best of luck everyone with your installs!
     
  20. Sep 18, 2006 #180 of 9367
    aressa

    aressa New Member

    31
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    May 9, 2002
    I went to the Redmond WA Comcast office and picked up the two cablecards no-questions-asked. I just walked up to the counter, asked for two cable cards, and two minutes later I was out the door.

    I did not bug them about how much they were going to cost me, but I'll do that next weekend or so when I go return the 6412, and after I know the S3 will be all set up to record HD, and after we watch all of the HD content still stored on the 6412.
     

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