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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. jeffsinsfo

    jeffsinsfo Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    San Francisco
    I suppose they are assuming that they already have the other numbers. Unless you've moved the card, the host and data numbers should be the same. So by giving them the card's serial number, they should know the host and data numbers. Of course if they didn't put these in their database correctly to begin with, then they don't have the correct values.

  2. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    I'm paying over $50/month for 5 cable cards in S. Fla. You guys out west are lucky. My Comcast reps tell me to ditch the S3s, their DVRs are cheaper to rent. And with S.Fla. Comcast pricing structure, they are right.
  3. jeffk

    jeffk New Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    boca raton, FL
    I'm in South Florida and have Comcast [old Adelphia], and am paying i think it was 3.75 or 4.00 for 2 cards. i think it was 2.50 for the 2nd card, and like 1.25 or so for the first one.

  4. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    In South Miami-Dade County, just two counties away from you, they are charging $5.00 for HD service and $6.95 additional outlet for EACH cable card. Originally, they were charging me $4.95 for the additional outlet charge for each, but when I called to complain and cite to others on this forum that were being charged far less, rather than cutting my charges, they bumped them all up to $6.95 each saying they'd made a mistake. I even called Comcast's customer service number in Philly, who initially said the charges were too high, but after a while on hold confirmed that those charges were right. Which suggests to me that Comcast HQ knows and approves of these price variations amongst the various local operations.
  5. ac3dd

    ac3dd New Member

    Mar 2, 2002
    I'm in Broward County in South Florida. If they give me any crap I'll drop the digital and premium channels, get a big indoor antenna and increase my Blockbuster subscription for a couple more DVDs out at a time. And I'll tell Comcast exactly why I'm doing it.
  6. ac3dd

    ac3dd New Member

    Mar 2, 2002
    $6.95 X 2? Do you also have a cable box, so the cable box counts as the "first outlet"? If all you have is the TiVo, how/why did BOTH cards become "additional outlets"?
  7. chrishicks

    chrishicks Tivo Junkie

    Dec 30, 2003
  8. Squeege96

    Squeege96 New Member

    May 1, 2006
    Richmond, VA
    To anyone in the Richmond area, I had a CC install with Comcast over the weekend that went flawless. The installer actually showed up EARLY, too. He was there for a total of 30 mins, the cards were provisioned without any issues, and he even wrote down all of the relevant cablecard info for me to hold onto incase there were any issues down the road.

    He said he had installed over a dozen of them, and that he only had one bad install with a defective CC.

    IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE!!! --except for the $18.75 roll out fee. But I can live with that;)
  9. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    I have no cable boxes, DVRs, HD boxes, or any other Comcast piece of equipment in my house other than 5 cable cards. They charge me $5 for each cable card to get the HD channels that come with my digital service package, plus $6.95 for each card as an "additional outlet." Except the first card in my kitchen TV that is not charged $6.95, since I get that one outlet free with my cable service package, they say. That's $52.80 per month for 5 cards.

    That means I'm paying $23.90 per S3 - greater than if I'd just rent a Comcast DVR instead. I've spoken to 4 Comcast supervisers, untold numbers of customer service reps, and even Comcast HQ in Philly, and all claim these charges are right, and that I should just simply dump the S3s and go with their DVRs. Which I believe is transparently the goal of these pricing strategies (as well as the incompetent cable-card installation strategy) for me and anyone else using a competitor's product.

    They all profess disbelief when I tell them this forum informs me that others don't pay so much. They say that the $5 and $6.95 charges are not for boxes, but for "services." They say that when they provide someone an HD box and charge them $5.00, it's for the HD service, not the box. They say that when they provide someone an additional set-top box for a second TV, the $6.95 is for the additional service, not the box. With a straight face, they say those boxes are free. And the say each cable card needs those additional "services" before they will program it to work. Of course, the charges were for boxes until they figured out a change of wording could increase their income, hurt the DVR competition, and beat back the threat of cable-cards to their set-top box monopoly, all at the same time.

    During pre-digital days, when TVs became cable-ready, people turned in their set-top boxes and added any number of TVs to the house without being charges for "additional outlets." Only premium channels like HBO were scrambled, so you could do without a box if you could do without HBO. Comcast is re-wording things to keep that from happening again, as well as scrambling all the digital channels so TV manufacturers cannot make their TVs cable-ready any more. Soon, even the "outlet-free" analog channels may be gone, and everyone will have to get a box again. Comcast is also fighting the FCC's July 1 deadline requiring them to use their own cable cards in their set-top boxes, so that Comcast can keep their confiscatory pricing on the cable cards to make them non-competitive with their boxes and to keep the monopoly intact.

    If the pricing strategy Comcast is using in my area holds up, and absent FCC action I don't know why it would not, I would not be surprised to see Comcast go national with it.

    If my S3s worked with satellites, or if Fios were in my neighborhood, Comcast would have lost me as a customer months ago. In my area, you need a roof-top antenna to get HD broadcast channels, but even going that far does not provide any HD cable channels, of course, so it is not a complete solution.
  10. ac3dd

    ac3dd New Member

    Mar 2, 2002
    Allowing the cable companies to charge what they want for the cards and "outlets" is the big loophole in the law. The cards should be owned by the consumer and then sent to the cable company to program. Otherwise they can still charge as much (or more!) for the cards as they used to charge for the boxes, defeating the purpose of the regulation altogether.

    I think you need to write to the FCC. Comcast isn't supposed to use CableCard as an expensive proprietary device in a manner that is effectively no different from having their proprietary boxes.
  11. DeathRider

    DeathRider New Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    Boston Area RCN
    I would guess they are fighting the deadline, because once they have to comply, they would have to charge everybody for 2 cards per box, or nobody.

    At least here in Ma, RCN only scrambles HDNET, HDMOV, and DISHD. ESPNHD, NESNHD, FSNHD are not.

    And, they only charge HBO per household, not per box like I was in NJ. I don't even want to see what Comcast would charge me.
  12. dconner

    dconner Member

    Mar 13, 2004
    God damn it, these people are unbelievable! My second service appointment (to finish the job that wasn't finished the first time because the goddamn head end won't answer their telephone), and nobody shows up, and Comcast insists that I never made an appointment, or perhaps that I scheduled an appointment for earlier yesterday, utilizing Comcast's time travel repair system.

    Now they say they'll show up on Wednesday, and I'll believe it when I see it....
  13. Warlord46

    Warlord46 New Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    Miami, FL
    I already have. And no, they are not. But they do it anyway, at least here in south Miami-Dade County. Do not ask for whom the bell tolls .... You're next.
  14. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    I was going to drop this conversation since you were becoming more nasty than informative, but since you're continuing your comments....
    And what precisely do you call your claims that the S3 shouldn't have been released? You believe that we shouldn't have our S3's ; I see no way for us to get our TiVos unless TiVo releases the S3 :confused:

    You clipped the paragraphs which were the evidence and development of my argument!!! This was not exhortation, this was solid arguments backed up with facts, which are in very short supply in your messages.

    And I completely agree with you, and have never claimed otherwise. The S2 was much more robust than the S3. But that's because it didn't interoperate with any new hardware or software or signals controlled by anyone else. When TiVo released both HMO and TiVoToGo there was much more complaining about TiVo than there was for the S2 or there is now.

    And your absolutely wrong about that. I was active helping folks in the HMO introduction and very active helping folks in the TiVoToGo introduction. There was much more anger directed at TiVo in those two introductions than there is now with S3. Most of the anger in this thread is directed at Comcast. (And to use your phrase; the total number of complaints about anything in this S3 forum is not even in the same ballpark as the complaints directed at TiVo for TiVoToGo.)

    Most of the problems in this forum are caused by the cable companies not supporting cablecards at the level they are legally required to do. Most of the rest of the S3 problems seem to be the normal teething problems you get any time you release a product that depends on interoperating with a large number of other systems that are not under your control. Unlike you, I see no good reason why the S3 should not have been released.
  15. xpansion2012

    xpansion2012 New Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Howdy folks,

    I would like to thank every everyone on this thread for sharing their experiences, especially those from the Seattle area. Your incites and experiences helped make my experience a very simple and time efficient process. Here are the steps I made:

    1. 12/30/06 - Purchased TIVO S3 from pagecomputers $629.86 (inc shipping)

    2. 12/30/06 - Purchased Westinghouse LVM-42W2 from pagecomputers $1355.67 (inc shipping)

    3. 12/30/06 - Walked to comcast center - 1140 N 94th Street (just east of Aurora Ave)
    a. stood in line for 15 minutes.
    b. Asked "May I have 2 cableCards"
    c. Without blinking, CSR asked me for my phone number, clicked a few drop downs, walked to the "stock room", got 2 cards and returned to her seat, scanned both cards, printed a receipt which I signed and said thank you, Have a great new years. (no questions, no hassles, wait time 15 minute, CSR time 3 min)

    4. 01/07/06 - received Westinghouse LVM-42W2

    5. 01/10/06 - received TIVO S3

    6. 01/10/06 - CableCard installing begins:
    a. installed RED cableCARD in slot 1. immediately got 161-1 error
    b. removed card and replaced with BLUE EARTH cableCARD MMI screen appeared.
    c. called 1-800-COMCAST
    - on hold 10 minutes
    - CSR answers "Identify yourself"
    - I id myself and ask "I would like my cableCard activated please"
    - CSR answers "What is the S/N?"
    - I answer approprately.
    - CSR Responds "Ok, I"ve done that"
    - 3 seconds later, "161-4 Error on screen". I say thank you and goodbye and the call ends.
    d. Walk back to Comcast Center
    e. repeated step 2 except I say "this card is bad, I would like a
    replacement please preferably one with the earth on the
    sticker. Response was "Ok, If I have one". She did and I
    thank her (total wait time 10 minutes; CSR time 2 minutes)
    f. Walked home
    g. Check channels for card 1. All channels available including
    Encore premium channels
    h. installed replacement card in slot 2. Immediately get MMI
    i. called back 1-800-comcast
    j. CSR was very inquisitive. Why do you have 2 cards?
    - I answer "My TV has 2 slots"
    - CSR Responds "ok (slightly questioning tone) SN please
    - He sends signal then asked (you don't have a TIVO do you)
    - 161-4 error on screen
    - AS the "you" is coming out the CSR's mouth I say....that's it
    thank you and have a great day.
    - CSR Responds, "Oh, ok, thanks for calling Comcast..."
    k. After Acquiring channels screen returns I wait 20 minutes
    L. Checked all the channels for both cards...SUCCESS.
    M. Redid Guided setup.

    7. 01/14/06 - Comcast Bill arrives
    1st cableCArd $0.00
    2nd cableCARD $0.00
    monthly billing has not changed.

    Again, this was with respect to the Seattle area. YMMV in different areas of the country. Thanks again to all the people who posted their experiences. Your experiences allowed me to have a very simple and efficient (and somewhat pleasurable.....the walks to comcast were quite nice) experience.

  16. wilrod

    wilrod New Member

    Dec 24, 2006
    Follow up post:

    I just received my first Comcast bill since exchanging their Moto STB for two Moto (blue) cable cards. The bill shows a credit of $11.95 for the DVR service and a new section on their bill labeled "One-time charges and credits." This section shows the following two entries:

    12/23 Comcast Cable Card 0.00 :up:
    12/23 Comcast Cable Card 0.00 :up: :up:

    There are no other changes or surprises in billing.

    I will monitor my billing to see if the "One-time charges and credits" section goes away or is repeated each month.

    As a recap my experience with Comcast was pleasant and uneventful:
    1) Exchanged STB for 2 CCs at the Redmond Comcast full-service store
    2) Went home, plugged in both CCs into S3, took down numbers
    3) Called Comcast, gave them the requested Host and Data numbers
    4) Three "hits" later, all subscribed channels are showing up on both cards

    The worst part of all this was waiting over 30 minutes at the very busy Comcast store, but the CSR there was very pleasant and efficient. YMMV.

    SC0TLANDF0REVER I Love my TiVo!

    Dec 9, 2001
    Raleigh, NC
    Same exact thing w/ my installer as far as the ph# to call the "Head End".
    I called around 3PM - dunno, maybe they take an extended lunch? ;)

    Sounds like the 2 appts I had before they eventually got their asses in gear and showed up 1.5 hrs late for the 3rd appt.
  18. dconner

    dconner Member

    Mar 13, 2004
    What happened at your latest appointment? Are you able to get all your channels yet? I'm in the same position you were - just the "basic analog" lineup plus the local HD channels.
  19. OzDave

    OzDave New Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    The Comcast guy that I spoke with said that CC installs into TVs are much much harder and take much longer than the TiVos. He says that some TV brands don't seem to work with any CC they have. He says they just try different cards till something works. He was happy that the issue I had him fix (correct the Data number stored at their end to match what I had) was with a TiVo, as the docs he had just said CC issue and he was worried it would be a TV.
  20. OzDave

    OzDave New Member

    Dec 10, 2006

    Just following up on this. A Comcast tech came to the house. I explained to him the problem, that the Data numbers needed to be corrected at their end. He had no issue at all that it was a TiVo. Actually, when I asked him about CC installs and TiVos he explained TiVos are easier than TVs - see previous post. He was not that familiar with how CC work. He called in, explained the situation, explained what I said needed to be done, and they agreed. He read out the Data number for one card, and they hit the card. It came to life. They then did the second card, and it came to life.
    So my TiVo is now seems to be working fine - Ya! Though I have been away for 4 days - I hope that it is still working when I get back. My worry is what is described here:

    I hope that the Data number is not regenerated when the sw is updated in the TiVo.

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