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Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. dconner

    dconner New Member

    106
    0
    Mar 13, 2004
    Northern...
    Well, for my third visit, I got the combination of clueless tech plus clueless dispatchers. The contract tech didn't have a working number to call to get CableCards initialized, and his contacts were also useless, the last one basically saying, if I understood it right, "We don't support those," and I should call Customer Service to get the CableCards taken off my bill.
     
  2. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    OMG. You must be ready to blow a gasket!
     
  3. dconner

    dconner New Member

    106
    0
    Mar 13, 2004
    Northern...
    Just talked to Comcast customer service, and had a guy who was really trying hard to help, and who sent authorization signals to the CableCards, but nothing worked.

    I'm really starting to wonder if Scientific Atlanta is the real culprit here, or an incompatibility between SA's cards and TiVo. Have there been verified reports of any SA cards working with a Tivo Series 3 anywhere, ever?
     
  4. cjett

    cjett New Member

    34
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    Jan 9, 2003

    See my post a few pages back http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=4782276&&#post4782276

    You should not be paying an outlet charge at all for your TiVo. Check comcast's price schedule which is in your bill.

    cjett
     
  5. cableguy763

    cableguy763 New Member

    525
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    Oct 29, 2006
    Austin
    We have many S3's working in Austin with SA cards.
     
  6. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    cjett,

    I hear you and all, but I have called three times. Unfortunately I keep getting different answers with these fees. I argued to the point of being rude, until I realized I was getting nowhere and apologized.

    I received a price list last night and it is not the HD that incurs the A/O fee, it is the premium services I have. I have the NHL package, HBO, and SHO, which constitutes the premium services.

    I went into Comcast this morning and returned the box in person for a savings of $13.50/month. The girl at the counter then confirmed again that I was going to have to pay an additional outlet charge, like it or not, of $3.51 starting Feb 1 and a cable card fee of $1.50 starting Mar 1.

    I'm not going to press this issue any further. I was paying $5/mo for my STB and now I will be paying $5/mo for two cable cards. It's a wash.
     
  7. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Cjett,

    Also, check out this comcast link regarding the A/O:

    http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq/FaqDetails.ashx?ID=2651

     
  8. cbm

    cbm New Member

    13
    0
    May 4, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    After exhausting all options for getting CableCards from my previous cable company (Alameda Power & Telecom, who have their collective heads um... in the sand), I decide that I need to move to Comcast rather that wait for AP&T to get its act together.

    I call Comcast, request an in-house installer, and they can schedule an someone in about a week. The install date was yesterday. The installer, Daniel, shows up about 40 minutes into the four hour window. He needs to do some outside wiring first to sever AP&T and connect Comcast. Daniel seemed pretty sharp, and while he had not done a TiVo before, he had done other CableCard installs, and knew enough to bring three cards for a two card install.

    We make a call to his dispatcher, and put in the first CableCard. The dispatcher sends an Init and a Hit but, after its expected time in the queue, the TiVo/CableCard still hasn't seen it. We then test the cable signal, and while the higher channels are OK, the lower analog channels are sort of low in level and high in noise. Daniel calls in a request for a "line guy", but he won't be available for about a half an hour.

    While we wait for the "line guy", we call in the info for the cable modem account, so I can get Internet back up and running. No problems there. The "line guy" shows up, and ascends the pole with his bucket truck, doesn't find the problem there, then starts driving from pole to pole until he found something he could fix about a block away. This took about half an hour. Things are looking better in the house, now, so we call in a request for a second hit. Once this hit works its way through the queue, my first CableCard is working fine, all HD and Premium channels happy. Elapsed time to this point, maybe two, two and a half hours. Not too bad.

    Now it starts getting a little dicey. The second card we tried threw a 161-1 error right away, so I told Daniel that the collective wisdom here was that 161-1 meant that that card was toast. OK, we'll try the third card, we call in this one, and wait for the hits. Nothing. The dispatcher makes a 3-way call with some higher level Comcast tech center. The tech asks for the same numbers, and says that "that card isn't entered in the back. It will never work. It shouldn't be in the field" All this take another hour and a half or so. Daniel has no way to get more cards yesterday, so he puts my install "on hold" until today. He shows up today (on time) with three fresh CableCards. The first one gets called in, and we have to wait about half an hour for the hits to work their way through the queue. The second CableCard comes alive, and I'm up and running. Not too bad, considering some of the horror stories here. Daniel was a pleasure throughout. Overall I'm happy. I'm sorry I waisted so much time hoping that our home grown solution, Alameda Power and Telecom, would do the right thing.
     
  9. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Pretty succinct story there. I agree with your overall assessment since you combined a new installation with the cable card installation. All and all, it seems like they went out of their way to get you up and running.

    But, I will say this, to just install my cable cards (since they both worked first try) was no more than a 20 minute job at my house. I did all of the work with the TiVo menus while the technician phoned in the S/N's. It shouldn't have been THAT long of a process, But Stuff happens, I guess.
     
  10. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    50,975
    31
    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
    Here's the current rate schedule for Comcast in my area:

    [​IMG]

    There's an outlet fee to cover your programming. But if you don't have any other outlet/device except your Series 3, there shouldn't be an additional fee because the fee for one outlet is already included in each of the digital packages.

    The $1.50 you're quoting is the equipment charge. Comcast provides the CableCard's for your device free when your device is one of the "outlets." (And apparently soon they're going to charge $1.50 for the second CableCard in the same device instead of them both being free.)

    Notice on the rate schedule I scanned, footnote 4... "Includes all digital services subscribed to on primary outlet." So if you already have your "primary outlet" used by some other device like a Comcast receiver or DVR, then you'll pay an additional outlet fee for the Series 3. What you shouldn't be paying are two outlet fees for the Series 3.

    I just wanted to clarify your statement that "you shouldn't be paying any outlet fees for your Series 3" since that's not true; if the Series 3 is your only receiver, then it's true since you're already paying for one outlet as part of your digital programming package. But if you have other receivers... :)

    Comcast could really do a better job describing the fees so it's clear exactly when they apply and what they're for. And the nitty gritty is totally missing online, so there's no way you'd know without calling them or stopping by an office for a printed price list.
     
  11. DeathRider

    DeathRider New Member

    699
    0
    Dec 30, 2006
    Boston Area RCN
    My 32" Westy actually picked up more channels than my S3. My S3 only went up to channel 125 when I did the channel scan. My TV went up into the 140's.

    Considering all my HD channels were 126.1 and above (ABCHD, NBCHD, CBSHD, CWHD, ESPNHD, NESNHD, FSNHD, WGBHHD) needed cable cards anyway for my S3 :rolleyes:
     
  12. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Plus, trying to map it out and keep track of what channel is what makes it all pretty useless. Maybe good in a pinch if the TiVo dies. My S3 did pickup some premium channels as well, without the cablecard, which I did not notice with the TV.
     
  13. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Here's the other thing. If you have HBO or some other premium service, you have to pay an A/O for each ADDITIONAL device. The S3 is in fact able to record two premium programs at the same time. It is something you could never do without two boxes. So, that is fair, charging a nominal fee for a second A/O.

    Here is a copy of my latest price list pertaining to CableCARDS:
     

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  14. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Except their own current HD DVR's can record from 2 tuners and are billed as a single "additional outlet."
     
  15. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Ok, then that isn't playing fair. You're right then. That's screwing with the competition. I wonder if THAT is even legal. But, you said they are being billed as a single additional outlet which is the same as they are billing for the S3, no?
     
  16. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    If it's the ONLY outlet, there should be no ADDITIONAL outlet fee since the first (primary) outlet is included with each digital programming package fee.
     
  17. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
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    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Ok, so you are saying that Comcast does not charge any additional A/O fee for their own Dual Tuner DVR with premium content?

    Although, they are getting $15/mo. for their DVR....
     
  18. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    If you don't have any other receivers or DVR's on your account except for the one HD DVR, there is no additional outlet fee charged.

    If you have other receivers or DVR's on your account and you add an HD DVR, you are charged one additional outlet fee even though the unit can record with 2 tuners.
     
  19. pl1

    pl1 Active Member

    1,256
    0
    Jan 17, 2007
    MA
    Interesting. Thanks. I hope someone makes an issue with the authorities over this.


    So, if you get a Comcast DVR, you get (effectively) three devices plus no charge for the two additional outlets it would take to match them with a competing product. They have the dual tuner and a built in STB for PPV/VOD. But if you get an STB and two cards for your TiVo, you pay for the box PLUS two additional outlets.
     
  20. cjett

    cjett New Member

    34
    0
    Jan 9, 2003
    You're absolutely right... and that is what I meant to say... just didn't type it that way. :)

    Thanks for clarifying.

    So, to recap, if you have no other receivers.... you pay $1.50 for your Series 3 + your programing.

    cjett
     

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