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Old 11-15-2006, 08:54 AM   #1201
ewilts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryPCC
Hi,

I bought the Series 3 this week and have a Comcast appointment scheduled for Saturday morning between 8-11. I went down to the office last weekend and scheduled the appointment and they seemed to know what I was talking about when I said I needed 2 CCs for a "dual tuner" TV. Didn't want to cause a stir so I did not mention TiVO. My question is, how much prep do I need to do to the S3 before the tech shows up?

I'm hopeful he'll just hand me the cards and that'll be the end of it and I can do the install myself but I have read many stories on here where that didn't happen. I am hoping my TiVo arrives Thursday so I will have 2 days to read the manuals before the install.

I haven't finished viewing everything on my S2 yet so I'm hoping they let me keep the box for a bit so I can move that TiVo over to an auxiliary input on my TV and watch my remaining recordings.

Ready for HD! (No matter how big the headache...)
My approach was the following:
1. Take the TiVo out of the box, write down the serial number, and phone TiVo to activate it (I transferred my lifetime from an S2). If you do transfer a lifetime, you also get the old box subscribed for a year for no extra charge.
1a. Remember to set the remote address - otherwise, both TiVos will respond to your remote. The procedure is documented on TiVo's web site.
2. Connect the TiVo to your existing and run guided setup. Start watching TV! If you have an HD TV (good assumption or you wouldn't be buying an S3 :-)), do a manual scan on the TV. The local HD stations are probably unencrypted. PBS HD is lovely!
3. You've already scheduled your appointment, so you probably already have HD stations coming through. Do a manual cable scan and look for channel numbers that end in -1 (like 4-1). That might be an HD station. Have some fun! Don't pay too much attention to the channel numbers since the CC install will remap the channel numbers for you.
4. Your TiVo will come with a separate sheet of paper describing the CC install. READ THIS. Also read the CC install FAQ on TiVo's web site. Pay attention to the 161-2 or 161-4 meanings (one is normal, one means a bad CC and I can't remember which is which).
4a. Remove any splitters if you can before the tech shows up. If you have any problems, you want to make sure that the problem is as isolated as possible. You might not need to do this if your TV or S3 were already displaying HD stations before the tech arrived.
5. When the tech shows up, make sure he installs only 1 CC at a time. Slot 1 is the *bottom* slot - do it first.
6. Be patient during the install. Some operations take a full minute or two. The CC status pages don't automatically refresh. Clear out of the page and go back in again. Ignore the "waiting to start" message.
7. Test the channels (that's a menu option) when the tech says the card is activated. Make sure you've got a channel lineup handy and test channels in the various ranges including your local and any additional HD stations (like ESPN HD or HBO HD).
8. Once CC #1 is done, do CC # 2. The access controls on the CCs are configured separately by the cable company so don't assume that if one has all the stations that the 2nd one does too. Mine had only Basic 1 on the 2nd CC until I phoned in the next day.
9. If the "Test Channels" on both CCs are functioning properly, the tech can leave.
10. Re-run guided setup.

Enjoy!
.../Ed
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:56 AM   #1202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac3dd
OK, so they didn't have a monopoly, they had "monopoly power". Big woot.

http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm


In most areas cable companies have a monopoly not on TV service per se, but a monopoly on the type of TV service that does not require external structures (e.g. dish or antenna) added on to the residence. Other companies can't or don't deliver service over the cable wires or phone lines. There is some element of competition between DBS and cable, but the differences make DBS physically impossible or very undesirable for many, which gives the cablecos a cushion to be lazy. It's sort of like one company controlling the market for automatic cars while the others sell stick shift. Cable TV is the "automatic car" equivalent.
And to take the other side, DBS has an advantage in areas very rural not served by cable. And for people who live in RVs, etc. So?

And there is a very big difference between actually being classified as a monopoly and having monopoly power. More to the point, there are many (myself included) who would also disagree with the DOJ position around MS - at least with that specific case. There is a fine line between acting in an ant-competitive fashion and leveraging your own capabilities.

There is a LOT of competition between cable and DBS. Not "some element".
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Old 11-15-2006, 09:59 AM   #1203
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The Saga Continues

After 3 unsuccessful visits by Comcast to set up my cablecards, I decided to exchange my Tivo. I agreed to pay $799 for the new one, which I will get back when I send back the old unit. I ordered the unit last Thursday. Tivo said it would probably ship on Monday and that I would get an email so that I could track it. That is how it went when I received my original series 3. Yesterday - still no shipping confirmation and then when I turned on my Tivo, I got a message saying that my account was not activated.

I called Tivo. They said the account was not deactivated by them. I should pull the plug and the ethernet line for 2 hours and let it reset. I did that and it is still the same. I belive that Tivo did deactivate my account. They also said my new unit had shipped and would be here today. No confirmation email.

Between Tivo and Comcast this has been a very unpleasant situation.

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Old 11-15-2006, 11:38 AM   #1204
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Up and running in Union County, NJ

My saga, at least, has ended well. Comcast's first visit (last Saturday) was unsuccessful: the first cablecard eventually started decoding video but wasn't authorized for any of the premium services. The second cablecard wouldn't work at all, and they could do nothing with it because they couldn't get Data, Host, and UnitAddress information out of the card to even get started. And they had no spare cablecards so that we could try another.

Return visit was yesterday (Tuesday) and was made by the foreman for my area. He brought another cablecard that worked but, again, after initial pairing and authorization, it still wouldn't decode any of the premium channels.

Fortunately he knew a super-tech guy working at the head end whom he called directly, someone who actually understands this stuff, and he did a cold initiate on both cards, and within a few minutes all was working as it should.

Luck of the draw, I guess. The main problem seems to be that most Comcast on-the-phone techs are still not very experienced with cablecards.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:43 AM   #1205
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Despite all the horror stories reported here, I had a pretty painless installation of my S3 and cableCARDS yesterday. Went through the guided setup once for analog cable, then put in the cards, called Comcast here in Nashville, got 'em activated, and then went throughthe guided setup again and all seemed to be working nominally last night. Granted, I haven't turned it all on again this morning, but I have no reason to suspect it would all go t*ts up over night... So, yeah, it can happen, and I consider myself quite fortunate to have gotten through the experience without so much as a scratch. --PS
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:30 PM   #1206
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Debbie,

This happened to me, where TiVo did not send me the email and tracking info when they promised they would. I even called them to find out if it shipped, and they said it had not. Ironically, the doorbell rang about an hour after I got off the phone, and lo and behold, it was the S3! I think TiVo needs to improve their order fulfillment process

Another approach might be to purchase a new S3 from Best Buy (check for availability on-line before you drive to their store). They have an excellent return policy and you do not have to wait to get one...

Sorry for your troubles

Regards,

Doug

==============================

Quote:
Originally Posted by debbie6754
After 3 unsuccessful visits by Comcast to set up my cablecards, I decided to exchange my Tivo. I agreed to pay $799 for the new one, which I will get back when I send back the old unit. I ordered the unit last Thursday. Tivo said it would probably ship on Monday and that I would get an email so that I could track it. That is how it went when I received my original series 3. Yesterday - still no shipping confirmation and then when I turned on my Tivo, I got a message saying that my account was not activated.

I called Tivo. They said the account was not deactivated by them. I should pull the plug and the ethernet line for 2 hours and let it reset. I did that and it is still the same. I belive that Tivo did deactivate my account. They also said my new unit had shipped and would be here today. No confirmation email.

Between Tivo and Comcast this has been a very unpleasant situation.

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Old 11-15-2006, 01:52 PM   #1207
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The Saga Continues

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrg
My saga, at least, has ended well. Comcast's first visit (last Saturday) was unsuccessful: the first cablecard eventually started decoding video but wasn't authorized for any of the premium services. The second cablecard wouldn't work at all, and they could do nothing with it because they couldn't get Data, Host, and UnitAddress information out of the card to even get started. And they had no spare cablecards so that we could try another.

Return visit was yesterday (Tuesday) and was made by the foreman for my area. He brought another cablecard that worked but, again, after initial pairing and authorization, it still wouldn't decode any of the premium channels.

Fortunately he knew a super-tech guy working at the head end whom he called directly, someone who actually understands this stuff, and he did a cold initiate on both cards, and within a few minutes all was working as it should.

Luck of the draw, I guess. The main problem seems to be that most Comcast on-the-phone techs are still not very experienced with cablecards.
Ron,

Do you happen to remember the name of the guy at the head who actually knows something? After my Tivo gets delivered, I have to call Comcast again.

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Old 11-15-2006, 02:29 PM   #1208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debbie6754
Do you happen to remember the name of the guy at the head who actually knows something? After my Tivo gets delivered, I have to call Comcast again.
I didn't get anything more informative than "George", unfortunately. The tech who made the service call to my house was named "Rich". I'll check at home later to see whether there's anything more useful (like his tech ID number) written down on the receipt that he left.

The only reason we're all suffering is that we're early adopters. I expect that in a month or two Comcast will have this down to a working routine.
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Old 11-15-2006, 03:55 PM   #1209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewilts
My approach was the following:
I second that approach. Its more or less how I did it.

Though I'm wondering why the post you replied to was labled with an angry thumbs down, I couldn't see anything in it which someone would need to be angry about.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:04 PM   #1210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryPCC
Hi,

I haven't finished viewing everything on my S2 yet so I'm hoping they let me keep the box for a bit so I can move that TiVo over to an auxiliary input on my TV and watch my remaining recordings.
Why do you think that Comcast will take your S2 away from you?
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:08 PM   #1211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
Don't say you'll contact the FCC. The FCC regulations clearly state that if you have a dispute, you must work to resolve it through the franchising authority, not the FCC. So say you'll talk to your town franchising authority, if you decide to go down that path, and then follow-through, talking to your town franchising authority.
No, this is not a dispute over cable. Their inaction had disabled a piece of my equipment, which then resulted in my not being able to receive over-the-air signals with it.

Blocking over the air signals is definitely under the FCC's purview.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:47 PM   #1212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shady
Why do you think that Comcast will take your S2 away from you?

When I said "box" I meant the set-top box from my cable company. My understanding (and I have to read up on this because I have never had a need to run two TiVos on one TV) is I would need to have the set-top box hooked up to my S2 in order to get a picture on my Aux input.

I could be mistaken, and I might not need the cable box. If I don't cool.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:50 PM   #1213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btwyx
I second that approach. Its more or less how I did it.

Though I'm wondering why the post you replied to was labled with an angry thumbs down, I couldn't see anything in it which someone would need to be angry about.

When I typed my original post (around 6:30 this morning) I swear that red thumbs down looked like a red question mark. Added it at the last minute.

Did not know it was a red thumbs down until I actually read my post on the board.

I'm not at all angry (yet). I'll check in Saturday to share my install story...
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:57 PM   #1214
BarryPCC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewilts
My approach was the following:
1. Take the TiVo out of the box, write down the serial number, and phone TiVo to activate it (I transferred my lifetime from an S2). If you do transfer a lifetime, you also get the old box subscribed for a year for no extra charge.
1a. Remember to set the remote address - otherwise, both TiVos will respond to your remote. The procedure is documented on TiVo's web site.
2. Connect the TiVo to your existing and run guided setup. Start watching TV! If you have an HD TV (good assumption or you wouldn't be buying an S3 :-)), do a manual scan on the TV. The local HD stations are probably unencrypted. PBS HD is lovely!
3. You've already scheduled your appointment, so you probably already have HD stations coming through. Do a manual cable scan and look for channel numbers that end in -1 (like 4-1). That might be an HD station. Have some fun! Don't pay too much attention to the channel numbers since the CC install will remap the channel numbers for you.
4. Your TiVo will come with a separate sheet of paper describing the CC install. READ THIS. Also read the CC install FAQ on TiVo's web site. Pay attention to the 161-2 or 161-4 meanings (one is normal, one means a bad CC and I can't remember which is which).
4a. Remove any splitters if you can before the tech shows up. If you have any problems, you want to make sure that the problem is as isolated as possible. You might not need to do this if your TV or S3 were already displaying HD stations before the tech arrived.
5. When the tech shows up, make sure he installs only 1 CC at a time. Slot 1 is the *bottom* slot - do it first.
6. Be patient during the install. Some operations take a full minute or two. The CC status pages don't automatically refresh. Clear out of the page and go back in again. Ignore the "waiting to start" message.
7. Test the channels (that's a menu option) when the tech says the card is activated. Make sure you've got a channel lineup handy and test channels in the various ranges including your local and any additional HD stations (like ESPN HD or HBO HD).
8. Once CC #1 is done, do CC # 2. The access controls on the CCs are configured separately by the cable company so don't assume that if one has all the stations that the 2nd one does too. Mine had only Basic 1 on the 2nd CC until I phoned in the next day.
9. If the "Test Channels" on both CCs are functioning properly, the tech can leave.
10. Re-run guided setup.

Enjoy!
.../Ed
THANKS very much for the detailed "to-do" list. Yes I plan to transfer my lifetime subscription as soon as my new S3 arrives. That was the determining factor in my purchase now, as opposed to early 2007.

I can't wait for TiVo in HD!!

Thanks again Ed. I really appreciate your help.
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:33 PM   #1215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryPCC
When I said "box" I meant the set-top box from my cable company. My understanding (and I have to read up on this because I have never had a need to run two TiVos on one TV) is I would need to have the set-top box hooked up to my S2 in order to get a picture on my Aux input.
I can't see why you need it. You'll have the S3 and the S2 hooked up to the TV. The S3 will give you all the functionality of the cable box (expect PPV and On demand), the S2 will be able to show previously recorded programs, whether you have a cable box hooked up to it or not.

The only thing keeping the cable box hooked up to the S2 gives you (besides PPV and On demand) is being able to watch cable through the S2. As you'll get a better picture off the S3, I don't see why you need it.
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Old 11-16-2006, 09:54 AM   #1216
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Cablecard install in Union County, NJ

So my Comcast cablecard installation on the S3 appointment was yesterday, and the results are somewhat mixed. I am also getting some seemingly conflicting information from the Tivo itself, so any help/advice will be appreciated.

The bottom line is that I have 2 cablecards installed in the unit, with the following current statuses:

CC#1 (lower slot):
- Conditional Access screen statuses seem broken: Connect says YES, but others say Not Enabled, Invalid Host Validation etc. and Auth seems to flip-flop between SUBSCRIBED, NOT_SUBSCRIBED, and UNKNOWN depending on when you look. (Is the AUTH field specific to the channel being currently tuned?)
- Channel Tests work for channels < 100 (non-digital), but fail on higher channels
- On trying to "Watch Live TV" with the tuner corresponding to this card, I am able to tune to all non-digital channels, and even a *few* of the digital/premium channels, but most digital channels error out to the card pairing screen.

CC#2 (upper slot):
- Conditional Access screen statuses all seem to say what they should be (i.e. Enabled/Subscribed/Valid etc.)
- Channel Tests do *NOT* work - the Tivo says No Channels Acquired!
- "Watch Live TV" on this tuner does work for all channels (digital and premium), though! (atleast all that I tried, which is most of them.)


BTW, I correlated the tuners and the cable cards using one of the Tivo troubleshooting screens, which provided the CC# (in hex) for each of the tuners. Incidentally, Tuner0 seems to be coupled to CC#2 and Tuner1 to CC#1 - is this expected?

So while I am glad to be getting most everything on atleast one of my cards, I am throughly confused at the statuses, and am nervous about what is going to happen when the Comcast folks come back tomorrow to try and fix the remaining issues.

- Narendran.
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Old 11-16-2006, 11:31 AM   #1217
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Tivo Exchange

A word of warning, if you exchange your Tivo, even if you pay in full for the new one, Tivo deactivates your currect unit and activates the new one before it arrives, without telling you.

This happened to me 2 days ago. My new Tivo arrived by UPS at 6pm last night. I just installed it. Then I called Comcast to start all over with them. They started with their usual song and dance about how they don't support Tivo. I told them they were wrong. They reluctantly agred to send an installer. I requested a supervisor or someone who had successfully worked on ccs for a series 3.

The saga continues.....

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Old 11-16-2006, 02:04 PM   #1218
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Install in Abington, MA (part 2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by laria
Maybe call back and try a different rep? I wonder if it is because you were Adelphia... I often wonder how well integrated they actually are with the cable companies they take over. I am in NH, but we used to be MediaOne/AT&T Broadband like a lot of MA (heck the callerid from the local office still says AT&T Broadband on it ). The rep told me on the phone that it would be a flat fee of $12.85 and I just checked the recent activity on the billing webpage and that's what it says. This was just yesterday for 2 TiVos (so 4 cards).
Hi,

Calling back did the trick. Didn't get anywhere with the new CSR, but her supervisor was much more accommodating. I was polite but firm. She said she couldn't change the existing charges, but added a service charge adjustment of -$25.00 to my account. So now it is only costing $25 for the Cable Card install...I can live with that.

Thos.

PS I wonder how "BostonLawman2003" did with his install today, across town...
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Old 11-16-2006, 04:47 PM   #1219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewilts
My approach was the following:

<snip>

Enjoy!
.../Ed
Thank you very much, Ed! My S3 should be here tomorrow as well as the install. I'm printing off your instructions. I'm so ready for this!
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Old 11-16-2006, 05:00 PM   #1220
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Hello,
I'm thinking about dropping DTV and taking the plunge to the new TIVO Series 3 HD.
I was wondering if anyone has yet to deal with Comcast and the cable card in the Salinas, Ca. area? If so, how was the experience?
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Old 11-16-2006, 05:28 PM   #1221
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Originally Posted by Jeff's Tivo
Hello,
I'm thinking about dropping DTV and taking the plunge to the new TIVO Series 3 HD.
I was wondering if anyone has yet to deal with Comcast and the cable card in the Salinas, Ca. area? If so, how was the experience?
Jeff, the main problem is that the contracting company Comcast uses is incompetent and only get paid $4 to insert and call in each cable card so will not stick around to debug any problems. My main recommendation is to not let a Comcast installation contractor in your house. You can request a Comcast hourly employee technician (you will have to wait longer though). If the the tech pulls up in an unmarked vehicle you are in trouble!
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Old 11-16-2006, 05:41 PM   #1222
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Originally Posted by jlib
Jeff, the main problem is that the contracting company Comcast uses is incompetent and only get paid $4 to insert and call in each cable card so will not stick around to debug any problems. My main recommendation is to not let a Comcast installation contractor in your house. You can request a Comcast hourly employee technician (you will have to wait longer though). If the the tech pulls up in an unmarked vehicle you are in trouble!
Every problem I've had over the years has been solved by a Comcast employee. The rent-a-techs have been pretty much useless.
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Old 11-16-2006, 10:30 PM   #1223
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just to add my comcast two cents. got my first bill after the installation etc. watch out. what they quote and what they bill may not be the same. The customer service rep at comcast was pretty confused, friendly, but confused. It took a while, but a supervisor finally adjusted the bill - they charged me $6.95 for each cable card v. $6.95 for the first and $1.50 for the second. Just wanted to tell you so you can make sure to check your comcast bill - btw, our installation went well. Now we are only dealing with the "partial recording" stuff....another thread.
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Old 11-16-2006, 11:35 PM   #1224
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I ended up with a good bit of store credit and a discount card, so I picked up an S3 this week.

So far so good for me:

I called up Saturday to find out pricing for CCs and got a Comcast employee that knew Tivos well and was easy wot work with.
Picked up my S3 on Monday and called Comcast to schedule the CC install - got a helpful lady that knew nothing about Tivos, but I thought had understood I needed two CCs as I explained it to her several times.

The tech showed up this morning with only one CC knowing he probably needed two, but figured he'd double check as the work order said only 1 and thats all he could get his hands on this morning. He came back later around noon with 3 cards, one spare, just in case. He admitted he didn't know anything about Tivos, much less an S3 - but he knew who to call at the office. He read over the sheet provided by Tivo, installed the first CC and called the office. I had to step out of the room for ~5min due to my 3mo old waking up, and when I came back both CCs were installed and working well. The tech then checked that both cards would received all my channels (only spot checks, but the person in the office had given him specific ones to check that were problematic supposedly). After he left, I redid the guided setup and then surfed through all my channels on both tuners and they both worked on all channels.

For billing - I'll have to keep my eyes out for the first one. I got two different quotes - one saying zero charge first card and $1.75 for the second and another saying ~$9 for both..

Keeping my fingers crossed now that all stays well.

FWIW - my local comcast office is the Arvada, Colorado one.
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:10 PM   #1225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thos19

PS Is the local office you go to the one in Rockland Center?

Yeah, I went to the Rockland office. My install had to be rescheduled for tomorrow (11/18) as I was stuck at work yesterday. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:59 PM   #1226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tase2
No initial cost, but is there going to be a monthly charge?

I'll chime back in next month but there was a $0.00 dollar increase on my 11/12 statement.
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Old 11-18-2006, 02:16 AM   #1227
tasi
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: SF/Bay Area California
Posts: 18
Big Grin Positive Comcast result

Just wanted to add to the positive stories in this thread.

Got my S3 last week, called Comcast to schedule an appointment, got one for tuesday, but since I don't work Fridays asked for Friday.

Told the person on the phone I needed two cable cards and requested a comcast technician.

After reading the forums more, I went online and chatted with a Comcast person, and told them to put in the notes of my appointment that the cards were for a TiVo series 3, found out that there was no mention of a request for a comcast technician, so he put that request in as well.

The day of the install (Today), I rebooted the TiVo before the technician arrived. He was scheduled for 8-10am, arrived at about 8:45am.

I asked him if he'd done this before, he said yes, but during the install it was obvious that he'd never touched a TiVo. I asked him to follow the instructions and activate one card at a time.

He decided not to follow the instructions, and put both cards in before calling to "initialize" them.

Didn't matter, once the person on the phone sent the initialization for each card, everything was working perfectly.

Took about 10 minutes, and he was gone, and everything is working fine (Thank God!).

My location is Fremont, California.

T.
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:33 PM   #1228
HomieG
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Location: Somewhere in the USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treacherous
I'll chime back in next month but there was a $0.00 dollar increase on my 11/12 statement.
Hope you don't get charged, but I did. Took three months, but they added charges for what they told me was a free cablecard. And then back pro-rated it. So I returned it and refused to pay the charges. They did credit me. But as I said, it took three months from the install for the charges to show up on the bill.
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:09 PM   #1229
jpdst22
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 63
Need some help!

Ok, I'm trying very hard to avoid another visit by Comcast and I've tried searching the forums but since I couldn't find any similar problems I thought I'd post my problem.

The first time Comcast came out, they screwed up and only brought one cable card. So he just installed that one which went fine with no problems and I could receive all of my digital channels as well as HBO.

Then a week or so later (today) I had another appointment for them to bring out my second cable card (they wouldn't let me pick it up, don't get me started on that one). Now the card is installed and it gets all the digital channels but it won't receive any of the HBO channels. They've tried resetting the card numerous times and finally we gave up.

Has anyone had this happen before where one card would get HBO and the other won't? They said they think it's a bad card and want to send out yet another tech visit, but I don't feel like waiting around for another 4 hour window. It sounds to me like a configuration problem on their end, but Iamb not sure. Iamb wondering if I should just wait and try to get another CS rep that knows what they're doing or if it really is the card and I'll have to set up another appointment.

any advice would be appreciated..
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Old 11-18-2006, 03:12 PM   #1230
jakelambert
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 47
Well, this has been a marathon of phone calls, but I think I'm making some progress. I just bought the last S3 in all of Chicagoland Best Buys ($799-12% coupon = $787 out the door, plus Reward Zone points) and came home to set up the cable card install.

I originally called 1-800-COMCAST. The first guy said he didn't know anything about cable cards, but he asked his supervisor and was told I needed to go to my local office and pick them up for a self install. I knew this wasn't likely because of all the posts I've read on here.

I hung up and called back to speak with someone else. The second guy knew a little more, said the install would be $15.99 but that I had to call the local office to schedule the appointment. He gave me the number.

I called the local number and the woman questioned why I needed two cards for a TV. I finally told her it was for a dual tuner DVR, and she said she didn't think they could do that. I told her to check with her supervisor, and she came back and said apparently they did. Yay! I won that one!

She set up the appointment and said they would charge a $23.99 install fee for each card, plus $5.99/month for the second card. I was tired of her by this point, so I said OK and left it at that.

I called back and this time went to billing. After speaking with a very nice guy who had a ton of questions about TiVo (he guessed what I was doing), he said I should be charged $23.99 install for the first card, $15.99 for the second, and then $5.99/month for the second card. I made all the arguments I've seen in the post here, but I finally gave up. At least the price was going down.

Called back again and somehow got routed to Oregon. Got another nice guy who attempted to explain the charges, but conceded that he needed to route me to Chicago. I did have a little fun, though. He tried to tell me how great their DVR was and how I shouldn't have bought a TiVo. I asked "does your DVR allow me to play digital music from any computer through my surround system?" No. "And does your DVR allow me to schedule programs remotely?" No. "Is your DVR THX certified?" No. "And are you aware that your DVR's will be running TiVo software at some point in the future?" I've heard that. Let me connect you to Chicago. I nearly laughed out loud.

Finally connected to Chicago, I spoke with yet another nice lady. She said since it was a single outlet, there is no monthly fee for either card. There will be a $15.99 installation fee for each card.

So, I've gone from $48 and $5.99/month to $30 and no monthly fee. Maybe I'll try to get one of those installation fees waived. Or maybe I'll just save my energy to fight with them when they screw up the first bill. It's inevitable.

My advice to everyone here is perseverance. If you don't like the answer you get, keep calling until you get one you like. Sooner or later someone will either be smart enough, or stupid enough, to give you the answer you're looking for.
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