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Old 02-23-2007, 09:56 AM   #2251
pl1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoo
I think Comcast must have changed encryption, and as Tivo is supposed to do, it re-encrypts incoming encrypted channels using HDCP over HDMI to the TV. It fouled up the TV on this change. After unplugging TV and re-booting TV, the encrypted channels worked fine.
Now I'm really thinking they did. I noticed one of my cards went from 00X00 to 00X02. Not what we want, of course. But this may explain why I had a gray screen on one of my HBO channels when I turned on my TV. I see we are both in the same neighborhood.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:21 AM   #2252
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Unplugging the TV etc did nothing....my ECM and EMM counts are still 0 on both cards.....damn Comcast.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:39 AM   #2253
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A bit cross-posted here , but I've realized this is a better place to post.

I can't imagine reading all 2200+ posts, so I'm hoping someone who's followed this thread (or knows what the heck is going on) can point me in the right direction.

A buddy had the CCs installed in his S3 yesterday. I went over to help him get it setup in his "main" room (it had been connected in a bedroom for ease of access to the cable outlet for the installer).

Here's the thing (he's a NorCal Comcast customer).

All SD channels appear to be fine.
Almost all HD channels weren't working.

INHD = blank screen
DiscoveryHD = blank screen
MUHD = blank screen
UHD = blank screen
TNTHD = blank screen
ESPNHD = blank screen
ESPN2HD = blank screen

Now his FSNHD and HDSE channels were not broadcasting content, but both had an HD "filler" loop (on FSNHD it was the FSN logo rotating in HD) which *DID* display fine.

The local PBS affiliate had their HD channel being received.

The handful of local stations were broadcasting and being received, but as we were there from 5:45 - 7:30ish, they were not broadcasting the network HD so I don't know if that would be displayed or not. I think it's unlikely.

This was incredibly odd and frustrating, and ultimately he just re-connected his 6412 which works fine.

He's ready to toss the S3, but I told him to give me a few days and I might be able to sort the issue, as I'm certain he's not the first guy to have this issue.

Can someone point me in the right direction..?
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:52 AM   #2254
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I got my CableCards yesterday in San Francisco. It sounded like a busy day at Comcast. The installer spent a lot of time waiting for the central office to respond to his requests on his Nextel walkie-talkie thing, but they eventually took down all the numbers and got the first card activated. The second card wasn't responding, and the installer didn't have a spare. (He apologized for this, saying that "they" wouldn't give installers spares.)

When I got back from the office last night, both cards were working. I guess the activation "hit" for the second card was just stuck in some queue for a while. HD is looking beautiful on my 37" Westy LCD now!
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:04 AM   #2255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiddentrout
He's ready to toss the S3, but I told him to give me a few days and I might be able to sort the issue, as I'm certain he's not the first guy to have this issue.

Can someone point me in the right direction..?
It sounds like a standard "cablecard has lost its provisioning" problem that Comcast needs to fix. Might just be a goofup on Comcast's end or it might also happen if the cablecards got removed from the S3 during its move.

You might try unplugging the S3 for a bit and then seeing if the cablecards can re-establish a proper connection with the head end when they get powered up again, but I would be surprised if that worked. I think you'll have to call Comcast.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:07 AM   #2256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiddentrout

INHD = blank screen
DiscoveryHD = blank screen
MUHD = blank screen
UHD = blank screen
TNTHD = blank screen
ESPNHD = blank screen
ESPN2HD = blank screen


Can someone point me in the right direction..?
Not all channels are encrypted. Most likely, these channels are and the cabble cards don't have the authorization/key to allow viewing.

He may have to get the cards rehit/authorization signal. May require another truck "rollout". It is possible his account hasn't been configured at the headend [comcast].
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:43 AM   #2257
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Thanks folks.
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:52 PM   #2258
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2 hrs on the phone /w Comcast and still not OK !

I have / they charged me now

Limited Basic $ 16.00
Digital Plus $ 14.95
Cinemax $13.50

1 Regular Digital Box / $ 0
1 HD Digital Box / $ 6.95
2 CableCards / each $5 ($10)

HD Service !!! $15 for the two cable cards and sure the HD Box

They promised me to gave me $10 credit for the CableCards.
We will see.

Meanwhile my CINEMAX HD isn't working ...

I also asked about the CODE for 2 CABLECARDS for NON COMCAST DVR. They never heared about it.

WHAT kind of people are working at Comcast .. if you asked .. do youknow what a TIVO is ? NO ! I heared about it. That's all !

WOW :-)

-------------

Total : $ 66.40

My last BILL was $ 87.48 they charged me $20 for HD and $20.68 for equitment.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:31 PM   #2259
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Hey guys. First of all I want to say thank you to everyone who has posted about their experiences. I couldn't have gotten through my install without this community. Just thought I'd post my experience.

I went to a Comcast payment center the other day to see if I could just pick up the cable cards. They didn't have any so I just scheduled the truck roll there. I got my TiVo from Amazon at work today and had a friend wait at home for the comcast guy. When he got there he wanted to know where the box was. He got on the phone with me and said it's not recommended that they leave the cards, then I asked him to anyway and he said he couldn't. Then he called dispatch and got the OK and registered the cards on my account and left them with my friend. (bullet dodged)

When I got home, I activated the TiVo and started the guided setup. Got to the CableCARD setup and put the first card in slot 1. Called comcast when the MMI screen popped up and they sent an initilization hit. I didn't know to wait for the 161-4 error and started the channel test. It looked fine at first glance so I did the same with the second card. It wasn't until I finished the setup that I saw the issue with the higher number channels and the non-local HD channels.

After reading through posts on here I started over and this is the sequence I found that worked perfect with both cards.

1. Restart TiVo
2. Get to the Cable Card screen
3. Insert first card
4. Wait for MMI screen, just clear it when it comes up
5. Go to comcast online chat and have them send an initialize hit to the card (giving them the serial)
6. Wait for the 161-4 error, hit select
7. Do a channel test, check a low SD channel and a high HD channel.
8. Check the Conditional Access screen, should say Auth: SUBSCRIBED
9. Done with Card 1, Insert Card 2 and repeat 4-8

Again thank you all. Hopefully this can help someone else.

-John
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:50 PM   #2260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strotti
I have / they charged me now (snip) WHAT kind of people are working at Comcast .. if you asked .. do youknow what a TIVO is ? NO ! I heared about it. That's all !
Too bad for that experience... not all Comcast offices are the same it seems. I was "the first person" in our area to set this up back when the S3 launched and had a hiccup (not waiting for the error), but got it installed within an hour or so on the phone.

My current bill (Comcast in Bellevue,WA area with 2 cable cards and no set top box):

$15.99 Digital Plus Package
- $4.00 Service Discount
$13.15 Limited Cable
$36.10 Expanded Cable
$31.98 HBO and STARZ!
- $19.99 Service Discount
$42.95 Broadband
$5.54 Misc taxes/fees
------------------
$121.72 total

Its not as cheap as I'd like, but it gets me fast internet and a lot of channels. :-)
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:28 AM   #2261
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CableCard installation experience in Palo Alto, CA: Round 1

My S3 arrived yesterday, and I called Comcast to request CableCards. The call center lady figured out it was for a TiVo, so no explanation was necessary. Then I asked whether I can do a self-install. She says "yeah, sure, you can go ahead and pick up the cards from your local Comcast office." I say, "are you sure?" She says, "yeah, definitely. No need for an appointment."

So, I am skeptical, but I drive over to the local Comcast office in Mountain View anyway. After all, I probably know more about the installation process than the Comcast tech does (thanks to this thread), and I'd save time and money and make the S3 fully-functional right away. Alas, as you might guess, the lady at the Comcast office says that I was misinformed and that they do not carry CableCards for self install. I was disappointed, obviously, but not at all surprised. She says that they should not have given me false information, takes notes, and waives the truck roll charge. She also quotes me a total cost of $1.50 for the two cards (even though I will be holding on the the 6412 DVR for a few more weeks, and I'm likely to be slapped with a second outlet charge for that time period).

Anyway, the appointment is for next Friday, and the saga will continue ... In the meantime, I hope the S3 will upgrade itself to 8.1!

EDIT: Update -- I just turned the TiVo on and found that it already upgraded itself to 8.1! Cool ...

Last edited by mooneydriver : 02-24-2007 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:33 AM   #2262
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Comcast services really vary from state to state. Here in Washington, I was able to pick up the cable cards for self installation and I had my S3 Tivo up and running within a couple of hours. It would have been sooner, but the office is about 90 minutes from my house.
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:02 PM   #2263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooneydriver
She also quotes me a total cost of $1.50 for the two cards (even though I will be holding on the the 6412 DVR for a few more weeks, and I'm likely to be slapped with a second outlet charge for that time period).
When I kept my box, they charged me two A/O fees, one for each cableCARD. They called the STB my first outlet (included for free), then my second and third outlets were the two cableCARDS. When I returned my HD box, I got back $10/mo and $2.75/mo A/O fee. (As we all know, this is region specific, but that was how they charged me, and no budging from multiple CSR's.)
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:34 PM   #2264
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3+ Hours later success on a self install....Whoa Nelly.

Jeez, the first time around the cards were accessing info blue screen the whole time, after the first comcast lady assured me they were initialized and I would be fine. So i waited and waited, worried about the Tivo "do not remove cable cards".

Well time went by and then i took them out and the blue screen went away. I called back comcast one more time followed docjohnboy's directions. Guy was very nice and took his time. Inserted first card, gave him info. Waited, blue screen came up for 3 minutes, then tested, success. Card 2 took a few tried and I removed the card and we went from step 1 again. Card 2 showed (no channels available several times). I backed out went to live tv....went to cable card settings and tested channels on both and suddenly card 2 worked.

Thanks to this forum, and the picture is stunning. Now the cable card in my LCD is not receiving all the channels, darn Sharp Aquos. Tivo is getting all that I know of right now just fine.
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:40 AM   #2265
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I just had Comcast come to install my Cable Cards for my Series 3. I am in Pittsburgh and the technician had no problems. The only issue was that the tech he called in to had no idea how to activate them and entered the wrong numbers. After switching to another tech, all went smoothly. The first 2 cards worked fine and I can view all pay channels.

I was told when ordering the cards that I would have no installation fee, but need to pay $3.99/per card per month. I am going to try to argue this one with them.

Good luck everyone, hope your installation goes as smoothly as mine did.

Last edited by wooglin : 02-26-2007 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Spelling Errors
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Old 02-25-2007, 06:52 PM   #2266
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Comcast in SF

San Francisco. I called the 877 number on my bill and asked to upgrade from Standard Definition (just coax) to 2 tuner cards and HD. The first card was free and the second card is $1.50 per month. There was no charge for HD. The rep said HD was now included in the card and that it used to cost $5.00 per month. So now I pay about $3.00 less per month - 53.00 (Digital Silver) versus 56.00 (basic extended SD).

Note when the tech came to the house to install the cards one of the cards was not initialized so he had to go back to the office and get a new one.
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:44 PM   #2267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cd1940
San Francisco. I called the 877 number on my bill and asked to upgrade from Standard Definition (just coax) to 2 tuner cards and HD. The first card was free and the second card is $1.50 per month. There was no charge for HD. The rep said HD was now included in the card and that it used to cost $5.00 per month. So now I pay about $3.00 less per month - 53.00 (Digital Silver) versus 56.00 (basic extended SD).

Note when the tech came to the house to install the cards one of the cards was not initialized so he had to go back to the office and get a new one.

Damn, thats a great price quote. Any idea who you spoke to? I would assume you kept that information unless they ended up charging you something different?

I believe he misquoted you tho, since you didnt have HD before and now you do, so that would be 5$ per month. The HD that he is saying is now included in the card would probably be the extra 5$ per card that some of us are being charged.

Hopefully you have his name and number. Id appreciate it b/c I have the $5 per card quote, on top of my standard $5 HD
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:59 PM   #2268
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In the San Francisco Bay Area, the "$5 HD fee" is for the HD set top box rental only. There is no such thing as "HD service fee".
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:42 AM   #2269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farrington
Does Comcast national have some sort of consumer ombudsman? Someone who can set your local chain straight if need be?
When I was fighting these exessive charges (see post 1578 on page 53), I called Comcast's national office in Philly long distance (you can get the local number by calling 411) and spoke to a customer service rep who agreed I was getting a raw deal. But then that rep later called me back to say the charges were all correct after all. Frankly, I was surprised that the national office responded at all to consumer calls.

If there is anyone going to be "set straight," it is the other Comcast subs around the country charging less. The Comcast corporate strategy for quashing S3s could not be more clear. It's only a matter of time before Comcast standardizes on the higher rates being charged in Miami and other places.

Last edited by Warlord46 : 02-26-2007 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:49 AM   #2270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pl1
I'm not disagreeing with your sentiments WRT the A/O charges for one device, but realistically, they are NOT charging an exorbinant fee for the cableCARDs over the digital STB.

Here, in the Boston area, ...
You are indeed fortunate to be living in an area where Comcast is not gouging its customers. You would have a completely different take if you were being billed Miami rates. See my post 1578 on page 53 to get an idea what's in store when Comcast standardizes its rates around the country. It's only a matter of time.

Last edited by Warlord46 : 02-26-2007 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:29 AM   #2271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synch22
3+ Hours later success on a self install....Whoa Nelly.

Jeez, the first time around the cards were accessing info blue screen the whole time, after the first comcast lady assured me they were initialized and I would be fine. So i waited and waited, worried about the Tivo "do not remove cable cards".

Well time went by and then i took them out and the blue screen went away. I called back comcast one more time followed docjohnboy's directions. Guy was very nice and took his time. Inserted first card, gave him info. Waited, blue screen came up for 3 minutes, then tested, success. Card 2 took a few tried and I removed the card and we went from step 1 again. Card 2 showed (no channels available several times). I backed out went to live tv....went to cable card settings and tested channels on both and suddenly card 2 worked.

Thanks to this forum, and the picture is stunning. Now the cable card in my LCD is not receiving all the channels, darn Sharp Aquos. Tivo is getting all that I know of right now just fine.
When I call Comcast (Chicago area) I get agents who don't know what they are talking about and all they will do is send a truck. When you say the Guy "took his time," what did he do, or what did you (or what can I) ask him to do?
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:50 AM   #2272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlord46
If there is anyone going to be "set straight," it is the other Comcast subs around the country charging less. The Comcast corporate strategy for quashing S3s could not be more clear. It's only a matter of time before Comcast standardizes on the higher rates being charged in Miami and other places.
Supply and demand, my friend, supply and demand. If they price themselves too high, there will be a backlash. Many people will be able to dump cable altogether as OTA broadcasts for local channels are excellent for a lot of people. Plus, there is the phone company's arrival into the bundle world. So, if Comcast does what you suggest, they will shoot themselves in the foot.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:42 AM   #2273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pl1
So, if Comcast does what you suggest, they will shoot themselves in the foot.
We can only hope, but I doubt it. All I have to do is mothball my S3s, go back to Comcast's own DVRs, and the exorbitant charges disappear. They remind me of that every time I speak with them, and I in turn remind them that their equipment is junk by comparison to my S3s. Comcast's strategy to price cable cards and S3s out of business does not affect its much larger customer base that is happy renting its DVRs instead. I don't see this strategy as hurting their business at all - in fact, making S3s non-competitive with their DVRs will help their bottom line by steering people to use their equipment and preventing S3s from becoming more popular.

OTA provides a minimal number of stations, and S3s do not work with satellite. Therefore, both options are unsatisfactory. For me, the only options are to pay whatever Comcast wants to charge for cable cards, or else ditch my S3s. I can afford the extra cost, so I pay it anyway for the privilege of using S3s. If they double their rates for cable cards - and what's to stop them? - they may at some point make me give up my S3s. But in that case, I'm going to satellite. I will never give in to their demands upon me to use their DVR equipment.

In the meantime, they are making good money off me. They know I'll switch to better technology when it becomes available years from now, and that I'll stick with them if it's not. From Comcast's standpoint, the price gouging may therefore be right on target, and harmless to their feet.

Last edited by Warlord46 : 02-26-2007 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:51 AM   #2274
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Warlord46,

Miami unfortunately is not the only city charging obscene prices for cablecards. Nashville has the exact same $6.95 per card charge. I am furious and I'm not alone. This has been a brisk topic of discussion on the AVSForum's Nashville Comcast thread. I'm in the process now of raising hell about this locally, but I have to wonder if it's a local policy or a part of a long term strategy. The FCC has mandated that cable companies must introduce cable boxes that use cable cards (multistream) by this summer, so the excuse that its a technologyt that few use and costs more to them will be moot.
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:17 AM   #2275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenfeet
Nashville has the exact same $6.95 per card charge.
And in Miami, you can add $5.00 per cable card for HD service, for a total of $11.95 per card. Can Nashville top that? I'm paying $11.95 for each of 5 of my cable cards, except for one which I don't have to pay the $6.95 as it's "free" with my digital service. They say this is the proper charge for the "services" I am receiving, but their rental fee for their own DVR that also provides dual-tuner HD capability, for less than the charge for 2 cable cards, despite the obvious expense of supporting the box, exposes that claim for what it is.

The FCC's rulemaking has been very slow, but starting in July, settop boxes must be manufactured to use cable cards. I doubt Comcast will be required to ditch their old equipment, and expect them to drag out the effects of the new rule for as long as possible, and to use the intervening time to continue to fight the rule and come up with new strategies to defeat its purpose.

This is the fight for the breakup of AT&T all over again, and for the same reasons. Customers will get gouged so long as monopolies are able to corner the technology and charge for the equipment to access it as they see fit. The difference in the price for phone equipment and service since the 70s is astonishing, and it would not have happened if AT&T remained in control of it all.

We've had people on this forum try to defend Comcast's policies, but I suspect they were all Comcast employees or shareholders. I think Comcast's policies are transparently anti-consumer and pro-monopoly, and so long as that is allowed by the FCC, you cannot expect them to act in any other way.

Last edited by Warlord46 : 02-26-2007 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:37 AM   #2276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeCG
When I call Comcast (Chicago area) I get agents who don't know what they are talking about and all they will do is send a truck. When you say the Guy "took his time," what did he do, or what did you (or what can I) ask him to do?
Do you have cards? What's your issue? I can pass along my Chicago-area customer contact who knows exactly what to do.
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:38 AM   #2277
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Warlord46,
That's outrageous. Have you tried contacting corporate to get your charges reduced. Details here.
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:40 AM   #2278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlord46
The FCC's rulemaking has been very slow, but starting in July, settop boxes must be manufactured to use cable cards. I doubt Comcast will be required to ditch their old equipment, and expect them to drag out the effects of the new rule for as long as possible, and to use the intervening time to continue to fight the rule and come up with new strategies to defeat its purpose.
I do believe they lost a request to extend that deadline, so the FCC may be holding them to it. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070111-8599.html
PHP Code:
The FCC Media Bureau yesterday put the kibosh on 
Comcasts request to ditch the 
"integration ban" that 
goes into effect on July 1
2007. The FCC decision 
means that the ban will go forward 
as scheduled 
and cable operators will no longer be able to distribute 
set
-top boxes with an integrated security component.  
<
snip> require cable operators to offer a separate 
security module that could be plugged into a set
-top 
box 
or television from any manufacturer and properly 
descramble channels
The CableCARD was born
Quote:
We've had people on this forum try to defend Comcast's policies, but I suspect they were all Comcast employees or shareholders.
I hope you are not including me in that broad stroke. Far from the truth with me. Not only are Comcast's pricing and policies all over the place, their CSR's give you different answers than their website and the actual billing. I was told that the ONLY extra charge would be $1.50/mo per cableCARD and $4.49/mo xtra for the HD box (when there was really no charge for the cards), but they added TWO A/O fees of $2.75. (Pricing is now $5.01/mo. per card including the A/O fee.) When I called, they argued and argued with me that that's the way it is since I was keeping the HD STB.

Since all of their prices were going up anyway, I just returned the STB and saved $13/mo. And I'm not buying cableCARDS for my second S3 (at $5.01/mo. per card), just using analog and OTA.

But it is totally frustrating that they are so clueless. What I do now is look at the annual pricing insert and figure out the pricing on my own. The reason I believe we are seeing these different market prices may have to do with the takeovers of other cablecos. I know mine has changed hands about 3-4 times in the last 10 years. And it is possible that a lot of pricing is Grandfathered.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:28 AM   #2279
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlord46
We've had people on this forum try to defend Comcast's policies, but I suspect they were all Comcast employees or shareholders.
Or at least it makes you feel better to think of them in that way. In reality, many of us have absolutely not association with Comcast whatsoever except as a customer with reasonable expectations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlord46
I think Comcast's policies are transparently anti-consumer and pro-monopoly, and so long as that is allowed by the FCC, you cannot expect them to act in any other way.
I think Comcast's policies are utterly appropriate given the market and the laws.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:30 AM   #2280
Warlord46
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker
Warlord46,
That's outrageous. Have you tried contacting corporate to get your charges reduced. Details here.
Yes. See my post 1578, page 53, here, and my post 2271, this page, here.
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