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Old 08-02-2007, 06:44 PM   #3061
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpage2
I was quoted a charge of $7 for "HD Programming" when they found saw that I had digital cable and an HD box.

Is this a legitimate charge for having cable cards installed into an HD Tivo?
Usually that sort of charge is associated with the cable company's receiver equipment rental and not with programming delivery. But you'd have to check the specific price list from your cable company.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:37 PM   #3062
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So today I went to my Best Buy and asked for the new Tivo HD. The truck had just arrived with the first shipment and the guy opened the Tivo crate and got one for me. I was customer #1 for the new Tivo at that store!

So that's where the excitement ended. I called Comcast about getting a CableCard; they told me they don't have them available for pickup at service centers. I said thanks and waited a few hours and called back. Same answer. So I asked for an install and before she even checked the service schedule, she said there's a minimum of a four day wait for getting a CableCard. Sounds like some BS policy designed to tick people off. So now I have to wait until Monday and pay $17 for a house call. What a PITA...

Last edited by mroach : 08-02-2007 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:53 PM   #3063
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My "install" date is not for another week (2 weeks total). Consider yourself lucky at just 4 days.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:57 PM   #3064
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Comcast CableCard and TIVO HD

I also was unable to pick up the CableCard at the service center (in Northern VA). They require a $24 installation service visit. I called on 1 Aug and they are coming on 3 Aug (would have come on 2 Aug, but I couldn't be home). I thought that was pretty reasonable timing.

So happy to be returning my Scientific Atlanta HD8300 DVR and getting back to TIVO....the SA box was the most user unfriendly piece of crap. TIVO is worth the money.
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:31 PM   #3065
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I was told on the phone I must schedule home install appt. and I did. Heard of people getting CC at service center (North Ave, Chicago). Went to suburbs (Naperville, Ogden Ave.) where they didn't have CCs. Stopped at North Ave. center and (after 45 mins in line) had my pick of 4 different cards (she didn't know the difference, thankfully I did my homework and selected the M-Card). No problem.

Activation wasn't painless, it took about 6 hours, running guided setup 4 times, and 4 different Comcast reps. The reps I called had no clue, the ones who CALLED ME BACK (! wow!) knew exactly what they were doing.

Summary: an installer isn't necessary. There is an equal likelihood of errors whether they are there or not.
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Old 08-03-2007, 12:10 AM   #3066
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gschoen
I was told on the phone I must schedule home install appt. and I did. Heard of people getting CC at service center (North Ave, Chicago). Went to suburbs (Naperville, Ogden Ave.) where they didn't have CCs. Stopped at North Ave. center and (after 45 mins in line) had my pick of 4 different cards (she didn't know the difference, thankfully I did my homework and selected the M-Card). No problem.

Activation wasn't painless, it took about 6 hours, running guided setup 4 times, and 4 different Comcast reps. The reps I called had no clue, the ones who CALLED ME BACK (! wow!) knew exactly what they were doing.

Summary: an installer isn't necessary. There is an equal likelihood of errors whether they are there or not.
In that case I guess having an installer will be nice, so I can sit back and relax while he deals with any problems. The Comcast rep I spoke to said they don't have M-Cards. Sounds like either the CSRs don't know what's what or it varies greatly by region.
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:44 AM   #3067
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mroach
... she said there's a minimum of a four day wait for getting a CableCard. Sounds like some BS policy designed to tick people off...
My anecdotal experience indicates that there is some merit in this new policy. It was not in effect last year when they made three unsuccessful attempts to install CableCards for me. Now, with this new policy, the CableCards are tested and configured before the visit, and my fourth CableCard install attempt, a couple of months ago, went fine.
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Old 08-03-2007, 09:10 AM   #3068
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Cumming GA Experience

Overall I'm pleased with the way my installation went. The objective to have a pain-free installation, and this forum helped out immensely.

The installer was late but due to one my kids blocking unknown numbers, he wasn't able to call. Not a problem as I was working from home anyway.

The work order was for installation of the 2x cable cards and removal of the 8300HD. I also upgraded to digital basic for the Tivo HD.

The installer has only been with Comcast for 2 weeks and had never completed a CC install before. He let me drive the process from the printed instructions provided by Tivo. He was very diligent, writing down the serial number of the card, the host ID, and card ID.

Card 1 went in, firmware upgrade took place, and he called in the pairing information to his coordinator who in-turn relayed the information internally. It took about 20 minutes for the "Authorized" message to appear, but the ECM and EMM counts stayed at zero. Another call and another hard hit didn't change the status. Paired, but no entitlement messages.

After about 10 minutes he called back and was escalated to someone at the head-end who "did his magic" and the ECM and EMM count started to increment. Sure enough, I could then to the various channels within the Digital Basic and HD packages.

Card 2 went in, firmware upgraded, and the pairing took place, this time within about 20 minutes. He did have to call the enigneer again to send a hit. I also took the opportunity to have them send a hit to my Aquos TV to verify channels on that outlet too.

All-in-all it took a lot longer than needed, but went as expected. The only weird thing is that card one has a "S-Card" designator on it while card two doesn't have that bit. Both work and are decrypting channels, but I will be on the lookout (and expect) some potential billing and loss of channels.

But at least now the cards are paired and it shouldn't require a truck-roll.

During the wait time I did learn a lot about how installers are paid and the issues they have, especially on house wiring. I'll never let a cable, satellite, or telephone installer touch anything past the demarc without me being there.

As with others, my HD Tivo now is showing the macroblocking issue (Scientific Atlanta cards), but I've detailed that in the appropriate thread.
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Old 08-03-2007, 10:59 AM   #3069
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
My anecdotal experience indicates that there is some merit in this new policy. It was not in effect last year when they made three unsuccessful attempts to install CableCards for me. Now, with this new policy, the CableCards are tested and configured before the visit, and my fourth CableCard install attempt, a couple of months ago, went fine.
If that's the case, I don't mind the wait. Maybe they got tired of each installation requiring hours of work and repeat visits and phone calls.
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Old 08-03-2007, 11:32 AM   #3070
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I posted a thread above this one that asks for the M-card model numbers or part numbers from those who have had one installed.

If you can share the info (maybe even a part number from your install receipt) here or in that other thread it would be much appreciated.

/EDIT

From another user the Comcast information for M-card follows;

Motorola PN: 514517-002-00
Barcode SKU: 12572 14271

Last edited by jmpage2 : 08-03-2007 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 08-03-2007, 08:09 PM   #3071
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gschoen
...Activation wasn't painless, it took about 6 hours, running guided setup 4 times...
It needs to be repeated that guided setup should not be done as part of cable card setup. Channels can be checked from within the cable card menu.
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Old 08-03-2007, 09:30 PM   #3072
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneybear
.... it sounds like something wrong with the pairing... I know that it is something wrong at the head end, and it bugs me that the tech guy isn't instantly convinced of this. I call Comcast ... I ask him if he can enter numbers in anywhere to change and he says nothing but the card id. He was very helpful, but still couldn't figure it out. I decide to do some research and of course come up with the answer my self. The info is on the Tivo site under Tivo Support...Troubleshooting CableCard Activation . In a nutshell everything one needs to know is there. My problem showed up as bright as day under the Tivo Conditional Access Menu. When on the offending channels, the Conditional Access page revealed the problem. It listed the fact that I was subscribed to the channel which means that the codes for my subscription were correct, but my Host Validation was unknown, which means my cards were not paired to my slots! Hmm didn't I tell the tech guy it was something about pairing? ... He calls(15 minute wait for them to pick up) and sure enough their data do not match. Once matched and a hit was sent and everything Works. .... I hope this helps those with similar problems! Tivo HD Rocks!
Disneybear...thanks for posting your experience. It sounds very similar to the problems that I am having in Baltimore County, MD.

I made an appointment to have cableCARDs installed in my new TiVoHD box on Tuesday. The CSR told me that I would have to wait until Thursday or Friday because only certain experienced technicians perform cableCARD installations. I took this as a positive sign that I would have the good fortune of a tech who could actually get my box working. I was able to arrange to take the morning off of work for my Friday appointment with an 8:00 to 12:30 time window. Naturally nobody arrived by 12:30, so called and was told that the tech would be an hour late.

1:45 - The tech arrives talking on his cell phone. He said that he was getting advice on how to install the card because he had never seen a cableCARD before. Great. I managed to keep my cool...it wasn't this tech's fault that he was sent to do a job that he wasn't trained to do. We spent almost an hour and a half trying to get it to work, but I was unable to get a picture on almost every channel.

I had a blank black screen on every channel that I tried except for Comcast CN8. That was odd...the useless Comcast propaganda channel worked, but nothing else did.

I kept mentioning that I thought that he needed to provide additional info to the main office to authorize the device (host ID, etc), but he didn't really pay attention to me and only supplied the serial number of the card.

I called Comcast immediately after he left. The CSR was amazed that they sent a contractor who had never seen a cableCARD before and repeatedly apologized. I have another appointment for Tuesday between 4 and 6 PM.

Called Comcast AGAIN

I didn't want to give up, so I called Comcast again after I got home from my office. I got a helpful individual, although it was hard to convince him that he needed to enter additional info. He tried several times to "hit" the box, but still no success. I kept mentioning the need to pair the cableCARD, but he kept trying to do things his own way. Finally, he talked to someone else and said that he would try something different since he really couldn't mess things up beyond what they already were.

He asked for a CableCARD D, a Host ID, a Data #, a model, and a unit or box ID. WOW...that's the same info that appears in the CableCARD Pairing menu! He entered the info (although I didn't have a model - he just entered "Motorola". I thought things sounded pretty good, but when he submitted the info it kicked him out. There was a field that he did not have permission to change. He said that he has to wait until the local office has people available to authorize the change - something to do with assigning units to accounts. I can call back on Saturday between 9 and 5.

I found this post after my call. It confirms my suspicion that I am not correctly paired and that my account is not authorized to receive anything but the Comcast CN8 propaganda.

I also found this posting at ecoustics by Cheryl Staber.
http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/2/176786.html

Quote:
I work as a dispatcher for a cable company & I have had success with getting cablecards to work with various model of tv's. If there are no signal issues or other problems involved I can more often than not work with my tech in getting the card to work. We use Motorola's in our market and the process I use with Wega's and Bravia's is:

1) Upon arrival at the customer's home, determine where the TV is located and that it is in working condition (all channels on our analog tiers are working).

2) Power down the TV and insert the cable card.

3) Power up the TV and wait for the set to display pairing info.

4) Add the card to the customer's account along with any pairing info. (Done by our dispatch)

5) Send an "INT" hit to the card.

6) Go into the TV menu and find the CableCard.

7) Select reset in the CableCard menu.

8) Verify pictures on all channels are being subscribed to including digital and HD.

I use this process whether or not it is a new installion or a service call. If it is a service call and the serial # of the cablecard is already on the account, I take the serial # off the account before the tech starts the above process, cycle it, then procede with the above. The channels will start to auto populate after a couple of minutes. I have great success with this. Tiling is a signal issue, can be caused by something as simple as a loose coax connection at the back of the tv.

I have found that each TV needs to be treated differently, but it took alot of research, trial and error. Cablecards can work, you just need to know the proper way to install them.
I'm hoping for the best tomorrow. Thanks to the info that I found using this forum and Google, I have hope.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:57 AM   #3073
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Just bought a HD Tivo and was finally able to get the cards paired. Still no HBO though.

Was wondering if everyone experiences a gray screen in between channel changes? Seems like a slow response while changing channels.
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Old 08-04-2007, 08:21 AM   #3074
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Not a surprise, but here is my update as of this morning.
I called to provide the hostID, part number, etc. in order to pair the card as I had done last night. The first woman said that a tech had to visit the house to do this, even though the problem was at the main office. She hung up on me while I was talking.

I called again and talked to another person. Same story. He refused to transfer me to a supervisor. Told me that I was wrong. He look up the person who I talked to last night. He was a part time employee and will not be in until Sunday at 6PM. The part time worker was the only helpful person who I had talked to and was the only one who came close to solving my problem.

I asked to speak to a supervisor today, but kept being told that I simply kept repeating myself. He would not transfer me.
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Old 08-04-2007, 08:58 AM   #3075
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I am in Collegeville, PA

My appointment day was today. Scheduled to install one M-Card or two S-Cards in my TivoHD.
Appointment was scheduled for 8am-10am.
I got a call from the tech at 7:30am to let me know she was on the way. I asked her if she was coming right from the office. She said yes. I asked her to bring a bunch of cards just in case the first didn't work. She said she has two and that is all she's allowed to bring with her. I asked if they were M-Cards and she said yes. So, already off to a good start, two M-Cards... one to try, and one as a back up.
She arrived in front of my house around 8:05 and sat in her truck, I think eating breakfast, for about 10 or 15 minutes. She then collected her equipment and come to the door.
As I was walking her to my basement, I asked if she had done CableCard installs before and she said yes. I asked her if she has done them in Tivo's before and she said, "We just put the card in. The software part is up to you." Which I was COMPLETELY fine with! I showed her the install instructions that came with the Tivo. I said it tells me to write down the serial number of the card. She started to read it to me, then handed it to me. I wrote down the S/N, UA & MAC and handed it back to her. She had already started calling her service line on her speakerphone. She didn't know where to put the card in the Tivo, so I showed her. She plugged it into Slot1 (on the right). The Tivo immediately recognized the card and brought up the config menu. She gave the person on the other end of the phone the S/N, then the CableCardID, HostID and Data number (all of which are on the tivo screen). Took about 5 minutes for the person on the other end to get it set up, and sent a couple of hits to the box. I went to the test channels screen and all channels that I should get were there.

All in all, I guess it only took about 20 minutes. The tech was a little rude, but otherwise cooperative. After all the horror stories I've read here, I was prepared for the worst, but it went about as smoothly as it possibly could have.

I think I was lucky to have someone that has done CableCard installs before plus someone on the phone that knew how to active them. I was also lucky to have an M-Card available to me, so I only had to worry about one card being installed.

So, kudos to Comcast for getting it right the first time with no trouble!

I think as long as they get the numbers right, and the person on the phone knows how to properly do the activation, it SHOULD be a painless process.

I wish everyone else as much luck as I had with my install!
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Old 08-04-2007, 10:06 AM   #3076
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamwsh
I am in Collegeville, PA

Here is another positive story: My appointment day was today. ... I wish everyone else as much luck as I had with my install!
I picked up the TiVo HD Thursday afternoon (Aug 2) and went through the set-up (without the cards) that evening. Comcast came out Friday at 11:30 am, and the tech had two Motorola cards completely installed within an hour. The premium channels plus HBO and Starz were working in HD on both cards without any problems.

This is for the guest bedroom where my wife does most of her casual TV watching; this makes her happy since she makes use of Wish Lists and doesn't appreciate the 3416's re-recording programs she's already watched and deleted.

I still have the Mot. 3416 in the living room with the larger TV, since I occasionally use it for On-Demand HD movies and it does work if you know the work-arounds and are patient.

*** This just to let you know things often work the way they are supposed to.

P.S. The tech knew about the TiVo software for the Motorola, said the company told him employees may get a crack at it soon, and said he was looking forward to seeing it. We're in western Massachusetts.

P.P.S. The tech only had two cards with him and one was bad. But he managed to contact another tech who was on the road not too far away, and that guy brought a replacement by. That and we were still done in an hour.
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Old 08-04-2007, 10:30 PM   #3077
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Pricing info for Bay Area- info request

My first post here- great resource for consumers!

I assume this is a blatant error but wanted to check for other customer experience on this before complaining to Comcast.

I'm a customer in San Mateo CA office though apparently routed through Foster City Comcast office (I have 94403 zip).

I already had two TV locations with Comcast boxes and Tivo2's attached, and HD service (through the Comcast box) on one of them. The relevant monthly charges for this setup, beyond the digital package:
- High Definition TV $7.00
- Digital Addl Outlet $6.99 (I assume this is box rental)

I put in a Tivo3 in a third location (a contractor ran the cable), installed Cablecards with the typical minor hiccups (one bad card) but not too bad compared to the stories I've seen here. Comcast installer knew what he was doing- plugged in both cards at once but it didn't seem to matter.

So I got the first bill and found these monthly charges including the previous services which I'm still getting:
- High Definition TV $7.00
- Digital Addl Outlet $6.99

and new charges:
- Dual C-Card Dig Access $1.79
- HDTV Additional Service $7.00
- HDTV Additional Service $7.00
- Digital Addl Outlet $6.99
- Digital Addl Outlet $6.99

So I'm getting charged an additional $29.77 per month for putting in the Tivo 3. I was assuming I'd just be paying $1.79 per month for the second cable card (they said one was free), or else $6.99 for the 'additional outlet' (even though there's no new box) plus $1.79. The double 'HDTV additional service' seems particularly bogus- has anybody else seen this charge? Any experience with Bay Area Comcast on this billing practice would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:05 AM   #3078
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For new S3 should just be:
- Dual C-Card Dig Access $1.79
- Digital Addl Outlet $6.99
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Old 08-05-2007, 07:19 AM   #3079
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Don't know about the Bay area, but in SWFL, there is a $7.00 'additional digital equipment' fee on each of my 'second' cards, which according to the folks at the head end, has to be there (and apparently, when they remove it, the cards stop working). They've said they're 'working on it.'

I am in the process of contacting corporate for assistance.
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:20 AM   #3080
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamwsh
I am in Collegeville, PA

She gave the person on the other end of the phone the S/N, then the CableCardID, HostID and Data number (all of which are on the tivo screen). Took about 5 minutes for the person on the other end to get it set up, and sent a couple of hits to the box. I went to the test channels screen and all channels that I should get were there.

All in all, I guess it only took about 20 minutes.
I'm happy to hear that someone has had a good experience. At least you were allowed to talk to people in the Comcast office to provide the numbers. And they were people who actually believed that they needed to enter a CableCARD ID, HostID and Data number.

I wasn't even allowed to talk to anyone at Comcast on Saturday on the phone to try to give them the numbers.
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:54 PM   #3081
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoopsfan
So I'm getting charged an additional $29.77 per month for putting in the Tivo 3. I was assuming I'd just be paying $1.79 per month for the second cable card (they said one was free), or else $6.99 for the 'additional outlet' (even though there's no new box) plus $1.79. The double 'HDTV additional service' seems particularly bogus- has anybody else seen this charge? Any experience with Bay Area Comcast on this billing practice would be appreciated.
Welcome to the monthly butt-raping you'll soon become used to from Comcast. Since I switched from DirecTV six months ago, Comcast has lied to me every time I've spoken with them. They lied about the free cable box for cablecard customers so they can access "On Demand", which is listed on their website. (First that it is not free, then that it was free, even though I got charged random amounts each month for it). They lied about applying credits for the random, bizzarre charges that would appear on my bill (various combinations of equipment, HD service, and AO fees).

I returned the cable box last month even though I will miss the On Demand programming. Hopefully they will randomly overcharge me less every month now- but honestly, I am not holding my breath.
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Old 08-05-2007, 03:54 PM   #3082
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Since it's all fresh in my mind, I'll detail my less than stellar installation process thus far.

A contracted Comcast tech showed up at my house within the agreed upon time window yesterday. His initial statement to me was that he was a cable card virgin and didn't see why I needed two cards. I told him it was for a Tivo HD. His response was that all devices only take one cable card, but he brought two anyway since there was a note on my record that I insisted on two being brought (good job to the CSR who took my order). I showed him the Tivo installation instructions, so he could see that it took two unless he had an M-card. He showed me the cards, both of which were s-cards. He then called the dispatcher at the Comcast NOC. When he got off of the phone, he tried to convince me that this Tivo was a waste of my time, and I should just stay with the DVR I had now. I explained that I have been through five of the Motorola DCT-641x DVRs, and I have had enough of them.

We then proceeded downstairs to the entertainment center. On the way down, I handed him the instructions again and told him that I have read a lot of accounts in which the installation has gone awry and I thought it very important that we follow the instructions exactly as written. He agreed (at least for now -- I'll get to his change of mind later).

When we got downstairs, he wrote the Serial Numbers and other identifying info from the cards on the instruction sheet and then handed me the cards and asked if I wanted to put them in the Tivo (which I was delighted to do). While I put the first one in, following the instructions, he called the NOC back. It took us to the screen with the Host address. When the dispatcher at the NOC came on the line, he and the installer spent some time joking about how cable cards were a mess and this would be a difficult installation (great way to start). He then told us that he didn't have the card numbers in his computer, so we would need to remove the first card and reboot the Tivo. We did so and the NOC dispatcher put us on hold for about 15 minutes. After the reboot and when the dispatcher came back on the phone, we started over. After placing the first card in the NOC dispatcher told us to insert the second card. I insisted that we follow the instructions exactly, and he needed to activate the first card per the instructions. The NOC dispatcher told us that it probably wouldn't work anyway, but OK. After he said it was activated, he put us on hold while we tested the channels. During the channel testing none of the expanded channels would work. The NOC dispatcher came back on the phone 25 minutes later (the installer was pretty annoyed at the dispatcher at this time). I told the dispatcher that based on what I have read, it sounds like the card had not been successfully paired. I also suggested that he need to take the host data info and enter it into the system. At this point, he asked the installer to take us off of speaker phone and talk directly to him. They talked for a few minutes, and the installer read the host info to the dispatcher. The dispatcher put us on hold again while he "hit the card". While on hold, the installer half jokingly told me that he would be willing to give me $20 to forget about the cablecards and return the Tivo.

While doing the channel scan, we received an error (I think it was 161-4; I have the exact number written down at home). When the dispatcher came back on the line (on speaker phone), the installer told him the error we received. The dispatcher told the installer that this meant that the Tivo has a problem. He also said that these Tivos all have problems like this and that there was nothing that Comcast can do. I was starting to get annoyed because we had invested about 90 minutes at this point without any luck. I asked the dispatcher what the next steps were. He told me that they couldn't proceed any further and I would need to call Tivo to have them activate the cards and finish the installation. I asked him to please get a supervisor or someone else at his end who was more experienced with cable card installs that could help us at this point. He became upset and told the installer to take it off of speaker phone. When the installer got off of the phone, he told me that his visit was finished. He said he had been instructed to leave the cable cards, and I would need to call Tivo to activate the cards.

I knew this would be a problem because we hadn't tried the second card, and I doubted Tivo had access to Comcast's billing systems to activate it. I explained this to the installer, but he said that he was told that the job was finished on his end. He felt bad (and was pretty annoyed at the dispatcher), so he told me he would submit this so I wouldn't be billed for his visit. He also left me the phone number and instructions for calling the Comcast dispatcher at the NOC if I needed to after talking with Tivo.

I called Tivo, and like I thought, there was nothing they could do. They said that the error was probably a faulty cablecard. They instructed me to insert the second card and call comcast. I did so, and when the pairing screen came up, I called the Comcast NOC. I was "fortunate" enough to get the same dispatcher as before (Scott); he was pretty angry that I was able to call him. He emphasized that customer were not permitted to call him, and he could only work with authorized installers. I explained that I am an IT person by trade, and that I felt comfortable reading the numbers to him from the screen while he entered them in and tried to authorize my cards. He took the host info for my cards and sent a hit to each. When that didn't work, he said that he was unable to do anything else since I was "unauthorized to work with him", and I would need to call the 1-800 number.

I called the 1-800 number and was connected to a very nice lady in tech support (Christine). She sent a hit to my cards. After this, I was able to get all of my channels except the premiums (HBO and Starz). She then noticed that the host numbers had not been entered in for my cards. She tried to enter them, but discovered that she didn't have access to that part of my account. She took down the numbers and told me she would email them to the department that is authorized to do so (which I'm assuming would be the NOC).

Over the next three hours, Christine called me back twice to give me status updates (her diligence and efforts made me think that at least someone at Comcast gives a crap about customer service). In the end, she called back a third time after 8:00 PM to tell me that the department that enters host numbers into the system was unable to successfully authorize my cards, and they would need to do another truck roll (at no cost to me). I explained that I think the major part of the problem was the inexperience of the initial installer and the dispatcher and asked if she could something to ensure that the installer who comes next has a couple of extra cards and is experienced with cable card installs. She noted my account to read as such and read it back to ensure that I was satisfied with the emphasis that she placed. She was very apologetic, and I sincerely appreciated her positive attitude (especially after the attitude I received from the NOC dispatcher).

During the course of the afternoon/evening, I did try to reboot the TivoHD a couple of times (as has been suggested in this thread and others), but to no avail -- I still don't have access to the premiums.

I'm hoping that they can get it straightened out tomorrow when the other tech comes. I still haven't activated the Tivo (I'm waiting to ensure that the installation can be made to work). The guy at Tivo understood my hesitancy to activate and assured me that not activating would not prevent the cable card installation to work as long as I was within the one week windows (which I am until Thursday).

Overall, I like the device (I haven't noticed the sever pixelation that some others have reported), but I don't have a lot of time to waste getting it to work. I hate to throw in the towel, when in my case I'm sure the problem is with Comcast and not Tivo, but I'm giving it until Thursday to get fixed. Hopefully, Comcast can make this work. If not, I would like to file a complaint with someone. Who would be the best group with whom I would register my complaint? The FCC, my local franchising authority, someone else?

To address a point that has been raised through this thread and this board, I observed a very hostile attitude by two Comcast employees towards cable cards and competing boxes (Tivo in this case). I obviously can't say that it is a hostile attitude directed by Comcast as a company, but based on the way both were talking and some of the statements they made about their peers perception of cable cards and Tivos, it is an attitude that seems to pervade the support ranks at Comcast. This type of unprofessional attitude is not something that I would accept in my employees, and I find it disheartening that it seems to be the norm at Comcast.

Thankfully, the helpful CSR (Christine) did not say anything negative about Tivo or cable cards, so at least one employee that I dealt with acted in a professional manner.
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Old 08-05-2007, 04:50 PM   #3083
jmpage2
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The telephone industry went through the same thing after it was ruled by the FCC that non telco equipment could be connected to "the network".

It used to be that installers and service personel, etc, would do everything they could to throw a monkey wrench into things whenever dealing with a "non telephone company" piece of gear.

At the end of the day it's a bunch of overpaid people who work in a monopoly system who are afraid of losing their jobs and/or having it found out just how little they actually know about anything to justify the $$$ they make.
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Old 08-05-2007, 05:35 PM   #3084
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Originally Posted by mike_camden
Since it's all fresh in my mind, I'll detail my less than stellar installation process thus far.

A contracted Comcast tech showed up at my house...
I do not think there are any contractors that understand cable cards. In my region contractors make $4 flat rate for each cable card installed beyond what they get for the service call itself so there is no motivation to want to do or learn about cable cards. For the next appointment you should read the TiVo Cable Card Installation Instructions, particularly section 5 regarding the activation signal message 161-4 which you were interpreting as an error (it is unfortunate that it is listed as an "error message" without anymore verbosity. Good luck next time around!
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Old 08-05-2007, 05:44 PM   #3085
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My HD Tivo will arrive tomorrow and I scheduled Comcast to come Tuesday. I requested an M-Card. I said I'd hold on to my old cable box for a while. Perhaps I will return it next month. My S1 Tivo and the box will be moved into another room.

There is no charge for the installation. The HD which included the cable card is 6.95/month. The old cable box is $6.99/month which will stop when it is returned to Comcast. So basically, it looks like it is no extra to switch to HD (actually I come out 4-cents/mo

I am keeping my fingers crossed for an uneventful install.

More to come....

Gary Davis
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Old 08-05-2007, 05:47 PM   #3086
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Originally Posted by gardavis
My HD Tivo will arrive tomorrow and I scheduled Comcast to come Tuesday. I requested an M-Card. I said I'd hold on to my old cable box for a while. Perhaps I will return it next month. My S1 Tivo and the box will be moved into another room.

There is no charge for the installation. The HD which included the cable card is 6.95/month. The old cable box is $6.99/month which will stop when it is returned to Comcast. So basically, it looks like it is no extra to switch to HD (actually I come out 4-cents/mo

I am keeping my fingers crossed for an uneventful install.

More to come....

Gary Davis
That's not entirely true. Your net with Comcast is the same but you will be paying the extra for TiVo of course.
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Old 08-05-2007, 05:55 PM   #3087
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That's not entirely true. Your net with Comcast is the same but you will be paying the extra for TiVo of course.
True, with multi service discount, it will be an extra $6.95 to Tivo. My S1 lifetime will not transfer but I will leave it active since it saves me the full Tivo charge.

Comcast called me back about my M-Card request to make sure I did not have a Series 3 Tivo.
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:05 PM   #3088
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Originally Posted by gardavis
True, with multi service discount, it will be an extra $6.95 to Tivo. My S1 lifetime will not transfer but I will leave it active since it saves me the full Tivo charge.

Comcast called me back about my M-Card request to make sure I did not have a Series 3 Tivo.
Do me a favor. Find out how they have M-Card's listed in their system. I have a call in to the guy that set up my dispatch for tomorrow and insisted that I get an M-Card but I haven't heard back from him and he had no idea the 1st time I spoke with him what an M-Card was.

If the installer shows up tomorrow without an M-Card I'm going to send him on his way.
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Old 08-05-2007, 07:05 PM   #3089
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Final story on my Comcast installation:

1 - One week after I received the S3 ...
A very nice installer came in and handed me two cards, stating that he'd never done them before. He did not insist on doing things out of order, etc ... so we followed Tivo instructions to the letter. First card went in (fancier than the other card) - and he called the dispatcher. He was then on hold for about 40 minutes. He did read off some data from the pairing screen but I could not tell what data. Eventually he got both cards working - which kind of impressed me - and my pay channels (HBO) and regular channels were working perfectly. I was hopeful!
2 - I noticed that two of my channels, A&E HD and National Geographic HD, would through me to the pairing screen - on either tuner. I called Comcast tech support. A very nice lady on the other end sent some 'hit' ... then eventually told me that these two channels are not available yet to the customers - they will be enabled in a week (I sort of remember watching then on the 6412 Motorolla). So I decided to wait.
3 - A week has passed and naturally nothing happened. At the same time I discovered that I was billed for both an extra DO, and extra HD service. I called Comcast billing, which was fairly useless - and all arguing for what Tivo is did me no good. I requested a supervisor, and was promised that one would call me back in 24 hours - which naturally did not happen either.
4 - I call comcast tech support again, asking for help on the two HD channels. A very nice lady tried to 'hit' the cards, gave up, then said she will send someone over.
5 - New person comes in - spends about 5 minutes playing with the cards, declares that there is nothing he can do, and leaves, leaving me rather angry. At this point I discover that I can actually pull a card out of S3 and insert it into the TV directly and I can tune same channels that S3 could - making me believe that the card wasn't paired.
6 - Called Comcast tech support again - and another very nice person told me that a person is going to come in. I pointed out that this already happened, and the person was unable to do anything. She insisted that everything will be ok. I notice that CCI on the two bad channels reads 0x02, while on other channels it reads 0x00 - making me think that these two new HD channels require pairing.
7 - Two guys show up on Sunday. One immediately proceeded to check the signal and splitters, while the other one - rather expertly - went to the peanut and started working with the pairing screen. He then called a dispatcher, and spent about 30 minutes with him providing him various info from the Pairing screen. The dispatcher then oddly states that nobody with CC's has been able to get these two channels to tune. The first tech left to validate signal coming in to my apartment (he already replaced one bad splitter), while the other was still on the phone with the dispatcher. Eventually I pointed out the CCI discrepancy he told that to the dispatcher. Nothing worked. The two left and promised to investigate.
8 - One of them calls me back on Monday after I come back from work - he said that there was a problem at the headend, and it was now fixed. I checked and indeed it was.

So now if S3 starts supporting M-Cards and Comcast actually has any, maybe my last remaining issue with Comcast will go away. Meanwhile, I am very happy with Tivo and planning to get internal drive update to 500gb, then plug in the 750gb eSata ... when the warranty runs out.

My installation was free by the way ... My net result is an $11 increase in Comcast payments after I returned their awful DVR. After all my arguing with billing I got a 'discount' on second DO - 2.99 per month for 1 year, so my net increase is only $7 right now.

Last edited by secondclaw : 08-05-2007 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 08-05-2007, 07:09 PM   #3090
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlib
I do not think there are any contractors that understand cable cards. In my region contractors make $4 flat rate for each cable card installed beyond what they get for the service call itself so there is no motivation to want to do or learn about cable cards. For the next appointment you should read the TiVo Cable Card Installation Instructions, particularly section 5 regarding the activation signal message 161-4 which you were interpreting as an error (it is unfortunate that it is listed as an "error message" without anymore verbosity. Good luck next time around!
Thanks for the link. I had the instruction sheet that came with the Tivobut was so frustrated by that point that I didn't think to check online.

I've printed the page from the link you posted and will have that by my side tomorrow when the installer shows up.
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