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Old 01-19-2008, 01:42 PM   #4861
pl1
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Originally Posted by dswallow View Post
For all it really matters they could've hidden the CableCARD inside. I really don't consider it following the spirit of the FCC mandate.
Very interesting. Remember, it was the cablecos who wanted cableCARDs. This pretty much proves they (at least Comcast) never really "wanted" them in the first place.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:57 PM   #4862
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Originally Posted by pl1 View Post
OK, You got me! I figured it would be a very long time since we'd be seeing those. Looks like I figured wrong.
I did just get mine last Saturday so it is VERY NEW.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:01 PM   #4863
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Originally Posted by dswallow View Post
All association of the CableCARD ID #'s is done at the warehouse and all Comcast does in the field is use the same box serial number that they used before. All other authorization info is pre-stored with the box serial number in their system..
ABSOLUTELY correct. I had my new DVR with the
hidden cable card inside installed last Saturday.

All the tech did was plug it into the AC and hookup
the cable and it was up and running. TOOK LESS
than 5 minutes - no phone calls at all.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:02 PM   #4864
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Originally Posted by pl1 View Post
Very interesting. Remember, it was the cablecos who wanted cableCARDs. This pretty much proves they (at least Comcast) never really "wanted" them in the first place.
Actually, it was the FCC who mandated separable conditional access. The cable industry hated the idea as much as Bell hated Carterphone, and dragged their feet as long as possible.

When it became clear that they would have to do at least a token effort, they cooked up CableCard. It's the industry equivalent to little Bobby doing his book report the night before its due.

Now that they're being forced to eat their own dog food, their objective is to demonstrate exactly how onerous and unusable it is.
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:57 PM   #4865
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Now that they're being forced to eat their own dog food, their objective is to demonstrate exactly how onerous and unusable it is.
They are succeeding on that point, at least. They sure aren't making it easy. I'm surprised as many people who put up with it are in fact putting up with it. The hoops you have to jump through (in a lot of the cases) are ridiculous. And now, for good measure, they are going to increase the price for A/O's.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:17 PM   #4866
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arggh after much stress my tivohd is working with a mcard.

I am from San francisco bay area. I bought my tivohd on monday as an early bday gift. all of monday i pretty much read up on the forums and comcast.net to check out my options. Tuesday, i found out that in my area they have self install kits for the cable card. Order one asking for an mcard. the pink one.

On tuesday picked it up but they only game me an one Scard instead of two, i was in a hurry and they were closing, so thats my fault. but they were charging me for two even though i have one. no biggie. i would just return again on friday to pick up a either a mcard or a other scard.

I go and setup my scard and it was fine first csr didnt get a host id or data id stating that they have that already and they will send a signal > phhff whatever. hanged up and called 15mins later and found a lady who knew what she needed gave the host and data. complete. one card working. now i'll wait to pick up a second card.

Fast forward to friday and take a day off work just to get this working. Go down to my payment center picked up actually a Mcard instead Scard. So i take the scard out and put the mcard in. First off I would like to say i wish comcast would follow a standard procedure with the self install kits. for the whole day i was calling every 15mins trying to get my channels on. i kept saying i needs to be paired and validated i have the host ids ect ect but they kept on insisting that they have all that and kept on saying i just ping or sent a signal. i would get most of my channels except for my hbohd and regular hbo. i would get the please call us to pair and activate service.

So pretty much all night i just kept call getting bounce around different answers saying i just sent the signal they have a backlog of signals of 15mins. i gave up and said i'll try this sat again. So i called again got a fairly knownledgble csr but he couldnt do anything and offered to send a tech out as he thinks its the card. but not until wednesday which i couldnt take a day off. so i said forget it i'll just return it and get a new mcard and start fresh.

Got my new mcard. called again and again said i just sent a signal didnt want my new data id and host. getting really stress out already. waited 15mins called again and finally got a really smart guy. he asked for the host id and data and the unit id. first said these cards need three signals. one to wipe the card out. and he stayed on the phone with me still that happen. then a second signal to get the channels i am suppose to get. waited on the phone with me and a third to make it stick. so i tested out my channels and it works!! finally a csr that wanted to help me and get what i wanted. thanked him alot. and when on my way.

soo word of advice, if doing the self install, is to be patient and if the first csr doesnt do anything call again.

Finally it works.

Carlo
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:05 PM   #4867
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I live in Richmond, VA and ordered my TivoHD last Sunday and scheduled Comcast for last Friday. Tivo showed up Thursday and Comcast called at 8am Friday saying they couldn't install that day due to and I quote "A glitch in ALL the CableCards". This sounded fishy so I called again and was able to set up an install for 8-11 the next day, today (Saturday). 11:15 rolls around and no call, no show (shocking) so I call CC and asked the Rep if anyone was actually going to come out. See told me that she would email the dispatch people about my problem and then they would email her back and she would call me back. She said it would take about 10 or 15 minutes, 45 minutes later no one had called me back (shocking) so I called back and spoke to the same rep who informed me that they someone was supposed to have called me but they are out of CableCards. Awesome. So I asked to speak to her manager, for I was quite pissed for being lied to, the no call/no show, ect. I was then informed the Manager was on the other line and would have to call me back (shocking). I asked for the Managers extension because Comcast has F'ed me at every given opportunity and the Manager NEVER calls back. Rep says the Manager doesn't have an extension (shocking) and that he would just tell me the same thing as her. I asked her if she had the authority to credit my account then, and her response was why did they need to credit my account.

So at this point I have no idea when, if ever I am going to get my CableCards from Comcast. Is anyone else in the Central VA area having this problem or does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to speed up, or get any results, period?

The year or so I have been dealing with Comcast has made me realize one thing, Comcast could play a huge part in helping us win the war on terror. Instead of having to waterboard or "torture" captured terrorists for information, the CIA should just make them sign up for Comcast's triple play and then give them TivoHD's. I guarantee even the most hardend of terrorist will sing like a bird after dealing with Comcast for a couple of months and was told everything would work perfectly find if he would just tell us where Bin Laden was hiding. Comcast could also help prepare our troops for battle. CC reps/techs have the ability to harness and intensify a killing instinct and to bring out a want and need to hurt and destroy that I never knew I had in me. For the first time in my life I can understand how someone could have enough hatred inside of them that they would strap bombs to themselves. Comcast has shown me how the enemy thinks and I think exposing our troops to this (though I would not wish such horrors on anyone, but sacrifices must be made in war) would help them in battle.

Update: While I was writing this thread Comcast called my girlfriend and told her our cable/internet would be free until the CableCards come in. That does make me feel better, but I will reserve giving them credit for actually doing a good deed until i see the bill.

Good news!! I am in the Richmond area as well and I also feel your frustration!! Together we can fight the evil Comcast and see through their perception. If you read my post a few pages back you can see what I am going through. It's funny that they told you there are no cablecards left. Because they told me I got the last 2 in the warehouse! Maybe they're actually telling the truth? (Doubt it)

It's interesting you are getting free cable out of the deal. All they gave me was a crappy Comcast DVR. They also gave me instructions for the WRONG DVR (different picture in the instructions) and the setup won't work for it. Argggh. I refuse to give up on this. Please keep me posted and hopefully we can work together to get our Tivo's up and running!
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Old 01-20-2008, 01:56 AM   #4868
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Good news!! I am in the Richmond area as well and I also feel your frustration!! Together we can fight the evil Comcast and see through their perception. If you read my post a few pages back you can see what I am going through. It's funny that they told you there are no cablecards left. Because they told me I got the last 2 in the warehouse! Maybe they're actually telling the truth? (Doubt it)

It's interesting you are getting free cable out of the deal. All they gave me was a crappy Comcast DVR. They also gave me instructions for the WRONG DVR (different picture in the instructions) and the setup won't work for it. Argggh. I refuse to give up on this. Please keep me posted and hopefully we can work together to get our Tivo's up and running!
Yes, Vo-rade! Together- us, the common TivoHD worker, will unite against the bourgeois entertainment provider and end their reign exploitation. I issue a call to arms brothers! The Tivo-letariat masses shall revolt and justice and equality will prevail!

They tried to offer us a free DVR box at first too, but my girlfriend would have nothing to do with that. She sternly explained the entire situation, pointing out how CC flat out lied to us, the MANY ways they could have easily avoided the problems from occuring, and then finally told them that either they came up with a way to make us happy or we were canceling our $150 a month service immediately. That did the trick. Now I am just worried about the amount of time and energy I am going to have to put into actually getting the free cable when they charge us for it next month, which I am quite sure they will do.

I will keep my situation updated on here, and ask anyone in the Richmond area getting cable cards to do the same.
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:48 AM   #4869
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Smile Tivo HD, cable Cards and what should I get??

I am not a techie and after reading these forums I am more confused than ever. I have a new HD plasma with a HD cable box from Comcast (Boston area) I do not subscribe to any premium channels. Just expanded digital cable service. I also have a Series 2 dual tuner Tivo that I bought about 6 months ago for my old TV. When I watch TV through the TIVO box the picture is terrible. If I watch the HD channels, it is somewhat better. If I want to watch true HD shows, I have to watch through the Comcast box directly, not the Tivo at all. This defeats the purpose of even having Tivo. The installer of the TV told me to get a HD tivo. Is this all I need to get? Are these cable cards really necessary? If I get cable cards will I still need my HD cable box? Will an HD tivo box make regular programs clear? Thank you for any advice!!!

Last edited by pnwn21 : 01-21-2008 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:05 AM   #4870
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Originally Posted by pnwn21 View Post
I am not a techie and after reading these forums I am more confused than ever. I have a new HD plasma with a HD cable box from Comcast (Boston area) I do not subscribe to any premium channels. Just expanded digital cable service. I also have a dual tuner Tivo that I bought about 6 months ago for my old TV. When I watch TV through the TIVO box the picture is terrible. If I watch the HD channels, it is somewhat better. If I want to watch true HD shows, I have to watch through the Comcast box directly, not the Tivo at all. This defeats the purpose of even having Tivo. The installer of the TV told me to get a HD tivo. Is this all I need to get? Are these cable cards really necessary? If I get cable cards will I still need my HD cable box? Will an HD tivo box make regular programs clear? Thank you for any advice!!!
This entire thread concerns the true high definition Tivos which are the S3 model and the Tivo HD. Only these can utilize cable cards. Virtually all channels will be sterling HD or crystal clear digital.

The cable cards are required to watch HD provided by the cable company. The S3 and Tivo HD can also receive ota(over the air) via antenna.

Without cable cards, the S3 and Tivo HD can only tune ota hd and analog cable. The analog cable, at least on my Tivo HD, is much better than my sd Tivos but digital cable sd still looks so much better. They can also tune(maybe) qam cable hd which are basically your ota stations sent thru the cable.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:41 AM   #4871
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I had my Cablecard installation done this past Saturday (Wilmington, MA). I was VERY nervous after becoming a student of this thread, but am happy to report the installer knew what he was doing, and installed one M card without any problems. The hardest part for him was being on hold with the Comcast office for 30 minutes. He was smart---as soon as he walked in my door he placed his call and got in queue before he even looked at my TiVo box.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:54 AM   #4872
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Reasonable Comcast Install Experience

I have Comcast in Montgomery County, Maryland hooked up to my HD Tivo. Given all the horror stories on this thread, I was prepared for the worst. I called the day before to make sure the work order had two cable cards and Tivo in there. Here's the sequence of events

1. Several hours before the first appointment, the tech calls and says he doesn't have the cable cards. He transfers me to his dispatcher who says there is a programming problem so the cards aren't ready yet. He apologizes very nicely as did the tech and they schedule a second appointment 2 days later

2. The tech shows up for the second appointment in the time slot with 2 S cards. It takes him about an hour, much of which is spent on hold with his own tech folks! I had the directions printed out and worked the Tivo remote to get him to the information he needed. When he leaves, we are getting the analog cable channels, but not the digital. He says I have to call customer service to get the digital channels activated.

3. I call customer service and the digital channels are authorized for both cards. I repeat the guided setup and restart the Tivo. Amazingly, everything works.

So overall, a decent experience. Supposedly, the cable cards are free. We'll see what happens when the first bill comes.
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:49 AM   #4873
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I finally checked my account online and I am not yet far enough along to see the billing for my next statement. However, it does look they they actually credited me $20x2. I knew they were crediting me for the tech showing up way too late and all, but I will not complain about getting 2 credits.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:15 PM   #4874
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I'm about to purchase a Series3 HD with upgraded 750GB and spoke to Comcast over the weekend. They told me they were getting more cable cards in on Tuesday and could schedule an appointment when I have my unit. Based on some earlier posts, it sounds like that's when they get all their shipments in Arlington, VA and don't necessarily know if cable cards will be included, but guess I'll find out soon.

One point to confirm: I need two S Cards for a Series3 correct? I know one M card will not work but what about if they bring two M Cards? Does that work for the Series3?

Thanks! Looking forward to doing away with the Comcast dvr box. I used to have a DirecTV HR10-250 until I moved last year.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:15 PM   #4875
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Add me to the list of people frustrated with Comcast. I can't even seem to get someone to come and attempt to install the darn cards -- they keep setting up appointments with me and then cancelling because they don't have any cards in stock. The latest, I've been told, will be early February here in Arlington, VA.

I'm not happy to hear that once they come, the problems will continue.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:17 PM   #4876
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Fios

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Originally Posted by TroyGoode View Post
I'm in Arlington VA and have been waiting for my cards since Christmas. I was scheduled for my 3rd appointment today and have now been told yet again that they have no CableCARDS in the warehouse. I'm now schedule for the 23rd, but at this point I have absolutely zero faith in Comcast's ability to deliver on their promise.

Luckily for me Fios should be available in my building in about 2 weeks...
I'm in Arlington VA 22201, hearing signs that FIOS is in the area. You're actually getting it installed in a couple of weeks? Same zip? I'm also looking forward to ditching comcast.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:19 PM   #4877
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Add me to the list of people frustrated with Comcast. I can't even seem to get someone to come and attempt to install the darn cards -- they keep setting up appointments with me and then cancelling because they don't have any cards in stock. The latest, I've been told, will be early February here in Arlington, VA.

I'm not happy to hear that once they come, the problems will continue.
I'm going to call them again tomorrow or Wed and see if they say the same thing. Hopefully they will have new stock.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:29 PM   #4878
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One point to confirm: I need two S Cards for a Series3 correct? I know one M card will not work but what about if they bring two M Cards? Does that work for the Series3?
Yes it does. I have one Series 3 set up with two S-Cards and one Series 3 setup with two M-Cards.
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:18 PM   #4879
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Thanks!

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Yes it does. I have one Series 3 set up with two S-Cards and one Series 3 setup with two M-Cards.
Thanks, appreciate the confirmation. As long as they bring two we're in business - presuming they know what they're doing and/or follow tivo instructions.
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:24 PM   #4880
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Cost of cablecards in Arlington VA

Regarding the cost I was told in Arlington VA, I already have one CableCard in a Toshiba flatscreen, so I was told that the first card was free, but when I get two more for my Series3 they will cost $1.50 / month each. So basically I give up my hideous 8300HD in the living room that costs $11.95 / month and pay $3.00 total per month for the two new CableCards. So cost is a non-issue.
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:00 PM   #4881
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What is the difference between S cards and M cards?
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:02 PM   #4882
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What is the difference between S cards and M cards?
I bet there's an answer in the CABLECARD FAQ but I am too lazy to go look.
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:37 PM   #4883
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FINALLY!
...
To those who are being told that there are no cablecards in Arlington VA, I wonder if ... they made a note to help the pissed off customer they just had to credit $100-150 for their mistakes?
Congrats Mr. Logical. You've waited long enough that you definitely deserve one.

I called over the weekend to get an appt for a cable card (I'm also in Arlington, VA), and after the Rep called the warehouse, she said that they are out of cable cards. After more questioning, she said (as someone else also posted) that the warehouse for Arlington, VA gets equipment shipments every Tuesday, but those shipments might (or might not) include cable cards.

So for other Arlington people out there, Tuesdays are the magic days. If you're trying to get a cable card, keep that in mind.

Krazi Joe (and others in Arlington, and elsewhere) good luck. I'll post updates on my situation as it unfolds.

-Phil
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:52 PM   #4884
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What is the difference between S cards and M cards?
Both are cable cards.

A so-called "S card" supports one tuner and tunes in one channel at a time... this is the same experience that most of us are familiar with from using "regular" TVs, cable boxes, VCRs, etc.

An "M-card" can support more than one tuner at the same time.

So if you get a Tivo HD (the one for about $300), it has two tuners. In order to properly use it, you need to have 2 S-Cards installed (one for each tuner) OR just one M-Card (the m-card can support both tuners).

If you have (or buy) the more expensive Tivo Series3 unit (the THX certified one that also supports HD, but has a list price of about $800), then you need two S-Cards, because that unit won't support the additional features of an M-Card. (although someone posted on this forum that if the cable company only has M Cards available, that you can put TWO of them in the that unit and it will work -- but you will need TWO of cards for that particular model regardless of whether they are S-Cards or M-Cards).

I hope that helps. For more info, maybe it's in the FAQ (I haven't checked, but I will).

-Phil

Last edited by pjbrownva : 01-21-2008 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Fixed typos
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Old 01-21-2008, 03:41 PM   #4885
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Finally, an update on my situation from post 4685:

I had my third tech visit the other day (fourth, if you count the guy that read the dispatch report and then never showed up as a "visit"). I asked my usual questions as they walked into my house ("Have you ever done CableCard installs?", "Have you ever been successfull?", etc, etc). Like every other tech that has visited (but been unsuccessful), I got positive answers to all my questions.

I explained to them my current situation, which was that my first cablecard worked perfectly but the second cablecard wasn't showing a proper EMMs count and was only offering me analog channels. They then asked me if I was using a Multistream or Singlestream card. After being shocked that they even knew the difference, I told the two of them that both cards were Single Stream. Curiosity got the better of me and I asked them what they brought with them. The one tech pulled out a card, looked it over, and said "I guess this is single-stream" and then went to pull out the second card he was given... It was in a brand new pink wrapper and didn't look like the other blue SA cablecards I had been dealing with -- It was an M-card!

I told them we should give that a shot first and we proceeded to pop out both S-cards from my TivoHD. They put in the M-card, read off the numbers, and then we sat around waiting for the "hit".... but the card never "authorized". I asked them to call again and verify that the numbers were keyed in correctly. While on the phone, I overheard the tech ask the person on the other end "Which card did you remove from the account, whiskey-whiskey-hotel or the other one?".. At this point, I jumped in and told him to remove both cards from the account since I would only be needing one M-card if it worked. He told them to do just that and then, like magic, the "hit" came through and the card was authorized. Everything now works great!

Every tech that visited and every CSR that I spoke to over the phone informed me that M-cards weren't available in my area. If you're told the same, ignore them and ask them to put "Multistream preferred" on every work order. Hopefully you'll get lucky and have a tech that knows what that means and takes the time to ask for an M-card at the warehouse.
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Old 01-21-2008, 04:48 PM   #4886
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M card necessary or not

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Originally Posted by pjbrownva View Post
Both are cable cards.

A so-called "S card" supports one tuner and tunes in one channel at a time... this is the same experience that most of us are familiar with from using "regular" TVs, cable boxes, VCRs, etc.

An "M-card" can support more than one tuner at the same time.

So if you get a Tivo HD (the one for about $300), it has two tuners. In order to properly use it, you need to have 2 S-Cards installed (one for each tuner) OR just one M-Card (the m-card can support both tuners).

If you have (or buy) the more expensive Tivo Series3 unit (the THX certified one that also supports HD, but has a list price of about $800), then you need two S-Cards, because that unit won't support the additional features of an M-Card. (although someone posted on this forum that if the cable company only has M Cards available, that you can put TWO of them in the that unit and it will work -- but you will need TWO of cards for that particular model regardless of whether they are S-Cards or M-Cards).

I hope that helps. For more info, maybe it's in the FAQ (I haven't checked, but I will).

-Phil
Thanks. Can I just keep the HD cable box and use it with the HD Tivo (not series 3) or do I HAVE to use a cable card?
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:56 PM   #4887
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I tempted fate...and lost!

Here's my sad story. Add it to the pile. I'm looking for suggestions as to what my next move should be.

I've had my tivo-hd and comcast with two s-cards working since October. However, when I tried to get the billing adjusted for the second outlet fee, it ended with the CSR removing the second outlet, and my second cablecard along with it. So, adding back the outlet restored the card. All was well.

Then, Comcast added new HD channels: FoodHD and TBSHD. Now, cable card 1 receives them all, but cable card 2 does not receive the new channels. That was a couple months ago, and I've been living with it mainly because I didn't have time to deal with the situation.

Comcast recently added SciFi HD and a couple others. So, I called today to try to get this resolved. First CSR was clueless, but tried. Problem was she deauthorized both my cablecards!!!! Now I have basic channels but nothing else. Then I get disconnected. Call back yields a more clueless, but more helpful CSR that eventually takes my card and host ID numbers to pass along. She was supposed to call me back, but did not. Third time I lose the CSR roulette and get the angry woman who doesn't even want to talk to me, hates cable cards, and want to send the technician out, on my tab. I decline and she spits out that she is noting I declined on my account. OK.

So, here I am. At this point I'm thinking the only way I can get the card info to the folks that need it is to relent and let the tech come out and read the numbers.

What's my best move at this point?

I'm located in Carroll County, MD

Thanks for helping, and for listening. :-)

Jon
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:53 AM   #4888
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Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 3
Okay, good news for the Arlington people! I know today is supposed to be the day they get the cards in, but I actually had a Comcast technician show up on Saturday with an M card. Thankfully it worked fine and he was out the door 30 minutes later.

Just in case anyone else continues to have an issue with not getting the cards, here is the trick: We called Comcast's Executive Office # after finding it earlier in this thread (215-665-1700) on Friday afternoon. After weeks of being jerked around and still not being promised cable cards, the executive office was able to have my TiVoHD up and running in less than 24 hours.

I've learned my lesson. Any problems I have with Comcast from now on are going straight to the top. :-)
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #4889
johnnylundy
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 76
Yep. The Comcast Customer Service is 100% useless, as are their installers/techs.

They should fire the whole bunch and save us some money.

The only time that I actually got a problem or issue remedied correctly was after contacting the regional VP or one of the area managers.

The management seems to be completely unaware of how incompetent their techs are.
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:13 AM   #4890
BobB
Devout Tivonian
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Brookline, MA
Posts: 707
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwn21 View Post
Thanks. Can I just keep the HD cable box and use it with the HD Tivo (not series 3) or do I HAVE to use a cable card?
You need to swap it out for a cablecard, the HD TiVO has no way to tell the cable box to change channels so it can select programs to record. But that should save you money in the long run, since there is a higher charge for a cablebox than for an M card, especially if it's the only Comcast-provided tuning device in your house.
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