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Old 03-04-2008, 08:33 PM   #5191
ado
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I live in Connecticut and for the past few days one of my cablecards shows a black screen for any channels besides the basic lineup (and local HD), the other card is fine. Does anyone mind giving me the direct CC line number? They put me on hold forever and it usually doesn't end up solving anything.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:50 PM   #5192
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I live in Connecticut and for the past few days one of my cablecards shows a black screen for any channels besides the basic lineup (and local HD), the other card is fine. Does anyone mind giving me the direct CC line number? They put me on hold forever and it usually doesn't end up solving anything.
it's differen't in every market, where you are they may not have/use such a #.
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Old 03-04-2008, 08:52 PM   #5193
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I have the # they gave me when I picked up my card, it's essentially a direct line to teir 3.
Can you Private message me that number. I lost the information Comcast gave me when I picked up my cable card.

I think the number will be different for each region.

Ok episode 459300 of the saga that is my cable card tivo issue.

So I finally got the cable card working, numbers changed which I figured out, not them

Now I took back all of Comcast cable boxes to the comcast outlet last weekend. Today I get home to look at my bill online and I am now paying MORE! MORE!!! I was paying $68.43 for a DHTV Box (12.49), Standard DVR box ($3.99) and standard DVR service (8.95) plus $23 for bulk digital and $20 for the HBO's and Showtime's. After returning all boxes and now my bill is $47.99 for standard cable and $31.01 for Digital Video....wtf?
Just to make it clear, I get free basic and HBO where I live.
I called to say this was unacceptable. Why am I paying more when I removed all the boxes and the DVR service. She tells me I can't get Showtime without a cable box. I tell her that I am right now. she tells me when they roll a truck to change my service they will turn it off. I tell her it's extortion to not offer me what I currently have just because I don't have one of their cable boxes . she is confused and puts me on hold. To make a very very long story shortish, turns out their system isn't set up to give digital service without their cable box. there is no 'code' to put in their system. I tell her, well I want the same channels I had before and to figure it out but I am NOT paying more for less. She said she would have to turn the problem over to another department and would call me back, yeah right.
So I get home today and I have no channels digital channels and HBO is coming in very choppy but Showtime is fine. This is all very comical. So I call one of the 7 numbers I have of people in the corporate office trying to help me and I end up on a three way phone call with a customer service specialist and a billing specialist, which was hilarious as they had me on speaker phone. They were all very nice and I could tell were really trying to figure out how to 'code' my account for me to get the channels I want. After quite a bit of time I told them how about I go and get a basic cable box if you can work it to where I am not paying for it, if it would make it easier for them to bill me Sure I could use the box in my bedroom. She tells me ok, and she would only charge me $15.98 for the digital bulk and give me the HBO's and Showtime's for free. They will have to 'charge' me for the box on my bill just so I can get everything all back. I think this will end up working in my favor as I was expecting to pay $43 a month without any boxes and I think I will be paying something like $25 now. I will let you know tomorrow after I pick up my box and call her back to set it all up for me (she gave me her direct number and extension to deal with her to avoid anymore confusion). So right now I only have basic plus the HD channels plus Show and HBO and they aren't charging me......damn BBC America for not having a HD channel or I would just leave it like this . Maybe I will.

I think the whole cable card is so new for Comcast to deal with they just don't have the proper codes to set people up for full service without their box and I threw another wrench in their plan by getting free basic and HBO with my condo's. They have no codes for me!

So the cable card is just to receive the HD channels? I didn't think that was true but that is what they told me.

To be continued:

Last edited by jjp007 : 03-04-2008 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:04 PM   #5194
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help-tearing my hair out...

Hi. I recently bought a TIVO HD and had a M-card installed. receive only a few channels but don't receive most (gray screen). the original installer said a "specialist" needed to come out and fix the problem. i made 4 separate appts with so-called "specialist" but nobody ever came. the reps then said that the problem was outside the house but again, after making 2 appts, nobody ever came. during my last call, the rep said the problem was with cable cards in general and i should just return the TiVO and get the DVR from comcast. while i don't want to do that, admit that comcast is starting to wear me down since this has been 2 mos w/o full service.

since i don't think that the reps either do not know what they're doing or don't want to help me, guess i'm going to have to try to walk through this w/ comcast myself. any advice when calling comcast? sorry if threads like these have already been posted, just couldn't find an answer to this problem..

many thanks,
alec
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:02 AM   #5195
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Hi. I recently bought a TIVO HD and had a M-card installed. receive only a few channels but don't receive most (gray screen). the original installer said a "specialist" needed to come out and fix the problem. i made 4 separate appts with so-called "specialist" but nobody ever came. the reps then said that the problem was outside the house but again, after making 2 appts, nobody ever came. during my last call, the rep said the problem was with cable cards in general and i should just return the TiVO and get the DVR from comcast. while i don't want to do that, admit that comcast is starting to wear me down since this has been 2 mos w/o full service.

since i don't think that the reps either do not know what they're doing or don't want to help me, guess i'm going to have to try to walk through this w/ comcast myself. any advice when calling comcast? sorry if threads like these have already been posted, just couldn't find an answer to this problem..

many thanks,
alec
Check out this thread. it explains how cable cards work and how to install them properly.
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=363797
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:03 PM   #5196
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Success with a few bumps in Issaquah, WA

Well, I finally did it: dumped the Comcast Motorola DVR and bought a new Tivo HD. To prep myself for the installation, I read about 40 pages of this thread, and reviewed and printed out all the cable card setup and troubleshooting information from the TiVo site, and even visited my local Comcast store to ask questions. They were knowledgeable, but the 1-800-COMCAST number people were clueless when I called them earlier in the day. I was hoping things would go smoothly, but I allocated all of Saturday for the installation just incase.

At my information gathering visit the Comcast store, I found out that we live in an area where they will let you do self-installs of cable cards (yeah!). (Of course the 1-800-COMCAST people had told me I needed a service call for this). I was very excited that I could do it myself and wouldn’t have a guy who knows nothing about TiVos showup at my door (probably forgetting to bring a cable card).

Anyway, Friday night I stayed up quite late trying to watch as many recorded episodes of Stargate Atlantis as I could from my Comcast DVR before I returned it. Saturday, morning (really tired), I pulled out the Comcast DVR and setup the TiVo. Got th TiVo service activated and the Software upgraded to the latest release. Off to Comcast I went.

After a 30-minute drive during which I anticipated a load of problems I would need to deal with over the course of the activation, I finally arrived. Comcast was friendly and efficient, and quickly swapped out my clunky Motorola for a nice new “M-Card” (that’s a multi-stream Cable Card, you only need one for a TiVo HD, as apposed to two “S-Cards”, or single stream cards). Back home I went, another 30-minute drive.

With much anticipation, I inserted the cable card, followed the instructions, and finally called Comcast to activate. They answered immediately and carefully went through the installation process, making sure they followed all the right procedures for activating a cable card being used with a TiVo. After the card activation signal was sent, I followed the directions, and finally received a screen indicating that it was loading the channels. The screen never went away after about 10-minutes. Fortunately the Comcast rep stayed on the line with me, and we went through all the trouble shooting steps listed on the TiVo website. Turns out the Comcast rep had the same TiVo troubleshooting guide. After a couple of hits to the card, it would still not load the channel list. Nothing was working. I finally hung up and said I would try some things on my own.

I went through all sorts of fiddling and following of the TiVo troubleshooting guides. Still no luck. I rebooted a couple of times and went back through the Guided setup again. I then called Comcast a second time to try hitting the card one more time. Comcast answered right away, and went through the process with me. We spent about 20 minutes trying all sorts of things, but nothing worked. The nice lady finally said she would have to setup a service appointment. I was disappointed to have to wait another day, but at least she had an appointment for the next day (Sunday) between 12:00 and 4:00. To Comcast’s credit, they are usually able to schedule appointments quite quickly in my area. Anyway, I took scheduled the appointment, but knew I would try swapping out the cable card and see if that did the trick. The Comcast store was still opened for another couple of hours.

Another 1 hour round-trip to the Comcast store. They quickly swapped out the M-Card for a new one, and I was back home read to try again. I inserted the card and followed the on screen instructions, and called Comcast. This time the representative was pretty quick and not too friendly. He hit the card, and basically said I was on my own and said good-bye. It then took about 5 minutes, and the channel line up came down and things started working. Yippy Skippy! Wouldn’t you know, of all the cable cards at Comcast, they gave me one of the bad ones the first time around.

We’ll after setting up season passes, I started to notice something. We have regular SD channels, like 4, 5, 7 (the networks), and high-def versions at 104, 105, 107. I could view the high-def channels in the program guide fine, but when I created season passes for content on them, and then looked at the upcoming episode recording schedule, it only showed listings for the low-def channels (4,5,7), with no shows being recorded for 104, 105, 107. I used searches for shows (that are on both the SD and HD channels), but again only the SD episodes would display. It’s strange because the on-line schedule showed the high-def program information fine. Rats! It was late now and TiVo support had already closed.

Well, unsatisfied, and late at night really lacking for sleep, I couldn’t leave things alone. I wanted my TiVo working right. Then I got to thinking: with all the fiddling, rebooting, and rerunning of the Guided setup during my troubleshooting, I couldn’t remember if I re-ran guided setup after I finally got a successful cable card install. So, I went through the Guided Setup again, and wouldn’t you know it, the Season Passes and search function now found the HD shows! Yeah! Still playing with the TiVo, I finally fell asleep on the couch with the remote in my hand as I was pushing buttons.

Well, today (Sunday), I couldn’t be completely satisfied until I made a trip into BestBuy and picked up a new Harmony One remote (to replace my original Harmony H688) and also pick-up a MyDVR 500Gb Storage Expander. Setup of the MyDVR was quick and easy! Now I’m just waiting for the Harmony One to charge up before I finish programming it. (Harmony’s are fantastic by the way).

So, my tips are:

1) If you’re having problems after following all the directions, you may have a bad cable card. Swap it out and try again. (As an aside, a few years ago when I setup my Mom’s HD TV with a cable card, it took 3 visits from Comcast, and three different cable cards to finally get it working).

2) Remember to re-run the Guided Setup after the Cable Card is installed.


3) Stop by your local Comcast office to ask questions and find out if you can do a self-install. The 1-800-COMCAST people are clueless.

Good luck to you if you are getting ready for service activation. Sometimes all the planning in the world won’t allow a smooth install, but prepare yourself anyway. If things don’t go smoothly, the short-term aggravation is definitely worth it. I absolutely love my new TiVo HD. No comparison to the cable company’s DVR.

Sorry for the long post. I needed something to do while the Harmony was charging.
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:06 PM   #5197
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Sorry for the long post. I needed something to do while the Harmony was charging.
This thread has to be, by far, the one with the largest average post size of any thread of this length ever in this forum. Glad to hear your experiences were basically positive and things are working.
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:07 PM   #5198
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Glad to see Comcast is at least starting to do self-installs on cable cards.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:03 PM   #5199
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Cable Card Pricing - Jersey City, NJ

I have been battling Comcast in Jersey City, NJ on the Cable Card Pricing for over a year.

It is disgusting. They are charging $1.50/month for a second Cable Card rental. Then they are charging $8.95/month for an Additional Outlet charge on top of that. They always neglect to point and that the Service Charge is separate from the $1.50 card rental. The $8.95 is supposed to include $3.95 for a cable box and remote. I complained that they should take off the $3.95/month for the cable box and remote that I don't have and the billing supervisor said that he could give me the box if I wanted it. I said that I didn't think it would look great on my coffee table.

Any time I find a Comcast customer service rep to reduce the pricing, my service magically goes out within 48 hours and I have to set up an appointment for a tech to come out and fix it. It is awful. What a ripoff!

The only good thing I have discovered is calling Comcast and asking for updated promotions. After getting passed through a few people, you should be able to reduce your pricing for 6 to 12 months with a promotion.
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:01 PM   #5200
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I'll be getting my Tivo HD at some point next week. We'll be trading in our old cable box for an m-card, or so I hope. Per my call to comcast yesterday, I can pick up an m-card at our local office, I can install it myself and there will be no charge for the card. We'll see how that goes in practice though!
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:29 PM   #5201
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I am now the proud owner of 3 TiVo HDs. I live in Delray Beach, FL. Comcast is my provider (lol). My HOA provides basic cable in the dues so my Comcast bill right now is ONLY internet. I have the locals in Hi-Def through QAM, obviously without mapping. I only want HD channels through an M-card. Does any one have experience with this? Will I need to subscribe to digital tier first? How much will each M-card cost? Is there also an outlet or service fee? I'm Soooo confused!
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:56 PM   #5202
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NJ - No cablecard for 6-8 weeks

I'm new here and learning quite a bit.
I just got a Tivo HD unit, called to setup the cablecard install....then CS tells me that they don't have cards of any type.
They are talking 6-8 weeks to even get the cards.
Who knows how long it's gonna take to get the install set up when they do finally get the hardware?
Who can I call to lodge a complaint?
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:49 PM   #5203
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justdrew,

That response from your comcast office just doesn't sound right. They should be issuing cableCards as a matter of course, and not just for TiVos.

You might try and escalate past the first line CSR to someone who might give you a better answer.

Where are you located? If they're simply "out of stock", then maybe your options are limited. Maybe you can get them to be creative and get cards from the next nearest Comcast office.

In the meantime, you should try catching local HD signals "over the air" using an indoor antenna. You can find them in the $25-$50 range, like this one:

http://www.nextag.com/Terk-HDTVi-Ind...16/prices-html

You won't get premium content, but you'll get your local channels. Your TiVo wil record this stuff just as well as stuff from Comcast.

Good luck, I hope you get your cards soon!


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Old 03-11-2008, 07:33 PM   #5204
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Comcast charged me for single M card for Tivo HD (San Jose CA)

I'm new to the forum, and I see that this topic has been discussed a lot. But I want to see if others in the San Jose area (actually, I went to the Los Gatos Comcast office) have gotten this answer.

First, I called the 800 number a couple of times, before going to the local office. Once, I was told that the first M card would be free, subsequent ones 1.79/mo. Since I'm getting Tivo HD (today I believe!), I only need ONE M-card. Another call to the 800 number said it would be 1.79. I just assumed they were wrong. When I got to the Comcast office, the lady there said that I must pay 1.79, even for that ONE card, because it is being used as if there are TWO cards. I told her that I was told otherwise, but she said that I definitely had to pay for the single M-card.

Should I just call the 800 number and see if they have a different opinion and will reverse this charge? I suppose I could wait until I have everything set up properly, but I'd like to get charged correctly, right from the start.

Have any South Bay (San Jose CA area) customers experienced this? If so, did you get the single M-card charge reversed?

I've seen many people mention on this thread that the 2nd S-card required a monthly charge. But I don't think I've seen anyone say that the M-card required a charge because it was "acting like two cards". Of course, I could have missed that somewhere.

Thanks very much.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:26 AM   #5205
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I've seen many people mention on this thread that the 2nd S-card required a monthly charge. But I don't think I've seen anyone say that the M-card required a charge because it was "acting like two cards". Of course, I could have missed that somewhere.
SGA000,

Comcast shouldn't be charging you for the first card even though it's an m-card. I recently started service and I'm not charged for this. Comcast's website even says:

"How much will I be charged to use a CableCARD?
There is no charge for the first CableCARD that you use as it is already included in the primary outlet fee. If you have a multi-card device on the same outlet (i.e. TiVo Series 3 or two Digital Cable Tuners connected to the same personal computer), you will be charged an additional regulated fee of up to $1.91 for the second CableCARD."

Check out their FAQ at: http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...s.ashx?ID=2651

Note that the additional $1.91 is for the second card (if you need one), and you don't.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:37 AM   #5206
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Everyone, a reminder to check your bill when it arrives... mine just did, and although comcast did NOT charge me for the cable card (properly) they did make a total mess of my bill, resulting in a totally different bill amount then i was promised a month ago.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:47 AM   #5207
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SGA000,

Comcast shouldn't be charging you for the first card even though it's an m-card. I recently started service and I'm not charged for this. Comcast's website even says:

"How much will I be charged to use a CableCARD?
There is no charge for the first CableCARD that you use as it is already included in the primary outlet fee. If you have a multi-card device on the same outlet (i.e. TiVo Series 3 or two Digital Cable Tuners connected to the same personal computer), you will be charged an additional regulated fee of up to $1.91 for the second CableCARD."

Check out their FAQ at: http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...s.ashx?ID=2651

Note that the additional $1.91 is for the second card (if you need one), and you don't.
Thanks, BigLance. I called the 800 number, and the guy I got repeated what you and I both thought, i.e. no charge for 1st card. So he removed the charge. It is amazing how sure the lady at the local office was....I tried to explain what their web site said, etc., but she said it was incorrect.

I also got different opinions of whether I should be charged 6.99 per month more because of getting the M-card. She said she added 6.99 to my charges, but if I brought back the old digital box, that charge would be subtracted. The guy on the phone earlier yesterday had said there would be no additional charge for keeping the box AND getting the card, except if I asked for HD service ($7). I've seen varying opinions about this in this thread, but it actually seems like the lady is probably right this time, rather than the guy at the 800 number. Do you agree?

Thanks again.
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:47 PM   #5208
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I also got different opinions of whether I should be charged 6.99 per month more because of getting the M-card. She said she added 6.99 to my charges, but if I brought back the old digital box, that charge would be subtracted. The guy on the phone earlier yesterday had said there would be no additional charge for keeping the box AND getting the card, except if I asked for HD service ($7). I've seen varying opinions about this in this thread, but it actually seems like the lady is probably right this time, rather than the guy at the 800 number. Do you agree?
In this case, the lady is probably right. If you keep your cable box, then they would probably consider this as two outlets (one for the TVI, one for the cable box), and you would get an additional outlet charge (the $6.99). Since the guy removed the charge from your bill I would be very happy about it because you're probably getting away with a great deal!
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:34 PM   #5209
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In this case, the lady is probably right. If you keep your cable box, then they would probably consider this as two outlets (one for the TVI, one for the cable box), and you would get an additional outlet charge (the $6.99). Since the guy removed the charge from your bill I would be very happy about it because you're probably getting away with a great deal!
The only charge that was removed was the 1.79 for the card. The extra 6.99 charge was not removed. I was just pointing out that I got different stories about the extra box charge, and I'm still being charged until I take the box back. That made more sense to me than saying the M-card was considered as 2 cards.
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:06 PM   #5210
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Gotcha SGA000. It certainly doesn't suprise me that you got different answers from different folks, I've experienced that myself from Comcast. Their answers are not even consistant with their own website!
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:33 PM   #5211
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Thanks, BigLance. I called the 800 number, and the guy I got repeated what you and I both thought, i.e. no charge for 1st card. So he removed the charge. It is amazing how sure the lady at the local office was....I tried to explain what their web site said, etc., but she said it was incorrect.

I also got different opinions of whether I should be charged 6.99 per month more because of getting the M-card. She said she added 6.99 to my charges, but if I brought back the old digital box, that charge would be subtracted. The guy on the phone earlier yesterday had said there would be no additional charge for keeping the box AND getting the card, except if I asked for HD service ($7). I've seen varying opinions about this in this thread, but it actually seems like the lady is probably right this time, rather than the guy at the 800 number. Do you agree?

Thanks again.
We just picked up our M card in the San Francisco office. No charge for the card, but they did say that it would be a $6.99 charge to keep both the M card and cable box. Once we return the box, the charge will be prorated. He estimated it was a $0.21 per day charge for both things.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:19 AM   #5212
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(crossing fingers) that my new TiVoHD arrives today (thanks Woot!) and that my Comcast CC install goes smoothly tomorrow. Comcast has to roll a truck in Baltimore to do the install, I just hope they don't send a doofus out.

Has anyone had luck in not being charged the A/O fee when adding a TiVo as a second outlet? I don't think I should have to pay since I won't be needing a box.
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:18 AM   #5213
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Has anyone had luck in not being charged the A/O fee when adding a TiVo as a second outlet? I don't think I should have to pay since I won't be needing a box.
I get charges the fee, but I get rebated for the box I don't need. It works out to zero.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:51 AM   #5214
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My TiVo HD is ready to go... still gonna say a prayer that the CC install goes well.

I didn't realize it, but the TiVo HD has dual analog tuners... very cool.
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:11 PM   #5215
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i never post but here is my story:
got a tivohd on woot deal, couldn't be happier. call comcast 1-800 about CC and the woman refers me to pick up the card at the local service place. i went there and the kid was a little rude and basically said they have 0 cable cards and to schedule a tech to install (which i am fine with, cant do self install everywhere)

heres the interesting part, he needed help so a woman came over and she said it would be an extra $6/month because its a 'second outlet' now here is the tricky part, this is my first CC and i have a comcast HD box connected to a different TV. instead of arguing i just left. i called 1-800 back and scheduled a tech and i asked the woman if there would be no additional charges and she said no and set up the appt making not to bring an Mcard.

Heres the question: am i all set or am i most likely going to see the additional outlet charge next month on my bill? i live in boston(medford) area. lets see what happens i guess...
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:12 PM   #5216
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Location: Long Branch, NJ, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcf168 View Post
i never post but here is my story:
got a tivohd on woot deal, couldn't be happier. call comcast 1-800 about CC and the woman refers me to pick up the card at the local service place. i went there and the kid was a little rude and basically said they have 0 cable cards and to schedule a tech to install (which i am fine with, cant do self install everywhere)

heres the interesting part, he needed help so a woman came over and she said it would be an extra $6/month because its a 'second outlet' now here is the tricky part, this is my first CC and i have a comcast HD box connected to a different TV. instead of arguing i just left. i called 1-800 back and scheduled a tech and i asked the woman if there would be no additional charges and she said no and set up the appt making not to bring an Mcard.

Heres the question: am i all set or am i most likely going to see the additional outlet charge next month on my bill? i live in boston(medford) area. lets see what happens i guess...
If you are keeping the Comcast HD box, you will see one additional outlet charge because, well, you have an additional outlet now.

If you turn in the Comcast HD box, you won't have an additional outlet; the CableCARD will be using the outlet that the Comcast HD box was previously considered.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:47 PM   #5217
smittybat
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Comcast install

I live in Atlanta and just got my HD Tivo up and running. I picked up a M series cable card from a local office (They claimed it was pre-authorized). I started the install and it didn't work. I got on live chat with Comcast (this is much better than the phone support). They didn't ask for any information (I was surprised they didn't need host id or anything else) They sent some signals to the card and it started to work.

It only took about 15 minutes to get everything working. The monthly charge is 1.50 for the M card.
I'd say if you're having trouble to do live chat instead of phone support.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:48 PM   #5218
andy_hd
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Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcf168 View Post
i never post but here is my story:
got a tivohd on woot deal, couldn't be happier. call comcast 1-800 about CC and the woman refers me to pick up the card at the local service place. i went there and the kid was a little rude and basically said they have 0 cable cards and to schedule a tech to install (which i am fine with, cant do self install everywhere)

heres the interesting part, he needed help so a woman came over and she said it would be an extra $6/month because its a 'second outlet' now here is the tricky part, this is my first CC and i have a comcast HD box connected to a different TV. instead of arguing i just left. i called 1-800 back and scheduled a tech and i asked the woman if there would be no additional charges and she said no and set up the appt making not to bring an Mcard.

Heres the question: am i all set or am i most likely going to see the additional outlet charge next month on my bill? i live in boston(medford) area. lets see what happens i guess...

I had an M-Stream card installed in my TiVo as well as an S-Stream card installed in a second TV. I also kept my cable box. I'm currently being charged an additional $3 for the two cards -- but no additional outlet fee. I'm not sure this is right, but I'll let Comcast figure this out. My interpretation of their rules would be to charge me $1.50 for an extra card for the Cable Box outlet + an outlet fee (but no cable card charge -- included in outlet fee) for the second TV.

This is in Arlington, MA (Boston)
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:50 PM   #5219
smittybat
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The Comcast folks in Atlanta call the M cards Tivo cards.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:02 PM   #5220
dwit
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smittybat View Post
I live in Atlanta and just got my HD Tivo up and running. I picked up a M series cable card from a local office (They claimed it was pre-authorized). I started the install and it didn't work. I got on live chat with Comcast (this is much better than the phone support). They didn't ask for any information (I was surprised they didn't need host id or anything else) They sent some signals to the card and it started to work.

It only took about 15 minutes to get everything working. The monthly charge is 1.50 for the M card.
I'd say if you're having trouble to do live chat instead of phone support.
There should not be a charge for the card if that is your only card.

I'm with Comcast Atlanta and when I changed from my standard analog package with no cable box, no rates whatsoever changed when I got Tivo HD and got digital starter with one M-card.
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