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Old 10-15-2008, 07:37 PM   #5761
a68oliver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michman View Post
Ya, Comcast said my digital channels start above 100, they just don't look right to me. I know the difference between anaolg and digital and there is no way it's digital. I think you many be on to something that they are mapping to the analog version of the channel.

I thought bad reception on digital channels looks similar to bad HD reception...flakey picture, monentary pauses while acquiring signal etc. These are just fuzzy or snowy.

I am subscribed to "Digital Preffered" and I have rerun guided setup and have rebooted as well.

Signal strength on most channels are between 93 and 100 so I don't think that is an issue.

I'm new to cable as of yesterday and don't know what a QAM channel is. I see a lot of postings with them referenced, but don't fully understand it yet. What should I be looking for?


On a side note, how much are you being charged for cableCARDS? I was originally quoted $66 for internet and digital prefered with HD included which included one cableCARD free, the other 3 are each $1.99 per month.

Now when I call back they are saying that each cableCARD is $1.99 + like $7 each for HD service. I think it's a bunch of BS.

You can easily tell if you are receiving a channel by analog or digital. Simply press the record button on the remote. If you are presented with a quality selction (basic-best) then that is an analog channel. If you see no quality selection, then that is digital. This same info can also be found in the diagnostic screens, but using the record button is the easiest.

There are three standards defined for transmitting video in the US. NTSC is for analog off-the-air (OTA) and on cable. ATSC is for digital transmissions OTA. QAM is for digital transmissions over the cable. Most new televisions support all three.

Rates vary by area. However, my Comcast ratecard from May 1, 2008 shows:

Digital Starter is $1.99 more than Standard Cable ($51.74 for Liimited + Expanded Service). The first cablecard is included in that price. The second cablecard in my S3 Tivo is an additional $1.99

Digital Classic is $14.99 more than Standard Cable.

Digital Preferred is $15.95 more than Standard Cable. This is the package I subscribe to.

Sports Entertainment Package is $4.00.

Then we get to the additional digital outlet charges which seem somewhat confusing. I am not subscribing to any digital service on my 2nd Tivo so I can't vouch for exactly how these would be billed. But, an Additional Outlet for Digital Starter is $1.99. However, Digital Additional Outlet Service is $7.95. The first cablecard on the additional outlet is included with the charge for the digital outlet. So, I am assuming that if I only wanted to add Digital Starter to my 2nd Tivo, it would cost me $1.99. However, if I wanted Digital Preferred on it, I think it would cost me $7.95.

There is no separate charge for HD channels. I get about 25 HD channels with my package.

However, there is something called HDPak which costs $6.99 and would get me HDNet and HDNet Movies.

To further complicate things, I have a one year special which I thought gets me Digital Preferred for $10. However, I also seem to be getting the HDPak with it.

If you are getting 3 additional cablecards for $1.99 each, then they aren't charging you for additional digital outlets. If they now want to charge you $7 for HD service, perhaps they are charging you for additional digital outlets. If you have two Tivos and no cable boxes, then you might need to pay one additional digital outlet fee. However, they should not charge you additional digital outlet fees for each cablecard. See the Comcast Cablecard FAQ at http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...&fss=cablecard

Regarding internet.... I am paying $30/m for a one year special. I got the rate when I complained about them changing the rate without notice after Comcast bought out Insight in my area. Insight offered a $10 discount for bundling cable and internet together. Comcast apparently doesn't.

BTW, you should only need 2 M-cards, one in each Tivo HD. This would save you additional cablecard charges and/or the bogus additional/HD charges they are trying to hit you with. I am still not convinced your cablecards are working properly. Did you ever receive any HD channels?

I suggest you march in to a local Comcast office and pick up a copy of their current rate sheet and channel package list. This would help you with ammunition to fight bogus charges.
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Last edited by a68oliver : 10-15-2008 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:57 PM   #5762
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oliver,

You have been a big help. Turns out that I was right about the "digital" channels not coming through in digital. I was able to verify that by looking at the DVR diagnostics.

I also spoke with a sales supervisor today who clarified my bill. Here is what he came up with.

They had me down for 4 cableCARDs because the installer put 2 M-cards in each TiVo. I knew there was no need for the extra 2, but I wasn't here when the guy installed them and why wouldn't he...it's more money for the cable company. (I secretly think it was done intentionally because he knew my wife, who was home at the time of the install, wouldn't know the difference).

Anyway, it's $33 for internet, $33 for cable (basic), $7.99 for "digital Preffered", and $1.99 for each cableCARD beyond the first one. Puts me right about $74. I think they have it right now.

It just takes a couple days to fully understand the cable company's games. I think I have it straight now. Thanks for all the info, it has been a huge help.

Now if I could only get them to fix my cableCARDs I would be a happy camper.
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:16 AM   #5763
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cable card not getting HBO

I just moved from Lawrenceville to Snellville in hopes of getting away from Charter and switch to Comcast. Comcast came and istalled everything fairly quickly except for the cable cards. It took 3 more techs to come out in the course of one week to get them installed properly.

It has been about a month since then and now none of my HBO channels are coming in. Instead all it does is show the cable card pairing screen with the host id, data and unit address. All my other channels are coming in fine. I have tried a system restart and repeated guided setup again, and still nothing. I saw in a previous post that someone seemed to have the same issue I am and they pulled out their cards and put them back in but Im kind of afraid to attempt it. As of right now a tech is scheduled to come in on sunday. Anyone else have any other suggestions?
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:28 AM   #5764
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We've lost our Comcast channels on our M-card too (same screens as you describe). What I did was call Comcast customer service and they did something with our subscription and restored the channels. A tech coming out probably won't do anything....they'll just call the same person in front of the computer screen that you'd end up calling.

Just make sure you check your other channels before hanging up. They some times fix your primary problem and create another problem by deleting other unrelated channels from your lineup!

Quote:
Originally Posted by salsashark81 View Post
It has been about a month since then and now none of my HBO channels are coming in. Instead all it does is show the cable card pairing screen with the host id, data and unit address. All my other channels are coming in fine. I have tried a system restart and repeated guided setup again, and still nothing. I saw in a previous post that someone seemed to have the same issue I am and they pulled out their cards and put them back in but Im kind of afraid to attempt it. As of right now a tech is scheduled to come in on sunday. Anyone else have any other suggestions?

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Old 10-20-2008, 07:19 PM   #5765
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Same issue here.

I have Comcast in Conyers GA and have not had HBO since last Thursday. They have come out twice, replaced both M cards for my Tivo upstairs and downstairs, re authorized the cards many times and still nothing. They temporarily sent all premium channels just to see if they would come through and no issues with them, just HBO.

I had two techs out today again and they left without fixing the issue. They said the problem was above their head and that accounting had to resolve the issue.

Every tech except for one that has come out for any M card/Tivo issues has admitted they and others who authorize them know very little about cable cards and Tivo. They did say that they are training their new hires on it.
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:27 PM   #5766
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Originally Posted by michman View Post
Ya, Comcast said my digital channels start above 100, they just don't look right to me. I know the difference between anaolg and digital and there is no way it's digital. I think you many be on to something that they are mapping to the analog version of the channel.

I thought bad reception on digital channels looks similar to bad HD reception...flakey picture, monentary pauses while acquiring signal etc. These are just fuzzy or snowy.

I am subscribed to "Digital Preffered" and I have rerun guided setup and have rebooted as well.

Signal strength on most channels are between 93 and 100 so I don't think that is an issue.

I'm new to cable as of yesterday and don't know what a QAM channel is. I see a lot of postings with them referenced, but don't fully understand it yet. What should I be looking for?


On a side note, how much are you being charged for cableCARDS? I was originally quoted $66 for internet and digital prefered with HD included which included one cableCARD free, the other 3 are each $1.99 per month.

Now when I call back they are saying that each cableCARD is $1.99 + like $7 each for HD service. I think it's a bunch of BS.
Comcast finally got everything up and running, I'm a little confused about the "digital" channels though. When I tune to a digital channel and look at diagnostics it says the channel is "QAM256" which I'm pretty sure is digital from my limited experience with QAM channels. Is that right?

Problem is that compaired to my old DirecTV digital picture, these look like crap! How can they call that digital? They look exactly the same as the analog version of the channel. Is this normal? The installer put in a amplifier which did help, but digital should be digital, the picture should not degrade with a low signal, it should just not show.

Any insight?
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:05 PM   #5767
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HD with cablecards??

Quote:
Originally Posted by chsscgas View Post
I went by the Comcast office (Leeds Ave/Belle Oaks Drive) in N. Charleston inquiring about updating to the Digital Gold Advantage plan since I also get internet service through Comcast.

At first they quoted it would be $14.95 a card but I pointed out that the package included the digital converter box so I shouldn't be charged for the first cablecard since I wouldn't be needing the converter box. The result is this:

$29.95 install
First cablecard free (included in Digital Gold package)
2nd Cablecard $6.95
Plus with the cablecards since they receive HD no additional $5 for HD.

I also have to compliment the Customer Service Rep to call and get it right without me having to complain too hard.
Hey everybody,
I just got off the phone with Comcast and they told me that I would not be able to get any HD chanels with my Tivo and the cablecards. They said I MUST use their supplied DVR?! Have any of you got HD with Tivo? I am ready to purchase one of their packs if that's the price to pay.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:57 PM   #5768
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Originally Posted by optomos View Post
I have Comcast in Conyers GA and have not had HBO since last Thursday.
I haven't had HBO on one cablecard since Saturday. My 2nd cablecard receives HBO channels with no problem. Showtime comes in fine on both.

The Comcast tech who came out said that he is seeing this specific issue a lot in recent times, and that it is not a cablecard or TiVo issue, but a configuration problem on their head end.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:38 PM   #5769
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Originally Posted by nexus1001 View Post
Hey everybody,
I just got off the phone with Comcast and they told me that I would not be able to get any HD chanels with my Tivo and the cablecards. They said I MUST use their supplied DVR?! Have any of you got HD with Tivo? I am ready to purchase one of their packs if that's the price to pay.

Thanks in advance for the help.
What they told you is SO AGAINST the Law - that person
needs to be FIRED for CAUSE.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:09 PM   #5770
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Originally Posted by optomos View Post
Same issue here.

I have Comcast in Conyers GA and have not had HBO since last Thursday. They have come out twice, replaced both M cards for my Tivo upstairs and downstairs, re authorized the cards many times and still nothing. They temporarily sent all premium channels just to see if they would come through and no issues with them, just HBO.

I had two techs out today again and they left without fixing the issue. They said the problem was above their head and that accounting had to resolve the issue.
I made a post yesterday about what appears to be the same issue (no HBO since last week). They're insisting on sending out a tech tomorrow, but I have no confidence that they'll fix the problem. Has anyone attempted to verify the billing hierarchy (Tivo listed as the first outlet, etc.) to see if that fixes the problem? The last CSR I talked to copped a little bit of an attitude with me for calling back in the hope that the third time hitting the card would be a charm.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:18 PM   #5771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nexus1001 View Post
Hey everybody,
I just got off the phone with Comcast and they told me that I would not be able to get any HD chanels with my Tivo and the cablecards. They said I MUST use their supplied DVR?! Have any of you got HD with Tivo? I am ready to purchase one of their packs if that's the price to pay.
Absolutely! Many of us are watching HD from Comcast on our Tivos. Imagine the uproar if we weren't.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:05 AM   #5772
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comcast install

After reading all the issues with comcast I hoped that my cable card install would go ok.

Installer shows up at 4:30 and parks the van. My phone rings and it is the comcast guy asking me if I already have a cable card. I say no you were supposed to bring it. I asked him if there were notes on the order and he read them to "Customer would like a M-series cable card if possible".

Then he says that he doesn't normally have them on his van. I can understand this but you would think that in preperation for the day they would have a list of items they need to finish the scheduled jobs. Next you would think that when leaving the previous job they would find out what the next job is and whether they are prepared for it. Why bother driving to the house to say oh I don't have a cable card.

I told him that I wasn't happy that I had to take off of work for no reason. He replied that he would come back later that day with a cable card. I didn't have much hope that he would actually come back.

He did come back at 7:30 and came in and said he was waiting for another tech to deliver the cards. He then claimed that I would have to keep my cable dvr as the cable card pings needs it to ping off of it.

I was like uh no that is the point of cable card. I asked him if he installed them previously and he said that he had. I told him that he should ask the tech bringing the cards if the cable box was needed with a cable card. I knew the answer but wanted one of his own to tell him. When the other tech dropped off the cable card he told him that I didn't need a cable box but I wouldn't get ondemand (which I knew and will miss).

Other then almost installing the 1 M card in slot 2 (as he was putting it in I said wait that is slot 2!) the install went smoothly. I gave him the directions (TiVo) and he called in and thankfully got someone that knew what they were doing. I made sure to test regular channels, hd channels and movie channels and all was good. So far so good!

Can't wait to see my first bill!
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:27 AM   #5773
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Angry and Scared

Ok, I'll admit I haven't read every post in this thread, but have read pieces.

I live in western Massachusetts, north of Springfield.

All I have right now is one tube TV in the basement with a SD comcast (motorola) box hooked to a Tivo Series 2.

But I'm ready to go HD.

What I want to do is this:

-- Leave the setup in the basement exactly as it is for now.

-- For the bedroom upstairs, get a nice new LCD, and hook it to a Tivo HD DVR with two comcast cableCARDS in it.

I've barely started the process and am already steaming mad at comcast. I called to ask what this new setup will cost and how to go about it. The CSR said I do not need to pay to upgrade to HD "service" but that I just need an HD receiver to start enjoying HD. Ok, that surprised me, but ok.

To get two cableCARDS, she said I would have to pay $5 per month each. When I said isn't the first one free? She said "oh yeah, yes." Then later in the call when I stated again that I did not want to change anything in the basement, she said, "oh, well the SD box in the basement counts as your first "free" device, so you will have to pay $5 per month for EACH cableCARD in the new bedroom setup. She said install would be $32 ($16 for each card), plus possibly a small fee to activate the upstairs jack.

Does this pass the smell test?

Is the FAQ that everyone keeps referring to here meaningless?
(http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...&fss=cablecard).

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:56 AM   #5774
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Originally Posted by Tivaxion View Post
Ok, I'll admit I haven't read every post in this thread, but have read pieces.

I live in western Massachusetts, north of Springfield.

All I have right now is one tube TV in the basement with a SD comcast (motorola) box hooked to a Tivo Series 2.

But I'm ready to go HD.

What I want to do is this:

-- Leave the setup in the basement exactly as it is for now.

-- For the bedroom upstairs, get a nice new LCD, and hook it to a Tivo HD DVR with two comcast cableCARDS in it.

I've barely started the process and am already steaming mad at comcast. I called to ask what this new setup will cost and how to go about it. The CSR said I do not need to pay to upgrade to HD "service" but that I just need an HD receiver to start enjoying HD. Ok, that surprised me, but ok.

To get two cableCARDS, she said I would have to pay $5 per month each. When I said isn't the first one free? She said "oh yeah, yes." Then later in the call when I stated again that I did not want to change anything in the basement, she said, "oh, well the SD box in the basement counts as your first "free" device, so you will have to pay $5 per month for EACH cableCARD in the new bedroom setup. She said install would be $32 ($16 for each card), plus possibly a small fee to activate the upstairs jack.

Does this pass the smell test?

Is the FAQ that everyone keeps referring to here meaningless?
(http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...&fss=cablecard).

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
For starters you don't need two cable cards, you only need one M card. The cost of your 1st Cable Card is $0 regardless of what other devices you have or are renting from Comcast. You might be charged an additional outlet fee though based on your programming, etc.

Assuming for some reason that you had to rent two cable cards you should be charged $0 for the first one and $1.50 for the 2nd one, and again, you might be charged an extra outlet fee, etc, depending on your programming package.

There's no reason to be scared or angry, just call back until you get a CSR that knows what they are talking about.

Another thing you can do is find a user who is on the same Comcast system you are on and find out what is listed on their bill for an item code for the Cable Card rental. Then just call up and say "I want package xxyyzz for my new Tivo box".

Comcast is staffed with morons, so this is just the way it goes.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:04 AM   #5775
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Originally Posted by nexus1001 View Post
Hey everybody,
I just got off the phone with Comcast and they told me that I would not be able to get any HD chanels with my Tivo and the cablecards. They said I MUST use their supplied DVR?! Have any of you got HD with Tivo? I am ready to purchase one of their packs if that's the price to pay.

Thanks in advance for the help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drhankz View Post
What they told you is SO AGAINST the Law - that person
needs to be FIRED for CAUSE.

Yep. I pay just $10/month for lifeline basic (locals) and as part of that offering, they have to feed the local HDs for free (by law).
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:28 AM   #5776
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I also had issues with losing channels. i lost HBO, Cinemax, and starz plus a couple other HD channels. it ended up being the Tivo's fault. apparently it took the channels off my list of available channels. try tuning directly to that channel and see if you get a picture. then try changing the channel back and forth and see if it skips over the channels. if that heppens then you guys must enter the channels manually into the available channel section like i did.

since checking my HBO, ect... boxes my tivo has not lost those channels again.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:05 PM   #5777
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They finally fixed the issue yesterday so it was accounting (head end) that was causing the problem. It worked upstairs first, but downstairs it didn't untill I called and asked them to hit that specific M card and then it worked on both. What a nightmare.

One cable card is free and any others are $1.50 each per month. I still have the old Digital box setup in the kitchen and they don't charge me extra for it, but I have had it since Comcast purchased the cable portion from ATT.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:50 PM   #5778
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I haven't had HBO on one cablecard since Saturday. My 2nd cablecard receives HBO channels with no problem. Showtime comes in fine on both.

The Comcast tech who came out said that he is seeing this specific issue a lot in recent times, and that it is not a cablecard or TiVo issue, but a configuration problem on their head end.
YEAH! Big thanks to whoever posted the link to AVSForum with the "Comcast Cablecard Support Center" phone number. 10 minute hold time notwithstanding, they had my HBO restored within minutes once I got the rep on the phone. They verified that the numbers they had in the system for my cablecards were incorrect, and entered in the correct ones from the TiVo screen. They also said that they expect the same thing with HBO to happen at the end of November... but now that my info is correct in their system, I shouldn't be affected.

1.866.761.0211
Operational hours are Monday-Friday 9:00am-8:00pm EST., and Saturday 11:30AM-8:00PM EST.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:50 AM   #5779
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YEAH! Big thanks to whoever posted the link to AVSForum with the "Comcast Cablecard Support Center" phone number.
Please post that number again, please.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:57 AM   #5780
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Please post that number again, please.
It looks like the NUMBER is in his post
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:15 AM   #5781
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It looks like the NUMBER is in his post
Yup, ya got me!

My eye automatically skips over taglines, etc. and I literally never saw it!
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:57 AM   #5782
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Yay! (if they can truly fix all the problems at this number, that is.)

Now we just need to get them to quit rolling trucks every time we want a new card.
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:59 AM   #5783
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post
Yay! (if they can truly fix all the problems at this number, that is.)

Now we just need to get them to quit rolling trucks every time we want a new card.
I'm so glad Houston lets you pick up your cards.
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:04 PM   #5784
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Originally Posted by bsoft View Post
...
Now, once my $66 double play deal wears off, I'm going to be paying $100/mo for TV+HSI, which is more than I like. $53 is a bit much for "Starter Digital", especially considering that I can get DishDVR + HD (which has a lot more channels and includes the DVR) for $60/mo. Unfortunately, I'm in a condo, which makes Dish a lot trickier (although the neighbor below me has DirecTV).

Overall, Comcast is OK, although their HD lineup sucks. At least we get locals and there's no SDV.
I reaaly wish I had held the first CSRs feet to thte fire to get a betetr sign up deal.

My Comcast bill just went from $94.nn to $101.nn with no explanation. As far I can tell it's just because they added $5 to basic digital or threw in a new bogus fee. It may because Comcast just lost the NFL lawsuit so I'm forced to pay for NFL as a good American whether I want it or not.

Over $100 is WAY too much, especially when AT&T Uverse is talking $30-$40 initial.

As it stands I'm getting a 6 month Showtime and 12 month HBO deal. I'll cancel both when the deals expire.

I love TiVo functionality but cable fees are way too high.
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:46 PM   #5785
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Quick question, just got my Comcast cablecards installed today and everything is up and running. Just one problem. On my HD channels I do not get any guide data. I am not sure what the problem might be and who to call for assistance. Please help! To elaborate, It tells me that it is "espnhd" and I can watch the channel, but guide says "unavailable" I have forced a connection and rebooted my Tivo series 3.

Last edited by Discotech : 10-24-2008 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:22 PM   #5786
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Originally Posted by Discotech View Post
Quick question, just got my Comcast cablecards installed today and everything is up and running. Just one problem. On my HD channels I do not get any guide data. I am not sure what the problem might be and who to call for assistance. Please help! To elaborate, It tells me that it is "espnhd" and I can watch the channel, but guide says "unavailable" I have forced a connection and rebooted my Tivo series 3.
You probably just need to repeat guided setup. It will ask you if you get premium channels and you can set it up.
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:58 PM   #5787
Teddydogno1
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My refurb Tivo HD has not arrived yet (tracking says Tuesday), but I called Comcast today to inquire about the Cablecard(s). They asked if I just wanted to swing by the local office to pick it up. She said it was no problem and there is no reason to have an installer out if I'm up to doing it myself. I HOPE this holds up when I drop in Monday to get it!

Rob
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:02 PM   #5788
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HazelW View Post
You probably just need to repeat guided setup. It will ask you if you get premium channels and you can set it up.
I ran the guided setup again and PRESTO!! it worked. Thanks!
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:47 PM   #5789
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddydogno1 View Post
My refurb Tivo HD has not arrived yet (tracking says Tuesday), but I called Comcast today to inquire about the Cablecard(s). They asked if I just wanted to swing by the local office to pick it up. She said it was no problem and there is no reason to have an installer out if I'm up to doing it myself. I HOPE this holds up when I drop in Monday to get it!
You also need the direct number of the guy to zap the card(s). I could have done my install myself if a) they had given me two cards, b) I could get the guy on the phone, instead the 4 hour saga of the installer chasing down a 2nd card and waiting for the guy to call him back the second time. It was helpful that the installer knew what would happen when the guy hit the card, but the instructions were pretty much right on the TiVo screen.

Well, he also ran a new outside drop but that only took 30-45 minutes.

I would suspect that if you just call the Comcast service number and try to hook up with the guy you'd be in for a long, long, long day.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:56 AM   #5790
Teddydogno1
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Since I know that the CC setup might be a hassle and take some time to get right on their end, I am going to keep my DVR until the Tivo is fully up and running (that and to be sure we watch everything off it before turning it in).

Rob
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