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Old 01-04-2009, 07:33 AM   #31
Brad Bishop
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My install took 2 months:

The first month was them visiting about once a week to try various cards. I tried to get them to just do a single M-Card but they couldn't get it right so, finally, when they got 2 S-Cards working I said, "Ok, it's cheaper for me to pay the $1.50/month over the next X number of years than it is for me to take any more time off dealing with this nonsense."

The second month was the frustrating 'fix the billing' problem with 2 S-Cards as they:
- wanted to treat it as a full second digital outlet
- could understand what I was saying but couldn't figure out how to make the system take it.
- at one point one representative figured I had been stealing cable and ordered a full audit of my account/services (what?)
- would understand the problem, fix the previous month's billing, and then try a fix that, invariably, wouldn't work

Those three things cycled on various calls. I -finally- found a lady who said, "Hold on...," got up from her desk and went to ask a supervisor what to do. She then came back and said, "Oh, it's a special 'tivo-code' which I have to put in - then you get it for $1.50/month." She fixed it, and I've been paying $1.50/month since.

What's weird is that I know a CSR in the cable service and got the impression from a few of the cable guys I spoke with who have the attitude that it's simply wrong for TiVo to be allowed to be hooked up to their cable system. Seems to me that they're simply selling services. They treat it like it's a crime against their Comcast church which they can do nothing about.

Hopefully, if you end up with 2 S-Cards, you can ask the CSR to go lookup the 'Tivo Code' for billing so you won't have to deal with what I did.

The fact that this stuff is this hard is incredibly stupid. You should be able to drop by the cable company, pick up your cards, plug them into your TiVo, call them and tell them the numbers, and it all should just work (including billing).
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:32 AM   #32
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We can help!

Email my team, include what you have been through, phone number on the account and contact number. We will escalate your concern to the right people.

I apologize for the trouble.

Frank Eliason
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:33 AM   #33
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If you're trying to explain to Comcast what you want to do, this Comcast help page might be useful:

http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...&fss=cablecard

Quote:
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 $2.05 for the second CableCARD.

If additional CableCARDs are needed for other devices that are installed on additional outlets, you will not be charged for the first CableCARD installed on this outlet as the cost is included in the additional outlet fee. In addition to the cost of the digital cable service, you will be charged a regulated fee of up to $2.05 for the second CableCARD on the additional outlet in addition to the cost of the digital cable service.

**Note: The same pricing schedule will be applicable to additional outlets with multi-CableCARD devices, e.g. no charge for first CableCARD on the third outlet and an additional regulated fee of up to $2.05 for the second CableCARD in addition to the digital service charge.

Disclaimer: Regulated Prices quoted above may not apply in all markets. Please call 1-800-COMCAST to learn more about Regulated Prices for your area.

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:24 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by ComcastCares View Post
Email my team, include what you have been through, phone number on the account and contact number. We will escalate your concern to the right people.

I apologize for the trouble.

Frank Eliason
Comcast
We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com
Frank,

Thank you for taking the time to set up an account and post here! If you can help, I'm sure that there are a lot of Comcast users who appreciate any assistance you can give them especially related to Comcast cableCARD setup and billing with TiVos!

Scott
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:39 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Bishop View Post
... I -finally- found a lady who said, "Hold on...," got up from her desk and went to ask a supervisor what to do. She then came back and said, "Oh, it's a special 'tivo-code' which I have to put in - then you get it for $1.50/month." She fixed it, and I've been paying $1.50/month since.

What's weird is that I know a CSR in the cable service and got the impression from a few of the cable guys I spoke with who have the attitude that it's simply wrong for TiVo to be allowed to be hooked up to their cable system. Seems to me that they're simply selling services. They treat it like it's a crime against their Comcast church which they can do nothing about.
...

The fact that this stuff is this hard is incredibly stupid. You should be able to drop by the cable company, pick up your cards, plug them into your TiVo, call them and tell them the numbers, and it all should just work (including billing).
Considering that CableCARDs were supposed to be the standard way that all kinds of manufacturers could free their customers from having to have a (Comcast-crappy) set top cable box, that they call it a "tivo code" is truly sad. We have a Sony* CRT HDTV that has a CableCARD slot. Note that the CableCARD fee is clearly listed int he Comcast literature. It doesn't say "Tivo fee."

BTW, Comcast feels ripped off because by CableCARD because you don't have 1/3 of the guide screen containing ads, you can make nonsense and non-subscribed channels disappear, and you don't buy profitable On Demand content.

The AUDIT THIS ACCOUNT suspicion comes from the empty-headed rep thinking that you must be stealing if you don't have a monthly box rental fee...you know - the whole reason that FCC forced them to offer CableCARD.

(* Drift: If any company thinks you're stealing from them it has to be Sony being "forced" to allow a device that isn't proprietary to Sony. The TV is OK, though. The flash card slot is Memory Stick. We have nothing else that uses one.)
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:14 AM   #36
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Comcast issues

Hi,

Comcast was here 3 times back in Sep to get my Tivo S3 configured. Finally found out that the first two installers they sent out were subcontractors and only had multi cards. My unit needed 2- single cards and were only stockpiled at the Comcast warehouse, not the subcontractors warehouse. further, only Comcast technicians could get the cards I needed and come and install them.

Not sure Comcast has a similar setup in your area, but you might ask. At least here in MA they've got options.

After the cards were installed by the real Comcast gents, all has worked quite well.

Good luck. -Alex
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:27 AM   #37
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Hi,

Comcast was here 3 times back in Sep to get my Tivo S3 configured. Finally found out that the first two installers they sent out were subcontractors and only had multi cards. My unit needed 2- single cards <snip>
TiVo Series3's work fine with two "M" cable cards as well.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:56 PM   #38
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I watched as the CSR entered an order for an M-Card to be installed into my TiVo next weekend. I'll let them install two S-Cards only if they don't assess the charge for a second CableCard .
I have 2 S-Cards in my Series 3 - each at $0.00 on my Comcast Digital Starter package.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:26 PM   #39
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Thanks Matthew. I was actually contacted by this person on Twitter after I mentioned my problem in a public tweet. He must have some type of search for Comcast alerting him to these messages. I replied and he said that he would pass the issue on to his team.

My wife received a call from a Comcast Supervisor today who said that they were going to send someone tomorrow from inhouse (I assume as compared with a contractor) and would make sure they brought working cable cards with them. We'll update the thread tomorrow night. Thanks again, John
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:28 PM   #40
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Rich - I assume that since there are only two tuners, there is no advantage to having two M cards vs two S cards. Is that correct? Thanks, John
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:33 PM   #41
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Rich - I assume that since there are only two tuners, there is no advantage to having two M cards vs two S cards. Is that correct? Thanks, John
John, you are correct sir. IIRC M cards can handle and deliver up to seven signals (wouldn't that be sweet?) but TiVo HD/HDXL's are only able to process two and Series3 only one per card.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:35 PM   #42
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Rich - I assume that since there are only two tuners, there is no advantage to having two M cards vs two S cards. Is that correct? Thanks, John
Not Rich but,
Yes that is correct. one Mcard can handle unencrypting 6 digital streams to hand off to tuners. with only two tuners the limitation is there.
The TiVo series 3 was originally designed to use one Mcard in slot A or two Scards and that way each tuner would get a digital stream to get the channel form and record it. Fortunately TiVo did allow that 2 Mcards can go one in each slot but they each just hand off one of their digital streams to a tuner and the two tuner limitation still keeps it at just 2 recordings at one time.

Something is glitchy in the original S3 cable card hardware/firmware though and the S3 goes flaky if just one Mcard is in place. This glitch was circumvented in some way in the Tivo HD so it can use the original design opf one Mcard or 2 Scards just fine.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:39 PM   #43
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Email my team, include what you have been through, phone number on the account and contact number. We will escalate your concern to the right people.

I apologize for the trouble.

Frank Eliason
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Originally Posted by jbkendrick View Post
Thanks Matthew. I was actually contacted by this person on Twitter after I mentioned my problem in a public tweet. He must have some type of search for Comcast alerting him to these messages. I replied and he said that he would pass the issue on to his team.
he even came here and created a Comcastcares userid. Seems like Comcast is moving in the right direction for you now.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:56 PM   #44
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Don't rule out a problem with the TiVo.

I have a Series 3 and an HD. My service is from Santa Cruz Comcast.

The Series 3 needs Scards and worked immediately.

The HD can use either type of card. But the second tuner of the HD would not work with either Scards or an Mcard. After 3 visits by Comcast (I figured they must be at fault, right?), I called TiVo. They thought it was probably the TiVo. I returned the TiVo and the new one worked.

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Old 01-06-2009, 11:28 PM   #45
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Arrow

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Email my team, include what you have been through, phone number on the account and contact number. We will escalate your concern to the right people.

I apologize for the trouble.

Frank Eliason
Comcast
We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com
Hi Frank - glad to see someone from Comcast here finally!

You may want to check out the last couple pages of this thread:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=316310


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Old 01-07-2009, 07:46 PM   #46
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OK, here is my report. Comcast has been out two more times since my last post. Yesterday they were here for 3 1/2 hours if you can believe it. I wasn't home, but my wife gave me the report. This time it was an in-house technician who showed up with some cable cards that he tried to get to work for hours. Per my direction, my wife got him on the phone with TiVo, but they couldn't really help much. He told her, just like the previous technicians, that he probably had bad cards. He tried one S and one M together that he said he knew were working, but that combination didn't work. So he left telling her he'd be back today.

Today, two inhouse techs showed up and finally got the TiVo working with Comcast. The cards worked but still couldn't get all the premium channels. They traced that problem to the Comcast person in the office. Apparently they were typing the wrong host name/number and sending information to someone else's box. So after an hour plus by two more techs, I finally have all my channels on TiVo.

I have to give Comcast credit for not giving up, but this is a crazy situation. They spent about 8 hours over the phone and four separate visits to get this working. If this happens to many people they've got to be losing money - perhaps that's why the cable bill is so high.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who commented and put up with my rants. I'm going down to do some channel surfing now!!! John
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:50 PM   #47
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Question Been there, done this, and another headache.

John,
where in Maryland do you live, if you don't mind me asking.
When we first got our Tivo HD (dual head), after having an older TiVo for years, (which we relegated to a 2nd TV in the bedroom with no HD) we had the exact same headache and problems getting ours to work as you did.
The Comcast folks did eventually get the two S-cards to work.
They had to send out a "dedicated Senior technician" to get it right.
This transpired over several days, including one entire day wasted when the promised technician didn't show up. Like you, the tech was here for hours.
Now we have the constant problem of the expanded digital channels "disappearing". The black screen appears behind the Guide. This happens at least once a week. We had to have the signal resent to the box the first time it happened, but now we have to restart the system every time in order to restore the channels. This happens only to channels 100-200. The HD channels do not have this problem. Have you ever experienced this?
It's very frustrating when you have set up something for TiVo to get on the Military channel or Bio, and you get nothing.
Have other Maryland Comcast subscribers had this problem?
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:24 PM   #48
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Comcast Cable Card/Tivo frustration

Awk! I feel your pain; I posted this last week, and it sounds similar to your situation. I also emailed the Comcast VP of CS and received a vmail yesterday from an employee apologizing for the frustration and confusion. Cleary the employee did not understand the technical aspects of my situation and referred broadly to "card issues" and Tivo. Although he mentioned a credit to my account, he failed to give me any information on a resolution.
I like you, feel I should return my Tivo since it is worthless at this point.
Good luck!



Quote:
Originally Posted by rwcmom View Post
Thought I would share my unfortunate experience and end result with Series 3 & Comcast multistream cable card install. We purchased a new HD TV and thought it was time to upgrade to Tivo HD.
Similar to the many posts here, I attempted a self install. I went through 3 cable cards on my own phoning tech support numerous times. Each time I was told by Ccast "the card was paired on our end". Meanwhile several calls to Tivo tech support insisted the card was not paired and I continue to receive what my kids angrily call the "spinning peppermint wheel of death" as the dvr painfully attempts to acquire a cable signal.

After 8 days of nightly phone calls, I finally had a Ccast tech out last night. He went through 2 more cards before phoning dispatch. He was promptly told by "dispatch" that the known software issue from Dec '08 (which allows Comcast to send and receive signals to the card) is still not resolved. No cards can be paired due to this. This problem apparently spans San Fran to Monterey in CA. It is not the card, it is not Tivo, it is the lack of organization within Comcast to get their software up to speed.

When I asked the tech what my options were, I was told the following:
1.-I could go back to the old Series 2 Tivo set up and receiver box that I had before
or
2.-Purchase the Comcast HD DVR - their DVR has the hardware installed so there is no card issue. Unfortunately, they are out of stock, no eta
or
3.-Wait for Ccast to resolve the issue. I would be put on a "list" and the supervisor would phone me when the issue was resolved and set up a time for install

We have not decided what option we will go with yet. It really burns me up when I think of the wasted time, energy and expenses caused by Comcasts failure to communicate with the public and their own support people!

It's actually kinda nice to have a quiet house with no tv in the background.
hmmmmm, could this be option 4?

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Old 01-21-2009, 04:01 PM   #49
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My TiVo was in shipment, I walked into the Comcast office in Milpitas and asked for an M-Card for a Tivo, the lady was very courteous, walked into the back room and returned with a new card. I got the TiVo the next Monday, got it all set up with the latest software. Tuesday I installed the cablecard, called 1-800-COMCAST and told the CSR I wanted to activate an M-card for a Tivo. He didn't hesitate, asked me for the data, I gave it to him. He had a problem activating it, and asked me to repeat the numbers, I did, he fixed a typo and activated it. He hung on while I did the channel scan, check out NTSC, Clear QAM and enctypted channels, and everything went fine. It took less than 10 minutes, and he was very courteous. Great experience with Comcast and the CableCard.
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:55 AM   #50
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Comcast truly sucks, I hope FIOS soon becomes available and I can switch. Getting a Mcard installed in our HD Tivo was a real challenge, not because of any problem with the Tivo, but rather Comcast. My most recent gripe is their billing. We had a price increase in November of last year, so I cut back on services and our December bill was $134.00 a lot better than the $200+ and I was pretty happy because I knew that once we returned their dvr and our HD Tivo was up our next bell would be even better. I was wrong, the bill this week was $179.00. They also charged me an additional 2 months of using dvr after it was returned...which they removed from the bill after I called them. I tried getting a current price list online but can't find it, when I contacted them they told me to use the FAQ online, but there is no price list, you have to go through the process of ordering and then try to figure out what is included in the packages. If DTV does go back to Tivo, I may go back to DTV - I do like using the Tivo.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:13 AM   #51
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Considering that CableCARDs were supposed to be the standard way that all kinds of manufacturers could free their customers from having to have a (Comcast-crappy) set top cable box, that they call it a "tivo code" is truly sad. We have a Sony* CRT HDTV that has a CableCARD slot. Note that the CableCARD fee is clearly listed int he Comcast literature. It doesn't say "Tivo fee."

There are very few, currently manufactured, TV sets that have a cable card slot. Moxi is just beginning to ship a cable card DVR. I suspect the vast majority of cable cards currently being installed are going into tivos.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:47 AM   #52
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I am on Charter witch sucks. Even though TiVo is having a glitch problem that they are working on that causes our TiVos to freeze I think john should re post in bold caps saying he apologizes to TiVo for saying not to buy one. I had problems with Charter and after 5 visits over three days they finally "cold hit" the card and it worked. I think TiVo needs to add in the CC installers instructions as a tip.

If activating the CC does not work ask the cable company to "cold hit" or :cold initialize" the CC.

After the cable guy left I did a search for cold hit tivo or something along that line. I found that was the case for a lot of CC installs.
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:15 PM   #53
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I do have to say Comcast here in Mass has been VERY good with replacing cablecards when requested. They obviously can't fix the Tivo, but they have been very attentive with all I have asked of them.
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:16 AM   #54
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I am in eastern MA and had Comcast install an M-card in my Tivo HD XL about two weeks ago. I have only basic analog cable. I initially tried to get two different CC service centers to give me an M-card over the counter, but both refused to do so and insisted that they send an installer to set up the card. The card is free, but they are billing me $17 for the truck roll, which was fair enough.

The tech was very courteous and knowledgable and the install went without incidence. Once he surmised I was a techie, he was very forthcoming about a lot of details regarding the local cable system, which CC inherited from Adelphia a few years back. He even spent a half hour outside replacing the notch filter and all connectors -- mine were pretty weathered after 20 years -- and provided me with some gratis high-end connector cables. I figure I got more than my money's worth from the visit. However, my experience turned up a couple of bits of interesting information that might be useful to others in this thread.

First, I had requested an "M-series" card at the service center and that is what was typed on the service order. The installer called me in advance of his visit to tell me that "M-series" is a Motorola-specific designation and that Comcast (at least in this area) doesn't use Motorola cards. It sounded to me like they had discontinued using Motorola cards because of QC or reliability issues. When I told him that he probably had Scientific Atlanta M-cards that would be functionally equivalent and equally suitable, I got his respect.

Second, the cable channels that I get using the M-card are a somewhat different assortment that those that I had previously been getting on my QAM-enabled LG3410A DVR. First, the LG provided a much larger assortment of QAM clear channels than the M-card does. With the latter, I get only the local major network affiliate OTA HDTV stations and nothing more. This is not an issue for me, since the PQ is really poor on these "HD" cable channels and I prefer to watch these stations OTA. Whether the change in channel selection is due to a new notch filter or the cable card technology is hard to say, but since I have one new useful cable channel and the ones lost were not of interest, I am not going to rock the boat with Comcast by filing a complaint.

However, what was more interesting is that several of the basic analog cable channels that I received before the M-card install both on the cardless Tivo and the LG (such as Lifetime), have disappeared; and two new analog cable channels, BET and TMC, that were previously not available to me are now being received. Since TMC offers a nice assortment of old vintage movies, I figure I came out ahead on the deal.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:15 PM   #55
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It sounded to me like they had discontinued using Motorola cards because of QC or reliability issues.
No, Motorola cards work with Motorola headends. Cisco cards work with Cisco headends. Big Band and certain other manufacturers make flexible headend equipment which can be set up for either protocol, but a CATV provider cannot mix-and-match card types in the field. One is not a direct replacement for the other.

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Second, the cable channels that I get using the M-card are a somewhat different assortment that those that I had previously been getting on my QAM-enabled LG3410A DVR. First, the LG provided a much larger assortment of QAM clear channels than the M-card does.
How do you know they are clear? If any QAM carrier is clear, the bit stream will be forwarded by a properly functioning CableCard even if the CableCard is not properly authorized. Thus, you should receive all unencrypted QAMs no matter what. A common symptom is the user receives all the channels on the basic tier, but no premiums or other than basic tier.

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However, what was more interesting is that several of the basic analog cable channels that I received before the M-card install both on the cardless Tivo and the LG (such as Lifetime), have disappeared; and two new analog cable channels, BET and TMC, that were previously not available to me are now being received. Since TMC offers a nice assortment of old vintage movies, I figure I came out ahead on the deal.
Analog channels are not processed by the CableCard in any way. They aren't even received by the same tuner as digital channels.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:26 PM   #56
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I'm going on 30 days of waiting for my cards here in Chicago/Wheaton Comcast area.

I took the advice of the forum and called the support line and asked for _NOTHING_ other than an M-Card be delivered to my home and installed in my new Tivo. The lady on the phone was very nice, asked me how I liked my Tivo, said she loved hers, etc. But she informed me I had to wait 10 days for the next available appointment for the install. I said fine.

10 days later the tech shows up..and I kid you not...meets me at the door and says "What am I here for?". I tell him all he needs to do is install an M-card in my Tivo and he has a confused look on his face and says "I didn't bring any cablecards...your service order didn't say anything about cablecards". He and I look at the service order and the first line says:

1....T3DDVRCARDS ($1.50)

Then the "Notes to Technician" at the bottom say...

"B1 SFU AUDIT. CUST WILL LOSE B2, NEED TO UPSELL. TIVO SERIES 3 CARD (M-Series) 1.50/mo. ED CST OF BILLING. TIVO DUAL TUNER DVR."

He tells me the above information means he was suppose to install a new DVR in another room of my house and starts asking me about where I want the second line run. I told him I don't need anything but a cable-card. He says he'll need to reschedule. He calls the support line and tells me the next time they can come out is 10 days from now. I told him I can pick up the card myself if he tells me where. He says go to the customer service office about 2 blocks from my house.

I go to the service office and he reads my tech slip and says he doesn't understand why the guy didn't show with any cards...but there's nothing he can do since he doesn't have any and the tech should have known that. Only techs carry cards (shocker..since mine didnt). Says I should call the support number and ask for an earlier date and to escalate if needed.

I call the support number and talk to a rep who is also confused as to why the tech didn't show with cards. But tells me there's nothing she can do and I'll need to wait 10 days for my appointment. I ask to speak to a manager. She gives me an escalation number (#1107847) and says someone will call in an hour. 2 days later..no call. I call again and get a promise of a manager will call. No call.

So now I'm sitting 20 days after first calling for my cable card...waiting to see if the Tech shows today with working cards.

I've bet my wife that he will either show with _no_ cards again, or won't know how to install them..and then proceed to tell me to wait another 10 days for a "try again".

I'm expecting to be using the twitter, email to Rick Germano and the we_can_help email option in about an hour.

I wouldn't have needed to go this route if Comcast didn't have such a crappy DVR.

-Tyler
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:09 PM   #57
mysigp226
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Location: Northern, KY
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Update. Just got off the phone with the Tech. They don't have any cards in the warehouse and he doesn't know when they'll get any. I'll have to call and reschedule.

I win my bet!
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:50 PM   #58
kettleone
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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I had the same sort of experience a couple of weeks ago with Comcast. When I set up the appointment on the phone, the CSR was very nice. I asked for a M card but was told they don't use them. I said whatever, 2 S cards will be fine.

The tech showed up for a Sunday appointment (which was nice) and had absolutely no idea he was there for a cablecard install. He thought I needed a new cable modem. Luckily he was real helpful and called all the techs on duty and found an M card. After going back and forth with the home office a few times, they finally got all my channels to show up. I thanked him and felt very lucky that it was working and that he was willing to make the effort to find a tech with a card.

I know my next battle will be with billing since I am pretty sure I heard them say a second CableCard is an extra $7 or so. When I get the bill I will fight that but at least the thing is working.

It really should not be this difficult.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:52 PM   #59
sinanju
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Originally Posted by mysigp226 View Post
Update. Just got off the phone with the Tech. They don't have any cards in the warehouse and he doesn't know when they'll get any. I'll have to call and reschedule.

I win my bet!
They have plenty of cards -- they're just all in cable boxes. Suggest to them that they pull a card out of a cable box. You get your card and whenever they get new cards in, they can put one back in the cable box.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:57 PM   #60
richsadams
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinanju View Post
They have plenty of cards -- they're just all in cable boxes. Suggest to them that they pull a card out of a cable box. You get your card and whenever they get new cards in, they can put one back in the cable box.
Not sure about what they have in the OP's area, but here the Moto boxes and DVR's don't use cable cards so they may be (as surprising as it may seem sometimes) telling the truth. What a hassle though.
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