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Old 02-06-2009, 10:28 AM   #6241
pdhenry
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My cable card problem was that it didn't work, period. All I got was the channels I'd get with a (good) antenna on my roof. I don't know about it causing other problems as you've mentioned.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:38 AM   #6242
chris1088c
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Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of--that it's not really the cable signal, but the cable card, which isn't configured properly.

Would that cause the TiVo to keep rebooting?
Does the Tivo unit only reboot when the CableCard is installed?
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:55 AM   #6243
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I tested that out with the first Tivo unit (which I returned because I thought it was defective). With the CC removed, it re-booted three more times. So at that point, I figured the hard drive was going bad, and RMA-ed the unit (the replacement arrived a few days ago).

So I guess that confirms the signal is too strong?

Last edited by Porkbits : 02-06-2009 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:04 PM   #6244
chris1088c
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I tested that out with the first Tivo unit (which I returned because I thought it was defective). With the CC removed, it re-booted three more times. So at that point, I figured the hard drive was going bad, and RMA-ed the unit (the replacement arrived a few days ago).

So I guess that confirms the signal is too strong?
I actually think there's a better chance that you have gotten two defective refurbed Tivo units. A lot of people have complained about having the reboot problems on here, especially with refurbished TiVoHD's. It might be possible that TiVo is re-issuing these units without really fixing the problem.

It could possibly be the signal or the CableCards but I'm not really sure why those issues would cause the unit to reboot. If anything, I would think you would be experiencing missing channels or pixelation if they were the problem.

If the attenuator doesn't work, have Comcast try another CableCard. If your TiVo is still rebooting after this, I think it would be safe to say you have another bad unit.
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:12 PM   #6245
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God, I hope it's not another defective unit. But I am having Comcast bring another CC along with the attenuator, just in case.

When the CC was installed and the TiVo wasn't rebooting, there were indeed missing channels. For example, I couldn't get standard-def Animal Planet (63), but could get Animal Planet HD (863). HBO (HD or SD), no go, but could get FX HD and TNT HD. Could not get Discovery HD. It was very sporadic.

So maybe I have a perfect storm of bad luck: bad TiVo, improperly configured CC, too-strong signal. If that's the case, Fate doesn't want me to have a Tivo, so back to the Comcast DVR.

Too bad, because the TiVo HD interface is great, but it's obvious this piece of technology if not fully baked. Maybe in another ten years....
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:37 PM   #6246
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Yeah, my guess would be that the TiVo unit is bad (causing the reboots) and the actual CableCard is good but Comcast hasn't properly configured the info into their system (causing the missing channels).

If you can get the TiVo to work properly, I can give you the Comcast Cares e-mail addy which will help you with the missing channels. The support from that group is much more effective and helpful than the support you'll get from your local Comcast office or even the Techs. They fixed the problem I had with missing channels immediately and knew exactly what the problem was.
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:43 PM   #6247
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Thanks, Chris! I'll know after tomorrow if I need that address......

With all of these other possible symptoms/problems floating around, how the heck can I figure out if I've actually gotten two bad refurb units? In other words, there's a of of noise (cable strength, bad TiVo, bad CC) from which to separate an actual signal (ie, real problem), without having an actual TiVo tech in my living room, with tools that can diagnose a TiVo hardware/software problem.

And even if I can figure out that the problem is with the TiVo, and not my cable signal or the CC, then what do I do? My thought is that TiVo needs to overnight me a NEW unit, ASAP, or some kind of gesture that demonstrates they don't want to lose a customer. I can't deal with yet another week-long wait for another refurb.

This sucks.

Last edited by Porkbits : 02-06-2009 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:51 PM   #6248
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Comcast guy came out and tested my cable line, and said the signal strength is right where it should be--4.7 out of 10. So apparently the TiVo tech who told me that I had a too-strong signal had his head planted firmly and securely up his @##@.

The Comcast tech replaced the CC, and after some back-and-forth with Comcast ATS and one manual TiVo reboot, seems to be working.

So as of now, I guess the problem was with the CC. We'll see.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:39 PM   #6249
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New TIVO HD Setup

I currently live in MA.

I need a little help deciding how I am going to approach the cableCard Install I have next week. I have been a Tivo customer for over 3 years, and I have also had Comcast HD on a separate TV for well over a year now. So I am already paying for Tivo Service, and Comcast HD service. I recently bought a new HDTV for my bedroom, and upgraded from a Tivo S2 to the Tivo HD. I've asked Comcast to ocme in next Wednesday to set up the cable cards.

My questions are based primarily on the "Extra outlet" charges... I have cable TV connections in 6 rooms in my house, but only 1 has ever used a comcast set top box. I do not recall them having to complete any more work when we installed the HD Comcast box in the family room over a year ago, so I am assuming the feed into my bedroom will support HD channels as well?

Should I hook the tivo up to the existing "HD" outlet in the family room to convince the Service Rep that the Tivo and CableCards are going to be used on the same outlet and ask him to leave the Comcast Box as a backup/alternate source of HD. Then I can remove the Tivo after he goes and set it up in my bedroom? Or, should there be no additional "outlet fee" if I simply have him do the work in my bedroom where there has never been a comcast box, just a direct feed into the TV?

I will probably have more questions, but I appreciate any help anyone is able to provide.

Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:23 PM   #6250
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I currently live in MA.

My questions are based primarily on the "Extra outlet" charges... I have cable TV connections in 6 rooms in my house, but only 1 has ever used a comcast set top box. I do not recall them having to complete any more work when we installed the HD Comcast box in the family room over a year ago, so I am assuming the feed into my bedroom will support HD channels as well?

Yup, the HD signal goes to every outlet in your house.

Should I hook the tivo up to the existing "HD" outlet in the family room to convince the Service Rep that the Tivo and CableCards are going to be used on the same outlet and ask him to leave the Comcast Box as a backup/alternate source of HD. Then I can remove the Tivo after he goes and set it up in my bedroom? Or, should there be no additional "outlet fee" if I simply have him do the work in my bedroom where there has never been a comcast box, just a direct feed into the TV?

I'd guess there should be no additional charge but with Comcast ya never know.

I will probably have more questions, but I appreciate any help anyone is able to provide.

My understanding is that Comcast will give you one CableCard for free. So request an M-Card since that 1 card will support the 2 tuners in your new TiVo HD. I requested an M-Card but they still brought 2 S-Cards <sigh>. The only charge I get is $1.50/mo. for an "additional outlet". If they'd brought the M-Card I would have NO extra charges.

Thanks!
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:13 AM   #6251
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Thanks for your input.

My only concern is that if I keep the Comcast HD box on my family room TV, which is the plan, then they can charge me for an additional outlet in my bedroom on top of the $1.95 per cable card. I was hoping to avoid that charge by convincing them that I was in a trial period and would be holding onto my Comcast box until I decided what to do.

Mark
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:19 PM   #6252
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Thanks for your input.

My only concern is that if I keep the Comcast HD box on my family room TV, which is the plan, then they can charge me for an additional outlet in my bedroom on top of the $1.95 per cable card. I was hoping to avoid that charge by convincing them that I was in a trial period and would be holding onto my Comcast box until I decided what to do.

Mark
Comcast's rates and fees seem to vary in pretty much every market from the information I've gathered on here. Some people report paying as much as $8.95 Outlet Fee + $3.90 for 2 CableCards per month.

I have a Comcast HD Box in my living room and a TiVoHD with an M-Card in my bedroom and pay nothing extra per month for the extra outlet or the Card.

The only way you'll know for sure what you're paying is when you get that first bill. Even the Reps at Comcast will quote you different rates when you call.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:49 PM   #6253
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Well my Cablecard setup went without much of a hassle last week, and I am receiving most of my HD channels. I say most, because I seem to missing a few of the channels. I am going to try to reset my system again today to see if that helps, and I'm praying for a software update as I heard one is in testing that may fix this issue.
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:34 PM   #6254
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I just had a cablecard install done today, and it was a pretty sad experience except for the fact that they eventually did get it working. I live in AZ and they charged me $38 for the install, which is their standard "hourly labor charge". I tried to talk them into one of the lower install fees when I made the appointment, but they wouldn't budge. The person making the appointment tried hard to convince me NOT to use a cablecard device, saying that the Comcast-supplied equipment is superior. I suspect that the high install fee is also an intentional attempt to discourage cablecard use. They would not allow self-install.

The installer they sent was a contractor who knew nothing about cablecards. He admitted that he had received no training on cablecards, he didn't know what any of the info in the cablecard menus meant, didn't know how to tell if it was working, and he literally asked me "what does a cablecard do". I had my Tivo setup and ready to go when he got here. It took just a couple of minutes to plug in a card and call it in. If it had been done right, he could have been out of here in 5 min. Of course it didn't work after the first try because it wasn't done right. It took another several phone calls and 40 min to get it paired and authorized correctly in the Comcast system. When it wasn't working, the tech spoke to his supervisor (at the contractor company) who told him that sometimes it takes a while to register on the system, so we should unplug and reboot the Tivo, then wait 24 hours, then call back if it still wasn't working. I knew that was bad advice. Fortunately the tech finally decided to call Comcast directly and that person was able to get it working. They found one of the pairing numbers was wrong, and they also said it had to be identified in their system as a Tivo. I think they originally had it setup in the system as if it was one of their own cable boxes. I feel very fortunate that they got it working on the first trip!

I give Comcast 2 thumbs down for their effort here. 1) They should train their techs on how to install cablecards, even if it's only a few designated techs in each area. 2) They really should allow self install, there's no technical reason not to. That would have saved time an money for both them and me.

For anyone doing a new cablecard install, here are a few tips:

- If the card is not setup properly, you may receive the clear QAM channels that are available on your system (only the local channels in most areas) and they will probably be mapped to the correct channel numbers, but the encrypted channels will not be received.

- When the card is setup properly, my experience is that the encrypted channels will show up within a few min, no need to wait hours or days to see if they magically start working.

- If the card is not working properly, most likely it is not paired or authorized properly in the Comcast system. This is much more likely than a bad cablecard. Have the tech call and recheck the host and data numbers in the Comcast system against those shown on the cablecard pairing screen on the Tivo. Make sure they know that the card is in a Tivo and not a Comcast box. If you can receive any encrypted channel, i.e. ESPN, then the card is paired properly. If you are still missing some channels, then make sure the card is authorized for whatever channel package you are subscribed to.

- Be patient but persistent. They should be able to get it working eventually. Don't give up an settle for one of their DVRs instead of Tivo. The Tivo box itself is quite impressive, and it's worth the effort to set it up.

Sorry for the long post. Besides just venting here, I hope this info can help someone else.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:12 PM   #6255
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We had our Comcast cablecard install yesterday and everything went fine. He was a contractor but he had done a couple Tivo installs before. We got lucky and he had a M card so we just needed one.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:26 PM   #6256
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I currently have digital cable service through Comcast with On-Demand and I receive a bunch of HD channels between Channels 200 and 250. I get all of the HD channels available,with the exception of several movie channels.

If I switch to a cable card with a TIVO HD, what cable package do I need to get all of the HD channels I receive now? Is my only cost savings the $15.95per month I am paying for the Comcast DVR or can I subscribe to a lower cost digital package and still get all the HD channels between channels 200 and 250?

Any help is much appreciated.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:58 PM   #6257
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If you give up your Comcast cable box, you will give up Comcast VOD (a.k.a. Channel 1 On Demand). Tivo gives you other internet-based VOD options, i.e. Netflix and Amazon, but neither is free. If you are already a Netflix subscriber, the Netflix VOD (a.k.a. "Watch Instantly") has no additional cost.

Regarding your channel lineup, Tivo will give you exactly the same channels as you get with the Comcast box. This is determined by the channel package which you subscribe to. The "Digital Starter" package is sufficient to get you most of the non-premium HD channels that Comcast carries. In my area, I think National Geographic and Science are the only non-premium HD channels which are not included in the "Starter" package. If you are currently subscribed to a higher package, you can drop down to "Starter" to save some money, but you can also do that without switching to Tivo.

If you switch to Tivo, your savings is based on not having to pay monthly fees to Comcast for equipment rental. The $15.95 per month that you mention would be your savings (plus tax I believe). This savings is reduced by having to pay service fees to Tivo. If you pay your Tivo fees in larger chunks, i.e. yearly or lifetime, then your savings will be maximized.

Note regarding cablecards, if you have a Tivo HD then you want to try to get a single Mcard installed. If you instead get 2 Scards, Comcast will charge a small monthly fee for the 2nd card. If you go with an original Tivo Series 3, they require 2 cablecards.

Last edited by spocko : 03-02-2009 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:05 PM   #6258
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picture goes away for few seconds and comes back

got tivo Series 3 few weeks ago, got multi stream cable card from comcast (previous single stream Motorola cable card was working fine with my Philips TV but comcast replaced all of them with Scientific Atlanta from Houston area, never had any other box from comcast, one TV only).
Originally, missed some HD encrypted channels, replaced my Mcard few times, no missing channels now but sometimes picture goes away for few seconds and then comes back in. This might happen 3-6 times during a 30 minutes program. For few minutes everythig is normal but again picture blinks. Audio is ok. Several comcast tech attempts failed. It seems signal is ok, cable card setting are correct, it is staged, locked, frequency is right. Authentication is ok. It's just picture goes black few second (which is really annoying) and then comes back. Read somewhere it might be the dynamic contrast issue with TV that should be changed from automatic to "off". Any help/feedback/similar experience is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:48 AM   #6259
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That really doesn't sound like anything to do with the TV...can you still pull up menus when it's doing that? If so it's definitely not the TV.

*****************************
Okay, I've got a Tivo HD XL, and I'm being really frustrated by my ATSC reception. Maybe, MAYBE where I just moved the antenna to will work better-most of my channels now are in the 80s and 90s for strength.

But...I want to inquire about getting a cable card.

I just have *basic* analog cable. Can I get a cable card with basic cable, or do they only let you get one with their high end 'digital' packages? I'd think legally I'd have to be able to get their basic service with a cable card too, but..

And...do I really have to have them "install" it? I really, really do not want to have to deal with that, nor with them throwing my Tivo around.

Good to hear the HD supports the multi-stream cards at least! Theoretically it seems like I *SHOULD* be able to call up, ask them to mail an m-card, throw it in the back, call them up (or visit a websit) and within minutes have it activated, all for the same price I'm paying now...but...
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:35 PM   #6260
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But...I want to inquire about getting a cable card.

"I just have *basic* analog cable. Can I get a cable card with basic cable, or do they only let you get one with their high end 'digital' packages? I'd think legally I'd have to be able to get their basic service with a cable card too, but.."

And...do I really have to have them "install" it? I really, really do not want to have to deal with that, nor with them throwing my Tivo around.

Yesterday, I downgraded my Comcast service to "limited cable", (which includes the national broadcasters in HiDef).
At first, the CSR stated that the two cablecards in my Tivo S3 would have to be returned, and that until they were returned I would continue to be charged the fees for the "digital starter" package I was currently subscribed to.
I informed her that the cablecards were necessary for my Tivo service to operate as designed, and was willing to continue the cablecard rental fee (one free, 1@$1.79mth).
She checked with the video department, who told her the cards must be returned. She also checked with the tech department, who told her the opposite. They also told her that a tech would have to install a "trap/filter" on the line, so only the "limited" subscription channels could be received. There is a $11- service charge for the downgrade, but she stated that she would waive the fee.
Bottom line--I downgraded my service at no charge, and am keeping the cablecards (which I had originally picked up and installed myself).
So...Yes, you can have cablecards even on the lowest level of Comcast service.
Yes, you can pick up the cablecards from your local Comcast office.
Yes, you can install the cards yourself.
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:38 PM   #6261
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But...I want to inquire about getting a cable card.

"I just have *basic* analog cable. Can I get a cable card with basic cable, or do they only let you get one with their high end 'digital' packages? I'd think legally I'd have to be able to get their basic service with a cable card too, but.."

And...do I really have to have them "install" it? I really, really do not want to have to deal with that, nor with them throwing my Tivo around.

Yesterday, I downgraded my Comcast service to "limited cable", (which includes the national broadcasters in HiDef).
At first, the CSR stated that the two cablecards in my Tivo S3 would have to be returned, and that until they were returned I would continue to be charged the fees for the "digital starter" package I was currently subscribed to.
I informed her that the cablecards were necessary for my Tivo service to operate as designed, and was willing to continue the cablecard rental fee (one free, 1@$1.79mth).
She checked with the video department, who told her the cards must be returned. She also checked with the tech department, who told her the opposite. They also told her that a tech would have to install a "trap/filter" on the line, so only the "limited" subscription channels could be received. There is a $11- service charge for the downgrade, but she stated that she would waive the fee.
Bottom line--I downgraded my service at no charge, and am keeping the cablecards (which I had originally picked up and installed myself).
So...Yes, you can have cablecards even on the lowest level of Comcast service.
Yes, you can pick up the cablecards from your local Comcast office.
Yes, you can install the cards yourself.
Oh wow wow wow! Thank you!

So how did you get them to let you pick up cable cards? What can I say?

I think if I can figure this out I may just call tomorrow and try to get this set up. The antenna thing is being too big of a pain (and I'm having trouble converting video for my iPod...possibly because of the iffy signal)
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:53 PM   #6262
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PORKBITS or anyone? Same issue here in chicago w comcast multistream cable card with daily series 3 hd reboots. often in the middle of favorite shows , the comcast guy who installed didn't have a brain...had no clue the difference between single or multi cc's. Trying to figure out wtf is up??? Tivo customer service told me to remove the plug from the surge protector and place it directly into the wall outlet. That was their solution? I mean really? Never had a problem with Tivo before--certainly not constant reboots... and this just makes me want to give up... Grrrr. Anyone can lead me to the right thread?--much appreciated. Seriously appreciated.

Last edited by chicagolakeview : 03-08-2009 at 09:59 PM. Reason: clerical
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:09 AM   #6263
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You are correct, "Auth:NS" does mean that whatever channel you are currently tuned to is not recognized by the Cablecard as a channel that you should receive. This can be caused by: 1-incorrect service codes on your account 2-the card needs these signals sent to it: "Cablecard Validation", "initialize", and a"hit". If the card does not receive the proper activation signal to decrypt the channels you subscribe to, (in other words, the card needs a signal telling it which channels are authorized for viewing) It is possible to receive HBO, but other encrypted channels can be gray/black. Here is a link to help you:

http://www.tivo.com/setupandsupport/...I_screens.html
Right, now if I could just get comcast to send that set of strings, I would be right as rain. But instead for 2 days all my channels save the unencrypted locals say Auth:MP.....

Tried comcast cares on Sat after wasting 1.5 hours with service drones, got a quick answer but they still haven't fixed the problem. How can they not know how to fix this 3 years later?
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:44 AM   #6264
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Wrong quote.

Last edited by PIANOCRAT : 03-09-2009 at 07:57 PM. Reason: Quoted from wrong user
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:30 PM   #6265
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Oh crud. I didn't read your second message before stoppping by at the Comcast office.

They claimed that "we don't give Cablecards out at the counter, we have to set up a service apointment", and they said they don't have multistream cards, and to my complete shock, they claimed it would add $16/month ($8 per card) because I don't have the "digital starter pack".

I didn't know what to say, so I just said I'd think about it, and left.

After leaving I realized that has to be an infamous Comcast lie, right? I mean Cable card rental prices are regulated, aren't they?

So...I don't know what to say or who to say it to to get them to rent me 1 or 2 cablecards for a reasonable price

What's nuts is, if they want me as a customer, they have to do this! I'm not going to pay their make believe prices, I'll just work harder at ATSC.

EDIT: This is like when they lied to me about not having a cheaper tier of internet service when they raised my rates to $60/month (!) I said, okay, then I want to cancel. Signed up for Verizon (for much less than half the price), and then two weeks later they send me a flyer advertising their cheaper internet service. I'm thinking HEY, GENIUSES! I would have signed up for it HAD YOU OFFERED IT WHEN I ASKED. I'm not going to cancel, switch providers, and then switch back(!)

I hate hate hate hate cable companies.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:50 PM   #6266
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anyone have any luck getting a cable card on the bare minimum ($10 / month) plan?

I called comcast and they said i had to get the "digital starter" package which is like $40 and has a bunch of channels i don't care about. I just want to get guide data for the local - unencrypted channels but they said the system physically wouldn't let them order the install w/o that plan. (I'm in Portland, OR)
I was just told something similar-and I'm not sure that's legal.

I have their basic service (which is over $15 in my area). They claim it's $8 per card to get a cable card, unless I get their "digital starter" package.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:05 PM   #6267
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Oh wow wow wow! Thank you!

So how did you get them to let you pick up cable cards? What can I say?

I think if I can figure this out I may just call tomorrow and try to get this set up. The antenna thing is being too big of a pain (and I'm having trouble converting video for my iPod...possibly because of the iffy signal)
I think when I called Comcast, they gave me a choice of picking up the cablecards from their local office and installing the cards myself, or they could send a tech with the cards and have the tech install (for a fee).

I suggest you contact your local Comcast office, verify that they have the cablecards you need, and just go pick them up at their front counter--don't give Comcast the opportunity to BS you into a service charge/install fee. When I downgraded my service level, I had to be firm that I was going to keep the cards--the CSR's are trained to bump you to higher subscription, install fees, etc. Many are never told anything else, so your insistence may very well be new to them. Just be courteous and firm. If that does not work, have them transfer you to a supervisor.
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:57 PM   #6268
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I was just told something similar-and I'm not sure that's legal.

I have their basic service (which is over $15 in my area). They claim it's $8 per card to get a cable card, unless I get their "digital starter" package.
Puppy76 & Fingal--

Don't know what to tell you, other than explaining why you need cablecards even on the "limited" subscription plan. Reading from my Comcast Products/Services Price List (Sept08) "2nd CableCARD for Multiple CableCARD Device $1.79" (per month). There is no charge for the first CableCARD. I use the type "S" single stream card in my Tivo. Perhaps the type "M" multistream card rental is higher, but I doubt it.

Fingal, in my area (Bellingham, WA), the guide data is not available on the limited subscription plan, and does require a higher service plan.

Stop by your local Comcast office and request the Comcast Products/Services Price List for your area. Compare it to what comes up on their website (for your zip code/area). Then call Comcast again, and insist upon talking to a supervisor upfront.

Let everyone know the results.
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:03 PM   #6269
aspen0
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 26
My install was yesterday.

When I called on the phone the first lady didn't quite know much about cablecards.

She got the "cablecard" specialist on the line who wasn't sure if they even had cablecards in Western Michigan. I reminded her she was required by law to provide them. She "found" them and explained the $1.50 a month fee and scheduled the install for the next day.

The installer came on time. I gave him the Tivo instructions, he said he didn't need them, he had done a lot of installed. he then pulled out 4 cablecards, 1 I needed, 3 in case the first didn't work, and we did the install. It all worked on the first try, and we chatted during it. He knew hat he was doing and I was 100% pleased with the install.

I still gotta get my next bill to make sure it is billed right, but so far so good.
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:19 PM   #6270
Puppy76
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,101
That's amazing you got someone who knew what they were doing. I assume you subscribe to some premium service?

Between Comcast trying to charge me $16 for the cablecards (on ntop of my $15+ for service), and me finally getting my antenna positioned so all my stations come in well... Well, Comcast never seems to want my money.
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