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Old 03-14-2009, 06:01 PM   #6271
steveliv
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I finally got the cablecards and billing issues sorted out now, i hope. These are my monthly charges after speaking with a comcast corporate account manager:

$40.00 - Digital Preferred (1-200) (1 year promo)
$ 6.95 - HD Package (This charge covers the HD channels and the HD Box is included)
$ 1.50 - 2 Single Stream Cablecards (1st card free, $1.50 for second one)

We have the TivoHD with the HD Channels in the living room, and a comcast digital box in the bedroom. I was told that i will need to bring the digital box in and exchange it for a HD box. To me, this looks pretty much what i wanted to pay in the first place, plus i will get HD in the bedroom for no extra charge if i decide to upgrade the current tv to hdtv.
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:17 AM   #6272
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problem... i had to replace the tivo that comcast had installed the cable card in. now the new tivo doesn't give me access to those channels. any advice on how to trigger this so i don't have to have a comcast installer come back? thanks everyone! jay
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:29 AM   #6273
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problem... i had to replace the tivo that comcast had installed the cable card in. now the new tivo doesn't give me access to those channels. any advice on how to trigger this so i don't have to have a comcast installer come back? thanks everyone! jay
To my knowledge, the cablecard is "paired" to a particular device. You'll have to call the Comcast techline, and they should be able to pair it for you over the phone/internet--no need for a service call. That is what I did when I installed the cablecards in my Tivo.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:39 AM   #6274
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pianocrat, thanks! i'll give em a call, jay
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:18 PM   #6275
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I did that once, I got all my channels except the Encore ones. I called up Comcast and said the channels had stopped working. When asked I said I'd "upgraded" the TiVo, the CSR took the relevant numbers from the cable card screen and repaired the TiVo. It can all be done over the phone.
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:42 PM   #6276
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I had a cablecard installed in my fourth Tivo this morning. For once, the whole process actually went smoothly. The guy came by, stuck in the card, read the numbers to someone over the phone, and five minutes later we were up and running. You always expect the worst from Comcast, but every once in a while they surprise you.

The only negative is that they just increased the cablecard fee in my area to $9.00/month. Four of my other cards are grandfathered in at $5.99/month, and the last one is only $1.50/month. This is getting a little ridiculous! Altogether, I pay almost $35.00/month just to rent the cards.
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:25 PM   #6277
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The only negative is that they just increased the cablecard fee in my area to $9.00/month. Four of my other cards are grandfathered in at $5.99/month, and the last one is only $1.50/month. This is getting a little ridiculous! Altogether, I pay almost $35.00/month just to rent the cards.
you really should email We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com and have them go over your billing, because what you are paying does not sound right. just send a quick email and they can make sure that the billing is correct.

steven
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:06 AM   #6278
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I had a cablecard installed in my fourth Tivo this morning. For once, the whole process actually went smoothly. The guy came by, stuck in the card, read the numbers to someone over the phone, and five minutes later we were up and running. You always expect the worst from Comcast, but every once in a while they surprise you.

The only negative is that they just increased the cablecard fee in my area to $9.00/month. Four of my other cards are grandfathered in at $5.99/month, and the last one is only $1.50/month. This is getting a little ridiculous! Altogether, I pay almost $35.00/month just to rent the cards.

If thats true, its sounds alot like gouging, Comcast shouldnt even be allowed to charge for cable cards.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:19 AM   #6279
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If thats true, its sounds alot like gouging, Comcast shouldnt even be allowed to charge for cable cards.
I thought it was regulated, like basic cable, and you couldn't be stuck paying more than roughly $2/month.

But...Comcast tried to charge me $8 a card (so $16 a month) to use it with basic cable. I'm really not sure that's legal.

I probably would have done it had it been what they claim their pricing is ($2ish for the second card, first card free, + $15 for basic), but as it is, if I can get my guide data on my Tivo correct ever, I guess I'll ditch Comcast for good. What I get free over the air destroys the picture quality of anything Comcast can give me.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:25 AM   #6280
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When I called Comcast on Saturday about getting a truck roll for 2 cableCARDs they were initially talking about a free card, and a second card of anywhere from 6 - 10 dollars. I politely reminded them that their own website says second cards are under 2.00. They wouldn't budge at first but we escalated it, and the second call-center person informed us we were right, and the card magically went from 8 dollars to 1.50.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:00 PM   #6281
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Oh what a cute company Comcast is.

I wish all these cable companies would get put under massive regulation. They're insanely abusive, and almost all monopolies.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:19 PM   #6282
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QAM Mapping or getting HD without subscribing to digital

So, QAM mapping isn't possibly BUT...

Order digital service and get your cable cards. Then cancel digital and retain either limited basic or expanded basic. They won't come out to get the cable cards until you cancel ALL service.

With the cable cards you will receive all the expanded channels AND about 40 HD channels between 190 thru 240. I still even get all 200 music channels and a bunch of Sports HD channels on top of that.

I did have to ask for customer retention before I got hold of someone who figured out that all I wanted was to cancel digital.

The trick is to NOT tell them you want HD, they think you need to pay $6.95 for their HD converter (or the cable cards in lieu) to keep HD.

Just call them after you get the cable cards and tell the to cancel digital. Don't say anything else that would confuse the poor souls that work at Comcast

That knocked $17 off my monthly bill and I only lost BBC America that I cared about. Channels 100 thru 190 are part of the digital package.

But who cares... over 40 channels in HD... even SciFiHD... bwaa haa haa.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:25 PM   #6283
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Don't pay those Fees....

I have three Tivos and only pay for 1 card of the 2 in my Series 3. That's $1.95 a month.

How to do it...
1) Set your other tivos on your network
2) Set all your digital season passes on the one with the cards
3) Set up all the stupid (non-action) season passes on the other Tivos
4) Use MRV

You won't even notice the difference between something like 'The Daily Show' recorded on Tivo HD without cablecards and one with cablecards.

You can also set up the tivos without cards using the 'I don't have cablescards yet (use digital lineup)' option in guided setup. That allows you to get the HD clear channels on Tivos without cablecards.

-----------------
<quote>
Originally Posted by gweempose

The only negative is that they just increased the cablecard fee in my area to $9.00/month. Four of my other cards are grandfathered in at $5.99/month, and the last one is only $1.50/month. This is getting a little ridiculous! Altogether, I pay almost $35.00/month just to rent the cards. </quote>
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:59 PM   #6284
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Need some advice here. I am finally ready to dump the crappy Comcast HD DVR and go to a Tivo HD. Luckily I live in an area where I can just go into the local Comcast office and secure a new CableCard for the Tivo. Ideally I would turn in the Comcast unit at the same time, so that I don't make 2 trips and so I can stop paying the Comcast DVR fee ASAP. However...given some of the problems people are experiencing here in getting their new cards activated properly, should I hold off on returning the Comcast box until I can confirm the Tivo is up and running properly?
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:36 PM   #6285
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...I hold off on returning the Comcast box until I can confirm the Tivo is up and running properly?
I think that's a question only you can answer based upon how ticked off you'd be if you have to do without a DVR if you can't get the TiVo cable cards properly installed.

It took me 3 phone calls to get mine done but it was all done in one day. But, my first cable card actually worked. A lot apparently don't.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:46 PM   #6286
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Ditto... if it is the multi-stream that is already updated with the firmware, then those came up quickly. One was brand new and had to go through firmware update so it was a lots of waiting.

For the single-stream, those buggers didn't all work and had the hardest time with them having to be on the phone getting them recognized. I think something is fundementally wrong with the SS cards.

Also, my cable company charges the same for both... so multistream turns out to be a couple of dollars cheaper since I only need the one card.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:44 PM   #6287
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Need some advice here. I am finally ready to dump the crappy Comcast HD DVR and go to a Tivo HD. Luckily I live in an area where I can just go into the local Comcast office and secure a new CableCard for the Tivo. Ideally I would turn in the Comcast unit at the same time, so that I don't make 2 trips and so I can stop paying the Comcast DVR fee ASAP. However...given some of the problems people are experiencing here in getting their new cards activated properly, should I hold off on returning the Comcast box until I can confirm the Tivo is up and running properly?
There are universal laws that govern such things. Sure as hell if you return the Comcast DVR the TiVo won't work. If you keep it just in case the TiVo will probably install without a hitch.
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Old 03-18-2009, 02:25 PM   #6288
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So my Comcast installer just left and A+! At first the installer was generally confused by the fact that I was having CableCards put in, apparently they told him he was installing a Docsis 3.0 modem when infact they mailed me the modem and he was installing the card. So he was very apologetic and called around to find a cablecard, he only had one single-stream card but found a tech with an M-Card.

Now I'm thinking, damnit, the first card never works, and it didn't. ... At first, some persistant chatting with the tech over the phone got some kinks worked out and everything is working like a charm.

The tech had never installed a cablecard before and actually thanked me for my help, genuinely cool dude though. We did some chatting about the digital transition and SDV while we waited for everything to get going. Now I'm having fun with my new TiVo HD!
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:01 PM   #6289
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There are universal laws that govern such things. Sure as hell if you return the Comcast DVR the TiVo won't work. If you keep it just in case the TiVo will probably install without a hitch.
Yeah, you're probably right...I should just play it safe.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:02 PM   #6290
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Another Comcast Nightmare

Just thought I'd share my recent experience with Comcast.

After months of researching this and other treads I was well aware of the risks but I decided to rewards of Tivo far outweighed them so I decided to make the switch from DTV to Comcast.

Last week I ordered Digital Premier from Comcast online. At the end of the order a chat session started with a live rep and I explained to them that I wanted two 'M' cable cards and a HD box (just the box not the DVR) so I can watch On Demand programming. The friendly Comcast chat rep seemed to have a good understanding of what I ordered. He even confirmed that for the second card there would be a $1.95 charge. No problem. I reconfirmed that the box was part of the order. He said I didn't need to order the box, it was part of the package, and the only 'extra' part of the order was the cable cards. Everything was all set.

Today the Comcast tech shows up to do the install, low and behold...he has only one card on him and no Comcast box. He proceeds to explain to me that with the card I don't need a Comcast box; I can watch shows right on my Tivo. I informed him that I understood that but I still want the box so I can watch on demand. The guy immediately started getting defensive. Saying "Look at my work order; it only says 1 card, no second card, no box". I told him that’s not what I want so could he please go and get what I want and come back. He said he couldn't. Comcast screwed up the order so I would need to straighten it out with them. He also looked at my set up and told me that since my TV was on the opposite wall of the cable he would just give me an extra long cable and run it across the middle of my floor. If I wanted to fish it under the carpet or along the wall I would need to do that myself or hire someone else. Then he left. Um, okay, I've had DTV for 10 years and I've moved about 5 times in that span. Each time DTV installed they hooked up the cables professionally but whatever.

Perplexed I called Comcast and explained what happened. They apologized for the inconvenience. They would need to redo my order but, oops, my order was done online originally so if I wanted the same deal I would have to do it ALL OVER AGAIN online. They did not have anyway of doing my exact order over the phone because they did not have the capability of offering me the same deal on the phone that I got online.

Soooo I go online and go through the process of redoing my order. At the end I get another friendly chat rep. I explain what happened and they redo my order. She tells me that they will not be able to do a truck roll until 3/30!!! All this inconvenience and now I have to wait two weeks for them to straighten it out!? I tell her this is unacceptable and I'm just going to switch back to satellite. Miraculously they get availability for first thing in the morning this Friday.

I'm going to wait and see what happens Friday since I've already invested so much time and money in this but so far my Comcast experience is going just as bad as others. I'll come back with an update.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:39 PM   #6291
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So, after ordering Digital Starter and getting my CableCard (promo of $62.95 with cable internet + $1.50 for M-CableCard) everything's been working dandy. Even managed to get them to take back the digital box after I'd pulled the CableCard out of it to test in the TiVo.

Except for the fact that my HD channels all go out about once a week necessitating a reboot. Anyone else having this issue or can explain how they solved it? Called Comcast twice about it and they just said reboots are required for TiVo HDs. This can't be the norm. Is it?
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:32 AM   #6292
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...
If not that they get to be a monopoly, there's no way this company could survive on their own merits. Completely insane prices that are literally laughable, combined with people who have no clue what they're doing-that's if you're lucky.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:48 AM   #6293
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I've been looking through this thread but I don't see a definitive answer to these questions. So, please bear with me.

I'm getting a Tivo HD for my in-laws. They currently have "standard cable" service (channels 2-78 + HD simulcasts of the same).

1. Will Comcast require them to upgrade to a digital package in order to get a CableCard?

2. If they need to upgrade, what is the cheapest digital add-on they can get?

3. Does the Tivo get its guide data from Comcast or its internet connection? If it's through Comcast, is a "standard cable" subscription sufficient for the guide data, or do they have to have digital service?

FWIW, the service area is Lancaster, PA.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:07 AM   #6294
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I've been reading this thread lately, and I know there's confusion regarding the cards.
The card is never more than $2. They nail you for an 'additional outlet fee', which by me is $6.95. The first card is free with that fee. So on HD TiVo using M card, every additional TiVo would be $6.95, all the cards are free. If using a series 3 and therefore you need the second card, there's that fee as well. As others stated, MRV can help get around the need to card so many TiVos, even after the digital conversion (the cable one, not OTA) as Comcast will provide 2 DTAs free on each account. I am running 3 tivos and only carded the one main one. Any rep that tries to charge more than $2 for a second card on the same unit needs to have their own price sheet shoved in front of her.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:08 AM   #6295
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I've been looking through this thread but I don't see a definitive answer to these questions. So, please bear with me.

I'm getting a Tivo HD for my in-laws. They currently have "standard cable" service (channels 2-78 + HD simulcasts of the same).

1. Will Comcast require them to upgrade to a digital package in order to get a CableCard?

2. If they need to upgrade, what is the cheapest digital add-on they can get?

3. Does the Tivo get its guide data from Comcast or its internet connection? If it's through Comcast, is a "standard cable" subscription sufficient for the guide data, or do they have to have digital service?

FWIW, the service area is Lancaster, PA.
A1. No. Comcast will try to "up" you to the digital package, but stand firm. Explain that you need a cablecard for your Tivo to work correctly. Request a supervisor if the CSR will not budge.
A2. See A1-no digital add-on is required.
A3. The Tivo DVR receives its programming info from Tivo servers through your internet connection (or phone line), and not from Comcast. I believe the Tivo company itself receives the programming info from the Chicago Tribune.

I know that you can have cablecards even on the lowest tier (called "limited" cable in my area) of Comcast service, because that is the subscription level that I downgraded to.
Comcast first stated that I would need to return my cablecards before they would downgrade my service. I explained to the CSR that the cablecards were necessary for my Tivo to work correctly. The CSR had to check with a supervisor, and discovered that cablecards can be obtained without the "digital starter/digital premium, etc" subscriptions.
Overall, my experiences with Comcast have been positive. I have found that speaking to a real person--not using the internet to order/change service results in better service, and "specials" that are not listed on the the Comcast website.
I also summerize the order with the CSR prior to approving any changes. This ensures no surprises for either party, and has caught several misunderstandings before a work order has been placed.
My advice to anyone contacting Comcast is to be patient, polite, and firm in what you want.
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:14 PM   #6296
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Many thanks, Pianocrat! I'll make sure to report my experience after I talk to Comcast.

PS: I've been a happy owner of a Series 3 w/ two CableCards for over two years. No surprises with Comcast, but it's hard for them to gouge the techno-savvy population in the SF Bay Area! Lancaster County is another story, of course.
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:02 PM   #6297
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Not getting all HD channels

I recently got a Tivo HD and had Comcast install M-card. I'm in the Denver area and subscribe to the Digital Preferred package. I (more or less) am only receiving the local HD channels (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox) and a couple others. Most of them I am not getting, such as TLCHD, Food HD, HGTV HD and many others.

First time I contacted Comcast I was told that HD Services needed to be added to my account and the cost is $7 per month. I believed this not to be true, so then I went to a Comcast kiosk in the mall. He looked up my account and said I can't get those channels with the cable card, that I need to have the Comcast HD box. I have my doubts about that too...

Thoughts anyone? Is what they are telling me correct?
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:41 PM   #6298
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Go to Comcast.com enter your zip code & see what digital preferred gives you, print that out & call Comcast. They most likely don't have you set up correctly at either billing or the head end. If you are like we are in Richmond VA, a tech will probably have to be dispached as the computer systems are not linked together and only the tech can talk to the head end person. Good luck.
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:49 PM   #6299
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I recently got a Tivo HD and had Comcast install M-card. I'm in the Denver area and subscribe to the Digital Preferred package. I (more or less) am only receiving the local HD channels (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox) and a couple others. Most of them I am not getting, such as TLCHD, Food HD, HGTV HD and many others.

First time I contacted Comcast I was told that HD Services needed to be added to my account and the cost is $7 per month. I believed this not to be true, so then I went to a Comcast kiosk in the mall. He looked up my account and said I can't get those channels with the cable card, that I need to have the Comcast HD box. I have my doubts about that too...

Thoughts anyone? Is what they are telling me correct?
You're being BSed.

The only thing that the Comcast HD cablebox will get you over your Tivo with cablecards is "VOD"-video on demand.

If you are paying for the Digital Preferred package but not receiving the channels, call the Comcast tech line--they can reset your cablecard over your cable line and fix the problem.

Don't forget to request a credit for the period in which you paid for the Digital subscription but did not receive the programming. Be polite--but firm. Comcast will accommodate you if you hold fast.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:51 PM   #6300
Puppy76
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I've been reading this thread lately, and I know there's confusion regarding the cards.
The card is never more than $2. They nail you for an 'additional outlet fee', which by me is $6.95. The first card is free with that fee. So on HD TiVo using M card, every additional TiVo would be $6.95, all the cards are free. If using a series 3 and therefore you need the second card, there's that fee as well. As others stated, MRV can help get around the need to card so many TiVos, even after the digital conversion (the cable one, not OTA) as Comcast will provide 2 DTAs free on each account. I am running 3 tivos and only carded the one main one. Any rep that tries to charge more than $2 for a second card on the same unit needs to have their own price sheet shoved in front of her.
I was told I'd have to pay $16/month extra for 2 cable cards with basic service. It's probably a lie, but I have no idea how to get them to do it right-plus I don't want to have them come, I just want to pick them up or have them mailed or whatever, and they refuse to do that either. So I guess I'm sticking with ota and cancelling cable soonish.
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