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Old 12-15-2009, 12:09 PM   #6871
Smackfu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker View Post
Second, the ability to have two CableCARDs designated on the same outlet seems to depend on whether there is a special rate code for that set up in the billing system for your local system. We have that rate code here (something like "CableCARD 2nd card same outlet"), and so I was able to get my second CableCARD in my TiVo S3 covered for $1.75 per month. If that rate code doesn't exist, there's not much that can be done except to escalate your concern to corporate customer service, and see if they'll go to bat for you. The entirety of rates charged are regulatory-reviewed, so the FCC won't go to bat for you -- you'll need to get someone from within Comcast on your side.
Thanks. I'll try and see if I can get that switched.

On cable cards: I've had some techs out to look into some line issues and they sure are terrified of cable cards. Heck, they get confused just reading the equipment list! Luckily my issue was on the internet/phone side, not with the TV, because I think they would have just thrown their hands up. I would be interested to find out how many people in this town have this setup. Would not be surprised if I was the only one.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:11 PM   #6872
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Originally Posted by drhankz View Post
I doubt anyone can find an "S" card to save their life.
ONLY "M" cards are being manufactured now.
But this is Comcast! I had two S cards installed just in October. Sure, they aren't being manufactured, but these have a 2006 date on them.
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:48 PM   #6873
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It is possible, but it is not something that is required by law, so you really just need to ask and see if you can get them to agree to it. Some folks have; other folks have not. Some folks have found that if you upgrade to digital (thereby getting CableCARDs) and then downgrade a month or two later, they let you keep the CableCARDs for a fee (typically the digital outlet fee of about $8 plus the rental on the CableCARDs), while it is possible that they'll say no and insist that you return the CableCARDs.
Hi Bicker!
I think you are on just about every message board I frequent and semi-frequent.


Santa just delivered my Series 3 HD TiVo and I am not looking forward to dealing with a Comcast installer. I wish I could just tell them I can do it myself.

I am sure I will be back with lots of questions when the time comes, for now I am reading the pages from most recent to earliest. Hopefully I learn something.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:16 PM   #6874
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Originally Posted by Smackfu View Post
But this is Comcast! I had two S cards installed just in October. Sure, they aren't being manufactured, but these have a 2006 date on them.
Antiques for SURE
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:34 PM   #6875
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Hi Bicker!
I think you are on just about every message board I frequent and semi-frequent.
I'm everywhere.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:44 AM   #6876
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I have to relate my relatively painless cablecard install. Amazingly 3 installers showed up, the one scheduled to do my install another who wanted to see a cablecard install and another tech who just happened to be in my area working on another job and that turned out to be a good thing. They all said they probably only install about 2 or 3 cards a year between them all.

The first m card turned out to be bad, which we only found out after about 20 minutes trying to get in contact with someone who knew how to authorize cablecards, it was amazing as its not just the customer who may get a rude costumer service person on the phone, the tech doing my job was actually told he would be called back by someone who knew how to authorize a cablecard, and of course he wasn’t. After he made some several other calls, he was finally able to find someone who could help him out, and that is when we found out the card he brought was bad, luckily the other tech who just happened to be in the area and tagged along had an m card with him, which was installed flawlessly in about 5 minutes. In total the techs were there for a good 30 minutes.

I have to go out of my way to praise the techs doing the job as they were probably more frustrated then me about how long the job was taking. In the end I got a working m card and can now enjoy my tivo to the fullest.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:37 PM   #6877
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Self-Install?

I just had a chat session.
My town is going digital next month.

Asked if I can self-install cable card in my TiVo. Rep said not recommended, but yes. I could swing by office and pick up a cable card. Hmmm. Did that change? My first cards had to be installed by Comcast. And experience was less than pleasant.

Anyone know if I am going to be disappointed at the office? Can't call there first, just call center.
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Old 12-20-2009, 01:29 PM   #6878
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I was able to pick up cablecards @ the comcast office and self install. Did it a couple years ago w/ my first THD and a few weeks ago w/ my second. Takes a call to comcast during setup to activate the card, but it was relatively painless.
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:46 PM   #6879
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTaxpayer View Post

Anyone know if I am going to be disappointed at the office? Can't call there first, just call center.
NOT at the Office - anyone HANDING you the card is just fine.

The RISK - is trying to get it ACTIVATED.

NO MATTER WHAT - when you call Comcast for activation, you will
NOT be able to talk to the SAME LEVEL person as a on-site Comcast
tech will be able to. You will talk to an intermediate tech who accurately
needs to copy down all the info that you give them - then that person
needs to talk to someone else that can access the database and
activate the card. You have two levels of people who need to get
everything RIGHT. Also - they probably will NOT do it in real-time
so the activation will NOT SEEM to work immediately.
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:48 PM   #6880
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Thank you both. I'll drive by tomorrow and roll the dice.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:49 PM   #6881
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Thanks to the Tivo CableCARD hotline and this forum, I have 2 THDs now working in my house!!! Everyone is happy! "Thank you" to everyone here for all your help, I really appreciate it.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:56 AM   #6882
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Originally Posted by drhankz View Post
NOT at the Office - anyone HANDING you the card is just fine.

The RISK - is trying to get it ACTIVATED.
Just got back. No surprise, the Chat person got it wrong, my office doesn't offer self-install, no cards at office. They want to send a tech out.
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Old 12-21-2009, 08:59 AM   #6883
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Originally Posted by JoeTaxpayer View Post
Just got back. No surprise, the Chat person got it wrong, my office doesn't offer self-install, no cards at office. They want to send a tech out.
Sending a TECH out is the MOST LIKELY way to have a GOOD INSTALL.

In my area Comcast Techs are available 7 days a week. My last Tech
visit was on a SUNDAY at 5PM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:24 AM   #6884
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NOT at the Office - anyone HANDING you the card is just fine.

The RISK - is trying to get it ACTIVATED.

NO MATTER WHAT - when you call Comcast for activation, you will
NOT be able to talk to the SAME LEVEL person as a on-site Comcast
tech will be able to. You will talk to an intermediate tech who accurately
needs to copy down all the info that you give them - then that person
needs to talk to someone else that can access the database and
activate the card. You have two levels of people who need to get
everything RIGHT. Also - they probably will NOT do it in real-time
so the activation will NOT SEEM to work immediately.
Last week I surrendered to Comcast's scrambling of everything above Limited Basic by getting an M Card. Getting the card from the local Comcast Store for a self-install was no problem. Activating the card also went uneventfully; the card provided and mapped correctly the full premium channel line-up after a brief interlude.

However there WAS a problem: Despite Comcast's information about CableCARD pricing the Comcast Store agent told me that I'd be billed both a monthly charge for the card and a monthly Additional Outlet Fee. When I objected she called someone at another location who verified her statement. I didn't want to argue (there were others waiting) and told her I'd go online for a reference and call Comcast directly if there was a discrepancy.

I found the above link which states:

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.

**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.


I called 1-800-COMCAST, spoke to a billing agent who, again, said that I'd be charged for the M Card as well as an Additional Outlet Fee. I asked if Comcast had changed its rules or whether the Regulated Price disclaimer was the reason. She said that nothing had changed and the reason had to do with the TiVo being hi-def capable, something Comcast's website never refers to regarding CableCARD pricing.

I asked to speak with her supervisor. She said she couldn't connect me but offered to put me on hold while she spoke with the supervisor. I said fine. After a few minutes she came back and stated the supervisor had upheld her position. I again asked to speak with the supervisor. She countered by offering to have the supervisor call me back directly later that day. I said OK.

I then asked about the technical difference between a CableCARD used in a hi-def device and one that wasn't. The rep. didn't know but offered to connect me with an agent who provides technical support. I said yes, thanks.

I related my information to the tech support agent. She immediatedly said that billing agents are totally unfamiliar with CableCARDS and offered to properly set up the M CableCARD on my account. She verified that there would be no charge for the card; only the monthly Additional Outlet Fee that I expected.

The price difference isn't huge, only $1.60/mo. here, but it was good to hear that someone at Comcast understood how their system is supposed to work. The billing supervisor never called back.

---
OT here, but interesting. I had the choice of putting the new CableCARD in a HDTivo which I hadn't been using recently, a Moxi, or a Sony hi-def DVR. TiVo won.

When channel mapping isn't a consideration, TiVo is for me the best choice; it provides the most complete EPG info of the 3 systems and ties Sony for picture quality when used as a hi-def DVR as well as standard-def source for a DVD recorder; Moxi can't do both at the same time!

(When used as a simultaneous high and standard-def source TiVo (and Sony) should be connected by YPbPr, not HDMI, to facilitate a stable viable connection if/when the TV/monitor is turned off.)

Last edited by fallingwater : 12-21-2009 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:03 PM   #6885
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Originally Posted by JoeTaxpayer View Post
Just got back. No surprise, the Chat person got it wrong, my office doesn't offer self-install, no cards at office. They want to send a tech out.

Exactly. I had the same thing happen. After about 5 chats online, calls to Comcast- and being told they were being shipped to me- No they couldn't do that. Tech that came out knew what he was doing- and he also had to call 2 diffrent people- he siad the first one was doing it the "long way". They definitely have special phones to call in. I was told the "real techs" wouldn't answer any calls except from their 2nd phone. All in all it was fast, friendly and worked- once I set up the tech run (oh and they didn't charge me for that truck roll b/c of all my troubles)

Anyway- Good luck
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:16 PM   #6886
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Exactly. I had the same thing happen. After about 5 chats online, calls to Comcast- and being told they were being shipped to me- No they couldn't do that. Tech that came out knew what he was doing- and he also had to call 2 diffrent people- he siad the first one was doing it the "long way". They definitely have special phones to call in. I was told the "real techs" wouldn't answer any calls except from their 2nd phone. All in all it was fast, friendly and worked- once I set up the tech run (oh and they didn't charge me for that truck roll b/c of all my troubles)

Anyway- Good luck
FYI - on-site techs call Comcast ATS from their Comcast Cell phone.
Whatever number they call is not only a direct line to ATS - but their
Cell Phone number is registered with ATS. Any other number can not
get though to the same number. On one of my 6 Installs - the Tech
could not get cell phone reception from my theater. I offered him a
land-line. He tried it but could not get through with my Caller-ID.

He needed to write everything done, leave the theater and call from
outside to reach ATS. That was my most difficult CableCard Install
of the 6 that Comcast did for me.
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:47 PM   #6887
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after quite awhile, i was able to get a single m card. the tech came out, free of charge, took both s cards out, stuck the one m card in, made the call, and 20 minutes later i was back in business... a comcast rep was able to lower my monthly costs without changing anything, plus he was able to do the cablecard swap
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:59 PM   #6888
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Originally Posted by drhankz View Post
Sending a TECH out is the MOST LIKELY way to have a GOOD INSTALL.
I had them card one TiVo when I first got it. The install process wasn't pleasant at all. Tech came out with 1 card when I have a Tivo that needed 2 and his work order showed it. Comes back later and after install, a number of channels not coming in. Tech on the other end was nasty to my guy, and sent him on goose chase checking signal level. He hung up on the guy and after dialing back in got it working. Pretty much took the entire day. Really looking forward to doing this again.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:19 PM   #6889
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTaxpayer View Post
I had them card one TiVo when I first got it. The install process wasn't pleasant at all. Tech came out with 1 card when I have a Tivo that needed 2 and his work order showed it. Comes back later and after install, a number of channels not coming in. Tech on the other end was nasty to my guy, and sent him on goose chase checking signal level. He hung up on the guy and after dialing back in got it working. Pretty much took the entire day. Really looking forward to doing this again.
The pleasure of the experience varies from one town to another.

There is a Poster on another TiVo Forum who is actually the
very next town over from me who seems to have a never ending
install nightmare. Even though he is the next town - that town is
served by Techs from another area.
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:35 PM   #6890
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I'm paying $7.29 a month for a M card right now, and I only have one. No one I've talked to knows anything about the first one being free. I called today to find out why I'm no longer able to receive numerous HD channels that I could get last week, and was told that I need to upgrade to a HD cable card (WTF?), which the girl said is $7.99 a month. I'm tired of dealing with ignorant people on the phone so I'm going to the office tomorrow to find out what the heck is going on.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:32 AM   #6891
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I'm paying $7.29 a month for a M card right now, and I only have one. No one I've talked to knows anything about the first one being free. I called today to find out why I'm no longer able to receive numerous HD channels that I could get last week, and was told that I need to upgrade to a HD cable card (WTF?), which the girl said is $7.99 a month. I'm tired of dealing with ignorant people on the phone so I'm going to the office tomorrow to find out what the heck is going on.
Rates are all over the map. I believe the only consistency is the
1st one should be free - but even that does not translate to FREE.

If that is not confusing - nothing is.

The 1st Cable Card can be free but they can still charge you for
the Digital Outlet. Each Franchise agreement is negotiated with
the TOWN you are in. That can vary all over the map.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:46 AM   #6892
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Rates are all over the map. I believe the only consistency is the
1st one should be free - but even that does not translate to FREE.
I think a better word would be "INCLUDED" -- the first CableCARD is almost always "included" ... typically in some digital package of some sort, in lieu of a STB. If you don't choose a package within which a STB is included, then you aren't paying for a service within which a CableCARD would be included, either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drhankz View Post
Each Franchise agreement is negotiated with
the TOWN you are in. That can vary all over the map.
True, but note that CableCARD rates, averaged over the entire service provider company, are reported to federal regulators, for their review with regard to the requirement that the average rate remain affordable.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:18 AM   #6893
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but note that CableCARD rates, averaged over the entire service provider company, are reported to federal regulators, for their review with regard to the requirement that the average rate remain affordable.
They may be reported to the FCC or whoever - but I even Partitioned
the local PUC and their response was Comcast tells us what it is and
we except it without question. They said we can't rock the boat because
there is NO OTHER MSO that would replace them.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:59 PM   #6894
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They may be reported to the FCC or whoever - but I even Partitioned the local PUC and their response was Comcast tells us what it is and we except it without question.
Sounds like your neighbors allow crappy people be elected to office, and/or the people they elect to office appoint crappy people to represent the public interest. Either that, or they didn't actually say that they accept the rates over which they have regulatory power, specifically limited basic cable service, "without question".

Quote:
Originally Posted by drhankz View Post
They said we can't rock the boat because there is NO OTHER MSO that would replace them.
That's an important data-point. The reality is that regulators could make it so bad of a business to be in that you'd be lucky to get anyone willing to offer you service subject to the conditions that regulators impose and/or to the lack of profit motive offered by overly-stingy consumers. Business is a two-way street. Every dollar spent to provide a specific product or service actually competes with every other possible use for that dollar.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:08 PM   #6895
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As a previous member of the local cable committee, we were responsible for licensing the cable company in my area, as required by the franchising "system".

Longer story short - the frachising system doesn't allow the city/town to set rates, or affect them in any way. And, it's pretty much impossible to "evict" and existing cable company, unless they are GROSSLY negligent to a lot of people in the area... just a few screwups here and there are not enough.

Bottom line, the franchising system doesn't help the consumer in any way. It's not designed to. It's typical bureaucratic crap, put in place to make it "seem" like there is a consumer-minded system in place.

The only thing we could do is force the carrier to provide local TV capability, and internet connectivity for the town/city... that's it. What's more, anything we do in that regard fully allows the cable company to recoup lost money by raising rates. Nice huh?

So don't blame the local people... blame the FCC for letting the cablecos have their way with the consumers... line sharing is the only way to get consumer interest back in the system.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:46 PM   #6896
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As a previous member of the local cable committee, we were responsible for licensing the cable company in my area, as required by the franchising "system".

Longer story short - the frachising system doesn't allow the city/town to set rates, or affect them in any way. And, it's pretty much impossible to "evict" and existing cable company, unless they are GROSSLY negligent to a lot of people in the area... just a few screwups here and there are not enough.

Bottom line, the franchising system doesn't help the consumer in any way. It's not designed to. It's typical bureaucratic crap, put in place to make it "seem" like there is a consumer-minded system in place.

The only thing we could do is force the carrier to provide local TV capability, and internet connectivity for the town/city... that's it. What's more, anything we do in that regard fully allows the cable company to recoup lost money by raising rates. Nice huh?

So don't blame the local people... blame the FCC for letting the cablecos have their way with the consumers... line sharing is the only way to get consumer interest back in the system.
WELL SAID --
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:52 AM   #6897
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Comcast CableCard Install - Houston/Clear Lake

I purchased a TivoHD just before Thanksgiving. Went to local Comcast store to return HD DVR and pickup a cable card. Followed instructions on setup w/ cc. When it got to the point where I had to call Comcast to activate, the 'fun' began.
I have noticed they're first line of support immediately puts you through to level 2 when you mention 'cable card'. Anyway, 1st call attempted to activate with no luck. When I said 'nothing is happening', standard response of 'it may take 10-15 minutes for all you channels to show'. They offered to call back in 15min, which they did, with no luck. 2nd call later that night....same story. Fast forward to a few days after Thanksgiving, 3rd call, same story. I offer up the possibility that the card is bad (based on my readings on this forum). Tech says 'maybe'.

Wife convinces Comcast store to give her two cards to increase our luck. Both the guy helping her and the guy in back organizing returned equipment share similar experiences with their own CCs, one states his 3rd CC was the 'winner'.

Alright, CC #2 attempt....success after a long Comcast system outage. They happened to have various issues with their 'systems' during the day. Received hand written receipt for the 2 CCs. Continued into the evening as I tried to activate 2nd card. Ended up with the service rep apologizing for the slow system and a promise to call me later in the evening when system was back online. Never got that call. Day 2 of CC#2, finally was able to activate the card.

Through surfing over the following week, I find that all channels are coming in except 129-College Sports, 130-NFL Red Zone, and 635-GolfHD. Support line thinks its a problem with the line into the house (these all worked prior to CC) and sets a service appt. Tech shows up runs some tests, runs a cable from the source outside directly to Tivo... all with same results. Concludes its the CC. Problem is he doesn't have any (says they don't carry them in the trucks anymore) but another tech who is 20min drive away has one. he offers to go get it but I decided to cut my losses and thanked him for his effort.

I'm disappointed that Comcast knows I have a cablecard system but did not send a Tech w/ CCs.

I'm completely baffled why 3 channels out of 100s is the fault of the CC but oh well. Frustrating but at least I'm at 99%.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:47 PM   #6898
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Anyone had good luck in metro Detroit?

I've been thinking about taking the TiVo/CableCard plunge, but I'm pretty nervous after reading sooooo many horror stories on these forums. Has anyone in the metro Detroit area had good/bad luck getting everything installed and working properly?

Also, someone I know told me that a Comcast installer said the TiVo/CC setup wouldn't work with his surround-sound receiver. Any idea why that would be?

TIA!
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:11 AM   #6899
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Most of the support people are ignorant, and don't know what they are talking about. As I mentioned in an earlier post, even their "Executive Support" people don't know that the TivoHD can support HD and cablecards...

Bottom line, TivoHD/CC can support surround-sound, assuming the feed is provided in surround, of course.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:12 AM   #6900
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Through surfing over the following week, I find that all channels are coming in except 129-College Sports, 130-NFL Red Zone, and 635-GolfHD. Support line thinks its a problem with the line into the house (these all worked prior to CC) and sets a service appt.
This problem could be as simple as the Authorization Hit sent by Comcast did not provide for a Sports Package that you are subscribed to. This is usually caused by an interface mistake between the billing system and the head-end.
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