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Old 01-06-2010, 08:49 PM   #6991
cjv2
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Originally Posted by cmaquilino16 View Post
They give me a M-Card, I got basic cable. So I have to call in to get it to work in my Tivo?
Ehhhh...

I'm going to preface this by saying that I will defer to better experts than me should they opt to tell me I have no idea what I'm talking about.

The way it is *supposed* to work is that in the Comcast system, they enter the Host ID, Unit ID, and Data from your Tivo Slot #1. Then they send activation signals to the card and it downloads the list of channels. The activation also authorizes the card to see whatever encrypted channels you are authorized for. For basic cable, no encrypted channels.

When I had an M-Card installed earlier this week, the card would not tune any channels at all until it received the activation signals. That includes the basic ones. It literally said "No channels." I suspect this is what is going to happen to you until you get it activated.

As I previously noted, getting it activated is nearly impossible without getting a tech out to the site because the nonsupervisory phone folks are both unable to input the required data (due to system access controls) *and* generally clueless about CableCards. Even if you get someone who knows what you are talking about, they may be unable to help you.

That said, I suppose you could try emailing We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com about your situation. Tell them how you got the CableCard from them, but that you need to activate it. If protocol allows this to be done for a new CableCARD install without a tech on site, this is the technical info they will need.

Put the card in the RIGHT-HAND slot on the TivoHD. Then navigate through the TiVo menus as follows:

TiVo Central -> Messages & Settings -> Settings -> Remote, CableCARD, & Devices -> CableCARD Decoder -> Configure CableCARD 1 (Multi-Stream) -> CableCARD Menu -> CableCARD(tm) Pairing

Write down the following:

CableCARD ID
Host ID
Data
UnitAddress
Card S/N

Basically, they ultimately need to stuff some or all of this data into their system to associate your Tivo with the CableCARD in order to then initialize it.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:07 PM   #6992
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No, it's not right. Comcast does not ever charge an HD equipment charge for the cablecards. I don't know your complete setup, but if the TiVo is your only box from Comcast, there should be no charges for the CC. Some of your local folks may not know how to link things in their system, but that's their responsibility. National Comcast will not allow your local franchise to add the HD equipment charge, so you should probably escalate to the national "comcast helps" folks, unless your local folks are offering a "make-up" that is worth more to you.
I have one Tivo HD and this is the only outlet with the cable. Rest the house is plugged into the house antenna.

They're coming to try the install again Thursday evening. What's the best way to escalate to the national CS reps?

When talking with them today I pushed back on the equipment charge, and have the sense I'm not going to get a difference answer from the local office. This is the way it works even though they can't exactly explain why. Also, if they do try the install without it and I'm still missing channels I'll be right back where I was-- they won't touch the problem because it's working as they expect.

My gut says to let the install go w/ the charge and see what happens. If it works and I get my channels great. Then if the HD equipment fee is on my bill, I'll try to work with the national folks to see what's what.

Thanks for your thoughts...
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:11 PM   #6993
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What's the best way to escalate to the national CS reps?
Sending We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com a comprehensive, well-written email with full technical detail from the TiVo got me answers and action in less than a day. They get my vote. Use them wisely, judiciously, and to your best advantage, because if the local office has got it wrong they will very likely straighten out the local office.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:21 PM   #6994
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Sending We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com a comprehensive, well-written email with full technical detail from the TiVo got me answers and action in less than a day. They get my vote. Use them wisely, judiciously, and to your best advantage, because if the local office has got it wrong they will very likely straighten out the local office.
I did send an email to them on my original issues, so they probably passed it off to the local office. I'll just see where this goes and work from there...
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:25 AM   #6995
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I'm going to take a wild guess based on the Comcast Atlanta 2010 Rate Card as to what you got quoted:

- $7.95 "HDTV" (I still don't know exactly what that is, but it's the only thing on the card that matches the price)

PLUS

- $3.95 "Digital Service - Additional Outlet with HDTV or DVR Service"

ADDS UP TO

$11.90.

I see nothing else on the rate card that would explain the specific numbers you got.
In the ATL, I believe this is correct - they charge a ridiculous $8/mo. for an HD converter (not DVR), and then you get the $4 charge for additional outlet.

Frankly, he'd be better off buying another Tivo, and should not be charged an HD fee for those. Definitely escalate this.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:27 AM   #6996
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Hello all, I got a Tivo Hd with Cable and Antenna set up. I have comcast in the atlanta area, Today I went to comcast to pick up a cable card and they give me one for free.
Wow, maybe they're finally getting a clue - I've never heard before that you can pick up a card in the ATL.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:22 AM   #6997
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My gut says to let the install go w/ the charge and see what happens. If it works and I get my channels great. Then if the HD equipment fee is on my bill, I'll try to work with the national folks to see what's what.

Thanks for your thoughts...
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:08 AM   #6998
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Wow, maybe they're finally getting a clue - I've never heard before that you can pick up a card in the ATL.
Yeah, I still want to know how he pulled that off. It's not like the folks on the phone have figured out how to turn up a card without sending a tech yet, so this strikes me as a little odd.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:23 PM   #6999
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Yeah, I still want to know how he pulled that off. It's not like the folks on the phone have figured out how to turn up a card without sending a tech yet, so this strikes me as a little odd.
Hello I am back, I called in my card to active but it did not work I got the Please Wait Acquiring Channel Information It timed out and I got error message. I had them hit the card twice same problem, So I called Tivo support and the guy told me my card did not receive the signal by reading the card info screen, He told me they have a problem comcast sending out the activetion hit and authorize channel hit at the same time and the tivo can not read both at the same time causing the card to not find the channels. So I called comcast back and got a tech tell me that they can not hit the card anymore i need a new card. Is this true or do I need to find a person who knows what they are talking about.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:25 PM   #7000
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Hello I am back, I called in my card to active but it did not work I got the Please Wait Acquiring Channel Information It timed out and I got error message. I had them hit the card twice same problem, So I called Tivo support and the guy told me my card did not receive the signal by reading the card info screen, He told me they have a problem comcast sending out the activetion hit and authorize channel hit at the same time and the tivo can not read both at the same time causing the card to not find the channels. So I called comcast back and got a tech tell me that they can not hit the card anymore i need a new card. Is this true or do I need to find a person who knows what they are talking about.
You need to find a person who knows what they are talking about. There are three or four different kinds of "hits," the right ones have to be sent in the right order, and the bit about "the Tivo cannot read both hits at the same time," not to mention "can't hit the card anymore," is a bunch of silliness.

Here. Tivo's CableCard Troubleshooting guide. Now the bad news. If this is over your head you should probably get a tech onsite or email Comcast as previously noted.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:43 PM   #7001
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You need to find a person who knows what they are talking about. There are three or four different kinds of "hits," the right ones have to be sent in the right order, and the bit about "the Tivo cannot read both hits at the same time," not to mention "can't hit the card anymore," is a bunch of silliness.

Here. Tivo's CableCard Troubleshooting guide. Now the bad news. If this is over your head you should probably get a tech onsite or email Comcast as previously noted.
It not over my head I just need to find the right comcast person who can make it work.
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:45 PM   #7002
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It not over my head I just need to find the right comcast person who can make it work.
The reps on the phone do not have the systems access required to input your CableCard info into the system as needed - they need a supervisor to do that. Most of the folks on the phone at Comcast don't understand it either (or even know that they need a supervisor), which is why you are running into trouble.

So, you can run in circles with Comcast Atlanta on 1-800-COMCAST, or you can get to someone who can help you. Easiest/best paths to the folks who can help you are: (a) get a tech out there or (b) email We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com as previously noted.

Good luck.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:37 AM   #7003
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So, an update to my issues.

Dude came out. The first card didn't want to work right. He had a portable device that he entered the info vs calling someone. I think they did something wrong with the info entry, but could have been a bad card. The Tivo was very laggy/unresponsive while working with this card. I was getting an AUTH: MP and only getting the basic digital 23-65, and none of the higher digital channels or HD. He called the "CableCard expert" and couldn't get this card going.

So he tried another M-card. This card had an old firmware so it took 5-10 minutes to update, but once the guy on the other end got the info in and the firmware appeared finished, it was working. We get all the channels I'm supposed to get.

I'm also now a "corporate customer." I've got a sheet with who to call locally apparently if I ever have problems or questions. So I shouldn't have to deal with contractors, and apparently they don't want me complaining to national corporate.

My advice is just be patient, and if you have issues ask to get in touch with the local escalation department. The problems seem mostly a combination of getting the right card info into the system, the right billing info applied to your account, and a working card. A couple people who know what they're doing doesn't hurt either.

I'll have to wait and see if I have to pay that HD equipment fee, but that's more a principle thing.

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Old 01-08-2010, 07:38 AM   #7004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaquilino16 View Post
It not over my head I just need to find the right comcast person who can make it work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjv2 View Post
The reps on the phone do not have the systems access required to input your CableCard info into the system as needed - they need a supervisor to do that.
cjv2 is right - the problem with SELF INSTALLS is access to ATS.
[Advance Tech Support]. ONLY ATS can enter the data into the
Comcast System. End users can never reach ATS. Even 1st level
CS people can not access ATS. Only an on-site Tech or Supervisor
can contact ATS. Even if you reach a supervisor and they access
ATS - you still have a person in the middle. Most likely the Supervisor
won't do it live for you either. They will take down the INFO from
the END USER and then pass it on to ATS after the End User gets
off the line. An on-site tech talking directly with ATS is the best
way to achieve success.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:19 AM   #7005
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That is SUCH an incredibly stupid way to handle things. Expensive too. Only possible rational reason I can see for it would be that they don't want you using Cable Cards...
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:28 AM   #7006
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Bingo.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:35 AM   #7007
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That is SUCH an incredibly stupid way to handle things. Expensive too. Only possible rational reason I can see for it would be that they don't want you using Cable Cards...
In their defense, I don't think they handle very many of CC installs. It's probably cheaper to pay a contractor to come out and speak the right lingo to the right person than either train the front line CS reps or add more reps for customer installs.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:18 AM   #7008
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I emailed the help email address, I am waiting for reply. But I may need to get a tech on site. Do they charge for sending out a tech?

Later
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:30 AM   #7009
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If the problem is with your inside wiring, your own personal equipment, or due to something you did, perhaps. If the problem is with the equipment they rented you, the outside wiring, or their broader infrastructure, then they surely won't.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:31 AM   #7010
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In their defense, I don't think they handle very many of CC installs. It's probably cheaper to pay a contractor to come out and speak the right lingo to the right person than either train the front line CS reps or add more reps for customer installs.
That would be great if their contractors routinely knew the right lingo. Though in fairness they usually know substantially more than anyone on the phone.

I dunno. There are 2-4 lines of numeric data that need to be provided by the customer to Comcast, and then someone at the back end of Comcast needs to punch them into a computer screen. If the customer has the info, let the reps punch it in and push Enter. It's not complicated enough to merit being dubbed a 'training issue,' in my opinion; it can be easily scripted, and Comcast reps are quite good at reading canned scripts.

If initial setup fails, then you send a tech, rather than doing so by default.

But hey, I don't work there, so what do I know... heh.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:52 PM   #7011
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In their defense, I don't think they handle very many of CC installs. It's probably cheaper to pay a contractor to come out and speak the right lingo to the right person than either train the front line CS reps or add more reps for customer installs.
True... but then at least the CS reps should know to forward the call to someone else, rather than try fixing it themselves. If they don't have access/ability to do it, then tell them to forward the call to ATS... how hard is that?
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:36 PM   #7012
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Comcast Billing?

I've had Comcast for about 2 years since switching from Directv. I have 4 Tivo HD boxes that use 5 M-cc's. When I made the switch I was told that there would be a $1.60-1.70 monthly charge per card. That is what it has been until a couple of months ago.

Now I have a new Additional Digital charge of $6.10 x 4 ($24.40) for digial boxes and remotes. I don't use their boxes. I've called and told them it was a mistake and they've given me a credit and said that they've fixed it.

Well on January's bill it's there again. This time I called and was told it's a regular fee. That it was for the ability to get a digital outlet and was standard. How can they charge a bogus fee like that? They didn't add anything. I currently have the digital preffered, plus HBO, etc, etc.

Are they doing this to everybody?

Thanks, Mike. Issaquah, WA
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:39 PM   #7013
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I've had Comcast for about 2 years since switching from Directv. I have 4 Tivo HD boxes that use 5 M-cc's. When I made the switch I was told that there would be a $1.60-1.70 monthly charge per card.
That sounds like the price for the second card in the same TiVo.

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Now I have a new Additional Digital charge of $6.10
That sounds closer to what is generally charged for a CableCARD after the first (included) one (if not the second card in the same TiVo as another card).
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:52 PM   #7014
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That sounds like the price for the second card in the same TiVo.

That sounds closer to what is generally charged for a CableCARD after the first (included) one (if not the second card in the same TiVo as another card).
I only have one series 3 box with 2 cards. The others are singles. AND they never charged this $24.40 before. What changed?
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:02 PM   #7015
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Probably something was caught in audit. That's what happened to me. I had my two CableCARDs for probably almost three years, paying nothing extra for them, before audit caught the inaccuracy in the billing. I was perturbed and whipped out my local Comcast price list (which I keep handy, so I can refer to it when reading threads like this ) to read them the riot act -- and proceeded to read for myself the very terms and conditions that audit found the billing in my account violated.

They cannot make you pay the "correct" price for previous months. They can only fix the error, going forward.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:50 PM   #7016
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cjv2 is right - the problem with SELF INSTALLS is access to ATS.
[Advance Tech Support]. ONLY ATS can enter the data into the
Comcast System. End users can never reach ATS. Even 1st level
CS people can not access ATS.
That doesn't sound right, I've rung Comcast and talked to someone who did the right things for my cards.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:52 PM   #7017
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That doesn't sound right, I've rung Comcast and talked to someone who did the right things for my cards.
You should send that someone to Comcast Atlanta. They could use the help.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:44 PM   #7018
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I only have one series 3 box with 2 cards. The others are singles. AND they never charged this $24.40 before. What changed?
A similar thing happened to me when they did an audit, but Comcast still doesn't seem to get my billing right.

Looking at their How much will I be charged to use a CableCARD? FAQ and the rate card they sent to me in October for the Seattle area you should probably be charged this way for your TiVos (assuming you have no set-top box). Their position is that each TiVo counts as an "Digital Outlet" - something I don't disagree with.

First TiVo and one CableCARD (no extra charge - part of your digital package)
Second TiVo - Digital Additional Outlet ($6.10 - CableCARD charge included)
Third TiVo - Digital Additional Outlet ($6.10 - CableCARD charge included)
Fourth TiVo - Digital Additional Outlet ($6.10 - CableCARD charge included)
One extra CableCARD for your one TiVo 3 ($1.60)

Total $19.90

Unfortunately the Seattle area Comcast treats all TiVos as the original TiVo 3 and tacks the "TiVo Series 3-cable Card" charge on even if you have a TiVo HD that requires only one CableCARD. They don't seem to have any way to put the the correct charge on your bill AND have that work for the provisioning of the CableCARD so the lineup is correct.

I've gone around and around with the CSR's for almost a year and sometimes get a credit, but they never get the billing corrected. Most of the time the CSR sees my point when I point out the FAQ and the rate chart, but they are helpless to get the root problem fixed.

I am hopeful from my last call when the CSR transferred me to someone name John in repair. After some discussion he understood my point, admitted there was a problem (and contradiction with their own FAQ and rate card) and pledged to follow up. He gave me a $20 credit and that will take care of the overcharge for me for about six months (on two CC). I'll see if my bill gets fixed before then or if I have to call back again.

My CableCARD self-installs for two Tivo HDs with Comcast went flawlessly last year and I have no complaints with the service, but I get real tired of dealing with this billing issue over and over. I've read in some areas of the country they've managed to get the billing on TiVo HD CableCARDs working correctly so I know they should be able to fix it if anyone at Comcast Seattle is interested.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:15 PM   #7019
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Thumbs up Finally! It works

For those of you who have not read any of my previous post, I will bring you up to speed. Including today, I have had 5 cablecards, 4 techs and 3 tivo boxes. All this just to trying and recieve a picture. I mean, I could not watch any live tv when the cablecard was in the box.

Long story short: Ramone from the Comcast Nation Call Center arranged for a Tech to come over today. He also set up a conference call between the Comcast Head end and the DAC, while the Tech was at my house.

Turns out that every thing that the Tivo Techs were saying was true. The problem was a Comcast problem. Comcast was sending a hit that was never getting to my box. Now listen closely. There is good info in this forum. I read some where in this forum that Cablecards are 1 way devices. The card can not communicate back to Comcast to tell them that it ever recieved a Hit.

This was important to know because, the Comcast Techs kept saying that they could see that the Hit to the Cablecard was successful. Next, they would tell me the problem must be with Tivo. The Tech is really only telling me what the dispatcher is telling him on the phone. So why do the dispatcher say this to the Techs?

In short: After the Dispatcher sends a Hit to your card he or she will recieve a status of successful or an error code. The problem is the Dispatch and Techs misunderstand what this means. For example, when a Dispatcher send a hit to a card and gets back a status of successful this means that the transmission of the Hit was successful. It does not mean that your cablecard is saying that it successfully recieved the signal from the Hit. Why? Because the Cablecard is a 1 way device and it can not talk back.

A good example of this is something most of us do everyday. Text messaging. I have an Iphone. When I send a text, I see a status bar uploading the text and the phone makes a nice sound to indictate the the text was sent. Sometimes I get an error code. The one thing that I do not get is a response from my friends phone telling me that he or she recieve the Text (Hit). I could make the mistake of thinking my phone was telling me that my text message reach my friends phone. But what if my friends phone was off. He couldn't recieve a text until his phone was on. Yet, I still get the same success tone (code) from my Iphone.

I had a month of problems because the Comcast Dispatch and Tech kept reading the success code the wrong way. The code only meant that the Hit was successfully sent. The problem could have be elevated a long time ago.

They got my box going. I don't have HBO and all that crap. I use Nextflix. I have Basic and HD

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Old 01-09-2010, 07:29 PM   #7020
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They got my box going. I don't have HBO and all that crap. I use Nextflix. I have Basic and HD
Congratulations, and awesome detail for the masses.
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