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Old 07-15-2010, 10:45 PM   #7441
Phantom Gremlin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonrene View Post
However, Comcast still clearly has some dedicated employees who care about their customers and will see to it that they get the service they have purchased.
The Comcast email address has been an incredible resource for many many people. Now you need to move to a Frontier area and then find someone who can fix Frontier's CableCARD issues.

Quote:
I hope that by sharing this story with the forum, others may benefit from the knowledge and not have to go through what I did.
I think your story was quite enlightening. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:42 AM   #7442
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I still think that nonsense is by design. They SHOULD offer to let you pick them up or mail them to you, and then they SHOULD let you activate them online or over the phone, and it SHOULD work flawlessly the first time.

Since none of those are typically the case, I'm inclined to think they just want this as painful as possible. What they don't seem to get is at least for some of us, we'll just leave...
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:14 PM   #7443
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Wow, this is kind of a scary thread for someone who's planning to install a Tivo HD, downgrade my Comcast to digital basic (my free HBO/DVR period is ending) and get 2 cards installed.

I'm in Chicago, and I called them the other evening just to price check. The girl said it's just $1.50 a month for 2 cards, which is nice. She said I can have someone come out to install them and pick up their DVR. She didn't say anything about the service charge for the install, but I forgot ask too. My cheap HBO/DVR plan doesn't end until next month, so I figure I'll wait to do the whole thing then.

I think she said I could also just go in and get the cards and drop off the box myself.

I'd like to do that and avoid a service charge (and taking time off to meet the cable guy), but after reading some of this thread, I'm wondering how hard it is to install these cards?

Is there a place on-line or on this board that has a simple step-by-step list of the process? I think if I saw something like that I'd be able to get a better idea if it's above my skill level of doing-an-installation-without-exploding-your-brain-or-tearing-your-hair-out.

TIA!
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:17 PM   #7444
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Originally Posted by breecat View Post
Wow, this is kind of a scary thread for someone who's planning to install a Tivo HD, downgrade my Comcast to digital basic (my free HBO/DVR period is ending) and get 2 cards installed.

I'm in Chicago, and I called them the other evening just to price check. The girl said it's just $1.50 a month for 2 cards, which is nice. She said I can have someone come out to install them and pick up their DVR. She didn't say anything about the service charge for the install, but I forgot ask too. My cheap HBO/DVR plan doesn't end until next month, so I figure I'll wait to do the whole thing then.

I think she said I could also just go in and get the cards and drop off the box myself.

I'd like to do that and avoid a service charge (and taking time off to meet the cable guy), but after reading some of this thread, I'm wondering how hard it is to install these cards?

Is there a place on-line or on this board that has a simple step-by-step list of the process? I think if I saw something like that I'd be able to get a better idea if it's above my skill level of doing-an-installation-without-exploding-your-brain-or-tearing-your-hair-out.

TIA!
It's quite simple to install the cards yourself. I believe the Tivo GUI walks you through the process. The problem happens when you have to call Comcast to get your cards paired to your Tivo and 'woken up'. It's catch as catch can (or at least it was last time I did it) when it comes to findings someone who actually knows anything about cable cards and/or Tivo. You'll have to give them some numbers and they'll push the signal to wake up the cards.

Take this with a grain of salt though...they may've gotten better. I haven't done it in a few years.
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:14 AM   #7445
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Originally Posted by breecat View Post
Is there a place on-line or on this board that has a simple step-by-step list of the process? I think if I saw something like that I'd be able to get a better idea if it's above my skill level of doing-an-installation-without-exploding-your-brain-or-tearing-your-hair-out.
The first post in the CableCARD installation FAQ thread has good information and a link at the bottom of the post to the TiVo Cablecard support page.

You mainly hear the horror stories in this thread, but lots of us have done self-installs with Comcast that went pretty smoothly. Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:54 AM   #7446
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Does anyone have experience with Comcast in San Jose? I'm having some wierd results with my Series 3. When I initially set it up with the M-card and got it activated, I wasn't getting any of the non-digital channels (above 34), and only a quarter to a half of the others. Everything else would be "searching for signal". Since I was getting cable free from housemates, and some of my most watched channels were getting through, I shrugged and took what I could get.

Then I started noticing odd things, such as certain channels which gave me "searching for signal" when I went to live TV were recording shows reliably. Travel Channel and Animal Planet, for example. I once experimented by starting to watch a show that was recording on one of these hidden channels, and skipping forward to live. Screen suddenly goes gray. I shrug and go back to watching other things, and eventually find that the recording ends up with a several minute gap.

Then I discovered that some of the searching signal channels were reappearing, some occasionally, some reliably. I began to wonder if it was an issue of the long cable run to my machine, so I got an RCA booster/splitter. That seemed to help a bit, and now I can see nearly all the non-digital and about 70-80 percent of the others (apart from the scrambled ones, obviously.)

Annoyingly, though, Discover and WGN (on non-digital) and Comedy Central (on digital) are not among them, and I do kind of miss my Mythbusters and Jon Stewart. So I'm wondering if anyone else has experience. Are Discovery and CC just incredibly weak signals through Comcast? If I get a higher end booster is it likely to help? Or is something else going on?

And can anyone explain the mystery of channels that Tivo cannot see on live TV, but records cleanly?
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:47 AM   #7447
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Thanks CHorn and Craig, I will look into this further.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:08 PM   #7448
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Originally Posted by CraigK View Post
You mainly hear the horror stories in this thread, but lots of us have done self-installs with Comcast that went pretty smoothly. Good luck!
Yeah, it seemed very clear to me that if Comcast pairs it properly to begin with, you'll be fine and it should be painless and easy. If they don't, be prepared for an adventure. To be honest, you have little preventative control over it. It will either be easy or it will require lots of phone calls and effort. As for self-installs, there's probably not much you can do to force it to be one way or the other.
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:28 PM   #7449
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breecat View Post
Is there a place on-line or on this board that has a simple step-by-step list of the process? I think if I saw something like that I'd be able to get a better idea if it's above my skill level of doing-an-installation-without-exploding-your-brain-or-tearing-your-hair-out.

TIA!
I wrote a step-by-step guide, here is the link http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d+installation
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:57 PM   #7450
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Can anyone give me a hand before I call Comcast to complain about my bill?

Got my cable card installed on 6/23. Before I set up the appointment I confirmed that I would have an installation charge of $20, and no monthly fee for my first cable card in the house, which this was/is. We have the HD plus bundle in the house with 1 HDTV, and 2 analog tvs. I got my bill today, and on it there's a slew of new charges. a $7.95/month HDTV Service charge and 2 "Digitial Additional Outlet" @ $6.95 each, and a cable card charge of $1.50. I've read in here some people saying that Comcast considers M-Stream cards 2 cards so they'll charge you a fee for the "second", so I was kind of expecting that, but what about these other fees? It adds up to $23.25 in new charges. Are they right or should I be complaining to have them removed?
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:24 PM   #7451
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Compose and send email to We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com. Find a nice, tight way of asking them if they could maybe go over the charges with you and explain the service you're getting, for your money. If they're going to bill you $20, the corporate guys will make sure you get something.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:27 PM   #7452
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More Pairing Problems

I bought a Tivo Premier and Comcast in Chicago can't get the CableCard to work. I have even swapped out the Tivo at Best Buy. What they say is that when they enter the Host ID into their system it says "model number incomplete"..that may be a bit of a paraphrase. Comcast tried to blame it on Tivo as if I had not registered the new Tivo with them but that was not the issue. The problem appears to be that when they enter the HOST ID their system kicks out an error.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:36 PM   #7453
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Compose and send email to We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com. Find a nice, tight way of asking them if they could maybe go over the charges with you and explain the service you're getting, for your money. If they're going to bill you $20, the corporate guys will make sure you get something.
Well I'm just trying to find out which charges are right and which are wrong (if any) before I call them. Am I supposed to have 2 digital outlet fees?
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:51 PM   #7454
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/\ /\I sympathize but I can't help you /\ /\ also whassup May 2002 Tivo buying buddy

Edit: the next post is better than this one.
Spoiler:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DustMonkey View Post
I bought a Tivo Premier and Comcast in Chicago can't get the CableCard to work.
Some advice:
You need to get the phone script to spit out a tech visit. You, also, should email saying you're having authentication and pairing problems. When I did that, I got a very nice officious email chain from the corporate office, followed by a call from a woman who fixed my problem.

If you want to take matters into your own hands, you can also visit the Comcast office right near North & Elston and swap out the cable card yourself. The advantage of having the tech there is that it's on him to go through his stack of cards until one works properly. I got a new one when I went there because they'd run out of the broken ones presumably and I had to wait for ten minutes for a guy to bring a new one from the warehouse. Ching!


Last edited by Bort13 : 07-27-2010 at 01:33 AM. Reason: MJGunn and a68oliver being a champ
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:24 AM   #7455
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Can anyone give me a hand before I call Comcast to complain about my bill?
I also recently added an M-card to my Tivo HD. This is the 2nd Tivo on my account with Comcast. I had billing problems for a couple of months. The phone reps were unable to correct the billing. I finally had to print out this page: http://customer.comcast.com/Pages/FA...&fss=cablecard and take it into my local office to get it corrected.

If this is the only digital outlet on your account, you should not be paying for additional digital outlets and you should not be paying a cablecard fee. I am paying one additional digital outlet fee because this is my 2nd Tivo and thus, a 2nd digital outlet, but I don't pay for the cablecard since it is included with the outlet. I also am not paying an HDTV service charge. I thought that charge was for using their HD DVR, not your own.

Good luck. This can be a long drawn out process to get it fixed.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:04 AM   #7456
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If this is the only digital outlet on your account, you should not be paying for additional digital outlets and you should not be paying a cablecard fee. I am paying one additional digital outlet fee because this is my 2nd Tivo and thus, a 2nd digital outlet, but I don't pay for the cablecard since it is included with the outlet. I also am not paying an HDTV service charge. I thought that charge was for using their HD DVR, not your own.

Good luck. This can be a long drawn out process to get it fixed.
Well, in my house we have 4 tvs. 2 HDTVs, 2 regular. The first HDTV is hooked up with an hd box, and the second has the tivo on it. One of the regular TVs is running with a cable box, and the second is running without. So that means I should have to be paying 1 digital outlet fee for my tivo, not 2?
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:29 AM   #7457
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Well, in my house we have 4 tvs. 2 HDTVs, 2 regular. The first HDTV is hooked up with an hd box, and the second has the tivo on it. One of the regular TVs is running with a cable box, and the second is running without. So that means I should have to be paying 1 digital outlet fee for my tivo, not 2?
I am not an expert on Comcast billing, but...

Your primary digital outlet is probably your HDTV with their HD box. This might be subject to their HD Service fee. This fee is relatively new and it could be a coincidence that it just now showed up on your bill. I still don't understand exactly what it covers.

Your additional digital outlet is your Tivo and you should not be paying a cablecard fee for it since the first card on an outlet is incuded in the outlet price.

You didn't mention whether the regular TV is using an analog or digital cable box. If it is receiving digital service, then you would pay another additional digital outlet fee. However, if it is analog, then there would only be a charge for the box. It is also possible that this is a digital tuning adapter (DTA). Because of their conversion of nearly all their channels from analog to digital, I believe they are including 3 on an account for free. So this one is hard to call.

The 4th regular TV with no box should be no charge.

Good luck. As I said in my earlier post, I had to print out their own rate card and their FAQ about cablecards and take them to the local office to get the billing corrected. Phone support was unresponsive.
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:38 PM   #7458
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I've got some more Comcast billing questions. I got my Cablecard installed in my Premiere a little over a month ago, and surprisingly had a rather smooth install. The tech installed the Cablecard, and removed the Motorola HD cable box, which I assumed meant the $7.95/mo fee for the HD box would be gone, and at most I'd have to pay $1.50 for the card.

When I called over today, they said the $7.95 is for the HD channel lineup, not for the equipment, even though the fee is called "HDTV Equipment Lease". I know I could fight with them over it, but my question is this - is there any way for them to separate the HD channels from the rest of my lineup, or will I receive those channels with the Cablecard no matter what?

I thought I had read that you don't really need to pay extra for HD channels with a CC, but wanted to verify before I told them to go ahead and get rid of it. Also, from reading this thread, it looks like I shouldn't even be charged the $1.50 for my CC since it's the first outlet on the account.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:20 AM   #7459
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I've got some more Comcast billing questions.
If you've read through any of the Comcast threads here on the forum you've probably figured out that that billing for TiVos/CableCARDs is all over the map.

Comcast is in the process of implementing their new "HD Technology Fee" which is a fee on the account if you receive HD programming. You may be caught in the middle of that change. It's still up in the air how this will affect TiVos and CableCARDs. I won't know until next month's bill (which also includes price increases on most of their services) if I'll get charged for it.

If you no longer have any Comcast equipment (cable box or DVR) you should not be charged for the CableCARD because it should be included with your digital package. Good luck getting them fix it. I've called several times over the last year trying to get the ($1.50) CableCARD charges removed (one charged on the primary outlet and one charged on the Additional Digital Outlet) but even though the CSR will agree with me regarding what the Comcast FAQ says, they seem unwilling or unable to fix the billing. They did credit my bill a couple of times, but the charges are still always there. Honestly it's like they're just trying to wear me down by having me wade through the phone queue and explain it over and over and over again figuring I'll give up eventually.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:55 AM   #7460
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Yep, it all depends on how they do the billing which seems to vary by area. I recently added a Tivo HD from the $100 Blockbuster deal and to my surprise they didn't charge an extra outlet fee, just another $1.50 for an additional Cablecard. So now with two HDs (and no Comcast STBs) I'm only paying $1.50 a month CC rental for both. And so far, no new stupid 'HD Tech fee' probably because I don't have one of their boxes.
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:41 AM   #7461
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So I called 800-COMCAST 24 hours ago to get my own Motorola M-Card paired. The first CSR had me hold for 10 minutes while he asked his supervisor how to help me. I was told that he had to schedule a tech to visit my house, bring me a cablecard and install it. I re-explained that I already installed my own cablecard and that I was ready to read off the required information for them to enter into their systems. Back on hold, then I was told that an "advanced support tech" would be calling me within 15-30 minutes.

90 minutes later and no call. I called 800-COMCAST again and spoke to another CSR who placed me on hold for 5 minutes. He told me that a tech had to do the install at my house. I explained the card was already in my Tivo HD and that I was ready to relay the info for their systems for pairing. He then insisted that Comcast only allows cablecards from their own inventory. That I can't use my own Motorola cablecard. He also claimed that there was no advanced support group and that the other CSR BS'd me.

I emailed We_Can_Help (at) cable.comcast.com - the following is the correspondence

from ME
to We_Can_Help (at) cable.comcast.com
date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 4:34 PM
subject need to pair my cablecard to your systems.

Is there a phone number to Comcast advanced tech support to facilitate
cablecard pairing? I bought a Motorola M-Card (multistream) and I just
need to read off the information to get it properly paired/validated.
Your customer support reps think I need to schedule a technician to
come to my house for an install which is ludicrous. I already have my
card in slot one of my Tivo and have the information for pairing on my
screen.

from Chugani, Vinisha
to ME
date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:31 PM
subject RE: need to pair my cablecard to your systems.
mailed-by cable.comcast.com

We require a technician out to do this. Let me see what I can do. have
you ever had a Cable Card installed with your service? What is your
account info and a good contact number?

Regards,

Vinisha

from ME
to "Chugani, Vinisha"
date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:35 PM
subject Re: need to pair my cablecard to your systems.

Hi Vinisha. I already have my cable card installed into the slot. Your
technician would simply read the same info from my screen as I would
do. There is NO reason for a tech to be physically present.

This is a brand new Tivo HD DVR with a new Motorola M-card.

My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx

-ME

*No response so I emailed again*

from ME
to "Chugani, Vinisha"
date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:50 PM
subject Re: need to pair my cablecard to your systems.

Vinisha - can you help me with this? I've already blown a few hours
with your customer support number who is incapable of helping. I'm a
bit frustrated.

*No response so I re-emailed the que*

from ME
to We_Can_Help (at) cable.comcast.com
date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 6:03 PM
subject Urgently need to pair a cablecard. Have necessary info

Is there a phone number to Comcast tech support to facilitate
cablecard pairing? I bought a Motorola M-Card (multistream) and I just
need to read off the information to get it properly paired/validated.
Your customer support reps (800-Comcast) insist that I need to
schedule a technician to physically come to my house for an install
which is inaccurate. I already have my card in slot 1 of my new Tivo
HD and have the information for pairing on my screen.

I have already wasted a few hours with Comcast's customer
service...one rep actually insisted that the cable card must be
Comcast property for this to work.

My phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx

*2 hours and 15 minutes later I got this response -

from Teow, Steve
to ME
"[CHQ -- We Can Help]" <We_Can_Help (at) cable.comcast.com>
date Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 8:16 PM
subject Re: Urgently need to pair a cablecard. Have necessary info
mailed-by cable.comcast.com


We will get this taken care for you as soon as possible.

Thanks


Steve Teow
Digital Media Outreach
Comcast Corporate Office

Sent from my Blackberry

I never heard back from anyone.

I emailed him and copied the que this morning -

from ME
to "Teow, Steve"
cc We_Can_Help (at) cable.comcast.com
date Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 10:43 AM
subject Re: Urgently need to pair a cablecard. Have necessary info


Steve - Nearly 24 hours after I first called 800-COMCAST, I'm still in
the same position of trying to speak with someone at Comcast to get my
cablecard paired to your systems.

I'm disappointed that Comcast tech support is unresponsive and that
your customer service reps provide conflicting information. How soon
can I speak with a competent person at Comcast to properly use the
service I pay for?

-ME


Nearly an hour later and no one has responded.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:05 PM   #7462
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I did not know you could buy your own cable card. I thought the cable company was the only one who could supply it.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:25 PM   #7463
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I believe that is correct. If u purchased a card via ebay or another outlet usually that is stolen equipment as the cable operator has to inventory and request a special file to make the device work in their system. So they probably wont be able to pair it. There isnt a cust owned CableCard
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:25 PM   #7464
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I did not know you could buy your own cable card. I thought the cable company was the only one who could supply it.
There are posts within this thread from people that have bought their own cards, connected with the right people at Comcast, and properly paired their card/Tivo HD. The seemingly insurmountable hurdle is speaking to the right people at Comcast to relay the info for pairing. So far I haven't been successful after speaking to, or corresponding with, five Comcast employees.

I'm thinking about bailing to Verizon since I already have Fios internet. I left Comcast highspeed internet because of frequent outages.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:31 PM   #7465
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Im just going from what i know. They have to request auth files for the cards from moto or sa etc. And if the device isnt in their billing, its hard for them to do that. Good luck, there are ways to rig it to work but....
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:43 PM   #7466
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Im just going from what i know. They have to request auth files for the cards from moto or sa etc. And if the device isnt in their billing, its hard for them to do that. Good luck, there are ways to rig it to work but....
There is no "rigging" necessary. It's a simple PC Card much like a modem or network device but with different functionality. You pop it into slot 1 of your Tivo HD, a screen pops up, you read off the data to Comcast to enter the data into their system for pairing.

Search the thread and you'll find that others have done it. "Rigging" to me indicates a shady way of bypassing procedure.
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:27 PM   #7467
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Originally Posted by HazelW View Post
I did not know you could buy your own cable card. I thought the cable company was the only one who could supply it.
Well, technically speaking, it's relatively easy to "buy" a CableCARD from Comcast. All you have to do is cancel service and not return the card they previously gave you. Then they will charge you $40 and then you own a card. You paid for it, you should be free to do what you want with it, e.g. sell it on FleaBay.

But I can understand why Comcast wouldn't want to support CableCARDs when they're not sure of the provenance of those cards. If I were running Comcast I certainly wouldn't be willing to support those.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:31 PM   #7468
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I just got a M-CARD installed in a new Premiere. The install went pretty bad since I got a contractor and when he called Comcast no one ever answered the phone (he was on hold for 30 minutes). He called his office and managed to finally get to talk to someone about 10 minutes later. That person took down the card's SN and pairing numbers and entered them into the system.

The card activated a short time later, but it never appeared to pair correctly. Any CCI=0x02 channel shows the following on the conditional access screen as TiVo's web site.

Con: Yes
Val: ? 0x00
Auth: CAD

I'm emailing ComcastCares, but does anyone know what Val: ? and Auth: CAD means?

Edit:

Apparently they never paired the card correctly. I called Comcast and they saw there was no pairing numbers in the system, but the person had no idea how to add the numbers in. Hopefully the ComcastCares email team can do it.

Last edited by morac : 07-31-2010 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:25 PM   #7469
SullyND
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Friday I got Comcast Triple Play installed. To my surprise the installer brought M Cards for my TiVoHD XL (I was expecting them to not have anything). First one totally dead, second one "Authorization Failure (1200)". The installer gave up, said to bring it to the local comcast and they'd swap. I knew that wasn't going to happen, but he wasn't going to go get another card anyway (He was a rent-an-installer). So I hopped online and chatted with the Comcast rep who promised me they would exchange at the local comcast office. Headed over to the office, and they looked at me like I was speaking russian. Scheduled an installer to come out today. This time I got a Comcast installer. As he walks in he says "If I can't get this to work you're going to have to reschedule so someone can bring CableCards - the Warehouse is closed on weekends". I said, you mean you don't have cards? You may as well leave. He looked at it for all of two minutes and now I'm scheduled for Tuesday (Yay! Another day off work for my TiVo!) to try and get it installed. I wish they'd let me do a self install.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:42 PM   #7470
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In response to my email I got a call from Comcast today asking if I was still having a problem. I was. So the person said they'd have dispatch contact. About 30 minutes later I got a call from dispatch asking me if I could get the premium channels. I checked and I could. I later got a call from the original person who called me to confirm things were working. Once again ComcastCares comes through.

I also learned some interesting info:

1. You don't want to have an install done on Saturday because the dispatch office is extremely busy and won't answer the phone.

2. While contractor offices can register cableCards, they can't pair them. The contractors said the pairing data to Comcast's dispatch and it's up to them to do the pairing. That's what happened in my case. The pairing info had been sent to Comcast, but never entered.


I can't believe that 3 years after my 1st CC install things haven't changed at all. This install was actually worse than my first one and solely because the contractor had no way to enter the CC pairing data into Comcast's system. Comcast really needs to add a way for customers to update their pairing data online, like can be done for Cable modems.
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