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Old 09-14-2010, 10:59 AM   #7531
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Originally Posted by DVDerek View Post
Hi Folks, I'm cable provider shopping again and I thought you guys might be decent sources of information on this particular question... possibly more accurate than Comcast CS, anyway.

My wife and I are ready to drop cable television all together, but it appears to get the cheapest cable internet price via comcast, I'll have to add "Basic Cable" (just the locals) to my package. I'll then get Cable Internet and Basic Cable for a total of $39/month + taxes/fees.

Will the Basic TV lineup also carry local HD's? Will it require a cable card rental for my TiVo?

This is the Boston area market, if that matters.
I'm doing the exact same thing. I'm in Portland Oregon. For me, the local HD channels do come through in the clear, but the Tivo will require a CC to obtain these. According to comcast, you get one free device (CC or cable box) with your subscription, but this is only if you have at least a digital tier package. The Limited Basic is an analog package and as such has a fee associated with the cable card. I was not aware of this. Thankfully, I had saved a chat transcription I had had with a comcast representative, where I fully disclosed my intent, what package type I had, etc. and he guaranteed me in that conversation that I would not be billed for the CC. I had to submit this paperwork to Comcast, but it got me the free CC (no monthly fee). The only thing I had to do was pay a one time $15.99 install fee. So now I get locals in HD with the limited basic package. I did the same thing when I had the Sony DHG-HD250 DVR, but that box did not require a cable card for the non-encrypted channels like the Tivo does.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:02 AM   #7532
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Yeah, Comcast was going to charge me something like $16/month for cable cards on top of the $16/month for basic cable...and of course you have to have them "installed", for which I think they should pay *ME*

I just dumped them and went to free ATSC + Netflix.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:51 AM   #7533
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Originally Posted by DVDerek View Post
Hi Folks, I'm cable provider shopping again and I thought you guys might be decent sources of information on this particular question... possibly more accurate than Comcast CS, anyway.

My wife and I are ready to drop cable television all together, but it appears to get the cheapest cable internet price via comcast, I'll have to add "Basic Cable" (just the locals) to my package. I'll then get Cable Internet and Basic Cable for a total of $39/month + taxes/fees.

Will the Basic TV lineup also carry local HD's? Will it require a cable card rental for my TiVo?

This is the Boston area market, if that matters.
I have Comcast in Naples, FL and I get local HDs on a set without cable box or CableCard.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:38 PM   #7534
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Originally Posted by DVDerek View Post
Hi Folks, I'm cable provider shopping again and I thought you guys might be decent sources of information on this particular question... possibly more accurate than Comcast CS, anyway.

My wife and I are ready to drop cable television all together, but it appears to get the cheapest cable internet price via comcast, I'll have to add "Basic Cable" (just the locals) to my package. I'll then get Cable Internet and Basic Cable for a total of $39/month + taxes/fees.

Will the Basic TV lineup also carry local HD's? Will it require a cable card rental for my TiVo?

This is the Boston area market, if that matters.
The cable company should carry your local stations in HD in the clear. Which means you will not need a cable card to watch them. However, you will get no guide data at all. This means that you will not be able to set up season passes or wishlists. You can schedule manual recordings by time but you won't even be able to tell what you've recorded. You MAY have channel names but that will be pretty much all.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:03 AM   #7535
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They came Tuesday to install mine. The guy spent 3 hours trying to get it to work and then rescheduled for a week later. The thought of waiting another week because they couldn't get it to work kind of irked me. He had tried 2 cable cards and was going to come back with more. He really had no idea what else to try.

I was getting my regular channels and HD channels but not my digital channels and HBO. The TiVo message kept saying I didn't have access to those channels and needed to call my cable company.

Even though we had rebooted the TiVo several times while he was there after he left I re-ran guided setup from the beginning and then everything worked.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:16 AM   #7536
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They came Tuesday to install mine. The guy spent 3 hours trying to get it to work and then rescheduled for a week later. The thought of waiting another week because they couldn't get it to work kind of irked me. He had tried 2 cable cards and was going to come back with more. He really had no idea what else to try.

I was getting my regular channels and HD channels but not my digital channels and HBO. The TiVo message kept saying I didn't have access to those channels and needed to call my cable company.

Even though we had rebooted the TiVo several times while he was there after he left I re-ran guided setup from the beginning and then everything worked.
sounds like the Tivo was not getting CP authorization in the CP info screen if you are using SA equipment. If it's Motorola cards then on the "Conditional Access Screen" you should see a line that has Con/EBCP/Val on it & they should read: Con Yes/ EBCP Yes/ Val V 0x0& a number. Toward the lower part of that same screen you will see where it says "AUTH" & it should have an S next to it if the card is properly authorized. If it says something other then S it could be that it maybe has the wrong headend code applied to it & normally a DAC operator will have to be contacted to see if there is anything they can do to change it.
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:52 AM   #7537
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sounds like the Tivo was not getting CP authorization in the CP info screen if you are using SA equipment. If it's Motorola cards then on the "Conditional Access Screen" you should see a line that has Con/EBCP/Val on it & they should read: Con Yes/ EBCP Yes/ Val V 0x0& a number. Toward the lower part of that same screen you will see where it says "AUTH" & it should have an S next to it if the card is properly authorized. If it says something other then S it could be that it maybe has the wrong headend code applied to it & normally a DAC operator will have to be contacted to see if there is anything they can do to change it.
I actually found that in the TiVo help docs and showed it to the guy while he was there. I don't remember exactly what the settings were but they were not what they were supposed to be.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:39 PM   #7538
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Thumbs up

THANK YOU to everyone in this thread for giving me the info/research necessary to help comcast finish my cablecard install.

I have 3 Moto M-stream cable cards, one is 2yrs old - works perfectly, one is 1 yr old and became unpaired after comcast digital conversion, last one is only days old.

Truck roll this past Friday left me with a 3rd unparied cable card and the vendor tech couldn't help at all with my 2nd unparied cable card. Multiple calls to comcast later Friday only ended up with a truck roll for Monday. I also emailed the We_Can_Help.... address and got an immediate response on Friday with assurance by Monday things would be fixed.

I was able to prove to the comcast employee that showed up that the pairing was invalid for cards 2 & 3. Neither he, nor the person at dispatch (headend) was aware of the Val:V vs. Val:? for pairing. They moved up all my cablecards to the top of my account and they fixed the data line for cablecards 2 & 3 which were apparently incorrect even though the vendor tech called them in on Friday. The tech today was surprised that the call center claimed they could only confirm the HostID number and not the Data number. I did ask but they wouldn't even try to confirm more than HostID.

Comcast corporate did call Monday morning before and after the comcast employee came out. I do have to give them props for following up at least.

Anyway, THANKS A MILLION for all the help in this forum! Also thanks to Tivo's Motorola M-stream cable card help pages!
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:19 PM   #7539
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Hi guys. I've skimmed through some of the 252 pages here, but didn't find the asnwers:

I have a Series 3. I have had my CC's for a long time but never installed them, geting my HD off antenna and SD off basic cable. They are finally forcing digital here in my area (Nashville) so in order to get the kids channels, I have to install the cable cards.

1) I have cards that say Motorola CableCard Media Cipher. They do not say M or S. Which are mine?

2) I started to follow along the Tivo how-to on activating the cards. It has you do one card, then the next. I made it as far as getting card #1's gray screen, and got Comcast on the phone. The nice girl was unable to activate the card. We double checked the card ID and host numbers, to no avail. She wanted me to insert card #2 so she could pass along the host ID to upstream tech support, but I explained the Tivo instructions say not to insert card 2 until 1 is done. Can I insert card 2 before card 1 is activated?

3) Does anyone have a summary of tips to help Comcast do the right thing when activating these? Someone somewhere in the depths of this thread someone said something about doing a maintenance hit then refresh. But I couldn't relocate it. Then I saw the talk about "Val:V vs. Val:? for pairing" which I hadn't seen before.

Any pointers appreciated.

Scott
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:02 PM   #7540
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Hi guys. I've skimmed through some of the 252 pages here, but didn't find the asnwers:

I have a Series 3. I have had my CC's for a long time but never installed them, geting my HD off antenna and SD off basic cable. They are finally forcing digital here in my area (Nashville) so in order to get the kids channels, I have to install the cable cards.

1) I have cards that say Motorola CableCard Media Cipher. They do not say M or S. Which are mine?

2) I started to follow along the Tivo how-to on activating the cards. It has you do one card, then the next. I made it as far as getting card #1's gray screen, and got Comcast on the phone. The nice girl was unable to activate the card. We double checked the card ID and host numbers, to no avail. She wanted me to insert card #2 so she could pass along the host ID to upstream tech support, but I explained the Tivo instructions say not to insert card 2 until 1 is done. Can I insert card 2 before card 1 is activated?

3) Does anyone have a summary of tips to help Comcast do the right thing when activating these? Someone somewhere in the depths of this thread someone said something about doing a maintenance hit then refresh. But I couldn't relocate it. Then I saw the talk about "Val:V vs. Val:? for pairing" which I hadn't seen before.

Any pointers appreciated.

Scott
1) Is it red? Pretty sure that's an M card. I forget how, but one of the CableCard menus tells you if it can decode 1 or more channels.

2) No, and see #3

3) Keep calling back until you get a rep that knows how to do it. The activation is pretty instantaneous--if it doesn't work within 30 seconds something's wrong. Some will say 24 hours and that's BS.
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:10 PM   #7541
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No not red. But I kept digging and foiund a link to what appears to be a comprehensive technical guide. Someone here wrote it.

I'm off to CEDIA today and with all the new fall shows coming out, I decided it was self inflicted pain to engage Comcst right now. Screw with them when I get back.

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:11 PM   #7542
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Just read this off of the Tivo site:

"Series3 HD DVRs run all CableCARDs in single stream mode, so this model DVR always requires 2 CableCARDS, which can be M-Cards, S-Cards, or a combination of the two."

"If you install an M-Card in a TiVo HD DVR, it must be installed in Slot 1 (the slot on the right). If you install only one CableCARD in a Series3 HD DVR, even an M-Card, the DVR runs as a single-tuner device."
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:25 PM   #7543
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So I can never remember which is which, so, if you want to be able to record more than one channel at a time:

Does your TiVo look like this?



If so get two cards. Does not matter if they are M or S.

Does your TiVo look like this?



Get one M card or two S cards.
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:39 PM   #7544
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Is there a Comcast channel lineup thread? I just got the message about the massive lineup change out here in Minneapolis. The only problem is that the underlying Comcast channels have not changed. The TiVo thinks I'm watching a Music channel when I'm actually watching NBC... This is messed as all my Season Passes are messed.... grrr...
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Old 09-22-2010, 06:40 PM   #7545
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Is there a Comcast channel lineup thread? I just got the message about the massive lineup change out here in Minneapolis. The only problem is that the underlying Comcast channels have not changed. The TiVo thinks I'm watching a Music channel when I'm actually watching NBC... This is messed as all my Season Passes are messed.... grrr...
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/search.php
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:22 PM   #7546
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I Apologize for not reading the entire thread its just too long. My parents just moved to a Comcast area. They are having issues with their TivoHd with I believe an SA M cablecard. Periodically all the channels become black. restarting the dvr fixes the problem for a day or two. Its hard for me to troubleshoot because I am not there so I need to tell them what to look for. Is it possible to fix this remotely or should they just demand a tech come out and replace the card?
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:42 PM   #7547
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My tech was very friendly and a good listener. We got his dispatch on the phone, and we went through every step me and him could think of. I have alot of experience troubleshooting cablecards, especially my own, so it was easy. I knew my way around the tivo cablecard menus and their options, was able to pull up the cablecard serial number, host id, card id, mac addresses, and all the info that his dispatch was asking for. The issue I was having was that althrough I was able to recieve all my digital channels, copy protection wasn't granted to the card so I couldn't get HBO, Showtime, Starz, and CinaMax channel blocks. Anyway everything's working great now, plus we shared some stories about past support calls gone wrong, like this one time he was sent to a house under the complaint of "at 11:30 every day theres a buzzing sound from the tv" well he came in at 11:20, waited behind the tv for ten minutes, only to find that the elderly couple's clock radio was the cause. Or another time when after arriving to an apartment complex, the customer admitted that the real reason she called was to replace a lightbulb.

You know what surpised me was that a few hours later I got an automated call from Comcast with a survey, which after a service call isn't unusual, but this time the survey wasn't about if my service was working or not, but about the technician himself. His professionalism, friendliness, and a whole bunch of other stuff, and at the end offered to allow me to record additional thoughts, which I commented that technicians should be trained under him and if he could be my de facto tech for future visits. I'm very impressed by all this. It's a shame he's retiring in three years. I guess him being the most senior tech working for Comcast in my county shows I'm sorry if I'm not making sense, I'm still getting over how impressed I am
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:45 PM   #7548
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I Apologize for not reading the entire thread its just too long. My parents just moved to a Comcast area. They are having issues with their TivoHd with I believe an SA M cablecard. Periodically all the channels become black. restarting the dvr fixes the problem for a day or two. Its hard for me to troubleshoot because I am not there so I need to tell them what to look for. Is it possible to fix this remotely or should they just demand a tech come out and replace the card?
Your best bet is a tech to come out, as there seems to be a failure with the card pairing up properly. This type of thing happens sometimes.
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:49 PM   #7549
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Your best bet is a tech to come out, as there seems to be a failure with the card pairing up properly. This type of thing happens sometimes.
Is pairing responsible for periodic outages. Rebooting solves the problem temporarily. Seems odd to me. I am guess a bum cable card.
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:50 PM   #7550
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Is pairing responsible for periodic outages. Rebooting solves the problem temporarily. Seems odd to me. I am guess a bum cable card.
Once the card is authorized, it's authorized. Could be a low signal issue.
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:53 PM   #7551
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Once the card is authorized, it's authorized. Could be a low signal issue.
Brand new neighborhood, brand new house, when the tech was out doing the original install his comment was that I should never have an issue with signal.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:12 PM   #7552
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Is pairing responsible for periodic outages. Rebooting solves the problem temporarily. Seems odd to me. I am guess a bum cable card.
Yes it does seem odd. Basically its that when the TiVo is being unpowered and repowered its reinitializing the card to the cable companies controller or headend and doing a handshake, but possibly a memory leak somewhere along the line causes it to forget. Another analogy would be two old friends meeting every day, but both of the friends have short term memory loss and forgets who the other person is every few days.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:15 PM   #7553
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Once the card is authorized, it's authorized. Could be a low signal issue.
Not exactly as even though my card was "authorized" and I could recieve all my channels, because something happened to the computer that manages the cards, copy protection wasn't being granted to my card and I was being locked out of HBO, Showtime, and the rest of the premium channels.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:37 PM   #7554
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Not exactly as even though my card was "authorized" and I could recieve all my channels, because something happened to the computer that manages the cards, copy protection wasn't being granted to my card and I was being locked out of HBO, Showtime, and the rest of the premium channels.
The cable company could accidentally unpair the cards while messing with your account, but that's extremely rare.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:09 AM   #7555
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The cable company could accidentally unpair the cards while messing with your account, but that's extremely rare.
True. See with my Moxi I had this exact same issue in February, and the solution the tech came up with was to start from scratch. Take the card completely off the account, remove the device from the account, and treat it like a new install. That worked. Now this time, in an attempt to avoid a service call, I had the tech do this over the phone, but it didn't fix it this time. Kinda glad cause I ended up meeting a cool technician. I won't start ranting about how great he was, you can check my other posts instead
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:34 AM   #7556
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Update w/ Comcast in Atlanta/Kennesaw

So I had to get the Cablecard installed by a tech from Comcast. They told me it would cost me $12.99, $1.99 for the card and $11.00 for the install. Well the installer didn't install it right, and I was missing all my HD channels. I called Comcast and they were able to get it working over the phone and took off the $11 install charge. I thought I was in the clear until I got the next months bill. I got charged $26.95 for a Installed Outlet, so I called Comcast, again, and the rep told me that whenever a technician either installs or modify an outlet they charge that fee. I told them that all he did was sit on my couch and talk on the phone and I'm not paying that fee. After much huffing and puffing on their end they eventually took the fee off my account.

So just a heads up, you might get charged some bogus Installed Outlet fee when they come and install your Cablecard. However, if you call them and tell them the rep didn't do anything with an outlet and you're not paying the fee, they should take it off. But YMMV so I can't vouch for everywhere.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:47 AM   #7557
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So I had to get the Cablecard installed by a tech from Comcast. They told me it would cost me $12.99, $1.99 for the card and $11.00 for the install. Well the installer didn't install it right, and I was missing all my HD channels. I called Comcast and they were able to get it working over the phone and took off the $11 install charge. I thought I was in the clear until I got the next months bill. I got charged $26.95 for a Installed Outlet, so I called Comcast, again, and the rep told me that whenever a technician either installs or modify an outlet they charge that fee. I told them that all he did was sit on my couch and talk on the phone and I'm not paying that fee. After much huffing and puffing on their end they eventually took the fee off my account.

So just a heads up, you might get charged some bogus Installed Outlet fee when they come and install your Cablecard. However, if you call them and tell them the rep didn't do anything with an outlet and you're not paying the fee, they should take it off. But YMMV so I can't vouch for everywhere.
Yeah same thing happened by me, including when the tech decides to check the signals and "reconfigure" the splitters and replace wires on his own accord. In fact this one time the tech came out, said there was some signal issue (even though it was a coding issue on the account) and decided to replace splitters and run new wires, fixed the coding issue, and left. A month later another issue I was having, with the internet this time, required a tech to come out, and low and behold, same tech, and this time he undid everything he did the previous visit. Guess what, I got charged both times, so after contacting customer service, not only did I have the charges removed, I even got a $20 credit for each visit. Since then i make it a point to have the tech note on the account not to charge for the visit before I sign.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:43 AM   #7558
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From Los Angeles to Arlington, VA

Well for the second time my fears of getting my tivo hd xl to perform turned out to be, at least for the moment, unfounded. In Los Angeles Time Warner came out and installed my cards and had everything up and running in ten minutes. They did charge me a monthly fee for the M card though.

So this week, after moving to Arlington, Virginia and having Comcast come out to help me, I was happy. The tech, when asked about cable cards gave me a pained look. When he found out I had tivo he said he was happy as he was afraid I had a cable card television set.

He got the m card installed and working in a few minutes before leaving. I am lucky, as I had not been able to complete my guided setup as I had no internet connection prior to his arrival. After the setup was complete my channels were there, the guide was working and my movie channels were there. Thus far I have not noticed any missing channels and I did not need some type of device in addition to my cable card to allow me to get certain channels.

I just figured that since most postings were horror stories, I would throw this out there so people looking to buy Tivo weren't totally discouraged.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:05 PM   #7559
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How To Deal With Comcast CableCARD Self-Install Once You Have Your CableCARD

If you are given a CableCARD by your local Comcast service center - as mine in Chicago will do - and you have the card plugged into your Tivo, ready to call Comcast so that they can activate it, you absolutely, 100% must:

email executive customer support: we_can_help (AT) comcast.com

or maybe tweet @comcastcares.

Do not bother with regular Comcast Customer Service to activate your CableCARD self install. That level of CSR, and even their managers, simply are not trained to do what's called a pairing. At best they will try to send activation signals that will not work.

And eventually each CSR will tell you that you will require a scheduled tech install appointment to install a Comcast CableCard. This is simply not true.

This is the classic case of the right hand of Comcast not talking to the left hand, a common problem with Comcast for those who have dealt with them before. That's all you need know. Now, if you want my full story, read on...



I got a CableCard for my new Tivo Premiere from Comcast's North Avenue, Chicago service center. As you can see, it clearly states "Services Available: Self Installation Kits Available: Digital - CableCard." Here is the link: bit.ly/bizpwy .

I think, if you search for and find a local Comcast service center with CableCards listed next to Self Installation Kits available, you should assume that if yous show up at the service center they will give you a CableCard to self install.

So you can see why I thought that A) I would be given a CableCard and B) I would be able to install it on my own with, maybe, a call to Comcast to activate.

A) was easy. I was given a CableCard by the service center, no questions asked. B) was not.

I installed the CableCARD properly into the Tivo and called Comcast many different times to try to get it activated. Low level CSRs continually sent activation signals to the CableCard, which did nothing. They confirmed that the Tivo had not been paired with the CableCard.

Calling Tivo confirmed the same thing: that Comcast was sending an activation signal, but not properly pairing the card to the Tivo. In order to pair the Tivo, Comcast needed several different pieces of information such as the Card #, the Host ID, Data, and Serial Number. Each of which you can find under the CableCARD setting in the Tivo Premiere. So I had this information in front of me but no one would take. Even in a three-way call including Tivo.

Comcast CSRs continued to tell me that pairing, and more generally CableCard installation, can only be done with a tech installation appointment. But I could tell from my own online research and by Tivo's response that all the installer was going to do was call (a double super secret facility) and read off those numbers. Something I could do just as well as the tech installer.

I sent a polite email we_can_help (AT) comcast.com and explained the situation, that I knew this could be done by Comcast remotely without a tech install appointment. An executive CSR responded within a day and confirmed that you don't need a home tech install if you've installed a Comcast CableCard correctly in your Tivo. You just need to give those numbers to the right people within Comcast. And he confirmed that regular Comcast CSRs simply aren't trained correctly to activate and pair a CableCard with a Tivo. They are trained to tell us that only a Comcast tech installer can install a Comcast CableCard in a Tivo with a home visit - which he conceded is not true.

I returned his email, giving him the appropriate CableCard IDs and numbers. He relayed them to (the one mysterious facility in Comcast that knows how to activate and pair a Tivo with a Comcast CableCard??). Within 20 minutes of giving the executive CSR those numbers over email, I had working Tivo and Cable.

Last edited by agroothuis : 09-23-2010 at 02:11 PM. Reason: misspelled a word.
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:00 PM   #7560
drhankz
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Salem NH
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by agroothuis View Post
I returned his email, giving him the appropriate CableCard IDs and numbers. He relayed them to (the one mysterious facility in Comcast that knows how to activate and pair a Tivo with a Comcast CableCard??). Within 20 minutes of giving the executive CSR those numbers over email, I had working Tivo and Cable.
Nothing you said was incorrect.

Only ACS can key in the Numbers.
Only a Comcast Employee can talk to ACS.
That is why they push the truck roll so they can have a tech talk to ACS.

You and I can do that.
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