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Old 12-27-2010, 06:14 PM   #7651
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardijp2 View Post
Got a TiVo Premiere for Christmas and unfortunately I will be returning it.

I went to my local Comcast service center to return their HD box in return for a CableCard. Comcast wants to double dip in my area (Harrisburg, PA). They wanted to charge me $2.50 a month for one CableCard plus still charge me for the HD box I was returning which would have been another $9.50. I thought the whole purpose of CableCard was to prohibit cable companies from forcing its customers to rent their equipment. I guess technically they're not renting anymore, they're just plain taking.

While I'd love to have TiVo, I could never enjoy it knowing that every time I'd be watching it that I was getting ripped off further by Comcast. Maybe I'll get TiVo when there is less oppression from service providers. Until then, my DVD recorder does just fine.
If you contact the Comcast Cares group at We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com you should be able to get this resolved. You can also get to them via Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/comcastcares
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:41 PM   #7652
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Originally Posted by dswallow

If you contact the Comcast Cares group at We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com you should be able to get this resolved. You can also get to them via Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/comcastcares
That may or may not help as Comcast has now started charging a per household "HD Technology Fee" rather than a per box HD charge. Many areas charge this fee as long as you get HD, be it via a cable provided or 3rd party box. If the $9.50 charge is for that (and the amount is in the right range), then there's nothing the Comcast Cares group can really do.

The fee is waived in HD triple play packages.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:15 PM   #7653
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That may or may not help as Comcast has now started charging a per household "HD Technology Fee" rather than a per box HD charge. Many areas charge this fee as long as you get HD, be it via a cable provided or 3rd party box. If the $9.50 charge is for that (and the amount is in the right range), then there's nothing the Comcast Cares group can really do.

The fee is waived in HD triple play packages.
And some areas don't charge the HD Technology Fee for customer provided boxes.

I would want to consult a hard copy of the rate sheet for your area to see what the charges are for a converter box, DVR, and HD Fee, etc.

Is this the only digital outlet or do you have multiple digital outlets? There is usually a fee for additional digital outlets.

YMMV
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:21 PM   #7654
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Originally Posted by a68oliver

I would want to consult a hard copy of the rate sheet for your area to see what the charges are for a converter box, DVR, and HD Fee, etc.
I've found that the rate sheet usually isn't up to date, at least in my area. You have to check the notes section on bills to see what's changed since the rate sheet last came out.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:51 PM   #7655
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With all the negative posts of horror stories, and my past experience with Comcast, I thought my own horror story was beginning. Got a new Tivo Premiere for Christmas and had everything set up for the Comcast tech to install the cable card and get the show on the road. Tivo set up was a breeze. Comcast actually had a time available on 12/24. Perfect! Not so fast. The guy brought two cable cards. The first didn't work, the second worked but could not get any encrypted channels like HBO. He and the person on the phone didn't really have any idea what was wrong so they scheduled another truck roll for Friday, 12/31.

That gave me time to do my homework on Tivo and in this forum. This morning I emailed we_can_helpATcable.comcast.com telling them the situation and providing all pertinent info, i.e. cable card ID, host ID, etc. Within half an hour I got a call from an executive service agent saying they received my message, that it was being escalated, and that someone from their technical support desk would be calling. The rep gave me her name, direct phone number, and said that if I didn't hear from technical support within 24 hours to call her back. An hour after that I got another call from a service rep who saw the service call come across her system and decided to try and help. No luck. She said she was sending a pairing command but whatever she did it didn't work. About two hours after that second call I got a third. This time is was the techinical service support. She also sent a pairing command (which showed in her system as successful), but did not work. I asked her to confirm the card info in the system. Lo and behold, the cable card ID number that last Friday's tech provided over the phone had been input incorrectly. Two numbers had been transposed! The tech service support rep fixed the numbers, sent the pairing command and voila! It came down to human error as usual. I have to thank this forum for being a wealth of information. If not for the advice and experience shared here, I would still be waiting on a service call this Friday that probably would not have resolved the issue. I also have to give credit to Comcast for responding to the email so quickly.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:04 PM   #7656
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That may or may not help as Comcast has now started charging a per household "HD Technology Fee" rather than a per box HD charge. Many areas charge this fee as long as you get HD, be it via a cable provided or 3rd party box. If the $9.50 charge is for that (and the amount is in the right range), then there's nothing the Comcast Cares group can really do.

The fee is waived in HD triple play packages.
This is the kind of thing that really makes me upset about comcast...

Does it really cost them anymore to bring HD to my house. Not that I'm aware(correct me if I'm wrong)

They just want the money that they are no longer getting because we decided to buy our own cable box...

If they started this in my area I would cancel right away. Usually comcast will do anything I say because I sell their service and don't want me to say anything bad about them.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:45 PM   #7657
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Originally Posted by nickrodriguez View Post
This is the kind of thing that really makes me upset about comcast...

Does it really cost them anymore to bring HD to my house. Not that I'm aware(correct me if I'm wrong)

They just want the money that they are no longer getting because we decided to buy our own cable box...

If they started this in my area I would cancel right away. Usually comcast will do anything I say because I sell their service and don't want me to say anything bad about them.

I think the "HD Technology fee" is a way to get money from non-cable box users since it "provides access to Comcast HD technology on all outlets in the home connected to a HD converter or other HD capable equipment."

It doesn't affect cable box users at all since it removes the fee on the first HD box and applies it to the household, but the net charge is the same.

For example in my area, there was a "Digital Additional Outlet fee" of $9.25 for all but the first cable box and a $6 ($9.25 without Digital Preferred service) "Digital
Converter with HDTV capabilities" charge per HD cable box (including the first box). So the first HD box was $6 ($9.25) and all the other HD boxes were $15.25 ($18.50). Now there is a $6 ($9.25) "HD Technology Fee" charge and the first box is "free" and all other boxes are still $15.25.

I'm fairly certain this was a money grab for people without a cable box, though I doubt there's enough cableCARD users for it to make a difference so I don't know why Comcast did this. It might have been to get people to sign up for HD triple plays since the fee is waived in that case.

I'll note that according to my pricing sheet, Comcast will provide a $3.45 per month credit if you don't rent a cable box because the package plans include the price of the cable box. In my case, they actually give me a $6.90 monthly credit because of some weird glitch when they added the 2 cableCARD for my S3 to my account.

Also for some reason I'm not charged any Additional Digital Outlet fees. Not sure why that is exactly, but I know I originally had 3 free additional outlets from way back when I signed up so maybe I'm grandfathered some how.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:54 PM   #7658
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I made a user account just to specifically post in this thread. I just got a premier for Christmas and after doing research, realized I had to get a CableCard from Comcast. Then to my horror I kept hearing stories about incompetent techs and returning TiVo's, etc. I called to make my appointment and they were able to make the appointment for the next day after work. Perfect! I had made sure to save the CableCard instructions from TiVo's website as well as have their number handy just in case.

The cable guy called me to say he would be here in about 15 minutes, and I told him it was for a CableCard installation to which he replied "No problem."

He arrives (after getting lost) and proceeds to ask me if the TiVo has a card port on the front. Oh dear. My heart starts racing. Would I be another horror story? Fortunately not! He took out a card, slipped it into the port at the back, picked up the TiVo remote and went through the menu like a pro. I was shocked to see he had installed an M-card as I was expecting to fight with them if they had brought a regular card. After about 10 minutes I had gotten all my channels perfectly and no hiccups what so ever.

Just needed to share that not all Comcast CableCard installs are horror stories.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:05 PM   #7659
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JustDroppinIn, at this point most installs should be like this since pairing a card is very trivial to do. It really depends on who shows up to your house and who's manning dispatch at the time.

In my last install, the problem was that there was no one manning dispatch.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:37 AM   #7660
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Just needed to share that not all Comcast CableCard installs are horror stories.

I am having mine installed today between 3-5pm and will let you know. :>
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:08 AM   #7661
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OK, now you can add me to the people with problems with Comcast.

#1) The installer came yesterday and surprise no cable cards. Then he didn't even want to hook up anything so I could at least get some basic channels. I managed to get him to do it.

#2) He told me to go to the local Comcast center and get them and they are easy to install. I wanted to call the center before going but in the phone book, online and calling information only got me 1800COMCAST. I called that and they said they do not give out the local number and I would have to go there. What the heck is all the secrecy for???

#3) The center wasn't that far so I drove there and was shocked that its more secure than a bank. There were cameras all over and the people were behind 3" thick bullet proof glass with slots to slide things under and a cabinet to put equipment in. I was wondering why they needed all this and it took me about 2 sentences with the CSR to be treated like crap and I felt like reaching over and slapping her if I could. Long story short I ended up leaving frustrated with no cable cards as according to her, there was no installation done today as the order was cancelled that morning. She said to call 1800COMCAST. It turned out after calling this rep didn't bother to really look at my account.

#4) I called 1800COMCAST when I got home and after some explaining and FINALLY getting someone helpful on the phone, she saw what was going on and they messed up my order and tried to fix it thats why it was showing cancelled in some places but updated correctly in others. When I gave my order it was to a person who I could hardly understand. It turns out she put something about connect "TiVo VCR" so no cable cards were added.

I was told that someone would come out this morning between 7-11, I am home anyways so this is fine. Now I just hope this goes well as now after reading so many other bad stories here, I do not have my hopes up.

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Old 12-31-2010, 09:18 AM   #7662
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OK, now you can add me to the people with problems with Comcast.

#1) The installer came yesterday and surprise no cable cards. Then he didn't even want to hook up anything so I could at least get some basic channels. I managed to get him to do it.

#2) He told me to go to the local Comcast center and get them and they are easy to install. I wanted to call the center before going but in the phone book, online and calling information only got me 1800COMCAST. I called that and they said they do not give out the local number and I would have to go there. What the heck is all the secrecy for???

#3) The center wasn't that far so I drove there and was shocked that its more secure than a bank. There were cameras all over and the people were behind 3" thick bullet proof glass with slots to slide things under and a cabinet to put equipment in. I was wondering why they needed all this and it took me about 2 sentences with the CSR to be treated like crap and I felt like reaching over and slapping her if I could. Long story short I ended up leaving frustrated with no cable cards as according to her, there was no installation done today as the order was cancelled that morning. She said to call 1800COMCAST. It turned out after calling this rep didn't bother to really look at my account.

#4) I called 1800COMCAST when I got home and after some explaining and FINALLY getting someone helpful on the phone, she saw what was going on and they messed up my order and tried to fix it thats why it was showing cancelled in some places but updated correctly in others. When I gave my order it was to a person who I could hardly understand. It turns out she put something about connect "TiVo VCR" so no cable cards were added.

I was told that someone would come out this morning between 7-11, I am home anyways so this is fine. Now I just hope this goes well as now after reading so many other bad stories here, I do not have my hopes up.
You should pass this post on to the folks at Comcast Cares at We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com ... even if you get things done right today, it'll help them address problems like this amongst their CSRs. Plus they can make sure someone watches over your install/account for a while to ensure everything goes OK this time.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:19 AM   #7663
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Another cable card (pricing) horror story.

For the past two years, my set up has been:
Comcast
TiVO HD with M Card
Digital cable box to receive SD service on kitchen TV

Yesterday, I noticed I had been charged (for the past 6 months) a fee of $6.00
for what is described on my bill as "additional digital outlet with digital starter cable card separate outlet charge $0.00 - digital access $6.00" I called Comcast to ask exactly what the charge was for. The CSR said the $6.00 was for my cable card. I said that was wrong, because, and I quoted the website,
"There is no charge for the first CableCARD that you use as it is already included in the primary outlet fee." She then told me it was for the card in the digital box. I told her there was NO card in the digital box and, even if there was, I quoted THIS part of the website "f 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 $2.50 for the second CableCARD on the additional outlet. " I gave her the URL, which she found, said, "Hmmmm", and put me on hold for 15 minutes. She came back and said that because my TiVO was not my primary outlet, I was being charged $6 for the card, even tho it specifically says there is NO CHARGE for the first card. When I disputed this again, back on hold for another 20 minutes, and she came back with the same conclusion as before. I said, thank you, hung up, called back, figuring I might get someone who was familiar with the problem, and went this time to the billing department. To make an already long story short, this (extremely rude) CSR said that the website was WRONG (!!!!), and said she'd put me on hold. I said, no, I will NOT wait another 20 minutes on hold, put me through to a supervisor. She refused, put me on hold, and I hung up after 10 minutes. Amazing. I figure, maybe it's the holiday fatigue getting to them, and I'll wait for Monday and try again, and might be lucky enough to get someone who has a clue. If not, I wlll file a complaint with the Mass. Cable Commission (just for my own personal satisfaction, as I suspect they are useless).
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:59 PM   #7664
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Question Not getting all channels

So I finally break down and decide to get a cable card for my Tivo HD. Amazingly enough, my wife managed to get the cable card from the local Comcast office. I'm in the Pittsburgh PA area. I plugged the SA M stream card into slot one and it performed its firmware upgrade successfully as it now identifies itself as a Cisco CableCard. At that point I was getting the message "In order to start service for this device, please contact customer service at Ph# 1-800-266-2278" so I contact CS and they send a signal to the card. An hour later the card partially works but many channels even just regular digital channels give the same "In order to start service ..." message. I'm wondering if the card is still improperly paired as I go into the CP Info menu and Auth Status is Waiting for CP Auth.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the card, but how can I get this resolved? I have my doubts that a regular CSR will know how to pair the card. Any ideas?

TIA
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:16 PM   #7665
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Did you give the CS agent the pairing numbers? If not you won't be able to get protected channels. Comcast normally protects premium channels as well as Encore.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:04 PM   #7666
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Did you give the CS agent the pairing numbers? If not you won't be able to get protected channels. Comcast normally protects premium channels as well as Encore.
What are the pairing numbers? Do you mean Host ID and Cable Card numbers?
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:22 PM   #7667
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What are the pairing numbers? Do you mean Host ID and Cable Card numbers?
Yes both Host ID and Cable Card numbers.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:20 AM   #7668
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An update to my install a couple posts above. The installer came with a single M card and installed it in about 2 minutes. Not all my channels appeared at first and he said to wait a few minutes and they should appear.

After about 5 minutes everything was there except my free HBO for six months. I called them and a guy added that to my package as it was not there and seconds later I am complete.

So in the end it is working as it should. I am willing to bet 100% due to all the changes made to my account the first bill will be wrong but I have a month of peace before calling them again.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:24 AM   #7669
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I don't think there is anything wrong with the card, but how can I get this resolved? I have my doubts that a regular CSR will know how to pair the card. Any ideas?

TIA

I am far from knowing much about this but did you rerun the guided setup selecting the cable card option and digital channels?

I saw in a couple threads you need to do this and I did it.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:30 PM   #7670
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Some channels freezing/pixilating - cablecard or DVR problem?

I have a Series 3 HD Tivo with Comcast Cablecard. All has been fine for a year or so, but last week a few channels began exhibiting strange behavior. Every 10 seconds or so the picture freezes for a couple of seconds, then pixilates before resuming for about 10 seconds; the cycle repeats regularly. This behavior makes these channels basically unusable.

I've narrowed it down to a consecutive band of 6 channels (114 through 119 in my area). All other channels are fine. I did restart the Tivo but that did not correct the problem. I know that it's not a problem with the signal coming into the house because we have other TVs with Comcast boxes and these channels behave fine with the boxes. So it's either the cablecard or Tivo causing the problem. I thought I'd check here to see if anyone else has seen this before I contact Comcast for service ... thanks!
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:52 PM   #7671
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An hour later the card partially works but many channels even just regular digital channels give the same "In order to start service ..." message. I'm wondering if the card is still improperly paired as I go into the CP Info menu and Auth Status is Waiting for CP Auth.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the card, but how can I get this resolved? I have my doubts that a regular CSR will know how to pair the card. Any ideas?TIA
Passmaster16, in my experience you've got one of two things happening. Either the rep entered the numbers wrong - which I would hope can be easily fixed - or the rep did something else wrong and the card is now improperly paired so it only _looks_ paired to them.

There are people deeper inside Comcast who ought to be able to fix an improperly paired card remotely, but you probably won't be allowed to talk to them. So now the reps will start pushing a truck roll on you. The only difference between a self-install and a truck roll is that the field tech can call slightly better-trained people. That appointment should not be necessary and you will deserve a credit for that so-called service call plus all your time and frustration spent on this.

Your situation sounds a lot like the way this one started for me:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...82#post8210482
and this is how I ended up getting up a credit, although mostly I just wanted to complain about how this was handled:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...52#post8215452

Hope it doesn't get as bad for you. Good luck, please let us know how it goes.

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Old 01-01-2011, 03:14 PM   #7672
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I called Comcast today to schedule my cable card install. The customer service rep informed me that the multi-media cable card would be 1.50 and I would also be charged an additional outlet fee of $8.95. I can't justify spending about $23 a month for an extra box. not including the tivo box price to purchase. After reading the posts it seems as the price quoted to me is the norm. Is that correct. You all pay comcast about $10 on top of the tivo service? Thanks for your help!
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:13 PM   #7673
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I called Comcast today to schedule my cable card install. The customer service rep informed me that the multi-media cable card would be 1.50 and I would also be charged an additional outlet fee of $8.95. I can't justify spending about $23 a month for an extra box. not including the tivo box price to purchase. After reading the posts it seems as the price quoted to me is the norm. Is that correct. You all pay comcast about $10 on top of the tivo service? Thanks for your help!
I have 4 CableCARDs (S-cards, for two TiVo Series 3 units). No other outlets or devices/set-top boxes from Comcast.

I pay Comcast $159.99 for the HD Premier XF package (which is the Premier Triple Play w/HBO, STarz, Cinemax, Showtime, Sports, with Ultra Internet and Digital Voice unlimited), plus $5.00 for the voice modem lease fee, plus about $4 in taxes/connectivity fees.

Specific line items for CableCARDs that are on my statement every month:

Cable card $0.00
Additional Outlet
4 @ $0.00 each
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:31 PM   #7674
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Originally Posted by pdimarzio View Post
I have a Series 3 HD Tivo with Comcast Cablecard. All has been fine for a year or so, but last week a few channels began exhibiting strange behavior. Every 10 seconds or so the picture freezes for a couple of seconds, then pixilates before resuming for about 10 seconds; the cycle repeats regularly. This behavior makes these channels basically unusable.

I've narrowed it down to a consecutive band of 6 channels (114 through 119 in my area). All other channels are fine. I did restart the Tivo but that did not correct the problem. I know that it's not a problem with the signal coming into the house because we have other TVs with Comcast boxes and these channels behave fine with the boxes. So it's either the cablecard or Tivo causing the problem. I thought I'd check here to see if anyone else has seen this before I contact Comcast for service ... thanks!
The same thing happened to me a few weeks ago. Only ESPN and ESPN2 had this behavior on the two TiVos but not on the Comcast boxes. I tried attenuators but that did not help. After a few weeks the problem went away. My guess is that it was due to Comcast moving channels around. Of course if you call Comcast the will blame it on the TiVo, but just wait a while and see if it clears itself. Good luck.
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:34 PM   #7675
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I have 4 CableCARDs (S-cards, for two TiVo Series 3 units). No other outlets or devices/set-top boxes from Comcast.

I pay Comcast $159.99 for the HD Premier XF package (which is the Premier Triple Play w/HBO, STarz, Cinemax, Showtime, Sports, with Ultra Internet and Digital Voice unlimited), plus $5.00 for the voice modem lease fee, plus about $4 in taxes/connectivity fees.

Specific line items for CableCARDs that are on my statement every month:

Cable card $0.00
Additional Outlet
4 @ $0.00 each
You are lucky. You should be charged an additional outlet fee for one of the boxes, and a fee for the second cable card on each TiVo. Since that package includes the first HD box (in fact a DVR I think) you should get the first one free.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:50 PM   #7676
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I pay Comcast $159.99 for the HD Premier XF package (which is the Premier Triple Play w/HBO, STarz, Cinemax, Showtime, Sports, with Ultra Internet and Digital Voice unlimited), plus $5.00 for the voice modem lease fee, plus about $4 in taxes/connectivity fees.

Specific line items for CableCARDs that are on my statement every month:

Cable card $0.00
Additional Outlet
4 @ $0.00 each

Are you under a contract or something. I'm paying exactly what you're paying, but only getting the HD Preferred Plus XF Triple Play (HBO & Blast Internet). I don't pay outlet or cable card fees either, but you get a lot more channels.
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Old 01-01-2011, 08:41 PM   #7677
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Are you under a contract or something. I'm paying exactly what you're paying, but only getting the HD Preferred Plus XF Triple Play (HBO & Blast Internet). I don't pay outlet or cable card fees either, but you get a lot more channels.
When I was talking to the corporate support folks about the availability of the 3D channels (sometime around March around here, maybe a little later), they moved me back into the 1-year promo version of my package. She certainly gave me the impression I could've called through normal channels and gotten it myself, though... but maybe it'd have included a commitment that way.

Here's the promos: http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Lea...s/bundles.html

(Though I didn't get the $250 prepaid Visa card... that's the new subscriber part, I guess. )
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:28 PM   #7678
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I tried getting a promo last month and the support agent refused to give it to me. I ended up dropping Starz and Showtime, but the agent didn't care.

I think I'm going to drop voice completely and go with Ooma. I've heard good things about it from co-workers and it's free.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:34 PM   #7679
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I think I'm going to drop voice completely and go with Ooma. I've heard good things about it from co-workers and it's free.
You have to pay a one time fee for the hardware and you have to pay $40 to port your number.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:37 AM   #7680
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You have to pay a one time fee for the hardware and you have to pay $40 to port your number.
True, but it will pay for itself in less than 6 months based on my current rates.
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